RACE FAQS

Below are some frequently asked questions, which will be added to. Please click on the questions to read the answers. If you have any further points to discuss, please contact us.

RACE DETAILS & KEY DATES

Is it really a race?

Ok, here’s the thing. It comes down to personal choice.

As the organisers, we have to tread a fine line on whether we call these things races, rides, journeys, adventures, tours etc. You see, by billing it as a “race”, we potentially leave ourselves open for future litigation recourse, perhaps more so than if we merely called it a “ride”. Rightly or wrongly, it is one of the facts we have to acknowledge living in the modern world we find ourselves in.

Our primary goal is to have a framework in place that allows YOU to get from the start to finish safely and having fun while you’re doing it (even if the rain comes). How you do that is completely up to you, providing you follow the rules. You may want to stop and take in all the majestic and awe-inspiring places we’ve got you riding past, or stop and explore old villages with local food and drink on offer.

Or, you just want to race it. Win it, compete, bag a top ten or simply beat that skinny guy who just flew past you on that steep-as-hell climb (don’t worry, you’ll get him on the descent 😉).

We know, if we called it the Pan Celtic Social Ride, most people would still race it in some form or other. Competition is an intrinsic fabric of our being. Evolution has yet to scrub that primal urge from our consciousness. It can be exciting, exhilarating and makes for great tales to be had at the finish over a pint.

For some it will be a race no matter what we called it and for others, it won’t. We won’t ask or tell you how to ride it. This is your choice. We just ask that you ride safely, be considerate, take regular rest periods and abide by the rules of the Highway Code.

BE SEEN. BE SAFE. BE SENSIBLE.


Riding Solo or Pairing Up

You can choose  either of the Pan Celtic Race routes as a solo rider, taking on the challenge with your trusty bike and inner determination as your guide, or you can pair up with a companion to share in the adventure and glorious challenges that await. The choice is yours.


Are you capping the number of race entries?

We are capping the number of riders as we want the race to be something really special for everyone involved, characterised by a sense of belonging and warm clan friendships. We want the ‘Clan’ to be just big enough so that everybody gets to know each other and there is a tangible sense of ‘family’ about the event.


What time is the registration on the 4th of July?

Registration will be taking place 4th July 2019. Timings to be provided at a later date. However, if people are held up, arriving late etc then we can process them as late as the morning of the race on July 5th (but obviously this is something we would prefer to avoid).


What time will the event start on the 5th of July?

We are waiting for confirmation from the local Police authority but we are expecting to be waving riders off on morning of July 5th 2019. We may stagger the two route starts, so the Shorter Route riders start later. We will confirm these details soon.


Official Finish 15th July (TBC). What if I arrive later?
The Finishing Party is currently planned for evening of 11th day of the race, so is scheduled for July 15th 2020 (TBC). This will allow most riders to complete their route choice in time and be back in time for the celebrations and firm handshakes.
However, for those who don’t make it in time, we will be waiting for you at the finish, no matter how long it takes! By this time, firm handshakes will be upgraded to a big hug and pats on the back in recognition of the extended time spent out on the road. If you take part in the race, you are part of our ‘clan’ and we stick together and support each other. That’s how we see it.

RACE COSTS & PAYMENT

What do I get for my money? £395/£375 sounds a bit steep!

Yes, we may well have agreed with you some time back and asked the same question. The surprising thing, is that when you start looking at what it takes to run something like this (aside from the hundreds of hours putting it altogether) are all the hidden costs you just don’t consider being a “punter”.

One thing we want to make clear from the off, is that we are not about making a quick buck at the expense of participants and people who follow the race. The Pan Celtic Race vision, is just that, a vision without the riders, characters and personalities who will breathe life into her (yes, we see it as a her).

We have to make the race financially sustainable as we have an amazing long-term dream we want to share with you. We are stickler’s for value for money and resent paying inflated prices for anything. We want you to see the value in what we are offering and have an appreciation of some of the hidden costs we have had to factor into the pricing.

The list is far from definitive but here are a few to consider:

  • Race Insurance Liability Cover
  • Website Design & Hosting, Graphics, Signage etc
  • SPOT Tracker hire, Platform hosting and Delivery
  • Race Start Venue
  • 2 Crewed Checkpoints
  • Support staff costs at Checkpoints (payment, food, drink, travel)
  • Finish Venue (with a proper party and food)
  • Van Hire for transporting bike boxes, bags etc from start to the finish
  • Photography
  • 2 Ferry Crossings for every rider
  • A Route Recce and Risk Assessment of the full course

Are you collecting Full Entry Payment or can I pay a Deposit?

We recognise that it can be a tall order to pay the full entry in one go, therefore if entering before April 30th, you can opt to pay a deposit of 1/2 payment, then the remaining payment must by made by 1st March 2020.

Entrants also have the option of making payment in full at any time until 1st March 2020.


Making payment via PayPal

If you would like to make your full or 1/2 payment via PayPal, please use the link below:

https://www.paypal.me/panceltic?fbclid=IwAR3PHwpaLQQOL_06dHjKxTV1Feq4bhOGUvJXVJ3qtT5YIEPq8ZreLTVUJ1o



ROUTE DETAILS

How detailed are the maps?

The maps are very accurate.  We have planned the routes and will be tweaking them over the next few months as we also complete our full Risk Assessment. We will be supplying GPX files of the routes in the near future to enable riders to plan their race strategies.


Will there be direction markers along the routes?

No, but don’t let that put you off! The spirit of these types of races is a reliance on being self-supported. This covers finding places to eat, sleep and also your navigation. We will provide the route for all riders to follow and the most commonly used method for doing this is to have a GPS bike computer. There are a few really good devices to consider – Garmin and Wahoo being the more popular. A mobile phone can also be utilised, which involves having an app like Ride With GPS and basically it’s like a car navigation but for your bike. With the route being as long as it is, it would be impractical for there to be signs all the way along. ‘Old school’ riders will tend to use maps on which they have marked out the route.


Is there a shorter route?

The short answer is Yes, you can view the Shorter Route here.

There will be some people who have never tried this kind of race before and aren’t sure of the distance, profile etc. A 1000+ mile ride is no small undertaking and will take some training and preparation to get them in shape. Other people just won’t be able to take too long away from work or their families and so perhaps a 4-5 day adventure is perfect for their schedules.

Whichever it is, we know from personal experience that you don’t have to be away for a week or so and traverse 1000+ miles in order to get that road trip / race vibe / sense of wanderlust / inner peace / deep sense of satisfaction gained from overcoming adversity. All under your own steam, on your bike.



ACCOMMODATION & LOGISTICS

Accommodation at the start?

There are plenty of Hotels and B&B’s, AirBnB’s along the coastline, in or near Kingsand and Cawsand, Cornwall. Also, Plymouth is just a few miles away and has plenty of accommodation options.


Accommodation at the checkpoints?

We will have 2 checkpoints in the 2020 race, so riders can take some rest, take a shower, meet up and share stories of the journey so far! Details to follow.


Accommodation at the finish?

Llandudno is a Victorian seaside town; chock full of hostels, B&B’s, AirBnB’s, Guesthouses, Hotels, etc. Whatever level or type accommodation you need, Llandudno will be able to provide.

The finish will be on St David’s Rd, Llandudno, North Wales.  Postcode –  LL30 2UL.  There are a number of B&B’s dotted along this road.

Dependent on interest levels, the Pan Celtic Race Team do have the option of a large group booking and taking over a hotel right in the centre of town. We are mindful of keeping costs as low as possible for the entrants and so we will wait to hear what the interest is before we confirm the reservation with the hotel manager.


Roughing it, Camping or B&B during the race?

It’s for you to decide as adventurers as to how you want to rest each night. Everyone has their own preference for travel, be it sleeping out every night beneath the stars, bedding down in a Bed & Breakfast Inn or relaxing in a luxurious Spa Hotel! There is no right or wrong with these choices, it just comes down to asking how do would you like to experience the journey? Don’t be put off by the idea of finding somewhere to sleep – it’s part of the adventure!


Bike box and clothes bag?

Transported to the finish:
We know the last thing you want to worry about is how to get that bike box, change of clothes, track pump or pretty much anything else to the finish in North Wales. For a small charge (TBD) the Pan Celtic Race Team can transport your bike box and bag to the finish line and have it waiting for you, for when you arrive.


What’s with the ferries? Isn’t it just a race to them?

If we want to visit the many corners and areas of the Celtic Nations, we are inevitably going to have to utilise water transport – ferries. For the Pan Celtic Race Team, we see the ferry crossings as an integral aspect of the race. For one, it forces every rider to take a mandatory break / rest from racing. This time can be used to catch up on some sleep, eat or just accept the temporary rest and chat with the guy you have been chasing for days.

They may well be a factor in the final race positions and so riders will have to plan carefully and tactically and make sure they don’t miss the last ferry of the night! Strategically, the ferries may well end up being a sort of leveller between riders. If you land lucky on the first crossing, you could lose this advantage by missing out on the second, while your nearest rival does in fact catch it. Lots to play for and will certainly add that random, dynamic edge to the racing.

You will need ID at ferry ports to confirm who you are. Subject to Brexit, riders may all require their Passports (TBC). Details of how the ferry bookings work will be listed in the race manual.

The costs of the 2 ferry crossings are included in the entry fee!


What airports can international riders fly in and out of?
  • Exeter is close by.
  • Bristol and then a train to Plymouth would be another good option.
  • Heathrow or Gatwick and then the train to Plymouth is also a viable option.

If you are struggling in this area, let us know and we will help you figure something out.


Will there be a race manual?

Yes there will be a race manual. It is currently work-in-progress and will feature key race information as well as some helpful advice and interesting points along each route. We’ll announce more about this soon.


Will Brexit affect the race?

We will provide an update on Brexit and any affect once we know more. Please check back later.


Why is the race during the summer and not earlier/later in the year?

We’ve chosen the July date for a few reasons:

  • Our race will be completed before the main UK School summer holidays begin and the height of UK summer tourism is late July into August. We note that Irish holidays start earlier.
  • The race will avoid the Half-term and Easter holidays earlier in the year (April/May) when roads are busier.
  • As a race team, we’re not available to organise the race in June, so that wasn’t possible.
  • The long days will provide good light from early morning to late into the evening, ensuring as much rider visibility/safety as possible, noting that riders may opt for the minimum 4 hours sleep each night.
  • The warm weather and drier climate will provide better, safer cycling conditions than early spring or later summer.


BIKE KIT AND GEAR

Essentials

Each rider is going to need a basic set of gear to get them safely through the Pan Celtic Race. How much gear is up to each rider and how they set up their steed (bike!) Here’s a basic list of items you should plan on taking, which we’ll add to as we get closer to the race. You will also receive race instructions soon covering this and more.

FOR RIDING

  • Bike (wouldn’t much use without this)
  • Helmet with proper fitting strap
  • Cycling shoes
  • Cycling clothing (shorts, jersey, socks)
  • High-vis gilet or jacket
  • Chamois cream
  • Sunglasses
  • Sun cream (yes, even in the UK)
  • Working front and rear lights
  • Dynamo recommended
  • Backup rear light (battery powered)
  • GPS computer and/or map
  • Powerbank, cables and plugs
  • Bike pump
  • Tyre levers
  • Spare inner tubes
  • Puncture repair kit
  • Tools and bike cleaning kit
  • Spare chain or links
  • Elastic bands / electric tape
  • Bike bags (to put all the stuff in) with waterproof lining / inner

FOR RESTING

  • Causal clothes; Shorts/trousers, t-shirt, thin jumper, beenie hat, socks, shoes/saddles
  • Tent, bivvy, sleeping bag
  • Wash bag and small towel

AT ALL TIMES

  • Food; Always have something with you to keep you going, or if you need to stop
  • Drinks bottles; water, juice, energy drinks. Keep hydrated!
  • Emergency contact information
  • Race insurance information
  • Credit /debit card. International users – advise your bank before you travel
  • Some currency; Sterling in Cornwall, England and Wales. Euros in Republic of Ireland
  • Mobile phone and charger: International users – check your usage policy

Power and Charging
Powerbanks are great for keeping your GPS, Phone and lights running if you don’t have access to plug into the mains for a couple of days. Some recommendations:
Having a good battery powered rear light (you’ll need 2 for safety and back up) will reduce dependence on recharging.
Charging can often be done at cafes, hostels, B&B’s etc. A plug with double USB outlet saves space and time.
International riders: Please note you will need a UK plug adapter, so please buy one before arriving in the UK.


INSURANCE, SAFETY & TRACKERS

So why do I need to get Insurance?

You have insurance for your car, your house, your phone. All of the important things. Well, the insurance you need to ride the Pan Celtic Race is there to provide cover for you if you happen to have a mishap. Let’s be clear from the off, there are generic risks associated with riding bicycles. They can range from a simple scuff of the elbow, through to a head injury, paralysis and potentially death. We can mitigate these risks by taking necessary precautions and introducing control measures but all risk cannot be eliminated. Cycling long distances, over a long period of time, increases the risk of something happening. By its very nature, endurance self-supported riding has a greater risk of something happening in comparison to popping to the shop on your bike.

The insurance is there for you and your loved ones should you find yourself involved in an accident.


Rider Insurance

We are working on event specific Travel Insurance at a great price. Details to follow.


Do riders need to wear reflective vests by law?

You will need to wear a reflective vest/ tabard/ gilet, etc to comply with the Race Rules. It is a judgment call of the rider, whether to wear one during the day. However, in poor light conditions (overcast sky, dusk etc) and especially at night, they must be worn. Wearing one will make you more visible, which makes you more safe. Safety is the Boss.


Is it safe as a single female cycling solo?
We have never heard of any occasion where a woman felt unsafe due to be a single female rider. All riders may on occasions feel unsafe, due to strong wind, busy roads, etc but gender is not a factor. In fact, two of the very best riders in endurance cycling are Sarah Hammond and Lael Wilcox. Along with Jenny Tough, Emily Chapelle, Julianna Buhring, Lee Craigie, Jenny Graham, these ladies excel in the sport and from what we know, haven’t had any issues from a solo rider point of view. Also,  the Scots, Irish and Welsh are known for their hospitality and friendliness.
A couple of links worth checking out http://theadventuresyndicate.com/ and also have a listen to a few of the ladies on these podcasts https://itunes.apple.com/au/podcast/broom-wagon/id1294015561?mt=2

How old do I have to be to ride this? (can a child pair up with an adult?)

You have to be aged 18 by the 4th July 2020 in order to take part as a solo rider.

We have sought guidance from the Event Insurance Providers for the 2nd part of the question following a question from a parent asking if their child could ride as a pair with them. The underwriters responded and confirmed they were happy to allow minors to ride. As parents ourselves, we have had to think long and hard about this. Would we take our child with us? Would we be happy for parents to take their child along with them?

We are mindful of the incredible experience it could be for a young person. A life defining undertaking that will shape them and live with them forever.

So, do we accept people under the age of 18? The answer is Yes. However, they would be required to abide to additional rules and procedures.

  1. They are to be accompanied by a suitably experienced, responsible adult/ parent
  2. They do not ride for more than 3 hours without a 30 min break
  3. They do not ride between the hours of 22:00 – 06:00
  4. They do not exceed 30mph
  5. They are allowed to draft
  6. They utilise additional and enhanced lights, reflective and high visibility materials

Further, each entry will be reviewed by the Pan Celtic Race Team on a case by case basis. Parents/ guardians will need to provide supplementary evidence to support the application of the minor, covering areas such as past cycling achievements, ability, distances ridden, self-supported experience, etc.

Interested adults should email the Pan Celtic Race Team at info@pancelticrace.com , or use our General Enquiry form on our Contact Page in the first instance and we can discuss further.


Spot Trackers are included in the price? Nice!

Yes, that’s right. SPOT Trackers are an important element of an event like this. It gives people at home an insight into your progress and allows DOT Watchers the world over to have the opportunity to track and analyse every decision you make. They are also essential for the Pan Celtic Race Team to monitor your progress and keep our beady eyes on you at all times. We will know when you have stopped at the pub for lunch, or called in at a local supermarket to stock up on essentials. They transmit and record all of your ride telemetry and is an important tool to help ratify results at the end of the ride.

If you have you’re own SPOT Tracker, you can use coupon codes when purchasing entry to the race. See each Race Entry listing for more details.