Red Kite Ride 2018 – Date Announced

The Red Kite Ride 2018 will take place on Sunday 2 September.  We expect registration to open in March.  Watch this space for details – or like our Facebook page:


Video of the Start 2017


In 2017 we were featured in Cycling Weeky’s Best Sportives near London

Routes for 2018

The Red Kite Ride (RKR) sportive gives you a taster of the Chilterns, a top UK cycling destination. Beautiful rolling countryside, home to the graceful Red Kite, provides challenging climbs rewarded with sweeping descents.

For 2018 we have routes across three distances, 50, 80 and 100 miles, each with well stocked feed stations and toilet facilities. All routes take you through quintessential old English villages and countryside, filming locations for Midsomer Murders, Vicar of Dibley, Lewis, Miss Marple, Jonathan Creek.

Riders cross the River Thames twice, passing the finish line of the internationally renowned Henley Royal Regatta, and again at the end of the ride as they return to Marlow across the iconic Grade I listed Marlow Bridge.

50 mile course – one feed station

Perfect for first timers, two challenging but achievable climbs with enjoyable descents and plenty of beautiful rolling countryside.

80 mile course – two feed stations

All the attractions of the 50 mile course with the added challenge of a loop of the rolling Oxfordshire Plain with its many picturesque villages.

100 mile course – three feed stations

Ideal for those looking to break the ‘century’ for the first time as well as those looking to enjoy a day out in the Chilterns. The 100 mile route visits many of the same points of interest as the 50 and 80 mile routes, plus the stunning grounds of Eythrope – the last of the Buckinghamshire Rothschild houses to remain in Rothschild hands.

All routes start and finish at the Marlow Sports Club. Finishers receive a rider gift which provides an unusual and practical memento of the day. There will be a range of refreshments and a barbeque where friends and family can cheer the intrepid riders as they return.


Riding for charity

The Red Kite Ride has so far raised over £40,000 for charitable causes in the six years that it has run. Our chosen charity for 2017 was Marlow Sports Club (MSC). We have not yet finalised our charity for 2018, but watch this space for an announcement in early March.

We do not expect you to raise sponsorship, although you may wish to do so, either for our chosen charity or for your own choice. If you would like to give an extra donation you will have the opportunity to do so when you enter. This has the added advantage that the charity can claim a tax refund using the ‘give as you earn’ scheme.

The entry fee for 2018 is £30, and for this you get:

  • Three great routes with clear signage and marshals at key stages
  • Well stocked feed stations and toilet facilities
  • Full electronic timing
  • Free parking nearby
  • Event village with food, drink and entertainment, so you can relax and celebrate at the end of the ride with friends and loved ones
  • Routes available for GPS systems
  • A rider gift for all finishers
  • All proceeds to charity

The sportive is not a race. It is a personal challenge to complete the course and do the best you can. Riders must wear a helmet and follow the Highway Code at all times.

We will send a full briefing pack by email to all entrants about a week before the event.

Start times

The start for each route is open for a set period and riders can start at any time during that period. For safety, we send riders off in groups roughly 2 minutes apart.

100 miles – start time: 7:30 to 8:30

80 miles – start time: 8:00 to 9:30

50 miles – start time: 8:30 to 10:00



Marlow Red Kite Ride 2017 attracted record entries and welcomed former pop star Andrew Ridgeley

The Marlow Red Kite Ride sportive took place on Sunday 3 September 2017, and attracted a record number of entries including cycling enthusiast and former pop star Andrew Ridgeley. After a fine start to the day which was perfect cycling weather, almost 700 riders enjoyed the all new 50, 80 and 100 mile routes and crossed the finishing line with big smiles, despite the soggy end to the day. Listed by Cycling Weekly as one of the top ten sportives near London, this is the sixth year of our popular event which attracted entrants from as far a field as Newcastle and Cornwall.

On completing the 80 mile route with a group of friends, having stopped for a pub lunch on the way, Andrew Ridgeley commented, “I’d like to thank the Marlow Riders for putting on this great event. The route through the Chilterns was beautiful, the marshaling and signage were excellent and there is an obvious attention to detail. We thoroughly enjoyed it.”

Interview with Andrew Ridgeley, courtesy of Marlow FM


Finishing times for 2017
The provisional results are now available here: Marlow Red Kite 2017 Results  We will publish final results in a week, when we hope to add back the club names. If you have any questions or comments please let us know.

Red Kite Ride – the friendly sportive

The Red Kite Ride, which is run by Marlow Riders aims to raise money for cycling related charities. This year the nominated charities are Marlow Sports Club, which provides facilities for a range of sports for 2000 people of all ages and abilities, and Wheels for All, based at Bisham, which provides adapted bikes for disabled children and adults. Early indications are that monies raised this year will exceed previous years donations. The raffle was run on the day by Marlow Riders’ Chair Chris Heath has raised a record £2375.  Prizes and winners as follows:
1. Go Pro Camera                             Peter Wilson, Farnham
2. Apple Watch                                  Edward Green, Marlow
3. Hotel Stay                                      Gary Mitchell, Marlow
4. BMW Watch                                   Nigel Long, Beaconsfield
5. £100 Spa Voucher                        Anthony Platt, Marlow
6. £75 Drummond Clinic                 Ian Hargrave, Newbury
7. £50 Saddle Safari Voucher         Mark Slater, Woking
8. Health Books                                Richard Lucas, Maidenhead
9. Free Entry MRKR 2018                Pat, Marlow FM, Marlow
10. Free Entry MRKR 2018              Annette Paterson, Reading

Other charities taking part in the Red Kite Ride were a group of cyclists supporting Myeloma UK, which provides help to patients with blood cancer and a group promoting Breast Cancer Awareness. Local cyclist, Andy Esson took on the Red Kite Ride in preparation for the Duchenne Dash, an epic ride from London to Paris in 24 hours, in support of Duchenne UK, which funds research and provides support to families of boys with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, the most aggressive form of muscular dystrophy, a muscle wasting condition. He commented, “This is the second year that I’ve ridden the Red Kite Ride, it is always a well run event, clearly run by cyclists for cyclists.”

Coin Lavis, Event Director for the Marlow Red Kite Ride added, “In a market where there are now a lot of different sportives to choose from, we are delighted that once again the Red Kite Ride was completely sold out in advance. We’d like to thank everyone that took part including loyal participants that come year after year, and those joining us for the first time.

Chris Heath, Chair of Marlow Riders added; “Once again, we are expecting to raise a significant amount for our chosen charities. To date the Red Kite Ride has raised £34,000. I’d like to thank Colin and his team, and all the volunteers from Marlow Riders that helped organise and run this, our showcase event, that spotlights Marlow and the beautiful countryside that we are lucky enough to have on our doorstep.”

About Marlow Sports Club

One of the nominated charities for 2017 is Marlow Sports Club (MSC) where Marlow Riders is based. MSC is a registered charity that provides the opportunity to take part in sport to over 2,000 people every week. To secure the future of this valuable sporting facility for the people of Marlow, the club is looking to expand and upgrade its amenities, providing additional space for more sports and including wheel chair access and better changing facilities.

Saved from redevelopment only a few short years ago, a donation from the Red Kite Ride will make a significant contribution to safeguarding local sport for all, and to help build a cycling community in Marlow for generations to come.

About Wheels for All

The Wheels for All initiative is a nationally recognised programme that embraces all children and adults with disabilities and differing needs, to engage in a quality cycling activity. By using specially adapted cycles, the activities are both physically and mentally stimulating and above all fun for everyone involved.

The Red Kite Ride supports the local branch based at the National Sports Centre at Bisham Abbey, where they run events on Saturdays from Spring to Autumn between 11am and 2pm.

More info: http://cycling.org.uk/wheels-for-all/


For more details about this fabulous day visit our Facebook page: www.facebook.com/marlowredkiteride


Photos of last year’s event are available from SportivePhoto.


Marlow Riders

The Red Kite Ride is hosted and run by Marlow Riders. For more information about Marlow Riders visit our website: www.marlowriders.org.uk