Here's where you'll find all the latest news and developments regarding the 2022 Great Weston Ride:

July 2022

2022 GWR - Weather-related adjustments

As stated previously, we've been keeping a very close eye on the weather forecast and what it might mean for the GWR on Sunday, whilst also looking at a series of mitigation options to manage any additional risk this may pose.


We're mindful that some of the headlines and, in particular, the very elevated temperatures being talked about in the media DON'T in fact appear to be in the Met Office (or any other) forecast for our particular part of the country, nevertheless it's undoubtedly going to be a hot day.


So, while we feel confident enough to be able to go ahead based on the local area forecasts, we do believe that it would be prudent for us to adapt our plans to some degree.


And the way that we feel we can do this to good overall effect is both in terms of timing AND route provision:


TIMING


Firstly, we're going to bring the start time forward as best we can (taking into account a whole range of factors, needs, & welfare considerations) - meaning that the first riders will now be able to set off from 7.30am.


We'd also like to have EVERYONE underway by 9am latest, so the start window is now 7.30-9am (not 8am-9.30am as previously envisaged).


NB the AM transport service from Weston will still operate on its original schedule, but with a very prompt 7.15am latest departure time from Weston - this service WILL NOT wait for anyone who is late, and people booked onto the service should then be able to register and start pretty much straightaway on arrival at the Park & Ride.


ROUTE


The other major adjustments we're going to make are route-specific, as follows:


As things stand, the core GWR route (57 miles) WILL be made available as planned and we hope/expect that most people should be able to complete the challenge that this presents.


However, we're also going to introduce a sensible 'shortcut' option just after the main refreshment stop in Wedmore, which will cut out about 5 miles of riding in the very open & exposed area of the Somerset Levels.


The shortcut will be in the second half of the route and it will save at least 20-40 minutes in the saddle (& the sun) - which we suspect will be very welcome and helpful as the heat builds during the day.


And it's actually something that we would strongly recommend for EVERYONE - the elevated temperature that riders will be contending with as the day progresses will more than make up for the slightly-reduced distance in terms of overall level of challenge, and so it would in fact be the sensible thing to do all round.


We've also decided that we're definitely NOT going to provide at least two of the three optional sections (these being the first & the third optional sections in our original plan) for timing & safety reasons.


However, for now, we ARE considering offering the second optional section (ie. the Cheddar loop) primarily because it features in the earlier part of the event, when the temperature will be lower - however this will be heavily caveated on the basis that ONLY the most experienced and confident riders should even consider taking it on.


Also, it will be on the condition that no rider should attempt this section if they reach the route split point after 10.30am - this is very important and we expect ALL riders to adhere strictly to this instruction.


Furthermore, please note that a FINAL decision on the inclusion (or otherwise) of the Cheddar option will be taken during the penultimate route check on Saturday.


So, as things stand, we envisage THREE possible route & distance options being available this year - the standard GWR route (57 miles), the new shortcut route (52 miles), and the extended route including Cheddar (67 miles).


These changes have been reflected on our Route Details page, where you can download the relevant route links if you wish.


REFRESHMENTS


Our first refreshment stop is at Bad Ass Bikes at the bottom of Burrington Combe (18.5 miles from the start) and all riders should stop here to fill up their water bottles, at the very least.  There will also be hot drinks & cake, snacks, etc available to buy if required.


Public toilets are available just past the refreshment stop and these will be signposted.


In addition, there's also a mobile coffee van just over the top of Burrington Combe that has agreed to cater for the event - so they will also have ample supplies of cold water, coffee, & cakes available to buy for anyone who needs it after the big climb of the day.


Also, if anyone does decide to take on the extra Cheddar loop, we've arranged for riders to be able to fill water bottles at the Lillypool Cafe (which you'll pass on your left just prior to descending into Cheddar).  There's a tap outside for drinking water and, again, they serve hot food & drink as well and riders are welcome to stop.


Our main refreshment stop is in Wedmore (after 34 miles) and, again, all riders should stop here to fill their water bottles.  Food and other drinks will also be available to buy, and toilet facilities will be available.


Thereafter, with 22 miles to go, options for water stops are more scarce, however on entering Berrow after 47 miles you'll see a petrol station on the right if more drinks are needed.


But our new 'shortcut' option will be found just a mile or so after the main refreshment stop and if you take this it will only be 17 miles to the finish - hence why we strongly recommend this option for ALL riders.


Then at the finish we'll have a standpipe available for drinking water and, of course, our event bar will be there for a celebratory beer or two!


WORDS OF ADVICE


Riders should carry as much water with them as they can (two water bottles at least if at all possible) but, as you can see above, it's only about 18 miles between our official stop locations, with other options for fluid top-ups also available in-between.


For most people, this means that the stops are no more than two hours apart - so there will be plenty of provision available on the day, and the key thing for riders will be to take these opportunities when they see them, to keep hydrating, and to avoid overheating.


The other key will be sensible pacing throughout and, tempting as it may seem, we'd actually recommend NOT going off too hard in the early part of the day. It may sound counter-intuitive, but a fairly steady pace within your comfort zone will actually stand you in better stead overall.


So maybe let your breathing dictate the pace of your riding, and avoid getting too out of breath if you can - ease off a bit on the pedals to help keep your breathing under control, stop for a breather in the shade every now & then, and even get off and walk on an incline if it helps.


And remember that almost all of the climbing is over by the time you get to the top of Burrington - so it's very much flatter in what will be the hotter part of the day, and there may be a bit of breeze to help too.


Finally - it's blindingly obvious, but please ensure that you apply adequate sunblock from the very start and that your clothing is suitable for the hot conditions.

 

 

July 2022

GWR - Weather Implications

As we all know, we're currently experiencing a spell of very warm weather that's forecast to continue well into next week (and possibly beyond), but obviously this has potential implications for the GWR on Sunday 17th July.


We appreciate that there's some concern about how hot it's going to be on Sunday, particularly as the day goes on, so we're monitoring the situation closely and we're actively looking at what mitigations we can/might put in place to safely manage things if the forecast does look like getting hotter.


The forecast as of today actually looks pretty similar to how it turned out for the GWR last year and, while it was very hot in 2021, it was actually quite manageable so, as things stand, we're not making any significant changes right now.


The coastal breeze should help a little in the latter stages, and it's also important to note that most of the climbing on the GWR is done in the first 27 miles and therefore everyone should manage to complete this part of the challenge in the morning anyway, before the hottest part of the day.


And if it does look like being very hot for the afternoon, one option that we're actively looking at is shortening the route somewhat to avoid too much time being spent riding across the exposed open areas of the Somerset Levels.


Another possibility is that we may not offer one or more of the extra sections this year (TBC) - this is a further way in which we could reduce the overall time, distance and exertion required in the event of extremely hot conditions.


The other, seemingly very obvious, thought is to see if we could start the event earlier, however unfortunately that's not as simple as it may seem - partly because there are lots of 'moving parts' to an event like this and not all of these may be able to adjust time-wise at such a late stage.


And we also have to be mindful of the wellbeing of all the service providers and helpers etc - starting earlier doesn't necessarily mean finishing earlier, so there are some behind-the-scenes welfare issues for us to take into consideration.


And, of course, with riders as well as support providers coming from far & wide it's unlikely that everyone would be able to get to the start earlier than currently expected.  So it's far from straightforward to adjust start timings - although we're still looking to see what we can do on this front too.


We hope that this is of some help and reassurance, but obviously we're very mindful that the forecast could still change further (either way) in the next few days - so a final decision on how we'll run the event is likely towards the end of the week, and this will be communicated via email to all participants.

 

 

July 2022

GWR Event Update

Entered riders will receive detailed pre-event briefing information a few days before the event itself - we'll do this in a timely manner, but also in a way that hopefully requires no further revision or amendments to avoid any possible confusion or misunderstanding about how things will operate on the day itself.


 And hopefully reading this shortly before the event will mean that it's fresh in riders' minds and, therefore, easier to remember on the day.


In the meantime we have updates on some other aspects of the event, as follows:


2022 GWR ROUTE


We're happy to confirm that we'll be offering all EIGHT route options again this year and, barring any last-minute issues, the routes have now been finalised.

Route Details

 

Please note that we made some fairly significant adjustments to the routes last year and the most up-to-date links are available to download via our Route Details page.  We strongly recommend that anyone who has downloaded any of the routes previously, and certainly prior to July 2022, should do so again now just to ensure that they have the correct version.


Of course the routes will be fully signed as well with GWR-branded direction arrows, and please be aware that the signage on the day always takes priority over the route downloads (to accommodate any very last-minute issues or needs that may arise).


There will be further route checks up to & including the day of the event and, while we don't anticipate any changes, any further adjustments will be notified via email to registered riders or, if absolutely necessary, on the day of the Ride itself.


REFRESHMENTS


This year we've arranged to have a mobile coffee van available at the start for anyone who wants to buy a hot drink pre-ride, and the coffee van will also be present at the finish alongside our traditional event bar.


En route there will be two official stops available exclusively for our riders - the first of these is a 'pit stop' at Bad Ass Bikes at the bottom of Burrington Combe (c. 18 miles into the main route), while the main refreshment stop is at the Post & Wicket at Wedmore Playing Fields (after 34 miles).


Riders will be able to top up water bottles at the pit stop and there will be mechanical support available for any bike issues.  Hot drinks & snacks can also be bought from the bike shop, and public toilet facilities are available nearby.


While in Wedmore there will be a plentiful supply of food & drink available to buy at the main refreshment stop, as well as toilet facilities and of course the opportunity to top up water bottles.


And, as always, we'll have hot food (a hog roast & veggie burgers) and bar facilities (plus the coffee van) available for everyone at the finish - food for riders is FREE, and friends & family who gather at the finish are also welcome to purchase food and drink if they wish.

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PRE- & POST-RIDE TRANSPORT


We've allowed for a reasonable amount of spare capacity within the overall transport offering, however you should book ASAP via the Online Entry page if you wish to use this service and haven't booked it yet (NB we'll be closing the post-Ride service for advance bookings imminently).


Riders don't need to book a particular departure time for the PM transport service so there's no pressure from that perspective, but obviously some departures will be busier than others - however there WILL be space on the day for everyone who's booked the service.


There are still several spaces available for anyone who wants the AM (pre-Ride) service from Weston to take them to the start in Bristol, so this option will remain available for a few days longer (also via the Online Entry page).


Obviously where we do have space(s) on the post-Ride service on the day we're very happy to accommodate people, it's just that we can't absolutely guarantee this and it should also be noted that, in any case, priority for each departure goes to people who have pre-booked the service.


Otherwise, we trust that anyone who hasn't booked this service has alternative plans in place for their journey home.


We hope all of the above makes sense and is clear, and further detailed information will follow shortly for entered riders.

 

 

May 2022

2022 General Update

As you can see below, our 2022 GWR rider medals have arrived and we think they're fantastic - and, as always, one of these little beauties will be waiting at the finish for everyone who rises to the challenge & completes the 2022 GWR :)

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We can also reveal that we're intending/planning to offer the same (revised) route that we introduced last year - we asked for feedback on the big changes that we made around the Highbridge/Burnham area in 2021, and the responses we received were overwhelmingly in favour of these changes.

So, while the final route won't be confirmed until the start of July (to allow us to check for any last-minute roadworks or road closures etc), the hope/expectation is that we'll be able to offer the same EIGHT route & distance options that everyone enjoyed so much last year.  So watch this space - we'll finalise & confirm on this as soon as we can.

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Finally, we've also got one or two other smaller (somewhat enforced) changes in the pipeline this year and there should be more on these imminently but, for now, if you haven't got your entry in yet we'd advise doing so ASAP via our Online Entry page, and that way you'll be among the first to hear about such further changes.


So don't delay, SIGN UP TODAY!

February 2022

2022 Rider Medal

It hasn't escaped our attention that the primary identifying colours of the GWR and its 'baby brother' the Great Exmoor Ride are yellow and blue respectively - which, of course, also happen to be the now very-familiar colours of the national flag of Ukraine.


So we've decided to do something a little bit different with the respective Ride medals this year - namely, that we've modified the medal designs for each event to display those colours TOGETHER as our way of showing support for, and solidarity with, the people of Ukraine at this incredibly difficult and frightening time for them.

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It just seems like the right thing to do given that we're naturally in a position to do this and, of course, it also means that everyone who takes part in either (or both) events can join us in expressing their support too.


We happen to think that the end result is two great-looking medals that also help to make the statement we want to make this year, and we'd like to think that all our riders will be equally happy with this.


So one of these fab medals will be waiting for each & every GWR rider who crosses the finish line in Weston-super-Mare in July and hopefully, by then, the situation will be much improved and Ukraine and its people will be on the road to recovery.


And if you haven't entered yet please do come & join us and bring as many friends, colleagues, family, etc with you as you can - we see so many groups riding together now and it really is even better when you take on the challenge alongside a bunch of people you know!


So sign up NOW and your medal will be waiting!

January 2022

Bottoms Up for Butcombe Beers

We're absolutely delighted to be able to start 2022 with the excellent news that Butcombe Brewery has confirmed that it will be supporting us again this year - for the ELEVENTH YEAR running!

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Eleven years of partnership really does show genuine commitment and, despite another very challenging year for the hospitality industry, we're immensely pleased that Butcombe is still willing & able to continue its support for the award-winning GWR, as well as also once again supporting our season-opening Mendips Lakes and Lumps Ride.


Most people are aware that Butcombe is very much a major national brand these days, but the brewery still has a very strong affinity with the West Country and its Bristol heartlands and it's keen to promote the area as a great place for leisure activities.


This is because, as well as their excellent beers, there's also a growing number of lovely Butcombe pubs & inns dotted around the South West and, as a cycling-friendly organisation, their various establishments are always pleased to welcome people on bikes for a bit of refreshment and refuelling when they're out & about.


The ongoing partnership with the GWR means that our riders can look forward to seeing the Butcombe event bar at the finish line again this year, and of course their finest ale will be available on tap to help people to celebrate their achievement in rising to the GWR challenge.


And that's not all: as we've said, Butcombe is also supporting our Mendips Lakes and Lumps Ride and once again they'll be providing every rider in that event with a FREE BOTTLE OF BEER at the finish - making a great day out exploring the wonderful Mendip Hills AONB by bike in June even more worthwhile!

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We'll also be looking at other ways to get the most out of this great West Country partnership, and the bottom line is that once again we're going to have some of the best beer in the country available at both these events - and that's definitely something to celebrate!


CHEERS!

October 2021

Welcome to our AWARD-WINNING Cycling Challenge!

In case you haven't heard, the Great Weston Ride is no ordinary cycling event - it is, in fact, officially an award-winning cycling event, having recently won the Award for Health & Wellbeing at the prestigious Bristol Life Awards!

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These Awards are designed to celebrate the very best of Bristol so, as you can imagine, we're delighted and very proud to receive this accolade and, above all else, we think it's absolutely fantastic to see a cycling event achieving major recognition for its contribution in such an important area.

The very significant health & wellbeing benefits associated with cycling are pretty well-documented and we always strive to convey this message to riders and potential participants, and it's undoubtedly a good thing to be encouraging and helping people to be more active so that they feel fitter & healthier - physically and mentally - as a result.

The fact that we were also shortlisted for 'Best Event' in Bristol for the FIFTH year in a row at the same Awards is no mean feat either, but it's fair to say that we're extremely pleased with the 'Health & Wellbeing' Award in particular and this gives us every encouragement to keep trying to improve things and to make the event the very best that it can be.

So, if you and your pals want a great day out and the chance to experience some of those health & wellbeing benefits for yourselves, make sure that you're signed up for the 2022 GWR via our Online Entry page.

After all, it's not every day that you get the chance to take part in an AWARD-WINNING event, is it?! :)

October 2021

GWR Cycling Jersey - pre-Xmas Order

We've had a number of enquiries recently about our GWR cycling jerseys and so we've decided to place a new order for delivery by mid-December - just in time to help with any 'what to buy for Xmas' dilemmas!

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It will be exactly the same design & spec as this year's jersey, and we're pleased to be able to say that it will also be the same price. But please note that this is being done very much 'to order' and therefore the customisation options listed below are available for advance purchases ONLY.


But what we will still do is supply and deliver the jerseys at cost plus a modest amount on top as a donation to our charity partner, Prostate Cancer UK, meaning that once again the purchase price is just £35 - which includes VAT, P&P and the charity contribution.


Obviously we want to ensure that we can get the jerseys to people in good time for Xmas so orders need to be placed by Wednesday 3rd November 2021 latest - this means that we can then expect to be able to send out jerseys to everyone who's ordered one by mid-December, and just ahead of the final posting date for Christmas.


The jersey, available in sizes XS to 4XL, comes with three rear pockets to carry your ride essentials AND an additional small zipped pocket for valuables, and we can offer a level of customisation that includes zip options (short or full-length) and a female-specific cut.


Have a look at the male & female size charts below for measurements and, if you'd like to buy a jersey, please visit our Online Entry page where you'll be able to select your size & zip preferences:

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GWR jersey size chart (Men)

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2022JerseySizesWomen
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GWR jersey size chart (Women)

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GWR jersey size chart (Men)

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NB these jerseys are described as 'club fit' and we can confirm that they're definitely a pretty snug fit so if you're borderline between two sizes or unsure - or if you just prefer a slightly looser fit - you may want to opt for one size up.


And remember - if you want one PLEASE don't miss the order deadline (Wednesday 3rd November)!

November 2021

2021 Fundraising

We've now gathered as much information as we can on the overall fundraising effort from our Great Weston Ride, Great Exmoor Ride, and Mendips Lakes & Lumps Ride cycling challenges this year, and it looks like the combined fundraising figure for 2021 across those events is an estimated £40,000 - which also means that around £440,000 has now been raised in total for good causes by our riders since we started.


As always, numerous different charities and causes benefitted from riders' efforts & exertions in 2021 and every year we're pleased to see so many being supported.


And we're especially delighted to see that our official charity partner received very significant levels of support again - to the extent that Prostate Cancer UK specifically has now received around £290,000 from its association with our cycling challenges.

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So obviously we'd like to say a massive and heartfelt 'THANK YOU' to everyone who rose to one or more of these challenges and raised money this year - it's a very significant amount in what are still quite testing circumstances, and this success is entirely down to the efforts and commitment of sponsored riders and their generous supporters.


We would appreciate it if fundraising riders could also share this news with the people who supported them, together with our thanks and appreciation for EVERYONE who contributed, and Prostate Cancer UK has specifically asked us to let everyone know that they are extremely grateful for the tremendous support that has been shown yet again.


And of course we very much hope that lots of people will enter and at least consider fundraising again next year - a grand total of half a million is now well within sight, and it would be simply phenomenal if we could reach that figure next year!


THANKS AGAIN, AND WE LOOK FORWARD TO SEEING YOU IN 2022 :)

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