Ride by Dave & Caroline

On a remarkably bright Sunday following weeks of wet and dismal weather our group of tandemists gathered at the leisure centre in Oxted. Even Phil and Verna managed to find it without too much difficulty, though directions from locals were needed. The ride started badly as the leaders rode past the turn to take us out to the quiet lanes via Hurst Green, but a U turn got us back on course, and straight up a long drag of a hill to warm everyone up. The roads were in a dreadful state after all the rain, with huge puddles, enormous potholes and debris from tree and hedges scattered across the road, so it was impossible to let fly on the downhill sections for fear of going down a pothole, never to re-appear. Despite the wet conditions, the bridleway past Troy Town was not too bad, better than the lanes near Hever Station. Near Markbeech we stopped, ate biscuits and climbed up to the top of the sandstone rocks, a strange oasis of moorland and ferns in the middle of the surrounding green farmland - perhaps left behind by a glacier in the last ice age? At Penshurst the fields around the river were completely submerged, and the river was only just lower than the arches of the bridges. The 300ft climb up to lunch at Fordcombe eventually came to an end and we were all glad to stop at the pub for a great meal and friendly service. Leaving the pub was delayed somewhat as Caroline's front tyre had deflated while we relaxed. The profile of the route now resembled a roller coaster ride as we headed west into the strong wind, rolling past White Post, Cowden, Dormans station, alongside the racecourse at Lingfield, Crowhurst and back to the start at Oxted for a well earned Tea at the Leisure Centre café. Report by Dave

Rest stop

Morning sunshine

Puncture mended

Dave & Chris

Tish & Andy

Phil & Verna

Russell & Rachel

Cliff & Pauline

Photographing the photographer - Photo by Dave

Backs to the camera - Photo by Dave

After Lunch - Photo by Dave

Wet lanes - Photo by Dave

Andy and Tish - Photo by Dave

Flood! - Photo by Dave

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