Our final ride of the season led by our Chair, Chris Grove

Braving wet roads and a rugby world cup news black-out, a hardy group of 9 joined Chris Grove for the final ride of the season. As we rolled out of Denbies vineyard the sun broke cover over Box Hill and the decision to leave the winter bikes at home looked like a good one.

A gentle warm up through Westhumble led us to the first climb of the day up onto Ranmore Common.  A somewhat gratuitous loop down to Effingham, returning to Ramnore Common brought us to Whitedown and an early “sighter” of what was to come at the end of the ride. The pace picked up as we headed down to Peaslake before a stunning climb up to the top of Holmbury Hill on roads usually frequented by the “baggy brigade”. 

With the half-way feed stop just over the horizon the pace picked up as we rolled down Holmbury Hill and headed to Forest Green and a rendezvous with Chris’s wife and her now famous banana cake.  Refreshed and warmed in the autumnal sunshine we headed south through Walliswood before turning east hitting Weare Street and on to Ockley.  With the legs warmed up again we headed back into the hills skirting Leith Hill before heading back to Whitedown and the final climb of the day where those who’d kept a bit in reserve relished the challenge of the 20% sting in the tail.

A final blast across Ranmore and decent through the vineyard via the infamous stretch of “Strade Bianche” led us back to Denbies and a well-deserved glass of Denbies’ very own “Whitedown”: a fitting way to finish our very own Ride of the Falling Leaves and bring the 2019 BDOVELO season to a close.

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