18/03/19 – SOLD OUT – This event has now sold out so we’re unable to accept anymore entries either in advance or on the day.
Our RIDE IT Mendip Sportive takes place on Sunday 24th March starting from the city of Wells which as well as laying claim to being one of the smallest city in England and having an impressive Cathedral also doubled as Sandford, the fictional village in the Hot Fuzz film.
Being based locally I’ve tried to include lots of my favourite roads including the fast flat roads of the Somerset Levels, a trip to the coast at Sand Bay, the views from the top of Canada Coombe, the fun descent down Burrington Coombe and of course the climb up Cheddar Gorge. As with previous years there’s a choice of 4 route options ranging from a 19 mile fun ride that sticks to the flats on the Somerset levels up to the full 90 mile long route taking in some more challenging terrain.
More details and entry links can be found at – RIDE IT Mendips Sportive
You can also keep up to date with the latest event information here and via the RIDE IT Mendips Sportive Facebook
By Car – The A39 connects Wells to the M5 near Bridgewater or in the other direction towards Bath and the M4 or Bristol and the M4 (via the A37). For more local riders the A371 connects Wells to Weston-Super-Mare in the west to Wincanton and A303 in the south.
Parking – Please note there is only limited parking available at the event centre which is accessed via the Kennion Road entrance then following directions from our event staff. Once full there is on road parking available in the roads around the event centre or there are three long stay car parks in the city centre that allow all day parking. These Princes Road (BA5 1TE), Tucker Street (BA5 1TF) or Waitrose Whiting Way (BA5 2PJ) which has a footbridge over the main road connecting it to the event venue.
By Train – There is no train station at Wells and not much in the immediate area surrounding it either. The closest is Castle Cary at approximately 15 miles away but with limited Sunday services or both Bath and Bristol mainline stations are approximately 20 miles away.
By Bike – Wells is right on the National Cycle Network Route 3 connecting it to Bristol in one direction and further to the South West in the other, more details can be found on the Sustrans website – Sustrans Route 3
The event will be hosted from the sports centre at The Blue School, registration will be found in the main sports hall and there is access to toilets and changing facilities inside the sports centre should you need them.
If you have family or friends with you who aren’t riding there is a pedestrian footbridge that connects The Blue School to Wells City Centre where there are shops, cafes and attractions to keep them busy.
PRE AND POST RIDE FOOD
Phil and Julie from Fresh Catering will be on site with a selection of hot food and drinks available to purchase. Perfect if you need breakfast or a coffee fix before you ride or to refule post ride.
REGISTRATION & TIMINGS
Registration will be open from 8:00am to 09:45am but long route riders must arrive, register and start the ride before 9:30am. Please follow the signs for registration after you’ve arrived.
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.
First riders start at 8:30am, the last start for riders on the long route is 9:30am, the last start for riders on the shorter routes is 10:00am. There is no start time per rider, just head to the start and join the next group when you’re ready to leave.
The event centre is planned to close at 5:00pm which gives you just over 8 hours to complete the ride if you start with the first groups.
TIME CUT OFFS
For riders doing the long route there will be time cut off at 2pm at the final ride split point which is approximately 60 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.
All routes are circular, starting and finishing at the event entre.
First there’s a chance to warm up as the routes head out across the almost pan flat Somerset levels to the south before turning north into the contrasting terrain of the Mendip Hills. After the Levels riders on the short route head straight for Cheddar Gorge whilst those on the medium and long continue past for now to tick off their first climb of the day up to Shipham.
For those doing the two longer routes with the Shipham climb ticked off it’s another change of scenery as the route then takes you out to Sand Bay and the outskirts of Weston-Super-Mare. Once you turn back inland it’s time to think about the climbs that lay ahead, firstly Bleadon Hill, with stunning views from the top, then Cheddar Gorge to bring you back onto the Mendip Hills. From here riders on the long route get a fun fast descent down Burrington Coombe before heading round Blagdon and Chew Valley Lakes then rejoining the other routes via a tough climb back up Harptree Hill.
Once the routes re-join there’s a 5km downhill finish for all riders to bring you back into Wells which should have you finishing with a grin on your face.
The approximate route stats and elevation profiles are –
RIDE IT Mendips Sportive Long Route – 93 miles/151km with 6,469 feet/1,972 metres elevation gain
Feed stops at 25 miles (Wick St. Lawrence Village Hall) and 58 miles (Priddy Village Hall).
RIDE IT Mendips Sportive Medium Route – 70 miles/112km with 4,606 feet/1,404 metres elevation gain
Feed stops at 25 miles (Wick St. Lawrence Village Hall) and 58 miles (Priddy Village Hall).
RIDE IT Mendips Sportive Short Route – 30 miles/49km with 2,014 feet/614 metres elevation gain
Feed stop at 18 miles (Priddy Village Hall).
RIDE IT Mendips Sportive Fun Route – 19 miles/31km with 762 feet/232 metres elevation gain
After 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.
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.
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 –
Teas, coffees and snacks will also be available to purchase after your ride.
PLEASE REMEMBER THIS IS NOT A RACE
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 as to obstruct the road or 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 uncontrolled 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.
PLEASE LOOK OUT FOR HORSE RIDERS
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 road 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.
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.
WEATHER & ROAD CONDITIONS
We’ll be keeping a close eye on the weather and are hoping for some dry and sunny conditions but this is early spring in England so best to be prepared for anything! It’s also worth remembering the weather on top of the Mendips can be very different from that on the levels and around the coast. You can keep an eye on the latest forecast here – BBC Weather Wells
Whilst most roads in Britain suffer from some 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.
Just an extra warning, some of the descents off the Mendips are long and steep in places which means you can pick up speed very quickly; they can be great fun but need to be treated with respect especially if you’re not familiar with the road. We’re not trying to be killjoys, we all love riding downhill fast, but we want you all to be safe so remember if you can’t stop in the clear distance you can see ahead you’re probably going too fast. Please take special care not to cut corners onto the other side of the road and potentially into the path of oncoming traffic
MAPS & GPX FILES
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.
A Printable PDF map can be found here – RIDE IT Somerset Route Map
Everyone who has pre-entered will receive a pre-event mail on Friday with links to come back here to download GPS files. Whilst you’re welcome to download and view the provisional files before then 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 email@example.com so I can check your entry and send you a copy.
RIDER TIMES & PHOTOGRAPHS
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.
For any urgent last minute enquiries you can also contact the event manger via firstname.lastname@example.org