King Alfred Way

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  • Love this, there’s about 4 miles (downhill) between the sustainability centre and shoe inn. That’s my kind of riding.

  • That's me haha. That was actually a great spot, devil's punch bowl, very beautiful but I think I was trying to book someone to repair a water meter through an automated chat interface at that moment.

    Here's my riding buddy looking unimpressed at what is meant to be a paved road.

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  • Good info @Belagerent. I’m planning to do this with a couple of mates at the end of august. Have allowed 4 days given I reckon I can ride for 8 or so hours a day at 10-15kmh. However one of the mates (despite knowing we were planning this at the end of last year) still hasn’t fixed his bike or done any riding. He’s also got emphysema in one lung and broke his back falling off a mountain a couple of years back so I’m really thinking this might be a bit of a stretch for him. This friend takes a ‘I’d rather have fun, don’t mind if we don’t complete it’ kind of view. The other guy is a ‘hike to Everest base camp’ kind of guy and will not want to fail. I fall in the middle (but will also be a bit pissed off if I have to go slow for friend one and definitely want to finish). Not really sure what the point of this rant is but it could be an ‘interesting’ ride.

  • Giving this a go Sunday week. It's supposed to be pretty warm between now and then so not sure what to go for tyre wise.
    Choice is between racing Ralphs and big apples, guessing the former more sensible in case it hasn't dried off by then?

  • Well don't let me put you off. I'm a whiner and also hadn't really camped before. Also I have been off regular cardio since January, so that definitely will have contributed. That said my friend is much more experienced than me and was just off a tour on the Isle Of Wight, she didn't get as fatigued but also didn't find it a picnic. Last summer we were regularly managing 50km off road fenland rides on school nights, so we didn't think 75km hilly rides would be that much worse with 12 hours of daylight.

    It's hard to say how much of a difference the ground conditions made, that was probably the biggest thing. Loads of sections that would have been possible to fly across if the ground was baked hard, but then again some of the ruts might have been slow going regardless? Some of our issues were just assuming the route would be kind of like road tours we've done in the past where you can end up eating so much cake you gain weight over the trip. You could easily be a bit more organised than us wrt carrying food etc which would help keep spirits up. There are also a lot of chances to just say fuck it and take a road. Most of the point to point locations are only about 2 hours on road (we kept on saying we would do this, and never did)

    That said we didn't have any mechanicals (except for the last day where the puncture fairy arrived) so things could have gone a lot worse.

  • I had ralph/ray. Not that I know much about tyres but I was happy with them.

  • Good to hear, ta.

  • Starting this on Monday from Winchester. Taking five days over it.

    Will keep all you trail watchers updated as we go 🤓

  • Cheers, yeah first mate is as tough as old boots and a mountain guide, so well used to camping and roughing it. That said he is out of shape for cycling. I’ve got him coming out for a 40km off road ride tomorrow morning which will hopefully give him some clarity. I’m also fully prepared for me to be the one completely humbled by it and crawling home.

  • Have a good trip! Weather looks decent.

  • sick, honestly despite all my whining i wish i was still doing it! I hope it's dried out a bit!

  • just finished this in 3 days, it was and must be now almost completely dry overall, especially on the ridgeway.
    4 of us on drop bar bikes with tyres ranging from 33 to 43.

  • how was your gear ratio?

  • 42 at the front and an xt 11-34. the Xt cassette pyramidal increments made a lot of sense compared to a road cassette. I would have enjoyed 40t and/or a 11-36, even 11-40 for the steeper stuff, but doubt it would avoid the hike-a-bike moments.
    keeping in mind that climbing is my best - relative - feat.

  • Yeah traction is the issue (at least it is when it's pissing it down and you're on dry tyres) rather than the steepness of any climbs.

  • needs more pics

  • Few questions for the KAW veterans.

    1. Do I need a sat Nav or is the route fairly obvious? I've been using Komoot on an old mobile phone to find some local off-road rides and whilst it's quite good for free 1. I hate looking at tech when I'm riding and 2, the battery dies in about 3.5 hours.

    2. Is wild camping a viable option I don't have the money to travelodge it up, so was planning to wild camp. Also could probably use a wash every couple of days, so maybe campsites the best option, do you need to book?

    3. Should I try and fit a small tent in a handlebar harness or just fuck it off and stick a rear rack on the bike like a sensible person?

    1. I would much prefer to have a satnav but I always ride with one. Maybe you'd be fine with paper maps?
    2. Can't comment on wild camping, I have no idea about it. We booked our campsites but they didn't look very busy so I think you'd be fine but calling ahead is always wise.
    3. Saw plenty of people with rear racks on and they looked OK.
    1. I'd take a GPS - there's some points where it would be useful to know you're on the route. It's not all totally obvious.

    2. Yes, totally. Probably need to book with campsites what with Covid and demand.

    3. Whatever is more secure - there's lots of bumping about. TBH I just bivyed and that was fine. If you get weather like this weekend and you're wild camping you probably don't even need a tent

  • Cheers @Belagerent and @fredtc. I probably need a sat nav to be fair, my off road navigation is woeful as most of my riding is on road where you can just look at a sign and guess. And getting lost is half the fun.

    I can see the appeal of a bivvy but maybe not for 3 nights on the spin unless the weather is really warm (which I hope it isn’t - Sunday’s test ride with the first friend was a bit too toasty).

  • Did anyone scout out swimming spots on their way around?

  • I think one can swim in frensham, and i noticed a wild swimming spot in the Avon just above upper woodford

  • You can't swim in Frensham little pond but you can generally swim in the great pond. They might mark out certain areas where safe, it's algae season coming soon.

  • Frensham and the bridge north of Upper Woodford as said. Follow the Thames path north out of Goring and loads of places to Jump in. In Winchester, Palmerfield just off NCN 23 on your way back in is good but there’s a new defensive and territorial swan family to be aware of atm. Also North Walls Recreation Ground north east corner has a great bank to jump in from and the playing fields get the last of the evening sun.

  • I tried to swim near Woodford last year. A bit too shallow (hence the name I guess!) to swim properly but it was lovely for a paddle and a splash.

    51.12495396641489, -1.8160670803193102

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King Alfred Way

Posted by Avatar for Thrasher @Thrasher