Path to Pavé: part 1
Collectively, we at Condor have ridden the cobbled classics twelve times. We were all first timers to the vicious Paris-Roubaix cobbles once and had to learn about weaving about on the Flandrian climbs.
Not that you'd need a survival guide for the Tour of Flanders or Paris-Roubaix, but it helps to be ready for a memorable day in the saddle. A couple of our staff members who have entered Paris-Roubaix decided to begin their preparation for what promises to be an epic day.
Sunday 6th February
There has been little rain in London for a week leaving the bridleways and gravé. Whilst gravé is not as brutal as the pavé it does a pretty good job of slowing you up, shaking ones bones, and sending the teeth chattering.
Armed with our cyclo-cross bikes, spare tubes and a printed OS map with a sort of a pre-planned route, our band of three riders (Damo from Mule Bar, and Claire and Ben from Condor Cycles) headed just south of London towards the North Downs.
The route wasn't well known to the riders, but some of the towns that they have passed through on their road bikes were. The narrow farmland tracks required much map reading after every sector. A few wrong turns were taken but it led the riders to discover hidden and better pathways, and the odd super sharp climb. On the twenty mile route there were ten sectors to be found, three punctures along the way, four hunza nut Mulebars confumed, one out-of-date pinocolada bar (half consumed) and one aching wrist come Monday morning.
Feel free to export the route to your own Garmin and give it a try.
Click on View Details on the map below.
Choose Export and then the file format (TCX or GPX).
Sector 1 - Well Wood -1km
Sector 2 - Nash - 0.5km
Sector 3- James's Wood - 1.4km
Sector 4 - Keston to Biggin Hill - 2.76km
Features a long chalky ascent
Sector 5 - Saltbox Descent - 0.3km
Sector 6 - Mollards Wood - 4.3km
Keep your eyes peeled for a sharp left before the steep climb
Sector 7 - Vanguard Way - 1km
Sector 8 - Holt Wood to Green Park Wood - 1.6km
Flat fast paced sector
Sector 9 - Frith Wood - 1.9km
Fast descent at the end - plenty of fun
Sector 10 - Climb to New Addington - 1.3km
Viciously steep climb in the last 300 meters of the sector