Saturday, 31 March 2012

Is it a bird? Is it a plane?...No, it's Nick Curran!!

G4 31-03-12
By Michael Ormerod
Sunday, April 1, 2012 - 21:24
Michael G Ormerod's picture

After the good weather that we had the weekend before, the weather
report was telling me that this Saturday would be dry but somewhat

Obviously the last thing I would want on the G4 ride is for
the riders to suffer from cold conditions, so I did the only thing a
good ride leader could do...I planned a route that would be gauranteed
to raise the temperature!!

After adverstising the ride at the Drome, I managed to get another 7
riders who we were willing to follow me in to the lanes of Kent and
Surrey. And rather than the usual G4 bunch we had the pleasure of a
few newish faces - Lewis (now back to full fitness, and if he tells
you otherwise he is lying), Damon, Simon, Kieran, Jeff, Leeson and
Nick....Nick who you ask? Nick Curran no less. Having asked me for the
route for his garmin earlier in the week, Nick made the very brave
decision to follow us on our ride, safe in the knowledge that if he
got dropped he knew where to go!

I waited until we had left the Drome before I gave the G4 crowd the
good news, the good news being that we would be heading straight for
Chalkpit Lane. Always nice to see the 20% sign at the bottom of a
climb with less than 10 miles on the clock...ok, not nice per se, but
certainly better than seeing it in the last 10 miles of a ride surely?
Anyway, suitably warned, we all swapped cogs for the easiest gear we
could find to make our way up this beast of a climb. And well done to
all the boys too who managed to despatch this climb with some style
this early in the year, especially the G4 debutants...and as we were
about to set off from the top, our rear-gunner Nick C spins his way up
and over the top. Bearing in mind that Nick had dropped off the back
for the few windy miles before, I can honestly say that it was a
herculean effort on his part and special congratulations to him for
not letting the hill beat him.

We said goodbye to Simon at this point (not related to my route
planning he assured me), and made our way along the top of the ridge
before dropping down to the Pilgrims Way. Some enjoyable rolling miles
here were soon ruined by the slow drag up to Ide Hill, apart from in
Lewis' case, as he shot off like a greyhound from the traps, clearly
back to his best form. On the plus side, while I must admit I hate
that Ide Hill climb, I do enjoy the descent on the south side...just a
shame that it ends up at the bottom of the road with the sign pointing
you to Toys Hill...after all, if it's there, you have to do it don't

Still, by now the gang was well warmed up, and no sooner had I
announced the rendezvous point that the legs started whirring, Jeff
and Damon pounced, and but for a dropped chain I'm sure that Damon
would have collected another Hill Climb title to add to all his it was honours went to Jeff, who was making simple work of
one of Kent's highest points. But no matter the order of ascent, we
all enjoyed the descent equally, and even more the delightful tea stop
at 96 degrees in Brasted, where the cake portions were almost as big
as the enormous cups of coffee!!

From here the route home is a little less painful, with only Crockham
Hill the only genuine climb of note, and it provided our photo opp as
well! From here the ride home was relatively uneventful, the lovely
lanes providing some great cycling, and this was the time that Leeson
and Kieran made it clear that stepping up from G3 to G4 is well within
grasp of many riders as they powered us towards Blindley Heath at
crazy speeds on the flat. I won't deny that I enjoyed the tow for a
couple of miles lol. And what of Mr Curran? Oh, he was still there,
sometimes he fell behind the group but he worked hard to keep in
touch, and whenever we regrouped he set off without any complaint, dug
in and got amongst it. I've never given a 'rider of the day' award,
but Nick definitely earned that prize with his G4 debut, if only for
having the sheer determination to do half of the route without any

And the stats...well it was a slow ride, as I said it would be, and it
was a hilly ride, as I also said it would be...but it's not about the
stats, it's about the ride, and that was a cracker!!

Martin B