M4 Corridor Bikepacking (England)

Questions and answers about routes.

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aid_rob
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Joined: Tue May 02, 2017 11:16 am

Re: M4 Corridor Bikepacking (England)

Post by aid_rob » Thu Jun 15, 2017 4:27 pm

Why don't you do something along the ridgeway, maybe do the double starting at the Turing end? It's quiet not majorly busy and some nice sights to take in, it also itnt far from civilisation should you need a pub, shop or B&B :smile:

aid_rob
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Joined: Tue May 02, 2017 11:16 am

Re: M4 Corridor Bikepacking (England)

Post by aid_rob » Thu Jun 15, 2017 4:28 pm

Tring *

jameso
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Joined: Tue Nov 06, 2012 1:48 pm
Location: Chilterns

Re: M4 Corridor Bikepacking (England)

Post by jameso » Sun Jul 02, 2017 7:29 am

ctznsmith wrote:Something involving The Ridgeway?
aid_rob wrote:Why don't you do something along the ridgeway, maybe do the double starting at the Turing end? It's quiet not majorly busy and some nice sights to take in, it also itnt far from civilisation should you need a pub, shop or B&B :smile:
This is the correct answer : )

.. or at least a very good one. I'm in the Chilterns and ride between the ends of the Ridgeway pretty regularly so if you wanted a route idea based on that let me know, could knock something up easily. There's a lot of open doubletrack and easy singletrack here and 40-45 miles a day gets you across a nice range of riding that has a good level of continuity, feels like a route rather than a collection of bits connected by roads if that makes sense. There's a few sections that are just rutted-out motorway but overall it's an under-rated long distance ride imo. The section between Fox hill and past Waylands Smithy on a summer evening can feel like perfect strada bianca.
For reference on technicality and route options - I loaded my OH's e-bike with some camping kit (carried some myself also, wasn't a total stitch-up!) and we did a 80-90 miler weekend on the Ridgeway and some other tracks I know in the area, stopping just past Goring for beers and battery refreshments. She had no problems, not an experienced MTBer.

Also really easy to get out of London to the Chilterns / Tring, train from Euston takes 45 mins tops.

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Richard G
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Location: South Wales

Re: M4 Corridor Bikepacking (England)

Post by Richard G » Mon Jul 03, 2017 4:17 pm

Cheers.

I just need to get my next event out of the way now and work out when we have some free time. :)

jimbop
Posts: 31
Joined: Sun Jul 15, 2018 4:51 pm

Re: M4 Corridor Bikepacking (England)

Post by jimbop » Sun Jul 15, 2018 5:12 pm

jameso wrote:
ctznsmith wrote:Something involving The Ridgeway?
aid_rob wrote:Why don't you do something along the ridgeway, maybe do the double starting at the Turing end? It's quiet not majorly busy and some nice sights to take in, it also itnt far from civilisation should you need a pub, shop or B&B :smile:
This is the correct answer : )

.. or at least a very good one. I'm in the Chilterns and ride between the ends of the Ridgeway pretty regularly so if you wanted a route idea based on that let me know, could knock something up easily. There's a lot of open doubletrack and easy singletrack here and 40-45 miles a day gets you across a nice range of riding that has a good level of continuity, feels like a route rather than a collection of bits connected by roads if that makes sense. There's a few sections that are just rutted-out motorway but overall it's an under-rated long distance ride imo. The section between Fox hill and past Waylands Smithy on a summer evening can feel like perfect strada bianca.
For reference on technicality and route options - I loaded my OH's e-bike with some camping kit (carried some myself also, wasn't a total stitch-up!) and we did a 80-90 miler weekend on the Ridgeway and some other tracks I know in the area, stopping just past Goring for beers and battery refreshments. She had no problems, not an experienced MTBer.

Also really easy to get out of London to the Chilterns / Tring, train from Euston takes 45 mins tops.
I just joined the forum, I'm a new bikepacker and I'm hunting for some fairly easy routes close-ish to London that i can do on my CX bike (2016 CAADX 105). I'm 43, live in London, only started cycling for more than commuting recently and i'm coming back from 18 months of inactivity due to injury/illness so i'm gradually building up my ride lengths; i managed 70km of pretty flat road/track yesterday (Olympia to Chertsey and back). I am looking for work at the moment and things are a bit stressful moneywise but i figured I could get a bivvy bag, some alpkit bikepacking bags and dig out a few bits of camping gear to give myself the opportunity to get out of London, get fitter and make good use of my time until I can find a job. I've currently got 30mm slicks and 35mm semi-knobbly (the oddly named Sammy Slicks) tyres and i've made the gearing a bit easier with a 32 tooth small chainring and 11-32 cassette. I'm wondering if i might try to get an easier granny gear setup, particularly if i get some 40mm tyres and try some slightly more ambitious off-road routes but for the immediate future i'll stick with what i have. I have time on my hands and it would be great to have a handful of fairly easy road/track routes with spots to bivvy and have access to water to get my gear and know-how up to speed. If you could help out with a route in the Ridgeway area then it would be absolutely magic because i don't have a clue where to go!

lune ranger
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Re: M4 Corridor Bikepacking (England)

Post by lune ranger » Sun Jul 15, 2018 5:50 pm

Earlier in the year I did a nice easy ride in that neck of the woods with my mate who is rehabing a poorly knee.
We rode the western Ridgeway west from Streatley (train at Goring) to the Avebury end. Bridleways across the downs past Milk Hill/Tan Hill to Marlborough. Bivi in Savernake Forest (also actual camp ground if you want) then followed Kennet and Avon canal to Reading and more train stations.
As someone who lives next to a national park in a quiet area of the country I have to admit to being very pleasantly surprised by how picturesque and quiet the route was.

jimbop
Posts: 31
Joined: Sun Jul 15, 2018 4:51 pm

Re: M4 Corridor Bikepacking (England)

Post by jimbop » Sun Jul 15, 2018 6:14 pm

lune ranger wrote:Earlier in the year I did a nice easy ride in that neck of the woods with my mate who is rehabing a poorly knee.
We rode the western Ridgeway west from Streatley (train at Goring) to the Avebury end. Bridleways across the downs past Milk Hill/Tan Hill to Marlborough. Bivi in Savernake Forest (also actual camp ground if you want) then followed Kennet and Avon canal to Reading and more train stations.
As someone who lives next to a national park in a quiet area of the country I have to admit to being very pleasantly surprised by how picturesque and quiet the route was.
That sounds really good and not too challenging. I realise it's a dumb question but how do you go about figuring out the exact bridleways, paths, roads to take in advance (if indeed you do!)? I'd like to have my route planned in advance to avoid me getting lost and having to backtrack is all.

ssnowman
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Joined: Mon May 11, 2015 1:38 pm
Location: London

Re: M4 Corridor Bikepacking (England)

Post by ssnowman » Sun Jul 15, 2018 6:45 pm

The Ridgeway is such an easy route to do, as it’s all signposted. I’m thinking of doing it in the next couple of weeks if you’re interested.
May satan walk with you.

lune ranger
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Joined: Thu Dec 15, 2016 7:52 pm
Location: Peoples Republic of Devon

Re: M4 Corridor Bikepacking (England)

Post by lune ranger » Sun Jul 15, 2018 7:14 pm

jimbop wrote:
lune ranger wrote:Earlier in the year I did a nice easy ride in that neck of the woods with my mate who is rehabing a poorly knee.
We rode the western Ridgeway west from Streatley (train at Goring) to the Avebury end. Bridleways across the downs past Milk Hill/Tan Hill to Marlborough. Bivi in Savernake Forest (also actual camp ground if you want) then followed Kennet and Avon canal to Reading and more train stations.
As someone who lives next to a national park in a quiet area of the country I have to admit to being very pleasantly surprised by how picturesque and quiet the route was.
That sounds really good and not too challenging. I realise it's a dumb question but how do you go about figuring out the exact bridleways, paths, roads to take in advance (if indeed you do!)? I'd like to have my route planned in advance to avoid me getting lost and having to backtrack is all.
I always start by looking at OS paper maps in detail for the area I'm interested.
I then use an online mapping tool, usually Ride With GPS or Basecamp to plan out a route to upload to my GPS
This route is super easy though. The Ridgeway is well signed on the ground and the K&A canal is an obvious feature to follow. Linking up the 2 is simple enough. You only really need the OS that covers the Marlborough area to navigate with and not even that if you have GPS mapping.

jimbop
Posts: 31
Joined: Sun Jul 15, 2018 4:51 pm

Re: M4 Corridor Bikepacking (England)

Post by jimbop » Mon Jul 16, 2018 12:11 pm

ssnowman wrote:The Ridgeway is such an easy route to do, as it’s all signposted. I’m thinking of doing it in the next couple of weeks if you’re interested.
Signposts are def handy - great tip - thank you! Sure thing - let me know when and if i'm free i'll join you. How long does the route take?

jimbop
Posts: 31
Joined: Sun Jul 15, 2018 4:51 pm

Re: M4 Corridor Bikepacking (England)

Post by jimbop » Mon Jul 16, 2018 12:11 pm

lune ranger wrote:
jimbop wrote:
lune ranger wrote:Earlier in the year I did a nice easy ride in that neck of the woods with my mate who is rehabing a poorly knee.
We rode the western Ridgeway west from Streatley (train at Goring) to the Avebury end. Bridleways across the downs past Milk Hill/Tan Hill to Marlborough. Bivi in Savernake Forest (also actual camp ground if you want) then followed Kennet and Avon canal to Reading and more train stations.
As someone who lives next to a national park in a quiet area of the country I have to admit to being very pleasantly surprised by how picturesque and quiet the route was.
That sounds really good and not too challenging. I realise it's a dumb question but how do you go about figuring out the exact bridleways, paths, roads to take in advance (if indeed you do!)? I'd like to have my route planned in advance to avoid me getting lost and having to backtrack is all.
I always start by looking at OS paper maps in detail for the area I'm interested.
I then use an online mapping tool, usually Ride With GPS or Basecamp to plan out a route to upload to my GPS
This route is super easy though. The Ridgeway is well signed on the ground and the K&A canal is an obvious feature to follow. Linking up the 2 is simple enough. You only really need the OS that covers the Marlborough area to navigate with and not even that if you have GPS mapping.
Excellent - really helpful, thank you kindly.

jameso
Posts: 4059
Joined: Tue Nov 06, 2012 1:48 pm
Location: Chilterns

Re: M4 Corridor Bikepacking (England)

Post by jameso » Wed Jul 18, 2018 7:10 pm

Jim, sorry just seen the updates here, happy to help with routes if you need a pointer or 2. PM me and I can mail you some notes and a GPS or 2 if you give me an idea of distance etc. The Ridgeway along the east half is partly contentious singletrack footpath that's best avoided at the weekends, less problem mid week but still there are better cx bike options to bypass those sections, the swans way for example.

jimbop
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Joined: Sun Jul 15, 2018 4:51 pm

Re: M4 Corridor Bikepacking (England)

Post by jimbop » Thu Jul 19, 2018 8:21 am

jameso wrote:Jim, sorry just seen the updates here, happy to help with routes if you need a pointer or 2. PM me and I can mail you some notes and a GPS or 2 if you give me an idea of distance etc. The Ridgeway along the east half is partly contentious singletrack footpath that's best avoided at the weekends, less problem mid week but still there are better cx bike options to bypass those sections, the swans way for example.
Excellent - i'll PM you. Everyone is so helpful in this forum, it's really good!

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