9am Sat 30th Sept 2017
100km cycling event starting from Sonning Common, near Reading. Controls at At Chinnor Village Centre, plus 7 information controls.
Entry details on the Audax UK diary of events.
Easily reached from Reading main line. Inaugurated in 2006. 2016 is the 10th edition of '3H'. Many picturesque and demanding lanes in a circuit through the Chilterns, with one café stop at The Village Centre, Chinnor.
From Sonning Common it's a progressively rolling route to Bix, where there is a steep downhill lane. From there, up to Fawley, past the vineyard and southward past Hambledon before a climb east toward Marlow, and a turn to head northwest to Fingest. This is 'Vicar of Dibley' country, and also well known for Red Kites often seen whirling overhead. Some steepish climbs from Fingest to Bledlow Ridge and a sweeping descent to Pitch Green, before a roll in to Chinnor. After that, Chiltern scarp side!
From a previous year, one rider commented 'which sadist designed that, it was brilliant'.
A quote from Ex CTC Chief Exec Kevin Mayne, who rode this in 2011
"The Chilterns was an absolute picture with the unusual combination of summer weather and autumn trees.
The route – well it was pretty much as advertised. Out to Chinnor from Sonning Common it followed the southern end of the hills, which meant crossing every dip, furrow and chalk stream valley. There was hardly a flat bit of road for 50km. I rode most of the first 30km with a group of about six of us (including 2 RCC, sorry guys, didn’t get your names) but there was no way I was going to hang on as the climbs kept coming.
After the coffee stop in Chinnor the return was more of a set piece – 4 bigger climbs with flatter links – Kingston Blount, Turville to North End, Britwell and to finish the narrow climb up from Bottom Farm to Checkendon.
I just rode with other people on the flat at club run pace and then used my triple chainset to sit up and twiddle up the final climbs at about 5mph as my legs deserted me. If an unfit 13 stoner can get round in under 5 hours then the rest of the club would have flown round. Next year!"
In 2013, looking back from the top of Britwell Hill you could see the 3 North and the 3 South cooling towers of Dicot A coal fired power station dominating the plain. The southern towers were demolished in July 2014 and the northern trio is still upright in August 2016. Standing by the field gate on the right at the top of Britwell gives a good view. Looking due west toward the towers, and below the hill is RAF Benson, home to a flight of Chinook helicopters and the local Air Ambulance.
Note that this is a flinty area, consequently after heavy rainfall, punctures are more likely, so it's advisable to ride with good tyres and several spare tubes (and the means to inflate them). In late summer the narrow lanes are heavily shaded and it may be worth riding with lights for visibility to other road users.
Any proceeds from this event are donated equally to Thames Valley and Chiltern Air Ambulance, and Cancer Research UK.