In audax lingo, a permanent audax is an event that can be ridden at any time of year. The only exception is the day of the calendar event. You can also start at any of the three control locations.
South Shropshire Hills may be short as audaxes go but it packs a punch. If you don’t fancy the normal 200km event but seek a challenging shorter ride, this is ideal. the event. As the title suggests it is a hilly ride but it also comes with stunning views. Highlights include views from Brown Clee, Wenlock Edge twice, Caer Caradoc and Clee Hill. You will be relieved to learn that it does not ascent The Long Mynd!
The permanent differs slightly from the calendar equivalent. The permanent travels clockwise and takes a slightly different route between Clee Hill and Ludlow by descending Angel Bank. It is also rated at 1.5 rather than 1.75 Audax Altitude Award points for some unknown reason.
For details on the South Shropshire Calendar event. 15th June 2023
Stage 1, Bewdley to Ludlow: There is no easy way out of Bewdley unless you like swimming unlong the flat of the Severn. Once through the Wyre Forest it is very long but gradual ascent to vista of Clee Hill. From here you can see the Brecon Beacons or Malverns on a clear day. A rapid descend down Angel Bank leads you into the famous market town of Ludlow. There are plenty of cafes available here for those seeking a leisurely ride, otherwise the first logical cafe stop is in Church Stretton, unless it is on a Sunday when fewer cafes are open at the latter.
Stage 2, Ludlow to Church Stretton: This is most certainly the easiest stage of the day. You cross Wenlock Edge for the first time via a fairly low pass. After which, you cross Apedale to then heading over the hill near Gaerstone Rock before a big descent into Church Stretton. After crossing the railway, Mr Bun the Bakers can be found on the left hand side. Otherwise there are plenty of alternative cafes including the popular cyclists cafe next the crossroads at the base of the Burway. It is a good idea to stop for rest and recuperation in Church Stretton as the next stage is quite gruelling.
Stage 3 and homeward bound: Head north and you will see Caer Caradoc looming high above the Stretton Fault. You suddenly swing right to take steep climb to the north of hill through ‘Col de Comley’. Once through Cardington there is another sharp ascent but please stop at the top and look back at Caer Caradoc in its glory. You descend once again into Apedale only to then climb Wenlock Edge for a second time albeit via a higher route. You then have plenty of time to compose yourself in Coverdale before reaching the ‘Wall of Death’ , the nastiest climb of the day that leads you to a traverse along the north side of Brown Clee. Minus a couple of sharp pulls, it is then a long ruling and gentle descent between the traverse and Bewdley.
Controls: Bewdley (the usual start and finish), Church Stretton and Ludlow
Average speeds: 10 – 30kph
Overall climb: 1,641
Audax Altitude Award Points: 1.5
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.