Exploring the outer limits of the UK’s South West peninsula is one of those rides that’s on no one’s bucket list. For most people in the UK the South West starts and ends at the region’s hipster metropolis – Bristol, which is a shame because Bristol is barely even in the South West and what lies beyond the gateway is a mystical magic land for cycling and adventure.
For the past few years the crew at Rockets & Rascals on Plymouth’s historic Barbican have been running a pair of bike packing events that do well to book end the South West riding experience. They alternate each year, odd years Trans Kernow (the local name for Cornwall) and even years Trans Devon. The name is a nod to the much more epic riding challenges but whilst the patch on which to ride is tighter the challenge is no less epic. The event has grown year on year and it’s slowly gathering a rep for being a ride that’s a great warm up for the summer’s more gnarly adventures.
The format is simple enough, leave no earlier than 9pm on Friday night and be back for lunch on Sunday. The ride is made up of a couple of checkpoints which change each year but push the riders to traverse the county, avoiding major roads and perhaps even taking in a few off road sections.
The 2020 event is made all the more special as in part it falls in the year that’s 400 years since the Pilgrim Father’s set sail for the USA, just a few metres from the start but also because it’s the first year the organisers have introduced live tracking to the event. The riders will be beamed onto a big screen in Rockets & Rascals cafe for the duration of the weekend and dot watching can happen whilst drinking coffee, listening to bands or supping a beer.
Entry is open now, it’s about half sold out