A big group of us from the club went to ride the Twickenham CC Surrey Rumble. It was my first cyclosportive outing of the year and I saw it as a good chance to get in some miles during an event and also to catch up with people I hadn't seen for a while.
Although the ride started within reach of the Surrey Hills the route didn't actually venture that far through them. The nearest we got was the descent of Whitedown and a stretch through Holmbury St Mary before heading on to Cranleigh and out towards Farnham, Hogsback, Woking and then back to the HQ. We therefore didn't have to toil over many stiff climbs, but the rolling terrain was still quite energy sapping, especially when we spent alot of time riding into a head wind!
The day was pretty pleasant as we had wall to wall sunshine the whole time. But boy, was it cold. Spring is apparently round the corner, but it's going to take a bit more convincing! The temperature can't have been more than about 5 degrees C, and it got even colder when we were in the wind. In fact, there were a number of stretches where we had to dismount from our bikes and walk round icy or slushy sections. Thankfully we didn't get this on the steep descent at Whitedown.
The organising club did a great job in putting on a well organised event, and it was especially considerate of them to have laid on hot drinks at the feedstations!
Most of the Dulwich riders set off as one big group, and then we split into smaller groups as we found our own natural paces. I rode with my club-mate Peppi, who was around the same speed as me. We then parted company at the intersection when she did the 75-mile long course and I opted for the shorter 57-mile route. I wasn't on my own for too long though as I was able to latch onto different groups that went by. Finally, I settled with two riders from Crystal Palace Triathlon club. They were training for an Ironman, so this bike ride must have been a stroll for them! It was good to have people to share the work with and keep each other going towards the end, when we were all beginning to feel it.
Back at the HQ was a chance to endulge in more hot drinks, plentiful sandwiches and that all important element, cake! All in all, a nice, if a little chilly bike ride.