Cyclo cross is not just for winter, something that's been further underlined by the newly announced KinesisUK Hell of the West Cyclo-X Sportive that will take place right in the middle of Summer - July 1st to be precise.
The "Hell of the West” strikes out across 100km of the wilds of Dartmoor and like other “Hell Of The….” events and rides with the increasingly popular “cyclo-cross sportive” tag the terrain will be a mix of road and off road. A ‘cross bike will be the weapon of choice, especially for the more experienced rider, but if you are new to riding off road or just don’t have a CX bike then a mountain bike will be fine; 26” wheeled ones, 29ers and even achingly on-trend 650b ones are all welcome, and going the other way these sorts of events are doable on a road bike too - well one with generous tyre clearances for something a tad fatter. Mind you, as the “Hell of the West” has a 'run what you brung' ethos you could ride a shopping bike, or even a unicycle, if you wanted, across Dartmoor, with the ponies, hounds and werewolves, best just stick to the path then… stick to the path. No matter what bike you choose to ride there’s the chance to win amongst other prizes a Kinesis Pro 6 frameset - a disc specific CX frame with a race pedigree.
The National Trust are hosting the event which starts and finishes in the Parke Estate in Devon to provide a route that’s promised to be not only scenic, but varied and challenging. The “Hell of the West” is just a single 100km loop with no wimp-out shorter options so you’ll need to be prepared for a long day in the saddle, there will be a tech truck out on course and a broom wagon, but general self sufficiency and manning-up is assumed. Luckily PacificHealth are providing Accelerade and R4 sport drinks to sustain riders, there will be feed stations dotted over the 100km and Dartmoor Brewery will be serving up pints of Dartmoor Ale at the finish to refresh and reward riders.
KinesisUK will be showing their new Kinesis CX bikes, and the Kinesis Morvelo Project team will be turning up to try and set some fast Strava segment times. Coaching specialists Elite Velo will also be on hand to help riders through the day as well as offering coaching and preparation to all those that have signed up for the event with a monthly email.
So it’s time to dust off your ‘cross bikes just so they can covered in dust again, although as the event’s in the middle of an English Summer it will probably be perfectly traditional cyclo-cross conditions.
Date: Sunday 1st July 2012
Start / Finish: Parke Estate, Nr Bovey Tracey in Devon.
Estimated route times: Gold: <6 Hours, Silver: <7.5 hours, Bronze: <9 hours.
Age restrictions: Minimum 16 years.
Entry available on British Cycling, entry fee: £27
Jo Burt has spent the majority of his life riding bikes, drawing bikes and writing about bikes. When he’s not scribbling pictures for the whole gamut of cycling media he writes words about them for road.cc and when he’s not doing either of those he’s pedaling. Then in whatever spare minutes there are in between he’s agonizing over getting his socks, cycling cap and bar-tape to coordinate just so. And is quietly disappointed that yours doesn’t. He rides and races road bikes a bit, cyclo-cross bikes a lot and mountainbikes a fair bit too. Would rather be up a mountain.