Where & when: Oxshott, Surrey, May 8 2011
Distance: 86 or 147km
Climbing: 1,050/1,900 metres
Major climbs: 3
First finisher: 4-50/2-56
Last finisher: 8-13/7-43
Best: All signs up!
Worst: Car parking
Lining up for the 2011 club-run May Flyer I wanted to see how the middle section of the course looked, after the signs were stolen last year. It didn’t disappoint.
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The cut through on the short course of 86 kilometres was a winding collection of the best lanes Surrey has to offer. Turning left through Loxhill afforded beautiful views of leaf-lined, twisting roads and waterways, complete with ducks. It kept twisting and delighting right through until the feed station at Ellen’s Green.
I am glad to report the feed station was well-stocked this year too. A spread of cakes greeted the wind-battered cyclists who wolfed them down to fuel their efforts on the last and brutal 30 kilometres.
Climbing up Ewhurst was a shock to the system after the first gentle 50 kilometres. Known for its mountain biking, the climb is shrouded by trees and if it wasn’t for the steepness would make for a pretty road to ride up.
This was soon followed by a quick succession of short climbs that tested my stomach’s fortitude after three slices of flapjack. The killer was Combe Bottom. Already having come down it at the beginning all riders knew it was unavoidable. One even stopped at the last corner; he didn’t believe me that it would flatten out at the top.
Back at the new HQ in Oxshott Club there was a full spread of sandwiches and tea. Wafting meaty smells came from the BBQ while a few indulged themselves with a pint. It was the 13th year that the event had been run but it seemed our luck was in and a great day was had.
Event website: www.swrc.org.uk