Second City Divide is a bike-packing route between Glasgow and Manchester; Two proud second cities linked by, if you look carefully, some of the UK's best all-road riding.
Second City Divide is open to anyone, all year round. Once a year it’s run as a fully unsupported event, (2018 BETA Edition gallery here) with all riders aiming to finish in Manchester at roughly the same time, avoiding the ‘finishing with no-one there to clap you in’ scenario. Beers, story telling, back slapping and good vibes.
The 2019 2.0 edition will finish at Idle Hands Cafe Coffee in Manchester on Saturday 14th September. When you leave Glasgow is up to you.
Start: Whenever you like
George Square, Glasgow, G2 1DH
Finish: Saturday 14th September
Idle Hands Coffee, 35 Dale St, Manchester, M1 2HF
No entry fee, no prizes, except for a free beer* on us at the end - you’ll have earnt it. Book your train to Glasgow, find a place to stay in Manchester on the 14th and let us know at @secondcitydivide that you’re coming to look for the Glasman.
This is not a race, but if you'd like your name on the finishers list, as pioneers of the first edition, tag a time stamped photo of you in Glasgow, and one at the end in Manchester.
*we actually need to confirm this.
Rules and safety:
(More guidelines, but try and follow them)
This is an unsupported event, so carry everything you need to get out of trouble and look after each other. Proceed with sense of adventure.
Obey traffic laws on open roads, though there shouldn’t be many cars where we’re going.
Don’t be a dick. Be nice to other trail and road users or any businesses you visit along the way.
Wild camping/sleeping is encouraged but check the legality of it. Leave no trace.
Follow the route as closely as you can, cheaters aren’t cool. We haven't done a route card as you're all capable of doing your own research but there are a few notable places to sleep and resupply on the map page .
DO NOT FEED THE GLASMAN
We've spent a fair bit of time researching the route and putting on the event. Mainly as it's rewarding and we wanted to give something back to the bike packing community. The route is open for use by anyone. So if you've enjoyed riding it, we'd be made up if you donated some pennies to some of the people that make bikepacking in the UK some of the best.
For the beta event, this isn't mandatory, but it will make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside.
But Birmingham is the Second City?
Will there be prizes?
Yes. Best photo (spirit of the ride) submitted under the #Secondcitydivide2019 hashtag wins a SECOND FREE BEER.
What bike do I need?
Good question. It’s a demanding, adventurous route and even if you plan to travel light you’re going to have some luggage. A real test of rider and bike, it’s suited to wider, higher volume tubeless tires and a bike that can handle the rough stuff. We think 700 x 35c minimum.
Where do we sleep?
Up to you. This isn’t a race so you don’t need to sleep in a ditch for 30mins before heading off again. The route is designed to go past bothies, campsites, hostels and bunkhouses so you have options.
How long will it take?
Hard to say - it hasn’t been ridden start to finish yet. There are road sections where you can make good time, but it’s lumpy and slower going on the rough bits. 4 days and 3 nights would be very good going, we think.
Is the Glasman real?
We think we heard him one night when recceing the route, but have never seen him. All our danglemugs were gone in the morning. We're told he’s allergic to chamois cream, so make sure you’re lathered up.
Are there any alternative routes?
We’re working on route alternatives for the skinny tyre'd types or the very tired types and just because we have FOMO on all the other good roads. But the 2018 edition is a one route to rule them all event.
When will you release the GPX?
ASAP. With some route notes about terrain, re-supply, best cafes, etc. In the spirit of the event we’d like you to follow the GPX file provided as closely as possible. There will be no way-marking.
Message us @secondcitydivide