After a year of very few big rides - a second child in as many years might have something to do with it - I've found the perfect event for one last blast before the end of season. This year's Exmoor Beast is starting and finishing at Butlins Minehead. So I'll be joining about 2000 other riders by the West Somerset seaside before taking on the spectacular - read punishingly hilly - scenery of North Devon's Exmoor national park. Genius - big cycling event combined with top notch holiday facilites and entertainment for the whole family.
I've been riding on Exmoor before - though it was snowy last time - and can't wait to get into that epic autumn landscape of sheltered granite built villages and high, rolling moorland. There are two distances: 100 mile and 100km, with both biting off good chunks of moorland and coastal views. Note to self: Musn't forget to leave time for a cream tea halfway round... Talking of having cake - and eating it - it's going to be great to escape on my own on the bike (2000 other riders notwithstanding!) and then get back and see the smile on my nipper's face as I take him on on every ride at the funfair!
With almost 1700 places already filled, the Exmoor Beast is now almost full (but not quite!) and on-line registration will close at midnight on October 24th. After that, there will be one last chance to grab one of the 50 remaining places being held back until the afternoon before the ride on Saturday 31st, between 2 p.m. and 6.pm. First come first served! for more see www.exmoorbeast.org