Saturday, August 13, 2022

B Group from Guildford Wednesday 17 August

Onslow Arms is confirmed for lunch.  Here is a link to the menu.  Please let my know by Monday what you are likely to want to eat.  I have e-mailed separately those who have already joined the ride.


Friday, August 12, 2022

Join the 'A' Group Ride from Guildford to Alton and Back on Weds 17 Aug 2022

Wednesday's 'A' group ride from the Guildford area will begin from The Snooty Fox, Shalford, (please note, not the Yvonne Arnaud theatre). A .gpx route from Guildford station to Shalford will be available and the distance is two miles.  The Snooty Fox is the same starting point we used on our ride from Guildford last August.

Our circular ride of just under 45 miles back to Guildford will take us 'through holt and hanger' by west Surrey and east Hampshire lanes with a lunch stop at The Ivy House (Wetherspoons), Alton, and a tea stop at The Watts Gallery, Compton.   

An RMT rail strike is scheduled for the day after the ride (Thurs 18 Aug) but this will not affect services to and from Guildford on Weds 17 Aug.

If you would like to join the ride please let me know ( not later than 5.00 pm on Mon 15 Aug.

If you think your likely arrival time at Shalford will be after 10.30 am then please advise when booking and I will try to put you in a later starting group, although we will all need to be on the road by 11.00 am at the latest.

invitation to B Group train assisted ride Guildford to Leatherhead 17 August

Wednesday's Guildford to Leatherhead ride was always meant to be train assisted.

Fixie Dave and I recced it after cycling down to Guildford and I strongly recommend against this unless you want a serious challenge!

The ride will be an enjoyable 44 miles with 2,500 feet of climbing, much of it traversing Tanhurst Lane in the afternoon.  The morning is undulating; very undulating at first, slowly flattening out. Elevenses at the Arnaud Theatre, Lunch at the Onslow Arms in Loxwood, afternoon tea in Leatherhead.

Please let me know by Monday lunchtime if you want to come and please be prepared to select off the menu at the Onslow Arms by that stage; the pub at the moment has been slow to get back to me.

The weather should have broken well before then, so we should not be enduring the conditions in which Dave and I recced it!  Even so, my advice is to get the train to Guildford.

The latest draft of the route is here; it is only the early part to Godalming that is still in question.


Thursday, August 11, 2022

Report for B Group ride from Caterham on 10th August

Well refreshed from our splendid day centre hosts, eight B riders set off from Caterham in lovely summer sunshine.

Oh dear, it looks like a committee meeting!

We made our way through quiet country lanes to the equally welcoming Old House at Home pub in Dormansland. After lunch we then set off again, heading towards Leatherhead. In fact we stopped in Brockham for our afternoon refreshments and then made our individual ways home.

Tea and cake in Brockham

Star performer leading John's peloton

Thank you, Paul (Day), for back marking and to the other riders for their friendly company.

~ John A.


After the familiar challenges of riding to Caterham over the hills of Banstead and Farthing Down it was marvellous to arrive at the Westway community centre where our morning refreshments were waiting for us out in their garden. And we received a warm welcome from the staff who are very good hosts.

Hot off the Quemby Press was a pile of Sept/Oct Sou'Westers. There being no time for a proper origami lesson they were hastily distributed in unfolded A3 format which presented quite a challenge for some.

I am grateful to John, not just because he volunteered to sublead while still recovering from a football injury, but because I shamelessly ripped off the first 14 miles of the morning ride from his own ride on 25th May. I enjoyed it then and yesterday was able to bask in the compliments I received from many riders for this lovely route. However the last two miles or so were all my own work and it was a pleasure to ride along St Piers Lane which runs past the St Piers School and College, an educational facility which caters for children up to the age of 19 who have epilepsy with their particular educational needs.

It was unfortunate that Arwyn didn't make it to Elevenses due to a puncture soon after he had left home. But sixteen of us in two groups of eight, duo contubernii as the Romans would have called us, cycled down the lanes to Dormansland.

The Old House at Home isn't currently serving food at lunchtimes but were very happy to make an exception for us. Baked spuds were the most popular choice along with a some orders for sarnies. Mayonnaise in the fillings discombobulated a couple of us but by arrangement with our host Helen the two mayophobes were happily accomodated. But apologies to Dave Fixie that there was no fish 'n chips on the menu.

After a morning route that didn't require any design effort at all I thought I should try to be a bit original in the afternoon. The result was that I was able to completely avoid going anywhere near John's more southerly route until Brockham. The happiest aspect of this was a tranquil route which bypassed Horley, mostly following the Sustrans route 21. So, from Smallfield Road we turned north into Langshott, a narrow bumpy lane. We turned north onto NCN 21 (Lake Lane) which started well but degenerated into a very rough road further up. Off Cross Oak Lane we passed through a closed gate and pedalled up Gail Lane which is slightly undulating but has an ideal surface for cyclists and was a blissful respite from the busier roads.

Rehydration stop in Gail Lane on route 21

Beyond Salfords we had an easy run through Dovers Green and Trumpets Hill towards Betchworth then Brockham. As John's group had done we were happy to call it a day when we reached the Reading Room (Brockham Village Hall) after 21 miles since lunch. They close at 4 o'clock but we made it with 10 minutes to spare and once our refreshments had been purchased they were happy for us and other customers to sit outside and enjoy our cake and tea.

As other leaders would have been I was mindful that had we continued up to Leatherhead for Tea the ride would have been too long. Some took trains from Dorking and Leatherhead. For those of us riding home to New Malden or Wimbledon it was 70 miles which was more than enough, and certainly more than enough for those who homes are even further away.

Thanks so much to everyone who came on the ride and for your kind comments about John's route. It is wonderful that so many people attend the Caterham rides these days. Thanks to Paul for back-marking, still an essential role even with our small groups. I would like to say that we are so lucky to be enjoying this beautiful weather but there is a rather dark aspect to this so I will just say that it reminds me of growing up in New Zealand and enjoying Summer holidays at the beach.

~ Tim C.

Route 21 detail near Horley and Salfords

Wednesday, August 10, 2022

A group ride Caterham - Godden Green - Godstone

The day was forecast to be sunny with a high of 29° and indeed it was already very warm by the time we left Caterham where we’d had a lovely friendly reception with plenty and varied snacks and drinks on offer, all for a voluntary contribution. A big thank you to the staff for making us feel so welcome. 

My group, comprising Sue C, Keith, Peter and Nigel  was away first for the undulating ride to Godden Green. As we left Sue had problems moving between chain rings which was worrying knowing what lay ahead but fortunately her bike sorted itself out for a problem free ride thereafter. Andy’s group was due to leave 5 minutes after us and indeed they caught us up and passed us in no time. We were in no hurry, it was too hot!

It was lovely to see the picturesque villages of Shoreham, Otford and Seale as they’re off the beaten track from our usual routes. There were ups, downs, more ups and more downs and finally an up that led to the Bucks Head at Godden Green. We found a shady spot to move the seating to and a decent lunch was quickly served despite it being very busy. 

After lunch the routes diverged with my group talking a short cut which also cut about 9 miles and 700 or 800 ft of climbing. We had some lovely shaded roads, particularly through the Deer Park, and just one navigational mishap on the part I hadn’t recce’d. We were gaily whizzing down a hill when I realised we shouldn’t have been so there was nothing for it but to slog back up to the top. Nigel then enthusiastically whizzed down the other side so I had to chase after him whilst the others waited at the correct turn. Fortunately we were still all speaking to each other so it was onward and upwards to the Pilgrims Way where we had mile after mile of stunning views on our left with golden countryside and deep green trees. 

We arrived at Flower Farm to find they had only 1 cake left so I obviously assumed Andy’s group had been and gone. In fact, they arrived after us (by now no cake left) but the friendly staff provided pints of iced coffee, endless iced water and for Patrick, several bowls of coffee biscuits which he politely devoured. 

We were on the road again in blistering heat heading for Banstead when Peter had a puncture. Once that was sorted Keith then discovered he had a puncture but we eventually got moving again knowing we had 2 hills left, Markedge Lane and to Banstead. In fact there were 3 but I think we’d got used to the hills by then!

We said goodbye in Banstead having all agreed that the roads had been reasonably quiet, the scenery stunning and the route slightly challenging but perfectly do-able  at the right pace despite the heat. 

Thank you for the good company of my group, some of whom I hadn’t cycled with previously so it was great  to get to know you better. 

Here’s Andy’s ride report for his group. 

This was my first sub-lead and after meeting up at Caterham and a great spread provided by the centre we set off. Myself leading with Ged, Steve D, Neil W, Dave B and a well stocked (food wise) Patrick W. We skirted around Woldingham and picked up Dave W for the climb up to Titsey Hill which was reasonably clear of traffic due to a road closure. We managed to stay together despite all the hills that Janice had placed in our way to lunch.

Arriving in good time, we were all soon tucking into lunch except for Neil W, who due to a "ticket malfunction" (???), didn't receive his until the rest of us had finished. Neil soon despatched his lunch and we were back on our way for the climb fest that awaited us through Kent and back into Surrey. 

Trying to keep to a reasonable pace, we clawed our way up the hills and through the heat to catch up with Janice's group at the Flower Pot near Godstone where Patrick was horrified to find no cake. 

After he ploughed his way through a mountain of biscuits and the rest of us had rehydrated, we were back off to complete the remaining climbs up to Banstead. 

A great route thanks to Janice.

(Despite Simon’s clear instructions on how to get text size consistent I seem to have failed to do this)!

Saturday, August 06, 2022

Invitation to A group ride from Caterham 10 August

As we rarely venture so far East, the route is a repeat of last year’s ride to the Bucks Head at Godden Green. 

The route, as recce’d is 23 miles to Godden Green and then after lunch, 28 to the Flower Farm Cafe just outside Godstone. It then continues a further 12 miles to Banstead where we can either head for home or stop for a cooling ice cream at Pistachios first. 

Totals for Caterham to Banstead are 63 miles and 4,587ft elevation. 

As a longer than average ride, hilly and on a day forecast to be hot I anticipate that all groups will be at a slower than average pace as the aim will be to enjoy the stunning views and rarely used roads. 

The Day Centre at Caterham was very generous with their cakes and pastries last time and just asked for a voluntary donation so can I please ask you to remember to bring some loose change. 

I’d also mention that I found it useful to have a slab of bread pudding in my pocket to dip into over the course of the recce and I’d recommend that you bring an emergency energy bar (or whatever you find useful) and also 2 water bottles. 

If anyone would like to try this ride but is daunted by the distance/elevation, I do have a shorter route that cuts out a section after lunch. The totals for this ride are 54 miles and 2,952ft to Banstead. If there’s a few wanting to do this route I can put together a group but please be aware that the short cut hasn’t been recce’d by myself/sub leaders. 

If you could let me know by 6pm Monday evening if you’d like to join the ride and let me know which route you’d prefer. My email is 

Invitation to a B Group ride from Caterham on 10th August

In May quite a number of us joined John's ride down to East Grinstead for Lunch. So to save myself some planning effort, and recognising that many of us will have had quite a hilly ride getting to Caterham, after just an hour and a half (16 miles) we will pull into the Old House at Home in Dormansland. This pub isn't currently serving food at lunchtimes but will be pleased to make an exception for our group. For this they have provided a simple menu:

Brown or White bread sandwiches:
- Tuna sweetcorn Mayo
- Chicken bacon Mayo

Jacket potato:
- Chilli con carne
- Beans & cheese
- Tuna sweetcorn Mayo
- Chicken bacon Mayo

Soup with bread:
- Tomato & coriander

(prices to be advised)

Please let me know if you are coming as soon as you can, by Monday evening at latest, and tell me what you'd like for lunch, along with any dietary requirements.

Regarding elevenses at the Westway Centre in Caterham please remember to bring small change. As they did last time they will be providing quite an assortment of pastries and cakes and circulating a bucket for our generous contributions. They also need to have an idea of numbers to cater for so for this reason too please confirm by Monday evening that you are coming.

In the afternoon we will aim for Tea in Leatherhead. This will be about 26 miles though not in any way very challenging. The route will be totally different from John's route, until Brockham.

This is the route:

We will ride in two groups with John leading the first group, departing at 10:45. I will lead the second group out at 11:00.

Looking forward to hearing from you; the forecast is for a hot sunny day.


Friday, August 05, 2022

London - Edinburgh - London (second attempt)

In 2017 I attempted to complete the LEL Audax. I was young and naive and only made it halfway round, but had a memorable time.

After a five year wait I can finally try again. Now with five year older legs but with five year's more experience.

I leave Debden in north-east London at 11.15am on Sunday, and hope to be back there by 7.30pm on Friday.

I've not got live tracking but my progress through the controls can be seen here using my rider number Y22.

Thank you for all your support and encouragement.

Thursday, August 04, 2022

A’s Cobham-Loxwood-Cobham 3 August - Ride Report

We haven’t visited the Onslow Arms on the canal at Loxwood since July 2019 when Simon memorably took us there. At that time NeilC was almost ready to start his Paris-Brest-Paris epic. Yesterday Neil was absent doing final preparations for his ultra-epic London-Edinburgh-London, starting this Sunday. We all wish him fair winds and weather and a safe return.

Loxwood is not far off 50 miles round trip from Cobham, and I was pleasantly surprised to find we were 25 signed up, so we needed 4 leaders in groups 6/7 riders. Many thanks to my excellent co-leaders, Fiona, SteveD and DavidJ without whom this would not have been possible. 

Fiona was first off:

Enjoyed it. Good route and company.

The pub was extremely efficient at serving up lunch, by the time we had walked back to the table with our drinks they were bringing out the baguettes!

SteveD next:

The day started with a tea in the RBL centre. It was good to see Geoff Gregory out riding today. We also met Ken Day with his right leg in a boot 13 weeks after being hit by a car on a roundabout, that apparently went straight across instead of round, pretty scary! It was good to see him on the mend and with a philosophical attitude that is commendable.

I led the second group with Frances, Ged, Mark, Richard and Brian. After descending White Down we were treated to some quiet roads via Ellens Green and Tismans Common. It was a tiring ride because of the humidity, but we made good time on Dave's route, arriving at the Onslow Arms at 12.50. The staff were brilliant in that they knew we were the second group and had our orders sorted. We ordered our drinks at the table and soon we were relaxing and enjoying the food. 

After some coffees we set off back to Cobham via Loxwood and Alfold. We travelled up the Downs Link from Cranleigh which was dry and gravelly. Then we got back on the road to Stroud Common and up to Farley Green. It was rather good to ride these roads the opposite way than the normal route outwards, easier too. Of course the ascent of Combe Lane wasn't welcome, although as we found, the climb was gentle until you reach the vicious steep bend just before the top.

Just before our left turn into Chalk Lane Mark and Frances left us for home. So Ged, Richard, Brian and myself headed for Gail's Coffee shop in Cobham.

Thanks to Brian for back marking. Thanks also to my fellow riders for their excellent company and to Dave Vine for organising the lunches at the pub and another super route to ride.

Then DavidJ:

Not having been able to go on the recce I was a little concerned about the getting on and off the ‘off road’ sections of the ride, which somewhat proved to be the case. However with my Garmin loaded with the route six of us set off from Cobham, climbed up through Effingham and to the top of Whitedown Lane. Following each and every turn we arrived at the pub just four minuets after our scheduled time, including the turns onto the first off road section. We were greeted at the pub by efficient and enthusiastic staff that produced our pre-ordered food very quickly. 

Dave W, had other commitments to get to so he left us at Loxwood saying he would probably avoid the off road and the climb up Combe. The five remaining riders set off towards Cranleigh, we joined the off road with just a small divert but following this the Garmin did not like and just came up with ‘off course’. I therefore decided to forget the Garmin and head for Shere. To do this would have involved either one of two hills, the group came to a decision that we had done enough climbing, therefore our preferred route was back to Dorking via Capel and Newdigate. We ended the ride at the bottom of Punch Bowl Lane, said our goodbyes and went our various ways. So we somewhat mirrored Dave W, he must have known something!

Finally, my group left on time, a first for me.

En route we met a couple of CTC West Surrey riders out on their final recce for the Tour of the Surrey Hills 115k Audax this Sunday. We arrived at the Onslow not long after our scheduled time. The pub was probably the most efficient I have ever visited with pre-ordered food delivered faultlessly by friendly staff to the intended recipient.

On our way after less than an hour we found the Downlink a pleasantly cool contrast to hot tarmac, though the head-height nettles and ankle-tugging brambles gave an interesting sense of adventure to an otherwise flat section. My group rose to the challenge of the final climbs, doubtless anticipating the long descent back to Cobham.

We welcomed Dave Ellis to A group riding, hoping he will return. Thanks to DaveF for back marking, Peter Betts and Geoff Gregory for their ever-cheerful company, not to mention AlanI for welcome cakes and tea at Cobham.

Report for B Group - 3rd August

Francis let us know on Tuesday evening that he wouldn't be able to lead the ride which he had been planning for the last month. This was hugely sad for him and for us but we were relieved that Steph could step in at the last minute to lead his team on the day. Thanks to his careful preparation for the ride the day went to plan and was enjoyed by all of us.

On a bright note, we were pleased to see Ken who was able to join us for elevenses. It will be quite some time before he is able to come riding with us again but it was good to know that he hadn't forgotten us. 

~ Tim C




The 10.30 departure group consisted of five riders, myself, Paul, Christina, Paula and Annette. We proceeded to Newlands Corner via Ockham and Clandon. From Newlands we took the North Downs Way to Combe Bottom. On the approach to Ranmore church I decided to venture down through the Denbies Wine Estate, it was there that we encountered the land train full of jolly folks consuming glasses of wine 🍷 Hic!!
It was then down to the Stepping Stones PH for a very nice lunch and an unexpected encounter with my daughter Victoria and her dog Digby.

On arrival at Leatherhead we all went our separate ways home.

A very enjoyable day.

Pete B


My little group of four, Alan, Tim G, John  A and myself left Cobham promptly at 10:40.  Grateful for John A's defection from the first group to our slower pace as it made the group viable after Arwyn, Brenda and our esteemed planner and leader Francis all fell by the wayside.  Comfortable ascent to Newlands Corner then along the Drove Road for a very enjoyable downhill in Combe lane and Green Dene, all the way to Effingham!  However the ascent to Ranmore was rewarded by an invigorating ride across the top before the descent to lunch. In the afternoon John A fell foul of a puncture and got the train from Leatherhead.  Great to criss cross with John Bellamy's Easy Riders enjoying the lovely weather and to have a catch up chat at tea at The Old Moat.













We being the third team on the road today our 10.50am departure group managed to escape from Cobham, not too far from our allocated time, given the catching up on verbal communication with our fellow Wayfarers, with whom we meet once a month.

Eight Wayfarers made up our group, FixieDave (sub-leader), Tim C,  Sue B,  Anne W, Tony H,  Bob P,  Colin G,  & Grant.

The ride flowed along smoothly, out away from Cobham into Plough Lane, and onwards toward Send,
Ascending the Hill up to Newlands Corner didn't prove to be that arduous. A pleasant ambience was appreciated at that point of the ride where we enjoyed the views over the Surrey landscape.

(thanks to a visitor to Newlands who took photos of us)


Our second Hill of the ride was High Barn Lane/ Hogden Lane which was similar to the hill up to Newlands, equally fixable.  The number of Hills on the ride was in the Eye/Legs of the beholder.

The Stepping Stones Pub proved to be a good venue, quick service, with nice food.
However it would seem that all Burgers are equal, but some Burgers are more equal than others?

Our afternoon Coffee and Cake stop was at The Old Moat in Horton Lane.

Thank you Francis for all the groundwork that you did for this ride, to make it a pleasant trip for your fellow wayfarers.

Francis would like to thank Tim Court for tirelessly helping to review the route and teaching him to use RideWithGPS efficiently. Much appreciated Tim   

Dave C