Cotswolds mtb routes – South epic

MBSwindon club ride near StroudCotswolds MTB routes…south epic.

This was the first ride of the bank holiday weekend. I had a 57km epic to lead for MBSwindon that took in Nailsworth, Chavenage, Ozleworth, North Nibley, Dursley and Uley. I’d done a recce ride on this back in November with Gary Palmer. We advertised the ride on the MBSwindon website, Dirty Saddles and Stroud MBC.

I rode the extra 7km from my house to the route start and arrived to find a large crowd which reached 18 by the time we set off. This included Paul who had ridden from Swindon and was going to ride back after the ride too.

The route was identical to the recce apart from the end where did the descent to the Weighbridge Inn. It had been too dark to do this in November. The other main differences were the higher air temperature and a lack of water falling from the sky.

The group maintained enthusiasm throughout this tough ride despite the route taking the steepest line up and down every hill. We did break two bikes over the course of the day. One rider had a seized wheel and despite a farmer lending some tools the wheel seized back up later. Another rider had a stuck free hub and rolled back to Nailsworth down the road about three quarters of the way round the ride.

Tight singletrack in the Cotswolds.
Tight singletrack.

The tight switchbacks in the  bluebell wood from the Ozleworth radio tower down to Wotton scored the most approval. Not long later there was a food stop at North Nibley quarry by the jumps and downhill style trails.

MBSwindon gravity race team.
James from the gravity race team.

A short cut to the Old Crown Inn at Uley was taken by half the group whilst the others did the bonus loop up Uley hill fort and back down before riding to the pub.

The Crown Inn at Uley
The Crown Inn at Uley
Gulley descent near North Nibley.
Gully descent near Westridge Wood.
Egypt Mill at Nailsworth
Egypt Mill at Nailsworth.

I have to question my mental state because I really enjoyed the steep road climb through Owlpen back onto the top of the Cotswolds. An easy road spin and a track lead to the final descent down to the Weighbridge Inn. This is still one of my favourite trails in the area.

We made a second pub stop at the Egypt Mill before going our separate ways.

This was a great day out and reminded me why I like riding with the club. Everyone worked hard,  there was no moaning, the group waited for the slowest rider at the top of climbs and everyone got on with enjoying the ride. I’ve done my fair share of solo trips recently so it was great to be out with a keen group.

Cotswolds mtb route map.

Route: Garmin Connect | Strava | gpx.

Distance  72.6 km
(45 miles)
Elevation gain  1200 m
Moving time  4:51 h:m Elapsed time  9:43 h:m
Av moving speed  15 km/h Max speed  48 km/h
Energy  2800 KCal

See my Nailsworth it ride,  Gary Palmer’s Painful Painswick ride and some clues for another ride I have planned.

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