Picking up on rider feedback, in 2021 we added to our gravel bike/MTB rides with a ‘Back Lane Bash’ that is rideable on road bikes with sensible tyres (think 28-30mm minimum with decent puncture protection). It’s gritty, twisty, steep and rough in places, so it won’t be fast – sticking to true back lanes, it lends itself nicely to a chilled day out on the bike in true Cross Cartel style.

There is a new route for 2022 that packs in a few nice challenging Shropshire hills, with lovely views, and very little traffic.  See below!

The final route for the 2022 Back Lane Bash is above – either click on ‘Send to Device‘ above and select your GPS device type from the list (this is the recommended method for most devices) or right click here and select “Save Link As” to download a standard GPX file.

Sunday 22nd May 2022

  • Distance: 96Km
  • Off Road/Paved Split: 0% / 100% ‘paved’
  • Total Climbing: 1275m
  • Max Gradient (up): 15%
  • Max Gradient (down): 13%
  • Suitable for:  Any bike with decent tyre clearance (28-30mm + recommended)
  • Registration: Open – see below

How to Register

Registering is a pretty simple process:

  1. Set up a free Strava account (if you don’t have one already)
  2. Join the Cross Cartel group (called a club in Strava)
  3. Scroll down to the Back Lane Bash event, and click on “I’m In” (you won’t be able to see the event in Strava until you join the Cross Cartel group)

About Cross Cartel Rides

Cross Cartel rides neither races nor traditional organised leisure rides. They are are similar to what were traditionally called “reliability trials”, where the objective or challenge is to complete a pre-determined route on a particular date within a time limit – but in our case the limit is all day and we have no set start time. The challenge is simply to ride a mapped route on a given day, at a time of your choosing. We will publish completion names and times for your interest, but there is no podium and no prizes. Go as fast or as slow as you feel comfortable with!

The following mostly applies to our regular rides – the Blaenau 600 has its own entry, tracking and timing procedures, and our Sunday Shop Rides are even less formal!


You will need to be fully self sufficient – Cross Cartel rides are all self-supported on routes that are open to the general public, with no emergency back up or mechanical support of any kind. You need to take spares and supplies with you. There will be no rescue vehicle to collect you if you have a mechanical, so please make sure you take a mobile phone for any emergencies. You will need to call a friend to collect you or the emergency services in the event of a medical incident. And it is sensible to be insured – you don’t need race insurance, as our rides aren’t races, but public liability insurance is highly recommended (mandatory for the Blaenau 600).

The Cross Cartel has no responsibility for any incidents that occur during or as a result of your ride – you are solely responsible for your own actions and safety while riding our routes, whatever day you choose to ride them. The Cross Cartel do not provide ride support or event venues (the Blaenau starts at Epic Cycleworks – a working bikeshop, not a temporary event HQ!). Our routes are on public trails, tracks and paved roads. 

Please follow the Highway Code at all times when on the roads, and the Countryside Code when off road – and PLEASE close all gates and take litter home with you.  We are huge supporters of #leavenotrace.