Meon Valley Riser – the good, the bad, the ugly

Meon Valley Riser, Long Route
Meon Valley Riser – The Long Route

Rode a new sportive, the Meon Valley Riser, last Sunday1. I needed a longish, hilly ride and there are few sportives 100 miles or longer this early in the year, even fewer hilly ones. That it was located in a part of South Downs that I’d never visited before added to the draw.

The Route

Meon Valley Riser - Profile 100mi
Meon Valley Riser – Profile 100mi

Long, rolling, and pretty, with a couple of hills each thrown in at the beginning and the end. There were poor road surfaces in places, but nothing worse than what we see all over here in Surrey. There were also a few high traffic roads used, but almost always on a descent or a fast flat – nothing that couldn’t be managed.

With 2100+m of climbing in 102 miles, it was hilly for the south-east, but not really a killer. In any case, as things turned out, the hills were to be the least of my worries.

The Weather

That wind be crazy!

The weather forecast wasn’t great – it was supposed to be quite windy with gusts reaching 71km/h, and rain all day long. I’d been trying the previous 12 hours to get out of riding it, dropping hints all around hoping Rags would take pity on me and let me stay home.

No luck. She did take pity and ask me to ride the 50 mile route, but that was her just being smart. She knew, as did I, that if I did go out, I’d be riding the full distance.

Continue reading “Meon Valley Riser – the good, the bad, the ugly”

Meon Valley Riser – the good, the bad, the ugly

Four Fifths

July Centuries - four-fifths
Four Fifths

Fun, musical ride led by Lucy, from, and Jim, from Brighton, for company.
Bad start – got heavily rained upon, while riding along the road I hate most (A217 towards Dorking).
Good break – lunch 2.5 hours in, soon after crossing Gatwick – ham & cheese baguette with a pint of pale ale.
Fine end – again got rained upon, but this time it happened as we were on the South Downs looking down at Devil’s Dyke (a small diversion), and then headed down all the way into Brighton.

Worst bit – the distance was a fair bit short of my daily 100km target, and I too wet and cold at the end to go for an extended solo :(
Best bit – girlfriend too cycled all the way, despite threatening to give up many times along the way. Next target is to get her to ride to Oxford ;)

Loved the South Downs both times I’ve been there – twice up the Beacon for the London-Brighton-London ride, and now on the Devil’s Dyke. Must find ways of cycling down there more :)