Blue Skies, Sunshine, Optional Mild Peril II, New Tea Stop etc. etc.
I rode into a deserted Bletchingley Village Hall car park wondering where everyone was, but I soon found them huddled together in a small patch of shade trying to keep cool. Ten of us set off up Church Lane heading for the North Downs at a moderate pace to avoid overheating. We carried on up to View Point and then on to the North Downs Way which led to Optional Mild Peril II. Three (I think) of us rode down it while the more sensible ones carried on down the normal trail. OMP 2 is fine as long as you miss the tree at the bottom (we did). Over the Caterham by-pass, past Woldingham Girls School and the golf course then up the climb past the Green Dragons Hang Gliding Centre where we actually saw actual Green Dragons actually hang gliding which is something I’ve never seen before. Along the B269 to the New Tea Stop at Botley Hill Farmhouse. All the outdoor seating was full so we were sent into the nice cool interior. Service was a bit slow but cakes, sandwiches etc. were very nice. Eventually we dragged ourselves away and headed to the top of Titsey Hill where I offered three choices – down the road, down the trail on the right with guaranteed mud at the bottom, or down the trail on the left with guaranteed extra wide grins all the way. No one went down the road, two went right and everyone else went left. Onwards across the A25 then past yet another golf course (three so far) to Hurst Green and Broadham Green where we had another choice to make – road diversion or climb up the Muddiest and Most Churned Up Bridleway ever. Of course we went up the bridleway and miraculously found a dry line all the way up to Tandridge where we had a photo stop. Back to Bletchingley via Jackass Lane then across Tilburstow Hill Road and along Rabies Heath Road. No punctures, didn’t lose anyone and plenty of signs that Spring is springing. Sadly, no ice cream.