Punishing headwinds, bruising crosswinds and wide, slate grey skies,
plus the occasional sketchy road surface. It might not quite be the
Ardennes - but if you’ve ever fancied yourself as a Belgian-style hard
man or woman, then the Burnham and Baddow Challenge on Sunday 5th
February 2017 is a great way to test your mettle.
While other events
sell themselves as having lots of hills, the Burnham and Baddow is a
friendly, ’no frills’ group ride of 100kms (62 miles), designed to give
experienced riders a challenging pre-season ride through the picturesque
lanes of mid-Essex. However, the full course does offer some punchy
gradients while the shorter (40km) route is flatter and more benign.
With bank balances having taken a pounding over Christmas and New Year,
the organisers have been mindful of this and kept the entry fee down to
a bargain £5 - a healthy proportion of which will be donated to local
charities. Previous beneficiaries have included Essex Air Ambulance and
Super Charlie, a local initiative to assist with travel costs to America
for specialist cancer treatment needed by a local youngster.
Entry is on-the-day at East Hanningfield Village Hall, which doubles as
the event HQ.
The Burnham and Baddow Challenge has origins that go back to the 1950s,
when Southend and County Wheelers (as the club was then known) ran its
annual ‘50 in three and a half’ - a 50-mile reliability trial -
requiring participants to complete a course in 3.5 hours over much the
same terrain as its modern counterpart.
At a time when it was principally a racing club, the event created an
opportunity for time-trial and road racers to ride together with their
non-competitive club-mates before their respective racing seasons got
underway. Naturally, it was also a chance for individuals to see just
how their winter training programme had paid off in comparison to their
club mates and sporting rivals.
The Burnham and Baddow Challenge is arguably one of the country’s
original sportives, with a long heritage that affords it genuine
‘classic’ status in British cycling.
For further information contact Mike O’Kill by email at
firstname.lastname@example.org / 07788 566 220
The event HQ is East Hanningfield Village Hall, marshalls will direct
you to appropriate car parking facilities. Hall open at 08:00, first
riders are away at 08:30. Refreshments will be available before and
after the ride. The village hall closes at 14:00.
Click here for further information.
Google Map of the route,