Farcycle FollyFest Sportive (FFS) 2017

All rides stop here for food and drink
29 July 2017
Sportive/Challenge Ride

Nestling between the Cotswolds and the Berkshire Downs, Faringdon, Oxfordshire provides the perfect setting for the Farcycle FollyFest Sportive (FFS). Combine this with an annual music and arts festival and it becomes a cycling event that is truly unique. FFS 2017 takes place on 29th July.

With flat bits between some impressive hills, our environment creates opportunities for most levels of cyclists to enjoy and, if desired, extend themselves. We also provide hospitality that has been acclaimed by all who have taken part in previous events. Depending upon which ride you choose, there are up to 4 food stops manned by friendly locals and serving delicious homemade fare.

There are three British Cycling graded rides to choose from:

  • The Gentle Challenge – 35 miles of rolling Cotswold countryside that is just enough to stretch someone looking for a first event. It is also the choice for regular cyclists to have a social meander through some of the region’s prettiest villages.
  • The Full Monty – 70 miles taking in some hillier terrain that will stretch regular cyclists with a big hill or two, while still enjoying the archetypal Cotswold scenery. British Cycling grade this one as “Challenging”.
  • The Epic Test – 100 miles for elite cyclists that starts off in the Berkshire Downs and travels alongside some of the fabled Lambourn racehorse gallops … most atmospheric if you find yourself in the morning light pacing yourself with these magnificent steeds. This ride joins the Full Monty for the last 70 miles.

Everyone gets lunch at the end in a private courtyard so that they can share experiences. Staggered start times are designed to get the leaders of all three rides to the finish at roughly the same time, which also means some of that sharing can take place in during the finishing stages of cycling.

The event has become especially popular among female cyclists. In fact, last year two women cycled the more than 20 miles from East Oxford to the start, completed the Full Monty and then cycled back again. They did hang out for a while in the courtyard, though, enjoying a well-earned lunch. The event is also enjoyed by families and younger cyclists are encouraged to take part. There are more details of this on the British Cycling pages where you can also ENTER the event.

The routes are signposted with our unique pink FFS signs and there will be marshals at the most difficult crossings. Broom wagons will be on hand but, happily, haven’t been too taxed in previous years. Sportive riders are accustomed to mending their own punctures. GPS files are provided to all entrants with their welcome packs, a few days before the event. 2017 also sees the introduction of electronic timing to complement last year’s introduction of finishers’ medals.

All proceeds go to building sustainable, healthy and inclusive transport facilities in our region.

The FFS has received plenty of positive feedback every year since its inception in 2013. Perhaps the greatest accolade is that the same people keep coming back. Indeed, after the 2014 event, which suffered from unseasonably monsoon-like weather, many participants said they’d enjoyed the route in the rain so much that they were dying to come back again to see it in better weather!

These days much of the feedback goes direct to the event's Facebook page but here is a taste of a few old school accolades:

 “I have done a lot of sportives over many years and this was the best”

“Thank you very much for a fantastically well organised event.  Everything about it was brilliant! … Here’s to next year!”

Hilary, an out-of-town contestant, who wrote: “I just wanted to say thank you.  It is the first time that I have done a cycle ride, and I really enjoyed it.  Beautiful countryside, despite the weather!  The work that goes into organising anything like this is huge and I can't tell you how much I appreciated the delicious cakes at the stop and the pasta at the end.  I look forward to next year.”

The popularity of the FFS’s routes stems from the fact that they are chosen from our back yard favourites that we, the Farcycles (pronounced Farcicals), cycle frequently. Of course, we are most fortunate that our back yard takes in the incomparable Downland and Cotswold scenery, not to mention the hills.

Rides and activities

FFS Gentle Challenge 35
Date and time: 
29 July 2017 - 10:30am
Road ride
35 mi

See main description above

Start details: 
Registration from 9:45
Tourist Competition category: 
Category "a" - 25-79 miles (40-127 km)
FFS Full Monty 70
Date and time: 
29 July 2017 - 8:30am
Road ride
70 mi

See main description above

Start details: 
Registration from 07:45
Tourist Competition category: 
Category "a" - 25-79 miles (40-127 km)
FFS Epic Test 100
Date and time: 
29 July 2017 - 6:45am
Road ride
100 mi

See main description above

Start details: 
Registration from 06:00
Tourist Competition category: 
Category "b" - 80-119 miles (128-192 km)


Adequate car parking: 
SAG wagon: 
Feed Stops: 

Map and Address

Location address and information: 
Blessed St Hugh church hall Adjacent to main car park (Southampton Street)


Contact name: 
Gavin Hopkins
Contact phone number: 
07795 024434
Contact email address: 
Email contact form
Alternative website address: 
Alternative website for this event

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