WHEN: +iCalSat 11th March 2023 06:00 - 02:00 Sun 12th March 2023
WHERE:Warmley Station Bristol And Bath Railway Path Warmley, BS30 5JB
An easy PBP qualifier head to Didcot Railway Centre. Then link up with Toddington Station and Coleford’s GWR Museum in the Forest of Dean.
An easy PBP qualifier head to Didcot Railway Centre. Then link up with Toddington Station and Coleford’s GWR Museum in the Forest of Dean.
Railway Connections is a new Paris Brest Paris qualifying BRM event; however a Railway Connections variation was first test ridden in 2015 by myself and a few other Audax Club Bristol members before that year’s PBP!
Climb onto the Cotswolds and edge the Avon & Thames Valleys, pass below Uffington’s White Horse as you make your way to Didcot. Across the Water Park to Burford as you climb back over the edge to Toddington. Enjoy easy roads across the Severn Valley and on to Ross on Wye. Up into the Forest of Dean you go on one of the easier climbs to Coleford passing the GWR museum before back over the Severn via the bridge.
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.
Tough challenge for March Weather
Cold Wet and Dark spring to mind from this weekend’s adventure. Lovely route, 1st stop was nice until I relaised it was a race for the last pie in Didcot. 2nd control at Toddington was a humongous serving of pie, mash and peas, only to descend to the 3rd control at Burger King at Ross on Wye. Crossing the Severn bridge when it was closed was fun and unorthdox. Nice greeting back at Warmley by mid night for me. Great adventure again, thanks Will
Bookings aren't available; either I haven't opened entry yet or if after 09/03/23 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 firstname.lastname@example.org - 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 300rc Query so I can filter them easily.
- 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:Main points to note:
- Blue sections on RWGPS Route are ungritted.
- Alternative gritted sections of the major points have been added to the RWGPS Event and as links in the RWGPS Route's description.
- @Lyneham | Route avoids the B4069 which is completely closed to everyone due to a landslide; also a narrow lane climb further on that is being used extensively by locals as a rat run.
- @240km | End of M40 RBT.
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.
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.
EXTRA DETAILS:Hot drinks and breakfast rolls will be available from the Waiting Room from about 05:20.The finish will be in the Summer House in the garden. Hot drinks and cakes will be available.
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
- Bike - Easily accessible, situated on the Bristol & Bath Railway Path; about 10km from Bristol centre, 15km from Bath.
- Car - On the A420 a short distance east from the A4174 Bristol Ring Road.
- Train - From Bristol Temple Meads use the side entrance and follow NCN4 becoming the Bristol & Bath Railway Path - follow diversions on the path as widening takes place.From Bristol Parkway.From Keynsham Station.
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.
As above. - opens new tab for map & a few details.
- @0km | 06:00 | DEPART: WARMLEY - Waiting Room
- @108km | 09:36-13:12 | CONTROL: DIDCOT - Railway Centre
- @186km | 12:12-18:24 | CONTROL: TODDINGTON - Flag & Whistle @ Station
- @240km | 14:00-22:00 | CONTROL: ROSS ON WYE - A449 Serv [FREE] - collect receipt
- @312km | 16:24-02:00 | ARRIVEE: WARMLEY - Waiting Room - Summer House in garden
Please note the 'minimum speed' is 15kph through the controls being a BRM event you have 20h00 to finish in; this actually equates to 15.6kphDidcot Railway Centre:
Access is through the main Didcot Parkway station, show the GWR barrier staff your brevet card and they will let you through. If you are smashing it and arrive before 10:00 I shall be at the barriers from 09:30 to stamp your card, you can either hang on till the Railway Centre opens, grab a bite from the main station snack bars, or there is a MDs on the way back out of Didcot. Once open I'll move to the Railway Centre, access by making your through the tunnel to the end, there is then a flight of steps to lift your bikes up.
At the top please leave your bikes on the grassy area to your right by the Centre's ticket office & NOT IN THE TUNNEL.
There is also a bike shed at the front of the main station should you wish to lock it up there. Follow the path to the left about 100m ON FOOT to the cafe. For the majority of people you'll get there during normal hours when the public is present. Trains may also be moving so stick to the path and follow any instructions from the Centre's personnel.Flag & Whistle @ Toddington Station:
Lynne and staff are staying open late especially for the eventRoss on Wye:
Services are 24hr. There is a Burger King there open until 21:00. Receipts from Ross on Wye town accepted.
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!
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.