After three days of rain and snow and given the promise of a dry day it seemed an opportunity to get out for a ride and shake off the cobwebs. A cold north easterly wind persuaded me to pick a route with enough shelter when heading the icy blast and at least the sun made a brief appearance as we started out.
From Binsted I headed east down River Hill and then to Bentley and Froyle through rivers of water flowing off adjacent fields. The climb to the top of the North Downs towards Lasham was with the wind from astern and it was obvious that yesterdays snow was a lot heavier on the high ground as the trees were still sporting a white coat.
One very noticeable feature was the poor condition of the roads showing a lot of deep pot holes and broken edges to the road surface forcing me to take a more central position on the carriageway to avoid the obstacles. The continuous patching of these roads is now a fact of life due to funding cuts that prevent resurfacing and cyclists need to take on a pro active approach by reporting pot holes as they appear. A very nice App for the mobile phone is available to connect to Fillthathole.org.uk , this allows you to take a photograph of the pot hole with your i-phone, which also records the GPS position and send it direct to the organisation.
From the high ground of Lasham I crossed the A339 towards Bradley and a nice downhill gradient along Berrydown Lane before turning south and the climb up Red Lane and Spain Lane before taking the turn towards Bentworth.
The road through Bentworth and in the centre of the village a gold post box, an Olympic legacy to resident Peter Childs who took gold with the Great Britain show jumping team. The undulating road to Medstead was particularly difficult with clods of mud deposited from tractors leaving recently ploughed fields but on a positive note I passed a highways engineer surveyor with spray can in hand marking pot holes for future repair.
At Medstead we turned south to the A31 and then a right turn into Blackberry Lane and then the long decent down Brightstone Lane to Farringdon. Across the A32 to Upper Farringdon and Gaston Lane again through flowing waters from the adjacent land. Across the B3006, West Worldham, East Worldham and Wyck before joining London Road and the climb back up to our start at Binsted.
An enjoyable loop of 31 miles in just over two hours and the +2c temperature ensured the effort required to keep warm, oh for the days of riding in shorts and a sleeveless shirt.