I had to re-organise this ride due to trains and constraint cycle policies! But nothing will stop us and actually, I have put together a much much better trip! You can't cover more in one weekend: Salisbury, Stonehenge, Glasto, Somerset and we finish it off with the New Forest, all places we haven't been before (bar Salisbury).
So, if you are planless for the first long weekend of 2013 then I'd love you to join me on this trip. Personally, I couldn't think of a better way to kick start my birthday celebrations than doing what I enjoy most: cycling!
Please note that places are available ONLY to those that have cycled with us before or who can confirm experience of long distance rides.
Start: We meet 7.30am at Waterloo Station. We should all be able to travel in the 8.05am service to Southampton but if worse comes to the worst we will split in two services.
Route: 85ish miles on day one and 73ish on day two 90 miles on day one and 80ish miles on day two. The elevation is not bad. It won't be a shopping trip but we should be able to keep our breath and enjoy the ride. Elevation stays below 10% (bar the Cheddar Gorge) although the route is quite rolling. But hey, we'll be touching some of the most iconic places in the Southwest of England! I doubt it can get any better!
PACE OF THE RIDE: As a rule of thumb expect an average pace of 14 mph, slower uphill and definitely faster along flat stretches. If you haven't cycled in a while or if you have never cycled 70 miles altogether the ride may not be for you. Remember that our policy is that you will be kindly asked to bail out if you are too slow to keep up our pace. Truth be said, this has only happened a handful of times so if you feel on the right side of determined then give it a go. Nonetheless, rail stations en route will be limited so you may need to backtrack a few miles or take a cab if worse comes to the worst and you need to leave the group.
Stops: We will spend a few moments at Stonehenge but then we should take in the surroundings as we cycle along. You know I like photos so we may stop for a few shots along the route. May be a quick stop for lunch if we find a nice pub en route. Day two we will push so as to get to Southampton no later than 7.30pm but if we are having a good pace we may as well stop for lunch. A few stops for snacks will also happen. Be aware that we do not stop often, our rides are pretty steady.
Overnight: We will spend the night in a youth hostel in Cheddar, close to the Gorge and the Mendips. Unless we are even numbers of males and females we will sleep in mixed-sex rooms. Dorms are with shared bathrooms. Dinner may be at the hostel or a nearby pub. Being my birthday I will hope we have a memorable evening.
What to bring: snacks and water to refuel regularly. Weatherproof gear. Spare inner tube(s),inner tube(s), pump, some cash and lights. A Helmet is mandatory when you ride with us. Ideally, you'd like to carry some spare clothes for our evening in the pub.
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.
Return to London: We will cycle back to Southampton where we will catch a train back to London. Expect a late return around 10pm but then again Monday is a Bank Holiday.
Weather : Everything will be booked in advance so the ride will go ahead regardless of the weather.
Cost, Payments and Refunds: The cost of the trip is £45 to include the return train ticket and hostel accommodation (and towel hire). You will need spare cash for your snacks and meals. Payment: once you have RSVP I will send you an email with the account details to make your payment. If you wish to pay via Paypal you will have to add £3 to the cost of the trip. Payment should be made within one week of RSVP. Refunds:NO REFUNDS are available, regardless of how much notice you offer. Alternatively, you may be able to have someone else take your place. Please note that this option is subject to: the person being a member of our Meet Up; the person having cycled with us previously in a 70+ ride; the person have not been involved in any risky riding. Also, be mindful that if you have to/are asked to bail out you won't be able to obtain a refund either. PLEASE ANSWER ALL THE QUESTIONS THAT YOU ARE ASKED AS AND WHEN YOU RSVP.
"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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