The Orbital Gravel Explorer is a 3-day off-road cycle ride orbiting London, discovering the alternative M25 of bridleways or “beyond the barriers”. Starting at the iconic Herne Hill Velodrome, the route winds its way to the countryside through Epping Forest, before crossing the Hertfordshire farmland to the chalky beech woods of the Chiltern Hills. Once across the Thames, the landscape changes to open heathland and pine forests as the ride heads into the Surrey Hills and the North Downs before dropping back to join the Thames back into town.
It’s a trip through London’s greenbelt, an oft-overlooked part of the countryside that’s stuffed to the gunnels with disgustingly picturesque towns and villages, areas of outstanding natural beauty and of course, some of the best and most diverse gravel riding you’ll find anywhere.
The ride is fully supported, including a fully tested GPX route, all campsite fees, luggage transfers, breakfasts and feed stations. I’m hoping riders won’t need to use the mobile mechanic or the rescue broom wagon but will have an amazing few days exploring this surprisingly wonderful part of the world.