Map reference: Kingston, Cobham, Fetcham, Box Hill, and loop back, 60k
Carbs and Caffeine: Top of Box Hill, tea and coffee cake, our old favourite, ahhh, it’s been a while
Feeling slightly unsure of myself, after failing to make the grade last time I was out, I nearly decided to take the light bike out today, but no, this was a fairly flat, slowish run, it had to be my heavy bike. Funny… not so long ago my aluminium Giant was my beautiful bike, I feel I am treating it very unfairly by referring to it so disparagingly. She’s still very trim and lovely. She is my second bike in name alone.
Following Jacqui’s very precise instructions, Jen and I rallied at 10.10 and we set off on familiar roads out to Surrey. As we were trundling along the quiet lanes of Polesden Lacey, we passed a man in a bright yellow jacket, freewheeling along, listening to music and as we paused to regroup he asked the way to Box Hill. We were heading that way so he joined us, reassuring us that he was in no hurry.
And so off we went… in no hurry… until we got to Box Hill. As we turned right onto the zigzag, the pace picked up. I had it in mind to try for some speed (I’m getting addicted to my Strava bling – for the uninitiated, Strava is a website that checks your speed against everyone else, and awards you ‘medals’), then remembered I was on bike number two. But by then it was too late. We were clearly in a race and I was the mug at the front doing the towing. Before the second hairpin, our new mate made his move, and overtook me easily. What had seemed like a slightly stocky frame in his waterproof jacket, turned out to be sitting on very muscley cycling legs.
Jen politely stayed behind me, but as we hit the flattish bit I told her to go and get him. And off she went… poor man, once Jen sets her sights on a challenge, she generally gets there. And she did, from quite a way back.
At the top we introduced ourselves. Jason from South Africa has only been in the country since January and still feeling his away around the area… and he’s a spinning instructor. Chapeau, Jen, Chapeau indeed.
We offered Jason a tow back to Kingston – that’s a joke Jason – and he companionably took out his earbuds and chatted to us all the way back, trusting that our dodging, diving and weaving route would get him back to the familiar roads of Kingston, from where he could find his way back home. Mind you he had one of those Garmins where you can just ask it take you home and it will. That may have been why he was so relaxed. And the three of us are probably not very threatening … unless you get Jen’s goat.
Note to self: must check if Bike Bean is doing their Thursday run. It would be embarrassing to drag Jen to Ashtead for nothing