If you haven't got any riding planned this weekend and you're within striking distance of Cricket St Thomas down in Somerset, then there's still places available at this weekend's Gran Fondo Eddy Merckx, where the man himself will be riding. There's 64- and 104-mile options available, both of which offer some testing riding; there's 2,000m of climbing in the long route and 1,400m in the short one.
You can register on Saturday or Sunday for a £40 on-the-line fee. There's a trade village at the event with new product from Merckx 2011 (natch), Zipvit, Fulcrum, Campagnolo, Northwave, 3T, Continental, Deuter and more, and a pasta parta on the Saturday evening to which all riders are invited. There'll also be a draw of four Quick Step jerseys signed by Merckx; every rider gets a ticket.
The ride rolls out on the Sunday from 8am and registration is open from 7; there's full electronic timing and signposting, plus Fulcrum neutral service. And Eddy, of course. After your ride there's more pasta and massages available. You'll get a goody bag too, and there's spot prizes on the day.
For more info head over to www.granfondoeddymerckx.co.uk
Dave is a founding father of road.cc, having previously worked on Cycling Plus and What Mountain Bike magazines back in the day. He also writes about e-bikes for our sister publication ebiketips. He's won three mountain bike bog snorkelling World Championships, and races at the back of the third cats.