Thursday, June 11, 2009

Hambledon Extension

Just John and Al this week but, after a custard tart and a cup of tea with Tee and Jimmy, they managed to make an early start - hitting the road at 6pm sharp. Al had suggested an extension to the usual Hambledon route. The pair headed off as if to tackle Old Winchester Hill, to the North of the village. Having climbed Chidden Down the route turned east for Salt Hill and the ferocious descent off Wether Down into the Meon valley, following the South Downs Way.

Chidden Down

We approached Old Winchester hill from the North with a sharp ascent back out of the valley. It was a glorious evening and the boys stopped to enjoy the views from the summit before the descent towards Exton. John had pack the wrong shoes and could not 'clip in' to his cleats - the effects really started to tell as Al pulled away on the bumpy terrain.

The TCA Surveys it's Domain
from the summmit of Old Winchester Hill

We toyed with the idea of taking in the Shoe Inn at Exton but recent trips there had been disappointing therefore we turned south on the disused railway line bound for Soberton. We pulled into the pub at 7.30pm and both opted for the latest offering from the Bowman brewery - Elderado: With a hint of elderflower it was perfect for a summer's evening.

John on 'Gate Duty'

It was back on bikes to pick up the remains of the regular route from Hambledon - down the railway line towards the Forest of Bere and on for a stop at The Traveler's Rest in Newtown. Once again the outdoor bar was open for business and the boys sat outside with pints of Bowman's Wallop's Wood.

A Toast to Absent Friends -
The Traveler's Rest

As we left the Travelers' John suggested a bike swap for the short journey home by country lane. While their bikes might look very similar both were surprised by contrast in rides they offered. Pulling into Hambledon once more the pair had covered 22 miles all in and back before it got dark around 9.30pm for a Lloyd Grossman turkey curry. Al wondered why this route had never occurred to him before - a classic in the making.

Route Map (click to enlarge):

Route Profile (click to enlarge):
(Posted by: Al)

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At 7:48 pm, June 15, 2009, Blogger Maalie said...

Was the momentum gathered by coming down Whether Down sufficient to carry you up Old Winchester Hill?

At 6:58 am, June 16, 2009, Blogger simon said...

well, It reminds me of Christmas 2007 with all tha good ales!

At 10:46 pm, June 16, 2009, Blogger simon said...

ps- what made the bike so different?

At 7:32 pm, June 17, 2009, Blogger TCA said...

Hambledon Extension? did you get planning permission for that! Why have we not done this ride before??


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