This weekend I had booked on the Wiggle New Forest Spring Sportive, strarting just near Ringwood in Hampshire. It’s an area I remember from my childhood when we had some nice holidays in the caravan with my parents.
I drove down on the Saturday and got up early on the Sunday for the short drive to the event start. A bit of a nightmare as my phone GPS would not settle with all the trees around and so it meant it was hard to see on the screen where I was. At the third exit attempt off the main road I got the right one. Things can only get better from here!
The event start was at this big old country house called Somerley Hall, about a mile down a gravel track from the nearest lane. Parking was well organised and I was ushered to a spot and soon on my bike heading for registration.
Registration was in this HUGE marquee tent and quickly done. I had a quick cup of coffee and headed to line up for the start. After a safety briefing we were on our way.
The ride itself was amazing, with a totally new area to explore. We headed down past the end of the runway at Bournemouth Hurn Airport and then easterly towards Beaulieu, where the route split and the Epic route I was on headed over towards Holbury (Where t here was a water / cut down feed stop) and the coast overlooking the Isle Of Wight.
I stopped at the beach to admire the views and to get my photo taken as I’ve not been to the beach with my bike before. Then it was onwards back through Beaulieu and northwards towards the third feed stop at Copythorne.
After that, the route got a bit hilly but nothing too bad. My legs were still going strong and on top form today so I kept up a very decent pace all the way to the finishing line on 83 miles.
After collecting my medal, t-shirt, recovery drink and recovery snacks I spent a while soaking up the atmosphere before heading off.
An absolutely fabulous days cycling in a beautiful area. It will be hard to top this weekend!
Route: click here