The last vestiges of the SBR team cycle the King of the North Downs
Monday, 9 July 2012
Hats off for the new SBR team member
Rain of biblical proportions ushered in Sunday morning. This was the day of the Dorking sportive at which I had agreed to ride with the latest member of the SBR team.
The good news was he still wanted to ride despite the weather, he also brought along a rather nippy friend.
I hadn't managed to get an offical entry for the ride so I agreed to meet my riding companions just beyond the start. I had sorted out the Blue Pearson Audax to compete as I didn't want to get my nice Carbon Pearson Palace all muddy. In the morning I had a fry up put on my rain coat and a cap to keep the rain from my eyes. As it was raining so hard I opted for Biofinity multifocal contact lenses and my favourite eyewear, the Garmin Transitions orange/white Oakleys (Thanks Mark). I rode the 25 mins or so to the start but as soon as I got there I realised I had forgotten to wear my helmet.
Because the sportive couldn't ride Box Hill ( see previous post) the route had been changed and, considering we were in the Surrey Hills, the first half surprisingly flat.
We set out at a very brisk pace into the rain dodging the debris in the road and spray from the leaders' wheels. The rain fell harder, the road became more filled with stones and twigs and in at least two places was heavily flooded. Despite all of the the pace was good, I would say when we weren't lost (the route was a bit iffy in places) our average speed was around the 16mph mark despite the hills.The half way was marked by a food station at the junction of the A24 and A29 and a start to the pospect of some climbing. This meant drink and cake, for offical riders and a wait in the increasingly heavy rain for bandits such as me. Eventually the climbs came as we rose up onto Surrey Hills before a descent into Shere and then back up via Coombe Bottom onto Ranmore. A second food station appeared before another descent and the infamous Crocknorth Wall then onto Whitedown and finally Leith Hill.
The biggest issue for me was footwear. I had carefully selected my Shimano winter waterproof boots,trouble being once filled the water has nowhere to go.I had to lift my legs and empty them out whenever we stopped. Given the massive number of punctures being suffered by other riders I think I got off lightly.
Our new SBRer will be a great addition to the team and will have already raised the average speed by 4mph I would guess! He also has Hans-like calf definition, a swanky new bike and black and white Oakley Jawbones which must bode well for the challenge ahead. As I waved goodbye to my riding chums to cycle back home the heavens opened again.Once there I hosed the bike and myself down.
Looking at the computer I had covered 65 miles in a little over 4hrs and 25 mins. Given the conditions not a bad ride.