Devilishly Elegant SR600

Hills! Glorious #wills_hills! No distance points, no AAA points, just because; oh and this SR600 gives you a shot at the top ACP Randonneé 10k award if completed at 60hrs or less.

Tintern, Wales | Thu 1st Jun 2017 @

WHEN: +iCal
At a time to suit you.
WHERE:
The Filling Station Cafe
Main Road
Tintern, NP16 6SF
Validation:
SR600
Devilishly Elegant SR600 1
Award Distance:
0 Pointless
Total Distance:
616km
Duration:
60h0
Speeds:
10.27-30 | 3.125-10.27kph
Climb:
12571m
AAA: 0.00
SR600
Devilishly Elegant SR600 3Enquiries
BRIEF:
Rated 5.0 out of 5

Hills! Glorious #wills_hills! No distance points, no AAA points, just because; oh and this SR600 gives you a shot at the top ACP Randonneé 10k award if completed at 60hrs or less.

Devilishly Elegant SR600 5

IMPORTANT:

I’m away touring with the lad till late August so will be unable to send any details out till then.

description:

Start the Super Randonnée 600 (SR600) from the Wye Valley in the shadow of Tintern Abbey then climb your way out into the Forest of Dean. Roll along the top before descending to Ross-on-Wye and follow the river through Hole in the Wall. On to Herefordshire and a gentle rolling ascent to Ludlow before the hills begin again.

Scale the Burway onto Long Mynd, pass Stiperstones and The Bog Centre and on into Wales. Cross The Severn and climb to Lake Vyrnwyn; at the end Hirnant Pass the steep way! Then cross the hills once more on a gated road. Traverse Berwyn then edge it and then on to the Old Horseshoe Pass. Keep going north to the Clywdians and descend Bwlch Penbarras and on over the hills and through Clocaenog Forest as the Milk Race once did. Here you pass into Snowdonia National Park and make your way to Blaenau Ffestiniog.

Now for a short out and back leg as you heave yourself up the service road to Stwlan Dam and its viewpoint, then back down; breath taking!

More desolate mountain roads as you climb over to the upper end of the Dee Valley.

Devilishly Elegant SR600 7

Then Bwlch y Groes the ‘easy’ way before descending the hard, then over Ochr y Groes to Cross Foxes. Follow a Sustrans route on the high road over to Corris passing the Centre for Alternative Technology then descend to the Dovey Valley and around the coast. Up into the hills once again round Nant-y-Moch to Devil‘s Bridge, pass The Arch into the Ystwyth Valley, you guessed it, up to the Elegant Valley and over to the Wye; for a bit.

Glorious hills to Hay-on-Wye with barren summits. Then of course Gospel Pass with it’s leg recuperating descent through the Vale of Ewyas. The easy return is avoided favouring more hills once more to the top of the Wye Valley where you descend, it isn’t over though, one last push up the valley wall to St. Briavel’s Castle and you are done!

This Permanent Event was described by the ACP representative in Paris as, “It looks like a terrible, but very attractive SR600”. [p9 AUK Annual Report 2020]

details:

Whilst it can be undertaken at a time to suit you it can not coincide with the calendar event version. Rules are rules! You may undertake it though as a group as long as you all sign up.

Super Randonnées were created by the Audax Club Parisien in 2009. They are mountainous Permanents of 600km with over 10,000m of elevation gain; this equates to more when calibrated using the AUK method.

Riders have the option of riding a Super Randonnée either as a Randonneur or as a Tourist; requirements are to complete within 60hrs or at a minimum average of 75 km per day respectively.

This SR600 is very demanding, it is 616km long with 12,571m of AUK calibrated climbing; you will receive no distance or AAA points. You will need to be familiar with often unpredictable conditions in the mountains, poor road surfaces in places and versed in self-sufficiency on long distance rides. The route is mandatory and must be followed.

Completing an ACP SR600 at Randonneur pace is required for the ACP Randonneur 10k award. Any one starting at this pace but failing to complete within time will be able to finish at Tourist pace to show their love of climbing.

Due to internal ACP politics the SR600 is no longer accepted for their R10k award; instead a BRM 600 with 8,000m of climb is required.

Devilishly Elegant SR600 9

Super Randonnées will lead you over famous, as well as lesser known, passes and summits, presenting you with amazing scenery. You will discover the beauty of valleys, hill & mountains at unusual hours like dusk, dawn or even at night giving unforgettable memories of the ride.

Ride safe… and don’t forget that self-reliance is part of the challenge!

Navigation:

Route notes and a variety of files/links will be available usually the Monday before the event.


The interactive map above is a guide, subject to change and not necessarily the final version. Toggle 'chart' for elevation & approx. slope %; now works in full screen too.

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.

Captain Bluebear's 2020 Adventure

Rated 5.0 out of 5
9th August 2021

Captain Bluebear (an Experienced Audaxer including LEL, Mille Cymru & PBP) reports on another multi day hilly Wales epic back in August 2020.

Full photos here:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/30208304@N03/albums/72157715853953917

Prologue.

This particular event had been in the back of our minds for while after reading about the ACP 10,000 Randonneur award, however initially it didn’t fit into plans for this year as the anticipation was for a crack at The Crackpot (a rare Wessex 1000K event).

However with the Audaxing year being obviously curtailed due to Covid-19 reasons, it gave credence to considering some other options. When a message was posted on to the Audax UK Facebook group that this event was reopened in early August, I spotted both a suitable hole in our calendar and a partial weather window (after Storm Ellen and then the yet to be known about Storm Francis) in line with ‘Summer’ conditions, i.e. more daylight and warmer temperatures than say heading into September and beyond.

Being a bear I am used to solitude and an event like this calls to my nature, as it does to my co-pilot Rob Norris, although he will miss some of the comradery of normal calender events one finds at the controls.

The Brevet card duly arrived just in time and we drove late on Friday evening through rain to a secret location near Tintern in Wales to sleep in camper-van luxury before an early start on Saturday morning.

The forecast was for continually improving weather over the weekend and beyond, so our plan was quite simple: bivvy out for both nights giving flexibility on where to sleep (with some options having been scouted out via Google Earth), stay as dry as possible on day 1 as drying out properly would be unlikely; and always have enough rations to cater for the next refuel position being closed. Luckily Rob doesn’t drink much, so we don’t need to carry much water (just using only 1 water bottle it’s both space & weight saving) as it wasn’t particularly warm for August, otherwise a different strategy would be required.

Day 1.

From the camper-van to the start was just a couple of miles, yet morning showers meant we hid under trees to let them pass by. Even at the start we waited for another shower to pass by before getting a photograph of the bicycle at the Cafe as Proof of Passage and get formally underway at 6:45a.m.

It was even less distance until first hill kicked in climbing out of the Wye Valley on small single lane roads, now being bathed in the early morning sunshine. Skirting around the Forest of Dean we drop down Symonds Yat, which makes a change from going up it.

I am apprehensive about my partners attitude to bicycle maintenance, possibly leaning more towards the “Zen” style approach, as in thinking about it rather than actually being pro-active and doing it. One bicycle issue over recent months has been the front gear changer being unreliable in shifting up. We manage about two gear changes with the shifters, before extensively relying on the hands on pull on the cable method. Rob reflectively states it is not a ride where the big ring is deployed much, so the occasional manual intervention is no hindrance.

After passing through a sleepy Ross-On-Wye I’m further concerned about missing the first checkpoint on the road as the waypoint indicator on the GPS device has not showed up yet. We stop to consult the route notes more carefully, and as luck would have it we are actually right beside it!

The next stage is relatively uneventful heading northwards in England and thus essentially flat. Duly ignore a ‘Road Closed’ sign and the works are easily passable. Sweep through Leominster, with Ludlow on our minds for a refuel stop, but not before a 5 minutes or so shelter under trees from a short rain shower.

In Ludlow we find a backyard cafe to side outside and enjoy a coffee and cake stop just before midday. Heading now to Church Stretton and the start of serious hills, we still have a couple of tactical 5 minute shelter from showers stops.

With these bonus pauses we can tackle the Long Mynd with great gusto, photos being taken on route – The Burway is conquered and Brevet evidence is taken for checkpoint 2 (now appearing on GPS). However the downhill literally has a downside with a heavy squall and no hiding place. The clouds have thickened and darkened now that we have Wales in our sights.

Despite having descended the Stiperstones before, clearly they should be called the slipperystones as the back wheel locks in the wet and we over shoot the hair pin corner. Fortunately nothing is on the other side of the road and we stop before the gate on the far side. Our nerves are recovered at the deserted Bog visitor centre for checkpoint Four. I warn Rob to be more careful, but fairly soon after he practically does it again – this time saying he was looking at the map on the GPS, but accidentally zoomed in too far to notice the sharp corner. I don’t speak to him for awhile.

After another impromptu rain shelter in a farm shed, checkpoint five comes rapidly at the top a suitably decent 200 metre hill climb and then drop down into Wales proper and Welshpool for the next planned food stop.

Initially we think about sitting outside the cafe, but with drizzle in the air decide to head inside which required not just name and number but also a temperature check due for Covid safety. Coffee with a decorative chocolate swirl and an upmarket style ciabatta sandwich are the delights savoured.

Yet another stop to wait for passing shower half shielded under some trees brings back some unhappy memories as this was the spot that Rob had practically resigned to his first Audax failure after suffering multiple punctures on an event almost exactly 4 years previously. This rain shower does not seem to be passing unlike the previous showers, so we carry on and drop down to a village as I know there is better shelter available.

From here I can get a signal on the mobile and depressingly view the weather forecast for solid rain in this area for at least the next 6 hours. Since we would be heading into remote territory into the evening with only a couple of pubs which may not even be open due to the current pandemic situation, a new plan was hatched.

We take advantage of the marvellous Dafarn Newydd Stores (that has supported Audax events recently such as TINAT) – just in time to get last hot food of the day before the fryer is turned off. This is gratefully consumed in the local football pitch side dug out, that is rather substantial and now to be our home for the evening. The new plan is to rest up here in the dry and wait out the rain, although this means using up most of the spare time in hand to make the rest of the event schedules rather tight, since we’ve only done 180km thus far.

Its surprisingly comfortable in the bivvy setup without a sleeping bag using instead a featherweight down jacket. However being rather early at 7pm and the battering of rain on the tin roof means no real sleep but at least quality rest. A mild panic is induced when I consider that we’d be out of time at the next checkpoint if minimum speeds were required and what time we’d need to leave if that was the case. Hastily research all the finer details of Super Randonnée rules from the official ACP website, but no mention is made of this, so the mind can be put to rest as well as the body.

Day 2.

The rain seems to stopped around 2am, so after making sure it has and the time to pack up we are back on the road at 3 a.m. which should see us to the next major town when things start to open up again.

The skies have now cleared and thus a drop in temperature, so all clothes are on (apart for the down jacket) and kept on even for the long uphill Hirnant Pass from the southern side. Generally night time riding is extremely peaceful but no, not on this part due to a roaring raging torrent of a stream in full spate beside the road which itself is awash.

On the downhill the other side we have a close encounter of the brock kind, but fortunately no contact was made with the thrill seeking badger and no harm came to either party.

Roll up outside a remote farmhouse to take brevidence photographs, wondering how successful these images would be at night in discerning this is indeed the right checkpoint no.6. Oddly there seemed to be a radio on somewhere in the house, but at too low a volume to clearly make out the station.

From here it is on to a gated road, where a more obvious obstacle is the hordes of sheep with their predilection of being in the road – presumably it is warmer than the grass.

Very gingerly descend the steep road to avoid the sheep, prevent crashing into gates and generally not skidding out of control.

Safely back to on a main B road, we can start making more progress as the dawn begins to break and we have the roads to ourselves without any sheep worries.

Approaching Checkpoint no.7 there are flash backs to the Pistol Packing Mama Audax event as a couple of sections overlap albeit in the opposite direction. Despite getting a big hand (its an artwork outside The Hand pub) at Checkpoint 7 the next climb at Glyn Ceiriog defeats us and causes the 2 foot gear to be deployed for the only time on this event. This beast of hill peaks at 25%, rising 200 metres in less than a mile. At least there is a reward of a short stint on a lovely ridge road before the descent into Llangollen for breakfast.

A quick raid on the local SPAR shop suits us being that we are time conscious, eating the some of the wares on the main town bridge above a swollen heavily tanned brown river Dyfrdwy, pondering if the Llangollen Railway is running yet, but too early in the morning to tell (later on research reveals it was) and how it is faring in the pandemic.

After suffering the indignity of walking on the last hill, Rob was not looking forward to the next one, being the Old Horseshoe Pass which rates higher in Simon Warren’s guide than the main Horseshoe Pass road. Despite being reasonably steep right at the start and not letting up, it never gets overtly taxing and was completed in quiet solitude with no traffic to disturb the mind from the climbing effort.

On to Checkpoint 8, at Moel Famau car park that is getting busy with walkers, but parking only for those who have coins to hand for the barrier. No mobile or contactless payments out here; apparently frustrating and flustering a few car drivers. I leave them to it.

A steady rise leads to a great vantage point and I can appreciate this area for the hikers. The road drops down steeply to a traditional hair pin, but unlike previously this one was taken in total control.

Head into the town of Ruthin hoping for a coffee stop, but on a Sunday mid morning nothing was open, surprisingly not even the Costa. So move on to a B road to meet a steady stream of individual time trialists heading the other way. Around 80% acknowledge me and/or wave back. The other 20% need to work on their manners rather than their speed. Remember that bears are normally very polite: just see Paddington, Pooh or Rupert for example.

Its another undulating 25km, just after we hit the A5 that we find a suitable cake and coffee indoors stop. Being dry thus far today, we now look at the latest weather forecast only to be rather disappointed – basically rain for most of the afternoon.

And indeed it starts that way, soon after the cafe on to a remote B road across the open moorlands of Snowdonia National Park the rain beats down for good hour. Our main thoughts to console ourselves is that we have enough time on the event for reasonable sleep stops, we wonder how anyone would be mad enough to attempt the calendar event version. We doubt that our moving time would see us finish in time, even if we could keep it up without any sleep or at most power naps. [Post event note: The calendar event has about 20% less climbing, making it much more feasible but still very hard].

The next checkpoint is Stwlan Dam, requiring lifting the bike over a fence/gate (both out and back) as it’s too awkward to squeeze though the kissing gate. But the reward is silky smooth service road that goes up to the dam. We acknowledge a cyclist whizzing down as we start our upwards journey. Only a handful of walkers are braving the elements. The steady 300m climb in mostly rain saves us overheating, which might be a problem if its blazing sunshine on this south facing slope. The brevidence picture at the top from the viewpoint is uninspiring blanket cloud. Yet moments later on the descent it magically lifts, to lift our spirits as the weather front looks promisingly clear for at least a bit.

The provision stop in the next village is a failure as the tiny shop is closed on Sundays. We have enough leftovers from the mornings shop to tide us over for a while.

After a couple of rare busy main roads we turn off and back into our natural habitat of open hilly terrain. With the rain clouds having decided to go elsewhere it’s a wonderfully scenic crossing of the moorland.

In collecting the next photograph evidence of checkpoint 10, we chat with some walkers who turn out to also come from Portsmouth (small world!). They point out the waterfall they had visited, that Rob had blithely failed to notice until shown to him.

We luckily find a petrol station just before closing time, judiciously deciding against the ropey looking coffee machine and rely on fizzy pop and pork pies to gird ourselves for the next big hill climb.

The weather continues to disagree with the MET Office forecast, which is all good for us. And so the ‘easy’ climb from the North up Bwlch y Groes is indeed relatively easy – there are no chevrons on the OS map on this approach, compared to 10 on the famous southern side.

Another main road in the form of the inescapable A470 is probably the low point of the ride. The Ochr y Groes climb to Cross Foxes is deceptively steep, into the wind and busy with fast moving traffic. The next A road is much calmer and then off on to a gated road with just the sheep for company.

We have a little difficulty in determining the checkpoint 10, which is ‘the top gate with stickers’ of this minor road, since it’s hard to tell if we are at the top. The otherwise spot on GPS waypoints has this one somewhat further on, starting to go downhill. Return back up, with hindsight gained to know which is top, but also checking various other gates for additional clues. We take a bunch of photographs at various points to cover all bases.

The minor road drops back down and we could easily jump across back to the main A road to take us into Machynlleth. No doubt if it was night we would have, but we stick rigidly to the GPS route winding its way in parallel down into town. The aim of the day has been achieved as we are in plenty of time to get hot food from a fast food joint to maximise the calorie intake via chips and burgers.

Continue on the A487 as night has fallen and traffic levels are now minimal; thoughts turn to finding a bivvy spot with 268km under the belt today. Decide it would be prudent to find shelter low down rather than on exposed hill sides – we find some woods, making camp for the night. Not only is the temperature rather pleasant, there are no annoying insects (win, win!) and thus actually get some proper sleep this time.

Day 3

Having had 5 hours luxury sleep it was time to get going in the early morning again, leaving around 4a.m. Rob had been anticipating the first hill climb to be much tougher having previously descended it. It is long by most people’s standards at just over 400 metres of ascent starting from near sea level, but never steep, so as long as one can gauge your effort it’s rather manageable. It’s a beautiful clear skies for stargazing whilst climbing and not much wind. I choose to forgo the rain coat having faith in the weather forecast for today.

We reach Nant-y-Moch reservoir and follow it around to the damn in search of the Hydro Electric sign for checkpoint 13 validation. However the sign is no longer there and instead the only occupants in the car park are some dope smokers at 5:45 a.m. – they must be keen.

The temperature continues to drop as we mostly descend to Devil’s Bridge (Checkpoint 14), looking forward to the hill climb the other side up to The Arch to restore some warmth. On the climb Rob notices some play in his shoe and initially suspects the cleat is wearing out. But minutes later its more obvious the fact that the entire sole of the shoe is coming apart.

Handily we soon come across a bench and we can further inspect the damage. One of the skills of self sufficiency is being prepared, just like any good Boy Scout, so I always carry zip ties and tape. From these Rob can bond his shoe together and in making it properly secure it should last the day. Initially post repair there is caution in the pedal action, but after a while confidence is restored and standing on the pedals (as often required on hill climbs around here) holds no issues climbing out of Ystwyth valley.

Down into Rhayader in for breakfast and due to it being a Monday we can do our duty to ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ (EO2HO) and thus have a Full English breakfast as its 50% funded by the UK government. From wearing 3 layers, leggings and gloves, Rob can go straight to just shorts & short sleeves as the temperature is now picking up nicely.

Digestion of breakfast is aided by a subtle downhill A road section before striking cross country and then to a nemesis climb in the shape of Llanbedr Hill. This was the only one to defeat us on the Mille Cymru 3, partly because it was baking hot with this North facing hill seemingly sheltered from any breeze (and partly discretion, in not pushing oneself over the limits). Once again the sun is shining strongly and it rapidly turned into one of the warmest parts of the ride. Being a point of pride this time the hill is conquered, but with Rob’s shirt half unzipped, he gets stung twice in the chest by some unknown and unseen agent. No pain, no gain as they say.

Hay-on-Wye comes rapidly and so thoughts of a quick coffee stop are banished, as its reasonably busy about town now its late morning, but more importantly no obvious EO2HO candidates. Hay is touristy enough that perhaps they don’t really need the extra support.

And so to the literal high point of the ride with Gospel Pass at 549m (albeit just 4 metres higher than Bwlch y Groes). This hill we have done before, Rob several times, so it holds no surprises. The weather turns into light rain and we can see big rain to the West.

The descent though, does hold surprises as it’s definitely getting worse each time, more pot holes, more stones and this time more floods. Rob says he used to like it, but now a gravel bike would be more appropriate. Checkpoint 16 is along here for those who are keeping count.

The big rain somehow holds off but there’s a mix of light cloud just to give an odd variance in temperature such that Robs arm warmers are used yo-yo style.

The penultimate climb is a real sucker punch, being not very long but considerably steep with a hazardous strip of moss running down the middle of the road. This lane clearly does not see much sunshine and would be devilishly difficult in wetter conditions. It leads out to the penultimate checkout in the village of Trellech. We celebrate by taking advantage of another EO2HO helping at the local pub, sitting outside in the mid afternoon sunshine.

The final descent is real stinker too! Another road that has seen better days, at 25% gradient and strewn with stones we’re at the limits of our braking capacity. Disc brakes would be preferred here.

And to the final hill, passing a place called Mork, sadly there is no place nearby called Mindy. We still have plenty in the tank to finish strongly for the reward of a job well done at St. Briavel’s Castle and to reflect on the adventure.

We managed our time quite well finishing with about 2 hours spare, there was no need to rush things using the time flexibility for mostly rain avoidance where possible especially on the first days. Being predisposed to climbing made the event hard but fair. The scenery was fantastic and makes all the effort worthwhile.

A big Thank You to Will Pomeroy for designing this epic, which never appeared to be gratuitous routing just for the sake of it, it always felt like we were heading somewhere with a purpose.

Now with a taste for these Super Randonnées it would be good to sample the offerings covering other areas of the UK.

Avatar for Robert
Robert


Bookings close Never or when full.

PLEASE NOTE:
  • If you are U18 (or booking for an U18 rider) please contact me direct so I can provide the relevent form and enter manually.
  • This event is run in accordance with Audax UK's Regulations and is covered by their insurance.
  • Audax UK Temporary Membership @ £3.00 is required to participate if you aren't an Audax UK or CTC/CUK member; it will be added automatically if a membership number isn't provided.
  • Please make sure your AUK membership is up to date.
  • Once payment is completed you will receive an email from booking-donotreply@pedalution.co.uk and will be redirected back to a page saying what happens next.
Ticket Type Price Spaces
Entry - Randonneur
60hrs
£6.50
Entry - Tourist
8 days
£6.50

  • On the following Stripe payment page use the back arrow by Pedalution logo to delete your resrvation; you can then amend any details and PROCEED TO PAYMENT again.
  • Once payment is made the reservation becomes a booking.
  • You have 30mins to complete payment before this reservation is deleted (so if you get in a kerfuffle with incorrect details, payment issues etc walk away for an hour and try again).
  • If you haven't already entered an event on this site then an account will automatically be created when you PROCEED TO PAYMENT.
  • If you have already entered an event on this site then log in with that email.
  • You will receive a registration email to validate your email and create a password; this will be required to access further event information found on this page.
  • If you PROCEED TO PAYMENT then don't complete, or go back, you may encounter an error saying 'account already exists' or similar. Look for the password email to validate or use 'lost your password' found in the login area in the hamburger menu and footer across the site or the sidebar on event pages.
  • Information specific to this event and generic for the future will be stored in your account.
  • You may delete your account at any time but if you do so before the event you remove yourself from the entry list.

You are attending this event.

The following ride details are currently: 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 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.
  • Any queries please use GWRaudax@pedalution.co.uk subject 600srde Query so I can filter them easily.

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:
Usually updated the 5th day before the event - you can join the RWGPS Event in the meantime. The latter 3 'Route File' links below will only work once updated.
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:
Usually updated the 5th day before the event.
Start:

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

The Filling Station Cafe - opens new tab for map.
Main Road, Tintern, Wales, NP16 6SF

Access:

  • Bike -
  • Car -
  • Train -

Parking:
-

Food & Drink:
.

Unless specified otherwise above.

Accommodation:

Finish:

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

Route Controls:

Usually updated the 5th day before the event.

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.