The Paddington Express
Part of the Brunel's Billiard Table Series and great qualifier for Paris Brest Paris. With a late start to mimic PBP and get you used to riding through the first night you'll get to Paddington in the early hours.
Loosely following Brunel's GWR mainline, nick named the Billiard Table because of the lack of gradients, from Bristol to Paddington Station. Passing through Bath, past Box Tunnel to Chippenham you then head to the edge of the Thames Valley passing north of Swindon and into the Vale of the White Horse. Cross The Thames, climb over the Chilterns and pass Brunel's Sounding Arch at Maidenhead for a run into London. Returning along parts of the later mainline from Paddington to Exeter you first cross Regents Park before heading straight out and past Windsor Castle; is she in? Continue west into the Kennet Valley and the Vale of Pewsey tracking the Kennet & Avon canal. Brassknocker Hill awaits as a final challenge before back through Bath to the Arrivee. For those aiming for PBP you will more than likely ride through the first night and into the next day. This is an ideal opportunity to see how you will fare. No sleeping facilities but an evening control with dinner included followed by a few 24hr establishments en route to rest your eyes if you need to, before pressing on.
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