WHEN: +iCalSat 12th March 2022 06:00 - 02:24 Sun 13th March 2022
WHERE:Felix Road Adventure Playground Felix Road Easton, BS5 0JW
Head to the coast for the Easton connection & Portland Bill. Return along the Jurassic Coast & via Gold Hill in Shaftesbury. #wills_hills & views in good supply, 3 different railway paths included.
Head to the coast for the Easton connection & Portland Bill. Return along the Jurassic Coast & via Gold Hill in Shaftesbury. #wills_hills & views in good supply, 3 different railway paths included.
A quick exit south from Easton and the city tracing the former Bristol & North Somerset Railway into The Mendips and its old mining towns. Continue south through the rolling East Somerset and Dorset hills with vistas across The Levels. Descend along the ridge above the Cerne Giant, after climbing it of course, to Dorchester; Hardy’s Casterbridge with its Roman Ampitheatre. Ascend again giving views out to the coast before plummeting down the old main road to Weymouth where you pick up The Rodwell Trail. Then pass through the other Easton for the connection; this was the terminus of the Easton & Church Hope Railway which later GWR took control of. Arriving at Portland Bill have lunch by the Lighthouse before heading back zigging west along the Jurassic Coast with fantastic views of Chesil Beach. Then zag east across the Dorset Valleys; #wills_hills galore, catching a glimpse (don’t stare!) of the Giant (new evidence suggests it is mediaeval) before passing through the picturesque Milton Abbas. Now north you go with cracking views from atop Woolland Hill making your way to Shaftesbury and the cobbles of Gold Hill! Edge the West Wiltshire Downs and pass through Longleat to Frome and the southern end of The Cotswolds. Enjoy the 2 Tunnels, part of the old Somerset & Dorset Joint Railway. Pop out in Bath for the last big climb of the day, up Lansdown Lane! Then back into Bristol to a warm welcome in the final link of the Easton connection.
Hot drinks, breakfast and hot food at finish included.
On street parking locally, you’ll be updated before the event.
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.
Wow, now THAT is a ride!
The Bill Easton Connection will forever stay with me in many ways, the wills hills for sure, all 16,000+ft of them along with the epic views and headwind, crosswind and strength of the wind on the Jurassic Coastline. The cycling community truly came together when sadly coming across a fellow Audax rider who had been involved in an accident, a hit and run! I want to personally thank the Audax guys who helped in shocking conditions and in such a terrible scene, they all know who they are! Also, many thanks to Mr & Mrs Nick Helps who stopped in his car and got rider into back seat for warmth waiting for ambulance and police. I’d not normally share something so shocking or sad but it goes to show the humanity and community spirit that comes together in a moment of need! An essential piece of kit for ALL Audax riders should be a Thermal Space Blanket, ultra light but an amazing piece of kit when needed, I’d hoped I never needed to use mine along with a fellow rider. Despite the awful accident the ride and organisation of the event was amazing, I’ve never enjoyed a bowl of Dahl & Rice so much at the finish. Thanks to Will & team yet again for making this 300 so memorable and a speedy recovery to our fellow friend and rider. Safe Rides everyone.
Response from Pedalution
Thanks Jason & hoping the rider makes a full and speedy recovery.
I carry 2 space blankets and recommend other too.
A Proper Ride
That was a proper ride. Relentless hills, headwinds all the way to Portland and then a stonking crosswind over the monster Dorset Hill through Maiden Newton and Cerne Abbas and a couple of hours of rain at the end.
I just about kept my promise to keep it steady to Portland so that I still had some matches to burn on the way back. I didn’t stop at the village stores in Charlton Horethorne but found a petrol station in Bishop’s Caundle that sold me a nice coffee and a flapjack. Roads were wet and muddy from overnight rain, but the scenery was fantastic. The winds started to pick up for the descent into Dorchester, but the Rodwell Trail was a brilliant way through Weymouth. Verne Hill Road was precipitous. The cafe in Portland only had outside service from a hatch, there was a queue and I didn’t fancy getting cold in a wind where anything not nailed down was going to blow away, so rode inland and found a Codfather chippy in Weston, which was more sheltered.
I’d forgotten how hilly the coast road to Burton Bradstock is. I knew about Abbotsbury, its one of those hills that etches itself into the psyche, but the other lumps were harder than I expected. Its probably because I’ve done them (a) fresher and (b) in warmer weather.
Then the route headed inland – into darkest Wessex Territory, with the massive climb of Spyway to join the hardest bit of the Hard Boiled route at Maiden Newton. The crosswinds were fierce, keen to put me in the ditch, the 40mph descents required more concentration than usual. Arrived at the cafe in Cerne Abbas at 4.10pm, it closed at 4, but the look on my face convinced the staff of my desperate need for tea.
Fortified, I tackled the remaining crosswind section to Milton Abbas in fine fettle and was pushed up the long drag to Bulbarrow, where darkness began to take over. It was fully dark by the time I got to Gold Hill. I would have been overtaken by the boy in the Hovis Advert but I kept upright. Having a cafe open was a godsend, although I was getting really weary and struggled to eat my omelette.
The first half of the night section was great, pushed along by the wind, making good time. Riding past Longleat House in the dark was epic. Then I misread my Garmin and ended up doing an involuntary circuit of Longleat, adding a couple of miles before getting to a point where I thought “this hill looks familiar”. It was. Hill 23/26 was ridden twice. So be it. I was getting empty, but a Spar shop was still open in Frome, and I was able to get a couple of bottles of milkshake, one to overcome the impending bonk and one for later.
The two tunnels were brilliant, far better than labouring over the hill, but then we had the gratuitous ascent of Lansdown Hill. It was raining properly, water running down the road, but I was determined to get up this last challenge. Glaciers have been known to move faster. I misread the Garmin again and found my way onto the A420. The Garmin spend ages trying to send me down blind alleys and so I got almost to the inner ring road, check my iPhone and found my way the last half mile back to the Felix Road Adventure Playground.
I’ve only once taken longer over a 300, the Cambrian 3C when I started at 11.30pm in Carmarthen (and got lost on my own permanent), but it was worth it. Thanks Will and crew for organising. Am going to see how I feel over the next couple of days before committing to the Exe Barnstaple Branch. I need to get my head around the 4am start and probable 6am finish.
Beautiful 300km of pure hills
Scenery-Great. Organisation- great. Clotted cream scone at Shaftesbury- great. The hills were very hard: Gold Hill- I wimped out; and the hill out of Bath…ughhhh, but of the others- the views and camaraderie out on the road were great. A very hard 300km, but definitely an enjoyable day out.
Beautiful route, with huge variety in scenery and type of road …..and an entertaining amount of sharp climbs.
Bill's Easton Connection (2019)
Bill’s Easton Connection (2019). The hardest 300 I have ridden overall. There are no spectacular climbs, but rather there is a constant war of attrition on the legs, with short and sharp ups and downs and, as the downs are often laney, little oportunity for the more cautious rider to get speed up. Portland Bill makes for a lovely mid-point, especially if you haven’t been there before, and the return North to Bristol is filled with some particularly lovely villages, as well as the cobbled climb up to the cafe in Shaftesbury (which caught me out — the trick, I was told, was to commit early), and Longleat’s grounds. Never has Lansdown Hill seemed so long and so steep. Will Pomeroy, the organizer, increases his reputation as the Torquemada of the Audax world, testing one’s faith in one’s legs. Only the pure of heart survive. All is forgiven, though, when one realizes the elegance of the route’s naming. Pictures #gwrbec
Bookings aren't available; either I haven't opened entry yet or if after 10/03/22 then they have closed.
You are attending this event.
STATUS: Specific details are Pending - all specifics are usually updated the 5th day before the event.
- 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 5th day before the event and you will get an email reminder 3 days prior from firstname.lastname@example.org - 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.
- Any queries please use GWRaudax@pedalution.co.uk subject 300bec Query so I can filter them easily.
- 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.
Files and links further down, please read through the following first.
33km - A road closure has been identified after Stoke St Michael, I shall be contacting Somerset CC to assertain if there will be weekend access. I've supplied the diversion in the RWGPS event. Once I confirm I'll update the route; the links will remain the same.
The following points are contained within the route notes which you should familiarise yourself with especially if just following a breadcrumb trail.
- Shared paths are used in several locations. Please be considerate of other users.
- 182km - Ford at bottom of descent.
- 255-259km - Longleat Estate has various raising barriers and gates but there is access to the side albeit a little awkward in places. Please keep moving through the estate after hours on the permissive cycling route.
Whilst riding in a group pay attention for obstruction, debris, potholes etc in the road ahead and call out to the group.
CSV route notes - these can be edited in any spreadsheet software.
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.
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.
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.
- 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:The start will be open from about 05:15. Bags can be left securely. Rider numbers are high so local parking may be limited; look at on street parking east of the venue but further afield or alternatively Parkway (see link below).
Please arrive at least 10 minutes before the depart time to collect your brevet card.
Felix Road Adventure Playground - opens new tab for map. Felix Road, Easton, City of Bristol, BS5 0JW
- Bike - Easily located off the Bristol & Bath Railway Path NCN4.
- Car - Use Easton Road B4465 into All Hallows Rd for suggested local parking.
- Train - Bristol Temple Meads side entrance links to the Bristol to Bath Railway Path NCN4.
Food & Drink: Food & Drinks available. Included - Hot drinks at start & finish. Dal and rice or similar for evening meal. Unless specified otherwise above.
Accommodation: City centre hotels & YHA
As above. - opens new tab for map & a few details.
Where ever you stop please leave your bikes tidily and don't block any entrance ways, pavements, roads etc.
- DEPART: EASTON, BRISTOL - FRAP | 06:00
- C1 @ 25km | INFO: MIDSOMER NORTON - see brevet
- C2 @ 60km | CONTROL: CHARLTON HORETHORNE - Village Stores | 08:00-10:00
- C3 @ 125km | CONTROL: PORTLAND BILL - Lighthouse | 10:10-14:20
- C4 @ 160km | INFO: BRUTON BRADSTOCK - see brevet
- C5 @ 185km | CONTROL: CERNE ABBAS [Free] - collect receipt | 12:10-18:20
- C6 @ 203km | INFO: MILTON ABBAS - see brevet card
- C7 @ 229km | CONTROL: SHAFTESBURY - Salt Cellar | 13:38-21:16
- C8 @ 289km | INFO: LANSDOWN - see brevet card
- ARRIVEE: EASTON, BRISTOL - FRAP | 16:12-02:24
A text file of the above that you can use for a frame list.
Food & Drink:
- Tea & coffee available at the start.
- Charlton Horethorne Village stores have pies, pasties, cakes, hot drinks etc.
- Portland Bill - The Lobster Pot can be busy. There are several cafe's on the isle and the causeway that may be less busy. There is also one at Sandsfoot Castle Gardens signed off the Rodwell Trail.
- There is usually an Ice Cream Van at the top of Abbotsbury Hill with access to the field opposite for views back along Chesil Beach to the Isle of Portland.
- Cerne Abbas - Abbotts Tea Rooms are open till 16:00, shop till 18:00, pubs later.
- Salt Cellar will be opening late for you and will have quick and easy food for the final push - actually you may want to save a flapjack ready for Lansdown Lane 😉
- Mere Coop open till 22:00.
- Tea, coffee, dal & rice (or similar) available at the finish.
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!
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!
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!
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.