No, we didn’t cycle naked or attempt a 100 mile epic, we simply did the usual but encouraged riders to make a donation. Despite my initial fears that I would be riding solo, DaveW, Tony, Keith, James, Mark, DaveC, myself and NewTony pitched up for a Newlands loop, one of my Mole’s Classic rides.
Even Matt, suffering with a suspected bout of duvet magnetism that morning, showed up to make his donation, top man!
It very soon became clear that whilst the trails have been superb for the last two weeks, the clag was clearly lying in wait, very close to the surface waiting for the next drops of rain. Well Saturdays rain wound the clock back a few weeks and the conditions were… ‘challenging’.
We set off via Admirals Track and Yew Trees to Ranmore, with NewTony proving himself to be no slouch, despite v-brakes and carrying the extra ballast of a sidestand. We then dropped down White Down with Tony testing out the strength of his Ti collarbone plating when he got caught out by the gloop in the field at the bottom, no harm done thankfully.
Then follows the best bits – Abinger Roughs, Gomshall, Shere, Albury Heath etc and then the b’stard climb up to Newlands where once again, I proved to myself that dumping the granny ring was the best thing I ever did. I even managed to get to the top before DaveW and Tony had ordered their grub!! Whatever DaveW has been doing recently I’d love to know, he is ON IT up the climbs.
The refreshments were their usual sublime standard at the cafe where it was good to chat and stoke the boilers for the route home along the top.
I really fancied blasting down Hogden Lane on the way back and overlooked the fact that DaveC was on his rigid 29er. But someone else pointed out that those things are meant to float over the bumps, aren’t they? It was great fun but unfortunately, James’ tyre was overwhelmed by the flints and developed a 3cm gash on the sidewall, giving me the opportunity to test out a Park tyre patch which I’ve carried a 3 pack of for 18 months without the need to use.
It certainly got him home ok but would I ride on it from hereon, I’m not so sure.
Anyway, a great ride and nice to clock up over 25 miles as most of my rides lately have been shorties. The best bit for me though was the generosity of those attending and donating subsequently, adding nearly £100 to my girls sponsored bounce collection, pushing their total passed the £300 mark.
Thanks to you all.