Please read below for details of arrangements on the day of the Ride:

As you know, we're going to be faced with a very hot day for this year's GWR and so arrangements for the day have been adjusted to a certain extent to take account of this, and the information that follows should be read in conjunction with the most recent update on our Latest News page.


Our overall approach is to try to balance the desire to deliver a 'normal' and enjoyable event with the overriding need to take reasonable steps to mitigate the risk posed by the forecast hot conditions, and the simple but clear measures and instructions included in the briefing information below will enable us to do this.


Hopefully everyone appreciates and understands that the safety and wellbeing of everyone involved with the event is our #1 priority & responsibility, and therefore participants MUST read and adhere to the measures & instructions set out here in connection with the event.

 

START


We're returning this year to our very relaxed and leisurely approach at the start of the event, with the one big change being that we're aiming to get everyone underway a bit earlier this year to help to offset the warm conditions:

Pre-Ride Transport


Anyone who has booked the morning transport service from Weston-super-Mare to take them to the start in Bristol MUST be outside the Tropicana building on Weston seafront (Marine Parade, BS23 1BE - https://what3words.com/smiles.drives.flute) by 7am latest - and preferably 10 minutes earlier if possible please. The service departs promptly at 7.15am and will not wait for anyone who is late.


To access the service, if you've pre-booked simply turn up at the rendezvous point at or prior to the stipulated time - you don't need a ticket, simply identify yourself to our staff member (you'll be on the transport list), and then hand over your bike for loading onto one of the vans. Please don't try to load your bike or board the coach until asked to do so.

Arrival at the Park & Ride


Riders will be able to set off any time between 7.30am and 9am - PLEASE NOTE THE AMENDED START WINDOW - so you're welcome to arrive at Long Ashton Park & Ride (BS3 2HB - see 'Event Info' page for map) from 6.45am onwards to get ready for the Ride.


The available space at the Park & Ride is vast and our aim is to put it to good use so, contrary to instinct & normal behaviour, drivers are specifically requested to park as far away from the main building as possible please - this is where the Registration and Start areas are located, and we'd like to keep these areas as clear and as free from congestion as possible.


Toilet facilities will be available at the start area along with a unit selling teas & coffees, and mechanical support will also be on hand for any last-minute checks or adjustments prior to departure (although all riders are required to ensure that their bike is roadworthy in advance of the Ride).


Generally speaking, it will obviously be much quieter at the start nearer to 8.30am than 7.30am so you should consider a slightly later than normal arrival time if you wish to take advantage of this.

Registration


On arrival at the start area you simply need to turn up at the Registration desk to check in (alphabetical by surname); collect your rider number & some cable ties; attach your number to your bike; and then, when you're ready, just make your way to the start line. And please remember that you don't need to bring any paperwork.


We'll be starting people off in small groups at short intervals, and there will be a very short start-line briefing to cover the most significant &/or last-minute notifications - otherwise, route-related information & advice is contained within the 'MIDDLE' section of this briefing below, and we'd ask you to pay particular attention when reading this.


The last time for departure is 9am, so you should aim to arrive at the Park & Ride no later than 8.15am.

MIDDLE


Please remember that riders must abide by the Highway Code at all times, and it is incumbent on everyone to ride in a careful and considerate manner throughout. These are key parts of our CONDITIONS OF ENTRY - and it also makes the day so much more enjoyable for everyone.


And please also remember not to drop any litter, wrappers, tissues or face coverings etc during the event - please keep such items with you and dispose of them responsibly in a bin at the earliest opportunity.

The Route


Please take a look at the most recent post on our Latest News page for the most up-to-date information on this year's route options.


The routes will be checked again at least twice more before the event starts and you'll be advised if there are any last-minute changes or issues identified.


But please note that there is a long, challenging descent around the midway point of the Ride (around 27 miles, shortly after the big climb of the day) and you should take extra care through this section and also at the junction at the bottom of the descent.

Signage


The main route direction will be clearly marked with large YELLOW signs with black arrows bearing the 'Great Weston Ride' logo, while the optional section towards Cheddar will be marked with BLUE signs with black arrows (again with the GWR logo) which continue until the section re-joins the main (yellow) route.


And the new 'shortcut' section that we're adding this year will be marked with RED signs with white arrows - so please follow these if you want to reduce the overall time & distance that you'll be pedalling.


There are several long, straight stretches along the way so you may feel like you haven't seen a sign for a while, however don't be alarmed - there will be a sign every two miles at least (even if it's just a 'Straight On' confirmation arrow) and the golden rule is to stay on the road you're on until/unless you see one of our signs indicating otherwise.


And you'll see a few 'CAUTION' signs along the route - these typically appear where there's a fast descent or narrow section coming up and they're there to help you to prepare yourself. Please make sure that you take note of these.

Support Services


There will be experienced and fully-equipped mobile medical and mechanical support services available along the route - you're asked to be self-sufficient as much as reasonably possible while taking part in the event, however if you do encounter any sort of problem then please contact Event Control via the phone number provided (see below).


There will also be a broom wagon service available - please avoid using this if non-urgent recovery is required (instead you should contact any family or supporters in the first instance if they're with you on the day). However, the recovery service is there & available if needed.


There will be a marshal presence on the day as well - static marshals will be positioned at key points but please note that they are NOT there to stop or manage traffic. Their role is merely to assist riders where possible and to make other road users aware of the fact that an event is taking place.


It's important to remember that you're responsible at all times for your own safety and you must decide for yourself whether any particular movement is safe.


We'll also have a number of 'Rider Marshals' out on their bikes as additional support.

Refreshment Stops


Please take a look at the most recent post on our Latest News page for the most up-to-date information on refreshment provision & options.

FINISH


The finish area consists of a wide open space on Weston seafront with plenty of space for everyone, including friends & family, however please be aware that, given the weather conditions, the seafront & the surrounding areas as a whole are likely to be very busy this year.


You should also be aware that the Beach Lawns in the vicinity of the Ride finish area will be used for public car parking this year, and so you'll need to approach the finish line with extra care.


NB there's an off-road cycle path option from the '1 Mile To Go' sign and you're encouraged to use this - and the marshals controlling the car parking on the Beach Lawns in this area will give priority to cyclists using the cycle path over drivers who are looking to park.


GWR event staff will be on hand to greet & congratulate you as you cross the finish line on the Beach Lawns, and upon finishing you'll be presented with your medal and also a token for your free food.

Food & Drink


There will be food & drink facilities available all afternoon at the finish for the exclusive use of Great Weston Ride participants AND their supporters - so family/friends/supporters etc who are meeting riders are also more than welcome to access the facilities to purchase food and drink.


There will be bins available around the finish area so please use these to dispose of any packaging, tissues, cups etc responsibly and safely. And toilet facilities and drinking water will also be available at the finish.

Parking


Families/friends who are meeting riders at the end should be able to park very close to the finish area, either along the seafront (Marine Parade) in the parking bays, or indeed on the adjacent Beach Lawns this year. Please note that there is a charge for parking in these areas.


Alternatively, there may be some free on-street parking available in the vicinity, but this is fairly limited and will be further away from the finish line. But, whatever you do, please don't park illegally - we don't want your day spoiled by a parking ticket!

Post-Ride Transport


Anyone who's booked transport back to Bristol after the Ride will have the option of up to FIVE services, with intended hourly departures from 12.30pm-ish until 4.30pm-ish inclusive.


Please note that these times are approximate - even more so this year given the additional challenges we're facing with the weather - and, as this is a shuttle service, obviously we're somewhat at the mercy of the traffic . We'd ask you to understand that we can't control either the traffic or the weather, but we'll do our best to run as close to these times as possible.


We can't know exactly when everyone will want to travel back and, at the same time, we don't want people to be tied to a set travel time and the possible anxiety that could cause, so the service will simply operate on a 'first come first served' basis for people with bookings.


This does mean that there's the slight possibility that not everyone will be able to get on the particular service that ideally they would like, but if this happens they will be first on the following departure.


We've allowed for 100% extra capacity compared with the number of advance bookings received, so people will also be able to book the service on the day - however, priority goes to those who've pre-booked, so anyone booking on the day may have to wait for an available space.


To access the service, simply turn up at the coach when you hear the announcement that it's ready for passengers - you don't need a ticket, simply identify yourself (you'll be on the transport list if you've pre-booked), and then hand over your bike for loading onto one of the vans.


Or, if you're booking the service on the day, the transport manager will take your details and will get you boarded at the earliest opportunity.

OTHER STUFF


The Event Control Number is 07977 418338.


If you need to contact us FOR ANY REASON please use the number above. This number will be printed on the front of the individual rider numbers collected at sign-in, but you're also advised to enter the number into your phone in advance.


And please note - vehicles left at the Park & Ride MUST be removed by 6pm latest (or when the last coach arrives, if later), after which time the gates will be locked.  Anyone wishing to remove a car after the gates have been locked will experience a significant delay AND may also be faced with a substantial penalty charge.


Finally - enjoy the Ride, stay safe, be considerate of others, and have a great day out!
 

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