The Tor Divide A New Adventure For A New Year!


As we enter the New Year with resolutions we will not keep. Here is one exciting biking challenge that will make you stick to your resolution beyond the second week of January! Enter the inaugural Tor-Divide. An unsupported Peak District based bikepacking event in May 2024, designed for riders of all abilities. 

An event for all!

Valerio Stuart is one person who can look back on Covid-19 with some fondness as it introduced him to cycling. From there his lockdown exercise transformed into a passion for cycling and ultra-cycle racing. Living in the Manchester area Valerio found that the Peak District is a natural playground for cyclists. As there were no unsupported events Valerio thought “why not?”  And from there he found himself organising the Tor Divide! 

The 18th May 2024 will see the inaugural ride, with close to 100 entrants already signed up it promises to be an excellent event and time for all!


Logo for the Tor Divide Race

The Tor Divide invites riders of all levels to partake in an unsupported bike-packing challenge. Starting and finishing at Edale Village Hall (S33 7ZQ), the event offers two challenging routes of 250km or 150km, to be conquered within a 36-hour time frame. Both routes will take in the different areas of the peaks, both dark and white,  from north to south, east to west. The 250km route almost splitting the peaks half, hence the event name!. For those who finish, the chequered flag is conveniently only 100m from the nearest pub and a celebratory tipple. (Current outline route

The Tor Divide promises to be more than being a “race”; it’s open to everyone, expert or beginner. Whether you’re chasing fast speeds or wanting a fun challenge that’s not the couch to 5K, the Tor Divide welcomes you. Continuing upon this laid-back theme is up to you how you spend the event night. Camp on a site, wild camp (with a “leave no trace” ethos), or slum it in a B&B – the choice is yours. The only requirement, apart from a bike of course! Is to have a great time!

Pack what you need and ride, be it at party pace or with a knife between your teeth.

Make it whatever you want it to be.

Tor Divide Ethos

Sheep in green Peak District valley

First-time Bikepacking?

For first-time bikepackers, the Peak District, with its proximity to hamlets, villages, and small towns, proves to be an ideal testing ground. The area, while boasting national park beauty, ensures support is never too far away in case of any hiccups, making the Tor Divide an excellent gateway for those contemplating more remote adventures or who just want to try an adventure.

Geographically the Peak District is a southerly area of the Pennines and can easily be found on a map in between Manchester and Sheffield! 

Tor Divide Kit List

Taking on an unsupported adventure means that you need to carry all the kit (clothing, shelter, food, mechanical) you need to complete the event. A bike is a pre-requisite! But what you ride may depend largely on your level, with different types of terrain (tracks/paths), ups as well as downs. There is no one type of bike which is suitable for all this. Experienced bikepackers will have some serious kit, but this shouldn’t put you off if you are a novice. If you want to take part for a good time rather than a fast time any bike including gravel bikes, hardtails (no rear suspension) and full suspension mountain bikes combined with a sense of adventure will do the job.

Don’t forget a good set of comfy shorts and some comfy gloves will help dampen vibrations and protect against soreness, to get more in-depth advice on bike specifics email Valerio Stuart ( or look at this helpful section about bike comfort on the Tor-Divide’s website.

If camping you will need shelter and a sleeping bag, which is unsurprisingly where Criterion comes in (a shameless plug!). Mid-May generally sees around 16 hours of daylight with sunrise around 5am and sunset around 9pm. With night-time lows being approximately 5°C. There are three Criterion down sleeping bags that we would recommend as being good for the race based on price, temperature and weight. If unsure then please contact Criterion for some no-obligation advice.

Peak District Tor Divide
Peak District Tor Divide

Criterion Down Sleeping Bags Suitable For The Tor Divide

Ultralight 200



The Ultralight 200 has a temperature rating of +3 and weighs 620g. It packs down into a stuff sack 11x11x25cm in size. At only £225, it has a 700FP ethical goose down fill, Pertex shell and is a combination of temperature, weight and affordability.

Ultralight 350



The Ultralight 350 (£255) uses the same quality down and fabric as the Ultralight 200. But has more down and greater temperature protection (-3°C). Although 145g heavier than the Ultralight 200, it is a good choice for cold sleepers and those worried about our unpredictable weather.

Quantum 200



The Quantum 200 is the last choice and the most expensive at £300. This bag is much loved by Ultralight-runners for its low weight (530g) and pack size (11 x 11 x 25). It has a temperature rating of 0°C and uses a higher fill power ethical goose down (850FP) and a lighter Pertex fabric than the previous two bags. This allows it to have a better warmth-to-weight ratio.

Fancy doing the Tor Divide?

Have 10% Off any purchase with Code TOR10. Enter the code at the checkout for your discount (valid until 18th May 2024). Please feel free to tag @criterionsleepingbags on Instagram with your photos.

Code: TOR10

Entering the Tor Divide

As May approaches, the Tor Divide beckons, promising not just a race but a memorable cycling experience in the heart of the Peak District. So, saddle up, gear up, and get ready for a ride like no other! Entry is only £59.00 which includes a £5 donation to the ride Sheffield Trial Fund,(Tor Divide -Entry Web Page).

If you travel to the event start using public transport, or even pedal power, you will receive £5 of your entry fee back or a free drink. 

Good Luck!

Event Details 

Date: Saturday 18th May, 2024

Start Time: 7:00 AM

Organiser: Valerio Stuart

Website: www.


Peak District view