We decided to start this year the way we mean to go on, with a big bunch ride out into the countryside, with plenty of time allowed for cake, coffee, pizza and bubblebath along the way. Maybe the bubblebath bit came after.
We were delighted to have a whopping 15 cyclists set off from Grind in Putney at 9:30, although not quite the full complement made it back under their own steam it must be said.
We split into two groups (based on intended average speed) almost immediately and apart from a brief glimpse of the fast bunch’s backsides at a traffic light in Kingston, that was the last the slow team saw of their speedier colleagues.
While Lamb, Gillam, De Calbiac, Orriss, Ford, Nathan & Owen, aka ‘the Jolly group’, were taking things easy, chatting and taking in the scenery – generally having a lovely time – things were a bit more torrid for those who’d elected to ride up front.
A puncture for Donkin meant they were delayed near the foot of Box Hill. Apparently this meant not only Donkin, but also Strang and Lamaison, had to board public transport and make their way home to London by locomotive. Similar mechanical problems for Besant and a generally dour day in the saddle for McMorrin meant they too abandoned, leaving the fast group reduced to only Stansfield and Cross. Despite a plucky effort, the two were unable to rein in the slow group (who took a shorter less hilly route out to Box and back) and arrived back to Dynamo for restorative pizza and Coca-cola about 15 minutes ahead of them.
Muddy conditions led to virtually everyone getting a Flanders facial.
Check the action on Strava, the Flybys alone are worth the look.
This two-speeds ride was designed to allow people of different bike ability and temperament to share in the same group activity and in that respect it was a mega success. Stick 21 January in your diary, as we'll be doing another similar thing then, this time into the Garden of England.