Last night’s ride turned out to be a Vermouth kind of ride: very, very dry.
With our fun curtailed the previous Wednesday by biblical quantities of rain just when we’d reached the best part of the ride, Dave was keen to repeat the route in the hope that lightning wouldn’t strike twice. And that’s exactly as it turned out.
Meeting at the garage was DaveC, on-time (just) PaulM, BigAl, Lee, Iain and myself. The veterens of last week chuckled over the experience, with Lee saying he thought he was a contestant on It’s A Knockout and someone had just tipped enormous quantities of water all over him. Dave and I weren’t about to argue.
But back to this week. With the same route as before (I can’t remember the last time we’ve repeated ourselves like that), we had a fair idea where we were going.
The basic route was over to Polesden via Wiggly Wood, the past Tanners hatch to Ranmore and then along the Ranmore ridge to White Down and the North Downs Way before eventually poppin out near Crocknorth and descending to Honeysuckle Bottom. After that, the Impossible climb, followed by last week’s washed out Sheepleas descent and then the singletrack through the trees to the A246. The final third was just a fast run across to Effingham and then Boohham Common.
Compressing all that into one paragraph thugh misses all the small bits and pieces that occured along the way though including:
- Lee clearing the log across the trail as you head to the Polesden estate AND the one on Trouble in Paradise – he’s getting good at this.
- Dave’s tubeless puncture on Collarbone after taking the high line over all the flints. A good chance to demonstrate the benefits of sealant and how quickly it sealed.
- The absence of Lee ploughing into a deep muddy rut and leavig his bike behind this week!
- Dust, lots of it, mainly collected by riders following. A night to be at the front, especially across the Commons.
- A fast descent for me down to Honeysuckle Bottom which Stava yet again failed to register! I must have missed the start point with my Garmin. I’m either going to give up on this or set up my own segment for that section… was pretty quick with me losig the front wheel wildly on a babyhead rock. Yikes.
- The usual lung-busting effort on the impossible climb. I nearly – oh so nearly – cleared that final ledge again but just couldn’t make the front wheel go left when I wanted it to!
- I took a wrong turn on the Sheepleas singletrack – again. No matter how many times I ride this fun section I always seem to forget where I’m going. Don’t follow me folks…
- The bumpy field. It’s really, really bumpy. But more comfortable if you have full suspension.
The final rides stats showed 18.4 miles for me and a lower moving average of 10mph vs 10.9 of last week, showing that Darren, Markymark and DannyP really do ride faster than the rest of us. But still, a decent effort and a fun ride.
The weather forecast says it might rain for Sunday which might help us avoid us getting Baker’s Lung…