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Here's where you'll find all the latest news and developments regarding the 2023 Great Weston Ride:

July 2023

GWR Event Update

Entered riders will receive detailed pre-event briefing information shortly 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:

2023 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.


We're aware that final confirmation of the routes is quite late this year, but we've been hoping against hope that a long-standing major roadworks situation affecting part of the route would get resolved in time for the event.


Unfortunately, that's not happened and the works have over-run, so we've now adjusted the route to take account of this. The result is that there's now a short section of cycle path (about 800m long) that we're going to use on the way through Barrow Gurney - but please note that it's a very narrow and quite steep path, so riders need to proceed with care and with patience please through this section.
 

So the most up-to-date links (including the re-route) are now available to download via our Route Details page. We strongly recommend that anyone who has downloaded any of the routes previously 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

Once again we'll have a mobile coffee van available at the start for anyone who wants to buy a hot drink pre-ride, and at the finish we'll have 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 our excellent BBQ and bar facilities 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.

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 an extra couple of days (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.

June 2023

Why we're supporting Bristol & Weston Hospitals Charity

This is important, so PLEASE read on and let us explain why we've chosen to support Bristol & Weston Hospitals Charity.


The first thing to say is that our new charity partner is absolutely tiny in comparison with the likes of Macmillan, The British Heart Foundation, and our old friends at Prostate Cancer UK, and we suspect that not everyone knows or fully understands the critically-important work that they do for people - and patients in particular - across the South-West. For example:

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It's possibly partly because BWHC is a 'Jack of all trades' (in the most positive sense of that phrase), in that it supports the care of patients across the whole spectrum of illnesses, including:

  • Paediatric care at the Children's Hospital

  • Cancer treatment

  • Intensive care

  • Dementia care

  • Mental health services

  • Coronary care & cardiovascular disease

  • Acute strokes

  • End-of-life care

  • Neonatal care

  • Eye & dental care

  • Community health

And, crucially, it funds additional equipment, services and support that the NHS doesn't cover - so really important and valuable things like a hydrotherapy hoist to enable severely disabled children to use the pool; pioneering heart valve technology; specialist incubators for lifesaving critical care in the neonatal ICU; a plasma jet machine to treat cervical cancer; an MRI scanner; and so much more besides that massively enhances patient care in the region.

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We didn't know about all of this, and possibly you didn't either - but, now that we do, this is precisely why we're asking everyone to use their GWR challenge to fundraise if they possibly can to support more of this fabulous work for everyone in Bristol and Weston, as well as the South-West as a whole.

We need your help, so please sign up for #TeamBWHC via our Charity Partner page and do something great. Thank you.

March 2023

NEW! GWR Cycling Jersey

We've had a number of enquiries about GWR cycling jerseys again this year so we've come up with a revamped design for 2023, and it’s fair to say that we’re very pleased with the outcome! :)

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We produced our first jersey in 2013, other versions came along in 2017 and 2020, and this is now just the fourth GWR jersey design - and obviously we hope everyone will like this latest version.


As you can see, the new design is intended to complement the previous jersey by retaining many of the same features and, of course, the very recognisable GWR branding and colours, and hopefully everyone likes the fresh Summer feel of this latest incarnation.
 

And, as always, it's our intention to supply and deliver the jerseys at cost plus a modest amount on top as a donation to our charity partner, Bristol & Weston Hospitals Charity, meaning that the purchase price is just £37 - which includes VAT, P&P and the charity contribution.
 

But please note that the jersey is being made available to pre-order and therefore, importantly, the customisation options listed below are available for advance purchases only.


Obviously we want to ensure that we can get the jerseys to people well in advance of this year's GWR so orders need to be placed by Wednesday 12th April 2023 latest - this means that we can then expect to be able to send out jerseys to everyone who's ordered one by early June.


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 for pre-orders 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:

 

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 - it might be advisable to opt for one size up.


And remember - if you want one PLEASE don't miss the order deadline (Wednesday 12th April)!

February 2023

2023 Finish Line Arrangements

We're pleased to say that our finish line arrangements are now all in place for 2023 and, having opted for a bit of a change with a hog roast in 2022, we're going back to the very popular and long-established GWR BBQ this year.

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As always, our aim is to cater for all needs & preferences - meat, veggie, vegan, & GF options will all be available - and please note that food is INCLUDED at the finish for all our riders.


In addition to the free food, riders can also look forward to picking up one of our lovely - and, no doubt, hard-earned - 2023 rider medals as they cross the finish line:

 

Please just note that we've had to predict demand and place our medal order very early this year so we've erred on the side of caution, and obviously the ordered medals will be allocated on a 'first come, first served' basis as people enter.


And, last but not least, for the 12th year running we'll have our hugely-popular Butcombe event bar on site so that riders can celebrate & toast their considerable achievements at the seaside with a pint or two of the West Country's very best beer and cider!

GWR Butcombe Bar

 

So get your entry in NOW if you haven't done it yet and all of this will be waiting for you!

January 2023

2023 Rider Medal

We're pleased to say that we've decided on our rider medal design for 2023, and the upshot is another fab-looking bespoke medal that should be waiting at the finish for everyone who completes the 2023 GWR :)

 

Hopefully you like the look of it and, as ever, all you need to do to get your hands on one of these is to enter the Ride via our Online Entry page, get some training in beforehand (the sooner you enter the more training & preparation you can do!), and then just go out and enjoy yourself on the day!


And, with EIGHT route & distance options to choose from, there should be something for pretty much everyone, so whichever route option you go for you WILL know that you've well & truly earned your medal by the finish - and of course it always feels that little bit easier if you also know that you've done a bit of prep & practice!


NB please just be aware that we have to estimate & finalise our medal order much earlier than usual this year, which makes it more difficult for us to predict likely demand - and obviously we're keen to avoid waste where possible, so it may be the case that people who leave it late to enter this year may not be able to receive a medal if demand outstrips our upcoming estimate.


So, if you want to be sure that one of these has got YOUR name on it, please help us out and make sure you get your entry in ASAP (if you haven't done so already) - and, of course, please 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 we'll make sure that your medal is waiting!

November 2022

NEW CHARITY PARTNER!

After 12 very successful years helping to raise awareness and over £300,000 in sponsorship for Prostate Cancer UK, we feel that it's time for a change now - and so we're absolutely delighted to announce that Bristol & Weston Hospitals Charity will be our new official Charity Partner into 2023 and beyond.

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BWHC fundraises for TEN hospitals across Bristol and Weston specifically to support services above & beyond what the NHS itself can provide, and in fact some of the initiatives that they fund in our hospitals actually serve the WHOLE of the South-West.


The ten hospitals include the Children's Hospital, the BRI, and Weston General, and over 1 million patients are treated each year across these hospitals - and, of course, the vast majority of our GWR riders are from the local area, so they and their families are precisely the people that BWHC is helping to care for and look after when they need hospital treatment.


BWHC focuses on providing additional support for its hospitals wherever the need is greatest and, as an example, in 2023 there's a major project at the fantastic Children's Hospital that we're keen to try to support with our riders' help.


Bristol's Children's Hospital is in the top four children's hospitals in the UK, and it sees over 45,000 emergency attendances each year (as well as around 120,000 outpatient contacts) - but it's currently the only big children's hospital in the country without a dedicated clinical research facility (CRF).

Places like London, Manchester, Birmingham, Liverpool, and Sheffield all have a CRF in their children's hospitals, and the lack of such a facility in Bristol actually deprives children and young people across the South West of access to the latest treatments.

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So BWHC is determined to do something about it - fundraising for the facility is already underway, and it would be fantastic if we could get this great new partnership off the ground by also helping to address this huge health inequality for families across our region.


So we'd like to ask ALL our riders to consider if they could possibly join #TeamBWHC at the GWR and fundraise for projects like this game-changing facility in the South West - please go to our Charity Partner page for all the info you need & to sign up to fundraise.


THANKS, AND WE LOOK FORWARD TO SEEING THE SAME FANTASTIC SUPPORT FOR OUR NEW - LOCAL - CHARITY PARTNER :)

October 2022

2022 Fundraising

We've now gathered as much information as we can on the overall fundraising effort from our cycling challenges this year, and it looks like the combined fundraising figure for 2022 is an estimated £30,000 - which also means that around £470,000 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 2022 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 great support again - to the extent that Prostate Cancer UK specifically has now received around £310,000 from its association with our cycling challenges.

Fundraisers

 

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 significant amount in what are still quite testing circumstances, and this 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 of course we very much hope that lots of people will enter and at least consider fundraising again next year - a grand total of £500,000 is now well within sight, and we'd love it if we could reach that figure next year!


THANKS AGAIN, AND WE LOOK FORWARD TO SEEING YOU IN 2023 :)

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