Heading east you make your way to Lacock Bakery & Abbey. Turn north passing the site of Stanley Abbey & the old Calne branchline before Malmesbury Abbey. Follow some minor roads back to Bristol across The Cotswolds.
WHEN: +iCalSat 11th December 2021 08:30 - 16:44
WHERE:Gary Harris Cycles Common Mead Ln Hambrook [nr Frenchay], BS16 1QQ
Starting at Gary Harris Cycles you climb up onto The Cotswolds at Hinton making your way east to Lacock to enjoy savouries and cakes from Lacock Bakery. Passing the abbey you head up Bowden Hill to Derry Hill. Descending you will pass the site of Stanley Abbey long since raised to the ground, and also the dismantled Calne branchline, before heading north to Malmesbury passing its abbey. Heading back west through quaint villages and using a bit of The Fosse Way you make your way back to the Arrivée.
Starting from Gary Harris Cycles which will be open from 06:30 with track pumps and any other bike related sundries available. There will be refreshments available from the Starbucks on site. Please use the toilets considerately! Car park is open from about 06:00 and will remain open till 20:00. If you think you’ll be late back find on street parking within Frenchay. Finishing at The White Lion, Frenchay; about a mile from the start.
Type & Validation
- The route is advisory - you just have to visit the controls and gain proof of passage within time limits where specified; there may be parts that you'd like to take a different route and that is entirely up to you; the time limits for the controls don't change!
- Validation: Instant - you get to take your validated brevet card home straight away at the end of the event.
What others think.
Good winter route
I rode this in December 2018. It’s a well organised ride with a higher number of stops than you might usually expect (four, with two of them ‘free’ controls). This makes it much more of a day out than a race round, but I felt was a real help given the colder conditions. Basically riding a couple of hours between each stop. Some challenging climbs, and be prepared for messy winter lanes. Great fun!
Delightful by name...
Was lucky enough to ride this as a route check/change with the organiser. The route heads anti-clockwise from Bristol into Wiltshire and the stunning Lacock Abbey before climbing Northwards over the Cotswolds, with a new diversion at Stroud giving a lovely view behind you as you crest the not insubstantial climb.
After crossing the Severn at Gloucester, you pass over the Northern tip of the Forest of Dean before hitting the Wye Valley, with a stunning view of Goodrich Castle to your right.
Hitting the infamous George’s Delight climb at dusk around 170km into a relatively hilly ride is definitely interesting. It’s narrow, so you can’t weave, and the steepest parts are tree-covered, meaning it stays damp and debris-strewn at that time of year. Add in a nicely rutted surface and you have a pretty serious test. In the end the fact it was dark might help slightly as you don’t know when it’s going to end!
The next section back to Chepstow is an old favourite and with the tunnel vision of night riding and barely another car on the road it felt fast and amazing – almost like flying.
Crossing the Severn Bridge in the dark is always fun, less so the final punchy climb back up to Bristol. A great and varied/interesting winter loop!