Bike Chester is an annual cycling event based in Chester and across the Cheshire countryside.
The Bike Chester 2016 sportive is managed by the experienced team at Iconic Cycling Events and is supported by Chester Rugby Club, alongside the Sale Sharks Community Trust. The 2016 charity event aims to raise money for the Hospice of the Good Shepherd and will help them to continue to provide care for residents of Cheshire West, Chester and Deeside.
This Chester based sportive is included in our Guide to Cheshire & Wirral Sportives.
This year’s event takes place on Saturday, 25th June 2016 and starts from Chester Rugby Club in Littleton, near Chester (directions to Chester Rugby Club). There is plenty of parking for those not cycling to the start.
The 2016 Bike Chester sportive has 4 routes over 3 distances (see routes below); 25m, 50m and two 80m routes. Elevations are pretty flat with the most gain being 4,500 ft over one of the two 80m routes. The shorter 25m route sees just 740 ft of climbing so nothing too difficult on any of the routes, just the outstanding Cheshire countryside to admire.
Start times are staggered to reflect the distances, with riders doing the 80m route being asked to start between 7.30am-8.30am, which then sees the 50m riders start from 8.30am, and finally the start time for the 25m route is 9.30am.
All routes are clearly marked but it’s always advisable to take your own copy of the route map, either on paper or as a download GPS file (see links below). The event is a timed event but riders should be clear that this is not a race. The timing chips are merely to record times for your information.
Bike Chester organisers will also be providing feed stations, medical support, technical support, a finishers medal and post ride refreshments.
Bike Chester Routes 2016
Bike Chester 2016 offers 4 routes over 3 distances so cyclists have the choice of both distance and elevation, although neither of the longer routes contain any difficult climbs. Excluding the 25m route, the elevation gains are 1,600 ft for the 50-mile route and 3,900 ft or 4,500 ft for the 80-mile routes.
Bike Chester 80 mile Route – The Calf Cruncher Challenge
The two 80 mile routes are very similar, splitting just before the Vale of Llangollen at the 40-mile point, and then coming back together before the Horseshoe Pass climb. The Challenger route sees riders take on an additional 600 ft of climbing over the Sportive route option.
The extra 600 ft has gradient peaks of around 15% but riders are rewarded with spectacular panoramic views of the Deeside moors, which make the extra effort more than worthwhile.
Follow this link to download the 80m Challenger GPS Route.
Bike Chester 80 mile Route – The Sunshine Smiler Sportive
Whilst the Sportive route may not have the challenge of the additional 600 ft of climbing, it still demands effort and the necessary energy to complete the 80 miles.
Leaving the Chester Rugby Club, riders head south towards Christleton and Waverton, mindful of the Saturday morning shoppers, although at 7.30-8.30am this may be prior to the rush. The route turns east to Dutton and then south for around 20-miles through Tattenhall, Chowley, Clutton and then across the English:Welsh border to Bangor-on-Dee.
So far, riders have completed 30 miles but without any climbing, but this is about to change for cyclists who have choden the Challenger route. For cyclists selecting the Sportive route, there is a further 15 miles of broadly flat cycling until you reach Llangollen, and the only lump on the route – 900 ft of climbing over 3 miles.
Riders stay above 900 ft for 8 miles before descending into Cefn-y-Bedd at the 60-mile marker. The route home is flat and takes riders through Gresford, Holt, Churton, Aldford, Saighton and into the now more established Waverton shopping traffic so be mindful of the uplift in the number of cars.
Follow this link to download the 80m Sportive GPS Route.
Bike Chester 50 mile Route
Starting one hour later than the 80m riders, at 8.30am, the 50-mile route follows the same paths as the 80m route, through Christleton, Waverton, Dutton, Tattenhall, Chowley, Clutton and then across the English:Welsh border to Bangor-on-Dee.
The most challenging aspect of the 50-mile route comes at the 17m mark, after Chowley, where there is a 200 ft climb over 1.5 miles. This makes a great sportive for cyclists looking to complete their first 50-mile cycling event.
After Bangor-on-Dee, the 50m route splits from the 80m routes and heads north for 15 miles through Bowling Bank, Ridleywood, Holt, Churton, Aldford and then towards Huntingdon and the A55, although riders never actually get that far (unless you get lost!).
At this point, the route rejoins the 80m route and heads back towards Chester Rugby Club via Saighton and Waverton.
Follow this link to download the 50m GPS Route.
Bike Chester 25 mile Route
The 25 mile route shares non of the other routes but does allow riders to enjoy the Cheshire countryside.
From Littleton, riders travel east toward Guilden Sutton and then south for a few miles before traversing the northside of Eaton Golf Club.
After around 10 miles, cyclists pass through Burton and on toward Huxley and Brassey Green. One mile further on, riders turn west onto Grimes Lane and Tattenhall Lane prior to arriving in Tattenhall. At this point, the route goes north, passing the well-known Ice Cream Farm, which may make a nice stopping point on a warm day.
Suitably refueled, riders have just 6 more miles to do before arriving back in Chester.
Follow this link to download the 25m GPS Route.