Covering road, gravel, mud, chalk and clay, large volume tyres are a must for this route. While we rode on 650B X 47c rubber, we’d recommend anything above 35c tyres with good tread. You could ride anything from a gravel bike to a hardtail mountain bike. The author rode a VAAST A/1 magnesium all-road bike with a full set of Apidura’s Expedition bikepacking bags.
For any ride along the route, you’ll you’ll need a solid repair kit including multi-tool, chain quick-links, pump, spare tubes and a puncture repair kit. If you’re planning to camp along the way you’ll need a lightweight sleep set-up you can fit on your bike (although pre-booked accommodation is a more luxurious option) and the capacity to carry plenty of food and perhaps a stove and cooking set-up too.
Designed by Ben Wormald and Chris Hunt, the mixed-terrain route has been carefully crafted with natural flow and momentum in mind to make the most out of the journey. It stays true to the old ways where possible while hitting some of the best sections of road and alternative gravel trails along the way to make it work as an updated route specifically for bikepackers.
With strong train links along the entire route, The Old Chalk Way can easily be divided into much shorter sections and ridden separately over individual days or over a weekend. The route passes close to and through several towns making hostels, pubs and campsites all easily accessible.