Posted by: audaxing | May 20, 2013

600km Stage by Stage

Stage One Chepstow to Bronllys (Honey Café)

The day starts at 5am, rolling out of bed at the travellodge on the English side of the Severn Bridge. Crossing the bridge to get to the start is part of the ritual.
Off at 6am from the community centre. It isn’t raining so we are all happy.
Got dropped by the fast lead group on the first climb but hooked up with a small friendly bunch, including Jon from Bristol. Made good speed to the next big ascent (A479 to Bronllys) then stuck together for that and enjoyed a mad high speed dash down

Stage Two Bronllys (Honey Café) to Nant Yr Arian

Left the group I’d teamed up with behind eating in the Cafe. Came off the official route to use the old “Scenic” road on the other side of the river to get to Builth.
Ropey filter coffee that was hours old at the Nant Yr Arain centre, I am sad to report

Stage Three, Nant Yr Arian to Kings YHA

Tried to ride with a group but it fell to bits after the descent to near Aberwrysth. Made good time. Onto the loverly ascending road out of Machcynlleth. Stopped at the nice toilets at Ten y Coed car park north of Pantperthog to fill up my water bottle. Over the top of the pass and onto the descent to Dollgellau. Followed a local on a bike through the roadworks.


Billy Weir and other riders

IanH's back was aching so had a lie down.  Caroline had a flat Di2 battery

Problems on the Pen-Y Pass: IanH’s back was aching so had a lie down. Caroline had a flat Di2 battery

Stage Four, Kings YHA to Menai Bridge

There was a diversion on this section due to a closed bridge near Penrhyndeudraeth. So did an extra 10km or so, good roads, made good speed. Met up with IanH for the ascent over Pen-Y Pass

Stage Five, Menai Bridge to Kings YHA

Left with IanH, not feeling great. Lost Ian after Beddgelert. Was doing okay until half way up the ascent on the A470. Then a group over took, I rode behind for a few moments and then accelerated past them and rode strongly for the rest of the stage. I am not competitive but some times putting an effort in like that just wakes you up. Back to Kings for 2:15am

Stage Six, Kings YHA to Aberhafesp

Out on the road again at 6:15am. Was riding out of the Hostel with a guy on fixed. We agreed that one disadvantage of Hope freewheels over fixed that they make conversation more difficult. I had a total of three breakfasts on this leg. One before I left Kings, one picnic on the road of garage sandwich+strawberry milk and one bacon sandwich at Aberhafesp

Stage Seven, Aberhafesp to Weobley

Managed to not over do it going up the Hilly out of Newtown
Had a great Espresso in the Hotel in Knighton
It got REALLY hot, I have the sunburnt knees to prove it.
Got through the farm where the dogs often attack without hearing so much as a bark.

Stage Eight, Weobley to Chepstow

Left Weobley with AndyP from Dorchester. Told him he would like the first bit, there are a lot of gravelly lanes and potholes like a Wessex ride. Once I got off the potholed lanes and onto the faster B road/A road section I was going well. Even getting up the Llancloudy climb wasn’t too bad. Loverly bacon sandwich at the end

Bike Breakages

Final score was one broken spoke and in an unrelated incident one smashed up rear mudguard


  1. See also Marcus’s writeups on the Bryan Chapman,

  2. Nice! Jealous of the weather. Here in Greece it’s about 35oC now.

    P.S. Bicycles are not supposed to work on batteries…

  3. I’m the ‘man with banana’

  4. Another good writeup with some loverly photos

    • Oh you are nice to link to my blog… I do wonder if we are in a small world of reading each other’s musing though. I do enjoy your perspectives and have been browsing your blogroll too. Are you familiar with – an excellent blogger who has many great write ups including some piccies of tandem ‘bents.

  5. Excellent write up. Struggling to understand why you wouldn’t check your di2 batteries where charged before riding a 600,as part of ‘giving the bike a once over’ though

    • I guess we all make mistakes and it’s an easy mistake to make!

  6. Hi!
    Interested to know. How many hours sleep do you guys get on an audax of this length? Presumably if your body’s capable you could do it in one go though that would be pretty extreme!

    • This year (2014) I got into the sleep stop at the youth hostel at Dolgellau at 2am sunday morning and, after eating slept until 5:30am. Probably got about 3 hours sleep.

      On Sunday I cycled another 230km-ish to the finish in just under 12hour elapsed time.

      There is research that shows that 90 minutes sleep is the minimum to get “REM” deep sleep.

      I have found it the case if I cannot get 90 minutes sleep then I am in a much worse state the next day.

      However on Paris-Brest-Paris in ’12 I started at 7pm, rode through the first night with no sleep, had a 15m nap the following afternoon and then completed the remaining distance to the half way point at Brest arriving at 3am, about 33h with 600km on 15m sleep.

      It is not possible to “bank” spare sleep before a ride but ith is possible to get out of sleep debt. So if you have 8.5h sleep a night for a week or a fortnight before an attempt at a long overnight ride it should go better. Common sense really!

      I have done an article on sleep on long distance rides for Arrivee magazine, maybe I should dig it out and repost it on the blog

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: