A personal pilgrimage: Riding the route of the North Downs Way

Having discovered a few local trails and routes near to his home last summer, editor Simon Richardson went a step further and found himself following in some ancient footsteps on a historic story-telling route.

Gravel riding on the North Downs Way
(Image credit: Future / Dan Gould)

The North Downs have shaped my riding as much as anything else I can think of. Living on them means without a main-road detour there is no such thing as a flat ride for me. I either have to start or finish going up a short steep hill. Sometimes it’s both. 

But I’ve always ridden over them. Never along them for more than a mile or two. In fact before I started looking into this ride, I didn’t know exactly where their start and end points were.

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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.