Monday, 5 August 2013

How the cyclists saw the Surrey Hills Today.

Today  Cyclists and  Armchair Spectators  witnessed the  Beauty,  Splendour and History  in the Surrey Hills.

Like most people this morning , who hadn't the energy or planned and trained i decided not to undertake the 100 mile London to Surrey Hills Cycle race. As a local resident in Westcott I  sympathise with those upset by road closures from Central London to the villages and towns in the Surrey Hills. Despite all of that i was gripped by the coverage of the Prudential London to Surrey cycle race event schedule for over 5 hours on BBC1 then on the Red Button switchover as they came to my home patch Westcott. The routes I know so well, have cycled and driven and walked,  especially the winding narrow leafy lanes in the Surrey Hills, where the trees cover the roads in summer in permanent shade. From Ripley through West Horsley the climb to the first ascent  on Newlands corner, staggering views,the Countryside the villages past through on the climb to Leith Hill. As a keen amateur cyclist living in the Surrey Hills i caught the cycling bug some years ago and yes thanks to Boris Johnson's encouragement to get on our Bikes i have to say i welcome it.Even welcome being inconvenienced by the road closures for such a spectacular and gripping event it was fabulous to watch on TV and then to run up the road and greet the cyclist hurtling through my village en route to Dorking for the Boxhill ascent.

The inconvenience of not being able to drive your car out of the village to the shops or nearby Dorking is more than made up with the incredible visual shots of the Men's Elite cyclists hammering the up and down hills past so much history mentioned by the commentator's, like the old Clock and  Bell in Abinger Hammer with a  model blacksmiths hammer striking the clock overhanging the main road with a picturesque scene of a Surrey village you couldn't do justice to in the best  picture book. In the same village the local Tilling brook stream, where the kids fish with their nets on a boiling hot Summers day, while their parents crack open a bottle of wine and enjoy a picnic yards from the main A25 , to the old English teas rooms in churches and villages alike make this a place to be. If you live in London and want to see some history and show your kids the green leafy Countryside then you have come to the right place, better to come by bike you will miss so much by train and car, besides we haven't the room the roads are full of cyclists on any given day now. Its become the Country's cycling centre and for locals shops and Business its getting to be a tourists haven.

Of course the helicopter shots captured the lifestyle for the ultra wealthy here not me, the fluorescent blue swimming pools below and the green grassed tennis courts, but for me the cyclists going up the narrow leafy lanes on the ascent to Leith Hill steeper than Boxhill i might add. So steep it winds you completely to cycle up to but to do it three times and then climb Boxhill and race to London well you need to be an Alpine Climber on a bike, i take my hat of to them. I witnessed first hand the speed they past me in Westcott Village after such an endurance at Leith Hill.

The History they past as well as the beauty here is staggering. Tudor Medieval Roman Bronze age we have it all and in abundance. The area is frequently crammed full of weekend cyclists as since the Olympics we even have an image of the cycles on a roundabout near the foot of Boxill . Better i might add than the Dorking Cockerel which is frequently disguised or dressed up by the nearest party revellers

Take a look at my offering to the Day the atmosphere the wait  and brief glimpse of the Mens Elite descending Coast Hill into Westcott Village Police  sirens wailing, helicopter nosily hovering overhead and the sound of a neighbour doing their hoovering to add to the noise.

Thank you Boris don't mind if its an annual event i will get on my bike.

See the Cyclists coming through Westcott on this u tube link

London to Surrey Mens Elite Entering Westcott


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