Kington Classic 2013
The third Kington Classic Sportive bike ride will be held on Sunday 14th July 2013, over a distance of 74 miles through the most beautiful countryside you might wish to see. This is a difficult and challenging course, and it would be as well to consider getting in some serious hill training before participating.
This is a charity ride – all proceeds after promotion costs are used to fund local good causes in and around the Kington area. All helpers involved on the day are volunteers from the Kington Lions Club (see http://www.kingtonlions.org/) which is an independent charity under the auspices of the Lions Club International organisation (see www.lionsclubs.org/).
The event starts and finishes in the Herefordshire / Wales border town of Kington and most of the route is actually over the border into the beautiful countryside of mid-Wales. Click Here to view a map of the route - unusually, we follow it in a clockwise direction.
The event is not a race – the slower you go the more time you will have to appreciate the quiet lanes and Borders scenery including river valleys and moorland vistas. There are no mountains to climb, but plenty of steady climbs and a few short sharp ones. The total climb during the ride is almost 2,000 meters so make sure you come prepared and trained! Please ensure your bike has good brakes, and you will find low-ratio gears useful on the climbs.
The start and end point of the event is the Cattle Market in Kington, which has plenty of space and free parking. It's best to enter by car via Love Lane - see this link for a map. The rolling start from 8.30am until 10am avoids congestion - so you don't have to rush to be there on the dot of 8.30am especially if you have a way to come from home to get to Kington.
As almost all of the route is in narrow winding lanes (all tarmac surfaces) it is perhaps not suitable for enthusiasts of main-road riding. However, if you ‘see the light’ and want to admire the scenery in preference to following a passing back wheel then you will be very welcome.
Teas / coffees / etc. will be available free at the start, free lunch at approximately mid-distance, and warming recovery-fodder at the end. At quarter and three-quarter distance there are water points with food top-ups as needed.
The Entry Fee is £20, which gets you an excellent way-marked route, parking & changing facilities, and refreshments en route and at the end. A professional photographer covers the event, and you will be able to select photographs from his website for purchase after the event.
If you are reluctant or unable to enter on-line, we can accept postal entries. Click on entry form to access the necessary paperwork, or click on the link (document - entry form) at the top right hand side of this page. Please print it off, complete it, and return it with your cheque to secure your place(s).
For those with GPS / Sat-Navs, an excel file of 400-odd waymarking grid references can be made available and also a .gpx file that can be loaded to your Garmin or similar. This should ensure you stay on-track, but frankly the way-marking worked well on the first event with no-one losing the route.
Any further questions? Please email the event secretary, Chris Smith.
Kington Classic 2012 - Event Report
The weather was kind to the 75 entrants, right up until around 2.30pm on Sunday 8th July when the heavens opened with some riders getting hail as well as rain. At this stage only some 15 riders had returned to the relative comfort of the Kington Cattle Market for their bacon butties, so most of the field did get wet.
There was an early casualty when a rider came off on a bump going downhill, and whilst trying to soften the landing with a hand managed to fracture a collar bone. An ambulance took the casualty to Hereford Hospital where his bone was set - his bike and car were safely recovered and reunited with him, his wife and young daughter, so they could eventually return to home in Cambridgeshire. Unfortunately, a subsequent trip to cycle in the Pyrenees (for which this was the final training run) had to be abandoned to allow recovery.
The newly instituted water stops were much appreciated - at quarter distance and at three-quarter distance - giving a welcomed opportunity to take on fluids and nourishment.
Lunch at Rhayader (half-way) in the comfort of the village hall turned into quite a long stop for some who were obviously reluctant for the challenges of the fairly vicious climb up to Abbeycwmhir immediately after lunch. Three riders decided they had had enough at that stage and either thumbed a lift back to Kington or took the new 'bail-out' route down the main road to Kington which saves some of the steeper climbs.
Bacon rolls, cakes and hot drinks were well patronised at the Cattle Market, which provides an informal yet spacious setting for recuperation after the gruelling ride.
Feedback from entrants is always welcomed - email Chris Smith (click on link at bottom of page) with suggestions for improvements for next year. If you were as happy with the day as we think you were - tell your friends and book next year's date now - the second Sunday in July 2013 - Sunday 14th July 2013. See you then!
The Kington Classic Sportive
The inaugural Kington Classic Sportive bike ride was held on Sunday 10th July 2011, over a distance of 74 miles through the most beautiful countryside you might wish to see. The weather was kind to the participants who all seemed thoroughly to enjoy the challenge of this difficult course.
The event is not a race – Many riders powered through the course and finished in around 5 hours but some took their time and were nearer 8 hours. They all found it worthwhile!
The start and end point of the event at the Cattle Market in Kington worked well, with plenty of space and free parking. Some small improvements are planned for 2012, but mainly in the layout.
Refreshments throughout were free and much appreciated. There were some generous donations which warmed the hearts of the volunteers helping with the organisation on the day!
For the inaugural ride there were 62 entrants which ensured that all participants were properly catered for and that the Kington Lions learned all about how to run such an event.
Photos from the 2011 event can be viewed here.