As the name of this event suggests, you’ll want to check your mental wellbeing before committing to going out on the bike for a long and cold February morning’s riding in the Ordnance Survey Insanity Ride. We’ll keep it short, owing to the ungodly time of year this takes place, as the Standard ride stands at 41 miles and the Epic 57 and for 2016 we will be offering a new Short Route at 14 miles
But even if this is shorter than normal, you’ll be wishing away every mile as you churn away the pedals in among what will likely be temperatures that flirt with the sub-zero mark. You’ll end up counting on every effort of winter base training in this truly devoted early of the earliest season Sportives. The Ordnance Survey Insanity is a who’s who of Hampshire’s finest valleys and vistas, heading over the South Downs numerous times and into the area’s many valleys – Test, Itchen and Meon – with some leg awakening climbs.
Starting in Sparsholt, north-west of Winchester, we’ll send you in a simple anti clockwise loop around the Hampshire countryside. Epic and Short routes take in the delights of Farley Mount, a much loved Hampshire beauty spot with some undulating climbs. Although only 14 miles the Short route will have a few hills to test out whether you’ve maintained your winter fitness.
The standard routes heads out of Sparsholt and down the other side of Farley Mount rejoining the Epic route and rolling out to the Meon Valley. As you head out into the wilderness, it might just be cold enough to enjoy the frost on the fields and the hint of ice in the air in the countryside. But as much as temperatures might have plummeted, we’ll lead you up climbs that will force you to push hard, and by doing so keeping toasty and warm.
You’ll traverse remote villages before hitting Cheriton and the South Downs National Park, where the most testing climbs of the day lie. Both lengths of route head through here and there’s no escaping the hills. The routes will ride alongside the River Itchen heading back through pleasant villages on the circular loop back to base. Once over the finish line, you’ll receive a warm welcome and a finisher’s medal.