RIDE IT Ashdown Sportive 2018


We’re returning to the National Trust’s Sheffield Park Gardens near Uckfield in East Sussex for our RIDE IT Ashdown Sportive on Saturday 8th September 2018 (please note it’s Saturday not Sunday). Not being far from the Evans Cycles HQ means it’s on home riding turf for a lot of the Evans Cycles staff so we’ve used our local knowledge to come up with a great route that takes in some well known climbs as well as some of the less well known lanes that the area has to offer.

More details and entry links can be found at – RIDE IT Ashdown Sportive

You can also keep up to date with the latest event information here and on Facebook via the RIDE IT Ashdown Sportive Facebook Event Page


By Car – Sheffield Park Gardens are located midway between East Grinstead and Lewes, 5 miles north-west of Uckfield, on the east side of A275 (between A272 and A22). If approaching north-bound from Lewes, we are just past the Bluebell Railway, over the River Ouse bridge on the right. Coming south-bound from the A22 Wych Cross, follow the brown signs for Sheffield Park and the Bluebell Railway. When you arrive please follow directions from our marshals to the correct parking area.

By Train – The closest train stations are Uckfield which is approximatelty 6 miles away and Haywards Heath at approximately 7 miles away.

By Bike – Sheffield Park Gardens is to the south of National Route 21 coming from London/East Grinstead and east of National Route 20 running from London to Brighton.


The event will be hosted from the grounds surrounding National Trust Sheffield Park Gardens, when you arrive please follow the parking signs and directions from our marshalls. Parking, registration and the start/finish for our event will be on the grass area to your right as you approach the National Trust car park.

If you’re looking for something to do after the ride or to keep the family entertained whilst you’re out riding then the gardens are well worth a visit at this time of year.

NT Sheffield Park Garden


Registration will be open from 8am to 10:00am but long route riders should aim to arrive, register and start before 9:30am. Please follow the signs for registration after you’ve arrived.

The are no specific start times per rider so you’re free to join a group and start when you’re ready within the following time slots –

Long Route Riders – anytime between 08:30 and 09:30

Medium, Short and Fun Riders – anytime between 08:30 and 10:00

Please ensure you bring your helmet with you to registration, you will not be allowed to register without one so bringing it with you will save a trip back to your car or bike collect it.

Once you have registered and are ready to ride please head to the start area near the main entrance.

The main event centre, National Trust site and café is planned to close at 5:00pm which gives you up to 9 hours to complete the ride if you start with the first groups. Please note there will be a time cut off at the long ride split and if we don’t think you’re on track to finish before 5:00pm at that point you will be diverted to finish on the medium route.


For riders doing the long route there will be time cut off at 2pm at the ride split point which is approximately 55 miles from the start. If you haven’t passed this point before the time cut off you will be diverted to finish following the medium route.

The event centre is due to close at 5pm, riders who are behind schedule to complete before 5pm maybe collected by our sweeper van.


On the course there are a number of feed stops (how many depends on your route distance) and all food and drink at the feed stops is included in your entry. The feed stops are sponsored by High 5 Sports Nutrition and will have High 5 Energy Drink and High 5 Energy Gels or High 5 Energy Bars as well as selection of regular food such as cake, flapjack, jelly beans, bananas, peanuts, crisps, etc.

For advice on nutrition for before, during and after your ride click on the guide below from High 5 –

RIDE IT High 5 Nutrition Guide

They’ll be hot drinks available to purchase in the morning before your ride from our catering tent near rider sign on.

The main National Trust cafe opens at 10am which serves a wide selection of hot and cold food and drink should you want to refuel after your ride.


Whilst the area isn’t mountainous the routes pack in lots of small ups and downs so you’ll get in a fair bit of climbing in on the longer routes. The medium and long route both take you up Kidd’s Hill as featured in Simon Warren’s Top 100 Climbs and locally known as ‘The Wall’ with some great views across Ashdown Forest from the top.

The approximate route stats and elevation profiles are –

The RIDE IT Ashdown Sportive Long Route – 88 miles/140km with 6,800 feet/2,073 metres elevation gain

Feed stops at approximately 23, 55 and 77 miles

Route Downloads – GPX / TCX / Strava / Printable PDF


The RIDE IT Ashdown Sportive Medium Route – 65 miles/104km with 5,508 feet/1,680 metres elevation gain

Feed stops at approximately 23 and 53 miles

Route Downloads – GPX / TCX / Strava / Printable PDF

RIDE-IT-Ashdown-Medium-ElevationThe RIDE IT Ashdown Sportive Short Route – 33 miles/53km with 2,615 feet/797 metres elevation gain

Feed stop at approximately 23 miles

Route Downloads – GPX / TCX / Strava / Printable PDF

RIDE-IT-Ashdown-Short-ElevationThe RIDE IT Ashdown Sportive Fun Route – 16 miles/25km with 1,045 feet/318 metres elevation gain and no drink stations

Route Downloads – GPX / TCX / Strava / Printable PDF

RIDE-IT-Ashdown-Fun-ElevationAfter completing the route please head back through the finish timing point to register your finish time before returning to your car. If you don’t head through the timing point you won’t register a finish time and will show as a DNF when we publish the rider times.


RIDE IT Cycling Events Course Marking

For the duration of the ride you will be following pink signs (black arrow on a pick background), this is the same for all route distances. Where the different route distances split you will see route split signs telling you which way to go then you will continue to follow the same pink arrows.

You should see signs at every junction with the possible exception of dead ends/cul-de-sacs where they aren’t used on the route. If you reach a junction with no signs please check your map to see if you’ve missed a turning.


There are no rankings or prizes on offer, all times will be displayed in a non-sortable format in rider number order. Please help us to continue running popular and friendly events by not riding in such a way to obstruct the road and upset other users.

The majority of the ride is on the public roads so please obey the Highway Code, stop at junctions where appropriate and obey any traffic lights. Do not ride at silly speeds around blind bends or on steep descents. Although we have event insurance it does not insure you for your actions so if you do hit a car or pedestrian you may be held responsible for any damages or injuries caused by your riding.


The ride takes place on public roads and we don’t have exclusive use of these for the event. Please be look out for other trail users particularly horse riders who frequently use the bridleways in this area. Make them aware of your presence and pass wide and slow should you encounter any. The leaflet below from the BHS gives lots of useful advice for both cyclists and horse riders and we would recommend all riders have a read through before the ride. Click on the image to download a pdf version of the leaflet.

BHS Cyclist and Horse Rider Code of Conduct


No one likes to think about things going wrong but accidents can happen and we think it’s important that riders understand their own responsibilities. All our events have public liability insurance in place that covers Evans Cycles and the actions of it’s staff, it doesn’t cover you for your own actions or for actions of other third parties. In simple terms that means if you cause an accident that is found to be your fault you are personally responsible for any injury to yourself or others and for any damage to yours of other peoples property. Sorry if that all sounds a bit heavy, we want everyone to have a safe and enjoyable ride so please ride sensibly, control your speed and don’t take unnecessary risks.

We recommend all riders have their own insurance arrangements in place to cover such accidents. If you ride regularly and are concerned about your own insurance cover you’ll find British Cycling or CTC membership can offer you some protection or we offer our own specialist cycle related insurance services – http://www.evanscyclesinsurance.com/


We’ll be keeping on eye the weather forecast as we get closer to the event day. September can be a bit changeable but fingers crossed we’ll have some warm and dry weather as we head out of summer.

Whilst most roads in Britain suffer from potholes at some points the roads are in this area are in reasonable condition but as always keep alert and if riding in a group signal any hazards to riders behind you. We’ll be doing our final course inspection on Saturday so will update if we find any specific areas of caution.


All riders will be given a printed copy of the route map at registration. Please keep this with you, even if you’re using a GPS, as it has useful information such as emergency contact numbers, the location of the ride splits and the feed stations.

GPS Files can be found here – GPX / TCX

Everyone who has pre-entered will receive a pre-event mail on Friday with links to the final GPS files. Whilst you’re welcome to download and view the provisional files we suggest you download the final version the day before the event just in case we have to make any last minute route diversions

If you do not receive your pre event email please remember it will have been sent to the email address you used when booking the ride and do check it hasn’t been trapped in your junk emails folder. If you still don’t have it then email me on mark.gregory@evanscycles.com so I can check your entry and send you a copy.


Your rider times will be published on our website 24-48 hours after the ride, once available you’ll find them via the Rider Times link at www.evanscycles.com/ride-it

Finish line photographs will be published on our Facebook page after the ride, you’ll find them at www.facebook.com/rideitcyclingevents. You can tag, share or download the photo’s directly from the Facebook gallery


If you have any queries or questions relating to the ride that aren’t covered then please email rideit@evanscycles.com or get in contact with us via the facebook event page.

For any urgent last minute enquiries you can also contact the event manger via mark.gregory@evanscycles.com


Mike Spink 9/09/2018

Great event and the usual professional organisation. One thing though: I rode the Medium route which is classed as 3 out of 5 difficulty. Really find this hard to comprehend. I find that the best metric to use (i.e. which explains how I feel the next day!) is metres climbed per mile. Yesterday’s ride comes in at 26 and, looking at my data from partaking in many different rides around the UK, I’ve only got one above that level – the Fred Whitton (which at 36 is an obvious outlier!). Now, I know that your ratings need to be relative amongst all the rides Evans organises and so we can’t have ‘apples and oranges’ by trying to compare to my own data. But just to say that 3 out of 5 just ‘feels’ out of kilter.


    Mark Gregory 9/09/2018

    Thanks for the feedback Mike, a few others gave similar feedback at the finish so we’ll change it for next year. It might not have the long climbs we get in some places but the relentless up and down nature of the terrain does make for a tough ride.

Sev Lewkowicz 10/09/2018

I rode the so called short course at 33 miles, and there wasn’t a flat piece of road that lasted more than about 1/4 of a mile! I found the constant up and down a bit relentless, but then I am 67…
I was knackered at the end.
Well organised and signposted though.


Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *