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The Wessex Downs Gravel Ride

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gravel riders on winding track

Gravel Cycling Event in the Wessex Downs


Pangbourne College


Following a route risk assessment of our RIDE Wessex Downs Dirty gravel routes, it is with regret that we have decided to remove the gravel route options.

With the amount of rainfall we have experienced over the past weeks, sadly, in its present condition, the majority of the route is not suitable. The ridgeway section is in a particularly bad state with large sections impassable plus, the long-range forecast predicts that more rain is to come.  

Rider safety is of the utmost importance and unfortunately we are unable to offer a safe off-road route in the current conditions. All registered participants have been sent an email to the address used when they registered outlining their options. If you haven't received it, please check your junk/spam folders, or contact us by email

The road routes on RIDE Wessex Downs, taking place at the same time will go ahead as planned. Please visit the webpage for more details and to register. 

Of course, we are very disappointed that the gravel routes will not be taking place and we thank you for your understanding. 

gravel ride in the heart of berkshire

The RIDE Wessex Downs Dirty, gravel routes, provide some of the best gravel riding in the South of England.

Two routes offer up over 20 miles of off-road riding, on a variety of surfaces, with challenging hills, rewarding views and plentiful feed stops making this a fantastic new addition to the calendar!

gravel rider laughing

Key Information


  • Date: Sunday 14 April 2024
  • Location: Pangbourne College, Reading, Berkshire RG8 8LA
  • Cool 34 Miles: £38.50
  • Classic 63 Miles: £46.50
gravel rider cycling through a puddle

The North Wessex Downs is a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and with the peace and serenity on offer, you could be mistaken for thinking that you're miles from anywhere, and not just a stone's throw from the capital!

Taking in the historic ridgeway, riders are treated to over 20 miles of continuous off-road riding along one of Britain’s oldest trackways. The route also uses numerous byways and bridleways providing a mix of surfaces from gravel lanes, grassy fields and wooded forest tracks, with roughly a 60/40 split between off-road and road sections. Riding along the ridgeway also gives a fantastic vantage point for views across the Oxfordshire and Berkshire countryside.

Enjoy a great time in the saddle with Action Medical Research on this charity cycling event with first-class support throughout the day, raising vital funds to help sick and disabled babies and children.

34 Mile Gravel Cycle Race

Gravel Cool Route

Distance:  33 miles
Climbing:  1,927ft
Start time:  09:00 - 09.15
Feed stations:  1 (18 miles)
GPX file:  Click to download
Price:  £38.50

63 Mile Gravel Cycle Race

Gravel Classic Route

Distance:  63 miles
Climbing:  3,575ft
Start time:  08:00 - 08.30
Feed stations:  2 (25 & 46 miles)
GPX file:  Click to download
Price:  £46.50

what's included

stop watch

chip timing

Spanner and Screwdriver

mechanical support



Knife, fork and water bottle

feed stations



medical case

medical assistance


motorcycle outriders

gravel rider

what our riders say...

Really super event. Well organised, and super friendly! The route was well-signposted and the feed stations were well-spaced and well-stocked. The tea was amazing! Thank you

Chris, 2022 finisher

Road sportive

If you'd rather stick to tarmac, look no further than the three road routes on our sister ride happening at the same time and place.

RIDE Wessex Downs

2025 date coming soon
Take on our newest sportive, part of the RIDE Series, featuring some of the very best of the North Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, with three road routes offering something to suit all abilities.

volunteer at event


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

Can I ride an e-bike?

Yes, absolutely!

Where is the start location?

The RIDE will start/finish at Pangbourne College.

Do I need insurance?

We recommend that you have appropriate cover for you and your bike. We’ve partnered with Yellow Jersey to provide a 10% discount on their bicycle and travel insurance. You can find out more here.

Are spare parts available for my bike?

A mechanic will be at the event and will have spare parts for most common bikes. Spares are chargeable.

What if I get into difficulties, or lost?

You will receive a contact number for our ride control, who will be able to help with any issues.

Do I need to wear a cycling helmet?

You must wear a cycle helmet to take part in our ride.

How long do I have to complete the ride? What if I can’t complete it?

The ride will close at 1800, there will be cut off times if behind you will be asked to move onto a shorter route.

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?

Toilets are available at the start and finish venue. Our feed stations will also have toilet facilities. Your belongings/valuables should be locked in your car or carried with you. There are feed stations on route which will provide hot and cold drinks & snacks. Riders and supporters will be able to purchase food and drinks at the finish.

What are the timings for the day?

Our start times are;

Gravel Classic 0800 - 0830

Gravel Cool 0900 - 0915

The event site closes at 6pm. 

When will I receive my number and final information?

Event information and updates come via email. Please look out for these. The rider manual with full event information will be available to view and download around 2 weeks prior to the event date.

Your number and timing chip will be assigned to you on the morning of the event. Simply head to our registration tent on arrival.

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 receive a confirmation of the event entry (to the email address you entered as above) so you can gift this to your rider.

Can I register on the day?

Yes, see the prices here. Cash or card accepted.

Can I get a refund, transfer or defer my entry?

Please see our Withdrawals, Refunds, Transfers and Deferrals policy here.

Where can I find photographs taken on the day?

Official photographs from the event can be found and purchased here 

The photo's will be live at approx. 5.30pm on the Monday after the event.

Rider Manual

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RIDE Wessex Downs

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Take on our newest sportive, part of the RIDE Series, featuring some of the very best of the North Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, with three road routes offering something to suit all abilities.

RIDE Castle

5 May 2024
Expect some tough climbs after departing the imposing Tonbridge Castle with 800 other riders and experience some amazing views across the Kent countryside.

RIDE Essex

1 September 2024
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