Welcome to this, the fifth Kington Classic Sportive bike ride which is to be held on Sunday 12th July 2015, with yet another new route over a distance of 68 miles through the most beautiful countryside you might wish to see. This year also features an added option of a shorter route of 29 miles for the less super-fit or for family rides.
Entry is £20 for the full Classic Route, or £16 for the shorter Family Route and for under 16s on the Family route entry price is £10. We prefer on-line entry if possible (click here) but if you are reluctant to trust cyberspace with your payment details there is an entry form you can complete and return to us on the right hand side of this page.
This is a charity ride – all proceeds after promotion costs will be used to fund local good causes in and around the Kington area. All helpers involved on the day will be 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 / Powys (Wales) border town of Kington, HR5 3DQ. Start Time is from 8.30am up to 10am - a rolling start will ensure that there is less bunching of riders, and if you're coming from a distance away, there is no need to rush for an early start!
The new route for 2015 traverses the England / Wales border, with approx. equal distances in each country. This year there is a choice of distances - 68 miles or 29 miles - using a mixture of quiet B roads and country lanes. Both routes are waymarked and have village hall feedstops, with the long route having three stops and the shorter route having only one as a mid-point lunch stop.
There are some simply stunning views to be appreciated incorporating river valleys and moorland vistas, resulting in plenty of steady climbs and a few short steep ones. In particular the views from the top of Gospel Pass overlooking Hay-on-Wye are difficult to better. Fantastic views have to be earned! Some of the downhills will be truly exhilarating so you'll need to watch out for crossing sheep amongst other hazards and check your brakes are in good order. The climb out of Llanthony to the top of Hay Bluff Summit is a category 2 climb with over 1,000 feet height gain - see here on Strava - and its record time has just been broken (April 2015).
All refreshments are 'free', included in the price of entry. They will be available at the start, snacks and drinks at a quarter distance, free lunch at approximately mid-distance, snacks and drinks at three-quarter distance, and free warming recovery-fodder at the end (donations welcomed but not insisted upon). The quality of the locally-sourced food is a feature of the event, with flapjacks / home cooked cakes as well as a choice of sandwiches and sweet snacks and bananas. For the shorter route there will be lunch provided at mid-distance. A sagwaggon will be sweeping up any breakdowns, and a bail-out route is available for the longer ride (decision point is at one quarter distance). Also included in the entry fee is the toll fee for the bridge crossing the River Wye and an optional massage, for those tired muscles at the finish, by a professionally-trained masseuse.
For this ride we have a limit of 300 riders to ensure that all participants are properly catered for, and to ensure that they all enjoy their day out and come back for more next year! We pride ourselves on being hospitable and looking after each rider's needs and wants (within reason).
There is plenty of good value local accommodation, including a YHA, B&Bs, camp sites and hotels. See this link (click on it) for a detailed list:- Accommodation Listing
For those with GPS / Sat-Navs, a .gpx file for you to upload to your kit can be downloaded here (Classic Route) or here (Shorter Route). This should ensure you stay on-track, at least within 50m or so of the recommended route!