NEWSLETTER No 3 – JUNE 2022
We hope this – our latest newsletter finds you fit and well.
Spring has kind of arrived at last – we have enjoyed several rides in shorts and T- shirts but have also had to grit our teeth to battle against driving rain and strong headwinds just as often.
We have had some further communications from our friend Mike in The Dales
As each of his objections to what we all enjoy doing have been discredited – he has gone very quiet of late, and we hope this will be the last time we have to deal with him and his like.
One of the best things to come out of the whole ugly episode was a surprise phone conversation with a resident of Cowgill (the small village close to where Mike lives) expressing their own, as well as other villagers’ embarrassment of their neighbours’ actions. They wished us to know that Mikes opinions are in no way shared by other residents of the area, and that he was in no way representing their views or opinions.
Indeed, they assured me that cyclists and events who are respectful of the area and special places they pass through without leaving any rubbish or any sign of their passing, are extremely welcome. So, it seems our friend has upset not only us and our team, you as cyclists and our event day guests, but also his closest neighbours and local community as well.
Although our remaining events will still not run as full Sportives, this year, its hard to re organise them and some of our team of now made other arrangements for holidays and adventures.
They will still be available in the new and experimental “Bellion” format – where there is minimum organisation or support, with GPX of routes being followed on the day, and a commemorative certificate being sent to every rider on receipt of their Strava data that proves they completed the ride.
Chris and Lynn are also using the opportunity to focus on some of their own cycling goals, Chris will be riding the infamous 112-mile Fred Whitton route in The Lakes on 3 July, Lynn continues to work towards her 100 mile in a day target, and we both look forward riding Coast to Coast in September as a practice for our 180+ mile Hebridean Way adventure next Spring.
Our big news is that we have decided resume organising the 4 x North West cycling events we have worked so hard to establish and remain very proud of as fully supported Sportives in 2023.
Some routes will be revisited and updated, especially The Ram – which will be slightly longer at around 75 x miles, to include the legendary Coal Road ascent and avoid our friend Mikes house altogether.
We recently asked for riders’ feedback on why they enter Sportives, and it seems we are doing the right thing, but maybe tried too hard in the past by being rather OTT with route marking arrows, as we felt this represented good value for money, which is very important to us.
What makes a good sportive ??
- Friendly and relaxed atmosphere
- Challenging rides in beautiful places
- Easy to get to and from
- No pressure to race around the route as fast as possible
- Easy to navigate an unfamiliar area
- Well supported both mechanically and medically
- Veggie / vegan friendly
- Good communication before and after event
- Accommodation options nearby
As this list pretty well describes our events exactly – we are confident that our events are meeting riders needs and will carry on doing so in the future
We have used this episode to re-examine our operation and will be making some small changes behind the scenes, but as our guest the only change you will notice will be a much happier team of marshals and helpers on event day, as well as fewer yellow arrows en route. Chris will still be personally marking the routes and will only place signs at crucial hazards and turns at junctions.
This should lower our visual impact on the areas and communities our events pass through, while allowing us to put the signs out later in the week before a ride, remove some on the day and the remainder the day after.
Feeling the love
We have been blown away by the love and support we have received lately as well as greatly missing seeing our guests and riders on event days, many of whom we class as friends now, and can t wait to welcome you all back to Lancaster next season.
Have a great months riding
All @ Top Dog Events Limited