From family friendly fun days out to the biggest challenge of your cycling season, there are hundreds of cycling events taking place in the Cotswolds.
Zappi’s Gran Fondo, August 21
Organised by the club set up by former Italian professional and current Oxford resident Flavio Zappi, this late summer ‘big ride’ heads out from Oxfordshire towards the northern edge of the Cotswolds. It then wriggles its way back with routes of 36, 65 and 112 miles, all of which culminate in the grounds of Kirtlington Park, just north of Oxford, where there will be plenty of food with an Italian flavour waiting for you.
HQ: Kirtlington Park, Oxfordshire; £10-35; granfondo.zappis.cc
Castle Combe Cycling Festival, August 28
Incorporating the Severn Bridge sportive, which allows riders to cross the main road of the old Severn Crossing into Wales, the Castle Combe Cycling Festival will be back for 2016. The historic Castle Combe circuit, which has played host to generations of motor sports as well as regular cycling races, will be open all day for traffic free family cycling.
HQ: Castle Combe Circuit, near Chippenham; castlecombecyclingfestival.co.uk
Mountain Mayhem, June 17-20
Featuring a Le Mans-style dash to the start, the famous 24-hour endurance mountain bike race has taken place in the historic Gatcombe Park estate in Gloucestershire since 2013. With a festival atmosphere (and a reputation for Glastonbury levels of rain and mud) Mountain Mayhem is one of the country’s most fun and free-spirited cycling events. Additional races for kids and a range of exhibitors on site all weekend.
HQ: Gatcombe Park, Minchinhampton; mountain-mayhem.com
Broughton Castle Sportive, July 10
Organised by local cycling club Banbury Star CC and the local Rotary Club, this sportive is held in what could be the country’s most picturesque starting point for a cycling event: Broughton Castle. The focus of the day is on a 100-mile ride up and down the hills of the north Cotswolds known as ‘The Monster,’ but there are also 50 and 20-mile routes and a family-friendly 5.5 mile fun ride. All profits go to local charities.
HQ: Broughton Castle, Broughton; £5-25; broughtoncastlesportive.co.uk
Blenheim Palace Family Cycling Day, August 14
The annual opportunity to pedal around the spectacular grounds of what must be the finest country palace in the UK. Designed by landscape gardener Capability Brown, the park is a World Heritage site and features gentle roads perfect for a traffic-free, family-friendly cycling . You’ll also find a miniature steam train, butterfly house, maze and adventure playground to keep the kids happy. All for the price of a gardens admission ticket, which is valid for 12 months. Bring a picnic!
HQ: Blenheim Palace, Woodstock; £6.90-£14.90; blenheimpalace.com/family-cycling-day
Wiggle Cotswolds Sportive, August 21
With short, standard and epic routes of 40, 75 and 100 miles respectively, the Wiggle Cotswolds Sportive heads west from the famous Cheltenham Racecourse to tackle the Cotswolds’ most fearsome climbs, including the brutal but beautiful Snowshill. This classic route hits just the right balance between challenging hills, rolling flats and fast descents.
HQ: Cheltenham Racecourse, Cheltenham; £26-£35; ukcyclingevents.co.uk/wiggle-cotwsolds
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