Best Cycling Event Finalist - Gridiron 100, Wessex Cycling

Riders on the Gridiron 100 Challenge Ride
You never know what you'll come across on the Gridiron 100! Photo by Graham Brodie
The Gridiron has been running for over 25 years and is now one of the largest events organised by Cycling UK with around 1000 riders of all ages and abilities.

The Gridiron 100 is an on road randonnée/audax event that takes place in the scenic New Forest on the second Sunday of every October. Gridiron celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2018. Taking its name from the notorious cattle grids found throughout the area, the Gridiron was founded in 1993 by Peter Davenport. For many years it was organised by Mike Walsh from Wessex Cycling, who has now handed the reins over to a new organiser, who will take the event forward in the future.

The event caters to all abilities, from experienced club cyclists to novice riders, and for the past three years has been one of the flagship events in our Challenge Ride Series

A rider taking part in the Gridiron 100km encounters one of the New Forests inhabitants!

The event is run entirely by a well-organised team of individual volunteers from Cycling UK Member Group Wessex Cycling, who support the event by planning and recording the fantastic route, manning the checkpoints, stamping brevet cards, handing out medals and certificates, providing refreshments and - vitally - encouragement plus much more.

A Gridiron rider with her medals

This hard work pays off and the Gridiron often sells out of all its thousand spaces well in advance! Participants are treated to a stunning tour of all the New Forest has to offer, from open heathland to views of the sea. And let's not forget the New Forest's four-legged inhabitants - riders may find themselves encountering the resident wild ponies and cattle that call the National Park their home.

Upon completing the course, all riders receive a certificate and Cycling UK Challenge ride medal plus the Gridiron's own commemorative souvenirs.