Mason Cycles:
The Wilding Ride

MTB Ride Level 4

Ride info

Days: 2
Style: Gravel & cross-country (XC)
Guided: Yes

Accommodation

1 night, inc dinner/breakfast
Camping
Bike store

Distance

Short: 12-15 mi | 19-24 km
Medium: 20-25 mi | 32-40 km
Long: 25-35 mi | 40-56 km

Mason Cycles:
The Wilding Ride

21-22 September 2024
Total price is £265 per person

The team at Mason Cycles – Sussex-based creators of superb adventure bicycles – has asked Marmalade to help them celebrate their 10 year anniversary with a special bikepacking weekend travelling to the amazing rewilded landscape of Knepp.

Description

Mason Cycles has spent ten years doing things differently: creating beautiful, functional adventure bikes with a focus on alternative solutions to complex problems. To celebrate their tenth anniversary, join designer Dom Mason and his team for a very special bikepacking weekend to the wildlands of Knepp – hosted by Mason, led by Marmalade.

At the Mason Barn, close to the Sussex coast, we’ll gather to meet Dom and his team. He will welcome us with a tour of the Barn: the heart of Mason’s design and assembly. We’ll then climb into the South Downs National Park, taking in the South Downs Way and Chanctonbury Ring, before we descend towards the Sussex Weald on a dense network of byways, bridleways and quiet lanes. A choice of routes will offer a selection of waypoints as we make our way north: expect to take in picturesque villages beside the River Adur, award-winning vineyards and landmarks like King’s Mill in Shipley.

Our destination is Knepp: home to a decades-long experiment in restoring nature and wilderness to the English landscape. Semi-wild pigs and horses roam the trails, storks fly overhead, and a team of ecologists carefully manage this delicate but thriving landscape. 

We will camp at the heart of Knepp, on a campsite like no other, where the sounds of nature fill the air, grass grows long and lush, and hot showers are open to the skies. Take a swim in a wild pond, or have a stroll among the wider trails of Knepp: home to deer, pigs, cows, and horses.

Our special dinner will be served in Knepp’s Wilding restaurant: where we will dine on Knepp’s own wild-range meat and organic vegetables grown in the restaurant’s own market garden, with a selection to suit everyone’s needs. After dinner, we will relax around a campfire, unwinding, sharing stories and toasting ten years of Mason, before we bed down to sleep amidst the sounds of nature.

Start Sunday morning with Julie’s homemade bircher muesli, cook up your own camp breakfast, or return to the Wilding café for more organic delights. Then we’ll meet one of Knepp’s ecological experts, who will share with us the amazing details of the estate’s transformation over 25 years, as seen in Wilding – the new film. We’ll then begin our return journey, with our sights set once again on the ridge of the South Downs, and lunch snacked en route, before we finish where we began: at the Mason Barn.

Price

Full details of this unique Mason Wilding Ride are below, along with additional information on the other tabs. If you have any questions at all please do not hesitate to contact us.

  • Dates:
    • 21-22 September 2024
  • Places available: 27 (max.)
  • Total price per person: £265 (incl. VAT)
  • Payment (booking less than 60 days before trip)
    • Full balance payable on booking, by credit/debit card

What’s included

Our package for this special weekend includes:

  • Guided riding on both days, with Marmalade MTB’s qualified local guides
  • Camping at Knepp, with access to swimming, showers, toilets and a DIY wood-fired oven
  • A specially curated meal served in Knepp’s Wilding Kitchen restaurant, with options to suit your needs
  • A private talk from one of Knepp’s experts, sharing the story of the rewilding project
  • A breakfast of bircher muesli and fruit (with the option to cook up your own camp breakfast or revisit the Wilding Kitchen)

What’s not included

  • Lunch on Saturday and Sunday, which will be had en route as we visit cafés and village shops
  • The option to breakfast in the Wilding Kitchen (though our bircher muesli and fruit option is included)
  • Luxury glamping options may be available at Knepp. Availability and booking should be checked and booked separately, in addition to booking this ride with us
  • Bike and bikepacking equipment
  • Personal travel or accident insurance

Mason Cycles bikepacking trip to Knepp estate on the south downs

Your choice of Bike

The routes are designed with gravel bikes in mind, but any off-road capable bike will be welcome, including mountain bikes. If you don’t ride a Mason, that’s fine: if your bike is well-serviced and good to ride, bring it along.

Would you like to try a Mason bike from our demo fleet? This could be the ideal opportunity. Contact Mason to check availability

Mason Cycles bikepacking trip to Knepp estate on the south downs

Is this for me?

This ride is for anyone who feels the spirit of adventure and wants to spend some time with people who love bikes, travel and nature. A range of groups means that everyone from beginners to advanced riders will have a ride to remember.

The routes are designed with gravel bikes in mind, but any off-road capable bike will be welcome, including mountain bikes. If you don’t ride a Mason, that’s fine: if your bike is well-serviced and good to ride, bring it along.

Bikepacking is great fun, but if you are new to carrying and sleeping lightweight, using equipment suited to your bike, we suggest a practice run or two first. If you prefer a touch of luxury when you camp, you may want to check Knepp’s glamping options, which you should book with Knepp in addition to booking your main package with us.

The ROUTEs
Day One:
Day Two:
  • Duration: 3-5 hours
  • Distance:
    • Short group: approx. 12 mi | 19 km
    • Medium group (x2): approx. 20 mi | 32 km
    • Long group: approx. 25 mi | 40 km
  • Technical Grade: See ‘Is this for me?‘ tab

Mason Cycles bikepacking trip to Knepp estate on the south downs

What do I need?

Equipment, kit and clothing

Essentials:

  • Suitable bike in good working order, able to carry camping gear 
  • Helmet (in good condition, with no damage)
  • Clothing and shoes appropriate for cycling and changeable weather conditions
  • Clothing for evening relaxation and camping
  • Lightweight camping equipment
  • Suitable frame bags, panniers or other luggage suited to carrying your equipment on your bike
  • Personal choice of drink and ride snacks
  • Spare rear mech hanger specific for your bike

Recommended:

  • Gloves
  • Glasses, sunglasses or eyeshields
  • Hydration backpack (min. 2 liters)
  • Spare inner tubes
  • Spare spokes specific to your bike wheels
  • Puncture repair kit and bicycle pump
  • Padded cycling shorts for comfort
FINANCIAL PROTECTION
The Association of Bonded Travel Organisers Trust Limited (ABTOT) provides financial protection under The Package Travel and Linked Travel Arrangements Regulations 2018 for Marmalade MTB – 5559, and in the event of their insolvency, protection is provided for:

  • Non-flight packages

ABTOT cover provides for a refund in the event you have not yet travelled or repatriation if transportation was included in your package.  Please note that bookings made outside the UK are only protected by ABTOT when purchased directly with Marmalade MTB.  

In the unlikely event that you require assistance whilst abroad due to our financial failure, please call our 24/7 helpline on 01702 811397 and advise you are a customer of an ABTOT protected travel company.

You can access The Package Travel and Linked Travel Arrangements Regulations 2018 here:  https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2018/634/contents/made 

You can find out more about ABTOT here: https://www.abtot.com/

Package Tour Regulations ABTOT Member Marmalade MTB

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