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8 out of 10
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The Exmoor Beast

28/10/2012 - Butlins Resort, Minehead - Sportive

Rating: 89.9% based on 12 reviews - Rate this Event Now
Previous Years Rating: 94.0% based on 24 reviews

This Years Event Ratings

Rated Event: 95.556%


A real cracker of an event with plenty of challenges. The weather was dreadful but hey, what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. I'd love to do those descents in the dry though!

Rated Event: 95.556%


My sixth beast and the event was as well run as ever. The matting over a couple of the uphill cattle grids was a previously suggested and welcome improvement after seeing the number of cyclists in past years years who came off here. The weather makes the difference and this year was probably the worst yet as the heavy rain and strong winds were virtually relentless the whole 100 miles and it wasn't very warm either. Temptation was strong to take a left turn back to Minehead after 60 miles but we struggled on! The marshalling and support was great. We had a few punctures between us and the motorbike riders all asked if we were OK as well as other passing riders. I've heard a few comments that the last 30 miles are a bit boring but there are three decent climbs in that section and Exmoor is not that big a place to cover different areas all the time anyway and the first 50 odd miles does have some of the best cycling scenery in the country.

Rated Event: 93.333%

vincentjohnson wrote:

Tough, brutal event. I did the 100m and the 25% hills were relentless leg breakers. The first one coming at about 6miles in. Excellent course, nearly took the wrong way once in Dulverton, but luckily didn't. Not bad for 100miles, but if the event organisers are getting the odd moron moving the arrows in this area, then it should be marshalled there for the whole day...
I did it on a double and was at least 1 low gear short. I'm already thinking of doing it next year. I'll have a different cassette on next time, but I'd suggest for most riders to go for the triple!
If you want a very tough challenge, then go for the Beast(100miler)

Rated Event: 86.667%

StephenRiglar wrote:

A well run event on a challenging course, the second feed stop was not well signed and was missed by many, otherwise an excellant event.

Rated Event: 100.000%

Stewartwade wrote:

First ever sportive 100miles and longest ride myself and partner have done , If you're new like us do not under estimate its very tough and mentally taxing , forget the gripes others have said this to the un initiated is an outstanding event well organized and marshals are superb , feed stations for us were perfect , no problems with signage and directions (being our fear) and we finished to a warm reception and great to ride into the building and have you're name called out (nice touch). Prepare well ensure you're bike is well maintained and have good clothing to cope and we didn't have carbon fibre nuclear powered radioactive ultra lightweight road-bikes just 2 humble giant ocrs but well prepared with puncture proof tyres and we got through it whilst feeling pity for the constant stream cyclists repairing punctures . I could hardly walk on Sunday but i uphold the name it certainly is the beast . thanks to all who assisted with this event bloody well done i rate this 10/10 and newbies like us go for it , if you come unstuck someone will help or rescue you which was great and the outstanding motorbike marshals are on hand patrolling the route with nothing is an issue approach and gives you confidence too that you're going the right way . i sit here warm and dry and recovering and smug but will admit to wanting to jack about 3000 times so be warned its not for the fainthearted but bloody awesome to finish.

Rated Event: 90.000%

Craig wrote:

Truly was a beast of a ride, the course was a fantastic challenge. Beautiful scenery and quiet roads but the hills were relentless. Tough climbs that on occasions left people, myself included, walking up them, followed by tricky descents, especially in the slippery conditions. The organisers did a great job of designing a course to leave you with nothing left in your legs by the end!

The cattle grids and pavé ford may have claimed a few victims but they gave the route character. I wouldn't have someone covering over them on my Sunday morning ride and wouldn't want it on a sportive either. When I looked at the route I thought the last feed station was too late but when I was actually on the road, it came exactly when I needed it!

Signage was clear, the roads were mostly very quiet and other than one boy racer, the drivers were surprisingly courteous, actually following the Highway Code and overtaking on the other side of the centre line. The indoor finish was a nice touch and the facilities were ideal (if you knew where to go to find more toilets!). I love the tankard I got when I crossed the finish line. Medals, certificates or trophies would just get put in a box in the attic to be thrown away in a clear out at some point in the future. With a tankard I now get a reminder of a fantastic day when I enjoy a malted recovery beverage after a (considerably easier by comparison) Sunday ride.

Rated Event: 80.000%

NiallTodd wrote:

Did the 2012 Exmoor Beast, 100 mile course. Hard, hard ride not at all helped by the weather - but, this is the Beast and it's November so it's fully expected. If anything, it wouldn't be the same ride if the weather was perfect!

Event is excellently organised, as one has come to expect from the MIG team. The mats did the job on the cattle grids for me, though admittedly I'd no issue on the same wet and slippy grids last year, just a case of momentum and gliding across them without pedalling. That said, did see the mats moving quite a bit but I've no doubt the organisers will come up with something better for next year.

Only 2 small gripes, the first about signage in places. We were previously warned the locals around Dulverton might have removed/changed a couple of signs and sure enough there were a lot of riders gathered for the 'is this the right way?' chat at that point. Not much the organisers can do about that I suppose..... but also found long stretches after Dulverton with no signage too. I don't enjoy the 'haven't seen anyone in a while, am I in the right place?' drill, so a sign or two in the woods down by the river would help here - there were a couple of decent length stretches about there with no signs, no marshalls or support riders, photographers or, at times, other riders. So, did feel a little off course at times. Might be that they were there, in keeping with the rest of the event, but removed by the locals - if so, again, not much can be done about that. Will dump the route on the GPS next time just in case, though always wary this doesn't account for route changes late in the day.

Only other minor gripe was the timing - I set off shortly before 7 in first wave, when finished the timing system took my overall time and then also added (again) those few minutes before 7am. As such, GPS said 7:29 and event said 7:31. Doesn't matter much on the whole really, just I was on sub-7.5hour bet this time! :-)

Overall a great event very well organised. Swore 'never again' at the end - but, see you all there next year.

Rated Event: 84.444%

chris jones2 wrote:

Overall i enjoyed this event. Butlins is a good place to start & finish under cover with plenty of parking.It is a great route( 100k) with a nice mix of long & short climbing & fast flats/descents even though the weather was quite rough on the top of exmoor.
I think the uphill cattle grid needs some more thought for next year as the carpet kept rucking up & i was not alone in coming a cropper on it albiet at slow speed - an ancho red section of heavier duty covering would be better ?
The toilet situation at Butlins need to be improved as there was a long ++ queue in the Crazy Horse at the start time. Maybe some "portaloos" for event day only could be put outside in area where the bike racks were.
There were some timing issues. I left at about 7.55am but was allocated as starting at 7am on the system.
I,ll be back next year .
Its a nice event to do as a sportive season finisher.

Rated Event: 91.111%


Anyone needing matting to cross a cattle grid should first learn the art of bike handling, then enter an event like the New Forest sportive, then proceed too a harder challenge too many inexperienced 100km riders with no idea. Change the route ? I don't think so, oh and shock horror livestock farms in South West and mud on the road behave or beggar of back too your city life

Rated Event: 90.000%

Adley wrote:

Awesome ride. Really puts you to the test both physically and mentally. Great scenery and well organised. Only one issue on route was when a farmer nicked one of the signs at a junction. Fortunately Garmin solved that. Be prepared for the 3000m + of climbing and extreme wind and rain conditions. I only saw one crash on route which was at a poorly signed hairpin on the run down back to Minehead. I think the chap simply took it too fast for the conditions. Only two other really hairy places. One at the bottom of a downhill where the route crosses a cobbled stream. Just ride through it at a reasonable speed to save getting off. The other is at around 60 miles. The road seems to have been smashed up by farm vehicles. Lots of brick and rock all over the road. It's unsigned so hitting it at 40kph is a bit of a shock. All in all a great experience and challenge. Definitely one of the tuffest UK sportives!

Rated Event: 87.778%

Chunkymamil wrote:

First time I did this event and I really enjoyed it, did the 100k. Food stop fare was basic but welcome. Organisers need a bigger mat for the first cattle grid as people were still crashing or change the route ? The weather just added to the sense of achievement. Good atmosphere at the finish, liked the tankard, you can fill it with beer :)

Rated Event: 84.444%

NathanHoskins1 wrote:

The weather ensured the Beast was truly beastly this year. If the non-stop steep climbs didn't break you then the weather did. Driving wind and rain across the moors really added to the challenge. By far the best and most satisfying sportive in the country (if you're a masochist like me). I just wish they gave out medals instead of non-descript glass tankards. Every cyclist likes a medal, however cheap.

Previous Years Event Ratings

Rated Event: 87.778%

Bazilbrush wrote:

A great end of season event, weather always will be challenging in October so came as no surprise, just a shame to miss some of the spectacular views (Spring Beauty a great idea). Enjoyed it much more than I thought that I would, some really challenging climbs and when the mist lifted some beautiful scenery.

I have to disagree with some reviewers as the first feed stop was at just the right point in terms of distance and before the second climb, but I wasn't particularly impressed with the little wet paper bags of banana portion and flap jack (although the hot soup was okay once it'd cooled down). There didn't seem much point stopping at feed two (was on 100km route) as was so near to a down hill finish. But having entered for the 100mile in 2012 I would be nice for feed 2 to be not so close to the end.

I loved the reception and the little beer glass (although lost it almost straight away) and thought the general venue facilities were great, except for the 'mile long' queue for a toilet cubicle (some extra portables or signs to an alternate would be good)

Oh and many thanks the the three man train that dragged me at 45 km/hr for a couple of the middle miles, hope i managed to earn my ticket as really did try not to sit in slipstream for longer than was polite.

Rated Event: 100.000%


Fantastic event, Excellent course and well organised with some bad weather in the early part of the ride for good measure.

Rated Event: 95.556%

bobprickett wrote:

Cracking ride well organised

Rated Event: 88.889%

dennis wrote:

good event, the wet cattle grid on the first climb caused a pile up , i did not use it but the on course support was excellent. Timing system was good but cannot say whether it was correct as i am still waiting for the results to be posted (midnight monday ... please can you get the results posted more quickly?); overall a great event I would like to ride it again

Rated Event: 94.444% wrote:

Another great day out at the Exmoor beast. I have 2 small gripes that I reflected in the scoring. 1. First feedstop came too early then far too long a gap to the next one for the 100 milers, (26 miles then 70 miles),there was a definite need for a water station at the 50 mile mark. 2. Second feedstation was a bit of a mess, food was ok but the water/energy drink barrels were running out & it was a quagmire,not good for cleats.

The above makes me sound negative about the event but let me stress that the Exmoor Beast is at close to perfection for a sportive, the staff,course & professionalism is outstanding. There were marshalls at major junctions and clear concise signage, outriders were a plenty and you felt constantly close to someone if you had a mechanical. The start/finish from Butlins was great & the glass of Exmoor Beast Ale well deserved and flamin lovely :)

See you next year!!

Rated Event: 97.778%

Yoda wrote:

Great event, my first 100 miler and it was worth the wait. Bit of a shame the weather was not the best to start as the views accross the moor would have been amazing.

Down sides... seeing so many people fall off 'trying' to ride over the cattle grid on the first climb! someone stopping in a car to talk to a rider on a VERY narrow bridge at the bottom of a step decent!!! someone in a Black Rangerover Sport driving past at about 70mph and about 4 ft away (not good at the best of times but after 80miles!!!) but as you can see none of these are the events fault, signage was very good and the marshals excellent, and i'll be back next year for sure only that time i know whats in store...!!! those cheeky last 2 climbs on the 100 route don't seem to feature on the route map but they are there!!!

Got to be honest i know you don't ride a sportive for the goodie bag but I thought it was a bit weak... its a nice glass and the beer was very good (I didn't get anything else.. no cert etc) but having ridden the Dartmoor Classic this year where we all received Medals, T-Shirt, Tube, Bottle, Energy products, wrist bans, Trophy and a book on Dartmoor i was kind of left thing is that it...

That aside it was a great event and i'll be back... Well done guys.

Rated Event: 95.556%

rickallison wrote:

Great event again mist and fog for the first 45 miles, sun came out later
went wrong direction once my fault head down missed the sign.
looking forward to the exmoor beauty in april.

Rated Event: 98.790%


bit better weather than last year did the 100 mile and had a very enjoyable ride. great event well organised up the good work.

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