The Paul Kirk North Lincs Cyclo-Sportive 2015 by Matt Porter
Sunday the 19th April 5.30am, I along with majority of the event volunteers, drag ourselves out of bed at this ungodly hour to prepare for the day ahead! At this stage I don’t think any of us were really prepared for what an incredible day it was to become.
The new venue Brigg Town Football Club was where we all arrived to start setting up the event at 6.30am and little did we know that this year we have a total of 425 riders a record amount and good considering we only managed to get the event open in late January.
The new venue leant itself well to our cherished, early season sportive. Perhaps one of the greatest local get togethers for racers and leisure cyclists in our region at this time of year. Registration staff got riders through the process quickly and efficiently and the car park marshals got the vehicles parked safely out of the way.
The warning sign team were racing ahead of the riders, making sure that the course ahead was safely signed to all road users, a tough job when you’re on your own!
7.45am everyone was getting itchy feet and they were ready to get started, 8am it started! Over 400 riders were put safely onto the course in less than an hour, again this is the quickest this has ever been achieved.
The cycle marshals set off at intervals within the pack, there to be helpful should anyone need assistance.
The riders made their way round the villages down to the Trent Bank in good time, all eager to set a good time for whichever distance they choose! By the time riders got to the first hill at Ingham, it was big smiles under those grimaces as they come face to face with Adie Turford, the event photographer!
A short while later feed station one at Faldingworth Village Hall was inundated by riders searching for the famed chicken wraps and legendary cake, scenes of the busiest Velo cafe ensued as more riders appeared, I never managed to see any of those chicken wraps, I’ll have to be quick next year. The volunteers at Faldingworth managed to keep up with the tea & coffee supply required by over 300 thirsty cyclists, a sterling effort. The ‘buzz’ at Faldingworth was incredible.
Riders reluctantly moved on after remembering they were doing a timed event and managed to escape the allure of the ‘pop up’ Faldingworth Velo Cafe, soon after, reaching the split point of the ride, which was it to be the hilly 100 mile or the rolling finish of the 100km back to Brigg? The route choice is only available because of the team of checkpoint marshals we use on the course giving everyone that freedom to see how they feel on the day. Those doing the 100km, steadily made their way back to Brigg in the building head wind, whereas the 100 milers started their accent of the Wolds at Walesby.
The new route over the Wolds takes out one of the past dangers of the course and makes the route a little faster whilst remaining challenging. After this roller coaster section over the Wolds theirs time for more refreshments at Swallow Village Hall where riders could get more tea, coffee, cake and bananas, this feed station was manned single handily by Rita who managed to keep things going and did an amazing job.
Thankfully Anna and Freddy Gibbs weren’t called upon as our rescue vehicle, we did have two unfortunate incidents on the day which resulted in a broken wrist and a broken bone in a hand but I’m told both riders will be fit and back on the bikes soon.
A steady stream of riders started coming back to HQ from about 11.30am all the way through to 4.50pm, yes it was after 4pm. We always say the event ends at 4pm but our loyal team of time keepers, Vicky, Wayne and Elinor, just won’t finish until the last rider comes in.
Having a bar at the end meant people were inclined to hang around for a while and soak up the atmosphere at the same time as a pint!
Overall I have to say this years event has been the best yet, the atmosphere on the day was simply amazing and the effort put in by our volunteers was second to none. The reviews, emails and feedback have been incredible this year and the basic message is thank you to all of the volunteers.
If you enjoyed the event and would like to leave feedback please follow this link:
Photos from the event are free to download from Adie’s Photography:
This year’s event we have managed to increase the facilities and the food/drink whilst increasing the amount raised for our charities so the amount raised is approximately £4500. What a day, as a team, what an achievement!
All of the left over food from the day was donated to The Forge in Scunthorpe a charity helping homeless people.
Until next year folks……………