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10 out of 10
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The Dragon Ride 2016

05/06/2016 - Margam Park, Port Talbot, South Wales - Sportive

Rating: 87.5% based on 4 reviews - Rate this Event Now
Previous Years Rating: 88.1% based on 44 reviews

This Years Event Ratings

Rated Event: 55.556%

Neilwebb wrote:

The weather was hot, as such there was no enough food or drink options at all, the final stint was really hard with no extra drink station laid on when clearly at 25c people were getting dehydrated. Third year in a row I have done it, the worst by far, it seems to have deteriorated each consecutive year, less food options at each station and less drink options! as for the outriders, where were they? hardly saw any at all,. Last time I will enter with this level of back up support, six of us rode it, all agreed it was poorly planned for food and drink.

Rated Event: 94.444%

RichardLitchfield wrote:

Dragon Devil - Great course, great weather and good standard of riders. Feed stations only had water toward the end if the ride. Might be good to have some kind of energy drink, especially, as I had exhausted my supply. Felt it was a bit weird to charge so much for the ride then charge for some of the items at the food stops. There were cold cokes available (for a person who had done 140 miles they were very tempting) but I probably would not have minded had I note forgot my cash. Really enjoyed it

Rated Event: 100.000%

TrevorPhillips wrote:

A well organised sportive, with the distance and terrain making it a real challenge just to complete.

Rated Event: 100.000%

RDJG wrote:

Superb Day. Hot day though which took its toll towards the end. Really well organised. Fantastic route / scenery. Greta day out on the bike.

Previous Years Event Ratings

Rated Event: 100.000%

JackGlass wrote:

Really nice route, friendly, barely saw any marshalls though? Food station ruined it for me, I may as well have just downloaded the route map and rode it myself. Had to spend money in the local shop to get what should have been included as part of the event.

Rated Event: 96.667%

TimPerry wrote:

Ask yourself this: What do you want out of a sportive?

Do you want a brilliant goody bag, great feed stations all while riding some potholed route in a bland area of the country serving no real challenge? If so the dragon ride is not for you!

People get caught up with things like goody bags and post ride meals etc... but if what really excites you is riding through some of the most amazing terrain the UK (dare I say the world?) has to offer, then the dragon ride is most definitely for you.

Yes you could probably go there the weekend after and not have to pay the entry fee but come on, really? How much did you pay for your last set of tyres you probably didn't need? Seeing thousands of people crawling up the Bwlch and Rhigos is a moment that I will probably never forget. The ribbon of tarmac filled with cyclists in the most amazing setting imaginable is well worth the entry fee alone. Also don't forget other things such as mechanical assistance and first aid which wouldn't be available if you were on your own.

The weather was fantastic and there were moments when I wondered if the ride would be quite as good in the pouring rain. I guess I'll just have to sign up every year and see.

Rated Event: 91.111%

stephaniescrase wrote:

Very lucky with the weather. The beautiful scenery takes away the pain of going up those hills/ mountains. Very well organised event, such a great atmosphere.
Would love to do it again next year.

Rated Event: 95.556%

RebeccaSheppard wrote:

Well organised sportive, brilliant venue for the HQ, very efficient marshalls getting us all parked up. All the volunteers at the feed stops were very helpful and encouraging. Plenty of food & water to cope with the demand. The highlight of my day was the ascent of Black Mountain towards the end of the Gran Fondo route where the views were spectacular, all helped by the sunny weather.
Only negative was that I felt the event was over priced and the bland bowl of 'complementary' pasta quite disappointing. Nothing compared to the amazing pie and beans at the Fred Whitton!

Rated Event: 80.000%

patriciagravell1 wrote:

Lovely day out but first and last 10 miles are city cycling in an industrialised area. The fee is high and when I finished there was no Vita Coco and no sign of any pasta party. If I remember rightly the website crashed with the demand when bookings opened but I might be confusing this with a different event. Great mechanical support but signage at big roundabouts could be better with the exit we are to take being indicated before entering the roundabout to make sure we have time to get into the correct lane. Jugs of drink were being used to speed things up at the feedstations when I saw bits of dirt and what looked like an eyelash flowing into my bottle from the jug that was very off-putting. Great views over the Brecon beacons but with so many other stunning courses around I don't feel the need to do this ride again

Rated Event: 73.333%

SimonN wrote:

The route was fantastic - as was the weather! But the food stations were a joke - one table of food for thousands of riders, Happy Shopper flapjacks, running out of water. It cost a load to enter this ride and I expected better. The goodie bag was poor too! Having read through the feedback from last year's ride, it seems like it hasn't improved from last year. Come on HumanRace, you can do better - perhaps have look at how your competitors do it? I won't be paying that much to ride one of your events again!

Rated Event: 98.889%

Tim S wrote:

Absolutely fantastic event. The weather helped of course but Human Race really know how to organise an event. Perfect venue & route, superb foodstops and even an impressive medal at the end. My best days cycling yet!

Rated Event: 84.444%

RichLawrence wrote:

Did the Medio Fondo, was one of the last starters. Route signing and safety was good, marshalling very helpful.

Feed stations were OK to start with, but started to run dry and out of stuff towards the end.

Would definitely not do it again, only because I've done it now.

Highly recommended.

Wiggle - Make sure you don't run out of water and food please.

Rated Event: 86.667%

gareth wrote:

Great ride.
However, very disappointed by the feed stations and needing to queue for a good 10 minutes for water. Had the same experience at the Chiltern 100, also run by Human Race. We need more water stations at the feed stops.

Rated Event: 70.000%

owainroberts wrote:

Website is rubbish, great route, slow to get the Medio riders going,

Rated Event: 91.111%

grahamrobinson wrote:

One of the better sportives I have done due to the nature of the ascents and particularly the descents which were not the short and steep variety you can get in some of the other sportives. These had a more gentle alpine type gradient and were more enjoyable as a result. The scenery was spectacular and feed stations were well stocked with yummy salted potatoes though take the point that this depends on when you arrived (I had a similar experience of no food at the etape du dales having crashed earlier so can appreciate how frustrating this is for those following - should earlier riders be rationed as many seem to fill their pockets with extra gels etc - difficult to police this I guess with the general chaos that goes on at the feed stations??) Overall though highly recommended sportive which should be on the tick list for those who want a good challenge.

Rated Event: 92.222%

Sasha wrote:

First experience in a mountains - Very much enjoyed it. Just wish some riders gave more space on descents - not all of us are ready to die or feel comfortable to gave it all on unknown descents. And please - stop taking corners from upcoming traffic lane - that just stupid!, and if you decided to walk up devils elbow please do it on one side of the road and not all over the place because some of us actually try/want/make an effort to cycle up it. Otherwise that was awesome ride with a bunch of awesome cyclists.

Rated Event: 80.000%

JonnyJones wrote:

This was my first attempt at the Dragon (Medio), and overall it was a fantastic day out. The scenery is stunning and the hills are incredibly satisfying. I've lived in South Wales all my life, and I can't believe that I've never before discovered the Devil's Elbow... simply amazing, and one of the best climbs I've ever had the privilege to ride. It's really hard to imagine a much better route, and I must go back next year to attempt the Gran or maybe even the Devil.

The organisation was impeccable. There were some queues for the car park, but, with 5000 riders arriving in a couple of hours, that's a tough nut to crack. Friendly motorbike marshals were everywhere and quickly checked that you were OK if you pulled in for more than a couple of minutes, and the signage was perfect.

But - and this is a really big negative - the feed stations were utterly inadequate by the time we arrived. No energy drinks, gels or bars were available anywhere. There was no savoury food until 30km from the end, and then only salted potatoes (great, but too little, too late). The 96km station ran out of water and almost all food, so riders were reliant on the local pub for sustenance. No station offered electrolytes. This is utterly unacceptable: fast and slow riders pay the same fees and should receive the same service. If I hadn't packed sandwiches, I'd have been in big trouble.

The goody bag was non-existent, too, which made the entry fee really poor value. And, disappointingly, the tiny Wiggle shop had sold out of almost all sizes of overpriced jerseys by the time I got back.

The value for money contrast with the recent, equally stunning, Carten100 ride in South Wales was stark. My entry fee there included a free jersey, an incredibly sustaining, commendably large bacon bap and plentiful drink supplements.

Wiggle/Human Race need to look at what their competitors are doing. If you only want to do one event in Wales next year and 100 miles is enough for you, do the Carten rather than the Dragon: you get more for your money and the scenery is just as good, even though the climbs are less dramatic.

Rated Event: 74.444%

KathyRobbins wrote:

It was my first 140m ride and an amazing scenic route, tough and challenging which heightens the pride you feel at finishing, particulary when not having walked a single meter even up The dreaded Devils Elbow which nearly (but not quite) psyched me into baling.
The staff at all points, the start, dodgy feed stations, marsalls, finish line were all great, friendly, encouraging and helpful.
We were late finishing because of my husbands sickness, great welcome from staff and other riders but got back about 8.30, tea and proper food which we were desperate for all finished, even though cyclists still arriving and people having massages! So back to car and 1/2 hr drive before a cup of tea! agghhhghgahah. We would do this again, but unless guarantees on the food hygiene are given we'll orgainise our own feed stations thanks!
Overall: Challenging ride, well worth doing. But needs better managed hygenic feed stations with decent supplies. It's a blinking long way to ride on water and scraps!!!

Rated Event: 92.222%

SimonAppleton wrote:

Brilliant ride. I did the Devil and would recommend you do it. Once.

Rated Event: 83.333%

davidm wrote:

This is a great event - but in my view does require some serious preparation and some commitment - it is not to be taken lightly. It was my second time - and is on my - "every year" list - however the feed stations were poor frankly. There needs to be more than water in every feed to drink (I was ok but I am sure lots were not) rather than only at some. And the number of marshals seemed down on last yr or perhaps spread more thinly due to the extra distance. Ultimately though - the riders will cause this event the problems - cant believe the times I saw guy throw gels and banana skins away rather than put them in the pocket. Also - I think the organisers need to liaise with local police regarding traffic off the motorway pre-start. however - a fantastic route to ride a bike ....marvellous beauty in the valleys ....pricey, but worth it. The goodie bag (or at least mine) was an embarassment to Wiggle ...if thats as good as it gets ...dont bother! Still - didnt do it for the freebies - see you again next year!

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