Sunday, 13 November 2016

Decisions, decisions.....

Decisions, decisions
By Rick Gregory
Tuesday, November 15, 2016 - 22:09
rickgregory's picture

As I was driving up Kings Mill Lane to the ‘Drome, I passed Phil’s Sunday Steady ride heading off to Wilderness Wood. From the inside my warm car they all looked hunched up against the cold and shrinking down into their winter jackets.

Two thoughts went through my mind. I was glad I had decided on a Sunday ride to replace the cancelled Saturday G2 because although there was a cold wind it was a lot drier than the downpours that occurred on Saturday morning. And I was glad I had offered a “Steadier” ride as an alternative to Phil’s Steady which was going to be long and hard particularly coming back into the north easterly wind.

On Thursday, when I had first been leaning towards postponing the G2 until Sunday, I received an email from Linda also suggesting a Sunday ride, so the decision was effectively made for me.  I expected Linda and Paul to show up. I wasn’t too surprised to see Louise with a man (it wasn’t Kelvin, G3ers, he wouldn’t go on a G2 ride,  it looked more like Adolf – see the photo), but I was surprised to see Rob N. Apparently he was looking for an easy ride after a 3 month lay-off.

At that point, I made my first mistake of the day. I offered a choice of destinations. I left the decision of either Strawberry Fields to the south or Headley Tea Rooms to the north to Louise and Linda. About 10 or so shivering minutes later…………………we headed out to Headley.

Using the Betchworth and Brockham route to divert around Flanchford Bridge we headed over Punchbowl Lane and onto the A24 cycle path. Keeping to the principle of a “steadier” ride we chose the easiest climb up to Headley by going into Ashtead and up Rookery Hill and Tilley Lane.

The recently opened Tea Rooms in the Headley Village Stores were warm and welcoming with a Christmassy feel that as you can see in the photo Adolf was clearly unhappy with. Somewhat disappointingly they had no cakes on offer, but the bacon and egg baps hit the spot instead.

Decision time again, as we had to decide on a route home. Concerns were rightly raised about using Pebble Hill after a day’s heavy rain and similarly about the leaves on Lodgebottom Road, so we choose to go down Box Hill instead. A novel experience for a couple of the group who had only been up it before.

The rest of the route retraced our outbound route and we arrived back at the ‘Drome just in time to grab a chocolate milk before Pete pulled the shutters down on his van.

A bit chilly in the northerly wind, but a beautiful sunny day for riding and much, much better than a ride on Saturday would have been. Definitely a good decision.

40 miles at a definitely “steadier” pace. Thanks for coming guys.