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What Is The Rat Run?

Years of shop rides and local campouts has made Tom a guru of the trails surrounding The Woods. One day, he compiled all the best bits of his stomping ground into one 160-mile loop – and The Rat Run was born.

A 24-hour challenge or chilled long-weekend tour, The Rat Run takes in the best singletrack and gravel throughout the New Forest, Purbeck and Cranbourne Chase.

What To Expect

The terrain is pretty varied, with flowing gravel roads interspersed with bridleways and singletrack, so a certain amount of off-road riding confidence is helpful.

While the route takes you into to incredibly secluded areas of woodland, you're never far from civilization. Pubs and shops to refuel are easy to come by.

This means you can ride entirely at your own pace. We find it's best to plan for a couple of nights camping, keeping the riding party-pace, and taking time to enjoy the surroundings.

What To Ride

With plenty of lumps and bumps along the way, we recommend a mountain bike or gravel bike running larger tyres. There are a few sharp inclines, particularly around the coast, so bear that in mind when it comes to gear range (Tom's dingle-speed setup over there is just showing off).

If you're riding The Rat Run as your first tour, don't underestimate the effect of carrying all your gear. Allow yourself extra time, and bring extra snacks!

The Route

...There's Always one

So, as we mentioned up the page, we recommend allowing a long weekend for The Rat Run. Some folk, however, like to push themselves. Our pals Danni Shrosbee and Bradley Shenton smashed the whole thing out in 13 hours, overnight. Fair play guys, but you missed all the sightseeing!

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