Our squad was formed up and ready to go by the time I arrived, rather out of sorts, at CTC HQ in a business park on the outskirts of Guildford. It was cloudy and cool for May, with a blustery southwesterly promising opposition on the outward leg.
The route passes through the gap in the downs at Puttenham and runs west alongside the Hog’s Back, just kisses Farnham, and then turns south towards Headley Down. Into Hampshire the lanes become steeper and gnarlier, so I was nonplussed, braking into a blind bend mid-descent, to see Brenda flashing fearlessly past on the outside. (This was to have consequences.)
At the Liphook food stop, Naomi said she was feeling poorly and would not continue on the longer route, so that was Keith also counted out. The sun was breaking through and it was tempting to loaf around eating cake (alas, no coffee) in the pleasingly sheltered courtyard. But Charlie said he didn’t want to stiffen up and headed off on his tod. I followed soon afterwards with Stephen, Brenda, Mike and a couple of others. more »