The joy of riding the Surrey Hills

Went out on Tuesday for my first long ride in ages through the Surrey Hills. They form one of the main hubs of activity for cyclists in the South East of England and I’ve been riding them ever since I was a child.

I think I rode for around 5 hours, missed a couple of hills and turns, but enjoyed the mild spring weather. Rode through Peaslake which is always pretty and pleasant, managed to miss Whitedown Vale and the more challenging side of Leith Hill (well the one I dislike more). Those were accidental but skipping Ranmoor Common was a deliberate choice as I was in need of a cup of coffee and some cake and it was taking longer than expected to get to Box Hill.

Next day I was absolutely ruined. I’ve never recovered well from long rides and this being the first in a while meant that I felt worse than ever. I don’t think I would have made a stage racer.

This weekend is Milan-San Remo which I’m rather looking forward to. I’m not tipping anyone as it’s usually the way to jinx them. Then again, looking at the list of injured/ill riders, I don’t need much help: Ballan’s out with the curse of the rainbow jersey, Cancellara’s injured, Schleck too and Freire.

Still first of the men’s classics traditionally signals the beginning of the cycling year for me.

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