The nation's favourite charity bike ride
In Support of Livability
10 September 2023
from 08:00 am
Take part in the 2023 edition of the legendary Cat & Fiddle Challenge ride. Tackling an amazing new 65 mile route, packed full of amazing climbs, stunning views, great descents and some of the best riding in the country. Join us for a fantastic day’s riding and help us support the valuable work of our chosen charity, Livability.
The rides start and finish at Port Vale FCs ground in Burslem, Stoke on Trent, just up the road from Rourke Cycles, where you'll find a great range of bikes, accessories and expert advice. This isn't a race, it's a charity challenge ride open to everyone comfortable on two wheels. So come and get involved, set your own goals and enjoy the ride. No matter if it takes you a couple of hours or the whole day.
For 2023 we’ve switched things up… quite literally! The Cat & Fiddle Challenge route for this year will be running the opposite way round to last year. This gives the route quite a different feel but maintains the challenge of some stiff climbs to overcome, but you’re more than paid back by the flow of downhills. Plus, with the route now going in an anti-clockwise direction, there’s more left turns than right turns (which is always nice!). We love riding this route - it takes in some of the best cycling lanes in the area, and never fails to amaze us how it’s so accessible from the centre of the city. It truly is a great day out on the bike.
For those that want to get involved with the challenge and help us support Livability, but aren’t quite as fond of the hills, we have the Jodrell Bank Loop route option. This self-supported route takes in another famous local landmark on a circuit that heads to the West and to the decidedly less lumpy terrain of Cheshire before returning to the start.
Learn more about the routes here.
To get involved with this memorable challenge and to help support Livability's crucial work, sign up to take part in the ride HERE. Registration for the Cat & Fiddle Challenge is only £25, and just £15 for the Jodrell Bank Loop… so what are you waiting for!?!?
Cat & Fiddle Challenge 2023
The Cat & Fiddle route but not as you know it! This year we have spiced things up and turned things around. The 2023 route is running anti-clockwise for the first time. This means more left turns and a new feel to the ride. We've been out on the route and think that it has a great feel and flow to it. One of the big features is that you now get to do the descent of the Cat & Fiddle down into Macclesfield, which is a blast. This is of course countered with some new climbs to tackle, including the addition of the Tour of Britain stalwart Gun Hill.
This route will be signposted using large black arrows on a yellow background. There will be a feed station positioned at the top of the Cat & Fiddle climb at around half distance.
65 miles, 5375ft of elevation
Click here to
download .GPX file!
Jodrell Bank Loop
This new route is a different type of challenge. If you prefer to keep the average speed up rather than the gradient, this could be the one for you. The route splits after the first climb (you can't miss all the hills!), to weave its way through some of the lovely Cheshire countryside. You'll head out to pass by the famous Lovell telescope at Jodrell Bank, then loop round the undulating lanes before having to climb back up to the finish in Burslem. This is a self-supported route, it is not signposted but riders will be issued with GPS files and details of good café stops on the route.
49 miles, 1,675ft of elevation
Click here to
download .GPX file!
Show your support and show off that you've been part of the Cat & Fiddle Challenge with our stylish new event jersey.
Made by Italian cycling clothing supremos, ALE, we think this jersey looks really classy (just like the riders at the Cat & Fiddle Challenge!). Quality design and manufacture mean that this is more than a cut above your run of the mill event jersey. This is something that you'll love to wear for years to come.
These are available to buy for only £49.00, with all profits going directly to supporting our charity partner, Livability.
Although Italian, these jerseys are coming up true to size! Order one with your ride entry, or BUY NOW from Rourke Cycles.
Details & Directions
Full details of the day will be emailed out to all registered riders the week before the ride, but here's some key piece of information for the day.
Parking is provided at Port Vale FC, Hamil Road, Burslem, ST6 1AW. Full details and directions will be emailed out to all riders in the week before the ride.
Registration is open from 8am-10am and is also held at Port Vale FC. Toilets and refreshments will be available at registration. Rourke Cycles will be present at the registration area with a selection of spares and accessories in case you needs any last minute supplies for the ride.
Once you have signed on at registration you can start your ride any time between 8am & 10:15am. Both routes start from Port Vale FC, turning left on to Hamil Road, then left again on to on to the A5272 begin the route.
As well as sign posts on the main route, GPS files of the Cat & Fiddle route will be emailed out to all riders in the week before the ride.
Feed Stations & Support:
There will be a feed station at aroud the halfway point on the Cat & Fiddle Challenge ride. This will be opposite the Cat & Fiddle Inn at the top of the climb. There is no feed station provided on the Jodrell Bank Loop.
Some basic tools will also be available at the feed station, plus Rourke Cycle's will have a mobile mechanic out on course to help out with any bigger mechanical problems.
The route finishes as you return to Port Vale FC. Make sure you are signed back in then make your way to the bar and for some complementry food courtesy of our volunteer supporters.
Metres of Ascent
Raised for Charity
Since the Ride's inception in 2002, the Cat & Fiddle Challenge has been able to raise over £700,000 for charitable causes. Once again, this year's ride is organised in support of Livabilty.
Livability is the UK charity that’s committed to enabling people with disabilities to live the full and flourishing life they want to lead.
With 37 residential homes, a specialist school, brain rehabilitation centre, FE College, Wellbeing Centre and Supported Living services, we provide a wide range of care, education and rehabilitation support to over 1,000 people living with complex and severe disabilities every day.
Livability helps people to become more confident, motivated and independent - we enable people with disabilities to thrive. We work to change what’s unliveable – we help people tackle and overcome the barriers in their lives, including any that prevent them participating fully in society, because this negatively affect people’s wellbeing and life expectancy. Our services strive to transform how people with disabilities connect with the communities they choose to be part of.
What makes life liveable is never down to just one thing. It’s the sum of many things: from support to guidance; mobility to freedom; education to employment; friendship to community; a great chat to overcoming challenges together. It all adds up – to Livability.
People with disabilities have been disproportionately affected by Covid-19; should they contract Covid-19 it is highly likely to result in severe illness with potential life-threatening complications. This is reflected in the Office for National Statistics (February 2021) showing two thirds of Covid-19 deaths were in people with disabilities.
Your support in taking part in the Rourke Cycles Cat & Fiddle Challenge enables us to add real value to the amazing people we are privileged to support at Livability.
Read about some of Livability's recent initiatives and activities
The latest photos from the Cat & Fiddle team