Raiders Bank Holiday ride to Dearnford Lake for coffee and cake, then back to the New Inn for a beer in the sun


I’d missed my sportive on Saturday. I was down to do the Sigma Sports Surrey Hills Cyclone but with one thing and another on Friday, I never got chance to drive down and so decided to give it a miss.

By Bank Holiday Monday I was dying to get out on my bike and a Nova Raiders ride to Dearnford Lake at 10am in the morning looked perfect. It’s a steady club ride, so a nice gentle pace which won’t affect my legs for the coming weekend’s doubleheader sportives (Sussex Gran Fondo on Saturday and then South Downs Epic MTB on Sunday).

I rode down to Newport from home in plenty of time to see only one rider in The Square waiting. Hmmm, was hoping for a better turnout than that. A minute or two later a big group appeared around the corner from the B&M car park. We ended up with 15 in total, which is perfect as that’s the maximum allowed on any one ride by our club Cycling UK insurance.

We set off up out via Adeney, Tibberton and Great Bolas, connecting then with my normal route to Dearnford from home. The clouds started to clear on the way and the sun made a very welcome appearance. I was totally enjoying catching up with friends as we rode along and the sun just topped things off.


At Dearnford, our big group descended on the cafe to put our orders in and retired to two tables outside by the lake in the sun. Did I mention the sun was out today ;-).

After some coffee and food, we headed off back the flattest route we could find back to Newport. Another very enjoyable ride and we were soon saying our goodbye’s to some riders, while the rest of us retired to the New Inn for some beers in the sun.

I ended up staying a little longer than I was planning at the pub (oops!) and managed to get a lift home. Phew!

A great ride out today and it totally summed up all I love about going out with my cycling club.

Route: click here