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Devil Ride 2009 - how was it for you?

Just wondered how people got on at the Devil Ride in mid Wales on Sunday?
I chatted to a few guys on the way round and people had come from places like Durham and Wigan to ride it. I only had to drive up from the foot of Monmouthshire luckily.

I really enjoyed it - I wish I had left my jacket in the car though. It was a bit wet and grey just before I left but then it cleared up very quickly and so the jacket was just extra baggage. I thought that the route was really interesting, taking us through some beautiful areas, particularly when we skirted the hillside above that massive reservoir. There was 2700m of climbing according to my unit, which became hard after a while but also meant there were some awesome descents. Shame that a few of them were made super sketchy by the temporary gravel road surfacing that seems to have blighted the area.

Great organisation, signing was fine, food stops were well provisioned and the event centre was great - much better than last year. Very much appreciated the pasta, tea and cake upon finishing.

I rode with (mainly in the slipstream of :oops: ) my mate and we finished in 6.28 which was 14 mins off of Gold but I honestly couldn't have gone any quicker! It is a massive improvement on previous efforts so I am very happy. Hopefully get gold next year if I do some more training and lay off the takeaways.

All round good event, thanks to all the organisers and helpers and the riders I met along the way.


  • Brian BBrian B Posts: 2,071
    Done it last year and it was a good day out. Glad you enjoyed it.

    Are you the real whiskeyjack - thought he was dead!
    Brian B.
  • Ha! I've been re-incarnated as an average bike rider. Not as glamorous as leading the Bridgeburners I'll admit :D
  • pugwashcppugwashcp Posts: 141
    I'll second Whiskeyjacks comments.

    Fantastic route that had it all. Ups, downs, tight twisty lanes, wide open spaces, a handful of signature climbs and some stunning scenery. The organisation was top notch and the atmosphere was spot on. One of the best rides I've done.

    I trundled round in a sociable nine hours which I'm quite happy with considering my tendency to hang around a little too long at the feed stations and the time I spent helping out with a couple of mechanicals.

    One chap (didn't get his name) snapped his chain on the staircase and then again just before the reservoir section. The split link I had was the wrong size and when we took out a link and pushed the pin back in it bent the plate. I didn't think there was a cat in hells chance of it holding but he managed to nurse it round to the finish.

    Cracking day.
    He who dies with the most toys wins!
  • PhilWeaverPhilWeaver Posts: 22
    Hi all - the finishing times etc are available, along with photos, on the event website -

    The standards have been adjusted to corrected GPS based overall distance for the full route of 108 miles (the original standards assumed 105.7 miles due to inaccuracies in the lead car's speedo!).

    Thanks to all of the marshals, riders and supporters for making it a great event on Sunday! Even the good weather turned up on time after a very shaky Saturday put a fair few off travelling and early drizzle saw many riders start off towards the end of the start window as they waited for the blue skies to arrive :D

    Cheers, Phil.
  • Hi all,

    Photos are now all up on

    (let me know if there are any problems)

    Thanks Mr Pugwashcp, the guy who snapped his chain was Matt (my younger brother). It was his first sportive and he did about 60 on a chuffed chain! Thanks for helping him out.

    Catch you all soon!

  • Rich-TiRich-Ti Posts: 1,831
    A thoroughly good day out - I rode it pretty hard from start to finish and got 7:05 which was ok. Might have gone sub-6hrs with a little less faffing and quicker stops but still got a decent silver so not too fussed.

    Pics are cracking, and George has already sent me the ones I bought! 8)
  • curlyrobertcurlyrobert Posts: 150
    Having done the Devil ride in 2008 I was officially hooked on Sportives. It was the first that I had done. This year I set the Devil as my ‘main event’ and have done some of the big ones in the lead up getting ready – including Etape Caledonia, Bike Radar Live and the Dragon Ride.

    I was really disappointed on Sunday. The route change was absolutely dreadful. Although we went through the range, the staircase was in there and we had a nice ride round a lake however all the link sections were boring – with high walls of trees on poor road surfaces on twisty narrow roads where you could not get any constant speed. The event HQ was OK (I actually preferred the community centre last year as all my gear was not covered in grass…!) but we had many miles (40+) to ride to get to the interesting terrain which were totally wasted miles.

    Last years ride was one of the best rides I have done. This year I was totally bored from about 50 miles. I lost all motivation and ended up coming home slow in under 6hr 40, normally would have been adrenalin filled and pounding the pedals, but often found myself pootling - repeating the word ‘bored’ in my head.

    At the end I spoke to quite a few people – I pretended I had enjoyed it to see their response but they all said it was no fun and would not be doing it again. 5 who did it last year and were very disappointed also and suggested they would do Clive Powells trans Cambrian instead next year as it took on a better route.

    Another friend thought he was not ready for the full Devil and did the little devil. He was really disappointed as it was a totally un-interesting ride, not taking in the staircase or any challenging aspects.

    I am sorry I have gone on, but I am really disappointed! Last year was fantastic, this year was one of the worst- least interesting rides I have done and I am not being dramatic.

    Organisation was good, I enjoyed the 3 split times last year and I think it would be fun to have a split time check on the bottom and top of the Staircase and do a mini KOM!

    In brief, Start/Finish area was in a poor location and it took almost half the ride to get to and from the good bits. Move the HQ back to Builth next year or risk killing the event...
    the day I stop dreaming of upgrades is the day die! My Stable
  • MB63MB63 Posts: 2
    Can't see the results anywhere on the site - and they don't appear to be on the SportIdent site either.

    Am I missing something???
  • Rich-TiRich-Ti Posts: 1,831
    Move the HQ back to Builth next year or risk killing the event...
    Just your opinion, and a harsh one at that. I'm doing a sportive every month from March to October and trust me, so far this is one of the better ones, both organisationally and the route.
  • Rich-TiRich-Ti Posts: 1,831
    MB63 wrote:
    Can't see the results anywhere on the site - and they don't appear to be on the SportIdent site either.

    Am I missing something???
    Yup - here, the first red link, it'll give you a download of the results in Excel format :wink:
  • MB63MB63 Posts: 2
    Thanks for that - I just needed to refresh the page then all became clear!

  • felgenfelgen Posts: 829
    I enjoyed it - pretty well organised, and nice to have food at the end. Its only my second sportive, but was almost as good as the Dartmoor Classic a fortnight before.

    I only have the same critisism as mentioned above, which isn't the organisers fault - that some of the loose gravel on the recently resurfaced roads was a little bit annoying, and at times dangerous, but I did enjoy the scenery, and some flat sections where you can get the pace up are always appreciated as I am sure it would be by those whose BMI isnt around the 'optimum*' of 23.

    The only bummer for me was a puncture and the reultant delay which meant a silver time, well that fact along with no training save for a 12 miles daily commute :shock: I ended up riding all but the last 8 miles on my own which meant I was really tired at the end of it.

    *assuming that a BMI of approx 23 gives the best balance of power to weight for cycling on varied terrain.
    1)Planet X SL Pro carbon
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  • curlyrobertcurlyrobert Posts: 150
    PostPosted: Wed Jul 15, 2009 11:02 am Post subject:
    curlyrobert wrote:
    Move the HQ back to Builth next year or risk killing the event...

    Just your opinion, and a harsh one at that. I'm doing a sportive every month from March to October and trust me, so far this is one of the better ones, both organisationally and the route.

    I agree with the organisational side of things, as good as it gets. but I would rate the route last year at 9/10, this year 4/10 - my opinion and that of others that I spoke with (friends and random people I passed on route) OK risk killing the event is a little silly but It is a valid consideration. the Sportive market is becoming swamped with multiple events on every weekend in the Spring/Summer. For a little event like this to grow it needs to be the best route possible. I believe the Gore sportive the weekend before was really well run and the route was the similar area - Just hope the Devil can return to its former route and remain one of the toughest challenge on the sportive scene maintaining routes round the spectacular roads Mid Wales has to offer- not through long stretches of narrow tree lined overhanging poor road surfaced roads!

    As I said I loved the Devil ride 2008 - best Sportive I have ever done (although I also loved the Dragon Ride this year) but this year it was a poor route.
    the day I stop dreaming of upgrades is the day die! My Stable
  • The emuThe emu Posts: 347
    My 2 bobs worth:

    What I look for in a sportif are three things:

    - Organisation
    - Route
    - Atmosphere

    Out of 5 here are my scores
    - Organisation 4 1/2
    With only 500+ riders it's pretty hard to stuff up but as Rich-Ti has suggested, other sportifs often are run amaetuerishly, usually in a poor attempt to raise money rather than make it value for money for the riders. In that respect the Devil Ride was fine. Registration was seemless, route was well marked and sign posted, there were a few support bikes and medics around and food at the end whilst not great it was well received nevertheless.

    Lost 1/2 point for the mileage blunder.

    - Route 2 1/2
    I do tend to agree with CurleyRobert that there were some long and boring segments of the ride, and I also found it difficult to get into any real rythym. If it wasn't for some guy zooming past me with 30ks to go that woke me out of my funk I could have easily bimbled for an extra hour than I did.

    I also wasn't a fan of the gravel roads, wouldn't have been a problem if it was on flat sections, but for steep descents and ascents it did put me off a bit. With this said I accept this may have been out of control of the organisers.

    - Atmosphere 1
    Well this is a big one for me as I like to seek out events that best emulate pro pelaton. Sounds goofy but if it doesn't I pose the question whats the difference between a Sportif and a run of the mill ride in the hills with your mates. Difficult to capture any of this with only 500 riders all starting at different times, but I gave it one point for the feeling I got riding past people walking up the Devils Staircase. :wink:

    The upshot for me is that Etape Caledonia aside (some unfinished business with that after this years debacle), I think I'll be setting my cycling calendar next year on European events.

    The long grazed legged one
  • sub4sub4 Posts: 14
    Enjoyed the first 70m very much (apart from the gravel, which scared me big time off the staircase and jammed under my front brake on the hill up from Llandovery :evil: :evil: ). Section immediately after the 2nd food stop was really good, but feel that the last 20m was 'bitty' and couldn't find a rhythm.

    Big thanks to Carl, who dragged me round the last 20 miles - I hadn't done one of these before. And you were worried you weren't going to be inside 6! Sorry to hold you back some, but I'm sure my jovial company made up for it.. :?
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