FAQs Ė what other people have asked already and what might also be informative for you too. If you have further questions, please send them our way at: firstname.lastname@example.org and we will get them up here.
Is the SCHWALBE MTB Marathon Series a race? No. The Series is a non-competitive series of endurance events. The emphasis is on riding together rather than riding against each other: we don’t have prizes but we give away lots spot prizes. There are strict bridleway laws in England and Wales that restrict us from running the events as races. For more details please contact John Lloyd @ Builth Wells Cycles on 01982 552923 / email@example.com
Are the Road Sportives races? No – the same applies here as it does at the MTB marathons. The sportives are non-competitive and are run on the open road rather than on closed off sections.
How old do I have to be to take part in the SCHWALBE MTB Marathon Series or Road Sportives? Mini Marathon (25km) is open to riders of 12+ years as long as they ride with a parent or guardian, or 16+ years unaccompanied 50km is open to riders aged 16+ years 75km, 100km and ELBNO courses are open for riders aged 18+ years Road Sportives are open for riders aged 16+ years as long as they ride with a parent or guardian or 18+ years unaccompanied.
How does the entry process work? If you enter via the paper entry form please fill it out and post it together with your cheque. Once received, we will send you confirmation by post or email. You can also enter via the online entry process. Once completed, you will receive email confirmation. The confirmation will not have your start number. You will receive that at registration. The signing on sheets will be in alphabetical and numerical order so that your name and number are easy to find.
It is possible to enter at the event?Unfortunately we can’t guarantee that. We recommend entering well in advance. Entries to the marathons and sportives are limited and are likely to fill up before the event weekend. If you want be kept informed on the status of the entries for each event and when we will get close to the maximum capacities please subscribe to our newsletter.
Is it possible to sign-on on the day before the ride? Yes. Registration opening times are as follows:
ELBNO & Marathon weekend –
Saturday: 12.00pm – 8.00pm
Sunday: 7.00am – 9.00am
Remaining weekends –
Friday: 6.00pm – 9.00pm (MTB Marathon)
Saturday: 7.00am – 9.00am (MTB Marathon)
Sunday: 7.00am – 9.30am (Road Sportive)
In 2013 we are running all events except the 1st round in Builth Wells in the order SATURDAY = MTB Marathon – SUNDAY = Road Sportive. Please make sure that you keep that in mind when you are planning your journey.
What is happening on Saturday? NEW FOR 2013: Saturday is all about MTB riding this season. Contrary to our events in the past we are now running the marathons on the Saturday. Signing on will open on Friday evening and then will be open again on Saturday morning.
You will still get the chance to have a good look around the event village and enjoy your time around the campground but now you don’t have to drive home after you have ridden 80km off-road. We will have a bar on site so that you enjoy a well deserved drink after your ride and we will also have live music in the event marquee. Our caterer will be available throughout the weekend with cold and warm food and snacks (not included in the entry fee). Exception to all of the above is the 1st round in Builth Wells where everything stays the same. We have the Exposure Lights Big Night Out on Saturday evening followed by the Marathon on Sunday.
What is happening on Sunday? NEW FOR 2013: Sunday is now the main sportive event day. Two distances will be on offer with a convenient start window from 8.30 – 9.30am. After the ride we will have coffee/tea/cake with the riders as well as their sportive certificates.
Do I have to sign-on myself or can get a friend or family member to do it for me? You have to do it yourself. If you canít make it to the registration before it closes we canít let you take part in the event.
Do the SCHWALBE MTB Marathons have mass starts? Yes. We ask riders to be ready around 30 minutes prior to the start so that a briefing can be given. All categories will start together. Please follow the markers and instructions (This applies to the ELBNO as well).
Do the Road Sportives have mass starts? No. The start is run as an open start where riders will either be ‘released’ one by one or in small groups. The start is normally open from 8.30am – 9.30am on Sunday morning.
Do we have to ride behind a pace car for a few miles? Yes. All marathon events are led out by a pace car and all riders have to stay behind this pace car for the first few miles until it pulls away to make way for the field to go past.
How long is the MTB Marathon going to take me? This obviously depends very much on your abilities: The long course gets completed in four to eight hours – so an average of around 6. The Mini Marathon gets completed in one and a half to three hours – so here an average of 2 ¼ hours.
What are the mountain bike routes like? All our courses are off-road courses that run primarily on single-track, forest roads, grass trails and country lanes. The riding is physically demanding but we design the courses to be ridden and enjoyed by a broad group of people rather than just specialists.
Do I need to bring a map and find my own way around? No. The MTB Marathons and the Road Sportives are clearly marked and there is no need for a map. If you have not come past an arrow for a few hundred yards (on the MTB Marathons) then it is very likely that you left the course. In this case, re-trace your steps and return to where you left the course.
Can we get a map of the courses beforehand? No. Parts of the courses go over private and restricted land so it is impossible for us to hand out maps prior to the event. We will, however, have a main map at the event village and at every service station. However, for the Road Sportives you will be equipped with a basic map as backup.
Are there escape routes and short cuts? Yes. If youíre struggling to carry on there are marked escape routes that will take you back to the event village via a shortcut. Or, make your way to the next feed station where we can organise a pickup.
Are there feed / service stations around the course? Yes. You will find a service station roughly every 15 - 25km on the marathons and every 25 - 35miles on the sportives. Please check the map at the event. They are for replenishing your supplies - not to be relied upon as the only source of your provisions. Please make sure that you bring plenty of food and drink, especially if the weather is hot.
Are camping facilities available? Yes. All events have camping facilities in close proximity to the event village. There will also be plenty of showers and toilets. The campgrounds are open from Friday afternoon through to Monday morning with full camping facilities so you can enjoy your mountain bike weekend away.
Can we reserve an area in the campground? No, we donít take reservations. Just find a pitch within the campground and set up.
Can I bring my family? Absolutely! All event villages are located within walking distance of the village and town centers and we are constantly improving our kids and Ďleft behindsí entertainment. You can find further details on the local info page.
Are there alternatives for me to stay if I donít fancy the campground? There are plenty of affordable hotels and B&Bs in the area(s). Please have a look on the local info page for further details.
Are bike cleaning facilities available? Yes. We will have between 2 Ė 4 power washers that will be available on Saturday and Sunday. As you can image they do get rather busy at times so please be patient and watch out for quiet periods.
Is there a caterer on site? Yes. We will have a caterer on site that will serve breakfast lunch and dinner, snacks and drinks. Besides that we normally have a Cafť2You van on site serving high quality hot drinks.
Is there secure bike storage? No. You have to look after your own bike. So far we have never had any problems with bikes going missing but please come prepared with bike locks, etc.
Are the events easy to find and signposted? Just make your way to the towns where the events take place. The event villages will be clearly signposted from Friday afternoon onwards.
Are spares etc, available at the event? You should be able to get most spare parts that you might forget through the retailers exhibiting at the event. However, if you need something very specific please make sure that you bring that item with you.
If I have technical problems, is there anybody at the event who can help out? Mechanics will be on site and around the course to help riders with any last minute problems. However, please donít rely on that and make sure that your bike is in perfect working order before you come to the event.
Can we pre-ride the courses? No. Parts of the course go over private and restricted land with permission to use for the day of the event only - meaning it is impossible to ride the entire course prior to or after the event. If you are interested in doing some more riding in the various regions where our events are held please check out the local info page.