Also joining the party, Brian, Nick B, Kev G and Ed - admitting it was his first time on a bike for seven weeks but hardly showing it. What lead this hardy bunch to gather on a day when open fires, cocoa and buttered crumpets on the sofa were more the order? It is that dreaded 'M' word... it has gained a mystical dread amongst roadies... a bit like Mordor in Lord of the Rings, rider talk in hushed tones about it being just a short time before we must face... M....a...j....o...r....c...a.... yes, the place where vast rides take in giant ascents that eat grown men for breakfast and leave them weeping into their Pinarellos.
We all have to get fit for (suck through teeth, suck in post-Xmas belly) Majorca!
With this motivator in our legs, we headed out up the Lonesome Lane route to Smallfield, a swift right up Broadbridge Lane, on towards Copthorne...Rowfant and then neatly turning left before Turners Hill back down to turn left at the roundabout and right at the Volvo Garage where the right filter doesn't work... and on as if towards home.... but NO. An extra loop. Horley, then Charlwood in search of tea. No tea. Everywhere shut. So one last loop (suggested by yours truly but I got Stan Hill and Russ Hill mixed up) so another loop round to Partridge Lane, Broad Lane, Leigh and eventually home.
By this stage we were shedding riders at every junction. Nick C was also shouting 'But it's still eight miles from the Surrey Oaks'. Come on Nick... It's Majorca soon!
I got home with 40 miles non-stop. It was cold and a cup of tea would have been nice but fantastic company as ever. Cheers guys and sorry about the extra loops Nick!