The day started out with drama...Chris Hall leading the G4 gang out of Woodhatch down Lonesome Lane was soon having to call on all his roadside maintenance skills as he had to deal with a spoke that went TWANG with barely a mile on the clock. Still, it gave the rest of us a chance to have a quick chinwag and admire Stuart's new Titanium cruiser while Mr H showed what a regular commuter is capable of, bike repaired in no time at all...albeit with a slightly wobbly rear wheel.
The first 20 or so miles passed very nicely, the weather warm enough to enjoy and the gloom starting to lift as we headed out on a long flattish loop past charlwood and eventually out to forest green mercifullly past the bottom of leith hill...fairly flying at this point with an av speed of nearly 17 mph which is testimony to the early season fitness of the riders...who i should probably mention at this stage - Shiny new bike Stuart, Dan, Graham, Andre and myself (Martin B)...as well as our esteemed leader, Chris.
The first test of the day arrived when we turned right at Coophurst Farm and wound our way up the long drag towards Peaslake, passing the Mullard Space Science Lab on the way...Dan showed us all how a G5 rider copes with this by powering on, leaving the rest of us huffing and puffing....still, soon we were rolling at speed on the gnarly descent into PL where who did we see.....only the mounty gang covered in filth enjoying a well-earned tea break. To be fair it wasn't really a battle at this stage, more of a convivial banter session, but it was a great treat to have so many club riders in the on place...unless of course you lived there, cos we were all over the road. and these MTBers ain't half noisy! and a right rabble they are too, as the pic shows!
From here we made our way up the hill again and enjoyed the cracking descent down into Shere, a real lovely downhill stretch that is only ruined by crossing the A25 and heading up onto Ranmore Common...still we were all feeling good by now, dialled in to the ride and a tight group...apart from Dan, who was always ahead on any incline!
From Ranmore we rolled down and on to Leatherhead where we sampled a little of the Olympic route as we approached Dorking before heading for home. I daresay the pros will be going a little quicker than us next summer, but absolutely they will not have been enjoying the ride as much as we did. An excellent new route by Chris, greatly enjoyed by all, around 53 miles at something close to 16mph with the by now almost standard 3000 ft of climbing!
thanks for the ride all....Martin B