Go the Distance
Country / Nationality
A new film from Edinburgh-based filmmaker Markus Stitz documents All Points North, a self-supported, ultra-distance, endurance cycling event starting and finishing in Sheffield in northern England. The film follows Kinesis brand ambassador Rupert Robinson, who finished the challenge on a Kinesis GTD bike with less than an hour of sleep as ninth, riding 1,000km with 15,000 of climbing in 60 hours and 16 minutes. Commenting on All Points North, which he entered for the first time, Rupert says: ‘You have to be motivated to do something like this. And if you can achieve things like this, then other things in life can seem quite easy. There's times when you'll really be wondering why you're doing it, why are you pushing yourself through this, why are you telling your body to keep going. But at the end it's because you really want to, and that's the same you can apply that to different things in your life. If you really want to do something, then you can. You know it's going to be hard, but you know just crack on and persevere.’ Before the event riders are given ten checkpoints to plan their own routes, which differ from year to year. The most northerly checkpoint in 2021 was at Upper Coquetdale, close to the Scottish border, where the military firing ranges at Otterburn provided an extra obstacle to riders, as they had to carefully plan their rides around the firing times to avoid a long detour. Another checkpoint was the iconic Honister Pass, also part of the annual Fred Whitton Challenge. With a gradient of 1 in 4 this is one of Cumbria’s highest and toughest passes. Other checkpoints included the scenic Runswick Bay, Silverdale and Malham Tarn. Setting off from the event headquarter at A Different Gear, a not-for-profit bike shop in Sheffield’s suburb Heeley, 68 riders started at 8pm on 4 September 2021 solo or in pairs. 17 were rookies, who started five hours before the other riders. 45 riders finished, among them 26 solo riders and three pairs, including a tandem. The event, held again from 2 - 5 June 2022, is a tough challenge in itself, but also a stepping stone for longer bikepacking endurance races like the Transcontinental. Angela Walker, event creator and Kinesis ambassador, comments: ‘We always envisaged it as a precursor to people who wanted that stepping stone on to something bigger, like the Transcontinental. So I wanted to try to recreate that feeling of making sure that riders at least got a chance to ride through the night or to give it a go on the first night. This year we've had Honister Pass in there as a climb, which was going to be pretty tough depending on where riders decide to put that in their route.’ Film-maker Markus Stitz followed Robinson and other riders to give viewers not only a personal insight into the race, but also to capture the stunning landscapes the event traverses. He comments: ‘I was fascinated by the variety of landscapes in the north of England that provided such a stunning background to All Points North and Rupert’s human story, cycling 1,000km in just over 60 hours with such little sleep. It was a challenge to follow Rupert throughout some of the remote parts, but I also had the chance to savour some amazing moments, like the first sunrise in Runswick Bay, the sunset over the Yorkshire Dales and the patchy morning fog on the last day near Sheffield.’ ‘Go the Distance’ is available to watch for free on Kinesis UK’s YouTube channel at (link), with subtitles available in English and German. More information about the event is available at www.allpointsnorth.cc and on Kinesis UK’s website at www.kinesisbikes.co.uk.