Sunday Ride: 20th December 2015


Character building was how Sunday’s ride was described and so we should all have come back as giant characters.

Pete’s cycling buddy Roger joined the ride and he rode a brand new Specialized for what turned out to be a true baptism of fire (ok; at least it was mud and rain rather than actual fire).

An impressive turnout of eight characters left Purley and meandered off to Woldingham where Tom V had a variation route in mind which was thoroughly researched on Google Earth and maps. Unfortunately part of the route was yet to be tarmaced so some of the brave members resorted to carrying their bikes.

After a brief interlude allowed for cursing and cleaning mud off bikes we onwards. Frank was on his usual curfew so here is where he left us as we gingerly negotiated Chalkpit Lane to Oxted and then towards Lingfield via Crowhurst. All the while the rain got stronger. After the first downpours washed our bikes clean the joy that the unforecast rain brought rapidly disappeared. At Crowhurst Jim decided to head home and the rest of us limped into Lingfield like the Spanish Armada before receiving the greetings at the Red Rum Cafe reserved for drowning rats.

Here was where Austin abandoned ship leaving the final five to turn back early to the planned Pub. We were a bit soggy and I took pity on Stuart whose eyes lit up when we got to the Griffin (formerly the Brickmakers Arms) at Crowhurst Lane End. As the first pint went down Jeremy sailed into sight and duly joined us commenting about how the club was not sticking to any of the published destinations. He had made it to the Bluebell Cafe in East Grinstead and was heading to the Fox and Hounds at Tilburstow.

Jeremy didn’t seem wet at all but the rain doesn’t fall on the righteous…

A tale of many woes it would seem but I got a perverse kind of enjoyment out of it!

Tom V

photos and exaggerations courtesy of Stuart and Pete.