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16th August 2014
Riders: Richard, Sam & Ben
Road ride to Brighton
Weather: 16°C

A family trip to Brighton sees me head down to the coast with my two boys. A slowish paced ride but it's a great bonding session being on the road for four or five hours finishing up with a beer and chips in the All Bar One beneath the Brighton Pavilion.

Chapeau to Ben who made it up Ditchling Beacon for the first time. He's tackled alpine climbs successfully before but hasn't had much training this year.

The boys weren't quite up to the return journey so we took the train. Well, a few hours, much waiting on platforms and four trains later I began to think that it may have been quicker to ride back...

 

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all photos and content copyright of Richard Sear 1999 to 2015

 


31st August 2014
Riders: Richard, Mark & Adam
LOMAC and local trails
Weather: 18°C

It's clear that the disappointing week in Morzine back in July mentally scarred me as I haven't updated the site since then.

But there's been plenty of riding going on with a trip to the Pyrenees with Sam to follow Le Tour, a week in Arcachon on the West Coast of France to ride the pan flat dunes, a road trip to Brighton with Sam & Ben and even another track day at Lea Valley Park velodrome to take Level 2 of my track training accreditation. And let's not forget my regular cycle-commute on the road bike; yes I know Jonesy, it's not your cup of tea.

But I thought it was finally time I got myself out on the local trails in the mistaken expectation that everyone was away in North Wales this weekend (they're not, that's next weekend). But first I needed a rideable bike and the Mark 1 Prince Albert looked easiest to get ready, that is if you count a last minute scramble finishing at 9-30 pm the evening before the ride as being easy.

I had to change the tubes, both of which were flat, swap the disc rotors from Hope to Avid, swap out another tube to replace a duff one I used first time round, add some pedals, find, clean and fit a not too worn cassette, and then finally remove, service, grease and replace a totally stiff bottom bracket.

Come Sunday morning and the alarm kicks me out of bed and I'm up and feeling good about the ride and wearing a pair of new Fox branded socks that I got for Christmas but haven't done enough MTB'ing this year to have even taken them out of the packet. The short road route over to Ashtead sees me stumble across a recent road traffic accident in Ashtead High Street before the emergency services had arrived and Mark and I helped by slowing traffic and waving it around while a whole pile of other people attended to the driver who was extremely shaken, in shock but otherwise seemingly unhurt (acknowledging that I have absolutely zero medical qualifications to make such a judgement).

Adam arrives a few minutes later at the Leg of Mutton and Cauliflower (that's 'LOMAC' Matt) and I spring it on him that I haven't the faintest idea of a route given my recent inactivity and I'm expecting him to come up with a real humdinger.

After a short pause and a general 'well, I thought we could aim generally in such and such direction' from me we head off into the woods to just ride bikes.

And what a route it proves to be taking in plenty of singletrack, lots of climbs and some new routes that I havent ridden before (Rip Van Winkle et al).

The trails are buff, dry but firm enough to give plenty of grip especially on the super-steep sections that see me wishing I didn't have my seat post cranked up quite so high. Adam is just recovering from a couple of slipped discs and has lost some of his legendary fitness but I'm feeling great and hitting the climbs hard as well as the descents with none of the skittishness that I've encountered on previous rides. Meanwhile Mark is keeping up with me and works up a sweat that unfortunately requires a bit of flesh being shown as he swaps out his long sleeved base layer.

Meanwhile I'm feeling like and 80's throwback. Those oh so nice white socks I put on this morning don't really go with my clumpy black Shimano MP66 shoes and I feel like I'm sixteen again with my soul boy wedged hair and white socks on show.

We even have the added bonus of meeting friendly dog walkers (well at least non-committal or anti-biker) as well as pleasant women on horses, finding some teen party sex-aids and finally the creme de la creme a sighting of the lesser-spotted Davebus out for a solo early morning spin.

Back home finally after a monster 52km on the MTB and I spend a few minutes in the garage tidying various bits and pieces into my new filing system. Hands up who thinks I eat too much spread/bread?

Roll on the next ride.

 

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all photos and content copyright of Richard Sear 1999 to 2015

 


 

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all photos and content copyright of Richard Sear 1999 to 2015

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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'