Event Review

REVIEW: NSPCC Tour of the South East - Day 1

by Jennifer Trotman

GB Flag

The sun was out by now, and as we waited once more - this time outside The Star Inn - the thought of a cold pint of lager later was motivational. There were more country lanes, more getting strung out as people got more tired. Uphill my legs were killing me, but it was all very pleasant really. Just like a weekend ride with mates, since our group had turned out to be a pretty sociable bunch. Having lots of riders in their free Tour jerseys was nice too - it made for a certain conformity, and looked good out there on the road. 

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Group 1 ready to go again: the third and final food stop, 15 miles to Guildford

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Ride leader Ian 

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Ambulance bike

There were a couple of nasty stinger hills before we reached our final destination, which came as an unpleasant surprise. At one point yet another well-organised peloton caught up again, and we were instructed to wait to let them by. I did feel a slight pang...should that have been me? I was a bit concerned about negotiating Guildford, as I recall it being busy with traffic, but as it turns out we didn't have any problems. We just rolled down into town and straight into the hotel area. Day 1 was done - around 90 miles and 6,300 feet of climbing were behind us.

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Made it!

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Masseuse and mechanics 

The hotel turned out to be lovely, though as it was 4* and swish, everyone seemed a tad (politely) bemused by all of us wandering around in grubby lycra. Everything was organised: our bikes went into secure storage, our overnight bags were ready and waiting for us, and masseurs and mechanics were on hand for those that wanted/needed them. What I wanted was to check in, get to my room, have a shower, put normal clothes on and then buy myself that cold lager I'd been dreaming of. 

The dinner started with free fizz and mingling, followed by a sit-down three course meal complete with compère and inspirational speech by Paralympian Mark Colbourne. Tomato soup, bangers & mash, apple crumble & custard - fuel for Day 2! There was also a raffle and various awards including those for the KOM and QOM up Kidds Hill in each Group, which was a nice touch - since inter-group competition would never have worked. 

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Ready for dinner

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Jersey winners

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Me and Mark Colbourne

Read Jennifer's report from Day Two HERE.

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Official Review

1. Feed Stops (correct foodstuffs and energy drinks, the right many, well spaced) 8 out of 10
2. Timing (correct and easy to use) 9 out of 10
3. Signage (Clear, concise, maps, profiles, route card) 9 out of 10
4. Facilities (HQ, Parking, Toilets) 10 out of 10
5. Support (Sag Wagon, Outriders) 8 out of 10
6. Friendliness / Professionalism (Sign-in, marshals, support) 10 out of 10
7. Website - ease of use (Online and postal entry, clear concise) 10 out of 10
8. The Course (Area of outstanding beauty/scenic, quiet roads, cleverly designed?) 10 out of 10
9. Would you recommend it. (Would you ride again?) 10 out of 10
Overall Rating 93.3%




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