The Femoles had been planning a long bike ride to enjoy a whole day out and to help with some training for a fellow Femole, Lauren, who is taking part in the London to Brighton next weekend. A discussion with Dave led to us accepting the journey of the 3 peaks challenge…
We knew the ride would take at least four and a half hours and covered about 35 miles, Dave and Jem had plotted the route on a Garmin GPS and a SATMAP to guide us, information loaded also provided the news that we had a total climb of 3000ft to make.
Also up for the challange was my brother who likes to join us Femoles when he can, a local lad to Swinley he enjoys the Surrey Hills. The 3 peaks to be covered were Leith Hill, Holmbury and Newlands Corner.
We set off at 10am from Bocketts Farm heading up Admirals track towards Polesden Lacey consious that we had a fair way to go we paced ourselves quite well under the twin bridges and up past Yew Trees and to Ranmore.
Along from Ranmore we turned left into the Forestry and picked up Badger run, Collar bone and my favourite route Whitedown, which in the glorious sunsine was looking spectacular. I hadn’t shared this trail with my brother before and was very excited about what he was going to experience and he certainly wasn’t disappointed. We did spend a bit of time at the Pillbox at the top of white down looking at the views from inside and taking photos of each other posing 😉
From Whitedown we headed along until we picked up the trail for Wolverns Lane past the beautiful house with the waterfall and up Rookery climb, Which can be deceptive because the less steep climb can make you think that is the climb however the real climb is around the corner. Lauren, Sally and I were cycling along the less steep section when Sally asked “is it as hard as Box Hill” the silence while Lauren and I contemplated that question suggested that maybe it is as hard. It’s not as long as Box Hill but it certainly is steep!
We were interrupted at the start of the climb(so we stopped and waited) by a cyclist shouting at us to get out of the way as he hurtled past us, clearly on a mission, followed closely behind by 3 lovely horses and their friendly owners. One horse at the back called Basil decided that he would stop next to me to deliver his load which certainly didn’t smell like Basil and while I laughed at this his owner mentioned that I was lucky it was beside me and not on me, I hadn’t considered my good fortune before!!
With other trail users safely past us we continued up the hill and I was very pleased to make the whole climb although certainly needed a breather at the top. We were met by lots of other cyclists coming down across the top all skidding shouting “turn right”.
We took the narrow right hand trail which is quite rooty but my legs were quite jellyfied from the climb as were all of ours and we were laughing as we cycled along trying to maintain control of the bikes with our jelly legs.
We continued along some beautiful trails where some amazing houses are hidden with their astounding gardens gradually climbing until we reached the bottom of Leith Hill tower. We all gave the hill a very good attempt but I remain in awe of you who can do that climb on a bike, as did many walkers who were overheard to say “why would you want to do that” 😉
We stopped for a rest and some cake and admired the views, took some great snaps and headed down the other side this time heading out to Holbury. Challenged by lots of shorter up and downs some that looked worse until you were actually climbing them when they suddenly felt alot less harder than they had first appeared.
We got a little bit lost over in Holbury but managed to find our way to Peaslake Village where it was buzzing. It was about 3pm by now, we had passed people walking to weddings, fanfares of receptions being set up, pub gardens with people sat outside drinking beer all very enticing but we still needed to make our way to Newlands corner.
We were slightly up against the clock and knew we needed to get to Newlands corner before 5pm as we were all quite hungry. The trails from Peaslake to Newlands corner felt tiring and there was plenty of “are we nearly there yet”. The sandy section was the hardest and then the long chalky climb which we are all deservedly proud that we achieved as well as finding the breath to congratulate a couple who as Sally passed announced they had just got engaged 😉
Food!!!!!! Just in time 10 minutes before it closed, burgers and Ice creams and a well deserved rest while we chatted to a lovely couple on the bench next to us. It was remarked as I was buying my burger (by a bystander) that having done some cycling why would I want to ruin my efforts by having a burger and I was very polite when I replied that I had earned more than enough calories to be able to justify a burger 😉
Refreshed and ready for home we headed back from Newlands corner along the more gentle route all of us tired but wanting to get home, the ride back went quicker than we had imagined and soon we were back at Bocketts Farm where Dave was waiting for us, however my brother was insistent that he was going to cycle the last couple of miles home where as I think I was all for sticking my bike on the car roof.
A really, really fantastic day, some new trails and challanges for all of us, some fun experiences, it was great having the sat nav and the fun of checking where you are going than just sticking to the trails you know.
I couldn’t do that ride every week it would lose it’s thrill but certainly worth doing a couple of times a year when there is plenty of time and no pressure other to enjoy the whole experience and day out.