Thames Turbo Triathlon

The Thames Turbo triathlon series take place on each Bank Holiday Monday of the year (Easter, May x2 and August) and were my first taster of the world of Triathlon. As an entry point into Tri, it’s hard to imagine a better way of doing it. The swim is in a warm & heated outdoor…

Toys Hill

Climb in a sentence. Approachable from the north & south, Toys is a better climb from the south with sections in the middle in double digit gradients along the relatively long 1.3 mile ascent. View rating. 3/10. Stuck in the trees, there’s nice views nearby if you descend to the south towards Bough Beach reservoir though. Difficulty…

Ditchling Beacon

Climb in a sentence. Famous for making novices get off & walk in the London to Brighton, Ditchling is a nice, varied climb across a series of sweeping bends that start in the woods and finishes on an exposed hilltop with views in all directions View rating. 8/10. One of the best around, allowing you to look north…

Yorks Hill

Climb in a sentence. Home to the world’s longest running bike race, some of the sections of the climb that rise above 20% will take any rider to their limit and beyond, and that’s without considering the debris that has often washed into the road from the high banks on either side. View rating. 3/10. Stuck in…

Steyning Bostal

Climb in a sentence. A relatively gentle start leads to a false flat and then a fairly long section around 15% to the summit which is a good test as the road bends around to the left, unveiling a spectacular panorama from the top View rating. 9/10. Doesn’t get much better than this in the south of…

Dulwich & Crystal Palace

One of the three main hilly areas of London, (Highgate and Wimbledon being the others), Dulwich & Crystal Palace have a number of climbs of varying length and pitch to test your legs on. Claiming Dulwich is good for climbing is a bit misleading to be fair. There’s one primary route up from Dulwich towards…

Cycling to all of London’s Football Grounds

(It was Movember) On a late November morning in 2013 I set out on a ride I’d been plotting for a couple of weeks. I was after something a bit different to do given the winter weather making riding in the countryside less enjoyable than it can be. I settled on trying to ride to all…

Evans RideIt Kent

Distance: 74 miles. Climbing: 5250ft. Difficulty: 6/10 Strava: https://www.strava.com/activities/121215650 The Kent RideIt starts from the shiny, modern Cyclopark facility just off the A2 and heads off into the eastern end of the hilly bit of Kent. There’s four fairly long climbs involved, up Tinkerpot Lane, Grove Road, Mote Road and the mile long, 8% Vigo Hill and…

Evans RideIt South Downs

Distance: 72 miles. Climbing: 4800ft. Difficulty: 5/10 Strava: https://www.strava.com/activities/121215650  The South Downs RideIt starts in the slightly bizarre surroundings of the Weald & Downland Open Air Museum, with 13th century agricultural buildings & machinery curiously juxtaposed against High5 paraphernalia Starting with a gradual 6 mile climb right from the gate, it’s not a flat route and four…

Evans RideIt Woking

Distance: 87 miles. Climbing: 4300ft. Difficulty: 4/10 Strava: https://www.strava.com/activities/47678277/overview Evans’ Woking sportive was the first I ever rode back in April 2013. At the time the 87 mile route was beyond daunting and did its job of forcing me to get into more respectable shape pretty sharpish. It’s an event that should appeal to novices and…

NSPCC Tour of Yorkshire

Distance: 176 miles. Climbing: 7970ft. (Over 2 stages). Difficulty: 6/10. Strava: https://www.strava.com/activities/168005490 / https://www.strava.com/activities/168472180  I rode the inaugural Tour of Yorkshire in 2014, a couple of weeks after watching le Tour go by at the top of Holme Moss. Whilst somewhat smaller in scale than the world’s biggest bike race, the NSPCC event is several levels…

Hell of the Ashdown

Distance: 63 miles. Climbing: 6150ft. Difficulty: 8/10. Strava: https://www.strava.com/activities/498852309/overview Billed as “The Best Sportive in the South of England”, The Hell of the Ashdown is a stiff early-season test with the weather and the lumpy Kent & Sussex hills conspiring to produce one tough day on the bike. Just 64 miles (104km) long, it’s not the…