Colin, Gilly, Lee, Julian and I made five leaving a very windy Reigate Hill this morning. We thought everyone had gone with Gwyn! Anyway, these four had come despite not knowing where the tea stop would be, and as we headed north for Walton across a hilariously muddy golf course Colin was guessing where we'd be going- 'we'll be going up Box Hill at the end, won't we?' Well, we would, there were a few other hills first...
Under the motorway to Headley with what sounded like shot whistling through the trees and we were away down Secret Singletrack, on to Mickleham Downs and tankslapper. Passing the bottom of Box Hill Gilly, who was aware of the tea-stop and clearly worried, pointed out we were heading in the wrong direction. It was a roundabout route, I'll admit- up Norbury Park with the mud at the top harder than the steep bit, then past the sawmill and on to View to a Kill. Generally considered to be the best bit, it was our last down before tea as the easy roll to Westhumble gave way to the slog up Box Hill. Crosswinds attempting to blow us into the bushes in places made life interesting but then it was on, past the cafe (shock! horror!) and along the road.
I had something else in mind, and after a little emailling with Geoff asking when his new centre for all things Bike would be open, he'd invited us along for a sneak peak- I wasn't going to turn that down so Destination Bike it was!
Where Cycles Dauphin was, Geoff and co. are in the process of producing a really rather swanky looking bike shop and cafe. Geoff, wearing possibly the purplest jumper in all creation, welcomed us in- would we like tea and cake? Why yes, that would be wonderful! Immediate needs sorted, we got 'le tour' and got an idea of what looks like it's going to be a fantastic stop for cyclists of all sorts with events, bike set up assistance, mechanical assistance and perhaps most important, calorie assistance!
We'd bumped into Phil C at Reigate Hill, then again at Destination Bike, so we gave chase to try and catch him again. After a muddy Headley and a long slog across the golf course we found him holding the gate at Colley Hill for us (no idea how long he'd been waiting). Back at Reigate Hill, surprisingly tiring thanks to the mud and of course, a cracking new tea stop