Cycling UK and OS encourage Brits to go bikepacking once a month for a year

Cycling UK and OS encourage Brits to go bikepacking once a month for a year

Cycling UK and OS Maps are teaming up in 2021 to help more people discover and enjoy the outdoors which exists right on their doorstep, and have today (19 May) launched a year-long outdoor challenge
  • Year-long challenge to encourage bikepacking and wild camping launched
  • Two organisations aim to inspire adventure and encourage a culture of conservation

Cycling UK and OS Maps The #12nightsoutin1year challenge is simple. Entrants are encouraged to head out on their bike and experience a night beneath the stars, in a tent, bivi bag or hammock, at least once a month over the course of a year and to photograph their experiences.

Each month, participants who have posted their photos and experiences on Instagram using #12nightsoutin1year will automatically be entered into a monthly competition to win a range of cycle and navigation related prizes.

The two organisations have a shared passion for encouraging the British public to be active and get outside. They will be working together not just to help cyclists make the most of the countryside, but also to introduce the joys of exploring the outdoors to those who hadn’t considered doing so by bike.

Nick Giles, Managing Director of Ordnance Survey Leisure said, “We passionately believe in the benefits the great outdoors can bring to us all.  Through our award winning app, OS Maps, we are proud to help connect people with the outdoors through comprehensive mapping and routes at your fingertips.

"The last year has shown that you can still deliver adventure from your doorstep, and we are delighted to be working with Cycling UK to encourage people to keep challenging themselves to try something new, with OS Maps being a central tool to helping people adventure more by bike over the next year.”

The #12nightsoutin1year challenge has been adopted by adventure traveller and youngest woman to ride solo around the world, Vedangi Kulkarni, who will provide advice and encouragement to would-be bikepackers throughout the year.

“To enjoy the British countryside, it doesn’t take much more than the curiosity to explore what’s just around the corner, the OS Maps app, and adequate snacks. Add some camping gear and a bike into the mix and I’m sure you’ll have a lovely night under the stars!” said Vedangi.

“You don’t need fancy kit or to travel to far flung places to have an adventure and discover the wilds of your local region. With everyone looking to get away this year but not necessarily able to travel far, Cycling UK and OS Maps’ challenge gives an incentive for people to get outside and discover new sights round where they live.”


A woman stands by her laden bike
Youngest woman to cycle round the world Vedangi Kulkarni. Photo Callum Howard

As lockdown restrictions have eased across the UK, Cycling UK and OS Maps want to see this bikepacking challenge inspire the adventure-curious to take the plunge into the world of cycle adventures. They also have a serious aim to educate everyone to leave no trace and take away from the countryside more than what they take in.

Cycling UK’s Cape Wrath Fellowship custodian Sam Jones, who has camped out at least once a month for the past two years, wants to see everyone make the most of the wilderness they can discover from their doorstep and leave it in a better condition than they found it.

“Anyone who enjoys the countryside, whether they’re walking, riding or running will have seen that all too familiar blight mark of others’ passage: litter,” said Sam. “12nightsoutin1year will be just as much about you enjoying nature, as ensuring it’s in a better state than when you found it.

“Trash free trails are something we can all work towards every time we head out.”

Full details on the 12nightsoutin1year challenge and how to receive a month’s free access to OS Maps are on the Cycling UK website.

Contact information 

For more information, please contact the national Cycling UK press office. Due to the restrictions caused by the coronavirus outbreak, currently the main press office number (01483 238 315) is not being monitored. If you would like to speak to a member of the press office during working hours (0900 - 1700) please email publicity@cyclinguk.org

Notes to editors 
  1. Cycling UK, the UK’s cycling charity, imagines a world where the streets are free of congestion and the air is clean to breathe, where parents encourage their children to cycle to school and everyone shares the exhilaration of being in the saddle. For more than 140 years, we’ve been making our streets safer, opening up new traffic free routes and inspiring more people to cycle more often. www.cyclinguk.org
  2. Ordnance Survey, the national mapping service for Great Britain, makes it simple to enjoy an active outdoor life, live longer and get more out of every day. We inspire people to discover Britain’s great outdoors with our iconic maps on paper, mobile and desktop. They are all designed to make the outdoors more enjoyable, accessible, and safe. Launched in 2015, the OS Maps app puts digital versions of OS Explorer and OS Landranger maps for the whole of Great Britain in your pocket. OS are also helping people explore new places locally with the GetOutside app, and create lasting memories in Britain’s cities and countryside with the new Secret Stories app. Our pioneering location expertise is recognised around the world and we recently launched OS Maps in Australia, with plans to roll out in other countries in the future.
  3. About the 12nightsoutin1year challenge: for the opening month running until the end of June, the winning photographer will receive an annual subscription to OS Maps, an OS Dry Bag and an Alpkit Brukit stove, while everyone who registers their intention to take part in the challenge will receive a free month’s Premium access to OS Maps. The winners over the course of the next twelve months will be entered into a grand prize draw in May 2022, and will be in with a chance to win an OS Trail 2 GPS, a navigation device worth £344.99 that gives the user access to the whole range of OS Maps from the palm of their hand.
  4. In 2018, Vedangi Kulkarni rode 29000km around the world in 159/160 days becoming the youngest woman to have circumnavigated the world on a bicycle alone when she was 19. She now lives in Christchurch, Dorset and helps other people plan and plot their adventures: https://www.vedangikulkarni.com/
  5. A video and advice on how to use your bike as a means to create a shelter is available at: https://www.cyclinguk.org/article/how-use-your-bike-make-shelter
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