The Smuggler Raises £13k for Force Cancer Charity

The 5th edition of The Smuggler Sportive has proudly generated a huge money chest for charity again this year, raising a massive £13,000 for Force Cancer Charity. 

Bike Shed would like to say thank you to all the contributors to the event, including Simon @ Country Life Brewery, Exmoor Forest Inn, Claremont Marquees, all the folk at the NDDC offices, and Porlock estates who help make it all possible. Our full contributor list is available in our recent ‘special thanks‘ post. 

Sarah at Force Cancer Charity said: “_________”

In the photo below is Sarah Daniels from the Force Cancer Charity, receiving the cheque from The Bike Shed in the company of Simon – Country Life Brewery, and Jamie and Becky from local cycling club Taw Velo

 

A SPECIAL THANK YOU

Following the successful Smuggler Sportive, The Bike Shed want to formally thank all individuals, businesses and establishments that have been an important part of the day. Here’s hoping all riders enjoyed this year’s Smuggler Sportive! Over 650 of you took to the roads on what was a glorious day, there were a lot of happy cyclists at the finish line – some Smuggling ole-salts with years of experience, others who had just proudly completed their first ever sportive. Hats off to you all!

Bike Shed are hugely grateful for the sign up: over 650 of you hearty Smugglers braved the heat and tackled the climbs. There were a lot of positive reviews back at Ride HQ, but if you have any feedback at all – positive or negative – please do get in touch!

Photo’s are already online: I’ve uploaded a few to our Facebook page already, and it was Sportive Photo who you may have seen at the roadside. (It’s safe to say, their photos are much better than mine!)

 

Without each and every one of these people, The Smuggler sportive wouldn’t have happened. Please note, this is in no particular order. 

 

Firstly, Keith:

The driving force behind the day. Chief organiser, the head honcho if you will. Countless sleepless nights, meetings, route recce’s, risk assessments and all the admin involved was undertaken by Keith. One large pat on the back for you, sir.

Bike Shed / Bike It Staff (& Families)

Behind the scenes, there’s a lot to be done to ensure The Smuggler Sportive runs smoothly. Everything from putting up (and removing) all signs along the routes, making 800 rolls on Saturday morning to ensure there is actually food at the feed stations, driving the broom wagon, and a whole load more. The planning and execution of The Smuggler Sportive quite simply needs manpower, and Bike Shed’s army of staff step up to the mark every year.

Paul 

The long-serving member of our North Devon contingent, known as Paul to you & me, (but I believe he secretly refers to himself as Lord Belton) has requested an honourable mention in this list of thank-you’s. His effort on the day was, in his own words*: above and beyond the call of duty, and probably deserving of a dedicated post to itself. (*He didn’t really say this). 

In the interest of fairness, it’s worth mentioning Ben, Dean, Adam and Pete who made up the rest of the team driving the vans, signing the routes, mending broken bikes, collecting broken riders and making sure the entire route was impeccably managed. 

Next up, Crediton Tool Hire:

Without their Generator and back up, we’d have been powerless – literally – and we’d have been unable to feed you!

Eric Hall:

Electrical services provided by Eric kept us going throughout the day – next year, we’ll see if he’s up for powering our legs too! E-bike, anyone?

Kye:

The lovable Kye is often found in our North Devon stores, and was the driving force providing the music, loud speakers and announcements at Ride HQ.

Sarah (FORCE Cancer Charity) 

Sarah and the FORCE Cancer Charity have long been a friend of The Bike Shed, we can always rely on her help and we’re proud to support FORCE Cancer Charity – I can’t think of a better excuse to ride a bike than doing so whilst helping to save a life! If you’re unsure who Sarah is, you may recognise her voice from the pre ride briefing and the familiar “Go Smuggle!” that set you off on your epic ride. 

Josh (I’m actually the person writing this). 

It feels a bit ‘blow-your-own-trumpet’, but I’ve told I must be on this list – so here goes! My role is ‘the online bit’. To update the website, organise the entry system with British Cycling, and promote the event to ensure that you (the riders) know about it! I am also the chap you might’ve seen at the sign on desk – if so, it was lovely to meet you!

Talking of the sign on desk, I ought to put my trusty sidekicks next.

Lance, Kayleigh and Claire

At 7:00am when 600 cyclists all descend on the marquee to collect their numbers, it can be a bit hectic. As British as we all are, nobody actually likes queuing, so their help ensured you spent less time waiting and more time enjoying the breakfast! I certainly couldn’t have done it without them! 

Next up, BEER! Simon & Anna from Country Life Brewery

Returning to Ride HQ to a refreshing Smuggler Ale is the perfect way to end a day of cycling in the sun! Didn’t it taste great!?

Nick & Janet, Exmoor Forest Inn (Simonsbath)

Without Exmoor Forest Inn, there would be no first feed stop – and we all know how terrible that would be! 

Lee Abbey

Another feedstation, enjoyed by the 50 and 80 milers, without Lee Abbey, this pre-Slattenslade feed stop simply wouldn’t have existed. This might’ve made you faster up that one hill, but if you don’t put petrol in the car, it won’t go very far – so the remainder of the return leg would’ve been a struggle!

Town Council

For all their help with road closures, risk assessments and ensuring riders had The Square to themselves for the day!

Phil Vanstone

With Phil’s barriers, we were able to keep the road closures clear and obvious to motorists – helping to keep riders safe!

Claremont Marquees

Without their marquee, we’d have just been a bunch of cyclists stood around in The Square. The marquee helped to create a real ‘hub’. In which cyclists could congregate, find shade and pick up their lunch! They kindly offer a discounted rate to ensure more funds are raised for charity, and they are very obliging with their time to help us set up. 

Medi Bike

Roaming the routes, these trained paramedics were on hand with life saving support should anyone have needed it. 

Ricki Hill

Additional motorbike based assistance for all riders – Ricki could be found voluntarily roaming the course to assist with riders mechanical and medical needs where required. 

Sportive Photo

As mentioned above, they provide professional photography to our event year on year, meaning you have the chance to pick up a real souvenir of your day on the bike. They also provide the laminated rider numbers! 

Dave Stanton (Crankhouse Coffee)

Crankhouse Coffee’s Smuggler blend of coffee is the smoothest, most golden cup of coffee I’ve ever tasted – something our Strava winners will find out – as Dave has kindly donated the prize fund!

Gary Shapland

Gary stepped in at the very last minute chef to help put food in the marquee. Without him, your porridge and your pasties would’ve been but a distant dream!

North Devon Hospice

Serving teas and coffees in the corner of our marquee were the kind volunteers from North Devon Hospice – the very same coffee that kept me going throughout the day!

Marshals

Provided primarily by local cycling clubs: Taw Velo and Hell Cat Mud Wrestlers, these marshals make safe any potentially dangerous sections of road, and junctions. They also guide riders around the course while offering a gentle nudge of encouragement along the way. Without them, The Smuggler Sportive simply can’t go ahead. 

Porlock Toll

Without Porlock Toll offering a reduced rate for all cyclists on the day, the Porlock Toll Road could be an expensive inclusion to the route. But their kindness means even more of your entry fee ends up where it should be – in the hands of our charity partners. 

Theresa & Petroc College

The post-ride massages from Petroc College are not only leg savers! They’re quite literally life savers too – year after year, they turn up completely voluntarily, so any donations they receive are donated to FORCE Cancer Charity. I think we can collectively forgive the pain of that elbow digging into the hamstring. 

My addition: Mike (The Boss!)

He’s not put himself on this list. But if I’m writing a thank you to myself (see ‘Josh’ above), then he’s going on the list too! 

Every year, Mike puts into place a number of military-sized operations in order to raise money for our charity partner Force Cancer Charity. The biggest of them is The Smuggler, but you’ll likely be aware of our other annual sportives: (The Nello, The Autumn Series, etc). All require a huge amount of time, effort and resources, and help to raise vital funds for an important charity. 

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STRAVA COMP:

Rather than providing prizes for the fastest, we’re drawing a raffle of any rider that submits their activity. To do this, please simply contact us with a link to your ride on Strava. 

The male & female winners will receive a £30 voucher for The Bike Shed. 2nd and 3rd will be the lucky recipients of some smooth Crankhouse Coffee.  I have extended the deadline for submissions to 20th June. Get them in!

RIDERS’ BRIEF 2018

This ‘riders brief’ contains all the crucial information you need for the day. Please read it carefully.

Bike Shed’s FIFTH Smuggler sportive is ready to roll, the good ship is primed and set to weigh anchor on June 3rd, setting sail from Barnstaple’s fine 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 with over 500 entering online. Bike Shed and our charity partners FORCE Cancer Charity and North Devon Hospice are very grateful.

We can’t wait to welcome you to Smuggler HQ on Barnstaple Square, and show you a few of our favourite tarmac gems. In our opinion North Devon & Exmoor 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 profits 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. Please dig deep.

A massive thank you to our brilliant event partners: Taw Velo Cycle Club and Hell Cats Cycle Club for all the marshals, Barnstaple Town Management, Country Life Brewery for their fine ales, North Devon Council, Crankhouse Coffee for the Strava prizes, and our charities FORCE Cancer and North Devon Hospice.

Finally cross your digits Mother Nature wakes up in a happy mood on Sunday, it’s looking good at the minute so do your best sun dance.  

See you on Sunday, get those feet up!

Oooooarrrrggghhh!

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RIDE HQ:
This is located on Barnstaple Square at EX32 8LS, all rides start & finish here.
Event Registration is located in the event marquee.
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.

Address:
BIKE SHED
Barnstaple Square
EX32 8LS
Tel: 01271 328 628

http://www.bikesheduk.com/barnstaple-store

Map

PARKING:
There are two car parks on offer for the event, with FREE parking all day with no time restrictions.
Please use the Google maps links below to confirm your chosen location.
Once parked please follow signs to RIDE HQ.

1. BARNSTAPLE PARK & RIDE
Park School
EX32 9AX
map

2. NORTH DEVON LEISURE CENTRE, LONG STAY
Seven Brethren Bank
Barnstaple
EX31 2AP
map

* Be careful if you have bikes on the roof as there is a 2.5m height restriction at North Devon Leisure Centre, clearance should be fine but just be aware!

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REGISTRATION / SIGN ON PROCEDURE:
Registration will be located in the EVENT MARQUEE at RIDE HQ on Barnstaple Square on Sunday or in our shop adjacent to The Square on the Saturday afternoon.

Please be advised if you are able, signing on for your ride on Saturday afternoon is highly recommended. It will save you time on Sunday morning when most riders will arrive. If this isn’t possible of course Sunday morning is fine, just allow extra time before your start time. This should take around 10 minutes including any queuing, plus a few minutes to zip tie your number in place!

SATURDAY Registration open: 1200 – 1700.
SUNDAY Registration: 0700 – 0900.

  • Registration desks will list riders surnames alphabetically, with separate areas for each route.
  • 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.
  • Any riders requiring an ‘entry on the day’, please go to the relevant table.

Entry on the day is £35.00 for 40, 50 and 80 mile routes, and £25.00 for the 25 mile route. 

ENTRY FOR UNDER 16s RIDING THE 25 MILE ROUTE IS £10.00!

  • PLEASE NOTE: CASH ONLY. There are cash machines very close by.
  • ‘Entry-on-the-day’ prices will apply both on Saturday and Sunday. 

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FREE BREAKFAST FOR ALL RIDERS!
Our superb event catering is again conjuring up a FREE breakfast for all cyclists from 0700. There will be bowls of creamy porridge, packed with slow release energy to kick start that engine and keep the legs whirring. Make sure you don’t miss out! There will be steaming mugs of tea and coffee on offer too.

If you want more of a caffeine boost, the Bike Shed Cafe and our crew of baristas will be banging out the finest espresso.

Family and supporters will be able to buy breakfast & lunch as well, and the cafe will be serving our top food and cakes all day.

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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 earned food! As in previous years, there is a limited amount of food at each station and at Ride HQ, we try to prepare accordingly but cannot guarantee late comers a fully stocked banquet. 

The 40, 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 so no danger of getting lost! There is a chance of small route amendments with possible road closures. Please use your GPS a guide only, and follow the signs! 

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 go.

We will be starting you in waves of approx 30-40 riders, with a 5-10 min 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 – 0930

20 MILE ROUTE:
One group departure at 0930

* DOWNLOAD THE GPS FILES FOR ROUTES AND PRINT YOUR OWN MAP HERE:

The Routes

IMPORTANT!
* Please be very vigilant for signs when returning into Barnstaple.
* 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 and the highway code applies.
* The 20 mile route returns via the Tarka Trail.
* Any rider UNDER 18 must fill in a parent consent form confirming you can take part.
* Any rider UNDER 16 must be accompanied by a parent.

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FEEDSTATIONS

To keep the engine fuelled there are finely stocked feed stations on all routes.
The 50 & 80 mile rides have two, the 40 one, and the 20 route one.

These stations will be brimming with energy food such as bananas, flapjack, 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.

FEEDSTATION LOCATIONS:

40, 50 & 80 MILE:
SIMONSBATH @ 22 MILES
Exmoor Forest Inn

50 & 80 MILE LUNCH STOP:
LEE ABBEY SHELTER @ 58 miles (80 mile route) & 33.8 (50 mile route)
The Shelter above Lee Abbey beach.

20 MILE ROUTE:
The Railway Cafe, Bideford
On the Tarka Trail.

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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 PHONE NOW.

EMERGENCY CONTACT IN CASE OF INJURY:
07542698536

MECHANICAL CONTACT IN CASE OF SERIOUS BIKE PROBLEM:
07542698531

There are two medi-bike motorbikes roaming the 40, 50, & 80 mile routes, a further support Motorbike with inner tubes and supplies, and a permanent medic based at RIDE HQ.

* IN CASE OF A SERIOUS MEDICAL EMERGENCY DIAL 999 IMMEDIATELY

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VERY IMPORTANT: HOT SPOTS ON THE ROUTES:
The roads on the route are fantastic but there are some tricky 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.

TAKE EXTRA CARE AT THE FOLLOWING POINTS

BRAYFORD CROSSING (14.8 MILES IN)
A crossing at the bottom of a steep descent. Take extra care and listen to the marshals.

DUNKERY BEACON (34 MILES IN)
This is a steep and twisty descent, PLEASE take it slowly. No heroics 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 descent, take special care when coming into Lynmouth for pedestrians in the road!

40 MILE ROUTE
The descent off Exmoor into Challacombe is very fast, and at the bottom narrows near the Black Venus pub, please take care.

20 MILE ROUTE:
CROSSING FROM OLD BARNSTAPLE ROAD / MANTEO ROAD @ 11 miles
Follow signs to dismount for bike as you cross this busy road crossing.

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FUN STUFF: BOOTY CLIMBS’
The booty climbs are back by popular demand, over 400 riders took on the upward challenge again last year!

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 undisputed bragging rights back at the bar.

The first is Lynmouth Hill, a 25-30% brute into Lynton BUT it saves you approx 7 miles if you take the longer route 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!

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STRAVA CHALLENGE
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. 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 5 limited edition CRANKHOUSE COFFEE x SMUGGLER bags of coffee. The coffee is amazing so worth a go.

Your segment must be submitted to the Bike Shed via the email on the event website by the following Sunday.

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BIKE PROBLEMS:
Bike Shed will have 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 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.

There will be added support from ‘Team Tor 2000 / Kalas’, Bike Shed’s sponsored race team. If you have a problem and one of the team are nearby, stop them and they’ll be happy to help. They will have inner tubes and CO2 canisters available to buy, and will be happy to offer any help you might require!

THE FINISH
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. You will have earnt it!

Our event catering will be serving up some fantastic food options to satisfy the deepest of hunger and refuel the body.

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THANKS AGAIN FROM THE BIKE SHED TEAM FOR ENTERING AND TAKING ON ‘THE SMUGGLER.’

‘MILES FLY BY WHEN YOU’RE HAVING RUM!’

Ooooaaaarrrrggghhhh!

Bike Shed and The Smuggler Team.

ENTRY OPEN! THE SMUGGLER 2018

We’re super happy to announce entry for the 2018 version of The Smuggler Sportive is now live.

ENTER THE SMUGGLER 2018 NOW:

https://www.britishcycling.org.uk/events/details/170587/The-Smuggler-Sportive-2018

For it’s 5th year, we promise to make The Smuggler 2018 bigger and better than ever before! We’ve tonnes of ideas up our jersey sleeves and we’ll be sure to share as soon as we can!

We were so chuffed with the turnout and feedback from the past few years, there’s no way we couldn’t put the event on again. It was an amazing day with over 800 riders taking to the stunning North Devon roads. We can’t wait to welcome you guys back for another year.

Rest assured, for 2018 we’ve retained the 4 stunning route options, including those optional leg tickling booty climbs and Strava KOM challenges.

Also returning will be the inclusion of the delectable pre-ride brekkie and post-ride beer!

 

Don’t take our word for it, here’s what a few of you had to say… 

“The Smuggler was as an enjoyable a ride as I can remember having. The route is simply glorious and the two stretches on the toll roads are absolutely magnificent. It’s a hard ride, no doubt about that but immensely stunning.  The two stops with hot tea were wonderful and the mechanical support was brilliant too. To complete the ride and get a free beer was the icing on the cake. A truly great day and hopefully you have established a classic event that can continue in the future. Don’t change the route!” MARC MILLION.

“Thank you for a brilliant day yesterday! I did the 50 mile route and the hills on that were fun, but more than enough! I thought the organisation was brilliant, and some fantastic scenery that I haven’t seen before (even though I work in N Devon and live in Bude). This is only my 2nd sportive but definitely makes me feel brave enough to try a few more and even on my own next time!  The flapjack was lovely and very welcome, as was the porridge at the beginning! Thanks again, good job guys, looking forward to next year!!” CLAIRE CARDOO.

“I just wanted to say again how much I enjoyed the whole experience and to thank you and the rest of the Smuggler Team for putting on such a great sportive which was quite clearly made possible through a lot of hard work and commitment. As you said, Barnstaple now has its own sportive; something that you should all feel very proud to have achieved.” JAMIE ADAMS, TAW VELO.

Hi Guys, great event thank you, fantastic and really enjoyable route. The bell ringing Smuggler at the top of Lee Abbey hill kept me going with his encouragement and to grind them gears! Great.” NEIL MEDLAND.

Come and join us on Sunday 3rd June.

OOOOAAAAAARRRGGGGGGHHHH!

ENTER NOW: 

Enter Button

Booty Climbs & Strava Competitions!

As before, The Smuggler Sportive will be incorporating a few sneaky additions to your ride, just to add a little spice to proceedings!

Our ever popular Strava Segment competition will be live along the route. 

We’ll be offering prizes for the fastest male & female riders along the following 2 segments:

1: Beara Hill Short
https://www.strava.com/segments/1133526
2: Porlock Toll Road
https://www.strava.com/segments/894936

TO ENTER THE STRAVA COMPETITION:

Upload your ride to Strava and email a link to the activity to info@thesmugglersportive.co.uk before the 10th June!

If you’re the fastest man or woman to ascend either of these brutes on the day, you’ll have earned yourself a £30.00 voucher for Bike Shed plus a bag of THE BEST coffee in town courtesy of Crankhouse Coffee. All submissions will also be entered into a prize draw to win additional bags of Crankhouse Coffee’s incredible brew. 

– – – – – –

Also, our famed optional ‘Booty Climbs’ await anyone feeling strong: 

They will be clearly marked on the day and will be lined with Smuggling Pirates ringing their cowbells and cheering you on! Upon reaching the top, you’ll be showered with praise and handed your booty in the form of a gold token! Stuff it in your jersey and redeem it for a free drink back at ride HQ upon your return, where Country Life Brewery will be on hand to load you with post-ride nutritional amber-nectar!

 

 

Last year we gave away over 300 free drinks to riders who took on the challenge. Amazing effort! 

Chapeau!

RIDERS’ BRIEF 2017

THE SMUGGLER SPORTIVE – RIDERS BRIEF!

This ‘riders brief’ contains all the crucial information you need for the day. Please read it carefully.

We’re afraid it’s far from brief.. but it’s important, and very helpful.

 

Bike Shed’s fourth Smuggler sportive is ready to roll, the good ship is ready to weigh anchor on June 4th, setting sail from Barnstaple’s fine shores. We hope you’re looking forward to it.

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. Bike Shed and our charity partners FORCE Cancer Charity and North Devon Hospice are very 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 profits 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 charities rely entirely on great people like you to keep their essential services going. Set up a giving webpage, or give on the day. Please dig deep.

A massive thank you to our brilliant event partners – Taw Velo Cycle Club for all the marshals, Barnstaple Town Management, Country Life Brewery for their fine ales, Dr Andy Middlebrook of ESC Ltd, North Devon Council, Crankhouse Coffee for the Strava prizes, and our charities FORCE Cancer and North Devon Hospice.

Finally cross your digits Mother Nature wakes up in a happy mood on Sunday, it’s looking good at the minute so do your best sun dance.

See you on Sunday, get those feet up!

Oooooarrrrggghhh!

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RIDE HQ:

This is located on Barnstaple Square, all rides start & finish here.

Event Registration is located in the event marquee – you can’t miss it. 

Ride HQ will be clearly sign posted from the two event car parks – both within a 5 min walk/cycle to HQ.

Toilets are behind the marquee.

Address: 

BIKE SHED

Barnstaple Square

EX32 8LS

Tel: 01271 328 628

Map

PARKING: 

There are two car parks on offer for the event, with FREE parking all day with no time restrictions. 

Please use the Google maps links below to confirm your chosen location.

Once parked please follow signs to RIDE HQ.

1. BARNSTAPLE PARK & RIDE

Park School

EX32 9AX

Map

2. NORTH DEVON LEISURE CENTRE, LONG STAY

Seven Brethren Bank

Barnstaple

EX31 2AP

Map

* Be careful if you have bikes on the roof as there is a high bar, clearance should be fine but just be aware!

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REGISTRATION / SIGN ON PROCEDURE: 

Registration will be located in the event marquee at RIDE HQ on Barnstaple Square on both Saturday AND Sunday. 

Please be advised if you are able, signing on for your ride on Saturday afternoon is highly recommended. It will save you time on Sunday morning when most riders will arrive. If this isn’t possible of course Sunday morning is fine, just allow extra time before your start.

SATURDAY Registration open: 1200 – 1600hrs.

SUNDAY Registration: 0700 – 0900hrs.

– 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 is essential)

– Entry on the day is available. This will be £35.00 for the 40/50/80 mile routes and £25.00 for the 20 mile route. CASH ONLY. Cash machines are nearby.

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FREE BREAKFAST FOR ALL RIDERS!

Kate West of Rustic Table is conjuring up a FREE breakfast for all cyclists from 0700Make sure you don’t miss out! There will be steaming mugs of tea and coffee on offer too.

If you want more of a caffeine boost the Bike Shed Café and our crew of baristas will be banging out the finest espresso to get you going.

Family and supporters will be able to buy breakfast & lunchand the cafe will be serving our smashin’ bagels, baguettes and cakes all day. 

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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 earned grub & a beer!

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 but if you’d like to print your own map, click here to download: 

http://www.thesmugglersportive.co.uk/about/the-routes/

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 approx 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.

You know your legs, if slow & steady is your game, try & set off early to avoid missing the fun back at Ride HQ afterwards. 

80 MILE ROUTE:

Start: Between 0800 – 0900

50 MILE ROUTE:

Between 0830 – 0930

40 MILE ROUTE:

Between 0900 – 0930

20 MILE ROUTE:

Between 0930 – 1000

DOWNLOAD THE GPS FILES FOR ROUTES HERE:

http://www.thesmugglersportive.co.uk/about/the-routes/

IMPORTANT!

* No 20 mile riders will be able to start before 0930. 

* 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, the Highway Code and normal rules apply. 

* The 20 mile route returns via the Tarka Trail, so please be mindful of walkers and other cyclists.

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FEEDSTATIONS 

To keep your 2 cylinder engines fuelled there are finely stocked feed stations on all routes. The 50 & 80 mile rides have two, the 40 one, and the 20 route one. 

These stations will be brimming with energy food such as bananas, flapjacks, energy drinks, water, teas & coffees, 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.

FEEDSTATION LOCATIONS:

40, 50 & 80 MILE:

SIMONSBATH @ 22 MILES

Exmoor Forest Inn.

50 & 80 MILE LUNCH STOP:

LEE ABBEY SHELTER @ 58 miles (80 mile route) & 33.8 miles (50 mile route)

The Shelter above Lee Abbey beach.

20 MILE ROUTE:

The Railway Café, Bideford @ 12 miles

On the Tarka Trail.

————

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 also be on the back of your rider number but PLEASE SAVE THEM INTO YOUR PHONES NOW. 

EMERGENCY CONTACT IN CASE OF INJURY: 

07542 698 536

There will be first aid supplies available at the following locations

  • Ride HQ
  • Marshall points
  • Feed stations
  • Bike Shed vans
  • Medical Personnel

There are 3 medi-bike motorbikes roaming the 40, 50, & 80 mile routes, and a permanent medic based at RIDE HQ.

MECHANICAL CONTACT IN CASE OF SERIOUS BIKE PROBLEM: 

07542 698 531

Bike Shed are supplying a mechanic at both feedstations on the 40, 50 & 80 mile routes, a further support motorbike with inner tubes and supplies will also roam these routes. 

There will also be a mechanic following the 20 mile route. 

* IN CASE OF A SERIOUS MEDICAL EMERGENCY DIAL 999 IMMEDIATELY

————

VERY IMPORTANT: HOT SPOTS ON THE ROUTES:

The roads on the route are fantastic but there are some fairly dangerous spots, especially steep fast descents ready to catch you out, however good a rider you are. No crazy overtakes or kamikaze descending PLEASE.

All the danger spots will be marked clearly with CAUTION & SLOW SIGNS. However please keep your beady eyes peeled at ALL TIMES 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!

————

FUN STUFF: BOOTY CLIMBS

The booty climbs are back by popular demand, over 300 riders took on the upward challenge again last year!

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!

————

STRAVA CHALLENGE 

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 and The Porlock Toll climb. 

The start & finish of these Strava sections will be clearly marked. You must be already signed up to Strava and have your chosen device activated.

All riders on the 40, 50 and 80 mile routes will travel these roads.

The male & female overall winners for each climb will receive a £30 bike voucher for the Bike Shed. 

The 2nd & 3rd fastest man & woman to ascend each climb will win a bag of Crankhouse Smuggler Blend Coffee!

————

BIKE PROBLEMS:

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. If you’re without a tube, pick one up just in case.

There will also be a mechanic on hand at RIDE HQ.

THE FINISH

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’ll have earned it!

Tom the event caterer will be serving up some fantastic food options to satisfy the deepest of hunger and refuel the body.

VERY IMPORTANT: THE FINISH

It is the rider’s responsibility to return to HQ after their ride. If a rider chooses (voluntarily or forcibly) NOT to return to HQ, they MUST call organisers on one of the 2 telephone numbers written on the back of their number. 

——————

THANKS AGAIN FROM THE BIKE SHED TEAM FOR ENTERING AND TAKING ON ‘THE SMUGGLER’. WE HOPE YOU HAVE A GREAT DAY.

Ooooaaaarrrrggghhhh!

Bike Shed and The Smuggler Team. 

Shuttle Transport

Ahoy Smugglers! 

We’re happy to announce we’ve secured support from Exeter based Exeplore Ltd, who operate ‘The Bike Bus‘! 

The Bike Bus specialise in offering transfers for cyclists and their bikes to and from cycling events. 

Journeys are £10 each way, for rider, kit and bike – payable in advance. There are currently 16 spaces available, so book your space fast to avoid disappointment.

There will be a single meeting point in Exeter, which will be chosen to be as convenient as possible for all passengers. There will also be a collection point at Bike Shed in Crediton. Full details of meeting points and times will be provided to passengers closer to the time. 

To book your space, contact via email at info@thebikebus.biz

ENTRY OPEN! THE SMUGGLER 2017

Bike Shed are pleased to announce entries for the 2017 ride on Sunday 4th June are now live.

ENTER THE SMUGGLER 2017 NOW:

https://www.britishcycling.org.uk/events/details/156298/The-Smuggler-2017

We were so chuffed with the turnout and feedback from the past few years, there’s no way we couldn’t put the event on again. It was an amazing day with over 500 riders taking to the stunning North Devon roads. We can’t wait to welcome you guys back this year.

For 2017 we’ve retained the intermediate 40 mile distance for anyone who wants that step up from the 25 mile ride. There’ll be the same amazing food from last year and the booty climbs will be back – free beer up for grabs!

Don’t take our word for it, here’s what a few of you had to say… 

“The Smuggler was as an enjoyable a ride as I can remember having. The route is simply glorious and the two stretches on the toll roads are absolutely magnificent. It’s a hard ride, no doubt about that but immensely stunning.  The two stops with hot tea were wonderful and the mechanical support was brilliant too. To complete the ride and get a free beer was the icing on the cake. A truly great day and hopefully you have established a classic event that can continue in the future. Don’t change the route!” MARC MILLION.

“Thank you for a brilliant day yesterday! I did the 50 mile route and the hills on that were fun, but more than enough! I thought the organisation was brilliant, and some fantastic scenery that I haven’t seen before (even though I work in N Devon and live in Bude). This is only my 2nd sportive but definitely makes me feel brave enough to try a few more and even on my own next time!  The flapjack was lovely and very welcome, as was the porridge at the beginning! Thanks again, good job guys, looking forward to next year!!” CLAIRE CARDOO.

“I just wanted to say again how much I enjoyed the whole experience and to thank you and the rest of the Smuggler Team for putting on such a great sportive which was quite clearly made possible through a lot of hard work and commitment. As you said, Barnstaple now has its own sportive; something that you should all feel very proud to have achieved.” JAMIE ADAMS, TAW VELO.

Hi Guys, great event thank you, fantastic and really enjoyable route. The bell ringing Smuggler at the top of Lee Abbey hill kept me going with his encouragement and to grind them gears! Great.” NEIL MEDLAND.

Come and join us on Sunday 4th June.

OOOOAAAAAARRRGGGGGGHHHH!

ENTER NOW: 

https://www.britishcycling.org.uk/events/details/156298/The-Smuggler-2017

Smuggler Sportive

Tom’s Top Tips: Tom Kirk of Custom Cycle Coaching

Smugglerstart_1

We’re a little over 3 weeks away from the big day, and our good friend Tom Kirk from Custom Cycle Coaching has been kind enough to share some of his pearls of wisdom with you; our Smuggling Swashbucklers!

No matter whether you are an experienced sportive rider or the Smuggler is your first sportive you can look forward to a great challenge, whatever route you choose. The purpose of this guide is to focus on a few last minute tips to make your day more enjoyable.

1: Whatever route you have signed up to, it’s important to have ridden for close to your planned duration in training first. If your goal time for the 50 mile route is 3h for example try to build up to a 3h ride in the weeks beforehand, this will probably be at an easier pace than you’ll ride on the day but it’s good to get used to being on the bike that long.

2: The Smuggler is a hilly route, so alongside the distance the climbs are the main challenge. Include plenty of hills in your training leading up to the event, practicing pacing your effort so you’re able to finish strongly and keep going over the top. If you live in a flat area or do a lot of turbo riding you can include some big gear work to simulate the effect of hills. Include 3-4 5min harder efforts pushing a big gear with your hands on the top of the bars as if you were climbing and concentrate on remaining relaxed, smooth, controlled breathing and maintaining a cadence (pedal speed) of over 70 revolutions per minute.

3: With hills come descents! If you’re not confident descending fast, first of all address your bike fit (are you stable and in control of the bike?) and cornering skills. Keep your body relaxed and do your braking before the corners so you can concentrate on taking a smooth line through the bends. A great tip is to look where you want to go (not at that tree or oncoming car!), as the bike will generally follow!

4: Especially in the longer distance rides, nutrition can be very important. You will be using a lot of energy and if it’s hot, losing a lot of fluid through sweating too, so don’t be tempted to skip the feed stations to save seconds as if you run out of energy later it can be hard to recover. It’s important to practice eating and drinking on the bike before the sportive itself and that is also a great way to find out what suits your body. If you have a favourite energy drink or food it’s a good idea to start off with that, as the last thing you want in a tough sportive is to find out something doesn’t agree with your stomach!

5: Finally, make sure you’re well rested coming into the event. We’re getting close to the big day now and it can be tempting to try to really push the last minute training but rest is important too! Your last long ride should be at least a week before then start to reduce the length and intensity of your sessions to arrive on the start line rested and ready to smash it!

Good luck!
Tom Kirk, Custom Cycle Coaching
www.customcyclecoaching.co.uk

If you’re yet to get your entry in, Enter Now and get it locked in today.. places are going fast!

6 Weeks To Go – 6 Top Tips – Bike Shed Bianchi Team Manager

6 weeks out and 6 manager’s specials, things to consider now.

1. Bike; get it looked over, serviced and order in some brake pads and perhaps new bar tape. On a big, target event, you’ll be spitting nails if a mechanical issue gets the best of you. It’s surprising how psychologically uplifting new bar-tape for the big day can be.

2. Kit; work out what you’d like to wear in different riding conditions well in advance. Make sure you have mitts/gloves/gilet/armwarmers and pre-ride kit all in mind; do you need a casquette for under helmet if it rains? Check the ratchets and cleats on shoes too. Also, sun cream; it could be a long day out there, get protected, and if you sweat lots, get ‘no-tears’ kids factor 50, it won’t run into your eyes and sting for the last 20km!

3. Tyres; check now and be prepared to change for new rubber for your big day, again it is horrible to leave things to chance. Make sure your mini-pump/C02 canisters are working and ready to go too!

4. Practical things; how are you and your friends getting to HQ? Look at the logistics for the day and preceding days, don’t have a panic the day before.

5. Kit bag/mini tool kit, make sure you have one of each. Extras – wet wipes, buy some, they’re invaluable. Get some latex gloves or petrol station gloves, brilliant for the messier jobs, should you need to do something, clean hands are a must!

6. Prepare for misadventure! Are you happy in changing an inner tube/puncture? If not, don’t rely on others. Carry ID. The Smuggler is a hilly route, could be quite lonely at times so be prepared for what’s ahead, you’ll enjoy it way more.

Should you need any last minute kit, accessories or just some kind hearted advice, our partners at any of the Bike Shed stores will be happy to help.