Here it is!
Scott: 18 September Surrey Sunday Special Intermediate
We had a large group of 7 and later joined by Ali G (who was running late) – Scott, Debs, Lee, Paul, Philip, James, Simon, Ali. Due to our different meeting point at Richmond Station, we followed Richard’s Inter + Group out to the route around Esher. In fact, as a few of us were running 7 Hills course (rather than the proper 6 Hills Course) we took a shortcut around Esher and got in front of Richard’s much-faster group!
We tackled the first few hills to Shere and had a nice break there. I thought I cracked my carbon seat post going over a bump with all my weight on the back of the saddle and had to stop up a climb, turned out that I had just moved the saddle position (again! – stupid Cannondale Synapse carbon seatposts)
The group managed the climbs well, despite the gravel on the descents. We picked up Ali G at Peaslake and did a quick puncture repair for Paul’s bike. When we got to Dorking it was time for a quick stop and we had Phil and James leave us to get back to London at that time. Once Ranmore and Box were dispatched we met up with the Inter + group again to say hi, before heading back to the pub.
Rider of the day from my group was Paul – who was very strong up all the hills despite not using cleats and being right on my wheel all the way from Leatherhead to the pub! Very strong and impressive for his second Intermediates ride and not having appropriate footwear! It was a pleasure to lead a ride with some newer Intermediates who chose a tough one to test their legs on!
Had a fun day leading the Dirty Half Dozen – Christian, Sibylle, Damian, JD, Paul and Simon (Smith) – doing the dirty half dozen hills of Surrey.
Despite the temporary change in meeting place, we left Richmond station with Scotty’s Inters promptly at 10am. I tried to set a slightly swifter pace than the Inter+ are probably used to in order to give them a taste of the next level up and in the hope of tiring them out a little so that I could take it easy on the hills. No one was dropped. However, my plan failed miserably as JD chewed my wheel all the way up the first hill, Shere Road.
After a quick pit stop in Shere, we assaulted Hound House where this50 year old geezer was again pushed into the red by a relentless JD who just couldn’t get enough. So much so that he wanted to do Barhatch (which I had deliberately taken off the menu given that this was an Inters rather than Advanced ride). Thankfully, he was out voted by the other members of the group whose opinion I canvassed in timely fashion just as each was arriving red-faced at the top of Hound House.
Another pit stop in Peaslake for sausage rolls and coffee restored energy levels for Radnor which we took steadily in order to warm up again. Paul, who ate virtually nothing all day, almost ate a fender and/or other car parts when he sped down the other side of Radnor into the path of an oncoming car which didn’t seem too keen on avoiding him or any of us. It’s a narrow, gravelly descent so worth taking extra care down there.
We tootled along to Leith where my hopes that JD would now be tiring were again dashed… After a speedy downhill along Coldharbour, Ranmore Common soon loomed ahead. JD again… Well, you get the picture. Thank God there was only Box to go before lunch.
Still undiminished by the preceding hills, JD matched me for pace up Zig and Zag. I could only shake him on the last corner by an out-of-the-saddle effort that I’m sure the doctor didn’t order.
Lunch was gratefully consumed by me and watched by the chubby guys I was leading who continued their fast. Impressive commitment to weight loss, you guys.
A smooth run back featured Paul and me having a bit of a blast on the Hortons where Damian did well to hang on.
Everyone rode well and enjoyed the day. We stopped as needed to regroup and there were no problems, mechanical or otherwise.
Strongest riders (apart from Paul who’s Advanced) were Damian on the flats and JD on the hills. Simon Smith (who normally rides Inter and accepted the challenge to ride Inter+ in order to even up the numbers) had a tough day so kudos to him for raising his game and hanging on in there.
Damian needed to peel off on the way back but all the others made it back to the H & H for liquid refreshment and a discussion featuring some imaginative proposals for exacting reprisals on unruly motorists including the use of machetes, samurai swords and grenade launchers. Design concepts to be forwarded shortly…