The Imperial

100 miles is the cyclist’s marathon. It’s something than most riders have on their bucket list. Once completed there’s a sense of achievement that you’ve pushed your adventures by bicycle to another level.

There is as usual, a bit of a caveat about how and where you popped your century cherry. A 100 miles on the flat on a light road bike is going to be a lot easier than a 100 off road on an MTB in the Highlands.

Somewhere in the is gravel biking territory. You’ve usually got a mix of surfaces. Gravel bikes are lighter than MTB’s but heavier than some road bikes. Tyres are in the middle normally unless you are riding a monster cross style bike.

A century is also a good distance for a long day in the saddle without the need for taking bikepacking gear and having to put an overnight stop in. Provisions can be carried on the bike. The only issue is water, but if you scout around there’s normally somewhere to fill up.

I thought I’d design a route in the Peak with these factors in mind. Its a mix of the White Peak’s ‘rail trails’ and a venture into the Dark Peak. It’s around 50% off road with the resat on quiet lanes that are more gnarmac than tarmac.

Enjoy. If you like what you see a virtual coffee would not go a miss.