Yes, folks, we’re deep into the autumn season: winter definitely hasn’t arrived (thank goodness!) and autumn just goes on being really pretty wonderful.
Here then are a few images from a couple of rides undertaken by your Chairman in early/mid-November which I hope convey the atmosphere of this fantastic time of year. Amazingly, the trees are still looking quite green, but they’re turning and the forecast is for a stormy month ahead; we never know when the weather is going to start being difficult but they reckon it’s coming up soon. So, weather, do us a favour and don’t rush – we’re loving the cycling!
Photography isn’t easy at this time of year owing to low light levels; when the sun shines, there’s a lot of contrast between the shadows and the bright bits which the sun’s rays are shining on, so the quality isn’t high, but I hope my tweaking makes them enjoyable to look at and nice and atmospheric. Of course I should really be spending the time preparing my speech for the AGM on Saturday but I’d far rather be doing this – definitely no competition!
The first ride was with Clive’s Sunday Rollers, out and about on the 9th. The weather was really quite good and five of us (Clive, Martin, Heidi, Julian and myself) rode from Guildford Station up and over the Surrey Hills, past Leith Hill and down to Newdigate for coffee. Next, heading west, Clive guided us on lovely roads via Ockley, Walliswood, Alfold and Dunsfold to Godalming where Hector’s Boathouse provided us with early afternoon refreshments. It wasn’t a long day, I’m glad to say, because even the downhills seemed hard work today. There is a need to get out more.
Acting upon my earlier conclusion that I need to do more riding, not to mention remind the Wednesday bunch that I still existed (in preparation for their votes on Saturday – well, maybe…; then again, maybe not…) I braved the expected rain and headed out on the 12th to meet the group at the Normandy crossroads. Thankfully dry when I set out, the rain wasn’t long coming, but in actual fact, it really wasn’t too bad despite what the forecast predicted. It was mild too and the day turned out to be a thoroughly excellent one in every way. I opted to go with the medium paced group which consisted of ten of us – too many to name everyone – very ably led by Laurie, my Chairmanly adversary, no less!
The lanes were gorgeous and extremely wet but there was no stopping us. After climbing Wanborough Hill we took the lane through Puttenham to Seale and over Botany Hill before riding a new lane (to me) past lots of very posh houses – definitely Millionaire’s Row.
Morning refreshments were taken in the very busy Maltings cafe, after which we headed out west into the wonderful lanes of north Hampshire. The route is shown below and I have to say that much of this ride was along roads I’d never ridden before and what a joy that is!
We took lunch at the Anchor in Lower Froyle which is a lovely pub, albeit expensive – £8 for a sandwich with a few chips on the side? Hmmm! Then, rested and refreshed, we headed homewards. See below for the full route.
To view the route in Ride with GPS, click here