Some of you reminded me that I haven't organised the Xmas dinner/ride. What about a final 2012 ride to celebrate a great year for cycling? Not only Team GB and Wiggins had a great year, we've had our own amazing rides as well and 2013 is also looking promising and exciting. Therefore, lets get out in our bikes to celebrate!
I've remembered a lovely pub where I once took a friend back in the days when I used paper maps. That will be our lunch stop. The ride will go along undulating Surrey lanes starting at Coulsdon South, as you all know I love Ditches Lane in Farthing Downs. After lunch, I plan to cycle back to London up to London Bridge although you may fancy diverting to your destination at Streatham, Brixton or any other point convenient for you. Alternatively, we could also catch a train at Redhill, 20 miles after lunch.
Start: We meet 10am at Coulsdon South station next to the ticket barriers. You have direct trains from London Bridge or trains from London Victoria and Clapham Junction VIA East Croydon. The journey should take you about 30-35mins so plan in advance to arrive on time.I will start promptly at 10.15am. You can use your Oyster Pay as you Go at Coulsdon South.
Route: Surrey is hilly although I have ruled out Box Hill !! Elevation will be on the friendly side of challenging. Quiet roads and picturesque surroundings as you could expect from this area. We have about 30 miles to lunch, where we should arrive by 1pm. Thereafter, about 40 miles to London Bridge. Again, 20 miles after lunch we could catch a train from Redhill or if we feel inspired and the weather is kind we could cycle all the way back. So the ride could be anything from 50 to 70 miles depending on whether we cycle back to London Bridge or we catch a train at Redhill. After lunch we'll cycle 20is miles upto Redhill where we will catch a train back to London.
PACE OF THE RIDE: Steady but enjoyable. NOT SUITABLE for beginners. You should be used to cycling at least 50 miles' rides in order to feel comfortable. Remember that if IF YOU CAN'T KEEP UP OUR PACE you will be kindly asked to bail out. Therefore, please bring a smart phone, gps or maps to aid you in case you need to make your own way to a rail station.
Stops: NO stops before lunch which is at 30 miles into the ride. That will be our first and only stop (unless we need a toilet/p*ncture one before). After lunch, we head back to London with 40 miles left to London Bridge. I'm not planning any stops but we may have a quick one if needed. we cycle non-stop to Redhill (approx 20 miles)
What to bring: snacks and water to refuel regularly. Weatherproof gear. Spare inner tube(s), pump, some cash. LIGHTS!!! and a Helmet (you won't be able to join us if you don't wear a helmet).
Return to London: I initially plan to cycle back to London Bridge in which case we should be back by 7pm. Alternatively, if the weather is unkind we could catch a train in Redhill (20 miles after lunch) which should get us back to London Bridge by about 5 pm.
Weather : So far it looks as if the weather will remain mild. I will cycle with grey cloud but I won't cycle with rain or drizzle. This is a celebration ride so no need to endure miserable weather. If temperatures suddenly drop and we risk frost or ice I will also need to cancel the event. This may result in a last minute development for which I apologise in advance.
"One of the aims of the Cycling group is to appreciate of our natural surroundings, local towns and villages. We hope to minimise our impact by making sure that we are responsible for our litter. Please dispose of all of your litter and snack wrappers carefully".
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