Some photos available here:
Group 1 & 2 Report by Ride Captain Michael Blann
There was once again a fantastic turn out at Carluccios with many a smile on the rider's faces. With everyone eager to get going and enjoy the dry roads, some 50 or so riders in the Group 3 bunch set off. We had the luxury of being shepherded through the traffic by the L2P team car, driven by Sven, who unfortunately did not join us on the ride as he was riddled with the winter lurgy. The tempo was really good for early in the season with lots of banter between riders. The climb out of Camberly soon silenced the masses as we settled into a rhythm. The route was fantastic with ample opportunity to spin out our legs on the country lanes.
Our bunch did loose a few soldiers just before our descent into Guildford due to some weary legs. Once we re-grouped, pace was steady and the tiring few were helped along with an encouraging push when necessary.
Captain Kirkby encouraged a bit of through-and-off on the final run in to Walton, identifying those who perhaps may be strong enough for Group 2. Discipline was generally good with only one small mechanical and no punctures. Timing was perfect as the rain started to fall just as we settled into our much deserved coffees back at Carluccios.
With 100km / 60 miles covered it was a great day and with stronger legs we all look forward to our training in the better weather to come (I hope) and re-grouping at the next Spring Ride.
Group 4 Report by Ride Captain Rachel Przybylski aka Zappy
On arrival at Carluccio's I was amazed to see another massive turn out. I ditched the rain jacket... the weather was going to be on our side!
As the crowds formed outside for the usual motivational speech from Mr Motivator himself Sven Thiele, I noticed that my Group was looking rather small!! I tried to rally a few more riders and made a group of 10.
Last years Red Climbers Jersey holder, Eddy Lewis, joined us to be a guide of the Surrey hills and impart his knowledge of how to climb! As we rolled out of Walton it became clear that a small group meant Dave and I could do what all RCs love to do.... get to know every rider!!!
We explained lots of technique including gear selection, climbing techniques, group riding and most importantly what bike gadgets are the best!!
After several miles of winding lanes we came out onto the A246, pointing out the first challenge of the day, Staple Lane! All I had to do was promise an amazing view and with that my happy L2P riders went off up the hill taking the long slog to the top in their stride.
From here we dropped down Combe Lane (not explaining that later they would take the nasty right hand bend going upwards rather than down).
Off to Albury, along to Chilworth and Shamley Green. Sunshine and chatting what could be better! Rolling hills were the theme of the day but Group 4 riders are made of tough stuff and didnt complain at all. There was banter and even a mention of a hard 5 miles to finish off the ride!!
As we came back down from the hills to hit the main road it suddenly dawned on everyone that we were indeed going to climb Combe bottom. Even in the late stages of the route the troops were strong to the end and gave the climb everything they had. One little wobble on the 17% left hand bend ended up in comedy slow motion falling over and a few bruises to show for the effort!
With a descent to follow there was only one decision left to make at the bottom of Chalk Lane... were you going to catch the Eddy Express to Walton??
As the fast boys disappeared into Ripley Lane the rest of us contemplated picnics and all things yummy that we could eat at Carluccio's!! What a cheer there was as the signs for Walton appeared, I think a well earned coffee was on everyones mind. The usual exchange of stories with the other Groups and giving each other well deserved pats on the back ensued and off home people went to families and roast dinners!
The less said about my 5 mile ride home in the pouring rain, that got my bike all dirty and my face covered in muddy water the better! A wet end to an otherwise perfect ride!
See you all again soon.
Group 5 Spring Ride Report by Ride Captain Murph
Two down, four to go... and Group 5, consisting of 30 riders this weekend, yet again produced the goods. February's group consisted of some new L2P attendees, and some veterans of the event, and this combination really helped keep things in order. Riding etiquette was professional and considerate, which meant no crashes, no road rage and only one puncture, which unfortunately cost the victim a round of cakes at Carluccios! (Oh well, there's always puncture proof tyres as an option.)
At the pre ride briefing, notice was given of the impending climb of the day 'Green Dene to Combe Lane ' which at 2 and a half miles long, was a good indicator of what to expect during the event, plus a great reference gauge of bike fitness for all who battled up it. At this length, a climb like this will send any riders heart rate soaring, but Group 5 rode extremely well, in fact, well within the intended average pace of 14.5 mp/h (23km/h).
The remainder of the ride was a rolling journey that took the Group through the lanes north of Guildford, via Worplesdon and Knaphill and eventually back to sunny Walton, total mileage 48, door to door.
The pace for the March ride will be slightly faster, at 15.5 mp/h (25kmh), L2P event pace, and slightly longer, 60 miles approx.
See you all there ...