The is a great event for those escaping the drudgery of the work place or those living the life of riley.
In audax lingo, Friday Ferlix is an x-rated event. In other words, no gold plated facilities. Just turn up at the start, collect your brevet card, ride the route, collect your proofs of passage at the controls and send them to the organiser afterwards. It may be basic but the event provides a great day out with fantastic views, great cafe stop potential and great audax camaraderie.
Ferlix is a little known cantref or principality from medieval times, located in Mid-Wales. It is little known in terms of cycling either but it packs a punch in terms of gorgeous scenery, quiet lanes and hills. This section is topped and tailed by some typical Herefordshire and Worcestershire countryside, providing diversity and interest. A roads are avoided wherever possible. The audax sets off from Stourport Upon Severn.
Stage 1. Stourport to Leominster. This route criss-crosses valleys and ridges to reach Leominster via some very typical Herefordshire countryside. In Leominster, you can either decide to confirm your proof-of-passage or eat your first cake in one of the local cafes in this pleasant market town. A
Stage 2a Leominster to Bredwardine Info Control. This is quite a flattish section, containing only mild climbs. Here, Herefordshire is quite different compared to stage 1, with a good selection of orchards and the picturesque wattle and daub village of Weobley. After crossing the Wye, you will need to stop at your first information control at Bredwardine.
Stage 2b Bredwardine Info Control to Hay-on-Wye This is the shortest stage, following the B road to Hay. On paper this should be easy but their are deceptive climbs that always feel quite lengthy. At Hay, venture into town and explore the cafes. Stopping here for food and drink is highly recommended before the long stage to Knighton, the next principal control point.
Stage 3a. Through Ferlix from Hay-on-Wye to Llanbister Road Station Info Control. This stage is a real treat and our view, my fun than the usual route over the Gospel Pass to the south of Hay. This is the ancient cantref of Ferlix, centred on the Begwyns and Radnorshire Hills. Beyond Painscastle (not called that for nothing), you ascend high over The Moor asides Llanbedr Hill. It is up and down all the way to the remote wayside railway station at Llanbister Road Station. This stage is very remote with no facilities but is very quiet in terms of traffic. Take your time.
Stage 3b. Llanbister Road Station Info Control to Knighton. Having stopped at this info control, you will be relieved to learn that it is not too far to Knighton. There is one big lump to cross and be cautious on the steep descent. Knighton is a sleepy town where a few cafes and local shops are to be found. Enjoy the views of the sweeping hills around.
Stage 4a. Knighton to Tenbury Swimming Pool Info Control. Home. Asides from crossing over The Goggin midway, this stage is not too challenging. Even though Tenbury is only an information control on this ride, further cafes may be found.
Stage 4b. Homeward bound to Stourport. Ostensibly this route follows the floor of the scenic Teme Valley but don’t be fooled, there are some sharp ups and downs. There is one final haul from Stanford Bridge, where you rejoin part of the outbound route back into Stourport
Start and Finish: Stourport
Controls: Leominster, Hay-on-Wye and Knighton
Information Controls: Bredwardine Red Lion PH, Llanbister Road Railway Station & Tenbury Wells Swimming Pool.
Proof of passage: E Brevet or Brevet Card.
Overall average permitted speed: 14.4 – 30kph.
Arrivee at Bewdley: 15:26 – 22:57 (fastest likely completion in 9 hours)
Overall Ascent: 3198m
Audax Altitude Award Points: 3.25
Principal Climbs: Abberley, Stanford Bank, Kyre Bank, Painscastle Moor, Garth Hill, The Goggin, Abberley.
The event is run under Audax UK regulations. You should familiarise yourself with Audax UK regulations, guidance, and advice (available in AUK publications, at www.aukweb.net or on request from the organiser). The event is not a race or trial of speed. You are expected to follow the rules of the road and show consideration toother road users.