Exploring the varied terrain of the ancient estates of the Earl of Mortimer, starting and finishing in the Mortimer Forest on the very edge of Ludlow, the route links together some lovely stretches of off-road riding using quiet byways and true back lanes.

The Mortimer Round is a challenging route, as it is lumpy and has a fairly high off road percentage, but it’s not too technical and is pretty weather proof.  Although the route doesn’t demand an MTB (although it would be a decent enough choice), you won’t want to be on skinny tyres.  38-42mm will be ideal, with some grip (there’s one steep grassy descent we wouldn’t want to tackle on slicks) – and a gravel bike would be the optimal bike choice.

Originally scheduled for Autumn, we have extended the ride to take in an outstanding ridge ride, with spectacular views across Radnorshire.

Social Distancing

As none of the Cross Cartel rides are mass start or group rides they lend themselves well to social distancing – there is no ‘mass gathering’ element at all, as they are fully self supported.  Feel free to start your ride when it suits you. Riders will of course spread out very widely as they get into the ride, but during the Covid-19 pandemic please be careful to observe government rules and guidance on social distancing.

In particular, please do not form groups with people you have not traveled with, and maintain a 2m distance at all times from anyone you are not in a ‘bubble’ with.  This will mainly be of concern at the start – so please just make sure to leave big gaps between yourself and other riders as you set out.

If you wish to appear in the list of riders that complete the route on the day you will simply need to record your ride on a GPS or smart phone, and upload it to Strava by 9am the following day – the route starts in the Vinnals forestry car park (here), so just remember to press start as you ride through it.  There is NO official start time!

June 2021 – confirmed date coming soon

  • Distance: 78Km
  • Off Road/Paved Split: 38%/62%
  • Total Climbing: 1140m
  • Max Gradient (up): 20% (off road)
  • Max Gradient (down): 25% (off road – needs some grip!)
  • Suitable for:  Gravel Bike (recommended) or Cross Country MTB
  • Registration:  See Below
  • Route File (GPX):  Click on ‘Download GPX’  below the Komoot map overview

How to Register – opens Feb 2021

Registering is a pretty simple process:

  1. Set up a free Strava account (if you don’t have one already)
  2. Join the Cross Cartel group (called a club in Strava)
  3. Scroll down to the Mortimer Round event, and click on “I’m In” (you won’t be able to see the event in Strava until you join the Cross Cartel group)

In common with all of our rides, The Mortimer Round is not an organised mass start or group riding event, so there is no HQ or start venue, no support staff or marshals out on course and no registration on the day – that’s all done in advance via Strava.

The Mortimer Round is an individual challenge ride on a route that is open to the public along its entire length, that you can begin and finish at any time you like.

Parking is available in the forest, and around Ludlow town, which is well within riding distance. But Ludlow is an ancient walled town with narrow streets, so you may need to park on the outskirts.  The route actually starts from the Vinnals forestry car park (here), which is situated in the forest, on the Ludlow-Wigmore road.

The final route has been published on Komoot, ready for downloading above.

About Cross Cartel Rides

Cross Cartel rides neither races nor traditional organised leisure rides. They are are similar to what were traditionally called “reliability trials”, where the objective or challenge is to complete a pre-determined route on a particular date within a time limit – but in our case the limit is all day and we have no set start time. The challenge is simply to ride a mapped route on a given day, at a time of your choosing. We will publish completion names and times for your interest, but there is no podium and no prizes. Go as fast or as slow as you feel comfortable with!


You will need to be fully self sufficient – these are self-supported rides on routes that are open to the general public, with no emergency back up or mechanical support of any kind. You need to take spares and supplies with you. There will be no rescue vehicle to collect you if you have a mechanical, so please make sure you take a mobile phone for any emergencies. You will need to call a friend to collect you or the emergency services in the event of a medical incident. And it is sensible to be insured – you don’t need race insurance, as our rides aren’t races, but general cycle/personal liability insurance is highly recommended.

The Cross Cartel has no responsibility for any incidents that occur during or as a result of your ride – you are solely responsible for your own actions and safety while riding our routes, whatever day you choose to ride them. The Cross Cartel is not an “event organiser” – we are route mappers – we do not provide ride support or event venues. Our routes are on public trails, tracks and paved roads. You are free, as we are, to ride them anytime you like, but we only publish the rides completed on a given day

Please follow the Highway Code at all times when on the roads, and the Countryside Code when off road – and PLEASE close all gates and take litter home with you.