How to participate

How you can participate, become part of the community, and win prizes

Ride a route (see download/navigation instructions below) and then submit your ride! That’s it! There is just one overarching rule to participate: ride the route in its entirety (for non-competitive completions, 95% of a route is absolutely fine). Ride the route however you like – make it a vehicle supported multi-day trip, a self-supported bikepacking trip, a self-supported single-ride, or in an effort to establish a time on the route leaderboard or tackle the fastest known time (FKT; the self-supported racing rules outlined below apply for FKT challenges).

Just please be sure that while you’re out on the trail, you

  • Go out of your way to be kind and courteous to other trail users.
  • Follow all laws, regulations, and official signage while on the trail.
  • Practice LNT ethics at all times when out on the trail.

Did you say prizes?

Riders of each route will be eligible for a big year-end prize drawing. The categories will include non-competitive tours, FKT attempt finishers, and timed segment participants. Here’s how to get into the drawing:

  1. Complete one of the routes in whatever style you choose.
  2. Make a donation to the local trail organization or participate in a trail work day for a BBC-recognized trail organization.
  3. Fill out our ride submission form
  4. If chasing any of the FKTs or segment leaderboards, upload your ride onto the appropriate Ride With GPS Backcountry Bike Challenge Leaderboard (hit the button below the route map on the route pages).

You can also win prizes by

  • Following the Challenge on Instagram and our News page here! We share routes, riders’ stories, FKTs, future routes, additional bikepacking routes, and occasional prize offerings!
  • Participating in one of our trail work days. All trail work days will include swag, food, and beverages. We’ll provide more details as we get these set up for the summer of 2021, but they’ll likely be on the Wyoming Range Nat’l Recreation Trail and the Alpine #7 Trail in Montana.

*Rules for FKT challengers

These are aligned with the generally agreed upon rules of the self-supported mountain bike ultra-racing community. 

  • We will recognize female, male, and non-binary categories.
  • Do it yourself. There are no supported categories.
  • Complete 100% of the route under your own power* (see caveat below). No e-bikes and no motorized transport are allowed. 
  • Ride time is your total time on trail, not moving time. This ride time starts when you begin your ride and ends when you finish the route. 
  • No support crews, no pacers, and no drafting off other riders. This includes racing together with a friend AND it includes multiple meet-ups cheering appearances from family or friends.
  • No caches of food, water, or equipment unless caching water (and only water) in an existing water cache box or location established by a trail organization.
  • No motorized transport or hitch-hiking.
  • Go out of your way to be kind and courteous to other trail users.
  • Follow all laws, regulations, and official signage while on the trail. Conditions on the ground may change, and we do our best to keep the route information up to date, but if signs on the ground direct you differently from our resources, obey the official signage! This is the one exception to the “ride 100% of the route” rule above.
  • RSVP for your FKT challenge before your ride – look for the yellow button below the map on the route’s page on this website. That’ll get you automatically added to the RWGPS leaderboard post-ride once you upload your ride file to your RWGPS account.

The following are allowed but not encouraged – please use sparingly.  

  • Trail magic from strangers – this is acceptable, but please don’t ask or beg for anything.
  • Visitation by spectators (friends, family) is acceptable if they’re local to the route, but please ask friends and family to show up and cheer at the finish rather than along the route. 
  • Race documentation (photography, film, etc.): This should be done with minimal intrusion and zero interaction between rider and anyone documenting.

instructions for downloading route files

Backcountry Bike Challenge route and navigation data are provided for navigation via GPS unit or mobile phone, and all GPS data are downloadable via the Ride with GPS (RWGPS) platform. To download the GPS data and waypoints/POIs (points of interest) for any BBC route, follow these instructions.

Disclaimer: This route and associated information is just a starting point for your preparation, and your safety is your own responsibility. Although this route, its GPS track and waypoints, route data, and the route guide were prepared after extensive research, their accuracy and reliability are not guaranteed. Check for current conditions, route updates, detours, use common sense, obey local laws and regulations, and travel with alternative means of navigation. The Backcountry Bike Challenge and its creators and contributors will in no way be responsible for personal injury or damage to personal property arising in conjunction with following this route or utilizing any of the route resources provided on this website or via RWGPS.

  • Join the Backcountry Bike Challenge Club on the RWGPS site for easy access to all our routes and for free downloads with offline navigation, and if you’re aiming for a quick ride, RSVP before you head out – look for the yellow RSVP button below the map on the route’s page on this website. That’ll get you automatically added to the RWGPS leaderboard post-ride once you upload your ride file to your RWGPS account.
  • On the route’s page on this website, scroll down to the map, click on the route line, and then click on the “View Route” link in the small pop-up window. That link will take you to the route on the RWGPS website. You can also get to this page via the “Download GPX File” button below the map on the route page.
  • Once on the RWGPS site, you can conveniently examine and plan out your ride using the elevation profile and details for all the POIs (click on any POI to see its details).
  • To download the GPS data, click on the orange “Send to Device” button OR click on the 3 white dots on the right end of that button for more download options, depending on your choice of the following 3 download types:
    • If you’d like to download the route and POIs directly to your GPS device, select your device model and follow the instructions.
    • If you’d like to download the route to navigate via the RWGPS app on your mobile device, select the appropriate phone type, be sure to have the RWGPS app installed, and follow the instructions. No subscription to the RWGPS app is needed!
    • If you’d like to download a GPX file of the route with POIs to manually install the file on your GPS unit or import it into other computer or mobile apps, select the 3 white dots on the RWGPS site. Then select “More Export Options,” choose GPX track (not GXP Route), check the box for “Include POI as waypoints,” and then click the orange “Download .gpx File” button.
  • To download a route for offline navigation using the RWGPS app on your phone, open the app and select the route you’d like to follow, and then click the “Download” button. This will download the route, POIs, and the RWGPS topographic base map in a wide corridor along the route for offline use. Once you’re ready to navigate, click the “Navigate” button. If the route has no turn-by-turn cues, simply click the “Start Navigating” option. Then just follow the route line! Again, downloading and following BBC routes in the RWGPS app does not require a subscription to the app!
  • If the route you’d like to ride has alternate options on the map on the BBC website (shown as route lines of differing colors), follow the above instructions to download the route for each alternate in addition to the main route.