Following a great trip to the Royal Forest of Dean and the Welsh borders in June of last year, OCC once again took a spring break from the roads of Oxfordshire and headed west to enjoy some challenging riding in the hills of South Wales, taking in the infamous Tumble, just south of the town of Abergavenny in the Brecon Beacons National Park.
There’s no getting away from the hills in this area of the country and to say the climbing was unrelenting from start to finish is an understatement. With a total of 2400 metres of undulating ascent packed into 116km of cycling, with some inclines well in excess of 20%, it was with some relief that we arrived back at the car park in the village of Sellack, just north of Ross-on-Wye.
Below are a selection of photos of a spectacular day of cycling and if you want to do a similar ride, then full details of the route and stops can be found at the bottom of this post.
We have other days away planned for the coming months, with talk of a Peak District, the Shropshire Hills, the Isle of Wight and Dorset all possible contenders, so keep your eye on our Facebook page for further announcements!
Having left Herefordshire and crossed the border into Wales, the hills became noticeably steeper.
Two hours into the ride and a welcome respite at the Fig Tree Espresso cafe in Abergavenny
Andrew Webb and Mark Osborne in cake heaven at Fig Tree Espresso.
Rich Burnham takes on some sustenance before the group heads for the big climb of the day, The Tumble.
The Tumble attracts cyclists and clubs from afar and has featured in the Tour of Britain, most notably in 2014 when the climb was the summit finish of Stage 3.
Turning for home: Danny Wright and Jonathan Mason lead the group over The Tumble, with the Brecon Beacons visible in the far distance
OCC Club Secretary, Mike Lowndes, demonstrates his descending skills off the summit of The Tumble.
An extended mechanical allows time to enjoy another stunning vista.
A lunch stop at Warwick’s Country Pub in Tal-y-Coed, the “only pub between Ross-on-Wye and Abergavenny” claimed owner Christine. Not entirely true, but places to stop in this rural area are limited, so worth planning in advance.
Platters of sandwiches on arrival, all arranged in advance and paid for out of club funds.
Not forgeting the platter of chips that Mark O was a little reluctant to share with Tony Trafford.
Maybe it was all those chips, but after the lunch break, the tough gradients were heavy going.
The group enjoy a hard-earned post-ride beer at the New Harp Inn, tucked away in the hamlet of Hoarwithy.
Travel Time to Ross-on-Wye from Oxford about 1½ hours, leaving at 7.30am.
Car Park: Sellack Village Hall
Mid-morning Café Stop: Fig Tree Espresso in Abergavenny
Lunch: Warwicks County Pub
Post ride refreshment: New Harp Inn in the village of Hoarwithy
Rumble on the Tumble route on STRAVA