Bikingman is a series of unsupported ultra-distance bike-packing races in five countries around the world. Races range from ‘Sprints’ at 750km to their premium event in Peru, the Inca Divide, which is 1650km long with 32,500 metres of elevation.
Bike-packing races are basically cycle-touring in a competitive format. Races last a matter of days and they are non-stop, which brings sleep deprivation and exhaustion into play. Races usually have just a couple of checkpoints and routes can be either stipulated by race organisers (usually, in the case of Bikingman, mostly on paved routes, though some races have some gravel) or organised by the rider themselves. There is generally quite a lot of ‘tech’ involved.
Crucially Bikingman events are unsupported, meaning that entrants must be self-sufficient along the route. They may buy food and water in shops and pay for equipment and repair, even a hotel room, but any assistance they take must be publicly available to everyone, so no following cars or special arrangements are permitted, not even a private meal offered by a generous host.
In 2020 Bikingman events will be held in Oman (1050km, February), Corsica (700km, April), Peru, the Inca Divide (1650km, July), Laos (780km, autumn), Portugal (950km, September) and Taiwan (1150km, November). Riders are given 5 days to finish a Sprint and 10 to complete the Inca Divide.
The founder and organiser of Bikingman is Frenchman Axel Carion, who is no mean cyclist himself. In August 2019 he completed an extraordinary 1900km ride in the Andes. See more about this ride.