Looking for an on or off road Sportive to ride ?? – then come and join us in the North West of the UK in 2020 – CYCLING EVENTS
Share some of our very favourite routes and places to ride throughout this amazing area we call home. Which includes The Lake District and Yorkshire Dales National Parks, and the lesser known Silverdale, Forest of Bowland and Howgills.
Top Dog Events mission is to organise not only the best, but also the friendliest sportives and cycling experiences in the UK – you can see how we are doing so far – EVENT REVIEWS
Join us for the day or maybe have a weekend away in this great area we call home. Check out some great places to stay on our ASSOCIATESpage – or let us find you the perfect place to stay, just ask – we live here.
All you have to do is show up, relax and ride – the team @ Top Dog Events will take care of everything else.
Come and take part in one or more of the cycling events we organise throughout the year. Discover some of the best places to ride in England.
We don’t need to close the roads for any of our cycling events, as they are truly remote and practically traffic free. All our routes are among challenging terrain and breathtaking scenery. Participant numbers are limited to 250 per event this season – to preserve the friendly feel of the events – so don’t delay – book your place today.
Cycling events 2019 / 2020
Choose a distance and an area you would like to come and explore –
Then get out training to take your riding to the next level ready for your chosen challenge. So on the day of the cycling event – you can relax and enjoy some amazing riding along our favourite routes. Which are among the finest and most challenging in the country.
We choose to locate all our cycling events at welcoming and interesting venues in and around the North West of England. Because this is where we live and ride our various bikes regularly.
All venues have tarmac car parks, indoor toilets, cafes and attractions for supporters to enjoy – staying warm and dry – while waiting for riders to return. Riders are also free to relax after their ride – enjoy a hot drink and chat with fellow participants
Following well marked routes – over 500+ arrows will show you the way. You will feel secure that you have the backup of a dedicated team of medical professionals, support vehicles, feed stations and friendly marshals.
All our cycling events are registered, overseen and insured with British Cycling.
Or – why not join the Top Dog Events team and help us out on event days – you will be very welcome.
Cycling in North West England
Come and discover some unforgettable places to ride your bike. We are a bit biased – as we live here – but we think that the cycling in North West England is among the best in the UK, if not the world.
The majority of our sportive events are based at the fantastic 3-1-5 Health Club, in Lancaster, which is very accessible by both road – M6 Junction 34 – and rail – main line to Lancaster Station. We have 2 x great places to stay right on the start line – Holiday Inn and Premier Inn . Lancaster is the county town of Lancashire and straddles the River Lune. The House of Lancaster was once a branch of the English royal family, now the Duchy of Lancaster holds large estates on behalf of Elizabeth II, who is also the Duke of Lancaster.
It is a lively university city, dominated by Lancaster Castle, Lancaster Priory Church and the Ashton Memorial. It is home to Lancaster University and a campus of the University of Cumbria. with many welcoming places to spend an evening, most have live music at weekends.
On our doorstep we are blessed to have several stunning National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, all are just a short ride from our event HQ’s – and offer some of the best cycling in North West England.
The Lake District National Park
Also known as the Lakes or Lakeland, is a mountainous region in the county of Cumbria. A popular holiday destination, it attracts over 18 million visitors from all over the world each year. The region is famous for its lakes, forests and mountains (or fells), which offer some great cycling routes, and its associations with William Wordsworth and other Lake Poets as well as with Beatrix Potter and John Ruskin.
The Lake District National Park was established in 1951 and covers an area of 2,362 square kilometres, and some classic hill climbs like The Struggle, Kirkstone, Honister, Wrynose passes. It was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2017, and is home to mile after mile of secluded lanes. Some of which we use for our events.
The Yorkshire Dales National Park
A stunning upland area of the Pennines in the historic county of Yorkshire, often simply called The Dales, most of the area is in the Yorkshire Dales National Park which was created in 1954.
The Dales comprise of many river valleys and the hills rising from the Vale ofYork westwards to the hilltops of the Pennine watershed, the riding here is fast becoming known worldwide with Le Tour de France, UCI World Championships and The Tour of Britain all having stages in the area in recent years. Cyclists now enjoy the benefits of some incredibly well re surfaced roads due to these events, and will generally see many more sheep than cars when out riding.
Forest of Bowland Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty
Also known as the Bowland Fells, is an area of barren gritstone fells, deep valleys and peat moorland, mostly in north-east Lancashire, but with a small part in North Yorkshire (before 1974, some of the area was in the West Riding of Yorkshire). It is a western spur of the Pennines and was once described as the “Switzerland of England”.
The Forest of Bowland has been designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) since 1964. Bowland survives as the north-western remainder of the ancient wilderness that once stretched over a huge part of England, encompassing the Forest of Bowland, Sherwood Forest , the New Forest and Savernake Forest (Wiltshire) . The remote country lanes are fantastic for cycling, and the well known ascents of Cow Ark, Waddington Fell and The Trough of Bowland will test many riders.
Silverdale and Arnside Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty
A designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty since 1972, on the border between Lancashire and Cumbria, and bound by the Morecambe Bay coast on one side and limestone fells on the other. The area is one of the smallest AONBs, covering just 29 square miles (75 km2) between the Kent Estuary, the River Keer and the A6 road.
The Leighton Moss nature reserve (recently seen on BBC’s Springwatch), owned by the RSPB, is the largest area of reedbeds in North West England, and is an Important Bird breeding ground. The seashores and rolling limestone hills make for some memorable riding in and around Arnside and Silverdale which are the main villages in the area.
The Howgill Fells
Are the remote fells often seen from the M6 motorway, between the Lake District and the Yorkshire Dales, lying roughly in the middle of a triangle made by the towns of Sedbergh, Kirkby Stephen and Tebay. The name Howgill derives from the Old Norse word haugr meaning a hill or barrow, plus gil meaning a narrow valley.
The Howgill Fells are bounded by the River Lune (and the M6 motorway to the west), to the north by upper reaches of the River Lune, and to the east by the River Rawthey. The old roman road that we follow on our events rarely sees any traffic at all, and the hills above are home to several herds of semi wild fell ponies, who will happily stand and watch you ride past.
Team Top Dog
Join us for a special cycling adventure in 2020.
We look forward to meeting you soon, and helping you to enjoy some of the very special places we get to ride on a weekly basis.
Meet some the folk who will be keeping you safe and looking after you on your event –
Startline and Broom Wagon
Steve and Chris have shared many a long day out on their bikes over the years, and was the first person we asked to help us run our events. Steve loves nothing better than riding any type of bike, exploring the Bowland fells on road bikes, the bridleways of The Lakes and Dales on mountain bikes or sharing big days out on the family tandem with his wife Emma.
On event days you will see Steve organising the start area, recording riders numbers and start times. Once everyone is safely underway - Steve drives the main "Broom Wagon" around the long courses, to help anyone with mechanical issues, to either fix the problem or return folk back to event HQ.
Registration and feedstations
Sophie is Chris's cousin, a fully qualified car mechanic and Black Belt in martial arts. She joined us last season to help with rider registration as rider numbers grew and with her partner Paul have become our feed station experts.
On event day you will meet Sophie registering riders and giving them their event numbers. Then once registration closes - Sophie and Paul load up their car and head for the hills to set up and run a feed station, once all riders are safely through they return to event HQ to help ensure everyone gets a hot drink and heads home happy.
Company Director - Safety Officer +UKA Off Road Run Leader
Co director of Top Dog Events Limited, she is very busy working full time for the NHS, helping to lead 3-1-5 Health Clubs "Couch to 5 km" running sessions and guiding runs with Chris.
Lynn helps to place signs around routes, and oversees all our 1st aid kits, checking risks assessments are thorough as well as preparing all the post ride goody bags and organising all the drinks and snacks en route and post ride.
On event day - after getting up at daft o clock and driving around the entire short route, to ensure all signage is still in place, you will see Lynn booking you in at registration, marshalling out on the course, being "Broom Wagon" on the short route, and doing all she can at the finish to ensure our guests are happy and well looked after.
Our inspiration for setting up Top Dog Events is our dear departed boxer dog - Bailey. She brightened up our lives for many years before we lost her to a wonky back end several years ago.
There was never a dull moment with"moo" around, she loved nothing better than long walks, chasing both real and imaginary squirrels, snoring, splashing in mud and water once she'd rearranged all the stones and sticks to their correct places. She was a real princess who loved meeting people almost as much as rolling in dead things on the beach before cadging a lift home in our cars.
Company Director - Event Organiser + UKA Off Road Run Leader + British Cycling L2 Road & MTB Ride Leader
Co director of Top Dog Events Limited, Chris splits his time between leading clients on outdoor adventure activities and organising the very best cycling events we can.
His roles pre event include being event organiser, which involves weeks of planning, recceing, risk assessment, typing, meeting event partners, booking and briefing the team, marketing and ordering things like medals, souvenirs and flyers - as well as spending the best part of the week before each event, driving around routes putting signs out, then retrieving them again.
On event day - after getting up at daft o clock and driving around the entire long route, to ensure all signage is still in place, you will see Chris briefing riders at the start, marshalling out on the course, being a spare "Broom Wagon" around the routes, and once back at event HQ ensuring our guests are back safe, happy and well looked after.
Registration - Social Media + L1 British Cycling Road Ride Leader
Chris is a dedicated road cyclist and somewhat of an expert in the local area, spending every possible minute riding the roads and lanes of The Lakes, Yorkshire Dales or Fylde Coast. He is often found leading rides for British Cycling, Fat Lad at the Back or groups of local cycle club members.
Chris's field of expertise - apart from cycling - is Social Media and has recently taken over this role to market our events and build up Top Dogs Facebook and Instagram following. On event day Chris helps at registration by issuing numbers to riders entering on the day, and then riding round the days long route himself.
Event HQ and co-ordinator + UKA Off Road Run Leader + SMBL Off Road Ride Leader
Colin is a professional outdoor activity leader and is happiest floating in a canoe or climbing mountains throughout The Lakes, Dales, Lancashire and further afield. He has recently become a qualified Mountain Bike leader and spends many hours exploring the bridleways and trails of the local area, Wales and Scotland.
Colin has a background in organising fell running events in the remote Pendle hills of Lancashire, and has proved to be a very reliable person to have running our event HQ and communications. So on event days you will see Colin everywhere, ensuring everything runs smoothly, once riders are underway all communications go through Colin and none of the team stands down until he tells us that every rider is safely back.
Event Photographer + UKA Off Road Run Leader + Coach
Rowan is not only a mad keen fell runner, qualified sports therapist, off road running coach and photographer, but also leads clients on long days exploring the remote areas of The Lakes, Dales and surrounding hills on foot as a UK Athletics Off Road Run Leader.
On event days you will see Rowan everywhere throughout the day, at HQ, the start, at the side of the road, feed station and at photogenic points along the various routes. Post event - it is Rowans pictures that you can download from our Top Dog Events Facebook page, so give him a wave when you see him.
Car Parking and Feed Station
Paul is a keen mountain biker and professional car mechanic, he joined our team this season and with his partner Sophie. has proved invaluable in managing the car parking at events and pointing riders arriving towards registration and then down to the ride start area.
On event days, Paul will be the first of our team you meet and he will guide you into the HQ, opening a low security barrier should you be carrying your bike on top of your car. Once everyone is underway - Paul and Sophie load up their car and head out to run the feed station half way round the longer routes. Once riders are fed and watered the pair will be back at HQ, ensuring everyone gets a hot drink and snack.
Please let us know any ideas, query’s or feedback we can help with, or to volunteer at an event