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3rd August 2013
Riders: Richard, Cas, Luca and Dick
Road ride: Cheam to Folkestone
Weather: 23°C

Cas and Luca have this wonderful plan to ride from London to Italy. That's 1,500km or 1,000 miles over 11 days and Dick and I help them get the first stage out of the way as we accompany them on the 135km first stage from Cheam to Folkestone where they load their bikes up onto a van and trailer to be transported through the Euro Tunnel.

It starts with the usual for me of riding round to Cas's to find him still getting dressed and both of them making last minute adjustments to their kit whilst Grazia is in her pyjamas making cups of tea and offering cake and cookies around (I swear I see her in her PJ's more than anything else although they are lovely pink silk PJ's so I suppose that's okay. Can I come round again now?). The Specialized Roubaix and Allez are ready in the living room although the 7kg packs that will be supported on the seat post are going by car for this first stage.

After a very badly posed photo we set off shortly after 6-30 a.m. and head off on our usual route along Sutton Lane up to Banstead and along to Fanny's Farm Shop in Chipstead.

Through Bletchingly passing my favourite pub, the Prince Albert and down to Godstone and Lingfield where we are joined by Dick, one of Cas's regualr riding buddies that I have met before out on the road. The peloton kicks on now and the four of us are working together well drafting the long straight roads around this area in the rolling countryside.

But a puncture for Dick on a very busy roadside puts a temporary halt to procedures before we reach Lamberhurst and the first rendezvous with Grazia and Stefano in the support car. Dick fettles his front mech before I spot that his tyre is flat again and after an extended stop to fix this and Cas's threats of 3 strikes and he's in the broom wagon we hit the road again.

On and on through impossibly beautiful and quintessentially English villages with oak-beamed houses and enticing looking pubs on village greens, past windmills and golden cornfields we keep on racking up the miles before a lunch break (shop bought sandwiches from Grazia) by the side of the road at Lympne whilst Dick continues to fettle with his bike.

The last 8km into Folkestone fly by and we end up in the utilitarian Holiday Inn Express car park. Cas and Luca load their bikes up on the Eurotunnel trailer that they have to take and fortunately for us the bar is open and we have a celebratory pint. whilst Luca takes a chance to grab 40 winks. Only 1,370 km to go for him. Why dont you check out their route?


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all photos and content copyright of Richard Sear 1999 to 2015

11th August 2013
Riders: Richard, Rob, Lee, Lee D, Terry, Laurent & Andy
St Martha's loop
Weather: 19 °C

We've done some great new rides and routes this year and have extended our normal riding zones and distances. And this ride is no exception with a 40 km XC loop starting on Holmbury Hill and taking in Winterfold, Farley Heath, and Newlands Corner as well as passing by a piece of local history and then some of the more technical trails on Ranmore Common.

But after a bout of gastro-enteritis on Monday which cleaned me out literally and mentally I've felt rough all week. 60km on the road bike with Ben yesterday didn't help matters and I struggled all day today. But I still enjoyed it even if at some points I was just watching the tenth's of kilometres tick slowly by on the Garmin as the rest of the group raced away ahead of me. It didn't help that my riding mojo had also deserted me and on the fun bits that we worked so hard to get to I was mincing along them like a newbie.

Despite a decent amount of rain this month the trails are bone dry and St Martha's Hill and Farley Heath are like sandy beaches. Well done to Rob who beat the rest of the group up the sandy, challenging St Martha's Hil climb and I presented him with a KOM cap, a leftover from my trip to Le Tour last month.

A shout out to Andy too who as well as looking mean all day also managed to extend the route to 68km by riding to and from his house. Although he did spoil it slightly by crashing and burning on one of the doubles on the 'Reformation' trail and I hadn't even got my camera ready!

Oh and the looking mean comment came from a French sounding young lady on a horse who as she thanked us all for letting her pass and was commenting on how factory we all looked said something along the lines of 'and you look mean' to him. Sacre bleu, I can see that one sticking with him for a while.


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all photos and content copyright of Richard Sear 1999 to 2015


18th August 2013
Riders: Richard, Davebus, Jason & Neill
LOMAC to Headley Heath
Weather: 24°C

An old skool ride as a 'diary' weekend trip to Wales leaves the way open for all those lurkers and riders we haven't seen for a few years to raise their heads above the parapet and come back out on a Sunday morning LOMAC start.

Welcome back Neill who hasn't ridden with us for at least two years due to ongoing back problems.

And to cap it all off we even saw the lesser-spotted ZippyKona on his err... Santa Cruz conducting a carpark test on the way back home.


Untitled Document

all photos and content copyright of Richard Sear 1999 to 2015



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Untitled Document

all photos and content copyright of Richard Sear 1999 to 2015


click to view click to view click to view Steve Neill Big Trev Orange Dave dialled bikes pewter headtube badge Dave and Dave outside LOMAC Dave on Summer Lightning A grinning Trevor Steve (again) Davebus and Neill on Stane Street Jason next to Denbie's vineyard Trevor struggles up the climb Dave followed by Jason on Stane Street Banstead Downs singletrack It was getting dark by the time I got back Richard (that's me!) Surrey Hills logo at the top of Coombe hill Gary dicing with the cars through New Malden Stag party Gary's Giant SCR 2008 model  A cheerful looking Gary part way round Richmond Park speed limits for cyclists! Kingston Gate, Richmond Park view off the side of Headley Heath Bianchi K-Vid carbon forks self-portrait whilst climbing between second and third hairpin on the Zig Zag Road, Box Hill Dave and Mat, the folly, Reigate Hill urban riding, Richard in Ashtead High Street a bit underexposed but a nice shot of the view from the North Downs Way Richard dropping in on Colley Hill No, not the Mediterranean, this is outside LOMAC, Ashtead High Street Richard showing off for the camera Mat and Richard, Stane Street Richard, Headley Heath Mat on Headley Heath Gary with our 'rabbit' in the distance Gary in the dusk Richard Gary chasing the yellow 'rabbit' in the distance Cas Cas Richard 'self-portrait'