General News: Orbit360 – The Outer Space cycling challenge
Gravel Union On
4 March 2021
When the gravel events world had to shutdown almost overnight this time last year, a small group of riders from Germany had a genius idea for a socially-distanced gravel riding race series based in the forests of Germany. A year on, they’re back with Orbit360 2.0.We take a look and see what they’re planning
The Orbit360 gravel race series, created by German ultra-endurance athletes Raphael Albrecht and Bengt Stiller, was one of the standouts in the 2020 gravel world and was so popular that it spawned a legion of DIY-style events all over the world. Not wanting to rest on their laurels, the Orbit360 team back for 2021 and this year their idea has grown significantly in scale.
To start with, their team has grown – there’s now twenty “galactic Orbiters from planet Earth” whose roll it is to “seek out the most adventurous routes, the steepest climbs and the finest gravel” Orbit360 say that they are are “expanding their cosmos by stretching far and wide and are thrilled to share the experience with fellow riders on their gravel rockets.” Can’t say fairer than that!
The 2021 Orbit360 plan is for three different, but complimentary events:
- The season opener – Rideforareason (#rideFAR) – a self-supported 180 kms or 360 kms ride, that in an Orbit-style fashion need to be ridden in a loop, either solo or in a pair. To be listed on the leaderboard, or to be featured in a best-off collection for the most inspiring adventures, riders need to upload their tour to komoot and tag Orbit360 as a participant. This event, which runs during March 2021, is designed to be both a challenge, but also to raise funds for a number of charitable causes - Bikeygees, who help female refugees to learn how to ride a bike and the Ghana Bamboo Bike Project, who provide bikes for school children, enabling education through the means of transportation. Event sponsor komoot are also contribute to the good causes by adding a donation for every finisher.
- Next on the list, taking place in May, is the Orbit360 All Gravel Series. Based on their hugely successful 2020 series, the 2021 version promises improved routes and a new scoring system Riders can chose their Orbits out of 20 different routes and collect points over the course of a ten week period. During this time, riding clockwise, riders can start at whatever time and location along the Orbit they want. Tracking will be done via komoot and completed orbits will be listed in the virtual leaderboard that will determine the season rankings.
- Finally, to finish the season in style, the Orbit360 team have planned a grand finale – a bike festival held under the stars and in front of the campfire. Gravity will be a four day gravel holiday, with a programme including gravel riding, bike testing, music, cinema, presentations, interacting with fellow bike enthusiasts and networking. With the Gravity Biking Festival, Orbit360 are planning on creating “an outer space cycling experience for the growing and highly engaged gravel community.”
You can find out more details about all the Orbit360 events on their website and you can follow them on Insta too.