Buy the OS Route Map and instructions for this route

If 25km appears like a bit of a cop-out for a Hard ride, tell us again after you’ve ridden this. This little gem is non-stop action from start to finish with long gruelling climbs, steep technical descents and plenty of other interest along the way. What’s more, just about every centimetre is rideable.
The route is basically a tour of Mendip’s highest point, Beacon Batch, linking it with the surrounding hills of Black Down. It doesn’t travel far, less than 4km from the start at the furthest point, but it doesn’t need to; by pogoing up and down the ridge, each time on a new and pretty full-on trail, it squeezes in over 900m worth of climbing and descending action.
The highlights come thick and fast, opening with a pretty stiff climb from the ride’s lowest point to its highest, and continuing with a flyer of a descent along the ‘red road’ and steeply back down to the singletrack that glues it all together. Then it’s a steep, steppy climb — this one shaded by trees — and descent towards Shipham, where you’re faced with yet another big climb. You should be getting the picture now.
Another fast and furious descent leads to Rowberrow, and another long grapple with gravity gains the open hillsides of Black Down again. It’s singletrack for a few kilometres from here (can you clean the two brooks?) and then it’s up to the trig again for one huge grand finale — over 200m of mixed action that varies in terrain from sinuous singletrack to big, broad and rocky.
The cruise to the finish will be welcome when it comes.