Not wanting to labour a point, but our weather is bonkers at the moment!! With events all over the country being affected by the current damp spell we turned up at Dorking on Saturday morning knowing that the MTB route was generally ride-able ( I don’t think anyone was expecting there to be no mud) and we had plenty of parking on the field behind the school. At which point I noticed the rather large dome tent, erected in the last 6 months, taking up a huge section of our overflow and was then informed that the field was out of bounds due to the recent building works. Too late to do anything about it, we ploughed on fingers crossed. With both days being forecast as wet it’s always a nice surprise to see queues at the on the day registration desk! It must take a lot of determination to open those curtains in the morning and not curl back up under the bed covers. By 10.30 we’d sent everyone of and with a few spaces left in the carpark and an entry of just over 300 I was more confident about the Sportive on Sunday. Despite the fact that some of our signs had been tampered with out on the course ( They are put out less than 24 hours before the event and it is pre-riden in front of you in the morning) most people seemed to have a great ride in the hills. Whilst you were all out came a bit of a surprise, there was a hose pipe ban ( Lifted today!) so we couldn’t offer a bike wash at the end of the ride, sorry about that ( by the way, I will recognise the two of you who washed your bikes in the comunal shower, how inconsiderate are you? would you wash your bike in your own shower? who did you think was going to clear up your mess? Grrrrrrr.) and thanks for your understanding.
Saturday night was predicted to be very wet. Judging by the conditions of the roads when I was pre-driving at 4am it certainly was. I couldn’t believe the amount of debris that had been washed onto the road, sometimes leaving a swathe of mud and stones across the full width of tarmac. The reason we pre-check is to make sure that the arrows are still in place and that it makes sense when you approach the junctions, often the checker is not the setter so you also get two opinions on the marking. This was especially important on Sunday morning. I approached the last major turn, which was a left halfway down a Hill, and something didn’t look right. There were no pre-turn arrows and the two I could see were pointing right, not left. I checked the map and confirmed the left turn so got out to change them wondering why my staff had pointed them the wrong way. Looking at the two arrows I noticed that the staples holding them on weren’t ours as they were too thick! Someone had gone out with a stapler and removed/changed out arrows. On a hunch I drove down to the next junction at the bottom of the hill to find another sign, with the thick staples, pointing off into the distance. Someone had thought about this and set about with the deliberate intent to send you all in the wrong direction. So if you ever got lost due to missing a sign, in might not actually be bad marking
Anyway, onto the ride. Sunday morning at 7am and it wasn’t raining, then it started and continued until you all left when it dried up and gradually got warmed and sunnier until 5pm when my choice of Goretex shorts became a bit uncomfortable. We mentioned as much as we could about the condition of the roads and suggested that you should be able to mend at least two punctures and due to the overall lack of calls for pick ups, I think most people took note. There were always those that had 3 though, which I think was the most I heard of over the day. There were some decent showers as well and there are a few comments about riding up rivers over on our Facebook page for this ride. There were also a few comments about the last hill on the Short/Fun ride which was the only major climb on the ride, which was graded 3. If you managed it and fancy a challenge, that climb is the first one on the King of the Downs……….
Enough of my ramblings, the reason you are here, the times.
One of the most common queries I get after the results are published is ‘Can I have them in Excel?’ and the short answer is ‘no’.
We know most people just want them for general interest to see how they compare and we can completly understand that. However, for insurance and legal reasons we try hard to ensure that our events are in no way seen as races or as having any competitive element. One way we do this is by only providing results that can’t easily be ranked and it’s for the same reason that we don’t normally provide number boards for bikes or set gold, silver and bronze time targets.
Part of the appeal of the rides for many is seeing how long it takes you to complete the course, we totally get that and that’s why we time you but that’s a personal challenge and not a competition against other riders.
What is going on with our weather!!! I went out today all prepared for a drenching and spent the day in a T-shirt and shorts. Looking at the forecast, it’s going to be damp Friday, showers on Saturday and wet on Sunday, so ignore that and plan for everything Realistically it’s going to be wet this weekend so I have reduced the length of the rides a bit so that you’re not out there all day, the long is topping out at just over 80miles and the others reduced accordingly. I had the long Road loop today which starts from the top of Ranmore Common and heads North around Polsden Lacey, weaving around the country lanes on the flat before heading back up the Downs and back to the drink station. This is a new route for us, I do try and change things about at venues, and starts with a 25mile loop to the East of Dorking before heading into the North Downs and som climbing. Through Shere and up Combe Bottom, down White Down, through Abinger and up Coldharbour before the final descent back into the event centre.
Box Hill. We are not riding up Box Hill on this event. BH is a private road owned by the National Trust and from the start of this year they have been charging event organisers to ride up it. For us to use it this weekend would have cost us £800- £1000 which we just can’t afford with our low entry cost. As it is Ride It does not make any money as it’s a promotional tool for us, so to lose another £1000 to ride up BH is just not practical. Sorry to disapoint anyone, but we did mention this on the event page.
The MTB route is, let’s face it. going to be wet and muddy, but I think you are all expecting that and hopefully embracing the challenge It does our usual route straight up to Leith Hill and then winds around the bridleways in the Surrey Hills before heading North and into Effingham Forest and ending on a great downhill.
GPX files. These are now up for those that have pre-entered, the link will be in the pre-event mail youshould have recieved. If not, please check your junk folder or any other email addresses you might have used when booking. If you still can’t find it, mail me on firstname.lastname@example.org. Bear in mind that I won’t answer mails between 7am – 9pm Saturday.
Torn a tyre on the ride? Don’t want to wait in the wet to be picked up? Well here’s the solution – Dean and Tony’s torn tyre fix
On Sunday there will be a church on site. They will be using the lower part of the carpark, please do not go past our signs and follow the marshals. Once we have filled the two tennis courts we will be parking on the field, again follow the men in yellow tops.
See you there.
We are busy preparing for the Dorking Ride It this weekend and will post up here as soon as the routes are out and we have info on ground conditions and anything else you’ll need to know.