In 2018 RIDE IT reached a major milestone in its history as we celebrated our tenth anniversary. We take a look back at some of the highlights from the year.
It feels like we’ve come a long way from that first event back in 2008 which saw a handful of riders join us for a ride from our Gatwick head office with that event evolving over the years to become the King of The Downs that now regularly attracts over 1,000 riders each year.
It’s feels very British to start with the weather and the beginning of 2018 definitly wasn’t a highlight weather-wise but as we look back it’s been one of the factors that’s shaped the year. When organising events, no matter how much planning you do, you can’t control the weather and in 2018 the weather gods definitly wanted to make sure we were aware of that. Whilst it can be great fun heading off into the snow on your bike when you have responsibilty for hundreds of other riders it inevitably meant some event cancellations in the interest of rider safety.
Then in contrast to the early season cold weather the summer events were basked in sunshine as the heat wave hit and temperatures climbed up towards 30 degrees, our staff at the feed stops had their busiest day at the Cambridge Sportive constantly filling water bottles and helping keep riders hydrated.
The end of 2018 saw some unusually mild but frequently wet conditions which provided plenty of fun in the mud for our mountain bike events. Our last event of the year saw us head to Hampshire and a particularly muddy mountain bike course and whilst we might all dream of dry and dusty trails mud is part of mountain biking for British riders and we saw some of the biggest grins from the muddiest riders!
A first event in a new location is always exciting for the event team, we get to explore some new roads whilst planning the rides then get to see our riders enjoy them for themselves come event day. In June we teamed up with the National Trust’s Blicking Estate to host our first ever event in Norfolk and got to sample some wonderful quiet country lanes and coastal views.
Later in the year a second new event for us in 2018 saw us partnering with the local Crawley Wheelers Cycling Club to host a Sportive Cross event alongside the HSBC Cyclocross National Trophy. It gave sportive riders the unique opportunity to sample the elite cyclocross circuit before heading out on a 50km mixed terrain cyclocross sportive then returning to watch the elite racers compete later the same day.
All kinds of riders
One of our aims with RIDE IT has been to encourage riders of all ages and abilities, it’s been great to see more younger riders joining their parents and not just for the easy rides in the summer sunshine but all year round too.
As well as younger riders it also been interesting to see an increasingly diverse mix of bikes, we’ve definitely seen an increase of riders on ebikes (especially at off road events) and more riders on cyclocross style bikes at our MTB events but a special mention has to go to the chap who completed our particularly hilly RIDE IT South Wales Sportive in the Brecon Beacons in the rain on his Brompton World Championship Edition folding bike.
Thanks for the memories
Finally, thanks to everyone who rode with us in 2018, seeing smiling happy riders on the finish line collecting their finishers medal is probably the most rewarding part of the job. We look forward to welcoming you all back for more rides with us in 2019.