Marlow Red Kite Ride
Featured in Cycling Weekly’s Best Sportives near London, the Red Kite Ride (RKR) sportive gives you a taster of the Chilterns, a top UK cycling destination. Beautiful rolling countryside, home to the graceful Red Kite, provides challenging climbs rewarded with sweeping descents.
All routes start and finish at the Marlow Sports Club. Marlow is West of London and in easy reach of the M4 and M40. More details of the location are on the Location page.
For 2017 we have new routes across three distances, 50, 80 and 100 miles, each with well stocked feed stations and toilet facilities. All routes take you through quintessential old English villages and countryside (filming locations for Midsomer Murders, Vicar of Dibley, Lewis, Miss Marple, Jonathan Creek) and pass Cobstone Windmill featured in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.
Riders cross the River Thames twice, passing the finish line of the internationally renowned Henley Royal Regatta, and again at the end of the ride as they return to Marlow across the iconic Grade I listed Marlow Bridge. Finishers receive a medal and goodie bag. There will be a range of refreshments and a barbecue where friends and family can cheer the intrepid riders as they return.
Sunday, 1 September 2019 07:30
Perfect for first timers, two challenging but achievable climbs with enjoyable descents and plenty of beautiful rolling countryside.
The 50 mile route takes a gentle climb out of Marlow towards Frieth and Fingest which will ease you in gradually. The first climb of the day is Oxford Road – known as Windmill Hill for obvious reasons. This is the windmill that featured in the children’s classic film Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. The bottom of this climb is the toughest, once you’ve completed for the first 100 metres you’re past the worst. At the top you are rewarded with fabulous views of the Hambledon Valley and Turville (filming location for many TV shows including Midsomer Murders, Vicar of Dibley, Lewis, Miss Marple, Jonathan Creek).
Now a steady, gradual climb up to the highest point on the route at Stokenchurch followed by a glorious, fast descent, exhilarating for even the most reluctant of downhillers.
Once you’ve crossed the B4009 continue on the A40, then back on to local roads and a short climb up Clare Hill. Through the picturesque villages of Cuxham, Brightwell Baldwin and on to Ewelme for a well earned break at the feed station. Make the most of this pitstop because now is the second major climb of the day Swyncombe Hill which takes you up to Cookley Green.
From Cookley Green the route heads along the B481 towards Park Corner and Nettlebed, then on to Highmoor and Rotherfield Peppard, through Sonning Common, Binfield Heath, on to Playhatch and over the river Thames at the stunning Sonning Common. You may have to wait at the lights but its worth it just to take in the beautiful surroundings. Then Charvil, Twyford and Waltham St Lawrence, White Waltham and a steady climb up towards the Cookhams followed by a steep descent down Quarry Wood, complete with an alpine style hairpin bend. Now just a short triumphant ride over the iconic Marlow Bridge to the finish at Marlow Sports Club, where family, friends and well wishers will be waiting to welcome you back.
The draft 50-mile route is available from www.marlowredkiteride.co.uk/50-mile-route. Click on “View Full Route” on the map to zoom in or more around. Because there may be minor changes between now and the actual event, we will confirm the final route around two days before the ride takes place.
Marlow Red Kite Ride - 50, 80 & 100 Miles
The Red Kite Ride starts and finishes at the Marlow Sports Club in Marlow, to the west of London.
50 mile route start times: 8.30 to 10.00
There will be free parking nearby, and we will send details of parking as part of the briefing pack that is sent out about a week before the event.
Following the ride you are invited to stay around at the sports club to relax and sample the barbecue and possibly even the local Rebellion beer that will be on sale
Marlow Sports Club
Marlow is easily accessible from both the M40 Junction 4 and the M4 Junction 8/9.