Posted Sunday 18th March 2012 –
Exmoor Beauty organisers have finalised the route for this new event that takes place on Sunday 22nd April starting from Butlins Minehead and have sent us over some details and photos of what riders can look forward to. The event capacity is limite to 1,000 riders with over half the spaces already taken so there’s still time to enter.
Within five miles riders will find themselves on an attractive coastal road heading towards Watchet, a beautiful rural town full of the type of buildings seen on West Country T.V. dramas, such as Doc. Martin. With the sea on one side and the rising scenery of Exmoor National Park on the other, it’s hard to find a better way to start, what is set to become, a truly iconic ride. Exmoor carries on revealing itself as the route climbs slowly through Williton and along the river; passing small communities living the quiet life in the Great Wood.
This tranquility is short lived when you break out of the wood for the first major climb up onto the moor. Here, the course joins the traditional 100 mile Exmoor Beast route for a few miles, albeit in the opposite direction, before turning right just after Brendon Hill for the long descent to Wimbleball Lake. Twenty miles covered, and only 10 remaining to the first feed station, the route winds itself through Brompton Regis which is also part of the annual Wimbleball Ironman Triathlon. The ups and downs from the lake are about to be rewarded with a fantastic decent to Jury’s Hill, which leads to the feed station in the center of Dulverton. This setting is perfect for riders, their families and supporters. The beautiful river, with the Bridge Inn open for business, offers a relaxing venue for everyone.
The feed station, providing all riders with what they need for the remaining 40 miles of the ride, will be set up in front of the Exmoor National Park Authority offices. The route now rejoins that of the 100 mile Beast. There are three ascents on this section but every crank of the pedals and every morsel of effort expended deliver a breathtaking reward. At the top, Exmoor is revealed in all its stunning beauty. Rugged moorland stretches for miles in every direction, present long flats and minor rises. The ridge road takes riders all the way across the top before making a right turn for another exhilarating decent, this time into Simonsbath, where the 100km Beast route is joined. The descents are pretty steep so caution is advised for two reasons, one for safety and the other for the chance to take in the countryside. From Simonsbath riders take the road to the drinks station at Exford. Although this is only 15 miles after the feed station, riders may need the extra hydration before embarking on the final climb of the day; the infamous Dunkery Beacon.
This climb is gentle, enjoyable and as always very scenic, keep your head up and look right as much as you can. The summit is the best viewpoint on the moor. After this visual treat, it’s time to get ready, concentrate and cover the brakes. The decent off Dunkery is extremely technical, very steep and generally quite windy. The road appears to literally drop away in front of you. So, the message is clear – take it easy and stay in control. After the descent of a life time, it’s winding roads again all the way into Minehead via Dunster.
The final parts of the route will offer time to chat and reminisce about the ride just experienced. You only have to look at this route on a map to get excited. It’s got it all, takes in the sea, the moor, good challenging ascents and fantastically thrilling descents. The whole event will demonstrate just what a rewarding day out on a bike should be like! So, if you are free on the 22nd April, you’d be mad not to get out on this one; it’s a beauty.