Event 28 April 2013
The announcement of the routes of the 2014 Tour de France has focussed attention on Yorkshire and it has also provided great interest in one of the areas flagship cycle events.
Promoted by England’s first Tour de France stage winner, the Brian Robinson Challenge Ride uses roads which the veteran rider used as his training ground, and which until recently he still rode.
The 75 mile circular loop is modelled on the reliability ride principle, where riders are awarded certificates for finishing inside set time bands. The event is a personal test of stamina and with the changeable weather in the Pennines is different each year.
Taking place on 28 April this year, riders will benefit from two organised feed stations to refuel and replenish their water bottles and should be kept on track with the presence of motorcycle outriders to show the way. A rare feature in cycle events the moto marshals give riders the feeling of taking part in the elite events, as they overlap the cyclists with a cheery wave and words of encouragement.
The event started out following a request from the Mayor of Kirklees in 2006 to fellow councillor and cyclist Martyn Bolt for a charity ride in support of his charity, and has grown from the 100 riders on the first event to over 500 entrants for last year.
“In launching the event as a challenge ride, Brian and I wanted to offer something appealing to all riders, so whether the challenge was completing the course as a relative novice to cycling or getting round faster than you did the year before, it is up to each rider what their own challenge is” said Martyn Bolt, Event Organsier.
The ride has an added bonus of riders leaving the start in one group, again similar to the Tour de France, though the Pennine hills soon spread them into a colourful lycra clad snake winding its way over hill and dale