Updated: Sep 14, 2021
Planning and preparation is key to your safety and enjoyment
With that in mind we have prepared the following guidelines and checklist to enable you to prepare for your up-coming self-guided ride. The following is essential reading so please be sure to digest and familiarise yourself with the important information provided. Please don’t hesitate to let us know if you have any questions or need any more information.
Please read the complete guidance and checklist...
The Ridgeway is a challenging 2 day self-guided tour requiring a very good level of fitness and riding skills. It’s your responsibility to ensure that you have the fitness, skill and capability to complete the daily distances and profiles. The route is based partially on Cycling UK’s route which is provided for guidance.
Expect to spend more than 6 hours in the saddle each day!
This challenging route has some very steep, technical climbs and descents, loose/slippery, uneven and rutted surfaces requiring a very good level of fitness and riding skills. Featuring a mix of loose and hard surfaces, flint, roots and ruts - it includes gravel, woodland trails, sand, grassy bridleways, towpaths, public roads and lanes. It is therefore essential that you have experience of riding on public roads and off-road on varied terrain. The route uses and crosses public roads where extra care and vigilance is required.
Conditions, degree of difficulty and speed will be significantly impacted by weather conditions. Check the weather forecast beforehand.
For further information and a description of the route and features please see:
63 miles, 3,500 ft climbing, ~ 7 hrs riding
Day 2 - From Watlington to Ivinghoe Beacon
32 miles, 2,500 ft climbing, ~ 5 hrs riding
It is your responsibility to familiarise yourself with the route distances, profiles and conditions and make yourself aware of the risks and hazards associated with undertaking your chosen activity.
Bike & equipment
It’s your responsibility to ensure that your bike and equipment is suited to the routes and conditions. Have your bike serviced beforehand and safety checked before the start. Ideally start with a new chain and tyres which are new or nearly new.
You must be capable of repairing punctures en-route and at least one member of your group should have a basic mechanical knowledge and capable of carrying out roadside repairs.
A mountain bike or gravel bike is recommended - with a minimum tyre width of 40mm and tread pattern suited to a wide variety of terrain. Tubeless tyres are recommended.
For information and further guidance on bike and equipment choice please be sure to watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B8SFTxDxcjA
Nutrition and hydration
Please note distances and route profiles. A proportion of the route is in remote areas which is great and part of the magic of this experience. However in light of distances, terrain and conditions you must plan ahead. Ensure that you carry sufficient nutrition, sustenance (fuel!) and hydration with you and plan your refuelling stops accordingly.
You must carry sufficient nutrition, water/hydration with you which takes into account the sometimes infrequent opportunities to top up in remote areas.
Please see and consult the following usefill resources/apps:
Luggage & transfers
Please pack your belongings to be transferred by Wild Cycles into one small bag. If you can strap your sleeping bag and pillow to your bag, making one bundle - that would be helpful and very much appreciated.
If driving - parking is available at camp no. 1 nr All Cannings
For further options please see:
You’ll be camping in official campsites along the route with toilets, washing facilities and hot water. Showers at campsite no. 1 were not yet connected when we visited in April. We do not have a definitive date for this however there is hot water in the basins for washing.
Catering at overnight stops
Ingredients, utensils, equipment and fuel for cooking evening meals and breakfast are provided by Wild Cycles.
You’ll be cooking/preparing your evening meals and breakfast using the equipment supplied. Evening meals are BBQ’s so you’ll need to be able to cook on the BBQ equipment provided! Please remember to wash up after meals.
Essentials which you'll need to bring with you
Your bike! Ensure it's in perfect working order, safety-checked, serviced beforehand and is therefore safe and suitable to complete the full distance
Spare inner tubes and/or
Tubeless repair kit
Quick chain links
Spare brake pads
Water bottles/hydration pack (also see nutrition/hydration guidance above)
Min 1 x 1st aid kit per group. Recommend 1 person per group is 1st aid trained
Your own quality cycle helmet which conforms to the latest safety standards must be worn whilst riding
Suitable clothing + extra/spare sets of clothing
Warm clothing for evenings
Sleeping bag suitable for weather conditions (check the weather forecast and your sleeping bag’s temperature rating)
Ensure you have adequate insurance cover for your property and equipment including bicycles intended for your use as well as medical expenses.