Reviews & Feedback

We pride ourselves on making you merry bunch of Smugglers happy, so it’s great when we receive feedback like this! 


Andy Elliott

Guys, thanks for all your hard work today, the Smuggler is probably the hardest Sportive in Devon but it can’t be beaten for a route and the feed stations. Bonus, all for a good cause. May the β€œForce” be with you πŸ‘

Dave Tucker

Thank you for yet another well organised Smuggler. Everyone who helped set up the event, helped on the day in whatever facility, food stops, marshalling, motorbike support, medics, bike maintenance, sign on etc deserves recognition. Really appreciate all that you do and so pleased that your chosen charity gets a nice little sum for their coffers.

Mark Selway

Just wanted to say thank you for a wonderful planed sportive, excellent food, well organised great day apart from the weather, was a tough ride but we made it in 1 piece.

James Powell

A huge thank you for yet again organizing a great sportive and an extra big thank you to all the marshals out doing a wonderful job in some awful weather.

Keith White

Just a quick note to say one big thank you for Sunday, it was an awesome ride and well organised. Although I have completed all my life, this was my first sportive, and what an introduction to the world of sportives. From start to finish all of you were extremely friendly and helpful and let me assure you I will be back next year. Once again thank you for a great day.

Erik Bruce

A fantastic day out, great morale considering the weather from all the riders. Will be back next year for more

Nick Burrill

This was an excellent event, one of the best I’ve attended, the start area was great, good food, coffee etc, feed stations were excellent, nice to have lots of savoury items alongside sweet treats plus the very important hot drinks, the only thing missing if I was hypercritical would be a medal for the event, but I understand that the proceeds go to charity do medals are probably an unnecessary expense, keep doing what you’re doing, I know a lot of cyclists are looking around for niche sportives that are well run, excellent work, will definitely be returning next year πŸ‘

Neil Parker

It was my first time riding with you guys, great event, excellent marshalls and brilliant feed stations (really needed the 2nd one), Thank you to everyone involved. No wind for next year though please!! 😁. We will definitely be back.

Jane Taylor

What a great ride despite the weather! Brilliant signage, great feed stops, beautiful countryside and a very rewarding hilly ride!

Katie Cross

This was such an enjoyable event – all the volunteers were really friendly, super helpful and inclusive. The signs were really clear throughout the route and the provision of the food and drinks was excellent. Thanks again and I will definitely be recommending this event to friends and colleagues

Rob Courtney

I have been riding bikes, mountain and road, for over 20 years and this was my first official event. What a day!! So well organised, registration on the day was fast and simple. Really well set out and the course was easy to follow. The marshals did an excellent job, even when it was absolutely soaking! The views were amazing and loved the almost middle of nowhere sections. Great climbs, very challenging but a great sense of achievement once completed. The beer went down very well at the finish too! On my calendar for next year already!

Kate Dixon

Love this event…great atmosphere (even if there was a bit too much damp atmosphere this year!) and brilliantly organised. Thanks to everyone for putting this on – (and providing the choc raisins and jelly beans…). See you all next year

Steve Baker

As usual a challenging route (50 for me) well organised, well marshalled and feed stations that were just excellent, especially valley of the rocks one, more like a 5star Buffett! What a well-supported event with riders from all over. Only one downer: can you do something about that bloody headwind!😊 cheers guys for putting in the effort, it is appreciated.

Natalie Bennett

It was a really well-organised ride, the feed stations were fantastic with something for everyone, the route was very well signposted and the start and finish were lively and fun. Was really much better than many organised rides I’ve been on. The only thing I would moan about is that I don’t like Ale but then maybe I should be more pirate πŸ˜‚ Thanks – absolutely loved it!

Andrew Pearson

It was my first organised cycle event and despite the weather I absolutely loved it. The organisation was brilliant, clear signs and marshals in all the crucial places. The food stops were great especially the fantastic flapjacks and Nutella rolls!! Well done everyone that had a hand in the organisation. All being well I will be back next year. Let’s hope the weather is kinder!

Heather Cooper

I thought the smuggler was a brilliant event. It was so well run and very friendly. The route was clearly signposted, the feed stations were the best I’ve experienced and a half of ale at the end was a welcome homecoming. It was a tough ride but really beautiful and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Thanks


Wayne U’chong

My 1st time, thanks to all well organised. Enjoyed the 40 miles might up my game next time.


Nancy Steer

Absolutely brilliant!!!! From the atmosphere to the signage and the food stations, everything was perfect πŸ’ͺπŸ’ͺπŸ’ͺπŸ’ͺ😎😎😎😎😎


Tracy Ford

Great event as always.


Julie Young

Another corker! Loved it. πŸ‘

Dave Kerwin

Just to say another brilliant event from you and your volunteers. Excellent organisation/signage and feed stations. Having done the 80mile route it was tough in the heat today but thoroughly enjoyable. Look forward to 2019 Smuggler now.


Karen Harding

Thank you to everyone involved in organising and running the Smuggler. It was a great day that I’ll remember for a long time, challenging climbs rewarded with the stunning views. Well organised food stops, with welcome rolls/tea. Marshall’s to highlight the danger spots. Friendly people to chat too along the way. The weather too was ideal. Thanks again.


Wellington Wheelers CC

Thank you all for a great day…from the Wellington Wheelers Cycling Club.


Nicole Sell

Was a great day, huge thank you to everyone involved, the marshalls were great look forward to doing it all again next year.


Tracey Stone

It was an amazing day and so well organized. A big thank you to the team who have us massages and so lovely that the donations have gone to the North Devon Hospice. Well done all.


Jerry Kryzchowkovitz

Many thanks to everyone involved in today’s Smuggler. Signs – easy to spot and there were more than enough. Marshals – they were where they should be and were supportive. Great job! Wonderful weather. Hills – as nasty and brutal as we expected. Overall, a great ride. Well done! πŸ€—


Samera Ismael

Fantastic day thankyou everyone and especially for ordering the fine weather.πŸ™ŒπŸ˜Š


Devon Pitstop

Yes a brilliant day, thank you to everyone!


Richard Fowler

Thanks to everyone at the Bike Shed for a great day. Your work very much appreciated today!! β˜ΊπŸš΄β˜€


Mark Bowen

Fantastic day thank you so much to the wonderful masseurs saved my day.




Marc Millon

Once again, this is one of the most enjoyable rides of the year, even in, what shall we say, rather damp and unseasonable weather. The route is always challenging yet rewards with stunning and majestic beauty. Highlights include views from the top of Dunkery Beacon (where for us the rain finally stopped); the long Porlock climb followed by an amazing, fast run to the top of Countisbury hill; the awe-inspiring Valley of the Rocks; and the mainly downhill final 15 miles or so. The two booty climbs are an added challenge, murderously hard but rewarded with real gold ‘pieces of eight’ (better than gold, actually, redeemable for thirst-quenching Smugglers ale). From the kedgeree at the start to the beer at the finish, this is an absolutely magnificent ride and a wonderful day. Thanks to all at The Bike Shed, to the marshalls who were on hand to warn of dangerous stretches of road, to the volunteers serving very welcome hot tea and food, to FORCE Cancer Charity, and to all who made it happen. I’m already looking forward to next year! And what a perfect warm-up for the Nello!


Devon Catering – Wedding & Party Caterer

Great ride, loved every mile. Met some amazing people along the way. Views were stunning and the marshals fantastic.


Tony Skinner

Well done Bike Shed marshals and volunteers for putting on another memorable event I think it’s true to say we got the hills and the fantastic scenery really enjoyed the 50 this year 10 more than last year roll on 2018.


Debbie Parker

Excellent Sportive through some stunning scenery. A well organised event. Thanks to all the marshals out on the course cheering us on, especially in those conditions. Thank you


Matthew Frost

Great marshalling, thanks guys. We really enjoyed the ride.


Grant Dunn

Many thanks for the encouragement around the course today, much needed in rain. 


North Devon MTB

Solid work Bike Shed, another great event.


Sue Barnstaple

Great event – well organised, will be back next year.


Andy Elliott

Thank you Bike Shed for another great event, my 4th Smuggler 


Nick Ward

Well done , another cracking day in the rain, will try to get there on time next year. Brilliant event and great routes.


Belinda Simmons

Massive THANK YOU everyone at the Bike Shed, and beyond who helped with The Smuggler today!!! You are awesome. Such a great fun family event xx


Barry Edwards

Fantastic event folks! Huge thanks to the marshals, first-aiders, mechanics and especially those manning the food stations – thank you all very much. I’ve never ridden so far or done so much climbing in one day before! Loved it and may even come again next year – when my legs have forgiven me!


Lisa Pixie Binmore

Fab event!!! Thank you all for a fantastic sportive and all your hard work, much appreciated. Will be back again next year for definite!


Lisa Marie Beasant

Lovely event well done to all x


Neil Langdon

What a fantastic event hope to come back next year.


Colin Meadows

Thanks to all staff at Bike Shed, marshals and volunteers for making my first sportive such a good one.


AndrΓ© Juan Busquets

Another great year Bike Shed!! Bring on more Sunshine and Ale next year!


Andy Middlebrooke

What a fantastic event… we’ll done to Bike Shed team and all those who worked hard to put it on!! I’ll be back again next year.


Dave Tucker

A lovely event as always. ..thanks to the organisers, helpers and marshals for making it such fun to cycle in, a pure joy.


Dave K

Great success guys….brilliantly organised. Support was excellent likewise the feed stations and way marking. I done the 80mile route and will definitely do next year. If you like sportives then this is a MUST DO sportive for everyone. Well done with everything.


Andrew Hood

Guys, A huge thank you to everyone in front and behind the scenes who made the Smuggler such an enjoyable event. Great route with lots of excellent climbs and stunning North Devon scenery. Special thank you to all the marshals who despite standing for hours in cold rain maintained an excellent sense of humour and made us feel like we were in the Austrian Alps with the ringing of their cows bells !


Meriel Fuller

I only started cycling last year (aged 49), and this was my first sportive. I was nervous as I didn’t know what to expect, but the whole event was a wonderful experience, from the support at the start to the camaraderie of the riders. I was riding a 20year old Dawes bike which is on its last legs, but did not feel out of place. A special thanks to a rider called Darren (who lives in Barnstaple) who fixed my broken chain about 5 miles out from the start – without him, I wouldn’t have been able to complete the 40 miles! Many thanks once again!



What a brilliant event – well done to everyone involved, especially your marshals standing out in the pouring rain!