Every year, I try and complete a long distance 100 mile cycle ride. It’s a personal challenge and is great training for other weekend cycling trips. Here’s a description of this year’s ride.
What We Did
- Catch the 6am train with our bikes from Horsham to Merstham, Surrey.
- Starting at 6.45am, cycle from Merstham back to Horsham via country lanes in Surrey and a big loop in Sussex.
- Total distance = 100.12 miles
- Complete the ride at 5.15pm
The route includes a couple of tracks and off-road sections but is mostly country lanes so hybrid bikes or road bikes are best. I tracked the ride with my Garmin Edge 200 and here’s the resulting map.
Map of 100 mile cycle ride in Surrey and Sussex
The Ride in More Detail
The ride is split into different sections based on the villages (and shops) where we stopped. Somehow, I seem to cycle better if I know that there is a village shop at the next stopping point 😉
- Merstham to Brockham, 25 miles. Nice shop by the village green.
- Brockham to Rusper (overall distance ~ 45 miles).
- Rusper to Partridge Green (overall distance ~ 75 miles).
- PG to Barns Green.
- The final section, returning home to Horsham.
You do have to be reasonably fit and active to cycle 100 miles and we trained for the big day with three rides between 35 and 75 miles in the weeks beforehand. Despite this, I went through a low point physically at the Rusper stop but recovered in the afternoon and felt mostly OK for the rest of the ride. Tired, and a bit saddle-sore, but OK.
The route is not particularly hilly but there are some hills on the route with the steepest being a short section on Hammerpond Road near Horsham. On the other hand, there are some long downhill sections as well!
Overall, I was very pleased with the day because, on previous 100 mile rides, I finished at 6.30 – 7pm. This year, it was 5.15pm. Yay! The ride isn’t a race but I like to improve my time if I can. My Trek 7.4 FX hybrid bike made a big difference on this ride but I hope my fitness played a part in the earlier finish time as well!
It was a long day but finishing at 5.15 meant we had time for a celebratory drink afterwards. Apparently, champagne is an approved recovery drink (ahem). Who knew?!
The three of us cycled the route together and we had a great day for it. Clear weather and not too hot. You can’t ask for better than that!