Paul Martin and Dave Elliott met me around Wray Common Road, Redhill/Reigate.
Various voice mail messages had flown around, and alas in our club’s style, received whilst I’d/ we’d (in various locations yet to meet!) all had been riding down steep hills and failed to answer in a punctual way!
So comms are sometimes not good on the fly, and generally confusion ensues!
And so to the correct documented plan:
The regular Sunday starting point was as usual Cheam Station at 0900hrs.
I believe via the ‘Grapevine’ that MJA, Mick Curtis and Tony Mazzola did leave Cheam Station at the designated time to pass through Walton on the Hill and pick up anyone who happened to be on their way to the top of Reigate Hill.
Alas I was the random element posting to the blog that I’d meet those ascending out through Cheam, Walton etc at the cafe at the top of Reigate, a spot of my own choosing just to be awkward!
I, having parked at one of our road ride meeting points at Merstham Station headed back up the slog of Gatton Bottom Road to the cafe knowing full well I’d have time to sup a cup of tea before the contingent of unknown size arrived from Walton on the Hill.
I arrived at the cafe on the top around 0945hrs proceeded to purchase my cup of splosh and plonked myself out on the edge of the hill.
Perfect morning so far, a cup of splosh and lovely views out to Hindhead and little planes taking off and landing at Gatwick.
It was warm, sunny and I’m back on the bike – perfect.
I guessed a half hour from Walton to Reigate so maybe another cup of cha and take in the view a little longer.
So for the Cheam group 0945hrs Walton, 01000/1015hrs about right by my guess.
Paul Martin rang at 1010hrs and disturb my admiration of thin clothing adorning the female form on the hot summer’s morning to enquire as to my expected arrival at their meeting point the other side of Gatton Park.
Unfortunately I learned after leaving the top of Reigate (1025hrs) that mechanicals in the group travelling up from Cheam had delayed them and they’d not arrive at Reigate Hill until 1045hrs.
This was a big pity for me as I couldn’t remember the entrance to the path through Gatton Park and headed off on a path (totally wrong direction, don’t rely on trying to get decent maps on your mobile, they’re normally rubbish!) that took me directly onto the main road, Reigate Hill.
Half way down and cursing my memory I found another hopeful bridleway that took me well south of Gatton Bottom Park but put me at the bottom of the hill on Wray Common.
A quick ‘Moby call’ to Paul Martin established my error, however they knew where I was and met me within ten minutes.
Isn’t local knowledge wonderful!
A conversation with them lead me to believe my navigational error was fortuitous as the road we normally meet on (Gatton Park Road) had suffered a blown water main. It was subsequently blocked, in chaos and lead to Merstham and parts of Redhill being without water!
(See Get Surrey News websites)
As mentioned earlier voice messages were received as usual whilst descending hills.
We passed through the back streets of Redhill and into the High Street and joined National Route 21 southbound.
Alas it was at this point in time we learned of the Cheam group’s plight regarding battery problems and advised them that we were unfortunately now beyond Earlswood and consequently of no help whatsoever!
Messrs Martin, Elliott and White arrived at the Horley Wetherspoons (Wetherspoons no idea what it’s called, they all look the same to me!) around 1130hrs.
Tea and English breakfasts were consumed after this hard ride together with pleasant social intercourse about the ride, the weather etc.
We set off back around 1300hrs following the Sustrans National Route 21 north to Merstham and due to the heat had to stop for orange juice rehydration at the “The Inn on the Pond.”
Their orange juice was very tasty and about 1530hrs we left cycling back through Merstham Villiage and in my case back to the car parked outside the station.
My cycling companions headed back to Chipstead Valley via the flatter route.
For me a swift entrance to the M25 at Reigate Hill heading for home and soon after the usual ‘Sunday afternoon M25 car park!’ was enjoyed to its fullest!
Good ride chaps, very enjoyable, and for me nice to be back in the saddle once more.
my mileage a mere 21.5
Time: 2h : 28m