Group 1 & 2 Ride Review, by Ian Holmes (aka Sherlock)
There's a theme developing here ... rolling up at Carluccio's to meet the Alpine Challenge riders for the 7th HotChillee training ride and the rain was already falling.
With a healthy ratio of Ride Captains to riders Group 1 & 2 rolled out of Walton for what would be an epic ride.
With Flash having sorted a nice 'rolling' route the group headed south towards West Byfleet before tackling some of the more challenging Surrey climbs.
Natural selection began to take place and the group whittled down to about 20 riders with Ride Captains dropping back to assist with punctures that were to become all too frequent. Myself, Gilly and Flash remained with Group 1 as they set a strong pace.
Probably worth a mention at this time would be the rider (identity protected!) who punctured with no spare tube, pump or gas! It would have been a long walk had it not been for the generous nature of fellow riders and Ride Captains. Remember your spares!!
The climbs were taken at a steady tempo thanks to our guest, Anthony Shippard (L2P Green Sprinters Jersey winner in 2007 & 2008), and the group remained together to tackle the descents made treacherous by heavy rain and gravel.
After Leith Hill the group headed north to enjoy the newly resurfaced Box Hill following the Olympic route of Wiggins and Co. The names of Cav and Froome Dog painted across the road giving us a lift despite the thunder and monsoon conditions.
Special mention at this point to Tracy who, having only started riding in January, dug in to stay with the group and even attack a few on Box Hill. Great effort.
The welcome sight of Carluccio's and a well earned capuccino greeted us after nearly 100 kms in the saddle and 600 m of climbing. Ironically it was then that the sun decided to make an appearance.
Fantastic miles in the legs for Annecy where we hope the weather will be a little better. See you on the next training ride.
Group 3 & 4 Ride Review, by David Kirkby (aka Capt)
On a wet and windy Sunday morning these hardened men and women of the HotChillee family, don the wet weather in Belgium traditions and down a double macchiato and slide onto treacherous roads of Surrey.
Like a wild mob of snowy mountain brumbies, unruly at times, the Ride Captains wield the unruly bunch so by Weybridge they look like the SKY train led by a ginger side burned rocker (no its just Will Watt). Heading south into the eye of the fatal storm, with windchill and potholes disguised by puddles, the size of Olympic pools, caution was the order of the day. Into the hills and the flint stones (not Fred and Wilmar) the little sharp rocks began their evil task of catching ill prepared cyclist with the "it will be OK I haven't punctured in 5 years" attitude , completely off guard.
To the rescue like Superman to Lois Lane, Ride Captains a plenty stopping roadside, fixing punctures faster than Lewis Hamilton's pit crew (OK maybe a little overstated). Fortunately we had a abundance of Ride Captains, so to abandon them with puncture victims, ensured the ride would seamlessly proceed like the Olympic race up Box Hill and beyond.
OK enough of that!
A quality training ride and lets pray for sunshine next time.