Let me set the scene. We’ve just made it from Inverness to Glasgow on a mix of every terrain the Badger Divide could throw at us. 330km down, a couple of celebratory shandies and a ‘munchie box’ before taking up the offer of a bed for the night - a benefit of making friends on the trail.
Full unpack, wash and dry. Full repack with slightly less faff than 4 days ago. New set of brake pads and some fresh lube applied before rolling down to the start of the Second City Divide route in George Square.
The Second City Divide, as you may know, is our baby. Riding the Torino Nice Rally in 2017 planted the seed for devising a UK equivalent - A to B, country to country, city to city with a load of rough stuff in between. Just swap gnocchi and pastries for Lorne sausage and Eccles cakes.
After a few years of refinement, the route now links up the sections we already knew were good as well as plenty of new ones we’ve recced since. Since discovering the Badger Divide, that follows a very similar ethos, continuing on from Glasgow back to our home city of Manchester just made sense. The result is a kind of best of British all road/rough stuff, bikepacking trip that, depending on how you want to ride it, would make a good long weekend or the best part of a week, without a ton of travel to start/finish.
So, back to George Square with a replenished stash of dark chocolate Tunnocks to compliment a dwindled stash of OP bars. Jim from Albannach knows these roads south of Glasgow well (and has done his fair share of route planning, see the Fault Line Trail) and is joining us to roll out. 600km ish between here and Manchester.