- Off Road Cross Country / CX route from London
I have planned (not very well) a ride from London to Brighton Off Road on June 17th only to realise its the same day as the official BHF on road route, so getting back on trains that day will be a nightmare.
Any suggestions as to alternative off road routes out from London(+/- 30 miles) that we could take. Will be a mix of MTBs and CX riders.
Thanks!Posted 1 year ago
I always try to get the train out and ride back, to avoid getting stranded.
With this in mind, my suggestion would be…
Train to Luton airport parkway
Sustrans routes all the way back to London, via Harpenden, Hertford, Welwyn Garden City and the Lee valley navigation.
Lunch stop at the cafe at Hoddesdon then depending on where in London you live, finish up down the Isle of Dogs, or along the north bank of the Thames to Tower bridge.
Now, this is mostly cycle paths and canal-side gravel, so may not be your idea of an off road ride, but it’s a great day out, taking in quite a variety of environments in its 50-ish miles.
Check out my ride on Strava: https://www.strava.com/activities/1064472757/shareable_images/map_based?hl=en-US&v=1499021827Posted 1 year ago
Train out to Farnham (every other one is direct from Waterloo, otherwise change at Woking) in about 60 mins.
Farnham, get on the NDW – some road and bits of footpath where you should use the road but mainly bridleway as far as Guildford, then you could get on the Wey navigation up to Weybridge / Walton where you can then get the Thames path into London.
Not challenging technically, some hills around the western end and then flat, but it is distance wise quite a trek (42 miles driving via mainly direct routes so allowing for meanders would be I’d guess 50+, maybe closer to 60?)Posted 1 year agodovebikerMember
To add to otherjonv’s post, if you take the train to Liss or Petersfield, head north on the Shipwright’s Way to Bentley, either NDW/Wey Navigation or head north from Bentley to pick up the Basingstoke Canal which then joins the Wey Navigation / Thames Towpath.
Bit further / another option would be train to Winchester, head down the Itchen Valley and pick-up the Oxdrove / various bridleways to join the end of the Basingstoke Canal at Greywell, and take the towpath to join the Wey Navigation / Thames towpath at Weybridge.Posted 1 year agosenor jSubscriber
Bikebuoy’s suggestion is good.90% of my riding is in and around Herts. Perfect for cx tastic fun. It’s quiteeasy to make a decent loop using rapha route,Lea valley canal up to Hertford,sustrans to Welwyn and the worlds is your oyster using chilterns cycleway-loads of bways codicote/ayot st Lawrence/whitewell/Preston out to junction 12 of the m1/hitchin.Posted 1 year ago
Thanks for all the suggestions!
Rapha’s Hell of the North route looks great, well definitely give this a go! Is it off road / gravel or road riding?
Yes you make a good point, we’ve come unstuck a few times when reaching a destination only to find trains fckd then struggling to get back.
The route suggested is an excellent idea, I live nr Greenwich. Will definitely give this a try one weekend. The canal paths are well suited to beginner riders as well so as they are normally put off by roads.
Another great suggestion, and sounds well suited for mixed ability riders and bikes. Will see if I can piece together a gpx route, always nice ride back into London
Shorham is a good suggestions as could probably follow some of the L2B off road route, then veer off to Shoreham or Worthing for the train back.
I’ve done the Windsor Canal/Road which are fun as its so flat. Never knew there were more off road options to Reading so will take a look.
Yeah the Hell of the North sounds great, I think I’ll do this one with a few of my mates into CX. The ride I’m planning will have mixed abilities so looking to keep it fairly easy.
Lots to go on so should be able to work a decent route out.Posted 1 year ago
I’d give Shoreham swerve during the BHF event, as trains from that area to London are likely to be affected by any bike restrictions that are in force
As far as the Luton route is concerned, you might want to adjust it, for your beginners, to avoid the only sharp climb that it contains. Not long after the cafe at Hoddesdon, the official route hangs a left, then (a short time later, goes up and over the only hill for miles- see zigzag part of route trace) this can be avoided by sticking to the canal, and merging back to the route after the hillPosted 1 year ago
Thanks Belugabob, yeah good point to avoid the south coast on that weekend. Noted on the hill for the ride back along the canals.
I’d love to get piece together an off road route to from outer London / South East that follows the pilgrims way, then onto the crab and winkle way into Whistable.Posted 1 year agonedrapierSubscriber
L2B off Road to the NDW,. then follow NDW west to Puttenham, south through Puttenham common, Hankley or Thursley common, up round Devils Punchbowl and down Hindhead common to Haslemere and trains back. About 55 miles I think.
Shorter: come off the NDW at Guildford for trains home. 30ish.
Longer from Haslemere: carry on south west through Linchmere, over to Weavers Down to Liphook and trains, or down through and Rogate and QECP and Trains from Petersfield, or carry on East on SDW to Winchester and Trains home.
Or through Linchmere, then straight south over Iron Hill then on to Cocking, pick up SDW east to Petersfield/ WinchesterPosted 1 year agobenp1Subscriber
The Rapha HotN ride usually finishes in my home town in North London, but I’ve never actually managed to get on one of the rides, the places go like hot cakes.
It’s offroad for sections with sections of road in between but it’s not technical at all, just standard mud/soil based bridleway. There’s usually the odd pink ribbon knocking about after they’ve cleared/finishedPosted 1 year ago
@pinkster Thats the kinda genius im looking for! Haha, yeah I think that could be a great option!
Be careful with this, too, as there tends to be a blanket embargo on bikes, all day long, on routes that would be useful during mass participation events (so it’s not simply a matter of avoiding the crowds)Posted 1 year ago
Be careful with this, too, as there tends to be a blanket embargo on bikes, all day long, on routes that would be useful during mass participation events (so it’s not simply a matter of avoiding the crowds)
The plan was to get the train from London Bridge around 8:30 in the morning, I can’t imagine they’ll be banning bikes on the train here?
plus you could be riding up the L2B route as several hundred people ride down it in the other direction. Depends how much you like playing Frogger……
We will be following the off road route back to Brighton so didn’t think we would cross paths with the road lot coming the other way?Posted 1 year ago
Never try to second guess the train companies – they’ve been doing it for much longer than you have, and have got it down to a fine art. (Where ‘it’ is working out how to subvert the plans of other people)
Yeah point take, they do like to f things up for the sake of it!
I’m riding 40 miles from Welwyn to Cambridge along the Ickneild way on Sunday, depending on the terrain I might just extend this to start from Stratford and ride all the way into Cambridge.Posted 1 year ago
Luton to London gravel and canals, thanks to @belugabob
Welwyn to Cambridge via the Icknield way,
This could be linked to @belugabobs ride to take you from London to Cambridge all the way using off road (AFAIK)
Rapha Hell of the North, Gravel & Road grinder, thanks to @bikebouy
Search Strava/RWGPS for different versions
Hot Chilli off Road London to Brighton, thanks @El Vino
Slight variation from the BHF route. I think this route ties into @theotherjonv suggestion of getting out to Farnham then heading back to London via Wey navigation?- Just pick that point in the trail nr Farnham and go in reverse.
Guildford to Shoreham / Brighton, thanks to @oysterkite
I think this takes on part of the London to Brighton off road route via Shoreham
Petersfield to London
Nice suggestion from @dovebiker to ride from Petersfield/Liss heading North on the Shiprights Way, then link onto the Wey Navigation back into London. I don’t have a map for this one.
London to Windsor / Reading
@coconut I’m aware of the London to Windsor loop as it’s a popular charity event, but I can’t work out the off road version and links to Reading. Any info on this route would be great. The road/Thames path version:Posted 1 year ago
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