Ride by Andy and Tish

*****Ride and Report by Tish and Andy There were 16 of us as we left Burgh Heath and headed out through the fields to Kingswood and there were 16 of us when we returned for tea later in the afternoon but not the same 16! Straight away we had a choice of path across the fields ahead but the least muddy option involved passing the bikes over a five bar gate. This done and with the offices of Legal and General, looking like some evil lair from a Bond movie behind us, we cycled round the exclusive Kingswood Warren on our way to Fanny's Farm. The quirky tearoom was lit by candles as we drank our teas and coffees. A quick photo opportunuity then Mark and Maggs returned home as the rest of us headed out through Gatton Park towards Merstham and past Redhill Aerodrome. Somewhere around Earlswood we had our first problems of the day. The gearcable on Ken and Liz's bike broke. After a little trouble we were on our way again with Ken and Liz cycling at a fixed speed until we had access to a paperclip at lunchtime! Obviously a vital piece of kit that every cyclist should carry! We had several gentle miles of meandering ahead of us as we headed for Brockham on a section of the Surrey Cycleway. A bridleway was a welcome off road section that took us towards Dorking and as we passed Denbies vinyard, bathed in sunshine, we were nearly at our lunchtime stop. At The Steeping Stones pub we gained our final two riders of the day, taking us back to 7 tandems and 2 solos. Over lunch we looked out at Box Hill and anticipated the long hill climb ahead of us. Starting off again after a welcome pub lunch, we paused at the stepping stones themselves over the river Mole on the other side of the A24. It was busy and we watched with facination as several dogs attempted to cross! A quick adjustment to Caroline's bike and we set off up Box Hill's zig-zags. Russell and Rachel were soon held up with a puncture repair. The rest of us gathered at the top and commented on refurbishments to the seating area, prompted, no doubt, by the forth coming olympic cycling road race. Box Hill being part of the circuit a total of 9 times. Well, once today was enough for us and we headed back to Burgh Heath via Epsom racecourse for tea and cake. It had been a mild afternoon with temperatures soaring into the high teens, we were all ready for a brew after 35 miles of varied terrain.

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Minor repairs - to Caroline's bike

Murray and Angela - on Box Hill

Dave and Chris - on the second hairpin bend

Tish and Andy - our leaders

Tim and Anne

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