flat-ish 150-200km routes starting in/around Bristol?

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nomm
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flat-ish 150-200km routes starting in/around Bristol?

Postby nomm » 6 Sep 2020, 11:30am

In the interest of training for some of next years long distance events, I have been trying to up my avg. speed - alas most of my tried and tested 100-200km+ routes are hilly. Really bloody hilly.

I am aware its a hilly part of the country but if anyone has anything in their back catalog - I would be very grateful

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Paulatic
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Re: flat-ish 150-200km routes starting in/around Bristol?

Postby Paulatic » 6 Sep 2020, 12:58pm

Will you really be increasing your avg speed?
I suspect all you’ll see is a higher avg speed for a ride because it had little climbing.
My best ever avg speed for a 60 mile hilly ride was because I’d a tail wind the whole way. It didn’t help me increase my avg speed on any other rides.
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whoof
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Re: flat-ish 150-200km routes starting in/around Bristol?

Postby whoof » 6 Sep 2020, 1:16pm

The Somerset levels 1000 metres of climbing in 188 km which is reasonably flat.

https://cycle.travel/map/journey/180230

Also up towards Gloucester and back; Halen, Easter Compton, Olverston, Berkeley etc is a popular flat route

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Re: flat-ish 150-200km routes starting in/around Bristol?

Postby simonineaston » 6 Sep 2020, 2:30pm

That blue corridor, alongside the Severn looks promising - I see a lot of cyclists out that way. Some of the lanes, as opposed to the main road, the Gloucester Road or A38, are quite quiet too. Avoid the M5, obs. :wink:
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PH
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Re: flat-ish 150-200km routes starting in/around Bristol?

Postby PH » 6 Sep 2020, 2:48pm

What long distance events? If you're hoping to train for them, surely you'd want to do so on similar routes.
For a flattish route, you could Google for the "Dr Fosters Summer* Saunter" Audax route, the outbound leg up to Gloucester is pan flat, and there's just a couple of climbs on the way back.
* There's also a Winter Saunter version that's a bit more main road orientated.

pwa
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Re: flat-ish 150-200km routes starting in/around Bristol?

Postby pwa » 6 Sep 2020, 5:09pm

Off the top of my head, I have long had the view that if you tackle the Cotswolds the right way you can gain height very gradually and lose it quickly with a sudden drop to Wotton or wherever. You can gain height without feeling you are doing much climbing, then enjoy a nice fast descent. Long gradual climbs make for good training.

hayers
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Re: flat-ish 150-200km routes starting in/around Bristol?

Postby hayers » 6 Sep 2020, 8:48pm

Maybe something like bristol - gloucester - evesham - cirencester - badminton - bristol?

The lanes between the m5 and river severn from north of bristol to just south of gloucester are mostly good riding and relatively flat. The a38 is ok to ride - in that there's space for overtaking - but I prefer to avoid other than for short sections to join up the lanes.

Another flattish area is on the north side of the m4 on the various ncn and lanes between chipping sodbury and Swindon. Lots marked as "wiltshire cycleway"

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foxyrider
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Re: flat-ish 150-200km routes starting in/around Bristol?

Postby foxyrider » 7 Sep 2020, 10:44am

whoof wrote:The Somerset levels 1000 metres of climbing in 188 km which is reasonably flat.

https://cycle.travel/map/journey/180230

Also up towards Gloucester and back; Halen, Easter Compton, Olverston, Berkeley etc is a popular flat route


Thats quite hilly - yesterday 178km to Cardiff and back, under 900m. i did a ride last week up the Vale of Berkeley and back with under 600m in 125km - you can easily extend that up to Gloucester, even Tewkesbury without adding many metres. You could also take a more coastal ride down to Bridgwater / Taunton, not very exciting but a well chosen route will keep you around sea level pretty much all the way.

That said, flat rides allow you to ride within a tighter, perhaps slightly quicker speed band but if you actually want to improve your speed, IME its hard hilly rides you need to be doing, but do them harder. Hilly rides act as a series of intervals with recovery time between, the problem with flat is its a continuous effort with no natural rest involved.
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Jamesh
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Re: flat-ish 150-200km routes starting in/around Bristol?

Postby Jamesh » 7 Sep 2020, 3:58pm

Try riding at 25mph AVG to Gloucesterand then turning for home and watch your speed drop to 12mph and you will be wishing for hills again asap!!

All ridings is good riding!

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Re: flat-ish 150-200km routes starting in/around Bristol?

Postby Bmblbzzz » 7 Sep 2020, 7:17pm

For something flat I'd probably be looking at up the Concorde way to get out of the city, then follow NCN41 up through Berkeley to Gloucester, then stay east of the Severn up to Tewkesbury or Upton, depending how far you want to go. It's nice riding too, though not as pretty as on the west side.

Alternatively head over the Severn Bridge - yes, to Wales for some flat! - and stay in the Wentlooge Levels through Newport to Cardiff.

hayers
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Re: flat-ish 150-200km routes starting in/around Bristol?

Postby hayers » 8 Sep 2020, 9:17am

The prevailing wind is up the severn - it nearly always helps you heading towards gloucester, and hinders the return.

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foxyrider
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Re: flat-ish 150-200km routes starting in/around Bristol?

Postby foxyrider » 8 Sep 2020, 10:19pm

hayers wrote:The prevailing wind is up the severn - it nearly always helps you heading towards gloucester, and hinders the return.


you might think that but certainly, this year in my experience, its been fairly ambivalent. Even if the wind is coming from the south, if you use the lanes you can avoid riding more than a mile or two directly into the wind.
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Re: flat-ish 150-200km routes starting in/around Bristol?

Postby arnsider » 8 Sep 2020, 10:56pm

A nice 140 KM (ish) route would commence at the SS Great Britain, and go down through the underfall yard, across the swing bridges to the Portway.
Then down the cycle/footpath all the way to Avonmouth and onto the cycleway crossing the Avon Bridge. Come off on the Portbury side and back into Pill. Then out through to the A369, crossing onto Casswell lane, all the way to the bottom of Naish Hill, then onto Clevedon lane, all the way to Clevedon.
Then out on Tickenham lane to Manmoor lane, all the way south to Yatton. Then the main road for a while, passing Yatton Station and into the town.
Then out on the Congresbury road to the A370 Weston road. Then out on Brinsea road for 1.7 km to brinsea batch/king road and on to the A368 at Churchill. Then west to Sandford. Then on past Thatcher’s Cider to the Cheddar Valley cycleway.
It's straightforward from here into Cheddar, going through the tunnel and on past Axebridge reservoir.
From Cheddar, take the Wedmore road, then from Wedmore, up and over to the North Drain and Sweets cafe. Phew!!!
Cross the river Brew and into Westhay. Then take the Glastonbury road as far as the turning for Glastonbury Rugby Club.
Take the club turning and follow around Common moor drove and Chaseys drove meeting the A39 and missing out the town.
A short bit of the A39 (and a tiny length of cycleway crossing the twelve foot rhyne), then East on Long Drove (Swan way) towards Dulcote.
From Dulcote, back into Wells City and upThomas street to the B3139, Bath road. This is a long climb, but a moderate gradient as far as the summit.
It's probably the easiest ascent of Mendip from the south. Follow this past Emborough pond to the Old Down public house, crossing the A37 Shepton road and carrying on towards Bath. After 2/3 Km look for Thickthorn lane and follow this all the way down to the A362 at Old Mills.
Riding East on the A362 for 2/3 km brings you to a roundabout where you turn right down the hill. Look out for a cycle way on the left, half way down and this will take you all the way into Radstock. From Radstock, you can ride parts of the old Somerset and Dorset Railway all the way into Oldfield Park, Bath and the route is well signposted. The highlight will be the two long single bore tunnels under Combe Down. From the end of the Railway path, it is fairly easy to navigate your way down to the main Bristol/Bath road. Cross the river Avon by the new bridge behind the Lidl and pick up the Bristol Bath Railway path. Easy riding for the next 20 odd kms all the way into Bristol. Through to Gardner Haskins, then under Temple Way by the pedestrian tunnel and across Castle Park to Bristol bridge. Then Welsh Back to the Redcliffe Bascule bridge and down past Brunel’s buttery to the start point.
Treat yourself to one of their Bacon Butties!!.