England : Surrey What next?

icowden

Über Member
Location
Surrey
So, I just did my first ever Sportive (London to Brighton) which I really enjoyed despite the rain and the hills.
I'm thinking about doing the New Forest 100 in September (not sure whether to go for the standard or the epic though... how tough is the epic?)

As a measure, I had to walk Ditchling and the two big hills preceding it, but was fine in the legs when we got to the finish line.

Any other recommendations for fun events that aren't too hilly?
 

rugby bloke

Veteran
Location
Northamptonshire
This is a tricky one, as the definition of "hilly" is going to vary between riders. I would recommend getting out on your bike and riding some more routes until you get a feel for what you are comfortable with. Most of my riding is in the undulating East Midlands so that 4,000 ft of climbing over say 60 miles is as lumpy as I would want it. I then use this as a guide when I am looking to ride routes I am not familiar with. However I am sure that there are people who ride in Wales or the hilly North who would scoff at such numbers !
 
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icowden

icowden

Über Member
Location
Surrey
For me, I can do short hills, it's the ones that go on forever that I find hard. Haven't got the stamina in my legs.
I'm really just looking for fun sportives that aren't too far away. I enjoyed the cameraderie at L2B and that there was a real mix of different types of rider from the athletic types to the less streamlined folk like myself.
 

EltonFrog

Yup, no, that didn’t work.
The new forest sportive is nice, but I wouldn’t recommend the longer version based on what you’ve written in this and the L to B thread. If you do it watch out for Bliss Hill, it’s short but a bugger, last time I did it they had marshals along the hill catching people as the fell over when they came to a standstill.

1E77C72F-A85F-470D-8D01-13528D5493DA.jpeg
 

lazybloke

Let's go sledding
Location
In a cemetery
If you feel capable of 100 miles but are troubled by hills, how is your gearing?
-My easiest gear used to be 42 front, 24 rear. I changed that to 34 front, 28 rear. As a result, the hills are significantly easier, I have no more knee pain, and I've not lost any speed.

Also, to be good on hills... I have to practice hills.
 
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icowden

icowden

Über Member
Location
Surrey
hmmm... I'm not quiet fluent on gear-ese yet.
Current bike is 27 gears - 3 rings on the front and 9 on the rear. The specs say:

Crankset: Shimano, 44-32-22T, w/ chainguard
CASSETTE/FREEWHEEL: Shimano, 11-32T, 9 spd

So I presume that 34 / 28 would be close to middle ring on the front and 8th ring on the back?

To be honest I think the main problem is that I haven't done much hill practice and my chassis could do with shedding a couple of stones!

The write-ups suggest that its a fairly flat course. The GPX doesn't show the route going through Blissford Hill, it goes through GodsHill on the return.
 
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lazybloke

Let's go sledding
Location
In a cemetery
hmmm... I'm not quiet fluent on gear-ese yet.
Current bike is 27 gears - 3 rings on the front and 9 on the rear. The specs say:

Crankset: Shimano, 44-32-22T, w/ chainguard
CASSETTE/FREEWHEEL: Shimano, 11-32T, 9 spd

So I presume that 34 / 28 would be close to middle ring on the front and 8th ring on the back?

To be honest I think the main problem is that I haven't done much hill practice and my chassis could do with shedding a couple of stones!

The write-ups suggest that its a fairly flat course. The GPX doesn't show the route going through Blissford Hill, it goes through GodsHill on the return.
Maybe it's just practice that's needed. Those numbers mean your gearing is on your side when it comes to hills, as long as you do change down to a low ratio (eg 22 front, 32 rear is your extreme low ratio). There is a saying that hills never feel easier but you do get faster (with practice), so bear that in mind if do go training.

Another thread about hills >> https://www.cyclechat.net/threads/looking-to-start-doing-a-few-more-hills.250654/#post-5661725
 
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cosmicbike

Perhaps This One.....
Moderator
Location
Egham
The new forest sportive is nice, but I wouldn’t recommend the longer version based on what you’ve written in this and the L to B thread. If you do it watch out for Bliss Hill, it’s short but a bugger, last time I did it they had marshals along the hill catching people as the fell over when they came to a standstill.

View attachment 472740
Bliss Hill is a delight to ride down. You can dodge the way up by turning left at the bottom, adds about 1/2 a mile but gets you to the same place up a slightly easier climb.
 

EltonFrog

Yup, no, that didn’t work.
Bliss Hill is a delight to ride down. You can dodge the way up by turning left at the bottom, adds about 1/2 a mile but gets you to the same place up a slightly easier climb.
I knew about the alternative route, but there’s no fun in that. Never occurred to me to ride down it !
 

PaulSB

Legendary Member
I can't comment on your sportives as I've never ridden those areas. The two points I would make are to spend time training for hills.

For me the easiest way to train is to find a suitable hill and include it in a loop. For example I have a local route of 12.5 miles and 990 feet. The main climb is 4.5 miles, rises 850 feet at 4-9%. I ride up to six circuits in a session, usually three. I don't find going for a long ride with a few hills in it especially helpful.

My other point is the "it never gets easier, just faster" saying can be misleading in my view. Hills I used to dread I now simply ride up without much difficulty as I've trained to build my strength. If one wants to blitz a hill as quickly as possible it's true the pain doesn't reduce and one does simply go faster.

Many a years ago I commented to another rider about his and his friends ease of climbing a hill. He simply replied "we've earned it." That for me is the truth of climbing.

For most I feel hill climb training should be to make hills easier and a part of the ride rather than something to worry about during a ride. It's about approaching a climb with confidence.
 
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icowden

icowden

Über Member
Location
Surrey
At the moment my main hill climbing practice is Marley road in Haslemere which I get to do every 2 to 3 weeks. 253 feet elevation over 1 mile (although most of it is over 0.5 of a mile). Have nearly got up it once, but each attempt I get a little bit further.
 
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icowden

icowden

Über Member
Location
Surrey
That's it. It's a lovely, idyllic (but steep) road through woodland and past the odd very expensive house (a little potholey but what road isn't in surrey?) past the Mental Hospital and Nursing Home, and then leads down in a loop back to Haslemere.

It's a beautiful road to cycle.
 

PaulSB

Legendary Member
At the moment my main hill climbing practice is Marley road in Haslemere which I get to do every 2 to 3 weeks. 253 feet elevation over 1 mile (although most of it is over 0.5 of a mile). Have nearly got up it once, but each attempt I get a little bit further.
I went to primary school in Haslemere, a convent about 10 minutes walk from the station. I left 53 years ago and I know the place has changed. To improve on climbs I feel you may need to do more. Now I am talking from very old memories but have you considered Bramshott >Passfield >Headley >Grayshott >Hindhead >Haslemere? From what I recall it's a long climb from Headley to Hindhead but with nothing major to tackle. Alternatively Shottermill to Hindhead which from memory is about a 2 mile climb? I used to get the No.18 or No.24 bus home on that road. Nutcombe Lane - does that go anywhere now, it used to? Whatever you chose my feeling is you need to ride it more than once every 2-3 weeks.

It's largely a question of local geography. Here in Lancashire if one wants the best riding it's likely to involve climbing although there are ways to skirt round hills. I can leave my house and ride 1250 feet in 8.5 miles, at 4-9%. A pretty standard club ride of 50-60 miles is quite likely to include 3500 - 4500 feet and no one really thinks about it.

We can only ride what is available which can make it tricky to train. I remember when we came down for Ride London the consensus from those I met was "where are the climbs?" Not to say Leith Hill and Newlands aren't difficult but they're only a 1-1.5 miles which is much shorter than we would be used to in my area.
 
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