By John Leitch
Posted: Tuesday, September 8, 2020 - 08:33

We had our first ‘full club’ session today (Sunday 8 September) and it did feel strange/different though part of that was down to us now being homeless…. our spell at Canon was ended in May and thus far we’ve not found a new base.

So wanderlust took us to the Denbies Wine Estate. That’s on the edge of Dorking.

Four groups of about six riders headed off on the splendid cycle path for Leatherhead, the theory was four groups riding at four different speeds… but the reality was that the second group thought catching the first was a challenge that they could not resist.

So it got bulky.

At the halfway point (opposite Mickleham) we split and two groups stayed on the flat and continued forwards while the other two did a detour into Norbury Park Farm and then up the hill towards the sawmill, climbing to the halfway point (to avoid vanishing in the trees).

Plans were stymied somewhat by two horses being slowly ridden side-by-side up the narrow road which was only wide enough for… two horses.

But all was resolved when Doffy took off, came up behind them and, with one hand on each horse, sparked them into added action. When the horses/riders pleaded for mercy and parked up alongside a grassy layby, the riders came swarming past like a line of little red bees.

On the return section, a small handful of the most-speedy riders were ahead of coach Richard when (surprise, surprise) he signalled a detour and he plus everyone behind him swerved to the right, vanished under a railway tunnel and resurfaced in another world.

Expectations of it being the quick way back to base proved flawed as the track got progressively narrower, the surface progressively rougher, the gradient got tougher and those without oxygen tanks began to suffer.

Back at base we waited….. until Hannah was heard quietly chattering, still at a distance of a couple of miles. Then an army of small riders burst out of the cover of trees and streamed down the track through the rows of vines… ride over.

Next session: Sunday 20 September 11.45am signing-on for 12noon start

The venue is Ashcombe School, Dorking.
We have the use of the car-park which is quite large/whizzy.
It sits right next to the main A25 road.
Where the railway station is on one side, the venue we are using is on the other.