Tag Archives: Devizes

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: www.picswe.com

Two Tunnels – The Return

For those who missed this on previous occasions (or want to have another go…), Graham Burgess will be leading the 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 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: betterbybike.info)

A Ride to Remember

We will start at the Ivy Pub in Heddington which is handy as it means there will be a pub at the end of the ride.  We will do a tough but tarmac climb up to the Roundway and then make our way to Devizes via some off road, on road and next to canal routes including the Caen Hill Lock Flight.
We will stop in Devizes for a coffee/tea. Its not quite half way and will be more of a social stop than a lunch break, so bring some snacks as we will stop a little further on to refuel before the final climbs.
After refreshing ourselves in Devizes there will be what will feel like endless uphills to eventually bring us to Furze Knoll and the infamous bomb hole. From here we will have a final bit of fun as we make our way to the finish and a pint.
Nothing technical but there will be plenty of opportunity to fall off if you are that way inclined.
We will stop for a moment’s silence along the way to remember fallen soldiers.
image

Two Tunnels Locks, Stops and barrels – the Return

For those that missed this first time around back in July, Graham Burgess will be leading this ride again.

The full 48 mile route will start from Wharf Road Carpark in Devizes, meeting at 9:15 for a 9:30 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.

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 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….. 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 are £5.20 at Devizes and £4.00 at Bradford on Avon

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.

Start points: Full route – Wharf Road Carpark, Devizes SN10 1EA

Shorter route – Lock Inn Cafe, Bradford on Avon BA15 1LE (nearest 15carpark Baileys Barn BA15 1BX)

Two Tunnels ride: Locks, Stops and Barrels

combe-down-bath

Graham Burgess will be leading this ride supported by Paul Allum and Gary Yeates. The full 48 mile route will start from Wharf Road Carpark in Devizes, meeting at 9.15 for a 9.30 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 aqueduct 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.

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 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 the emphasis is on having fun and social day out doing something a bit different.

Parking fees are £5.20 at Devizes and £4.00 at Bradford on Avon.  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 it is advisable (although not essential) to have a small commuter light for this section.

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)

North Wilts Novice Friendly Ride

Devizes CircularDue to ground conditions following the recent wet weather, Kristian has decided to change the route for this ride. It will now be a Devizes circular via Urchfont & Potterne. Although there will be some hills, most of the ride will be along gravel double track and some quiet country lanes. There may (obviously!) be a little bit of mud, but there will be nothing technically difficult.

Meeting Point: Devizes Wharf Car Park, Wharf Road, free to park on Sundays. Postcode SN10 1EB. Just off New Park Street, Devizes between the Police Station and CarpetRight.

See the ride report from a previous trip here.

Ride Report: Oliver’s Twists

words and photos by Tim Norris (Read more by Tim here)

oliver1We had a great ride yesterday around some of my local trails and tourist attractions. Roundway Down, Beacon Hill and Morgan’s Hill are local nature reserves and popular walking spots with stunning views on a clear day. It wasn’t the nicest day for views – slightly overcast and grey – but this meant near perfect riding conditions. We also rode along 7.5km of the Kennet and Avon Canal from Seend and through Devizes. This took us along side the Caen Hill lock flight where 3.2km of canal rises 72m utilising 29 locks. Quite a site and the canal-side ride was a surprise hit with the 15 riders who came out.

After the steep climb from the pub to get everyone warmed up, we rode out on to Beacon Hill for our first bit of fun. While we tended to a slight mechanical fault, a number of the group had some fun in a small grassy bomb hole at the top of the first descent. This was good fun and our first opportunity to take some photos.

The short but fun descent from Beacon Hill is one of my favourite descents in the area.It doesn’t take long to get from top to bottom, but it has some twisty, cheeky turns and is quite steep in places. My aim with this ride was to show everyone the obstacles first so they could ride them with confidence. This is difficult with a descent so after everyone had a go we did a quick ride up a local killer climb so we could do it again -100m up Heddington Steps. This is a tough chalky and loose surfaced climb that tests the locals, so helmets off to everyone for pedalling all the way up. Then we hit the descent for the second time and as if it had been rehearsed, Gary Palmer, Gary Yeates and myself headed off first and found spots for some photos.

This time we carried on at a good speed down the rest of the hill along the farm track to Bromham. A puncture here meant we had chance for a rest and the opportunity to look back at where we’d come from.

oliver8

Following a fast Tarmaced link through the farms in Bromham we arrived at Seend where we would join the canal. Not before we stopped to notice the nail in one of our tyres! Amazingly no puncture was caused, so after a quick breather we carried on and took the canal towpath to Devizes. I was unsure about this section of the ride, at first dismissing it thinking it would be a little boring, especially if it had started to rain. As it happened, this turned into a bit of a race! The pace was set by a few of the guys upfront and any lost time I was concerned about with some previous punctures was more than made up for. Shame, ‘cos the locks would have made for a great group photo!

Little did they know that at the end of this 7.5km fast pedal we would then have a short but steep climb up onto Roundway Down. This meant that we had spent 8km going gradually up hill, rising a little over 200m all in approx 40 mins.

Following a refuel stop at the top we entered the Leipzig Plantation for some rewarding single track and a chance for a few to hit some jumps. (I don’t have any photos from here cos I was having too much fun!) This will certainly appear in a future ride as I have a feeling that a few that weren’t present would like to ride this bit.

oliver10A gravel track and a climb up to Morgan’s Hill took us to Furze Knoll. The bomb hole at Furze Knoll is always a bit of fun. The are numerous ways into the bomb hole from the straight fast ride in, to the rooty drops around the side. However there has been a particular drop that has beaten my nerve every time I ride up there. But thanks to some encouragement and pack mentality 4 of us controlled the steep descent down the side and then released the speed and dropped over the fallen tree near the bottom. After clearing the exit of some random branches and loose stones it seemed, as always, that this was something I could have done a long time ago. A highlight of the ride for me.

After Furze Knoll we hit the farm track at speed and headed over to Heddington Steps for our final downhill of the day. We had climbed the steps earlier in the ride and my plan with this ride was to let people ride descents they had gained some familiarity with. This meant there should have been no surprises.

After letting rip down Heddington Steps we followed the road back to The Ivy Inn for a well earned beer, cider and a bit of food. Thanks to everyone that joined me on this ride.I hope everyone enjoyed themselves – I certainly did.

Ride report: Kristian’s Surprises in Devizes

Words and photos by Kristian Price

This was a new ride for the club in the Devizes area. Despite living here for 10 years, it’s only very recently that I’ve found the bridleways and byways used on this ride.  The Wiltshire Council  Public Rights of Way website enables any user to view all the byways, bridleways and footpaths in the area and highlight these more prominently on the OS map.

The weather presenter had promised a dry day with occasional showers and as I cycled into the Wharf car park I thought that might be true, but those driving in from Swindon were reporting persistent rain on the way over. That soon reached Devizes and we were all rushing for the waterproofs, though the wet weather did not last long.

kris5No MB Swindon ride is complete without some faffing, and we were soon removing a loose spoke from Hazel’s front wheel with the hope that it wouldn’t pringle in the next 23 miles. (Hazel had put in an amazing amount of training ready for her London to Paris ride in early September and had completed 80miles on the road bike the day before!) Once that was sorted the 15 riders negotiated the traffic on the main roads within the town to get to the quieter estate roads and hit the byways to the south, heading towards Stert and Potterne Wick.  It’s amazing, really, that within 5 minutes of leaving the house I can be riding a byway or bridleway in the middle of nowhere and with such a great choice for all weathers.

There’s a fair amount of climbing on this ride, with the first climb being from the edge of Devizes towards Etchilhampton Monument along the byway descending into Stert, Crookwood and then up again towards Market Lavington. One of the byways here had recently been surfaced by the Council, removing the washout gullies, loose bricks and debris.  I’m not sure this is always a good thing, but these tracks have to be useable for everyone, and the previous descent was hairy to say the least.

kris8From the edge of Market Lavington we descended down a bridleway towards Littleton Panell which had a loose surface and natural berms in places, which I think everyone enjoyed. It was near here that I received the first puncture of the ride. Lightweight cross country tyres have their benefits, but puncture resistance is not one of them. Moving on, I led the ride down a wrong turn and stumbled upon a few hundred metres of nettles, with various shouts and calls throughout the group accusing me of all sorts of crimes!!

Back on track, we climbed up behind the playing fields of Dauntseys School to Strawberry Hill.  Here in the woods is a large area of drop-offs and kickers and we stopped for a while to have a play on these and take some photographs before continuing onto the edge of the Salisbury Plain Training Area. These drop offs are also popular with motocross riders, as I was reminded when one nearly collided with me deliberately on his way out, despite me standing away from the main tracks.

kris7

kris2There are plenty of signs on Salisbury Plain advising people to keep out and warning of the risk of unexploded ordnance if you stray from the metalled roads. Thankfully, we were riding a byway, from Gore Cross Farm on the A360 towards Redhorn Hill above Urchfont, and this had recently been regraded and surfaced by the Army, giving a smooth track for many miles and staying away from the fields. This byway is found above the villages of West Lavington, Market Lavington, Easterton and Urchfont and gives good views of the surrounding area towards Devizes and, on a clear day, the Cherhill Monument.  Whilst this area does not have a lot of single-track riding that I’m aware of, there’s plenty of cross country style riding, covering many miles in a reasonable time.   

kris9We had a quick break above Urchfont before riding down a very long, chalky and stepped track back to the village and retracing our tracks over some of the route ridden earlier in the day through the fields to the edge of Devizes.  There was a pint or two of Devizes’ finest Wadworths Swordfish and 6X ales waiting at the Fox & Hounds Pub on the edge of town.

All in all, I think everyone enjoyed themselves. This was a definite step up in distance from some from the novice friendly rides, covering nearly 24miles on the day.

Thank you once again to everyone who turned up for this ride. It’s encouraging when so many people have driven miles from their usual riding areas to attend a club ride, and I hope that we can continue to offer a variety of rides to suit everyone in the club.

View the route: OS Map    GPX – right-click and select “Save As” to save to your computer