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7 out of 10
Correct Details

Black Rat 3 Bridges Ride

18/05/2014 - Bristol, Somerset - Sportive

Rating: 91.5% based on 17 reviews - Rate this Event Now
Previous Years Rating: 85.3% based on 109 reviews

Previous Years Event Ratings

Rated Event: 88.889%


Having been disappointed with last year's ride I thought long and hard about doing it this year. In the interest of fairness I thought I would give it another go.
The route this year changed to a loop as opposed a figure of 8 and is largely in effect the Bristol Belter (see Sept) in reverse.
Gordano school is being redeveloped that possibly affected the sign-in this year where there was a big queue and the toilet facilities were not brilliant with the men's showers blocked off, sorry ladies we used yours.
Timing this year was much better and with the novelty value of a number to put on the front of your helmet! (Can't wait to see the fashion statement on the photos)
The route was good with one or two rough surfaces and sometimes on roads with too many cars but this is only a minor gripe as a change in the route was forced upon the ride by an event in Axbridge.May be this is why also the route did not quite get to 100kms.
The crew at sign-on were friendly as always and I was glad to get the glass tankard at the finish.
The main problem last year was signage. Much much better this year though as previously mentioned sometimes better warning of a turn would be good. Also that you seemed to ride for long periods without reassurance you were on the right road. When I mentioned this at the end I was told "didn't I spot pink ribbons." No I didn't as I was not advised that these would be out and why pink when the signs are yellow? The web site nevver mentioned it as I religiously read all information (did I miss it) nor at the riders brief at the start.
This ride and event is really good with improvements on last year undoubtedly and for the price of entry, this is well worth the effort. There are other sportives that cost more and you get a better all round package. However as things go this one is friendly, well supported for its entry fee and on a good day like yesterday, gives you a good feeling of a job well done and satisfaction at the finish as you sip a glass of Somerset's finest beverage!!!!!

Well done to all at Black Rat much much better am happy to report!

Rated Event: 94.444%

GarethJones wrote:

A really good ride. Well organised. One missing sign. Signage could have been clearer in places - quite difficult to spot. Will definitely ride again next year

Rated Event: 100.000%

chrismoon wrote:

this was my first ever sportive event,and all i can say is that i really enjoyed it even with a few of the tough hills thrown in, i would do it all again, it was well organised i could not find fault with this event,a big thankyou to all involved in organising this black rat challenge.

Rated Event: 60.000%

SteveGarratt wrote:

This event is not for the faint hearted and was my first attempt at 100miles - some of the sections are amazing, the drop into Wells, the ride through the valleys into Somerset and the descent into the Chedder Groge were real highlights. I think this event would suffer in the rain though, some of the hills are very steep and rugged and why oh why did we need the extra hill at then end when we have already cycled 102miles! But I'm not as hardcore as some of those who probably like that kind of thing. I would probably do it again though.

Rated Event: 100.000%

PhilHenley wrote:

Everything was perfect, excellent organisation, great course, great feed station, freindly & efficient HQ, lovely weather, well done to everyone involved. Many thanks.

Rated Event: 91.111%

WayneLee wrote:

Awesome ride! Thoroughly enjoyed it, well organised, pleasant support crew, the support van trailing the route and handing out energy bars was a great touch. Thanks to all involved who organised it, see you next year!

Rated Event: 76.667%

DerekBrighty wrote:

Overall I found it a very good event. I liked the course (100Km) Not too many hills but enough. Good run in to the finish. The signing in was a bit fraught, not a good idea funneling everbody into the same tent, as it created long queues. I would ride it again.

Rated Event: 94.444%

NadinePilkington wrote:

Lovely scenic route with friendly competitors and marshalls. Would definitely do it again and looking to do the Devon race in September.

Rated Event: 73.333%

bathpaul wrote:

Overall a good event. Some of the signs were slightly obscured so you could not see them until you were already at the turn. I thought the first feed station came a bit too early in to the ride and the second had run out of energy drink (more was on the way apparently) and there was a problem with the water pressure so we had to wait quite a while for the container to be re-filled. I would also have preferred the feed stations to be at the top of the climbs instead of the bottom.

Rated Event: 88.889%

MattBaird wrote:

First ever sportive, really enjoyed it, definitely going to do more.

Rated Event: 92.222%

JamesFulford wrote:

Great ride. Well organised.

Rated Event: 91.111%

AlistairLobban wrote:

This was my first sportive and I had a grate time. The route was a good mix of climbs rolling roads and flat sections. Most sections on main roads we fast or down hill were the extra space was appreciated. Some beautiful scenery and my particular highlight was the decent of cheddar gorge.

Would recommend to anyone and I will be back again next year.

Rated Event: 88.889%

HannahEdwards wrote:

Overall a fantastic event - many thanks to the organisers and great volunteers.
The route was lovely and I'll definitely do it again.
Only suggestion for next time is for a couple more signs on the longer route.
Nothing has ever tasted so delicious as the jaffa cakes at the second feed station.

Rated Event: 96.667%

AndrewTownhill wrote:

Great ride, lovely scenery and everyone was helpful and had a smile, could have had a few more toilets and signing in took a while but those things are very menial. Overall great day, great venue & great team. Thanks to all at black rat :-)

Rated Event: 43.333%


I've ridden around 20 sportives and only got lost on
2 occassions. Both have been on this event over the last 2 years. There were large groups unclear about the route.Ok so last year they were sabotaged and the weather was unkind so gave them another go this year. There were Missing signs again and unclear signs if you dont know the area. I only remember 1 marshal on route. Wasn't given
a route card. The 2nd feedstop had no energy drink although well stocked with food and gels, and was 2 far from the first. So I'm sure they will promise to sort out the problems again next year but I don't think I will make the journey which is
a shame because it's a beautiful area and the organisers were friendly. It's just wasn't up to scratch.

Rated Event: 96.667%

DavidWhite wrote:

A really good event. Everyone helpful and friendly and organisation superbe even to the point of changing the course in the final week due to pot holes and events held by others that would detract from ours. A few hiccups at the end with power issues had the organisers kept busy til the end. Nothing is perfect in this world, it's the way you deal with it that makes the difference. Well done.

Rated Event: 24.444%

Richy2704 wrote:

A great route that was ruined by some poor planning a bad luck, the signs were all removed and big groups of riders were left wondering the course, there was also another cycling event held the same day and the signs they used were nearly the same, there were also route changes due to big sections having road works and the facilities at the start/finish section were the worst to date, 1 toilet and no changing facilities, no medal either a bottle opener and a bottle of cider but no tankard available to buy as advertised either, will not do it again......well maybe i will because the cheddar gorge section was actually fantastic.

Rated Event: 80.000%


Really enjoyed the event, challenging route and well organised. As the other review has alluded to, the signage was poor, owing not only to extreame wind conditions, but, although not confirmed, some low lifes who decided to go round ripping the signs down. Having done the event in 2010, I can say that the signage on that occasion was perfect. Also props must be given to the organisers who were rushing around the course trying to re-sign ASAP. Definitely do it again next year.

Rated Event: 74.370%


Rated Event: 64.380%


Firstly the staff were friendly and efficient. Shame the timing system seemed "old hat" when newer styles are on offer. The route in itself is quite testing.
However the bad points: Signage- abyssmal too many people will have taken wrong turns. Signs put out were flimsy in that overnight they had been blown away/destroyed by the wind. Some had been taken down deliberately. No route map card given to assist you. The map on the website is not detailed enough. Too many signs were not prominent enough.
Course - Although advised of a re tarmac section little or no notification at the area and we approached at 28mph + to hit a base layer of the road. Not good with a redirection not signed well. Also towards the end another charity ride was being run with similar signage that caused confusion especially if you had taken a wrong turn because the signage was not prominent.
As I got to the top of Cheddar Gorge on the homeward leg I approached the crossroads and found a number of later starters coming down my road to go down the Gorge the wrong way.
Some roads were "intersting" in terrain and will have caused punctures.
Goody bag lacked imagination- Bottle of cider, bottle opener and a mini drinks bottle
Food at the end- First time I had to pay for something after 100kms.
Facilities- Good venue as the school grounds were ample.
All in all it is not a bad event. It was hampered by the wind conditions on the day but next time signage will need to be bettter thought out, as most people will say was awful.

Since writing this I now see the timings publshed. There is no way I did the ride in 3 hours 17 minutes. My GPS said 3 hours 51 minutes that is about right. Another thing that was wrong.

It is an event I would do again though because the route is pretty good.

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