Our intermediate ride can be summed up as a demonstration of 'superb teamwork'! I knew where we were going until we got to Westcott where Sue took over, Monika lead us down the single track and Phil supported us at the back whilst showing us how it is done up the steepest hill.
Eleven riders showed up at Milton Heath to take the hard climb with a stinging finale up to Ranmore. On a leafy double track tracing the contours, we found the first of many groups of DofEers traipsing through the bluebelled woods. With the weather much improved and the trails drying up again, the descent off the North Downs to Park Farm had us throwing up chalky dust behind us.
Through Abinger Roughs and up to Holmbury St Mary and thence Yoghurt Pots for two circuits for some of our quicker riders. The grins were in broad evidence especially from newby Gareth who had had no previous experience of single track. (So enthused was he that he even came up smiling after a later over-the-handlebars incident!)
The Greensand Way took us to the Leith Hill tower for tea and grumpy cake. I managed to time our only puncture of the day here – what planning!
The new stretch of Summer Lightning from the top beckoned and we assumed it is now open (barrier tape is still up but looks to be feeding riders onto the trail). Fencing forced a stop half way down which is where the contentious section is, I guess. However, that didn't spoil the fun of a downhill which flows well with plenty of dirt jumps that allow flight if that's your bag!
We followed Summer Lightning all the way down to Wolverns Lane and the sandy track to the A25. At Westcott, Sue showed us the proper NR22 route through the village and back to Milton Heath. It was here I fell at the last post and lead us on an unnecessary circuit of the car park. Sorry about the stingers, chums!