PICTURES FROM THE DAY….

Ahoy Smugglers…

Sportive Photo’s pictures are now live on their home page, some cracking shots in there. Search your number and away you go. If you didn’t have a number search using 999. Hope you find some goodies.

http://www.sportivephoto.com

A MASSIVE THANK YOU FROM THE SMUGGLER BIKE SHED TEAM!

The Smuggler Bike Shed Team would like to say a huge thank you to all riders, supporters and marshals at yesterdays event. You guys truly make it a special day, seeing so many riders of all ages, out riding North Devon’s brilliant roads (somewhat hilly) and witnessing the smiles at the finish line make all the hard work worthwhile.

We will be sending out a full round up thank you mail in the next couple of days to all registered emails – please keep an eye out for it.

Bike Shed would like to make a sincere apology though.  Some riders on the 80 mile route missed out on their hard earned sandwich at the Lee Abbey feed station. It seems like we may have got our maths wrong and the rolls were guzzled very quickly. We realise how important food is on tough ride like this so we’re truly sorry – there is no way it will happen again!

If anyone has any feedback please email in through the website, it’s really valuable to us good or bad – please feel free to have a rant!

The Smuggler would not be possible without your support and our event partners – Bike Shed would like to thank Craig Bulley and Sue from Barnstaple Town Management, Simon from Country Life Brewery, Barnstaple Sainsbury’s, Taw Velo for the brilliant marshals, Tom’s catering crew, Petroc College for leg saving massages, Sarah from FORCE Cancer Charity, Emma Lowe from North Devon Hospice, North Devon Council, David and Jackie at Boeveys Tea Room in Simonsbath, Phil Park from Lee Abbey, The Railway Cafe in Bideford, Medibike, St Johns Ambulance, Ricky Hill motorbike outrider, Propello for the training plan, British Cycling and all the extra friends and volunteers that made it happen.

FORCE Cancer Charity and North Devon Hospice​ value your support hugely, your blood sweat and tears have helped them make other peoples lives better. Thank you.

Sportive Photo who were taking pictures yesterday will be posting their pictures in next couple of days, will make sure link is shared.

Anyone submitting Strava sections please email the segment link through the website. These are the climb out of Brayford called Beara Hill & The Porlock Toll climb. 

Any rider 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 SUNDAY 21ST JUNE. 
http://www.thesmugglersportive.co.uk/contact-us/

There were a couple of lost property items, if you lost anything on the day please send us a message through the website or Facebook.

For now get your feet up, find a rubber ring to sit on, and put the kettle on.

Bring on next year!

OOOOAAAAARRRRGGGHHHH!

The Bike Shed.

VERY IMPORTANT! RIDERS BRIEF – ALL INFO FOR SUNDAY

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!

—————————–

RIDE HQ:

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.

Address: 

BIKE SHED

Barnstaple Square

EX32 8LS

Tel: 01271 328 628

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

PARKING: 

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

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!

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:

http://www.thesmugglersportive.co.uk/2014/03/view-all-routes-for-the-smuggler/

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

IMPORTANT!

* 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. 

FEEDSTATIONS 

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.

FEEDSTATION LOCATIONS:

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.

LOXHORE DESCENT

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!

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. 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 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. 

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 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. 

UNDER ONE MONTH TO GO!!

Ahoy there Smugglers, hope this finds you all ship shape! 

Wow how time flies, it’s just under 1 month to go until the 2015 Smuggler sets sail for it’s second voyage from Barnstaple Square on SUNDAY 07TH JUNE.  

For anyone that hasn’t yet entered online, now’s the time to do it as places are filling fast, there will be limited entries on the day so best to lock a place in now if you’d like to ride. By entering online it really helps us with numbers for food & beer – so god forbid no one goes without!!

Please enter here now:

http://www.thesmugglersportive.co.uk/enter-now/

Entries have been fuelled by a great 4 page review of The Smuggler in Cycling Weekly magazine a couple of weeks ago. Check it out;

Cycling Weekly review

All riders who enter online through British Cycling will receive a full ‘riders brief’ 3 days before Sunday 07th June, this will include everything you need to know for the day including car park info, start times for your ride, sign on / registration details, Strava challenge info, booty climbs, feed station locations etc. The info will also be posted on The Smuggler website.

They’ll be loads happening at Ride HQ Barnstaple Sq on the day for riders, family & supporters. Country Life Brewery will be serving their finest ales in the marquee from midday, they’ll be amazing coffee & scrummy cakes in our new Bike Shed cycle cafe  and our event caterer Tom will be serving delicious food all day – including a FREE breakfast for all riders.  

All riders will receive a FREE ‘Smuggler Ale’ or soft drink on finishing, and extra free beer for any riders tackling the extra infamous and punchy ‘booty climbs.’ We really hope riders and families will stay and sink a few beers with us!

This is charity sportive with all proceeds going directly to charity, Bike Shed will not be profiting in any way from the event. PLEASE raise few pennies for one of our fantastic charity partners FORCE Cancer Charity & North Devon Hospice and support their tireless work in North Devon.

Set up a giving page here now. Sponsorship forms will also be sent out with the ‘riders brief’

http://www.thesmugglersportive.co.uk/enter-now/

That’s all for now – thank you so much from Bike Shed for all your support. If your bike needs a wee tune up come in and see us at one of our Bike Shed stores. All info here:

http://www.bikesheduk.com 

We really look forward to welcoming you back to the incredible roads and vistas of North Devon, you will get to see some epic stretches of tarmac. Any questions just give us a shout through the website.

OOOOOOARRRRRRGGGGHHHHHHH!!

Bike Shed & The Smuggler team.

 

NEW 40 MILE DISTANCE ADDED FOR 2015

Ahoy there Smugglers… 

We’ve added a cracking new 40 mile route that will follow the 50 & 80 mile rides out to Simonsbath. After a hot brew and filling your pockets with food it’s back to Barnstaple via Challacombe and Loxhore. A really fun ride home with loads of great downhill.

The Smuggler routes were born from wanting to showcase some of North Devon’s hidden tarmac gems, it’s about exploring some truly unique bits of road and having fun, with some great food and a few beers at the end thrown into the mix. Hopefully sending you home with a big smile.

The 50 & 80 mile routes are without doubt challenging, with a solid chunk of climbing, but also very achievable with some truly breathtaking stretches awaiting you. The Porlock and Lee Bay Tolls are right up there with the finest bits of cycling tarmac in the UK.

 

The 50 & 80 mile rides will have feedstations at Simonsbath & Lee Abbey (in an incredible spot above the beach). The 25 mile feedstation will be at The Railway Cafe in Bideford. 

Total ascent for each ride is:

80 mile – 2707m
50 mile – 1698m
40 mile  – 1214m
25 mile – 280m

As last year there will be the added twist of snagging contraband on the ‘booty climbs’ notching free beer & drinks from extra climbs and miles. Last year we gave out 138 FREE BEERS!! 

If anyone has any questions on anything to do with the routes just give us a shout.

Happy riding, see you on the road!

Ooooaarrggghhhh!

————————

MAP MY RIDE LINKS: 

If you use Mapmyride click on ‘Add them as a friend.’ If not Google Maps below. 

The Smuggler: 80 Mile Route: http://www.mapmyride.com/routes/view/346326589

The Smuggler: 50 Mile Route: http://www.mapmyride.com/routes/view/368487897

The Smuggler: 40 Mile Route: http://www.mapmyride.com/routes/view/594977656

The Smuggler: 25 Mile Route: http://www.mapmyride.com/routes/view/378391135

 

GOOGLE MAP LINKS:

25 MILE ROUTE:  25-Mile-Route

40 MILE ROUTE:  40-Mile-Route

50 MILE ROUTE:  50-Mile-Route

80 MILE ROUTE:  80-Mile-Route

Bike Shed rides out to recce route….

ROUTE RECCE & MORE INFO ON THE ROUTES….. 

The Bike Shed team hit the road and rode ‘The Smuggler’ routes, checking a few of the tasty climbs out, and snap a few piccies to show off what’s in store for you guys on the day of the event.

North Devon was looking it’s very best, we don’t really have to sell how breathtaking the roads are on this ride – the pictures do that far better than our waffling words can.

The 40, 50 & 80 mile routes leave Barnstaple on the old road through Swimbridge, out past Filleigh, turning left by the cricket ground and climbing up to Exmoor via the Brayford climb. Turning left at the Poltimore Arms you eventually drop down to Simonsbath via the exhilarating snaking descent past the Cairn and into the village – where you’ll be glad to know a well armed feed station will await to give the body and well earn boost!

At Simonsbath the 40, 50 & 80 mile routes will split, the 40 mile route heads back towards Barnstaple via some great roads, the 50 goes over Exmoor dropping down towards Lynton before joining the 80 for Lee Bay Toll, and the 80 mile heading to Exford and Dunkery before tackling the iconic Porlock Toll – a truly alpine style climb, with beautifully smooth tarmac and sweeping hairpins. This climb is far friendlier than the main road, with nowhere near the brutal steepness and a fraction of the traffic. It’s a climb where keen riders can really open up the throttle, pushing themselves through the sweeping hairpins, or equally riders can sit back into a smooth rhythm and soak up the incredible views. It really is a magical piece of road.

From Porlock the 80 mile route heads over the top onto Countisbury towards Lynton via Watersmeet and a punchy climb through Barbrook. Once in Lynton the route takes you through ‘The Valley of the Rocks’ and onto the Lee Abbey Toll road – again a truly incredible piece of road, teetering and snaking on the edge of the cliffs. How they built this road in the first place is a mystery in itself! The next feed station is in a beautiful setting just above Lee Bay, a real smugglers look out point where barrels of booze were dragged up the beach. No booze here, but plenty of food to refuel the legs! Once you’ve nailed this climb it’s mostly downhill back to the finish line Barnstaple – we promise!

Some extra surprises….

As we did last year there will be a few extra ‘Booty Climbs’ thrown into the mix, rewarding any riders up for challenge with free drinks for their effort – and Smugglers banging those cow bells to drag your bikes up the tarmac.

We are so grateful of your support as are our partners FORCE Cancer Charity and North Devon Hospice. Any money you raise makes a real difference to these charities and the local people of North Devon.

See you on the road. Chapeau. Ooooarrrr!

The Bike Shed Team.

Paul summits the Lee Bay toll Recce for an extra punchy climb through Slattenslade Quick no sign of the toll man! Start of the toll road... Heading towards Lee Bay Toll Valley of the Rocks, wait for me... The stunning Valley of the Rocks The easier way to get from Lynmouth to Lynton Blue steel from Paul Views over Lynmouth Bay Paul Belton showboating at Simonsbath Simonsbath Bridge

 

 

ENTRIES FOR 2015 ‘THE SMUGGLER’ LIVE NOW!

Bike Shed are pleased to announce entries for the 2015 ride on Sunday 7th June are live now.

ENTER THE SMUGGLER 2015 NOW:

https://www.britishcycling.org.uk/events/details/124132/The-Smuggler-2015

We were so chuffed with the turnout and feedback from last year, 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 N Devon roads. We can’t wait to welcome you guys back this year.

For 2015 we’ve added a new 40 mile distance for another option and for anyone who wants a step up from the 25 mile ride. They’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 people told us about last year… 

” 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 7th June.

OOOOAAAAAARRRGGGGGGHHHH!

 

ENTER NOW: 

https://www.britishcycling.org.uk/events/details/124132/The-Smuggler-2015

A MASSIVE THANK YOU FROM THE SMUGGLER TEAM & STRAVA INFO

Ahoy Smugglers!!!

I just wanted to say a humongous and slightly emotional thank you from me (Marcus) and The Bike Shed to everyone that rode and supported The Smuggler yesterday. You made it a truly memorable day and one I will never forget.

From 6am to finish the atmosphere was incredible and helped make the day feel so special, there was such a nice buzz and that was down to you. A massive high five to all riders, those routes were tough so you should all be very chuffed with yourselves – feet up time for a couple of days! I can’t believe how many people took on a conquered the savage Booty climbs either – Chapeau indeed!

It would not have been possible without the amazing help of all our amazing marshals, Tom’s catering team, Claremont Marquees, Boston Tea Party, FORCE Cancer Charity, North Devon Hospice, Barnstaple Mayor, James the Smuggler!, Craig Bulley & Sue Rawle from Barnstaple Town Management, Petra and Lynne from North Devon Council, David & Jackie from Boevey’s Tea Room, Phil Park from Lee Abbey, Julian and Phil Vanstone, Nigel Honey from Hell Cats, all Taw Velo and many many more. We are very chuffed and Barnstaple now has it’s very own sportive!

I will post the Sportive Photo images as soon as they are live, and anyone that took on the Strava challenge please submit your time via the website by next Sunday.

I really hope to see you all next year, strangely I can’t wait to do it all again.

Thanks again, you’re all heroes. I will post another proper thank you in next couple of days.

The Smuggler Team, Marcus & The Bike Shed.

OOOAAAARRRRGGGGGHHHHHHH!!!!!

COUNTDOWN IS ON!

Hello there Smugglers…. 

Can’t quite believe it but the countdown is on – we’re just under two weeks until The Smuggler takes it’s maiden two wheeled voyage from the fine shores of Barnstaple Square. Here at Bike Shed we’re getting ourselves fully prepped to ensure we give you an epic day on the bike. We’re really excited to welcome you to the start line for this inaugural event and show you some of our favourite North Devon roads. We’ve also had a quiet word with the Big Man upstairs to slip the weather gods a fiver to do us a solid – fingers crossed it’s well spent.

All riders who have entered online through British Cycling will receive a ‘riders brief’ 3 days before Sunday 1st June, this will tell you everything you need to know for the day including car park info, start times for your ride, sign on / registration details, Strava challenge info, Booty climbs, feedstation locations etc etc. Everything you need to know will be in the brief, the info will also be posted to this website.

We are only a few riders shy of 350 riders entered, Bike Shed and our charity partners are so grateful for your support and helping get this event afloat! Online entry closes on MON 26TH MAY AT MIDNIGHT – if you know anyone who wants to ride and hasn’t entered yet give them a friendly nudge.

There will be two car parks available on the day – both FREE and under 5mins from Ride HQ. All details/maps will be in the brief. These are Barnstaple Park & Ride, and at Barnstaple Leisure Centre on Severn Brethren.

They’ll be plenty going on at Ride HQ on the day as well for riders, family & supporters. Country Life Brewery will be opening a bar in the marquee from midday, Boston Tea Party will be on the square from 7am selling there amazing coffee & cakes, and our event caterer Tom will be serving food all day – including a FREE breakfast for all riders. Even the Mayor’s coming down!

All riders will receive a FREE ‘Smuggler Ale’ on finishing, we really hope riders and families will hang about and sink a few beers with us. The bar will be open till 9pm.

There will be entries available on the day, just follow signs to ‘registration’. If possible though we would really encourage everyone to enter online, it really helps us with numbers for food so god forbid no-one goes without!

This is charity sportive with all proceeds going directly to charity, Bike Shed will not be profiting from the event. If you are able to raise a few pennies for one of our fantastic charity partners (FORCE Cancer Charity & North Devon Hospice) that would be incredible and support their tireless work in North Devon. Click on the ‘partners’ section on the home page and set up a giving page now. Sponsorship forms will be sent out with the ‘riders brief’ also.

In the meantime hope you manage to sneak out on a few last training rides, there are some lumpy bits in the routes so get those legs ready – we’ll be giving you plenty of food to keep them turning so have no fear. This is not a race!

One last thing – if anyone knows someone who may be prepared to help on the day, any extra volunteers would be massively welcome. Food, drink and a Bike Shed voucher up for grabs for anyone who lends a hand, or two.

Any questions at all in the meantime please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Thanks again for your support. Ride on…

Oaaaarrgggghhhh!

 

 

 

 

 

The Tale of Two Tolls & few bits in between….

Here’s a few snaps Bike Shed took of the 50 & 80m rides, gives you a better what’s in store for you guys.

As we’ve said before the two toll roads are the major highlight, but in between there’s some incredible riding with what we reckon are some of the best stretches of road in the UK. Obviously we would say that though but the pics do a good job of backing our boast.

For any cycle geeks like us at Bike Shed, the Porlock Toll’s magical sweeping hairpins and smooth track should get the legs twitching in excitement and the fingers dancing towards the online entry button. ‘Pista Magica’ even! Just been out on the route made us want to jump on our bikes so that has to be a good sign!

Thank you so much to everyone that’s entered all ready, FORCE Cancer Charity and North Devon Hospice are truly grateful.

Happy riding Swashbucklers. Watch out for Customs!

Oooooaarrrghhhh!