Grab a friend who resembles Frodo or Gollum (the goblin like features might prevent fellow riders from waving back!) and search for Guildford's ring! It's big, it's dirty and in some places, it's brown (reference to the best hot chocolate we have found on our adventures so far!) but you'll come out at the other end (again no pun intended!) a proud Hobbit!
NITP Ride Breakdown:
0-10miles: Starting point for this adventure into 'Middle Earth' is West Byfleet which sits on the edge of the leafy suburbs of Surrey. Make your way through Old Woking, roads can vary from ultra quiet to a pain but a designated cycle path will hopefully keep you safe. This section will carves through smaller settlements south of Woking cutting out the suburban traffic. You will eventually find yourself in MOD territory, these are our allies which will keep you safe from any Orcs (bad drivers!) out there!
10-20miles: You'll appreciate the serenity of this section with the wooded backdrops as you pass through some quiet villages and nature reserves. You will see the odd MOD sign warning you of live fire and grenade testing, don't worry this is not Area 51...come to think of it though, we didn't pass many cyclists when we passed through...
Polka Dot Challenge: Warnborough Hill, Normandy, 1.7km, 24% max (at the top for a moment!)
20-30miles: Get yourself ready for a bit of a slog as you make your way up to Hindhead. Confession, we have only ascended from the north via Tilford Rd but descending down the other side into Haslemere gives you a sense of how big of a climb this really is. Just be wary, the a287 into Haslemere can be busy so just keep your wits about you. Hold off on the refreshment stop as there is a brilliant little tea room in the next section!
30-40miles: Make your way to Chiddingfold which is a little pictureseque village with one pub and a green but also with the best tea room around in our opinion. We are a sucker for hot chocolate and was blown away by their version! It was like Willy Wonka had orchestrated it himself! If the weather is kind, sit outside and watch the world pass by. If it happens to be around Autumn time, you'll witness the local tribesmen build their annual bonfire which woulld rival the height of Isengard! This is the flattest and most quietest section so make most of the countryside air and scenery, the latter end of this ride will definitely test the legs!
Polka Dot Challenge: Dunsfold Rd, Dunsfold, 2.7km
40-50miles: You'll begin to head north and onto the steepest climb of the ride. Bear right before the aerodrome (if you want a challenge, try to pot what car will feature on Top Gear next week!) and mkae your way up to Cranleigh. If you know Cranleigh, there is only one word which will even make Gollum trade in his 'precious' to avoid this Sauron of a climb...Barhatch ladies and gentlemen.
50-60miles: Just do us a favour and check your legs are still attached to your body?! We look back on this hill with eyes which could easily kill with a blink, a hill which just doesn't let up but at least it burns off the full fat hot chocolate consumed half hour ago! Cruise down Houndhouse Rd into Shere, shakes the legs off because you're going up again! Combe is waiting for you. Toughy of a climb with a hairpin which might make you get out of the saddle but the descent down Staple will be worth it as you will see the city of London on the horizon. Major climbing over, enjoy that view and another beverage if you need it at the Queens Head in East Clandon. Its all downhill now so shake the legs and let gravity roll you back home!
60-65miles: One leafy town to roll through in the form of Ripley which has a very quaint lock which will throw you back to the ol' times of the Hobbits. If you want one more mini push of a challenge, Pyrford has a bump if you want to power home!