11 – 13 mph Group (Group Sticky)
I thought I would try and emulate the literary skills of my esteemed 10 – 12 mpg Group Leader (Mr John Wood) but decided against that, as he has had a lot more practice then me.
So 12 people gathered outside Panagua with a fairly evenly balanced Male/Female breakdown, the Gentlemen just edging it 8 – 4. Nice to see Peter return from his sick bed and complete with shiny new bike. That lovely Mr Ben Cox had kindly agreed to Lantern Rouge for me as Saif had disappeared into one the ‘Hot Squads’ for the morning.
The weather was pretty good actually, albeit another couple of degrees would have been most welcome. Once we got going we soon warmed up.
We headed off to Keston Mark via Park House Rugby Club, who on this occasion were holding a Mini’s Festival, so we had to be careful to avoid pedestrians for a brief while. It was then up Starts Hill Road and down Farnborough Hill, soon followed by our first real climb up Worlds End Lane.
We re-grouped at the top, put the defibrillators back in their boxes and then set off again for Chelsfield Village. I made a big error here last year and took half the group up Well Hill, missing the Maypole Road turning. I rarely make the same mistake twice.
Not long after we hit our first and only incident of the day. Under the bridge going over the M25 some Fly-tipping low-life had deposited a massive load of rubbish ride across the lane. In the daylight you would have seen this from quite away back. In the dark, with many cyclists wearing dark glasses, it was an accident waiting to happen. To be honest, it’s a very fast part of the ride and could easily have resulted in a very serious accident.
One of my Group rang the Police to advise them of this potential hazard, but we didn’t get much in the way of a friendly or helpful response. We decided to prop up a uPVC door frame to hopefully give fellow cyclists more time to adjust their riding. I just hope the rest of the Groups saw it in plenty of time.
We continued on and took the traditional team photo at Eynsford, before that long slog up to Crockenhill.
Heading back towards Chelsfield Village there are plenty of warning signs about Fly-tipping and the potential £50,000 fine or 5 years imprisonment. All good to see but not sure how they can enforce it without eyes on the street.
No further incidents to report and it all went according to plan with the whole group arriving back safely in Hayes Village. A great group of people, who all did fantastically well, with several of the ladies beating their personal best ride averages………….so well done to them.
We reconvene in two weeks time for the 30 mile ride, which will no doubt take in even more hills to test those leg muscles. I hope to see as many of today’s group again.
So stats from our ride as follows:-
2hr 9min Ride Time
34.3mph max speed
15 minutes lost at Fly Tip
1 x Chain decided to part company with its cogs, but quickly sorted.