The past couple of years, I’ve enjoyed not going out on NYE, but instead getting an early night so I can go out on my bike for a XC ride the next day and enjoy what feels like my own personal playground, where I’m pretty much the only person up and out. This year however it chucked it down all day and I just couldn’t face it. Good news though, thanks to where the bank holiday fell I had one more day off so I went out on the 2nd instead with H.
Thanks to holiday we actually did two rides this week which I’ve listed below, both were pretty muddy! I also managed to squeeze in a yoga session following Abi Carver‘s Pink Bike Back Pain Routine, one of my favourite’s since the crash.
Petersfield to Winchester Hill 45km 652m
Heading out from Petersfield station we went up Bell Hill along the road to a bridleway on the left (known on Strava as Dead Cat corner). When we reached the top of the bridleway we followed the top of the hangar along to the end and back out onto the road. From here we crossed the A272 and followed the bridleway up across some fields heading towards East Meon. Once in East Meon we hit the road back up again heading out of East Meon towards West Meon. Along this road there is a turning left that will take you up onto another bridleway. Up until now the bridleways had been relatively OK but things started to get boggy. Taking a right halfway along the bridleway onto another the ground eased up again and we came out near Meon Springs. Cycling through Meon Springs we started to take the bridleway up towards the South Downs. This path was very boggy and thanks to a walker saying “you’re not cycling up that are you?” we knew it wouldn’t get any easier but we did make it. Once at the top of Winchester Hill we did a big loop down round it and back up via the old railway and then the road. This loop was carnage, it was so muddy! Lots of poor walkers going the other way nearly knee deep in mud! Back up the top of Winchester Hill we headed out towards Butser Hill and straight down it (thanks walkers who held the gate open) to Queen Elizabeth Country Park where conditions were much better. Cycling through the Country Park, taking the back lane through Buriton and back to Petersfield Station our loop was complete.
Cocking loop 29km 547m
I don’t know this area all that well but I can tell you the loop that we took wasn’t as muddy a the Winchester Hill ride. We basically used the South Downs Way from and back to the car park just outside Cocking and took some bridleways that took us down to Singleton and back up again. I imagine in summer conditions this route is very fast.
Week One and already 74km closer to the end goal!