It was cold and slushy dawn but the thermometer was above freezing. A flurry of texts but no indication that the ride was cancelled. Wet slush on the road but should be less once I get on to the Epsom Road. I can always turn back if it really is madness. Can’t dawdle though as I have wasted too much time being indecisive. I make my exit saying, “I might be back very soon.”
First to Guildford Station and it is grey and threatening looking, not really the best day for a ride. Finally a fellow rider, Chris, appears. “How are you?” he asks. “Mad,” is my reply. He agrees. He had to walk down the hill from his house. And then Clive appears, not as instantly recognisable as he used to be since taking up wearing a helmet. He had a slow journey over Hindhead. Impressed he made it.
Chris is for a very short ride – preferably straight to a local coffee shop and then home. It was snowing when he left home and settling. With Newdigate as our designated coffee stop I had no desire to go over Leith Hill and also favoured a short ride. Going round the hill and then back to Rudgwick was not particularly attractive either. Out came the map and at least 5 more minutes of discussion before we finally decided to head out towards Rudgwick and take a snow check en route – no hills and reasonably main roads. Notcutts Garden Centre or somewhere in Cranleigh all potential bail out sites.
It was wet but luckily few cars and most reasonably well behaved. Shalford, Wonersh, Shamley Green, Cranleigh – we bravely cycled on in line and in silence. The odd glance back to see that we were all together. Just after Notcutts an impressive piece of parking by someone – in the ditch! Ellen’s Green, Cox Green and into Rudgwick but Lynwick Street looked most uninviting so we carried on down to Watts Corner and the A281 so that we could approach the Milk Churn from the south. I hope it is open!
We turned in and saw the lights on. Excellent time for a coffee/tea stop, 10:30. Tea all around and a good selection of cakes, more hot water if you need it. We stayed and chatted for a good long time – long enough for a small shower of sleet to come and go. Teapots were refilled and drained so it must be time to go. We split immediately, Clive and Chris turning right, me left. Most of the slush had melted but a lot of water still on the roads. It was a quick ride home – arriving just in time for lunch at 1pm – a really good time for lunch according to my stomach and plenty of time to wash down and dry the Luxo-cruiser. Even time to write a blog or two.