Anna Taylor completes Classic Rock by Bike Tour Newsflash

© Neil Gresham/Berghaus

Anna Taylor has become the first woman to complete a continuous round of all 83 routes that feature in 'Classic Rock', the iconic book by Ken Wilson. Carrying all of her kit with her, Anna cycled between each route, covering 1500 miles on the bike and climbing over 10,000 metres.

Beginning on 31 July, Anna set off from Penzance and ticked the southern section of the list, then cycled up through Wales, the Lake District and Scotland, before finishing on the Isle of Skye today. Anna climbed 68 of the 83 routes solo, either free or with a rope. She was accompanied for part of the journey by adventure photographer Marc Langley, while Neil Gresham supported her in her final climbs on Skye. 

The weather during the challenge was wet and unforgiving, but Anna continued regardless, completing it in an almost-continuous trip save for a brief interlude for a work commitment. Anna was also a newcomer to cycle-touring before setting out on her journey.

Commenting on Instagram, she wrote: 

'Well that's that. Two months ago I set off from Penzance with the intention of linking all of the Classic Rock routes together by bike. I didn't have a clue how to cycle tour, or how I was going to get all the climbs done if the weather crapped out, but bit by bit I learned, and here we are. So that's just over 1,500 miles on the bike, and 83 out of 83 climbs (68 of which were solos, either free or with rope), in a mostly continuous round (I did have to duck out for a work trip at one point).

'Big thanks to @neil.gresham for coming up to do the last few climbs with me in appalling conditions. The weather has often been unkind throughout this trip, and because of this things were difficult and pretty treacherous right up until the very last second. Still, we had a fun, mildly epic adventure sliding around on the Cioch, and the Cuillin Ridge was, to put it frankly, f**king grim. It wasn't quite the scenic finale I had in mind, but was quite a fitting ending in the sense that virtually nothing about this trip has ever gone according to plan.

'There's been some good and very memorable moments though. Climbing The Long Climb on the Ben in a bubble of mist feeling like I was the only person in the world was ace, as was the watery fight to get out of The Chasm (though that was perhaps more of a type 2 fun sort of day). Routes like The Devils Slide on Lundy and The Clean Sweep on Hells Lum were also highlights, and all that definitely made up for the times I was frozen, wet and off-route, or regretting my life choices cycling up endless hills. It's not been a perfect trip by any means, but I've learnt a lot (mostly about soloing), and I'm looking forward to putting some of that knowledge to good use on future projects. For now however, I'm just appreciating being warm and dry, and I'm pretty relived to have got this over with before it starts snowing.'

Stay tuned for a UKC interview...

This post has been read 8,658 times

Return to Latest News

Anna is an up and coming British trad climber based in the Lake District. She has multiple climbs in the E6-E8 range on her CV and favours bold and often unprotectable climbs...

Anna's Athlete Page 6 posts

Support UKC

As climbers we strive to make UKClimbing the kind of website we would love to visit, with the most up-to-date news, diverse and interesting articles, comprehensive gear reviews, breathtaking photographs and a vast and useful logbook system. As a result, an incredible community has formed around the site - we’ve provided the framework but it’s you who make the website what it is today. If you appreciate the content we offer then you can help us by becoming an official UKC Supporter. This can be a one-off single annual payment or a more substantial payment paid monthly or yearly which includes full access to Rockfax Digital and discounts on Rockfax print publications.

If you appreciate UKClimbing then please help us by becoming a UKC Supporter.

UKC Supporter

  • Support the website we all know and love
  • Access to a year's subscription to Rockfax Digital.
  • Plus 30% off Rockfax guidebooks
  • Plus Show your support UKC porter badge on your profile and forum posts
UKC/UKH/Rockfax logo

30 Sep, 2021

Epic! Well done!

30 Sep, 2021

Well done! What a fantastic challenge, that's very impressive!

30 Sep, 2021

Awesome effort! Enjoy some creature comforts now : )

1 Oct, 2021

I'm not sure what's most impressive; the climbing or that bike ride ! Fantastic trip.

1 Oct, 2021
outstanding, well done
More Comments
Loading Notifications...
Facebook Twitter Copy Email LinkedIn Pinterest