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SE England Riding

Posted: Wed Apr 04, 2012 7:23 pm
by airwise
I notice there are a fair number of Brits on the forum - many of whom are very serious about both their kit and fitness.

I've just returned after a period away and am wondering where you guys all get to ride around Surrey/ Bucks/Berks area. My old routes just seem unrideable now - with a combination of poor road surfaces and heavy traffic levels making the rides both dangerous and utterly uninspiring.

I'm thinking I might as well stick to riding indoors if I want meaningful workouts without risking my neck everytime I put on my shoes. I'm hoping some of you out there have places where you can genuinely exploit your bikes and ride in safety. Any tips for avoiding the mayhem or should I return to mountainbikes and European vacations?

Re: SE England Riding

Posted: Wed Apr 04, 2012 7:30 pm
by tinchy
Go out with your bike, get lost, come back with a new route.

Re: SE England Riding

Posted: Wed Apr 04, 2012 7:30 pm
by Weenie

Re: SE England Riding

Posted: Wed Apr 04, 2012 7:31 pm
by Rodrego Hernandez
Where abouts are you?

There are plenty of roads to use just need to be sensible when you use them. Have a look on strava for local riders and their routes??

Re: SE England Riding

Posted: Wed Apr 04, 2012 8:22 pm
by airwise
I'm based near Windsor. Ride around there, out to Chliterns and over to the Dorking/North Downs/Cobham area.

I left about two years ago. It just seems the roads are now chewed to hell and the traffic even worse. I don't know how you guys keep the faith!

Re: SE England Riding

Posted: Wed Apr 04, 2012 8:25 pm
by Rodrego Hernandez
The roads round there are some of the best you'll find!

Where have you been away? One of those islands with no cars!!!

Re: SE England Riding

Posted: Wed Apr 04, 2012 9:15 pm
by outnumbered
The bad winters means the road surfaces have got really bad in places, that's true enough.

But the Chilterns is still a lovely place to ride, IMO...

Re: SE England Riding

Posted: Wed Apr 04, 2012 9:35 pm
by HWWilson
I often take in the following on rides:

Toys Hill, Kent. Quiet with a lovely smooth road surface up the less steep side from Westerham. Quite rough down the steeper side though.

Plenty of routes around Leith Hill.

Ranmore Common is a good climb which leads into some nice routes further into the Surrey Hills.

Re: SE England Riding

Posted: Thu Apr 05, 2012 8:45 am
by Roobay
Mike

personally id would join a local cycle club and try a club run, im sure that the level of fitness you have attained in distant shores you would be able to do a "A" run, if you struggle they will always wait for you.
If youre a loner look on Strava or Map my ride for routes completed in your area, and if you have a garmin the you can compete against the best times on the routes.

Re: SE England Riding

Posted: Thu Apr 05, 2012 9:45 am
by airwise
Thanks for all the replies.

I guess I've been spoiled. I think I'll start riding the cross bike and buy a Wattbike for real work.

I've tried club runs in the past John but tired of shouting "Hole!" every thirty seconds. And the style of riding is very different. It seems all anaerobic stuff followed by recovery whereas I'm used to threshold work for an hour at a time. I can do that indoors to far greater effect.

I'm amazed that road cycling is booming around here if I'm honest. Hardy souls the Brits :)

I come from a mountainbiking background anyway but it crossed my mind that riding the lanes of Surrey and Bucks is now as technically challenging as riding bridleways on a hardtail. Except with the latter I'm not sharing the space with irate testosterone fuelled idiots intent on using the roads to establish their rightful place in the ongoing class war.

:evil:

Re: SE England Riding

Posted: Thu Apr 05, 2012 10:43 am
by Rodrego Hernandez
Windsor is an ideal location, Chilterns to the north, quiet lanes to the west. Ideal riding really. Slightly more traffic than you get mountain biking but not too bad.

Buy a turbo rather than a watt bike. They aren't all they are cracked up to be.

Re: SE England Riding

Posted: Thu Apr 05, 2012 1:21 pm
by bikewithnoname
In all honesty a cross bike is probably a much better idea for tackling the roads in Surrey/Hampshire. Sure there is the odd bit of smooth tarmac but I'd say at least 50% is utter cr*p.

Mind you, I’m British so I don’t like to complain too much and I consoled myself by buying a Cervelo RS to suck up the bumps

Re: SE England Riding

Posted: Thu Apr 05, 2012 1:53 pm
by bikerjulio
Living in Toronto and going back to the south of Guildford area I made up some great routes heading east along the downs, sticking mainly to minor roads. Too narrow for a group but OK if solo. Found drivers on the lanes pretty good. An hour of going up & down there felt like 3 hours in southern Ontario. Including some hairy descents. Also, since I'm used to Toronto road surfaces - the English seemed pretty good!

For the non-UK people, a typical Surrey country road

Image

Re: SE England Riding

Posted: Thu Apr 05, 2012 3:32 pm
by airwise
Rodrego Hernandez wrote:Windsor is an ideal location, Chilterns to the north, quiet lanes to the west. Ideal riding really. Slightly more traffic than you get mountain biking but not too bad.

Buy a turbo rather than a watt bike. They aren't all they are cracked up to be.


It's that I've got used to the quiet lanes of Northern Italy and France. Billiard table smooth in comparison and really suited to safe riding IME. I do have a Tacx Fortius but used a Wattbike a lot over the Winter. I'm sold. The feel is preferable to me and the data reliable - something it's difficult to say about the Tacx sadly.

Re: SE England Riding

Posted: Thu Apr 05, 2012 3:37 pm
by airwise
bikewithnoname wrote:In all honesty a cross bike is probably a much better idea for tackling the roads in Surrey/Hampshire. Sure there is the odd bit of smooth tarmac but I'd say at least 50% is utter cr*p.

Mind you, I’m British so I don’t like to complain too much and I consoled myself by buying a Cervelo RS to suck up the bumps


:lol: If only we were as militant as the French. Maybe the councils would have kept the roads up to scratch. It's sad that I find vastly better roads in countries like Thailand and Malaysia. They don't even have road tax!

Lovely photo. Nice lane. The sad thing is that it would be lethal riding that at 25mph and just over the ridge is almost certainly a crop of potholes big enough to swallow a pair of Zipps whole...

Re: SE England Riding

Posted: Fri Apr 06, 2012 9:10 am
by Roobay
If you want to ride in a safer enviroment then go to the track, indoor or out door, you can ride at threshold , and not worry about hitting any potholes :thumbup:

Re: SE England Riding

Posted: Fri Apr 06, 2012 9:10 am
by Weenie