RIDE IT North Downs 2019

Hi All

Sportive UPDATE. Friday 4pm. The mystery road closure from yesterday has gone so the medium and Long routes are now confirmed as the V2 versions. HERE


Welcome to the RIDE IT North Downs, crossed fingers for a nice weekend….

IMPORTANT: Firstly, as usual, I need to talk horses. The local riders have been bombarded with events recently so are a bit fragile about events in the area.  There are quite a few horse stables in the area and we have been in contact with a lot of them, pretty much universally they are OK with the event but have asked that you all take note of the information given by British Cycling about how to pass horses HERE.  Although this is aimed at road riders, this applies to both MTB and road cyclists as horses can be found on both. The fact you are “on an event” is no excuse for not giving way to horses and other trail/road users who have just as much right to be there as you ( and in the case of horses, they have priority on trails, yep, they do!) Smile, take your time and we’ll all get on and everyone can enjoy the countryside :-)


PLEASE BRING YOUR HELMET TO REGISTRATION. You will not be able to register without it and you’ll have to go back to your car to retrieve it.

Getting there

Driving and cycling

The address is:-

Polesden Lacey House
Great Bookham
RH5 6BD ( Although they recommend KT23 4PZ for Satnavs)


The nearest train station is either Westhumble ( pick up the pink signs and follow to the event centre – involves a hill climb) or Great Bookham which is flatter.


We have a whole field for free parking so there are no issues. With the recent rain the field will probably be wet so when you are driving please take care. It’s pretty solid but if your wheels do spin then please STOP and come find some staff to help you out. Putting the car in first and spinning the wheels will just destroy the field and not actually get you anywhere!! Please follow the signs on the left as you go up the drive to Polesden Lacey, do not go into their main car park as you will have to pay. The entry to the field is also the exit from the start tent, so keep your speed down.


We are outside under Marquees for this event so just head for the Evans tents.

Short and Medium registration from  8am to 9.45am

Long registration from 8am to 9.30am


Short and Medium Saturday 8.30am to 10am

Long Saturday 8.30am to 9.45am


There will be portable loos in the field ( the café loos are not open this year)  please do not use the woods as a urinal. .


There are no hot drinks or food available on the morning as the café is owned by the National Trust and opens at 10am. In the past we have had it opened around 8.30am but there is so little purchased that it’s not worth them opening. We will have water and High 5 available from the start area.

When you come back the cafe will be selling drinks/cake/food etc. so head off there. The sausage rolls are fantastic, but get in quick before the staff polish them off!


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

High5 litter exchange

Nobody likes litter and one of the most frequent comments we get from locals is about the gel and bar wrappers left after events. We do sweep our courses and, to be honest, we don’t find too much, but to be extra sure we are now running a littler exchange. Quite simply, bring back your old bar/gel/rubbish, put it in the litter exchange bin after the ride and receive a free gel. The countryside stays clean, the locals are happy and you get a gel – everyone’s a winner!


As the ride takes place on public roads and bridleways that we don’t have exclusive use of these for the event, please be look out for other  users particularly horse riders who may be using the lanes 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


Before I go any further I would like to point out that THIS IS NOT A RACE. You will not be given a rank and all times will be displayed in a non-sortable format in rider number order. Please help us to continue running a popular friendly event by not riding in such a way to obstruct the road and upset other users. Stop at junctions and traffic lights, and obey the highway code. Do not ride at silly speeds around blind bends or on steep descents.



We’ve not been out yet but I’m hoping it’s not going to be muddy! It’s a lovely ride but there are some big climbs and descents so please keep your speed down and manageable, especially when you can’t see around corners. This is especially important on the second descent of the day as it ends in a left turn and then over a railway track!

Please pay attention when crossing the rail track as it’s an unattended crossing. In 10 years we have had no issues but please don’t be silly and take chances for a better time that doesn’t matter in the long run.

Keep yourselves hydrated – there will be one drink station on the short and two on the Medium/Long with plenty of water.

I expect there to be a lot of walkers around so please be courteous to them all, remember they want to enjoy the countryside too and not get constantly buzzed by bikers!!


Please also close all gates you might come across


Due to the lack of a hose or water supply there will be no bike wash at this event.



Short 16miles  elevation 1850ft  Drink station at 11miles

Medium 26 miles elevation 3200ft Drinks at 16 and 22 miles

Long  31 miles elevation 3600ft Drinks at 16 and 22miles



The weather is looking Ok for this weekend but things change…. make sure you dress for the occasion. Please keep yourselves hydrated and take it easy on the climbs. You all have the tough White Downs Lane on your return route and then a little sharp climb about a mile from home so keep fuel in your tanks. It’s a lovely ride in some great countryside so take it easy and enjoy the ride.

The roads are in summer conditions, which is the same as winter but dry and without so many leaves!! Like the rest of the country, they are still prone to pot holes. Please keep your eye out for them and if you are travelling in a group, please shout out warnings to those behind. Just in case please make sure you can repair at least two punctures. We also use small lanes, so keep your speed down and be aware that there might be cars around that bend. On larger roads please keep to single file unless it’s safe to do so.

There is a great guide to Sportive Etiquette HERE


Distances are approx.

Short -29miles/47km  Elevation 2500ft/761mtrs7

Medium -50miles/80km  Elevation 4000ft/1238mtrs

Long -72miles/115km Elevation 5200ft/1579mtrs

Drink stations are approximately at:-

Short, – 16miles/26km

Medium –  25 miles/40km ( you pass the drink station twice so can pop in either time)

Long –  25 and 54miles/ 40 and 87km

Long loop cut off – 11.45am

Event centre closes at 5pm – Gate will be locked at this time so make sure you are back before then.


GPX files

Everyone who has pre-entered will receive a pre-event mail on Thursday afternoon around 6pm that has links to the GPX files and a guide to show you have to view them interactively. If you have not received this by 7pm please check you junk folder, old accounts, your partners email if they booked and make sure you check the address you booked with! These are all common causes for not getting the mail. If you still don’t have them then email me on dean.stacey@evanscycles.com I’ll check your entry and send you a copy.

See you all there!



Darren Lovelock 10/05/2019

Are there entries on the day for this?

    Dean Stacey 10/05/2019

    Hi Darren

    MTB no, Sportive yes.



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