The recent bank holiday may have been a bit of a washout, but the weather forecast is looking good for this coming weekend and if you haven’t made any plans and are within striking distance of South London and Surrey, Addiscombe CC is holding its first ever sportive on Sunday morning and places are still available.
As for the picture – no, there hasn’t been a seismic upheaval in the Surrey Hills overnight, it’s the Andes mountains near the Peruvian city of Cajamarca, with the sportive aiming to raise money to help support young cyclists in the South American country.
Entry to the 135km sportive, which takes in some of Surrey’s loveliest villages and most challenging climbs, is just £15 and while Addiscombe CC expects that many of its members will take part, it is open to everyone with the 400 places allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. Entry can be made online through the club’s website.
The route itself starts and finishes in Chipstead Valley and runs through Headley, Ranmore Common, White Down, Sutton Abinger, Peaslake, Ellen’s Green, Five Oaks, Bucks Green, Southwater, Colgate, Rusper, Newdigate, Coldharbour, Leith Hil, Abinger Common, Whitedown and Box Hill.
With a height gain of 5,000 feet, Addiscombe CC says it’s not only a good gauge of form as Spring gives way to Summer, but also a useful preparation for continental rides such as L’Etape du Tour.
As for the Peruvian connection, Addiscombe says that it “has never been an inward looking club and this event has a global component aimed at uniting cyclists from across the world. Cajamarca, Peru is a remote city in the Northern cordillera of the Andes. Half of any money raised will be dedicated to supporting an enthusiastic group of competitive and leisure cyclists.
“These young cyclists have very few resources and most adapt mountain bikes for road use; equipment and facilities are very basic. It is hoped that through this venture the club can offer support for a start-up business loan for sustainable cyclo-tourism and small bursaries for clothes, essential repairs and travel to competitions.”
Event organiser Alan Malarkey said: “establishing this event in our annual calendar will present a great opportunity for local cyclists to engage in a classic event of its type. We are also offering an arm of friendship further afield by helping inspire a new generations of riders in a fascinating part of the developing world.”
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.