Dulux London Revolution 2017
Ride Breakdown Day 1
How many capitals in the world can you plan to ride literally the whole way around it taking in some stunning and pristine countryside with some nasty climbs to match? Not many spring to mind. As soon as you get clear of that car park we call the m25, the world opens up and you are greeted by stunning valleys and hills, sweet little English villages and some iconic landmarks. So if you are part of the uprising, let us take you through the lowdown of the Dulux London Revolution, near to 190 miles in 2 days, it's a city come countryside circumference cruise around the capital! How's that for alliteration?! You can take a guess on our day job!
NITP Ride Breakdown:
0-10miles: Beginning in North London at the Lee Valley Athletics Centre, due to the roll out time (ours is scheduled at 6.45am!), the city will be yours to take in without the daily smog and noise from this bustling but beautiful city. Roads will be relatively quiet (it's the weekend, Londoners work hard and play hard!) so do some sightseeing before the real grime starts. Pedal through Smithfields Market where you might smell the early bake of bread and spot the specie of the fixie in hippy Shoredtich. Confession here, we have never visited the Tower of London so to roll right past it in the Revolution Ride is definitely tickling our historic side! We recommend to use these first few miles to warm up those legs, get to know your fellow riders and just prepare yourself for the pleasure and pain ahead!
10-20miles: The urban backdrop doesn't stop there with South London coming into the game. You touch slightly into Brixton and ride through the heart of Dulwich onto your first climb of the weekend. Now there's a few different roads up to Crystal Palace but tackled in the right way, it'll be a warm up for the muscles rather than a nagging hindrance. If you need a coffee already or have a mechanical, pop into Cadence Performance, just be warned it's more avocado on gluten free bread than a greasy fried egg and bacon chunky bap kinda place! Traffic should still be light at this time of the morning but you're not cycling through bike friendly Amsterdam so just be wary of other non-courteous road users.
20-30miles: The city starts to disappear into the distance and the countryside begins to make itself heard. You'll be pinching yourself that you're still inside the m25 and you're on quiet back lanes surrounded by flowing fields rather than the multicultural shops of London. Layhams Road might seem long but it's a gradual climb with the gradient never really into throwing up territory. Dirty Wknd introduced us to this climb on a Kent ride and it's another hill which will warm up the legs rather than trying to splinter them! Descend down Titsey (be wary, it's a fast one!) and you're in the proper roads of Kent. It's a huge county and any other day we would suggest bearing East and find yourself a scene to paint, they do say in these parts that this is the Garden of England, they're not lying! But you're due south heading toward to the disputed boundary with Surrey, where's Trump when you need him?!
30-40miles: After a little kick in Oxted, you're on rolling roads for a while. No major climbs to report home about, just another opportunity to take in the adventure. Do a bit of bikeporn spotting or tag along to a chaingang. Serious note though, if you're a novice or have not ridden these distances before, pace yourself, the worst thing you can do is to get caught out by giving it the beans and pay for it when you really do need to dive into the energy reserves. Hitting the wall as they call it in the sports world is one of the worst feelings you can experience. Your body needs fuel but you don't feel like eating anything. Your legs literally feel like feathers not being able to push any number of watts out. If you start to fee any of these symptoms. we would prescribe a decrease in pace immediately, fuel up on water and carbs. Stop and stretch if you need to. It's difficult to recover whilst moving so a 10 minute break in these parts might be the difference between getting to the end of day 1 and being swept up by the broomwagon whilst contemplating giving day 2 the elbow.
40-50miles: The terrain starts to turn slightly like a zombie out of the walking dead, you can tell something's coming but you can get through it for now. You start to roll west and will notice the increase in air traffic, that's because you're not far from Gatwick. No holidays for you, you've got another 140 miles left for the weekend. There is one minor climb but if you've paced yourself well, Hornecourt Hill shouldn't be a bother but do start to fuel up and prepare for the Surrey Hills.
50-60miles: Rolling under Reigate, you're not far from the Queen climb of Surrey in the form of Box Hill. Unfortunately it's not in the route but it made global stardom when climbed in the 2012 London Olympics road race so is a climb on everyone's tick list. The lanes in these parts are quiet but again rolling. We would recommend not pushing on any rise as in the next 20 miles or so is where the real test lies. As you skip through Ockley, you'll thank or curse(depending on what sort of rider you are!) as you'll notice a 'giant' in these parts peaking at you in the distance. Leith Hill is controversially the highest point in South East England due to it's tower but it does offer some stunning views of the Downs and beyond.
60-70miles: You'll notice the non Revolution riders bear off the right to take on of the 8 approaches of Leith, you carry straight on through Forest Green, a cute little community nestled at the bottom of Leith. It's gel time though because it's the first of 2 tough climbs in quick succession. At Ewhurst. you will take a right onto Pitch Hill. It's a grind with the gradient often in the mid-teens and this is not even the hardest hill in this part of the Surrey Hills, to the left is Barhatch, an absolute ***** of a climb! There's a pub halfway up Pitch popular with walkers and MTBers, you might be tempted for a pint but you want to get to basecamp don't you?!
Polka Dot Challenge #4: Pitch Hill, Ewhurst, 1.6km, 17% max
70-80miles: After Pitch, you'll be descending down Houndhouse which is not the nicest of roads to descend down and is narrow in some parts, best to shake the legs off as another cretin of a climb is on the horizon. Before you tackle Combe Lane, the village of Shere is worth a stop. Popular with walkers and roadies, it is home to some lovely pubs and cafes if you want a taste of the Surrey life. Combe Lane is all about the hairpin. The gradient rises slowly as you ascend but just watch out for that hairpin, it's rumoured to hit 20% in these parts but the final ramp is short. It's gonna hurt either way so it might pay to get out of the saddle here. Give yourself a pat on the back because as far as major climbs go, it's over for today. Enjoy the descent down Staple and if it's a clear day, peak over to the right and you will see the skyline of the city you rolled out from many hours ago. The descent through Clandon is a fast one so if you're feeling tired, let the gradient carry you away and it''ll land you in Shere's brother from another mother Ripley.
Polka Dot Challenge #5: Combe Lane Shere, 1.5km, 19% max
80-90miles: The countryside paves way to some of Surrey's more built up towns. You're on the outskirts of Woking, a town which actually began our love for pro' cycling when it hosted a stage of the Tour Series. Seeing the pro's fly around a closed circuit at impressive speeds was an eye opener to us as to what a bike can do. You've changed direction again too and you're heading north towards the home for the evening. The roads around here are deceiving though, it can be a little undulating which will pull on any muscle fibre that's been hiding all this time. As you approach Longcross, look out for any movie scenes as the test track hidden in the woods have been the setting for some Bond films in the past.
90-100miles: We have a soft part for the part of 'West London' (we are outside the m25 but we only live a stones throw really from here!). Virginia Water is the home of many millionaires, go dream house hunting around here and if you fancy a spot of golf, you'll be passing the famous but hidden holes of Wentworth. Slight shame that you won't be cutting into Windsor Great Park as the traffic light roads and stunning views of Windsor Castle is worthy of any detour. Instead you'll be circling the road around the park. It can be a bit of a rat run for motorists and the undulating terrain means just be on your guard for any numpties on the road. One last landmark you'll be riding by is the childhood dream world of Legoland. But unless you're dying to build the Death Star in lego, roll on to Windsor and your nightcap at Windsor Racecourse. 100 miles over and out....for now!
For Day 2