THIRTY TWO Redhill riders made the start of this tough and hilly three distance event on a grey and damp morning. With 45, 58 and 76 mile challenges ahead, the mood was fantastic. We set off together but my plan for teams rapidly fell apart in favour of 'natural selection' governing who was to ride with who.
The routes were brutal, narrow, steep...and strewn with wet leaves and gravel. All of the big Surrey Hills were on the menu and the dangers were clear on the descents. We saw several crashes, never nice, always unsettling, then our very own Lisa took a tumble. I heard the crack of her crash helmet meeting tarmac. But she was soon off again, only to be beaten by a broken derailleur a few miles further on.
It was tough for everyone and poor signage meant several people went off course but one by one, those brave Redhill folk made it back after 3, 4 and 5 hour rides and soon the smiles returned.
Tragically, Kim Lowe limped back with a badly cut knee and had to find her way to hospital for stitches. But she put on the bravest of faces!
Redhill people really helped each other and worked together. It was a hard days cycling but a great achievement for the club to field so many competent riders - and a wonderful feeling of cameraderie, from beginning to end.