31 May 2024

Hay Skivers!

209km Audax

From Bewdley to the Black Mountains and beyond.

The is a great event for those escaping the drudgery of the work place or those living the life of leisure. The event is timed with Bewdley Bike Week

In audax lingo, Hay Skivers 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.   Details on the route are shown further down the page.

Route Details

Stage 1.  Bewdley to Ludlow via Clee Hill.  It is a pull out of Bewdley before the long gradual ascent to reach the second highest summit of the day at Clee Hill.  A wonderful vista to south shows up your route ahead, including the Black Mountains on the distant horizon.  There are plenty of cafes at the first control of Ludlow.

Stage 2. Ludlow to Hay via The Marches.  This is the least taxing section of the day. Gentle ups and downs through Herefordshire countryside.  It is over the Wye via the ancient toll bridge at Whitney (free to cyclists) and soon into Hay-on-Wye.  Hay is probably the most important stopping point of the day.  Take on food and drink ahead of the long ‘dry’ and hilly section to Ledbury.  Now is not the time to go book shopping.

Stage 3A.  The Black Mountains. From Hay, you can head over the Black Mountains via the Gospel Pass (highest public road in Wales) or via the slightly easier and less potholed Crasswall Pass. The descent off Gospel Pass to Capel-y-finn has been considerably imporved since resurfacing though the road remains grubby beyond Capel-y-finn and the descent requires attention for oncoming cars.  At Llanfihangel Crucorny Information Control, you will need to click your E-brevet app or answer the brevet card info control question.  

Stage 3B. Herefordshire Hills.  You are deceived or deluded to think that the Black Mountains pose the greatest challenge of the day.  This section to Ledbury is formidable with lots of lumps and bumps yet in the organiser’s view, the most rewarding for glorious countryside.   Aside from a very short section that shares Mark Rigby’s audax route, this area is rarely visited by audaxes.

Stage 4. Ledbury and Home. Ledbury is the penultimate control point.  The route continues with ups and downs but the countryside changes as you ride through the shadow of the Malvern to your east.  Ankerdine Hill is a sting in the tale but it does not take long to reach your ultimate control and destination, Bewdley.   Time to pat yourself on the back for an audax well ridden and some well earned recuperation. 

Stats and Facts

Start and Finish: Bewdley

Controls: Ludlow, Hay-on-Wye & Ledbury

Information Controls: Llanfihangel Crucorny

Proof of passage:  Brevet card or E Brevet 

Overall average permitted speed: 14.3 – 30kph.  

Arrivee at Bewdley: 15:13 – 22:53

Overall Ascent: 3140m

Audax Altitude Award Points: 3.25

Principal Climbs: Clee Hill, Crasswall Pass, Campston Hill, Orcop Hill, Marcle Ridge, Wellington Heath, Suckley Hill, Ankerdine Hill. 

Audax UK Terms and Conditions - The small print stuff

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.

  • The route is on open public roads. 
  • You should prepare by studying the route. 
  • The route is not waymarked /marshalled.
  • You are responsible for your safety/conduct. 
  • Some routes/conditions may be arduous.
  • The organiser provides no rescue service.
By entering the event, you understand that during the event, they you are on a private excursion on the public highway and that you are responsible for your own conduct. You agree to abide by Audax UK Regulations for this ride. Entry fees are not refundable or transferable.