MTB/CX/Gravel Bike | Fully Guided | Trails & single track | Hills | 48 miles | 6 to 7 Hours
A long gentle gravel ride that passes a surprising number of windmills. This ride takes us way out to the ridge of the North Downs, drops into the Mole Valley before heading back past Epsom Downs Racecourse and the Hogs Mill River, one of London’s forgotten rivers.
Meeting at Stir Café, on Brixton Hill we’re only a stone’s throw from our first mill on Brixton Hill. It’s well worth the brief detour to view, before heading off to mill number or at least the remains of one on Mitcham Common. Past the Beddington Farm Bird reserve, Carshalton’s Grotto canal and on up to windmill No. 3 at Tadworth, (hit by a doodle bug in 1944 and lost its sails).
On, on and down the scarp slope of the North Downs with a stunning descent to Reigate Heath to view our first complete working mill or at least one with a full complement of sails.
Next stop the postcard pretty village of Buckland, complete with, you’ve guessed it, another Windmill which bizarrely appears to be perching atop a shed!
The route now crosses the railway line and climbs the North Downs, up through the woods to Headley, where we stop for a break.
We continue with an exhilarating descent that brings us back within the M25, across the combes and on to Epsom Racecourse. Following the narrow Rifle Butts Alley, we skirt Epsom itself through woods and until we pick up the Hogs Mill, a small brook that we follow into Malden.
Crossing the Beverly Brook, we climb up the Wimbledon ridge passing the best known of all the mills on the route, Wimbledon Common Windmill. The last mill is possibly the least exciting is hidden forlornly beside the railway on Wandsworth Common …but it does take the tally to seven windmills in 48 miles.
Stir Café, 111 Brixton Hill, Brixton, London SW2 1AA
Duration: 6-7 hours.
Distance: 78 km (48 miles).
Estimated average speed: 12kmph.
Trails: Mostly off-road trails with natural surfaces, small rocks and roots. Several climbs on grass sections
Technical Grade: Red - taken at a sensible pace these rides are a moderately intense physical
Group Size: 8 people.
A refreshment stop mid-way (cost of refreshments is not included in the ride).
Is this ride for me?
Taken at a sensible pace these rides are a moderately intense physical challenge suitable for reasonably fit riders with minimal off-road experience.
The pace of the ride will be adapted to suit the cyclists on the day and the route may change to meet the capabilities of the group as a whole, the leader will make sure that no one is left out or behind!
Is my bike OK for this ride?
The ride is suitable for all Gravel, CX or MTB's
There will be a basic bike check before each ride to ensure riders' safety, so please make sure your bike is in good condition with working brakes and gears, along with pumped up tyres and an oiled chain.
If in doubt, please get your bike checked over by a competent mechanic or bike shop before the ride. Here is a list of local bike shops we're happy to recommend.
Remember to plan ahead, many bike shops are very busy and service slots are often booked out in advance.
What do I need to bring?
Helmet (wearing helmets is a must on our rides)
Spare inner tube
Snacks and Water
Rain jacket (if required)
Suitably warm/cool clothing for the weather
Sunscreen (as necessary)
What's included in the price?
Guide for the entire ride
Coaching hints and skill tips about 'off road' cycling