The end of summertime sees the end of Cycling UK's inaugural Challenge Ride Series

Matt and Tricia Daniel from Seattle. Photo: Jim Brown

The end of summertime sees the end of Cycling UK's inaugural Challenge Ride Series

Cycling UK's fantastic summer of cycling finally came to an end with the Emitremmus Desrever and Lite rides on Sunday 29 October, the last events in the Challenge Ride Series 2017, which comprised 16 amazing rides throughout the UK put on by our Member Groups.

The Emitremmus Desrever and Lite rides took place in Stevenage, Hertfordshire, where the Start of Summertime Specials rides started on the first day of British Summer Time. This year's Emitremmus enjoyed an international flavour with the first finishers hailing from Seattle, USA. Secretary of Cycling UK Stevenage Jim Brown, founder and organiser of Emitremmus, now in its 23rd year, describes what happened on the day:

"More than 300 cyclists celebrated the End of Summertime riding in the 101km Emitremmus Desrever, Cycling UK’s final Challenge Ride of the year. Why Emitremmus Desrever? Because it spells ‘summertime reversed' backwards!

"Started by the Mayor of Stevenage, Councillor Pam Stuart (pictured below), the riders left Fairlands Valley Park to ride the 100 kilometres to Saffron Walden and back. More a social ride than a race, there were checkpoints with refreshments available at Hare Street, Saffron Walden and Therfield, and participants had up to eight hours to get back to Costello’s Café. There was also a shorter, slower 67 km option; the Emit Lite.

"Matt and Tricia Daniel (pictured above) from Seattle, USA, were first back at about 1.30pm and were followed in quick succession by the hundreds of other riders, happy to have completed the Emitremmus Challenge despite a drop in temperature appropriate for the first official day of wintertime. The super sweepers brought in the last group four hours later at 5.30pm with half an hour to spare. All were winners!

"Teams of amazing volunteers in Fairlands Valley Park, Hare Street (near Buntingford), Saffron Walden, Therfield and out on the road supporting the riders made the event possible, together with the fantastic WI cakes in the Fordham Memorial Hall, Therfield. Also invaluable was the help given by Gavin Davis, manager of Fairlands Valley Park and the support of the mayor."

The end of summertime, however, does not mean the end of cycling in Stevenage. The group's popular Saturday Starter half-day rides, ideal for newcomers, and Wednesday evening rides will continue over the winter.

Other events in the Challenge Ride Series included:


Early Season Challenge Ride by Two Mills (Wirral)

Bowland Forest Populaire by CTC Lancaster and South Lakes


Back to the Fuschia by Leicestershire and Rutland CTC

Between the Parks by Southampton CTC 


Bamburgh Summer 100 by Tyneside and Northumberland CTC

Glespin Gallop and Cumnock Canter by Cycle Ayrshire

Des Radford 100-miler by Swansea and West Wales CTC


​Diss Dawdle and Diss Dander by Diss CTC

Devon Delight by Devon CTC


Tour of the Hills by West Surrey CTC

Wild Wales Challenge by Cycling UK Merseyside


Momma's Mountain Views by Chester and N. Wales

Discovering Shropshire - Blue Remembered Hills by Cycling UK Shropshire


Gridiron 100 by CTC Wessex Cycling

Emitremmus Desrever and Lite by Cycling UK Stevenage

The rides were supported by Cycling UK with branded merchandise for each rider who took part, plus a handsome Challenge Ride medal or certificate for every finisher. The feedback from both participants and organisers has been very positive. Cycling UK plans to run the series again in 2018 (although exact events may vary).


If you are interested in becoming a volunteer event organiser or ride leader for your local group, take a look at our Volunteer page in Related Content below, or check the Volunteer Toolkits at the Support for Cycling Groups page in Related Content below for a description of the role and what it entails.

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