Quiet lanes and epic climbs
Our venue for Friday’s Surrey into Kent ride, Bletchingley Golf Club, advises on its marketing brochure that “We are not just a golf club”. And so it proved, as a healthy team of cyclists joined BDOVELO for a brisk ride through the lanes of Surrey and Kent. Rain the previous day meant the hilly route was adapted to avoid the autumnal washout, mud and hawthorn needles.
Whilst a more forgiving route than planned, the ride ensured riders were able to catch up with old and new faces, with Dame Kelly Holmes’s cycling friendly 1809 cafe in Hildenborough providing a welcome break at the half way point. The buzz of chatter over coffee and brownies showed that the networking ethos of the club continues to come first and foremost.
The thought of missing out on a shower, a beer, a hot pie or the informative talk from photographer Michael Blann appeared to inject a sense of urgency into some of the group, as they increased the pace after the break and headed for home. Thanks to the route amendment, there was only one puncture on the day, which was quickly fixed by ride mechanic Rob from Voncrank. Just as the rain arrived, riders reached the golf club for a hot shower.
Over supper, Michael gave a fascinating talk on his love of mountains and cycling, which has culminated in his beautiful book “Mountains: Epic Cycling Climbs“, a piece of work which took 3 years to complete. It is quite evident that books on cycling are like bicycles themselves – there’s always room for one more.