The Wessex Series
The Coastlet leads up to the Coast and the Dorset Coast is the first in the ‘Wessex Series’ – an Audax UK ‘Super Randonneur Series’ of long distance cycling events/routes over 200km, 300km, 400km and 600km events.
The Wessex Series is:
- 200km: The Dorset Coast Calendar event and Audax UK ‘permanent event’ Dorset Coast Perm (a slightly different route that can be ridden at any time)
- 300km: The Hardboiled Calendar event (it’s egg shaped, and hard at the end) and is traditionally THE DAY BEFORE THE DORSET COAST! Every year there are a few hardy riders who do both, the idea of running them together was that it makes travelling down to Dorset worthwhile for long distance cyclists from around the country. If you don’t fancy riding them back to back, it’s also available as an Audax UK permanent ride, or ‘perm’ here,
Peter Loakes ‘3D’ (which isn’t run every year) a 300km hilly ride through Axminster and on into Mid Devon, down to the sea, and then back through Lyme Regis.
- 400km: The Porkers (it has been called a pig of a ride, but only in jest: it is one of the most challenging and rewarding 400km events in the calendar).
Also available as a ‘perm’ here
- 600km: The Brimstone (named after the butterfly sometimes seen on the ride, and known for being often found alone, and far from a food source) or the perm version, which is known as the Hellfire
…and it is famous in long distance cycling circles for being one of the hardest SR series to complete.
The architect of the series is Shawn Shaw in Poole, who established it in 1994 as a definitive test of rider and machine – and perfect preparation for Paris-Brest-Paris (every rider who has qualified for PBP with a Wessex Series has completed the event!) the
‘roll d’honneur’ of riders who have completed a Wessex series is here. Over the years the rides have been carefully crafted and changed to maintain the ethos of the routes, while introducing variety, new climbs, and new views. Further details are here.