Focal Events announces return of bikepacking event The Distance in May

Focal Events, organiser of Dirty Reiver, Grinduro UK and Frontier 300, has announced the return of The Distance.

Often referred to as ‘backpacking with advantages’, The Distance is an event where the routes and total distance vary according to the rider’s individual travelling speed. Taking place over the weekend of 12-14th May, the event will take in the trails and scenery that the Central Lake District has to offer.

For 2023, Focal Events has announced Deuter and Sea to Summit as headline sponsors, supported by Dolan Bikes, Rawvelo, Hutchinson Tires and GRVL, with Spookton providing the beer overnight.

Focal Events director Neil Atkinson said: “In a nutshell, all riders finish in a similar time having had their own unique adventure!

“The Distance offers something for everyone where you can make your own challenge whilst riding in some of the most scenic spots the country has to offer.

“As ever with our events, the fun and community feel after the ride is also championed, with a party overnight allowing riders to share stories and meet friends old and new.”

The event format sees riders start from one location before riding to a series of checkpoints throughout the day using a combination of GPS and printed maps. How they get between the checkpoints will be dependent on their rate of progress and the style of riding they choose.

From adventure roads to gravel tracks, there are up to three route options for each checkpoint and the arrival time will determine which route options are chosen. Total ride routes vary between 45 to 100km.

At the end of the first day, riders will be welcomed into camp with a drink and meal – a time to share stories, listen to sponsor brand ambassadors and chill around the fire with a beer. The Sunday will see riders following a shorter, more social route back to the start.

Read more: Eurobike Award returns for 2023 in Frankfurt with new partnership

The Distance originally launched back in 2017 with three years of events before being postponed due to the pandemic. Entries are now open with further information at

Rebecca Morley

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