Thanks to a fantastic summer we've had some fabulous rides this year. I'm really pleased with the new places we've discovered and the twist we gave to old favourites. Yesterday I had an epiphany and I came up with this ride which I'm sure will be the epitome of our summer cycling. 21st of September is the official end of summer and I thought we should mark it in style.
THE BEAUTY OF THIS RIDE IS THAT YOU CAN JOIN ON SATURDAY, ON SUNDAY OR MAKE IT A WEEKEND EVENT. IT'S UP TO YOU.
Start: We meet 8.15am at London Paddington. We will board 2 trains. The 8.30am and 8.36am services to Swindon. We'll split in two groups of 4. This will allow us to buy cheaper tickets with group savers 4. The ride will start promptly at 9.45am from Swindon.
IF YOU WANT TO JOIN US ONLY ON SUNDAY I WILL BOOK YOU AND YOUR BIKE FOR A LONDON TO BRISTOL TRAIN ON SUNDAY MORNING.
Route: Day 1 is an 86 mile ride with a total elevation of 5150 feet. There will be two or three significant climbs. The rest will be flat erring on the side of rolling. Overall, given distance and climbs it will be rather hard but it will be a beautiful and scenic route. Almost 90% of the track is on quiet roads. We cycle from Swindon out of Wiltshire into Somerset and via Bath and the jaw dropping Cheddar Gorge we'll finally arrive in Bristol. YOU MAY RETURN TO LONDON AT THE END OF DAY 1 OR CONTINUE ONTO DAY 2.
Day 2 is on Sunday and we'll cycle from Bristol to Reading. 91 miles and 4800ft elevation, a day of rolling countryside through Wiltshire and Berkshire.
PACE OF THE RIDE: The usual 15mph average pace, strictly for those confident in long distances and hills. ONCE WE LEAVE BATH YOU WON'T HAVE TRAIN STATIONS EN ROUTE TO BAIL OUT. So please only RSVP if you feel confident about the distance and elevation. This is not a ride to experiment with your fitness. Please check our pace and bail out policy (Discussion/Message Board/Pace + Health & Safety tab at the top of the screen).
If you are unsure about whether you will fit in with the group's pace feel free to drop me an email.
ATTENDANCE: Please only RSVP if your social/work calendar looks free for this date. Please review our attendance policy (Discussion/Message Board/Attendance Policy tab at the top of the screen).
PLEASE NOTE THAT ON THIS OCCASION REFUNDS WON'T BE AVAILABLE AS ALL TICKETS WILL BE BOUGHT IN ADVANCE. IF YOU NEED TO CANCEL YOUR ONLY OPTION WILL BE TO FIND ANOTHER SUITABLE CYCLIST TO TAKE YOUR PLACE.
****PLEASE READ THE FULL REFUND POLICY HERE***
Stops: We don't really stop often. A toilet/mechanical stop when needed plus a quick snack break at 25 and 50 and 70 miles.
Lunch: On long rides I always rather have lunch at the end. On this occasion, I suggest we treat ourselves to a nice lunch in the most quaint village pub we find 65/70 miles into the ride on day 1. We could also consider lunch at Cheddar Gorge. That would be about 62 miles into the ride on Day 1. On Day 2, as we'll probably be exhausted we can have a decent lunch stop somewhere hafl way or 3/4 of the ride.
What to bring: Please buy snacks in advance, loads of them. You'll also need water to refuel regularly. Weatherproof gear. Spare inner tube(s), lights, a pump, a mobile phone and some cash. A Helmet is mandatory when you ride with us.
We will buy more snacks before we set off on day 2.
HEALTH & SAFETY: Cycling is fun and safe but no sporting activity is risk-free. To minimise such risk when you take part in our rides you will be expected to ride safely, wearing a helmet and abiding by the Highway Code. No red light jumping, unexpected turns or dangerous overtaking will be accepted. If we feel you are putting other group members at risk you will be asked to bail out immediately. Please note that you join us at your own risk and that by joining us on this trip you understand, accept and agree to take all the risks inherent and expected from cycling on the roads exempting myself and your fellow riders for any accident/injury you may sustain. This should be read as a clause of exemption of liability for all purposes.
Return to London: We'll cycle Bristol to Reading on Sunday and we'll catch a train to London from Reading (several services an hour).
ALTERNATIVELY, YOU MAY WANT TO LEAVE US ON SATURDAY EVENING AND CATCH A RETURN TRAIN TO LONDON FROM BRISTOL.
Fees & Fares: The £45 charge will include your train ticket London-Swindon & Reading-London; 1 night accommodation in a youth hostel (multiple share room) + £1.5 contribution fee.
FEES REMAIN THE SAME IF YOU CYCLE ONLY ON SATURDAY.
FEES ARE £40 IF YOU CYCLE ONLY ON SUNDAY. THIS IS BECAUSE YOU WILL BE PAYING FULL TRAIN FARES RATHER THAN GROUP SAVERS.
WHEN YOU BOOK MESSAGE ME YOUR PREFERENCE.
Weather: Given that all tickets are booked in advance we will have to go ahead regardless of the weather. If worse comes to the worst (i.e. torrential rain) I could revise and cut shot the route. I have though checked the extended forecast and it appears that summer will still be in place by then. But England being England...
One of the aims of the Cycling group is to appreciate of our natural surroundings, local towns and villages. We hope to minimise our impact by making sure that we are responsible for our litter. Please dispose of all of your litter and snack wrappers carefully".
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