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A tour with BDOVELO chair, Chris Grove

“A hardy “baker’s dozen”, who had either ignored or decided to brave the mid-week weather forecast, rolled out of Denbies on Saturday morning, as the sun broke cover over Box Hill.

We set off heading south, skirting the North Downs ridge (okay, there was a little “lump” on the way, just to get the blood flowing) before heading back north to Brockham and on to Betchworth and then turning south (into a headwind!) through Leigh and on to Newdigate. There was a brief respite as we made a turn at Rusper but few volunteers to take a turn on the front!

A puncture just outside Warnham allowed bit of a breather before the final push on to The Parrot at Forest Green and a welcome stop to re-fuel and catch up in the sun.  Refreshed we headed into the lumpy part of the route with a climb over Holmbury Hill; a “warm-up” for the Whitedown challenge that was to follow.  As the saying goes “it doesn’t get easier – you just get faster”….although despite some judicious offloading of water before the final challenge of the day, some had clearly partaken of too much banana cake and found Whitedown a little more of a challenge than it should have been!

With the sun now beating down, the run home across Ranmore Common and down through the vineyard to Denbies was a joy, offering some fantastic views over the vineyard to Dorking.  If you squinted hard enough you could have been in Provence!

A great ride, rounded off with a chilled glass of Denbies sparkling white….this is what English summers are all about.”