The Peak 200 is a 140 mile (225 km) mountain bike ITT( individual time trial) in the rugged Peak District National Park of central England. This means that you can ride the loop — starting at any point and time of the year you like — and time yourself to see how you compare to other riders who’ve gone before you. It’s an alternative to mass-start bikepacking events that’s been somewhat undercover in the UK for decades.
Although designed to be raced against the clock, the Peak 200 ITT also provides a spectacular route for anyone wanting to tour off-road in this rocky, wild and windswept part of the country. With plenty of villages to pass through it makes for great bikepacking fodder and there are many places to resupply, lots of great pubs and campsites, hostels, hotels and guesthouses for your overnight stays.
You’ll be spoilt on the Peak 200 with some of the most iconic sights and trails in the area, from the views atop Froggatt Edge to the expansive Ladybower Reservoir, plus the fun and technical trails including The Street, Cranberry Clough, Cut Gate, Roych Clough and many more.
Don’t let the short daily distances proposed in these five stages fool you; this is a challenging Collection. Not only will you cover a whopping 16,400 feet (5,000 m) ascent, but the terrain is also tricky in places. You’ll definitely need a mountain bike for this Collection, preferably a hardtail or full-suspension to tackle the rocky and uneven trails, and low gearing for the steep valley sides.
You’ll find that the best time of year to take on the Peak 200 route is in the summer when the trails have dried up, although be aware that these areas do get very busy during the school holidays in July and August. Always be considerate of other trail users including hikers who may also have dogs. If you try the spring and autumn months, you may find it's quieter, but you’re likely to come across a bit more mud if it’s been wet.
Remember that regardless of the season, you’ll need to take a waterproof, an emergency first aid kit and a survival bag as some of the moorland and valleys that you visit are pretty remote and conditions can change rapidly even in the best months!
Technically you can start this loop from any point, but here we propose a start and finish near Ringinglow. Edale is another popular start point as it has a train station which you can use to get to the start and return from the finish. We’ve chosen Ringinglow here as it’s the closest point to Sheffield, which has a major train station. It’s just a 6.2 mile (10 km) climb up from the station to this point on the road.
Check out more about the route as an Individual Time Trial including the rules here; selfsupporteduk.net/routes/Peak200.html
Starting from the corner of Lady Cannings’ plantation near Ringinglow, this first stage of the Peak 200 covers 29.6 miles (47.6 km) to the gorgeous and lively little village of Bamford, home to a wonderful community pub, the Angler’s Inn.
The twisting and convoluting trail of this inner part of the route…
Stage 2 remains in the Dark Peak, a name used to describe the geology of this area. Here, the limestone bedrock is covered with a cap of millstone grit and softer shale, so in winter that’s why it’s almost always waterlogged, and riding here when it’s mucky eats bike parts.
You’ll see why it’s all worthwhile…
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Stage 3 covers the northern loop of the Peak 200, moving 28.7 miles (46.2 km) from west to east. You’ll ride through a section of the Peak District often enjoyed by nearby Manchester city’s inhabitants.
Your first leg of this stage will take you north from Slippery Stones bridge up and over the steep…
The penultimate stage heads south to take in the southern loop of the Peak 200, this time notching off a smaller 25.3 miles (40.7 km), from the Dark into the White Peak. Here the limestone geology gives the area its name, also known as the Low Peak.
On the whole the climbs today are less severe with…
Welcome to the fifth and final stage of the challenging but immensely rewarding Peak 200 route. This last stage will take you from the southern loop back up to the start/finish point near Ringinglow again, totalling 27.2 miles (43.8 km) and includes the spectacular Froggatt Edge as well as the final…
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