… of the Great Western Randonnées’ landscape. Each ride has a more concise collection on their page; grouped by ‘event’ if appropriate: the distance variations, perms, slightly hAAArder ones, etc.
Great organisation, great route, great company 👍🏻👍🏻
Really well organised with extra effort needed to cover COVID and all ran really well. Hooked up with a few know and a couple unknown riders in our group that worked out a treat with well matched pace and great company on route. Loved the less travelled lanes and even the larger routes were pretty car free for short runs. A fitting restart of official events & big thanks to Will and helpers for a great days riding.
Exploring lesser known bits of the Cotswolds, hidden valleys, winding avenues – really well planned route and brilliantly organised for Covid conditions. Food stop at the Water Park was excellent. Jury’s out on iOrienteering App but lots of alternative ways to check in/record the ride. Weather was bleak and grey with a bitter North wind – but didn’t put a dampner on it at all. Great all round hope to do more GWRs soon 🙂
Tickled of Thornbury
Terrific ride to the Cotswold Water Park on a well planned route. Would recommend and perhaps try the 200 next year. Well organised and super food/coffee stops.
First 200 of 2021
Once out of Bristol and onto the Cotswolds, the route followed some sublime ways less travelled avoiding more familar roads. Perfect in Spring, probably not so great in the winter slop. Spring flowers and blossom along the way with pretty villages, scenery and buildings. Food stop was good, but a bit too far around – we had already eaten in Burford, but good to see others on the ride and refuel before the last leg home.
First Audax 200 Ride
It was my longest ride to date and it was brilliant, I really loved it! The communications pre event were all well timed and informative. Spectacular route, lovely people and I can’t wait for the next one to be honest.
Thanks for everything – keep riding!
Thames Tickler April 2021
Excellent organisation in Covid times. Group riding with app and scan at control points. Catering perfect and plenty. Route lovely. Thank you Will for your hard work.
Thanks to daddy for making this route. It has hills to make it fun and is good for wildlife such as birds of prey. The birds of prey you will find are Red kites, Kestrels, Common buzzards and small chance of Tawny owl in the evening which I did not see. Most of the wildlife was found between Dyrham hill and Tetbury. In Tetbury at the cafe, we stopped and I had some blueberry frangipani cake which was the best cake I have ever had.
Test Ride 2017
Late April I set off, nerves tightly bundled, would I be able to do it? I hadn’t done any training apart from regular riding. I’d given myself targets for each day, packed several kilos of malt loaf, said bye to the family and was off!
Into Wales, on roads less travelled on audaxes, finding desolate hill tops quickly and constantly.The top of Hirnant Pass after Llyn Efyrnwy was welcomed as I knew the descent was a long one! Night drawing in as I scaled Bwlch Penbarras of the Clywdian Hills before skulking into Chester just before midnight to find a comfortable spot to sleep.
Up at the crack I’m off to Runcorn having to navigate (throw bike over a fence) roadworks. The result being the Jubilee Bridge is now open to bikes, buses and local traffic only so you’ll get to enjoy it a bit more. Weave through old industrial towns to Preston and to the Forest of Bowland. Nothing too taxing, a good mind easer as you question “WTF am I doing?”. Pennines: stunning, brutal, glorious, you’ll be raising that “WTF?” question again until you are spat out the other side. Hexham onto Kielder was done in the dark, it was a cold dark tonight. I crossed the border in the early hours and hunkered down for the night.
Glorious weather again I set off down the valley before more hills as I sped east to west across the bottom of Scotland to Galloway Forest and some forest tracks from Clatteringshaws to Glentrool. Desolation score off the chart! Heading north over the Southern Uplands I’m in Ayrshire; rolling countryside, hills deceptive. Descending into Glasgow at midnight, AirBnB tonight!
Up early, MDs for breakfast, head south again, all downhill from here. I followed the old road tracking the M74, the surface was diabolical; new route will be through Strathaven, more countryside and hopefully a better surface.
Back into England after Gretna, Carlisle then over the western edge of the Lakes where the hills began again. I was at ease with them now; over a 1000km done, I was almost home! Hardknott to walk was spectacular. I set near the top overlooking the Roman Fort, Eskdale and out to the Irish Sea as the sun sank. In the gloom Wrynose wa ticked off and I sped to Windermere and indulged in a last minute AirBnB.
Such a good sleep, wandered into town at 9am and sat in a cafe on the corner for a proper full english and proper coffee as I watched the world go by. At this point all my anxiety had gone. I’d figured out my ‘metric’ and calculated I had loads of time in hand. An hour later I picked my bike up and headed off. Crossed the Forest of Bowland the other way. Navigated old mill towns north east of Manchester. Slithered up Snake Pass, watched by some bemused coppers, in the fading light. The top, the highest point of this version, not yours – The Cam High Road steals it by an extra 75metres, before descending to Derby. 24hr MDs at midnight.
I’d keep going after coffee, and more coffee. Silently through the night, everything still, now the early morning. A Juniper tree on the outskirts of Stratford upon Avon made an excellent home for a few hours shut eye; its drooping boughs keeping the breeze at bay.
On a high down low, no hills to be seen. Cross the Vale of Evesham. The Cotswolds rise up in their quaint irrelevance to what has been before. But they still pack a punch by this point. Who cares? At the other end is Bristol. Dropping off the escarpment, still an hour away the emotions rose. Had I really just done that?
I had and I’ve never look at a ride the same again. Anything is achievable once you tell your brain to “shut up!”
Where does he find these #wills_hills? Not one for the faint hearted! Em and I rode it on our own. We had lots of darkeness due to our start time, but what we did see until the turnaround point was breathtaking. So many incredible places I hadn’t been before. One of my highlights has to be the toll road. Such a great challenge – this route won’t fail to deliver.