At Wiggle, we're always up for it. So what better way to make 2023 the best year yet than by entering a cycling event, riding a self-supported route or ticking off a bucket list cycling experience.
Whether you are wanting to challenge yourself to ride a new distance, use an event as motivation to get fitter, or simply love two-wheeled adventures, there is a top cycling challenge to suit every rider.
Coast to Coast
Some of the best rides are with friends to conquer famous routes and enjoy big adventures. The Coast to Coast (or Sea to Sea) is one of these adventures. Spanning 140-miles starting from northwest England through the Northern Lakes and over the Pennines and ending on the coast by the North Sea in either Tyneside or Roker Marina in Sunderland. The route is designed to be ridden from the west coast to east coast so that the prevailing winds and gradients go more in your favour. Although a lot of the route is on the road, there are some demanding off-road sections too...
C2C route: Get the route and all the information you need from C2C Guide.
The Mallorca 312 event is perfect for those keen to soak up some sunshine and cycle on pristine tarmac (you'll be hard-pressed to find any potholes at all). 312km (194 miles) of beautiful views, climbs, closed roads sweeping bends and hairpins await you on this popular Baleric Island Sportive/Gran Fondo, with 5,000m of climbing in the Serra Tramuntana mountains. It's a stunning event drawing it quite a crowd and usually sells out quickly. If you miss the registration, many cycling holiday companies offer guaranteed spots with a holiday package... not a bad shout as you'll definitely be wanting some R&R when the day is over!
How to enter: Register for the Mallora 312
The Fred Whitton Challenge gets regular mentions in the Wiggle Facebook Community and is one of the most well-known but tough sportives out there. If you love the Lake District and love hills (we're talking up to 30% gradients), we certainly recommend this 113 mile road event. How hard is the Fred Whitton Challenge? It's often compared to the 'Marmotte' in terms of difficulty with over 3900m of climbing in total taking between 6-11 hours to complete. This could be one of the toughest rides you'll ever take on, but boy, what an achievement it will be.
How to enter: Enter the ballot
Ride London-Essex 100
Ride London is back after a few years away, with an updated route taking riders through Essex instead of Surrey. If you're looking for a road cycling challenge, although the 2022 event won't take riders over Box Hill (is it overrated anyway?), the ride will still tick off iconic landmarks in the big city. Closed roads for the event mean you can pedal through the Captial like never before, soaking up the sights or hitting top speeds.
When is RideLondon 2023: May each year
How to enter: Enter the ballot
King Alfred's Way
As gravel riding grows in popularity, so do multi-day gravel rides. The King Alfred's Way is a 350km circular off-road adventure that uses parts of the Ridgeway and South Downs Way tracks. The historic route will take riders through Winchester, Stonehenge, Avebury and the Devil's Punchbowl, with the terrain changing frequently. This self-supported ride is ideal to ride over a few days as a bikepacking trip- watch the below video for a glimpse into the adventure.
King Alfred's Way Route: Get the route and all the information you need from CyclingUK
The Dragon Ride in Wales is often described as one of the toughest sportives in the UK. The route sees cyclists head over and through the Brecon Beacons but offers varying distances to complete. Taking on 'The Devil' is no mean feat, with 4351m of climbing over a whopping 304km. For those keen to try a more 'sensible' challenge, there are 100km, 157km and 210km routes too. Whichever route you take, there are some serious ascents and some seriously fun and technical descents.
When is the Dragon Ride: Sunday 18 June 2023
How to enter: Enter the ballot
Where do we start with Megavalanche... is it one of the craziest, fun MTB events in the calendar starting high on the glacier in Alpe d’Huez, France. This enduro mountain bike race is demanding with an epic mass-start and 30km of snow, ice, rock, and technical tracks. Megavalanche isn't for the faint-hearted but we cannot put the atmosphere into words. Even if you don't qualify for the main event, the whole experience is electric and awe-inspiring.
When: July 2023
How to enter: Register for the Megavalanche
Looking for a multi-day off-road adventure? The Pennine Bridleway starts in the Peak District and covers 327 miles (526 km) taking riders through four national parks. The scenery along the way is hard to beat with lakes, mountains and historic monuments at each turn. But with 7490m of climbing, this route will certainly require a little training before tackling it.
Pennine Bridleway Route: Check out Komoot
Etape Loch Ness
We're all about a bit of history, we love a good story and of course throw in some views, some epic scenery and a welcoming atmosphere and you've got yourself one epic sportive. The Etape Loch Ness is the Highlands most popular challenge with 66 miles (106 km) of traffic-free roads. For those new to the sportive scene, this event is slightly more gentle in terms of total climbing (900m) so is a great event to tick off. There is even a specific 'King of the Mountain' segment race for those who are feeling confident and want to come away with bragging rights.
When: April each year
How to enter: Find out more at Etape Loch Ness
LEJOG - Lands End to John O'Groats
Lands End to John O'Groats is on a lot of cyclists bucket lists. The route spans the entire length of the UK totalling a whopping 971 miles. Also known as the 'End to End' this epic ride is iconic with riders taking up to 14 days to complete the trip. Completing any of the above challenges is something to be proud of, but finishing LEJOG is on another level.
LEJOG Route: Get all the information you need for LEJOG from CyclingUK
Davina’s Big Sussex Bike Ride - Davina Ride 100
Go big for those smaller than us with 'Davina's Big Sussex Bike Ride'. This event, made possible by Action Medical Research, features 4 route options. Starting from a cool 27 miles, all the way up to an epic 100 miles, it caters for all riding abilities. As a charity event, all proceeds from the event go directly to Action Medical Research in their efforts to help little hearts. The event is based in Uckfield, East Sussex and tickets are on sale now.
When is Davina’s Big Sussex Bike Ride: June each year.
How to enter: Register for the Davina’s Big Sussex Bike Ride