The Big Dipper second edition 2015
The first edition really lived up to its name – what a day it was!
We wanted to put on a sportive that really reflected what the name means and why East Sussex is the place to experience it, and judging by the comments of nearly everyone who made it back, we pretty much achieved that.
Same route for 2015, so that standards have been set. Gold, Silver and Bronze time band awards for both rides, so you've all got something to aim for. It won't be easy though, so be prepared for a tough day on your bike.
And we decided also to bring it forward by a few weeks. Setting up in the pitch black of the Observatory Science Centre was an interesting experience, not to be repeated. So this year it's on Sunday 13 September. Hopefully a bit lighter and a bit warmer.
The Observatory Science Centre is once again offering discounted family entry, so you can learn about all things starry, including the Big Dipper (aka The Plough, Ursa Major).
The route takes you north of Herstmonceux, up to Brightling and into Mad Jack Fuller territory. The route takes you right past Brightling Church where he's buried under the pyramid and a mile or so after that past the Observatory (those stars again) that he built at the highest point in East Sussex, before descending into the valley. Past Batemans, home of Rudyard Kipling, and then heading east towards Robertsbridge, where the Big Dipper turns left and the Little Dipper turns right.
The Big Dipper heads east to Tenterden and on into Kent before heading south to Appledore, Peasmarsh (see if you can spot the entrance to Paul Macartney's place, there you go again, more stars), past The Plough pub on the Udimore Road, and then up the infamous Battery Hill, after which you head north again to Battle, past another Plough pub in Westfield, and then the finish, but not before a sharp sting in the tail at Wartling.
The Velopace Big Dipper sportive is designed to follow some of the quietest and most challenging country roads in East Sussex & Kent, providing 100 miles of memorable riding. Event entry entitles you to discounted entry to Herstmonceux Science Centre so why not bring the whole family.
Test yourself over what we think is a cracking ride and is fast becoming a classic East Sussex sportive – don't take our word for it though, enter now and see what it's all about on Sunday 13 September 2015.