Day and night? Fast and slow! Beautiful valleys with the odd hill thrown in including Cheddar Gorge, maybe in the dark with its looming walls. Stunning views en route, if it’s clear you can just see The Needles!
EVENT REVIEW SUMMARY:
Extensive route notes and a variety of nav files will be sent via email a week before the event. Use the interactive map for an overview of what lies ahead (subject to change); toggle the elevation & grade on/off by clicking the key. *Please note plugin's 'grade' is experimental so take it with a pinch of salt.Share this event:
Heading out from Warmley along the Bristol to Bath Railway Path and through the 2Tunnels under Combe Down you will make your way into Wiltshire and cruise down the amazing virtually traffic free Wylye Valley, which the still operational GWR Wessex Main Line follows to the historic town of Wilton with its Italianate Church. Hopping over to the Chalke Valley, named after a small tributary to the River Ebble emerging at Broad Chalke, you head towards Shaftesbury after a couple of climbs; the first onto Charlton Down on a section of old Roman road between Bath and Badbury Rings, here you may see on the horizon The Needles if a clear day. Using predominantly B roads from now you head to Wells, here the road named Strawberry Way follows what was once the old Strawberry Line named after the local produce. Level riding through Somerset to Cheddar and its mighty Gorge, most likely in the dark with its looming rock faces, you ascend The Mendips to the Chew Valley and on to the finish.
You may start any where on the route but you must get proof of passage when you start and finish.
Compton Abbas Airfield Cafe control is only open Tuesday to Sunday 09:30 – 16:30. Alternative proof of passage is available as outlined in the email upon entering. Shaftesbury close by has cafes and shops.
Entry includes postage of brevet card one way. Select whether you want to receive your card before or after the event in the entry process. If you select before allow 5 working days to receive, you must then return your card post event with your proof of passage and a self addressed envelope for me to return back to you. If you select after send me the proof of passage electronically; photos (of receipts) or GPX and I’ll fill out your brevet card and return.
You will receive all the details of controls, times etc via a ‘do not reply to’ email upon entering; there will be a link within so you can notify me by email up to a second before you depart.
I’m sorry but I will no longer accept postal as I rarely am able to get to the bank. The payment process isn’t Paypal and will accept credit or debit cards.
What others think.
A great route starting out along the cycle path from Warmley, by frozen and iced up railway engines. The route was great and took us on a real mix of lanes and side roads. Mainly rolling hills and lumps to begin with. Well organized controls and cafe stops made all the difference. The 2022 ride was really cold, down to -5 at the start, so I kept stops to a minimum and tried to keep some body heat going. I was ridng solo, so went at my own pace, and it was a great atmosphere among all of the riders, which it invariably is in the depths of winter.
There are a few of “Will’s hills” in the last 30k or so, with Cheddar Gorge as a warm up, then a couple of super sharp but short hills before popping out somewhere near Keynsham, via some beautiful out of the way villages.
There were a few busyish roads in the route, around Wells and towards the very end, but that was probably just in comparison to how quiet the rest of the route was. A great way to spend a January Saturday on the bike.
On a cold windswept day in January I chose this as my first audax of the year. It was great fun riding this one, some roads I was familiar with and others not. The ride out from Warmley station on the Bristol to Bath cycleway was nice and then onto the two tunnels trail emerging from the second tunnel into daybreak.
Once over the Mendip hills it was gentle rolling countryside through into Wiltshire with a stop at the Ginger Piggery for coffee on the way to Wilton. Heading west there was a few more cheeky hills as we crossed into Dorset including a climb up onto Bullbarrow down that tested the legs. Onwards west we rode into somerset with another of Will’s hills just after Bruton and then finally after a dash across the levels we ascended Cheddar Gorge. I was one of those that climbed it in the dark which added an interesting twist. But don’t thinks it’s all downhill back to Warmley as there was a couple more Will’s hills thrown in at the end.
On the whole it was a great ride, would I do it again? Most definitely yes!
Like or loath it? Let others know.
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