The sportive diary just seems to get fuller and fuller; toady Endura have dropped us a line to tell us about their new ride, the Lionheart, on 20 March. And we're particularly excited about this one as it's in our back yard. And our back yard has got lions in it.
Confused? Well, the yard in question is the Longleat estate, not 20 miles from road.cc towers, the home of the eccentric Lord Bath and his pride. The ride will offer 100km and 100-mile options, both of which will take a tour of the grounds past the lions' enclosure – better make sure they check the signage on that bit – before heading out into Wiltshire and Somerset for an early season romp around the lanes.
The 100-miler looks particularly splendid, taking in the beautiful Wylye valley before meandering back through the lanes and over some tough climbs. The total ascent of about 1,400m isn't huge but it's pretty up-and-down most of the way, and the sharp climbs up Kilmington Common and Gare Hill close to the finish will be a tough test. You get those on the 100km route as well.
The grand finale is finishing your ride right in front of the grandiose Longleat house, whereupon you'll be presented with a medal and a free bowl of hot pot to help you recover from your exertions. Electronic timing and feed stops will be provided in the usual sportive fashion, as will a ride photographer, outriders and a broom wagon. Ride entry is £28 for either distance and entries open on 1 January.
For more info head over to www.enduralionheart.co.uk
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.