The #rideFAR challenge has just wrapped up. Over 900 riders were able to plan and execute their version of the #rideFAR ride and we are happy to proudly present the grand finale to a great and successful season-start: We set up a Best-Off collection for the #rideFAR challenge in 2021. In this blog-post we would like to take a deep dive into a great selection of rides, to highlight the best out of the 900 #rideFAR rides.
Orbit360.cc is the galactic cycling club where gravel cycling is made accessible for everyone. And the rage of participants shows. The field varied from full-time professionals like Lael Wilcox, and Paul Voss, to striving amateurs and first-timers of all ages. Their motivations for taking part varied from: Riding to beat a record. Riding for fun. Riding to make a difference.
Whether it was individual riders’ main purpose for riding or not, the #rideFAR challenge was about using the extraordinary distance that passionate cyclists cover every year, for a good cause. The combined distance of the event came to more than 200 000 kilometers in 27 countries, raising over € 9k for Bikeygees e.V. and Ghana Bamboo Bike Initiative. Needless to say, it’s a mission complete! Our partner komoot contributed to the #rideFAR challenge by adding another 10 % of the rider’s donation.
50 EUR and more: 13 riders,
21 EUR – 49 EUR: 125 riders
20 EUR: 473 riders
11 EUR – 99 EUR: 1 rider
10 EUR: 336 riders
1 EUR – 10 EUR: 12 riders
0 EUR: 233 riders
We want to thank you all participants not only for taking part but also for supporting our two cycling-related charity organizations with your donation. We are blown away by the number of riders who donated generously.
Unfortunately, more than 200 riders registered and took part on the #rideFAR challenge, but donated 0 EUR. We are aware, that some might struggle with financial issues, especially in Covid-19 times. But we also know how much money you put into your hobby and a small donation towards a good reason wouldn’t let you starve.The issue with a 0 EUR “donation” is: it costs manpower, willpower and money to build and push through with an event like #rideFAR. A donation of 0 EUR does not only show very little appreciation for Bikeygees e.V. and Ghana Bamboo Bike Initiative, but also for the Orbit360 Team and our efforts.
True, we left it open to you whether you want to donate or how much you want to donate. But the simple truth is, that we just didn’t expect so many riders taking part only because they want to see their name in the ranking. As a consequence, there won’t be a 0 EUR donation option next year.
So let’s go back to the actual challenge:
#rideFAR was a DIY event, with the sportive goals to “ride your bike (long) and push your own limits in an adventurous outdoor challenge.
While there are so many amazing rides ridden, with so many wonderful background stories, we picked out three of the most unique stories from the event to highlight and show you. Together they underline the diversity of the #rideFAR challenge. Three participants whose reasons for participating could not have been more different, but they are equally unique and heartwarming:
Carolin Lorenz and her partner Andreas Lindl completed 180 kilometers on a red cargo bike named Dolores (the red frame and one-time green handlebar tape were reminiscent of the Mexican flag, hence the Spanish name). Flying in the face of ultralight bikepacking trends, their rig came to over 200 kilograms. That included two adults (Carolin, in her own words, is “not lightweight”), a comfy seat, DIY footrests, and enough food to survive a pandemic. As Carolin described it, “I was afraid of a Corona-caused food shortage on the trip.”
Despite the heavy weight of their bike, the ride went well. As she pointed out, “Once the rig is moving, it’s moving…but of course we went slow: Our average speed was below 15km/h.”
But it was never about the finishing time anyway. Andi and Carolin were excited to plan their own route and explore what is possible on a cargo bike! With the ride complete Carolin concludes it was fun, and they found out about Bikeygees and Ghana Bamboo Bikes in the process!
Ulrich Bartholomoes is an ultradistance roadie, drawn to do his first Orbit by the chance to test his mettle on gravel while contributing to a good cause. In the process he went from zero to hundred (or 35 kilometers/hour, the literal maximum speed he reached on the bike). With plans to plan and ride the 180 and 360-kilometer categories, Ulrich’s first ride – a 180-kilometer loop around Munich – was undertaken in cold and snowy conditions. His second ride, took him north-east of Munich into the flat land, then turned south into the hilly terrain with views of the alps.
“I had perfect weather and looking at the snowy peaks in front of me was just awesome.”
While Ulrich was enjoying views of the snowy Alps on his 360-kilometer loop, Marius Karteusch was setting an Orbit speed record on his 180-kilometer ride. When he got home, Ulrich decided that he may as well plan a new 180k route in nice weather, with no hills, and see if he could beat the record. He could. He rode it in 4.44 hours – 35 km/hour! In the end he embodied the spirit of the Orbit challenge by pushing his own limits, while having fun.
“Reaching my personal best, speed-wise was more than enough of a challenge for me. And I was inspired to see the different approaches to the challenge, from “going as fast as you can,” to “having an adventure with camping overnight in the cold and early spring.”
Tobias Trepmann was the most active when it comes to owning the challenge. He got so excited about the idea of combining an athletic spring goal with the opportunity to do good, that he told his wife Susanne about the Bikeygees & Ghana Bamboo Bikes and the whole idea. She got really excited, and before he knew, both were organizing a fundraising campaign around his ride, raising well over €9000 in the end.
And the ride itself was spot-on. With our spacetheme in mind, Tobias planned his route centering on the Effelsberg radio telescope.
“With the help of Komoot I was able – as always – to plan the tour perfectly. I aimed to get as much nature as possible, avoiding busy roads where possible.”
As if all of this was not enough, he even set his own personal cycling record by covering 400 kilometers! Tobias is a fit rider with a good experience of longer distances, but riding this far, and into the night was a highlight for him.
“Everything gets even quieter, the streets even emptier and I feel like I’m being absorbed into the night.”
Chapeau Tobias! Chapeau!
Leona Kringe: The elevation gain has had no significantly impact on the ranking for the #rideFAR challenge. Hence, most riders have chosen the flattest route possible in the nearby environment. Leona followed a different strategy and combined the #rideFAR challenge with an Everesting attempt. Even though she didn’t reach the summit of the Mount Everest, this ride is still one of our favorites. Well done!
Sasha Mutel: Sacha moved from France to Switzerland. But that’s not the whole story. He saved some money on a rental car and rather donated it for the #rideFAR challenge. The actual movement was done on a cargo bike which makes this ride not only a great story but also shows the abilities of what (ultra) cyclists are capable of.
We are still facing a lack of female riders in the (ultra) cycling scene. It’s our mission to adjust this imbalance by taking actions that support a female participation at our event. 20% of the #rideFAR challenge were female participants. Compared to the average female participants in ultra races this is about twice the number of participants. We would love to present you all of them, but for now check out the fastest Orbits ridden by woman. Marion and Kathi even achieved positions in the top 10 overall ranking!
BABY ON BOARD. Lukas is father of an 11-months old son called Henry. Since he has been on parental leave they’ve spent a lot of time together. They also did some shorter cycling trips, but nothing that comes close to a 180km tour. #rideFAR was a good start to see how Henry would handle to 180km ride. Check out his race report.
Martin Temmen: “Radlertausch” ist he idea of swapping beds for one night and ride 360 km for two days in a row. Martin lives in Freiburg, whereas Matthias calls Hanau his home. The distance between the cities is – you can guess it – 360km. So the idea was to ride 360km to the friends place, take a nap and ride home the other day. Martin started from strong winds from the south and was literally flying towards Hanau. However, Matthias was facing strong headwind and was blown back to Hanau – straight into his bed. All the more we appreciate Martins performance to push through the 738km in 41 hours.
Ryan Le Garric: Ryan texted us after his first 180km ride to let us know how much he liked the idea of riding a bike and doing something good. And then he didn’t stop riding the 180km distance again and again. At the end of the open time window he finished his 5th Orbit. Ryan, don’t forget your rest days now.
Thorsten Graf: Thorsten is well known from the last year’s Gravel Series. This time his wheel suffered a broken spoke in his first attempt, forcing him to scratch. But he didn’t wait long and went back to the second attack just one day later – this time with another bike and 20 inch wheels on it. Well done, Thorsten!
While it is easy to get caught up in the longest rides, impressive numbers or spectacular stories, which are certainly impressive, there are a bunch of riders who created their own special Orbits.
Those GPS-coordinates were identified from the Orbit360 space station, because they looked other than the “normal” Orbits and we are happy to present them: