FINAL ROUTE VERSION – RIDER GPX DOWNLOADS AT BOTTOM OF PAGE
This page explains the specific information and processes for riders to follow at this year’s 2021 ride to Chase The Sun on the 19th of June. The page is formatted as a weekend itinerary, with key timing, activities and protocols listed in turn for the Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
Please read and absorb this information BEFORE arriving at the event. Please read it a few weeks in advance in order to best PREPARE for the event. Please RE-READ the information on this page carefully before posting or emailing questions, where the answers may well already be addressed below. Thanks for your attention, we try our best to provide concise yet thorough information to help you to have the best Chase The Sun adventure possible.
COVID-19 – we hope you can appreciate that the planning and implementation of this year’s events has had some compromise imposed by the ongoing pandemic and the resulting restrictions on sporting and social activity. We have sought to define a set of safety processes and guidances for our riders that adheres to national government and sporting bodies’ guidelines, also providing for the health and wellbeing and comfort of your fellow riders and supporters over the weekend.
We admit that as a result of considerations above, the full experience of collective and convivial adventure that uniquely identifies Chase The Sun may not be quite the same this year. Nevertheless we are still pleased to be able to provide for you, an epic bicycle ride over a unique coast-to-coast route, as a spectacular challenge to partake on the longest (Satur)day of the year.
We please ask for all to be responsible and proactive to help each other out, as riders and organisers, so we ensure that Chase The Sun rides can continue into next year and beyond. We hope that your experiences and achievements this June can become all the more valued as the Chase The Sun story and community continues to grow and prosper into the future. Thankyou.
SYNOPSIS – drop-in HQ Friday to collect items. SIGN-IN at START, LUNCH STOP, and FINISH.
FRIDAY – Evening 17.00-21.00hrs
Location: Premier Inn / Beefeater, Spanish City Plaza, Whitley Bay, NE26 1BG
No mass gathering briefing this year – our organising stewards team will be available OUTSIDE at Ride HQ (Beefeater/Premier Inn, NE26 1BG) from 5pm to 9pm to answer questions, at a safe distance.
Orange Bike Ribbon collection & package wristbands – you should attend to COLLECT the famous Orange ribbon (to identify you on your bike), as well as Best Value Riders receive a blue wristband that is your ticket for inclusive meals, jersey and bag transfer. All-In package riders to collect a similar green wristband. Collect from the stewards team outside Beefeater from 5pm to 9pm.
Friday Evening Meal – Best Value Riders (and All-In package riders) have a complimentary restaurant meal provided at the Beefeater restaurant. Due to current seating / booking capacity restrictions All-In package riders should be seated indoors, while Best Value Rider meals may need to be served at outdoor tables, depending on availability. There may also be a wait for seating due to limited social distanced capacity. There will be a special 2-course menu with vegetarian/vegan option. Food will be served in two sittings, at 6pm and 7.30pm. We advise arriving early to avoid missing out.
Jersey and accessories orders collection – your Best Value Rider & All-In package inclusive jerseys and also any separate pre-ride orders with Foska, will be available to COLLECT IN PERSON at the Beefeater carpark from 5pm to 9pm. A limited stock of Jerseys, Armwarmers, Bottles and Socks will also be available for sale, first come first served, while stocks last.
Pre-ride bike checks – for All-In package riders, complimentary pre-ride bike checks will be available if required, on a first-come-first served basis between 5pm and 9pm. Depending on demand our mechanic Mike will be also available to all riders for general advice and queries – just ask! Mike will be located in his mechanic service van within the Beefeater carpark area.
All-In package riders inclusive accommodation – All-In package customers will have overnight accommodation allocated to them either within the Premier Inn, or another local hotel within 300yards, rider team groups have been placed together where possible. All-In registrants will have received a personalised email in advance with their hotel location and room allocation details. Overnight bike storage is provided at each hotel for the respective guests.
Long stay parking at Whitley Bay – for anyone needing to leave a car parked at the start location from Friday evening through to Sunday afternoon. There is a limited capacity free carpark behind the Premier Inn adjoining Spanish City Plaza (not the Beefeater council paid carpark). It should be possible for a limited number of vehicles to be left in this carpark after circa 8pm on Friday for this duration (at owners risk).
Face Masks & Social distancing – we request that everyone wear face masks even outside whenever in proximity to others, e.g. if queueing, etc. We must all maintain separated groups of no more than 30 persons, so please move along to other quieter areas of the carpark / hotel grounds / street if numbers exceed this. Access into the Beefeater, & Premier Inn (guests only) will require NHS app/track’n’trace details.
SATURDAY – Sunrise Start 3.15 – 4.35am
Location: Premier Inn / Beefeater, Spanish City Plaza, Whitley Bay, NE26 1BG
Bag Transfer Van – Located in the Beefeater carpark, the van will be open for BAG DROP from circa 3.15-4.15am. Pre-paid and Best Value Riders will be issued with orange wristband receipt, & matching numbered tag to attach to your bag, writing on your phone number. Remember size is limited to a small rucksack. There is space for a limited few bags as pay-on-the-day at £20 each.
Orange Bike Ribbon collection – if you haven’t already, COLLECT a famous Orange ribbon (to identify you on your bike). Collect from the stewards team outside Beefeater from 3.15-4.15am.
Assembling at starting area – to avoid congestion around the start line, you will be directed by Stewards on the day to assemble and wait in limited groups (max 30 persons) spaced at distinct distances along the seafront, where you will then form a series of starting ‘pens’ or waves, ready for sunrise.
SIGN ON – VIA SMS TEXT message – Once at start line, all riders must sign-on to register their participation in Chase The Sun. Look out for the guidance sign which provides the phone number. Message your NAME, wave departure TIME (when informed by a steward), and the start line SECRET CODE, using your phone text message. (note that you will need to do similar at the Lunch and Finish locations.)
Staggered Starting Waves – No mass start at precise sunrise this year. We must all maintain separated groups of no more than 30 persons at all times, so you will be directed into starting wave pens on reaching the seafront, this will be simply on a ‘first come first served basis’ together with the riders you are alongside at the time. Each wave will be then released at short intervals in the minutes before and just after sunrise circa 4.15-4.35am. Please listen for stewards instruction as your pen moves along the seafront, and stay together in your pen area as a group/wave.
Face Masks & Social distancing – we request that all riders wear face masks even outside, when waiting in your pens in proximity to others. We must all maintain separated groups of no more than 30 persons, so please stay within your separately defined pens or ‘waves’. You are requested to wear your facemask whilst cycling the first 2/3 miles until the group(s) have spread out on the road. If large groups then risk merging on the road, then please leave a gap to riders in front. Use common sense and courtesy when going past slower riders so as not to bunch up.
Support vehicle parking – All supporters vehicles to park temporarily in the Beefeater council carpark, NE26 1BG. No support cars access onto the Seafront. Support drivers can walk to & from the carpark onto the seafront to the riders pens to provide items or collect riders coats, etc.
No WC facilities – Unfortunately nearby public conveniences will be closed overnight due to covid restrictions. Please no urinating in street front/promenade. No Littering. Leave the seafront in good condition.
QUIET PLEASE! – Hotel guests will be sleeping next door. Keep voices down, no music, hooters, whistles. Look for, and listen to Stewards so we don’t have to shout.
SATURDAY – Lunch Stop 11.00-14.00hrs
Location: Buccleuch Centre, Langholm, DG13 0AW
COMPULSORY SIGN IN – VIA SMS TEXT message – Immediately upon arrival at Langholm lunch stop, all riders must SIGN-IN to register their presence and progress at Chase The Sun. Look out for the guidance sign at the Buccleuch Centre which provides the phone number. Message your NAME, lunch arrival TIME, and the lunch stop SECRET CODE, using your phone text message. (note this is the same number and process as at the Start and Finish locations.)
Face Masks & Social distancing – we request that everyone wear face masks even outside when in proximity to others, when moving around nearby the Buccleuch Centre, the carpark, and adjoining grounds, etc. We must all maintain separated groups of no more than 12 persons, so please move along to other quieter areas of the carpark / meadow grounds if numbers exceed this.
Support Vehicle parking – No access to the Clift Meadow carpark (bikes and riders only), look out for local volunteer cadets directing support cars to alternative carparks, a few meters from the lunch stop location.
Food – The Buccleuch Centre Cafe have kindly opened just for Chase the Sun riders on Saturday and will be offering various hot and cold foods, snacks and drinks for sale. Drinks and bottle refills available. Payment in Cash / card, please come prepared. Further onto Langholm high street there is also a small supermarket for other supplies if necessary.
WC facilities – toilets will be accessible within the Buccleuch Centre.
No Littering – All users to ensure the Buccleuch Centre and surrounding areas and other carparks are left in clean and tidy condition. Take your litter away, or use bins where available.
SATURDAY – Finish 19.00-22.00hrs
Location: Ayr Seafront Esplanade, near Horizon hotel, Cromwell Road, Ayr, KA7 1DT
FINAL SIGN IN – VIA SMS TEXT message – Immediately upon arrival at the Esplanade seafront finish line (look for the CTS flags), all riders must SIGN-IN to register their presence and completion of Chase The Sun. Look out for the guidance sign which provides the phone number & code. Message your NAME, finish arrival TIME, and the finishline SECRET CODE, using your phone text message. (note this is the same number and process as at the Start and Lunch locations.)
Photos – celebrate together with a sunset background (hopefully) at the seafront on the pavement opposite the Horizon Hotel. Remember to sign in via TEXT first (above).
Face Masks & Social distancing – we request that everyone wear face masks once they are off their bikes, and moving around at the finish location, even outside, whenever in proximity to others. We must all maintain separated groups of no more than 8 persons, so please move along to other quieter areas of the Esplanade / carpark / hotel grounds if numbers exceed this. Access into the Horizon Hotel will require NHS app/track’n’trace details.
General Public – Please be courteous and give way to general public street users and traffic. Wear facemasks, and keep social distance at all times, we request that riders disperse from the seafront towards the carpark and Hotel as soon as possible.
Emergency beach access – Be aware of event Stewards directions. Do not obstruct the steps for beach access. Be prepared to move away when asked.
Celebratory Drink – Bar will be available at the Horizon hotel (until 10pm) to welcome all finishing Riders and supporters for a celebratory drink. Social distancing and limited group sizes must be maintained. Inside and conservatory areas are available, so you can view other riders reaching the CTS finishing line. Best Value Riders & All-In package riders must show their blue or green wristbands to claim their free drinks at the bar. See note below regarding food.
Food – Post ride meals – It is regrettable that unfortunately (due to local level 2 scottish covid restrictions in place) it will not be possible to provide the promised post-ride meals at the ride HQ Horizon hotel. Best Value Riders along with All-In package riders will receive a complimentary celebratory drink at the bar if arriving before sunset at 10pm (when the hotel must be clear of non-resident guests). We will be in touch by email shortly to compensate affected riders with pre-paid finish meals for this unfortunate (but beyond our control) circumstance. There are a number of good local takeaways that can provide food to be delivered and eaten al-fresco, or within riders hotel rooms (where applicable).
All-In package riders inclusive accommodation – All-In package customers will have overnight accommodation allocated to them within the Horizon Hotel. All-In registrants will have received a personalised email in advance with their hotel location and room allocation details. Overnight bike storage is provided within the hotel for the respective guests. For hotel guests, last orders at the bar will be 10pm, drink up by 10.30pm. Takeaways can be ordered by yourself for eating within the rooms, and cutlery and plates can be provided on request to reception. Full breakfast will still be provided in the hotel dining area across two sittings on the Sunday morning, 8-9am & 9-10am.
WC facilities – Inside the Horizon Hotel, access will require facemasks and NHS app/track’n’trace details.
Bag Van – collections – Bag transfer van will be parked in the carpark outside of the Horizon Hotel. You will need to show your receipt orange wristband to have your bag returned. Bag Van will be available until circa 23.00hrs.
Support vehicle parking – Support vehicles can be parked in adjacent public carparks opposite the Horizon Hotel (note payment to park may be required).
SUNDAY – Return Travel 9.30-10.30am
Location: Ayr Seafront, Cromwell road carpark, near Horizon hotel, Ayr, KA7 1DT
Pre-booked Return transport to Whitley Bay – Riders with pre-booking of this service (via Dudley of European Cycle Events). Drop off location for your bike in the bike transport van and boarding the passenger coach, is in Cromwell Road coach car park opposite the Horizon hotel.
You must arrive with your bike at 09:30 Sunday Morning, for loading. The coach/van will depart at 10.30am Sunday. Aiming to arrive back in Whitley Bay around 2-2.30pm, to be re-united with your bike at the Spanish City Plaza (Beefeater) carpark area.
Train travel – Nearest national rail station to finish is Ayr Central, 1 mile from finish location, where mainline trains link to Glasgow. Recommend pre-booking as bike spaces can be limited.
En route bike shops /pubs /cafes /stores – We have liaised with a number of bike shops, pubs, cafes, shops along the route for your benefit (as noted within the Route Guide download). Whilst they may be aware of the ride, please be courteous, patient, and minimise disruption to their normal businesses. Some have done us a favour by opening early or later, so please thank them.
No littering – take your litter with you to an available bin. No littering anywhere along the route. Also, no inappropriate outdoor toilet stops either. (We have had complaints in previous years!)
Riding in groups – We recommend riding within a group of circa 6-8 riders, for your best chance of success when Chasing the Sun. This allows nimbleness, ease of communication, limits requirements for stops, and collective faff when doing so.
Off bike gathering in groups -Please be aware of the stricter outdoor gathering social group size covid restrictions once across the border into Scotland, when off of the bike at stops, etc. (typically max 12 persons level 1, but max 8 persons near finish in Ayrshire level 2). Please be aware and proactive in maintaining distance between groups of riders at all times.
Filming / Photographs – We expect to have a photographer, as well as (weather permitting) a drone operator present for parts of the day, certain locations. Participating in the ride grants your consent for footage/photos to be recorded and used for Chase The Sun and our media partners purposes.
Social Media – We would love for you to document and share with the world your endeavour and adventure of Chasing the Sun. You can do so using our Facebook, Insta and Twitter hashtag #chasethesuncycle both before, during and after the mid-summer day ride. (We do ask for you to please bear in mind the requests and guidance given on this page before posting any photos or media, to consider that they are appropriate reflection of the event activities).
Dropping out of the ride – If for whatever reasons, you decide to stop your ride before reaching the finish line location in Ayr, you must please SMS TEXT us (using the same number at the Start) to notify us your NAME, STOPPING location, and TIME. This is really important for our ride organisation and records. Thanks
Remember: Chase the Sun is a Ride, not a Race,
be kind to each other – we are all in it together!
any questions that are not covered by the information above – please check! – then email [email protected]
FINAL RELEASE – RIDER ROUTE DOWNLOADS – 11th JUNE 2021 – click below…
NOTE: we provide a you options with both GPX & TCX formats, also a full 200mile data file, and also split section files, as some ride computers prefer smaller data files when having to re-calculate on the fly… it is all the exact same route.