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Severn Bridge Sportive Rider Manual

What’s Included

Castle Combe Circuit, Castle Combe, Chippenham, Wiltshire, SN14 7EY

  •  Free car parking within easy reach of Event HQ
  •  Toilets
  •  Well signed routes
  •  Timing chip
  •  Sportive Photographer
  •  En route food station
  •  Food & Drink available at start & finish
  •  Medical provision from Medibikes on the route
  •  Mechanical support

Event HQ

The event HQ will open at 7am for pre-event registration, where you will need to sign on and collect your bike number, timing chip, and High5 gel.

  • Timing Chip – Self – adhesive – to be attached to the left hand side of your helmet in order for the timing provider to record your start and finish time
  • Bike Number and Cable Ties – please attach your Bike Number to your handle bars with cable ties. This number gives you entry into the feed stations, is your photography ID and will ensure that you are given full medical, mechanical and other support throughout the event.The event control number will be printed on this number

Start time

The event will start at 8am, with riders leaving in “manageable” groups with approx 2 minute interval between each group, following a briefing from the event director. Riders for both the 65mile and 101 mile (approx) routes can set off together, and will be in no particular order. All riders MUST be on the road by 9am.

Safety Information

All riders must remember that they are riding on the public highway and MUST comply with the Highway Code and the laws of the road.

Highway Code

  • Please obey the Highway Code at all times.
  • It is respectfully requested that you bear other road users in mind at all times.

The routes will take you along country roads, back roads and some slightly faster roads so please be aware of traffic at all times from heavy farm vehicles to horses on the road. If emergency medical support is required then call 999 as the first response.

Photographer

We are pleased to be able to confirm that top cycling photographer Rich Lewton – will be the official photographer at the Severn Bridge Sportive, and will be out on the course photographing every rider.

Medical Issues

As well as the Medibikes out on the route, there will also be First Aid provision at the feed station.  Call the event control number for medical assistance. Please try to have a location – by mileage or a landmark.

Routes

The event will offer riders the choice of a 65 mile or 102 mile (approx.) routes through some of the best countryside the area has to offer – and you won’t need to decide on the route you’re taking until you get to the split point on the day!

Route signage

The route will be clearly and comprehensively marked, with direction arrows at each turning and road junction. We will make sure that you are in no doubt as to where you should be heading so, if there is a long time between turnings, we’ll put up some confirmation arrows to give you some reassurance that you haven’t missed a turn. However, in the unlikely event that you take a wrong turn at any point or if signs have been dislodged, retrace to the last sign you saw. Alternatively you can call the event control number for help – please try to have a mileage position to help us locate you!

Route Summary

Both rides will start and finish at Castle Combe Circuit with the route taking riders down the Cotswold escarpment to the North of Bath and Bristol before taking in the Classic Severn Bridge crossing.

The halfway point for the short ride and the first stop for the longer route uses the Bulwark Community Centre. The short route returns via Wickwar and up the feared Hawkesbury Upton climb and back to the circuit via Badminton.

The long route then goes on into Wales via the famous Wentwood climb, Usk, Clytha and Raglan before climbing Star hill on the way back to the original feed station for the 2nd time adjacent to the Severn Bridge. The long route then follows the same route back to the circuit as the short route.

Feed Stations

Bulwark Community Centre is our well-stocked feed station on the route, which will have a variety of food – cheese and ham rolls, flapjack, cakes, biscuits and bananas. (The long route uses the same feed station twice!). Plus High5 energy drink and bars and gels. The feed station will be the half way point for the short route and will be used twice by the long route participants.

MECHANICAL INFORMATION… YOUR BIKE!

  • Ensure that your bike is in good working order pre-event and that it is both efficient and comfortable.
  • Please carry essentials with you (spare inner tubes/pump/puncture repair kit etc) in case of need en route. There will be a mobile mechanic on the course who will support riders as required… always good to have basic essentials with you though just in case!

MECHANICAL INFORMATION… YOU!

  • Clothing. Who knows what the day with bring weather wise so be prepared and dress appropriatel y.The routes cover varied terrain with the route over the Severn Bridge being pretty exposed so bring layers and a decent waterproof jacket!
  • Food. Eat and drink little and often. Eat lots of quality carbs and drink plenty of water or energy drink whether you feel hungry or not. Little and often is best, so stuff you can eat on the move is great.
  • Feed Stations. There will be a well-stocked feed station out on the route, which will have sweet and savoury food plus High5 energy drink and bars and gels.

THE FINISH

The last 3km of both routes will culminate with a lap of Castle Combe Circuit (to hopefully cheering friends and family!)
Your time will be recorded and you will be given a Goodie Bag.
A complimentary bowl of pasta will be provided in the main Sportive HQ.

You can then ride around the Circuit a few more times if you like, as part of the Family Cycling event that will be taking place all day whilst you’re out on the road.

THE PHOTOS & RIDE TIMES

Photos and rider times will be available post event – a link will be sent to all participants and will also be posted on the event website, www.severnbridgesportive.co.uk

Don’t forget to enjoy yourself: Make a pact with yourself to avert your eyes from the Garmin every now and again and take in the scenery.

SPORTIVE TOP TIPS

Taken from a feature written by Eddie Allen, www.britishcycling.org.uk

Riding a sportive isn’t just about getting on and pedaling. You can make life a whole lot easier if you employ some tactics. Just as pro road riders make an art form of conserving and metering out their energies throughout a stage, you should aim to do the same when approaching a sportive or indeed any long ride.

Prepare for the ride: Sounds obvious but you’d be amazed at how many riders turn up to an event at the very last second, running around trying to get themselves ready or who set off with no food,tools or waterproof in the hope that they’ll make it round thanks to the food stations. Big mistake! A Sportive should be undertaken with the same preparation as you’d do for a normal cycle ride. Having the feed stations is great for back up but it’s well worth tucking some food and a gel into your pockets should you get a bit peckish. Likewise with tools – most feed stations will have a pump and a supply of patches at most so you’ll still need to carry the usual spares. Check the weather forecast beforehand and dress accordingly. A lot of Sportives take place in pretty hilly regions and a warm day in the Lake District valleys can quite easily turn to a shivering gale atop the highest passes

Don’t come out of the blocks too hard: It’s difficult not to go hard and fast at the start of the ride.You’re excited about the ride ahead and if you’ve started the ride in a big group, you’re probably getting swept along on a bow wave of adrenaline! However, you’ll pay the price later in the ride as the lactic acid accumulates in your legs.

A nice easy gear and a good spin will warm up the muscles and help prevent aches and pains later on. Shivering in the car park or the signing on queue isn’t the best way to warm up for a long ride, so you need to incorporate some warm-up into the ride itself. Remember that even pro-stage races have a neutralised section at the start of every stage to allow everyone to run their legs in nicely.Also savvy sportive course designers tend to keep the opening few miles of their rides relatively easy.

Ride in a group: If you and your mates are tackling a sportive, consider putting personal ego battles aside and agree to ride as a group. There are loads of benefits. The camaraderie of group riding is hard to beat and can get you through tough times on the road. I’ve done a few long solo rides and trust me, they can take you to dark places!

You can better judge your pace when riding in a group. Ride solo and you end up battering yourself, no matter whether you’re going uphill or riding on the flat. In a group, you’ve got other people to moderate your pace when you’re in danger of blowing up, or give you that added incentive to keep going when you’re slacking.

Riding in a group will also save you a huge amount of energy. If you get organised and take turns at the front, you can really reap the rewards – it’s possible to save over a quarter of your energy by slip streaming other riders.

If you’re attempting a sportive on your own rather than with a group of friends, don’t despair. You’ll find that groups form on the road and with them a kind of natural selection – inadvertently you’ll find yourself in a group travelling at a pace that you’re comfortable with. Don’t try and hang onto a group that is clearly faster than you are – you’ll only wear yourself out.

Plan ahead and meter your effort: If your route has got some big climbs (and most do), don’t blow your doors off on the flat sections or the first big climb. Conserve your energies wherever you can and keep your powder dry for when you really need the firepower.

Mix it up and stay flexible: Many riders find that stiffness and soreness in the back, neck, wrists and derriere puts paid to their efforts long before muscle fatigue. Consciously varying your position,alternating between the tops, hoods and drops can really help to stave-off aches and pains and allow yourself to ride to your full potential. Getting out of the saddle regularly also helps to loosen up the back and alleviates soreness and numbness. Relax on the bike and you’ll find yourself going faster for less effort. This is something that really only comes with practice.

Eat and drink little and often: Eat lots of quality carbs and drink plenty of water or energy drink whether you feel hungry or not. Little and often is best, so stuff you can eat on the move is king. If you do make a lengthy stop at the pub or at a feed-station, go easy for the first few miles afterwards, your body will be thinking “phew, it’s all over!!” and will need some persuasion to continue. The act of digestion will also redirect blood flow from your muscles to your stomach.Indeed many riders will try to make stops as short as possible, keep the muscles warm and not allow the body to go into recovery mode.

TERMS & CONDITIONS

All riders should understand that by entering the Severn Bridge Sportive they will be agreeing to the following terms and conditions:

  1. Participants will be responsible for the road worthiness of their own cycle.
  2. No accompanying vehicles are allowed to follow riders. Any participant failing to observe this regulation will be withdrawn from the event.
  3. This event is not a race or trial of speed, but a personal challenge and as such there will be no list published with sorts riders either in finishing time or finishing position order. Alphabetical list of finishers and times will be published.
  4. As the event takes place on the open road, riders must abide by the Highway Code at all times. Riders should be aware that when riding on a public highway the function of marshals is only to indicate direction and that riders must decide whether the movement is safe.
  5. The wearing of Hard Shell Style Helmets is compulsory for all riders under UCI regulations.
  6. All participants under the age of eighteen must gain the consent of their parent/guardian prior to completing their entry. Participants must be a minimum of 16 years old, and a parent or guardian must accompany riders under the age of eighteen.
  7. The use of triathlon handlebars is discouraged. However, where riders do have them fitted they are not to be used when riding in a group.
  8. Riders participate in this event entirely at their own risk, and must rely on their own ability in dealing with all hazards, and must ride in a manner which is safe to themselves and others.
  9. No liability whatsoever shall attach to Castle Combe Cycling Festival, Castle Combe Circuit Ltd, Andy Cook Cycling Ltd, the promoting club/organisation, event sponsors, British Cycling or any event official or member of British Cycling or member of the promoting club/organisation in respect of any injury, loss or damage suffered by riders in or by reason of the event, unless such injury, loss or damage is proven to be caused by the negligence of the aforementioned. If riders do not abide by these terms and conditions the organisers will make all reasonable efforts to remove them from the event, and British Cycling will use all efforts to restrict participation in future British Cycling competitive and non-competitive events.

REFUND POLICY

Applications are strictly personal, firm and binding and fees shall not be refunded for any reason. Applications can, under no circumstances, be transferred to another person, whatever the reasons.

CONTACT DETAILS

The Severn Bridge Sportive and Family Cycling Day is organised by Andy Cook Cycling Ltd

Questions specific to the Sportive should be directed to Andy Cook Cycling at Tel: 01249 783399
Email: admin@andycookcycling.com