happy new year message

NEWSLETTER No 22 – January 2024

Hi – we hope you are looking forward to the coming year as much as we are 😊

Highlights of 2023 –

After a year away from organizing events – we returned with a new, longer, and more challenging version of The Ram Yorkshire Dales sportive, now 80 miles long and travelling through some of best scenery and quiet roads in the area.

Chris and Lynn started their journey towards retirement by going on a big ride in Scotland in May, which included both The Hebridean Way and the northern section of The Cambrian Way, a total of 300+ memorable miles, wild weather, wild camping, brilliant hostels, and a sense of freedom rarely experienced.

wet start of hebridean way

June saw riders joining us in Lancaster for The Raptor sportive, an unchanged 60+ mile route that explores the hidden delights of The Forest of Bowland, with its challenging hill climbs, remote villages, and breathtaking scenery.

The annual 108 mile Beast event in August, brought riders from all over the country to face the challenge of a long and hilly day riding in The Lake District.  Both Shap Fell and Kirkstone pass were climbed, and riders enjoyed the route which includes big mountains and seashores.

Our final event of the year, The Boxer brought the years largest turnout of riders, and the wettest roads after weeks of constant downpours.  Event day weather turned out to be fine and all the underwater potholes were avoided, a grand finish to a great season.

Other highlights for us in 2023 included seeing some of our cycling heroes pass through the NW on The Tour of Britain

wout van eart

As well as lots of off road riding and taking part in a few events ourselves.

Coaches Corner –

Coach Chris’s wise words have been missing from the last few newsletters, and we are happy to share the news that this is due to the recent arrival of OLIVER.

Congrats to Chris and Hannah from all the Top Dog Team, we hope Chris will manage to resume his contributions to this newsletter – but till then he is contactable via his  Chris Booth Coaching  website.

Top Dog riding –


Steve the Broom Wagon, dipped his toe into Bothy Riding in the borders of Scotland. He was blessed with beautiful weather and a lack of midges. A two night three day adventure covering 60 ish miles a day. Definitely more plans like this for the future.

scottish bothy





Starting just outside the border town of Moffat, using sections of the Southern Upland way they passed through Loch Doon and the Galloway Forest, finishing the final day up an amazing, never ending climb through the Ae forest.

And finally –

All 4 of our 2024 Sportives are registered, live and ready for folk to enter and plan for those weekends, be it starting to train or booking a weekend away.

"the ram" 80 mile yorkshire dales sportive"the raptor" 63 mile forest of bowland sportive"the beast" 108 mile lake district sportive"the boxer" 66 mile south lakes sportive

To get the ball rolling we have decided to have a January sale – so from 3rd until 31st JANUARY entries to all 4 x 2024 events will be £5.00 less than the 2023 price.

Souvenir medals and car stickers will have to remain the same – but we are happy to offer free medals for each sportive to anyone entering all 4 events – as Peter Shelton did in 2023.

Stay safe and have a great month’s riding, we look forward to seeing you in Lancaster, before too long, to enjoy possibly some of the best places to ride a bike in the country.

Chris, Lynn + All @ Top Dog Events Limited