Saturday 11th March 2017, starting from Grazeley, South of Reading
These are long-running Reading CTC events exploring the countryside to the west of Reading, loosely using the course of the River Kennet as their inspiration.
These are serious events, of 202km (126 miles) or 101km (63 miles), and the longer event in particular requires considerable stamina. The weather in early March is likely to be cold and/or wet. Entrants are expected to be experienced cyclists, familiar with riding the distance, and able to carry out routine simple repairs should they be needed. It is wise to carry several spare inner tubes and the means to deploy them. Daylight hours are still quite short and LIGHTS ARE ESSENTIAL for the 202km event. There is no mechanical support on the ride, and no roadside event signage.
This event is not a race. Please avoid doing anything that could spoil the event - be friendly and courteous to all those you meet on the ride (including drivers, horse riders and pedestrians) and act as an ambassador for audax and cycling generally.
Because the roads are likely to be wet, and in places muddy, riders are requested to have mudguards fitted if possible. This is not for following riders' comfort (you can always ride further back!) but to try to avoid antagonising the cafes on whom we depend for controls. Muddy riders are unlikely to be welcome.
As with most of the country, the state of repair of the roads can best be described as poor. There is comment in the routesheet on sections that could cause particular problems. Riders should not assume that any lack of comment about road surface means that the surface is good. It is the responsibility of all riders to take suitable care.
Any profits from the events will be donated to Macmillan Cancer Support. In 2016 thanks to the generosity of riders we raised nearly £2000 for the charity.
These events start and finish at Grazeley, south of Reading. The routes use mainly B-roads and unclassified roads, with little A-road. From Grazeley the routes go through Mortimer, Aldermaston, Brimpton and south of Newbury to Kintbury, across Kintbury Common to the first control at the Tutti Pole Cafe in Hungerford. Riders on the 200 event will then continue westwards through Bedwyn, Pewsey and the Lavingtons to Bratton, which is just short of Westbury. After another cafe stop at the Pickleberry Cafe riders will retrace the route to Hungerford for a second visit to the Tutti Pole Cafe. Both rides proceed eastwards from Hungerford via Boxford, Hermitage, Yattendon and Theale back to Grazeley. and here is an overview of the 200.
For those on the 200, please note that the Tutti Pole closes at 1800 and stops serving food at 1730. The cut-off time for this control on the return is 1754. You’ll need cash as neither cafe takes cards. (there are ATMs in Hungerford).
Apart from the Cafe controls at Hungerford and Bratton, there are also Information controls at Highclere, Welford and Yattendon. There will be a controller at Hungerford to stamp your card, and at Bratton riders should pick up a sticker from the cafe counter and stick it in the appropriate box on your brevet card. At the information controls you should note the answer to the simple question in your brevet card (a pencil or pen is useful).
There will be snacks at the start, and hot food available at the finish, all included in the entry fee. You will be responsible for feeding yourself during the event. The controls at Hungerford and Bratton provide a range of food and drink (a wider range at H than at B). There are also shops on the route (Hungerford and Hermitage on both rides, and Great Bedwyn, Pewsey and Market Lavington on the 200) where snacks may be purchased.
We will be validating all brevet cards at the finish so you can take away your validated card without having to wait for the post.
Any queries about this event should be directed to the organiser, Mick Simmons (email@example.com)
To enter see the AUK website for the 100 and the 200. On-line entry is available (with payment via PayPal). It will be possible to enter on the day, but note that
(a) the entry fee for either event will be £10 (including £2 temporary AUK membership unless you can show you are an AUK/CTC member),
(b) it may cause you to start later than the main field as my priority will be to those who entered in advance, and
(c) while I always order what I expect to be enough Brevet cards, I cannot guarantee to have spares on the day.
The start control
The start is in Grazeley Village Hall. The control will open at about 0645, and hot & cold drinks, toast, biscuits and bananas will be available. Those who have entered in advance will find their brevet card on the table near the entrance. There is no need to register - if your card is taken it will be assumed you have started. On-the-day entrants will find a registration table near the entrance. The 200km event starts at 0730, in order to maximise daylight riding. The 100km event starts at 0900.
How to get there
Grazeley is south of Reading. Leave M4 at J11, and follow A33 Basingstoke. Straight across first traffic-light junction, keep in right-hand lane and shortly right at traffic lights. Immediately left at mini-rbt, and in 3/4 mile take second right. Grazeley Village Hall is then on your left. For those that need instructions, go to the AUK calendar page (link above), click on the map and then enter your starting point for full driving instructions. The postcode for satnavs is RG7 1LD. Note also the paragraph below about rail services.
Cars can be parked at the start location. Please park tidily, following the instructions of the helper who will be there, and remember that local residents will likely still be asleep when you arrive!
Where to stay
The nearest Travelodge is at Reading M4 services, just 6km away and there's a Premier Inn at Grazeley (3km) There are plenty of hotels at various prices in Reading see hotels.
Reading is well served by trains from London Paddington (and indeed much of the UK). Reading station is a 9km ride from the start and (in the author's opinion) is a relatively complex and not particularly pleasant route. Mortimer station (10 minutes on the Reading - Basingstoke line) is 4.6km from the event HQ. Exit station to turn L onto road, 2nd exit (=R) @ mini-rbt and continue to Grazeley. Village Hall signposted on LHS, soon after school which is on the right. Trains from Reading at 0639 (or at a pinch the 0707) for the 200, or 0807 for the 100.
Below are the routesheets, and gpx tracks. The gpx files are offered without guarantee; I believe them to be accurate at the time loaded, with one minor deviation that applies to both routes. At 52.6k on the 100 and 158k on the 200 (just past Winding Wood for those familiar with the area) the gpx track turns left, while the routesheet takes you straight ahead to the next T where left. The two routes then rejoin, with those following the routesheet having ridden marginally (1k?) further.
The gpx tracks (generated in MemoryMap and modified in Garmin MapSource) are both single breadcrumb tracks of the route, with less than 500 trackpoints. They should therefore display correctly in any Garmin GPS. I cannot comment on other makes of GPS. In any case you should satisfy yourself that they display correctly in your own device. Controls are shown as named waypoints in all files. In my experience waypoints only display at certain zoom levels (I use an old eTrex HCx = your experience may differ), so you may not see these.
Mick has added a much larger and more detailed GPX file for the KV100. It is derived from an actual ride and recorded on a Garmin Edge 810 so should suit 800 series or later.
The routesheets are saved in PDF and Excel 97/2003 format to make them as accessible as possible.
The routesheets are best printed by downloading the files (the down arrow on the right) rather than just clicking on the file name.
Similarly, for gpx files use the down arrow to download.