Friday, November 05, 2021

Report for A Group - 3rd November

It was a lovely day to ride over the hills and into Sussex. Our destination was the Frog and Nightgown at Wimlands - an former pub that has been resurrected as a hybrid pub and tearoom. We set of in three thanks to Hans and Janice for leading.

Hans first:

My group of six were the first to leave Cobham on a fine Wednesday morning. We maintained a brisk pace, conscious that ‘slow coach’ Janice and her group would be hard on our heels. Plenty of ups on the way to lunch, White Down, Leigh and a variety of lumps but precious few flat roads. A lovely ride to the Nightgown & Frog, a good lunch and then back towards tea at Ashtead via Little Switzerland. Impending rain forced the group to head for home without tea, luckily avoiding any heavy downpour. Many thanks to Brian for his organisation and to my reduced group of five (not my fault) for maintaining the pace.

Janice's group left next but I'll leave her blog till last. My group of five set off promptly at eleven but by Effingham it was clear that Keith was, unfortunately, not feeling his best and decided it was prudent to head home. This left just just four with myself, Daves (F&V) and Richard to continue.  We made steady progress and were surprised when we regrouped at the top of Leith Hill to see Janice's group restarting just ahead of us. Only when we reached lunch did we find that my hilly route ( 3200ft according to my gpx) was clearly not hilly enough for some. Our ride back was direct through Newdigate to Pixham where we encountered the first light drizzle. Then it stayed dry to Ashtead where we found four of Janice's group still at tea. 

Janice's group...

Seven of us, Steve D, Mark, Neil C, Pete B, Simon, Dave W and myself, set off on a chilly but sunny morning, feeling that winter is definitely just around the corner. I was in my fleece lined longs and even Simon was no longer wearing his sandals.

We left Cobham at a good pace whilst the going was good and the roads flat. That didn’t last long and we were soon approaching the Surrey Hills for the first of several climbs for the day.

With Whitedown behind us, when tackling Leith Hill we decided we hadn’t climbed enough and followed Mark’s suggestion of an off-road diversion to Leith Hill tower. It was gloriously sunny and whilst there was some view much of it was shrouded in mist and cloud. We nevertheless felt it was a good photo opportunity. As it doesn’t appear to be the case from the photo I have to mention that we were still speaking to Simon!

I found the descent off Leith Hill to be pretty scary as it was dark, wet and gravelly but the rest of my group seemed to be unfazed.

One might assume that from Leith Hill it would be downhill all the way to lunch but sometimes assumptions can be incorrect. However, we did eventually descend Wimlands Hill (although it was in the full knowledge that we’d be cycling back up it straight after lunch).

We were all very happy with our sandwiches at the Frog & Nightgown as they were excellent quality and served quickly. After lunch Dave W departed ahead of the peleton whilst the rest of us stayed together for the final hills and lanes.

We felt fortunate as we’d ridden almost all day in beautiful sunshine and caught only the edge of a shower briefly. A lovely route, excellent weather and good company. What’s not to like! Thanks to my group and in particular to Pete B for back-marking.

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