Blaenau 600

The Blaenau 600 is, by far, our most challenging event.  It’s 600km long with over 11,000m of climbing.  Blaenau translates roughly as ‘remote uplands’, so you get the idea!  Like all of our rides the Blaenau 600 follows a fixed route, is self supported, and has no prizes or podiums.

A spectacular and highly challenging mixed terrain adventure, the Blaenau 600 is a proper introduction to the world of multi-day ultras and self-supported bikepacking – it is also ideal prep for the likes of GBDuro.

The event starts at 9am on Saturday 11th June 2022, and while there is no time limit, there’s a finishers pizza party on Tuesday 14th at 6pm to aim for.  If you start to fall behind your own schedule we also have a cut-back option near Rhayader that comes in at roughly 450km – it’s a cool gravel route in its own right, not a simple road based shortcut.

The Blaenau 600 is our only event with an entry fee, as it is also the only one with significant expenses to cover.  It is still a not for profit event, organised by unpaid volunteers.  We have worked hard to keep the entry fee at £75, while ensuring that we provide a high quality and enjoyable experience.  In the unlikely event that we are left with any surplus it will go to a local charity.

This is a new event, and we also want to keep it small and friendly, so there’s a strict limit on entries (just 30 places) this year.

9am Saturday 11th June 2022

  • Distance:  600Km
  • Off Road/Paved Split: approx 55/45% (in distance – more like 80/20 in time!)
  • Total Climbing: approx 11,500m
  • Start/Finish: Epic Cycleworks, 7-8 Tower Street, Ludlow, SY8 1RL
  • Entry Fee: £75 (plus tracker deposit – refunded in return of tracking device)
  • Suitable for: Gravel Bike (40mm+ tyres) or Cross Country MTB.  Unsuitable for road bikes.
  • Route File (GPX):  Will be sent to all riders approx 10 days before the event, along with the event manual
  • Included: One awesome route file, tracker rental, live tracking (aka dot watching), personalised rider cap, finishers pizza party, event insurance (riders must also have their own personal 3rd party liability insurance)
  • Route tracking: all riders will carry a tracking device provided by the event (if you have your own tracker feel free to use this as well, as a back up – but trackers provided by the event are mandatory for ride validation).  In addition, all riders must record their ride on their own GPX units (PLEASE TAKE MORE THAN ONE!), and send them to us within 5 days.

ENTRY PROCESS

  1. Complete the application form by clicking on REGISTER below.
  2. All entries will be assessed and vetted prior to acceptance to ensure we have a balanced and, above all, safe field of riders.  We are aiming to get as close as possible to equal gender representation, with a good spread of ages and speeds of rider – but safety comes before anything else, so the form includes a couple of questions to try and ensure that riders have either experience or plans in place to ensure they are prepared for a big challenge.
  3. We will reply to all applications within 7 days.  Where applications are of equal merit we will favour the application that was received first.
  4. Successful applicants will be sent an on-line payment link for the event fee of £75, payable within 3 days.  This secures your place.
  5. Entry will close once the event is full.
  6. Riders will receive on line invoice for refundable tracker deposit of £100 in April.
  7. Event manual and route file will be sent to all riders approximately 10 days before the event.
REGISTRATION

EVENT RULES & CONDITIONS OF ENTRY

1. Riders take full responsibility for their own health, safety and any accidents, incidents or mechanical issues of any kind that may arise during the event.
2. Riders must follow the Highway Code and the Countryside Code, and obey all UK traffic and Access Laws during the event, and respect other road users.
3. Riders are responsible for deciding when and where to sleep, and when and where they obtain publicly available supplies. The route takes in large stretches of remote countryside with few places to obtain food and drink.
4. Riders must only access supplies, shelter and outside assistance that is publicly available. No private or pre-arranged support is allowed. The event checkpoints are unmanned, with no facilities.
5. Riders must not ride in a state of exhaustion and sleep deprivation that poses a risk to either themselves or others.
6. Riders should be considerate of others, especially local residents and pedestrians, and should aim to ‘leave no trace’.
7. Riders must wear a cycling helmet, and fit two front and two rear lights to their bicycle. A properly functioning and suitable bicycle with appropriate tyres for rough off road conditions must be used. Gravel bikes or mountain bikes are suitable. Road bikes are not.
8. Riders must dress appropriately for the conditions at all times (even in summer the weather in the Welsh uplands can be unpredictable and extreme) and carry enough equipment and clothing to cope with unexpected stops, changes in weather or mechanical issues. An emergency shelter must be carried, such as a bivvy bag, survival bag or tent.
9. Riders must have and send proof of their own 3rd party liability insurance prior to the event to thecrosscartel@gmail.com
10. Riders must understand and acknowledge that the route includes remote and rough off-road terrain, and have the fitness, self-sufficiency and equipment to handle such conditions. It is strongly recommended that riders carry at least two GPX devices, spare batteries and/or charging capability such as dynamos or power banks.
11. Riders must inform the event organisers of an emergency or if they decide to withdraw during the event. In the case of an emergency riders must inform emergency services. The organisers are not responsible for providing any emergency assistance. If riders withdraw they will have to make their own way back to the finish or home.
12. Riders agree to carry a tracking device and for their position to be published live on a tracking site.
13. All riders must pay a refundable deposit for tracker rental of £100. This will be refunded in full on return of the tracker. No personal trackers can be used instead of the event’s tracker.
14. Riders agree to post timestamped photos on social media at the start, each checkpoint, and the finish.
15. On completion of the event riders must email the organisers with a GPX file of their ride.
16. Riders must be at least 18 years of age.
17. The organiser reserves full right to refuse the participation of a rider, and will issue a full refund if so.
18. Riders are fully and solely responsible for their own actions at all times during the event. The event organisers (the Cross Cartel) and the event host (Epic Cycles Ltd) carry no liability.