The nation's favourite charity bike ride
In Support of Livability
12 September 2021
from 08:00 am
Take on an amazing new route, including the infamous 7-mile long Cat & Fiddle climb, for the return of the legendary Cat & Fiddle Challenge ride. Once you leave the start in Burslem, Stoke on Trent, you'Il be taken through some truly stunning lanes, over testing climbs and down grin-inducing descents, taking in spectacular views on our route as it winds through Staffordshire, Cheshire & Derbyshire.
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.
This year we have three different routes for you to choose from. For 2021 the Cat & Fiddle Challenge has a fresh twist on the route making it better than ever and a really great day out on the bike. If you are a traditionalist you can still follow the Cat & Fiddle Classic route and still take advantage of the on route feed stations. Also new this year is our Towpaths, Tracks & Trails route. This self-supported route is about 95% off-road making it an ideal challenge for off-road enthusiasts and keen cycling families. 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. Early bird registration is only £25*, so what are you waiting for!?!?
*Registration fee rises to £27.50 after 12/08/2021
Cat & Fiddle Challenge 2021
Cat & Fiddle
Towpaths, Tracks & Trails
A fresh twist on the classic route, including quiet lanes, a little more distance and a touch more climbing. The route still takes in the Cat & Fiddle climb, of course, with the addition of some of the best local lanes around. On this route you'll see landmarks such as Mow Cop Castle and Jodrell Bank, plus take on the roads around Cloudside, the Roaches, Lask Edge and pass through Flash, the highest village in England. This route is signposted, as well as supported with GPS files.
1292 metres of ascent
The original route designed by Brian Rourke himself and ridden over the years by cycling greats such as Sean Kelly, Malcolm Elliot and Jason Kenny. Head from the start in Burslem out to Congleton, then on to Macclesfield before heading up the Cat & Fiddle climb. The return legs drops down the fast descent on Axe Edge to Leek and back via Endon. This route is navigated by GPS, or map and route cards.
1122 metres of ascent
This route is 95% off-road taking in a variety of canal towpaths, bridleways and cycleways. The route includes the Trent and Mersey, Macclesfield and Caldon canals, as well as the Biddulph Valley Way, Bathpool Park and NCN route 55. Suitable for off-road bikes only. This route is navigated by following a GPS files, or map and route card. Emergency technical assistance is available on all three routes from our mobile mechanics.
199 metres of ascent
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. All routes start from Port Vale FC, with the Cat & Fiddle Challenge and Cat & Fiddle Classic routes turning right on to Hamil Road, then right again on to Waterloo Road to begin the route. The Towpaths, Tracks & Trails route starts by picking up the cycle paths next to Port Vale and heading towards Westport Lake to pick up the canal towpath.
The 2021 Cat and Fiddle Challenge route will be fully signposted with hi-viz Rourke Cycles branded signs at all junctions where you need to make a turn. Additionally a GPS file of the new route will be emailed out to all riders in the week before the ride.
The Cat and Fiddle Classic and Towpaths, Tracks & Trails routes will not be signposted. GPS files, maps and route cards will be made available to riders wishing to follow these routes.
Feed Stations & Support:
There will be two feed stations on the 2021 Cat and Fiddle Challenge route. The first will be at the Cat & Fiddle pub after 51kms, the second will be located at Tittersworth Reservoir after 73km.
Some basic tools will also be available at the feed stations, 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!
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