Sun 29 Dec 2013 ride: “DV, a great discovery”

OK, so forget the last blog – perhaps today was the last DV ride of 2013…

This morning (Sunday), Brett, Graham, Nigel and I were joined by Mark for his inaugural Dittons Velo ride.

And what a DV ride it turned out to be. 55miles according to Garmin/Ascent (which Mark’s stats seem to agree with), or 58mi according to Strava which seems to think I rode 10 laps of Costa Coffee in Cranleigh. I swear I didn’t – I was focused on my cappuccino and flapjack.

What a superb day it was for a ride anyway. A little icy at first especially on Hogden Lane that should have been a joy to ride with its silky smooth tarmac; and it was also a bit precarious descending Whitedown when the sun was so bright and too low we couldn’t see what the road surface was like.

But all in all it was a great route (thanks Brett) – even if we did go tackle the Guildford one-way system.

Really enjoyed having Mark join us and hope he’ll be a regular part of our Saturday and/or Sunday rides. With his Cycle2Africa he’s not afraid of the miles / hours on the bike.

Kudos again to Simon for his toasti toes suggestion: my toes were getting a bit icy half way round, I attached one of these to my socks and enjoyed lovely warm toes all the way home. Was very happy with a Christmas present of Seal Skinz lobster gloves too (a bit too warm by the end of the ride, but perfect for anything around 0degC).

Mark seemed to enjoy his first DV ride, with his comment on the Facebook group:  “DV a great discovery”. Mark also was kind enough to share a log of the route via the site he uses, Wikiloc:

Plus the usual Strava view – with the extra laps of Costa:

Last DV rides of 2013

It’s been a good week for rides, I’ve been joined by Nigel, AndrewW and Martin on various mid-week rides this week and last.  The days after or before the storms have been surprisingly nice – just a matter of planning a route to avoid the Surrey floods.

Saturday morning  was lovely weather and the guilt of Christmas indulgence meant we had a good turnout of 15 of us at Cafe Rouge:
Rae and RichardK, Hobs, Colin, Malcolm, Ian (welcome back with your full set of knees!), Nigel, Martin, AndrewW. Simon, Rob, Sal, Sandra, Dr. David, and myself made up a group to Windsor.

Nigel and group took a c.30mi route via Cobham, Ockham, Ripley, Hungry Hill/Ripley Rd, back via the Horsleys.

The Windsor ride was a good pace – led mostly by Sal on his hybrid of course!




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Dittons Velo and me

I could say cycling is a love affair that started for me as a pre-pubescent youth riding 3 miles to school, and doing wet and windy paper rounds on Morecambe promenade.
But that didn’t last and it was over two decades later in my late-30s that I started commuting to work that my addiction to cycling started. Call me crazy, but an accident whilst commuting three years ago seem to stimulate rather than suppress my cycling urge. My first road bike purchase followed six months after the accident.
It was only in the Summer of 2013 that I was introduced to Dittons Velo – I was aware of other cycling clubs but, for me, cycling has to be fun, so I’d stopped short of joining. Some clubs seemed to take themselves too seriously and be too much about racing. The friendly nature of Dittons Velo cycling attracted me, but also the wide range of abilities in the relatively small group so you  can try out different speeds and routes until you’re happy you’ve found the right level for yourself.
Fact: the great bike builder in the sky didn’t design me to take on Cavendish in a sprint, or beat Froome in a climb up Mont Ventoux. My arms are too long, my chest is too wheezy, and my knees are too knobbly and weak. But none of that matters, and my Dittons Velo comrades have been a constant source of incredible motivation and encouragement. Just ask my wife how moody I get when I can’t join a ride (answer: very).
Why has it been better than riding alone? Well, learning new routes, pushing me to go a bit further and faster, occasionally digging deep to keep up the pace when I would have slowed down, and always having ‘buddies’ to give me a reason to ride even if the weather’s not great or I’m struggling to get out of bed on a weekend. Some of the rides have been slow and sedate, some have pushed me to near-exhaustion. I’ve enjoyed each and every ride, even some of the very wet days some of us have braved.
It’s been a great first six months with the club, I look forward to the years to come. It is because I believe in what Dittons Velo stands for: Cycling for all, that I not only ride, but I also help to organise the rides and write some of the material that appears on this website.
Follow me on Twitter @directoronabike
Or come and meet the real me on one of our Saturday rides. I’ll be the knobbly kneed wheezy one with a big grin on his face.

Saturday 16th Nov 2013 Ride Report

Last Saturday saw a healthy DV turn out of 10 in spite of a cold (1degC) start.

A magnificent 7, including Nigel, Olivia, MattW, MalcolmK, Boysie, AndrewW, and new boy Leo, headed out via Cobham to Ripley for some cake-fuel before heading over Staple Lane to ease the cake guilt. Circling back via East Horsley made for a nice 30mile route.

A supposedly faster group of me, Dr David and Rob had intended to do a c.50mi route to Shere round Cranleigh back around outskirts of Guildford, but that plan was thwarted by one broken chain. So we went first back to Thames Ditton to repair that, and then out through Esher, Cobham, Plough Lane, Hungry Hill, Staple Lane. From there the plan was to go down towards the A25, circling back to climb up Coombe Bottom.
However, a surprisingly slippery hairpin caught out Dr David whose head was very glad to have been protected by a helmet (note: Dittons Velo are helmet fascists. We wear our brains on the inside of our heads, we find they work better that way). David’s hand was not so lucky – taking the impact as he fell – he’s now sporting a nasty swollen sprained thumb. Thankfully no breaks. The speedy 23mm Vittorias will now be swapped for the more grippy Gatorskins, says David.

November 2013: Dittons Velo gathers fresh momentum

Ride report from 2 November

Today’s turnout of 20 was a lot better than expected. As was the weather.

As Nigel commented on Facebook, this equals the best turnout ever for Dittons Velo. I’m in awe.

One group consisting of Nigel, Rae, Boysie, Olivia, Tim, Hobbs, MattW, DavidH, AndrewW did a Cobham, Ockham, Ripley 26mile route. Which cafe provided the cake venue this week (He asks, enviously)?

And another equally impressive group took over the roads to Windsor: Sal, AndrewT, MattP, Sandra, Siobhan, DrDavid, Rob, JohnW, me – a 40-45mi route that started casual/social but after a few mechanical issues (see photos on Facebook) soon picked up pace.

Thanks everyone for waiting for me when I fell behind. Hope I didn’t slow things down too much for you. Great ride – even though there was no time for cake.

MattP suggests we bring our mountain bikes next week since it seemed to work for Sal. I’m not sure of Matt’s logic, but something isn’t quite right about a 17st man doing those speeds on a hybrid, without seeming to break a sweat. More awe. Hope you can join us more often Sal.

Colin and Mrs. Colin (Jill) were also out at the crack of dawn (well, 9am) to get an early start. Hope you had a good ride.

If you’re a Facebook user, please do sign up to the Dittons Velo group – and go and see photos of today’s rides, and please share your own photos and updates.