Full Fat Festive 500 Pint 1

Work that Xmas fat off & complete the Festive 500 in 1 (pint)! Be prepared for anything; from freezing cold to winter sun & blue skies to hurricane winds & rain.

Easton, City of Bristol | Wed 27th Dec 2023 @ 16:00

WHEN: +iCal
Wed 27th December 2023
16:00 - 03:44
Fri 29th December 2023
WHERE:
Headquarters
Berwick Road
Easton, BS5 6NG
Validation:
BR
Full Fat Festive 500 Pint 1 1
Award Distance:
500
Total Distance:
511km
Duration:
35h44
Speeds:
14.3-25kph
Climb:
4930m
AAA: 0.00
Rainbow Flat
Full Fat Festive 500 Pint 1 3Enquiries
BRIEF:
Rated 5.0 out of 5

Work that Xmas fat off & complete the Festive 500 in 1 (pint)! Be prepared for anything; from freezing cold to winter sun & blue skies to hurricane winds & rain.

Full Fat Festive 500 Pint 1 builds on the challenge of The Original!

Description:

Beeline it out of Bristol going north on easy roads as night quickly sets in over the Severn Valley. Some of it is flat and fast, some a bit lumpier as you flank the valley floor.

Late evening cross the Severn at the historic Iron Bridge and leave it behind passing through Wellington; then roughly track the course of the old GWR dual line through Market Drayton and on to Crewe.

Turning you shadow the mainline to Shrewsbury and back into the Severn Valley. On into Wales you go as daylight appears at some point depending on your ooomph.

Then to Llangurig before the final leg along easily navigable roads that you have probably done before but in warmer months; no controls but 24hr MDs in Newtown & later Greggs on A470 to stop for a respite.

Cross the bridge back over the Severn and you are almost there! Unless you choose to do the Double Creamed….

Dates:

Can’t do the calendar dates, or want to start it else where, but still want to give it a go? I have 10 Permanent cards left from the year Christmas was cancelled. These are available to be done over the Advent period & 12 days of Christmas.

IMPORTANT:

This is an X-rated event for experienced randonneurs and endurance cyclists only. The organiser accepts no responsibility for winter weather or road conditions and you undertake this event entirely at your own risk.

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.

Another star from Will

Rated 5.0 out of 5
3rd January 2023

I think it is now a well worn route, but it was my first FFF500 and I thoroughly enjoyed. Wet damp miserable, but this is England in December after all. Not totally flat, but enough climbing to make it interesting. Wet all the way out to the first control at Farringdon, then dry to Winslow. Had an absolute blast to Cambridge via Oxford with a wicked tailwind by which time it was dark again. Onto St Ives via the bus way which is magical at night. Tailwind had become a cross wind and now a headwind. St Ives to Northampton for food and rest…Travelodge is an excellent on router stop. Up after a few hours to go through back lanes to Tewkesbury, fighting a strong head wind and more rain as the night receded. Then the challenge of the A38 all the way to Bristol, rain and strong winds…test your mettle. Then on via back roads back to Bristol and back to the start before it was dark. Really good challenge and nice welcome from Will and Pomeroy junior…recommended

Avatar for Gideon
Gideon

Perfect Christmas Challenge

Rated 5.0 out of 5
23rd February 2020

Fabulous audax. Excellent communication-esp how to get around the floods. Northampton came at just the right point for a sleep- I know it is not very audax, but I do like a shower and a proper bed- and there was plenty of choice there. The Christmas lights on all the houses were very pretty and really cheered up the long dark evening (thanks for organising that Will). The only thing I would change if possible would be the quite long and busy A road before Cambridge- a car nearly took us out on it. The other audaxers were delightful and I really appreciated the welcome Will gave us at the end.

Avatar for Ali
Ali

Fantastic Festive 500

Rated 5.0 out of 5
9th February 2020

Wow … just wow! What an amazing and challenging ride to end 2019!. Yes there were some A-road sections that felt a bit long and some navigational moments requiring a good level of concentration, but this is massively offset by the ride through countless stunning lanes and picturesque villages, all decked with “bells and holly” – its a Christmas extravaganza! Accommodation at 340KM in a proper Audax hotel … a 100yr old bus shelter, only served to add to the adventure. A very warm welcome from Will at the ariveé, accompanied with hot food and drink was the icing on the “Christmas” cake…chapeau!

Avatar for Nic
Nic

Go big or go home

Rated 5.0 out of 5
4th February 2020

Great way to tick the Festive 500 box, but a great ride in its own right. Northampton makes the perfect mid ride stop (Travelodge for me for 25GBP, bargain) for those of us who like a kip in this length of ride.

Blessed with pretty mild weather in 2019, if there was another Beast from the East it would be a different kettle of fish!

Avatar for George
George

Great Event

Rated 5.0 out of 5
3rd February 2020

Like others have said, this is a great way to tick off the festive 500 if that’s what you’re interested in but it’s much more than that.

I really enjoyed this one, rode mainly solo and had a couple of sleeps, one in McDonalds Northampton for 15min and then an ‘Audax hotel’ just short of Tewkesbury for 20min.

It took me a few hours longer than I though it would and the headwind back to Bristol was tough after 16 hour period of darkness!

Looking back, I really enjoyed the longer event at this time of year, a new challenge and one which will certainly help with the ultra distance events I’m looking at for this year.

Finally, but most importantly the hospitality, sausage bap and hot drink at the start is a great way to start with all the other mad cyclists there at 5-6am, WhatsApp group to share info and make sure everyone’s safe and then Will looking after everyone so well at the Arrive despite being up to his neck in restoring his home!

See you next year and lets pray for the weather again because this would be a whole different prospect with that to deal with!

Avatar for Paul
Paul


Bookings aren't available; either I haven't opened entry yet or if after 26/12/23 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.
  • Any queries please use GWRaudax@pedalution.co.uk subject 500fff1 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:

The main advisory points to note are but not limited to:

  • Non gritted routes are marked in blue within RWGPS route
  • A selection of facilites (24hr services, shops etc) are also noted within the RWGPS route

Due to the time of year and there being a higher probability of big weather I have set up a WhatsApp group to relay any problems encoutered by yourself or other riders (on DC1000 & FFF5500s). To make sure information gets through clearly it'll be set so I can only post during the event so if you do encounter something (ice, flood, cheap Magnums etc) message me direct through the app and I'll forward into the group. Follow this link to join: https://chat.whatsapp.com/EKDsjiQVY8eKVTAaczxNdF.

If you have selected to do as a perm you may start anywhere on the route at any time to finish before or on 5th Jan. If you don't start/finish at a control you will also need to get proof of passage (receipt etc) from where you do start/finish; and if so make sure you let me know when you are starting.

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:

The start will be open from 15:30. It is my home and you will gather outside. Tea and coffee available as are flapjacksyou can stock up on. Bags can be left. No toilet for the start.

Also finishing at my home but by this time you'll be nicely spread out so bang on the door any time and be welcomed in for some hot food and drink. If it is the early hours give me a bell when you are coming into Bristol.

Start:

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

Headquarters - opens new tab for map.
Berwick Road, Easton, City of Bristol, BS5 6NG

Access:

  • Bike - Easily accessible from the Frome Way, a couple on minutes from the Bristol & Bath Railway Path
  • Car - M32 J2 - use Easton turning immediately before M32 slip going into town.
  • Train - Stapleton Road station in a few hundred metres away. Otherwise Bristol Temple Meads and Parkway.

Parking:
On street near by - Alternatively use Bristol Parkway long stay

Food & Drink:
Food available.
Usually a vegan rice based dish for a meal.
Unless specified otherwise above.

Accommodation:
YHA located in the centre.

Finish:

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

Route Controls:

This is an X-rated event, controls are primarily for proof of passage but most will have some form of food available most of the time.

  • 0km | DEPART: EASTON - 19 Berwick Rd | 16:00
  • 121km | CONTROL: BEWDLEY [FREE] - collect receipt | 20:50-00:28
  • 222km | COCONTROL: CREWE 24hr Serv | 00:52-07:32
  • 357km | INFO: LLANGURIG - see brevet
  • 512km | ARRIVEE: EASTON - 19 Berwick Rd | 12:28-03:50

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.