With a string of sunny weekends, it was a great opportunity to try out my new rack and panniers. A picnic packed into my two front-sized panniers, but placed on the rear, was a perfect weight and handling introduction for riding around rolling Surrey.
It was surprising how comfortable the extra weight felt, despite an enormous packed lunch for the two of us. There was a slight bit more twitchiness at the front, especially on the uphill stretches, but overall I was impressed with Surly’s handling.
The route was rolling on wider lanes than I would have liked, more like roads than lanes really. It felt quite different than the peaceful empty lanes of Kent, but it could have just been the part of Surrey we were in (near Box Hill). There are probably plenty of super quiet lanes in Surrey waiting to be found. My riding partner got stuck with a flat early on that used up all our air canisters, which meant a long detour back to the bike shop at Box Hill Railway Station.
After that we really deserved our picnic, but it was a bit tricky to find a nice shady spot off the busy-ish road we were on and ended up stopping in a village square under two large trees. A lovely spot to refuel. Then because we are both sweet tooths, we cycled as fast as I possibly could to Brockham where there is a Sunday afternoon tea served on the village green. Cakes of all kinds — the Victoria sponge was amazing — and hot tea was the perfect near finish to our ride.