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.
WHEN:29/12/2021 - 30/12/2021 06:00 - 17:31
Easton, BS5 6NG
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 – Head 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!
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.
Go big or go home
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!
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!