Club Rides 9th/10th November

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    • #2024296

      Martin Rowling

      The G2 Cowden Loop should have been called the Simon Heaton show….

      At the Royal Oak I was met by Alan, a potential new member, and set about telling him a little bit about the club, the days route and his ride companions. I made a crucial error here as I stated everyone down to attend was strong and reliable…. Dave B, Hamish and Gary then arrived shortly before the man of the day turned up… Simon Heaton.

      I introduced Alan to the group and we set off up to Polhill on wet roads, but with glorious sunshine beating down on us. Everything was going well, as we stayed on the main roads to Sundridge and headed up Chart Lane to the top of Toys Hill. As we descended a very wet and leaf covered Toys Hill we missed a right turn… I slowed and informed my ride companions of my error and everyone tried to decelerate safely but the steep hill meant momentum carried us too far down the hill to turn back. Unfortunately Simon did not get the memo and set about tackling the remaining descent of Toys Hill like Vincenzo Nibali, before disappearing out of sight.

      The rest of us made our way down Toys Hill to Four Elms before making a right up to Chartwell to pick up the route. As we regrouped at the junction by Chartwell, Gary informed us Simon had text to say he was still hammering around Surrey like a beaver on speed but would try and find us along the route. We continued along the Surrey lanes enjoying the weather, scenery and conversation but not appreciating quite so much the amount of climbing on the route.

      As we made our way into Lingfield we found Simon waiting for us at a junction and we were reunited once more. Unfortunately for Simon he didn’t quite get on our wheel and found himself behind a Green Skoda estate. As there were no overtaking opportunities for him or the car we carried on for a few hundred meters with the five of us in front of the Skoda and Simon behind. As Gary looked back and informed me Simon was just behind a car I heard a shout from behind me and looked back to see Simon’s rear wheel about 6 foot in the air, above the roof of the Green Skoda with Simon nowhere to be seen. I shouted to the group and we immediately turned back to find Simon on his feet and the Skoda up on the kerb.

      Miraculously Simon was fine with just a small cut to his right knee and his bike in good order, aside from his rear brake needing realignment. Simin explained that the Skoda had braked near a pinch point and he had clipped the back of it. As he squeezed the brake he left his bike behind and mounted the roof of the Skoda, before gracefully sliding down the tail of it, catching his knee on the rear windscreen wiper and landing on his feet. 🤷🏻‍♂️

      Taking a few minutes to check Simon was ok and his bike safe to ride we were back on our way. We took things easy for a bit to check Simon was in good health and then resumed our brisk pace in order to get back for a coffee. Whilst climbing one of the many hills I was chatting to Simon to make sure he was alright when all of a sudden he flung his sunglasses across the road, thinking he had finally lost the plot I decided it was safer to cycle on my own before he shouted out that a giant flying cockroach had tried to fly into his eye which had caused him to flick them off by accident 🤣🤷🏻‍♂️ Again he was lucky as his vigorous swatting had sent them clear of the approaching 4×4 where they were softly gathered by a pile of leaves.

      The remainder of the ride was less eventful but I have no idea what Alan thought of his first Avanti club ride. I assured him that having cycled with Simon for a number of years now that I’ve never seen him put a foot wrong so today was certainly an exception… whether we see him again is another thing or maybe he will be there next week expecting the comedy show to continue, who knows…

      All in all a great ride, hard and hilly but with great company and day I won’t forget in a hurry. Thank you Simon! 😉

      • #2024298

        Steve Rodgers

        Wow – Simon’s change of career a while ago has been prepping him for another new role as a stuntman!
        Thankfully all’s well!
        Sorry I didn’t make it out today – I haven’t been out on a Sunday ride in months – CX has been every weekend since Revolve.
        I had some major faffage issues with new mudguards and setting up the road wheels on the CX bike – choosing the right kit (no sleeves nor leg-warmers incidentally – although that’s because I didn’t leave til the afternoon). After faffing I went back to bed for a nap and headed out for a gentle ride around the local lanes – absolutely stunning afternoon. Bumped into G-Parker in Ivy Hatch – they had had similar ideas – enjoying a later start 🙂

        Cross is back next weekend.
        Next opportunity to catch up with the Avanti train will be Sunday 22nd December – hope to see some of you then!

      • #2024297

        Dave Barker

        Yup eventful ride today. Simon’s stuntman-like roll over the back of the Skoda the highlight, he almost managed to roll back onto the bike and keep going, but bike and rider ok so that’s the main thing. Enjoyed a quick expresso at the top of Ide Hill with a quick gel and no other main stops until lunch at Poppies at the end of the ride. Seems Martin’s idea to avoid a long stop half way round and keeping the ride around 50 miles when it’s cold works well. Thanks to Martin for stepping up and leading today👍

    • #2024295

      Nick Patow

      Saturday attracted nine riders this week, Tony LV, Colin P, Grant R, Steve B, John C, Andy Mc, Simon V, Julian S and Me.

      The route stuck to more established roads to avoid any possible ice after a damp and cold night. The A21 took us to Polhill as a single group, before splitting for a while to negotiate the section down to Sandridge. A closed road meant a diversion and the climb up to Emmetts to get to the top of Ide Hill. Here we could see…. not much at all, well at least not much at all down where we were heading – Bough Beech. The fog was pretty thick and cold to be in, and it wasn’t too long before this took its toll on us as a group…..the first five had lost sight of the four behind !

      None of us knew when we’d separated, so had to decide what was best. The conclusion was to carry on, as it was really cold, so cold in fact that we even skipped the banana stop in Hildenborough to preserve body heat. As such we were making good time on the road, coming up to Pilgrims Way near Wrotham by 10am and finally emerging from the fog.

      The homeward leg was then spent enjoying what proved to be the best part of the day, an hour or so of blue sky and sun, before we arrived at the coffee, taken again this week in Poppies, with the four behind arriving within a matter of minutes. Everyone was smiling, so I trust it proved to be an enjoyable ride if a little bit cold in (large) parts 🥶

      Thanks to all for the company and the efforts on the front shared throughout.

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