We’re spoilt for choice of roads in the UK. We have thousands criss-crossing our countryside yet we always end up on the same ones.
The idea for the first 5th x RMNC #iamspecialized ride was to find the roads on our doorstep that we’ve never ridden. So we came up with the ‘GET OFF MY LAND!’ ride – a route that hit up as many Kent private roads and byways as possible. The ones with signs that say ‘PRIVATE KEEP OUT’. The ones lined with houses we’ll never be able to afford. The ones that won’t let you drop the little Google Street View person on them to see what they’re like.
This made planning the route a little trickier than normal. Private roads are just that, private. Some don’t even show up on maps. I ended up using a mixture aerial maps, OS maps, past ride knowledge and a plenty of guesswork which inevitable ended up with plenty of ‘accidental gravel’ (or just mud).
The result was spot on – we rode lanes than we’d normally shoot past and tracks we didn’t even know were there – all where we cycle every weekend. We’d go from feeling completely lost, to popping out on a road we know well. We even found an incredible coffee stop minutes from our normal spot.
Best of all, we actually got told to ‘GET OFF MY LAND’ by a posh, moody lady tending to her stables. For real!
If you want to give it a go, the route is after the photos. And we’d highly recommend giving it a go wherever you live.
GET OFF MY LAND! Mk2: https://www.strava.com/routes/12858411
(Slightly tweaked from our route to include less mud)
‘Private’ Segments (Yes we know, not all strictly private)
- Bishop’s Walk, Addington
- Selsdon Nature Reserve
- Kingswood Lane
- Portley Wood Road, WhyteLeafe
- Woldingham Girls School
- Trevereux Hill, Limpsfield Chart
- French Street, Toy’s Hill
- Cooper’s Corner
- National Trust Emmetts Garden for coffee
- Jubilee Country Park
- Beckenham Place Park
- Bianca Road Brew Co
NB. This isn’t a ‘gravel’ ride – we did on our Specialized Tarmacs no problem (…okay, we may have had to shoulder the bikes a few times). We’d recommend a gloriously sunny day or at least a fairly dry spell otherwise some parts will be pretty muddy.