The picture says it all. Lots of reasons for celebration. The new MTB tops are in and look fabulous ( so much so that some of us roadies at Woodhatch Park wore them out of pure naughtiness), the rain stayed off, the miles were sociable, the Box Hill Cafe came good on pre-ordered cakes and no fewer than four rides converged to share a long tea stop and chat.
The G2 and G3 rides combined with lots of regular off on hols or preparing for other rides. Frank joined us to backmark with his usual aplomb and we set off on a fairly local loop out to Charlwood, Rusper, Newdigate, Blackbrook and up Box Hill.
The speed was quite nippy for a G2 - I had 16.1mph on the clock when Frank punctured - but everyone was fit and happy. Dave Powis, Richard Moore, Stuart Nash, Keith Christie, Rob Neal and John Mc all looking super comfortable. Harriet Adams looking eminently strong since her return from the Red to Rock trip then li'l old me, Nick and Frank in the also-ran-but-happy camp.
The ascent of Box Hill was all the better knowing what awaited. Annette, the lovely lady from behind the counter, not only produced two giant cakes for us but offered to top up teas FOC. Thanks for pre-ordering and reducing the queues. JT's experienced MTB group (group sounds too small... perhaps throng or ensemble) were there already and it was one of those wonderful moments... On road meets off-road with smiles and swapping of tales and lots of 'ooh, you've got one of those xyz sprockets...' type chatter.
We were there in the end for over 45mins but it felt great. Us roadies headed off down Pebblehill, up to Leigh for a loop and back to the Angel.... happy and in time for lunch.
Thank you all for a great morning. I go off on hols for a week with spirits and hope high.
A relatively short 38miles at 15.5mph average on my clock.
ps. just how many Addiscombe riders did we pass on the Rusper loop. Thank heavens for varied rides I say!