2021 Season Review


what a year – we successfully organized and ran the 4 x sportives we had planned (whereas we only managed to run 1 x event in 2020)

here is a brief overview –

the ram – yorkshire dales 68 mile sportive – 16 may 2021

"the ram" 68 mile yorkshire dales sportive

with great relief we were able to welcome riders back to lancaster again – after more than a year of cancellations, uncertainty, restrictions, adjusting our operation and moving goalposts.

the event was well attended, and we felt it ran extremely smoothly with the new “covid safe” way we decided to run our sportives. riders’ numbers were posted out to each entrant a week before event day, with riders grouped together according to the time they estimated it would take them to complete the route, and set off in groups of 10, every 2 x minutes.  this means that queuing up to register and get event numbers on event day is a thing of the past for top dog events.

all went well behind the scenes, due to our amazing team of helpers, the highlight possibly being paul observing and following to his house, the chap who has removed several crucial route marking arrows and “steep descent” warning signs, every year since we started, stealing the signs that he had just put in place!!.  now that paul has pointed out the error of his ways and putting our riders in danger (and we know where he lives) this should not happen again.

 the raptor – forest of bowland 63 mile sportive – 20 june 2021

"the raptor" 63 mile forest of bowland sportive

the second sportive of the year was also well attended and again the new system worked well, making for a stress-free day for all involved, both riders and event makers.

we seemed to have a lot of snacks and drinks left over again, after this event and wondered what we could do about this regular occurrence.  this has happened after each of the events we have run, and although we take everything to a local foodbank, it seemed like a waste of riders’ entry fee money.

following this we asked for feedback and received some good suggestions from riders, we decided to return to buying tried and trusted cyclists’ snacks like flapjack and bananas, for feed stations and publish “menus” of what would be available at each feed station in future, to enable people wanting more exotic fayre to bring their own, rather than us guessing what to supply for them.

despite weather forecasts to the contrary and us insisting that riders started the day wrapped up warm and with their waterproof jackets on, the afternoon was roasting hot with the events team frantically searching for cold drinks, shade and sunscreen for survival to watch hot and sweaty riders return.

the beast – lake district 108 mile sportive – 08 august 2021

"the beast" 108 mile lake district sportive

this event was rescheduled from its planned date of 11 april 2021, due to the fact that although we could run the event itself, government advice was that that people only did essential travel and all hotels and other overnight accommodation had to remain closed to guests (until the day after i.e., 12 april!).  as a lot of our riders come from all over the uk and make a weekend of it, this made the event a non-starter.

we looked at the dreadful daily weather forecasts the week before our annual big day out, and seriously debated whether anyone would come or not.

although the rider numbers were slightly reduced on the day, we have nothing but deep respect to everyone who braved the awfully wet and windy conditions on the day.  the team provided even closer support to participants than usual and operated a shuttle service back to lancaster for several riders who found it all a bit too much.

most riders relished the challenge and crossed the finish line with huge smiles on their faces, and once dried off, told us that it was one of the best sportives they had ever done!!

the feed stations worked well, and for the first time we provided sandwiches at the second one, which proved very popular.  we had some “leftovers”, but this corresponded to the amount of dns riders, and again the local foodbank benefited from this surplus.

the boxer – south lakes 66 mile sportive – 10 october 2021

"the boxer" 66 mile south lakes sportive

the final event of the year was well attended and was also the first one for a long time that all riders entered from scratch, i.e., no one had been transferred from cancelled events in the previous months, and we are thankful to each one.

behind the scenes everyone felt like everything was becoming familiar and running smoothly again, after starting the season off feeling a bit rusty after the long layoff due to covid, we had our mojo back.

all went well on the day, and everyone involved had a great time, we had a wide range of entrants from young 15-year-old henry from kendal to 83-year-old violet from garstang (who has done nearly all our events to date) and entrants once again joined us from all over the uk.

acting on rider feedback, we set up a post ride green room (tent) in the finish area where riders could relax with a drink, sandwich and crisps to begin the recovery process before the journey home, this proved to be very popular and will be a feature of all our future events.

2022 – looking forward……

despite a feeling of deja’vu regarding pandemics and possible restrictions, we are looking forward to next season.  our current annual 4 x sportives are ready to rumble and entries are open, all entry fees will be kept by s i entries again, should the worse happen and we have to refund everyone.

we will continue to run our sportives along the lines that have proved so safe and successful over the last few difficult years and look forward to welcoming new and returning entrants alike to lancaster and the great rides in our area.

many winter evenings have been spent pouring over spreadsheets showing the costs of providing each of our events the way we do, and our entry fees will increase by £5 on 1 january 2022.  the data shows that we spend £10+ on each rider to post numbers, provide insurance cover, souvenirs and refreshments.  also, our events have grown from a few friends and relations organizing great local rides together for next to nothing, to a professional organisation that includes paid helpers, professional medical cover, support vehicles, photographers, hiring venues and various other logistics which now cost £2000+ per event.

several exciting off road / gravel events are in the pipeline, one from our usual lancaster start / finish area and one based in the lakes from coniston and exploring the nearby grizedale forest.  we are also working with our friends at 3-1-5 health club (where our events are located) to offer riders special event day entry to the exclusively members only club for a post ride swim, sauna, jacuzzi, shower and changing for a small charge.

as some of our team and close friends are qualified / professional on and off-road cycling guides, we are tempted to organise and offer guided rides as well as possible weekend retreats and holidays in the area we know so well if there is a demand.

a new instagram page and monthly e mail newsletter, with cycling related tips, tricks, info and recipes will be up and running early new year to keep you in our loop, and you will be invited to get involved in both.

chris and lynn enjoying wheelbase spring classic in 2019

away from organizing events, we are all looking forward to getting back out on our road bikes as soon as possible again, after what seems like a long winter of muddy mountain biking.  we will be training for and taking part in several sportives and events ourselves, as well as continuing to explore and discover even more great local tracks and trails and escaping to ride in wales and scotland as often as we can.


so, thank you for supporting us and our events since we started this adventure 4 years ago, it would be great if you could refer us to some of your cycling friends and even greater if you would join us in lancaster again next season for some more safe and supported cycling in this amazing area, we are lucky enough to live in.

happy new year to you and yours –

chris, lynn and all at –