The reliability trial ... a test of bike, mind and body

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Event date: 13/14 October 2018.

Event full

Between 8.00am and 10.00am on Oct 14th 2017, 72 riders set off to discover how their bikes, bodies and minds would cope with a 215km route through mid-Wales. This year, the BB200 headed south, deep into the heart of Wales' 'green desert'. It's an uncompromising place, full of ascent and descent with very little respite in-between. Over a quarter wouldn't complete and were defeated by injury, fatigue or mechanical failure. Given the terrain, ground conditions and the 5000+ metres of climbing, it's perhaps surprising that more than 20 riders would return in under 24 hours, a testament to fitness, tenacity and maybe even a little luck.

Bear Bones 200 bikepacking event

The Bear Bones 200 is a self supported, long distance bikepacking event. The challenge is to complete the route with no outside assistance, support or back-up. If you're unsure about what that entails, can we suggest you read the guidelines here. You'll need to rely on your own skills, fitness and determination to get you to the end. Pre-arranged assistance of any sort will result in a DNF.

The route changes each year but you can anticipate a distance of around 200km, 5,000m of ascent and with a large percentage of the route being 'off road'. The Cambrian Mountains provide a spectacular backdrop, so you can expect remote tracks, steep valleys and some of the biggest views in all of the UK. The BB200 isn't way marked or signed, there are no marshals and no feed stops.

While there's no time limit or cut-off for finishing, we anticipate all finishers will be back within 36 hours. Remember, the BB200 is designed to be a true test, it's not a social ride or a 'tour' and should be undertaken in a manner that reflects that. If 36 hours sounds like an unrealistic timescale or you'd prefer to ride at a more leisurely pace, then you should give serious consideration to riding the route at another time and not taking a place from someone willing to give it their all and rise to the challenge. There are a number of items that must be carried by all riders (sleeping bag, shelter, lights and phone) and a few others that while not compulsory should find their way into your kit (first aid, tools, spares, etc) … hopefully common sense and experience will prevail here.

Hot drinks will be served from 7.30am at the event start - Ysgol Llanbrynmair and Community Centre, SY19 7DH. There's no grand depart or set start time, riders are free to get underway anytime between 8.00am and 10.00am. Whether you complete the route or not, you will still be welcomed back to hot food and more tea than is strictly good for you, served from 8.00am - 8.00pm on Sunday.

While not compulsory for the Bear Bones 200, a SPOT tracker can be a worthwhile investment … it provides peace of mind for the rider and for those at home. Full details can be found here.