The 5th MDCC Box Hill ride

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Its hard to believe we have done this ride 5 times now - how time flies - but I think for me today was one of the best Box Hill rides yet!  Of course we are enjoying such an amazing spell of weather, and the 8am start from Birds Hill meant that we enjoyed the nice cool bit of the day as 14 of us set off on the 70 mile round trip to the top of Box Hill and back. Three of those 14 were new members - what a great introduction to our club!

We had decided to stick together on the way out, and after about 10 miles we were joined by rider numer 15 - Jon had set out late, but is speedy enough to catch us up and then get to the front.  We stopped a couple of times to regroup, and around West Byfleet we lost Jo.  This is where our route wiggles around a bit, and Jo had gone on ahead when Hewan had a bit of a mechanical - but she didnt have the route and missed a turn.  A quick phone conversation  and a little help from google maps and we worked out where she was.  Dave and I went back for her, Hewan and Rob waited for us and we picked her up with just a 10 minute detour.  The rest of the group went on, and we arranged to meet at the cafe at the top of Box Hill.

 

There were lots of cyclists out today enjoying the sunshine, the roads were generally good, and our route only really has two hills - Bagden Hill and Box Hill - and most of the roads were nice quiet lanes.  Its all a bit dry at the moment, but there are some lovely villages on the way through Surrey.  The five of us kept together  - Rob giving Jo a bit of coaching and really helping her get her speed up!

The ride up Box Hill was great - its not a particularly long or steep climb and it wasnt as stupidly busy as I had feared.  I felt good so pushed for a pr (cant believe thats still 871st lady and 25,165th overall!) and was a bit out of breath by the time I met the front group at the cafe on the top - they were alerady drinking their coffee.

 

After coffee, cake and an updated photo, 5 of the faster riders set off (I notice Jon did an average speed of 18.4mph!) leaving 10 to ride back at a slightly more sedate pace.  Bagden Hill is a bit more challenging on the way back - up to 20% in sections - I am very glad that Antonias sandwich didnt come back up as she feared it might!  When we got to Windsor Great Park we started to split back up as people headed home to various parts of East Berkshire.  Everyone did really well today - Jo must have been doing some secret training (or maybe it was Rob's coaching!), Taran faded a little at the end (more food needed there I think), Antonia did her longest ever ride and we were back at the golf club by 2pm.  Our group averaged around 15mph.

Thanks from all of us to Dave D for organising this - it was a great ride - good company, lovely scenery and fantastic weather - what more could anyone need?

 

Finally, just to celebrate this was the 5th ride (and for a bit of nostalgia), here are the pictures of the previous four:

 

                                    2012

 

                                          2013

 

                                              2014

 

                                                 2015