Sunday Dec 28, 2008

Back in the Saddle

Back in the saddle with my extended stomach after too much food over the holidays. Despite the cold, and it was cold, we had five riders out out this morning's ride. Out over Polesden Lacy and up the Zig Zags, which being a private road were untreated and therefore icy. All in all a very pleasant ride.

38 miles but very slow.

Sunday Feb 03, 2008

Coombe Bottom and Box Hill

We had eight riders out for what should have been are cold cold ride but in fact was a very pleasant, moderately hill ride over Coombe Botton via Honeysuckle Bottom. This is pretty much the route I was doing to work, before this blog, when working in Bagshot when I wanted a long ride in. It also gave two good hills, first Honeysuckle Bottom and then the climb over the Hogs Back that leads to Christmas Pie for a 35 mile ride into the office. So I know this hill quite well and for the first time in a while I actually felt quite good climbing.

Then at the bottom turned left for a blast along the A25, where I got this short bit of video of most of the riders, if you feel sad enough to watch it turn the volume down to zero first.

Then over Box hill where again I felt great climbing but the 9 minutes to do the zig sags showed that there is a big difference between feeling great and being great. Then off the the Cafe in Leatherhead.

The route home was the usual through Oxshot and Esher and the usual climb into Esher was contested, well I contested it and reached 29mph on the climb!

At least 47 miles, for parts of the ride my speedometer was reading 0 so it could have been more.

Sunday Jan 13, 2008

Ranmore & Box Hill

Despite the forecast of miserable weather this morning we had 7 riders out and were quickly heading out of Cobham when we took an unexpected left down Cobham Park Road. I can see why we've never been down there before as it essentially just does three sides of a rectangle and if we did not turn we would have just done the forth side. However it was very picturesque and since the purpose of the ride is just cycling actually going somewhere is not important.

In that vein after we went through Effingham Junction1 and then Effingham to climb up onto Ranmore we took both lefts so we ended up going along Hogden Lane which was closer to cyclo cross than road riding. Then along Ranmore Common Road and down Ranmore Road into Dorking. Again the descent down Ranmore Road was spectacular although on a wet road you either have to take it easy or trust that you can get round the bends without braking.

By now we were obviously on for a short ride and now we had the wind behind us as we flew north on the A24 not using the bike track as 30mph on the bike track is dangerous and we were heading for the Zig Zags which is more safely done from the main road. Up the Zig Zags after the first turn I was convinced I actually was a cycling God as I flew up the hill only to be returned to reality at the second turn when I turned into the wind that had been blowing me up the hill. I managed the hill in 8 minutes dead (and I almost was).

Then a more gentle run down over Headley to the Cafe in Leatherhead. From Leatherhead it was the usual run home only faster due to the massive tail wind.

One negative thing was the Audi that Hooted us in Esher, for daring to be on the road and then when he passed “washed his windscreen” with windscreen washers that seemed to miss his windscreen altogether. I have a word for people like that but this is family blog.

The short ride was only 42 miles and an average of 15.4mph.

1 Ah there is a mystical place of my my youth. The train my Dad would get home from work, the O2 (IIRC) from Victoria, used to terminate at Effingham Junction. What small boy would not wonder what wonderful things would be at this place. I'm glad I never managed to get there as the is actually very little to report from Effingham Junction, well at least for a small boy, unless I could have blagged my way into this shed.

Sunday Jun 24, 2007

BBT Ride in the rain, again!

Given that the weather forecast was for rain and it was raining when I left the house the fact that there were eight people out riding today was remarkable. We even had one new rider and one new bike (A carbon fibre Specialized Roubaix 2007, looks nice but a bit to much Shimano kit for my liking. Also what were they thinking not putting red tyres on it).

Our “leader” tried to get us to ride to Windsor but we had none of that and instead took to the hills at a blistering (for us) pace, reaching the top of Newlands Corner with my average speed over 17mph. The rain continued and as some had to be back early we looped along to Abinger Hammer and then put the Hammer down to Dorking along the main road and headed for the Cafe at Leatherhead. Those not in a rush to get home detoured up the zig zags (7minutes 53 seconds, which was way faster than I thought we would be) and then down past Headley Court and down to the Cafe.

Returned via the usual route for what ended up being a 55mile ride, average speed 16.9mph max 42.8mph.

Sunday Apr 08, 2007

Five to Henfold Lakes

Five riders out for todays ride was to Henfold lakes via Epson and Headly. When had descended Pebble coombe we caught up with a cyclist from Addlestone cycling club, who joined us in the cafe at Henfold Lakes. It turns out that Jim was 80 and was out for a short ride. Most impressed.

On the way back we detoured over Box Hill, up the Zig-Zags (8 minutes 10 seconds, very disappointing but I had an excuse, which I won't document here for reasons of good taste). Then back down and home via Leatherhead.

60 miles average speed 16.4mph, max 48mph.


Sunday Mar 25, 2007

Clocks Forward, Summer Bike out.

We went for a gentle ride to Henfold via Epson Donws, Headley & Box Hill. 8 minutes to climb the Zig Zags which is not so good. We made it to Henfold for an early breakfast @ 9:30. Need to find some more hills.

Then back via Ranmore where we met another club. One of them stopped while climbing for a clipless pedal moment. She was fine. I'm not sure it is actually possible to have a clipless pedal moment when there is no one watching.

Then over Polsden Lacy and a bit of detour via Effingham for the run back via the usual route and back early.

63.9 miles @ 16.7 mph


Sunday Mar 04, 2007

Getting split up in the rain.

The weather forecast predicted rain at 10am and they did not let us down. At that point the group of five who had braved the morning had split into a group of three and a pair. The pair climbed to Headley from Leatherhead and down Pebble coombe to the Cafe at Henfold Lakes. The group of three, including me, had taken the bonus climb and gone down through Little Switzerland and then back up the Zig Zags before descending Pebble Coombe and heading for the Cafe. Due to some poor planning there was some waiting around at the top of Pebble Coombe as we tried to re group. Next time we should just agree to meet a the Cafe.

Then on the way home we got split again. Unfortunately I don't even know if the other three got home or where they went. I suspect a nice detour to Reigate or perhaps an attempt to climb Pebble Coombe which would get them "hard as nails" prizes. Especially in the rain.


Sunday Feb 25, 2007

Birthday Ride

Just a short ride today due to rain so better make it hilly. Over Polseden Lacey then a quick sprint up to Ranmore and back then over to Box hill to go up the Zig Zags. Regroup at the top then over Headly Heath and down into Leatherhead to find a new Cafe, which was definitely not too expensive! Then home to wash the bike as the roads were covered in mud and water washed off the fields.

Only 44 miles.


Sunday Sep 10, 2006

"Time Trial" up Box Hill

One of the BBT riders had seen the results from the time trial up box hill from the Cycles Dauphin Army CU 3 Day 2006 where the winning time for the time trial was alledged to be 4 minutes 38 seconds to climb the zig zags on Box Hill. The results don't seem to have been posted yet so I can't confirm this. Anyway the BBT decided to cycle over to Box hill and see how fast we could do it.

The first problem is we were not quite sure where the official time trial started and finished. We started at the turn into Zig-Zag road and finished by the Cafe at the top. 1.59 miles by my milometer. I did see a start line just before the first zig, or is it a zag, anyway you can hear the excuses coming already, that would knock most of the .59 of the mile off it so that might explain the difference. It could not just be that we are unfit forty somethings.

My time of 7 minutes 28 seconds does not seem that great because it is not but that is a fast as I could go. 12.78mph average.

From the top of Box Hill we descended Pebble Coombe nice descent, 46.78mph, and eneded up at the Cafe at Henfold Lakes, where for the first time ever we actually saw one of the many fishermen there catch a fish!

Home via Dorking and over Ranmore for a change. 55.8 miles


Sunday Feb 19, 2006

Back on the Bike

After a week away without my bike today I made it out with Molesey BBT for at least 65 miles over Box Hill down to Henfold Lakes and then home via Forest Green and Holmbury St Mary. The weather was less than ideal with fog, rain and cold all making appearances but it was still a pleasant ride. I was completely stuffed by a youngster climbing the Zig Zags but youth paid the price later on on the ride.

I'm now at home trying to solve a great cycling problem. I have new wheels for the Summer bike so obviously I need new tyres. What colour? The choices are black or Red, I'm not sure I'm ready for Red tyres but black could be too dull.


Sunday Jan 29, 2006

First "long" ride of the year.

The 70 mile ride went off with out a hitch, well for the three that actually did it it went without a hitch. Though with hindsight the choice of route was a bit harsh. Four big hills (that is big for Surrey) took a lot out of riders this early in the year. Though the ability to skip sections and re-group was used to great effect reducing the hills and the total distance for one rider.

While cold and especially as we descended Little Switzerland, icy, the day was spectacular. A clear day near perfect cycling conditions and a good breakfast at the Lucky Duck in Shere made for a perfect start to the day.

Next week is the Redmon Reliability run which we have done for the last few years and can be challenging if you join the faster groups.


Sunday Sep 18, 2005

Timed ride up the Box Hill zig zags.

Six left Molesey, two turned back early and one was lost. We climbed the hill past Polesdon Lacey and at the top I turned around and went back to find the last rider, but he was gone. I can only assume he returned home, I hope so. I you were that last rider then let me know what happened.

We then went on to climb the zig-zags up Box hill. This is the first time I have timed myself up the climb on my summer bike. From the T-junction to the Tea room took a disappointing 7 minutes 3 seconds. I say disappointing as being so close to getting under 7 minutes is just irritating. I was however following the sage advice from Fat Cyclist and I could not have gone any faster. Then off over Box hill and down Pebble Coombe at the bottom of which we had to do running repairs to one bike whose pedal was coming loose and had a crossed thread. Thank you to the man who was cutting his hedge and lent us an oil can.

Then off again to the Blu Moon Cafe for breakfast and then a fast run back to Molesey via Leatherhead and Cobham.


Sunday Mar 20, 2005

Up and Down and Up and Down

I broke my personal rule and despite the fact that the clocks don't spring forward until next week I was out on my summer bike. So this was the first real test of the fixed ergo lever. This did mean I had to do pedal swapping early in the morning as I discovered my Look Cleats is broken.

Lots out for this weeks ride. We were heading to Henfold Lakes again, via Polseden Lacey and the zig-zags up Box hill. However after getting over the Polesden Lacey hill a few of us took the right turn for a run up to the top of Ranmore Common and then back down, just for some added “fun”. The idea was that we would catch the rest of the group after going over Box Hill somewhere before getting to the Cafe. However the others had be lured into the Tea room at the top of Box hill for a cuppa and were waiting

Whilst there a missing member of the group texted to say he was in or would soon be in the Cafe at Shere. So we had a change of plan and decided to go back down the zig-zags, though Dorking and then blast along the A25 as a group to Shere. Not often we just go up hills only to come straight back down again and today we did it twice.

The plan mostly worked except the climb after Westcott split the group into two. However we did all arrive at the Cafe at about the same time to find our missing member (Prance) waiting. Service in the Cafe was so slow we almost gave up on it and then were late to had to rush back over Coombe Bottom to Molesey.

On the way back we passed a cyclist who used to ride with us so I slowed to chat to him. By the time I looked up the group had gone so I cycled back with him and offered him break from riding into the wind, but this did mean taking it easy. So I took the long way home from Molesey as I was late anyway.

Not sure what the milage the group would have had since they went a different way back from me. I ended up doing 63 miles at 15.5mph. Nice ride if a bit chilly when we stopped for those like me who decided shorts and sleeveless shirts were the order of the day.

The Ergo lever was great, leading me to believe that it had been broken for a long time, gear changes are now very precise and if anything the lever is too stiff. Due to the pedal debacle I also got yet another test of the pedal reflector modification which stood up well so I think that is fixed.

I'm hoping to do a 100 on Good Friday if I can find some equally mad people to pop to the coast and back.


This is the old blog of Chris Gerhard. It has mostly moved to


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