We’re changing the way our Rookie category works to try to make it more inclusive.

There’s no denying that All Points North is a tough event to complete. Riding a hilly 1000km in the north of England with all of the challenges that the terrain and our lovely northern weather throws at you can be tough, even when you’re not up against the clock and trying to finish within 72 hours to get back for the finisher’s meal.

This is why we originally created our Rookie category, to give people who need it an extra eight hours to make it back. But what we’ve realised over the four years we’ve been running the event is that many people need more time and they really want to finish no matter how long it takes them. And we want them to finish too, this is why we don’t have an official cut-off time – all riders who finish APN deserve a place on the leaderboard.

Our Rookies are a determined bunch – statistically more Rookies make it to the finish line than the 72-hour riders – because they don’t scratch when they know they’re not going to make it to the finisher’s meal, they keep on riding, sometimes days after our HQ has closed.

We like being there to welcome every rider home but sometimes it’s just not possible. We always feel for the riders who press on to the finish once our HQ is closed, at 3am in the morning when there’s nobody to welcome them in. What an anti-climax to your epic ride, turning up outside our shop in the dark and posting your tracker through our letter box.

The rider community is important to us – we don’t just want riders to finish, we want you to have the opportunity to share your experiences out on the road with one another, to sit down together, enjoy a meal and celebrate your achievement with people who understand what you’ve just done and why you’ve done it.

So, to make this possible for more people, in the 2023 edition of the race we’re switching things around, taking our cue from those lovely folks who organise the Second City Divide rally, and rather than having a Rookie mass start we’re going for a mass finish at 8pm on Monday, 29th May.

You decide how long you think it will take you to ride your route around all the 10 checkpoints in order to make it back for the Finisher’s meal on Monday night and set your start time accordingly.

When you leave Sheffield is up to you. You’ll collect your cap, event pack and tracker from A Different Gear. We’ll check over your bike, start your tracker, take your photo and off you go!

The earliest that riders will be able to start is 10 am on Wednesday, 24th May. To get back for Monday evening you’ll still need to ride a distance of around 160km a day for 6 days, which is still no mean feat in the North of England. If you reckon you can manage 200km a day then start on Thursday morning instead, that’s up to you to work out. You can start any time during A Different gear’s opening hours of 10am – 6pm.

Once you’ve been accepted to ride, you’ll need to plan your route and there’ll be a cut-off date to submit your start time to us (probably around one month before the start).

All the other event rules still apply. It’s still a completely self-supported ride, you must not accept any assistance that’s not commercially available to all and you cannot book accommodation in advance. All accommodation must be booked on the day that you’re going to use it.

We’re really excited to see how our new Rookie format will work out next year. If it all goes to plan we should have a hall full of tired, happy riders at the finisher’s party tucking into curry and sharing their tales of the road. We hope you like it too.