RIDE IT Theford CX Sportive Cross 2018


24/11/18 – LIGHTS – We’d suggest all riders use at least a rear light even during the daylight hours. At this time of year the sun is quite low in the sky and can make it harder to spot cyclists when driving into the glare of the sun.

22/11/18 – ON THE DAY ENTRIES – Online entry has closed but on the day entries are still available, however, these will be cash only. Our credit card machines need a mobile data connection but there’s no reception in the forest.

19/11/18 – Just a reminder that online entry for the RIDE IT Theford CX Sportive Cross closes on Wednesday night (21st November) or before if we reach our event capacity limit.


Our penultimate event of 2018 sees us returning to Thetford Forest for a mix of both fully on road cycle sportive routes as well as two cyclocross friendly sportive cross routes which take in a mixture of tarmac, bridleways and byways. The terrain isn’t too challenging for the winter months so it should be ideal for keeping your fitness ticking over as we head towards the festive period.

Information in this post relates to the CX Sportive Cross rides, separate rider information is available for those taking part in the road sportive rides and can be found here – RIDE IT Thetford Sportive

More details and entry links can be found at – RIDE IT Thetford CX Sportive Cross

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


By Car – The event starts from High Lodge which is just off the B1107 Thetford Road and is well sign posted as you approach the area, for those using sat nav the post code for the event venue is IP27 0AF.

Parking – There’s is parking available in the Forestry Commission car parks at High Lodge but please be aware there is a charge for parking. Normally you’d pay £11.50 for a full days parking but if you’re taking part in the event you can park for the full day for the reduced price of £2. The parking works based on number plate recognition, we will provide you with an event code that you can use at the pay machines to receive the discounted daily rate. If you don’t enter the event discount code you will be charged the full daily rate, if you do have any issues please head to the manned forest reception as they control the parking machines and will be able to assist you.

By Train – There are train stations in Thetford and Brandon. Brandon is approximately 3 miles away and Thetford approximately 6 miles away from the event centre. Services to these stations on Sunday are limited so please check with National Rail in advance if you’re planning to arrive by train.

By Bike – The main entrance is via the B1107 which runs between Brandon and Thetford. There is a Sustrans cycle route that runs between the two but via the B1107 is the fastest and most direct route.


The event will be hosted from the High Lodge Forest Centre with our event based around the Oak Lodge building, just follow the signs when you arrive.

The High Lodge café will be open from 9am if you want to purchase food and drink before your ride.


It’s important to note the latest possible start on all routes is 09:30, if you arrive after this time we’ll be unable to let you take part.

Registration will be open from 8am to 09:30am but we recommend long route riders aim to arrive, register and start before 9:00am to give you plenty of time to make the time cut offs and complete before the sun starts to set. 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 09:30

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.

For riders doing the long routes there will be a time cut off at the long ride split and you need to pass this point before the cut off. If you arrive after this time you will be diverted onto one of the shorter route distances.

Sunset is just before 4pm so for safety reasons we’d like all riders to aim to have complete the ride before then.  If you start in one or the earlier start groups that should give you over 7 hours to complete the ride but please be aware it starts to get dark before sunset and you’ll probably needed lights on after 3pm.


You can expect roughly a 50:50 mix of road and off road sections on the local bridleway or byways and with this ride we’ve pretty much managed to tick the full list of terrains featuring everything from smooth tarmac to gravel, grass, sand and mud sections at some point on the routes.

Starting from High Lodge in the heart of Thetford Forest the route initially joins our road sportive before splitting off through Wangford and Lakenheath Warren to pick up our first of several sections on the Icknield Way. The route continues south onto out first feed stop near West Stow Country Park before we start to wind our way back to the finish, first skirting the edge of The King’s Forest then another section of the Ickneild Way bringing us to our second and final feed stop near Knettishall Heath Country Park. From here you’ve got another couple of off road sections, the longest through Croxton Heath, before joining the riders on our road sportive routes for a final blast along the roads back to the finish.

The RIDE IT Thetford CX Sportive Cross Long Route – 55 miles/88km with 1,595 feet/486 metres elevation gainFeed stops at approximately 18 and 33 miles

Route Downloads – GPX / TCXStrava / Printable PDF

The RIDE IT Thetford CX Sportive Cross Short Route – 44 miles/70km with 1,360 feet/415 metres elevation gain

Feed stop at approximately 23 miles

Route Downloads – GPX / TCX / Strava / Printable PDF

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.


We have both road and CX rides on the same day, if you follow the wrong coloured signs your ride might be a lot different from what you were expecting!

RIDE IT Route Marking Arrows - Yellow

For the duration of the ride you will be following yellow signs (black arrow on a yellow background) and occasionally orange marker ribbon where it isn’t possible to place signs, 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 yellow 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 –

RIDE IT High 5 Nutrition Guide

Teas, coffees and hot food will be available to purchase from the High Lodge café after your ride which opens from 09:00 onwards.


Long Route – For riders aiming to complete the long route there will be time cut off at 11:00 at the long and short ride split point which is approximately 13.5 miles from the start. If you haven’t passed this point before the time cut off you will be diverted to finish following the short route.

All Routes – The event  is due to close at 4pm, riders who are behind schedule to complete before 4pm maybe collected by our sweeper van. The High Lodge Forest Centre gates are expected to be locked at 5pm so all cars must be off site before then.


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.


The ride takes place on public roads, byways and bridleway for which 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.

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 an eye on the weather over the coming days and whilst we are hoping for some fine and dry conditions this time of year can be very changeable and often even on dry bight days temperatures can be low and we get early morning frosts. Even if the morning is frost free take it easy on the corners, there are likely to be damp patches and leaves on the roads at this time of year. Remember there are no prizes for the fastest time and winter is the time for getting some steady miles in rather than racing around at full speed.

You can find the latest Met Office Weather forecast at Thetford Forest Park Weather Forecast.

Like most areas of the UK there’s always the risk of potholes, poor surfacing or gravel especially on some of the smaller lanes always keep alert and if riding in a group signal any hazards to riders behind you.

Most of the off road sections on the two CX routes are quite well surfaced and well suited to cross bikes although at this time of year I’m sure they’ll be a few puddles to splash through and there are some more challenging muddy and sandy sections out there to test your bike handling skills. I’d recommended some tyres with a decent amount of grip on them if you want to enjoy the off road sections.

We’ll be doing our final course inspection on the Saturday before the ride so will update if we find any other specific areas of caution.


All riders will be given a hard 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 and the location of the ride splits and feed stations.

GPS files can be found here – GPX / TCX

Strava fans can check out the routes and segments here – Strava Routes

Everyone who has pre-entered will receive a pre-event mail on Friday, it well direct you back here for the final event information updates and GPS downloads. Whilst you’re welcome to read the information and download GPS files before then you should head back after receiving the pre event email to ensure you have the latest information and GPS files.

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

On course photography is by Neil Taylor Media, you can browse his images and purchase copies directly from their website at RIDE IT Thetford Sportive Photos

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’d like to share any of your own pictures you can do so on Instagram or Facebook by tagging @rideitcyclingevents


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.

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

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


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