Reviews

Each ride has a more concise collection on their page; grouped by ‘event’ if appropriate: the distance variations, perms, slightly hAAArder ones, etc.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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Ilyas

Best bike ‘thing’ I’ve ever done.

29th May 2024

Wow, what an Audax, my first 600 and what a route to be treated to. Amazing scenery, great climbs, lovely people and smiling faces. The outward leg to the Menai bridge was just beautiful, riding though the dark to Barmouth was exhilarating, a quick nap in a local air bnb and headed off on the return leg.

Eek, what a return leg it was, some absolute beasts to get over, very climby indeed! Such a great was had, thanks to everyone that volunteered their time and helped out, and thank you for the beans on toast and Welsh cakes at the end, it was well needed. Am I up for it next year? Of course I am!!

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Glenn

Beautiful & challenging.

29th May 2024

A fantastic route through Wales, the organisation and volunteers were great. Even the weather was gorgeous. Challenging and beautiful in equal measure.

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Bren

A great ride

29th May 2024

Well organised, great route with beautiful scenery, and even the odd hill.

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Ian

A great way to see Wales – PPP222

29th May 2024

Albeit that the weather in Wales is rarely as unremittingly pleasant as it was this weekend, this is undoubtedly a great route for people looking for a great weekend away on a bike. From the first cafe stop this felt like a friendly tribe of explorers, and the extra time to finish meant we could all enjoy rather than endure the ride. I’ll be back next year with some mates!

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Simon

An essential ride for any self-respecting audaxer

29th May 2024

If you haven’t ridden the Bryan Chapman Memorial yet, make sure you do. It’s everything an audax should be… beautiful, testing, friendly and unforgettable. The team behind the event put so much effort into making it one of the best audaxes in the UK. Add it to your bucket list… you won’t regret it!

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Paul