Please read below for details of arrangements on the day of the Ride - these include the COVID-specific measures that have been introduced this year to enable the event to go ahead safely:

We're pleased that mass-participation, non-competitive cycling events have been sanctioned once again by British Cycling as of 5th September 2020 after detailed discussions with, and approval by, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport.


Inevitably, in order to get approval for the resumption of this kind of activity in the current climate certain modifications and clear COVID-specific measures need to be introduced and implemented at events, and you can read the full guidance from British Cycling HERE.


Based on this guidance, we set out in detail here how we intend to operate the GWR this year and what is expected - and required - of participants in terms of their behaviour in order to help us to deliver a safe and enjoyable event, albeit inevitably in a modified form compared to previous years.


Our 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 of transmission of the virus, and compliance with the simple but clear measures and instructions 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.

 

WHOLE-EVENT ADVICE & REQUIREMENTS


First and foremost, you MUST NOT attend the event under any circumstances if you are displaying the following symptoms, or have displayed any of these in the last 14 days, or have been in contact with anyone else displaying any of these in the last 14 days:

 

  • a high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back;

  • a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual);

  • a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you’ve noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal.


By attending the event, you are declaring that you are free from all of the symptoms listed above; you have been free for 14 days prior to September 20th; and, to the best of your knowledge, you have not been in contact with any person displaying any of the above symptoms in the 14 days prior to September 20th.


Participants must also read our COVID 19 AGREEMENT document, as taking part in the event signifies acceptance of this alongside our standard CONDITIONS OF ENTRY.


We've also produced a PARTICIPANT CODE OF CONDUCT for riders - it's important that everyone reads and adheres to this during the event. Similarly, we have a SPECTATOR CODE OF CONDUCT and we would ask riders to share this with any friends, family or other supporters who are planning to attend.


On the day itself, as an outdoor event the risk of transmission of the virus is relatively low compared with most other environments PROVIDED THAT everyone adheres to & follows established social distancing requirements and good hygiene measures AT ALL TIMES. Therefore these aspects are very much our focus and we set out below how we intend to incorporate them throughout the event.


So please read the following very carefully and ensure that you comply with all instructions on the day, with social distancing and good hygiene foremost in your mind throughout.


NB participants are strongly advised to carry with them their own hand sanitiser and face covering for the duration of the event to support these measures - and please note that face coverings will be necessary if you wish to use the Ride transport services (AM or PM) or eg if you need to enter a shop en route to buy refreshments etc.

START


We normally have a very relaxed and leisurely approach at the start of the event, however in order to satisfy social distancing needs and in particular to avoid any semblance of a large gathering at any point, this year the following measures apply:


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 (BS23 1BE) by 7am latest - and preferably a few minutes earlier. The service departs promptly at 7.15am and riders are asked not to delay this by arriving late.


To access the service, if you've pre-booked simply turn up at the rendezvous point at or prior to the stipulated time, where you MUST form an orderly single-file queue observing social distancing requirements until you're asked to start boarding - 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.


You should only board the coach immediately prior to its departure and users of the service are requested to occupy the available seating from the rear of the coach forwards.


Please note that you MUST wear a face covering (unless exempt) for the duration of the journey, and we'd ask you to avoid touching anything on the coach (hand rails, arm rests, etc) if at all possible.  Hand sanitiser will also be available when getting on and off the coach.


The transport service can only operate with a much-reduced capacity because of COVID, however we've allowed for extra capacity as well compared with the number of advance bookings received.


IF YOU HAVEN'T BOOKED THIS SERVICE IN ADVANCE WE CANNOT GUARANTEE YOU A PLACE ON THE COACH.

Arrival at the Park & Ride


Riders will be able to set off any time between 8am and 9.30am so you're welcome to arrive at Long Ashton Park & Ride (BS3 2HB - see 'Event Info' page for map) from 7.15am onwards to get ready for the Ride.


For social distancing purposes, if you're arriving by car please DO NOT park directly next to another vehicle - there are more than enough spaces available for everyone to leave an empty space between vehicles.


And please note: 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 need to keep these areas as clear and as free from congestion as possible. This is really important.


So ideally you should in fact park as close to the perimeter as possible - this will help us to keep the main 'business areas' clear and free-flowing, and you'll have your bike with you so there's no issue at all with getting across to registration on your bike. It would be massively helpful if everyone could comply with this instruction.


And please be aware that anyone who arrives very early will be expected to remain in their vehicle (or, if arriving by bike, well away from other people and away from the registration and Start areas) until shortly before they would like to start - there's no need to arrive particularly early, and it's ESSENTIAL that we avoid any sort of prolonged 'gathering' in the Registration & Start areas to comply with the new 'Rule of Six' guidance at all times.


You should only need 20 minutes or so to register and get ready to set off, so please arrive 'ready to ride' as much as you reasonably can. This would include toilet usage - limited toilet facilities will be available if needed in the main building, however in order to minimise contact points wherever possible we would strongly encourage everyone to use their own toilet at home immediately before setting off. Use of the facilities at the start should be seen as a 'last resort' and may involve lengthy queuing.


Generally speaking, it will obviously be much quieter at the start nearer to 9am than 8am so you should consider a slightly later than normal arrival time if you wish to take advantage of this.

Mechanical Support


There will be a bike mechanic on hand at the start should anyone absolutely need any last-minute adjustments to their bike, but once again the expectation is that your bike should be roadworthy and ready to ride on arrival. Therefore this service should only be used if absolutely necessary due to the COVID situation.


Registration


This will be a very simple process with just two socially-distanced registration desks this year, split alphabetically - the desks MUST be approached in single file so look for the correct letter (by surname) and approach the relevant desk (or queue) accordingly. The plan is to have a simple one-way, flow-through system for registration that comprises two separate & distanced parallel lines and you MUST observe this.


Please follow any signage or instructions given by event staff and approach the relevant registration desk one person at a time - and please don't duck under any barrier tape at any point. You're going to be cycling 57+ miles so walking a few extra metres won't hurt! :) And you don't need to bring any paperwork.


If there's a queue please ensure that you maintain social distancing by joining in single file and at a safe distance from the person in front - or even wait until the queue has reduced or disappeared.


As you approach the desk you'll simply need to identify yourself by name; you'll be marked as present by one of the event staff; and you'll then be able to collect your rider number & cable ties yourself from a separate desk.


Please don't approach within two metres of any event staff at any time, and once you've collected your rider number please continue forward and move away from the registration area immediately. Please don't stop to socialise or wait for others - you MUST return to your vehicle or move to a quiet area away from registration to attach your rider number.


Hand sanitiser will be readily available in & around the Registration area for anyone who needs it.

Start Line


Once you've attached your rider number and you're ready to start please approach the start area by following the signage & direction arrows. This may seem like a long way round but please follow the directions &/or instructions provided - you'll be on your bike so it's just extra riding distance! :)


We can only start people in groups of 6 max at short intervals, so if there are already several groups near the start line please wait at a safe distance until some or all of the riders in front of you have set off and there is sufficient safe space for you to move forward. Marshals will be on hand to assist with this process and you MUST obey their instructions at all times.


The start itself will consist of two parallel lines of riders that are at least two metres apart - you MUST approach the start line in single file in one of these two lines. If you 'hug the kerb' either to your left or your right in the start area then you will be suitably positioned in one or other of the two parallel lines.


When you reach the start line itself you will then be set off together with a MAXIMUM of 5 other riders. Please note that you're not required to stay with these same riders for the duration of the event - the only requirement is that you DO NOT ride in any group of more than six people at any time.


Our plan is not to have a start-line briefing this year, in accordance with British Cycling's guidance - route-related information & advice is contained within the 'MIDDLE' section of this briefing, and we will only convey any important last-minute information at the start.


The last time for departure is 9.30am, so you should aim to arrive at the Park & Ride no later than 8.45am.

MIDDLE


The single most important point to remember while taking part this year is that you MUST NOT ride (or gather) with more than five other people at any time and you MUST avoid forming a large group or peloton at any stage. PLEASE OBSERVE THIS AT ALL TIMES - INCLUDING WHEN STOPPED.


When approaching another rider or riders from behind on the route you should wait at a safe distance until it is completely safe to pass and then do so quickly and continue to distance yourself from the other rider/s. Please don't be impatient in this situation - everyone's safety (including your own) is the #1 priority and in the grand scheme of things a few extra seconds really isn't going to make any difference. Think how you feel when you get an impatient driver behind you trying to overtake - don't be that person!


And you MUST NOT ride with or alongside anyone who either doesn't want or isn't comfortable with your company - please move forward or drop back to a safe distance if asked to do so by another rider.


More generally, 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 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


The main route AND the optional sections have all been checked and are currently in good condition throughout, and more detailed route information and links etc are available on our Route Details page.


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, however we don't anticipate this being the case.


Just please note that there is a long, challenging descent around the midway point of the Ride (around 27 miles, near Priddy) and you should take extra care through this section and also at the junction at the bottom of the descent.

Signage


The main (standard) route direction will be clearly marked with large YELLOW signs with black arrows bearing the 'Great Weston Ride' logo, while the three optional sections along the route 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. So it's pretty straightforward - you should only follow the BLUE signs if you want to do additional distance & climbing!


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 is 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, however these should only be called upon if absolutely necessary as we try to avoid any unnecessary close contact with event staff. Riders are 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 numbers provided (see below).


There will also be a broom wagon service available should it be needed - again, riders are asked to avoid using this if at all possible and, if non-urgent recovery is required, you should contact any family or supporters in the first instance if they're with you on the day. However, if it's needed the recovery service can be provided in a safe manner.


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, however their role this year will primarily be to monitor and observe rather than engage with riders.

Refreshment Stops


We've arranged for two refreshment stops to be available on the route exclusively for the use of our riders on the day, and both facilities are fully set up & operational in a COVID-secure fashion. Riders simply need to adhere to the existing measures when using these stops.


The first stop is a combination of the bike shop and the new cafe at the bottom of Burrington Combe after about 18 miles - there will be mechanical support available from the bike shop if needed, and riders will also be able to top up their water bottles here. Just further along, the cafe will be opening especially to look after our riders - there will be toilet facilities available at the cafe, and riders will also be able to purchase hot & cold drinks and cakes etc.


NB Anyone who is doing any of the additional route options MUST stop at this first pit stop to top up water bottles at the very least, particularly in warm weather conditions.


The second stop is at the Post & Wicket in Wedmore after 34 miles, and they will also be catering exclusively for our GWR participants. As well as a selection of cakes, they'll also be offering hot food such as bacon sandwiches etc. Riders will be able to fill up water bottles again and there will also be toilet facilities, and there's plenty of outdoor space for social distancing while resting & fuelling.


Please note that both stops will be operating a cashless payment service, so a bank card or electronic payment method will be needed.  And the expectation is that riders should remain in an outdoor environment while using the stops (other than for the use of toilet facilities) and they MUST NOT gather in groups of more than six people at any time while using these stops.


Finally, please remember when cycling that it's most definitely not a race - so feel free to just go at your own pace and enjoy the route and the sights it has to offer.

FINISH


The finish area has lots of open space and we'll be making full use of the available space to make it easy for everyone to maintain social distancing while enjoying and celebrating their achievement in completing the challenge. And, once again, please remember that you MUST NOT gather in a group of more than six people at any time.


There won't be a finish line 'funnel' or anything similar - instead the finish line will be wide open and when you cross the line as indicated by the 'FINISH' flags you should stop and dismount immediately.


Event staff will be on hand to greet & congratulate riders as they finish but they'll do this from a safe distance, and upon finishing you'll then be directed towards a table where you can collect your own medal and also a token for your free food from the BBQ.


The medals and food tokens will be purely self-collection and please endeavour to avoid touching hard surfaces where possible when doing this (these surfaces will be cleaned regularly in any case as a matter of course).


On reaching the finish you're requested to move away from the finish line area as soon as possible to allow room for others to arrive safely and, if you have family or supporters meeting you in Weston, please inform them that on this occasion they MUST stay away from the immediate vicinity of the finish line - they should wait for you instead safely away from the finish area and other people. Event staff will also convey this message to supporters on the day, if necessary.


And please remember that you MUST NOT under any circumstances gather or sit in large groups at the finish - the current guidance states that you should not socialise (even outdoors) in a group of more than six people, and event staff will monitor the situation proactively. If you're asked to disperse or to stand further apart from others at any time for safety reasons we would appreciate your cooperation and understanding.

Food & Drink


There will be food & drink facilities available all afternoon at the finish for the exclusive use of Great Weston Ride participants & their supporters, and the food and bar providers will have systems in place for safe provision of their services in line with COVID guidelines.


You MUST follow any instructions provided and maintain social distancing requirements at all times while queuing for these services.  And once you've collected your food and/or drink please move away from the BBQ/bar area at the earliest opportunity to a suitably-safe space.


Please note that family/friends/supporters etc who are meeting riders are also more than welcome to access the facilities to purchase food and drink, but they must also follow & adhere to the systems in place for queuing and safe service.


Any supporters wishing to purchase food and/or drink on the day should be aware that these will be 'cashless' services so they will need to use a bank card or electronic payment method.


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 hand sanitiser will be readily available in & around the finish area for anyone who needs it.


Portable toilets will also be available at the finish and riders are requested to use the hand sanitiser provided before & after use of these facilities.

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 beach itself (the area near the Tropicana being closest to the finish). 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 has booked transport back to Bristol after the Ride will have the option of up to FIVE services, with intended hourly departures from 1.30pm until 5.30pm inclusive. (Naturally, times are approximate and, as this is a shuttle service, we're somewhat at the mercy of the traffic - we'd ask riders to understand that we can't control this, but will do our best to run as close to these times as possible).


The transport service can only operate with a much-reduced capacity because of COVID so, while we have allowed for 100% extra capacity compared with the number of advance bookings received, obviously we can't know exactly when everyone will want to travel back.


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 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 know this isn't ideal but we hope everyone appreciates that we're severely constrained this year and, while we think the service WILL run smoothly for everyone, we just want to make it clear that this is a possibility.


To access the service, if you've pre-booked 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), and then hand over your bike for loading onto one of the vans.


Please note that you MUST wear a face covering (unless exempt) for the duration of the journey, and we'd ask you to avoid touching anything on the coach (hand rails, arm rests, etc) if at all possible.  Hand sanitiser will also be available when getting on and off the coach.


You should only board the coach immediately prior to its departure and users of the service are requested to occupy the available seating from the rear of the coach forwards.


IF YOU HAVEN'T BOOKED THIS SERVICE IN ADVANCE WE CANNOT GUARANTEE YOU A PLACE ON THE COACH.

OTHER STUFF


Rider Support Numbers - 07823 977240 (for general assistance) and 07718 253763 (emergency or medical assistance ONLY).


If you need to contact us FOR ANY REASON please use the appropriate number above. These numbers will be printed on the back of the individual rider numbers collected at sign-in, but riders are also advised to enter the numbers into their phones in advance.


And all riders please note - vehicles left at the Park & Ride MUST be removed by 6.15pm 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!

KEY POINTS TO REMEMBER

 

  • Be conscious of maintaining social distancing throughout the event, from your arrival at the start to your departure from the finish.  And at no stage should you be part of a large group - keep it to six or fewer people at all times please, and remain very conscious of social distancing requirements outside of household groups.
     

  • Maintain good standards of hand & respiratory hygiene throughout the event.  In particular, try to avoid touching any hard surfaces if possible where it's not your own equipment, and make sure that you sanitise your hands whenever you do come into contact with materials that aren't yours.
     

  • And please ensure that you familiarise yourself with the following important documents:

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