FURTHER 2021: TRUTH | EAST

There will be two Further races this year – TRUTH and EAST.

TRUTH will take place in the Pyrenees in August, with a unique format to allow the event to go ahead despite the current restrictions on international travel.

The race will be a time trial – “the race of truth” – over three successive weekends in August.

Riders will choose their weekend, with a limited number of entries each weekend, and then ride the route in a race against the clock.

As riders complete the route, their virtual dot will be added as a rider for the following weekend’s racers to compete against.

The rider with the fastest time overall, wins.

Places to ride TRUTH are still available – contact Further directly via email: Camille@frthr.co

EAST is a new race for 2021, taking place in the east of England.

Limited to 50 riders, EAST will be a 645 kilometre, self-supported off-road race in an area of England not traditionally venerated for it’s cycling.

In the words of the organiser,

The East of England is a maligned area of the UK. Unloved, from Luton to Southend, Norfolk to Bedfordshire. It is the region of Essex lads and Alan Partridge. East of England is not taken seriously culturally or crucially, to a bicycle rider.

FURTHER EAST hopes to show the East of England as more than big skies and old WW2 aerodromes, white vans, sugar beat and Oliver Cromwell.

The route of FURTHER EAST has been planned by Josh Ibbett, and takes us on his home tracks as well as further eastern tracks.  A surprising mix of old landscape and new. Along rivers, manmade landscapes and roads that go back millennia.

Entries for Further EAST are now full.

This will be the third year of Further.

Race Director Camille McMillan shares some thoughts about it below – the idea, the races, and the bike.

For those who might not be familiar, can you tell us a bit about yourself, and why you came to create Further?

Bicycles have been part of my life as far back as I can remember. I am old enough to remember my old man’s Wool Shorts and his chrome covered Italian racing machines.

My passions are image making and landscape, fine art and bicycles. I am trying to bring these things together. Further is me bringing these things together, it is me sharing my local landscape that I love.

I followed a few events over the years. Transcontinental etc. and I kept coming back to the feeling I need to know a place more. Trans or transit over a terrain is not enough for me, I wish to explore.

You were one of the few people who, despite everything last year, still managed to put on a race…. how was that?

Further is small, it is also un-defined. It has always been about flexibility, experimentation… It’s not a formula so Further could adapt.

The race in the Pyrenees is going to be different this year, tell us about the format for 2021

This year it is proper hard. Getting to where I want it to be. The first two years informed people that Further is hard… this year it is hard.

I feel it is important to point out that I am not sending people to the top of a mountain just because I can, to make it hard. I am trying to make a route that flows, is beautiful and is real exploration.

Has the route changed, or is it the same as last year?

It is different each year, I spend a huge amount of time finding them. I have taken a few bits from year one and two…. I think in a few years there will be a permanent Further route.

You are also adding a new Further race to the calendar this year, in England, can you tell us more about that?

Again, its exploration. I grew up in England and the East of England was my childhood training place. Hooking up with Josh who has worked out the route is perfect. He rides some of the old cross races I used to ride. We both know and love the East. For me it is important that people see what the East is. I find a real headwind from many cyclists, “oh its so flat…” they will see..

Away from the races themselves, you’ve been working on creating the ideal Further bike. What is it?

Bicycle geometry is so personal, hey ? One person’s ultimate machine is another person’s shopping bike. I have had so many bicycles in my life, but very few where I thought “…my word! that was a good machine.”

I want the Further Machina to be that, a good machine, the tool for the job. Utility not flash or over worked. A tool you can repair in the field. Handle like a road, cross bike … not a barge like a gravel bike, not be made for bikepacking. Further Machina is a CX bike you can put 50mm tyres in, has a dropper post but you can ride 300km of tramac and still be happy.

Further racing is fast tarmac, hard stone roads, byways and hike-a-bike.

No bike will be perfect for Further, just some bikes are better suited than others.

Another element of the bike, is that its hand built in the UK by us, using parts that are sourced locally…. I can talk a lot about this. We don’t go offshore where we don’t have to. Designing and building done in the same place. Very important that….

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