Dittons Velo ride reports 11/12 Jan 2014

Saturday was excellent – perfect weather and healthy turnout of 13 I think:

Boysie, MattW, AndrewW, Rob, Graham, Siobhan, DavidW, RichardC, Sandra, JohnS, Leo, me. Plus we were joined by Peter on his first DV ride.

As planned we set out on the route I’d proposed but were forced to backtrack and take Hungry Hill instead of the Ripley W.Clandon extension..cutting about 5mi and 300′ climbing off the route.
 Route was Cobham-HungryHill-StapleLane-GreenDene-BeechAve/HighBarn/HogdenLane-Ranmore-BoxHill (tea & cake). Back via Epsom and Oxshott.

A few people with less time available took short cuts, some preferred to miss out Box Hill. Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves.

Sunday ride:

A colder day but nice start to the day. Dr David, Brett, Rob and myself met up at G!ro and, after convincing Brett against a day spent looking at floods in the Thames Valley we headed out for a sprightly 50mi route mostly on main roads through Leatherhead, to Dorking, Reigate, Gatwick, slog up to Reigate Hill for short chilly tea stop, then back via Redhill, Tadwoth, Epsom downs.

Looking forward to next weekend.

We have a few new members following us (either on Facebook, Twitter, Strava, or on the blog), and interested in coming out on their first DV ride soon…great news. Leo, DavidW, Mark who all joined us recently are already becoming regular attendees!

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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Saturday 23rd November 2013 Ride Report

11 met up at Café Rouge including David Marsden who was off the bike with a cold but joined for a pre-ride coffee.

So we had enough for three groups this weekend:
Brett and Andrew T
Simon H, Andrew W, John S, Graham (welcome back Graham) and Leo
Hobbs, Tim, Nigel

It was SimonH’s first Dittons Velo outing on his road bike, so great to see him getting back into the swing of things.

The latter group meandered to the bottom of Staple Lane (where they met the second group coming down) exchanged pleasantries and then continued up and then down via Green Dean and back to Esher for a caffeine refuel at G!ro.
Hobbs tried out Nigel’s spare bike and seemed to enjoy the experience. Tim sporting his usual orange attire decided to keep things ‘simple’ and stay in the same gear for most of the ride.

Andrew and Brett as the faster group had a good 32mile ride out to Box Hill via Claygate and Polesden Lacey.  They were forced to take the descents very  carefully as it was very slippery.  After a short break at the view point for half a banana each they headed back via Headley with a good climb up out of Langley Vale to the top of Epsom Downs. In AndrewT’s words: “Nothing too challenging after my holiday but good company and a few fast bits along the way. Beautiful views”

Andrew and Brett head out as the faster group
Andrew and Brett setting out as the faster group

Brett on BoxHill waiting for AndrewT?
Brett, still at the top of Box Hill, waiting for AndrewT to catch up perhaps?

AndrewW's had enough and heads home from G!ro. Leo enjoys an amazing hot chocolate
Andrew has had enough and is off home. Leo enjoys a well-deserved post-ride hot chocolate

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.