Challenge Ride Series 2018

Riders and friends on the Gridiron 100 organised by Wessex Cycling in the beautiful New Forest. Photo: Graham Brodie
Riders on the Gridiron 100 organised by Wessex Cycling in the beautiful New Forest
Riders on the Gridiron 100 organised by Wessex Cycling in the beautiful New Forest

Challenge Ride Series 2018

The Challenge Ride Series 2018 was brought to you by Cycling UK Member Groups and is a fantastic way to explore the British countryside in like-minded company. The series is now over for 2018 but watch this space for information on next year's rides very soon!

The 2018 series started on Sunday 25 March with Stevenage Cycling's Start of Summertime event, as well as Two Mills CTC's Early Season Challenge Ride in Chester, and finished on Sunday 28 October with Stevenage's famous celebration of the end of summertime, Emitremmus Desrever.

In between those dates, there was a mouth-watering selection of longer distance and challenging rides up and down the UK. Run by our wonderful Member Group volunteers, they provided the opportunity to explore stunning scenery in like-minded company for a very reasonable price, with plenty of chances for tea and cake thrown in of course! Find out how they went in Another Great Year of Rides Comes to a Close

Rides in the series were:

Sunday 25 March - Start of Summertime Specials, Stevenage Cycling COMPLETED

Sunday 25 March - Early Season 50-mile/50 km Challenge Ride, Two Mills (The Wirral) COMPLETED

Sunday 8 April - Devon Dirt 65 km Off-Road, Devon CTC COMPLETED

Sunday 13 May - Grand National 200 km and Between the Parks 100 km, Southampton CTC COMPLETED

Sunday 10 June - Ayrshire Explorer 100 km Challenge Ride, Cycle Ayrshire COMPLETED

Sunday 17 June - Bob Clift Memorial Cheshire  50 and 100 mile Cycleway Rides 2018, Chester and North Wales CTC COMPLETED

Sunday 24 June - 110 km and 200 km Windmill Rides, Essex CTC COMPLETED

Sunday 8 July - Lake District 100 mile and 100 km Challenge, Eden Valley CTC COMPLETED

Sunday 15 July - 25th Devon Delight 100 km, Devon CTC COMPLETED

Sunday 19 August - Tour of the Hills 115 km, West Surrey CTC COMPLETED

Enjoy riding many of the Surrey Hills' best roads, including some used by the 2012 Olympic road race route. This very popular ride is also well known for its excellent catering. Despite its proximity to London, this is one of the most challenging and scenically stunning events in the country. Lovely forested climbs and exciting descents, many on centuries-old sunken lanes typical of the area, make this ride very special. Nutritionally balanced food is available at the start, mid-point and at the finish. 

Sunday 26 August - Wild Wales Challenge 140 km, Merseyside CTC  COMPLETED

This year will mark the 34th edition of this most prestigious cycling event, which features a different route each year but is always set amid the spectacular scenery of North Wales. A traditional tourist challenge ride in which riders are invited to complete the course within a generous time allowance. Being set in the glorious North Wales countryside, riders should expect both steep climbs and descents.

Sunday 14 October - Gridiron 100 km, Wessex Cycling COMPLETED

The New Forest Gridiron is an autumnal adventure through the vast expanse of the New Forest, winding along undiscovered lanes and through luscious wooded canopies. Enjoy sharing the road with the occasional ponies, donkeys and even cattle! This event is one that each rider can make their own, with a 100 km route of very accessible riding, making it suitable to almost all cycling abilities. Keeping to the randonée spirit, riders are given a written route description and self-reliance is encouraged, GPX files are also provided for entrants. Refreshment stops available at start, finish and during the ride itself. 

Sunday 28 Oct - Emitremmus Desrever and Emit Lite 101 km and 67 km, Stevenage Cycling COMPLETED

Celebrate Cycling and the End of Summertime with the 24th Emitremmus challenge ride from Stevenage on Sunday 28th October.Organised by the Stevenage Cycling group of Cycling UK (formerly CTC) hundreds of cyclists will leave Fairlands Valley Park to ride the 100 kilometres to Saffron Walden and back. It’s not a race, there will be check points and refreshments available at Hare Street, Saffron Walden and Therfield, and there’s up to eight hours to get back to Costello’s Café. Explore the rolling countryside in Hertfordshire and west Essex. Enjoy the WI teas in Therfield. There is also a shorter, slower 67 kilometre option – Emit Lite.


General information

Participants who successfully complete a Challenge Ride event will receive either a branded certificate, medal or other merchandise, subject to availability. 

Keep an eye on this page, the UK Cycling Events Guide and our social media for full details of all the events and how to enter them.

What sort of rides are they?

These rides are not races but rather challenge rides in which you are only competing against the clock to see if you can finish by a certain time. With distances ranging from as little as 50km to around 100km. Note that many events may have more than one ride option available but only the distances listed above will count for the Challenge Ride medals and certificates. This year, we have introduced an off-road option, the Devon Dirt to the series. Cycling UK's Victoria Hazael tells us what riding in a Challenge Ride Series event is really like. 

There may be check points or controls you have to visit en route to get a 'brevet' card or similar stamped, whereas other events may comprise just a route sheet with instructions that you follow on your own or they could be a led ride - check with the organisers to see exactly how the event will be run and what is included. Most will have refreshment stops and tea, coffee and cake or biscuits available either free or for a small extra charge.

How much is it to enter?

All events are very affordable to enter, with most around just £6 to £8, up to a maximum of around £21 (tbc) for the flagship Wild Wales Challenge as this ride includes full route directions, electronic timing, showers and so on. Some are even free!

How to enter

Please register to take part in each event directly with the organisers, who will each have their own entry processes. Note that many events sell out very quickly whilst others you can enter on the day.


All enquiries regarding specific events should be directed to the organisers. For general enquiries regarding Cycling UK events and groups or the Challenge Ride Series, contact us via email

Challenge Ride medal
Sponsored Advert
Sponsored Advert
Sponsored Advert
Sponsored Advert
Sponsored Advert