Velo Club Walcot members smiling and waving at Barrys Bristol Blast cycle ride

VC Walcot was out in force for Barry’s Bristol Blast, a jolly 116km loop south from Bristol via Glastonbury


Last Sunday 25th March, our 13 riders largely made up from the usual Sunday Clubriders 2 group did a great job of completing a hilly route, including conquering the sharp climb of Harptree Hill up onto the Mendips.

Barry’s Bristol Blast is one of three ‘Barry’-inspired routes of up to 200km organised by the Las Vegas Institute of Sport (LVIS) on the last Sunday of March every year since 2010. Needless to say, in the interests of having more time to eat cake, we thought it better to enter the shortest 116km option.


Velo Club Walcot members line up with Elvis Presley mascot prior to Barrys Bristol Blast Audax cycle ride

Viva Las Vegas! Naturally, The King himself hangs out at an LVIS Audax


This was several riders’ first experience of an event organised under the banner of Audax UK. These are volunteer-organised long distance rides, a bit like sportives but less corporate and more relaxed. For a start, there are no route signs or timing checkpoints – instead, riders navigate using a route sheet or GPS, and answer questions about route landmarks to prove they haven’t taken a shortcut.


Velo Club Walcot members pose during Barrys Bristol Blast Audax cycle ride

The group was mostly made up from our Sunday Clubriders 2 members but Ellen Matthews notably stepped up from Clubrider 1s for her greatest and hilliest distance yet.


The team had heard rumours that the organiser’s cakes would be good, and they weren’t disappointed – riders were caught tucking into homebaked goodies like carrot cake, Mars Bar cake and the famed Velodrome cake at several points before, during and after the ride.


Velodrome theme chocolate cake at LVIS-organised bike ride

Las Vegas Institute of Sport rides are legendary for the friendliness of the organisation and for baked goods – this is the famous Velodrome Cake.


Maybe next year VCW could step up to the next route, Barry’s Bristol Bash – a similar distance but heading north, rumoured to have legendary strawberry pavlova courtesy of the local WI. Or even the 200km Barry’s Ball Buster, a monster combination of the two? With such a warm atmosphere and fine baking, VC Walcot will definitely be back.

Congratulations and thanks to our friends at LVIS for hosting such a great event.