at/from Upton Magna Village Hall (Postcode SY4 4TZ)
Website :: http://www.aukweb.net/events/detail/17-748/
307km within 20 hours. 4950m of climbing (5 Audax Altitude Award points)
31st year of the AUK classic 'There (and back again)' from the Shire across 'blue remembered hills' to the wilderland of the Elenydd, in the depths of mid Wales.
Between lrfon and Camddwr you are as far away
As you will ever be from the world's madness
The loneliest it is said, even in this land of lonely places
Flying from madness, maybe we bring it with us
From "Above Tregaron" by Harri Webb
The Elenith has been well established as an Audax UK classic since 1986, when 50 entrants took the start from 'Trikie Towers' in Kidderminster. Over the years riders aged from 16 to 70+ have come from across the UK and beyond to tackle the challenging route from the edge of the English Midlands, across the Marches and deep into the green deserts of mid-Wales. Snow and hail storms, easterly gales, a 20 hour 'shower' and even occasionally a day of unbroken sunshine with a tail wind out and back have all been experienced.
In 2012 after 26 years of organising Dave Pountney and Kidderminster CTC hung up their organising hat, and passed the baton on to CTC Shropshire. The Elenith evolved into Yr Elenydd with a new start and finish to the route from our HQ in Upton Magna, but retaining all the features that have made The Elenith a classic over the years.
Entry costs £12 (£10 for Audax UK & CTC members). Enter online or by post.
Start and finish at Upton Magna village hall (postcode SY4 4TZ), opposite the church
Accommodation: camping space (for tents, caravans & motorhomes) is available in the field next to the hall on both Friday and Saturday nights at no extra charge. For more luxury there are plenty of options in Shrewsbury including Travelodges and a Premier Inn.
The route takes in some of the finest scenery and roads in mid Wales and the Marches. The first leg takes you on a flattish route through Shropshire’s “blue remembered hills” following the Roman Roads through Church Stretton to Leintwardine, Mortimers X and the first control at Shobdon (mmm, the smell of aviation fuel in the morning), with a couple of small bumps along the way to wake you up.
From Shobdon you quickly leave England heading towards the green deserts of mid-Wales. Across to Builth Wells and on to the infamous mountain road from Abergwesyn to Tregaron (where the Devil lies in wait for the unwary). The Bowls Club at Tregaron provides a welcome opportunity for refueling before embarking on the return home via the Ystwyth & Elan mountain road to Rhayader.
The return route leaves the A44 at Penybont to follow the A488 over Penybont Common, through Dolau and Bleddfa to return to England at Knighton. A short section of B roads takes you to the final control at Little Brampton who'll be staying open for us and doing a special cyclists menu for the occasion.
The hills don't finish here though - the final leg will take you to the west of the Long Mynd up the Onny Valley and the final climb of the day (or night) over Cothercott Hill. Then it's a flat out 20k descent (bring good lights!) to Shrewsbury and the finish.
Routesheet & GPS files
Download the routesheet and GPS files from the AUK website event page using the following links (all files are compressed in .zip format):
There are several versions of the GPS files, depending on your device and preference:
For Edge series and newer Garmin eTrex 20, 30 devices, use the file Elenydd_Full.gpx This contains a single 300km GPX track plus waypoints for the controls.
Older devices (e.g. eTrex Vista, Legend etc.) need tracks with fewer than 500 points. Use either:
- Elenydd_1.gpx...Elenydd_6.gpx - each file contains 1 track for each individual stage between controls, filtered to a maximum of 500 points each.
- Elenydd_All.gpx - tracks for all the separate stages contained in a single GPX file.
Alternatively, the route is available on RideWithGPS, from where you can export in a variety of formats to your taste.
Reviews, photos and write-ups
- Here Be Dragons - (That) Emily Chappell 2016
- Andrew Kirsfelds 2016
- Ultra Disco Stu's ElliptiGO 2015
- Oliver Wright 2014
- James Bradbury 2014
- Yr Elenydd Powered by the Wind 2013
- Peter Bond's Picture Post 2013
- Philip Magnus 2013
- @vorsprungbike 2012
- Squarepusher 2012
- yACF 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012
- Kidderminster CTC Photo Gallery
- 2016 Photo Album (Facebook)