Virtual reliability ride to Four Marks

Date: Sunday 22 Nov 2020
Time: 12:00am

The November virtual reliability ride is based once again to the east of Southampton, starting from the Allington Lane roundabout (although you can join the route at any point – see below).

From Thursday 5th November to Wednesday 2nd December you are only permitted to ride solo or with one other person, and café stops will be closed.


Special features of these virtual reliability rides:

Firstly, you can ride a route any time you like, up to the last Sunday of the month; you may ride with others but only if this is permitted by the Covid-19 restrictions in place at the time of the ride.

Secondly, these rides are circular, so you can start and finish anywhere along the route.

And thirdly, we are asking members not to treat this as competitive event but merely as a test of their endurance and skill in navigating (and, if necessary, fixing a minor mechanical problem); to this end, we are encouraging you to “eat out to help out” by awarding a 30-minute time bonus to any of you wishing to take a break at a café along the route.

At 49 miles the route is similar in length to the October ride to Gosport and Lee-on-Solent, but much more remote and somewhat hillier, passing through the following places:

Lower Upham, Upham, Beauworth, Cheriton, Ropley, Four Marks, Medstead, Bighton
(New Alresford), Owslebury → Hensting La → Fishers Pond, Fair Oak → Allington Lane

The lanes connecting Cheriton and Ropley are rather remote, and with less than perfect surfacing. The return leg crosses the A31 (dual carriageway) and this also requires special care. The cafés in Four Marks (Garden Centre) and New Alresford will probably be closed until December 2, but you may divert from the route if you wish to go through the centre of New Alresford.Because of the new lockdown, we are extending the period for doing the route into December, so that you have a chance of doing the route as a group ride. Cafe stops made in December will again give your a 30-minute bonus; but there could be long queues at them on weekends.

The route, initially conceived by Leon Kuzmicz and lightly edited here, is available from Ride with GPS:

Ride with GPS: map and FIT/GPX/TCX downloads
Or you can download the GPX file here

There is no paper route-sheet for this one but RideWithGPS gives you a map of the route.

The classifications are as usual Gold (16+ mph), Silver (14–16 mph) and Bronze (12–14), but the names of everyone who finishes will be recorded, even if they take a longer time to do so.

Map of Four Marks reliability