Upcoming events..

The Smoke Ring Challenge – 19th & 20th May 2018

The Solstice 100 – 23rd June 2018



A unique mountain bike experience…

The Smoke Ring Mtb Challenge

 19/20th May  2018

The event, open to both mtb’s and gravel bikes, will follow ‘The Smoke Ring – An orbital route around London’, which is a long distance mountain bike route created and published by Mtb Epics UK in 2014. You will encounter a huge array of trail gems over the 200 mile distance,  taking in bridleways, byways, singletrack, woodland, heathland, purpose built mtb trails, urban and much more..

The route starts and finishes in Surrey and will orbit London in an anti-clockwise direction visiting Kent, Essex, Hertfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Berkshire. Some of the many highlights will include The North Downs, Epping Forest, The Colne Valley and The Surrey Hills.

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– Entry cost just £100!


What’s included in the entry cost ?

– 2 days secure parking
– 2 days fully supported riding
– 1 night of camping
– Luggage transfers
– 1 buffet breakfast
– Detailed OS mapping
– GPX files
– Water and feed stops
– Phone/gadget charging facilities
– Bike wash facilities
– Use of workstands and tools
– Public liability insurance
– Event T-shirt


-How hard is this event?
The 200 mile distance and the 12,000ft of elevation gain (over 2 days) is a challenge on its own. With a large part of the route being off-road and with plenty of opportunities to test your mtb skills, together will make this event a pretty tough ride for most. Daily distances will be approx 100 and 95 miles respectively.

-Is it a race?
It’s not a race but riders will be timed from the mass starts to the finish line on both days. There will be numerous checkpoints en-route too where times will be recorded (an important safety measure). At the end of the event, riders who’ve completed the route will be able to compare their time against one of the UK’s top mtb endurance racers – Matt Jones, who recently test rode this route. Read his ‘Smoke Ring Challenge’ write-up here.

-What type of bike do I need ?
A short-ish travel mountain bike – either hardtail or full suss, or you might fancy tackling the ride on a cyclocross/gravel bike. Either way your bike will need some decent off-road tyres and be in good working order.

-What do I need to bring ?
A checklist will be sent out around one month before the event. Entrants will be allowed a tent (a pop-up one is a good choice as it’s quick to put up and take down), a foldable camping chair and a hold-all type bag or similar containing everything you’ll need like clothing, bike gear, sleeping bag, mattress etc..

-Where will I park?
We have sole use of a secure private car park at the start/finish location for the 2 days/1 night duration of the event.

-Can I enter on the day?
No, Last entries will close 14 days (5th May) before the event.

-Will there be bike mechanics on the course ?
Mechanical back-up, which will be carrying plenty of essential spares, is provided and will be just a phone call away. There are also many bike shops on or close to the route.

-What happens if I need to abandon ?
You and your bike will be collected and taken to the overnight stop/finish line to be re-united with your gear.

-Will event run in bad weather ?
Yes, for example if part of the route is flooded, a diversion will be in force.

-I’m planning on arriving the night before, is there anywhere to camp/stay?
We’re not providing pre-event camping ourselves but there’s plenty to be found nearby. Etherley Farm has a large site and the Youth Hostels at Holmbury St. Mary and Tanners Hatch can also accommodate tents. There’s also lots of other accommodation choices  in the nearby town of Dorking.

-I’m not too keen on camping, is there an alternative?
Yes, There’s a Premier Inn (St Albans/Bricket Wood) which is located less than a mile from the campsite at Smug Oak Lane, Watling Street, Bricket Wood, AL2 3PN. We will drop your luggage off and collect it directly from the hotel.

-Can friends and family join me ?
Of course! Get in touch with us when you book and we will strive to arrange any accommodation needs. We will produce an info sheet for spectators detailing the best viewing and meeting places en-route if required.



– An external power pack is essential for keeping phones and GPS units topped up.

– Full size OS maps could be useful if you need to bail and look for short-cuts! The map numbers are OS Landranger 166, 167, 175-177, 186 and 187 (NB: these can be borrowed from libraries)





A Challenging Mtb Experience…

The Solstice 100

Saturday 23rd June 2018

The Pomfret Arms, 10 Cotton End, Northampton, NN4 8BS

This 100 mile (160km)  mountain bike sportive takes place close to the longest day of the year –
The Summer Solstice.

The Solstice 100 is back for a fourth year and is once again hosted by The Pomfret Arms.


This year’s event will feature yet another interesting new route and a shorter 50 mile (80km) option.

The route, around 50% off-road, starts and finishes in Northampton and will head to The Cotswolds and back via the beautiful rolling countryside of  South Northants, Warwickshire and North Oxfordshire. Highlights on this year’s route include the scenic Dassett Hills and the historical Edge Hill escarpment.

The trails will consist of bridleways, byways, double & singletrack, cycle paths, forest tracks and quiet lanes, all with a wide variety of surfaces. There are no mountains, but this single loop event is one of the longest of its kind in the UK.. Are you up for the challenge?

The Pomfret Arms,  a bike friendly pub close to Northampton town centre, will host this event and will once again be serving a special beer for the occasion, produced at their on-site micro-brewery. A pint of  ‘Solstice 100’ will be a light and refreshing ale – a  perfect thirst quencher after all day in the saddle!  There will also be food available at The Pomfret from mid afternoon.

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Entry fee is just £20.00

What’s included in the entry cost ?

– Fully detailed 1:50,000 Ordnance Survey mapping with clearly marked route
– GPX files of route
– Vehicle back up for major bike mechanicals (not punctures!)
– Public liability insurance for all entrants
– Water & Feed stations en route


– What type of bike would be suitable for this event?
A. Hardtail or full suspension mountain bikes and cyclocross/gravel bikes would all be fine

– Will event run in bad weather?
A. Yes, for example if part of the route is flooded, a diversion will be in force.

–  What time does event start?
A. Signing on is early and will be from 6.00am to 7.00am!  The event will be a mass start scheduled for 7.05am.

– I’m planning on arriving the night before, is there anywhere to camp/stay?
A. There are numerous budget hotels in and around Northampton and a very large campsite  for tents, camper vans, caravans etc at the nearby  Billing Aquadrome.

– Is the whole route signed?
A. Yes, and the fully detailed OS maps provided will make navigation easy plus gpx files will be emailed to entrants before the event.

– Can I enter on the day?
A. Yes, unless event is sold out. (NB. On day entry will be £25 – cash only)

– What happens if i can’t make it to the finish?
A. We can ‘sweep’ you up and take you to the finish – but there will be a charge, dependent on where you are! Alternatively, with a small detour, It would be possible to get a train from either Banbury or King’s Sutton back to Northampton (albeit an awkward route with changes and probably pricey..!)



– An external power pack is handy for keeping phones and GPS units topped up

– A small set of front & rear lights – just in case!

– Full size OS maps could be useful if you need to bail and look for short-cuts! The map numbers are OS Landranger 152, 151 & 164 (NB: These can be borrowed from libraries)