After a couple of year's absence, five Wheelers returned to the Surrey
Hills to take on the route of the Legs of Steel; over 51 miles of
undulating roads with over 1600m of climbing. The route starts at the
top of Box Hill - if you are thinking of visiting the area then use a
map rather than your Sat-Nav. The best way to reach Box Hill is to leave
the M25 at junction 9 and pick up the A24 then turn left before Dorking
where the motorbikes meet and then up the famous zig-zag road. Your sat-nav
will tell you to leave the M25 at junction 8. Ignore it. You could also
get the train to Box Hill and Westhumble station.
The weather forecast was for a warm and dry day so of course it was cold and raining when we started. But we have driven all this way to be put off by some water and knew that the climbing would soon warm us up. A cool descent of Box Hill was immediately followed by a climb up Ranmore Hill then a descent into a vert wet Dorking. The climbing got serious with the ascent of Leith Hill, the highest point in the North Downs (indeed the South-East of England). The drizzle had stopped by niw the weather steadily improved with the sun coming out later.
After Leith Hill we had Holmbury Hill and then Winterfold Hill that hits 21%. Lots of undulations and a couple of villages before the climb of St Martha's Hill and past the huge houses of White Lane along the ridge. Albury and Shere followed before the 1 in 7 climb of Coombe Bottom. Another descent preceded the penultimate climb of Dunley Hill that took us back up to Ranmore Common. The route dropped back into West Humble before the final, and easiest, named climb; the zig-zag road back up to Box Hill, the car park and most importantly the cafe.
Route Map (pdf)
Martin Harris, Nick Khan, Adam Jones, Terry Butcher & Martin Sutton at Box Hill