A quick phone call to Jem to find out if he was cycling was met with the “well I’ll go if you are going” so we mutually pushed each other up the road to see who was out.
We met a rather relieved looking James who was sitting at the garage beginning to worry if he was out on his own. However we were soon joined by Barry, still fettling his rear mech on a straightened but still wonky hanger, Tony and JohnR.
With Matt absent I was keen to put in a shortish ride, especially as I was in “more ears than gears” mode. We decided to do our Effingham loop which entails a slog up to Ranmore. The ground was slippery and a surface layer of gooey mud kept us on our toes at all times. Going round the back of Polesden Lacey I found the limits of traction early and had a few moments. This was the way of the ride and a few muddy arses were apparent by the time we got to the end of Collar Bone.
Sneaking through the woods on the way to the Reservoir the mud was just as bad and a light rigid front may not have been the best choice of bike but I managed to hang in, especially now that the worst of the climbing was behind me. Jem and I sat in a steady rythmn for the most of the fire road and the talk was of lights and tyres as we polished off the road section before the long run down towards Dirtham Lane.
Even with the mud this long run is fun, or maybe becuae of the mud it’s still fun. With average speeds much lower than in the Summer I was still pushed hard by Jem as we approached the road. Tony pointed out that Effingham Common would be “fun” and we were soon there agreeing with him. A few trees down on Bookham Common made us make a few detours as we pushed on home.
Around 18 miles was on my clock by the time I got home and it turned out to be a very enjoyable ride!