It was more than a good Friday it was a fantastic Friday – Shere pleasure!
In between the rain and wind and sleet we had a day of glorious sunshine.
Building on recent trips I chose to do some more exploring to the west of my recent rides in the Surrey Hills hoping to increase mileage and climbing – and I achieved both, on which I will expand later.
Start was in the top right hand corner – I picked up a national cycle network trail and went west at low-level before turning off , heading north, into the North Downs just after Abinger Rough. The plan was to get my breathing sorted and muscles working before a steep off-road ascent. It kind of worked, mastering the initial chalky rough climb much to the amusement and encouragement of two hikers 🙂 at the first cross path, instead of turning right as last week, I turned left looking for another ascent up. Mmmm tough but manageable – well the first 50/70m was ok – very slow – until the overgrowth got too low. Maxing out at 27% gradient and minimal grip, slippery due to Thursday’s rain I had no choice to try another path or walk. I walked. At the top the path became more muddy and puddled. Here the path and woods reminded me a bit of the SDW north of Chichester. After a little foray it was time to head south down a fairly steep smooth and rutted chalk “cart track”to Gomshall.
Tarmac to Shere (what a delightful village) chock a block with traffic, and then off-road heading the wrong way round a charity horse ride route – churned up path and plenty of passing stops, eventually arriving in Winterfold Forrest and on to the paths I adore.
Through a bit of good luck and car park maps I wound my way across Reynards Hill, through and old quarry and up to a viewing point at Pitch Hill. Following my nose I then found the ideal path down through Gasson Farm, across the Ewhurst Road to pick up last weeks ride up Holmbury Hill, back across Leith Hill wiggling all the way down to the A25.
The highlights – all the downhill bits, especially between Reynards and Holmbury – and the uphills too were good for the soul (OK I was slow but…).
The stats show some variation – alas MMR failed again and didn’t upload the route 😦 . So I was left with my trusty CatEye GPS – 29.45 miles and 3850ft of ascent 🙂 best for a while.
In the name of research (wasting time) I exported the gpx file into MMR and found I hadn’t ridden so far or so high – 29.01 miles and 2790ft???????
And because on several friends had mentioned Strava I have now switched allegiance – and importing the gpx I found I had now done 28.9 miles and climbed 3130ft.
What is really good about Strava it that I found sections of my route had some strange names, but even better was that it has some measure of gradients.
Oh well it was a fantastic ride. 🙂