Author Topic: Useful gravel short cuts for road bikes  (Read 670 times)

CrazyEnglishTriathlete

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Useful gravel short cuts for road bikes
« on: 02 September, 2021, 08:57:03 am »
Living in Basingstoke with a caravan in Selsey, I regularly ride across the South Downs.  There aren't that many north-south roads across the South Downs, and most of them are busy A-roads.  However, with road bikes equipped with Schwalbe Durano 28mm tyres, to stand up to the poor state of tarmac on the roads, I've taken to trying to find gravel routes that provide an alternative.  These have certainly provided me with some fun, so I thought I would share them.  If you find this useful, please add suggestions for other routes where gravel fills in a blank space.  In my area the big blank stretch of Downs between Goring and Wantage also comes to mind.

Cut 1 - From Amberley to North Stoke, there is a rough tarmac road that leads up to the Downs and about a mile of hard packed chalk and gravel to get to Burpham, avoiding the busy roads on the west side of the Arun Valley.

Cut 2 - From Burpham, turn right by Peppering Farm and follow the track up to Springhead Hill.  This is a bit rough in places, so I'm not sure I would descent it.

Cut 3 - From Eartham ride north for 1km to pick up the route of the Roman road, Stane Street and follow up to Bignor Hill.  This starts off as a nice gravel track, becomes a little more interesting, I did dismount to cross one very short section of uneven tree routes, and then opens out into sheep-grazed grassland, which was smoother than some of the tarmac I rode that day

Interested to hear of other such short cuts. 
Eddington Numbers 127 (imperial), 178 (metric) 540 (furlongs)  113 (nautical miles)

CrazyEnglishTriathlete

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Re: Useful gravel short cuts for road bikes
« Reply #1 on: 25 September, 2021, 07:35:07 pm »
Found another great route today.  Having crossed Salisbury Plain from Tilshead to Larkhill (sadly through Shrewton as the southern boundary road was closed) then across to Everleigh and Collingbourne Ducis, I wanted to carry on a straight line to pick up Chute Causeway and drop down Conholt Hill.  I went straight on at the Shears Inn in Cadley and the road soon became gravel.  But it was in good condition with few potholes.  I followed the valley up to a crossroads with the road that goes through the Richard Hannon Stables, turned right and tackled the hill.  This required some care as it got to 14% up, but as it evened out the surface got better.  It was great fun and cut out some busy roads.  I'd probably tackle it in this direction as the descent would be a bit scary on road tyres.
Eddington Numbers 127 (imperial), 178 (metric) 540 (furlongs)  113 (nautical miles)