Sunday, August 24, 2008

Sunday August 24th 2008

After a morning of continuous drizzle, it was surprising to see 28 besmutted legs in Costa Coffee. The official party arrived last around noon; they had travelled via Tadworth for Meet The Petes, descended Pebblecombe, and wandered cross country to Rusper (where Ed punctured), Warnham (where Ed punctured again but slowly) and Tesco Broadbridge Heath.

Jake and Grant were still reacting to last week's 12 hours so home was a priority. Under clearing skies, the rest (Keith, Andy, Ann, Bob, Ed, Graham, Janice, Jeff, Paul Petes B and F, Steve) headed south initially down A264 before turning towards Barns Green. After crossing A272 at Coolham, a final wiggle delivered us to the Five Bells, Smock Alley around one thirty. Here forces divided; BYOs sat in the garden, drinkers indoors sampling this Camra local Pub Of The Year 2008.

Keith's inward and outward routes looked similar so I suggested an alternative using B2133. This took us through West Chitlington to Broadford Bridge then northwest to Adversane and the Limeburners. After a brief A272 flirtation, lanes went north to The Haven and Rudgwick. Then familiar roads lead to Ellen's Green and Okewood Hill before Weare Street provided a conduit to Capel for the cakes demolition and parting of the ways. Slighty over 80 miles and very pleasant once the rains had passed.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Sunday 17th August 2008

I had to make sure I'd typed August and not October................because the weather was up to it's tricks again with a chilly wind and variable cloud keeping the temperature below seasonal average.
After last weeks (very) poor show, with the exception of Jeff at the VC, Bob at the GC, and Graham at NC, I set off for my second lead.
At 9:10 there was just Ed and myself, then our company became a crowd with the appearance of Keith.
Past the Lavender fields, How Lane (abandoned Holdsworth?), High Road (Crystal Palace fast men and women attending puncture), Reigate Hill, Sidlow Bridge, Irons Bottom and Hookwood Tesco.
Graham joined us having had a quality sleep of 11 hours after his night ride, but probably due to lengthy questioning on my part we set off on the wrong side of 11:30.
Leaving Bob, we negotiated the airport perimeter road to pick up NCN 22 south and the western end of The Worth Way.
By the time we had reached Turner's Hill it was almost 1pm so plan B was to be The Red Lion for lunch (Plan A was Ardingly).
Another late departure - 2:20 but a partial route retrace meant we gained some time getting to Brockham around 3:30.
It was "donate what you like day" at this popular tea stop so flushed of a £2 we settled outside shortly to be offered FREE SECONDS, to recognise the uplift in takings.
With the thought of Pebblecombe hill 2 miles away we declined the offer of THIRDS!!

61 miles from Ewell.
12.8 ave.
37mph max - Reigate Hill.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

The Secretary's Saturday Ride To The Coast

I couldn't go a week without a long ride so an exchange of emails with Mr Kneebandage provided one(16/8 0045 hours).

Thirty minutes after our intended rendezvous, down Kingston Hill came over sixty flashing beaming cyclists. Joy was shortlived as we had a mechanical within five minutes; it was to the rear of the peloton and outside Asda. After a lengthy wait I cycled back as person most likely to be of assistance. I found them struggling to reseat a tyre; the obvious solution was a spare wheel brought from home (actually damaged beading so a tyre would have sufficed!). From being last I found myself in the lead between Cobham and Guildford (regrouping at Ockham and Burnt Common). No doubt the A3 slow lane hasn't seen anything like it but I was going as hard as possible to reach familiar territory. Our belated break was at Paddington Bear's well after three. Here I was accused by our esteemed councillor of losing a rider (he hasn't been found so the charge may not stick; Monday update : DNS!).

By four thirty we were on A281 and then B2133. Leading became superfluous as there were too many faster riders but Simon's little helpers halted us at Alford and Adversane. Here Simon took command and an order was restored. A freshening Southerly wind bit into tiring limbs and stops in Ashington and Steyning were long. The last stretch on the wide-open A283 was demanding - I couldn't latch onto any wheel yet passed quite a few. All together again in Shoreham at eight, we wheeled our bikes over the footbridge to breakfast at the Waterstone Inn - it was all over. Ignoring those stops, an average of just under 13mph made for a lively ride. Great fun and home before eleven.

Monday, August 11, 2008

10 August 2008

The Curse of Lullingstone Castle

Sunday started with an over-ambitious attempt at 9.30am to make the 30 miles to Lullingstone by 11am. Doomed! A two hour ride and half an hour late at Lullingstone VC, not GC. The C&M flock had flown the coop. Chastened, I then explored some unfamiliar Kent countryside and was challenged by some of the many sharp little climbs that rear up out of nowhere, before sheepishly appearing at the lunch-time venue to confess my sins - some of them at least.

Romney Street is a remote little hamlet in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by climbs. I found just one inn - the Fox and Hounds - sandwiches welcome! One o'clock - no sign of the Ancient and Modern. Two pm - no C&M. Has the curse of Lullingstone struck again? Time to head for home with tail between the chainstays. A d├ętour to the tea-time stop of Downe? I think not - Downe is out.
Later, under the shower, I ponder where I went wrong.


Monday, August 04, 2008

Sunday 3 August 2008

Sheltering from the weather at the Merry Harriers
Splinter group (with sandwiches) on the other side of the road
Olympic gold for the ladies of Capel Church - this is what it is all about!
The C&M congregation at their devotions

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Sunday 3rd August 2008

As this was CTC Birthday Rides week, I set out from home in trepidation on a far from perfect day (dull, muggy with spots of rain). As well as familiar faces there were five newcomers at North Cheam, which amazed me. Three didn't cross the M25 for divers medical reasons - hopefully we shall see them on future rides.

The route was obvious, through Ewell and Malden Rushett and right up Stokesheath Road. Via Summerhays we entered Cobham followed by Mayes Green (very large and faster Serpentine Club bunch) and Hungry Hill. Alongside the A3 led us into Guildford where Steve punctured at Stoke Park. Eventually fourteen settled into The Rodboro Buildings being Graham, Adam, Andy, Bob, Ed, Irene, Janice, Jeff, Keith, Neil, Pete B, Steve H and newcomers Graham Hardman and Tom Bell. We were back on roads near Shalford Church and Chinthurst/Tannery Lanes were an A281 bypass. In Foxborough Hill Road we started the Munstead climb, becaming a race nearing the water tower. Now most went into the bushes to the Hambledon road but backmarkers Andy and Adam went right before realizing their mistake in Tuesley Lane. The Merry Harriers Hambledon is being modernized and half painted so we dined alfresco. We enjoyed the llamas but perhaps not the expensive food and drink and had to endure a drizzle, which was to last until Alford. After lunch Bob departed as is his wont and the newcomers were keen on a quick homecoming; in truth they are a bit fast for us but promises were made to use partners next time to slow them down. Turning into Vann Lane, I twigged that my route was the Surrey Cycleway between Munstead to Boxhill - so much for careful planning! Thus were the dogs of war unleashed - just follow the brown (sometimes blue) signs. So I lead the autobus to Capel Church and our customary orgy of cakes and tea. From there differing speeds took us home - nearly 80 miles door to door.