The first round of the 2012 CTC Challenge Ride and Sportive Series will take place in Blandford Forum, Dorset this weekend.
The Ride to the Pies will feature both road and off-road rides for the first time, with Saturday February 25 dedicated to knobbly tyres.
Two routes of either 31km or 52km will be fully signposted, with feedstops and mechanical back-up available. The orgnanisers have told us that local riders have designed the routes using some of the best trails in the area, suitable for either mountain or cyclo-cross bikes.
Sunday February 26 is the road sportive day with two routes, 57 and 79 miles, through the Dorset countryside. The 79-mile route has nearly 5,000ft of climbing and heads anti-clockwise down to the coast to Lulworth then along the stunning Jurassic Coast before an undulating route back to the finish, including the steep Bulbarrow Hill less than 10 miles from home.
The 57-mile route is a less arduous course through the quiet lanes down towards the coast and back, but still has 3,000ft of climbing. Both routes will be fully signposted, while riders will enjoy electronic timing, well-stocked feedstops and mechanical support on route (including spare wheels) and at the start/finish area.
Thanks to event sponsor Birds Eye, all finishers on both days will receive free pies and refreshments at the finish.
Entries can be made online. Off-road entry costs £15 for CTC members and £17 for non-members, will the sportive costs £17 for members and £27 for non-members. A discount is available for group bookings for teams of four or more.