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8th August 2015
Riders: Richard & Adrian
Brighton off-road

25 degrees

I’ve known Adrian for over 30 years via my work. In fact we both had a half day release from the Croydon office to do our Banking exams in the 80’s and I would often go to NESCOT on the back of his Kawasaki trials bike. In the late 90’s and early 2000’s we MTB’d together and we still keep in contact via work.

Adrian is training for the official L2B offroad ride in September and wanted to get some distance training in so what better way than to tackle a similar route ourselves. So the two of us head off at 08:00 on Saturday morning from my place heading towards Ashtead, Leatherhead, the Mole Valley, Bocketts Farm et al.

I’m on the YT Capra. Perhaps not the ideal machine to tackle 105 km’s off-road and perhaps 160 mm travel meant I was over biked but hey, it’s my new bike and I want to ride it. (turns out it coped admirably: those big 650B wheels kept on rolling all day long and with the suspension locked out I didn’t lose too much energy. Even the geometry worked, I never felt it was too slack).

We head over the North Downs via Ranmore Common, then over Holmbury Hill descending via BKB and onto Pitch Hill, pausing at Winterfold to think blimey! the South Downs are miles away there on the horizon then down into Cranleigh to join the Downs link. From here it all gets a bit more straightforward as you can punch out the miles on the dead straight Downs link although there are some annoying detours along the way.

We lunch at Southwater lake and then stop shortly after for a free coffee at Stan’s Bike Shack (Adrian only, I don’t do caffeine).

We reach the bottom of Fulking Hill and pause for a photo. After a long dry Summer I’ve never seen the South Downs looking so parched but at least the trail is firm for the climb. I reach the gate at the top without trouble although Adrian is forced to walk as he cramps up partway up the hill. Onwards and upwards to the YHA, the radio mast and over Devil’s Dyke before we begin the long descent into Brighton and head to the All Bar One for beer and carbohydrates.

We return on the train to complete a great day out. The YT Capra performed well and I would definitely use it again for a similar ride.

For those of you viewing on Apple/IOS devices there's a whole load of pictures in the blank box below that you are missing out on

 

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all photos and content copyright of Richard Sear 1999 to 2015


22nd August 2015
Riders: Richard, Cas & Greg
Eastbourne road ride part 1
Train then more riding part 2

29 degrees

This ride was only mooted on Friday lunchtime and Saturday sees the three of us heading down to Eastbourne on what looks like being the last decent day of Summer 2015.

It's a well worn route although this is Greg's first time and we are quickly sweating as the miles roll by. We are joined by Dick part way down who rides with us for a couple of hours before heading home and then it's the three of us again.

It's getting warmer and warmer but there's a stiff headwind that keeps us comfortable although the breeze is making my nose stream like a volcano and there's snot all over my face and hands as I try to clear it. Very nasty.

Up and over Ashdown Forest and it's a first for me to be leading Cas up this climb. He must have put on more weight than I thought over the holidays, then the long descent before we approach the final challenge. Cas has cut out the first short sharp climb for a detour through a pretty little village. We stop to top up on some water and Greg is in pain with sweat streaming in his eyes.

Back onto the road and the final two climbs. The first is a vicious drag up along a busy road and then the second is a long drawn out and steep zig zag climb up to Beachy Head where we pause for a picture or two before dropping down into Eastbourne.

We catch a train back and Cas and I detrain at Gatwick to ad another 40km onto out trip to make it 170 km for the day. That's a tad over 100 miles.

For those of you viewing on Apple/IOS devices there's a whole load of pictures in the blank box below that you are missing out on

 

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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'