The players*: Capt. Kevin, Lil’ Nick, N-Dog (Big Nick), Andy (the compass), Renaissance-man Stefan, Prof. Karen and Smokin’ Joe with a special guest appearance from Carbon Jim and padawan Katie.
The route choice was a bit chaotic today. The original proposed lumpy route fell out of favour as we started off, possibly due to Lil’ Nick’s over excited warm-up pace.
After some on-the-move discussion, acting road captain Lil’ Nick declared the route to be out to Ramore Common via Cobham and returning via Headly Lane / Lodgebottom Road instead of the usual Box climb. A cafe stop at Bike Beans in Ashtead was planned.A nice rolling, but somewhat windy route out to Ranmore was finished off with a fast run along the Common to the Church. We paused to admire the bluebells while we recovered our composure and Smokin’ Joe took a work call. (Fortunately not a video call as SJ was wearing his lady tights). Bypassing the congested entrance to Box Hill’s zig-zag we shot up the quieter and rolling slopes of Headley Lane / Lodgebottom Rd. Stefan’s lack of road time was absolutely not apparent as he toyed with Lil’ Nick out of some sadistic pleasure. (Andy may have joined in, but is easily led, so can’t be held responsible).
Around about this time (23 mi in), there appeared the first signs of the ‘hunger grumps’ from N-Dog. The problems of choosing Ashtead as the cafe stop were laid bare. Even Prof. Karen looked a little fraid at the edges.
We eventually made it to the fast run in to Ashtead and the welcoming oasis that is Bike Beans. We were happily surprised to find Carbon Jim and his young padawan holding a table. Coffee and cake was eagerly scoffed by the hungry group before heading off for a more relaxed journey home as one group.
Last sprint of the day was in Chessington, where N-Dog put the hammer down at 35 mph (all be it with a slight wind assist).
So want have we all learned today?
- Carbon Jim is generally needed for proper route planning,
- Stefan with low miles in his legs still has enough in his legs to make us all hurt.
- Andy (the compass) cannot find his own arse even when given directions.
- N-Dog needs coffee at ‘proper’ times during a ride.
- Lil’ Nick will generally be located on your wheel when you think you’ve ‘got away’.
- Karen’s white leg warmers don’t look good on Smokin Joe… actually, possibly ever, on anyone.
- Karen has a mean sense of humour (see above).