The 'Leith Hill Octopus' is legendary in these parts, whether you choose to dance with it is a choice some find fearful to make. We give you its baby brother, a hill not half its size but it does demand respect with its 13% ramps and sweeping descents. Let the chef know that you want them to cook up 'Half a Dozen of Eg-Ham':
NITP Ride Breakdown:
0-5miles: Some say the River Thames gives it an upper class feel but when you realise this is the home town of Ali G, you start to question that statement. Nevertheless, Staines itself is the gateway to the mansion worlds of Virginia Water, Windsor and Ascot. Rolling off the bridge (not literally!) heads toward Egham, avoid going under the m25 approach, not worth the dicing with joining traffic. You'll have a couple of miles before you attempt your ascent in the form of Tite Hill. Its possibly the most steepest way up to Englefield Green so if you're not defeated by this climb, you'll power up the others! Once up, turn left before you descend down Priest Hill as you will be creating a loop. Stop to admire the mansions if you want before you descend down its neighbour Crimp Hill.
5-10miles: Do be aware of the descent down, Crimp Hill does have the odd crevasse or rough patch, once past the first bend, you can drop safely down in the bars and it will sweep you down to the bottom. The 2 pubs you pass along the way could be your stop later but turn right at the bottom and prepare for your next climb. With its 3 ramps in gradient, it will disrupt your cadence a little although those with Hoy like thighs should find it a doddle. Make your way back down Tite, again not the smoothest road to descend so control the speed before you hit the bends and be careful not to fly over the roundabout cos 1. you'll have a not so nice meeting with the traffic and 2. you'll also miss drooling at the Ferraris positioned nicely outside the car garage on the corner. Snake back through Egham town centre and start to hit Prune Hill for your next climb.
Polka Dot Challenge #2: Priest Hill, Egham, 1.2km, 11% max
10-15miles: One of the lesser visted climbs in the area and often the quietest Prune Hill is your next challenge. A steady climb which brings you round the back of the prestigious Royal Holloway University, cut your way through the centre of Englefield Green, there are a couple of cafes here if you need the caffeine fix. There is a small window for a lookout to the north as you begin to roll back down Priest to crack your next egg!
15-20miles: Crimp Hill is no yoke, I mean joke! It's last ramp up might get you out of the saddle and with 3 climbs already, the legs might start to moan. Shake the legs off and turn left onto the a30, it can be heavy traffic and the cycle lane is not exactly a work of art so be cautious. You have a choice here; either push ahead to find Coopers Hill Lane, a cut through up to the RAF memorial but its very stoney and borderline cross bike territory, or make a 180 turn at the roundabout and climb back up Egham Hill. This route will take you back up to the uni' and onto Virginia Water where you can relax at the lake with another coffee stop.
Polka Dot Challenge #5: Egham Hill, Egham, 1.4km, 7% max
20-29miles: Get back on your horse to tackle the last few lumps in this affluent area. A lovely cut through road back again towards the uni' has one final kick in the form of Callow Hill, surface if great so rolling resistance is not existent here. Descend back down Prune with its sweeping bends and you can turn back early towards Staines or head towards Thorpe with a bonus 'speed bump' to ascend. The kick in Stroude Road is no Whitedown but its not flat either so we are classing it as a bonus climb. Bear left at the traffic lights and roll into Thorpe. Coldharbour Lane (not to get mixed up with the Dorking one otherwise you are way off course!) flows around the back of the amusement park and from there, you can TT your way back up the bridge...booyakasha!