Rigs of the 2020 GBDURO + Event Recap
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With help from the riders and organizers of the 2020 GBDURO, we’ve put together a detailed event recap that includes a summary of this year’s race, an interview with the winner, and rider portraits and rig details—including their nutrition details for the entire 2,000 km route. Check it all out here…
A cosy glow spills from the windows of an isolated highland croft at dusk. The smell of beer and a hearty pub meal escaping out the front door of a country inn. Bangin’ bass lines and laughter heard through the open window of a remote house at 2:00 am on the Pennine Bridleway. These are the moments where choices are brought into sharp relief. I could be in that pub, at that party, or settling in for a good night’s sleep, but I’m not. I’m pursuing a notion, conquering a self imposed challenge just because, well, it seemed impossible.
That’s where this year’s GBDURO sits. At first glance, riding 1,963 kilometres without resupply seems impossible. Of course it’s not—adventurous types trek to the poles dragging sufficient provisions for 90 days on a sled. There’s no shops on the Iditarod route and you’ll struggle for a SPAR at Everest base camp. This forces a shift of gear, a whole new mindset, and a self-reliance that endurance athletes are familiar with. Full self-sufficiency takes this further though. There’s no escaping the soaking chill of an unexpected thunderstorm in the embrace of a hot shower at a hotel. Dodgy stomach? You’d better get your trowel out and dig some catholes. There is no shoulder to cry on and you’d better know yourself very well because your food choices for today were made weeks ago.
But self-sufficient riding has a more important role than demanding better planning. It forces us to really consider consumption, the noun that sits at the centre of 21st century capitalist ideology. How much do we actually need? How much is enough? These questions are more easily answered when every gram slows the pace of our wheels. Less and lighter spells success. Every gram of excess packaging is wasted effort; it pays to minimise.
Moving from self-supported to self-sufficient riding requires a shift in mindset from ‘equal opportunity’ to ‘no assistance from others’. Kindness of strangers and resupplying at shops and pubs is fine under the self-supported ruleset, as is the disposal of as much waste as you like. Self-sufficient riding on the other hand, does not permit assistance from others, use of any buildings, or disposal of non-biodegradable waste. There’s a key test here: does it rely on assistance from others? If the answer is ‘yes’, then you’re not self-sufficient.
The move to self-sufficient riding produces less waste while cycling and finally addresses the eye-watering amounts of plastic waste that go straight in the bin during conventional ultracycling events.
On backcountry trips it is normal to pack out any packaging you carried in. The requirement to carry your waste out quickly turns our attention to how we can minimise the packaging in the first place, and we are starting to see the development of biodegradable packaging. COVID-19 or not, we want to shine a light on these advances and drive demand for further progress.
Big money cycling has for years relied on money from sponsors whose raison d’être is simply more. More stuff = more profit. Consider the 14 million items of landfill thrown from the caravan of the Tour d’France each year. Cheap trinkets to pass the time until the riders arrive, each of those riders supported by several team cars spewing CO2 into the atmosphere. A crash? It’s OK, just grab a spare bike and carry on. The consequences of the rider’s actions are focussed on their athletic performance and it is a poor metaphor for life.
We must learn to live within our means, and that means looking at everything we carry with us on our journey.
Q&A with 2020 GBDURO Winner Josh Ibbett
Find a quick Q&A from the GBDURO organizers with event winner, Josh Ibbett, followed by the rigs of the 2020 GBDURO below.
What originally attracted you to the event?
Initially, my plans were to return to the Tour Divide in 2020, however early in the year it became apparent that international travel was not going to be possible. GBDURO represented the most likely opportunity for me to be able to race this summer, and once the self-sufficiency rule was introduced it seemed even more likely that the event would be help in a responsible manner.
What were your thoughts when the self-sufficiency rules were introduced?
I was never super keen on the original format as I love the longer non-stop events, so I was super excited when the new rules were introduced. The self-sufficiency aspect added a whole new element of interest for me. I never thought it would be impossible, but enjoyed the problem solving process of figuring out how to do it. I also felt that holding the event in the original format would be irresponsible regardless of the UK lockdown status at the time, but being fully self-sufficient seemed to be a good compromise in order to hold some kind of event without causing too much risk of COVID transmission.
How did you prepare for this event differently compared to others?
Training wise I was not as fit as I have been before. My available training time was somewhat restricted due to COVID-19. I work at my family business and fortunately we were able to remain open throughout the UK lockdown, however this meant we were incredibly busy, which was extremely fortunate for real life, but it meant that I had to massively compromise the energy and time I was able to commit to my cycling life. However, I began working with a coach during this period (Transition Cycle Coaching), which enabled me to maximise the training I was able to do within my time constraints.
Is there anything you would change if you were to do it again?
The biggest change would be to take a little more variety in terms of food. I’d carry some wraps and a few tins of Tuna for a quicker lunch option and a more savoury option when needed. Apart from that I think I got things pretty dialled in. My experience is starting to pay off!
What were your highlights (or lowlights) of the route?
The highlight was undoubtedly the northern half of Scotland, where there is such a vast array of terrain and a real feeling of wilderness. The lowlight was probably the first few days before I hit the hills in Wales. There was a lot of road, a lot of short sharp climbs, and not much wilderness. Overall it really is an exceptional route to ride.
Are there any elements of self-sufficiency that you’ll incorporate into your future racing?
Yes, it certainly opened my eyes as to what can be achieved. I have been wondering for a while if carrying a stove in the more remote races would be beneficial, and I think I may start to experiment.
Rigs of the 2020 GBDURO
Find details on 12 of the 15 riders at this year’s GBDURO. We’ve included info on their bikes, bags, gear highlights, and nutrition.
Age 37 / Oxford (GB)
BIKE: I’ll be riding a Mason Bokeh, Mason x Hunt 650B adventure dynamo disc wheelset, Sinewave beacon light/charging unit, and 47mm WTB tyres (Venture on front, ByWay on rear).
BAGS: Various Apidura bags (top tube bag, compact framepack, saddlepack, 2x food pouches, 2x expedition fork packs), Revelate Designs harness and Sea to Summit drybag, Alpkit drybag, 2x Tailfin UD22 Ultra Durable Pannier Bags with custom strapping system to pair with a Tubus Cargo Evo rack (the result was completely bombproof).
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Garmin eTrex 30X for nav, Klymit Inertia X Frame sleeping mat, Lifeventure sleeping bag, Fly Creek HV UL1 Bikepack tent, Jetboil 2.0 and 300g gas, CamelBack Chase bike vest and 3L Katadyn BeFree Water Filtration System.
NUTRITION: Aimed for 5000kcal/day – 2400kcal/day from Expedition Foods freeze-dried meals, 600kcal/day High5 recovery drinks, 2,000kcal from nuts, dried fruit, Outdoor Provisions energy bars with compostable packaging, various other bars, cheese, and Haribo.
St Neots (GB)
BIKE: Mason ISO steel frame, Hunt gravel x wide dynamo wheelset (custom), Shimano GRX Di2 groupset. 36t chainring in a XTR boost chainset, Ritchey venture max carbon bars, WTB saddle, WTB Riddler 45mm tyres.
BAGS: Miss Grape custom frame bag, saddle pack, bar bags for food and 2x 13l dry bags mounted to Salsa Everything cages on the fork.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Custom PHD sleeping bag, hooped Bivvi, Thermarest 3/4 Mat, inflatable pillow and a PHD down vest, 2x DHB lab shorts, DHB merino vest, DHB ultra jersey, DHB lab ultralight showerproof jersey, DHB lab waterproof gilet, DHB mtb packable rain jacket, Hunt cap, buff, Dissent 133 rain gloves, arm and knee warmers, waterproof shorts, long handle ti spork, 900ml Alpkit ti pot, Promises stove, coffee drip filter, Alpkit folding cup.
NUTRITION: Food was enough for 8 days and consisted of 8x Daily parcels of 7000 calories. Each parcel had 3x Expedition meals freeze dry meals, 5x rawvelo bars , 3x my vegan protein cookies, 2x bags of chocolate M & M’s, 1 bag of nuts/ dried fruit, and a bag of jelly babies! Also carried some Rawvelo electrolyte drink sachets.
Age 35 / Colchester (GB)
BIKE: Boardman 8.9 CXR. 650b prime Audax wheels with dynamo. Power bug dynamo USB charger. Red cycle gravel handlebars. Specialized power saddle 155mm. Panaracer Gravel King SK 650b 48mm tyres. Sram Apex 1x groupset, 40 & 11 44t. Added additional bottle cage mounts to forks using black cable ties and military green tape. Custom top Cape Reading “Team Colvin NGU (never give up) doubled up bar tape, lizard skin white/grey cammo. Additional tool storage mounted with black cable ties and green tape. Lights, exposure tracer R rear, lifeline Pavo 750 front.
BAGS: Rockbros top tube bag, Rockbros As 012 tailbag. Btwin pannier ally rack with 2x Btwin pannier bags. Alpkit Analoko frame bag. Calk rock-climbing bag used as feed bag. Handlebar bag was an old ortlieb 12L dry bag in orange strapped on with bungies and 2x old Rab exped belts.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Jetboil mk1 with 100g gas. Spoon, issued ration pack plastic spork. Red plastic soup cup with travel lid. Grayl geo water press. A Rab solar 1 sleeping bag. Rocotactical ultra light bivi tent. An OEX 3/4 sleeping mat. Amaze fan emergency bivi bag.
NUTRITION: British Army military Rations broken down to consist of main meals, snack bars, nuts, dried fruit, drink sachets, a variety of meals came in around 4500 calories. I bulked this out with a homemade overnight oats recipe coming in at 1500 calories. Additional snacks came from 3.5kg of marzipan balls rolled in coco powder and chopped nuts. Cliff bars, a verity of jelly sweets and some SIS bars and gels. Around 6000 calories for 11 days.
BIKE: Mason Bokeh 62cm aluminium frame, Ritchey flared venture max handle bars & 100mm stem, Ritchey seat post and a broken E2 infinity saddle. Garmin 1030, Sinewave Beacon front light and rear, Son Delux dynamo hub fitted on Hunt wide rim gravel wheels with tubeless ready WTB riddler 45mm x 700mm. Rotor cranks on a 1X drive train 28 tooth front ring. 46-10 rear gearing
BAGS: Tailfin alloy arch mount & rear bag. Two anything changes and Salsa bags attached. Front forks had two anything cages and Salsa bags fitted, also Apidura top frame bag.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: STD 500fill bag and external waterproof bivvi, Thermarest mummy lite inflatable mat. iPhone & external battery pack. Brothers multi tool, gas station tyre air valve converter.
NUTRITION: Nine days of 5000 calories per day dried expedition food, Nescafé coffee pouches, Nunn hydration tabs, Jetboil and screw on gas.
Age 42 / Vaux (CH)
BIKE: Mason Bokeh GRX Di 2x, SONdelux dynamo laced to Hunt 700cc wheels, 45mm WTB Riddler tyres.
BAGS: Apidura all over.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: K-Lite switch to alternate dynamo power between the light and power bank via Sinewave revolution, Garmin 1030 plus an 810 as backup, Rapha Cargo bib shorts and cap, Isadore merino Jersey and thermal top, DHB leg warmers, Assos arm warmers, Gore Tex Shakedry waterproof, Fizik X4 shoes, MSR pocket rocket stove.
NUTRITION: 18kgs of food. 7,000 kcal per day of Expedition Foods, Porridge, PowerBars and Chia Charge flapjacks, MSR Pocket water filter.
Age 29 / Martock (GB)
BIKE: Scott Scale 930 hardtail, SRAM Eagle 1x 32 on the front and 11-50 cassette. Aerobars, with washing up sponges as extra padding. Hunt 29″ dynamo wheelset with 29 x 2.0 Schwalbe G-One bite tyres run tubeless.
BAGS: Carbon Tailfin pannier rack (held with storm glue, cable ties, monster tape and electrical tape after 400kms) and Ortlieb top tube bag, Apidura front roll bag with extra storage pouch.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Power, nav and lights: SON hub to a Sinewave USB port and a second cable to an Exposure revo front light. 2x cateye rear lights. Garmin 810. Little rucksack from Aldi with Katydyn Befree gravity 3L bladder, 2-person Terranova tent.
NUTRITION: 10 days worth of 6000 calories per day: 4 x 800 calories expedition foods meals rehydrated with cold water in a protein shaker. 200g each of Nutella and smooth Wholearth peanut butter in icing piping bags, various bars, 1x tube of Berocca, a bag of sherbet lemons.
BIKE: Colnago G3X, Ultegra disc brake groupset, 46/30 GRX crank, 11-36 cassette, RSP Calavera wheels, Hutchinson 40mm gravel tyres, FSA 46cm gravel bars with clip on aero bars.
BAGS: Straightcut Design split frame pack, handlebar harness, stem bag and top tube bags. Tailfin rear pack.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Garmin eTrex 22x, Jetboil Mightymo, 1.5L camelbak with sawyer mini filter inline.
NUTRITION: 8 x 5000 kcals per day consisting of 2x Expedition foods freeze dried 1000 kcal meals and some home made bars and emergency gels.
Age 41 / York (GB)
BIKE: Orro Terra C Gravel, Hunt nearly new aero wheelset, Vittoria Terreno Mix 33mm tubeless tyres, 105 hydraulic groupset, Profile aerobars.
BAGS: Old set of Deuter panniers, Alpkit bottle bag and top tube bag, Restrap frame bag. Decathlon tiny packable rucksack.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Alpkit bivvy bag and inflatable mat, Millet sleeping bag liner, Jetboil stove and titanium spork, MSR trailshot filter, Anker solar charger and USB power pack, Garmin 800 + 810, Exposure joystick, 2x Exposure Flare.
NUTRITION: Cyclingtips ‘Cocaine bars’ made to recipe (delicious), 5 x Lidl mixed nuts, 6 x Lidl chorizo, 600g cheese, 24 peperami, 6x Firepot beef stew meal kits, Nescafe cappuccino packs.
Chris Bower and Sharon Calton
Age 50 / Hengrave (GB)
BIKES: 2019 carbon comp Diverge fitted with custom build 650b mtb wheels with Son 28 dyno hubs, 47mm IRC Boken tyres and Pepi’s tyre noodles. 46/32 front and 34-11 rear gearing. Ultegra mechanical shifters, and hydraulic discs
BAGS: Apidura handlebar bags, top tube bags and frame bags + feed bags. Tailfin X-rail carbon with top loader bag and lightweight panniers.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Igaro D2 inverters, Exposure Diablos. MSR filter pump, lifestraw Universal inside Camelbak bottles. Cl tablets. Jetboil Minimo + 400g gas. Lightweight bivi & sleeping bags. Nordisk Telemark 2.2LW tent.
NUTRITION: 12 days x 6000 kcal. Expedition Foods 1000kcal meals, Real Turmat and Firepot meals. Mugshots, cuppa soups, and instant coffee & chocolate. Cliff bars and Outdoor Provisions bars 1 kg Peanut M&Ms 1 kg Trail Mix and Marzipan.
Age 29 / Oxford (GB)
BIKE: 2018 Specialized Diverge Comp E5 (aluminium frame). Tubeless 700 x 38C Schwalbe G-Ones, Hunt SuperDura Dynamo Disc wheels, GRX 810 groupset, 34T rear cassette and stock Praxis 48/32T chainrings. Brooks C13 Carved saddle, Future Shock suspension steerer tube, Profile Design TT bars, TRP Spyre cable disc brakes.
BAGS: Apidura 5L Racing Handlebar Pack, 7.5L Expedition full frame bag with 3L Camelbak bladder, Apidura Racing top tube pack contained 2x 10000mAh Anker batteries and an Igaro D1 dynamo USB charger. Pair of 12.5L Ortlieb gravel pannier packs mounted to a Tubus Tara Lowrider front rack, two further 12.5L Ortlieb gravel pannier packs hanging from a Tubus Fly Evo rear rack. Apidura 13L Packable Backpack.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL1 Bikepacking tent, Spark Sp0 sleeping bag, Sea to Summit Reactor Thermolite liner, Sea to Summit Ultralight mat, and Sea to Summit Aeros ultralight pillow. Rab Microlight down jacket. A pair of Gore C5 Gore-Tex Gloves, a Gore C5 Gore-Tex jacket, Endura MTR waterproof trousers. Platypus GravityWorks 4L filtration system, Toaks Light 700mL. Supernova E3 Triple 2 with an Exposure Joystick head torch. Garmin Edge 1030 with 520 as backup.
NUTRITION: 5500kcal per day for 12 days consisting of a daily ration of: 2x Expedition Foods 1000kcal freeze dried meals, 1x EF 1000kcal breakfast, 1x EF 450kcal dessert (for after dinner), 3x Snickers bars, 2x Snickers Hi Protein bars, 2x Veloforte bars, and 1L of SiS
Go Energy drink (100g powder, SiS Go Hydro electrolyte tablets, 2 x Kendal Mint Cakes and some instant coffee for emergencies. This provided 170g of protein per day and weighed 14.9kg in total.
Age 29 / Wokingham (GB)
BIKE: Isen, steel built with carbon ISP, Ultegra Di2, Hope 20FIVE wheels and Panaracer Gravelking SK 700x38mm, with a SON delux dynamo powering a Sinewave beacon and Supernovas.
BAGS: Restrap: Stem bags x 2, frame bag (medium), bar bag and food pouch (small – 14L), top tube bag and saddle bag (8L), drybags with fast straps, Voile straps and a backpack for water bladder.
Congrats to everyone who participated at this year’s GBDURO. Showing up to such a challenging event is an impressive feat in itself.