Summer Plan Following The King
This summer I have decided to cycle the King Alfred Way.
The King Alfred Way (KAW) is a 350km circular gravel route. It starts and ends at the King Alfred statue in Winchester - where he is buried. The route was inspired by Alfred the Great who ruled the Anglo-Saxon Kingdom of Wessex. Along the route you visit iconic monuments with over 10,000 years of history including Stonehenge, Avebury stone circle, Iron Age hill forts, Farnham Castle, and Winchester and Salisbury Cathedrals. I'll be planning to do this over 3 days which I hope still gives me time to enjoy the sights.
The route has been developed by Cycling UK and their aim is to create a network of long-distance off-road routes across the length and breadth of Great Britain, through fascinating places and inspiring landscapes.
In the northern section of the route they use part of the Ridgeway, in the southern part the South Downs Way. It also has connections with the Thames Path and North Downs Way - so the very ambitious could find a way to link them all together!
The trail is geared for gravel bikes but others have chosen hardtail mountain bikes as well, and can be ridden over a few days as a bikepacking trip.
I will be going on my Marin Nicasio+ with a change of tyres to the WTB Resolutes. This will allow for a little more traction compared to the WTB Horizons. I need to do a bit of a service of the bike including a change of the chain before then as well, no excuses of something not working.
I've bought myself a 9 litre saddle bag, which along with the Apidura Frame bag and Thule Handlebar bag I already have will be my luggage for the trip. I'll be using a Rab bivi on the trip so hopefully space will be alright.
I've earmarked the KAW for a number of years and unfortunately life has just got in the way and meant I was unable to get it done. Which if you consider it's only a 3-4 day trip and is in the UK, being banned from international travel for 2 years surely was the perfect excuse to get it done. Never mind, 2022 will be the year!
To say I am excited is an understatement. I cannot wait to take the route at a leisurely pace enjoying the views and the people I meet along the way. I'm already looking at the other routes near by which they link in with. So many options so close to home.
If you have done the KAW I'd love to know your experience. Any tips or recommendations will be much appreciated. Now - time for some training!
Check out the official KAW video from Cycling UK.
Happy riding Mammoth Fans