Yesterday I took part in the Surrey Classic bike ride. This bike ride is organised by Allianz and the partner charity is the Kent/Surrey/Sussex Air ambulance. There were 3 distances to chose from being 25, 60 or 100 miles and I was doing the longer with my friends Helen and Alain.
As the weather last week was so bad, and like many areas, there were roads that were flooded the route was amended the day before. Secretly I was wondering if it meant we would miss Leith Hill, as they did on the London Prudential ride in 2014, though that was not the case and was still firmly on the route though it was a different climb than the one I have previously done. I must admit I had no idea there were numerous ways of getting up Leith Hill and the route on the Prudential Ride is 1.9 miles long and the route I took yesterday according to my Strava is over 7 miles! That was………nice.
Now as you know I do not like hills but I’ve heard a million times that you only get better at them by doing them so that is what I am doing. Though I do wonder why can’t something else get you better at them like broccoli or brussel sprouts? Or when people say it will make you a stronger cyclist I wonder if it would be ok to just continue being a weaker cyclist and sticking to flat roads? Flat I can do!
I’m joking! I am embracing them and by embracing I mean I huff and puff a lot but I do them.
This ride took in the Surrey Hills out to Sussex and back for more Surrey Hills. There were some short and sharp hills but mostly they were a lower gradient but went on for miles and if I am honest I am not entirely sure what is harder?
We cycled through some beautiful towns and saw one sign in particular that made us all laugh even if they missed the one that said To the next hill, which is of course the way we were going.
My knee, for the second week in a row, was pretty painful and started to swell so after just 25 miles i was taking pain killers in order to complete the ride and that I did.
I was so impressed with the organisers especially at the 50 mile rest stop where we found they had hot pasta and meatballs and even a gluten free option – amazing especially as Alain can only have gluten free.
The end of the ride saw us at 82 miles or you can loop back round to make the difference up and that was the only disappointing part for me as I am sure there are other loops that could be added rather than looping back and repeated part you have already done to make the distance up.
Medal earned, more hills climbed and I managed to leave the venue with all the bikes in tact on top of the car, which is better than when I parked at the start and forgot the bikes were on top and ended up taking part of a tree with me – leaf anyone?
I titled my Strava ride Surrey Classic with Helen and Alain – Dear Surrey, F*ck you and your hills. That was from my painful knee.