Tim Stevens’s memorial ride heads into the Ashdown Forest on routes designed by Sean Yates

Classic Sussex climbs to be relished in rides remembering 'Big Tim'

Big Tim’s Big Day Out, taking place on Sunday September 1, is a sportive in memory of former Great Britain rider and time trial ace Tim Stevens, who was a well-known and well-loved figure in the south-east cycling scene.

Stevens, who died in 2016 aged 55 after he was diagnosed with bowel cancer, was treated at the Royal Marsden’s cancer hospital. Last year’s event raised over £3,000 for the charity. Stevens’s wife Jenni, who was also treated by the Royal Marsden, and his friends who organise the event each year, are inviting you to come and do it all over again.

>>> Obituary: Tim Stevens (1960-2016)

There are two routes on offer – the 90km Grande and the 50km Cortado – designed by Sean Yates, who was a 34 Nomads clubmate and great friend of Stevens.

Tim Stevens

Tim Stevens in Duncan Murdoch’s film The Racer, shot shortly before he was diagnosed

Both start and finish at the South of England Showground at Ardingly and head off towards the Ashdown Forest to take in some classic local climbs. The route splits at Splaynes Green, the Grande heading south through some rolling terrain to Ringmer before heading back north. The Cortado takes a slightly easier route back to Ardingly but both routes have a sting in the tail.

There are also 3km, 6km or 12km traffic-free family ‘Espresso’ rides.

The rides are priced at £32, £29 and £15 or £20 on the day for the family rides (only the family rides can be entered on the day).

Lunch is included in the entry fee plus a big outdoor party at the Ardingly Showground with live music and a big barbecue, and the BeerMe Belgian brewery will provide a beer for all riders afterwards and there’s a pop-up bar for those with a real thirst on.

There’s multi-point chip timing and super-fast registration making it a smooth and efficient ride as well as a great day out and a chance for people who knew Tim to get together. For those who didn’t know him, watch film maker Duncan Murdoch’s short film about him, made as he prepared for the 2016 East Surrey Hardriders time trial shortly before his diagnosis – it was to be his last race.

For more details, including route maps and profiles and how to enter go the Big Tim’s Day Out website.

There are only 63 places left in the Grande and 71 in the Cortado, so get your entries in sharpish if you want to ride.

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