By now you have probably heard of Josh Ibbett… starting out as the very first full-time employee here at TheRiderFirm and racing bicycles since he was knee high to a grasshopper, Josh has found his niche in ultra-endurance riding and bikepacking events. After holding the legendary MTB record for the South Downs Way Double for over 5 years, his biggest achievement has been taking out the win at the Transcontinental Race in 2015. It is very unusual for Josh to line up to a race which starts and finishes on the same day - although he has now developed a knack for CX over the winter. In May 2017, Josh left for an adventure of a life time and rode across then down the length of America.
He has now returned to the UK with us extending out a big warm 'welcome back to the team’! We can’t believe that it has taken so long for us to catch Josh for the dreaded On The Drops! Probably because he has been on some col in the Pyrenees or in a Mexican desert…
Without further ado, here is On The Drops with our very own hardman!
Age: 29 and 11/12ths
Born and Bred:
Ice breaker – describe yourself in three words.
Lanky Bike Rider.
First Bike and Favourite bike?
First proper bike was a steel GT Outpost and I saved all my pocket money for a pair of RST suspension forks for it. Favourite bike is my Mason Bokeh.
Finish this sentence: Climbing on my bike is…rewardingly miserable.
You have been an integral part of the Hunt story since day one. Having now completed your big trip, where are you and what has changed?
I’m now back in Cambridgeshire, a home owner, working in the family business and a little for Hunt. There’s still plenty of travel to be done, just in smaller chunks.
Josh now drives these for a living... jealous? We are!
You have just returned from an epic Bike Packing race in Oman, how was it and is anything else pencilled in on the calendar?
Oman was an incredible country to visit, although my personal performance was a little under par, the result was more luck than judgement! The rest of the year is pretty packed, I’m racing on the road for the next month before Battle on the Beach in Wales, the Dirty Reiver in Northumberland, Bikingman Corsica, a ride down Italy to my mates wedding and then the Trans-Atlantic Way in Ireland. Hopefully I’ll finally get to South America this summer, plus there’s a few other trips in the pipeline that I can't tell you about just yet!
With such long races being a feature of your riding, what is your average weekly millage like now? Are you still smashing out huge rides or keeping it more ‘human’?
I don’t really do many really long rides, I know I can go the distance so focus in keeping strong and fast in training. Long rides all the time is asking for over training. 200+ miles for me is a big week.
After travelling half way around the planet in your most recent trip, as well as other places you have ridden, where is it you want to go back and ride more the most?
Now back in Cambridgeshire, Josh is riding around his original stomping grounds
Is it true that the creator of On The Drops, Hamish Paine, managed to break you in a gravel trip to the Pyrenees?
I was pre-broken… he just finished me off!
(ed. it was the 5500km covered in a single month which might have done it! )
What grinds your gears?
Not cleaning my chain.
Thoughts on Cyclocross (since you are typically riding for days on end, not an hour around a field)?
I love cyclocross, where’s the fun in riding a really long way in the wet and cold of winter when you can go and race flat out in the mud for an hour and be home in the warm not long after.
Most memorable ride for all of the wrong reasons?
Tuscany trail in 2016 didn’t go so well, it ended with 7 stitches after a disagreement with a dog.
Always the first out and last back in... Josh has a habit or riding through the worse.
Josh is supported by: