If you're already pencilling dates into your ride calendar for next year, then you might like to know that beautiful and rather hilly Exmoor will once again be the backdrop to the Early season Exmoor Beauty (21 April 2013) and the Autumnal Exmoor Beast (20 October 2013). They'll not be quite the same though, as there's a change of venue for 2013.
Instead of rolling out from Butlin's in Minehead the rides have decamped 30 miles south to Tiverton, which the organisers say will make it possible to increase the number of places available. "We’ve been very happy at Butlins for the past four years,” said Marcus DiVincenzo of organisers MIG Events, “but the move 30 miles south will bring the events much closer to the greatest number of the events’ participants. And, given that the distance saved is all on single track roads, it should knock nearly an hour off the previous journey time from the M5 motorway. If you count in the original journey both ways and multiply it by the number of vehicles, that’s one hell of a saving to riders and far less damaging to the environment. The new location will also present the events with fresh route options with much gentler opening and closing sections along the Exe Valley. However, the notorious climb of Dunkery Beacon will remain on ‘The Beast’s’ itinerary and the vast majority of the routes we finally decide on will be within the Exmoor National Park.”
The move will mean a complete makeover for the Beauty. “Many riders thought this year’s route was a bit too long and a little too demanding for an early season sportive," said Divincenzo. "For 2013 it will be a ride which showcases much of Exmoor’s beauty without sending the climbing statistics off the scale. The intention is that ‘The Beauty’ should be a lovely day out on the bike with no pressure to perform. The distance will be close to 100k (62m) with minimal exposure to the really high moor. It should be a cracking warm up event for the bigger challenges later in the season.”
Entries for both events will open on 1 December and if you enter both together you can save £6 off the entry fee.
Dave is a founding father of road.cc and responsible for kicking the server when it breaks. In a previous life he was a graphic designer but he's also a three-time Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling world champion, and remains unbeaten through the bog. Dave rides all sorts of bikes but tends to prefer metal ones. He's getting old is why.