Monday, April 27, 2009

YHA Trip

Maharaja's Well

Weir End

Toll charges at Pangbourne bridge

Youth Hostel Trip Friday April 24

After saying 'Goodbye' to Pam and Pete,we headed south following Pete's suggested route, joining the A4155 at Bourne End and followed it through Marlow to Mill End. Here we decided to cross the Thames via the weir and then use the quiet road to Henley via Remenham, enjoying the sight and sound of several red kites. At Henley we had a latish 11s, some choosing to get another stamp on their Wetherspoons coffee card. Lunch was at a recently refurbished pub at Satwell, not quite yet fully operational. A couple of miles further on we stopped to admire the Maharajah's Well followed by 3s at the Village Store. At Woodcote we made a diversion to Catsbrain Hill, the climb well worth it for the view (including Didcot Power Station). Soon we arrived at Goring where with time in hand we checked out the bridge and lock, arriving at the hostel (just over the bridge) at Streatley. We chose to eat at the pub almost next door, from which most of us managed to return before the warden locked the Hostel door at 11pm. (Those of us tucked up in bed and almost asleep heard calls from outside which sounded something like 'Nooooorman').

Youth Hostel Trip Saturday April 25

After solving the mystery of the vanishing Full English Breakfast (see Ed), we left on damp roads but it wasn't raining. After using the A329 to Pangbourne we crossed the Thames via the toll bridge (we went free) and soon turned onto a bridleway which was roughish in parts but well worth it for the views (including a field of alpacas) and peace and quiet. Crossing the Thames again at Caversham bridge we found our way out of Reading which included a pleasant stretch alongside the river. As suggested by Lisa we had (latish) 11s at Twyford Waitrose where we also bought a picnic lunch, consumed on roadside seats at Paley Street, within walking distance of t'pub. The sun continued to shine on us as we headed home via Winkfield, Ascot racecourse and Chobham Common to our final cup of tea at Addlestone Tesco, after which we went our separate ways.


Saturday, April 25, 2009

B Group April 22nd

An absolutely perfect day saw Eddie, Charles, Terry, Norman, Bernard, Judy, Brian, David, Harold, Godfrey, John, Roger, Robin and myself set off down the River Wey Canal then to the Basingstoke Canal before turning to the direction of Pyrford Village. We continued via
Send to West Clandon, luncheoning at the Bulls Head (highly recommended) before
labouring up to Newlands Corner. We followed the North Downs Way amongst the bluebells before turning down Shere Road and UP Peeble Hill, then on via the Drift to Cobham for
Tea. My thanks to Terry, the ever dependable back marker and Judy's support.


Friday, April 24, 2009

Youth Hostel Trip Thursday April 23

A leisurely start at Pams became a Mini Bar-b-Q with the supply of Sausage bagetes warm sunshine and the lateish arrival of Ed Sharp with Rob, Ian(The Spanner), Norman & Harry Cole having been delaid by Ed needing to replace a broken saddle at his home fortunately on the route. Lisa joined us for the morning, and we proceeded via Old Windsor, Datchet through the back alleys behind Eton college to lunch at The Greyhound Pub Eton Wick. Out the back and onto the Jubilee River cycle path to its end at Taplow, onto a very bluebell covered Burnham Beeches to Wooburn Common and afternoon tea and cakes at Odds Farm amongst the bunnies & lambs. Forty Green next, Knotty Green, past near to Bekonscot Model Village (80years old this year) Seer Green and Jodans Youth Hostel. 6 elected to walk the mile to The Jolly Cricketers for food (2for £10) 2 for a chinese takeaway delivered within 15 mins! and 1 self cook From Pete M

Easy Riders April 22nd

The Dodds Bridge Gang
Photo by Stephanie

What a glorious Wednesday, thanks to Beryl, Liza, Linda, Bill, Harold, Dennis and Roger. We turned left after crossing the canal and had a quick look at Coxes Mill and pond before crossing the railway and heading for New Haw where we joined the Wey canal again. We came off the canal at Dodds bridge and followed Dodds Lane onto the Pyrford Road and Lock Lane. A stop to view the flowers and old Norman stonework in Wisley Church allowed Dennis to catch up, meanwhile we heard via mobile link that Harold was already at lunch and waiting for us! We cycled onwards through sunshine and birdsong, over the A3 bridge and across Wisley airfield and down towards the Chilbrook Road. Harold racing in the opposite direction met us and we all had a lovely lunch, some very sustaining sandwiches consumed. We set off past the old bakehouse which is now a chapel and through the bridleway to Tilt Road, Fairmile Lane and Garsons Farm for tea, followed by a quick viewing of Waynfletes Tower - yes I know they did it last week but its well worth looking at if you haven't seen it. Through the streets to Hampton Court then along the river to Kingston.
From Stephanie

Sou'westers Tops

Just to let you know that I have got the printed shirts back. They are ready for collection from me at home; or Nonsuch Park on Saturday or Teddington next Wednesday. People who have given me shirts for printing, just need to contact me and let me know how they want to collect them. The cost is £5 per shirt. This includes the printing, VAT and my bus fare.
From Lynda

Thursday, April 23, 2009

A Group April 22

21 riders could not resist a heady mix of beautiful weather and Irene the Leaderene. From Weybridge Day Centre a familiar NCN route to Chertsey Bridge and along the towpath brought the group to Staines. Moor Lane lead on to the banks of the Wraysbury River before the M25 under-up-and-under saw us onto the Horton Road from whence it was a short ride into Datchet for lunch at the Royal Stag. Sizing up the queue four decamped to the cafe next door; last to arrive was Pete M who'd punctured. Refreshed the riders went over the level crossing and headed into Old Windsor. The ascent of Priest Hill was followed by the descent of Tite Hill where Pam, the nominated TEC, overtook most of the bunch including most importantly the leader. From Thorpe we took the Riverside offroad to Willow Walk and thus passed over Chertsey Bridge for a second time before halting in Lower Sunbury's Walled Garden where tea and cakes were enjoyed in the now hot sunshine.
From Graham

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

A Group Route April 22

Todays Route from Mark


Hi all,

Sorry I have been away for a bit but Weddings take preference over cycling. If any of you want to see my lovely daughter and her man on their wedding day I have a web site for you as follows:

Click on Client Area then put the password


into it and you will see all the photos. You have the option of viewing it as a slide show.

Yours truly looks very grumpy in many of the shots. Must have been suffering fom bike withdrawal syndrome.
From John Scott

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Terry's YHA trip 23 + 24 April

Pam has asked me to let you all know that you are welcome to call at her place for tea/coffee for eleven's on Thursday 23 April. You are all asked to enter her property via the back entrance from the Tesco Car Park, not from the front.

If you need further info, then email Pete, Lisa or Mike.

Pams computer has gone sick and has gone to Hospital due to Burn out so she cannot read or send e-mails etc at present.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

A Group Wednesday 15 April '09

Henfold, Nuthurst and Tulley's Farm

The day dawned dark, dank and murky. This accurately reflected my misty understanding of where to meet when the Easy Riders have a different 11’s. Great my amazement to find a N.C. throng champing at the bit at 9.02 am. Having specified a 9am start I should have known better! In no time Norman was off down London Rd. All fine for ½ mile until we reached the Organ Inn traffic lights where the group splintered, with some following me to take the high road towards Nescot and some taking the low road to follow Norman via I know not where to our common destination.

The Nescot group rose to the heights to grandstand it beside Epsom racecourse towards Tadworth, where my ride had started. From then on it was all downhill through Walton-on-the Hill, down Pebble Hill (deemed ‘awesome’ by frisky young Jack, who wanted to do it again), through Betchworth and lanes rural to Henfold Lake. Here we were among the first to arrive and refreshed ourselves as numbers gradually grew, finally to be augmented by the Norman invasion. Time then to split again, with Terry leading the B Group and Jeff the A Group.

This was to be no Roughstuff Fellowship but a genteel spin on reassuring tarmac (bar the potholes!) - destination Nuthurst. Our resident, computerised cartographer (and fearsome climber!), Mark, has expertly plotted (see below) every detail of our route, so little for me to add. The hazy mists of Henfield dissolved to offer blue skies and sunshine as, like Toad of Toad Hall, we sped through Newdigate, Rusper, Wimlands, dismount to cross the A264 ,which has so crudely truncated Wimlands Rd, to find Old Crawley Road behind the bushes and brambles. Then round the Eastern outskirts of Horsham to Doomsday Green, where (pax) some were taken rudely unawares by the blind right turn and sudden short, sharp rise of Doomsday Lane! We cross the A281 and down the renamed Magpie Lane to Copsale, Maplehurst and the welcome whinny of the Black Horse, Nuthurst. This listed building is a quintessential English pub with a stream and splashing waterfall enhancing the secluded garden.

After freshly baked baguettes and banter it was time to embrace the afternoon. The tea-time target was Tulley’s Farm – a farm too far for some. All set off together through Monk’s Gate, Mannings Heath and Hammer Pond Lane. Here some curtail their ride to take Grouse Rd and
head for home through Colgate. The significant others confront the climb past Hammer Ponds, then on to Handcross where Vic peels off for Pease Pottage and the rest take High Beeches Lane towards Turners Hill, with a small diversion to Balcombe and along Mill Lane for the climb by Ardingly Reservoir and the long drag up Paddockhurst Lane to rejoin the B2110 to Turners Hill and Tulley’s Farm. As ever, Ian finds a way to arrive before the hares!

Brief respite, then off again, John to Tunbridge Wells and the others via Copthorne, Smallfield, Nutfield (where Will turned off at Crab Hill Lane), Merstham, Markedge Lane and Fanny’s to stop and take our leave, our number now reduced to the Famous Five, for the wind to take us where it willed.

According to the trusty Cateye (if accurately calibrated) a distance door to door of 76 miles, some 5¾ hours in the saddle, and a few more metres to add to Mark’s altitude report!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

A Group Route April 15th

Click on Picture to enlarge
Here are today's pictures. Raw data: 86.6km; moving speed 21.5km/h; total ascent 869.1m; 2558 calories. Taken from Dorking to the top of Markedge Lane (past Fanny's), where the group divided to make their own ways home. Yours, Mark Gladwyn

B Group April 15th

On what turned out to be a very nice cycling day, I led Liz, Stephanie, Adam, Bernard, Brian G,Charles and Jack B, Dave and David V, Johns A, G and M, Norman and Robin from Henfold south to the steepish negative descent to Newdigate, on through Rusper to the A264 briefly and Warnham. Back to the lanes and our destination The Punchbowl at Oakwood/Okewood Hill. Their telephone was u/s so we surprised the staff but they coped admirably. After lunch we were able to check out the puncture repairing techniques of Norman and Charles and Jack B. Return to the Dorking area was by conventional route - unfortunately few bluebells were open in Weare Street - perhaps another couple of weeks. After using a few footpaths/cycle routes in Dorking (avoiding the main streets) we enjoyed a rather late 'threes' at Denbies, then mostly headed for Leatherhead and home.

Easy Riders April 15th

Picture from Albert
An encouraging weather forecast got me out in shorts for the first time this year, but with a cool headwind I was glad I was wearing my rain jacket en route to East Molesey. We had a goodly turnout and the ride was to be led by Ron whose extensive knowledge of the many byways is known to us all. I hope I can remember everyones name but here goes; ladies first, Lynda, Beryl and Sonia. Then came Roger, John C., Tom, Dennis, Phil, Bill H., in addition to Ron and me plus I think one or two more for lunch at The Prince of Wales pub at West End near Esher. In very short order we were on the Thames towpath which was surprisingly navigable with not too much mud. We encountered more potholes and humps on the following urban roads but with a bit more offroad we eventually got there. John kindly treated me to a pint and we enjoyed a promptly served lunch. Tea was to be at Claygate so not wishing to press my luck further I made for home via Hersham etc. Hope the pic comes out OK on the blog------------------Albert

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

John's Problems

I don't think anyone (even Jeff!) can match my recent tale of woe-eight replacement inner tubes (for both wheels of both my bikes) in 25 day period during which I cycled a total of only about 200-220 miles.

(1) Wednesday March 18th, Wayfarers' B Group, bike number 1, back wheel. Bent valve caused flat tyre. With help of Roger Sceats, managed to straighten valve, re-pump tyre, and complete ride. But, as a precaution, replaced inner tube when I got home.
(2) and (3). Saturday afternoon 21 March. Beginners Group Long Ride, bike number 2, front wheel. Had puncture on entering Nonsuch Park for start of ride. No obvious puncture cause, but with help replaced inner tube in a hurry in time to start ride. Punctured again within a few yards-pinch puncture. Took train home fron Stoneleigh.
(4) Saturday morning 28th March. Cycling from home at Raynes Park to bridge lesson at Roehampton, bike number 2, back wheel. Punctured about 1 mile from home. Found and removed thin (less than 1mm diameter) 8mm long rigid metal rod from outer tyre.
(5) and (6) Wednesday April 1st, Wayfarers' B Group, bike number 1 front wheel. Loud blow-out before lunch on Blagden Hill, about a mile west of Westhumble. Long dep tear on side of outer tyre. Decided not to fit new tube as would probably blow-out again. Walked to Bookham Station and took train home. Went straight to local bike shop and asked for two new Marathon Plus Tyres to be fitted, over existing back inner tube and over "new" (Halfords old style packaging- so probably bought 2 years ago) front inner tube supplied by me. Assistant noticed that latter had manufacturing defect (40 mm times 2mm area of very thin rubber). Therefore needed to buy another new inner tube.
(7) and (8) Easter Sunday 12th April, round-about ride to Walton Bridge with friend, Mark (just retired - I hope to introduce him to a Wayfarers ride sometime soon), bike number 2, back wheel. On our way back, I punctured near Hampton Station, took a train to Kingston and, as Evans was closed, went to Halfords, who, within a few minutes, fitted a new inner tube and a new "Conti" Kevlar outer tyre. I then cycled through Bushey Park to Teddington, crossed the Thames at Teddington Lock and entered Richmond Park at Ham Gate. I had just emerged from Robin Hood Gate when I had another back wheel puncture.- a piece of glass was embedded in my brand new tyre. When I arrived home, Mark phoned that he too had punctured- a few hundred yards before reaching his home in Long Ditton.

John Gould

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Easy Riders - 8th April 2009

Apart from a fairly stiff breeze, which most of the time seemed to be following, we had a good day for quite a low turnout at Hersham. With Roger in the lead then Lynda, Beryl, Fuzz, Ron, Dennis and me, we set off for lunch at Ye Oldie Swan by the river at Thames Ditton. Roger chose a pretty flat route along Queens Road to Sir Richards Bridge then through Walton, West then East Molesey. We crossed the Hampton Court Road by the station bus stop and joined the cyclepath before turning left only to have a short wait at the level crossing before pressing on to a pleasant lunch at the pub where we were joined by Tom.
Tea was to be at Five on the Bridge and by retracing our outbound ride we arrived there in very short order. The others decided to have an extra hours riding so I said I would wait being aware of my ancient frame (not the bike). They returned spot on time. I had already downed two cups of tea but managed to squeeze in one more. I`ve attached a couple of pictures of our lunchtime group. I still managed to cover 23miles------Albert

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Pams 2nd Leader Ride

Congratulations to Pam. Its was a brilliant ride and while I appreciate not as ambitious as Bernard's "B" ride we didn't lose any body or frighten the shear S H one T out of them. I for one must say it was shear pleasure to see that smile back after what seems like half a lifetime away but then I'm getting old!
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Friday, April 03, 2009

A Group - April Fool's Day 2009

A Group route April 1st

'A' Group Route from Mark Gladwyn ( n.b. click on map to enlarge)

A Group April 1st

My thanks to all the riders that came along with me on Wednesday, 28 of us left Cobham B.L., quite a sight!!
Sorry Grant was a little 'under the weather' so wasn't with us for long. Ray stayed with us almost to the lunch venue-he must have guessed we would have a long wait with so many to be served! Nevertheless, the staff were extremely pleasant and did their best.
A group left Cobham, on the way to Ripley, via Chilbrook Road, missing the pot holes in Plough Lane!!!
From Ripley we followed Newark Lane (past the ruined Priory) to Woking Road where a swift right led us to the six cross roads roundabout on the A320! Lucky for us it was not at all busy with traffic, so no hassle getting into Woodham Road on the way to Horsell Rise and Cheapside to The Plough public house in Horsell on the outskirts of Woking town! Just incase you didn't all know that!! Doreen and Ron joined us for lunch after having driven around in circles looking for the place! As we were leaving John A had a 'flattie' but before he could get the wheel out (with the help of Pete B), Toni D noticed the valve was not tight so a quick pump and we were on our way. Should I mention that Judy had punctured earlier, aptly repaired by Frank!
From the pub we took a left into South Road, through Horsell village, right into Arthur's Bridge Road where we joined the tow path of the Basingstoke Canal. A slightly challenging ride to Byfleet after Maybury? (where the good surface now finishes), for resurfacing is being carried out and trees are being cut down etc. etc....
Through West Byfleet to Pyrford Road, Lock Lane, over the A3 to Ockham Bites for tea......
It may have been one of the less challenging routes but I had a most enjoyable day - so thanks to: Bob, Vic, Pete B, Toni D, Paul, Mike, Neil, Dave, John M, Mark, Rob, Will, Frank, Judy, Ian, Don, Ray, Grant, Ed, Jeff, Gordon, Graham Holder, Julian, John A, Dave Jarvis, Doreen and Ron! and my good buddy Irene for her patience as the back marker. Not forgetting our guest John Smith from Scotland!
John A had punctured after all for he and Ed had their machines upside down with wheels removed outside the cafe at Ockham!
From Pam

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Easy Riders - 1st April 2009

Great weather for our Cobham get together with what must have been a record turnout. John C., led our ride to The Bull (or was it The William IV) at Clandon. I have been there before but can't remember. It`s the pub on the right of the long climb out from Send.
We started out up Plough Lane where quite a few bad potholes were in the process of being repaired. In our number we had Lynda, Fuzz, Roger, Beryl, Dennis, Ron, Bill H., Harold, Bill (another Albert having rejected such a noble forename), Jonno and Lisa. I know that`s only twelve with John and myself so I must apologise for leaving anyone out. I am sure we had quite a few more. We crossed over at The White Swan with Wisley airfield on our right to the road end then right and left past the prison. After a couple of hundred yards of farm concrete sets we arrived on the Clandon Road with rather a long climb. The service and food were good and reasonable as was the beer ( of which by now I was in great need).
Tea was to be at Leatherhead so I headed back downhill to Send, Ripley, West Byfleet and home with 27 miles on the clock arriving by 3pm. I slept until 5pm, had a whisky mac and after a shower felt good--------Albert

B Group April 1st

What a lovely day! The gardens and countryside looked wonderful with the blossom and new growth.On such a nice day it was to be expected that there would be a good turnout, and so there were, 18 as we left Cobham. (Judy said she wasn't going to come with us, I thought it was personal but later discovered why). My route was carefully selected. I was keen to avoid busy roads, in particular that cycle path at the side of the A24. So we went over Ranmore Common. It was quiet and nice scenery albeit a sodding great hill! Then we avoided Dorking by going down a purple ("Off-road routes where it is comfortable to cycle in fine summer conditions ... may contain short sections that are more difficult") bridle path down the steep side of the North Downs. It was seriously steep, mostly we had to walk. Across the unguarded railway, on to the A25 and undulated to the Wotton Hatch pub. By now we were down to eight: Brian, Chris, Colin, David S, Gill, Norman, Stephanie and my good self. Several people died from exhaustion including Cliff. Others took fright at the steepness of the off-road bit. John G had a puncture which resulted from a massive split in his tyre so he felt unwilling to continue on it and went home by train - he was grateful for Godfrey's help who consequently didn't rejoin us. The pub was nice, good food and pleasant service. More hills on the way to tea at Ockam Bites, over White Downs. We met the A group at tea-time as planned. It was 33 miles from North Cheam to the tea stop although it felt like more because of all the hills. (Judy was at the tea stop having chickened out of the hilly ride, preferring Pam's ride for softies).

A new problem

A small but totally uneccessary obstruction surprised me this morning, the alleyway that links Garth Road to the end of Charminster is now gated and locked at both ends, a short cut through that meant I could avoid the main A24 or the main Worcester Park to North Cheam road is now taken from me ? Any info anybody.... Grant mentioned it had featured in last weeks Guardian but mine has now gone to the binmen Steph

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

B Group April 1st From Charles

"After toiling up the hill to St Barnabas, Ranmore, without walking or stopping, I hung around for the re-start. One of our number, on a blue SIGMA, was still adjusting his front brake cable, but he said he wouldn't be long, so I said I would wait at the next turning, and raced off after Cliff. I waited at that corner for what seemed an age, the sun went in and I started to get chilled. So I returned to the back gate to Denbies, and there was the SIGMA, still having problems. Once the wheel was spinning freely, we went our separate ways, and I followed the sign to Dorking. There was no sign of the peleton there - not surprising as it was about 1:15 , so I hopped on a train home. No square meal this week, then! (SIGMA man had sandwiches) Charles"
From Charles Barraball