A challenging MTB experience…
The Northants Navigator
Saturday 18th June 2022
Souldern Village Hall, The Hill, Souldern, Bicester OX27 7JB
The Northants Navigator is a brand new event and will follow The Northamptonshire Way mtb route which was created back in 2013 by us at Mtb Epics UK. The route has evolved in the last eight years and now stands at 82 miles with approximately 4,000 feet of elevation gain.
This end to end route starts just over the Oxfordshire border in the village of Souldern (near Bicester) and takes in the entire length of the elongated county of Northamptonshire to finish just over the Cambridgeshire border in the scenic village of Wansford (near Peterborough).
The route, around 50% off-road, utilises some of the best trails in the area and will consist of bridleways, byways, double & singletrack, cycle paths, forest tracks and quiet lanes, all with a wide variety of surfaces. Some of the many highlights en-route are the long off-road sections around Moreton Pinkney, Glassthorpe Hill and Geddington Chase. There are no mountains, but this linear event is one of the longest of its kind in the UK.. Are you up for the challenge?
Souldern to Wansford
82.4 miles (134km) – 4,043ft (1,232m) elevation gain
This inaugural event will feature a mass start, after which, the riders will need to navigate the route carefully to check-in to the numerous control points en-route. However, you won’t know where, or how many control points there are either.. miss one and you won’t get awarded a time!
This event is not a race, but riders will be timed with the quickest of each category making it into the Mtb Epics UK’s ‘Hall of Fame’!
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Entry fee is just £25.00
What’s included in the entry cost ?
– Fully detailed 1:50,000 Ordnance Survey mapping with clearly marked route
– GPX files of route
– Vehicle back up for major bike mechanicals (not punctures!)
– Public liability insurance for all entrants
– Water & Feed stations en route
– What type of bike would be suitable for this event?
Hardtails, full suspension mountain bikes and gravel bikes would all be fine.
– Will event run in bad weather?
Yes, for example if part of the route is flooded, a diversion will be in force.
– What time does event start?
Signing on will be from 7.15am to 7.55am.. The event will be a mass start scheduled for 8.00am.
– I’m planning on arriving the night before, is there anywhere to camp/stay?
There are a few campsites near Souldern with the closest being The Pig Place for tents, camper vans etc. Also there’s b&b’s nearby in Souldern itself and Aynho. There’s also a large campsite near the finish at Yarwell Mill Country Park
– How will I get to/from the start and finish?
Probably the best way would be to get someone to drop you off and pick you up at the finish. Another way if you were in a group, could be to leave a vehicle in Wansford and collect the vehicle at the start, though this would be time consuming. Alternatively you could drive to the finish in Wansford and get a taxi (that carries bikes) to the start, or vice versa.
– Is the route signed?
None of the route is signed, The event concept is to navigate the route carefully to find all the control points! GPX files (which will be emailed to entrants before the event), will be the best and least time-consuming method of navigation. Fully detailed OS maps will also be provided to help navigation.
– Can I enter on the day?
Yes, unless event is sold out. (NB. On day entry will be £30 – cash only)
– What happens if i can’t make it to the finish?
We can ‘sweep’ you up and take you to the finish – but there will be a charge, dependent on where you are! Alternatively, with a detour, It would be possible to get a train to the finish though this would involve changes and could be pricey. The Nene Valley Railway runs steam and diesel locos from Peterborough to Wansford Station which could be the final leg using rail. Stations close to the route include Northampton and Kettering.
– An external power pack is handy for keeping phones and GPS units topped up
– A rear light is useful for safety reasons when riding on roads
– Full size OS maps could be useful if you need to bail and look for short-cuts! The map number is OS Landranger 152 (NB: This can be borrowed from libraries)
Entries open mid February ’22