We're fans of the Bristol Belter, a well-run sportive that takes in some of our favourite riding across the Mendips, with three distances to suit everyone. And if you're looking for a new sportive bike, there's another reason to enter: you can get £250 off a new Giant Defy 1 with your place.
Amongst other splendid riding the Bristol Belter gives you a go up the famous Cheddar Gorge between the imposing cliffs, and the ride has a reputation for looking after riders with great food stops and excellent facilities at the start/finish venue, which this year has moved to the Bristol Cathedral Choir School. There's a new partner, too, the Giant Brand Store in Bristol (Bradley Stoke), and it's them that are offering the deal on the Giant Defy. You'll need to show up in person with your registration number for the ride. This year they've also teamed up with E3coach to offer event-tailored training solutions, with free initial assessment and profiling available to participants
Even if you don't want a new bike or a training plan there's lots to recommend the Belter: great routes, nice food and amazing weather (NB: may not be amazing in a good way, this is the South West). You get a bunch of sportive gubbins – electronic chip timing, finishing certificate and present, free parking and free showers) thrown in for your £27 (£22 for the short one). Check out their website at www.bristolbelter.com.
Dave is a founding father of road.cc, having previously worked on Cycling Plus and What Mountain Bike magazines back in the day. He also writes about e-bikes for our sister publication ebiketips. He's won three mountain bike bog snorkelling World Championships, and races at the back of the third cats.