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Cycling Challenge at the Top of the Gorge

by Holly Blades

The Mendips Lakes and Lumps Ride is a brand new challenge bike ride that is taking place on Father's Day (Sunday 16th June) as part of the National Trust's Top of the Gorge Festival near Cheddar.

The festival itself is a weekend-long celebration of the great outdoors and what the Mendip Hills AONB has to offer to visitors, and the Ride is specifically designed to reflect this whilst at the same time offering participants a rewarding physical challenge in its own right.

A spectacular 43-mile route means that riders get to explore some of the very best parts of this stunning area as they visit the lovely Blagdon and Chew Valley lakes and also get to take on two challenging Mendip climbs - Burrington Combe and, of course, the iconic ascent up through Cheddar Gorge.

And when the cycling challenge is over, the day out most certainly isn't - participants also get FREE day entry to the main festival itself, where they will also be rewarded with free food as part of their Ride entry.

And there will be plenty of activities on offer at the festival to occupy non-cycling family members and friends, so it really does offer the opportunity for a whole-family day out where bike riders can take on the cycling challenge while other family members explore the main festival site, before all joining back up in the afternoon to spend some quality time together.

A spokesman commented: "The aim with the Mendips Lakes and Lumps Ride is to fit in with the overall festival in showcasing what the Mendip Hills has to offer - in our case from a cycling perspective - so it's been designed to be accessible and to appeal to as many people as possible, but of course it's still a pretty decent personal challenge so there's definitely a real sense of achievement to be had for anyone who takes it on".

"We want to see all sorts of people taking part on all sorts of bikes and just enjoying what is a pretty spectacular route - and of course having the festival activities alongside for non-cyclists means that it can actually be a whole family day out with something for everyone".

The event is registered with British Cycling and riders will be provided with a whole host of event support services, including clear route signage, marshalling, medical cover, and ample mechanical support throughout the route. 

And the event organisers are also asking riders to consider if they can fundraise while taking on the challenge - Prostate Cancer UK, the leading men's cancer charity, is the Ride's official charity partner and, with the event taking place on Father's Day, it seems a particularly apt association.

Further information and full details on the event, including how to enter, can be found at

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