The (Socially) Distance(d)

Posted By Gravel Union On 28 August 2020
Event Title:

The (Socially) Distance(d)

Date:

22 August 2020

Distance:

Variable

Country:

Worldwide

Ride Report:

The Distance is an annual UK cycling event, which focuses on bikepacking with a unique twist. Just like many major sporting events and races in 2020, Covid19 caused some real headaches for the organisers, when they realised they wouldn’t be able to hold a “traditional” bikepacking event at the time they wanted.

With the idea of the usual social gathering out the window for 2020, the organisers got together with title sponsor Bombtrack Bicycle Co to come up with a novel way to ride together. The (Socially) Distance(d) was born! They set about creating a challenge that riders all over the world could participate in, no matter what the terrain, pace or route.

To ramp up the fun-quotient, the organisers created a bike packing bingo card of things riders might expect to see or seek out on a gravel ride, from water crossings, majestic birds of prey and singletrack to trailside art, post ride drinks and flannel shirts!

In order to qualify for the star prize, a 2021 Bombtrack Hook EXT frameset, event participants had to get a ‘full house’ and post their rides on our route partner komoot’s platform, as well as share evidence from each bingo square on Instagram using the hashtag #thesociallydistanced.

The event obviously piqued the interest of gravellistas around the world as they had over 100 entrants, from as far afield as New Zealand and the Philippines! In total, riders clocked up an impressive 5878kms of riding across 374 hours. Once the event was finished, riders joined a virtual campfire for a digital G&T and chats with bikepackers Natt Williams and Matty Waudby.

Feedback from participants was super-positive and although we all hope that in 2021, we’ll be able to go back to riding ‘proper’ events again, its looks like The (socially) Distance(d) got the zeitgeist just right in 2020.

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