August 2020 Denbies Ride
The opportunity was grasped by a rain-resistant group to enjoy a superb "Denbies" ride on Saturday 15th August in the Surrey Hills, guided by the BDO Chair Chris Grove.
The weather forecast looked grim and with a fair likelihood of lightning strikes; but those pessimistic BBC weather pundits were proven wrong! After a start at the Denbies Vineyard near Dorking, in what admittedly resembled a Rwandan Rainforest setting and with the adjacent iconic 'Box Hill' obscured, we set off to prove that a base level of fitness gained on the Zwift rides during lock-down would see us through.
And so it proved albeit with some self-questioning moments, courtesy of a number of cheeky climbs, that reinforced the view that there is nothing quite like the real thing! Compliance with COVID cycling guidelines made for perfect small group cycling and as ever it was great to meet some new riders. The 'Scotch Mist' came and went, keeping us mercifully cool after the recent scorching weather. Mid-point coffee was order of the day at Forest Green, with assorted home produced nibbles (some by Chris' midnight baking the night prior) very gratefully received and as provided by 'Team Grove' - thankyou Mrs and Ms G!
So fuelled, some second half cruising lulled the uninitiated into a false sense of security before the sting in the tail that shall be known as 'Pill Box Hill' - not that this particular landmark particularly registered, as one ground up the 18% incline over which it presides. But the run-in across Ranmore Common, the panorama above Denbies and descent into the vineyard to the finish - it could have been Cape Town - rapidly dispelled the gaining fatigue in the legs. The ride was rounded off with a chilled glass of Denbies sparkling white, which is becoming a welcome tradition!
Roll on the next Denbies - one not to be missed!