Passing three abbeys in various states, and crossing the old Calne branchline to Taynton & Tibberton village hall; lunch inc cake included in the fee. Follow roads around the Forest of Dean and back across the bridge.
WHEN:08/12/2018 07:00 - 20:44
WHERE:Gary Harris Cycles
Hambrook, Winterbourne, BS16 1QQ
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.
|Entry closes:||Entry (min):
Starting at Gary Harris Cycles you climb up onto The Cotswolds at Hinton making your way east to Lacock to enjoy savouries and cakes from Lacock Bakery. Passing the abbey you head up Bowden Hill to Derry Hill. Descending you will pass the site of Stanley Abbey long since raised to the ground, and also the dismantled Calne branchline, before heading north through Malmesbury passing its abbey. Slowly climb quite roads to The Cotswolds Edge through Minchinhampton. Drop straight down into Stroud and up and over to Gloucester passing across its docks and on to Taynton & Tibberton Hall to enjoy the spread laid on by the local WI; all included in the entry fee. Carrying on you cross the Wye with the Forest of Dean to your left and use the old road to Monmouth. On the descent you will have to join the A40 dual carriageway for 3km but being downhill it is over quick; but please take care on this section! Continue west before the homeward stretch south up George’s Delight and over to Chepstow and The Severn Bridge. Just before the end there is the infamous Fernhill, infamous as for many Bristolian riders it is that last niggle you get coming back from usually an even nigglier ride over the border in Wales.
Starting from Gary Harris Cycles which will be open from 06:30 with track pumps and any other bike related sundries available. There will be refreshments available from the Starbucks on site. Please use the toilets considerately! Car park is open from about 06:00 and will remain open till 20:00. If you think you’ll be late back find on street parking within Frenchay. Finishing at The White Lion, Frenchay; about a mile from the start.
What others think.
Good winter route
I rode this in December 2018. It’s a well organised ride with a higher number of stops than you might usually expect (four, with two of them ‘free’ controls). This makes it much more of a day out than a race round, but I felt was a real help given the colder conditions. Basically riding a couple of hours between each stop. Some challenging climbs, and be prepared for messy winter lanes. Great fun!
Delightful by name...
Was lucky enough to ride this as a route check/change with the organiser. The route heads anti-clockwise from Bristol into Wiltshire and the stunning Lacock Abbey before climbing Northwards over the Cotswolds, with a new diversion at Stroud giving a lovely view behind you as you crest the not insubstantial climb.
After crossing the Severn at Gloucester, you pass over the Northern tip of the Forest of Dean before hitting the Wye Valley, with a stunning view of Goodrich Castle to your right.
Hitting the infamous George’s Delight climb at dusk around 170km into a relatively hilly ride is definitely interesting. It’s narrow, so you can’t weave, and the steepest parts are tree-covered, meaning it stays damp and debris-strewn at that time of year. Add in a nicely rutted surface and you have a pretty serious test. In the end the fact it was dark might help slightly as you don’t know when it’s going to end!
The next section back to Chepstow is an old favourite and with the tunnel vision of night riding and barely another car on the road it felt fast and amazing – almost like flying.
Crossing the Severn Bridge in the dark is always fun, less so the final punchy climb back up to Bristol. A great and varied/interesting winter loop!