Final group training ride this Sunday

The final training ride will take place this Sunday 24th July, starting at 8am from Hursley. Below is the route, a scenic one of 66 miles heading north, with a café stop half way in Amesbury. Now that everyone is up to speed with this sort of distance there is only the one route. Hopefully we’ll see many of you on Sunday morning when the forecast is for dry, sunny and calm weather.

🙂 🙂 🙂


Guy Raf’s “Top Tips” of incidental items to pack to make your life a little more comfortable on the Continental ride

A light nylon line to hang washing on, plus a couple of pegs and 2 cheap plastic hangers which really help to dry shorts and jerseys.

Earplugs & an eyeshade (I’ve found wax are the most effective! E.g. Quies)

A USB charger: Lots to charge overnight – Phone, Garmin, lights and so on. (Pack light with a travel multi-USB port charger, e.g. Syncwire)

Flip flops for the “flip fop” bag. The last thing to go into the van and first off at lunch & the end of day – great to wear when off the bike!

Microfibre travel towel – towels won’t be provided at the hostels

Guy Raf’s view of a soggy morning for the 3rd day of riding :(

I wondered about my sanity as I headed out early in the light rain to a deserted Black Hill car park, joined shortly by Mark R and Helen, with the remainder arriving by bike from Chandlers Ford – Mike, Andy and team Young (Steve, Lynne & Jack). The route had plenty of New Forest highlights including Pipers Wait (nice “warm up” hill), Roger Penny Way, Blissford Hill, Linwood, both ornamental drives, Portuguese Fireplace, and the runway.

Blissford Hill was wet with traction difficult on its 25% gradient which made the rear wheels slip. We were in the clouds at the top of Bolderwood Drive with the mist swirling around the trees and it almost looked like mountain scenery. The roads were wet on the descent and then we passed through the massive trees of Rhinefield Drive. After going through the water splash at Brockenhurst it was the first quick stop of the ride, Tesco Express. We pushed on to Lepe Café. There was no usual view of the Solent on the 5 or 6 mile run in to Beaulieu but a good tailwind. My chain snapped half way up the hill climbing out of Beaulieu towards Lepe. Fixing it was complicated by a bent link, but we soon got it sorted.

Lepe Café was a welcome sight, although looking autumnal with grey skies and a strong onshore wind. We sat inside for the first time ever, even in the winter we can sit outside! I said goodbye to everyone except Mark & Helen a few miles north of Lepe as we re-entered the forest whilst the others headed up to Eling and home. It was a Relaxed ride back to the car park, with sunshine and blue skies developing as we rode, making it rude not to have an ice cream at the top of Bolderwood!

Hardy souls (including Mike behind the camera)
Hardy souls (including Mike behind the camera)

You’re in for a treat this coming weekend!

As promised, 3 consecutive days of riding are on offer to get you ready for the epic journey to Rome.


Friday 8 July – meet in the Hursley Club car park at 16.30 ready to follow Mike for 45 miles.

Saturday 9 July – it’s an 08.00 start for a 70 miler with Andy.

Sunday 10 July – also an 08.00 start, and a route plotted by Guy R. The start point is Blackhill car park on Black Hill Road, just south of the A36 near West Wellow. It’s on our usual route from Hursley into the New Forest. The route is 72 miles, with a lunch stop at Lepe, and takes in a lot of New Forest classics, including both Ornamental Drives, Blissford Hill, Beaulieu, Lepe, and the runway.

All 3 routes are within this file: