In between coffee stops, cakes and after-ride beers, we asked a selection of our more than 150 members to tell us their Favourite Forge Ride, Ever – and we found some pretty surprising answers.
Tom’s Wetter the Better
When asked about his Favourite Forge Ride, Ever, experienced F4 stalwart Tom W scrolled through his Strava archives and was taken aback with the ride that stuck out in his memory.
“I thought I’d settle on a ride with a decent size group, tackling a long or new route in great weather. Or perhaps one of the epic 200km days out, maybe at the Tour of Flanders or similar,” he reflected.
“Instead, I landed on this one – https://www.strava.com/activities/8007051450 – just me and Paddy O in the lashing rain out to Braywoodside.”
The route is fairly flat, with decent roads and a regular with the Forge family.
“For whatever reason, I was determined to get out and ride that day and everyone except Paddy O sensibly took the decision to stay home.
“We set off in heavy rain, riding through massive puddles and small floods on the way out towards Windsor. I have quite a clear memory of taking both feet off the pedals and riding through a particularly deep one like the kid from the Hovis advert.
“I really ended up enjoying it far more than I thought I would – chatty ride on the way out with a tailwind – half a cinnamon bun in Windsor, and a two-up TTT into the headwind coming home.
“Once we accepted we were soaked and couldn’t really get any wetter, we just leaned into it and enjoyed it for what it was.”
And what made it great? “The company, of course. But also perhaps the feeling of getting out and riding when everyone else was (sensibly?) indoors, plus taking some unexpected enjoyment from it. And a bit of childlike pleasure from riding through big puddles rather than avoiding them.”
The big man is still a big kid, it seems.
And what about your dream ride? “My dream Forge ride? Land’s End to John o’Groats in a Forge mini peloton. But in better weather than our ride out to Braywoodside.”
Best pack a rain jacket, just in case.
Forge Flandrian Duo (Flaps Out) https://www.strava.com/activities/8007051450
Christin’s Dreamy Dabbling Duck
No such hardship for smooth-peddling F2/F3 Aussie Christin H, who nominated the classic Three Surrey Hills Forge route as his fave Forge foray.
So, what make it so great for our Antipodean friend? “The hills, great climbs, great descents, false flats.” False flats? Yes, we like those too.
“I’d typically say it wouldn’t be a challenge, but after a lot of work travel recently, it’s great to get out on the bike and to reach the café stop at the Dabbling Duck in Shere, which has the best selection of cakes, good coffee and a nice outdoor seating area.”
“The highlights are the views of the Surrey Hill, false flats (yup those again, we hear you) especially after the climb past the Dabbling Duck.”
And Christin’s secret to making a great Forge ride is: “sticking together, regrouping at top of hills, listening to each other. A good ride captain can make a ride really memorable.”
And Christin’s ideal Forge ride: “To Everest base camp. But I’d need a lot more training.”
We’d suggest you might also need a helicopter.
Three Hills Sunday: https://www.strava.com/routes/3124090959663291836