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UK Cyclist: Long-distance and leisure cycling in the South-west and elsewhere

Dr Stephen leaves the Fowey ferry

This event is not being run in 2017. However, there is a permanent version.

28th May 2016, starting at 6:00am

Please note that there is a change to the finish venue. Apologies for the short notice.
Instead of turning right into Blackhorse Lane at 599k, continue straight on, then:-
take middle bus lane and
R at trls into bus lane 600k
2nd exit rbt sp Met Office 600.7k
1st R 601k
1st R into rear of the Barn Owl PH. 601.1k
FINISH rear door.

There will be free sandwiches there.

GPS track of the last km here

The Kernow & Southwest 600 is a scenic tour of the Southwest peninsula with a ferry crossing thrown in. It is an event for experienced randonneurs who know how to pace themselves. There are sleeping facilities at about 365k. The section after this is mostly new, visiting North Devon.

 

The KSW600 starts in Exeter and tours the Southwest peninsular. The first leg heads almost due west on easy roads, through Hatherleigh and Holsworthy, across the Tamar, to Bude and a first sight of the sea. It's a fast route and many arrive even before the official opening of the control. It's as well to stop for food and drink before continuing.

The next section runs due South to Looe and a second sea view. The route goes via Launceston, then skirts Bodmin Moor to Liskeard, and takes the valley lanes to East Looe. This is a lumpy section and most riders will lose some of the time they had in hand at Bude. The secret is not to panic, not to ride too hard, because it gets easier later on. At Looe Kelly's fish restaurant provide food and a control.

There are a couple of sharp hills out of Looe, then fine views over the English Channel and a steep descent to Polruan harbour. The passenger ferry departs every 15 minutes or so and lands at one of two places on the Fowey side of the estuary. Follow the one-way system and signs for St Austell. once through there the route follows the A380, but using sections of the old road where possible, to Truro, and then takes lanes to Four Lanes and the B road through Praze-an-Beeble, and Leedstown. There should be views of both coasts along this road. Crossing the A30 the route goes through Marazion and past St Michael's Mount to a new control at Penzance.

Back to the North coast for the next section. Leaving Penzance there are lanes to Crowlas and the A30, which takes you to Hayle. The route through Camborne is not the prettiest, but it's relatively easy and there's still a long way to go. Once through the town the old dual-carriageway is fairly quiet. At Scorrier the route crosses the new road to Blackwater. The 24hr services here at 283k are the last easy refreshment stop for all but the fastest riders for 90k. There's a checkpointl at Newquay. A fast rider might catch the Texaco garage which closes at 10pm or the Tesco Express, otherwise it's straight on to Bude.

The night route joins the A39 to continue all the way to Bude. There there will be food, drink, and sleeping facilities.

The next sections were revised in 2014. There is a quiet cross-country route to Bideford, and you will follow the old main road into Barnstaple. There are short cyclepath sections to and from the control.

From Barnstaple the route follows the old main road through South Molton to Taunton, skirting the town to the M5 services just south of Bridgwater.

Now comes the homeward stretch. Firstly there is a climb on to the Blackdown Hills on the old Taunton to Axminster road. Then through Colyton towards the South coast and Seaton, the final control. There's no official control place here, but there are several fish and chip shops and other stores, as well as a new Tesco which opens betwen 10am and 4pm on Sunday. The rider should obtain a receipt or similar proof of passage.

The final 30 odd kms go through the picturesque village of Branscombe to the main road above Sidmouth and through Newton Poppleford before turning off towards Aylesbeare, past Exeter Airport, and lanes back to Exeter and a hero's welcome.

 

PDF routesheet here
gps file here
Map of the route
Find B&B


PARENTAL CONSENT
is required for entrants under 18 years of age. See the entry form for details.

Entry form

 



Long-distance cycling under AUK rules is often (though inaccurately) referred to as audaxing. Mudguards are not required for any of these events. Use whatever bike suits you. If you don't want to follow a routesheet then download the GPS file. You will need to be fit and self-sufficient. Most of these events, especially the longer ones, are hard. You should be an experienced cyclist with both fitness and stamina. There is a minimum speed of 15kph for all the events of 200km and above. Don't worry about the maximum speed of 30kph, you won't get near it. Prepare your bike and yourself carefully for any of these events. If you do all the distances, you become an Exeter Wheelers Super Randonneur.


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