Each ride has a more concise collection on their page; grouped by ‘event’ if appropriate: the distance variations, perms, slightly hAAArder ones, etc.
Greate Route, Magnificent (and superstar) organiser
A tough day > night > day ! Made to feel very welcome. Incredible how much time Will gives to organise the events and put himself out to help others. Thank You !
Great route and faultless organisation
A series of midweek events is perfect for those of us who struggle to get away at the weekends and I’m hugely grateful to the organizer. The event ran just as smoothly as you’d expect based on the user friendliness of this website and the route was great – challenging without being daft and lots of smaller roads through an area of the country that I was not as all familiar with. Route cards and gpx were spot on, as was the friendly welcome on my return to the hq. Weather was dreadful, but you can’t have it all! I’ll be back for more later in the year 👍
Amazing cakes and a great cycle
This was my second Barrys Bristol Bash and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It’s a great ride, lots of quiet lanes, beautiful views, some challenging hills and fantastic cake stops. This event is very friendly and everyone is so polite. See you next year!
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
Flat and fast
An awesome route, especially if you are new to Audax. The last bit with some very fast downhills to the location is stunning! Another great route from GWRaudax/Will.
Oh, and did I say – great stops! The baked potato with butter at Cafe de la Post at Chadlington was awesome!
Filthy weather, lovely route
Second audax, absolutely loved it. Disgusting weather made it even more worthwhile. A really lovely route, including the seemingly brutal climbs right at the end 🙂
Type 2 Fun
Cracking route, was pretty close to scratching on a few occasions as the weather was pretty grim, but managed to get round eventually. Nice bit of night riding up cheddar gorge near the end
Chalke & Cheese… wet & wild!
January Audax, it started wet, very wet! But it didn’t dampen the spirits of the hardy riders waiting to begin there little Pootle into the waiting challenges.
The first few kms’s along the cycleway to Bath set the tone, a lot of standing water, a lot of standing water! As the cycleway gave way to the roads, the standing water became rivers, flowing down the roads. By the first control, wet was fully the order so far of the day, a quick bacon cob & coffee and then off again… the rain subsided, eventually, but it was replaced by an 80km section of headwind, some would describe as “character building”, it was, it certainly was, but that said it was strangely enjoyable.
My first trip to Cheddar Gorge was a pleasant experience helped by the change of wind direction, almost a tailwind! Having crested the Gorge, the final 30 odd kilometres, provided the odd lumpy surprise, but this was compensated by further tailwinds.
All in all, with far from perfect weather, it was a perfect day for a January ride.
A great January Audax
I wasn’t planning to do this, I had the Poor Student lined up, but then had to cancel that because I had a training course on the same day. However, I had a lot of fun doing Will’s rides last year, so I thought I would give this a go. Stayed in the faded grandness of the Arnos Manor Hotel, in a room up and down several flights of stairs which had stairs down to its bathrooms and stairs up to a connecting room. Discovered that the reason my tyre was going down was a socking great blackthorn picked up from cycling the roads canals of Basingstoke on the club run the previous weekend. Fortunately had packed a spare tyre and extra spare tube, so did a repair in the comfort of my hotel room. It was a 5 mile ride through the heavy mizzle, brisk wind, and deserted streets of Kingswood to the start, where a crowd of cyclists was gathering. After a cup of tea I manoeuvred my way to the back of the first group off and headed along a cycle path that was soon parting the inland sea of the flooded River Avon. I was glad to follow riders with local knowledge as we weaved through some streets to get to the railway tunnels. (I had been in the opposite direction on Bill’s Easton connection the previous year but after 18 hours and 4500+m of climbing my brain was somewhat addled).
Am carrying 5kg extra at the moment, so started the first hill slowly until the diesel engine kicked in and I could reel in a couple of lighter but less powerful riders, but that just gave me the pleasure of a wet crosswind. However as we weaved towards Westbury the wind generally helped. I rode in company for a little while but then noticed a pothole had shifted my pannier, so was back to a solitary experience. When we got to the outskirts of Westbury I picked up the route of the Col de Neue Chevaux Blancs (a great 300km permanent from Alresford, which views all of the Wiltshire White Horses). The Westbury horse was concealed in the mirk but the hill was a lot easier after 50km than 200. Then it was the Wylye Valley and the first cafe stop. I wasn’t going to stop here, but the cakes looked good and it was good to see Tony Hull stamping the cards (he was the rider to finish immediately after me on my first 300 – the 3 Moors, back in 2003.
A tailwind gave brisk travel down the Wylye Valley to the info control in Wilton. I slogged up the next hill, for the plumber in the sky to test full soaking mode (which worked very well). Fortunately the rain eased before the next cafe stop, in Broadchalke, which serves as the village shop, cafe, Church of England and United Reformed Church chapel. Good on them. They also served Dorset Apple Cake, which was perfectly okay because I had my medical the day before, so its impact on my blood sugar wouldn’t be noticed.
The Ebble was like the Wylye, using the full width of its valley, as rivers should do in winter. At one point a farmer had made a temporary sheep crossing using culvert tubes and sandbags. It was almost but not quite flowing down the road, but by that stage we’d had plenty of experience of cycling through floods. The bigger problem was the wind. It was 81km to the next control and headwind all the way. I felt I made good progress up Donhead Hollow but stopped at the top, certain that this would need an info control. It didn’t, so I had fun descending Zigzag Hill and leaving the car that was following me behind.
The B3081 was quite busy, and windy, and the rain came back again just before Bruton and the brutes of hills that follow. If there had been a cafe in sight I would have stopped but there were just two pubs at Cannard’s Grave. Perhaps Cannard had actually died looking for a cup of tea? There was a rider ahead who I almost caught but who was better at hills than I was. Then I caught them up in Dulcote because the cycle path was closed. She was talking to a couple of riders who worked out the alternative. They set off into the wind like a couple of Belgians with me labouring to stay in touch until I got back on route. Then it was into the wind. I lost distance at a set of lights and then the man with the hammer set about me as I hadn’t eaten enough. I reached Wedmore pie-eyed and barely able to turn the pedals, a condition that was fixed by a pasty, milkshake, crisps, and a tailwind to follow. We sat outside and got cold, and I clearly hadn’t fully recovered (Strava told me I had a personal best on a sector – by 1 second – the only other time I had been this way on Strava was 350km into the Brimstone). However, following better climbers up Cheddar Gorge warmed me up and my legs came back into function for a glorious sail over the Mendips with a solid tailwind.
My 2002 vintage Roberts Audax still handles beautifully, so was able to pass a couple of riders on Harptree Hill and caught two more the descent to Pensford. There was just one last hill. The two riders I caught demonstrated they could spin up hills quicker than me, but when the gradient levelled out, my height and upright riding position acted like a sail to blow me up to them. It was getting really dark, and I only had my commuting lights on – as the Lumicycles are nicely adjusted on the Enigma Machine which is sitting at home, waiting for when the weather and my diary allow me to restart the occasional London commute.
It was just a few miles back to the busy pub, to get my card stamped, and then an easier slog over Kingswood and weave my way through the busier traffic back to the hotel, which was equipped with a huge bath, Hobgoblin beer, and their last pizza.
All in all, a very satisfactory start to this year’s PBP campaign. I need to get lighter and fitter to ride with the vedettes again, but that will be the plan as I prefer the earlier start time and the more disciplined group riding.
Chalke and Cheese 2023
Worth the travel down from Suffolk – plenty of Wind & Rain, punctures and gear failure, one to remember. Will come back some time and do it in the summer months, great route. A starting point for PBP 2023 and great to see relatively young people enjoying Audax.