A massive turnout at the Aerodrome saw a 16 strong bunch for the G2 ride out to Four Elms. Too many for one group - so Alan B who is back to his former cycling strength and has a handy GPS enabled brain for local routes - offered to lead a second G2 group and we headed off to take different routes to Four Elms.
The sun was shining, the air was warm and the pace by the time the front group got to Lingfield suggested a G2 speed that was in danger of breaching the ride descriptions act. But everyone was looking and feeling fit so we pressed on. Alan H spent long periods at the front using all his experience, Andy G - strong as ever - with Dave B putting in a great effort given the pace uplift.
The early route took us via Crab Hill Lane, Hornecourt Hill and Hare Lane out to Lingfield then to ensure we didn't arrive at Chartwell Barns too early we put in the Crowhurst Loop to add in a few miles.. but little did we know that a rare double puncture would do that job for us anyway. Ian T noticed his back tyre doing a pancake impression just after the small hillock on the road to Edenbridge. This was fixed just in time to notice the front one had gone too. Ian decided wisely perhaps that this really is the time to invest in some new tyres.
The Barns were quieter than usual so service was quick and jolly as ever. Alan B's group were all well stuck into their cake. The first group's average was 16.8mph on the way out... but the second group had also grown new legs for the occasion and were also sporting a high average. Barometric pressure? Tail wind? Late season fitness? Who knows... but even the newcomers to the G2 were enjoying the work-out.
The way back was incident free and my group did some superb group riding in neat, controlled peloton lines all the way from Swaynesland back to base.
Really superb company on both groups. Smiling cyclists enjoying a fine morning... just what the doctor ordered! Good too to see Roger H back in the saddle on a club ride again.
Scores on the doors:
My group: 42 miles at 16.5mph
Alan's group: 43 miles at 16.2mph.
Huge thanks to Alan B for great leading and stepping up to the plate. Hope to see you at the helm of many more rides!