Four riders met at Cheam Station Southside at 09.00hrs: Chris Messett, Mick Curtis, Bill Martin, and myself leading the ride.
Our ride took us up through Nork and to the top of Banstead near the junction of the A217 before heading to Epsom Downs, Tottenham Corner. The caravans and other paraphernalia had already started to arrive and set up for next week’s racing which will culminate in the Derby next Saturday afternoon. We dropped down into Langley Vale at which point Bill with niggling back pain called it a day and headed for home. We carried on and climbed towards Headley Court via Sheep Walk, and for a change it wasn’t the usual boggy terrain; it was pleasantly dry and a little sandy for once.
At Headley Court I took us back over the M25 towards Ashtead before turning left onto Stane Street and the drop towards Leatherhead. After elevenses on our way back I discovered a slow puncture in the front wheel, which I decided to ‘pump and run’ with. This got us back across Ashtead Common before I reluctantly decided to change the tube in Horton Country Park at a very handy bench in the sunshine. ‘If you’re gonna puncture, preferably do it in the summer, and if you can, right by a handy bench!’ This was a more gooey puncture affair than usual, because with the old age of the slime tube, the valve had started to part company with the tube and had deposited all of the slime content inside the wall of the tyre. Much pouring out of gunk from the tyre ensued before the new tube was installed. We followed the Hogsmill back into Ewell where Chris departed for home leaving Mick and myself to cross Nonsuch Park and back to Cheam.