gbduro setup

GBDURO is a 2000km off-road bikepacking race from Land's End to John O' Groats with no prizes and no support. Fresh from completing the inaugural edition of this event, I thought I'd share what I took with me and how it worked out on the road.

The Bike

Quirk Cycles Kegety custom steel adventure gravel frame with SRAM Rival 1x 42 / 42.

SpinOnThese Fatboy 58mm carbon wheelset with SON Deluxe 12mm thru axle dynamo hub.

WTB Riddler 45mm tyres. The front one was set up tubeless and had zero punctures, the rear tubeless setup didn't work (I don't actually think they are tubeless tyres and they weren't brand new when I put them on) so I ran a tube in this one. I got 2 punctures. Tyres were at around 50psi, probably.

RedShift suspension stem - I really liked this, in combination with a soft and wide front tyre I felt much more confident on some of the technical mountain bike descents, and I'm sure it saved my hands from a complete pounding over the 10 days.

Exposure Revo front light running off the dynamo and linked to the RedEye rear light.

Wahoo Elemnt Bolt GPS unit

In the handlebar bag:

I split my packing in two: Sleeping equipment up front in the handlebar dry-bag and everything else in the saddle pack (With the frame pack contents unchanged from my usual setup).

Nordisk Lofoten 1 man tent - I packed this as I knew we were going to be in remote areas far away from civilisation and finding shelter might be impossible. In reality, the weather was better than expected and shelter easier to come by so I only used the tent twice. The extra time and effort needed to put the tent up and pack it back up almost demands you have a long sleep to make it worthwhile, and a lot of the time in a race I only wanted a quick nap, meaning I might spend more time sorting the tent out than sleeping! If I were to do this again (please stop me if I try to!) I would take my bivi bag.

Lifeventure down sleeping bag - I usually take a half bag to use with my down jacket but I was worried about being isolated and cold, so went for the full length down bag, and it worked a treat. I stuffed this into my dry-bag last after I'd packed the tent and mat to fill up all the extra space. Therm-a-rest Neo Air X Light inflatable mat - I've often looked for smaller and lighter mats but this one is SO comfy I can't bring myself to replace it. A veteran of many adventures and races, this has been a trusty travel companion that I would highly recommend for a sound night's sleep on any surface. Just make sure you protect the underside if you're camping on stony or sharp surfaces.

In the Apidura seat pack:

Clothing: Uniqlo hooded down jacket, Gore Shakedry waterproof jacket, Rapha arm warmers, Kalf leg warmers, spare Rapha Brevet socks, Rapha Pro Team gilet (Didn't really need this), Adidas Terrex lightweight showerproof shorts (Great for on and off the bike, and for sleeping in), Pedaled waterproof shoe covers, SealSkins waterproof gloves, Buff neck warmer, Monkeysee reflective harness, rag, GBDURO sweatband, spare Garmin Etrex GPS unit, 2 x Continental CycloCross tubes with valve extenders.

In the Wildcat frame bag:

Tool kit: Tyre levers, multitool, Leatherman Squirt penknife, ParkTool tube patches (Make sure you keep these in a waterproof environment), Sugru, super glue, cable ties, spare gear cable, spare mech hanger. Wash bag: Toothbrush (Full length!), mini toothpaste, insect spray, sun cream, wet wipes, plasters, water purification tablets, allergy relief tablets, pro-plus tablets (not much use), anti-bacterial hand sanitiser (to rub into bib short pad to avoid saddle sores), Assos bum cream.

In the Alpkit top tube pack:

Wires, lots of wires. 3xUSB wall plug, iPhone cable, micro USB and backups for each. Anker power bank, Alpkit head torch.

In the Alpkit handlebar pouches:

Left hand pouch stuffed full of Naked bars, flapjacks, Snickers, CheeseStrings, Chorizo sticks, and any other thin, vertical snacks I could find along the way. Right hand pouch filled with a constantly evolving trail mix of nuts, dried fruits, and sweets, scavenged from petrol stations, corner shops and supermarkets on the road.

What I wore and carried on me:

Rapha Core Cargo bib shorts (these were an absolute game changer, I can't recommend highly enough for bikepacking), Rapha Pro Team Merino mesh base layer, Rapha Brevet Lightweight Jersey, Rapha Brevet socks (good as they have reflective stripes), Specialized MTB shoes, Lezyne waterproof pouch to keep wallet, patches and brevet card dry, Sony RX100 camera, iPhone 7, Rode lav mic.