Given its proximity to London's urban sprawl the Essex countryside offers a surprising escape into quiet countryside and wide open green spaces that are ideal for exploring on a gravel bike. Our route takes in a mixture of small country lanes interspersed with hidden bridleways and byways as we ride on sections of The Essex Way and Flitch Way. With its relatively flat terrain and an even mix of road and off road sections this is one of our easier gravel rides in terms of technical difficulty, but the distance is not to be underestimated.
Long Route: 110km, 800m
Medium Route: 75km, 550m
Long Route Difficulty 2/5
Medium Route Difficulty 1.5/5
Percentage of Route Off Road 45%
Bike & Tyre Choice: We should have dry and dusty trails as we head towards the end of summer but it’s worth keeping an eye on conditions closer to the event. There are some longer sections of backroad riding on this route so a fast rolling tyre with some tread for the off road sections would be the ideal choice. The route is well suited to a gravel bike but could also be ridden on a mountain bike if you wish.
Countdown to Sept 17th
– Quiet, rolling countryside just outside London
– Ride the Essex Way & Flitch Way
– A fast course suitable for gravel riders of all abilities with a balance of backroads and gravel sections.
– Social drink at the finish village
Brentwood: 110km long route OR 75km medium route
A beauty of a ride just outside London but escaping into rolling hills and quiet countryside. Both roads mix backroads and gravel sections on bridleways & singletrack making this an ideal ride for newer off roaders or a fast & fun route for experienced riders.
Brentwood: 110km, 800m
Starting from the grounds of the not so secret Secret Nuclear Bunker we’re making our way north picking up sections of bridleway and byway linked together by quiet country lanes through undulating agricultural land and picturesque villages. The route will see us pick up sections of The Essex Way, a long distance trail that traverses the length of the county, and sections along the Flitch Way former railway line. Given the nature of the Essex landscape you won’t find any long or steep climbs on this ride but it’s not completely flat either.
Ride Difficulty: 2/5
Brentwood: 75km, 550m
We follow the long route for the first 45km where you can choose on the day how your legs are feeling whether you want to do the 110km course or the shorter 75km.
At the route split, the medium route jumps onto the Essex way for a couple of km across to Howe Street before a rolling section back to the Nuclear Bunker for some food and beer.
Ride Difficulty: 1.5/5
What type of bike should I ride?
This route is ideal for gravel bikes with lots of smooth gravel and quiet backroads. Road bikes are not suitable for this ride, mountain bikes will be fine on the gravel sections though obviously slower on the tarmac. We have carbon gravel bikes from Pearson available to hire for the day. E bikes are not allowed on this ride.
How do I find out my start time?
Riders start in groups of maximum 6 at a time. We will send you an email after you have booked to choose your start time between 8am and 10am, if you are riding with a friend you can choose to start with them.
Where is the start / finish?
The ride starts and finishes at the Nuclear Bunker in Brentwood. There is free parking onsite as well as toilets & refreshments.
What happens if I have a mechanical / accident?
We have first aiders & mechanics at all the feed stops and ride captains along the route to support.
What shall I pack with me for the ride?
You need to have a water bottle, basic kit to repair punctures, inner tubes & riding with a helmet is compulsory. Our feed stops have water, coke, cake, fruit & the best tasting sports nutrition bars & nut butters from Outdoor Provisions.
When will I get my GPX file
Our local team do a final recon ride 1 week before the event and can make final tweeks then based on route conditions. We will then send out the route GPX within one week of the ride.