Before we get into Sunday morning’s ride – it would be remise of me if I didn’t highlight the ecological dangers of 3+ hours in the saddle following a pre-ride meal of Thai cuisine washed down with 4 bottles Beer Chang.
The alarm went off at 06.45 – although with the move to British Summer Time – this was actually 05.45. Forced down the usual big ride breakfast of champions; M&S chicken pasta salad. The first raindrops started to land just as I put the bike on the roof of the car – and didn’t really stop.
Headed over to Tonbridge to pick up Hux and Phil – who were having a robust debate as to whether Phil had shaved his legs or just suffered from naturally bare shins. No agreement was reached, but within the hour we had arrived in Dorking; signed in; and crossed the start line in the drizzle.
Once the legs (shaved or not) were warm we tackled Ranmore Hill, felt pretty good – overtaking more than I was overtaken. There is nothing more inspiring to go a bit quicker than a bloke in full Sky kit ahead of you.
Then after 15 miles of rolling countryside we then arrived at Barhatch Lane (9/10).
The first part seemed pretty easy (too easy) but as you turn the corner the road looks like a cliff! Surprisingly there were quite a few MAMILs pushing their carbon fibre bikes. Embarrassing.
The final climb arrived after 35 miles; White Downs (8/10).
A couple of great alpine hairpins, and more expensive machines being pushed round them… Admittedly I didn’t have much left in the tank, and was relieved when the summit came into view.
In spite of the weather, a good challenging ride, through some lovely countryside, on quiet roads. That’s 200 miles cycled in March, but still nothing close that what lies ahead at the end of May…