by Russell & Rachel

*****Report by Russel and Rachel

4 tandems joined the leaders for a summer ride along the Surrey/Hampshire borders. We headed out of Farnborough through the backstreets before heading south on the Blackwater Valley Path, skimming carefully past the nettles, before joining the Christmas Pie Trail at Ash Green. The first breakaway of the day came from the Wilde Team with David & Christopher scaling the Hog’s Back (hors catégorie) at Wanborough ahead of the main field before being caught on the approach to Seale where we stopped for coffee at the Craft Centre.

Chris & Helen met us at the café and had a quick test ride on Mark & Maggs’ smart new Cannondale before we all continued south to Elstead. Sailors Lane brought some interesting twists and turns and a short but sharp, two-chevron, dip before the final run into Kingsley and lunch under the parasols at the Cricketer’s Inn.

As we left Kingsley after lunch we could see a huge heath fire burning away on Frensham Common but lost sight of it as we flew down to Bentley, some of us hitting 40 mph. Every downhill is, of course, followed by an uphill and this soon came as we left Bentley and climbed in the hot afternoon sun to the highest point of the ride with lovely views of fields and woods stretching out on either side. Down again to Crondall and Crookham Village where we picked up the Basingstoke Canal and rode along the tow path to Fleet. Navigating past the anglers and under the very low bridges tested riders’ skills, as did the water splash at Fleet Pond. Back in Farnborough a short-cut took us through the IQ Business Park at the Airfield where we stopped for a photo opportunity under the arches of the 100 year-old balloon hangar (as seen on Top Gear that evening! (The hangar, not us)) before rattling over the pavé and back to the leaders’ house for chocolate cake, strawberries and cream.

A varied ride, much of which was under shade, thank goodness! 43 miles, 2,000ft climbing and a total of 5 chevrons.

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S&S TC July 2010 - planned route. To download right click on the link and choose "Save Target As.."

The sign says it all! - Photo by Russell and Rachel

Clem (and Caroline) negotiating a low bridge - Photo by Russell and Rachel

One way to cross a stream - Photo by Russell and Rachel

Tea stop at Seale Tea Rooms - Photo by Russell and Rachel

The other way to cross a stream - Photo by Russell and Rachel

Lunch at Kingsley - Photo by Dave

Riding Along - Photo by Dave

That way - Photo by Dave

Balloon Hanger- IQ Business Park - Photo by Dave

Cyclist Fuel - Photo by Dave

Blackwater River - Photo by Christopher

Basingstoke Canal, Fleet - Photo by Christopher

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