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Dave Cox
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CTC Phil Liggett Challenge 150k Stannington Sheffield

Post by Dave Cox » 09 Aug 2010 13:09

One of CTC's flagship events. Tour of the Peak District National Park. Clear signposting and basic direction sheet. Phil Liggett holding court at the start while he replaced cut tyre! Friendly atmosphere, nice HQ but Oscar's car parking management puts CTC to shame. Takes in climbs at Bradfield, Bolsterstone, Holm Moss, Edale, killer up by Speedwell Cavern and Millers Dale to Monsale Head. Reasonable cafes and great ice cream at Monsale.

Lot of fit people in Derbyshire who seem to train on those hills regularly. I was overtaken by riders of all ages and genders on carbon dream bikes. steel classics, aluminum "entry models", a well used Galaxy and several bitzers. Happy to get around in 9 hours but then its 2 hours in car back home.

Beautiful views and countryside but a lot of other traffic attracted by v and c - cars, motorbikes, classic scooters. Several main road sections like A624 Glossop to Hayfield which were inevitably busy and can be dangerous. The extra loop for the 150k version was better for lanes.
Fantastic finishing lane - beautiful views, mostly down hill for 4-5 miles and ignored by cars sticking to the A57.

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CakeStop
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Barry's Bristol Bash 112km Long Ashton

Post by CakeStop » 27 Mar 2011 20:33

Barry's Bristol Bash 112km - Long Ashton

Organised by the Las Vegas Institute of Sport in late March

Pleasant route - through Ashton Court Estate, over Clifton Suspension Bridge and across Clifton Common before escaping Bristol, looping round well to the north of Bristol through some nice countryside and lovely villages. 2011 route

First control Village Hall with WI provided bargain refreshments. Second Control in grounds of a riverside pub with refreshments provided by a local bike manufacturer. HQ in a village hall with hot & cold refreshments at start & finish.

Very well organised, approx 260 entrants so a great atmosphere. Emphasis very much on fun and cake. Talking of the cake.....

Huge selection of wonderful home made cakes from the WI at the first stop, some very tasty homemade biscuits & cookies at the second stop, piles of homemade cake at the finish in addition to soup and rolls.

Other event 200km "Barry's Bristol Ball Buster"

Website: http://audax.lvis.org.uk/
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Philip Whiteman
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Re: Barry's Bristol Bash 112km Long Ashton

Post by Philip Whiteman » 27 Mar 2011 20:46

CakeStop wrote: Other event 200km "Barry's Bristol Ball Buster"
Website: http://audax.lvis.org.uk/
To add to Steve's accurate reflections on this event, the choice of route for the 210km event was well designed and took riders through pleasant countryside. After departing off the 100km route at Keynsham, the 210 gradually ascended onto the Mendips before descending through Wookey Hole and a pleasant crossing of the Somerset Levels to Glastonbury. It swung northwards to Clevedon, the Gordano Valley and Portbury followed by a final stiff climb over the Bristol Downs back the HQ. The route was convoluted resulting in a requirement for five info controls. Controls were at intervals of 40/95/140/188km. It was moderately hard. There were about 100 riders.


I spoke to a number of people at the event and only 1 person had ever ridden an audax before. The bulk of other riders were new to the sport and commented positively on the event. LVIS's excellent organisation, sense of fun probably helped to contribute to an event that consisted of a large number of younger people than normally expected at an audax. There was also a higher proportion of women than normal. If only others could follow the model :wink: (George excepted).

A good event. I would score this as 4.75 out 5. The 0.25 loss reflects the a rather horrible passage from Portbury along busy roads back to the HQ.

PS> Lisa was waxing lyrical about the WI's cakes at the first control. Sadly I missed this extravegant display in favour of pressing on.


EDIT.

In 2012 the route was improved with a better approach to the Somerset Monument plus the a new second control staffed by the WI with their cakes. New grade 5/5

http://connect.garmin.com/activity/161511346
Last edited by Philip Whiteman on 26 Mar 2012 20:37, edited 2 times in total.
Beacon Audaxes The Kidderminster Killer & From Clee to Heaven 20.7.19; Autumn South Salopian 5.10.19. www.beaconrcc.org.uk/

anotherdeadhero
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Re: Barry's Bristol Bash 112km Long Ashton

Post by anotherdeadhero » 28 Mar 2011 16:02

Philip Whiteman wrote:A good event. I would score this as 4.75 out 5. The 0.25 loss reflects the a rather horrible passage from Portbury along busy roads back to the HQ.
Well, I know what to cut out next year to get an elusive 5 out of 5 :)

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Philip Whiteman
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Two Battles Audax

Post by Philip Whiteman » 01 May 2011 16:27

Two Battles 200km Audax

Date ridden: 30th April. 8.30 ride time. It is also operated as the 'Tinsel and Lanes' audax during the December. Organised by Tamworth CC.

A Google route map can be found at:

http://www.mapmyhike.com/hike/united-ki ... 9927824831

Controls

Tamworth HQ
Wistow Rural Centre, south of Wigston, Leicestershire
Old Diary Farm Country Centre, Upper Stowe, Northants
Wellesbourne Shell Garage

Upsides

A picturesque route especially in summer along plenty of rural lanes covered in hedge parsley.

Excellent cafes at Wistow and Upper Stowe. None of the controls are manned and riders need to obtain stamps for their Brevet Cards. The HQ at Tamworth provides a self-service carvery for £2.95 and riders could be witnessed with mountain high piles of fodder-food on their plates.

Downsides

The final and longest section from Wellesbourne to Tamworth should not be underestimated by people with tired legs. Between Maxstoke and Atherstone, the route crosses some large lumpy hills.

The section through Balsall Common and Berkswell is particularly uninspiring but is probably unavoidable. So grit your teeth and suffer this short section of suburbanite roads.

Facilities at the start are limited due the basic nature of this audax.

Unlike the Tinsel and Lanes event, the Two Battles has a surprisingly small field of riders. However more people enter the shorter Towering Trees ride which starts from the same venue on the same day.


Other comments


Overall it is an undulating ride with roller coaster hills providing for a tiring day.

Rating: 3.75/5
Beacon Audaxes The Kidderminster Killer & From Clee to Heaven 20.7.19; Autumn South Salopian 5.10.19. www.beaconrcc.org.uk/

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CakeStop
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Post by CakeStop » 15 Aug 2011 21:57

Gladestry Audax Weekend - Mid August

These are great events and deserve a much greater number of entrants than they seem to attract. The organiser allows camping in his garden, provides refreshments in a marquee and allows use of his hot tub.

Radnor Roundabout - 104km 1.75AAA

Lovely route but seriously hilly, much more than the 1826m it's credited with suggests. Lots of very steep but not terribly long climbs with a few longer ones thrown in, but basically one after the other apart from a gentler stretch for about 10km after the stop. I've stopped on a descent once before to let rims cool but this event included the only descent I've ever walked down, green slimy surface and so steep that I struggled to bring the bike to a halt to get off, and then tricky to walk down - good job it was a dry day.

A few infos and just one proper control in Rhayader after 64km (very nice and good value too despite it's posh bistro appearance from the outside) so essential too take some food. Countryside is stunning but I was closer to the time limit than I've ever been before on an audax and I didn't feel that I had time to enjoy it as much as I'd liked.

Don't let any of the above put you off (just be prepared) it's a cracking event, everybody finished in one piece and enjoyed it - there was one group behind me that finished with a few minutes in hand and they had the biggest smiles of all.

Gladestry Gallop 107km 1.75AAA

I only rode about 75% of the route. Still tired from the previous day's event, when noticed that the route came a few km from my B&B, having done it twice the day before I couldn't face the 30km round trip to the start including two big hills (twice) so I just rode the northern part of the route and did the cafes. Also freed from the need to watch the clock I took time to enjoy the ride, the scenery, the villages and a local event I came across.

Great cafe stops in Clun and Shobdon. Not quite as much climbing as the Radnor Roundabout and the climbs were in general longer but less steep so it wasn't nearly so punishing. Countryside very nice albeit perhaps not as spectacular as the other event (apart from the hills to the west of Clun).

The 200km events during the weekend get good reviews too - Elan & Ystwyth and Tregaron Dragon for anybody who's up to 200km of that sort of terrain.
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CakeStop
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Charnwood Challenge

Post by CakeStop » 10 Sep 2011 20:14

Charnwood Challenge 111km - Tamworth

Early September. Clear & accurate routesheet. 2 excellent controls - cafe in the morning (great cakes) pub in the afternoon (quick friendly service on hot/cold baps but full menu available). 1 info control at the halfway point. Lovely countryside, not spectacular, just pleasant English rural views. A few B road sections but nothing too busy. Nice friendly atmosphere, in part due to a big group from the vibrant North Birmingham CTC. Only one long climb of any note, nothing really challenging - just a nice day out on the bike. Well worth making the short trip to Tamworth for this event.
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Post by Clive » 12 Sep 2011 14:07

Mr Pickwick goes to Hay in a day. Tewkesbury. 205 Km

September 10th. Great route mainly B roads and quiet lanes, rolling Herefordshire countryside with no major hill climbs. Easy and accurate route sheet with easy info controls. Controls at Wormlow Trump PO, Hay on Wye tourist info, and Flowerdews cafe in Bromyard. A great day

www.flowerdews.co.uk - great cafe by the way and a sure 10/10. On the house tea or coffee for cyclists on the audax, and homemade spag bog for £4.95, and plum crumble for £2.50 - beat that!


Camelia and Canal Bridges 100 Km. Moira, Ashby De La Zouch.

September 4th. Great, easy little audax over gentle countryside, mainly through lanes. Nice homemade soup at first, garden centre, control. Good routesheet. Coffee, tea, cakes and sandwiches provided at the finish all included.

Cotswold Corker 100 Km permanent. Bishops Cleeve.

September 7th. A tough little so and so, starting for Bishops Cleeve with 25% hill up Bushcomb lane, drop to Winchcombe, then another enroute to Guiting Power. Needed a map along with routesheet. Controls at start/finsih, winchcombe(twice) Guiting Power, Northleach, Bisley, Andoversford. A climb back over Cleeve hill at the end, is a real sting in the tail, but the views are a wothwhile reward for all that effort. Great day but hard work, not helped by strong winds.

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Chaddesley and Cricklade DIY

Post by Philip Whiteman » 23 Dec 2011 17:54

Chaddesley to Cricklade, 200km DIY Audax

Ridden: 22nd December 2011

Time: 9 hours

Controls:

Chaddesley - Winchcombe - Cricklade - Broadway - Chaddesley

The route shown on the attached URL link is the version submitted to AUK for approval as it incorporates the minimum distances between controls which equal a total of 200km. However, my route deviated slightly to add a further 15km in order to avoid Evesham and Bromsgrove.

Submitted route to AUK: http://bikeroutetoaster.com/Course.aspx?course=332648

Actually ridden: http://bikeroutetoaster.com/Course.aspx?course=336736

Overall Comments

I planned this as convenient DIY audax from my doorstep but could easily be adapted for riders starting from elsewhere in North Worcestershire or South Birmingham. Cricklade is a good destination as the route ostensibly uses quiet roads.

I was really pleased with the route overall and would commend it as a summer ride. For winter, it is simply an audacious day out.

Hills

The only seriously steep and lengthy climb is out of Winchcombe up Sudeley Hill. Once over the top it iis then a relative coast down towards Cricklade with a few lumps. The return is less even with some sharp and dragging climbs as the lanes weave in and out of The Windrush Valley.

Good points

- Overall a scenic route.
- Quite roads except for the Pershore to Drakes Broughton section.
- The best part is Northleach to Broadway which includes the upper sections of the Windrush Valley and plenty of picture postcard villages.
- Good cafe cyclist friendly cafe in Cricklade.
- Totty in Broadway.

Least interesting

- Entering Cricklade.
- Hinton to Greet, an interminable flat B road.
- Some tricky navigation to the south of Northleach.
- Some lanes were disgustingly filthy with winter mud.
- Knuckle dragging individuals in Cricklade.
Beacon Audaxes The Kidderminster Killer & From Clee to Heaven 20.7.19; Autumn South Salopian 5.10.19. www.beaconrcc.org.uk/

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CakeStop
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Essex Bridge - Tamworth

Post by CakeStop » 14 Apr 2012 20:44

Essex Bridge - 110km Audax from Tamworth

Mid-April - New event for 2012, other events 50km, 150km, 200km. Organised by Clive Handy assisted by Tamworth CC. HQ at the Pretty Pigs pub

Beautiful countryside, lovely route, some quiet B roads and lanes all the way. Only a few very short stretches of A road to get from one lane to another. 2 cafe controls plus 2 info controls. First control is a perfectly acceptable but characterless garden centre in Bramshall. Second control is at a wonderful and popular (but still fast) canal side cafe in Great Haywood - lovely homemade soup didn't leave much room for bakewell pudding and custard but it would have been rude not to. Optional (but you'd be daft not to) visit to the 16th century Essex Bridge. Well worth the 45 minute trip up the M42.
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Post by PatBoySlim » 15 Apr 2012 13:15

Essex Bridge - 110km Audax from Tamworth

I'd like to echo Steve's comments.Great picturesque route and what stood out to me was how good the road surfaces were along most of the route.

Clive did confirm that due to the success of the event it will be returning next year.
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Philip Whiteman
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Two Battles. 209km. Tamworth

Post by Philip Whiteman » 15 Apr 2012 14:08

Sean's 2012 ride on the Two Battles from Tamworth. See my 2011 account above.
Cuddly Bear wrote:Beautiful route as it wound its way through the Staffordshire, Leicestershire, Northamptonshire and Warwickshire countryside. Also really helpful and pleasant organisers made me feel most welcome.
There were however only ten starters and last I heard concerns that two of them may have abandoned.
Also there was a problem with the gpx file as far as compatibility with the default setting of the Garmin edge 800 was concerned throwing me of course a number of times resulting in me cycling a total of 232km instead of the designated 209km.
The organisers pointed this out to me but unfortunately that was after the race.
Still I don’t feel any of it in my legs this morning so all going to plan for the start of the tour next month.

All in all an enjoyable ride, just a shame it isn’t particularly well supported they deserve better.
Beacon Audaxes The Kidderminster Killer & From Clee to Heaven 20.7.19; Autumn South Salopian 5.10.19. www.beaconrcc.org.uk/

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Castleton Classic 213km

Post by Philip Whiteman » 22 Apr 2012 19:53

Castleton Classic: 213km. 3AAA Ridden: 22nd April 2012. Personal Ride time: 8-50

A Google route map can be found at:

Out: http://www.bikehike.co.uk/mapview.php?l ... leton1.gpx

Back: http://www.bikehike.co.uk/mapview.php?l ... leton2.gpx

Controls

Ipstones
Castleton (info)
Wyaston (nr Ashbourne)

Upsides

Excellent choice of route that takes in huge amounts of Peak District scenary from bleak high moor roads leading into the Dark Peak and limestone gorges in the White Peak. The route passes through some popular tourism traps including Miller's Dale, Monsal Head and Bakewell.

The controls are superb with plenty of free tea and cake. There are only two of them with a large gap in between but that is not a problem in the Peak District when considering the large number of available cafes able to provide sustinance.

For a 3AAA route, it is not too difficult as most of the ascents were rolling. Most of the hills are gentle albeit long - with virtually no leg breakers except a short sharp haul out of Ashbourne.

Before riding I was concerned about the volume of A and B roads on the route and the potential for heavy traffic. These fears were unfounded, not even on the few miles of A6 through Bakewell.

The series of events are popular. Across all three distances there were 197 entries.

Downsides

I would not recommend this route in high winds as the moorland roads prior to Longnor are exposed to the elements.

The route card does indicate distances.

Other comments

It is an event to be recommended but only for strong riders who able to handle the volume of climbing required and distance. The shorter routes are popular for those not seeking a randonee.

Rating: 4/5
Beacon Audaxes The Kidderminster Killer & From Clee to Heaven 20.7.19; Autumn South Salopian 5.10.19. www.beaconrcc.org.uk/

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Droitwich - Towcester

Post by Philip Whiteman » 30 Apr 2012 09:12

Droitwich - Towcester: A Gavin Greenhow event

Ridden: 28th April 2012. Personal Ride time: 8-00

Controls
-Shipstone
-Towcester
-Wellesbourne

This is a shoe-string event and uses 'open controls' open with riders expected to gain receipts as proof of passage.

Upsides
The route is fairly underdemanding and passes through some fairly pleasant countryside. The best section lays between Shipston to approximately the M40, through the Cotswolds via chocolate box villages such as Shutford.

As a randonee it was over distance by 15km and could be shortened. However the extra length is indicative of Gavin's routeplanning to avoid some potentially tedious sections. For example, between Fenny Compton and Wellesbourne he routed the event via the Edge Hill escarpment which is significantly more interesting than the shorter alternative. Similarly, he avoids the Saltway by directing riders via Shell Ford.

The route card was clearly presented and accurate.

Downsides
- the horribly busy Towcester By-Pass.
- one very grubby lane of around 1km in length.
- the weather!

Other comments
This is a basic event as indicated on the AUK calendar. However, for just £3 it is good value for money (£2 of which went towards a voucher for purchasing goods at the start/finish pub in Droitwich).

There were approx 25 riders participating in this audax. Many were audax regulars probably using the event as it was relatively local, to gain their RRTY or collect Brevet Card points. Overall there was a good sense of camaraderie amongst riders.

If you are local and have a spare Saturday then it is an event to be recommended for experienced audaxers. For audax newbies, I would recommend a larger scale event.

Rating: 2.5/5 out of all audaxes. If judged as against shoe-string events then I would rate it as 4/5.
Beacon Audaxes The Kidderminster Killer & From Clee to Heaven 20.7.19; Autumn South Salopian 5.10.19. www.beaconrcc.org.uk/

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Post by Philip Whiteman » 13 May 2012 19:57

Gospel Pass 200. 3AAA. 13th May 2012

Ride Time: 8h05m. Ridden by Mark Carter, Trevor Richards and myself.

Organised by Stephen Poulton of Cheltenham CTC

Controls

GHQ Apperley nr Tewkesbury
Monmouth Open Control
Pandy Pub Control
Hay-on-Wye Open Control
Pandy Pub Control
How Caple
+ info controls in the Forest of Dean, Llanthony Priory & Grosmont

Upsides

The route is a tough roller coaster and considerably harder than some other 3AAA routes and worse that the Castleton Classic. Nonetheless, the choice of roads are fantastic in terms of scenary. There are stunning views to be had from the road north of Monmouth and from the Gospel Pass.

Normally, the A road leading to Monmouth is not pleasant due to busy traffic but the early start means this approach is quiet and riders can enjoy the fantastically fast descent from Staunton down into Monmouth.

The controls are well spaced with opportunities for further cafe stops if required.

The event is worthwhile just for the countryside which is pleasant throughout.

Downsides

The control at the pub in Pandy is very limited in terms of choice. Okay if you fancy soup or even more soup.

The alpine gradient to Gospel Pass from Pandy is great but the lane can be busy with tourist traffic and covered in debris.

The descent into Longtown from Hay needs to be taken with care.

If weather is poor then the route could be troublesome, especially in high winds when passing through the bealach at Gospel Pass.

Other comments

It is an event to be recommended but only for strong riders who able to handle the volume of climbing required and distance. The shorter routes are popular for those not seeking a randonee.

The toughest sections are the climb to Gospel Pass and the return climb on the Longtown road out of Hay.

Food provision at GHQ consists of biscuits and tea at the start. Some sandwiches and cakes are available at the finish.

The 200 had a field of around 25 riders, though many more rode the 150 and 100 versions.

Rating: 3.8/5
Beacon Audaxes The Kidderminster Killer & From Clee to Heaven 20.7.19; Autumn South Salopian 5.10.19. www.beaconrcc.org.uk/

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Three Coasts / East then West 600km

Post by Philip Whiteman » 29 Jul 2012 16:11

Three Coasts / East then West 600km

July 2012

Controls

Sowerby Bridge GHQ
Castleford greasy spoon
Plocklington garage
Bridlington greasy spoon
Malton tea room
Thirsk Tesco
Castleford ATM
Sowerby Bridge GHQ (1st loop at 375km)
Whalley Bridge
Glasson Dock (Three Coasts only and gains extra AAA points via the Bowland Forest)
Blackpool North Pier
Whalley Bridge
Sowerby Bridge

Upsides

Leaving at 6am means that riders benefit from surreal quietness of the West Yorkshire urban sprawl. The Yorkshire Wolds are certainly the most uplifting section of the route. Roads quiet throughout.

The organiser, Chris Crossland, is an experienced organiser providing a good HQ and routecard.

The figure of 8 route means riders can gain a small amount of the sleep at the HQ. I chose to use a nearby Premier Inn in Halifax.

Downsides

It is an f'ing long way! The pecularities of the weather on the day meant returning into a 20mph head wind across the Wolds and Hambleton hills. For such a long ride accompanied with mental tiredness, I DNF'd after deciding not to undertake the second loop to Blackpool.

Other Comments

Other riders experienced at this event commented that hardy fools seeking to ride non-stop can suffer a lack of food outlets during the small hours, including in Blackpool. I would recommend that anyone intending to participate in this event does not drive to Sowerby Bridge the night before and leaves plenty of relaxation time in for a good night's sleep before an early start.
Beacon Audaxes The Kidderminster Killer & From Clee to Heaven 20.7.19; Autumn South Salopian 5.10.19. www.beaconrcc.org.uk/

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Evesham Two Leaf and Three Leaf Clover

Post by Philip Whiteman » 06 Aug 2012 10:30

1. Three Leaf Clover 203km
2. Two Leaf Clover 110km


Wickhamford, Evesham

Ridden: 5th August 2012 by Lisa and Philip

Ride times: 7-45 Three Leaf Clover; 5-10 Two Leaf Clover.

Routes
Three Leaf Clover: Wickhamford - Snowshill - Guiting Power - Greet - Wickhamford - Ilmington - Brailes - Chipping Campden - Wickhamford - Welford - Radford - Pershore - Elmley Castle - Wickhamford.

Two Leaf Clover: Wickhamford - Ilmington - Chipping Campden - Wickhamford - Bidford - Bishampton - Evesham - Wickhamford.

Events not ridden but also available : One Leaf Clover of 50km & an AAA rated 200km 'Neville Channin Audax' to the Severn Bridge via the Forest of Dean and Cotswolds.

Upsides
Nice routes with very little traffic. The clover format means a passage through the control at convenient moments, thus aiding the collection of extra provisions. The HQ is well provided in terms of cakes and other food. Evesham Wheelers, the organisers, are a friendly crowd.

Downsides
One or two quirks in terms of potentially misleading route card instructions. GPX files not provided. Unavoidable information controls, as to be expected with clover routes.


Other Comments
We will certainly enter this event again. It is a reasonably popular event with around 60-70 entries for the Two Leaf and around 30-40 across both randonees. The One Leaf Clover would be ideal for novice cyclists. Riders intending to enter the Neville Channin should note that this is a 'basic audax' consisting of purely open controls.
Beacon Audaxes The Kidderminster Killer & From Clee to Heaven 20.7.19; Autumn South Salopian 5.10.19. www.beaconrcc.org.uk/

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Re: Evesham Two Leaf and Three Leaf Clover

Post by CakeStop » 06 Aug 2012 20:00

Philip Whiteman wrote:1. Three Leaf Clover 203km
2. Two Leaf Clover 110km


Wickhamford, Evesham
I've been hoping to ride one of these events for years but have never managed to do so - must make a special effort next year.
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Post by AlanW » 06 Aug 2012 20:07

Didn't there used to be a four leaf version once, as I'm sure that I rode it?

In saying that I didn't finish it, as the weather was crap and the fact that we kept returning back to the HQ was to much of a temptation to DNF, which I did :oops:

I remember the first few miles going up Snowshill so well, what a horrible that climb is :x
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Post by Philip Whiteman » 29 Aug 2012 11:21

Cambrian Series 2A- Permanent Audax - 200km - 3.25 (3,250m) Audax Altitute Award points

£2 entry fee and the route can be started from any control

Controls

Monmouth
Hay-on-Wye 48km
Llandrindod Wells 80km
Llanwrytd Wells 108km
Brecon 143km
Abergavenny 178km
Monmouth 203km

Upsides

This is the most popular permanent audax for good reason. The views are stunning, the roads are mainly quiet and riders are taken through areas rarely visited by tourist traffic. Along the route, there are plenty of stop off points for cafes, to pick up control receipts or to use local shops. The cafe at Talybont on Usk sells scones that are the size of housebricks.

Downsides

- The section between Llandindrod Wells and Llanwrtyd Wells is laborious.
- The passage between Llanwrytd Wells and Brecon may be closed whilst the MoD are live-firing on the Sennybridge Military Range.

General Comments

Stunning views come at a cost. The route is very hilly and features much climbing and technical descents. Large climbs cross the Black Mountains, Begwyns and Mynydd Eppynt. In between the major climbs, it is a roller coaster of a route with sharp ascents and descents, often around 10-15% in grade. The only 'flat' section lays between Brecon and Abergavenny although some hilly sections could be avoided by creating detours. The route is almost a difficult as the Kidderminster Killer.

Personally speaking, making favourite stages are out and back into Monmouth along with the crossing of The Black Mountains and The Begwyns.

Ride Time

9h18

Map

http://bikeroutetoaster.com/Course.aspx?course=454301
Beacon Audaxes The Kidderminster Killer & From Clee to Heaven 20.7.19; Autumn South Salopian 5.10.19. www.beaconrcc.org.uk/

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Post by laurence_cooley » 29 Aug 2012 15:12

Sounds good, Phil. I used to go on school trips to an outdoor pursuits centre in a hamlet called Tirabad, near to Llanwrtyd Wells, as a teenager. I'd like to go back and cycle in the area at some point, so I might consider this next summer. Incidentally, I distinctly remember going up a very steep and twisty climb near a reservoir in a minibus, which I've been trying to pinpoint on a map of late. After lots of Googling, I think it must be the Devil's Staircase, which is on the Elenith 300 route. Have you ridden it, Phil? Apparently it's 1 in 4 at some points, which would explain the smell of burning clutch that I remember.

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Re: Charnwood Challenge

Post by PatBoySlim » 04 Sep 2012 21:44

CakeStop wrote:Charnwood Challenge 111km - Tamworth

Early September. Clear & accurate routesheet. 2 excellent controls - cafe in the morning (great cakes) pub in the afternoon (quick friendly service on hot/cold baps but full menu available). 1 info control at the halfway point. Lovely countryside, not spectacular, just pleasant English rural views. A few B road sections but nothing too busy. Nice friendly atmosphere, in part due to a big group from the vibrant North Birmingham CTC. Only one long climb of any note, nothing really challenging - just a nice day out on the bike. Well worth making the short trip to Tamworth for this event.
Ive signed up for this and will be doing the Macride a day later, weather forecast looks good so should be a really good weekends cycling !
Hard work beats talent when talent fails to work hard

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Post by Philip Whiteman » 05 Sep 2012 08:19

laurence_cooley wrote:So I think it must be the Devil's Staircase, which is on the Elenith 300 route. Have you ridden it, Phil? Apparently it's 1 in 4 at some points, which would explain the smell of burning clutch that I remember.
Several times and if the road is ridden for its entire length, there are two more climbs at the Gamallt and Telephone Box Hills. The staircase is used on the Kidderminster Killer's big sister, The Elenith, a 300km romp over to Tregaron and back. As for Tirabad, Lisa and I passed through there a couple of weekends ago en-route to the Staircase from our B&B at Erwood.
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Re: Two Battles Audax

Post by Philip Whiteman » 29 Sep 2012 20:51

Droitwich - Lechlade. 200km calendar Audax

Date ridden: 13th October 2012. Ride time: 7-45. Entry Fee: £4

Open Controls
Cheltenham
Lechlade
Tewkesbury
+ 3 information controls

Upsides

Easy audax without AAA points. It is suitable for October in that riders can return to GHQ before dark providing they ride at a good pace.

- fast and reasonable section between Malvern and Cheltenham; Tewkesbury and Droitwich;
- picturesque lanes across the Cotswolds.

Downsides
- very busy roads through Cheltenham;
- Lechlade to Fairford is a chore;
- instructions for the information controls on the Brevet Cards did not correspond with the route cards. This was a problem for riders that had not previewed their Cards. As a consequence, a few missed the info controls. Other details on the route cards were accurate.
- the recommended cafe at Lechlade are slow at serving customers. Londis, Barclays ATM or the nearby Garden Centre cafe are possible alternatives.

Other comments
This is a basic event with few facilities. Riders are given a £2 voucher to spend at the finish. Small field of around 10-15 riders.

The most interesting sections were through the Cotswolds which were predictably the hilliest sections. One characteristic of riding north to south and back across the Cotswolds is the difference in height. Overall there is ruling downward gradient to the Thames at Lechlade. Unfortunately this also means a slow upwards slog back towards the the Cotswold escarpment before Cheltenham. I took advantage of two stops at Lechlade and Tewkesbury.

I would have preferred to avoid the busy A roads through Worcester and Cheltenham.

It is not an unpleasant ride but I would happily ride another event if scheduled on the same day. However, I cannot complain for £4.
Beacon Audaxes The Kidderminster Killer & From Clee to Heaven 20.7.19; Autumn South Salopian 5.10.19. www.beaconrcc.org.uk/

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The 'New' Cheltenham Flyer 200km

Post by Philip Whiteman » 10 Apr 2013 13:25

This entry supersedes the previous entry for the Cheltenham Flyer. In 2012, it was taken over by a new organiser, Steve Poulton and the route was fundamentally altered.

Ridden

March 2013 in 10 hours with 3 stops. Popular event.

Controls

Andoversford HQ. Gloucs
Uffington Village Hall, Oxon
Burbage Church Hall, Wilts.
Lacock Tea Rooms, Wilts
Andoversford HQ.

Route

http://bikeroutetoaster.com/Course.aspx?course=513020

Unlike the original Cheltenham Flyer, the Poulton version is considerably hillier but it does provide riders with some spectacular English countryside. Beyond Uffington, the route sharply ascends the Lambourn Downs to descend and then quickly reascend and wind its way through the Wiltshire Downs to Laycock. After Tetbury, the route crosses the grain of the Cotswolds providing some unwelcome ups and downs at the end of the day, nonetheless it remains pleasant countryside.

Overall, an excellent day out despite some atrocious weather.

Upsides

- Picturesque route that predominantly follows lanes and a few B roads.
- The route cards were accurate.
- The organiser is very efficient
- Vastly better than average control at Burbage. The local church provides a feast for £4 with as much cake or soup than you wish to consume. It is worth foregoing the stop at Uffington to survive until Burbage.
- Good field of riders with a sense of camaraderie.
- Nothing to get bored with, apart from the weather.
- The start from a Hall is a vast improvement over the previous version of this event.

Downsides

- Considerably slower and harder than the old version resulting in the loss of its 'ideal early season' status. Riders wanting an easy 200km ride should look elsewhere or enter the flatter and shorter 160km version.
- Laycock tea room is very busy and it may difficult to gain a seat. Limited menu.
- This route is not awarded AAA points even though it is eligible.
- Lights will be necessary.
Beacon Audaxes The Kidderminster Killer & From Clee to Heaven 20.7.19; Autumn South Salopian 5.10.19. www.beaconrcc.org.uk/

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Post by Clive » 24 May 2013 13:15

Isle of Man audaxes.

I've just completed 2 great 100 Km audaxes on the Isle of Man. Really good cycling; roads are much quieter and surfaces better than ours, and car drivers are far more tolerant and less aggressive.

The northerly quarter of the Island is fairly flat, similar to Norfolk and the Fens, the remainder is lumpy and hilly and similar to Yorkshire or Derbyshire.

I started both from Bellaugh, north west on the island which worked really well, and there is a spar shop with cashpoint for a control.

Celts, Trams and Castles.

This is the easier of the two and follows the coast line for most of route, and passes through the towns of Peel, Ramsey, Douglas and Castletown. Follows mostly A roads (which are akin to our B and C roads). It is fairly lumpy with a few short sharp climbs thrown in to blow away any cobwebs. 1650 meters of ascent.

http://www.aukweb.net/perms/detail/MWA01

Three Peaks of Man

This is the better and most scenic route, but there is a lot of climbing with 2300 meters of ascent. Some long gradual climbs getting up to 450 M at one point, with many short sharp leg burners too. Follows mainly lanes and visits some of the most beautiful parts of the island. The tearoom in the museum village of Cregneash is worth a visit. The only little annoyance was the number of info controls, six I think, which made it seem like a treasure hunt at times, but the views and scenery may it worthwhile

http://www.aukweb.net/perms/detail/MWA02

http://www.dsleisureltd.com/cregneash.html

pics: http://www.flickr.com/photos/97114382@N04
Last edited by Clive on 07 Jun 2013 13:07, edited 3 times in total.

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The Snow Roads 300km. Whitsun Bank Holidays.

Post by Philip Whiteman » 28 May 2013 12:09

THE SNOW ROADS AUDAX. 301KM. 4.75AAA; 4.800m of ascent.


Route: http://ridewithgps.com/routes/1937180

Ride time: 12h06

Controls:

Kirriemuir GHQ
Banchory
Oyne
Rhynie (info control)
Dufftown
Braemar
Kirriemuir GHQ

PROBABLY THE MOST ENJOYABLE AUDAX TO DATE & CANNOT SPEAK HIGHLY ENOUGH OF THIS MAJESTIC ROUTE!

This event is extremely popular and legendary for very good reason. Its epic status has quickly developed within six years of its launch and recent television coverage. It constituency draws upon riders from throughout Scotland and the wider United Kingdom.

It is a challenging event that rivals many European mountain routes, with large climbs and mountain passes combined with stunning scenery throughout. As the name for the event suggests, this audax uses roads frequently closed by snow including Cairn-o-Mount, The Lecht and The Cairnwell by Glenshee. However, this route climbs a number of lesser known but equally challenging routes off the beaten tourist track, many of which are lengthy and traversing e and open expansive moorland, for example, crossing the oddly named 'Tap 'O Noth'

Whilst it is easy to concentrate one’s thoughts on the massifs of the Cairngorms, the route also passes through some stunning countryside in Aberdeenshire and Moray. If I had never entered this event then I would never have known that such glorious countryside existed in this remote part of Scotland.

With every 300km event, the last portion is always the hardest. This is certainly the case at 250km with a vicious climb over the Cairnwell by the Glenshee Ski Centre. Fortunately, there is a wonderful descent afterwards to Kirriemuir by the tranquil Gen Isla.

The organisation of this event is superb. Riders may use the hall for overnight accommodation if required. Alex had the foresight to lay on a local delicacy for returning hungry riders – Forfar Bridies. The thought just makes me hungry.

It was surprising how many audax novices there were participating in this event. All of whom possessed a great sense of camaraderie that I have never experienced quite to this extent. However, many looked like shells of their former selves by the time they had reached Braemar, with the certain knowledge that one final beast of a climb was to come.

Despite the volume of climbing, much of the route provides for fast cycling. On two occasions my group reached the controls before they had opened and we were not the fastest.

Generally speaking, after the first 20km, the roads are in excellent condition and quiet. Some of the A roads are so quiet, they are in fact no wider than country lanes.

Caveats

Kirriemuir is underprovided for in terms of overnight accommodation, so advance booking is necessary. It is also a 2 hour drive from Edinburgh.

The Cairngorms are one of the most dangerous places in Europe for weather extremes due to the nature of their unique topography. As a result, it is not uncommon for the roads to be shut due to blizzards and hurricane force winds. Whilst May is usually the best month of the year in Scotland, entrants may expect disruption to the event. Only two days before my event, The Lecht had been closed due to heavy snowfall. It is also essential that riders are prepared for poor conditions and are advised to carry warm clothing and a space blanket in case of emergency.

The spatial emptiness of this region also means some long stretches between controls for replenishment. Typically, the last two stages are 80km long. So carry reserves!

Photo websites:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/94728675@N ... 746487698/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidmam/s ... 677449244/
Beacon Audaxes The Kidderminster Killer & From Clee to Heaven 20.7.19; Autumn South Salopian 5.10.19. www.beaconrcc.org.uk/

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Fleet Moss Audax - 212km - 3.25AAA - 3,290m of ascent

Post by AJC » 28 May 2013 22:22

Fleet Moss Audax - 212km - 3.25AAA - 3,290m of ascent

Ride time 10.5 hours.

Controls:

Claughton GHQ
Slaidburn
Barbon (Info Control)
Dent
Hawes (Info Control)
Gargrave
Claughton GHQ

The Route:


An excellent 200km Audax. First leg through the Trough of Bowland to Slaidburn. Then over the Tatham Fells (quite lumpy) into enemy territory (aka Yorkshire). Skirting the Lune Valley past Kirkby Lonsdale, and the usual throng of bikers at Devil's Bridge. Then on through Barbondale to Dent for a much needed fuel stop. Leaving Dent and heading east the route follows the River Dee running through a verdant and tranquil valley, but there are some tough climbs ahead. The sharp climb out of Cowgill and then Fleet Moss (589m). An absolute sod of a hill with a 20% gradient at its steepest sections. First time I'd tackled this, and crawling along at 3mph with no more sprockets left in the bag I nearly got off and pushed. The descent on the other side into Oughtershaw and Kettlewell is absolutely fantastic though - quite a bit of loose stuff in the middle of the road and stray sheep make it even more entertaining.

The rest of the ride is reasonably moderate, following the Ribble Valley past Clitheroe and through some picturesque Lancashire villages. A couple of long grinding hills in the last 30km made me glad I'd brought some dried cranberries for an energy hit, but all in all a very good Audax with a fairly easy to navigate route.

It'll be on my Audax calender for next year when Le Tour might even take on Fleet Moss.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6B_ZujsFKj8[/b]

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Post by Philip Whiteman » 28 Jun 2013 13:53

Mid-Summer Meander. 200km. Ride Time: 8-30. 22nd June 2013

Tewkesbury
Forest of Dean Visitor Centre
Malmesbury (open control)
Boughton On The Water (open control)
Tewkesbury

+ 3 Information Controls


The Route

The ride heads out of Tewkesbury and south down the west edge of the Severn Vale, for a beakfast stop on the edge of The Forest of Dean. The second stage cuts through the forest, and drops down to Chepstow for a chance to get refreshment. Then across the Severn Bridge, up onto the Cotswold escarpment with either a lunch or mid afternoon snack stop at Malmesbury. Stage four is a run through the Cotswold lanes to Bourton-on-the-Water. Then dropping off the Cotswolds through Winchcombe (the ancient capital of Mercia) with an run back across the Severn Vale to Finish at Tewkesbury.

Whilst the route does not attract AAA points but it is quite lumpy. The Forest presents long slow climbs. A sharp hill is encountered near to Lord Somerset's Monument and the section between Malmesbury and Guiting Power contains three long ascents and descents. It is certainly harder than our Cotswolds Expedition when taken in comparison.

Comments

This is the first time I have ridden on one of Mark Rigby's events. They are gaining a justified reputation for being good events and as a consequence an increasing patronage. At times, Mark is providing an event at least once a month.

The route cards are clear and accurate. One or GPS users were having problems but I suspect that was more connected to the user than the file!

Overall: Recommended
Last edited by Philip Whiteman on 16 Sep 2013 19:27, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Philip Whiteman » 16 Aug 2013 18:02

Rough Diamond 300km from Tewkesbury. 10th August 2013. Ride time: 10.50; Actual time: 12.23.

Apperley nr Tewkesbury
Elmley Castle (info control)
Burford, Tenbury
Tal-y-bont, near Brecon.
Berkeley via the Severn Bridge
Apperley

Organised by Mark Rigby



The route

This is possibly the easiest 300 I have ever ridden with little notable climbing aside from two stiff ascents; firstly up Clifton Bank and secondly, over the ridge hills between Usk and Chepstow. Overall, the route is relatively traffic free aside from the A40 through Abergavenny, which is easily avoidable if you go off piste. We did not bother with Mark's recommendations of cycle tracks through Worcester, due to little traffic at 7am. Equally, we chose the Gloucester by-pass instead of negotiating Gloucester City.

This event attracted 70 entries, which is large by 300km event standards. It is certainly a worthwhile event to enter and easily within the scope of those that have ridden the Cotswold Expedition or KK events.

Route cards are clear and accurate.

Overall:
Recommended, especially for 300km event virgins.
Beacon Audaxes The Kidderminster Killer & From Clee to Heaven 20.7.19; Autumn South Salopian 5.10.19. www.beaconrcc.org.uk/

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Post by Philip Whiteman » 16 Sep 2013 19:26

"ON AND OFF SHORE". 200km Audax. 1st September 2013. Several hundred riders across all distances.

Actual time: 9-30 including three ferry crossings

Ride time: 7-45

Controls:

• Lymington - Yarmouth
• The Needles
• Bembridge, Vectis
• Cranbourne, Dorset
• Lymington - Yarmouth
• + 3 info controls

The Route

In addition to the three ferry passages, this event is effectively based upon four topographies across the two distinct locations of Vectis and The New Forest. Topographically, the first 50km on Vectis is superior, the most rural and entertaining. From Yarmouth the route climbs over the chalk downs to The Needles before reversing towards the colourful sands of Alum Bay. After which, you ride the hilliest section of this audax across the downs facing over the south coast of Vectis before finishing at Bembridge Bay. For this part, the route is primarily along barely used lanes through highly picturesque villages off the tourist track.

The second half of Vectis is less interesting and includes a short ferry journey across the Medina before returning to Yarmouth for the third ferry journey of the day back to the mainland.

The first half of the mainland route passes through The New Forest, an area of the UK which is vastly over-rated and suffering from congested roads. However, once beyond the famous Ornamental Roads, the countryside and the traffic improves as the ride joins some stunning chalk streamed valleys and the sharp climb over the Dorset downs to the quiet village of Cranbourne.

The last part of the entire journey is a flattish ride back to the coast outside of Christchurch, after which the audax passes through the Costa Geriatrica back to Lymington.

Comments


I entered this event with some trepidation with full knowledge that this part of the country can be horrendously busy during the holiday season. My fears were correct in terms of The New Forest but the remainder was quiet.

It is an easy audax in terms of challenge. The hardest components are the hilly section over southern Vectis. Unfortunately, the ferry journey back to Lymington allows muscles to cool-off before the grinding climb through The New Forest along the Ornamental Roads. However, what goes up must come down. After an exhausting third quarter, some Chippenham Wheelers and I returned at eye-balls out speed only to take GHQ by surprise with our early return.

If you are enticed by this ride, I have two pieces of advice. Firstly, if you want to catch the mid-day ferry then do not stop whilst on Vectis and be prepared to time-trial ride between Cowes and Yarmouth. Secondly, book your accommodation weeks in advance as hotels and guest houses are generally sold-out on this very popular weekend. The visit can also be coupled with the Bournemouth Air Show held on Saturday – if you like that sort of thing.

The entry fee is £18 but includes the ferry tickets.

Two shorter distances are available. The popular 160km event has a shorter mainland section. The 100km ride is restricted to the New Forest and probably not worth the journey to enter.

Overall: This audax is popular for good reason and I will consider entering again, subject to young Thomas.
Beacon Audaxes The Kidderminster Killer & From Clee to Heaven 20.7.19; Autumn South Salopian 5.10.19. www.beaconrcc.org.uk/

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Post by AJC » 23 Sep 2013 22:54

Northern Dales 200km Audax 8th Sept

Actual time 9hr 45

Ride time 8hr 15

Controls

Leyburn
Kirby Stephen
Plus two info controls

3 AAA points

The route

Starting out from Arnside Youth Hostel the route cuts east towards Ingleton, then heads towards Hawes passing the impressive Ribblehead Viaduct of the Settle and Carlisle Railway. After Hawes the route follows Wensleydale through picturesque villages of Askrigg and Carberby before reaching Leyburn for the obligatory beans on toast.

After Leyburn the climbing really begins over Whipperdale Bank affording a fantastic decent into Grinton and through Reeth. Then comes the main challenge of the ride, the long and slow grind (if riding a steel frame bike like me) up Tan Hill. The temptation for a pint of Black Sheep in England's highest pub (1,732ft AOD) was strong but I pressed on towards Kirby Stephen for a different pint (milk) and a flap jack.

Heading south west through the beautiful Lune Valley the route flattens out briefly. After a short pause at Devil's Bridge in Kirby Lonsdale the final section was back over the moors with views of the Irish Sea glinting in the late afternoon sunlight. A tough head wind with no shelter on the moors made the final 25km tough. One or short sharp climbs test out tired legs in the final 10km as the route ascends back up to Arnside for a well deserved bowl of homemade bread and soup.

Comments


An enjoyable ride. Taking in some unspoilt Cumbrian and Yorkshire Scenery. Simple but clear route sheet with minimal navigation requirements given the relatively sparely populated area the ride covers. Option to stay in the Youth Hostel the night before the ride to make things easier for the 8am start. Arnside is also on railway for those without car.

Overall


A popular event for good reason. Numerous PBP and LEL veterans suggest it has regular following. 33 starters for the 200km. A 100km event is also available.

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Post by AJC » 14 Oct 2013 21:25

Droitwich - Lechlade 212km Audax

Ride time 8hr 35

Total time 9hr 15


Controls

Cheltenham (garage stop)
Lechlade (cafe stop)
Tewkesbury (garage stop)
plus three info controls

Route

Rough figure-of-eight route which goes down through Worcester and the Severn Vale to Cheltenham before crossing the Cotswold escarpment to follow the pretty River Coln valley to Lechlade. The ride returns via Fairford, Cheltenham and Tewkesbury. The route is not particularly hilly and there are climbs only as necessary. There are a number of places to eat along the way with several potential stopping points passed in Cheltenham and two alternatives in/just beyond Lechlade. The Black Cat café in Lechlade High Street is a traditional small market town café (with off-road parking for bikes down a side passage), whilst the garden centre control a bit further on is a cafeteria type stop.

Comments

Pleasant autumn ride taking in the countryside of Worcestershire and Gloucestershire. Rolling hills of the Cotswolds provide gently undulation rather than a difficult challenge. The route passes through picturesque towns including Worcester, Cheltenham and Tewkesbury. Black Cat cafe in Lechlade offers a good selection of cyclist friendly food and reasonable prices.

About 15 entrants including the organiser Gavin Greenhow. Good to see a number of Beaconites making up the entry list - Darren Garey, Paul Campbell and Sean Barker.

Overall

Reasonably kind weather (aside from a heavy shower at the end) made for a good day in the saddle. Will repeat next year.

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Post by AJC » 07 Nov 2013 22:00

Transporter 200km Audax - 2 November 2013

Ride Time 8hr 35

Total Time 9hr 50

Controls


Usk (Nag's head PH)
Sennybridge (Service Station Cafe)
plus three info controls

Route

Three sections of very differing character. First section goes through Cardiff, along the Taff, past the Millennium Stadium and Castle, then cuts across the Wentloog levels before passing the Newport Transporter (closed for winter). Having negotiated Newport the route begins to get lumpy through Wentwood before arriving at Usk. The second section is particularly lumpy after Brecon, lots of short sharp climbs. The route also follows the Taff Trail and hugs the Usk Valley for majority of this section. The third and final section has the Devil's Elbow as the main 'attraction'. A double hairpin climb of around 10% for the 1 mile distance. After that it's mainly downhill and through some of the outlying valley settlements on the return to Cardiff.

Comments

Aside from a very busy and quite hostile road (A4054) back into Cardiff this is a very good route. Some flat sections to get the hammer down, and plenty of hills to test the legs. Both controls were good; well set up to receive and feed the thirty-odd entrants. Some fantastic scenery through the Brecons and over the Devil's Elbow, would have been even better without the driving rain and 25mph headwind!

The Village Hotel at Coryton acted as the HQ. An establishment more used to seeing wedding receptions than bedraggled cyclists.

Overall

Would consider doing this Audax again but possibly as a permanent during a more clement part of the year.

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Stroud 5 Valleys

Post by petemarshall » 15 Mar 2014 11:00

Stroud 5 Valleys

There aren't many Audax rides around that are only 50 km and even fewer that also give you an AAA point.
Stroud 5 Valleys does both of these in some style.

This http://www.aukweb.net/perms/detail/SP37/ is the link.

The route starts in Stroud with free parking at the leisure centre, there is a cafe for control, toilets etc.

There are a lot of controls for such a short route, I suppose to keep you to the route! I did it using gps and photos but there are a combination of information and cafes if you prefer.

The organiser says "if it's flat, you may be off route" and he isn't joking.

There is one bit that showed up as 33% on my Garmin!

The route is a circular one and as the name suggests takes in the five valleys that surround Stroud. Unsurprisingly this means going up the sides of some of the steepest valleys in England, a great early season test of leg strength (or lack of it) I made sure it was dry the day I did it as traction can be a problem going up and coming down is scary enough in the dry.

You can drink cider with Rosie or walk out one midsummers morning when you go through Slad, my favourite bit of the route.

The route finishes with the easiest ascent and then a marvellous long descent back to Stroud on the widest and best surfaced road of the day. Unfortunately I was doing the descent at the time the schools were going home, so dodging kids and yummy mummies in their Audi's was a priority.

A great way to spend a morning or afternoon and also get an AAA point.

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Benjamin Alan's Spring Tonic 200km

Post by Philip Whiteman » 06 Apr 2014 09:18

Benjamin Alan's Spring Tonic 200km. 5th April 2014

RTM: 8h12m

Organised by Mark Rigby 'Black Sheep CC



Route:
Tewkesbury - Leominster - Hay-on-Wye - Upper Soudley (Forest of Dean Heritage Centre) - Tewkesbury.


Mark Rigby produces some excellent audaxes an almost monthly basis, usually using innovative and scenic routes - this was another.

The first half of this ride is astonishingly easy and fast, using predominantly quiet and pleasant A roads as far as Hay. Two us completed this section 3h30m without effort.

From Hay, the challenging section commences with some climbs diving in and out of The Golden Valley before entering some dark and little used lanes towards Goodrich. A brutal but 'steady as she goes' climb takes riders into the Forest of Dean. The final section is short and equally as pleasant.

The Sandwich Counter (the recommended cafe for Hay) and the Heritage Centre controls all produce excellent cakes at cheap prices - it is worth the stop-off.

Overall: An enjoyable route and I would ride it again.

Other known Beacon members on this event:

Paul Campbell
Alan Weaver
Matt Regan
Ian Taylor
Beacon Audaxes The Kidderminster Killer & From Clee to Heaven 20.7.19; Autumn South Salopian 5.10.19. www.beaconrcc.org.uk/

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Post by IanT » 06 Apr 2014 16:51

I concur with Philip, this was a very good route with well organised controls, an enjoyable day out.

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Post by Philip Whiteman » 31 May 2014 21:28

The Four Rivers 212km Audax (revised)

Start/finish: Wem
Controls at The Bog Visitor Centre, Lake Vyrnwy, Llangower and Llangedwyn, plus 1 information control


A very tough 200km audax that sucks the life out good legs. After a easy first quarter, the route crosses difficult topography that is rarely flat. Before even starting the attempt of Bwlch-y-groes, exhaustion in setting in. The nature of the terrain is relentless but worse is to come. The climb from Lake Bala over the Berwyns is hard, long but consistent (as the actress said to the Bishop).

The countryside is variable from the plains of Shropshire to stark moorland of the Berwyns and steep and considerable rolling hills of North Montgomeryshire.

The last leg to Wem is a considerable improvement, using lanes instead of horribly busy roads back into Shrewsbury.

Only basic refreshments are provided at HQ. So don't expect a breakfast for the 7.30 start.

The field for the Four Rivers was small but the Three and Two Rivers are very popular due to their direct routes to Lake Vyrnwy.

Beacon Riders
200km
Eddie Sumner
Me

170km
Leslie Brown

130km
Richard Kent was also spotted.

Recommended by only if you are feeling fit!
Beacon Audaxes The Kidderminster Killer & From Clee to Heaven 20.7.19; Autumn South Salopian 5.10.19. www.beaconrcc.org.uk/

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CakeStop
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Real Name: Steve Smith
Location: Birmingham

Post by CakeStop » 30 Mar 2015 19:44

Barry's Bristol Blast 117km Audax

A recent addition to the cake filled fun day of events organised by the Las Vegas Institute of Sport. Starting from Long Ashton just south of Bristol the ride goes over the Mendip Hills before dropping down to pass Wookey and Wells. Then it's head towards the welcome sight of Glastonbury Tor for the first stop at the Town Hall where pasta, rolls and a fine array of home made cakes was on offer. After Glastonbury the route crosses the Somerset Levels then skirts around the western edge of the Mendips for a pub stop at Kenn, just south of Clevedon. There's pub food available at the second stop but with only 23km remaining to the final cake-fest I settled for a drink and a flapjack I was carrying. The final section took us past Clevedon and around Tickenham Hill before a final climb to Failand and then dropping back down to the HQ where a selection of hot soups and more cake awaited us.

I should imagine the view from the top of the Mendips would have been great but sideways rain and 50mph gusts meant that remaining focused on staying upright and on the road was the order of the day. Leaving Glastonbury I teamed up with a couple of other chaps who possibly also thought a bit of company was wise in case one of us was blown off the road. Crossing the Somerset Levels after Glastonbury we endured even stronger side-winds which had us riding in a comedic fashion leaning into the wind and steering towards the ditch in a sometimes vain attempt to keep on the left hand side of the road. Eventually, as we headed back towards the Mendips we found a bit more shelter and the riding became a little less hazardous allowing us to enjoy the scenery. The first half of the ride was quite scary at times and the most mentally exhausting cycling I've ever done. If the weather conditions hadn't been so extreme it would have been a wonderful route and not a terribly challenging ride. As it was I was so tired by halfway after battling into and against the wind I was relieved that the second half was less of an adventure. Highly recommended in half decent weather!
Eat cake before you're hungry

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Philip Whiteman
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Post by Philip Whiteman » 30 Mar 2015 20:00

Chapeau Steve. That was a gallant ride given the conditions. I have read some very interesting accounts about yesterday's various events on YACF. But where there is cake, there is a way.
Beacon Audaxes The Kidderminster Killer & From Clee to Heaven 20.7.19; Autumn South Salopian 5.10.19. www.beaconrcc.org.uk/

Dave Cox
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Post by Dave Cox » 31 Mar 2015 10:07

Well done Steve let's hope we get better weather for the Cotswold and Clee Audaxes

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George
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Location: Worcestershire

Post by George » 31 Mar 2015 17:26

Blow me. Sounds like quite a ride.

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Philip Whiteman
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Post by Philip Whiteman » 29 Sep 2015 15:45

RIDE OUT WEST. 217KM

August Bank Holiday 2015
Organiser: Gavin Greenhow
Facilities: Basic
Cost: £5
GPX files are not made available to entrants.

Route: Droitwich - Bromyard - Leominster - Kington - Gladestry - Llangunllo - Knighton - Ludlow - Droitwich. 3 'Free' Controls; 4 Information Controls.
Ascent: 2,750m
Ride Time: 7-45

Gavin's rides attract a small but dedicated following. They are low key affairs with no thrills. Typical of his audaxes, the route follows a large number of rural lanes providing an entertaining day. The first section of his route to Leominster uses some testing hills before a long flat section to Kington, after which the route climbs through the hills on the Welsh border. The route passes under the spectacular Knucklas viaduct before entering Knighton. You are now homeward bound but not free of vicious climbing near Leintwardine and through the Clee. Riders are offered a voucher at the end of the day for purchasing drink or some food in the pub.

An enjoyable day.
Beacon Audaxes The Kidderminster Killer & From Clee to Heaven 20.7.19; Autumn South Salopian 5.10.19. www.beaconrcc.org.uk/

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Philip Whiteman
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Post by Philip Whiteman » 21 Oct 2015 14:44

MR PICKWICK'S AUTUMNAL OUTING. 209km

17th October 2015
Organiser: Mark Rigby
Distance: 209km + 8 km diversion.
Facilities: Start/finish from a decent pub; cafe controls
Cost: £5
GPX files made available
Approx number of entrants: 100
Route: Tewkesbury - Halford (Warks) - Daventry (94km) - Chipping Norton - Tewkesbury + 2 info controls
Ascent: 2350
Ride Time: 7-53

The Tewkesbury audaxes justifiably attract large fields (for audax) and always follow well thought out routes which a varied in nature and topography. The first half of the route is undulating minus an ascent of Saintbury Hill, whilst passing through moderately pleasant countryside as far as Daventry. The return route is considerably more interesting and varied. The first section of the return is undulating and skirts along the bottom of Edge Hill until it hits the Cotswold plateau, after-which life becomes tougher and considerably harder. The Cotswold section was completely new to me, passing through some marvellous villages such as The Slaughters and along some decent but quiet lanes. The route summits at the top of Suddeley Bank before an homeward leg into Tewkesbury.

Highlights: The return journey for its variable countryside; excellent controls.
Downside: Moderately busy ten mile A road section between Southam and Daventry.

A positive day.

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Beacon Audaxes The Kidderminster Killer & From Clee to Heaven 20.7.19; Autumn South Salopian 5.10.19. www.beaconrcc.org.uk/

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Philip Whiteman
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JACK AND GRACE COTTON

Post by Philip Whiteman » 25 Jan 2016 15:27

Jack and Grace Cotton Audax - Recommended!

23rd January 2016

Controls: Aztec West, Almondsbury; Epney; Tortworth; Almondsbury.

Distance: 104km

Organisers:
Audax Club Bristol

There are two sizeable classic brevet populaires on the cycling calendar; our Sunrise and Snowdrop Express and our nearest rival, the Jack and Grace Cotton.

Both events are very comparable in terms of the number of cyclists and ride topography. This event typically has 180 starters comprised of local club cyclists using the ride as an early season reliability event, plus the large array of novice riders seeking to challenge themselves to a new distance.

The outbound route is the easiest portion, using slight undulating lanes up through the Vale of Berkeley parallel to the west of the A38. Upon reaching Epney near Gloucester, it switches to the east whereupon it uses hillier roads just underneath the escarpment of the Cotswolds.

Aztec West is a shiny office block estate just off the M5 and an easy 1.25 hours journey down the M5 from junction 4. Indeed, the start HQ is located within the regional HQ of Citibank's Office Atrium - an unusual starting location - complete with sandwich bars for the a pre-ride snack and a hairdresser for those needing a perm.

Upsides:
- Very easy route, a great choice for January
- Well organised
- Good sense of camaraderie from a large number of local friendly cyclists.
- Decent controls - especially at Tortworth.

Downsides:
- Not recommended in icy conditions.
- Lanes are grubby in places and you will return filthy.

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Beacon Audaxes The Kidderminster Killer & From Clee to Heaven 20.7.19; Autumn South Salopian 5.10.19. www.beaconrcc.org.uk/

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Philip Whiteman
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Discovering Shropshire

Post by Philip Whiteman » 18 Sep 2016 19:49

Discovering Shropshire. 207km - FLIPPEN ECK!

3 Altitude Award Points

Ridden 17th September.

Controls. Upton Magna GHQ, Rays Farm, Shobdon, Little Brampton. + 3 information controls.

Sometimes it pays not to examine the route profile before riding. If I had then loosing sleep would have been a certain bet.

To say this was a challenging route would be an understatement. Whilst there was slightly less climbing compared to the Kidderminster Killer, it was almost as hard. The organiser, John Hamilton, is known for challenging events and that should have provided some forewarning.

It is a stunning route with some incredible climbs, most of which I had never tackled before. Many of the lanes was so grassed over and I doubt they had seen a vehicle for years but that gave riders a sense of owning the road. The route set off from Upton Magna approaching Rays Farm via the Long Mynd via unfamiliar lanes. On route to Shobdon, the route followed a line over Clee Hill before reaching The Goggin. Beyond Shobdon it became vicious with frequent climbs through Dolau before swinging back over the Clun Hills. I also discovered plenty of climbs through the behind Church Stretton in the Cardington vicinity. A stunning route with vistas but knackering and not to be underestimated lightly. This was a tough, tough ride.

Ride time: 9.5 hours (a slow route). The fastest rider only returned 15 minutes earlier.

Upsides: The views

Downsides: Lactic Acid

Advice: Don't ride in wet weather.

Image[/img]

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Philip Whiteman
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Five Gates

Post by Philip Whiteman » 25 Oct 2016 15:56

The Five Gates - 200km

Start and Finish The Castle Pub, Droitwich

Controls: Shipston, Witney, Chipping Campden. Plus one info control

Ridden: 22nd October. Ride Time: Approx 7h35m

Beacon Riders Me, Phil Richards, Rob Wade, Fenella Brown, Andy Curley.

Gavin Greenhow's event are very basic to say the least but what can you expect for just £4 entry! Despite starting in a pub car park with no facilities en-route, they are strangely endearing and his routes are always well thought out.

Curiously it is called the Five Gates because of an alleged six gates along a narrow Cotswold Lane. Curious, because there are six! As a route the first and last quarters are reasonably flat as they pass through the Vale of Evesham. The middle two quarters are bumpy to say the least but free of any vicious climbs. The Cotwolds are at their best during the autumn due to the striking colours and yellow glow across the landscape, so if you catch this event in sunny weather it will be fantastic. As for our ride, we were under grey leaden skies for the first half but it was still rewarding.

Open controls are the order of the day but riders have plenty of choices along route. The Bakery in Shipston is good and probably necessary ahead of the longest stage, a 73km haul down to Witney and its plethora of cafes. Chipping Campden is typically chocolate box infested with pedestrians that have the most remarkable capacity to walk more slowly than a snail. Upon return to Droitwich, don't expect a controller as you simply hand over your Brevet Card to the bar staff along with a drinks voucher.

The only downside of this route is a petty one, it uses the Evesham Bypass for one very unpleasant mile.

https://ridewithgps.com/routes/full/172 ... 8aa878ad78

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Philip Whiteman
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Post by Philip Whiteman » 09 Jan 2017 19:24

KINGS, CASTLES, PRIESTS AND CHURCHES - 201km

Event held in December and available as a perm audax


https://ridewithgps.com/routes/18356473

Controls

Tewkesbury
Ledbury
Bromyard
Ludlow
Presteigne
Kington
Allensmore
Tewkesbury

Description


An excellent ride with Phil Richards on a perm in January.

The route is allocated 1.75AAA but in reality is considerably hillier. This has to by my favourite Mark Rigby route to date and it is rightly popular amongst the wider audax community.

There are two overwhelming features of this ride. The first is the notable lack of traffic even on primary roads. The second feature is tranquil countryside of orchards, steeply wooded hillsides and river valleys. The controls use delightful market towns and the exceptional service station at Allensmore.

Do not under estimate the topography of the route. The route is predictably hilly from Ledbury to Ludlow but the severity increases beyond Ludlow as the route crossed three hill ridges, often using minor lanes. The descent shortly after Kington provides some relief but there is a sting in the tail where climbs are required out of two deep river valleys before the hills near Much Marcle.

From a personal perspective, I would love to ride this route again on mid-summers day.
Beacon Audaxes The Kidderminster Killer & From Clee to Heaven 20.7.19; Autumn South Salopian 5.10.19. www.beaconrcc.org.uk/

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Philip Whiteman
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Post by Philip Whiteman » 30 Apr 2017 16:35

BEYOND THE DALES WE KNOW - 304km - 3.5AAA

Start and Finish:Newby Wiske between Thirsk and Northallerton

Controls:Boroughbridge, Ilkley, Littondale, Tebay, Middleton-in-Teesdale, Staindrop plus one checkpoint.

Ridden:29th April 2017. Ride Time: 14h. Participants: 40

Organiser: Dean Clementson of club 'VC167'

Any ride in the north of England should be described as brutal and this is no exception. Participants are lulled into a false sense of security with a flat first 27km but soon the hills arrive only to followed by very hard climbs over moor and back down into dale. With the climbs come spectacular scenery with passages through places such as Ikley Moor, Littondale, the side of Pen-y-ghent, Ribblehead, Dentdale, The Howgills, and Brough Fells. The event does not use main roads and for the most part uses good quality B, C and unclassified roads. Near Tebay, riders have to negotiate a malevolent Rough Fell ram forbidding any passage across a cattle grid.

There as a lot of climbing, non of it very steep but all of it challenging. The largest climb is the 486m climb out of Brough over the North Pennines. At 220km this climb is punishing and requires riders to bury themselves into the ascent but once the summit is achieved, there are no big remaining climbs. From there on, minus usual undulations, it is a ruling gradient descending back down to the Vale of York.

The final 50km from Staindrop to Newby Wiske is not hilly but with tired legs each slope is challenging. Nonetheless, this gentle section provides a suitable finale to this epic ride.

Whilst a long way away from the Beacon patch, it is worth the journey to participate in this event. In terms of difficulty, it is probably as tough as the original Elenith.

Upsides

- Excellent scenery
- Well organised and friendly
- Plenty of choices for food stops en-route
- An unusual but great start and finish control located on a farm. Enjoyable food served at the finish.
- A warm welcome from the organiser

Dowsides

- Lactic acid

Advice

The stages between Littondale and Tebay is considerable and there are no food options at Littondale, so I would advise stopping at the Ribblehead Burger caravan. Tebay control uses an excellent cafe for more substantial feeding. On my visit, I stayed at a good Premier Inn located in Thirsk.

This event is twinned with a 100km off-road audax "Don't Keep to the Road" suitable for sturdy road and cross bikes.

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Beacon Audaxes The Kidderminster Killer & From Clee to Heaven 20.7.19; Autumn South Salopian 5.10.19. www.beaconrcc.org.uk/

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Philip Whiteman
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SEVERN AND MALVERNS PERMANENT 200km AUDAX

Post by Philip Whiteman » 26 May 2017 13:10

Start and finish at any control: Cleobury Mortimer, Malvern, Ledbury, Ludlow, Wellington.

I have ridden this route twice and Wellington makes the better starting point as a mean of avoiding busy midday traffic in Telford.

Ridden: November 2016; May 2017

Organiser: John Hamilton

http://www.aukweb.net/perms/detail/JHA14/

Image

This route is a delight but far from easy. It is very undulating and tots up to 3,000m of ascent. There is only one easy going section which lays between Ludlow and Wellington, minus the Wenlock Edge climb. For the most part the route utilizes quiet lanes and B roads.

There is a short miserable stretch between Wellington and Ironbridge. For this reason, I would recommend a Wellington start to avoid the worst of the traffic and swarm of tourists in Ironbridge. It also means an easier last quarter to the ride.

Recommended
Beacon Audaxes The Kidderminster Killer & From Clee to Heaven 20.7.19; Autumn South Salopian 5.10.19. www.beaconrcc.org.uk/

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