Our sponsored rider Tom Cornwell has reviwed his ride for us…
Ride It Liphook- Sunday 22 July 2012
“Sunday morning, at 6.15 it was still a little cloudy but warm & wind free. Excellent.
The event centre was Bohunt School, about 30 minutes drive from home. The route started with a northerly loop of fairly gentle undulations with nothing severe, serving as a good warm up for later in the day.
Before I knew it I was in Bordon.”Bordon? The route goes around not through the town”, I thought. Cue instant stream of profanities as I realised that I’d sailed past the last turning & was now several minutes off course. Luckily the map supplied at registration was tucked in my back pocket & I was quickly able to work out where I’d gone wrong. (Of course had I remembered to download the route onto my Garmin from the rider instruction e-mail I’d not have gone wrong in the first place.) Time to push on to make up for lost time.
The sun was soon out & temperatures were warming up so the gentle southerly sea breeze came as something of a relief. Soon I was at the bottom of the long drag over Harting Down. Having climbed this before I set off with intentions maintaining an even cadence using increasingly lower gears as the gradient gradually ramped up. All was going well until just beyond Chilgrove, where another cyclist flew past. Clearly I wasn’t trying hard enough & I set off in pursuit. Not a prayer. He was soon a spec in the distance & by the time I reached the top, having under estimated the gradient towards the summit, I was cooked. At least the fabulous swooping descent into South Harting replaced my grimaces with a broad smile.
I’d been pushing quite hard from the off & was beginning to pay the price for having consumed little more than half a bottle of fluid & one energy gel. Feeling a little ropey & fearing dehydration I eased back & soft pedalled the couple of miles to the next drink station. Never underestimate the restorative powers of cake & jelly beans. With my bottles refilled I set off from the drink station already feeling stronger & set for the rest of the ride.
Next the ride took me north east towards Easebourne, skirting around Cowdray park & onto the seemingly never ending grind over Bexleyhill Common. I tackled the 17% tree covered descent with caution.
The turn for home at Lickfold saw the route back into gently rolling countryside through Fernhurst & onto Elmers Marsh where, with about 2 miles to go, the road ramps up for the final climb. Nothing dramatic but hard enough coming so late in the day.
And soon I was back to the event centre, having ridden just shy of 92 miles including my detour in an irritating time of 5 hours & 1 minute. Damn that wrong turning.
Overall this was a brilliant ride over a really great course. Tough climbs were rewarded with exhilarating descents & plenty of fast rolling terrain to savour. Perfect.”
Another great review from Tom, who will likely next be riding our Brighton Sportive on August 5th.
Well done to everyone who came and rode with us over the weekend. The mountain bike course was really tough going, we’ve just had so much rain recently that it was always going to be muddy but some sections ended up being pretty much unrideable which we know isn’t much fun. Our second apology for Sunday is Tony our drink station guy got a bit confused and put the drink station in the wrong place that meant all the riders that only completed the short loop missed him.
Sunday was a bit of a contrast with some of the best riding weather we’ve had in a while and well over 400 riders turned up to tackle the sportive courses many doing the exact opposite of the mountain bikers and switching to longer courses to enjoy the sunshine.
Unfortunately we experienced some issues with our timing system over this weekend (looks like it was probably a faulty hard drive) which caused some rider times not to be recorded. We’re hoping to be able to recover some of the data but thought it was worth publishing what we have now as the majority of riders do have times.
If you’re one of the riders with blank data then, firstly, apologies but I guess we can all get caught out by IT issues from time to time and secondly, if you know your ride time and want us to include that in the archive then please e-mail it over. ( Please mail Mark on the address at the top of the time page and not me as I just forward your request to him, Ta Dean )
We now have a projector so we can watch the Tour on both Days
Looks like I uploaded the same road route for the Medium and Long routes. All should be sorted now.
I got sweaty today !!! Not wet, sweaty. Prehaps, just perhaps, we are going to have a dry weekend……… The forecast was that the Gulf Stream was going to move next week and bring us some dry weather but hopefully it’s come a bit early. Out putting up the long loop today which meant I got to do the South Downs section of the ride. Leaving from South Harting we climb through Buriton and the Queen Elizabeth Country Park on some nice, quiet roads that are not too steep, before turning East. To be honest, I was a little disapointed at this point. Looking on the map I was hoping to see the sea but there were trees in the way Now, I thought that I was on top of the Downs and remembered there was a long, 8mile road before the drop back down into South Harting, so assumed it was fairly flat. WHich it was to begin with but it slowly ramped up as the miles passed by and my cruising speed of 18mph slowly came down to a crawl. Once at the top though there is a great descent with some sharp turns
The Mtb route is being put out tomorrow but from previous events it’s a nice, not too hilly, route on sandy trails. Being sandy usually means it drains well, but expect some mud……..
When we turned up this morning they were starting to resurface two of the tennis courts that we use for parking. These should be OK to use, although we shouldn’t need them on Saturday, but please be carefull when driving on the fresh black tarmac. (MTBers, if you do park on it on Saturday, please don’t bang your shoes or clean your bike on it)
THIS IS NOT A RACE
These rides are not races. Please follow the highway/countryside code. Give way to other road/trail users and be polite. Roadies, do not ride two abreast where it is not safe to do so and keep your speed down and bike under control into blind corners. MTB riders, there are a lot of HORSE RIDERS in the area. Please slow down and STOP when you meet a horse, follow the instructions of the rider. Remember, you have complete (ish) control of your bike, they won’t have control of a spooked tonne of horse which can injure you/them/the horse. Think of it this way, you pass the horse once, they get passed 400 times. YOU are responsible for your actions and their consequences, if you cause an accident then you are liable for the costs.
These are now up for those that have pre-entered,( please do not mail me if you are not pre-entered, the files will be available to download from our computers on the morning. ) the link will be in the pre-event mail you should have recieved. If not, please check your junk folder or any other email addresses you might have used when booking. If you still can’t find it, mail me on firstname.lastname@example.org. Bear in mind that I won’t answer mails between 7am – 9pm Saturday.
Torn a tyre on the ride? Don’t want to wait in the wet to be picked up? Well here’s the solution – Dean and Tony’s torn tyre fix
See you there