This event gives Zappi’s Cycling Club and Flavio the chance to meet new people and open our club’s doors for everyone to meet us. For the past 4 years, our annual sportive has let us show how great it is to be part of a cycling club – any club! But yes, mainly ours.

All profits from the event go back into the youth development of our racing teams. From the U23 Pros, our Ladies, all the way down to our growing Junior and Youth squads. Your support helps make the club’s support bigger!

Zappi’s do like to race, and yes, this event is a cyclosportive, so that means we need our participants to obey the Highway Code and respect the town’s and roads we ride on – no littering, please!

Here are the FAQs (frequently asked questions).

Can I drive to the HQ?
You can drive to the Kirtlington Polo Grounds and there will be plenty of parking spaces. The car park will close just before the sportive’s first wave of riders at 8:15am as it shares the entrance with the cycle route.

We would much prefer that you organise a lift-share for driving, get dropped off, or cycle to the start. We want to promote the use of bicycles in Oxfordshire, and cycling to the start is the most sustainable way we can think of – it’ll also be. Good warm-up! The start is about 14 miles from Oxford centre.

When does it start?
The Gran and Medio Fondos start at 8:30 and riders will be sent off in groups of 10-20 riders, spaced out by between 2-5 minute intervals. This is NOT a closed road Sportive and as such we need to share the road with other road users.

Please listen to the briefing instructions being ‘shouted’ at you by our volunteers. This is how we muster our club rides and is quite fun!

Our Piccolo Fondo will start at 9:30am, with the last leaving time of 12:00 noon.

The last leaving time for the Gran Fondo is 9:30, the Medio Fondo will be 10:00am.

Will I have a number?
Yes you will have a timing chip and number. The event will be timed and these times will be made available for printing at the finish and online for download a few days following the event.

The number with disposable chip is attached to your handlebars by cable ties provided by us. That number on your handlebars means that our marshals and staff can identify you as a rider

The biggest reason for the timing chip is safety. If for some reason you don’t return to the HQ before the cut-off time we can contact you to find out where you are and ensure you are ok.

I want to change the route I picked on the day, what do I do?
Please inform sign-on staffing the Registration Desk, they will make a note of this. If you change while you are riding please inform the finish line staff so your result group can be altered in the computer. Failure to do so, may result in an inaccurate time.

Do I need to read a map?
The Rider’s instruction will include the option of a print-out map and a .gpx file for every route will be available for download here on our site, but you should not need to use them. The routes will be fully signposted. We recommend you print out the map that is part of your instructions beforehand to help us save paper.

Signs are placed at every junction and with special markings (pink ribbon and/or paint on the road) at least every 2km. These signs should be followed. There will be split signs for the different routes. Please follow the route that you signed up to. In the unlikely event of missed signage please retrace your steps to the point where you left the course. If signage has been tampered with please call the emergency number provided to you in your rider’s pack. These signs are safety devices and are there to protect you the rider.

Do I need to bring my own food?
Yes. We will provide free food and water at feed stops, however, but this may run out if the stations prove popular (and in years past they have). Cyclists are a hungry bunch of people! Feed stop food is there for you to top-up your own supply; please think of your fellow riders and ensure you are self-sufficient for food. We will have hot food at the HQ after the ride to purchase as well.

What type of bicycle should I be riding?
Any type of bicycle is suitable, if it fits you and you feel confident and comfortable riding it. Check your contact points are comfortable (i.e. your hands, backside and feet). Check the saddle is at the correct height and that the bicycle fits you. If your bike has gears check that they are mechanically sound, please do not wait until the day of the event. You must have at least a single brake to participate. Check your tyres are inflated to the recommended pressure and that your tyres are in good condition.

We will have a bike mechanic at HQ for a quick tune-up at the start of our event. We also aim to answer your calls on the road with a mobile mechanic and should it all go wrong on the day, a broom wagon will sweep up the riders at the end.

What happens if I break down on the route?
Be prepared! If you happen to puncture then you should take sufficient spares and tools to be able to repair this. Some spares will be available to purchase at the HQ and we will have a roving mechanic / broom wagon. If for some reason you are unable to continue then please call the phone number(s) on the map. We will need you to give us your location as accurately as possible and remain safe while you wait location, we’ll get to you as quickly as we can.

A good example would be “I’m about ‘x’ miles from feed station 2,” or “I’ve just passed ‘said’ village on the ‘Gran/Medio/Piccolo’ route.”

The mechanic will try and fix your bicycle by the side of the road, if they cannot and your mechanical is considered to be catastrophic you will be transported back to the HQ.

What if the weather is bad?
Depending on the severity of the weather different steps will be taken to ensure the safety of the riders. Rain does not stop you riding on the roads, however you will need to bring adequate clothing to protect yourself.

What do I get for completing the course?
Your time will be graded as bronze, silver, gold or ZAPPI time depending on how long you took. We will not be giving out certificates or medals.

If you would like more information produced by some of the Zappi’s Cycling Club members on guidelines when starting to ride with a club or a group please visit the Zappi’s Cycling Club website.

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