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Basingstoke to Warsash off road ride

Updated: Oct 4, 2020

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Trails you can ride either from Warsash or catch a train and cycle back to Warsash.

This week: Basingstoke - Alresford - Warnford - Wickham - Warsash... 95% off road. (See photo 1)

This is my favourite ride but to make it more interesting, i invited my adventure bike mate Matt who has been riding with me for years and who joined me on the Old Ghost Road in New Zealand. Matt was riding a £5k mountain bike and I was riding my Ribble Gravel bike... which one is best? See the end of the post.

So we caught the train from Botley to Basingstoke (see photo 2) at 07.30 arriving at Basingstoke at just after 08.00. After the compulsory MaccyD’s breakfast we set off. We headed out of Basingstoke and over the motorway on the foot/cycle bridge (see photo 3), our off road starts at the track that passes Cliddesden Primary School (see photo 4). This is the start of some truly amazing scenery (see photo 5).

The route takes you through north Hampshire’s most wonderful countryside as you head towards Alresford (see photo 6).

As we enter Alresford we pass by the Itchen River but please note, this is NOT a cycle path so we showed upmost respect for walkers by walking and scooting, but it is worth it (see photo 7).

We then stopped in Alresford at the Barn Cafe (see photo for “coke and cake”.. mmm.. “coke and cake”.

After this we returned to the trail that took us to Cheriton where we joined the South Downs Way. This is basically the final part of the route from last weeks Sainsbury blast. Down to Warnford (see photo 9), along to Wickham railway track to Wickham (see photo 10 & 11) where we had crisps and a mandatory pint! We then combined road and trails back to the Nook and Cranny in Hook for more beer! So, 82km or 50 miles done.

So our other challenge was “Mountain bike or Gravel bike”. Matt, my partner in crime is a powerhouse of energy and often puts me to shame (he’s 5’11 against my 5’7 and has run many marathons so I may have been at a disadvantage) but our conclusion was that neither bike has an advantage on this trip. The mountain bike was better on the bumpy down hill bits due to it full Suspension, the gravel bike left the mountain bike for dead on the up hill bits due to a 5kg weight advantage allowing me to spin her up faster. The only observation was that we are both highly experienced mountain bikers and it allowed me to push the gravel bike in challenging circumstances. If you are not so experienced in off road riding then the gravel bike may have been more challenging. But the truth is, either worked superbly, so fill your boots!

More Trails to Warsash coming soon.

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