If you're at a loose end this weekend and fancy a testing ride then places are still available on this year's Bristol Belter. The ride has grown in popularity over the last few years even though it's been notable as much for the ferocity of its weather as of its climbs. This Sunday looks pretty benign, though, which means there'll me more opportunities to appreciate the stunning scenery of the Mendips.
The Belter sets out from the very-well-equipped Redwood Lodge and there's three loops (75km, 115km and 151km) with the longest packing in 1,900m of climbing. The long and medium rides both take in the classic Cheddar Gorge climb, and there's plenty of other ups and downs along the way too, and well-stocked feed stations.
ThermaTech, a New Zealand outdoor clothing company, are this year's headline sponsor and they're offering their popular Essential range long sleeve base layers for a heavily reduced event price of £19 (RRP £35) to everybody who signs up. If you prefer the short sleeve version then that's just £18 rather than the RRP of £30; you can add either to your online entry. The Essentials baselayers are designed to be lightweight and comfy, and use a high-wicking hollow-core synthetic fabric.
The event sold out in 2012 so get your entry in at www.bristolroadsportive.co.uk. The ride costs £27, or £22 for the short route. That includes electronic chip timing, service stations on course and at the finish line, finishing present, parking, showers and a ride certificate. There's a £5 surcharge for on-the-day entries if any places are left by the weekend.
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.