I'm not out riding today with Molesey BBT. The same BBT that was
mentioned in the back of the Times Magazine on Saturday (Beta Male).
On Saturday morning I did my first ever CTC ride. The ride was
from Hyde Park Corner to Brighton via Gatwick Airport. The reason for
travelling via the delights of Gatwick Airport was that we left at
Midnight and so there are not many Cafes open in the early hours of
the morning. The ride went out through South London, Balham, Tooting,
Mitchham, Wallington and then out into the Surrey. Despite the near
full Moon the darkness was complete thanks to Fog which made for no
view allowed the shadows created by the lights of the following
cyclist to form strange patterns. It also limited our speed since
only two of the four riders had lights that allowed to safely travel
at a moderate speed without street lights. The good lights were both
SON powered lights, mine traditional lights but wired for 12V
operation, the other a very bright LED. Another vote for “Dynamo”
lights in particular SON generators wired to deliver 12V.
In Surrey we climbed out of Wallington and into the Fog. Fog that
would be with us until we dropped down into Brighton at Dawn. Along
Chipstead Valley and up over the North Downs at Rigate. Dropping
down Rigate hill some riders managed over 40mph which as the street
lights cut through the Fog was not as crazy as it would have been on
the hill down into Chipstead Valley.
Out of Rigate, turning onto Lownsome Lane into the back of Horley.
Here we took to the back roads and paths to suddenly find ourselves
on the Gatwick cycle route. Then our leader rode into what looked
like a cupboard in which there was a Freight Lift which took all four
of us, plus bikes onto the Check-in area of Gatwick airport's South
At the airport we had a Coffee at Costa Coffee to perk us up a
bit. By now I was beginning to feel the loss of sleep so this was
Out of the Airport via Schlumberger's car park and a short path, a
road with seed bumps that were hard to see and then turned into bumps
with a gap for cyclists in the middle, then a mud track. This was
the only time I wished the SON could deliver 12V at less than 10mph
as the extra light would have helped to pick out the path.
After this we were on the same road as the annual London to
Brighton bike ride so things were more familiar and our progress
quicker. We reached Ditching Beacon as the light was beginning to
break through the Fog and by the time we were dropping into Brighton
day light was with us and the Fog a memory.
On the front we posed for a photo, taken for us by someone
returning from all night out, who found it hard to grasp that we had
also been out all night and even harder to grasp that we may have
Our Leader then caught the train home leaving me to lead the other
to back via Devils Dyke and St Leonards Forest for a breakfast at
Henfold Lakes then home the usual way: Dorking, Leatherhead, Oxshot,
Home by 10:45 116miles, slower than I expected but it was just
brilliant fun. It did however mean I was even more useless Saturday
afternoon and today decided that riding some more would be pushing my
luck. Still the first 300mile week of the year.
Tags: cycling ctc molesey bbt