Category Archives: MBSwindon Event

Back to The Gap

Graham Burgess will be leading us again in Welsh Wales on Sunday 31st March starting from Talybont-on-Usk and taking in the iconic Brecon Gap Loop.

This ride is approximately 23 miles with around 2600ft of climbing and basically consists of two VERY LONG climbs and two equally long and brilliant descents…

The ride goes straight into the first climb, which is several miles long at a reasonably steady gradient, up ‘The Tramway’ with spectacular views back across Talybont Reservoir. We will probably be climbing for upwards of an hour!

The route then goes across open land before the first descent which is fast, rocky and lots of fun. We will then call into The Old Barn Tea Rooms.

Fully refreshed, we will take on the long-but-steady slog up to the top of The Gap (there is a bit of a “gem” en-route 🙂 ). After a breather and time to take in the views, we will smash out on the final descent – awesomeness at it’s very best!

Due to the technical nature and elevation, this ride is not suitable for novice riders, but anyone with reasonable skills and fitness is very welcome to join.

Bear in mind that this is ‘in the mountains’ – so bring suitable clothing, food/drink, spares and a fully working bike!

We will set off at 10:00am from Talybont-on-Usk. There is plenty of parking in The Village Hall carpark which also has hot showers and a superb bike wash facility.


Postcode for carpark LD3 7YQ

NOTE: several of us are doing the Evans Cycles Event the day before and will be staying over at the Star Bunkhouse in Bwlch (where we stayed for last Summer’s Brecon Weekend) on the Saturday night – price per person is £19.00 – you can book yourself a place by contacting them directly. There is a great pub directly opposite for evening meal and we will be self sufficient for breakfast.

Two Tunnels – The Return of the Return

For those who missed this on previous occasions (or want to have another go…), Graham Burgess will be leading the popular Two Tunnels ride again.

The full 48 mile route will start from Wharf Road Carpark in Devizes, meeting at 9:15 for a 9:30 (sharp!) departure. The route follows the canal towpath down past Caen Locks and continues through Semington and Staverton to Bradford on Avon where we will meet anyone opting for the shorter 23 mile route at the Lock Inn Cafe at around 10:45 for an 11:00 (ish) departure, so time for a quick coffee and cake!

The route then continues along the canal path past Avoncliff and the amazing aquaduct through to Brassknocker Basin. From Brassknocker, it picks up the Sustrans 13 mile Two Tunnels loop which continues along the canal past Claverton, Bathampton and Bathwick before passing through the suburbs and into Bath centre.

The route then follows the River Avon for a short while before picking up the gentle uphill gradient path through to the Two Tunnels which are an impressive 800 metres and 1672 metres long. From the Tunnels, the route goes over the Tucking Mill Viaduct to Midford where we will stop for a pub lunch at the Hope and Anchor (or depending on group consensus we can stop at Brassknocker cafe a couple of miles on – or both…).

The route then takes to single country lanes for a mile or two with a couple of short, sharp climbs through to Monkton Combe where it drops back down to Brassknocker Basin to rejoin the canal path for the return route back to Bradford on Avon and onto Devizes with the gradual but long climb up past Caen locks to finish back at the Wharf Road carpark.

This is an entirely non-technical route that will be at a moderate pace and suitable for anyone looking to add a few miles to their repertoire without the fear of big hills or scary bits. There are lots of opportunities along the way for cafe/pub stops and emphasis is on having fun and social day out doing something a bit different. No-one will be left behind.

Parking fees (last time we did the ride there) were £5.20 at Devizes and £4.00 at Bradford on Avon – these may have gone up so have plenty of change.

It is anticipated that the canal path will be reasonably busy with other cyclists and walkers so a bell would be useful if you have one.

The tunnels are lit and well surfaced but is advisable (although not essential) to have a small commuter light for this section.
Bring food/drinks, spares, a fully working bike and pocket money!

Start points:
Full route – Wharf Road Carpark, Devizes SN10 1EA
Shorter route – Lock Inn Cafe, Bradford on Avon BA15 1LE (nearest carpark Baileys Barn BA15 1BX)

Image credit:

Gorging on Cheddar

Graham Burgess will lead us around Cheddar Gorge and the Mendip Hills following a route used several times before on Club outings, most recently last September and always great fun – ask Sonny!

The route is only around 21 miles, but don’t be fooled into thinking it will be a breeze…! The climbs are sharp and some of the descents are loose, rocky and a bit testing, especially if it’s wet on the day (sense of humour strongly advised).

The route starts from the Swan Inn, Rowberrow and quickly heads off-road into a bit of a woodland climb followed by a long, fast rocky descent all the way down into Cheddar where we can stop for a quick cuppa (last chance saloon until end of ride).

Then it’s off up the Gorge road climb – which is steady but long – and onto the top of the gorge then all the way back down again on another fast, rocky, rooty little number. This might not come as a surprise, but… it’s then another big climb back up onto the moors (expect to see wild ponies) for some more fun before the last descent back down again towards Rowberrow.

The pub at the start/finish serves excellent food for post ride refreshments – highly recommend is the Ploughman’s Lunch 🙂

Whilst not really a novice ride due to climbs and technical descents, the ride is open to anyone who feels like a challenge; no-one will be left behind and we can have plenty of stops as needed.

Be there and ready to ride for a 10.00am departure. Bring food and drink, appropriate clothing for a day’s ride (it can be exposed up on top of the hills) and spares.

2019 Annual General Meeting (AGM)

Please remember that to be able to vote on items at the AGM (constitution changes, committee elections) you will need to be a valid MB Swindon member. So please check your membership is up to date. If you’ve misplaced / lost your card you can check your renewal date on the website –

This year’s AGM will include the following items on the agenda:

  1. Introduction
  2. Review of 2018, including:
    • Financial summary
    • Membership review
    • Events round-up
  3. Amendments to the constitution
  4. Election of Committee roles
  5. Any other business (AOB)

Questions and feedback can be sent in advance via email to

Amendments to constitution

You will find the proposed changes to the constitution in the following document – MB Swindon Constitution – 2016 to 2019 change.

Should you have any comments or questions in relation to these changes please send them by email to in advance of the meeting.

Election of Committee roles

Should the amendments to the constitution be accepted, the following roles will be available for election:

  • Chairperson
  • Treasurer
  • Club / Membership Secretary
  • Events Officer

If you would like to put yourself forward for one of the available roles, please email your name and position interested in to by 19:00 Friday 22 February.

IF the constitutional changes are NOT accepted, then no elections will take place at the AGM and a special general meeting (SGM) will be called at a later date to carry out the Committee elections.

Graham’s Ridgeway Cafe Ride

Graham Burgess will be leading this ride along country lanes and byways out to a cafe near Wantage and back via the Ridgeway (similar the ride we had to cancel last month).

At 25 miles, it’s a longer than usual Club ride, though with a cafe stop at the halfway point it’s a good ride for those wishing to extend their rides.

Meet at Foxhill (just up the road from the Burj Restaurant) ready for a 10.00am start. If you want to super-size the ride, meet Graham by the diving platform at Coate Water ready for a 9.15am start.

(Photo credit: English Heritage)


Kate’s Minimal Mud Ride

Kate Davidson leads this ride on Saturday 16th February, starting at Postern Hill Car Park, in Marlborough. For those of you that are fed up with the winter mud, this ride will try to avoid the very worst of it by sticking mainly to the forest tracks and trails and quiet back roads. There’ll be a café stop at Ramsbury.

This ride contains nothing of a very technical nature, but there are a few hills and it will be around 26 miles which may feel longer in cold or windy weather, so please bear this in mind and come equipped with appropriate clothing, some snacks to keep you going and anything else you might need.

We’ll start from the car park at 10am sharp.

Start: Postern Hill Campsite, Marlborough SN8 4ND

Aldbourne, Honest! (Revenge of the ManFlu)

Having recovered from the deadly ManFlu that forced the previous cancellation of this ride, Graham Burgess will lead a loop of approximately 20 miles from Coate to Aldbourne and back on February 9th.

Although not technically difficult, the ride will include some climbing, including the sweet-sounding Sugar Hill; really – how hard could that possibly be?! There will be a cafe stop in Aldbourne.

Meet by the diving platform at Coate Water ready for a 10.00am start. All are welcome and no-one gets left behind.

Urban Round 6 February

Wailun Chung leads this week’s Urban Round. Meet at John Lewis, Mannington, ready for an early 6.30pm start.

Urban Rounds are usually about 20 miles / 2 hours long, and are mostly along cycle paths and minor roads. They are intended as a way to help maintain fitness over the winter. All are welcome and no-one gets left behind.

You’ll need lights, a drink and the usual spares.