Friday, November 28, 2008

Easy Riders Nov 26

What a grey day! Nevertheless, Roger led 15 of us from Claygate Day centre passed the Tilt, to one of my favourite pubs - The Running Mare at Stoke D'Abernon. A warm, friendly pub with nice food. Eight of us ate in and seven went to the cemetary with their sandwiches. We made our way back to Claygate day centre for tea. Due to the nights drawing in we made it a shorter day, to get home in daylight. It was nice for me to ride through Nonsuch Park while it was still light, and it stayed dry.


Thursday, November 27, 2008

A Group Nov 26th

Wednesday 26th November A team report Frank C

As Bob S was chomping at the bit, we left the Claygate Day Centre fairly sharp at
11-10. We numbered 20, and despite my efforts, by the time we reached our destination at the Plough & Harrow Hammersmith, there were still 20 sitting down for lunch, for the usual good service and food. We consisted of Pam, Irene, Graham, Julian, Ed, John’s B. A. & S. Pete B, and M, Grant, Vic, Rob, Tony d, Jeff, Antonio, Ray, Will and Bob. Leaving the Day Centre, riding via the Scilly Isles, turning off Hampton Court Way ASAP, along Ember Lane to Hampton Court Bridge and Bushy Park, then to Teddington and Twickenham. It was here we picked up the North tow path of the Thames and back streets all the way to lunch, passing Richmond Bridge, Twickenham Bridge, Syon Park, the back of Brentford, past the league two ground (formally the 4th division side) to Kew Bridge, along Strand On The Green, Grove Park, past the Polytechnic Stadium back on the tow path, past the finish line of the Boat Race at Mortlake, and staying on the North Bank all the way to Hammersmith.
After lunch there was a decision to make, tea at Richmond Park at the golf course or Wetherspoons at Raynes Park. The later was decided as the park café was too near lunch. There were still about 10 at tea, the others pealing of to make their way home.
There were no punctures or mishaps apart from Jeff’s carrier falling to bits at Richmond, a temporary repair was made on the spot and a full service was carried out at lunch.

B Group Nov 26th

17 of us set out from Claygate. Barnes/Putney my chosen lunch-spot, did not suit several people so Adam, Harry, Nev and Phil went their different ways quite early on. That left Allan, Brian, Colin, Eddie, Gill, John G, Judy, Les, Liz, Norman, Robin, Stephanie and me. We went by quite quiet roads to the kingston Gate of Richmond Park. After a highly democratic process we elected to use the roads in the park rather than the paths. We all tried to keep up with Judy on the fairly sharp climb to Ladderstile Gate but none of us could catch her. Then on to Roehampton Gate. I never go through Richmond Park without a silent thank you to Henry VIII (or whoever it was) for leaving us such a wonderful open space. The to the Wetland Centre at Barnes. My original plan had been to have lunch there but they had said on the phone that the restaurant was only for visitors (£8 each). I went in to try to negotiate but no good. So to plan B - which was the Boathouse at Putney. It was a happy choice, they had laid a big table for us on the first floor with a lovely view across the river. The food was good and we had a charming young waitress who looked after us most assiduously. The route was too far east for several people so only 7 of us continued after lunch, firstly a nice bit by the river in Wandsworth Park followed by a grotty bit on a busy road to Battersea Park. We stopped to admire the Peace Buddha and Liz intoned her Buddhist incantation. Then Brixton, Dulwich (where I nearly succeeded in losing Norman!) past Dulwich College and up the long hill of College Road, again no-one could catch Judy. Tea was at a cafe in Sydenham that only had one sort of cake - panettone served by a rather inexperienced waiter. Then through Crystal Palace Park where we admired the circa 1850 dinosaurs which are, I'm told, thought to be rather inaccurate by modern palaeontologists. Down to Streatham where John G got a puncture. By then it was dark so he set out to train it home. I hope, John, without too much hassle.



Friday, November 21, 2008

21 November 08

Read All About It!
As most will know, our esteemed Editor in Chief of the Sou'Wester, Mike Morley, is suffering an anguished convalescence on the sands of Bondi Beach. As his shaking finger seems to have pointed in my direction (he is getting his own back!) and as the deadline for news, reports, articles, scandal, tit-tat etc for the Jan/Feb edition of the Sou'Wester is 26 November (next Wednesday!) I am writing to ask if you could let me have copies of items already submitted, pending or hot off the press, so that I can present them to our publisher Colin Quemby for setting and printing.
Now is your chance to get into print, so sharpen that pencil and let us know what you have always wanted to say. How about a 'Letter to the Editor' from Disgusted Tunbridge Wells? You'll never have a better chance than this! Don't waste any time thinking about it - do it now!
Whatever you have got to say, please let me have it now! My contact details are in the last Sou'Wester! The lines are now open!
(Ever so very temporary sub-editor)

Mike Morley Update

Pass on my best wishes to Jeff ( tempoarary editor Sou'Wester), also to Pete Mitchell so he can blog me 2 death and keep all informed. I am doing fine and well on the mend!. Thanks to everyone for your kind thoughts which I got through Pam ( an amazing secretary). I wont stay on line too long as got lots to do today. I am getting fitter every day and feel great. In a way regretably I have to come home. Today in Sydney it will be 28C with lots sunshine and soon I will go for a long walk before being picked up by friends to go out for the day.
Best of luck to you all, happy cycling. Mike.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Easy Riders Nov 19th

There was a good crowd at Hersham today. Next time we go they will have a new cafe there.

Phil led 16 riders from Hersham on a beautiful, sunny autumnal morning. We headed towards George's Hill housing estate then made our way to the Wey canal. The terrain was OK up to The Anchor; then we continued to the other side, where it got more slippey. There was a puncture at the back of the group, and Phil went back to investigate, while the rest of us continued to Ripley, our destination being The Half Moon.

After a very nice lunch, a good day for the picnickers, we continued through Ripley Village to Oxshott Common and Stoke D'Abernon, then Arbrook Common to Claygate Day Centre. It was a very nice run through the very leafy Commons. After tea we went our separate ways.


Wednesday, November 19, 2008

A Group - Wednesday 19 November 08

Some of the Wayfaring Whippets straining at the leash after lunch, waiting for pack leader Ed, outside the Greyhound at Lingfield - Youngs beer and rabbit pie - AND by exception sandwiches welcome. Gold star for the Landlord!

Some supped at the Star, Michelin rating to be confirmed.

On a fine November morning the North Cheam Brotherhood, commanded by Ed, scaled the heights of the North Downs and descended Markedge Lane to Gatton Bottom. Here, before climbing Rocky Lane beside the Royal Alexandra and Albert School, they were passed by Jeff heading in the opposite direction. Their paths crossed again at the junction with the A23, before they finally joined forces at the Redhill Methodist Centre.
After refuelling the party split up, with Ed leading his group along the Surrey Cycleway to Outwood. Thence via Horne and the London Mormon Temple at Newchapel, before victoriously entering Lingfield. For lunch some favoured the Greyhound, some the Star. The former offered Youngs and a tempting menu of homemade pies. The landlord even welcomed diy sandwich eaters!
The forces regrouped outside the Greyhound before setting off to revisit Outwood and return via South Nutfield, Clay Lane and the compassionately chosen route of Philanthropic Lane, past the cemetery on the hill, back into Redhill and the familiar, welcoming arms of Weatherspoons. This lure was resisted by Jeff, wary of abandoning his beloved chained up outside and prey to the covetous glances of lurking, hooded figures. Who knows what they might pinch? He therefore gave thanks and bade an early farewell to leader Ed, before embracing the less than comforting lure of Wray Lane on the way back home, to complete a most enjoyable autumn circuit of some 40 miles. Our grateful thanks to Ed.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Mike Morley

Just to let you know that Mike has now been discharged fron hospital and is recovering with relatives in Sydney. It will be a few weeks before he returns home as he needs to ensure his immune system has recovered enough before he returns home on a long flight.
Kind Regards Tim Morley

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Wednesday 12 November 08

The Mayford Arms - A Group lunchtime venue

A Group Nov 12th

On a bright not too breezy autumnal day, Irene the Leaderene set off
alongside the canal and through Poets Corner to Addlestone where there was a
lengthy delay at the crossing. After Ottershaw came Stonehill Road before we
turned south into Horsell. In the middle of Woking the canal was joined and
exited at Kiln Bridge. The path to the golf course caught several overgeared
but a swift descent soon brought us to the lunchtime stop, the Mayford Arms,
unchanged despite a recent revamp. Forewarned they had reserved places for
us; service was like the curate's egg but maybe we were too many. The return
was through Sutton Green and Jacob's Well to the A3 where our leader
decamped at the Wisley roundabout and the rump settled into Ockham Bites for
an alfresco finish to the day. We were 22 or more so only newish faces get a
mention: welcome Colin Farquhar, Graham Holder, John Arkless and Paul Kelly.

Graham Hill

B Group Nov 12th

It was a group of twelve who chose to come with me to the Fox and Castle at Old Windsor - Judy, Liz, Stephanie, Helen (a friend of Fuzz's and a newcomer for the day only as she has just found a new job), Brian, Harry, Robin, Norman, Eddy, Bernard, Les and John G. (thank-you John for acting as back-marker). We set off from Weybridge at approx. 11.30, closely following the A Group to Addlestone where we caught up with them waiting at the level crossing for a train to go through. Our ways parted at the Addlestone Day Centre as we cut down Oak Lane to the roundabout at the junction of the High Street with Green Lane. Taking the latter we cycled across to the bottom of Holloway Hill where we took the option of the flat route by-passing the village of Lyne, along Hardwick Lane and Lyne Crossing Road - rural but rather noisy, being close to the M25. Climbing up and over the railway and the M25/M3 junction, we soon came to the peace and quiet of Thorpe Green. After passing the tennis club on the far side of the Green, we headed due north to Egham, up Middle Hill to Parsonage Road and across Englefield Green to Kings Lane before heading north again on Wick Lane to Bishops Gate. All climbing for the day was now over and we zoomed down Crimp Hill, skirting the edge of Great Windsor Park with its lovely autumn colours, to our destination at the bottom of the hill. Forewarned of our arrival, we were given a warm welcome (it's under new management) and good food was soon appearing on the tables.

With afternoon tea scheduled for Shepperton Bakery we took the direct route back via Runnymede, across the meadows to Egham, by the back route to Staines where we followed the towpath to Laleham then took to the road for the last stretch into Shepperton - the river was running fast after all the recent rains but looked beautiful in the autumn sunshine. Ten of us partook of tea and cakes, heading off to our respective homes just as children started flooding out of the local schools at 3.30 p.m. (Gill Finlay)

Easy Riders Nov 12th

I had a phone call from Albert on Tuesday, saying that he was going to have another operation on his eye to put it right, on Thursday.

Harold led the group today, with Ron, Roger, Bill H, Charles, Beryl, Lynda, Mike & Mary, Fuzz and Allan. From Weybridge we went down to the towpath and headed for Shepperton. Came up and went over the bridge, through the town to a very interesting spirral bridge, which I found great fun going round and up, then down the other side. Thro' Charlton Village and down Nutty Road to Sunbury; where we stopped at The Flower Pot. A very nice pub and good food. After lunch we continued thro' Hamworth, Hampton and Bushy Park to Hampton Court. It was after 3pm by then; so decided not to stop for tea and we all made our way home. A very nice ride and some new places.


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Mike Morley

Mike has ventured off to Australia for a few weeks. Unfortunately he has been taken ill with suspected pneumonia and is currently in hospital in Sydney.

The Carol Service Mike was arranging on the 7th December 08.
As I am unsure when Mike will be well enough to return back to the UK, it maybe that the service will have to be cancelled unless there is anyone else that would be willing to take the organisation on, on Mike's behalf.

From Tim Morley

Friday, November 07, 2008

B Group Nov 5th

14 of us set out from Cobham. They were Brian, David, Eddie, Gill, Godfrey, Harry, John G, Les, Liz, Marion, Neville, Norman, Reg and me. I always try to get away from the traffic even if it means a some bumps and mud. So our route took us along the Wey Navigation to Weybridge after a miserable albeit short bit along the A3, then on to the Thames along the tow-path to a quite nice pub (whoops hotel) The Weir. Then more Thames tow-path to Hampton Court Bridge and through Bushey Park and back across the river via the Teddington Lock footbridge. I was quite pleased with the proportion of low-traffic cycling - although Judy's bike does need a clean. There were a few challenges on the tow-paths in the form of roots and other lumps. One chap failed the test and fell off. Fortunately no serious harm done other than a bent brake. A slow puncture caused the victim to catch the the train at Hampton Court. After lunch our numbers began to reduce but several of us made it to the nursery at Petersham where the cakes were rather nice - including beetroot cake. Just before the tea-stop another puncture and a minor catastrophe - the leader passed the turning to the nursery and when he realised he stopped rather quickly without warning. Consequently two people crashed, Gill suffering a compound fracture of her left knee. She said she didn't need an ambulance as she hurried along (without limping) to her cake. Is this a record - two puncture and three crashes? Regards Bernard

Cliff Whitfield

I know at least some of you have heard that whilst cycling Cliff was recently bitten by a dog. He was so angry at the time he didn't get any details but Maureen says she would recognise the dog. Since then when returning on a ride to Leigh with Maureen he suffered a mini-stroke. He is at home and having the usual checks etc at hospital. He saw some Wayfarers at The Queen Vic on Wednesday as he was going to hospital. I rang him Wednesday evening - he sends his regards to all and will be back with us as soon as he can.


Thursday, November 06, 2008

A Group Nov 5th

Some 24 set off from Cobham, with Pete B leading and Bob volunteering to act as tail end charlie to keep such a large group on track. Across Bookham Common and up to Bookham with a brief stop to cape up as the forecast drizzle arrived. Fortunately this did not last long and it was drier, if overcast, by the time we passed Polesden Lacy and dropped down to the Stepping Stones. Along to Pixham Lane and across to Root Hill (the scene of last week's downhill) and on to Leigh. Unfortunately Jeff punctured but was happy to send the rest on as it was close to lunch. Arriving at the Three Horse Shoes, Irons Bottom, we were treated to fine food and great ale served speedily by Mein Host (who had kindly also set table for us). Then, under wintery skies, we took the farm road to Bury's Court School where we found both gates locked. With great teamwork bikes were speedily past over the obstructions and it was on past Wonham Manor before briefly stopping the admire the bonfire built on the green at Brockham. Across the golf course to retrace Pixham Lane and the cycle path took us to Leatherhead. With the Wetherspoons coffee machine hors de combat, the remaining 10 or 12 who were staying for tea squeezed into Annie's whilst the rest heading home before darkness fell.
From Pete Barnard

Easy Riders Nov 5th

There were a lot of people at Cobham this morning; but only 7 of us on the C group ride.

I led, Beryl, Roger, Charles, Fuzz, Bill H., and Harold towards Claygate going on the old A3 road. We didn't go thro' Arbrook Common as I thought it would be too muddy after all the rain we've had the last few days. So, we stayed on the road, passing Claygate Day Centre and turning left going down to Long Ditton. We continued to Thames Ditton and had a nice lunch at Ye Old Swan by the river. They have a special menu there for £5. A good choice of 5 hot main dishes. I had the tasty lentil risotto with roasted vegetables and grated cheese on top. After a leisurely lunch, some decided to make their way back home. Roger, Charles and myself decided to do a circuit of the towpath to Kingston, Ham and Teddington. On the route I got quite a surprise when I saw a rat dart out of a bush, cross my path, looked up and decided to retrace his pawprints and doubled back, hence going under my bike and nearly getting squashed! As we were going over Teddington bridge, we saw B group coming from the opposite direction, heading for Richmond. We continued, going through Bushey Park, and making our way to Five on the Bridge for the best cakes. It was drizzly rain most of the way home and I was surprised how dark it was by 5 o'clock. Got home at 5.10pm and clocked 40mls.