2nd City Divide

Questions and answers about routes.

Moderators: Bearbonesnorm, Taylor, Chew

Chew
Posts: 2529
Joined: Sun Jun 19, 2011 8:46 pm
Location: Halifax

2nd City Divide

Post by Chew » Mon Jun 01, 2020 2:50 pm

All being well, and things moving in the right direction, i'm planning on riding this route in late August.

Just trying to decide if its better to take a gravel or mountain bike?

I know what the second section is like, but does anyone have any experience of the section north of Alston?

User avatar
thenorthwind
Posts: 1134
Joined: Thu Mar 10, 2016 6:07 pm
Location: Newcastle

Re: 2nd City Divide

Post by thenorthwind » Mon Jun 01, 2020 4:06 pm

Going north from Alston, it looks like
quiet lanes - tarmac
South Tyne Trail - gravel bike path
Haltwhistle > Once Brewed - tarmac
Wark/Kielder forest - fire roads (variable quality but mostly pretty good, definitely "non-technical")
Kielder lake path - well-surface gravel bike path
Bloody Bush - been a while since I've been that way, mostly fire road, seem to remember it's fairly well surfaced over the top, maybe check this bit
...based on which, I think a gravel bike would be more appropriate for that section.
After this you're into the Borders/D&G and there's a couple of people on here more familiar than me so I'll let them take over.

User avatar
htrider
Posts: 3237
Joined: Wed Apr 02, 2014 10:51 pm
Location: Fife
Contact:

Re: 2nd City Divide

Post by htrider » Mon Jun 01, 2020 7:30 pm

Does look a bit of a mixed bag - lots of road riding but a few tricky sections (Crossfell being one of them - very hard going on a gravel bike that bit) North of Kielder looks to be mainly forest or windfarm tracks (and road) but again with a few tricky bits (Captains road over to St. Mary's Loch for example)..... Gravel bike probably OK but with burly tyres and a nice low granny gear

User avatar
Mike
Posts: 2888
Joined: Thu Jun 21, 2012 9:36 am

Re: 2nd City Divide

Post by Mike » Tue Jun 02, 2020 7:45 am

Same here chew, i had it planned for start if april. Train to Edinburgh was booked. Hopefully can have another go in aug if i can find cheap train tickets again!

User avatar
Bearbonesnorm
Posts: 19260
Joined: Sun Jun 05, 2011 8:53 pm
Location: my own little world

Re: 2nd City Divide

Post by Bearbonesnorm » Tue Jun 02, 2020 8:16 am

I might be up for a trip if there's one planned.
What value a life half lived if the half you lived was the wrong half?

mikehowarth
Posts: 189
Joined: Fri May 29, 2015 1:13 pm
Location: Calderfornia/Cheshire
Contact:

Re: 2nd City Divide

Post by mikehowarth » Tue Jun 02, 2020 8:54 am

Further north through the borders definitely more suited to a gravel bike with many more road sections, but the southern section is rough - you'll know this being a Fax lad ;-)

I rode the southern part in reverse last year on my gravel bike shod in 35mm tyres at the time, definitely way under gunned.

Luke and Christian suggest that 35mm is the minimum tyre size, but I'd say realistically 40mm tyre or bigger ran tubeless will save you having to pick your way down the descents.

Of course a 29er running 2.1 would be perfect, but that would spoil all the fun of riding an inappropriate bike :-bd

Its on my list as well to go back and ride the full route this summer given most of my plans don't look like they'll happen.

User avatar
FLV
Posts: 3491
Joined: Tue Aug 28, 2012 9:12 am
Location: Northern Edge of the Peak - Mostly

Re: 2nd City Divide

Post by FLV » Thu Jun 04, 2020 2:02 pm

This is also one I fancy. I'm sure thered be a bit of each looking at the route. MTB or Gravel bike, 50% of the time you'll be on the wrong bike :lol:
I generally lean towards a rigid mtb on fast but wide tyres when that happens.

User avatar
ScotRoutes
Posts: 6336
Joined: Mon Mar 18, 2013 9:56 am
Location: Cairngorms
Contact:

Re: 2nd City Divide

Post by ScotRoutes » Thu Jun 04, 2020 2:11 pm

Fit TT bars too.

mikehowarth
Posts: 189
Joined: Fri May 29, 2015 1:13 pm
Location: Calderfornia/Cheshire
Contact:

Re: 2nd City Divide

Post by mikehowarth » Fri Jun 05, 2020 9:15 am

And a surly 8 pack rack :lol:

Mythste
Posts: 76
Joined: Fri Jun 05, 2020 1:34 pm

Re: 2nd City Divide

Post by Mythste » Fri Jun 05, 2020 1:50 pm

I've been looking at this for a similar time. Living north of Rochdale I know the route round me is "chunky" at best and catastrophic for a CX bike at worse!

Never the less, I think i's sooner pick a slow route through the first half (It would be south to north for me) and then cruise on the gravel.

I think the pain of going slower on technical sections is less of a worry than the pain of going slow on gravel slogs!

Either way, good luck!

boxelder
Posts: 544
Joined: Sun Dec 07, 2014 8:05 pm

Re: 2nd City Divide

Post by boxelder » Sat Jun 06, 2020 3:51 pm

North of Alston, I'd happily take gravel bike and 40mm tyres. Cross Fell very much MTB, as I believe is a lot of the southern bit. I'm planning on gravel bike with 650b/1.9" tyres or a rigid MTB.

Chew
Posts: 2529
Joined: Sun Jun 19, 2011 8:46 pm
Location: Halifax

Re: 2nd City Divide

Post by Chew » Sat Jun 06, 2020 4:43 pm

boxelder wrote:
Sat Jun 06, 2020 3:51 pm
I'm planning on gravel bike with 650b/1.9" tyres or a rigid MTB.
This is my dilemma
If the sourthern bit is the roughest then probably the gravel bike which is 650b and 50mm tyres

cycleofaddiction
Posts: 112
Joined: Wed Jun 22, 2011 4:00 pm

Re: 2nd City Divide

Post by cycleofaddiction » Sun Jul 12, 2020 11:45 pm

I've found that it would be about £30 cheaper for me to hire a car one way from Stoke and drop it off in Glasgow than getting a train.

Chew
Posts: 2529
Joined: Sun Jun 19, 2011 8:46 pm
Location: Halifax

Re: 2nd City Divide

Post by Chew » Mon Jul 13, 2020 1:06 pm

cycleofaddiction wrote:
Sun Jul 12, 2020 11:45 pm
I've found that it would be about £30 cheaper for me to hire a car one way from Stoke and drop it off in Glasgow than getting a train.
Thats the conclusion we're getting to.
Hiring a one way van is a lot less hassle, and roughly the same price as going on the train.

User avatar
Escape Goat
Posts: 1500
Joined: Thu Nov 01, 2018 10:41 pm
Location: Not nearly close enough to Scotland...

Re: 2nd City Divide

Post by Escape Goat » Mon Aug 10, 2020 3:41 pm

Has anyone got any links to this on YouTube? I can only find two videos...

User avatar
Chicken Legs
Posts: 430
Joined: Wed Apr 03, 2013 8:49 am
Location: Mid Essex

Re: 2nd City Divide

Post by Chicken Legs » Tue Aug 11, 2020 10:25 pm

I finished in Glasgow and caught a train back to Milton Keynes for £45.

Must book the bike on and spaces are limited.

Thought this might be useful info.
"What is man but the sum of his memories"

Landslide
Posts: 1001
Joined: Fri Jun 30, 2017 5:00 pm

Re: 2nd City Divide

Post by Landslide » Wed Aug 12, 2020 9:29 am

Escape Goat wrote:
Mon Aug 10, 2020 3:41 pm
Has anyone got any links to this on YouTube? I can only find two videos...
Have you seen this one?
https://bikepacking.com/plog/second-city-divide-film/

User avatar
Escape Goat
Posts: 1500
Joined: Thu Nov 01, 2018 10:41 pm
Location: Not nearly close enough to Scotland...

Re: 2nd City Divide

Post by Escape Goat » Wed Aug 12, 2020 10:59 am

I have indeed :)

Chew
Posts: 2529
Joined: Sun Jun 19, 2011 8:46 pm
Location: Halifax

Re: 2nd City Divide

Post by Chew » Thu Sep 03, 2020 1:34 pm

I rode this last week, with some others who it was their first multi-day bikepacking trip.

We hired a one way van up to Glasgow to save on the hassle of the train, and between the 3 of us it wasnt overly expensive for the extra convenience.

The weather didnt particularity help but my thoughts of the route where:
Theres a lot of road. Probably >90%. Mainly quite pleasant back roads, but still a lot.
I'd certainly ride it North to South, if just for the Cross Fell section.
A cross bike is fine on 99% of the route there are some very rough bits on the southern section.
The Komoot route has several errors, so use the official one.
Theres a 200k section where supplies are limited if the timings are wrong, so be prepared.

Overall it was ok :???:
Probably a good 'beginner' route, but it kinda felt like it didnt know what its purpose was.

User avatar
Bearbonesnorm
Posts: 19260
Joined: Sun Jun 05, 2011 8:53 pm
Location: my own little world

Re: 2nd City Divide

Post by Bearbonesnorm » Thu Sep 03, 2020 8:14 pm

but it kinda felt like it didnt know what its purpose was.
How do you mean fella? Would a different start / end point be better ... although I do appreciate the 2nd city tie in, Manchester isn't actually Englands second city is it.
What value a life half lived if the half you lived was the wrong half?

User avatar
In Reverse
Posts: 1393
Joined: Mon Oct 12, 2015 9:08 pm
Location: Manchester

Re: 2nd City Divide

Post by In Reverse » Thu Sep 03, 2020 9:37 pm

Bearbonesnorm wrote:
Thu Sep 03, 2020 8:14 pm
Manchester isn't actually Englands second city is it.
I suspect they just called it that to wind up the sensitive, chip-on-the-shoulder types who come from cultural vacuums like Dundee and Birmingham.

Thanks for the review Chew, probably saved me a trip up there tbh. :-bd

User avatar
UnderTheRadars
Posts: 217
Joined: Mon Jun 02, 2014 8:12 pm
Location: Stourbridge/North Col of North Worcestershire Alps

Re: 2nd City Divide

Post by UnderTheRadars » Fri Sep 04, 2020 8:32 am

It’s ok, we* don’t mind Manchester trying to make themselves feel better by claiming to be Englands second city, we’ll* let them off due to all the rain they suffer causing it to be miserable up there





*I’m not a Brummie, Black Country, it’s close enough
Image


User avatar
Bearbonesnorm
Posts: 19260
Joined: Sun Jun 05, 2011 8:53 pm
Location: my own little world

Re: 2nd City Divide

Post by Bearbonesnorm » Fri Sep 04, 2020 11:27 am

Furthermore, a number of opinion polls have been conducted since 2000 and complicate the issue further, with public response showing a consistent view amongst the British population that Manchester is the second city.
Yes but many of the same people watch Ant and Dec and Cum Dancing on a weekend, so I think their opion can largely be ignored. :-bd
What value a life half lived if the half you lived was the wrong half?

Chew
Posts: 2529
Joined: Sun Jun 19, 2011 8:46 pm
Location: Halifax

Re: 2nd City Divide

Post by Chew » Fri Sep 04, 2020 11:55 am

Bearbonesnorm wrote:
Thu Sep 03, 2020 8:14 pm
How do you mean fella?
A bit difficult to say really.
Unsure who its aimed at, and felt its been a bit overhyped.

Probably a case that its a way to link up two Cities, rather than it being a good collection of trails.
Just seemed it was a case of zig-zagging around on the road to pick up the odd bit of gravel road.

Its ok, and good for beginners (which is who i road with), but I wouldnt recommend it as a "must do" route.

Post Reply