With four beautiful and varied routes of between 34 and 106 miles, the Cyclone Challenge is one the great events of the UK cycling calendar. Established in 2007, the event is highly inclusive, welcoming riders of all ages and has now hosted over 33,000 riders. It's a “must-do” ride for cyclists of all abilities and ages.
Starting from the well-equipped Newcastle Falcons Rugby stadium, on the edge of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, the four routes rapidly transport riders into the picturesque landscapes of Northumberland: quiet roads along beautiful river valleys, over remote moorlands and through pretty villages.
The Basics: The 2018 event takes place on Saturday 30 June. Choose a route to suit your cycling ability, fitness, age and experience: there are 34, 64, 90 or 106 mile options (see event regulations for guidance on younger riders). Enter online and then turn up on the day and enjoy a meticulously well organised event, with plentiful parking, covered sign-on with snack bars, electronic timing/tracking, mobile support, up to four feed stations and lots of “top-up” culinary delights in village halls, not to mention that Northumbrian countryside.
Date Change: Originally scheduled for Saturday 16th June, the Challenge Rides have been re-scheduled for Saturday 30th June to fit in with the Cyclone Festival's hosting of the National Road and Time Trial championships on 1 July and 28th June respectively. All riders who entered before 12th February (date of the re-schedule) should have received an email offering them the choice of transferring their entry to the new date, 30th June, or a full refund. Contact email@example.com if you have a query regarding this.
Cyclone Challenge Rides - The Event In Detail
The Challenge Rides are part of the 4-day Cyclone Festival of Cycling, which also includes the National Time Trial Championships on Thursday 28th June, the Tyne 6 Bridges family/leisure rides on the Friday evening and the National Road Championships races on the Sunday.
Entry Fees: Adults £34, Under-16 £17 - Enter Event
Who Can Ride the Challenge Rides? The four routes offer a challenge to all ages and abilities from serious club cyclists who are looking to test themselves, through to less experienced, less fit or younger participants looking for a well-supported ride through lovely countryside. The four events distances have been planned to ensure that there is a challenge for everyone and one that will allow you to ride within your capabilities. For full details of who can enter the four rides, see our Event Regulations page.
Cyclone Festival Jersey: New for 2018, you can now purchase an exclusive Cyclone festival cycling jersey - buy jersey
The RoutesAll four rides start and finish at the Newcastle Falcons Rugby Club, Kingston Park and all four share, in part, sections of the Beaumont Trophy and Curlew Cup race routes, ridden by elite riders on the Sunday.
Ride A - 34 miles - Green Route (ViewMap)
Designed for families and those just who want to enjoy the countryside without any large hills. The route is undulating and ascends for a total of 390M (1280ft) whilst passing through a number of small villages with pubs and Coffee shops. There is one feed station at Stamfordham.
Ride B - 64 miles - Blue Route (View Map)
This ride is for cyclists who want a challenge. It is a hilly route and not to be entered without a little previous training. It ascends 1217M (3993ft) in the 64mls. There are feed stations at The Gate Forestburngate, Cambo and Stamfordham. The ride also passes through a number of villages and hamlets where there are pubs and coffee shops.
Ride C - 90mls - Red Route(View Map)This route was first added in 2016 to provide a intermediate challenge between the 64 and 106 mile options. One of the highlights is the ascent of Winters Gibbet. This route ascends 1788m (5866ft) in the 90 miles. There are feed stations at The Gate Forestburngate, Elsdon, Cambo and Stamfordham.
Ride D - 106 miles - Black Route (View Map)A serious challenge for the more experienced cyclists. The route is very hilly with 2374m (7789ft) of climbing and eight significant climbs. The highest point is Troughend Common (340m), west of Otterburn in the Cheviot Hills. There are 4 feed stations on this route at The Gate Forestburngate, Elsdon, Wark and Stamfordham. Riders competing this distance will have the additional challenge of achieving Gold, Silver or Bronze Standard for their ride. The standards are set as follows: Gold, under 5 hours, 45 minutes; Silver, between 5 hours 46minutes and 6 hours 35 minutes; Bronze, over 6 hours 35 minutes.
All our Feed Stations are manned by volunteers from the villages along with Gosforth Sea Cadets. They will be handing out water, energy drinks supplied by OTE, Geobars supplied by Traidcraft and bananas. These are free to all participants. Additionally, a selection of hot drinks and cakes/sandwiches, made by the local villagers, can be purchased. All Feed Stations will have 1st Aid Facilities and contact back to Event HQ.
Timing Stations are situated around the routes and at the start/finish. It is important that all riders ensure that their timing chip is securely attached to their helmet on the left side so that the organisers can accurately monitor where riders are on the course. Finishers in all events will be given a finishing time as well as intermediate split times. Riders will be able to download a certificate after completion of the event which will show their finishing time.
Register/Sign-on: Before starting the Cyclone Challenge Rides, you must first visit Registration/Sign-on. You can do this on the evening of Friday 29th June, at the Cycle Hub, Ouseburn, Newcastle Quayside, or on the morning of the event at the event HQ (Newcastle Falcons Rugby Club). All riders must sign-on and register themselves individually at one of these two opportunities. You cannot sign on for another/other riders. Please bring your entry confirmation slip (emailed to you when you enter) and a separate piece of identification with you. Wherever possible participants for the Saturday rides are requested to register on Friday to ease congestion on Saturday morning.
Registration/Sign-on Friday 29th June:
The Cycle Hub, Ouseburn, Newcastle Quayside - All routes: 4pm -9pm
Registration/Sign-on Saturday 30th June: Newcastle Falcons Rugby Ground
106 mile route: 7.00-8.00am
90 mile route: 8.00-9.00am
64 mile route: 8.30-9.30am
34 mile route: 9.00-10.00am
Start Times: The following start times are recommended for each distance:
106 mile route: 8.00-8.45am
90 mile route: 8.45-9.30am
64 mile route: 9.30-10.30am
34 mile route: 10.30-11.00am
Don’t worry of you miss your allocated start time as you will be able to start as long as it is before 11.00am. The 34 mile route riders will not start until the longer route riders have started, to allow time for the Feed/Timing Station at Stamfordham to open. Please note, all riders are requested to complete their rides by 6pm. Please choose your ride and pace your day accordingly.
Event Car Parking
There are two parking options, pre-paid parking at the event HQ, Newcastle Falcons Rugby Club, or free parking at the Great North Park “Park and Ride”, just 2km from the event HQ. WARNING Parking is not available in the streets around the event HQ and traffic wardens will be operating.
Pre-Paid Event Parking: There are over 380 pre-paid parking spaces available at the event HQ, Newcastle Falcons Rugby Club for £5 each. They are available on a first-come-first served basis. You will receive a parking voucher which you must present to the gate marshals on the day. The £5 voucher is redeemable against food and drinks at the Newcastle Falcons Rugby Club Bars and Kiosks on the day. Book Your Pre-Paid Parking Here
During Your Ride
Route Signs: All junctions throughout the four routes will be comprehensively signposted. Exact route details for each ride are also available on this website. We'd also recommend you take a map or download the route onto your mobile device, just in case you wander off track - Maps & Routes
Insurance, First Aid & Support: Your entry fee covers insurance provided by British Cycling for the duration of the event. The Feed and Timing stations will be manned by village volunteers and the Sea Cadets and there will be full first aid medical cover throughout the event. Throughout the event “service” vehicles, as used in the following day’s elite races, will be on hand to assist with mechanical issues.
Litter Disposal: Please dispose of litter considerately. There are bins at all the feeds. Litter dropped on the course, such as gel wrappers, jeopardises the future of our events.
After The Event
Photographs: The Official photographers for the Challenge rides are Marathon Photos. They will have a Team of photographers out around the routes. Their photos will be available at www.marathon-photos.com within 48hrs.
Certificates & T-Shirts: Download your personalised certificate post-event from www.marathon-photos.com website. Collect your free T-shirt when you register at the finish.
Please pre-enter online: Please make sure that you have received two email confirmations - regarding your entry and payment. If you don’t receive any emails, first check your spam folder. Then, if your name does not appear on the start list on the website within a few days, please contact us. Entries will close at 23:59.59 on the 10th June. It is not possible to enter on the day of the event or the day before.
Why Not Ride For Charity? We encourage all riders to consider riding on behalf of one of our Charity partners, though it’s not compulsory. Choose your charity during the entry process and you will be sent a sponsorship pack shortly afterwards. If you do decide to ride on behalf of a charity, you will then be eligible to win one of the great prizes the charities offer their biggest fund-raisers on the day.
Bike Checks: Free bike checks are offered by Cyclelogical www.cyclelogical-newcastle.com to all those who have entered the event. Just quote your number and the event you have entered. It is advisable to have your bike checked well in advance so that your enjoyment of the weekend is not spoilt by a mechanical failure on the day. Advice can also be given to the about what clothing to wear, correct riding position and what tools and drinks to carry on the day and during training for the event.