Moonrakers & Sunseekers 300
2022

Moonrakers become Sunseekers! Ride through the night under a full moon to the coast. Return via a few Dorset hills passing Glastonbury Tor, use the Strawberry Line to Bristol.

Easton, City of Bristol | Fri 11th Nov 2022 @ 22:00

WHEN: +iCal
Fri 11th November 2022
22:00 - 18:32
Sat 12th November 2022
WHERE:
Felix Road Adventure Playground
Felix Road
Easton, BS5 0JW
Moonrakers & Sunseekers 300 1 Validation:
BR
Award:
300
Total:
308km
Duration:
20h32
Speeds:
15-30kph
Climb:
2295m
AAA: 0.00
Rainbow Flat
BRIEF:
Rated 4.8 out of 5

Moonrakers become Sunseekers! Ride through the night under a full moon to the coast. Return via a few Dorset hills passing Glastonbury Tor, use the Strawberry Line to Bristol.

Description:

Moonrakers & Sunseekers is the winter 300 to do! Described by some as a new classic audax. Come join the fun!

Head straight out of Bristol through Bath and watch the trail of lights climb the Cat 4 climb of Bathwick Hill; the biggest of the ride. Continue on easily navigated roads to Devizes, passing The Crammer where legend has it Wiltshire folk were caught by the Excisemen raking for ‘the moon’. Continue down the Avon Valley through Salisbury and edging The New Forest, along the coast to Poole Harbour. Moonrakers wane as Sunseekers come into view; those luxury yachts at Poole Quay! Heading home pass through the chocolate box village of Milton Abbas and past the Abbey in the Dorset Hills and on. Into Somerset passing Glastonbury Tor and across The Levels to Axbridge. Then use The Strawberry Line railway path through the end of The Mendips and pass orchards to stop at The Strawberry Line Cafe before returning to Bristol.

Details:

Groups: Whilst COVID restrictions have eased I may still use large groups and a staggered start time to ease the pressure on controls of every one arriving simultaneously. Please include any body you wish to ride with in a group in the booking form. Your average moving speed will help tier groups but isn’t vital.

Provided: Tea and coffee at the start. Breakfast jackets, hot drinks & bananas at Lilliput Sea Scout Hut about half way. Probably tarka dal at the finish and hot drinks. Cake!

Parking: On street local parking. I’d suggest trying the roads around Bannerman Road Community Academy; All Hallows, Graham & Normanby. Please be considerate of residents and keep the noise down.

Caution:

There will likely be sand on the promenade and mud on the Strawberry Line. Nothing many others haven’t managed in the past.

Waiting List:

Should capacity be reached a waiting list will be used. To ensure efficient management it will be a paid entry through the booking system below. Should a place become available you will be notified in order that you have a space and considered entered as if you entered normally and a confirmation email sent. From the Wednesday before the event if a space then becomes available you can decline this space; a full refund will then be given as it will to all those who don’t gain a space.

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.

Great Challenge

Rated 5.0 out of 5
28th November 2023

2023 was a very cold year for the ride and biggest challenge for me alongside the tiredness but the route and stops were excellent and the daylight was enough of a boost to keep me going. Thanks so much!

Avatar for Olive
Olive

The best audaxes are about people not points

Rated 5.0 out of 5
27th November 2023

This was a fantastic ride for reasons I didn’t expect. The route and scenery (as well as the moonlit night sky and the early morning sunshine) exceeded expectations. The overnight temperature was freezing, so wrapping up was very important. The really impressive thing about the event was the people: the volunteers and organisers were encouraging, positive and friendly. I arrived way too late to collect my Brevet card, and for various reasons to do with overpacing and GPS device failure, didn’t make the time cut off. But I still got around, and, as Will pointed out as he was locking the gate at the finish just as I arrived, completing these distances is an achievement in itself. And there’s always next year!

Avatar for Stephen
Stephen

Great organisers and manned controls, but not a huge fan of the first half of the route

Rated 3.0 out of 5
23rd December 2022

Positives: Very well organised, clear route and instructions, manned controls had delicious food, volunteers all very friendly, second half of route on quite lanes

Negatives: The first half of the route is largely on A-roads, a tiny amount of dual carriageway, and some navigation of multi-lane roundabouts.

As this section is covered in the early hours of the day, there was very little traffic, so it was not a problem from a safety perspective. However, it was difficult to switch off my mind and relax, as I was constantly wary of the occasional car coming up behind too quickly. Being A-roads, there’s also very little to see — the scenery is largely monotonous — compared to cycling on B-roads or unclassified roads at night, where there’s frequently a landmark or wildlife to draw you attention.

I have to admit I did not check the route before taking part, so I am hardly in a position to complain.

Avatar for KC
KC

Response from Pedalution

Thanks KC. A reminder for those reading it is an advisory route meaning you can choose an alternative route between controls should you desire; yet control times and finish times remain the same.

Moonrakers 2022 - Best route and best weather!

Rated 5.0 out of 5
21st November 2022

One of Will’s best routes and there wasn’t even a 20%+ hill on the ride! Friday night starts for a 300km are a great idea as you get to finish in the light of the day on Saturday afternoon and still have over half of the weekend free. Aside from Will’s amazing commitment there were also a really great team of Moonraker helpers which made the whole event a real success. Definitely do this ride you won’t regret it. Two weeks after and I am still looking back on it as the best ride for me in 2022. Very lucky with the weather this year however :).

Avatar for Brad
Brad

Magical moonrakers and sunseekers

Rated 5.0 out of 5
20th November 2022

4th moonrakers & sunseekers for me, & the 1st dry one with excellent views of the moon & a brilliant sun rise, it was more like riding in April than November 🙂. A massive thanks to will & all his helpers on a truly magical night.

Avatar for Steve
Steve


Bookings aren't available; either I haven't opened entry yet or if after 09/11/22 then they have closed.


You are attending this event.


STATUS: Specific details are Pending - all specifics are usually updated the 5th day before the event.



  • 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 5th day 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 300ms 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.

Files and links further down, please read through the following first.

EXTRA DETAILS:
The main advisory points to note are:

  • @91km | Salisbury checkpoint is on a dogleg, make sure you know where it is to prevent your device blindly leading you straight on.
  • 143-151km | !!Sand in places on promenade!! Pay attention for other users - advised max speed of 10mph.
  • @153km | Lilliput (Poole) control is on a dogleg down an unmetalled track, make sure you know where it is to prevent your device blindly leading you right onto the SP.
  • @154km | After above control shared path with bollards either end, new segregated path in places.
  • @167km | Road and left bend ahead can be slippy with leaf litter.
  • @202km | !!POSSIBLE ICE!! in dip down to river bridge.
  • 263-280km | !!Probable mud on Strawberry Line SP!! Pay attention for other users.
I have included a Stonehenge detour with the RWGPS event. It uses some byway and bridleway to cross you back over the A303 and use path adjacent back onto the old road to Amesbury (At West Amesbury you could go down the Woodford (Avon) Valley to Salisbury.
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 21:00 for tea and coffee. Bags can be left in a side room.

A further email on Thursday will give you your start time; they will be either 21:40, 22:00, 22:20 or 22:40 based on your selected average moving speed.
Start:

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

Felix Road Adventure Playground - opens new tab for map.
Felix Road, Easton, City of Bristol, BS5 0JW

Access:

  • Bike - Easily located off the Bristol & Bath Railway Path NCN4.
  • Car - Use Easton Road B4465 into All Hallows Rd for suggested local parking.
  • Train - Bristol Temple Meads side entrance links to the Bristol to Bath Railway Path NCN4.

Parking:
On street near by - Limited parking around Bannerman Road Community Academy or urban side roads. Otherwise parking at Bristol Parkway Railway Station (paid) is a good option.

Food & Drink:
Food & Drinks available.
Included - Hot drinks at start & finish. Dal and rice or similar for evening meal.
Unless specified otherwise above.

Accommodation:
City centre hotels & YHA

Finish:

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

Route Controls:

All times are based on a 22:00 start. +/- however many minutes your start group is for yours.

  • @0km | 22:00 | DEPART: EASTON - Felix Road Adventure Playground
  • @50km | 23:42-01:24 | CHECKPOINT: DEVIZES - Moonrakers PH
  • @91km | 01:02-04:04 | CHECKPOINT: SALISBURY - Boat House PH (50p or card for toilets)
  • @132km | INFO: HINTON ADMIRAL - see brevet card
  • @154km | 03:08-08:16 | CONTROL: LILLIPUT - Sea Scouts
  • @227km | 05:34-13:08 | CONTROL: PODIMORE SERVICES [free] - collect receipt
  • @280km | 07:18-16:36 | CONTROL: YATTON - Strawberry Line Cafe - door on platform
  • @164km | 08:18-18:36 | ARRIVEE: EASTON - Felix Road Adventure Playground

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!

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!

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.