Oyster Loop Day 1 of 8, a circuit of London for hybrid bikes using Oyster stations.
The North Downs stretch from the Hog’s Back near Farnham to the White Cliffs of Dover, and this ride explores the western crest between the Mole Valley and Guildford before descending the gentle dip slope to the Thames.
- Total Distance: 70.0km
- Total Ascent: 597m
- Highest point: 196m
- Lowest point: 6m
This loop over the Surrey Hills uses Sustrans 22 to Westhumble, from where Surrey Cycleways head over Ranmore Common before descending to Woking and Chertsey. Finally Sustrans 4 follows the Thames to Hampton Court.
Leaving Tattenham Corner station, Sustrans Route 22 heads across Epsom Downs racecourse and descends into woodland. Tracks here are frequently used by horses so may be soft underwheel. On emerging from the woods, it climbs under the M25 to reach Headley, followed by a long flowing descent to Westhumble and the bottom of Box Hill. The climb of the latter is left for the finish of the Loop on day 8. Instead Surrey cycleways climb from the station up onto the top of Ranmore Common where there are great views across the Surrey Hills. An undulating route across to Netley Heath follows before descending the backslope of the North Downs to cross the A3 at Ripley, famed as a cycling meeting point.
From Ripley, the cycleway heads on, cutting through the centre of Woking before climbing out of the other side past Horsell Common before leaving it to drop into Chertsey where Sustrans Route 4 awaits. Following a short stretch of roadside cycleways through Weybridge, finally the Thames is reached with a solid gravel path alongside it to pass Molesey and reach Hampton Court.
UPDATE: I had been holding back my detailed information on the Oyster Wheel Days until I had the opportunity to re-ride them and check them for accuracy. However due to Coronavirus “shielding”, I will be unable to ride them for some months. I have therefore decided to publish the draft copies in case others get the chance to use them before me. The route card is a simple table of directions and distances, where the description is a book chapter with the same directions, but also detailed maps and a commentary on the route and places of interest.
As always, I welcome comments on these.