43-mile Mendip Hills cycle ride to climb Cheddar Gorge and Burrington Combe

  Posted: 06.04.21 at 11:51 by Tim Lethaby

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A cycle ride this summer is offering participants a personal challenge and the opportunity to experience the Mendip Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) from the seat of a bicycle.

The Mendips Lakes and Lumps Ride will be taking place as part of the National Trust's Top of the Gorge Activity Weekend on June 13 and the emphasis with the weekend's events is very much on introducing people to the sheer pleasure and enjoyment to be had from being active in and exploring this beautiful area, in this instance by bike.

The ride is designed to be a physical challenge, but it's also intended to appeal to as many people as possible - a main route consisting of 43 miles and around 800m of climbing in total means that it is accessible and achievable for a lot of people, and of course a bit of determination, a sense of adventure, and a degree of prior preparation undoubtedly also help.​

It's a route that sees participants visiting both Chew Valley and Blagdon lakes, and it also incorporates two challenging Mendip climbs - Burrington Combe and, of course, the iconic Cheddar Gorge.​

As well as these "Lakes and Lumps" there are some descents to be enjoyed along the way too.​

And this year there are also plans underway to offer a couple of additional sections which will most definitely add a degree of extra challenge for more experienced riders - more details to follow.

A spokesperson for the event said: "We're delighted to say that the Mendips Lakes and Lumps Ride is returning on Sunday June 13 after the event was cancelled last year, along with so many others, due to the coronavirus restrictions that were in place at the time.​

"So this will now be the second outing for this fabulous challenge ride - and this year we're very confident that it will be happening.​

"We say that having successfully delivered two very safe Covid-secure cycling events in 2020, and the knowledge gained from those experiences, will stand us in good stead going forward and will inform and underpin preparations for the 2021 Mendips Lakes and Lumps Ride."

From the entrance to the Top of the Gorge Activity Site site on top of the Mendips at Warren Farm in Charterhouse, the route starts with some lovely views and a thrilling descent before it soon brings riders to one of the highlights of the day - cycling up through the world-famous Cheddar Gorge.​

After three miles of climbing up through the Gorge, riders then travel across the top of the Mendips before the second descent of the day brings them to the eastern edge of the AONB area.​

From here riders head towards the two lakes in the northern part of the area and, after a relatively flat and scenic route around Chew Valley Lake, a more challenging section takes riders around and across the western edge of Blagdon Lake before culminating with a short, sharp climb up through Blagdon village.​

Then to round off a day's cycling in style it's on to the second major climb of the day - the testing three-mile ascent of Burrington Combe - after which riders head across the top to Yoxter before returning to the finish at the activity site.

For more details about the event, which is being held in partnership with the Prostate Cancer UK charity, you can visit the website HERE.

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