The reliability trial ... a test of bike, mind and body

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Event date: 12/13 October 2019.


Entries will open around 10am on July 1st.



On October 13th, 49 riders set off on the 2018 BB200. Not only did they face 200km of mid-Wales finest and nearly 5000m of ascent but they had to face it in the midst of 'Storm Callum'. If that doesn't sound like enough of a challenge, then spare a thought for the additional 14 brave souls who had elected to ride the inaugural BB300.

Within the first few hours, a trickle of riders made their way back to the start to record a DNF - wet electronics being the main culprit.

The BB200 claimed a higher than normal tally of DNF this year with only 16 male and one female showing they were made of the tough stuff that gets you a BB200 badge. Remarkably 7 BB300 riders completed within the allotted timescale, earning them a much coveted orange badge.


Bear Bones 200 bikepacking event

The Bear Bones 200 is a self supported, long distance bikepacking event. The challenge is to complete the route with no outside assistance, support or back-up. If you're unsure about what that entails, please read the guidelines here. You'll need to rely on your own skills, fitness and determination to get you to the end. Pre-arranged assistance of any sort will result in a DNF. If you take a wrong turn, you must return to the exact part of the route where you went wrong and continue from there.

The route changes each year but you can anticipate a distance of around 200km, 5,000m of ascent and with a large percentage of the route being 'off road'. The Cambrian Mountains provide a spectacular backdrop, so you can expect remote tracks, hike-a-bike sections, steep valleys and some of the biggest views in all of the UK. The BB200 isn't way marked or signed, there are no marshals and no feed stops.

While there's no time limit or cut-off for finishing, we anticipate all riders to be back within 36 hours. Remember, the BB200 is designed to be a true test, it's not a social ride or a 'tour' and should be undertaken in a manner that reflects that. If 36 hours sounds like an unrealistic timescale or you'd prefer to ride at a more leisurely pace, then we'd prefer that you don't enter, leaving the place from someone willing to give it their all and rise to the challenge.

There are a number of items that must be carried by all riders (sleeping bag, shelter, lights and phone) and a few others that while not compulsory should find their way into your kit (first aid, tools, spares, etc) … hopefully common sense and experience will prevail here. It is also advisable that you carry a back-up means of navigation should your GPS fail mid-route.

Hot drinks will be served from 7.00am at the event start - Ysgol Llanbrynmair and Community Centre, SY19 7DH. There's no grand depart or set start time, BB200 riders are free to get underway anytime between 7.00am and 10.00am. Whether you complete the route or not, you will still be welcomed back to hot food and more tea than is strictly good for you, served from 8.00am - 8.00pm on Sunday.

To enter the BB300, you must hold a BB200 black badge and consider yourself capable of completing the ride within 36 hours. We advise that BB300 riders are underway by 8.00am at the latest.


While not compulsory for the Bear Bones 200/300, a SPOT tracker can be a worthwhile investment … it provides peace of mind for the rider and for those at home. Full details can be found here.