Ride for Life
The 3rd Nello Memorial Century Cycle Challenge July 7th, 2002
Three Routes for 2002: Century, Half Century and Children's
Missed the deadline? Email for a late entry request
The Century Cycle Challenge
Our century route is quite simply one of the finest hundred mile circuits youll ever have the chance to cycle. It is truly glorious and no matter how many times weve done this route, we never get tired of it. Basically it heads from Topsham Quay to Pinhoe and Broadclyst before turning at Killerton House to join the Tiverton road via Silverton. The first stop is at Tiverton, then the road continues north up a beautiful stretch of the Exe valley to Dulverton, nestled at the foot of majestic Exmoor. An epic climb follows, long but not overly steep, which rewards with a magnificent stretch across the roof of Exmoor. The route then descends into Simonsbath, where there is another sharpish climb, then a fast and long run down to South Molton. From South Molton, we join the old Barnstaple road and so continue back via Copplestone, Crediton, Exeter, and finally, almost exactly one hundred miles later, Topsham Quay.
The Nello Half Century 55 Mile Route
The Nello Century Challenge is just that, throwing down the gauntlet to cycle a hundred miles in a day. So why the 55 as an alternative? Quite simply because so many people have said that they want to take an active part in the event, but cant, for whatever reason, contemplate cycling a hundred miles. Pete The Flying Bean has therefore devised a challenging half-century (and a bit) route that utilises our first (Tiverton) and fourth (Copplestone) stops, thus enabling those riding the shorter distance to feel very much a part of the main event.
Make no mistake, this is not an option for softies. The half century is every bit as challenging as the longer circuit (minus the big climbs), and it is a glorious route in its own right. It follows the main century circuit from Topsham Quay to Tiverton, via Broadclyst, Silverton and the Exe Valley, then strikes out into the heart of majestic, rural mid-Devon, cutting across to Copplestone via Nomansland (yes, there really is such a place) and Black Dog. From Copplestone, the route rejoins the main century circuit and returns to Topsham via Crediton and Exeter.
Unsure which to ride?
I maintain that anyone who can manage the half century can more than likely manage the hundred mile pedal (it will just take twice as long at least so you need to be prepared for a long day in the saddle). So if in doubt, I urge you to sign for the longer ride and give it a go. Otherwise you might always regret it (and anyway, you could always bail out at Tiverton and switch to the 55). That said, for those who know they dont want to do the hundred, our half century route is a more than respectable alternative which we are certain you will enjoy.
The Nello Childrens Ride -- 10 miles across Exmoor
We have been delighted that so many children have taken part in previous years rides, but we have also been very concerned at the safety aspects of young children cycling on main roads busy with impatient Sunday drivers.
Therefore, this year there will be a separate childrens ride that takes in the most majestic part of our century route the stretch across Exmoor over mainly small roads free of urgent traffic.
Our proposed childrens route starts and finishes at the top of Winsford Hill, above Dulverton. From there, it traverses the moor, before a long descent into Winsford, one of the loveliest villages in England. An equally long and challenging climb out from Winsford (some children and parents may have to walk the steepest bits) brings us back to the top of the moor again where we join the century riders at their second stop at Comers Gate. The ride then returns across the moor to the finish at the top of Winsford Hill. Distrance is only 10 miles, but believe us, it really is a challenging and rewarding circuit all the same.
Please note, all young cyclists will need to be accompanied by a parent or responsible adult (or cycle as part of a group led by a grownup). Transport for a limited number of childrens cycles may be available courtesy of Ian Jay, who is arranging to have a bicycle trailer on hand for this purpose. Please let us know if you need this.
It has been inspirational to see children tackle part of or even the entire century circuit the past two years. No doubt some parents and children may be contemplating riding the whole century of half century route this year. Wed ask you to think seriously about this as both main routes are tough challenges that include stretches on busy roads and they should not be undertaken lightly. Please remember, whatever route you and your children ride, it is your responsibilty to ensure that your child knows how to cycle safely and competently.
Missed the deadline? Email now for a late entry request
2nd Nello Century Cycle Challenge Report
2nd Nello Century Cycle Challenge raises £17,000 for FORCE Cancer Support Centre Appeal
Ride for Life is the name that Nello and I gave to our fundraising efforts in aid of cancer charities which culmnated in our epic cycle from Topsham, Devon to Venice, Italy in June 1997 raising in the process over £24,000 for FORCE and The Imperial Cancer Research Fund as its beneficiaries.
That event is highlighted in our Ride for Life Trip Diary.
Life, happily and sadly, moves on. I miss my friend as so many of us do. But none of us will ever forget him.
Therefore, it is our intention that Ride for Life will carry on, as Nello would have wished.
It is my hope that the Nello Memorial Challenge will become an annual event in the Topsham cycling and eating calendar.
We'd love to have you along for the ride, and take part in future Ride for Life activities in whatever way or capacity that you can.
If you are interested, please contact me.
Thanks and see you soon,
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