Sportive : Local Grindleford Goat Inspire National Record


In 2013 the village of Grindleford, known locally for organising some brilliant fell races, decided to put on a cyclo-sportive to raise funds for its fledgling community shop.

The event was a roaring success. A Sportive is a non-competitive event with riders setting off in small groups on open roads at timed intervals. Though nobody is ranked by the time they took many will look at the times afterwards anyway to see how they fared against their friends and perhaps their previous times. One such lady who entered in the events’ second year had a bit of a shock during her post-ride analysis! In her youth, Chris Melia was a keen, but amateur long distance runner, cyclist, and rower.

She entered the Grindleford Goat  Sportive and rode the longer 108km Billy course. Riding by herself, with nobody to shelter behind, she finished in a very creditable 4 hours and 18 minutes, significantly faster than any other women, and faster than most of the men. It gave Chris the confidence to try some competitive cycling. Most races she entered after that ride saw her finish on the podium.  Then last weekend she did the unthinkable – at the age of 52, she broke the national age category record for 10 miles in an amazing time of 21 minutes 41 seconds. Chris is very happy to attribute her new direction in life to the humble fundraiser organised by volunteers to raise money for a community shop in our church vestry!

If you’re interested in riding the Grindleford Goat Sportive this year it’s on Saturday 10th September. There are three routes: a very challenging 8.5km family ride featuring some private track on Sir William Hill (this ride is free), the lovely 51km Nanny and the most popular 108km Billy.

Each sportive ride features very well renowned food stops with homemade cakes, and Nonna’s will provide a scrummy pasta meal for the finishers.

Both the longer rides are £25 for adults, £12.50 for accompanied kids under 16.

*All proceeds go to the community shop

If that wasn’t enough, last year the organisers also put on another event on the same weekend which is back again this year. The Sir William Hill Climb saw 80+ riders tackling the short, but very steep and strenuous local monster hill for medals and prizes.

The ride starts at the Sir William Hotel and heads straight up for 1.77km with a height gain of 200m. There’s a bike festival at the Hotel, with a BBQ and live music afterwards.

It costs £10, with riders setting off at 1-minute intervals from 17.30 on Friday 9th September.

*All proceeds will go to the Grindleford & Eyam Preschool

For more information on both events click here



Grindleford Goat – Alan Fairbrother –  01433 630160 /  07770 828263 /

Sir William Hill Climb – Johanna Thurlow –

Chris Melia – / 07500 737707 /