Event Review

REVIEW: The Great Weston Ride 2014

by Jennifer Trotman

GB Flag

It was getting hot now, and I was getting hot and bothered, and I was more than ready to stop and top up my bottles at the water stop at the bottom of Burrington Combe, where it always is. However, other than a small sign further down saying that there was going to be a stop, there was no indication as to where it actually was, and a lot of people missed it.  Including my mates, who I'd half been expecting to find waiting for me there.    

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Burrington combe

Ah well, just me then. All rehydrated, it was time to climb the Combe again. Man, it was hard work! With the climbing, and the sunshine, and the muggy heat, and the complete lack of refreshing breeze...it's fair to say I wasn't beating any records. Any and all shade was welcome. Still, I made it up, and was all set to be spending the rest of the ride on my own when lo and behold, there at the usual spot, my friends were waiting for me. Fab! 

Having slogged my way up, I was rewarded not only with company but also the lovely on top of the world, under the skies roads on the top of the Mendips that are the reason I usually go up there. I was also allowed to lead the way as fast as I liked for a bit, until we joined the road to Priddy. 

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Down Westbury 

One final little kick out of Priddy, and it was time to go down. Westbury wasn't actually as bad as Darren had made it sound, and it was the kind of downhill fun that you only get when you're a bit familiar with the road, so you know what's coming and can take your line accordingly. It's always a shame to have to stop for the A371, but stop you must as it's a busy road! It, like other similar junctions, was marshalled, and although they're not there to stop traffic they do have a line of sight you don't.   

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Cake

Onto very familiar roads now, across to Wedmore and out to the second food stop at Hugh Sexey's School. Guy led the way like a machine and the food stop was lovely as ever. Lots and lots of homemade cakes and bacon rolls for those that fancied splashing a little cash, and free squash and water for those that needed to splash themselves and fill up their bottles. It was also quite quiet, as the majority of today's riders were still behind us, a rarity for me! 

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GWR goes to the seaside

There were less than 20 miles to go now. Off down the long straight road from Mark to Highbridge, into that growing headwind, taking turns more now. Then into Burnham-on-Sea to see the sea, and to play with all the traffic also keen on being at the sunny seaside. Once that was behind us, the last 12 miles or so were much quieter, as well as being flat, and that wind was even occasionally behind us which made for some very pleasant riding.   

Unavoidably, but briefly, we headed onto the A370 before trying out the lovely new road surface in Uphill and then into Weston Super Mare onto the final straight along the seafront. Over the finish line we collected our medals to the sound of applause and cow bells. 

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Reception line

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Medals

When it comes to rounding off such a ride, luckily Clayton and I agree on the best way to do it, and so he headed for the bar to buy us both a well-earned pint, while the more sensible GB stuck to something of the soft fizzy variety.  We all had a token for free food, and I don't usually indulge, but that which was on offer from Field & Flower was a big cut above the usual.  Clayton took the burger route, I had a chicken wrap with salsa & natural yoghurt - proper good! We sat in the sun, ate and drank, and watched other riders come and go, before eventually making a trip to the portable toilets in order to be able to ride all the way home again!  

Great Weston Ride done - and it was just as enjoyable as ever and just as well run. 

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Cheers!

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Official Review

1. Feed Stops (correct foodstuffs and energy drinks, the right many, well spaced) 7 out of 10
2. Timing (correct and easy to use) n/a
3. Signage (Clear, concise, maps, profiles, route card) 7 out of 10
4. Facilities (HQ, Parking, Toilets) 10 out of 10
5. Support (Sag Wagon, Outriders) 9 out of 10
6. Friendliness / Professionalism (Sign-in, marshals, support) 10 out of 10
7. Website - ease of use (Online and postal entry, clear concise) 10 out of 10
8. The Course (Area of outstanding beauty/scenic, quiet roads, cleverly designed?) 8 out of 10
9. Would you recommend it. (Would you ride again?) 10 out of 10
Overall Rating 90.0%




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