C run pace

Details of and discussion about club runs

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bobg
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C run pace

Post by bobg » 18 Nov 2014 20:36

Is it just me getting slower (very likely) or have C runs been getting faster/harder this year. I tend to ride by myself most Sundays as i have been struggling a little on club runs. This is not a complaint, and i do realise that i am in the minority. I do not mind in the least being dropped on the way home, but very hilly routes are a definite no no for me. The other thing is there are some pretty fit riders on C runs of late, and of course the club has to cater for the majority.

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CakeStop
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Post by CakeStop » 18 Nov 2014 21:15

I've don't have a great deal of recent experience Bob but on the recent ride that I led to Lavender Hall I did think there were a few who were capable of stepping up to the B run. We averaged 13.2mph in both directions and, even though it was a flat route that was about my personal limit, sitting on the front, but I felt that everyone I could see over my shoulder seemed to be very comfortable (sorry if that didn't apply to you).

I don't personally mind a hilly route every now and then providing everybody waits at the top but extra consideration is required on the part of stronger riders when it's hilly.

I have no experience of the B run so I don't know whether there is a barrier to people moving up from the C run. Of course, there may be people who are capable of the B run but prefer a more leisurely pace and that's fine as long as they don't drive the pace up. I have to say that weekend before last I don't believe there wasn't a single instance of anybody passing the leader (me) and increasing speed.

One other observation, sometimes the C run is a little 'oversubscribed' but last Sunday the numbers seemed to be fairly evenly split between the three groups.
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bobg
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C run

Post by bobg » 18 Nov 2014 21:42

Steve, yours are one of the runs that I try to get out on. The pace was fine and not hilly. I stayed behind for a little while chatting to Debbie and Paul. Then started to chase you down, went round a bend and you had gone. Think you maybe went via Packwood House. So for once I wasn't dropped, just got lost, and not a problem. I did intend to post and thank you for a good ride, but forget. so at least I have done it now!

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petemarshall
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Post by petemarshall » 18 Nov 2014 22:05

Judging the pace is less about fitness on hilly routes I feel and rather more about riding style. Some enjoy riding slowly up hills, whilst other like to ride fast on the flat.

I have only lead one flat C run as maintaining a reasonable pace on the flat is difficult for me (I think time trials are the work of the devil). I find some of the flatter rides far more exhausting even when following. The flat ride I lead resulted in being constantly overtaken by other riders which is disconcerting, particularly as it was the first time I lead a route!

All the other rides I have lead have been lumpy. I have tried to make them shorter than usual and maintain a relatively slow but steady pace at the front. This usually results in some people overtaking me, whilst some others seem to fall well behind. Often those who fall behind on the hills will overtake on the down hills.

Some also go fast at the start and struggle later in the ride. They soon learn this is not a good idea.....

I have gone on a lumpy B run to see the difference in their pace and it was considerable. I was at the back on the hills even when going up them at a pace a good 5 kmh faster than the pace I lead C rides at (I never got to use my top two cogs which I use on most of the hills when leading C runs and was forced out of the saddle, which is totally against my principles of laziness).

I checked back on some Strava figures for C and B rides over similar territory. A recent C run I lead that was just over 60 km with 1000m of climbing averaged just over 17 kmh (about 11 mph I think), whilst a B run over much the same route that was also longer averaged 24 kph which is near 15 mph. So there is a big difference.

I personally enjoy lumpy rides and I know there are other who do. To move up to the B run would mean a very demanding Sunday morning for me rather than a social ride.

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Post by John D » 18 Nov 2014 22:46

Having only led once, my route was to Leamington and although not too lumpy, we did have a bit of a headwind going out and ended the 56 miles or so at 13.7 mph. I did try to ease the pace on the return leg as I was aware that 1 or 2 were"feeling it" a little but was also mindful of having 1 eye on the clock and not getting back too late for others. Helens ride to The Vale also had an outward average of 13.7 mph but that was into a strong headwind(as I'm sure you will recall). I Found that a much tougher 13.7mph.
By way of comparison between the different runs, watching trends, comparing to run guidelines etc, , would it be useful for the ride leader to post the moving average when listing the participants? Or any other recent examples for that matter?
Last Sunday's c ride was a perfect example of differing approaches and perhaps expectations of the ride, and acting as "sweeper" was interesting to observe with some blasting up hills and others wishing to take a more steady pace which leads to issues for the leader. I also noted that those that wished to "push on" were able to do so and ride ahead of the leader presumably due to having the route uploaded to their devices. This was anything but helpful to either the leader or those towards the back.
this is no no doubt more of an issue for c runs than a's and b's due to the greater difference in the participants strengths. Petes comments about the difference in speed up hills between b and c would reinforce the hesitancy of regular c's stepping up to a b run, albeit depending on what individuals want to get out of their Sunday run
My observations for what it's worth

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Post by petemarshall » 18 Nov 2014 23:42

On runs I lead those who wish to go up hills faster than me are told this is fine as long as they wait at the top. I do not change my speed in response. I find being overtaken on downhills a little annoying particularly when they give no warning shout, but do not respond to this either.

Unfortunately this has lead to riders overtaking and then missing a turn! As well as confusion for me as to who is still behind.

It is a problem with C rides because of people perhaps not all understanding the point of following a leader. But I now tend to ignore what others are doing and plod on at a sensible pace.

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CakeStop
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Post by CakeStop » 18 Nov 2014 23:50

Average moving speeds can be a bit misleading John, I've often seen people quote speeds well in excess of mine on the same ride. This is because they've spent time stationary waiting for me to catch up.

Helen's ride was a bit different in that, because of the headwind, with Helen's permission some of us took turns on the front. When I was sitting in the pack it didn't feel at all like hard work - I think you did more than your fair share on the front that day though.

What absolutely shouldn't happen is more than 2 or 3 people passing and then riding faster than the leader (the club run guidelines are quite clear on this). It's ok to give the leader some shelter but taking care to maintain the same pace as was being set by the leader and not allowing a gap to open up.
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Post by John D » 19 Nov 2014 09:32

What absolutely shouldn't happen is more than 2 or 3 people passing and then riding faster than the leader (the club run guidelines are quite clear on this). It's ok to give the leader some shelter but taking care to maintain the same pace as was being set by the leader and not allowing a gap to open up.

Sundays run appeared to be a prime example of this (Pete Norman may be able to confirm). It seemed to be the pace was being pushed a little by non leaders that led to longer gaps than was ideal and meant notifications from the back were unable to be passed forward to all. It also created a "yo yo" effect in terms of speed that I think proved be considerably more tiring for some. The group did split on the return leg (albeit presumably with the leaders consent) but my moving average from the back and staying with the second group finished at 13mph which I would have thought was about right for a ride of that length and climb for a c run

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Post by Philip Whiteman » 19 Nov 2014 13:32

John D wrote:What absolutely shouldn't happen is more than 2 or 3 people passing and then riding faster than the leader (the club run guidelines are quite clear on this). It's ok to give the leader some shelter but taking care to maintain the same pace as was being set by the leader and not allowing a gap to open up.

Sundays run appeared to be a prime example of this (Pete Norman may be able to confirm). It seemed to be the pace was being pushed a little by non leaders that led to longer gaps than was ideal and meant notifications from the back were unable to be passed forward to all. It also created a "yo yo" effect in terms of speed that I think proved be considerably more tiring for some. The group did split on the return leg (albeit presumably with the leaders consent) but my moving average from the back and staying with the second group finished at 13mph which I would have thought was about right for a ride of that length and climb for a c run
Interesting point and I shall probably end up in serious trouble for saying this....

The problem of disruptive speedsters is not restricted to the C Run. There have been a couple of instances this year, where previous A run leaders were deterred from leading our ride in future for a similar reason. The offenders breaking away from the group and leader were people who should have known better.

The reason I shall end up in trouble is as follows: If persons fail to heed warnings to 'easy on the front' and continue to disrupt the group, I take action by making an unscheduled turn, without warning, at a junction leaving the offenders to find their own way home.

Saying that, these instances on the A run are rarer and I think our cohort tend to be more considerate to each other.
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bobg
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c run

Post by bobg » 19 Nov 2014 19:42

I have now come to the conclusion that my main problem is me! I do struggle on hills, and I must face up to the fact that I am not the age that my head thinks I am. (74 today)
The other problem I have, particularly in a big group, if I drop to the back it is a constant playing catch up. I do agree that around 13mph average is a sensible C run pace.

On another note, in 1958 I went to the Outward Bound sea school at Aberdovey, for a month. Had not been back since then, but was over that way a few weeks ago and called in. They were very welcoming and gave me a copy of my leaving report from Captain Fuller. As the company that I worked for at the time paid for me, I had not seen this before.
to quote "Green is stockily built, physically untrained and not at all gifted. I also showed good determination and tried hard to overcome his weakness in the hills"

So nothing new there then !!

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Post by rdleaper » 20 Nov 2014 23:00

Regarding B and C runs - as I've mentioned a couple of times on here I have struggled on each of the 4 B runs I've done since getting back into club runs. The first was understandable, as was the 2nd given the hills. The third one I struggled near the end so not a big problem. The fourth time was quite a hilly route and 16 mph+ which was faster than any B run I had done before my injury. I was dropping off the back as soon as the return leg began, despite a brief recovery on a downhill stretch (I prefer even effort levels). Have B runs got faster in others' experience?

As a result I took the C run to Lavender Hall; this was too slow for me really but at least I could get easy miles in and add a bit myself near the end. I may do something similar this weekend - maybe I'll either catch up with B run pace with more miles or I'll find it slowing down a bit over winter.

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Post by petemarshall » 21 Nov 2014 10:09

I am leading this Sunday's C run Richard. It's going to me raining. The route will be short but incorporates a couple of decent climbs up the Beacon at the start and St Klien on the return. The pace will be very steady and the hills climbed in low gears.
Those who wish to attack the climbs are encouraged by me to do so and wait at the top. I do this myself on C runs with climbs, by dropping back before the climb and then attacking it trying to time the effort to reach the top with the leader.
Hopefully C runs can cope with variety of paces.

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C runs

Post by Yosser » 21 Nov 2014 22:33

First of all, thank you to all the people that run the c runs,
I started riding with the "C" runs 2 years ago and found it difficult to start with but have found I can keep up on most rides. I always thought these were club rides and not training bashes and, like Bob, thought they were designed for a nice chat whilst riding. I realise that this not the case anymore and whilst I am fitter, I can't keep up on the hills( I am old, but not as old as Bob).
I would like to continue, however, racing up hills is not an option ( if you are fit enough to do this maybe you should be on the B run).
I think it would be a shame that some of the older Beaconites can't continue because of this.
Originally, the C ride was introduced as a development for the intro ride but now the leap is so great that it prevents some of these riders progressing.
As a fairly new rider, but a long standing social member of Beacon, i feel I need to look elsewhere for my Sunday ride.
Anne

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Re: C runs

Post by Philip Whiteman » 22 Nov 2014 07:31

Yosser wrote: I think it would be a shame that some of the older Beaconites can't continue because of this.
D Run?
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Re: C runs

Post by laurence_cooley » 22 Nov 2014 08:27

Yosser wrote:As a fairly new rider, but a long standing social member of Beacon, i feel I need to look elsewhere for my Sunday ride.
It's the people who are racing up hills who should be looking elsewhere, not you Anne. Club runs are supposed to be social rides. If some members have misunderstood this, they should be pointed towards an appropriate training ride.

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Re: C runs

Post by John D » 22 Nov 2014 08:56

Philip Whiteman wrote:
Yosser wrote: I think it would be a shame that some of the older Beaconites can't continue because of this.
D Run?
Anne, nooooo!

Interesting that such a short thread has shown the wide parameters of expectations from c run participants and demonstrates how it is impossible to be "all things for all people". Not sure what the answer is though and whilst a d run has merits there is then another requirement for ride leaders that is sometimes hard to satisfy for just c runs. Also part of the enjoyment of the c run is the mix of newcomers and "seasoned" members to engage with. Think that part of the solution might also need to consider the difference in ability required between the c and b runs.

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Post by petemarshall » 22 Nov 2014 09:49

I have to agree that there is a steep jump between the intro rides and the C runs.
The present speeds of C rides is given at 12 -14 mph, which when making allowances for hilly routes by slowing the average a little I think is fine for a club run as a social ride.

However the intro ride is run considerably slower at around 10 mph on flattish roads, usually with one small hill climb.

I think that riders starting on the intro ride may get the wrong impression about speeds on club runs.

My impression of those struggling on C runs is that they are usually the younger, newer members and older experienced members seem to keep up without a problem. Obviously I haven't been on all the C rides recently, but I am not sure fitness is the problem.

I don't see that C runs are too fast as if they were slowed down further the step up to the B run would be massive.

Either the B run would need to slow down, which I am sure would make regular B runners unhappy, or a D run created for those wishing to pace at 10 mph or so. And best of luck finding leaders.

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Post by Andy Terry » 22 Nov 2014 10:29

The 'C' run is a social, not training, ride and should be ridden at a comfortable pace that allows conversation and appreciation of the countryside. All riders should work together to keep the group together, everyone benefits from closer riding. And definitely nobody should be attacking the hills on a 'C' run.

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Post by Hels147 » 22 Nov 2014 11:14

A very interesting debate!

I'm wondering whether the question here should be more about whether we should all keep an eye out for each other, rather than about the pace of the run? I have been on C runs where there has been very little communication within the group. I found it was difficult as leader to know what was happening at the back of the group and so you really need to rely on the group passing messages forwards when people were dropping off the back. I also told people that if they passed me when I was leader and then subsequently got lost, I wasn't going to go looking for them!

I've been that person off the back, as a rider, as the sweeper and I even got dropped when I led!!!! It's not a nice place to be, you're constantly chasing, getting more and more tired, and at risk of getting lost. Not only does it make you swear at the leader and the group, but does make you consider whether you want to ride with Beacon again.

If people kept an eye out for each other, were conscientious and waited at the top of hills, would it matter what pace we were 'suppose' to be riding at?
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Post by petemarshall » 22 Nov 2014 12:24

Andy Terry wrote:The 'C' run is a social, not training, ride and should be ridden at a comfortable pace that allows conversation and appreciation of the countryside. All riders should work together to keep the group together, everyone benefits from closer riding. And definitely nobody should be attacking the hills on a 'C' run.
Up to a point I would agree, however I see no problem in those that wish to attacking hills as long as the leader doesn't and they wait at the top. But if the consensus is not to do this then I will tell riders to always keep behind the leader.
Personally I find those that go as fast as they can downhill, often passing without warning to be more disconcerting.

On Helen's points, I was leading the ride were she was acting as sweeper. It was poor communication that lead to the incident she describes. I was waiting at the top of the final climb of the day and the majority of riders continued on (we were at the top of Day House Bank).I then received a shout from some one that they were the last person and as many had now passed and others peeled off to use other routes home, I continued down the hill with a small group. The pace that day seemed to split the group considerably on every climb. However the overall pace for the ride was well below 10 mph for me not including waiting times.

I led another route, with slightly tougher climbs included three weeks later. I went at the same pace (I know this by sticking the bike in my granny gear of 34 X 32 and remaining seated) and was overtaken regularly by practically everyone on the ride! So it can be very variable.

I am leading another ride tomorrow, which is short and not that lumpy, but does have two climbs. I will ask the riders about the pace and what they feel about being able to break the group on the climbs once in the cafe to try and get a feeling of riders views who don't visit here, which is possibly the majority)

If this pace is too fast for C runs then I am not sure I would really want to lead them. Yet the pace of the B run is far higher and certainly to fast for me to ever consider leading.

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Post by Hels147 » 22 Nov 2014 12:51

petemarshall wrote: On Helen's points, I was leading the ride were she was acting as sweeper. It was poor communication that lead to the incident she describes. I was waiting at the top of the final climb of the day and the majority of riders continued on (we were at the top of Day House Bank).I then received a shout from some one that they were the last person
Hence my point about communication, people waiting and being conscientious. The three of us that got dropped that day were actually behind on the hill before day house bank. No one had waited at the left turn, as had happened on previous rides, and so we had no chance of catching up on day house bank itself!

I have found that being sweeper is actually a lot more difficult than leading a ride. May I suggest that people who feel a C run is not challenging enough, but don't want to step up to the B run, take on the role of sweeper. It may also make them aware of what happens at the back of the group and also how important communication in a group ride is.
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Post by snailmale » 22 Nov 2014 12:58

Fifty-odd years ago there was only one club run and that was generally conducted to suit the pace of the slowest rider. Yes, there were little contests for unofficial KOM points, and there was often a tear up for first to the tea stop, but by and large the rides were well within the capabilities of the participants.

However, many of us raced most Sundays, and would meet up with the club perhaps for lunch or tea with the aggression beaten out of us through the mornings competitive efforts. Sometimes others of us would indulge in unofficial training rides and happily rip each others legs off without causing distress on club runs.

I find it difficult to believe that with three runs on offer, that one of them can't be designated as a social ride and geared to the pace of the slowest rider.
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Post by slogfester » 22 Nov 2014 15:04

Have numbers (across A B and C) increased this year? It certainly looks like they have. This may be exasperating the problems of different abilities and aims within each group.

I have recently ridden a few B and C and enjoyed them. Hats off to B and C leaders; its a tough job. Large groups of diverse riders, some inexperienced, some VERY experienced, but who often don't know each other as well as the more regular A. If someone gets dropped or has a mechanical/accident in A, chances are we know them very well and have their mobile number. Less so with B and C I suspect.

A few years a go we did run a few A+ and/or D (call it whatever you like, it was 4 groups) during the summer, but winter and lack of numbers seemed to render it unsustainable. If overall numbers have increased (and we are finally feeling the much heralded Wiggins/Olympics affect) then may be its time to re-visit a 4th group?
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Post by carl » 22 Nov 2014 15:53

Personally I can't see the point in sprintin up a hill to stop and wait gor rest of group, why don't these people use a bigger gear and push. I've been dropped on lots of rides before I joined beacon. It does get demoralising and people won't want to come out or stay with beacon. Then we wonder why people bib at us and hurl abuse out of cars if we look like a disorganised bunch of cyclists. Etiquette people let's ride as a club.
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Post by bobg » 22 Nov 2014 16:27

as probably the slowest rider on club runs I do find myself off the back more often than not, and agree with Helen, it is not the best place to be when you are struggling. When the going gets tough and the group spreads out it then becomes even harder for the slower riders at the back. (believe me I am an expert)
The other thing that I have noticed is that when a rider overtakes the leader others will follow and the group fragments. If this happens on a longish climb the riders at the top first then have a few minutes rest waiting for the likes of me, and after not very long, off we go again.
I have led a few C runs myself, and although I tend to worry about the pace being a bit slow, as far as I know no one has moaned about it.
I also think that average speeds can be misleading. On my first 100m run last year, Ken Haddon offered to come with me, and in the end a few others came along also. Ken rode on the front virtually all the way, and by taking it easy on the hills, and pushing on a bit on the easier bits I think we ended up with a better than expected average. Steve did the same this year and we stayed together pretty well as a group, and think we ended up somewhere near 12mph. So, I think what I am saying is that a ride can be either hard or easy regardless of the speed.

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Post by petemarshall » 22 Nov 2014 17:11

Seems to me that if riders read and stuck to the club run guidlines
http://www.beaconrcc.org.uk/resources/c ... lines.html
the problems reported here would not occur.
Particular riders ensuring that the leader is told when the group has split and not overtaking the leader.

Having attempted to follow the guidlines in previous runs, I will once again attempt it tomorrow. But if the leader isn't told of gaps, or people come past at speed on every descent there isn't a lot he or she can do.

It's really up to everyone on the ride to ride together and follow the guidlines, not to expect the leader, who is just there to find a route and maintain the pace (see the previous discussions about the lack of volunteers), to enforce discipline in some way.

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Post by John D » 22 Nov 2014 19:09

petemarshall wrote:Seems to me that if riders read and stuck to the club run guidlines
http://www.beaconrcc.org.uk/resources/c ... lines.html
the problems reported here would not occur.
Particular riders ensuring that the leader is told when the group has split and not overtaking the leader.

Having attempted to follow the guidlines in previous runs, I will once again attempt it tomorrow. But if the leader isn't told of gaps, or people come past at speed on every descent there isn't a lot he or she can do.

It's really up to everyone on the ride to ride together and follow the guidlines, not to expect the leader, who is just there to find a route and maintain the pace (see the previous discussions about the lack of volunteers), to enforce discipline in some way.
Pete completely agree, stick to the guidelines, maintain discipline and then communication up and down the line becomes better and leader knows what's going on behind and can adjust pace/react as necessary. It may not satisfy the needs of those that want to push it, but it shouldn't prevent the opportunity to have a natter either and still maintain an appropriate average speed. Simples....or it should be!!

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Post by CakeStop » 22 Nov 2014 19:52

Many good points being raised and it's good to have the debate but we shouldn't beat ourselves up too much, our club runs are more popular than for many years and we can't get it right every time. Key points for me when I'm leading are:

- I aim for a steady effort and don't worry too much about the resultant speed.
- Communication and riding as a neat group are the things the C run could improve most.
- I don't mind people passing me up hills providing they slow and single out to let me safely pass at or over the top but as leader I won't (can't) sprint up any so slower riders are unlikely to be disgruntled
- I don't mind one or two people passing on the flat and riding at my speed but I do object if they pull away and leave a gap especially if others then hop into that gap
- As a leader I'm rarely passed descending but I may be guilty of passing others when I'm not leading (sorry Pete, aversion to wasting good gravity)
- I welcome a good mix of C runs (shorter/longer/hilly/flat) if I don't fancy what's on offer I'll do something else
- I think to offer a regular D run might be too much but I don't see a problem with occasionally someone volunteering to lead an ad-hoc D run (I used to enjoy it when we did this from Earlswood / Tardebigge to widen the choice of destinations for slightly shorter rides)
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