Mountain Biking The Oldest Road In Europe | GMBN’s Ridgeway Epic Ride

Mountain Biking The Oldest Road In Europe | GMBN’s Ridgeway Epic Ride


(crunching) – Well, new year, new me Blake. – Yes that’s the saying,
Neil, that is the saying. – Or, same old me. But, what I do like to
do this time of year is actually try and ride myself fit. – Yeah. – I don’t really like doin’
whole trainin’ regimes that much. I like just gettin’ out there and doin’ some big winter rides. So I know your up for
doin’ anything pretty much. – I’m a yes man, Neil, when it comes to you askin’
me to go for an epic ride. – So I was inspired by
somethin’ I saw on Instagram of this place down in
the south of England. It’s called the Ridgeway, this ride. – [Blake] Yeah.
– Never been here. Thought, “Let’s go and explore it.” – I’ve never been here, either Neil. – [Neil] It’s 70 K, or around so, Blake. – [Blake] 70 Kilometers? – [Neil] So it’s decent ride. – That’s definitely new year new me. – It’s not crazy, but it’s quite good. – Yeah, I like it. – [Neil] January, although
it’s not too muddy. – If you say so Neil. – All right.
– So, following you. – Let’s do it, let’s ride
ourselves back to some fitness. – To the White Horse I heard. – Yeah. – [Neil] If there’s anywhere
I know I want to ride, but don’t really know much about it then that’s when I get on to Komoot and start to do some investigation. This is the fun part of
getting into the nitty gritty of the potential ride. Startin’ to work out just how hard it is. And, actually, if’ it’s
going to be possible. Also pluggin’ in our start time to Komoot gives us the predicted weather forecast. A nice little tail wind
and the rain is comin’ late in the afternoon. The Ridgeway National Trail is a route in a surprisingly remote part
of southern central England. It’s Britain’s oldest road. For at least 5,000 years,
and maybe many more, people including drover’s
trader’s and invader’s have walked or ridden the
high ground of the Ridgeway. – [Blake] Pick your rut Neil. Pick your rut. (mooing) – Look at how horny that thing is. (acoustic guitar music) – That’s spooky it is lad. That’s spooky. – [Neil] Check out the views. – It’s insane bro. – [Neil] Now I know why
they call it the Ridgeway. ’cause we’re right on top of a big ridge. I saw horses down there, yes. I see all the chums. There’s a big hill climb,
which you see ’em goin’ up. 15 K in. Still a lot to go, but so far so good. – Big manual down here Neil. – [Neil] Yeah, we been
climbin’ for a while now. And this is our first little descent. Your face is muddy. – [Blake] That’s ’cause
I’ve been followin’ you. – I’m going to speed. (crunching) (acoustic guitar music) – [Neil] Used since prehistoric times the Ridgeway starts in the town of Avery and travels in a north-easterly
direction for 87 miles or 139 K. I always feel a bit of, sort
of an extra motivation surge after Christmas to get
ready for the new year. – (laughs) Yes, Neil. – I think ’cause I look at
the event’s I’m going to do and I really need to be
fit for those things. – Yeah.
– What about you? How do you find motivation? – Neil, you’re my motivation. You know why? Because if I’m not fit enough to keep up with you on an epic ride or any ride out there throughout the year, also a race, it’s just going to make my
life so miserable, sick, and I don’t like doin’ that. – Yeah, I definitely like,
these things area always hard. Those races we do. But, I enjoy ’em so much more
if I know I’m in decent shape. It can really beat you down
mentally if you’re not fit. That’s why I like this time of year. It’s just gettin’ out there and, sort of clockin’ up the miles
but not really goin’ hard. Just riding. – Tips Neil. – Yeah. – Don’t think about ’em. But it’s called “time in the saddle.” – [Neil] Oh yeah. Is that it?
– [Blake] That’s it. – Love gettin’ on a bike
in the middle of winter. It’s so easy to sit inside
and watch Netflix or YouTube, whatever. – So easy. Or just flick on there X-Box
or PlayStation and play games all winter. I’ve done that. – Well, we are 22 K, almost in. And, got about 50 left. So, it’s still a big ride. – Look at that. – The big red kite up there in the sky. – Wow that’s big red kite. Is that the White Horse Neil? – You going to be a bit disappointing when you see the White Horse, maybe. – Okay. (acoustic guitar music) Okay, for those of you in the UK just to show you, and give
you a bit of perspective of where we are. That in front of us is the M4. The M4 goes from London
all the way into Wales. Bypassing Bath, Bristol and all that. We’re going to go over it and
follow the Ridgeway that way. (laughs) To the Thames. Yes, and the Thames runs through London. How cool is that? I didn’t even know this was here. God! Let’s get on this hill, Neil’s waitin’. (rock music) – [Neil] Barburry Castle Country Park. There’s loads of these
really old hill forts all along this route. This Castle was builtin 1972. That’s not very old. – [Blake] That’s not very old. – [Neil] I was jokin’ of course. It was 1972 when Swindon Council
started managing the site. The hill fort is just
a bit older than that. From the iron age, about 2,500 years ago. (rock music) – [Blake] Wow! These gates are horrible. (laughs) Oh now I’m in a big hole Neil. I’m in a big hole. I’m out, I’m out of the hole. Oh my gosh. (spitting) Those ruts are scary at speed. (rock music) (acoustic guitar music) – Hey Neil. Do you know what? Blue sky over there. But look what’s comin’. It might be a wet end of our ride, Neil. – [Neil] Komoot gives
me the trail services and the weather for the ride. But the risk with doin’ this
sort of riding in winter is you are always going
to over stay at the trail. And this can really be the
downfall of your plans. I plan from west to east. Because in this part of the
UK the prevailing wind is west as confirmed on the day by Komoot. We were lucky, after a dryish week the trails were fairly firm
and the going was good. Much muddier and deeper and this ride might
have been just too much to try and pick off on
short winter daylight hours. (acoustic guitar music) – [Blake] Oh what! I thought the White Horse was a Pub. Not a chalk thing on the hill. (acoustic guitar music) – [Neil] I chose to ride my Canyon Lux. A hundred mil of travel
on the back, 120 up front. Brand spanking new Vittoria Mezcal tires. And Pursuit for fast rolling. It was nice to just have
that bit of suspension when you’re out on the
bike for a long time to keep it comfy. But it felt like a great choice. Super fast and efficient
at covering the ground. Using my Garmin 1030 for navigating with a Komoot app. The big screen makes
the route super clear. I fitted an extra bottle cage and packed my bumbag with spares, a tube, and as much food as possible. A pump and multi-tool
attached to my bottle cages so we could be self sufficient
with any bike issues. – [Blake] And I’m on
Neil’s Nukeproof Reactor because I wasn’t organized
enough to sort out my own bike. It’s a 29er. 130 mill travel. Maybe a bit too much for this trail. But it’s still a carbon frame
and pretty light weight. So well capable. I only have one bottle cage for me, so I plan to fill up on route. – Blow, yes nice. – Push it. I just through away my water. (laughs) – [Neil] Oh yeah, you can’t always rely on
previous trail information. Because this tap didn’t work, and Blake had to rely on
me to share a bit of water to get to the end. – Whoa look at that heard of deer. – [Neil] We’ve seen loads of deer. – [Blake] We have haven’t we. It’s like Netherland, like- – I do like venison, but it is deer. (drum beat) On we went through some of the
finest English countryside. We didn’t see any more deer, preventing me from giving
my venison joke one more go. See if I got any more laughs
the second time around. (acoustic guitar music) I’m not sure who decides on name places. But we past, and also Foxhill Motocross track. Where they held the 1998
Motocross des Nations. – (exhaling) Neil. – Almost there, dude. – Almost there, we’ve done 67 km. How you feelin’? – I feel alive. I’m gettin’ that, like, achy leg thing from doin’ a long mellow day. But we’ve only got, like
an hour of light left. So we’ve just about done it, I reckon. – [Blake] I’ve got that achy feeling. I’ve had that achy feeling
probably like, 7, 8 km’s ago. And I’m feeling it now. – Yeah. – I think I’m starting
to feel it even more because I know the end is coming closer. So you feel like it’s going to get, you know, it’s ends comin’. So your body starts going
into, like relax mode. – Yeah, it’s not likely to
know it’s near it’s end. ‘Cause I definitely feel
like I’ve been sat on a bike for a long time. But it’s been good. Hopefully at some point
we’ll see the Thames that’ll appear into view and the finish is at the Thames. (acoustic guitar music) – [Blake] ♪ The Thames are singing. ♪ The Swan, that looks like a good pub Neil. (cheering) Tappin’ out. – [Neil] That is it. – That is the- High five Neil. (slapping) High five everyone. – You feelin’ fit already Blake. – Yeah Neil, I’m feeling very fit. I think I can ride a marathon. – I’m glad to get off the
bike now, to be honest. – I am. My legs are done in Neil. – [Neil] But it’s worth it. – It is worth it. I enjoyed it. Thank you very much for dragging me along. – Cheers dude. Now I need a good dinner of protein. – I think I need a good wash
before we can get in there. ‘Cause we won’t get any food. – We just made it before dark as well. – [Blake] Perfect. Now if you want to stick around
and watch another epic ride, click just in the bottom corner. – Yeah over there for how to prepare for an epic ride as well. Don’t forget to subscribe and hit that notifications button as well so you know when we do an upload. – Exactly. Give us a thumbs up. Like if you love riding in the mud. – Right, time to get cleaned up. – Yup, 100%. Do we have to ride back? – No. (clapping)