A select group of just 6 riders started out from Moorgreen for Jim’s “Hilly Buster” ride around the hills of east Hampshire. Here Ed, Phil, our leader Jim, Shaun and John were looking fresh and raring to go.

We headed out through Lower Upham, Upham, the outskirts of Bishops Waltham before the first of two ascents of Beacon Hill. This was followed by a rapid descent to Warnford before the ascent of Old Winchester Hill. Coffee and cake was taken at the Sustainability Centre and a decision as made to cut out Butser Hill (much to my relief) in view of the rain that was expected later in the day; we hoped that this would get us back before the rain came.

John made his own way back and the rest of us enjoyed a cracking downhill whizz, passing the famous Hambledon cricket ground and we headed through Droxford and Meonstoke and stopped at the delightful Shoe Inn for lunch, sat in the garden with the river Meon just a few metres away. Then the second and more demanding climbing of Beacon Hill again before passing the Milburys at Beauworth. From there, apart from the uphill bits, it was more or less downhill all the way back to the start. Alas, we did get caught in the rain for a while once we got back to Upham.