February 19, 2019 at 8:36 am #1523359
Just to chip in with what Claire said for the HOTA, it was a great day and here’s some pics to prove it, with happy smiling faces 🙂 Special thanks to Simon V for pacing me back to Claire’s group after an early visit from the puncture fairies.
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February 18, 2019 at 7:05 pm #1523358
Sat ride – thanks once again to Nick for sorting out the Sat route, it must have been one of the flattest 40 mile routes you can get from Orpington, much appreciated by quite a few of us who were doing the HOTA the next day. I think we were 8 (Nick, Neale, Julian, Martin D, Simon V, Simon C, Ed and me……sorry if I’ve missed anyone). The route took us out to East Peckham via Plaxtol, quick loop round East Peckham and back again…….drinking coffee well before 11am! It was surprisingly foggy for quite a bit of the ride which led to some very damp and cold conditions, much colder than I was expecting anyway. Definitely glad I didn’t listen to any of the WhatsApp chat and bring out the summer bike! Thanks to all for the relatively ‘easy’ ride in preparation for HOTA.
Sun for quite a few club members was the Hell of the Ashdown (AKA HOTA) sportive. It was good to see all the Avanti shirts at the start and during the ride, I think some may have some photos but not me, sorry. The ride is approx. 107km, and as the name suggests, is a tough ride that takes in a number of local hills between the start in Biggin Hill out to the Ashdown Forest. The last time I did this event it was still referred to as the ‘Catford reliability ride’, and I think the course has changed some what, or I just blocked it from my memory after the pain the last time! It was a really beautiful day for cycling, sunny and fairly warm-quite a lot of short wearing was observed, not by me of course! Despite all the hills I thought the route was really good, some lovely quiet lanes that I’ve never been on. Well organised with great marshalling, including our very own Rob G and Claire W (thanks for great support), and good food stops. A huge well done to everyone who did the event, I know some of you had big doubts beforehand and were asking why it had seemed like a good idea when I mentioned it last year!! Special thanks to Nick, John, Neale and Jim who I rode the route with, for dragging me round. I really enjoyed it and didn’t feel as exhausted as I thought I would when I got home. See you all at it again next year?!
February 18, 2019 at 2:33 pm #1523356
G4. Six riders set off for Teapot, a destination we don’t visit often enough. The route took us through Shoreham, Pilgrims and down Plaxtol, Poult Wood golf course and East Peckham. No instances on the way out but when we arrive at Teapot, Alethea found a puncture which was a bit of a sod to fix. Thanks to Keith for stepping up! Refreshed we set off back through Hadlow and back up Plaxtol. Unfortunately Keith cramped as we got to Dunton Green so we parted company. The rest headed up Polhill. My stats were 52 miles at 13’s. Thanks to all for a nice ride and Alethea for her stints on the front.
February 17, 2019 at 7:52 pm #1523353
G3 ers, with some added horse power from other groups, headed off for Horley under a bright sky but a nagging cold breeze. We headed out to Halstead and Knockholt to drop down Star Hill, avoiding the traffic of Polhill. Then we negotiated the bumps and lumps of the Pilgrims Way, crossing the marshalled HOTA route at Brasted, and along to Titsey Church where some layers of clothing were peeled off. Down to Limpsfield and skirting around Oxted, and dropping down Twndridge Hill and on to the Red Barn Pub, we were caught by a group smartly clad in blue, but we passed them later in the lanes towards Smallfields ( but they had stopped!) before coming to the newly extended and refurbished Portuguese Italian cafe, well worth our efforts for the excellent food and service.
Heading home in better temperatures and under a brilliant blue sky and a followings South Westerly wind, we made good progress back to Lingfield, Edenbridge and Ide Hill, where more disrobing took place at the top. Down to Sundridge and a HOTA group pulled out in front of us, but we took advantage of the back wheels for some respite before Keith started a long lead out for Ide Hill. Decision time and we elected to do Polhill instead of Star, and arrived back at the Green in full flight.
Good stats – 56 miles and 16.4 mph on my Liddl computer (or 17.5 on Strava – take your pick). A bit quick for G3 so apologies to those that turned off for an early bath. We must have been carried away by the super favourable weather for February.
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