I don’t like driving to ride. Of course I’d happily drive to the Alps, Wales or drive to a race but I never wanted to just drive and ride. I know that that the North Downs are good but having ridden there loads I question whether they are worth the cost of two hours of my only day off. Whilst I love cycling I have a life too and I try to pack in a lot on a Sunday.
A couple of weeks ago I went to QE Country Park and really enjoyed it despite the mud and rain. That got me thinking and yesterday I drove to ride again, this time to Chichester for a beautiful, wet and muddy road ride. OK, I know that I should have ridden there but I thought that I had caught a cold and felt that the extra distance would have been too much.
The ride was great, certainly worth doing again, very pretty and very hilly. I’d recommend it. Download the route from the link at the bottom. The road conditions were atrocious: pot holes, mud, snow, gravel, farmyard dirt and water everywhere. However, I was nice and warm and in good company. I mentioned the unmentionable and within minutes we had our first puncture. As soon as we set off after the repair there was another. And then a few K further on another. But that was it and then, as pay back for our troubles, the sun actually shone, albeit hazily, for the final leg.
If you couldn’t see the bike you would have thought that I’d been mountain biking with a mud splattered face, jacket, helmet, jacket and tights. But who’d care when the ride was good and you were warm and comfortable the whole way, even in the heavy rain at the start.
I go on and on about my Gore AlpX soft shell zip-off jacket but with good reason. It kept
me warm and I even arrived back dry on the inside! My Northwave Fahrenheit boots are always warm and my most comfortable cycling shoes. New though, were my Endura MTR softshell bibshorts. They are so good that I wore them again yesterday despite using them in the wet on Friday.
Endura have some experience of producing high performance cycling shorts for the incredibly successful Endura road racing team. They have used this experience to produce a top end racing short for MTB Olympian
Oli Beckingsdale. MTR: Mountain bike racing. The cut is superb, the softshell rear panel is supposed to be water proof and it did keep the mud out (none of that mud in yer crack business). The pad is the best I’ve used to date, even better than the Northwave Evolution pad which is up there with the best out of Italy. Usually for the ultimate in warmth and comfort mountain bikers have to buy road gear but in this instance roadies can buy a mountain bike short for comfort on wet rides. Thoroughly recommended.
The ride on Strava In conclusion, I think that sometimes it is worth some time driving if the ride is worth it.