Rider Information

Information for riders taking part in the Black Rat Sportive on Sunday May 23rd including Covid-19 preparation

Registration will take place on Friday 21st May at Haiko Cycling in Portishead and Saturday 22nd May from 12.00 until 3.00pm and on Sunday 23rd May from 7.30am at Marlwood School.

If you are able to come to pick up your rider number and timing chip on Friday or Saturday it means fewer people will be queuing on Sunday morning.

Entrance gate to Marlwood School (Start/Finish) will open at 7.15am on Sunday.

Address of HQ: Marlwood School, Vattingstone Lane, Alveston, Bristol, BS35 3LA

If you use the What 3 Words app, the location of Marlwood School is: supposing.hogs.verb

Directions: From Junction 16 of the M5, follow the A38 to Thornbury. At the traffic lights outside of Berkeley Vale Motors, turn left into Alveston Hill. After approx. 250m turn left opposite the Ship Inn on to Down Road, heading towards Aust. After approx. 500m turn right into Vattingstone Lane. The school is approx. 250m down this road.

Parking: There is enough parking on site for approx. 400 cars. Marshals will direct you to park your car considerately to allow everyone to have a space.

When you have parked, please go to the registration area to collect your rider number and timing chip if you have not already done so. Rider number lists will be displayed in the registration area as well as on this website.

Registration will open at 7.30am on Sunday morning.

Go to the marked registration area and collect your rider number and timing chip from the appropriate desk. One desk will deal with riders from each event distance. Please observe a suitable distance from the person in front of you if you need to queue. You will be required to wear a mask at all times within the school grounds.

Your timing chips will need to be attached to your bike. We recommend that they are attached with a supplied zip tie to the chain stay. The number board will need to be attached to your bike with supplied zip ties.

Emergency numbers:

Jeremy 07725227693

Tony 07967897860

Anders 07738613330

If you need assistance on the course, please call one of the above numbers and we will direct a mechanic to you. In some parts of the course the mobile phone signal will be very poor. Please try sending a text or ask other riders to contact us when they have a good signal. The above numbers can also be found on the reverse side of your rider number.

Mechanics will be mobile and will come across you if contact is impossible.

Because we have to ensure that the event adheres to social distancing regulations we have staggered the start times to ensure that there won’t be large groups of riders hanging around prior to the event.

Ride Start Times:

We will stagger the start so groups of 50 can start at 5 min intervals. There is plenty of room in the start area to allow 50 riders to wait at a suitable distance from each other. Please note you will still need to wear your mask until you leave the school premises and get out on to the road.

Granfondo: 8.00am – 8.55am

Mediofondo: 9.00am – 9.25am

Piccolofondo: 9.30am – 9.45am

ONLY riders taking part in the Granfondo (GF) and Mediofondo (MF) events to start prior to 9.30am.

This is important because for the two longer distances we will have a timing mat set up just after the start. Anyone riding the Piccolofondo (PF) event should NOT cross this timing mat. It will be removed before the start of the PF ride.

When you start riding, you will be directed to the route by the marshal at the exit to the school. Please follow our signage, which will be black with an orange arrow. We have found in previous years that this is different enough from other signage so that no one follows the wrong signs.

A map of each route is available on the route detail page on this website. The maps can be downloaded to your GPS device.

The three routes follow the same roads until you reach the feed station at Monmouth.

The first feed station will be located in Stroud. It is important that everyone adheres to social distancing guidelines at all feed stations:

  • Feed Station staff will wear masks and gloves
  • Before approaching the food, you must use hand sanitizer that will be available
  • You must wear a mask until you have collected your food and drink
  • You must move away from the serving area to consume your food – there is a large car park adjacent to the feed station (applies to all 3 feed stations) so you will be able to eat food off of the road
  • If there is a queue of people waiting to collect food, please wait but try to keep your distance.
  • If you are in a group, please get one or two group members to collect food on behalf of everyone else

After the feed station Piccolofondo (PF) and Mediofondo (MF) riders will turn right towards Minchinhampton, Granfondo (GF) riders will head north towards Painswick.

Just before Minchinhampton, PF riders will split from MF riders and turn right to Nailsworth. MF riders will pass through the village and continue to Cirencester.

All GF riders MUST cross the timing mat at Bourton on the Water Feed Station in order to be given a Granfondo time. Failure to do so will result in you being given a Mediofondo time.

After leaving the second feed station, GF riders will head to Cirencester where they will join the MF route, and the final feed station (second, for MF riders).

Please see above guidelines.

After leaving Cirencester, GF and MF riders will follow the same route to Tetbury and on towards Wotton under Edge, where they will join the Piccolofondo route.

All riders will follow the same route back to the finish.

When you return to the school to finish the ride please ride through the finish arch to ensure that you get a time for your ride.

Your food will be available at the finish upon the return of your timing chip. Please contact us if you require vegetarian option.

Please note that the timing chips are not disposable and the timing company will levy a £45.00 fee for any that are lost or not returned.


All riders: Take extra care in Stroud as you will be on a busy road for a short time.

GF riders: The route through Cirencester goes through the town centre. This is unavoidable without taking complicated detours. Please ensure you follow signage carefully.

Updated Government Covid Information Issued 22 February 2021