Part of the Brunel’s Billiard Table Series. It’ll still have some #wills_hills to keep you on your toes! A great BRM qualifier for Paris Brest Paris.
WHEN:01/06/2019 - 02/06/2019 06:00 - 22:00
WHERE:Benjamin Perry Scout Hut
Bristol, BS1 6SR
Event review summary:
Extensive route notes and a variety of files will be distributed to entrants via email a week or two before the event. In the mean time use the interactive map for an overview of what lies ahead (subject to change); toggle the elevation & grade on/off by clicking the key. *Please note plugin's 'grade' is experimental so take it with a pinch of salt, especially where rocky outcrops may be present.
|Entry closes:||Entry (min):
After a fast start to the coast for breakfast you then cram the 2 AAA points in as you climb over Exmoor to the Exe Valley and head east over The Blackdown Hills into Somerset. The going from here is easier with the odd hill thrown in for good measure. Stop at Yeovil Railway Centre, then on to Wiltshire and the Wylye Valley. Cross Salisbury Plain at the end of the day to the North Wessex Downs and the sleep stop. Follow the Kennet Valley on the old coach road in the early hours of the morning to Maidenhead and views of Brunel’s Sounding Arch; see Turner’ Rain, Steam and Speed – The Great Western Railway above. Over Marlow Bridge and The Chilterns before tickling the eastern edge of the Cotswolds then the Thames Valley to the Swindon and Cricklade Railway. Back past Malmesbury Abbey and the gentle ascent to the Cotswold escarpment before dropping back down into Bristol.
Entry fee includes food at the start/finish, Yeovil Railway Centre and both night controls. Main sleeping facilities (airbeds and blankets) at Kintbury, dozing at Maidenhead.
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What others think.
Steam Express (2019)
A route which makes Oxfordshire and the South West feel much of a piece, cut from a cloth of warm stone and small village life, animated by different kinds of hills. 600s, I guess, should have good controls — the extra length can add a bit of flexibility to the planning, and the riders need the comfort. The Steam Express delivers in old-fashioned, often train-related style. Benjamin Perry Scout Hut was a near perfect Arrivée. The trip West to the coast at Watchet offered a lighthouse / light-buoy? to look out at while eating some breakfast at the Marina cafe. The hop over to the Exe valley comes to a halt at the dark and mirrored victorian bar of the Beer Engine pub, offering welcome cool, before the route starts to head East via Yeovil Railway Centre towards the Cotswolds, stopping at Ginny’s Cafe and then the Coronation Hall in Kintbury. Pressing on into the night brings up The Iron Duke Sea Cadets’ hut, with a fabulously behatted Duck Iron Duke (or maybe Nelson?). Those last two stops provided hot food in copious quantities, and encouraged you to ride on through the night. But the second halves of 600s tend to drag in the memory; exhaustion greys most stuff out. Bicester as a Free stop and Middle Barton as an Info went with that flow, but Blunsdon Station was a tonic; breakfast in an old railway carriage lifted the spirits (but avoid the coffee). The route only has 2AAA points, but the little hills take their toll; the run into Bristol was mysteriously populated by hills, where none had ever existed before. The Arrivée was full of cake and tea. Great support, particularly on the night section. Pictures #gwrsteam
MP Steam Express 600 Review
Excellent event, although I did struggle to find the sleep stop control.