Travellers' Tales: Across the UK in 24 Hours

Mike Wigley of Audax UK describes what it’s like to ride 400km in 24 hours

The national 400k is a special event: 240 miles in 24 hours. I last did it in 2014. What a ride!

We set off for Cumberland in warm sunshine and wove along the valleys of the Tees and Swale, before turning north at Ripon, along the Ure and into Wensleydale. The sun blazed as we rode through towns still decked with Tour de France bunting. We ticked off Masham, Leeming, Aysgarth, and Hawes.

From Sedbergh, we took an ancient drove road to Shap, then to Penrith.

As dusk fell I got soaked in a downpour. But I’d come prepared with spare clothes and was able to change before a sumptuous meal at a village hall near Wigton, which marked the turn.

The national 400k is a special event: 240 miles in 24 hours."

Mike Wigley

I’d ridden mostly solo thus far but joined groups for the night section. We made good speed to Brampton, then hauled ourselves up to Slaggyford, where there was more hot food and a chance to sleep for those who wanted it and a starry sky for those who didn’t.

On we climbed through remote and cobbled Alston, past the snow poles of the Yad Moss, and across the roof of County Durham.

Next came a glorious swoop to Middleton in Teesdale. Leaving the romantic ruin of Barnard Castle, we crossed the Tees at the lovely bridge at Whorlton, just as harvesters began whirling chaff into the pearly dawn light.

For details on the 2016 event, see

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