Start & Finish: Bristol | Entry: £9.50
Work that Xmas fat off & complete the Festive 500 in one! Be prepared for anything; from freezing cold to winter sun & blue skies to hurricane winds & rain. Breakfast rolls before depart and soup at Arrivée included.
Heading off from Bristol into the early morning the silence of the city outskirts gives way to eager birdsong. Climb atop the Cotswolds for an easy ride to the first control. Onwards edging the Thames Valley, passing through the centre of Oxford and crossing Ot Moor to the lunch stop. Leaving the Vale of Aylesham passing through Woburn Park for a quick run to Cambridge. Head to St Ives on the traffic free path adjacent to the guided busway; in the dark they'll eerily creep up on you before wooshing past! Onto Higham Ferrers and it's Christmas lights, Northampton with it's Christmas tree atop the National Lift Tower, over rolling hills hopefully with twinkling stars above before a welcome respite at Gaydon's 24hr garage! Fast to the Fosse Way, tickle the Cotswolds and cross the Vale of Evesham; will you use an Audax hotel or will you press on? In the early throws of morning it all becomes a blur; head down into the Severn Valley and you're almost back, Tewkesbury, straight down the A38, Gloucester, keep going, Thornbury traffic lights, left just after past the quarry, Old Gloucester Rd, edge of the city, nearly there, last descent, done!
I have done this route bar a few changes twice in the past between Xmas & NYE; with weather ranging from freezing cold with ice and frost to glorious sunshine one day followed by hurricane winds and walls of water the next - be prepared for anything!
This is an X-rated event for experienced randonneurs and endurance cyclists only. The organiser accepts no responsibility for winter weather or road conditions and you undertake this event entirely at your own risk.