Big Week Bike Ride 23/24th July 2016 in aid of the Surrey 2019 Festival
Congratulations to Stephen Farrell and his brother Mark on raising over £4000 for the Big Week. Here is his report on the two day trip.
Well, in the best traditions of modern life, it would be fair to say that I’ve been ‘on a journey’ ! Well, me and my big brother Mark.
At 6.14am on Saturday 23rd July all the months of training and planning came together and, after a few perfunctory stretches, we pushed off into the early morning traffic of Croydon. The early start was to avoid the traffic on the Purley Way which soon led to the drop into Merstham and an early lung busting climb to Nutfield for the first check point.
Confidence was climbing after a power banana break and so was the sun as we headed off cross country towards Cranleigh.
The area is called the ‘Surrey Hills’ for a reason.
We zig-zagged across country down beautiful country lanes with the sun beating down, avoiding the worst of the gradients. We ignored the ‘proper’ cyclists heading towards masochism on Leith Hill and spun through picturesque villages towards Cranleigh where a welcome Committee of family and friends provided welcome coffee and cake.
Full of caffeine and calories we headed off through the Saturday morning shoppers towards Guildford. The miles flew by and Godalming centre soon came into view. There was nothing better at this time than a big mug of tea supped on an enlightening tour of the hall.
Buoyed up by the force of nature that is a tuna mayo sandwich we pushed on over the A3 towards Farnham with Johnny Cash songs running through my head. (No idea why)! Despite the obstacle that is Donkey Hill we rolled into Farnham where on Castle Hill, once again, good folk were there to greet us.
Buzzing with the thought of the half way point in sight we pushed on to the Hogs Back hotel where Air-con and cool showers rounded off the warm down process. Saturday night was celebrated with a good supper, the odd beer and an early night.
Surprisingly, we were in a good state physically, the training miles paying off. The knowledge that we might actually be able to deliver on the promises made began to take hold.
Sunday dawned cooler but clear. Dressed and fueled early we slipped off the Hog’s Back through Pirbright to Bisley eating up the miles. We didn’t linger long at Camberley and tea with peanut butter sarnies were a welcome reward for making Chertsey long before midday.
The faintest whiff of Croydon was in our nostrils as we powered towards Surbiton ……..no hills in this part of Surrey……..but the traffic was getting much heavier. Neither of us was comfortable but it sharpened our focus away from aching limbs and saddle soreness. Sutton meant cold water and essential ice-creams! We pushed on towards Duppas Hill and the flyover passed in a blur.
The underpass was strangely empty and when we turned into Oakfield road the ‘Tour de Surrey’ was complete! 122 miles and 9748 calories expended.
Couldn’t decide whether to laugh or cry, jump up and down or simply go home. A good brotherly handshake and then off home for a well-earned Roast
And a glass or three!
What did we learn?
* Our reach should always exceed our grasp.
* There’s no substitute for proper preparation
* Ask for help and prepare to be amazed by the generosity of spirit that will answer the call for support.
* MAMILs (Middle-aged men in Lycra) really do need a sense of humour.
* Owners of certain makes of car believe they have an enhanced rights on the roads.
* Tea is in the top three best drinks of the day/week/month/Year.
* Surrey is a beautiful County.
* Too many to mention but, here goes……………
* Heartfelt thanks to everyone who was kind enough to support our efforts in thought, word and good hard cash!
* My family, for putting up with my endless preoccupation with the ride.
* My brother, without whose advice, support and common sense this wouldn’t have worked.
* Ian, Trevor, Ian#2, Paul, David, Bernie, John and Robbie for being there on the day to meet us!
* Julie @ CDMHplc for the safe parking.
Watch out for the Big Bike Ride in 2018!
If you missed the chance to support my ride there’s still time. Find me at :