Saturday, 12 February 2005

Noke Drive to Fanny's Farm

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By RCC Administrator
Saturday, February 12, 2005 - 00:00
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The lucky number of 13 riders set off from Noke Drive going East on the nat 21 route,the first climb of the day being on road up the hill from the motorway instead of turning right on the 21.

At the top of the hill we turned right along Springbotton Lane,after about half a mile we turned left onto a very steep bridleway where the leader insisted on a two minute lead in order to take up a good position for photograph,(it also gave me a good excuse for a breather). Everbody bravely tackled the hill ,unfortuneately Paul the 3rd (we had three Pauls ) learnt the hard way that if your going to climb steep hills its best to hit your bottom gear at the start of the hill, his chain snapped on mid change.

At the top of the hill Dave and Alex gamely got dirty doing a quick repair job.

On then up quite a muddy track to Willy Farm,from there a swift descent towards coulsdon.The track took us behind The Fox on Coulsdon Common,a left turn turm from Coulsdon Road took us down The Drive to the bottom of Happy Valley where quite a tricky ascent with one or two sharp twists and turns caught a few riders out.

Down again form the top of Farthing Downs to and up to Woodplace Farm where a lot of interest was generated by the sight of 5 or 6 buses and other vehicles in various stages of repair.

From Woodplace Lane we turned left down the track to the Brighton Road,straight over the lights to the top of the hill and down again on Castle Hill where a left on Outwood Lane,Chipstead brought us to a bridlepath ttaking us back towards Chipstead.

Having climbed back to the Chipstead ridge we made our way through a path near Park Farm that brought us to FannyÕs Tea Shop.

After our stop a quick thrash downhill to a left turn towards Merstham.A right and left turn took us to a footpath marked with a kissing gate where the bikes were lifted over by a couple of volunteers (I know we should not be on footpaths but its the only way I could get back without too much roadwork.

We crossed the motorway on the footbridge and rode along the bund (yes thats what they call the banking along a motorway to reduce sound) through the stickiest,gooiest clinging,slippery muckiest mud IÕve ever seen( it was alright in June when I researched this route).Having spent considerable time de clagging the bikes we rejoined the 21 route where | departed northwards leaving the rest to find their way back to Redhill.(without incident I hope)