Best rides from the CW5000 - The Forest of Wonders

From heathland to seafront to, yes, forest — James Shrubsall explores the various charms of the unique New Forest in southern England, a favourite stomping ground of CW5000 rider Steve Rowe.

(Image credit: Cycling Weekly/Dan Gould)

"It's a bit flat." As I churned up the 10 per cent slopes of Godshill on the New Forest's western fringes, I mulled over this statement. It kept me occupied while I tried to ignore the burn in my quads and put the many miles still to ride to the back of my mind.

In fairness to CW 5000 participant Steve Rowe, who had issued this particular declaration — and designed the route upon which my CW colleague Vern Pitt and I were basing the day's ride — the New Forest is, indeed, a bit flat. It's just that we had somehow managed to unearth one of the area's most testing slopes and on top of that we were riding it completely unnecessarily, having missed a turn at the top of the hill, ridden down it, and only then realised our mistake.

Thank you for reading 20 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

Simon Richardson
Magazine editor

Editor of Cycling Weekly magazine, Simon has been working at the title since 2001. He fell in love with cycling 1989 when watching the Tour de France on Channel 4, started racing in 1995 and in 2000 he spent one season racing in Belgium. During his time at CW (and Cycle Sport magazine) he has written product reviews, fitness features, pro interviews, race coverage and news. He has covered the Tour de France more times than he can remember along with two Olympic Games and many other international and UK domestic races. He became the 130-year-old magazine's 13th editor in 2015.