Pauline Porter Populaire 2-2-2
2024

Ever fancied doing The Classic Bryan Chapman Memorial 600 End 2 End but been put off by the sleep deprivation? The 3 day Pauline Porter Populaire variation has you coverd!

Bulwark, Chepstow, Monmouthshire | Fri 17th May 2024 @ 07:00

WHEN: +iCal
Fri 17th May 2024
07:00 - 01:12
Mon 20th May 2024
WHERE:
Nellie's Coffee Shop
Wye Valley Country Stores, Unit 6, 9 Beaufort Pk Wy
Bulwark, Chepstow, NP16 5UH
Validation:
BP
Pauline Porter Populaire 2-2-2 1
Award Distance:
600
Total Distance:
620km
Duration:
66h12
Speeds:
9.3-10.3kph
Climb:
10589m
AAA: 10.50
Apex Grimper
Pauline Porter Populaire 2-2-2 3Enquiries
BRIEF:

Ever fancied doing The Classic Bryan Chapman Memorial 600 End 2 End but been put off by the sleep deprivation? The 3 day Pauline Porter Populaire variation has you coverd!

The Pauline Porter Populaire 2-2-2 long distance cycling event is a journey the length of Wales from Chepstow to Menai Bridge and back.

New for 2024. Enjoy the delights of the classic Bryan Chapman Memorial 600km but as a 3 day Populaire; a bit hillier, a tad longer, quieter roads where possible, more sleep!

Need slightly less sleep? Also new for 2024 is the Anglesey & Back 300+300 split half way.

Pauline Porter

Pauline Porter is the creator of the original Anglesey & Back 600 and a friend of Bryan Chapman; riding the original event with him. I’m proud she has let me honour her by naming this Populaire after her. Pauline will be about during the event so you can have a chat with her about its history.

Description:
Event speeds:

9.3-10.3kph is the overall speed for the Arrivée opening times.
Daily times are based on 12.5-25kph for each days’ latest start. The control opening times for Saturday’s & Sunday’s first controls are adjusted for any early risers that want to set off from 07:00; this will equate to about 20kph moving average and there will be a few hills before the controls.

Day 1:

07:00 START. Heading north into the Usk Valley you’ll make quick progress as the adrenaline rushes you up and over the Black Mountains to Honey Cafe for the first control. Follow the Wye Valley, on the old Mid-Wales Railway track bed in places, then utilise parts of the old A470 to Rhayader where you make a beeline to Llandidloes on quieter roads.

The fun begins as you ride up to Llyn Clywedog reservoir on the west side and over the Machynlleth Mountain Road with views of Cadair Idris on the horizon; perhaps one of the best roads in the UK. Cross the Dyfi into Snowdonia and stick to the stunning estuary & coast going through Aberdyfi & Tywyn to get to…

Kings YHA from the top nestled below Cadair Idris’ peak – the third control and your first sleep stop.

  • Distance: 225km
  • Climb: 3686m
  • Finish by: 01:00 [based on 12.5kph]
Day 2:

07:00-08:00 START: From here you will do the top loop in reverse compared to the other routes so in the afternoon you’ll pass the other riders coming in the opposite direction.

Head to Dolgellau and climb up to Llyn Trawsfynydd on quiet roads for a fast descent on the main. Your first control is at Tan-y-Bwlch Station Tea Rooms on the Ffestiniog Railway.

Through Beddgelert you’ll pass west of Snowdon to Rhyd Ddu and on to Menai Bridge for the second control.

Coming back climb Pen y Pass from the north for the third control at the top before back to Beddgelert. Then along the coast past Harlech Castle and over Barmouth Bridge to Kings YHA for your second night; don’t forget to engage the granny gear as you turn off the main road!

  • Distance: 173km
  • Climb: 2934m
  • Finish by: 22:00 [based on 08:00 start @ 12.5kph]
Day 3:

07:00-08:00 START: Heading back up the hill to once again see Cadair Idris’ peak you’ll make your way towards Cross Foxes. Follow the NCN over to Dyfi Forest and valley before up and over into the Carno for your first control at Cafe JoJo in Llanbrymair. Pass through Newtown then up and over into the quiet Teme Valley to Knighton.

Head south keeping within Wales to Ross on Wye and Gospel Pass, Wales’ highest paved road with its stunning views across the Wye Valley!

Descend into Llanthony Valley, opposite the Priory is Treats the final control where you can get some stunning grub.

The final leg awaits to Monmouth and the Wye Valley once more; finishing off by passing Tintern Abbey then back to the Arrivée.

  • Distance: 221km
  • Climb: 3925m
  • Finish by: 01:12 [based on 08:00 start @ 12.5kph]
Details:
  • Food & drink provided at Kings YHA, Menai Bridge & the Arrivée.
    • The ‘menu’ will be provided later with the final ride details.
    • Every endeavour will be made to cater for all dietary requirements.
    • However if you require specialist provision any precooked meals you provide can be transported from the start to the controls.
  • Bag drop provided to Kings YHA.
  • Sleeping – Entry with bed:
    • Beds and blankets provided at Kings YHA.
    • Entries limited by beds; there will be no hot bedding.
  • Sleeping – Entry with camping:
    • Reduced rate for campers.
    • Bring you own kit.
    • Tents, sleeping bags etc transported with bag drop.
Innage Farm, Mathern – for the start/finish:

Camping Thursday night: £7 tent | £10 van
Parking Friday to Sunday: £5
Camping Sunday night: see Jane or Mike at the Farm once you finish.

Places to discuss with other riders:
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.

The best BCM yet

23rd May 2023

Superb. Enjoyed the route even more than my 2 previous BCM’s, particularly the ‘morning’ (for me) section around the headland to Aberdovey. Although the night section shortcut through Rhyd was one kicker of a climb I’d happily avoid next time. The run back through the lanes around Weobley was far more enjoyable than previous routes down through Llandrindod Wells, even if it was a little slower going. All the organisers and helpers were fabulous and the ACB riders in particular were very friendly. The weather wasn’t bad either 😉 thanks Will.

Avatar for Gerard
Gerard

The best long weekend of cycling in the UK - PPP222

30th May 2024

I can’t recommend this event highly enough. Stunning scenery, challenging and rewarding route, fabulous controls and time to take it all in without worrying about the clock. The set up at Kings works really well and it was a real luxury to have a bed for 2 nights. Thanks to Will and all the volunteers who made this such an exceptional event.

Avatar for Kate
Kate

Pauline Porter and the amazing welsh weather

29th May 2024

The new 3 day option isn’t easy, but was always the right side of enjoyable, even with the +2000m or so of climb over the BCM. Definitely a great 3 days on the bike, lots of new (to me) roads. Also the bonus of no sleep deprevation and only modest teeth grinding on Gospel pass. Kudos to all the endlessly cheerful volunteers who gave up their time.

Avatar for MarkN
MarkN

As good as it gets

29th May 2024

There are two events every Randonneur should ride; PBP and the Bryan Chapman Memorial, this is without doubt the best 600km event I have ridden. A few main roads to make efficient progress in group riding for the first 200km, then the hills start, and every hill rewards the rider with a spectacular view. Most of the energy is returned to the rider on the descents which are glorious, not much wasted in excessive braking. All of Wales in a day, and then back again the next day. Controls are good with not much waiting around for food. The return leg is more testing that it used to be, but avoids sharing the main roads with motorbike clubs on a Sunday afternoon.

Machynleth, Harlech beach, Pen-y-Pass, Menai Bridge, Gospel Pass Tintern Abbey. You will not find a more scenic event, hopefully you will still have enough in the legs to climb the gospel pass after 530km

Avatar for James
James

A challenge has to take you outside your comfort zone.

29th May 2024

If this was a flat 600km I would have been happy with getting up and down from Bangor but it wouldn’t have been a challenging ride. The BCM 2024 was a challenge, at least for me, and I’ll be honest, at the time I was incredulous at what we were being asked to climb, but after the fact, and this was perhaps no more than one hour after we finished, possibly as the endorphins kicked in I was elated and knew for certain that I’d never forget this ride – my first BCM. I would seriously suggest that you enter Brevet Cymru (400km) a couple of weeks prior because as well as being a ‘hilly’ warm up it will, if you are a beginner as I was myself, give you experience of riding at night and testing your nutrition strategy. For me Brevet Cymru was invaluable, because it made me change my gearing to one more suitable for hilly terrain, 50/34 up front and 11-34 out back, stock up on gels, and sorted out which lights to use for night riding. It also gave me the confidence to know i could make the sleep control at around 390km. Anyway, for BCM2024 we were blessed with the weather, I just needed arm warmers and a light jacket in the night to keep warm. The route as many will tell you is pretty flattish until Llanidloes when it starts to go up with several steep pitches, especially at Llyn Clewedog and Kings Youth Hostel. If your gearing allows you to turn the cranks within your Z3/4 power output you’ll be fine. Getting to Pen-y-Pass near Snowden is awesome as then is reaching Menai Bridge. Slower riders like myself then left for the final ‘night riding’ leg to Aberdyfi which involves some climbing, but ironically its welcome as it keeps you warm. I slept at Aberdyfi for 2-3 hours, having a drop bag was invaluable as i kept a sleeping bag and gels in it plus the toothbrush. Out in the morning at 6am and i was greeted by the rolling mist receding out to sea revealing a magical seascape dotted with boats, it was genuinely a thrilling moment and the one that i’m happy I had the privilege to see. It’s only just over 200km to the finish, but by God it isn’t easy, and I’ll say it again, I’m glad it wasn’t, I feel a better person for having overcome this challenge. The very best part was meeting other riders. I latched onto someone virtually from the the first climb out of Chepstow and we stayed together for the whole ride, alternatively chatting or just zoning into our task, him climbing ahead, me catching up on the descents, waiting for each other, or stopping when the other needed a rest. Hand on heart `i don’t think I could have finished the ride without ‘Tony’ just being there. The other riders were similarly helpful and full of encouragement.

Finally, the organisation was spot on, not overbearing but offering all you needed to help you on your way.

I coming back. I leant a heck of lot about myself, my equipment, how to paperboy (!!!), and I want to put these to the test, apart from the paperboying, again next year.

Avatar for Ilyas
Ilyas


Bookings aren't available; either I haven't opened entry yet or if after 15/05/24 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 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.
  • 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.
EXTRA DETAILS:

The route is similar to the Bryan Chapman but does diverge in places. For example a quieter more challenging route may for added views and to avoid some main road drags. Should you decide to follow a different route in places this is fine but all controls must be visited.

The main advisory points to note are:

  • @16km - D1.16km | !!Poor surface on descent!!
  • @147km - D1.147km | !!Cattle grid on descent before corner!!
  • @361km - D2.135km | (Penrhyndeudreath) !!Oblique Level Xing!!
  • @390km - D2.164km | (Barmouth Bridge) !!Pedestrians - possible sand & slippery wooden bridge ahead!!
  • @422km - D3.22km | (Talerddig) TL lane control !!SINGLE FILE - Lights may change against you as climbing!!
  • @506km - D3.106km | (Whitton) !!GW lane control on descent!!
  • @550km - D3.150km | !!Poor surface after Capel y Ffin and again after newly surfaced 'Landslip Corner'!!
  • @589km - D3.189km | (Monmouth) !!Pedestrainas - Bollards!! on Monnow Bridge.
  • @591km - D3.191km | (Monmouth) !!Dismount 25m!!
  • There are additional gates at various points noted in the route notes. Also other cattle grids than one noted above.

The full route is split into days, and also between controls. These are all included in the RWGPS Event. The full RWGPS route has each day linked in the description; then each day has its individual control sections linked within.

I have also included an alternative route for D3 to C1 following NCN8 up and over to the Dyfi Forest. This is spectacular but challenging so I suggest if you do want to give it a go set off at 07:00 and expect to be towards the end of C1's control window.

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:

Nellie's Coffee Shop:

  • Please arrive from 06:00 onwards on Friday.
  • Hot drinks and some savories will be available.
  • There is NO PARKING, use Innage Farm.
  • Bag drop to Kings YHA:
    • 1 per person + camping equipment.
    • Make sure your bag is labelled with your name etc.
    • Bags will be returned to Chepstow early afternoon on Sunday; any left bags can be returned at your cost.
    • The bag drop is for clothes, toothbrush, powerbank (if you have one bring it rather than a wall charger) etc.

Bulwark Community Centre:

  • Welsh cakes and others, plus hot drinks will be available at the finish.
  • I have extended the cut off as will be there anyway for the finish of Anglesey & Back 300+300.
    • Start:

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

      Nellie’s Coffee Shop - opens new tab for map.
      Wye Valley Country Stores, Unit 6, 9 Beaufort Pk Wy, Bulwark, Chepstow, Monmouthshire, NP16 5UH

      Access:

      Parking:
      No Parking -

      No parking - drop off allowed. Parking will be available at Innage Farm for £5 and will be open from 06:00; turn up and pay on arrival.

      Food & Drink:
      Food & Drinks available.
      To purchase from Nellie's.
      Unless specified otherwise above.

      Accommodation:

      Camping will be available at Innage Farm for Thursday night and is where the car park is located. Turn up and pay on the day.

      • Tent £7
      • Van/Camper £10
      For hotels etc in the local area see here.

      Finish:

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

Route Controls:

  • @0km - D1.0km | DEPART: CHEPSTOW - Nellie's Coffee Shop | 07:00
  • @74km - D1.74km | CONTROL: BRONLLYS - Honey Cafe | 09:57-12:55
  • @139km - D1.145km | CONTROL: LLYN CLYWEDOG - Caffi Clywedog | 12:48-18:36
  • @188km - D1.188km | INFO: ABERDYFI - Village Hall - see brevet
  • @226km - D1.226km | CONTROL: nr DOLGELLAU - Kings YHA | 16:02-01:05
  • @226km - D2.0km | CONTROL: nr DOLGELLAU - Kings YHA | 07:00-08:00
  • @240km - D2.14km | INFO: imm after bridge - Post Box - see brevet
  • @266km - D2.40km | CONTROL: TAN-Y-BWLCH - Station Cafe | 09:00-11:12
  • @311km - D2.85km | CONTROL: MENAI BRIDGE - Menai Heritage Thomas Telford Centre | 11:00-14:48
  • @337km - D2.111km | CHECKPOINT: PEN Y GWRYD HOTEL [junc before Pen y Pass] - 2nd car park | 12:10-16:53
  • @372km - D2.145km | INFO: HARLECH - see brevet.
  • @400km - D2.174km | CONTROL: nr DOLGELLAU - Kings YHA | 15:00-22:00
  • @400km - D3.0km | CONTROL: nr DOLGELLAU - Kings YHA | 07:00-08:00
  • @448km - D3.48km | CONTROL: CARNO - Aleppo Merchant Inn (food until 12:15) | 09:00-11:50
  • @499km - D3.99km | CONTROL: KNIGHTON - Offa's Dyke Centre | 11:00-15:55
  • @555km - D3.155km | CONTROL: LLANTHONY - Treat's Camping & Cafe - continue through gate | 13:30-20:24
  • @595km - D3.195km | INFO: REDBROOK - Village Stores & PO - see brevet.
  • @618km - D3.218km | ARRIVEE: CHEPSTOW - Bulwark Community Centre | 16:00-02:00

Control food:

  • DEPART (£): as menu.
  • Honey Cafe (£): as per menu.
  • Kings YHA (provided):
    • Dinner - tarka daal & rice; cakes; fruit.
    • Breakfast - beans, sausages (meat & veggie/vegan), toast, mushrooms; cereal; cakes; fruit.
  • Tan-y-bwlch Station (£): as per menu.
  • Menai Bridge (provided): veggie soup & bread; cakes; fruit.
  • Kings YHA (provided):
    • Dinner - pasta & veg; cakes; fruit.
    • Breakfast - beans, sausages (meat & veggie/vegan), toast, mushrooms; cereal; cakes; fruit.
  • Aleppo Merchant Inn (£): as menu - open for food until 12:15. There is a Spar shortly before & cafes in Aberdyfi & Newtown.
  • Offa's Dyke Centre (£): some hot savories & cakes.
  • Treat's Cafe (£ CASH ONLY): toast; cereal; cakes; crisps; fruit. £5 will do you for a cake & hot drink.
  • ARRIVEE (provided): Welsh cakes; cakes.
  • Free tea, coffee & squash at all of the (provided) above.

Arrangements @Kings:

  • Bed Booking:
    • For those that have booked a bed this will be your for both nights.
    • Bedding provided provided.
    • Bring some ear plugs!
  • Camping:
    • You are responsible for setting up and taking down your tent etc.
    • If any more beds are available due to no shows these will be on a 1st come 1st served basis.
  • Showers:
    • The Female room in the annexe will have en-suite bathroom & showers.
    • Male rooms in the annexe will also be en suite, those in the main building are individual but shared.
    • Campers will use the shared in main building.
    • Bring your own towel.

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!
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.