There's some epic riding going on in France this weekend and if that's getting you in the mood for some epic road action of your own… well, there are still a few places left on this Sunday's Ride to the Horns but you'd better be quick.
The fourth edition of one of the UK's most popular sportives rolls in to action from the village of Mentmore in Bucks on Sunday morning (3 July) offering two routes of either 97 or 50 miles that showcase the best of the Chiltern hills and which should be an ample enough challenge for anyone and there's a family ride too suitable for riders of all ages and abilities – cost of entry to that is a donation to the event's nominated charities.
Both of the main rides start and finish on the village green in Mentmore near Leighton Buzzard with the headlining 97 mile Ride to the Horns taking in climbs of such Chilterns classics as Whiteleaf, the Crong (surely they should have a King Crong competition), the Ivinghoe Beacon with a final climb up the Whipsnade and Dunstable Downs. The Horns ride covers many of the roads used in the Tour of Britain and the Archer GP and this year the run in has been changed slightly to avoid some of the busier roads of the original route.
If 97 miles seems a bit of a stretch for a Sunday morning there is also a 50 mile option on offer consisting of two 25 mile loops linking the main bits of the bigger ride and which the organisers promise will give you a decent workout.
Each course will be fully signposted and well stocked feed stations and mechanical assistance en-route and at the start/finish are also on offer too.
The Ride to the Horns is one of those events that seems to have been blessed with good weather for most of its previous editions and the forecast for the weekend looks promising too. Places are limited to 500 and they are filling up fast - you can take a chance and enter on the day, but it will cost you an extra fiver if you do.
You can find out more at www.wheelsinwheelscc.com and there is also a link to the online entry via road.cc's What's On section.
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.