Cycling home I looked at my speedo and did a double take when it said I had done just over 16 miles, it was about 8.45pm, the sun was still warm and my brain reminded me I have work in the morning. For a few hours nothing but the pleasant ride had entered my head.
I dashed home from work this evening like a school kid racing home to go out to play, got changed and grabbed my new bike now fitted with “new bike bling” (courtesy of Dave) and raced through Bookham Common as fast as my little legs would take me, I did notice 17mph on the speedo and caught myself smiling.
Waiting for me was a lovely new rider and we headed up back through the Common to Bocketts Farm where another lovely new rider was also waiting. 3 lady cyclists who had never met before but whom I felt very quickly gelled headed off up to the saw mill at Norbury park. Wonderful clear blue sky at 7pm and still warm.
We took the gravelly climb up to the saw mill and then turned right along the route where there is the viewpoint, just off from the tarmac there is a right hand turn that takes you up a hill and back into woodland, through there and down into a carpark.
The route I chose this evening and had discussed with the others is a quick fun route but has a section of ups and downs, roots and beautiful views. I thought that for a first time moutain biking this was a good and safe experience for someone to assess what they felt comfortable with without thinking “eeek” I don’t know if I can do this (I have been there many a time).
It is also a wide route so plenty of space for socialising and getting to know each other.
So from the carpark, down the tarmac with a sharp turn left into a route I always try to explain to Dave and he knows what I mean when I say “Jem’s favourite” so called by me because the first time Dave showed me the route he told me it was Jem’s favourite.
The route is fun, wide and follows along the Mickleham bends with gorgeous views if you aren’t going too fast to turn and look.
It can be a bit rooty but wasn’t too bad this evening and it has a lovely sweeping downhill that I personally feel is fun but if you are new it is just about right to practise on along with a rooty uphill that again can be a new experience. It finishes with a bit of a very short steep climb and pops you out overlooking fields and more fields which this evening were headed with blue sky.
It was approaching 8pm by this time and as much as I think we were all up for alot more we decided to stay the safe side of daylight and so cycled up the tarmac to Norbury house, past the sawmill and a fast descent down the gravelly path because the gate was open (I love it when the gate is open) back up to Bocketts Farm.
We saw some guys going through what I think is called the “wiggly woods” and I was almost tempted to take a left turn that would have led us up to Crabtree Lane but wanted to play safe today so we said our goodbyes after discussing future rides and with 1 lady heading back to Dorking 2 of us headed back to where we had met in the Common.
Which brings me back to my opening sentence, I couldn’t believe how many miles we had done, where the time had gone and how young and carefree I felt cycling home almost forgetting it was a “school night”. It was a really good fun ride, a good assessment I hope for future rides of which we have agreed we would like to do the Headley/ Epsom route next.
In recent weeks we have recieved some wonderful interest from more female riders of all abilities, so it looks like we are going to have a really exciting and sociable summer! 19 miles on the clock by the time I got home, I noted it was light until about 9.30 so we can extend the ride slightly certainly throughout midsummer.
I hope I don’t start breaking out into song like John Travalota and Olivia Newton John “ooooo those summmmmer niiiiiiiiights” 😉