Saturday 18th June, off road Ockham Bites.


With a lot of the regular riders away for the weekend , just two riders, Mick Curtis and myself left Nonsuch Park on a hot and humid morning. Friday had been a record breaking 32°C heatwave. The sky was now beginning to bubble up with forecasted heavy cloud and the promise of rain storms sometime in the afternoon or evening in the south.

Our route took us out via Horton, Epsom Common, Oxshott and Downside, south of Cobham. Today’s short, but steep ascent of Telegraph Hill to access Ockham Common went a lot better than the last time on my new bike now the gearing has been changed. The jury however  is still out as to whether  a 32T oval chainring makes any difference.

At the Bites we experienced some heavy sporadic droplets of rain, so the weather reports are as accurate as usual! On the way back off of the common I took a wrong turning and took us deep into the ‘forest of doom.’ Mick unfortunately took a tumble whilst ‘bunny hopping’ a downed branch. This necessitated the use of a couple of ‘human puncture patches’ to stop the claret leaking out! With the leaks fixed we rode on, after all us cyclists are hard as nails unlike those softie footballing chaps.

The route back after this was expedited to get us back. Bookham Common was deserted, possibly due to the heavy, ominous,  black clouds north west of us over the distant Kingston area. This gave us the opportunity to push a little harder, with Mick still going like a train despite the patches. Soon we reached Fetcham and then Leatherhead. It’s amazing how the possibility of a good soaking will spur you into that extra little effort!

Finally we were back on the north side of Epsom Common and nearly back to our starting point. Mick and I parted at Horton Country Park where I was parked and thankfully Mick got home to Sutton without the soaking.

29.8 miles for me.

Paul White

 

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