Safety & Advice
DISCLAIMER OF WARRANTIES AND LIABILITY
YOU EXPRESSLY AGREE THAT THE SW300 CHALLENGE CARRIES INHERENT AND SIGNIFICANT RISKS OF PROPERTY DAMAGE, BODILY INJURY OR DEATH AND THAT YOU VOLUNTARILY ASSUME ALL KNOWN OR UNKNOWN RISKS ASSOCIATED WITH THE SW300 CHALLENGE EVEN IF CAUSED IN WHOLE OR IN PART BY THE ACTION, INACTION OR NEGLIGENCE OF THE ORGANISERS OR ANYONE ASSOCIATED WITH THE CHALLENGE
1. This is an extremely difficult challenge! It must only be attempted by cyclists who have the required level of fitness, who are properly and adequately prepared and have taken and heeded medical advice from their doctor in advance.
2. Participants must follow the highway code at all times.
3. All riders must take full personal responsibility. The organisers of this event or anyone else cannot be held liable in any way.
4. This challenge is not for the faint hearted! A 24hr challenge is a big step up from the average Sportive so please consider entry carefully.
5. All riders must carry an I.C.E. (in case of emergency) contact details card.
6. Bring food, drink, money, means of navigation etc. - aim for self reliance. If there are several of you as a group you may wish to have support.
7. Rope a friend in if you can. It is a good idea to pair up with a “buddy” and the more riders we have the more the load will be shared.
8. Be prepared for riding at night - lights, reflectors and warm high visibility clothing.
9. Chamois creme or similar may be the difference between happy success and dismal failure. Use it before you get sore.
10, Ensure your bike is in good working order and recently serviced with newish, puncture resistant tyres. Ensure you have mobile phone, spares, multitool etc. to be self reliant.
11. Do sufficient training so you can do this and enjoy the experience. Have fun!
Don't race off or push the pace! This is a group ride with a spirit of camaraderie and fun, not ego and competition. We will look to average 16mph riding speed. 300 miles is a long way with a big climb near the end, so you’ll need to save your legs.
To complete within the 24 hours we will be adhering to a strict time schedule. Therefore there will be a “No Waiting” policy. If you get dropped or get a puncture you will be on your own until you catch up at the next stop, hence why we recommend partnering up with a ride buddy. The aim is to get all of us to the end together. Don't let the thought of the distance get you down...we can all do it and will do it!
It's a beautiful ride and great craic, enjoy it! The glory of achievement is forever...
EMAIL SENT TO ALL REGISTERED RIDERS 1st JUNE;-
RE: SOUTH WEST 300 CYCLE RIDE 16th - 17th JUNE
Just TWO weeks to go! We hope and trust you are all raring to go and looking forward to the craic on the SW300 event as much as we are.
Sorry the following is a bit long winded but please do read it all….
First the important stuff
This event is free to enter and gives you free cake, beer, entertainment, volunteer support crew and lots of other stuff. All we hope for in return is a charity donation to either one or both our Just Giving pages. May we give our huge, heartfelt and sincere thanks to those of you who have already generously donated - it is truly appreciated - and may we kindly ask the rest of you to do so now. We have not set a fixed minimum amount but please do give what you can afford.
We are raising money for Cancer Research UK in memory of my late wife Julie who was lost to breast cancer at far too young an age. Julie left behind not just myself but also our then 13 year old son. Her cancer was genetic and I understand CRUK are making rapid progress in this area, but require the funds to do so
We are also raising money for Children’s Hospices Across Scotland. Whilst, as in the case of CRUK, saving young lives is a great cause, so is, as in the case of CHAS, improving the quality of life. CHAS is a wonderful organisation caring for terminally ill children in a cheerful environment ensuring their short time is a happy one. CHAS have got right behind this event and will be coming to cheer us along as we climb the Mennock Pass.
We also understand and fully support some of you are raising money for your own charities. Can you please let us know which ones and how much.
Before the ride
FAILURE TO PREPARE IS TO PREPARE TO FAIL!
Read website in full (it has been updated over the months) and make note of / copy relevant info
Check bike is in good working order
Check newish, good condition, puncture resistant tyres
Check full complement of spares, multitool etc
Check lights & reflectors (spare batteries / lights) Ensure front light is powerful enough to illuminate unlit rural roads. We recommend minimum 600 lumens for 6 hours constant capability.
If rain is forecast fit mudguards
Consider getting your bike serviced by Breakpad bike shop or getting required bits from them with 10% off - quote SW300
Download Strava route from website (or mark out the route on a paper map) and familiarise yourself with the route and with shortcuts to the rest stops or back to Dumfries. The ride will not be route marked. PLEASE NOTE THE ROUTE HAS JUST BEEN SLIGHTLY TWEAKED TO AVOID SECTIONS OF THE A75 AND A76 TRUNK ROADS for the better enjoyment of the ride so if you have already downloaded an earlier version please do so again.
Ensure you have an enactable self reliant strategy should you get separated from the ride.
Get a good night’s kip knowing all is already sorted for the morning.
On the day
Check the forecast and dress appropriate to the weather conditions. Wear sun screen if necessary (here’s hoping!).
Bring spare / warm clothing for night riding and changeable weather (to be carried by support - one small bag per rider marked with name & mobile no. Access at rest stops only)
Bring food / snacks & money
Bring fully charged mobile and back up charger (phone / Garmin battery will not last 24 hours if using Strava)
Consider bringing chamois creme, ibobrufen, immodium etc
Have a I.C.E. piece of paper with name, emergency contact details, blood group if known and allergies to be carried on your person at all times when riding.
Arrive at the start - Cycle Law Scotland will have a marquee by Pizzeria Il Fiume, Dock Park - from just before 11am and no later than 11:30am to sign on etc.
Suggested parking behind Troqueer Primary School DG2 7LR or surrounding streets / limited parking at Halfords ALONG THE RIVERSIDE ONLY (remainder of carpark required for customers. Please respect as limited use very generous of Halfords).
Be aware there is a separate major event at the same time with road restrictions in place SO ALLOW PLENTY OF TIME!
On the ride
The ride will probably be in two groups (to be decided on the day) with official and likely other support vehicles, but no official broom wagon (chances are there may be LIMITED availability to get a lift no further than to the next rest stop, but don’t rely on this). All support is volunteer support so be grateful for it rather than expect it. Plan for self reliance.
By necessity for success it is important this event will be ridden at Goldilocks pace. The front group will look to average 16 - 16.5mph and the rear group 15.5 - 16mph. The plan is for the groups to leave each stage together and anyone dropping out of the front group has the rear group to fall into. Ideally the rear group should not lose sight of the front group and therefore ride at similar pace. A couple of the later stages are scheduled to be a bit slower.
16.5mph too slow for you? No problem - we have a rider using this as a training ride for a 4 day LEJOG who wants to go faster and we agreed he can do his thing on the basis he is entirely self sufficient & self navigating and does not disrupt the main ride. Ask and he may let you join him. It’s not really what this ride is about though.
15.5mph too fast? Are you really up for this challenge? There is a tight schedule to keep to.
We are keen for all riders to ride in large groups at a comfortable pace. We appreciate, however, that there are as many abilities as there are riders, particularly when it comes to hills. The ethos of this ride is a spirit of camaraderie and teamwork with a target of collective completion, not competition. We ask that all stay together in their group for all except the following 3 climbs when it will work best to ride at your own pace;- out of Drummore on stage 4 - regroup at rest stop 4; out of Straiton on stage 7 - regroup at the top; the Mennock Pass on stage 8 - regroup at rest stop 8. We would describe this route as “generally undulating” rather than “overly hilly” - a Fred Whitton this ain’t so normal gear ratios are fine.
We strongly recommend buddying up for mutual support as there is a “no waiting, catch up at the next rest stop” policy in order to adhere to timescales to achieve our target. Ensure you have adequate plans should you lose contact with the ride. IMPORTANT - IF YOU DO NOT COMPLETE THE RIDE IN THE GROUP PLEASE TEXT US SO WE KNOW YOU ARE OK AND ACCOUNTED FOR
We will have very limited time at each rest stop so PLEASE BRING EXACT CHANGE for food at each stop to prevent hold ups. Fixed menu at each stop. (there is no obligation to purchase food).
Rest stop 1, Crown & Anchor Tea Rooms (discounted price) - bacon roll & tea / coffee / drink £3
Rest stop 2, Cafe at Kirroughtree - Homemade pasta Bolognese and 1 hot or cold drink £6 FREE entertainment by Creetown Silver Band
Rest stop 3, The View Cafe (specially opening for us) - soup, rolls, sandwiches, sausage rolls, tea, coffee, juice & water £6.50
Rest stop 4, Gallie Craig Cafe (specially opening for us) - macaroni cheese, chips, 2 tray bakes, tea, coffee & juice £12 FREE entertainment by Stranraer African Drummers & lit beacon (sadly the foghorn can no longer be sounded)
Rest stop 5, Castle Kennedy - FREE sandwiches, chocolate, snacks, bananas & milk courtesy of our supporters. No toilet facilities.
Rest stop 6, Girvan harbour - FREE CAKE, sandwiches, chocolate, snacks, bananas & milk courtesy of our supporters. Toilet facilities 30p.
Rest stop 7, A76 lay-by - FREE sandwiches, chocolate, snacks, bananas & milk courtesy of our supporters. No toilet facilities.
Rest stop 8, Museum Cafe (specially opening for us and special price) - soup & sandwich, tea & coffee / drink £4 C.H.A.S. charity representatives will meet & greet us.
Rest stop 9, A702 lay-by - FREE sandwiches, chocolate, snacks & milk courtesy of our supporters (if it’s not all been scoffed…). No toilet facilities.
Massage from rest stop 3 onwards £10 cash charity donation for 10 minutes.
End of the ride
FREEBIE bidon, bottle of SW300 Challenge Ale and other goodies courtesy of our supporters.
Recovery / celebratory meal at Pizzeria Il Fiume (specially opening for us) Special menu - 2 courses £11.95, 3 courses £13.95. Friends / family welcome to join. We appreciate some of you have long journeys home but please do attend - it’s a chance to recover, refuel / rehydrate and say goodbye to new friends, but above all to thank the volunteers and supporters for making it happen. Without them it wouldn’t have and we should all be extremely grateful for their generosity of service for our benefit. Likely finish time 1pm.
N. Irish contingent, locals to Galloway, volunteer supporters and anyone else who wishes to join us;-
Likely arrival Bruce Hotel, Newton Stewart, 2pm
Rest & recharge
7pm 3 course dinner £15 or D.B.B. £50 special rate. Quote sw300. Self entertainment and craic for as long as you can last the pace. 300 mile cycle back to the ferry in the morning.
Your safety is important to us!
We are hoping to have a Paramedic keeping Mechanic Sam company in the rear support vehicle.
This ride is on open public highway and so must be ridden accordingly. It is impractical for us here to give specific location warnings of potholes, junctions, bends, cattlegrids etc on such a long route, so be observant and predict potential risk. Special care must be taken on the trunk roads A75 and A76 where there will be fast moving traffic and on single track roads where there will be oncoming traffic. In general much of this route will have very light traffic compared with the rest of the U.K. and we will aim to use support vehicles to provide protection from other road users whilst you are in a group, particularly when on trunk or single track roads. We ask that you are considerate and courteous both to other participants and also to other road users, allowing them to pass when it is safe for them to do so. We are very familiar with the route so at the start of each stage on the ride we will advise of specific risks as we perceive them.
It is a requirement of participation that you;-
recognise that this event is not a race or competitive and do not treat it as such.
are fully self reliant, take full responsibility for yourself and be fully self capable should you get separated.
are medically, mentally and physically in condition for this challenge, which is a big step up from the average 100 mile Sportive.
regularly refuel and rehydrate as required.
wear a helmet and clothing appropriate to the conditions throughout the ride and don’t use Tri Bars whilst group riding.
at all times carry a I.C.E. piece of paper with name, emergency contact details, blood group if known and allergies.
fully adhere to the highway code and to the law.
ride in a sensible and considerate manner on a suitable bike in good condition.
descend in a controlled manner - there are sharp and blind bends on some of the descents with loose gravel / uneven surfaces and some are on single track roads with oncoming traffic. You will most likely be unfamiliar with much of the route so ride accordingly.
be aware there may be animals on the road, both livestock and wild, particularly at night, and ride accordingly.
stop should you be injured or fatigued / tired such that you are unable to fully concentrate or continue safely or would put yourself or others in any way at risk.
sign in at the start of the ride and back out at the end of the ride or let us know you are okay a.s.a.p. should you not complete the ride with the group.
Emergencies - any incidents contact the emergency services in the normal manner and also advise our Support Crew. As above we hope to have a Paramedic with us. Can any qualified or trained medic, whether rider or unofficial support also please let organisers know.
Enjoy yourself and support each other.
And please don’t forget to donate now. It’s what it’s all about.
Any questions please ask
Very much looking forward to meeting you all at the start!
IF, FOR WHATEVER REASON, YOU ARE NO LONGER ABLE TO MAKE THE RIDE THEN PLEASE LET US KNOW A.S.A.P. SO THAT WE HAVE AN IDEA OF NUMBERS WE ARE PLANNING AND CATERING FOR
P.S. The local council roads dept. have taken this sunny weather to carry out road repairs and surface dressing along the route, involving temporary road closures. We will be monitoring this and hope not to need to alter the route however please be aware there may be loose gravel from the surface dressing on a couple of short sections and ride these with the necessary care.
P.P.S. If anyone is looking to bring their own support vehicles can you please let us know in advance. We are of course very happy for you to do so but ask, unless specifically requested, that you do not be part of the convoy for safety reasons. Being more difficult to pass will make other road users frustrated and take risks. Unofficial support vehicle crew and vehicles are most welcome to join us at the rest stops and we kindly ask, in the spirit of the event, that any support vehicle be prepared to help any rider.
P.P.P.S. Should you want a memento of your heroic achievement don’t forget you can get an official jersey from Paul at http://torm.cc to wear with pride. Just quote SW300