What a wonderful, sunny, if cold winter's day for a ride. So thought almost all the regular A riders and we ended up with 22 on the ride to be joined by Mark and Maggie at lunch.
Steve Duffin's group was away first and reported:
I was first away from Cobham with Ged, Fiona, Dave W, Dave B, Hans, Patrick and Mike. It was a bitterly cold day and so riding through Great Bookham Common was firm under tyre. It was beautifully sunny so we were able to appreciate the scenery in the short cut to Effingham.The roads were quiet and we soon found ourselves on Ranmore Common looking forward to the descent to Denbies Vineyard after some tiring, post Xmas, ascending. We stopped to record the view of Dorking and the valley which was stunning. After the ascent of Punchbowl lane the roads were reasonably fast and we made good time, arriving at The Dolphin at 12.05 pm. Mark and Maggie were there to greet us, having arrived on their Tandem. We had a good lunch in the warmth of the pub, but managed to tear ourselves away, leaving at 1.10 pm.
Dave Ward and Fiona left us at the Denbies roundabout to make their own way back. The afternoon ride was equally quiet up 'Little Switzerland', but by now the sky was clouding up more and we felt the cold. I chose the rough Motts Hill Lane on the way back which cut half a mile from our ride. We were soon descending Downs Road into Epsom and soon arrived at Alexandra Park for tea at 2.30 pm. Ged and Mike availed themselves of the tartan blankets, but we didn't hang around as it was getting colder. Everyone went their separate ways home.
Thanks to Brian for a route with a bit of everything. Hills, scenery, woodland, fast and quiet roads and tracks was just perfect to start 2022 after the slow Xmas break. Thanks also to Dave Ward for tirelessly back marking and encouraging me on the hills. A lovely, sunny ride in a winter wonderland with no mechanicals, excellent!