Anglesey & Back 300+300

Enjoy the route of the Bryan Chapman Memorial – the Classic End 2 End; but with more time for sleep and riding. The Anglesey & Back is two 300km routes on the same roads with a sleep stop at Menai Bridge.

Bulwark, Chepstow, Monmouthshire | Sat 18th May 2024 @ 05:00

WHEN: +iCal
Sat 18th May 2024
05:00 - 02:52
Mon 20th May 2024
WHERE:
Bulwark Community Centre
Laburnam Way
Bulwark, Chepstow, NP16 5RF
Validation:
BR
Anglesey & Back 300+300 1
Award Distance:
300
Total Distance:
624km
Duration:
45h52
Speeds:
15-30kph
Climb:
4445+4408m
AAA: 4.5+4.5
Platinum Grimpeur
Anglesey & Back 300+300 3Enquiries
BRIEF:

Enjoy the route of the Bryan Chapman Memorial – the Classic End 2 End; but with more time for sleep and riding. The Anglesey & Back is two 300km routes on the same roads with a sleep stop at Menai Bridge.

New for 2024. Enjoy the delights of the classic Bryan Chapman Memorial 600km (formerly known as the Anglesey & Back) but split halfway with more time allowance and sleep! You will receive 2x 300 validations.

Need even more sleep? Also new for 2024 is the 3 day Pauline Porter Populaire 2-2-2; a bit hillier, a tad longer, quieter roads where possible.

Description:

This long distance cycling event is a journey the length of Wales from Chepstow to Menai Bridge and back. The route is very similar to the Bryan Chapman Memorial but does differ slightly for AUK compliance.

Day 1:

Heading north into the Usk Valley you’ll make quick progress as the adrenaline rushes you up and over the Black Mountains to Honey Cafe for the first control. Then follow the Wye Valley, on the old Mid-Wales Railway track bed in places, to Llandidloes.

Shortly the fun begins as you ride up to Llyn Clywedog reservoir and over the Machynlleth Mountain Road with views of Cadair Idris on the horizon; perhaps one of the best roads in the UK. Cross the Dyfi into Snowdonia, here the Anglesey & Back route differs; you will stick to the stunning estuary & coast going through Aberdyfi & Tywyn to get to…

Kings YHA – the third control; don’t forget to engage the granny gear as you turn off the main road!

From here you head across Barmouth Bridge on the shared path then up the coast to Harlech Castle and on to Beddgelert. Climb Pen y Pass nestled under Snowdon‘s peak before descending to Menai Bridge Heritage Centre for the Arrivée; this is the old church hall used by the original event back in the 80s. Sleeping & breakfast will be at Menai Bridge Scout and Guide Hut a short distance away.

  • Distance: 310km
  • Time allowed: 20h40
  • Finish by: 01:40
Day 2:

06:00 START: Now back you go; this time to the west of Snowdon through Rhyd-ddu and retrace the route back to Barmouth and around the stunning coast again and back towards Machynlleth.

Leaving the Dyfi valley it is a gradual climb up the Twymyn valley into the Carno for a elevenses(ish) at Cafe JoJo in Llanbrymair. Pass through Newtown then up and over into the quiet Teme Valley to Knighton.

Heading south keeping in Wales as much as possible to Ross on Wye and Gospel Pass, Wales’ highest paved road with its stunning views across the Wye Valley!

Descend into Llanthony Valley, opposite the Priory is Treats the final control where you can get some stunning grub.

The final leg awaits to Monmouth and the Wye Valley once more; finishing off by passing Tintern Abbey then back to the Arrivée.

  • Distance: 313km
  • Time allowed: 20h52
  • Finish by: 02:52
Details:
  • Food & drink provided at start, Kings YHA, Menai Bridge & the Arrivée.
    • The ‘menu’ will be provided later with the final ride details.
    • Every endeavour will be made to cater for all dietary requirements.
    • However if you require specialist provision any precooked meals you provide can be transported from the start to the controls.
  • Bag drop provided to Menai Bridge.
  • Airbeds and blankets provided at Menai Bridge.
  • Entries limited by sleeping space at the Scout & Guide Hut; there will be no hot bedding.
  • No showers.
Innage Farm, Mathern – for the start/finish:

Camping Friday night: £7 tent | £10 van
Parking Saturday & Sunday: £5
Camping Sunday night: see Jane or Mike at the Farm once you finish.

Places to discuss with other riders:
Like or loath* it? Let others know.
*Whilst I like to think I can affect the weather alas that is beyond my control...

What others think.

The best BCM yet

23rd May 2023

Superb. Enjoyed the route even more than my 2 previous BCM’s, particularly the ‘morning’ (for me) section around the headland to Aberdovey. Although the night section shortcut through Rhyd was one kicker of a climb I’d happily avoid next time. The run back through the lanes around Weobley was far more enjoyable than previous routes down through Llandrindod Wells, even if it was a little slower going. All the organisers and helpers were fabulous and the ACB riders in particular were very friendly. The weather wasn’t bad either 😉 thanks Will.

Avatar for Gerard
Gerard

Amazing route and great organisation

30th June 2023

This was my first ever 600k ride. The route was stunningly beautiful and the organisation was amazing. Highly recommended and definitely an event I will be doing again.

Avatar for Malcolm
Malcolm

Beautiful ride through Wales

8th June 2023

One of my favourite events now even more scenic. Head swiftly into central Wales on steady gradients, picking up the Wye Valley. Then the magic happens, the Machynlleth mountain road, Barmouth, Climbing over Pen-y-Pass from Beddgelert. After Kings YHA, the coast road and a pleasant ride to Newtown. More climbing before returning to the Wye Valley at Monmouth, passing Tintern Abbey before the finish.

A difficult ride that is well worth the effort.

Avatar for James
James

BCM600 - The Iconic Annual Audax Event with Awesome People and Breath-taking Scenery

2nd June 2023

This esteemed ride has been on my bucket list since discovering audax. I have to say, so far, it is the best route I have ever done in the UK. Wales.is.fucking.awesome. In addition to the scenery, the people are just as awesome. In 600km only a single honk / shout of us being wankers from a welsh person (a white van). Everyone else was super patient and law-abiding. Always gave us 1.5m of room. Never overtook on a solid line. As we neared England ironically we had 3 motorcyclists (with English accents and union jack plates) honk at a patient welsh driver waiting to safely overtake a rider ahead of us. They then proceeded to box us in and slow down, not letting us pass, with one claiming “you could kill one of us by undertaking”. People are awesome. Well, forget that, the Welsh are awesome. It gives me hope that there is a place not too far away that I would feel very welcome if I ever decided to leave the hustle, bustle, and general self-obsessed in the southeast.

Will is an amazing Organiser and it is my understanding this was his first time taking over as Organiser of the BCM. It went down without a hitch … but for the one unfortunate uncontrollable hitch … which the volunteers were ALL OVER and I could not believe how well they sorted everything out to keep the event moving forward.

Avatar for Mark
Mark

Brilliant BCM 23

30th May 2023

Superbly run and organised event. Loved the route and the helpers were just brilliant at every checkpoint, with hearty food on offer. Even the weather was well organised. A brilliant way to see Wales end to end in all it’s guises, with some stunning vistas and a decent amount of climbing.

Avatar for Rupert
Rupert


Bookings aren't available; either I haven't opened entry yet or if after 15/05/24 then they have closed.


You are attending this event.

The following ride details are currently: CONFIRMED - all details have been updated. You will be notified by email of any last minute changes made here.



  • Please flick through the following tabs fully and make any preparations before the event.
  • Route files & links will be found under the 'Route' tab.
  • The event/route specific information will be finalised usually the Monday before the event and you will get an email reminder 3 days prior from bookings-noreply@pedalution.co.uk - add it to your address book to save any disappointment.
  • Should you be unable to attend the event I have enabled cancellation from 'My Bookings'. This will aid me in keeping controls informed as to how many to expect and also reduce wastage when printing the brevet cards. Remember there is no option to refund or transfer if you are unable to attend.
  • You will receive your brevet card at the start. Should you start the ride and be unable to finish my phone number is within; please drop me a text with your full name to let me know you won't be finishing so volunteers and myself aren't waiting around longer than necessary at controls and the finish.
  • Please use 'Enquires' link above for any queries.

New to audax? Have a look at Audax UK's About for an overview & FAQs for commonly asked questions.

  • Until the route is finalised the interactive map above will give you an idea of where you are going.
  • It is advisable to study the route notes prior to the event for further details; especially if you are just using a GPX breadcrumb trail to navigate. These are also the 'cuesheet' within the RWGPS route; zoom the map to your desired level, click on a cue and it will focus the map at that cue.
  • Every effort is made to identify road closures before the event and provide alternatives where necessary; however I can not account for any emergency closures that are required.
  • A variety of surfaces may be encountered, some may be as smooth as a baby's bum, others potholed nightmares, or somewhere in between; if any unmetalled sections are used this will be noted in the Event Info above and now visible as 'unpaved' within RWGPS.
  • I do my utmost to select low traffic routes but there may be times busier sections are required.
  • Mudguards aren't mandatory but if you can fit them why wouldn't you?
  • I would always recommend a set of lights as you never know what could happen.
  • Similarly consider carrying 2 space blankets; they cost nothing, are tiny, and can keep you and an other warm should the unfortunate happen.
EXTRA DETAILS:

The main advisory points to note are:

To Anglesey...

  • @229km | (Barmouth Bridge) !!Pedestrians - possible sand & slippery wooden bridge ahead!!
  • @260km | (Penrhyndeudreath) !!Oblique Level Xing!!

...and Back

  • @43km | (Penrhyndeudreath - return) !!Oblique Level Xing!!
  • @72km | (Barmouth Bridge - return) !!Pedestrians - possible sand & slippery wooden bridge ahead!!
  • @77km | (Friog) TL lane control !!SINGLE FILE - Lights may change against you as climbing!!
  • @137km | (Talerddig) TL lane control !!SINGLE FILE - Lights may change against you as climbing!!
  • @200km | (Whitton) !!GW lane control on descent!!
  • @246km | !!Poor surface after Capel y Ffin and again after newly surfaced 'Landslip Corner'!!
  • @284km | (Monmouth) !!Pedestrainas - Bollards!! on Monnow Bridge.
  • @286km | (Monmouth) !!Dismount 25m!!

Addition sections between each control are available in the RWGPS Event. The RWGPS Route is the full there and back; each way is linked in the description, which then have the individual sections linked within.

Route Files:
CSV

CSV route notes - these can be edited in any spreadsheet software.

PDF

PDF route notes - a version with maps is available in linked RWGPS route (no account necessary to use the official PDF - use 'More v') or the event.

GPX

GPX with control waypoints - if re-uploading to an online planner please make private so as not to confuse others in the future - use this tool to split at waypoints and/or simplify.

RWGPS Links:
Event

RWGPS Event - at least a free account needed but you will get full premium features, including offline maps & voice nav for the app, regardless of your subscription level. To sync to your device (Wahoo, Garmin Edge) you need to join this first.

Route

RWGPS Route - no account needed but you will lack a few advanced features such as early turn warnings.

See the RWGPS App for my tips to use your phone for navigation and maximising battery life.

Troubleshooting:
  • Can't copy the RWGPS route to your account? I have disabled this so should any changes be necessary there is the one correct version.
  • I do not provide technical services for your device having never used anything other than the RWGPS app.
  • Can't add it to Garmin Connect? It isn't an activity. Transfer it to your Garmin via USB.
  • Can't send to your device? Join the RWGPS event.
EXTRA DETAILS:

Bulwark Community Centre:

  • Please arrive from 04:00 onwards on Saturday.
  • Baked beans on toast & hot drinks available before start.
  • There is NO PARKING on local streets to keep the residents happy.
  • Refrain from using the main entrance when arriving but instead use the access routes linked under 'access by...'
  • Bag drop to Menai Bridge:
    • 1 per person.
    • Make sure your bag is labelled with your name etc.
    • To identify for BCM please see signage in the designated area and wrap you handle with coloured tape provided so not mixed up with the Anglesey & Back bag drop; this is your responsibilty.
    • Bags will be returned to Chepstow early afternoon on Sunday; any left bags can be returned at your cost.
    • The bag drop is for clothes, toothbrush, powerbank (if you have one bring it rather than a wall charger) etc.
    • Any other bags can be left at the start to be collected at the end. eg, Friday night camping equipment.
  • Welsh cakes and others, plus hot drinks will be available at the finish.
    • Start:

      Please arrive at least 10 minutes before the depart time to collect your brevet card.

      Bulwark Community Centre - opens new tab for map.
      Laburnam Way, Bulwark, Chepstow, Monmouthshire, NP16 5RF, Wales

      Access:

      • Bike - Easily accessible from NCN4. It is a short ride from the car park. In both cases I ask you to avoid using the main entrance to avoid conflict with departing riders.
      • Car - Located just off M48 J2. Parking will be off the A48 at Innage Farm, Mathern.
      • Train - The closest train stations are: I ask you to avoid using the main vehicle entrance on Laburnam Way to avoid conflict with departing riders.

      Parking:
      No Parking -

      No parking or drop off are permitted on the local residential streets so as not to disturb the residents. Parking will be available at Innage Farm for £5 and will be open from 03:00; turn up and pay on arrival. If you are being dropped off use Tesco car park near J2.

      Food & Drink:
      Food & Drinks available.
      A quick breakfast of baked beans on toast and hot drinks will be available to start. Cakes and hot drinks at the finish from 09:00 on Sunday.
      Unless specified otherwise above.

      Accommodation:

      Camping will be available at Innage Farm for Friday night and is where the car park is located. Turn up and pay on the day.

      • Tent £7
      • Van/Camper £10
      For hotels etc in the local area see here.

      Finish:

      As above. - opens new tab for map & a few details.

Route Controls:

To Anglesey...

  • @0km | DEPART: CHEPSTOW - Bulwark Community Centre | 05:00
  • @72km | CONTROL: BRONLLYS - Honey Cafe | 07:24-09:28
  • @139km | CONTROL: LLANIDLOES [free] - collect receipt | 09:38-14:16
  • @159km | CHECKPOINT: MACH' MOUNTAIN ROAD - Cadair Viewpoint | 10:18-15:36
  • @188km | INFO: ABERDYFI - Village Hall - see brevet.
  • @220km | CONTROL: nr DOLGELLAU - Kings YHA | 12:22-19:42
  • @249km | INFO: HARLECH - see brevet.
  • @283km | CHECKPOINT: PEN Y GWRYD HOTEL [junc before Pen y Pass] - 2nd car park | 14:26-23:52
  • @310km | CONTROL: MENAI BRIDGE - Menai Heritage Thomas Telford Centre | 15:20-01:40

...and Back

  • @0km | DEPART: MENAI BRIDGE - Scout & Guide Hut | 06:00
  • @99km | INFO: ABERDYFI - Village Hall - see brevet
  • @143km | CONTROL: CARNO - Aleppo Merchant Inn (food until 12:15) | 10:46-15:32
  • @194km | CONTROL: KNIGHTON - Offa's Dyke Centre | 12:28-18:56
  • @251km | CONTROL: LLANTHONY - Treat's Camping & Cafe - continue through gate | 14:24-22:48
  • @291km | INFO: REDBROOK - Village Stores & PO - see brevet.
  • @313km | ARRIVEE: CHEPSTOW - Bulwark Community Centre | 16:26-02:52

Control food:

  • DEPART (provided): beans on toast.
  • Honey Cafe (£): as per menu.
  • Kings YHA (provided): pasta & veg; cakes; fruit.
  • Menai Bridge (provided):
    • Supper: veggie soup & bread; cakes; fruit.
    • Breakfast: beans, sausages (meat & veggie/vegan), toast, mushrooms; cereal; cakes; fruit.
  • Aleppo Merchant Inn (£): as menu - open for food until 12:15. There is a Spar shortly before & cafes in Aberdyfi & Newtown.
  • Offa's Dyke Centre (£): some hot savories & cakes.
  • Treat's Cafe (£ CASH ONLY): toast; cereal; cakes; crisps; fruit. £5 will do you for a cake & hot drink.
  • ARRIVEE (provided): Welsh cakes; cakes.
  • Free tea, coffee & squash at all of the (provided) above.

Sleeping Arrangements @Menai Bridge:

  • If you are super quick you may have to wait a bit to access the hut if we are in full swing with food at the heritage centre.
  • Airbeds & blankets provided.
  • There are NO SHOWERS; use your drop bag for suitable provisions.
  • Bring some ear plugs!

This is what 'audax' is all about. Travelling between controls to collect proof of passage (PoP) to prove you have cycled the distance. The above controls are found in your brevet card, the route notes, as POIs with the route, and waypoints with the GPX. Your brevet card it to be filled out as you progress around the route. PoP is obtained in several ways. It is highly recommended you carry a pen or pencil to fill your brevet card as you go; if it is a long event numbering any receipts to correspond with the control number will save you time later, then keeping them in order is next level!

Types of control:
  • CONTROL - a place or venue where you obtain PoP which can be done in several ways. You will be able to get food and/or drink, also WC will be available.
    • Manned - a volunteer or venue member of staff will stamp your card providing PoP. All controls are thus unless specified as...
    • Free - you must obtain PoP from that place that has a time and date, usually a receipt from a cafe, shop or ATM.
  • INFO - a question found in your brevet card that is relevent to the location needs to be answered and recorded.
  • CHECKPOINT - similar to a control but there may not be any facilities present.
  • SECRET - now that would be telling wouldn't it!
USING YOUR PHONE & RWGPS APP:

I use the RWGPS app on my phone to navigate audax events by using spoken cues, I also use it to route check and proof my route notes. This IMHO is the best of all worlds. I don't need to look at a screen (but I can check if I want), I get clear directions when needed (you may need to get used to my shorthand which gets spoken as such), I get a warning if I'm off route, the battery lasts a lot longer than constantly using the screen; especially nowadays as phone batteries are getting bigger plus many are able to rapid charge in a short amount of time. All you need is a good case and mount for inclement weather.

  • Install the app.
  • Join the event.
  • Go to the route.
  • Send to device.
  • Open app and confirm download.
  • In settings (exact location varies depending on iOS or Android) to optomise for best battery use:
    • Logging - adjust interval: every 10s is best for the battery, logs your ride but won't get you any KOMs; every 1s uses 10x more battery power to write data but may get you a KOM if you pedal quick.
    • Navigation - Spoken alerts ON | Off-course alerts ON | others at your discretion.
    • Handlebar mode ENABLED - this will keep RWGPS above any screen lock so you can recall it if needed by pressing power button or similar.
    • Handlebar mode - Screen OFF for cues | Proximity Wake OFF (otherwise changes in light will turn the screen on) | Keep screen on NEVER.
    • Offline mode ENABLED - when you start riding.
  • Better still use flight/aeroplane mode whilst riding.
  • You can adjust the text-speech settings via your phone settings; the type of voice, playback speed etc.

Most of the battery drain on a phone is from the screen. By using voice commands you eliminate this but can still view the map if needs be. The second biggest drain whilst cycling is the phone itself searching for a signal as you move between cell towers; putting the phone into flight/aeroplane mode whilst moving solves this problem; you can easily turn data back on to #tag that #CAKE at the next stop!

ANDROID:

Make sure battery optimisation is turned off otherwise Android will recognise RWGPS as an excessive battery drain and can limit its functionality. This will be particularily evident if you stop for a bit without GPS signal then continue; the app will appear to be functioning correctly but Android will limit it and data can be lost from the stop point until the app is restarted. There may be a similar feature in iOS.

  • Settings >Apps.
  • Find RWGPS and expand Advanced >Battery.
  • If it says optomised then select and wait for all apps to load.
  • Make sure the apps displayed are 'All apps', find RWGPS and select.
  • Select 'Don't optimise'. Exit settings.

You have agreed to and declared that at the time of the ride...

  • You have no symptoms relating to COVID-19.
  • That you are not self-isolating.
  • That you are not required to quarantine during the period of the event.
  • That no local or other regulations prohibit you from attending this event.
  • You agree that if you develop any such symptoms before the event you will not attend.
  • You agree that if I develop any such symptoms immediately after the event I shall inform the organiser.

Please follow any wishes of private establishments en route. I highly recommend carrying a mask/buff/scarf etc for the simple act of covering your face if needed when indoors. Any specifics requested by controls will be noted in the control tab.

Audax UK's current policy can be found here.