“On yer lobster” was the command to young Mr Swan and 12 other RCCers to mount their saddles for the start of our ride from Reigate Hill. More than enough mud everywhere but it was dry (ish) and with a perfectly sized group of capable riders, what could possibly go wrong?
A familiar trail over to Headley at a nice brisk pace with the occasional muddy patch testing out summer tyre grips. Up and down High Ashurst we went, making good time, and then we hit our favourite section of hill which takes you from Lodgebottom Road up to Mickleham. There our first problem emerged. No, not the climb itself but the name of the hill. Now I used to think it was called White Hill (as suggested by the OS map that never leaves my side) but apparently not according to the experts within our group who then couldn’t tell me what it actually is called. Anyway, it is a horrific climb but today I managed to climb all the way up without stopping having unsuccessfully tried on previous rides. How satisfying do you think that was!! Satisfaction is not the word others chose to describe their climb up so before moving on we agreed to name it. Unfortunately I cannot remember exactly the name we decided on but I think it rhymed very closely with “a jolly tough hill”.
Across Mickleham we sped with a tea stop at Bocketts firmly in our sights when the second problem of the day emerged. There appeared to be some confusion at the rear of the group between “Junipers” and “junctions” so the first half went down Juniper Hill and the second half went down Stane street to the junction with Alsation. Never mind, I am so good at climbing hills now that I was only too eager to climb back up Juniper in search of them but a then mobile call confirmed that all 7 were accounted for and now likely to reach Bocketts before us!
On the home loop we hit our third problem climbing up (see I can’t help myself now) Alsation when Daz’s rear brake rotor sheared off. The group took considerable interest in his predicament and after much oohing and ahhing, reinforced by plenty of shaking of heads, “one-brake Daz” was soon back in the saddle.
Thanks to Mike and Mat who did the back marking, 19.7 miles in total. Lots of smiling faces and plenty of exercise – just as I had planned.
All the best,