Top Dog Events

Top Dog Events organise cycling events in and among the hills, forests, lakes and coasts of North West England – our local area.  

Next event – ENTRIES CLOSED 13 JUNE 2021

“The Raptor” Forest of Bowland 63 mile Sportive – 20 June 2021

Registered and insured by British Cycling.

British Cycling registered sportive                                                  


Come for a big day out or a weekend away and enjoy some amazing cycling ……

Our events are super easy to get to by either road or rail and there are great places to stay right on the start line or in the local area – more info 

yorkshire dales 68 mile loop sportive

We are optimistic that all our 2021 events will take place  and online entries are open – but if we are unable to run them – all entrants will be offered a place in 2022 event – entry into an alternative 2021 event or a full refund (-3% S I Entries fee ) – more info


Come and explore some remote, traffic free routes – to challenge yourself and discover some amazing places to ride in 2021 –

"The Ram" 68 mile Yorkshire Dales Sportive

16 May 2021 – “The Ram” Sportive – Yorkshire Dales 68 mile loop

Read reviews

"The Raptor" 63 mile Forest of Bowland Sportive

20 June 2021 – “The Raptor” Sportive – Forest of Bowland 63 mile loop

Entries closed 13 June 2021"The Beast" 108 mile Lake District Sportive

8 August 2021  – “The Beast” Sportive – Lake District 108 mile loop 

Entries open

"The Boxer" 66 mile South Lakes Sportive

10 October 2021 – “The Boxer” Sportive – South Lakes 66 mile loop

Entries Open

"The Forester" 32 mile Grizedale Forest off road Sportive

November 2021 ??- “The Forester” Sportive – Grizedale Forest 32  mile off road loop – 

Fingers crossed – we are starting to plan this great new event with Forestry England for the end of the year. 


Looking for an on or off road Sportive to ride ??  – then come and join us in the North West of the UK in 2021 – 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 ASSOCIATES page – 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.


 

Cycling Events

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. 

“Super Sportive s

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 breath taking scenery.  Participant numbers are limited to 270 per event this season – to preserve the friendly feel of the events – so don’t delay – book your place today.

riders waiting at start of a cycling event

Cycling events 2021

Choose a distance and an area you would like to come and explore –

60 MILE LOOPS

80 MILE LOOPS

100 MILE LOOPS

OFF ROAD LOOPS

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

LOOK WHERE YOU’LL RIDE

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.

RIDERS FEEDBACK

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.

Lancaster

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.

Find a bed –

lancaster castle
Lancaster Castle

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.

Cycling Areas

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.

shap summit
Shap Summit – Lake District

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.

Find a bed –

lake district
Photo by Steve Taylor

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.

Find a bed –

yorkshire dales
Photo by Gary Butterfield

The Dales comprise of many river valleys and the hills rising from the Vale of York 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 you 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”.

forest of bowland
Jubilee Tower – Forest of Bowland

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.

arnside sea front
Arnside Sea Front

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.

Howgill fells
The Howgill Fells

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.

chris packman and lynn baines

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 –

Steve Beesley
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.

Sophie Heath
Event helper + feedstations

Sophie is Chris's cousin, a fully qualified car mechanic and Black Belt in martial arts. She originally joined us to help with rider registration as rider numbers grew and with her partner Paul has become our feed station expert.

On event day - Sophie and Paul load up their car and head for the hills to set up and run a feed station half way around the days route.

Once all riders are safely through they return to event HQ to help ensure everyone gets a goody bag and heads home happy. 

Lynn Baines
Company Director - Safety Officer

Co director of Top Dog Events Limited, she is very busy working full time for the NHS, and making sure all our events are as safe possible for all involved.

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 may see Lynn marshalling out on the course, taking your photo, being an extra "Broom Wagon", and doing all she can at the finish to ensure our guests are happy and well looked after.

Bailey Baines
Company Logo

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.

 

Chris Packman
Company Director - Event Organiser - British Cycling L2 Road & MTB Ride Leader - City & Guilds L2 Cycle Mechanic

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.

Chris Jones
Event helper + L1 British Cycling Road Ride Leader

Chris is another local rider and he gets out for a ride pretty well each and every day.

He often leads groups on rides around some of our favourite places and knows the roads and lanes in a large radius of Morecambe Bays like the back of his hand.

Chris's other area of expertise in using Social Media and been helping the company promote events and increasing their profile on various platforms.

On event days Chris assists participants safely park their vehicles and find their way to the start - before grabbing his own bike and enjoying the days route. 

Colin Woolford
Event HQ and co-ordinator + 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.  

Rowan Wood
Event Photographer + Proffesional Sports Therapist

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.

Paul Bickerton
Event helper and Feed Station

Paul is a keen mountain biker and professional car mechanic, he joined our team several seasons ago, with his partner Sophie, they are now our go to people to run our feed stations.  So well have they looked after the riders on previous events.  

On event days,  Paul and Sophie load up their car and head out to run the feed station half way round the  routes. 

Once all riders are fed and watered the pair will be back at HQ, ensuring everyone gets a their goody bags in the finish area.  

Tim Norton
Event Day Helper

Tim is another local rider who is to found all over the Lakes, Dales, Silverdale or Lancashire  spinning out the miles at every opportunity.

Regular trips all over the UK and Europe are enjoyed by Tim and his wife several times a year - getting away and using their beloved camper van as their transport and base camp.

On event day you are most likely to see Tim helping at the start of the day, marshalling out around the course, taking photos or riding at the back of the pack acting as our "tail end Charlie". An invaluable role as all the team out around the route know that all participants have gone past them once Tim arrives. 

Sue Roberts
Event Day Helper

Sue lives locally and has been riding all sorts of bikes since childhood.

She recently completed a break of several years from owning a car - opting to use pedal power instead - an awesome achievement considering that she lives in a small and remote hamlet in the middle of Silverdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Lately Sue has become an Electric Bike owner, and can often be found cruising the lanes towing a trailer containing either a weeks shopping or a pair of wet and muddy dogs.

On event days Sue often runs the finish area - taking riders numbers for the timing and dishing out well earned goody bags.

 

 

 

Contact

Please let us know any ideas, query’s or feedback we can help with, or to volunteer at an event

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