Final Instructions To Riders

Skylark Sportive, Sunday 12 April 2015

RIDER PACKS: We will be emailing all riders with a “Rider Pack” a couple of days before the event. However, the vast majority of the info you need is on this page – please read it carefully. If you have any questions, please email them to

VENUE: The event HQ is at Marsden Golf Club, an attractive moorland course, just outside the centre of the small town of Marsden, close to both Huddersfield and Oldham and easily accessible from the M62 motorway.
Address: Marsden Golf Club, Mount Road, Marsden, Huddersfield, England, HD7 6HU (please note, HQ postcode is actually for a farm 100m up the road from the venue).

CAR PARKING: Car parking will be split between the golf club car park and Mount Rd. Please follow instructions from marshals. All parking will be within a very short walk of signing on.

AT THE START: Signing on will be as streamlined as possible. Simply come into the event HQ, right next to the main car park, sign on and receive your event number. You must show that number to the starter, who will record your departure time. The event HQ has male and female changing rooms, plenty of toilets plus showers. There is also a bar serving coffee and snacks in the morning. After the ride, there will be pie and peas and a hot drink provided for all participants. Additional snacks and hot meals as well as a range of drinks will be available through the day.

START TIMES: We will be starting riders between 8am and 10.00am on the morning of the event, Sunday 12 April 2015.  The main issue with starting a large number of riders is avoiding lengthy queues at the start. With this in mind, we are allocating every rider a 30 minute window in which we would prefer them to start:

  • 08.00 to 08.30 – 100km riders with surnames beginning with a letter between A and I
  • 08.31 to 09.00 – 100km riders with surnames beginning with a letter between J and Q
  • 09.01 to 09.30 – 100km riders with surnames beginning with a letter between R and Z
  • 09.31 to 10.00 – all riders on 75 and 50km routes.

However, we also understand that many riders will want to ride with friends, who may be in other time slots. In this case, we’d ask that you leave in the earliest slot of your group. We also understand that due to travel times to and from the event, you may wish to start earlier or later than your allocated time slot. Again we are happy to be flexible (although no riders will be allowed to start before 8am). If possible, please stick to your allotted time slot – if everyone tries to start in the first half hour, you will encounter a lot of queuing! When you have signed on and are ready to start, simply report to the official starter and follow their instructions. We will get you on the road as soon as possible.

AT THE FINISH: Report back to the timing marshal at finish area (where you started the ride) upon your return to the event HQ to record your finishing time. It is your responsibility to ensure that this is done. It also tells us that you have returned, so we don’t go looking for you later!. Get changed before enjoying your post-event pie and peas and hot drink in the clubhouse.

SUMMONING HELP: At the start you will be given a phone number to call should you run into trouble. We will have a mobile first aider available and we will also be able to rescue riders stranded by a major mechanical issue or tiredness. Don’t forget to bring your mobile phone!

FOOD AND DRINK: There will be plentiful but simple food and drink (water, flapjacks, jelly babies, fruit) available at feeds at approximately 25km, 50km and 80km (100km ride), 25km and 50km (75km ride) and 25km (50km ride). We would also advise riders to carry emergency food and to start the ride with full water bottles.

SIGNAGE & MAPS: The routes will all be very thoroughly signed throughout. Examples of signage will be available to view at the start and in the rider safety briefing video. Simple maps will also be available at the start.

EQUIPMENT: Please carry a form of ID in case an incident is to occur, emergency food, money, mobile phone, basic tool kit, spare clothing, working pump, and spare inner tubes. Your bike should be in tip-top condition, particularly the brakes and tyres. A waterproof jacket is also an essential, whatever the weather: should you have to stop to repair your bike on an exposed moor, you can chill off very rapidly.

VISIBILITY: The upland stretches of the event might just be mist-shrouded on the day. Weather forecasts might not cover this – so we’d suggest you have a rear light on your bike, just in case you find yourself “up in the clouds!”

HELMETS: Wearing a helmet is compulsory in the Skylark Sportive.

The climb of Holme Moss will be the highlight of the day for many riders on the 100km route. However, when you reach the summit, don’t get carried away. Please don’t continue over the top of Holme Moss and down the other side…… it’s a very long climb back from the bottom! We will have signage at the top making this claer!

Having attained the summit, you need to be aware of a couple of things. Firstly, the descent off Holme Moss is not to be taken lightly and includes several bends that are almost hairpins. The road is wide and the surface excellent, but the corners demand respect.

Secondly, your descent will not take you all the way to the bottom of the climb. Holme Moss is a climb of two distinct halves: the lower climb is wooded and ends in the small village of Holme. Here the road flattens out. The second half is more open and wind-swept. On your return down the hill, you will be looking for a left-hand turn in the village of Holme, which will take you away towards the finish in Marsden. This turn will be well sign-posted, but please be careful not to miss it.

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