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How long does it take to cycle from London to Bath?

davmaggsdavmaggs Posts: 1,008
edited July 2011 in Commuting chat
I've decided to cycle from central London to Bath in August just for the hell of it. Looking online I found the classic A4 route listed in a few places, but I wanted to ask if anyone has actually ridden it and can tell me how long it takes?

Also any tips for a first time distance ride?

[I'm a commuter and never entered any cycling events so multiplying my daily commute by distance isn't going to be accurate]

Posts

  • If you are doing it for fun, consider the Kennet and Avon Canal. Mixed surface, but traffic free and there is a pub every few miles.
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  • davmaggsdavmaggs Posts: 1,008
    If you are doing it for fun, consider the Kennet and Avon Canal. Mixed surface, but traffic free and there is a pub every few miles.

    Out of interest do you know if that path is smooth enough for 28c tyres?
  • gbsahne001gbsahne001 Posts: 1,967
    In terms of grip, then that time of the year you'll be fine but it's very flinty (is that a word) so you'll need good puncture protection, even then smooth tyres are likely to be cut up.
  • davmaggs wrote:
    If you are doing it for fun, consider the Kennet and Avon Canal. Mixed surface, but traffic free and there is a pub every few miles.

    Out of interest do you know if that path is smooth enough for 28c tyres?

    Been a couple of years since I did, and can't remember if I was on my tourer with 28c, or the more expedition bike with 1.6inch marathon xc, but either way I didn't have any problems. Some of the route is unmade and grassy / muddy, so would be more difficult if wet.
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  • SewinmanSewinman Posts: 2,131
    davmaggs wrote:
    If you are doing it for fun, consider the Kennet and Avon Canal. Mixed surface, but traffic free and there is a pub every few miles.

    Out of interest do you know if that path is smooth enough for 28c tyres?

    I did it on my road bike and it was mainly fine - I think I got off once due to the surface. The path was bone-dry when I rode it though.

    I took the NCN via Windsor and Reading, then K&A canal to Bristol. It took two days. It took me 9 hours to get to Hungerford, with a a few stops. Bath may be a bit far using NCN/Canal IMHO. There are dogs and people on the canal and thus we could only average about 10pmh. Awesome ride though!
  • davmaggsdavmaggs Posts: 1,008
    thanks for the posts. I think that I'll stick to the A4 route as I'd like to do it in a day. Anyone ridden that?
  • t4tomot4tomo Posts: 2,643
    No, but its near enough 110 miles - you'll know roughly what speed you average on long ride.

    Can't imagine the ride out of London as far as Slough will be particularly pleasant, the A4 is pretty busy there. Ditto through Reading. Ok thereafter I suspect.
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  • Nicholls2kNicholls2k Posts: 51
    I've ridden the A4 from Bath ->Chippenham. Can't say that I would recommend it. Quite a lot of traffic/fast moving traffic.
  • Jay dubbleUJay dubbleU Posts: 3,197
    The canal section from Hungerford to Marlborough is OK but probably not comfortable on a road bike - there are quiet roads that run more or less alongside it though - the A4 between Hungerford and Marlborough is quite busy but not unpleasant.
  • redveeredvee Posts: 11,921
    The Action 100 uses the A4 for most of the route and is approx 110 from Bristol to Hampton Court/Kempton Park area which I've done in 7 hours ish. The route is mostly flat but coming out of London you'll have the downhill into Malborough and Box to rest your weary legs on.
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  • CiBCiB Posts: 6,098
    I did Newbury to Chippenham as part of a longer ride on Royal wedding Day, when traffic was extremely light. The A4 on that stretch at least is a very good road and v wide - it should be considering it was the main route west before the M4 was thought of. So traffic aside, the only thing that sticks in my mind was the monotony of it, just on and on for miles with a bit of a tailwind but a steady continuous climb as far as Marlborough, then a short steep drop followed by another steady climb as far as Beckhampton, topped off with a descent for miles all the way to Chippenham.

    In truth it was a nice ride but tbh I'd done 60+ to get to Newbury so was on autopilot for the last 37-odd miles on the A4. Take away the traffic, which Kate & Wills did ta very much, and it's a perfectly doable ride
  • jeepie1999jeepie1999 Posts: 78
    Yep, I've done the Action 100 Bristol - London which goes via Bath. From memory it follows the A4, is a great ride and I think you'll have a good time.
  • davmaggsdavmaggs Posts: 1,008
    Jeepie1999 wrote:
    Yep, I've done the Action 100 Bristol - London which goes via Bath. From memory it follows the A4, is a great ride and I think you'll have a good time.

    I Jeepie. I was going to follow the Action 100 route as they'll have put the effort in to map it and several hundred people like you have tested it. Can you remember how long you took?
  • secretsamsecretsam Posts: 4,840
    I'd avoid the A4, it's a good fast road but busy, particularly when the M4 is up to its tricks. I've been planning an Aylesbury to Bristol but am sticking to the [email protected] roads, means more tedious levels of map reading but less traffic to spoil the day.

    It's just a hill. Get over it.
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