Distance: 10 Miles Difficulty: Easy
An easy route starting and finishing in the village of Fair Oak, Hampshire UK
This route was created by a contributor who really had been out of the saddle for a while, it is a confidence building route, not too long but can be easily repeated to see where if the fitness is coming back. It starts and finished in the village of Fair Oak, Southampton and when you get to the village of Upham you are half way. However, you could start in Upham and go the other way round.
To start we leave the village of Fair Oak and head towards Winchester at first, head downhill past a garden centre and when at the bottom of the hill turn right towards Bishops Waltham. This road is fairly flat but can be pretty busy at rush hour so choose a suitable time. Not far from here is Marwell Zoo, a great day out to be had there with the kids.
We did this ride after 7pm. After a few miles you will pass a pub on the right, you are now at Lower Upham. Turn left and make the ascent to the village of Upham. It is about a mile climb and you double your elevation. This is the good test on how your fitness is improving. It is a steady climb, it is not a Mont Ventoux by a long long stretch.
At the top you catch your breath beside a duck pond. We joked about the duck house in the middle of it being claimed on expenses by a politician. However, we are pretty sure it was not. Then you head down Stakes Lane, it is steep, fast and narrow, so go very careful as there could be anything coming up the other way. At the bottom of this hill is the wonderful Upham Brewery at Stakes Farm. Carry on past this and head the the main road again. Turn right and after a few 100 meters turn left again at the pub. This road will take you back to Fair Oak, passing East Horton golf course on your left hand side.
There is one more gentle hill here before you descend and finish where you started.
Not a bad route, as I say a confidence builder for the rider who has been out of the saddle for a while, and also a beautiful route that touches the South Downs of England.