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.
EVENT 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 1st of July 2023?
Registration will be taking place on the 1st of July 2023. 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 2nd (but obviously this is something we would prefer to avoid).
What time will the event start on the 2nd of July?
We are still working on the logistics with local officials in St Malo but expect to start waving off riders from around 10am. We may stagger the two route starts, so the Shorter Route riders start later. We will confirm these details in the rider pack.
Official Finish 11th July. What if I arrive later?
RACE COSTS & PAYMENT
What do I get for my money? £445 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.
We have to make the race financially sustainable as we have an amazing long-term dream, we want to share with you. We are sticklers for value for money and resent paying inflated prices for anything. With the cost of living and inflation going through the roof, we have been working hard to make sure that as little as possible is passed over to you.
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:
- The best free merchandise going from our partners
- 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 live music)
- Van Hire for transporting bike boxes, bags etc from start to the finish
- Photography/Film Making
- Ferry Crossings for every rider
- A Route Recce and Risk Assessment of the full course
- Free Gatherings & Events through the year
Are you collecting Full Entry Payment or can I pay a Deposit as in previous years?
No. This is due to the heavy admin load and time it takes chasing up 2nd payments. To help spread the cost we are now able to offer various PayPal methods that give the flexibility to spread the cost. However, if you are struggling to pay in one go, get in touch with me
Making payment via PayPal
If you would like to make your payment via PayPal, please use the link below:
How detailed are the maps?
The finalised maps will be very accurate. We will be supplying final GPX files of the routes with the digital Rider Manual.
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. These 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 Komoot 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?
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?
The Race Start is in St Malo on the 2nd of July 2023. There will be accommodation, most likely in the form of camping. We will be announcing the exact location in the coming months.
Accommodation at checkpoints?
There will be 2 checkpoints in the 2023 race, so riders can take some rest, take a shower, meet up and share stories of the journey so far!
- Locations will be announced in Spring 2023
There will be limited sleeping accommodation available on a rotation. At peak times riders might need to wait for a bed space, therefore please prepare to be patient – eat, relax, catch up with other riders. We won’t be providing full meals at the checkpoints but will have some snacks and tea/coffee on hand. Ultimately, it’s best to come to checkpoints with your own food.
We will provide further details about the Checkpoints in the Rider Manual issued to all riders in the lead up to the race.
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.
We recommend the following that adjacent to the finish.
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?
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. The Pan Celtic Race Team will transport your bike box and bag to the finish line and have it waiting for you, for when you arrive. Note to YOU – Please make sure you collect your belongings. We have had unclaimed rattling around PCR HQ for months following previous editions!
Will there be a race manual?
Yes there will be a 2022 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.
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
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 consider taking, which we’ll add to as we get closer to the race. You will also receive race instructions soon covering this and more.
- Bike (wouldn’t be much use without this)
- Suitable helmet
- High-vis gilet or jacket
- Chamois cream
- Sun cream (yes, even in the UK)
- Working front and rear lights we recommend these
- 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
AT ALL TIMES
- Food & Drink (and an emergency stash)
- Warm Appropriate Clothing
- Emergency contact information
- Race insurance information
- Credit /debit card. International users – advise your bank before you travel
- Some currency; Sterling in Wales – Euros in Republic of Ireland
- Mobile phone and charger: International users – check your usage policy
Power and Charging
INSURANCE, SAFETY & TRACKERS
Most of you likely already have some cycling related insurance. If you aren’t sure if you existing insurance is suitable for the Pan Celtic Race, please refer to your insurance provider for clarity or alternatively an expert in the field.
It is the responsibility of every rider to make sure the cover they have is suitable for an Ultra Endurance Cycling event.
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 safer. Safety is the Boss.
Is it safe as a single female cycling solo?
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 3th July 2021 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.
- They are to be accompanied by a suitably experienced, responsible adult/ parent
- They do not ride for more than 3 hours without a 30 min break
- They do not ride between the hours of 22:00 – 06:00
- They do not exceed 30mph
- They are allowed to draft
- 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.
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.