It’s that time of year again when we get a few extra days off to ride our bikes longer. Non cyclists seem to believe it has something to do with a large guy in a red suit or about some infant born in a stable. Nonsense it’s 500km’s December 24th to 31st.
Below is a schedule all are welcome
Rapha Festive 500 Schedule
All rides depart from the shop.
All rides are open to extension or modification at the participants wish.
We will endeavor to apply a non-drop approach and if this is not possible due to time constraints, we will make riders aware during the ride.
I will attend all these meets as ride leader. Riders completing the distance are more than welcome to select which rides fall into their schedule.
Rides will leave on the dot so please be timely. 500km is time consuming enough without waiting for late comers.
Coffee and cakes gratis at HQ pre ride.
TUESDAY DEC 24th
5.30 am Meet for a 6.00am depart St Georges Square and back via S. Shore Rd. Apprx 40km
5.30pm Meet for 6.00pm depart Dockyard Harbour Rd back via S. Shore Rd. Apprx 40km
WEDNESDAY DEC 25th
No Organized Ride
THURSDAY DEC 26th
7.30 am Meet for 8.00am depart St Georges, Tobacco Bay, St.Davids Hamilton via S. Shore Rd Apprx 55km(possible tag onto Boxing day Flagpole ride)
3.45 pm Meet for 4.00pm depart twice around the Bicycle Works Loop S. Shore/Middle Rd. Apprx 35km
FRIDAY DEC 27th
5.30 am Meet 5.45am Depart St Davids back via S.Shore Rd Apprx 45km
5.30pm Meet for 6pm Depart Dockyard return Apprx 40km
SATURDAY DEC 28th
5.45am Meet for 6.15 Group ride Apprx 40km
5.30pm Meet for 5.45pm Depart N.Shore and twice around the sound Apprx 40km
SUNDAY DEC 29TH
6.30 am meet for 7.00am Depart Paynters Rd loop outward via N. Shore returning for Sunday Group ride Apprx 80km
MONDAY DEC 30th
5.30am Meet for 5.45am Depart N.Shore to Double dip roundabout and back Aprrx 40km
5.45pm meet for 6pm Depart Cambridge beaches and back via Middle Rd Apprx 40km
TUESDAY DEC 31st
5.30am meet for 6.00am Depart twice around BW Loop S. Shore
WELL DONE , ALL DONE
Haven’t been to Belgium since I was a kid. What’s it got to offer? Is the draw of beer-soaked hooker waffles enough of an incentive to pack bikes and travel the 3000+ miles to check it out?
Well the answer is, it’s got cobbles, bergs and one of the greatest spring classic cycle races, the Ronde Van Flaanderen. Not only that, as an average joe you can ride the pro course the day before they do. What other sport lets you do that? Kick about pre kick off in the Maracanã, spin round Monaco Grand Prix course in Hamilton’s Mercedes……I think not.
So, it was, five of us congregated at the airport on a Wednesday night rather than join the Bicycle Works shop ride. Actually, we had been putting in the hard work since January because the Ronde Van Flaanderen or tour of Flanders is one tough thing to ride. We felt ready though a few of us were holding of winter colds as we boarded to London.
Cars collected after a minor delay trying to get vehicles big enough to take all our bikes. (Hire vans can’t be taken to the continent) we were off towards Le Chunnel. Pre Brexit the M20 has a 13-mile lorry park and bad signage had one of us suffer in that for a 30mph sleep inducing contra flow.
Tunnel was a breeze and 60 minutes after checking in we rolled through Calais on our way to Gent. Us brits have declared it should be spelt Ghent to avoid confusion with a male lavatory. Thing is it couldn’t be really, it’s one beautiful city, canals and medieval architecture abound.
Outdoor male urinals seem an homage to the great beer brewed in this part of the world and a simple structure that all major cities should have. Look forward to pulling down my zipper on Broadway or Oxford street.
Saturday arrived and the day of the amateur ride, four distances to chose from starting at 75km and the big boy 225km. The big one as 60km or so of nothing before the fun of cobbles and climbs start so some of us opted for the 175km route and some 135km.
It was nippy for us Bermudian climate spoilt cyclists at 7 in the morning. Every piece of clothing on, bikes stocked with fluids and a small hamper to keep us going on what would be a 7-hour ride. It was truly epic. Dry conditions helped but a truly relaxed ride. Depart when you want within a certain time frame meant no standing in line to kick off just roll through and away you go. That’s what we learnt from this, go as a group and ride in a social way. We didn’t because fondo’s like the one in New York had ruined us.
It’s not a race it’s an adventure, the cobble sections, the sections where you must cross traffic and the bergs mean a beat the clock time is impossible so take it for what it is, a century ride in the heartland of cycling heritage. Stop to smell the waffles, make a day of it with your mates and take it all in.
Sunday, we had arranged to watch the pro’s in a VIP tent on the Kwaaremont climb, a brutal cobble punch you in the nuts kind of climb that the pro’s would loop 3 times. VIP was truly that, amazing waited on hand and foot, superb food and drink non stop all day, big screens and you are 3ft away as the pros conquer the hill at 3 times the speed you did. They even provided glorious spring sunshine. Cannot recommend this experience enough worth treble what they charge if you think it’s expensive, experience it and you will think you got beyond value for money. Race ended the tent closed down with a band that seemed to be a mix of Tiesto and Dixie Chicks, wacky but it works in Belgium as the tent bounced up and down with drunken hands upindeair action. A truly superb day.
If you have Tour of Flanders on your bucket list, do it. Weather will obviously effect your enjoyment but if you luck out like we did it’s right up there as the best weekend you could have on your bike.
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The Winners Edge National Champs took place this past Sunday. Ferry reach was the designated course after switching between there and Southlands in recent times. Cold blustery conditions were the order of the day as racing got underway in the junior catagories. A very technical course including some really tough climbs and a new loose descent tested even the most gifted riders.
As has been the tradition of Bicycle Works over the years our riders shone.
Caitlin Conyers became female National champion and Charles Swart took the Masters title. Robin Horsefield (independent) took the open class and was just that, class and his focus on this discipline is paying off while away in school in Canada.
BW had some podium spots and congratulations to all that took part.
For one day we are offering 30% OFF THE ENTIRE STORE. This is a not to be repeated is a one time event and is your chance to pick bikes, equipment and nutrition at substantial savings.
9am to 5:30pm SATURDAY OCTOBER 13TH
A weeks training camp in in the beautiful western Algarve commences May 4th 2018. All those interested contact
A weeks riding with full mechanical support. 5 star accommodation, fully guided in Europe’s best kept cycling secret .
Come join us for an evening dedicated to maintenance of your bicycle, and aimed at female cyclists.
All basic maintenance subjects covered from flat repair to gear adjustment.
Wednesday September 27th 6:15pm
With the dust not settled on the off road season. We link straight into the road season. The Chain of events leading to the crowning of the National MTB champion may well have left us with a slightly cynical outlook on officialdom. Never the less lets hope for good numbers for this weekend’s event.