Reiver Riding Party


The Reiver Riding Party invites cyclists to experience the Ale Water Valley on a two day bikepacking adventure in Scotland

The Reiver Riding Party is a 175 km long, two day bikepacking challenge in Scottish Borders, starting on the 26 August at the Born in the Borders Kiosk at Tweedbank Station. The route for the event follows the Reiver Raid, a new bikepacking trail through the magnificent Ale Water Valley on a mixture of farm tracks, Landrover tracks, singletrack, quiet roads and lanes. Entries to the event cost £35 and spaces are limited to 100 for the first year. More information and a link to enter online can be found at

The event, hosted by Bikepacking Scotland, a new venture from round the world cyclist Markus Stitz, is a great opportunity for people that would like to give bikepacking a go. Bikepacking is becoming more and more popular in the UK, and Scotland offers great opportunities to explore the countryside with its open access for recreational purposes. Bikepacking is best described as a form of long distance cycling where all belongings are strapped on the bike frame in bags. The main difference to conventional cycle touring with racks and panniers is the ability to explore environments that were so far not easily accessible by bike or to cover greater distances in a day.

Whereas most bikepacking events are fully self-supported, the Reiver Riding Party is perfect for those not yet comfortable with the no-support philosophy. Riders will have the chance to ride a scenic route with the ease of knowing that there’ll be a space to camp in the evening, a toilet, fresh water, food and drink and others to socialise. All participants have to navigate around the route themselves using a GPS device or maps. There are no strict rules, but riders have to carry a few essential items, including a sleeping bag, bivvy bag or tent/tarp, front and rear lights, mobile phone and helmet.


Markus Stitz comments:

‘After designing the Reiver Raid route in March and April this year I believe the Reiver Riding Party is the perfect event for everyone interested in taking up bikepacking. It’s suitable for both gravel and mountain bikes and offers great views across the Ale Water Valley and good places to stop for some food on the way. It’s a proper adventure, with the added piece of mind that there’ll be a great place to camp at the end of a long day in the saddle.‘


Riders can start at their chosen time. The recommended start time on Saturday is 9am, but according your skill level people can choose their own starting time until 11am on Saturday. The first day will be approximately 96 km in length, the second day around 79 km. A film about the Reiver Raid can be watched here:

For newcomers to bikepacking Markus Stitz also offers a ‘Introduction to Bikepacking’ workshop in Edinburgh on 17 August at 6pm at Craigdon Mountain Sports, in which we will offer advice on how to prepare for a bikepacking trip, how to pack efficiently, how to plan a trip and much more. Tickets for the workshop can be purchased for £15 at

The event is supported by Born in the Borders, Ale Water Valley Co-operative, Surly, Halo Wheels, Stoats, Happy Bottom Bum Butter, Craigdon Mountain Sports Edinburgh and TentMeals.