Paul(Irish)’s indecision as to wear his waterproof jacket was the topic at the rendezvous point prior to the ride. Is it going to rain or not? (it must rain a lot in Ireland). Luckily for Tony we were running late, he turned up later than usual in his rustly waterproof shorts. With a swift feel of the fabric on the thigh, Dave and I thought the same, Ulrika-ka-ka-ka!
We eventually got going 20 minutes late. The running list of riders consisted of Dave, Tony, Matt (P7) waterproof Paul and myself (Jem). A quick dash through Wiggly Woods, the trails were remarkably dry considering the rain of late. A mometary stop for Paul to remove said Goretex article. Left turn to the top of Crabtree Lane, a roll down the tarmac to another left turn to scurry along the trail that follows the line of the river (Mole).
Once down to the A24, we crossed over into Mickleham village and turned left once again. We were now situated at Juniper Bottom to start the ascent up Box Hill. The pace was steady as we knew what lay ahead. Then into a rhythm as Dave and I were on our single speeds, I had not been out on the ol’ Wanga for a while, not really feeling up to it. It was now a case of head-down arse-up as the rise started to steepen and the legs and lungs burned. Paul had not been introduced to The Juniper Bottom climb before, the result was a success.
We were all now catching our breath, with a few comments of “I shouldn’t have eaten before I came out”. Was it Italian day or something? Everyone had eaten pizza or pasta, which was blatantly obvious by the haze and smell of garlic flying about (no names mentioned).
Past China Pig and onto Headley Heath. Here lay plenty of mud traps in the base of the swooppy bits, catching us all out once the light started to fade. The transition between night and day does seem to have an effect on the lights not being that penetrative.
More mud on-route adjacent Tyrells Wood golf course, now it had started to rain slightly. What a great descent down Alsation headed by Matt (P7), then Dave, Tony, Jem, Paul. Just before the trail reaches the crossroads of Stane street, Dave had a mighty impressive back end slide and managed to hold his line. Then as we approached the start of Alsation he pulled over to let us by. You alright? Can’t see a fu..ing thing, bloody glasses. Rain on the outside, sweat on the inside, no can see.
The cover of the trees had kept the trail dry it was good and fast, with the rain on the nettles and other grassy thingys making them hang into our path. Tony likened it to being a sado-masochist as we got whipped on the way down (what parties do you go to?). We even compared blood injuries.
A quick thrap to the back of the Leisure Centre, here Dave and Tony turned off. The rest of us made back to Bookham the quickest way possible, as the rain was coming down fairly hard by now and Paul didn’t even stop to put his jacket back on!!
A good ride, slightly alternative route 16.5 miles for me door to door. Looking forward to Sunday. Rock on Swinley.