Just Pedal Undiscovered Hampshire REVIEW
A pleasant few hours spent in the saddle with other cycling enthusiasts being guided around the picturesque country lanes of Hampshire. Just Pedal catered for our every need and all for free.
The Rolling Lanes Of North Hampshire
Entry fee: FREE
Distance: 53 miles
Start/Finish: The Horns, Crondall, Hampshire
Support: Fully guided group ride, vehicle support and ample supplies of energy products throughout.
Roads: Predominantly quiet lanes.
I read with interest back in June that Just Pedal were offering a fully supported free ride around the Surrey Hills in July. Unfortunately I couldn’t attend but after looking at the well laid out website, I endeavoured to attend the next one - taking in the quieter lanes of North Hampshire - curious to know what you might get from a free ride and I’m really glad I made the effort.
After subscribing to the group ride via email, I received a detailed itinerary explaining the format of the day and where to meet. What I particularly liked was that the start point was accessible by train and by car, and as a Hampshire lad I was intrigued to see where the route would take us.I took the train to Winchfield and had no problem finding The Horns pub where the ride started and where there was ample parking space. Shortly afterwards, Rob, one of the Directors from Just Pedal arrived. He would be driving our support vehicle for the day complete with spare bike. On closer inspection the boot contained an array of energy supplies including bananas, Jaffa Cakes and Cliff Bars not to mention some energy powder for those wanting a final top up.
Shortly afterwards we were joined by some members of the Fleet Triathlon Club along with Adam and Dave who would be our ride leaders for the day.
After a short brief we were given a card with contact details in case of emergencies. A couple of team photos later we were out on to the open road. It was really nice rolling along at a leisurely pace chatting with other members of the group who were all very friendly and with our support vehicle in tow.
It wasn’t long before we were on to the first climb of the day which we all tackled at our own pace. Hartley Wood Hill, which is a deceiving climb with three gradual inclines and a final steep kick towards the top, certainly got the heart racing. After regrouping we dropped down into a flatter section rolling through more stunning countryside before climbing the long steady Brightstone Lane which is a nice constant climb.
After regrouping again we headed to the market square at Medstead for our coffee stop, I definitely knew I was in good company when large pieces of cake started to descend upon the table and the sun finally pierced through the clouds as Rob handed out more goodies before we departed.
Picking the pace up a little for the second half of the ride, we headed along quiet rolling lanes that I never knew existed before heading back towards Crondall via the historic village of Odiham before arriving back at the Horns for a well earned post ride drink and a tasty homemade lunch for some.
I really enjoyed my day out and I don’t think you could ask for much more from a Free Ride. Good company, a healthy supply of food to eat all the way around, the regular stops and the option to go at your own speed on the climbs gave a competitive edge for those who wanted it.
The guidance was excellent with Adam and Dave both being very approachable and offering advice for those seeking it. Everyone was particularly friendly and the musette at the end containing a free water bottle was a nice touch.
Just Pedal Undiscovered Hampshire
- 01/09/2012 - Crondall, Hampshire
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