Whenever. Just putting it out there.
I've spent the weekend just gone painting so I've got a pass for next weekend, how about Saturday? I'm thinking 8am train from Waterloo which gets into Bentley just after 9am. Weather looks fine and dry all week so should be good. Who's in?
I didn’t know the stations beyond Farnham were still open!
Am thinking about this.
Other options I’m thinking about are @PeteJChurchill’s Cambridge route (which is a good north London start for me), or a train-to-Three-Bridges-and-see-what-happens (there’s a route east to Eridge then down to the south coast, near to where my brother lives).
I had got a Richmond loop in the diary with a mate, but he crashed his bike on the river path at Thamesmead, Saturday, so is crocked.
Here’s a Komoot link for a dogleg east of the Brighton Main Line from Three Bridges to Polegate. Includes the Worth Way and Cuckoo Trail.
I’ve added a last zigzag to see my bruv in Normans Bay but this could easily head to Brighton or Lewes from Polegate. Or you just could hang around in Polegate and admire the big road gritting storage dome between the railway and the A27.
I think someone on here did this as part of a longer dawn-til-dusk loop a few years back, taking it west at the coast to Shoreham and then north up the Downs Link: Which is pretty awesome.
This seems fun.
I'd be keen to join a ride before the year is out.
I'm keen to ride the loop through the South Downs and Arundel from Shoreham this Sunday.
Reckon I’m going to do the Three Bridges and points east/southeast on Saturday -picking up NCN 2 to Brighton or Lewes and a train back to town. Bail options aplenty and no engineering works, what could possibly go wrong?
Sunday I’m booked to stare at art while mouthing “wtf?” (Frieze)
Saturday I'm doing an University open day with one of my kids...
Planned route: https://cycle.travel/map/journey/259200 as tested by @ElGonzo a whole page back!
Any suggested route revisions welcome.
Route is a corker @Alex_B, long sleeves and gloves highly recommended. A pint at the Black Rabbit in Arundel breaks up the ride nicely, lunch is a bit of a faff there as reduced menu for walk-ins though, have a good one and take better pics than I did!
I'm still keen to do Shipwright's Way on Saturday, all welcome! my partner said she may join in which case it will be very much party pace and likely to set off from Bentley at 10am as she's not sold on super early starts.
I'm gonna say a very tentative yes for Shipwrights on Saturday.
Saturday looks like Thameslink to TBD for a 10 start. I would prefer to go an hour earlier, but my mate who crashed last weekend has his bike back and he’s not a morning person (and I don’t want to get stressed out by his “yeah but I haven’t finished my coffee yet?” wind-ups).
Personal note: It’s hard getting used to cycling with other people, and their insistence on taking breaks and omg ‘enjoyment’ what the hell is wrong with you people.
But it IS better.
I’ve always done my own thing, quite happily, but lately I’ve realised that me hammering my way to a destination to beat the clock in my head is like consuming empty calories. Not very fulfilling.
The couple of forum rides I’ve managed to get to were fantastic days out and I’m keen to do more of that. Doesn’t mean I have to pick out curtains or anything, right? Right. ENDS
Wet weather plan is the same, also may attempt a dip in the sea at Seaford or Saltdean, or maybe Black Rock. Planning to have a pre-train beer at The Evening Star.
From functional thread, for you rough people...
what’s that on the floor? Did someone explode from the radness?
I wish I could make this, but I have no flexibility on Saturday.
I'm still planning on riding Sunday, so if you want to come along, let me know.
Can I suggest we get some firm dates for specific rides into the diary? It would be nice to be able to plan ahead and there ave been some good suggested routes on here recently.
Agree. We have a fixture pile-up this weekend. I’d have done the Shipwrights except for the itch-that-must-be-scratched for Kent and Sussex one!
Maybe work up a list of north/south alternating options?
As we go into winter, anywhere you have to get a train -particularly in Surrey/Sussex- to make a ride is risky.
For example late October through November on the Brighton Main Line is a series of weekend engineering works. 15 years of unhappy commuting between the coast and London tells me that’s just not worth the stress!
Agreed, but there are a lot of great rides just on the edge of London. When the weather is truly terrible, the North downs are usually bearable, whereas Epping Forest is a muddy swamp.
Ha. I overcooked that, f’sure. I still get twitchy ex-commuter PTSD tho. I’m going to modify it as “trains south of Gatwick”. If we stick to within a large circle of London, it’s probably okay.
Yesterday’s trains were fine and I’d recommend the three greenways in some segment of a future ride (possibly not altogether). The Cuckoo Trail is well-paved and both the Worth and Forest Ways seem like they’d be good all year.
Bits of NCN 21 are pretty rough. Where we picked it up around Eridge I had serious doubts it was actually a trail. And between Newick Lane and Marklye Lane we needed nobbly tires and fewer kms in the legs (or to do it south-to-north!). Lastly, my stupid planning to go through Alfriston village stuck us on the ‘high & over’ rather than the Exceat river crossing. Last hill, which I knew was waiting for us, was on NCN 2 out of Newhaven …again, it’s great if you’re doing Brighton to Hastings but coming the other way I had to get off and push it most of the way because I was done.
Saltdean and the Undercliff at twilight tho… a bloody marvellous way to go into Brighton and beerz.
Well, the Shoreham loop really delivered. Perfect weather, the trails were in good shape. A bit sloppy along the river, as predicted, but fun. The Downs were great, as always. This is a ride we need to have in the calendar.
Ended up doing Shipwrights Way solo on Saturday, nice ride apart from an underwhelming bit next to a dual carriageway coming in to Havant. Don't let that put you off though, overall it was lovely. Quirky end having to take a ferry for a 2 min crossing on Hayling Island! FWIW no real issue with trains out to Bentley or back from Portsmouth Harbour.
Whilst I'm fully onboard with getting some firm dates for rides with a bit of notice, I'd also quite like to sneak another one in this Saturday 23rd before the days get shorter. If the weather is kind I'll likely do a section on the North Downs Way from Oxted to Hollingbourne; train out from London Bridge and back into Bromley South/Victoria.
Appreciate I'm going against the prevailing wind here in that its short notice/south/involves trains but thought I'd throw it out there if anyone would like to join.
Glad you did the Shipwright’s and thanks for this North Downs section (I’ve saved the route). I would do it, but it’s a little soon for me: I’ve got a singing hip flexor that’s going to need more than a week to calm down.
(aside from needing to winterise everything, which means staying put for the weekend).
btw @ElGonzo and @alex_b what tyres are you doing this stuff on?
(I’m using 35c Marathon Deluxes because they’re the biggest tires I have with tread, feels like I could use a smaller tire but with a bit more bite, so I’m interested to know… cheers)
WTB Nano for me in 700x40c not quite proper off road tyres, but very nearly.
In all but really slimy mud they are incredibly capable, but on this weekend's ride I was sliding out a lot on soft clay. They need beefier tread on the sidewalls, with more aggressive knobs.
However, I'm riding a proper off road bike with loads of clearance, so could easily go up to 2.1" 29er tyres.
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