20 Classic Sportive Rides in South West England
Graded routes on cycle-friendly roads in Cornwall, Devon, Somerset and Avon and Dorset
By Colin Dennis
This guidebook offers 20 sportive routes in the most challenging and scenic cycling areas of south west England and south Wales. Cornwall, Devon, Somerset and Avon and Dorset, all have miles of cycle-friendly roads suitable for sportive training. Graded routes on quiet country roads can be mixed and matched.
SeasonsWith its mild climate and great sunshine record, the south west is the perfect playground for year-round sportive training regimes.
CentresPlymouth, Exeter, Honiton, Wellington, Taunton, Wells, Glastonbury, Weston-Super-Mare, Bristol, Bath, Swindon, Chepstow, Cheltenham, Gloucester, Salisbury, Dorchester, Shaftesbury, Bournemouth, Poole, Frome, Cirencester
DifficultyThe south west plays host to many well-known mountainous and hilly regions, and this book takes full advantage of these quality training grounds. Some of the toughest climbs in the UK are to be found here, but there's more to the south west than just climbing. This guide features 20 challenging yet achievable training rides for all sportive enthusiasts to enjoy.
Must SeeThe moody backdrops of Dartmoor and Exmoor to the flat open going of the Somerset Levels and the rolling countryside of Dorset's Jurassic coastline, Sportive riders will enjoy testing themselves against some of the toughest and most scenic terrain that the UK has to offer.
This guidebook explores 20 sportive cycling routes in the best cycling areas of south west England. Ideal for training, the rides range between 59 and 119km (36 to 74 miles) in length, and offer a full range of challenges; from long, fast flat routes, perfect for pacing, to tough hill climbs on the Downs and Moors of the south west.
The 20 sportive routes are found in Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Somerset, Wiltshire and Gloucestershire, as far north and east as the Wye Valley and Swindon. The range ensures that there is plenty of riding to be found, throughout the region, not to mention the companion Sportives guidebook to routes in England's south east.
From the Cotswolds, to Dartmoor, Exmoor, Bodmin Moor, into Wales and the south coast, there are miles of of cycle-friendly roads suitable for sportive training. All 20 routes are graded for difficulty and include timings, ascent, food-stops and access information, as well as annotated route maps and clear route descriptions.
Sportive cycling is a growing sport, and this guide provides routes for experienced riders and those new to this sport. Useful information on bike maintenance and equipment, to travelling around the areas with your bike and advice on accommodation is also included. The result is a sportive guidebook that will prepare you for the challenges ahead, and allow you to explore the best cycling the south-west has to offer.
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Colin Dennis has been riding bikes of one sort or another for longer than he dares to remember. His passion for road and off-road cycling has taken him all over the UK and continental Europe, both leading expeditions and for personal pleasure. Plotting, planning and escaping to new locations are pastimes that have driven him for many years, and working as both freelance copywriter and cycle guide provides a happy balance at home and work. Colin is never happier than when he’s struggling up a steep climb behind a group, usually covered in mud, but as long as there’s a warm tea shop involved – everything’s possible.View author profile
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