Version 1.0 of 'The One' was conquered by a band of heroes in the summer of 2016. Once the dust had settled, there was room to step it up a gear, so welcome to 'The One v2.0', 15 hills, 65 miles, 7000ft...
NITP Ride Breakdown:
0-10miles: Newlands has been dropped, although a climb with a great view and ideally a cafe to rely on for recovery food, the road itself can be too traffic heavy making the climb more about keeping out the way then enjoying the view of the Surrey valley below. Do try out the climb though because the view rivals that of Box and Leith. The beginning of this challenge is the bottom of Staple Lane, a great climb to warm up on. You can park at the top of the climb in one of the forest car parks then roll down. If you're lucky, Allez Nutrition might be there to fuel you up for the ride. Hang left at the top and enjoy the descent down to Crocknorth for climb number two, any other ride, legs might not like this but feeling fresh, just focus on getting to the bridge where a fast descent down Ranmore awaits.
Polka Dot Challenge #2: Crocknorth Rd, 0.7km, 18% max
10-20miles: Follow the a24 down to Rykers, stop for a greasy sandwich or climb Box and grab yourself one of the National Trust cakes. Take in as much of the view as you can, this is the only moment of pleasure you will probably get on this ride, its now time to cruise back down the Zig Zag Road, cross the a24 and tackle something a bit more menacing. Westhumble is a single wooded lane climb with another hairpin which will will get you out of your seat.
Polka Dot Challenge #4: Ranmore Common Rd, Westhumble, 1.6km, 18% max
20-30miles: Turn left again at the top to roll back down Ranmore to find one of the first of three legs of the 'Octopus' you'll be climbing in the form of Coldharbour. If you're not warmed up yet, you soon will be. Next descent will take you down the snakey Broomehall Rd with a beautiful section out of the trees which open up to the Downs and beyond. Loop back towards Ockley then gear yourself up for the Ride 100 climb and the second 'Octopus' leg of Leith Hill Rd. There's a few ramps which will test your legs but you'll have time to recover before you hit your final 'Octopus' leg!
Polka Dot Challenge #6: Leith Hill Rd, 1.3km, 18% max
30-40miles: New to v2.0 is Sheephouse Lane. Be wary, this has a very tough middle section then a very long drag back up to Leith itself so best to be tactical on this one. These combination of climbs is probably the toughest section of the route. Get Whitedown out the way and you can maybe start to enjoy the rest of the route. Whitedown is notorious in these parts and would be rude not to include it even though we have fallen out in the past.
40-50miles: Welcome to the party Beech Avenue. Here at nitp, we class this as our favourite climb, not difficult at all but the smooth road surface and the canopy of the trees turning the road into a tunnel of nature make this a joy to climb. Be careful of the descent down Crocknorth, the junction at the bottom can be tricky but that will be forgotten on the gentle climb of Green Dene. If you need a refreshment top up, Allez Nutrition is nearby or roll into Shere where you will find a small local cafe with homemade Rock cakes and more.
Polka Dot Challenge #9: Beech Avenue/Critten Lane, Effingham, 3.3km, 8% max
50-60miles: Houndhouse is your next ascent and again, its a long gentle climb which is thankful because you will be climbing its brother once you do a u-turn in Ewhurst. Surface can be a little rough at the edges so if you can, look for a decent climbing line. Take in as much recon as you can on the descent down to Ewhurst because you're going to do a 180 turn and come up the opposite way! Pitch Hill is a grind, once you're at the pub (not literally, you've still got the other hills to do!), you can ease off slightly. Take a right before the top and enjoy the wooded descent down to Peaslake. Probably your last chance for a proper refreshment break with the village store sometimes selling fresh local strawberries or homemade flapjacks to keep you going. Radnor Rd starts off with a kick but then levels out to allow you to join your wooded surroundings. Keep left when the road forks otherwise you will end up further away from your next climb than you need to be!
Polka Dot Challenge #13: Radnor Rd, Peaslake, 1.9km, 13% max
60-70miles: Climb number 14 is a small one but packs a short grind so be wary. Roll past the private prep school and follow signs to Abinger. Roads can become a little mucky in the wet so make sure you've still got rubber in your brake pads. Shake the lactic acid out of your legs as you cruise along the a25 for your final climb but cut back into Shere to detour away from the fast flowing traffic. Combe is a toughy on any day so keep something for that hairpin as that is your home straight. Boom, 'The One' is conquered. Let us know how you get on and if your legs are still intact. Version 3.0 will be released soon!