Unpleasantly damp is, I think, a fair description of the weather on Reigate Hill this Saturday morning. With around 10 people for each ride though, we weren't letting it put us off.
My group set off first, and as we hit the open ground on Colley Hill, lo and behold we could see more rain sweeping up from the south but sunshine on Ranmore Common. With West looking like the way to go we set of with some gusto, fast enough in fact that when we got to Headley I felt safe in throwing in a slight extension to the route. This may have been optimistic, with a puncture at the bottom of the rocky descent dragging us back behind schedule. Still, we'd got away from the rain and it would stay nice for the rest of the ride!
Still, China Pig beckoned and being at its slippery best claimed a dab from I think everyone on the tricky 'down a bit then back up again off camber on roots' bit. Jules was a little more tired than everyone else here and decided to have a little lie down!
Next, winch up onto Juniper, down the steps to the A24 and up to Norbury. Whispers were starting to go round that cake wasn't quite in sight in late and we were running behind where I'd hoped to be, even loading the distance into the first half of the ride. After we'd been past Bocketts and climbed Alsation time was ticking on and Dave and Si had to get home, so we let them carry straight on as we turned right up Stane Street. A second puncture meant we were even later to Bike Beans in Ashstead for cake. Not flinching at the mud we brought in and supplying us witha track pump, it was decided this was an agreeable place to refuel in future.
Then it was back up to Stane Street, on to Langley Vale, the motorway, Walton and home. We were back a bit before 2, so a little later than planned but earlier than the week before!
Excuse the timing, hope you enjoyed the tea stop! Welcome to Nigel from Brighton MTB up sampling the North Downs and thanks to Dave and whoever else stepped in at the back to make sure I didn't lose anyone.