I did the Cheshire Cat in 2010 (short route) and again in 2011 (medium route).
The routes are excellent, as it the ability to ride with others you happen across of the same ability - very friendly (as long as you take your turn on the front of course!).
However, the organisation of the start and finish is bordering on useless - I gave them the benefit of the doubt after 2010 as the weather was good that year. However, in 2011 it was cold and showery. Like in 2010, there were massive queues to get to the starting line. When I got there some folks had been stood in the cold and wet in the queue for 50 minutes and looked like they had another 30 minutes to go (in 2010 I queued for 55 mins). I'm afraid, when you're dressed for riding and being warm through exercise, its just not on to have to stand in the cold for that kind of time. I actually did the ride without bothering with the timing - just set off from the road outside and followed the route (all kit is provided in advance, so there's no "signing on" to do - the queue is purely there to go over the timing loop).
At the end it was just as bad - they were printing certificates off on 2 inkjet printers - again I checked on folks near the front of the queue and they'd been there for over and hour. They're just not set up to handle 3,000+ riders.
Its a shame, as the ride is good, as are the food stops and the general atmosphere. For me it was completely ruined by the start / finish and I was very glad I hadn't waste 2.5 hours of my day stood in queues in 2011. For obvious reasons, it was off my agenda for 2012.
Last Edit: Dec 24, 2012 12:11:07 GMT by sunbeamgls
Update to the above - I responded to some photos of last year's event (2012) on Facebook and the organisers claimed that 2012 did not suffer any queuing problems, so perhaps it will be worth giving a go in 2013.