VeloClub 167 members organise a significant number of national long distance cycling events, using local knowledge to find the most interesting routes in a region while at the same time remembering ease of navigation and places to find refreshment along the way. Here is a list of the events over 200km, also known as ‘Brevet Randonneur’ that exist thanks to the work of VC167 and volunteers.
- January: Yorkshire Grit: Darlington, 200km
- March: North Riding: Darlington, 300km
- April: Yorkshire Gallop: Aldbrough St John, 200km
- April: Beyond the Dales we know: Newby Wiske, 300km
- May: Mosstrooper: Ponteland, 300km
- June: Hot Trod: Ponteland, 400km
- June: Hartside 200: Aldbrough St John, 200km
- June: (New) Border Raid: Ponteland, 600km
- September: Northern Dales 200: Arnside Youth Hostel, 200km
- September: Dales Dales Tour Plus: Richmond, 200km
- September: Humber Bridge 200: Welton, 200km
- October: Peculier Old 200: Darlington
Yorkshire Grit: 200km cycling event starting from St Marys Community Centre, Cockerton, Darlington. Controls at Dunnington, Bilbrough Top Services and Barton Truck Stop World Heritage Site, plus 1 information control. A proper flat winter 200 with transport cafes galore – an opportunity to admire the work of Yorkshire’s hardcore gritting crews up close. The route is a mix of main roads and well-gritted lanes, and a double transit of York City. Food at start and finish. Typically runs in January, visit the Audax website for more information.
North Riding: 300km cycling event starting from Morton Park in Darlington. Controls at Guisborough, Seamer, Bilbrough Services, Aldwark Bridge, Scotch Corner and Morton Park., plus 1 information control …and a bit of the East Riding. Barebones overnight event with no organised help en route – for experienced randonneurs only. But there are indoor 24-hour facilities at 100, 150 and 200 km. Postal finish. New event for March 2019, enter online at Audax UK here.
The point of overnight riding, surely, is the opportunity to ride along roads that you wouldn’t ride in the daytime. You can use roads that are horrible in the day, but deserted at night, and have the slightly transgressive feeling that you’re doing something you probably shouldn’t do (like going to the pictures in the daytime, and coming outside when it’s still light). Note: not a PBP qualifier.
Yorkshire Gallop: 200km cycling event starting from Aldbrough St John, near Darlington. Controls at Thirsk, Malton, York and Ripon. An early season ride mainly in the vale of York passing close to many race courses. Here is a write up of one VC167 member’s experience. Typically runs in April, visit the Audax website to enter.
Beyond the dales we know: 300km cycling event starting from Newby Wiske, near Thirsk. Controls at Boroughbridge, Ilkley, Tebay J38 Services and Middleton in Teesdale, plus 2 information controls. An easy start and finish on mostly decent roads, with all of the hills in the 200 km from Boroughbridge. And such hills – it’s a grand tour of the lesser-known roads of the Dales, Howgills and Pennines. It’s easy to get to the start by train (direct trains to Northallerton and Thirsk from London, Edinburgh, Leeds, Manchester, Birmingham and lots of other places), and there’s free* camping before and afters. There’s also food at the start and finish. Typically runs in April, enter online via the Audax UK website… in 2018 the organiser said:
We’ve had dhal soup and I’m working on arranging a cake mountain to dwarf last year’s, and most importantly, if you’re staying over, there’s a massive after-ride party with lots of beer and music. Plus breakfast on Sunday for anyone staying over. * Free with the chance of me shaking a charity bucket at you, as Mike is letting us use his farm for nowt, in exchange for the proceeds from the event going to a charity of his choice – which is the Alzheimer’s Society. But there’s no obligation.
Mosstrooper: Mosstroopers were raiders who operated in the English-Scottish borders in the mid 17th Century. You can follow history with this senic challenging route across the North Pennines and into the Scottish Borders. A 300km cycling event starting from Kirkley Cycles, Ponteland with controls at Muggleswick Hall, Penrith, Newcastleton, Bellingham and Elsdon, plus 2 information controls. Typically runs in May, event website here, and previous VC167 rider’s experience here.
Hot Trod: 400km, riding west on the A697 over Carter Bar to Hawick, Lockerbie Moffat and Peebles. Back through Northumberland on the A697 to Kirkley. Route is mainly on quiet main roads and well surfaced lanes with 3000m of climbing. Well spaced and good choice of commercial controls until Cornhill where we provide a village hall night time stop. You have 27 hours until 12:00 Sunday to complete the ride. At the finish expect a warm welcome at Kirkley cafe. Typically runs in June, enter online via Audax UK website.
Hartside 200: 200km cycling event starting from Aldbrough St John, near Richmond. Controls at Kirby Stephen and Alston, plus 1 information control. Typically runs in June, enter online at Audax UK. Previous VC167 member’s experience of the ride here.
New Border Raid / Border Raid: The big one! 600km (approx 375 miles) is the longest regular audax distance. A real challenge, although well within a lot of club member’s abilities, they just don’t yet know it. If you are interested in seeing how far you can actually ride in a weekend then this event would be perfect, having the support of a group. This is a ride that will suit riders considering their first 600km and experienced randonneurs alike. The (new) Border Raid heads off from Ponteland, routed into Dumfries, riding west beside Hadrian’s Wall on the B6318 ‘Military Road’ in the early morning. Views should be spectacular. Pleasant lanes and quiet main roads take you to Crocketford past Dumfries where the route runs through the Galloway forest park to Newton Stewart and then to Girvan on the Clyde coast, then through Dalrymple South of Ayr to join the A76. In Kirkconnel (320 km) where there is often a control with food and beds. This control closes 04:00hrs, to split a 120Km section with no overnight facilities. Faster riders may choose to ride onto 24 hour services at Annadale Water (390km) or Lockerbie Lorry Park (393kKm) to sleep. Very fast riders arriving at Melrose Control (469km) before 07:00 hrs Sunday may control at Galashiels 24 hour Supermarket and then use the 24 hour garage services at Alnwick (556km) here I have arranged for you to be allowed inside rather than shiver on the forecourt. Runs in June, enter online at Audax UK, read more on the organiser’s website here, and find out what one VC167 rider thought here.
Northern Dales 200: A 202km cycling event starting from Arnside Hostel with controls at Leyburn and Kirkby Stephen, plus 2 information controls. Note: there is no/very limited mobile phone reception in the areas of the hostel. Accomodation at the start booked here. Typically runs in September and can be entered online at the Audax UK website here.
Dales Dales Tour Plus: A 200km cycling event starting from Richmond, North Yorkshire with controls at Kettlewell, Pateley Bridge and Ripon, plus 6 information controls. Typically runs in September and can be entered online at the Audax UK website here, and there are two accounts of riding it online: one from a VC167 member here and another for a different perspective here.
Humber Bridge 200: The Humber Bridge 200km Brevet Randonneur ran in September 2017 and 2018 – while the organiser was working at St Helen’s Church in Welton (near the Yorkshire end of the Humber Bridge). The organiser is moving to a new Church during 2019 so will be unlikely to run this event again – but he promises to run new events asap. You can read about previous experiences on the organiser’s website here.
The Peculier Old 200: A 200km cycling event starting from Morton Park, Darlington. Controls at Middleton in Teesdale and Masham, plus 4 information controls. A classic club riders’ event from the fifties and early sixties, resurrected from old diaries and photos for the 21st century. A loop of Teesdale and a run down to Masham before an easy return across the Tees Valley. There is sometimes an inebriated cyclist stamping brevet cards at a pub in Masham. Typically runs in October and can be entered online here, and the organiser’s website is here. A VC167 member’s experience is here.