The Braunton 150 is a self supported mountain bike challenge that is open to anyone, at any time. The idea of the route is to ride it according to a set rules framework with no prescribed daily distances or rest periods. You choose your own approach and go for it.
The guiding principle of the ride is that you do it all yourself. You only rely on commercial services that are available to all riders that attempt the challenge. There are a set of rules for the challenge. These are there to create a level playing field so that all attempts are comparable. It is important that respect is given to these rules.
There are no commercial interests in this challenge. The website is a resource to facilitate the route and a group start event on 25th March 2016. There is no organisation, start fee, prizes or sponsors. You are completely reliant on yourself for this challenge.
The Braunton 150 is aimed at giving riders a taste of self supported riding, but at a distance and level of remoteness that should mean it is open to mountain bike riders of mixed abilities. You will be required to overnight, ride a variety of terrain including back lanes, bridleway and technical singletrack. It is Exmoor, and weather can be extreme at any time of year, so you must make sure you are prepared for the ride.
The route should be ideal preperation for longer self supported rides such as the Highland Trail 550 or the Tour Divide in North America. Or you may simply fancy getting out on your bike and trying a different type of riding. Self supported riding gets you out into some beautiful landscapes, riding trails off the beaten track and all under your own steam. It should be an adventure open to most riders that want to give it a go.
You will need some basic equipment to attempt the route. What you take will depend on your approach. For those looking to bivvy out on the ride then lightweight camping equipment will be required, whereas those staying in accommodation can travel lighter. One piece of equipment you will need is a GPS device for following the route gpx.
Self supported mountain bike equipment has become more readily available in the last few years. You can obtain saddle, frame and handle bar bags that allow you to set up your mountain bike for routes such as this – although many people simply ride with basic rucksacks and riding gear. Don’t feel like you need to buy lots of expensive equipment or have Bear Grylls like wilderness skills to attempt the route. Often the more basic the kit, the better.
The set up below is common for self supported riding. A larger saddle bag and handle bar bag allow for storage of clothing, bivvy kit and equipment. Extra top tube and frame bags allow for greater storage if required. Alternatively a simple rucksack will do.
It is worth thinking about weight. However it is better to be carrying a bit too much kit, than not enough. Most people will fail due to being ill equipped and under prepared, rather than carrying a bit too much weight.