Reigate to Route 41 in Sutton and back.

The sun is out, warm then? Only cycling uphill it is, the rest of the time, on this fine April 18th Dad's Day Out was bloomin' cold. Any exposed areas meant cold, well, everything really. It didn't stop PP and myself having fun.

PP, on his own, has two basic routes. Left to Bike Beans, or right to the Rescue Centre in Tatsfield. Both long ones, at 45km. He wanted, however, another 45km one to add to the collection. Luckily I've just one at hand; Reigate to Sutton, Sutton to Epsom, Epsom to Reigate. It all sounds very tedious; ride under the M25 and into outer London? Why not just do 97 loops of Barry Knows Best?

Simples. It's a long old route with lots of variance, plus lots of really quite nice cafes. Then there's Route 41 [or 42, can't quite remember!] in Banstead, near the prison, which is always worth a play. Although from the three images below, perhaps the trail pixies need to be out with their shovels.






Banstead was great for a tea stop. Well in my case coffee with poached eggs on toast. The cafes here appear quite suited to cyclists and didn't mind us at all. Indeed Banstead seemed quite a friendly place. Quite busy, even on a Thursday morning. The route there is an easy one, running parallel to the A217, you can't really get lost. It runs through countryside all the way. It is, however, oddly hilly. Not big climbs, more a series of small but steep lurches. They add up though and by the end of the day I figure we'd done more climbing than a trip to Box Hill would involve. My legs felt hollow.

Banstead to Epsom is a bit roadie really, as there is no option but road to Ewell. We did make use of all the bridleways in town to get up to the Downs. Always odd that, bridleways through housing estates. The climb up to the top is doable, and PP raced away with his inner demons making it look easy. At the top the trail runs through a golf course, and, well, boys will be boys...


All in around 45km covered, with three cafe stops. Left 9am, back 3pm, well within school hours. A stunningly fresh day. More importantly, another route for PP. Once you've three or four in the bag, rides no longer become same old same old. Mix a bit of route three with route four, add in a hint of route two, and the options become almost endless. PP now has three good East Surrey rides in the bag of options. A grand day really.

Oh, and let it be said; the sponge cake at the Tatsfield animal rescue centre to this day remains the best sponge cake I've ever had. I'm 50, and have had a lot of sponge cakes let me tell you. The only issue being the location and heating, or lack of, plus the fact that the cake isn't always on. I'm telling you, if that cake was for sale at Peaslake, well you'd have to be in quick to get some.

This weekend we're off to Afan again. This time, just perhaps, I may well take a camera with me. Just perhaps. I've also booked myself in for the 26th April event at Peaslake. Will I break into the top third? Will I beat my current position of almost last solo male? Will I ever clean my bikes again?


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