The weather forecast for today was not very promising; the graphic on my mobile phone showed heavy rain, and this was confirmed on the BBC website too. With my well known scepticism of weather forecasting I was therefore unsurprised to emerge from my front door into a bright day. There was high cloud but it was dry and there was no wind. And it stayed much like this until after our coffee break at the Lullingstone visitor centre, when commenced a light drizzle which accompanied us back to Hayes. Not even enough to get us wet, most of the time the blurred light disc of the sun was visible through the cloud. A great day for a bike ride (there is no such thing as a bad day for a bike ride, just good days and better days).
There were 12 riders with me today, only one newbie and she was an experienced cyclists so it was a day to make some good progress towards improving fitness levels. We all worked hard and managed to achieve personal goals as well as completing the group goal of finishing together – well almost, we passed one riders front door in Orpington on the way home so she peeled away there. We stuck, more or less, to the prescribed route, although towards the end I chose to avoid Farnborough Hill electing to follow the cycle track alongside the A21, then through Farnborough Park.
In spite of the route out and the route back into Hayes which is busy and heavily trafficked, I think that TR3 is the best route of all in the series. The hills are moderate, even Worlds End Lane is mild compared to Cudham Lane and Hogtrough, both of which are grim hills. The constantly changing scenery is gentle and interesting.
The slumbering countryside felt tight and poised today, ready to burst into spring at any moment. Buds on the roadside hedges were fat with vernal promise, by next weekend, the beautiful pale fresh green foliage will have coloured the landscape.
And then it will be summer.
Another great ride with a great team. See you all again in three weeks for TR4
Pedalling time: 2hrs 40 mins ish
Total time: 4hrs
Coffee break: 30 mins ish
Distance: 4.75 miles
Speed: 9.2 mph
Max Speed: 27.5