Organisers of the High Above Hay Sportive are urging riders to take advantage of special web prices before online booking closes three days ahead of the event.
The ride – part of Hay Bike Fest – is a gloriously scenic sportive from Hay-on-Wye into South Wales’ Black Mountains and beyond taking place on Sunday April 27.
Meandering through the Welsh borderlands, the route visits the three counties of Powys, Monmouthshire and Herefordshire and takes on the iconic Gospel Pass – the highest paved road in Wales – for a thrilling plummet to the finish line in Hay.
Online booking through British Cycling costs £28 for a challenging 160km figure-of-eight, or £24 for a 105km loop.
But web entry closes at midnight on Wednesday April 23 and organisers say booking online is the only way to avoid price hikes for on-the-day entry, when fees will rise to £35 and £30 respectively.
Sportive organiser Anna Heywood explained: ‘Pre-booking through British Cycling guarantees you not only the lower entry prices, but also a timing chip. Of course, we’ll still be taking entries on the day, but on a first come, first served basis.’
Hay Bike Fest is in its second year and sees the world-famous book town turned over to cycling fans for a long weekend of pedal-powered fun.
Besides the sportive, there are guided mountain bike and leisure rides, skills sessions and mountain bike orienteering as well as bike maintenance, craft and yoga workshops and a 13km time trial – the Hay Hurtle.
A fun race – the Sunset Slalom – kicks off the weekend on the Friday evening, with local ales on tap and fresh, stone-baked pizzas.
Children are well-catered for with Bikeability instructors, a free-to-ride mountain bike track at the festival hub in the grounds of Hay Castle, and a free kids orienteering event.
The hub expo will also host a massive fleet of demo bikes – courtesy of local shop Drover Cycles – including the full range from Neil Pryde, as well as road bikes and tourers from Genesis, and mountain bikes from Pyga and Commencal.
Anna added: ‘It doesn’t matter if big distance sportives aren’t your thing, we’ve catered for everyone at Bike Fest.
‘Maybe come and have a go at our taster sportive – A Taste of the High Life – or let the kids have a blast on the hub’s mountain bike track while you check out the expo or have drink at the bar.’
Visit www.haycycling.org for the full Hay Bike Fest programme.