Gravel before the Romans! 200

Head off over the Severn Bridge into the Wye Valley and use the Tidenham Tunnel and old railway line north to Biblins. Cross back over the Severn and into The Cotswolds for some Roman Fosse Way. Easy gravel included!

Hambrook [nr Frenchay], City of Bristol | Sun 17th Sep 2023 @ 07:00

WHEN: +iCal
Sun 17th September 2023
07:00 - 21:46
Gary Harris Cycles
Common Mead Ln
Hambrook [nr Frenchay], BS16 1QQ
Gravel before the Romans! 200 1
Award Distance:
Total Distance:
AAA: 2.25
Bronze Grimpeur
Gravel before the Romans! 200 3Enquiries

Head off over the Severn Bridge into the Wye Valley and use the Tidenham Tunnel and old railway line north to Biblins. Cross back over the Severn and into The Cotswolds for some Roman Fosse Way. Easy gravel included!


Cross the Severn Bridge into Wales and the Wye Valley. Use the old railway line through Tidenham Tunnel to Tintern and again later to Redbrook; then again from Biblins and Symonds Yat. Skirt the northern edge of the Forest of Dean before heading east across the Severn Valley and up into The Cotswolds with the obligatory #wills_hills; Bushcombe Lane & Sudeley Castle climbs. On to Guiting Power before heading south picking up the Roman’s Fosse Way. Plenty of gravel for the added fun but nothing technical. Being an advisory route you can easily plan around if it isn’t your thing.

Make a weekend of it and do one of the Saturday rides too!

be aware:

Tidenham Tunnel is a ‘no light zone’ for the bats. Respect this! No ifs or buts; local signage present.

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.

Looking for a gravel bike now

10th May 2022

Fantastic route with low traffic volumes, beautiful scenery and quirky features. I hated the gravel to begin with but then just embraced it and now I want more! Difficult experience to beat

Avatar for Mark

Great Gravel Ride

9th May 2022

What an amazing route, well done! We had a great day, a few accidental detours and one much needed late lunch. Awesome mixture of on and off road. Thank you for taking the time to plotting this route – Fantastic!

Avatar for Mel

Great mix of terrain & a few classic Wills hills

9th May 2022

Just the right balance of terrain and good on/off road splits, normal back lane bias for GWR rides with pretty car free route all round. Introduced to some “right on the doorstep” gravel and trails that will defo use again. Bishop Cleeve & Sudeley climbs are right on par for “Wills hills” and wont disappoint.

Avatar for Mike

Great mixed surface tour of the Wye Valley

9th May 2022

Lovely route with a mix of road, railway paths and fire roads. And some devilish #wills_hills to boot.

We rode on an exceptional hot spring day, but I’ve ridden parts of this route following a period of rain and it’s mostly fast draining all weather-terrain.

Avatar for Peter

Bookings aren't available; either I haven't opened entry yet or if after 15/09/23 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 - 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.
  • Please use 'Enquires' link above for any queries.

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.
20% of the route is unmetalled. Whilst most of this is on level easy gravel there is the odd section that is slightly harder and may involve some mud on a bridleway.
Whilst using paths and tracks respect other users, consider them the more vulnerable user at all times.

Please check the route notes for any cautionary points. Remember there is a NO LIGHT POLICY IN TIDENHAM TUNNEL - NO EXCEPTIONS!! Turn them off, this is part of the bat license for using the tunnel. More info here.
Route Files:

CSV route notes - these can be edited in any spreadsheet software.


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 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:

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.


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.

  • 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.
No parking at the start.

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

Gary Harris Cycles - opens new tab for map.
Common Mead Ln, Hambrook [nr Frenchay], City of Bristol, BS16 1QQ


  • Bike - Not far from the Ring Road Path. From the centre use Stapleton Road.
  • Car - M32 J1 follow signs to Frenchay. Take 1st RIGHT after traffic lights and follow signs to Golf Centre. To park in Frenchay Village take 1st LEFT after traffic lights.
  • Train - Bristol Parkway is the closest mainline station.

On street near by - No parking available at the start - please use local on road parking in and around Frenchay Village; Beckspool Rd and Frenchay Hill have no parking restrictions.

Food & Drink:
Drinks available.
Tea & coffee at Gary's
Unless specified otherwise above.

Local Hotels


White Lion, Frenchay. Food served until 21:00. - opens new tab for map & a few details.

Route Controls:

  • DEPART: FRENCHAY - Gary Harris Cycles | 07:00
  • C1 @ 57km | CONTROL: BIBLINS - Tea Garden | 08:54-10:59 | You will need to leave your bike on the other side of the river so I highly suggest you bring some form of lock
  • C2 @ 102km | INFO: APPERLEY - see brevet
  • C3 @ 129km | CONTROL: TEMPLE GUITING - Old Post Office Cafe | 11:18-16:02
  • ARRIVEE: FRENCHAY - White Lion | 14:10-22:02

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!

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!


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.

GWRaudax | Gravel before the Romans! 200 | BR
Gravel before the Romans! 200 101

211km⇉ & 2708m⇈ | 2.25AAA | Head off over the Severn Bridge into the Wye Valley and use the Tidenham Tunnel and old railway line north to Biblins. Cross back over the Severn and into The Cotswolds for some Roman Fosse Way. Easy gravel included!

Event Type: SportsEvent

Event Attendance Mode: OfflineEventAttendanceMode

Event Status: EventScheduled

Performer: Person

Performer Name: Great Western Randonnées

Performer URL:

Start Date: 2023-09-17 07:00

End Date: 2023-09-17 21:46

Ticket URL:

Entry Price: 8.00

Currency: GBP

Availability: InStock

Availability Starts: 2023-09-17T07:00:00

Editor's Rating: