Our Gravel Sportive is on 6th October 2024

Join us for a fantastic mixture of on and off road riding in the Forest of Dean and Wye Valley.

Click here for upcoming events!Join us on a cycling trip

Black Rat Cycling – Bristol Sportive and Cycling Trips

Bristol Sportive

The Black Rat is a cyclosportive in Bristol and it is one of the most popular sportives in the south west.

Our 2024 event took place on Sunday 19 May. 

Gravel Sportive

Join us on 6th October for our Gravel Sportive, taking place in the Wye Valley and Forest of Dean.

We have two excellent routes to choose from, taking in some of the best tracks in the area.

The longer route is 88km, starting in Devauden, near Chepstow and takes you along some wonderful trails high up in the Wye Valley, before descending to the river and crossing to the English side at Redbrook.

From here you will climb up to the Forest of Dean and enjoy some of the fabulous trails in the forest before heading back to Hewelsfield and then down to the river again at Brockweir.

One final climb up from Tintern to Devauden awaits before you can enjoy some hot soup and some cider at the finish.

The shorter route is 58km and follows the same route as the 88km course until crossing the river at Redbrook. From here you will climb up and skirt the Forest of Dean before descending to Brockweir and then climbing back to Devauden for soup and cider.

Cycling Trips In Europe

We also organise cycling trips each year. Recent trips included the Route des Grandes Alpes, from Lake Geneva to Menton on the Mediterannean Coast, crossing some of the highest mountains in the French Alps, regular trips to Portugal, a fantastic week riding and wine tasting coming up in Tuscany in June 2024 and a week riding famous cols in the Pyrenees in September.

In June 2022, we took a group across the Pyrenees from the Mediterranean coast to St. Jean de Luz on the Atlantic coast. We crossed the whole of the French Pyreneen range including some of the iconic cols used in the Tour de France – The Tourmalet, Peyresourd, Aubisque, Aspin and many more.

We also arrange bespoke trips for groups – please tell us where you want to ride and we will do all of the organisation for you.

In 2024, we have a fabulous trip to Tuscany in Italy, arranged in June. This will suit riders who enjoy riding in beautiful countryside, fantastic food and wonderful wine. Take a look – this could be right up your strade!

We will also be taking a trip to Portugal to ride from Lisbon to Santiago de Compostela on the Camino Trail. This will be a gravel trip as much of the route is off road. It can be ridden on a gravel bike or an XC mountain bike – whatever is your preference.

We also offer Race / Event Timing. If you run a timed sporting event, check out our service!

Who we are

We have been successfully organising the Black Rat Sportive in Bristol since 2018.

Our first sportive was based around the Mendips, since this is an area that we know very well from riding locally ourselves. However we decided to give our riders something different and found some routes taking them over the Severn Bridge and through the Forest of Dean to Monmouth and back.

Now in 2024, our riders will cross the highest road in Wales – Gospel Pass along with many other fabulous places in Monmouthshire and Powys.

What we do

Our rides to Wales have been a tremendous success and very popular, but avoiding busy roads in Bristol has been a challenge, prompting us to move to our new HQ at Marlwood School, Alveston.

The new HQ gives us easy access to the quiet roads of Severn Vale, which take riders to the Severn Bridge and over to the lovely roads of South Wales.

Check out the events to see this year’s routes!

Thanks to Chris Kemp for use of some photos on this website!

Dear All

Just a quick note to say thank you and well organised. This was my second ever event and really enjoyed it, even though some bits were hurting for the last 10 miles!

Thanks again.

Best trip ever ….. 

The Route des Grand Alpes in 2019 was very well organised; riders are well supported on the road; it was good fun … a challenge but a very enjoyable one. 

The trip exceeded my expectations and by the last day I’d already signed up for next year’s trip without even knowing where they were going!

Firstly, many thanks for a great Granfondo course on Sunday, easily the best Rat I’ve yet ridden.
Really liked the venue and as you say all staff were helpful and friendly.
And GREAT to see draught Black Rat back on the menu!

I enjoyed my ride on sunday and am now fully recovered…just!
So thank you for a great day.

I joined the Pyrenees Coast 2 Coast trip in 2022. I loved every minute of it! Fantastic routes, great back up from the team and a really fun crowd to enjoy the evenings with after finishing each day’s ride. Thanks!

Thanks very much for a great ride, my first Black Rat but not my last.

Big thank you to every one! such a well run event I had a great day!
This was my first Black Rat C/S and already pencilled in for next year!!