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7th June 2015
Riders: Richard & Laurent
Holmbury Hill & Pitch Hill

Weather: 17°C

A 'Regular Joe's' ride for those of us who didn't fancy the thrills and spills of Wob's gnarlster ride.

Trails were nice and dry and after Laurent arrived 20 minutes late and I had a few solo spins of Telegraph Road we hooked up briefly with Simon, Graham and Ash but had toleave them asa they were struggling for fitness.

A good ride, could this be the last on my dialled bikes Prince Albert?

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


19th June 2015
Riders: Richard
Banstead Downs

It's arrived! Finally after being ordered and paid in full on 11th March the YT Capra AL 1 was delivered by ParcelForce nicely packaged in a fookin' expensive cardboard box (I know cos I had to pay for it).

I took a day off work to make sure someone was in to collect (no way did I want that going back to the depot at Aldershot over the weekend) and the delivery took place at about 2pm.

After a quick build and finishing off my work I took the Capra out for it's maiden voyage. Now Banstead Downs isn't the most technical of trails but it's ten minutes ride away and handy when I'm only walking out the door at 4pm on a Friday afternoon. It's also quite photogenic in the sun with big blue sky and I take my ancient tripod which must be over 20 year sold from when the boys were young to do some self filming for a video edit which is below.

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


21st June 2015
Riders: Richard, Cas, Kayleigh, Greg, Rob, Laurent, Felix, TimK, Big Tony & Sean
Brighton & back - road ride
Weather: 22°C

Another monster road ride as we tackle London to Brighton. A swift 80km before breakfast and then another 107km after breakfast to return home via the bastard climb of Ashdown Forest.

It all started at 6-15 a.m. on the longest day of the year, mid-Summer's day as Greg drops around to pick me up from my house. I'm already mightily impressed by Greg as I noticed on Garmin Connect that he had knocked out 203 km the day before as his training peaks for next month's etape.

We head around to Cas's house in Cheam, taking care to avoid waking Grazi who is no doubt snug in those new silk pyjamas she bought cos she was sick of me seeing her in her old ones (when I drop around to collect Cas for yet another road ride I should add).

Up to Belmont to collect Kayleigh and we head off to join the L2B route at Woodmansterne.

It's still only 6-45 a.m. but there's plenty of riders around although fortunately only very few of them walking up Hows Lane the first real challenge they would have faced and we scoot past them with the odd encouraging shout.

A few minutes past our allotted meeting time of 7 a.m. and we are at the bottom of Rocky Lane to collect the last of the peloton in the form of Rob, Laurent, Felix and TimK who are joined by Big Tony and not so big Sean, mates of Rob's from Dorking Cycle club.

Fom there we push on down towards Nutfield and Turner's Hill before the long, familiar descent through Ardingly and down to Ditchling Beacon. I'm feeling good as Kayleigh and Greg set the pace although Tony and Sean are yo-yo'ing off the back and I keep an eye on them to make sure they are still in sight although Rob seems totally oblivious.

We climb the Beacon which seems quite straightforward today and then drop down into Brighton and The Regency Cafe for an egg and bacon sandwich (or bacon and egg depending on how difficult we wanted to make the waiter's job).

I check the phone to see if Karl and Jim who are on the official ride have made it down yet but there's no message so we head back along the coast but heading East this time instead of the usual West to Hove.

We've picked up Michele from Italy who wants to head to 'London' and as we are heading broadly in that direction we agree to let him tag along with us and off we go.

Up the long climb from the Marina to the top of the South Downs but this is easy, I know this climb well having tackle dit numerous times in the past couple of years when the lovely Mrs Ess and I have stayed in the Marina for a dirty weekend (hey, we've been married 24 years, of course I take my bike with me!).

This is Cas's new route and it's a pretty interesting and beautiful route with plenty of nice scenery, smooth tarmac and avoids most of the main roads although we do have to skirt along the edge of the A27 for about 5km. But luckily there's a cycle path and we also manage to pick up Garith, another South African (to hook up with Greg and Kayleigh).

But mainly this route seems designed to drop Cas at a lovely looking pub in Fletching where he finishes for the day.

Now I'm the only one with the route on my Garmin 500 which is great as it means I can set the pace. On and on we ride with Michele's time trial bike squeaking away in protest and we eventually hitting the bottom of Ashdown forest. There's along stiff ride to the top with Tim spinning away at about 150 rpm but the scenery and the ice-cream van make it all worthwhile. Sean is still hanging in there and arrives about five minutes later but an ice cream and can of coke revive him and he's racing us down the fast descent on the reverse side.

More miles are ridden and we eventually hit Merstham where the group starts to split up. It's soon just me left as the token Englishman in the group and I lead the now shrunken peloton up the 9%'er that is Park Lane to drop us into Banstead.

It's all down hill from here and we point Michele, Kayleigh and Garith in the right direction before heading home. 187km in the saddle for me but I'm still feeling strong at the end. As for Greg he has been charging all day and still looks incredibly strong at the end but decides against a detour of another 12km or so to rack up another 200km. There's always a point where it's sensible to stop pushing yourself.

 

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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'