Plains, Trains & no more Automobiles 200

Salisbury Plain, steam trains, & neolithic Avebury, Woodhenge & Stonehenge; approach on the byway with the best views and leave on the old closed main road. A rolling route with a few #wills_hills at the end for good measure!

Warmley, City of Bristol | Sat 14th Oct 2023 @ 07:00

WHEN: +iCal
Sat 14th October 2023
07:00 - 20:52
WHERE:
Warmley Station
Bristol And Bath Railway Path
Warmley, BS30 5JB
Validation:
BR
Plains, Trains & no more Automobiles 200 1
Award Distance:
200
Total Distance:
208km
Duration:
13h52
Speeds:
15-30kph
Climb:
2153m
AAA: 0.00
Rainbow Flat
Plains, Trains & no more Automobiles 200 3Enquiries
BRIEF:

Salisbury Plain, steam trains, & neolithic Avebury, Woodhenge & Stonehenge; approach on the byway with the best views and leave on the old closed main road. A rolling route with a few #wills_hills at the end for good measure!

Plains, Trains & no more Automobiles takes you past heritage railways, across Salisbury Plain and passes through the UNESCO World Heritage sites of Avebury and Stonehenge & Woodhenge.

description:

Departing from Warmley you’ll head east scaling the Cotswold escarpment for a gentle cruise through Malmesbury to the Whistlestop Cafe at Blunsdon Station; watch out for the trains!

Then south through Avebury’s earthern works and stone circle, over the Pewsey Downs for stunning views across the Vale and down Wiltshire’s Avon valley.

Turning west onto Salisbury Plain you’ll visit the lesser known neolithic site of Woodhenge first before using a 1km section of byway to approach Stonehenge giving you amazing views; you can get quite close to the stones here without paying to take in their time defying presence. Having made your way between tumulii using the closed main road you then continue across the Plain; time to form some trains if there is a headwind!

Into the wonderful Wylye Valley you go and Ginny’s Cafe at The Ginger Piggery.

Pass East Somerset Railway before the last few #wills_hills in quick succession before the Arrivée.

Caution: The 1km byway approaching Stonehenge is a firm surface, it has some large embedded flints to begin and potholes to end but just go slow and enjoy the scenery. It was easily navigated in March on 25mm tyres.

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.

Scenic Route with some Will's Hills to Finish

23rd January 2022

Lovely weather and lovely people made this an excellent if not hot ride.

The views of Stone Henge are lovely as you bypass the tourists.

A few cheeky Will’s Hill’s on the return make sure that the cold drinks at the finish pub garden tasted sweeter.

Avatar for Dai
Dai

Well Educated! 🙄

27th June 2021

Great route with varied scenery and distant views.

I’d not heard of Wood Henge.

Bristol Cycle Route a lovely way to finish.

Avatar for Marcus
Marcus

Organiser's review & image test

25th June 2020

Well, being the creator of this ride I can only say it is excellent 😉

Test rode it with Mr. T back in March 2017 & again on the event 2019 where I’d made a few changes. Now incorporating Woodhenge & Durrington Walls as well as Avebury and Stonehenge. Great cafe stops. And of course a few #wills_hills before the finish. One of my favourite routes

Avatar for Will
Will


Bookings aren't available; either I haven't opened entry yet or if after 12/10/23 then they have closed.


You are attending this event.

The following ride details are currently: 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 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 main points to look out for:

  • @24km | [Brook End] !!Ford!! Use bridge, debris in road after.
  • @35km | [Malmesbury] !!Blind bend!! use mirror; approaching long vehicles may need to apex the bend.
  • @118km | [Durrington RBT] imm after approaching reverse $ fork RIGHT onto path (dropped curb); if you miss take next right.
  • @121km | [Larkhill] Byway to Stonehenge !!Embeded flints then potholes!! Go slow!!
  • @125km | Stonehenge Visitor Centre !!Bollards & pedestrians crossing!!
  • @143km | [Boyton] !!Level Xing!!
  • @172km | [after Nunnet Catch RBT] Fork 2nd RIGHT on RH bend. No 7.5t vehicles $ !!Likely mud/debris after junction!!
  • @195km | !!Sharp right on descent!! - in the shade and probably around dusk. The >>> aren't great at reflecting back.
  • 208-213km | Bristol & Bath Railway Path !!Pedestrians, bollards, barriers, level xings!! Assume other users are more vulnerable!
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 Waiting Room cafe will be open from 06:15 for tea, coffee & cake; possibly breakfast rolls. Please get there a bit early to give them time to serve you.

The route from the finish to the start is found in the RWGPS Event and also here.

Start:

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

Warmley Station - opens new tab for map.
Bristol And Bath Railway Path, Warmley, City of Bristol, BS30 5JB

Access:

Parking:
On street near by - Please do not use the car park next to the start. This is 2hrs max and actively enforced. Surrounding streets in the immediate vicinity are residents only, further out no restrictions.
Alternatives:

  • Lyde Green P&R is free to use but has opening/closing times though ungated; check link for restrictions. Directions here.
  • Bristol Parkway Main Car Park for long term parking and follow directions for 'train access' above.
  • Please do not use Bitton Station; this is intended for those using the railway path recreationally not for all day parking.
  • If the Hollybush Inn is being used as the finish please do not use their car park.

Food & Drink:
Food & Drinks available.
The cafe will usually be open 45mins before the start time for tea & coffee and breakfast rolls. Arrive early to avoid disappointment.
Unless specified otherwise above.

Accommodation:
There is a Travelodge & Premier Inn just to the north at Emersons Green. See here for more. The YHA is in central Bristol and about 30mins cycle using the Bristol and Bath Railway Path.

Finish:

Hollybush Inn - opens new tab for map & a few details.

Route Controls:

  • @0km | DEPART: WARMLEY - Waiting Room | 07:00.
  • @54km | CONTROL: CRICKLADE - The Cricklade Club | 08:48-10:36.
  • @118km | INFO: WOODHENGE - see brevet card.
  • @144km | CONTROL: BOYTON - Ginny's Cafe | 11:46-16:32.
  • @178km | INFO: CRANMORE - see brevet card.
  • @214km | ARRIVEE: The Hollybush, Bridgeyate | 14:08-21:16.

Unfortunately I've had to change the first control at Swindon & Cricklade Railway as their opening days changed. Instead The Cricklade Club will be taking its place. You will be using the event room accessed off the side of the building; the route takes you there - lane to local car park. They will have some quick fire food & drink available for you but you are more than welcome to go for the full menu, however those items may take a little longer if the kitchen is busy.

Ginny's will be doing its usual thing and staying open late for you.

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.