General News: Route to Net Zero

Posted By Gravel Union On 14 October 2021

In early November, the majority of the world’s leaders will be heading for Glasgow for the COP26 UN Climate Change Summit. The organisers of the GBDuro bikepacking event have decided to mark the occasion by organising a bikepacking ride to Glasgow to show that cycling should be part of the cleaner, greener future.

It’s pretty reasonable to claim that gravel riding is an environmentally sound activity (albeit with the caveat that all sports and pastimes have some negative impact associated with them if you look deep enough). But cyclists are perhaps adversely affected by environmental issues more than most – changing weather patterns linked to global warming, human impacts from increasing levels of traffic, trail damage from overuse, difficulty in finding clean water sources to drink from even in upland areas etc. It would be quite easy to get depressed when we look closely at the world around us.

But also, as cyclists, we can help make a lot of positive changes to the environment, whether that’s just on a local scale by using our bikes as a form of transport, or joining the TrashFreeTrails mission or on a bigger scale, by badgering politicians to change their policies towards greener and more sustainable ones.

The Racing Collective, who organise the annual GBDuro event already have some pretty amazing policies in place to make their event as environmentally sustainable as possible and now they’ve decided to try and have an impact on a bigger level too by organising a bikepacking ride up to Glasgow to help make the voice of cyclists heard by the world’s leaders.

The Racing Collective realise that cyclists alone can’t fix the bigger global environmental issues, but hope that by “showing visible support for a cleaner, greener future we can demonstrate that cycling can be part of the wider solution.” So, they’ve designed the Route to Net Zero as a way of showing community support from cyclists of all types.

They’ve designed a 900kms route which includes a mix of backroads and gentle gravel trails which heads from London up to Glasgow and they’re trying to persuade as many cyclists as possible to take part. The good news is that you don’t need to start in London to take part – in fact they’re actively persuading cyclists to join the route locally, to “hopefully intermingle with fellow cyclists as you go”.

The aim is for everyone to rendezvous in Glasgow on the evening of Thursday 11th November “in time for the climax of the conference”. Once in Glasgow, the organisers plan to join the peaceful marches that will be taking place in the city”. The event is being run on a self-supported basis – “Riders will need to fend for themselves, finding food and shelter as they go”. The good news about this is that you’re free to plan your own route and to make it as gravelly as you like.

The Racing Collective would like as many riders as possible to make the journey by bike to Glasgow, “in whatever capacity they are able to”. The event is free to join and you can sign-up here.

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