100 km ride from Leighton Buzzard, Sat 17th Mar 2018

Discussion in 'CycleChat and Recreational Rides' started by ColinJ, 15 Feb 2018.

  1. ColinJ

    ColinJ A big clot!

    I will be venturing South to visit my sisters again in March and will bring a bike down with me to do my 3rd metric century forum ride from Leighton Buzzard. The ride will start from the front of the railway station at 09:00 on Sat, 17th March.

    @shirokazan kindly devised the routes for the first 2 such rides. @steverob volunteered to help plan a route this time. @Aravis & @Dogtrousers offered some suggestions here and here. Let's venture into some parts of the area that were not featured in those first 2 rides.

    It would be nice to find a decent cafe 50-60 kms into the ride. I prefer to avoid busy roads and big towns as much as possible, but otherwise I am happy to see what we can come up with between us.

    If there are no tough hills then I will come on my singlespeed bike. If the route is too severe for that, I'll bring my Cannondale instead.

    As usual, this will be a chatty ride at a comfortable pace. Nobody will be left behind.

    Sign up below if you are interested, and let's get started on devising the route! :okay:
     
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  2. steverob

    steverob Über Member

    Location:
    Buckinghamshire
    Will definitely be around for this. Happy to kick off with route planning, but it all depends on what people are after from the ride.

    When I initially started thinking about where to go, I thought that as there was still a large chunk of the Chilterns that these rides haven't covered yet, it'd be nice to explore some more of that before we start doing rides that are more north and east from Leighton Buzzard (plus it helps that I'm more familiar with the former area, so can plot a route based on experience of those roads, rather than just looking at the map and guessing).

    I also was very tempted to send the group up what I regard as the second toughest climb in the central Bucks area and then afterwards ask Colin if it even came close to one of the smaller hills in his neck of the woods! Don't worry - it's not that bad, and even then there's a few different ways up the hill which can make things slightly easier.

    However, if the consensus is that people want to ride in a completely different area to previous, then that's not a problem.
     
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  3. OP
    OP
    ColinJ

    ColinJ A big clot!

    I'm happy to explore other hills as long as we don't have to do long stretches of busy roads and town centres to make that possible. OTOH - I get to ride up plenty of hills 'oop north' so don't put them in just for me! :okay:
     
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  4. Sbudge

    Sbudge Cyclist

    Oooh, can I suggest a few Chiltern hills? Can I? Can I? (@steverob knows how much I like them) In all seriousness though surely The Barn at Turville Heath would be perfect if you can route it that way? http://www.thebarnatturvilleheath.com/

    And yes, I'd love to join this ride too.

    Simon
     
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  5. Sbudge

    Sbudge Cyclist

    Where are you based @Dogtrousers ? Depending on the route I might do something similar, I'll be about 15 miles from the start.
     
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  6. toffee

    toffee Über Member

    Don't know if I can make that date yet, but keep me in the loop.

    North of Leighton Buzzard would be my choice^_^^_^^_^^_^^_^
     
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  7. biggs682

    biggs682 Smile a mile bike provider

    Location:
    Northamptonshire
    i could be interested but no promises
     
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  8. Sbudge

    Sbudge Cyclist

    Strewth, that would be a long one. I'm usually dividing my time between NW London, Wendover and seat 7C to/from Detroit! :-)
     
  9. steverob

    steverob Über Member

    Location:
    Buckinghamshire
    Okay, I've come up with a North and a South route proposal to see what people like the most. These maps were thrown together fairly quickly and I'm not completely set on them or anything, I just plotted some points of places where I fancied going and then tried to join them up and make the finished articles as close to 100km as possible. So if anyone suggests any improvements or even complete re-routings, I have no problems with that.

    The South route, after a gentle flat 15km opener, takes us over Aston Hill in Wendover Woods (the route shown is the direct, tougher way, but I'll put the alternative later on), past Champneys Spa and on to Tom's Hill at Aldbury (which I believe the riders went down on Colin's first trip), then a cafe stop at the Bridgewater Monument (about 45km in). I haven't been there myself, but have heard good things about it - website is http://www.brownlowcafe.co.uk. Continues through the Ashridge Estate (National Trust), up Red Lion Hill near Hemel Hempstead, then a long gentle climb from Markyate to Whipsnade Zoo, before the sharp descent of Bison Hill. Mainly flat as we go back round the outskirts of Leighton Buzzard and to the north, where there's a final graduated climb up to Great Brickhill through Rushmere Park, then heading back to the station via the Stoke Hammond Road.

    South Route map is at https://ridewithgps.com/routes/26653905, with an easier alternative to the full Aston Hill climb to be found at https://ridewithgps.com/routes/26872698 (the route marked in blue is about 1.5 miles longer than the original red but about the same elevation).

    The North route isn't quite the finished article (only at 98km at the moment), but I'll share with you what I've got so far. Leave LB heading for Stewkley and Newton Longville, before climbing Great Brickhill from the Three Locks direction (probably the only real notable climb of the day, rest is mainly rolling hills), past Woburn Golf Club and over the M1 to Cranfield University. Go out as far as Wooton, then turn back going past the Millbrook Proving Ground, Woburn Centre Parcs and on to Toddington. Next bit is tricky as there aren't many easy points to cross the A5 that don't involve travelling on ridiculously busy roads, but I've limited it to the least amount possible, though it does mean our route there has some narrow country lanes with dodgy surfaces and cattle grids! Once again, round the outside of Leighton Buzzard to approach the station, this time from the east.

    North Route map is currently at https://ridewithgps.com/routes/26876685. Any ideas for an extension so that we can do a full 100km on this would be welcome, plus ideas for a cafe stop - the only one I found en route so far is closed at weekends (as it's part of the university campus).
     
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  10. toffee

    toffee Über Member

    For a cafe on a northern route you could stop at the bike bus just north of Cranfield.

    For a longer route you could do a circle of Milton Keynes. From Cranfield cycle through Newport, Bradwell, Wolverton, Stoney Stratford and back down through Waddon and Mursley to Leighton Buzzard. Don't know how far that is without mapping it.

    Not going to have a computer till Monday night but will put something together if you want.
     
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  11. Sbudge

    Sbudge Cyclist

    Nice routes as usual @steverob but surely the southern route is a perfect opportunity to do The Hale (rather than Aston)? I know it's a bit of a challenge but:-

    a) It's a bit of a challenge
    b) I can offer supplementary (and free) tea and cake as we pass our front door!

    Budge
    p.s. It's quite a big place so there's plenty of space inside or out (depending on the weather) for bikes & nosh.
     
    Last edited: 16 Feb 2018
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  12. steverob

    steverob Über Member

    Location:
    Buckinghamshire
    Had no idea that existed - thanks!

    I've updated the North route to go there, which also has an added benefit in that it now measures 99.7km. I think finding the extra 300m shouldn't be too tricky - heck, I'd probably take a wrong turn at some point anyway and end up doing at least that in tracking back!
     
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  13. steverob

    steverob Über Member

    Location:
    Buckinghamshire
    Your place is maybe a bit early for a cake stop - we'd only be about 20-25km in to the ride. Unless you're suggesting a route where we could pop in on the way there AND the way back... ^_^

    Personally I think climbing Aston makes for a more iconic route (plus it offers the option of the Wendover Woods road for those who don't fancy such a steep climb), but as I have learned, you are the master of the Chilterns, so I may bow to your hilly knowledge!
     
  14. OP
    OP
    ColinJ

    ColinJ A big clot!

    Thanks, @steverob - those are looking good.

    I'll have to look at the hardest climbs a bit more closely to see if I'd want to inflict them on myself on the singlespeed bike! :whistle:
     
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  15. steverob

    steverob Über Member

    Location:
    Buckinghamshire
    South route - definitely NOT single speed friendly! I'd struggle on at least two of the climbs without my 34/32...

    North route - possible, but still might be quite a challenge on an SS.
     
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