400km – Brevet Populaire (The slow 400)

Distance: 406km in 40h36min
Date: Saturday 2nd June 2018
Time: Saturday 06:00 to finish by Sunday 22:36
Starting from: Llandrindod Wells
Speeds: 10-30kph
Total Climb: 7587m
AAA: 7.5
Category: BP
Rough sections: 5 plus 1 ford
Ideal bike: Gravel/adventure bike with fast rolling 40c tires

Entries open: 1st October 2017
Fee: £9.75

Enter: http://www.aukweb.net/events/detail/18-464/

Event details

Following exactly the same route as the 400km Brevet de Randonneurs event, but with a more generous time allowance of 40 hours 36 minutes. This is the event to enter if you want a challenging ride but you’d like to seek out that bivi spot or ‘Audax hotel’ (bus shelter). Just note that by entering this event you will be able to claim the AAA points but not the distance points.

This is a 406km cycling route starting from Llandrindod Wells. Controls at Tregaron, Llanidloes, Tywyn, Newtown and Kington, plus 3 information controls.

A multi surface ride, styled to take riders on an adventure to test not only a rider’s strength but also their capability to plan a ride, but at a more relaxed pace.  This ride is not to be taken lightly.

A route constructed to represent ‘A Good Day’s Cycling’ on some of the races that Mike Hall rode in various parts of the world. Starting from Llandrindod Wells, the ride takes the road to Beulah and onwards to Tregaron. As a ‘warmer-up’, the Devil’s Staircase is the first challenge of the day. After a breather passing through the nature reserve, the ride heads back East on tracks along side the Claerwen Reservoir to The Elan Valley. Rising up The Elan Valley and down to the head of The Cwmystwyth Valley, the ride then takes the lane through Llangurig and onto Llanidloes. There will be a choice of nominated control cafes here. The ride then continues through the Hafron Forest, Staylittle, Machynlleth to the coastal town of Tywyn. Onwards to Dolgellau along NCR82. Rising out of Dolgellau on through Dinas Maldwydd to tackle Bwlch-y-Goes en-route to Lake Bala. The ride then ascends Hirnaunt Pass before dropping down to picturesque Lake Vyrnwy. Onwards over more grass desert and then a flat section on to Newtown. Climbing out of Newtown to (and through) the sleepy market towns of Knighton, Presteigne and Kington followed by a final stretch along deserted lanes for an arrivee in Llandrindod Wells. The route follows public rights of way throughout, some sections are on rough lanes/tracks.

Reconnaissance notes

Five lengthy rough sections, one river fording required, multiple steep climbs and descents, long overnight sections with no available services and little access to the railway network for self extraction. This is a slow, technical but adventurous route.

Think again about entering this event if you have no experience of riding hilly 300km routes or if you are unhappy about riding gravel. Do enter if you normally use the full time allowance to ride a 400km or are used to riding 300km and looking for that next challenge. Do enter if you are not troubled about not collecting the AUK distance points. Planning for overnight supplies is less of an issue as you can stop and sleep, but extra kit might slow you down.

Fast rolling 700x40c or 650x48c tyres would be perfect. Could be ridden on narrower tyres if you’re careful. Below 28c not advised. But that’s your call.

Track and profile overview