3 May 2015
I know it’s been said in all the other reports but it was wet…………very wet………………..and if I’m honest I was surprised to see so many hardy cyclists prepared to do battle with both the elements and Devils Dyke. So firstly I take my hat off to you all. It was an incredible site and congratulations to all who made it to the end and indeed those that didn’t. I was even more surprised by the number of legs on display that were not Lycra clad. Some hardy souls were riding today.
Now the 12 in the 12 mph Group actually stands for something completely different. It refers to the number of incidents that my group had throughout the day. Here’s the stats:
2 tyre wall blow outs
We started with 15 people and finished with 11………….although one of those dropped back top the 10 mph group so arguably we finished with 12……………..there’s a theme developing here……and it has something to do with 12.
So as you can see punctures, inner tubes, tyre levers, CO2 cartridges, latex gloves and muscle power were the theme of the day. 5 of those punctures were on two bikes, with Alex and me being the lucky recipients on the day, although I did beat him 3 – 2…………….better luck next time Mr Raha. The first of our blow outs was again the unlucky Alex. This occurred on the rather fast downhill once we had turned left before Warlingham. The blow out actually split his 3 week old Continental Tyre………….so off to Evans on Tuesday to get that replaced FOC! Step up Jamie….the main man, who whipped out a brand new Taiwanese Special tyre from his backpack which he got free with his Special Fried Rice. Needless to say Alex was rather pleased to see this fine piece of rubber. None of that Vorsprung Durch rubbish on his bike for the rest of the day.
Our 2nd blowout was for the far less fortunate Jack. His front tyre exploded in the grounds of Woldingham School ripping a nice hole in the main tread. I directed him back to the nearest Station hoping he would be able to get back home safely.
Joe and I shared the responsibility for leading and Lantern Rouge, alternating every so often. It gave Joe a chance to test out his new Garmin and it seemed to work fine, even arriving at the first fuel pit stop before me, for as is tradition I managed to take the group (or at least 13 of them) the wrong way…………….still it wouldn’t be a Brighton ride if I hadn’t messed up somewhere along the route.
Back on track and in one large group we batted on to ‘The Dyke’ looking forward to a change in the weather and some stunning views. How wrong can one man be!? Climbing up to the Golf Club it got wetter and wetter and windier and windier, culminating in a gale force wind while descending down the other side………….the cross winds creating havoc with some of the teams carbon fibre pride and joys.
We did eventually make it to the Meeting Place Café and had a very welcome Mug of Tea and Cheese toastie. By now the sun had come out just to rub salt into the wound! So a few more stats:-
Departed Hayes at 07:55
Arrived Brighton 2 days later (or it seemed like it!)
Calories burned: 3400 ish
Injuries: None (yippee)
Total repair time: 24 hours (again it seemed like it)
No one individual deserves thanks or a mention as the whole team did a fantastic job and it was a pleasure to cycle with every one of them. I just hope next time that Adam pulls his finger out and prays more to the Sun Gods. If I must thank someone then it has to be Adam for pulling all this together and managing to rope me into it year after year.
See you all next year. Sticky