Trick or Treat

15th October 2017

Sorry that that the website didn’t list the finer detail of the October ride until a week or so before the day, but I was too busy out there riding the recce time and time again!

What a lovely October day it was, with 60 bikes turning up for a run, it was going to be a good day. After a coffee/croissant courtesy of Warr’s we had to do a bit of an extended briefing to labour the point of drop off’s, reconfirming that the drop off says on station until the last man arrives, pointing in the right direction and being ready to go when they see the last man appearing in their mirrors.

Well I’m glad to report that all riders made the system work and we made it to the tea stop and the late lunch venue at The Squirrel, Hurtmore, which being right next to the A3 made for an easy ride home for most.

Steve (very bright) Graham performed last man duties, along with marshalling by Colin, Nick, Rob, and Les, we also sent a few pathfinders to mark out a couple of awkward to park locations, therefore thanks go to Ray Campbell and David Hogg. It was great to see that we had a about five new members to the group, who received a second briefing from Nick our safety officer (in the high vis shirt) to explain our drop off system, riding formation and to give general group advice.

The group set off down the A3, off at Esher Common, through Oxshott for a view of the footballers houses, past Box Hill down the tedious A24 dual carriageway (with its very slow speed limit), onto the A29 to eventually join the A272 with its wonderful curves and changes in elevation. We stopped for fuel and a brew in Petersfield and said goodbye to a few who had to get home for normal Sunday duties. The second section of the ride took us out through South Harting heading towards Funtington which is a fast flowing road, prior to heading East via Lavant to pick up the A285 running north. We could not finish the ride on ‘A’ roads could we, so we pealed off into the South Downs National Park for some real fun on the less known country roads before eventually arriving for lunch.

The Squirrel had the better part of the garden tables cordoned off for the ‘HOGS’ so we all got to sit together in the sun for a spot of late lunch.

General feedback from the RCs marshalling the ride is that, whilst the marking system worked, it was noticed during the ride that some riders lacking the basic discipline of riding within a group, staggered formation generally for straight roads then spreading out a little for bends. Please do not undertake/overtake your fellow riders, please do look in the mirrors and be aware if you cannot see the person in front and those behind are bunching up then chances are you have a slightly slower riding style than the speed limit allows. Please, don’t get pressurised, ride within your own ability, therefore just wave others through so that you can relax and frustration does not build. Final point, again the odd look in the mirrors might mean you notice a Road Captain before he comes past trying to help ensure the group stays on track.

I think we all enjoyed a great days ride, thanks to you all for a great turnout, and lets do a bit harder and faster for the ‘Return of the Rawhide’ next year.

David O’Flaherty - C&F Road Captain