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7 out of 10
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Black Rat Challenge

20/05/2018 - Bristol - Sportive

Rating: Rate this Event Now
Previous Years Rating: 86.2% based on 132 reviews

Previous Years Event Ratings

Rated Event: 87.778%


Third Time Riden.Very good organisation,Freindly helpers,good feed stops,very good finish with Pasty and Tankard,very good value.
This is a good Friendly small event unlike some of the others,some organisers think that more entants make for a better event,it does't it just makes for a bigger till Reciept.
Very good route,tuff but substantial amounts of valley roads where the pace can be upped and time clawed back.
Overall a Very Good Event

Rated Event: 96.667%

DerekTate wrote:

My first Sportive. I found it well organised, friendly and very enjoyable .

Rated Event: 97.778%

BradleyOwens wrote:

I had a great day, it was my first 100mile event and even though i was hurting, the enthusiasm of the organisation made it more bearable. It's damn hard work putting on these events, and as the saying goes ''you can't please all of the people all of the time''. Many thanks to Jer and team for putting on a well organised and enjoyable event. My only slight negative was regarding the course signage, sometimes the arrows were not displayed early enough at junctions, road splits etc. I overshot a few times, but thats only a very minor thing. Once again, thanks for a cracking day.
P.S. The nuts and cheesey snacks at Ebbor Gorge feedstation went down a treat....More please!

Rated Event: 74.444%


I ride to the Mendips most weekend and this a great route taking in the best bits but there are less treacherous/ more enjoyable descents than Wrington Hill and Blagdon.

Benchmarking it against other sportives it needs:
Better signon - 20 minute queue for me
Prefer feedstations at top of hills.
More feedstation choice other than cakes and bananas.
First feed too soon with a 53 mile gap in the middle.
A number of T junctions had no signage or unclear signs.
Didn't see any outriders on support.
More promotion saw few riders on road other than at feedsations.
Free food at end - others do it and it is usually appreciated.

Rated Event: 72.222%

SimonFoster wrote:

Really enjoyable sportive at the easier end of the spectrum which was great. A bit of improvement on signage might be good but other than that I would do it again

Rated Event: 73.333%

RodCoomber wrote:

A thoroughly enjoyable events with, perhaps, slightly too many hills for an oldish rider. It was difficult to rate the course because I live in the area and have ridden all the roads used many times!

Rated Event: 83.333%

SteveBailey wrote:

Goodm Course and well organised

Rated Event: 62.222%

CharlesSanders wrote:

Riders from earlier years warned me about signage on this event, hence the preparedness with .gpx. Major route changes at the last minute (both announced the week before and then several more on the day) do not help. I would emphasise the same warning to anybody next year.

I was very surprised to be asked to pay for the small bowl of food at the end.

Still, good effort.

Rated Event: 80.000%

MarkBradley wrote:

Score explanations 100km ride:
1. 1st stop was too early & should be at the top rather than the bottom of a climb. Blatant use of sponsor location? Didn't see 2nd station at all.
3. Two junctions weren't 100% clear meaning a stop to check gpx
4. Parking was tight
5. What outriders?
8. Route was under 60 miles, short of claimed 100km.
9. Undecided about next year. Didn't feel like great value - 2 gels, 3 bits of advertising & a small glass tankard. Thought the food at the finish should been included at least. E.g. 2011 Great Western sportive was same price, longer, included food & a quality T-shirt

Rated Event: 88.889%

Luke Maggs wrote:

I thought you could of offered more of a variety of food at the station,jelly beans etc & some plastic cups so you could of had a drink of water.
I Was disappointed that the course wasn't 100k

Rated Event: 91.111%

HuwStead wrote:

Nicely laid out course which had something for everyone and great weather on the day added upto a very enjoyable event. Signage was great and none of the problems reported in 2011 were evident.

Special thanks to the mobile mechanic who stopped and helped (or rather took over) my puncture repair at the roadside. Can I get him to follow me around every ride?

My third year in a row at this event and would definitely look to come back again next year.

Rated Event: 85.556%

CarolDidymus wrote:

Lovely ride. Would have preferred food station just over half way and some savoury food as much of the stuff we carry tends to be sweet - maybe rolls?
Got cold waiting to register, queue was too long, not enough people taking registration details.
Otherwise, enjoyed it.
Thank you

Rated Event: 91.111%

Rosariobavetta wrote:

My only feedback for change is;Do not have foodstops near the bottom of big climbs. Food + Climbing = Indegestion/stomach pain.
Either have them a good few miles before the climb or shortly afterwards. Otherwise a good event.Thanks

Rated Event: 52.222%

BillyAusten wrote:

Experience of the Day:

The toilets and changing facilities were not suitable for the volume of people. There was no loo paper left in the gents or ladies over an hour before first off. Not a good start, simple things guys!

There was a 25 minute queue just to get signed on, and we arrived early. The queue only got bigger from what we saw. Not nearly enough attendants sorting this out, meaning that many got very cold stood around.

The goody bag didn't even include what was promised in the pre ride build up emails, let alone the extras hinted at. If you're not going to deliver what you're going to say you will, don't say it!!

The route could have used a little more imagination. 50% of it was very nice, Cheddar Gorge in particular. The other 50% was on some alarmingly fast A roads (The A38 for example). In fact the route required riders to cross the A38 at a very fast 3 lane section. This was poor, even dangerous route planning in my groups opinion.

The route markers left a lot to be desired. The organisers seemed to have rationed them out to use the absolute minimum. We spoke to several riders to took a wrong turn such was the ambiguity of the markers. The pre ride emails made a big deal of the markers being of a type that allowed one to tell if one had been sabotaged (ie turned around). This was not the case. The markers were also very small, and were placed on what roadside furniture seemed to be available, with little regard to how visible it would be to a rider. In many cases critical junction indicators could not be seen until the very last moment, by which time one had lost all momentum. This was one of the worst signed sportives I had ridden.

On a positive note, the team in the van did an excellent job of patrolling the route checking for breakdowns etc. This alone was far better than any other sportive I've ridden actually.

The food stations were well equipped, and while there was no queue when I arrived, I do wonder how long one may have had to wait if a big group arrived at once. On the whole the team running the stations were friendly.

I appreciate my views are subjective, but I can only compare with my own experience of other sportives ridden. Like many others, this has the makings to be a really good day out, but is let down by corner cutting. The White Horse, another local sportive, is an example of how to do it properly. Lets hope some of this feedback is taken on board.

Rated Event: 87.778%

NicolaThomson wrote:

Excellent, can't wait for next year

Rated Event: 90.000%


Super event

Rated Event: 93.333%

MichaelSandison wrote:

Generally a very enjoyable Sportive. Apart from 1 or 2 small niggles it was well organised. The small niggles were delays at HQ in signing in, the first feed station was too early, though I accept that it was a good location. and toilet facilities at the feed station were a bit vague.One of the signs(the turning at Jasmine Lane going towards Claverham) was not clearly visible until you were virtually upon it.(It was the scene of one of the accidents though I am not sure that signage was the cause)There was no obvious sign of support cars or motorbikes but then perhaps I just missed them. These are not major criticism and I shall certainly look to enter again next year. I feel that it is an event which deserves a much greater degree of support.

Rated Event: 91.111%

markshannon wrote:

Great but challenging 100miles for an average cyclist

Rated Event: 91.111%

RichardMarston wrote:

Very good route and organisation. Also some good groups riding cooperatively (i.e. sharing pacing on front but not racing each other). The free cider at the end was a welcome bonus.

Rated Event: 80.000%

DarrenGriffiths wrote:

Great event which I really enjoyed. A challenge and plenty of steep surprises! Many thanks - See you next year.

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