This ‘riders’ brief’ contains all the crucial information you need for the day. Please read it carefully.
Bike Shed’s SIXTH Smuggler sportive is ready to roll, the grand ship is primed and set to weigh anchor on June 2nd, setting sail from Bike Shed Barnstaple’s fine shores.
First and foremost, a huge thank you 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 are very grateful.
We can’t wait to welcome you to Smuggler Ride 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 partner, FORCE Cancer Charity. All Bike Shed hope in return is you have a great day on the bike and you try to raise a few pennies – FORCE 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 Cycling Club and Hell Cats Cycling 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 FORCE Cancer Charity.
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!
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.
Tel: 01271 328 628
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
2. NORTH DEVON LEISURE CENTRE, LONG STAY
Seven Brethren Bank
* Be careful if you have bikes on the roof as there is a 2.5m height restriction at North Devon Leisure Centre!
REGISTRATION / SIGN ON PROCEDURE:
SATURDAY 1st JUNE:
Registration / Sign-On will be located inside THE BIKE SHED SHOP from MIDDAY until 17:00.
You can also enter here in the shop at the ‘on-the-day’ price of £35.00.
SUNDAY 2nd JUNE:
Registration / Sign-On will be located inside the EVENT MARQUEE at RIDE HQ on Barnstaple Square, again, you can enter here in the shop at the ‘on-the-day’ price of £35.00.
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 the bulk of your cycling-comrades 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 registration desk.
Entry on the day is £35.00 for all routes.
- PLEASE NOTE: CASH ONLY. There are cash machines very close by.
- ‘On-the-day’ prices will apply both on Saturday and Sunday.
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 spinning all-day-long. We’ll also have bacon rolls, because there’s no better way to start a Sunday! 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.
You or your family will be able to buy breakfast & lunch too, and the café will be serving our top food and cakes all day.
START DETAILS FOR ALL ROUTES:
With THREE 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. If you’re an early-bird, please be considerate to those who are yet to arrive, don’t fill your pockets just because it’s there.
All 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 its stunning scenery though! All routes will be clearly signed so there’s little danger of getting lost!
As with planning any route of this size, there is a small chance of last-minute route amendments due to unforeseen road closures. We provide GPS routes, but please use these as a guide only. 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 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 08:00 – 08:30
50 MILE ROUTE:
Between 08:15 – 08:45
40 MILE ROUTE:
Between 08:30 – 09:00
* DOWNLOAD THE GPS FILES FOR ROUTES AND PRINT YOUR OWN MAP HERE:
* Please be very vigilant for signs when returning into Barnstaple.
* No riders will be able to start before 08:00, we expect riders to be on the road by 09:00 at the latest.
* Please ride carefully over the start line, no rush!
* Remember you are on public roads, normal rules and the highway code applies.
* Any rider UNDER 18 must fill in a parental consent form confirming you can take part.
* Any rider UNDER 16 must be accompanied by a parent.
To keep the engine fuelled there are finely stocked feed stations on all routes.
The 50 & 80-mile rides have two, and the 40-mile route will have one.
These stations will be brimming with energy food such as bananas, flapjack, energy drink, water, tea & coffee. There will be sandwiches at the 2nd feed station on the 50 & 80-mile routes – all staffed by our friendly volunteers, please be nice to them!
All stations will be clearly marked on routes. Make use of them – staying fuelled on a big ride is absolutely crucial and will ensure you finish with a smile, not a grimace.
FEED STATION 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.
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 PHONE NOW.
EMERGENCY CONTACT IN CASE OF INJURY:
MECHANICAL CONTACT IN CASE OF SERIOUS BIKE PROBLEM:
There are two medic-bike motorbikes roaming the 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
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 a 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.
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 optional climbs, the reward for your bravery is golden pirate booty! Redeemable for 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. The positive is that it saves you approx 7 miles, not taking 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!
Just to spice things up a little more there are two Strava sections on the route. These are the climb out of Brayford called Beara Hill (all routes) & The Porlock Toll climb (80-mile route).
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 via email by the following Sunday.
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, we will have to charge if any parts are needed.
All the feed stations will be stocked with spare inner tubes to buy, as well as a track pump.
There will also be a mechanic on hand at RIDE HQ.
On your joyous and triumphant return to HQ, 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’. We hope 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.
The wood-fired pizza specialists from Pig & Olive will be on the square with their mobile pizza oven! A timely nod to the final day of the Giro D’Italia!
THANKS AGAIN FROM THE BIKE SHED TEAM FOR ENTERING AND TAKING ON ‘THE SMUGGLER.’
‘MILES FLY BY WHEN YOU’RE HAVING RUM!’
Bike Shed and The Smuggler Team.