THE SMUGGLER – RIDERS BRIEF!
The big day is nearly here, Sunday is upon us! The Smuggler ship is all primed and ready to set sail again from Barnstaple’s tranquil shores.
First and foremost a huge thank you from Bike Shed for entering The Smuggler, again we are so chuffed with the response the event has had and the support you have given by entering – we’ve had 620 entries online with more expected on the day. Bike Shed and our charity partners FORCE Cancer Charity and North Devon Hospice are truly grateful.
We can’t wait to welcome you to Smuggler HQ on Barnstaple Square, and show you a few of our favourite tarmac gems. North Devon & Exmoor in our opinion have some of the finest cycling roads in the UK – we hope you enjoy them, even if they are quite lumpy!
Remember this is charity sportive, with all proceeds going directly to our charity partners – FORCE Cancer Charity and The North Devon Hospice. All Bike Shed hope in return is you have a great day on the bike and you try to raise a few pennies – both our charities rely entirely on great people like you to keep their essential services going. Set up a giving page via the website, or give on the day. Please dig deep.
A massive thank you to our brilliant event partners – Barnstaple Town Management for allowing us the square, Country Life Brewery for their fine ales, Barnstaple Sainsburys, Propello for their training plan, North Devon Council, FORCE Cancer Charity, North Devon Hospice, and all our kind volunteers!
Finally cross your digits Mother Nature wakes up in a good mood Sunday, treating us to favourable weather and kind winds to waft you along the road.
This ‘riders brief’ contains all the crucial information you need for the day. Please read it carefully.
See you on Sunday. Oooooarrrrggghhh!
This is located in Barnstaple Square, all rides start & finish from here. Ride HQ will be clearly sign posted from the two event car parks – both within a 5 min walk/cycle to HQ. There are toilets on the square.
Tel: 01271 328 628
There are two car parks on offer for the event, with FREE parking all day with no time restrictions.
Both car parks will be clearly signed from the major roundabouts on the way into Barnstaple. Please use the Google maps links below to confirm your chosen location.
Once parked please follow signs to RIDE HQ.
1. BARNSTAPLE PARK & RIDE
2. NORTH DEVON LEISURE CENTRE, LONG STAY
Seven Brethren Bank
* Be careful if you have bikes on the roof as there is a high bar, clearance should be fine but just be aware!
REGISTRATION / SIGN ON PROCEDURE:
Registration will be located in the Bike Shed Cafe (in the store) ON SATURDAY, and the event marquee at RIDE HQ on SUNDAY. Just follow the signs.
Please be advised if you are able, signing on for your ride on Saturday afternoon in Bike Shed Cafe is highly recommended. It will save you time on Sunday morning when most riders will arrive. If this isn’t possible of course Sun morning is fine in the marquee, just allow a little time before your start time.
SATURDAY Registration open: 1200 – 1700hrs. (BIKE SHED CAFE)
SUNDAY Registration: 0700 – 1000hrs. (EVENT MARQUEE)
– Registration desks will list riders surnames alphabetically.
– Find your name and grab your rider number and cable ties (reg staff will tell you how to fix your number to your bike if needed)
– Sign your name in the box next to your details, this confirms your insurance etc.
– Any riders requiring an ‘entry on the day’ go to the relevant table. CASH OR CHEQUE ONLY.
FREE BREAKFAST FOR ALL RIDERS!
Our superb event caterer Tom is again conjuring up a FREE breakfast for all cyclists from 0700. Tom will be dishing up his legendary Kedgeree (full of protein and carbs) and bowls of creamy porridge, packed with slow release energy to kick start that engine and keep those legs whirring. Make sure you don’t miss out! There will be steaming mugs of tea on offer too.
For the crucial caffeine boost the Bike Shed Cafe and our crew of crack baristas will be banging out the finest coffees to get you going.
Family and supporters will be able to buy breakfast & lunch from Tom as well, and the cafe will be serving our legendary bagels, sandwiches and cakes all day.
START DETAILS FOR ALL ROUTES:
With FOUR routes on offer at The Smuggler we have devised a start window for each ride, this is aiming to ensure all riders finish within a certain time span – both for safety and so you get back to enjoy some well earnt food!
The 50 & 80 mile routes are challenging rides, with plenty of climbing to give those legs a test – North Devon doesn’t have much flat tarmac we’re afraid to say. It makes up for it with it’s beauty though.
All routes will be clearly signed, no danger of getting lost. We don’t give out separate maps but if you want to check the routes again, or print out your own map go the site:
Take your time, soak in the views, enjoy the food at the feed stations (eat every hour as a rule of thumb) and drink regularly. Keeping well fuelled is absolutely the key to keeping those legs turning and maintaining energy levels – no gas, no engine.
We will be starting you in waves of 30-40 riders, with a 5-10min gap in between. There will be a full safety briefing at the start line. Please listen carefully.
Please make every effort to stick to these start times, especially the 80 mile riders.
80 MILE ROUTE:
Start: Between 0800 – 0900
50 MILE ROUTE:
Between 0830 – 0930
40 MILE ROUTE:
Between 0900 – 1000
25 MILE ROUTE:
Between 1000 – 1030
* No 25 mile riders will be able to start before 1000.
* No riders will be able to start before 0800, and none after 1030.
* Please ride carefully over the start line, no rush!
* Remember you are on public roads, normal rules apply!
* The 25 mile route returns via the Tarka Trail.
To keep the engine fueled there are finely stocked feed stations on all routes. The 50 & 80 mile rides have two, the 40 one, and the 25 route one.
These stations will be brimming with energy food such as bananas, flap jack, energy drink, water, tea & coffee and sandwiches at the lunch stop on the 50 & 80 – all staffed by our friendly volunteers, please be nice to them!
All stations will be clearly marked on routes, take full advantage of them – staying fuelled on a big ride is absolutely crucial and will ensure you finish with a smile not a grimace. As well as the free flapjacks etc, there will be energy gels and bars available to purchase.
40, 50 & 80 MILE:
SIMONSBATH @ 22 MILES
Boeveys Tea Rooms.
50 & 80 MILE LUNCH STOP:
LEE ABBEY SHELTER @ 58 miles & 33.8 (50mile)
The Shelter above Lee Abbey beach.
25 MILE ROUTE:
The Railway Cafe, Bideford @ 12 miles
On the Tarka Trail.
VERY IMPORTANT: HOT SPOTS ON THE ROUTES:
The roads on the route are fantastic but there are some really dangerous spots, especially steep fast descents ready to catch you out however good rider you are. No crazy overtakes or kamikaze descending PLEASE.
All the danger spots will be marked clearly with CAUTION & SLOW SIGNS. Please keep your beady eyes peeled and do what the SIGNS AND OUR MARSHALS SAY. It’s for your safety. Please ride safely, remember this is not a race and the roads are open to traffic!
BRAYFORD CROSSING (14.8 MILES IN)
A really dodgy crossing at the bottom of a steep descent. Take extra care and listen to the marshals.
DUNKERY BEACON (34 MILES IN)
This is an incredibly steep, frighteningly fast and twisty descent, PLEASE take it slowly. No heroes please as it will bite you in the arse, either that or a car coming the other way will. There is also a cattle grid near the bottom which you must be aware of. TAKE IT EASY AND HEED THE SIGNS!
COUNTISBURY HILL (49 MILES IN)
Another rapid and dangerous descent, especially dangerous coming into Lynmouth where it’s highly likely they’ll be tourists wandering in the middle of the road! TAKE CARE.
BLACKMOOR GATE & RIGHT TURN TO LOXHORE
Be extra vigilant here as it’s a fast busy road, and the right turning towards Loxhore isn’t great. Please be cautious.
This is another very steep, narrow and super fast descent. Very tight at the bottom with a blind corner. Please be careful, you’ll be tired here and you’re nearly home.
25 MILE ROUTE:
CROSSING FROM OLD BARNSTAPLE ROAD / MANTEO ROAD @ 11miles
Follow signs to dismount for bike as you cross this busy road crossing.
VERY IMPORTANT: EMERGENCY CONTACTS:
These are the emergency numbers for the day in case of injury or serious mechanical problem. Please get out your mobiles now and save them:
They will be on the back of your riders number but PLEASE SAVE THEM INTO YOUR PHONES.
EMERGENCY CONTACT IN CASE OF INJURY:
Marcus 07542 698 536
MECHANICAL CONTACT IN CASE OF SERIOUS BIKE PROBLEM:
Mike 07542 698 531
There is a MEDICAL vehicle and a mobile motorbike medic, both will be roaming the 40, 50, & 80 mile routes.
There is also a mobile St Johns Unit with two personnel that will be on hand if needed.
FUN STUFF: BOOTY CLIMBS’
The booty climbs are back by popular demand, last nearly 180 heroic riders took on the extra uphill challenge!
For added spice we lay down the gauntlet of TWO extra climbs, the reward for your bravery is a FREE beer or soft drink of your choice at the finish, plus the un-disputed bragging rights back at the bar.
The first is Lynmouth Hill, a 25-30% brute into Lynton BUT it saves you approx 7 miles and the tough Barbrook climb.
The second is a climb to Slattenslade, deep in the woods off the Lee Bay Toll – a real Smugglers hideaway. A steep, tough start with a narrow, windy finish.
The start of the climbs will be clearly marked and a Smuggler will dish out contraband gold beer tokens at the top. Stash them deep in your jersey and keep them safe – you’ve earnt that beer!
Just to spice things up a little more there are two Strava sections on route. These are the climb out of Brayford called Beara Hill & The Porlock Toll climb.
The start & finish of these Strava sections will be clearly marked. Obviously you must be already signed up to Strava and have your chosen device activated.
Any rider having a crack at these sections and submitting a time will be entered into the Smugglers raffle for the chance to win 10 limited edition CRANKHOUSE COFFEE / SMUGGLER bags of coffee. The coffee is amazing so worth a go.
The male & female winners will receive a free £30 bike service at The Bike Shed.
All rides must be submitted to the Bike Shed via the event website by next Sunday.
Bike Shed will have two mobile mechanic vans roaming the routes to help you out should your bike have a paddy.
The guys will do their very best to repair your bike on the spot and get you back on the road. Some big repairs may be tricky and obviously will have to charge if any major parts are needed.
All the feed stations will be stocked with spare inner tubes to buy and a track pump.
There will also be a mechanic on hand at RIDE HQ.
On your joyous and triumphant return to HQ as you pass under the finish gantry you will receive your FREE DRINK token. There will be bike racking available so hang up the pedals and to head straight to the bar!
Simon Lacey from Country Life Brewery has brewed up our very own ‘Smugglers Ale’ – Bike Shed hopes you hang around and sink a few ales with us and enjoy your food. You will have earnt it!
Tom the event caterer will be serving up some fantastic food options to satisfy the deepest of hunger and refuel the body.
RIGHT RAMBLE OVER, THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR READING ALL THIS! WE HOPE YOU HAVE GREAT FUN ON THE DAY! Any other questions please get in touch.
Remember “PAIN IS TEMPORARY, GLORY IS FOREVER!”
See you Sunday! Oooooaaaarrrrrgggghhhh!
Marcus, Bike Shed and The Smuggler Team.