On Friday 17th September, a group of 24 riders gathered at Burrows Lea Country House for the Club Peloton Surrey Hills day ride, the first in a series of long overdue UK-based day rides which are running over the coming months.
There were a few changes to the usual day ride format, with new restrictions and processes across both the structure of the ride and support on the road. Club Peloton was guided by advice from British Cycling and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport to ensure that all riders were as safe as possible throughout the day.
The day kicked off in the car park of Burrows Lea Country House: perhaps not the most glamorous start but the perfect spot for both the team and riders to gather safely at a distance and share their excitement for the day ahead. Stuart, the Club Peloton medic, took each rider’s temperature, before they were allocated into four different groups of six, whom they would ride with throughout the day.
A hearty breakfast of pastries, bacon rolls, vegetarian hotdogs and coffee was served in a marquee before riders prepared their bikes and kit for the day ahead.
The planned route was 85km, including some iconic climbs and plentry of quiet country roads meandering through quaint little villages in the Surrey Hills. The GPX route file was shared with all riders in advance so everyone was well prepared. The riders rolled out from 8.45am with a staggered start time for each group.
Stage 1 of the ride went smoothly with very few cars on the road, making it a pleasant and enjoyable morning. A mid-morning coffee break back at the start point, with a selection of homemade cakes, coffee and tea, re-fueled the group. They then enjoyed glorious blue skies and sunshine during the second and final loop of the ride.
As always, there was plenty of on-road support with a Ride Captain in each group and a support vehicle, which took the lead re-checking the route and setting up the morning coffee stop. The medic and mechanic were also on hand at the start, half-way and finish points.
A packed lunch, including a cream tea, was served back at Burrows Lea Country House, along with ice cold beers!
“I was very pleased to take part in the first ‘live’ Club Peloton event since the COVID situation brought everything to a standstill.
The atmosphere was a little tense with no one quite knowing what to expect or what behaviour was okay or not when cycling within COVID restrictions. Great to see so many old friends (some old and some who just look old) and get out of the home office back on a bike. Lots of stories of life and work in the last six or seven months were shared.
We were spoiled with beautiful blue skies and although we started out feeling pretty cold we ended with a very nice packed lunch and BEER sitting out in the sun. The new format of being allocated in fixed groups of six from the start and throughout the whole day was easy to manage and actually worked really well. For me the biggest improvement was having a fixed base location and riding two different circuits from there, one before a very good cup of tea with plenty of fine cake mid-morning and one after. Also being able to leave your kit in one place made the logistics very easy, not only for the riders but even more so for the crew.
In fact I didn’t hesitate to book the next event coming up in Bristol. Hope to see you on the 16th Oct!”
Christian Spencer-Davies, Club Peloton Ride Captain
For some riders this was the first time they’d been out riding in a group since the beginning of lockdown, so not only did the ride provide many with a chance to get back on their bike but also the opportunity to catch up and network with old friends and the Club Peloton team.
We hope to see more of the community at the next day ride in Bristol on the 16th October!
For more information on all future Club Peloton rides and events click here.