Up The Downs 200km


Route Sheet (pdf)

GPX file (zipped)


Saturday 10th June 2023 – 08:00

Enter at Audax UK

Start / finish

Beech Hill, South of Reading – Memorial Hall
Postcode: RG7 2BE
What Three Words: ///extent.storyline.aboard
Google Maps: Beech Hill

General Information

With the exception of the pandemic years this ride has now been running since 1991.

The route takes in the countryside of the North Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and some of the quietest roads and lanes in surprising proximity and isolation from, the hustle and bustle of the Thames Valley.

The c. 207km route (128 miles) is hilly in places, but the hills reward with long views and descents. There are a number stops along the route for to rest and have something to eat and drink, including the control points.

Entrants are expected to be experienced cyclists, familiar with riding the distance, able to cope with the hills, and able to carry out routine simple repairs should they be needed. The ride is not supported in any way and you will need to be self-sufficient. It is wise to carry several spare inner tubes and the means to deploy them. There is no mechanical support on the ride, and no roadside event signage.

The event is not a race but allows enjoyment of the downland landscapes.

Please avoid doing anything that could spoil the event. Be relaxed, friendly and courteous to all those you meet on the ride (including drivers, horse riders and pedestrians) and act as an ambassador for audax and cycling generally.

The state of the roads will variable. You will encounter loose gravel, pot holes and other defects that will need to be negotiated with care and without hurry. Riders should not assume that any lack of comment on the provided routesheet about specific hazards or road surface means that the surface is good. It is the responsibility of all riders to take care of themselves, other riders and road users.

If this is your first audax experience, you may find Notes for Audax novices helpful.


This is not a fundraising event. It is held for your enjoyment on a voluntary basis. The entry fee covers audax event registration and ride validation fees, hire of village halls and food provided at the start and end of the event and at the Ashmansworth control. Calculating the fee is not an exact science as the number of entrants will not be known until later. The fee thus includes a margin that is hopefully sufficient to ensure that the 3 events held on the day (100km, 200km & 300km) do not run at a loss. Surplus funds are donated equally between the Cyclists’ Defence Fund and Thames Valley Air Ambulance.

The entry fee is £10.00.

If you turn up to enter ‘on the day’ the entry fee is £11.50 and subject to the availability of spare brevet cards.

The Route

The route can be viewed here:
This is provisional. No significant changes are anticipated but any changes needed (eg due to road closures) will be added nearer the date, after which the map will no longer be titled ‘draft’. The link can be saved to a phone (eg email it to yourself) to access Googlemaps if needed during the event should you become lost or need a back-up to a cycle computer.

The route can also be viewed here with various download options: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/38506117

A simple .gpx file for the route will be sent to entrants a week or so before the event when there is reasonable certainty that it is final.

Time allowance

As noted above the event is NOT a race. Take your time and enjoy it!

The event starts at 08:00

Riders should return no later than 21:36

This allows for an average speed of 15 kilometres per hour (c.9.5mph)including all stops/ breaks.


Please use the on-line entry on the AUK site. Although this uses PayPal, you don’t actually need a PayPal account to enter.

It will be possible to enter on the day, but there will be a late-entry fee for this, and I cannot guarantee that I will have sufficient Brevet Cards available.

If you cannot finish the ride…

…for whatever reason, you MUST phone or otherwise inform the organisers to minimise their worries and time hanging on at the finish for what they think are late finishers.

The ‘brevet card’ that you are given at the start of the ride will include a contact telephone number for the organiser.


Limited car parking is available at Beech Hill Village Hall.
Please park tidily and use the space efficiently.

If the car park is full please park with utmost consideration for local residents.

Our use of the memorial hall is dependent on the events not winding up the locals.

Rail services

Reading station is an 11km ride from the start, albeit requiring some fiddly navigation, much of it through the town.

Mortimer station is closer to the start (4.6km to the west). Trains are available to Mortimer from Basingstoke or Reading but you will need to check the times nearer the date.


Any queries – please get in touch: Nick Clark – nickclark2020@gmail.com

This event is hosted and organised by Cycling UK Reading under the Regulations of Audax UK – The UK Home of Long Distance Cycling.

1992 brevet card courtesy of Felix Ormerod

Alan Furley

The ride is run in memory of Alan Furley.
Alan was a member of Reading CTC and CTC National President

1992 control at Walbury Hill courtesy of Felix Ormerod