The Quad is the first ever professional cycling team to specialize entirely in self-supported ultra-distance bikepacking events and will be officially launched at Spin Cycling Festival this weekend.

Posted by Logan Watts

The Quad — the first of its kind bikepacking race team — consists of Lee Craigie, Rickie Cotter, Emily Chappell and Paula Regener. It was launched as a part of The Adventure Syndicate, a collective of female cyclists dedicated to inspiring, encouraging and enabling other people to challenge what they think they are capable of.

With the support of title sponsors Leigh Day Cycling, Apidura, Exped and Findra, the team will be racing in some of the most challenging events of the ultra-distance calendar, including the Highland Trail 550, the TransAtlanticWay, and the Tour Divide. They will also remain dedicated to The Adventure Syndicate’s social aims, and are arriving at Spin fresh from a week-long roadshow around the Scottish Highlands and Islands, visiting schools and youth groups, to promote active travel in remote communities.

Adventure Syndicate Race Team, The Quad, Bikepacking

  • Adventure Syndicate Race Team, The Quad, Bikepacking
  • Adventure Syndicate Race Team, The Quad, Bikepacking

To set the tone for their boundary-breaking year ahead, The Quad, together with Leigh Day Cycling, will be hosting a Friday evening discussion panel, on the knotty subject of fear – how it motivates us, how it holds us back, and how it can distort our self-belief if we let it. Joining in the discussion will be London cycling legends Jools Walker and Maria David, alongside adventurers Helen Lloyd and Sarah Outen, none of whom is a stranger to overcoming fears.

Adventure Syndicate Race Team, The Quad, Bikepacking

“Although we’ll be racing at the highest level, there’s so much more to The Quad than just competition,” says team director Lee Craigie, (former British Mountain Bike Champion and member of Team GB). “We believe passionately that everyone has more in them than they realize, if they can just overcome the fears that are holding them back, and we’ll be sharing our own doubts and anxieties throughout our adventures, to demonstrate that no one is fearless, and help people discover their own courage.”

Photos by James Robertson

  • mikeetheviking

    Bad ass! Love what y’all are doing. I’ll have to show you off to my 7 year old daughter.

  • Mick Molloy

    Down with this sort of thing!!! Teams, directors, professionals…..keep it out of bikepacking…it stinks!

  • Dave

    If this group is actually dedicated to inspiring and encouraging ordinary people to push their limits on adventures and whatnot, then it’s a big misstep to publicize themselves as “professionals” and a “bikepacking race team.” Those are in fundamental opposition to the notions of being a regular Joe/Jane (AKA an amateur) on an adventure, and of being self-supported, which are in turn fundamental notions behind solo races like the Tour Divide. Trying to say you’re both is silly.

    It’s also a fundamental aspect of bikepacking routes that they aren’t closed off to people, including pros or people who refer to themselves as pros. That in mind, I’ll try to root for the idea of these people just having fun and being good stewards of the route.

  • Simon Bryant

    I think the girls are doing a great job

  • Mary Taylor

    I hear you, Dave! It is very important to keep the idea of having fun in bikepacking. However, I have to say that as a woman in the bikepacking world– it is very empowering and inspiring to have an all female-identifying group to find support. So if these women can find a support group and team that can help inspire other people, good on them. In terms of racing, they ARE racing, therefore a bikepacking race team. Racing can be for everyday Janes and Joes, and it cool to see these ladies showing that is achievable for all types of people. There are already tons of pros that compete in these races and tons of people that aren’t.

    All in all– Great work ladies and awesome write up, Logan!

  • zero_trooper

    As backpacking gets bigger, a ‘thing’, you always risk some degree of professionalism. However, these people aren’t doing anymore than other ‘professional’ sponsored amateurs, it’s just that they have a label as a race team.

  • I’d agree with @disqus_gKgBKec7D9:disqus’s point on this. I think it’s an inspiring way to undertake such events. If nothing else, it’s a fun and supportive approach and a good way to raise awareness for the Adventure Syndicate. No harm to bikepacking as a whole, IMO.

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