king of the castle, or dirty rascal?
Setting off from the ruins of Tonbridge Castle the route serves up one of the best charity cycling sportives in the South East. With a heady mix of rolling terrain and punchy climbs it offers something for cyclists of all abilities.
The highlight of the ride is the view across Kent from Ide Hill, flagrantly showing off the beauty of this county in all its glory, living up to its nickname of The Garden of England. The final few miles of the ride take riders on some lovely quiet lanes and past the spectacular Penshurst Place.
The Kent countryside serves up a mixture of quiet villages and beautiful scenery as you ride along quiet lanes. Expect some tough climbs on this charity bike ride as you pedal up and over the challenging North Downs.
With four routes to choose from which offer challenging hills, rewarding views and plentiful feed stops make it a cracking event!
Enjoy a great day in the saddle with the Action Medical Research team on this cycling event with first-class support throughout the day. Help us raise vital funds to help sick and disabled babies and children.
Contactless registration will be in operation meaning participants simply roll up and ride.
Participants will be allocated a start time and will join a socially distanced queue before being set off in smaller groups to ensure that everybody is well spaced out.
ride Castle routes
Tonbridge Castle provides the imposing backdrop to this ride.
There's been a castle on the site since the days of Edward the Conqueror in 1066, and for those on the Epic route, it may well feel like you've been on the road since then too! The crenulated turrets of the castle towers will be a welcome sight for riders after a long day in the saddle.
Find out more about Tonbridge Castle.
Please note that current government guidance states that spectators are no longer permitted at sports events.
Our team of volunteers will be on hand to help refuel your ride.
With three feed stations, serving up a selection of snacks and hot and cold drinks, we're sure to have everything you need to refuel, replenish and get you back on the road. Feed stations can be found at:
- Headcorn - Epic & Champion 26 miles
- East Peckham - Epic & Champion 53 miles, Classic & Cool 23 miles
- Ide - Epic 70 & 95 miles, Champion 70 miles, Classic 40 miles
(*Distances are approximate and subject to change)
Growing in popularity over recent years, the past year has seen a huge surge in the sale of e-bikes. Hopefully, this means that the sport we love is becoming accessible to so many more people which we're absolutely thrilled about!
We very much welcome e-bikes on all of our RIDE Series sportives.
the event team
Organising rides, for riders, by riders!
A lifelong cycling addict, Tom has worked in all aspects of cycling world from mountain bike guiding in Greece to working as a mechanic for various bike, component and event companies and even spent some time helping to develop bikes as a brand manager for some of Britain’s leading bike brands. Away from the home office, he’s a keen mountain biker who enjoys cross country marathon and Enduro racing.
Can you spare the time to help?
Our RIDE Series depends on the generosity of volunteers who give up their time to ensure that participants have the best possible day in the saddle. We're always looking for willing volunteers to help support our rides so please get in touch if you think you can spare some time, and in return, we'll give you a free ride!
Frequently asked questions
Are spectators allowed?
No. Current government guidance states that spectators are no longer permitted at sports events.
Can friends or family meet me at the end?
Current government guidance states that spectators are no longer permitted at sports events. Non-riders will not be permitted within start/finish area. If you are being picked up, then please keep your driver informed of your ETA so that you can be quickly collected and move away from the area.
Will photos of the day be available?
Yes, there will be a photographer out on the course throughout the day capturing pictures of riders. These will be available to purchase from www.21cphotos.com
Do I need insurance?
We recommend that you have appropriate cover for you and your bike.
Are spare parts available for my bike?
Yes, for most common bikes. Spares are chargeable.
What happens if I get lost or get into difficulties on the day?
On the day you will be given a contact number for our ride control, who will help with any issues.
Is car parking available?
Free parking is available at a number of car parks in Sovereign Way TN9 1RQ close to the start/ finish venue. There is very limited parking at the Castle.
How long do I have to complete the ride?
The ride closes at 6.00pm. Slow riders may be picked up and moved on.
Do I need to wear a cycle helmet?
You must wear a cycle helmet to take part.
How old do I need to be to take part?
You must be at least 16 on the day of the event to take part; if you are under 18 you must be accompanied by an adult.
What facilities are available?
There will be fuel/hydration stops, which will have strict distancing and hygiene controls in place. We will only provide pre-wrapped food items. Please bring a few extra of your own supplies as a back-up.
Toilets will be available, which will also have strict hygiene procedures in place that all will need to observe.
What are the timings for the day?
We will allocate you a ride time. We will be limiting the number of riders per 15 min slot to approx. We will put a process in place should you wish to alter your time slot. Please arrive as close to your start time as possible.
I'm registered on one of the longer routes
You will be automatically transferred to the Classic route as shown on the main page. If this does not work for you then please email firstname.lastname@example.org to make alternative arrangements.
Can I transfer to next year or get a refund?
Yes, just let us know and we will sort that out for you. Dates for next year are still being finalised, so you may need to bear with us for a little while.
Will social distancing be in place?
Yes. We will expect all to observe the national guidelines for social distancing. From 4 July, government guidance on social distancing is that if you cannot keep a two-metre distance, you should reduce the risk to yourself and others by maintaining a one-metre distance where possible and take suitable precautions.
How will I register at the event?
We have dispensed with registration desks. Your timing chip will automatically book you in as you cross the start line. We will have back up scanners in place to ensure that we have captured all participants on the ride. Please do not ride without a chip and speak to a member of staff if you have forgotten your chip.
Can I ride with my friends?
You will still need to follow the national guidelines for a minimum social distancing of 1m.
Will I still get a medal?
Yes, medals will be available for you to collect. But we won’t be able to present these personally.
How will I find out my time?
This will be sent you by SMS text message as you cross the line to the mobile number provided when you entered. We will also aim to publish a link to rider times on our website within a couple of days.
What if I've been feeling unwell?
If you have been feeling unwell in the 14-days prior to the event with any COVID-19 symptoms, you must NOT attend under any circumstances.
What if my bike breaks down?
We will still look after you and our mobile mechanics will get you on the road again. But if it’s terminal we will transport you back to the finish. This may take a little longer than usual as we will need to follow the guidelines for transporting passengers in vehicles.
Will local restrictions prevent the ride from happening?
If restrictions on movement and guidance around social distancing temporarily differ from those applicable elsewhere then we will respond to this accordingly. If localised restrictions prevent us from delivering the ride, we will inform you immediately.
What if restrictions are imposed where I live?
Individuals who reside in an area where localised restrictions have been imposed should follow the guidelines issued. You should not attend this ride if your location has been locked down. Please contact us to sort out the next steps.
I want to buy this as a gift?
What a lovely treat! When you buy as a gift you are entering the same registration process as normal. However, once you have chosen the route/distance then you'll be prompted to answer, 'who is this registration for?' Please select 'someone else...'
The email address you input here will be the email to receive all event correspondence. So you may want to choose to use a different email address, if you want to keep your gift secret.
After you have paid you will received a confirmation of the event entry (to the email address you entered as above) so you can gift this to your rider.
you might also like...
15 May 2022
Experienced riders lay down a benchmark on this fast and furious sportive, or newer riders tackle their first long-distance on flat and forgiving terrain
26 June 2022
Part of Action's RIDE Series, join our celebrity ambassador and TV presenter Davina McCall on this Sussex bike ride raising funds for sick babies and children.
20 – 24 July 2021
Join Team Action on one of Europe's greatest cycling adventures. Covering just over 300 miles on a route through Newhaven, Dieppe, Lisieux and Vernon over 4 amazing days.
4 September 2022
Three road route options, plus a brand-new gravel route take you on a journey through quiet villages and the farmlands of Essex where the undulations will have you in and out of the saddle.
Rosedale Chimney Bank and Boltby Bank are just two of the top 100 climbs in the UK that you'll have to contend with before you conquer the Vyking charity cycling sportive.