Monday, February 9, 2015 - 17:20

Nearly 100 riders braved the winter chill to have a taste of the new Eden Classic bike route yesterday (Sunday February 8).

The 35-mile ride-out took in the spectacular coast and countryside south and west of Eden and included a refreshment stop at The Lost Gardens of Heligan before the last leg home.

The ride was a preview of the much-anticipated Eden Classic sportive on Sunday May 10, 2015.

The Eden Classic is a new partnership between Eden and fellow Cornwall-based charity Tempus Leisure and is set to become one the UK’s most iconic mass participation cycle events with several hundred cyclists already signing up.

Sunday’s ride attracted 94 cyclists, including riders from clubs such as Lanhydrock Wheelers, One and All, Tavistock Wheelers and Looe Cycling Club.

Geoff Samuels of Tempus Leisure, who devised the route, said the event was a great success and a terrific taster for the main event in May.

He said:  “It was frosty and chilly to start with but as the sun came out the roads were mostly dry – near perfect conditions for a mass cycle.

“There was a great camaraderie among the riders and all got around. It was a tough test especially near the coast – with nearly 3,000 feet of climbing over 35 miles they effectively went up and down a small mountain over just a few hours.”

Gordon Seabright, Director of the Eden Project, said: “Congratulations and thanks to the riders and to Tempus Leisure and Heligan for making our first mass-participation cycle such a success.

“There is a real momentum building behind the Eden Classic and we are having great conversations with some serious players in the cycle world about coming on board.”

Several hundred riders have already signed up for the big event on May 10 when cyclists will have the unique chance to pedal the length of Eden past the world-famous Rainforest and Mediterranean Biomes as they start and finish their challenging journeys.

For the Eden Classic, the 36-mile short route goes south west from Eden and includes the villages of Charlestown, Pentewan, Mevagissey and Gorran before a refreshment stop at Heligan and returns to Eden at Bodelva near St Austell.

The 60-mile mid-route includes the short route and goes on through Tregony, Veryan and Portloe on the way back to Eden.

The long route of 100 miles includes the two shorter routes and adds a scenic loop to the east of the River Fowey, taking in Lostwithiel and Lerryn before returning to the finish at Eden.  In total the long route includes 2,433 metres of climbing, making it a real test for even the most experienced road cyclists.

For more information and to enter the Eden Classic go to