It's now time to tackle the South Downs. You might remember from geography lessons that they have a gentle dip slope to the south and a steeper scarp slope to the north. That means it is relatively easy to go north over them, but more challenging to go south. Fortunately we have another option.
The ride takes us over Buriton Hill from the south side. It's a gentle uphill through a quiet tree-lined road with some nice views over the valley. We then have a nice downhill on the scarp side (take it as fast or slow as you feel comfortable with) before doing a 'U turn' to re-cross the down via the Butser Cutting. This is a new, shared cycle and pedestrian path cut into the side of the A3 cutting. It is indisputably a hill, but much less steep than the other north-south crossings in the area. We'll finish with another downhill to the café at Queen Elizabeth Country Park. We'll then make our way back to Havant.
That's a total distance of around 23 miles; much shorter than the last two silver rides.
About Cathedral Challenge rides
We're running a series of rides for people new to group riding or who haven't cycled for a while. They start with a short, 'get to know you' ride that includes a free bike check and progress through longer distances, tackling a series of challenges on the way:
- Bronze: Havant to Portsmouth cathedral and back
- Silver: Chichester cathedral and back
- Gold: Winchester cathedral and back
There's more detail and a registration form here.
Note that the Cathedral rides listed here (apart from the challenge rides to Portsmouth, Chichester and Winchester) are subject to change and adaptation as we learn more about the challenge riders.