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8 great cycling events from the Highlands to the New Forest

Your one stop shop for cycling events throughout September and into October

The RideCatcher has had a busy week riding the full length of the country on the look-out for the amazing cycling events to bring to you, our readers.

By the full length of the country, we really mean the full length of the country. From the New Forest in mid-September, to Inverness in early October, we've left no stone unturned and no piece of tarmac unridden in our quest to find you the best events.

The standout event in this week's round-up however, take place in Wales. Our mouths are watering over the prospect of taking to the sparsely populated roads of Aberdovey on the stunning Cambrian Coast Sportive.

The Wiggle New Forest 100 also looks like a tasty, if testing run out. In fact, no matter what level of rider you consider yourself to be, you'll find something worth riding in this round-up. Of that, we have no doubt.

Before we get into the nitty gritty of each event, here's an easily referenceable map of this week's featured rides so that you can work out if there's anything going on in your area.


This weekend:

Sunday September 6
The Great Gorilla Ride 2015
Unit 2, Oundle Wharf, Station Road, Oundle, Northamptonshire PE8 4DE

You've gotta be quick to catch this one. Entries close at 10.00pm on Friday 4th September, and while there will be limited on-the-day entries, if you want to get involved in the third annual edition of the Great Gorilla Ride sign up now.

Starting in Oundle, there'll be three routes that will take you on a tour of Northamptonshire, over some of the surrounding counties most challenging climbs, and through some of the stunning landscapes that explain why Oundle was chosen for the Grand Depart of The Women's Tour last year.


Sunday September 6
Wiltshire 100
The Small Green, Nursteed Road, Devizes SN10 3AD

The 160km (or 100 mile depending on your preference) route covers some fantastic Wiltshire countryside all in support of two local charities - Dorset and Wiltshire children hospice charity Julia's House and the Wiltshire Air Ambulance - and national charity CoppaFeel, who are working towards raising awareness of breast cancer.


Sunday September 6
Sky Ride Liverpool
Sefton Park, Liverpool, Merseyside L17 1AF

Sky Rides are a fantastic opportunity to get a different perspective on some of our country's most famous cities. Liverpool is no exception. This route, which passes some of the historic city's most iconic landmarks, offers a cyclists of all abilities a fantastic day out.

There are loads of free things going on, including the ‘Tricks & Tunes’ area and a friendly Ride Social Café, giving this event a real festival atmosphere.

Along with your registration, you'll get access to a free expert bike check (worth £14.99) at Halfords and you’ll also be able to collect a free Sky Ride reflective bib on the day.


Sunday September 6
Tour of Tweedale Sportive
Station Road Car Park, Peebles, Scottish Borders, EH45 8BA

This years two Tour of Tweeddale courses cover the same stunning Scottish Border roads as the event did last year.

The first route, the 80km ToT Classique, features the Talla Linn climb test piece, and the legendary Gordon Arms food stop where you can rest your tired legs and exhausted eyes after taking in the beautiful Borders countryside.

The longer ToT Grande route features all of the great ToT Classique features plus the challenging Berrybush climb into the Ettrick Valley, and the Witchy Knowe which will give your legs a tough mid-ride fight. The 130km ride will then take you meandering home via Yair and back up the Tweed Valley before finishing in Peebles.

The event costs £17.50 to enter.


Next weekend:

Sunday September 13
Manchester 100
Wythenshawe Park, Wythenshawe Road, Manchester M23 0AB

This 100 mile or 160km sportive in Manchester is being run in support of The Christie Charitable fund who are one of Europe’s leading cancer centres, treating over 40,000 patients a year. 

Starting and finishing at Wythenshawe Park the route heads first to Northwich, taking in Delamere Forest and Nantwich for lunch before heading back through Middlewich to the Finish.

Your entry fee of £20 only covers the running of the event, so should you decide to donate to the event's chosen charity, you'll have to get fundraising over the next week.


Further ahead:

Saturday September 19
Wiggle New Forest 100
Matchams Leisure Park, Hurn Road , Ringwood, Hampshire BH24 2BT

Coming into its seventh year, and selling out in each of its previous 6 editions, the Wiggle New Forest 100 is certainly one of the most popular events on the annual sportive circuit.

Not only are you granted the freedom of the Forest,* you'll even have be let loose on a whole host of post-event entertainment, including a Hog Roast, refreshments and live music.

The three routes on offer will give most riders the chance to enjoy themselves. The 165km Epic route, 102km Standard route, and 69km Short route all cover beautiful parts of the stunning south coast.

The entry fee sits at £36 for the Epic and Standard routes, and £26 for the Short route. Under 16s go free.

*Forest freedom not actually guaranteed


Saturday September 19
Cambrian Coast Sportive
Dovey Yacht Club, Aberdovey, Wales LL35 0EB

Arguably the most scenic sportive in the country, the remote roads of the Snowdonia National Park will be hosting riders on the 19th of September, but be aware, at the time of writing there were only 71 places left!

Starting from Aberdovey the routes will take a diverse journey along coastal roads, over mountains, around lakes and through forests.

There three routes from which you can choose cover  50km, 100km, 144km, or a 163km, and are named and priced accordingly.

The shortest route, aptly named the Fun Route will cost £21 to enter. The Standard Route, the Long Route, and the Big Dog - going in ascending order of length and difficulty - will cost £29, £32, and £32 to enter respectively.

You can book your place over on the Welsh Cycling Events website.


Saturday October 10
Culloden Cycle Challenge 2015
Culloden Academy, Keppoch Road, Culloden, Inverness, Inverness-shire, IV2 7JZ

Way up in Inverness in October, the Culloden Cycle Challenge will offer a testing end of season ride through some unbelievable Highland countryside.

Riding through historic towns and heritage landmarks, this is a great opportunity to mark the end of the road riding year with something a little different.

The three ride options are the Skrimsih, the Wee Battle, and the Big Battle, which cover 33km, 67km, and 136km respectively. These rides will cost £15, £25, or £35 to enter, depending on the distance you choose to ride.

All of the profits from the event will go to the Highland Velodrome Trust, which has been set up to secure a new indoor Velodrome and safe Cycling Park available to riders of all ages and abilities up in the Highlands.

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IanEdward | 8 years ago

Ullapool Sportive on September 19th - 90 miles round some of Britain's most amazing mountain scenery (as featured in one of the Rapha promo videos I think)

Oban Sportive September 20th - 80-something miles through Argyll, deceptively hilly with a nice flat time trial section in the middle, amazing food stops and the magical Glen Lonan at the end, great ride.

I'll be doing both, shame I'll be spending more time driving than riding that weekend but hopefully worth it for two great rides.

pruaga | 8 years ago

I had my eye on the New Forest 100, but I notice they seem to have done a late route change. Most of the route isn't in the New Forest any more, I'm wondering if they have had problems with the natives?

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