Castles Bike Ride Rider Instructions
Entering the event
Entries on the day will be accepted up to a limit of 300 riders. It helps everyone if you enter in advance at www.castlesbikeride.co.uk although this does attract a small charge.
Please do NOT park in the Croft Leisure Centre car park. Cycle to the event if you can. We have limited FREE parking courtesy of Intel in their car parks C and D. Marshals should be there to guide you to the correct spot. Please take care cycling out of the car park as some cars will be coming in as you exit.
Arriving at the start
Please arrange to be at the start for 0930 at the latest, earlier if you are entering on the day. Please ensure you book in and collect your bracelet and handlebar card. Please ensure you are registered on your correct route. The handlebar card has been introduced this year to help our marshals send you on the correct route and to distinguish you from the other bike riders out on the day.
The event will start at 10 o’clock or as near to then as possible.
Please remember that this is a fun event which attracts riders of all abilities and all ages. Some will be taking part in their first ever massed start event. We hope to have a police lead for the first few miles which does include a couple of short sharp climbs coupled with steep descents on which care really needs to be taken.
At all times please adhere to the rules of the road, be very careful on descents and do not overtake unless and until it is safe to do so. Do not ride on the wrong side of the road.
There are several sections where Mountain Bike Riders are sharing the tracks and trails with other users such as pedestrians, dog walkers, children, other cyclists and horse riders. It is essential that our riders respect the other users and take care when approaching or passing. This is especially important in the following areas:
a. The Ridgeway and the Railway path. Both very popular with Horse riders and other Cyclists.
b. Coate Water. While this is the National Cycle network, it does not imply bike riders have exclusive use of the path. If the weather is good you can expect many families with young children to be in the vicinity, especially near the model railway.
The main route signage will be black and yellow Cycle Route signs and these will be used for the Mountain Bike routes and the road bike routes where they follow the Mountain Bikers. The road route will be signed with Macmillan signs which are Green arrows on a white background. To help you identify these we have now put hi viz bands on them.
Mountian Bike Route Signage
Road Route Signage
Please be aware of the places where the routes split and ensure you are following your chosen route. Should you wish to change course whilst on the route please tell the Marshal at the splits that you have done so or they will send you the “wrong” way according to the colour of your card.
The course splits are at:
1. Hodson: The road route turns left to follow the road to Chisledon. All Mountain Bike routes continue straight on into “Three Fields”.
2. Three Fields/Ridgeway: Short MTB course turns left: Long and Medium courses turn right.
3. Back of Barbury Castle: Long route continues straight on to Hackpen along Route 45 of NCN. Medium route turns left and left again to go in gate and up to barbury Castle and their refreshment stop.
4. Ogbourne St George. Riders on the Road routes and the long and Medium routes have come together at the bottom of Smeethes ridge. They split again in Ogbourne St George at the road under the A346. There is water at this point if needed.
a. Road Route goes straight on east towards Aldbourne.
b. Medium Route turns left and goes north on the railway path toward Chiseldon.
c. Long route goes under A346 then turns right to join the railway path after about 400metres. The long route then does a loop returning to Ogbourne St George and then turns right to go north on the railway path.
Cut Off Times
Riders on the long route must get to Ogbourne St George before 12.30. At 12.30 all riders on Mountain bikes will be sent north on the Railway path and all direction signs removed. NB we expect road riders to have reached this point by 10.45 so this is not an issue for them.
Riding in Chiseldon
Mountain Bike Riders should take care to follow the routes in Chiseldon Residential Area
Long Route Refreshment Point. This will be Old Eagle after 12 Miles. The police have asked that you do not leave your bikes on the road, but use the grassed area around the refreshment point to park your bike.
Medium Route Refreshment Point. This will at Barbury Castle. Please take care and do not park so as to cause an obstruction to anyone using the car park.
Refreshments at Croft
We provide free refreshments at the end of your ride. We also expect Ray’s Ice Cream to be there, so bring some cash.
Donations and Sponsorship
We hope that many of you will have managed to get sponsored. We appreciate, though, that with so many sponsorship events that one can’t keep asking. If you weren’t able to get sponsored perhaps you could make a small donation on the day. Collection tins will be around the refreshment areas.