In my teens, I was a keen touring cyclist but had not touched a bike for 50 years until about 10 years ago.
I used to like flat traffic-free routes like the Cuckoo Trail and Downs Link but then I bought an MTB e-bike, a Cube Reaction 29er, and my life has changed. The Downs are mine, I can go anywhere! Also having an e-road bike, I have the best of both worlds.
As a Ride Leader, my choice is “Off-road Touring”, using cycleways, byways and bridle ways, many of which have seldom been used by cyclists. These are usually discontinuous so joining them together does involve some (usually quiet) roadwork. Occasionally we will start from more distant locations, such as Hampden Park, or Stanmer Park. The result is that my rides have ranged as far as Pyecombe in the west, Heathfield in the north, and Burwash in the east, not so far in the south and at least 75% off-road.
The Monday Rides include lunch at café, or pub and the emphasis is on an enjoyable ride. Don’t believe what you hear about them always involving mud, this is a wicked slur put about by some rather muddy cyclists.