I always wonder why I let myself in for these things, as beforehand I tie myself up in knots worrying about getting lost, the marker system breaking down and causing me to lose my followers, or doing something spectacularly dumb in front of a dozen witnesses.
In the event, of course, it all went fine.
The weather forecast for Friday had been getting steadily better, from 'heavy showers' at the start of the week through 'light showers' and 'sunny intervals' to the point where it actually claimed it would be 'sunny' in the Dorking area by 7PM.
There were ten bikes in total, of which three were hefty geared machines and the rest titchy scooters like mine. The guest of honour was an American forum member who was over on holiday and had asked to join us as a pillion - gold star to the bloke who kindly gave her a lift.
The evening was sunny and not too hot as we made our way along B and unclassified roads, heading south on a rough parallel with the A24. There were stretches with scenic views and stretches overhung by a tunnel of trees; NSL stretches with fast, sweeping bends and stretches with gravel down the middle of the road.
We went through picturesque Steyning then climbed up to the South Downs along a lovely twisty road with views of hills and sea. Here we took a five-minute breather before hunger compelled us down for the last leg into Worthing.
We parked by the beach, on the pavement, much to the distress of some ambling pensioners who were apparently unable to manage a brief detour onto the cycle path, and queued for our fish n' chips, which were well worth the wait. Then we sat in a row chatting and gazing at the pearly sea, while the pier twinkled in the distance and strings of bulbs glowed between the lampposts.
The water was so lovely that I went for a quick moonlit paddle, and found a pebble that looked exactly like a motorcycle helmet. All agreed this was a wondrous and lucky portent. As it grew dark we said farewells and dispersed towards our various bits of London.
It was wonderful to discover that everyone had really, really enjoyed it (or else was really, really polite), especially our American guest and one chap who'd never ridden outside London before. I couldn't have been happier to see my companions talking animatedly about the ride they'd had - an experience I had personally pulled together for them.
I even had a nice ride myself, in between worrying.
It's someone else's turn to lead next time, though.