Work that Xmas fat off & complete the Festive 500 in one! Be prepared for anything; from freezing cold to winter sun & blue skies to hurricane winds & rain.
EVENT REVIEW SUMMARY:
Extensive route notes and a variety of files will be distributed to entrants via email a week or two before the event. In the mean time 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, especially where rocky outcrops may be present.
Pint 2: The Original – ridden nearly every year since 2014 – no skimping – 1 Ring to rule them all!
Heading off into the early morning the silence of the city outskirts gives way to eager birdsong. Climb atop the Cotswolds for an easy ride to the first control. Onwards edging the Thames Valley, passing through the centre of Oxford and crossing Ot Moor to the lunch stop. Leaving the Vale of Aylesham passing through Woburn Park for a quick run to Cambridge. Head to St Ives on the traffic free path adjacent to the guided busway; in the dark they’ll eerily creep up on you before wooshing past! Onto Higham Ferrers and it’s Christmas lights, Northampton with it’s Christmas tree atop the National Lift Tower, over rolling hills hopefully with twinkling stars above before a welcome respite at
Gaydon’s – not this year, you’ll nip up to the M40 services – 24hr garage! Fast to the Fosse Way, tickle the Cotswolds and cross the Vale of Evesham; will you use an Audax hotel or will you press on? In the early throws of morning it all becomes a blur; head down into the Severn Valley and you’re almost back, Tewkesbury, straight down the A38, Gloucester, keep going, Thornbury traffic lights, left just after past the quarry, Old Gloucester Rd, edge of the city, nearly there, last descent, done! I have done this route bar a few changes thrice in the past between Xmas & NYE; with weather ranging from freezing cold with ice and frost to glorious sunshine one day followed by hurricane winds and walls of water the next to unseasonally warm and benign – be prepared for anything!
Can’t do the calendar dates but still want to give it a go? I have 10 Permanent cards from last year that were going to be the event before Christmas was cancelled. These are available to be done over the Advent period & 12 days of Christmas.
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.
What others think.
Perfect Christmas Challenge
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.
Fantastic Festive 500
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!
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- This event is run in accordance with Audax UK's Regulations and is covered by their insurance.
- At this time COVID-19 restrictions may apply; please see Audax UK news for current situation.
- Additional measures may need to be undertaken for a successful event and for future ones to take place including but not limited to: staggered starts; small groups; postal finish.