Sunday, May 31, 2009

Vic's Farnham Ride, 27 May '09

Here is the pen and ink version of the Farnham ride, prepared by Vic

Saturday, May 30, 2009

A and B Groups, 27 May '09

A and B combined ride - Train-assisted to Farnham with Lunch at the Red Lion, Oakhanger
Wayfarers emerging two by two from the Ark at Farnham Station

Around the Memorial Stone of Viscount Montgomery of Alamein, Field Marshal,
11 November 1887 - 27 March 1976

Lunch-time venue of The Red Lion, Oakhanger
St Leonard's Church - all that is left of the lost village of Hartley Mauditt

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Coast to Coast May 18-22

Tony Hooker
Bernard Brindley
Godfrey Potter
Eddie Cornes
Philip Barnes
Carole Dockett
Liz Scrivens
Charles Barraball
Rob Maskell
Antonio Coelo

Coast-to-coast and Hadrian’s Wall 18-22 May 2009

Tony H was the leader of the 10 strong group which happily completed the trans-Pennine coast-to-coast from Silloth, Cumbria to Newcastle, Northumberland.

Monday morning we made our way to Carlisle via Euston, limited to 4 bikes at a time on the tilting Pendolino service operated by Virgin; their boarding information could have been more timely and informative. Trains ran every hour; Godfrey and Charles, unbeknown to each other, were booked on the 09:30; Antonio was early for his, and just saw us trying not to miss our train and not to be mown down by luggage-trundling passengers rushing to board in the five minutes given. Our bikes were first on, and the cramped space off the central crew passage to the driver's cab was barely sufficient for 3, let alone the 4 reserve-able. All panniers had to be removed, and carried to a coach. Fortunately we found adjacent seats in the first carriage we came to - not the separate ones we had reserved.

We didn't have to change, unlike poor Antonio at Crew, & he caught up with us after our lunch at an unexceptional Carlisle restaurant an hour later, having already eaten on his train. The three of us set off for Silloth on the west coast after his quickly gulped coffee.

The dis-continuity of Sustrans' signage caused us several delays as we made our first acquaintances with the landscape of Cumbria. Stretches were rather ill-maintained, and after Antonio was nearly goosed by a gander we eventually found that Liz's later-departing group, Liz, Carole, Eddie and Tony, had put their faith in A and B roads initially, and had arrived at the Golf Hotel before us!

Our first meal together was very enjoyable, eased by the perhaps slightly nervous question of who
was sharing twin-bedded rooms with whom, having been answered earlier. The bikes having been locked up with electric caddies in the cellar, we slept the sleep of tired travellers in rather tired accommodation.

Tuesday after a sufficient breakfast we trusted our panniers to a taxi organized seamlessly by TH. And set off to enjoy the West-East version of the previous day. The flatlands of the estuary made for easy riding, and a late elevenses was enjoyed in a little village facility; self-service, it was grant funded and eco-friendly. It made us realize how vulnerable isolated areas can be. We spent the night at the Oakwood Park Hotel, Brampton, a real Country Life establishment of decaying red sandstone, in a beautiful setting; rather disconcertingly there was a mix-up, and some slept 3-in-a-bedroom, with put-u-ups and convertible sofas. We could have eaten in, but thought we would fare more flexibly in a pub, and a cab was arranged. Brampton is a picture-postcard town and we were well-fed at the White Lion, but eschewed the no-limit poker game. Three of us waited for the cab back, but the rest of the flock walked and reached the hotel before us. Some were amused by the dog herding the ducks; Rob was less enthused by the cockerels next morning, but a wonderful breakfast soothed all.

Wednesday was the hilly day, up and over the Pennines and the strain proved too much for one rear wheel; rather past its best, play in the bearings and a touring tyre rubbed relentlessly against Rob's frame. Some gruelling climbs took us up in the rain to two Roman Forts for elevenses; Bernard having gone on slightly ahead, had a film show to himself at the second. After that we set off over hills and valleys in a vain chase for Bernard and lunch. Only then did we learn that Bernard was now behind us, while Rob decided his wheel had had it, and stuck to the major roads, and caught a train. After an incredibly exalting, long, long descent we found a pub, near an abandoned railway station where we had a rather good lunch, and the very young barman, noting our ages, chose an extremely good 60’s tape to play, which immediately threw some of our group into a ‘name that tune and band/singer’ along with a taste of karaoke - and Bernard finally caught us up. On, on, up the hills and over the valleys and into Hexham. Our hotel for the night was very basic, with lino on the floor, so we walked up into the town and ate famously at a place Rob had sourced, having popped to the bike shop earlier. Walking down the lane to bed seemed somehow different, the meal and medieval street plan combining in a slightly disconcerting yet comfortable way. A basic breakfast was provided.

Thursday we set off for the bike shop; we could have spent the day there – and a fortune, though Rob was pleased with his bill. Our ride though was to the end of the Wall, lunch at a home-from-home Weatherspoons, and then Whitley Bay, after crossing the River Tyne twice, once underneath through a pedestrian tunnel on our way to South Shields, and then the second time crossing the river by ferry.

The countryside was very pleasant and Tyneside has splendid paths for cyclists. It was sobering to see so much not happening in factories and on building sites. As we sat in three-star splendour in our hotel we could see that for the young there is not much to do except under-dress and over-drink. Our bikes were safely locked in the conference room, and we each had our own vast bedrooms at last! Breakfast was pretty good, too, with locally caught (we hoped) fish on the menu.

Friday we revisited Wallsend and the former Swan and Hunter Shipbuilders' canteen, now a Museum with café. It tells the story of the Romans, and Tyneside and its settlements, before and since. We then went to Newcastle via the “eyelid” and swing bridges and a return to the quayside Weatherspoons, while BB took in an art gallery. Each awaited allotted slots in the National Express toast rack from Newcastle Station; this time there were 6 berths and, using an outer one, I was able to leave panniers clipped on – but little time was allowed to secure the bike in place and join the crowded carriages.

Congratulations, and thanks, to Tony Hooker for organising it all, especially the luggage transfers. Respect to AC, who carried his panniers everyday except Wednesday. And thanks to all for enjoyable companionship. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and were blessed with sunshine most of the time, only one heavy shower on Wednesday morning. Many thanks, Tony, we are now looking forward to next year's trip!

Charles and Carole

Thanks Vic...

....for leading your 17th and last train-supported ride. Despite a broken-down train at Woking, cancellations and other problems, about a dozen of us met Vic at Farnham station at about 11, to head off roughly south-westerly (for details see Mark's map). Waterproofs were just required as we headed to lunch at Oakhanger after a brief stop at Binsted church to see Monty's grave. The rain had stopped during the break and held off for the rest of the ride. Another brief stop to see Monty's house, then we headed for a pub on the A31 for 3s, returned to the lanes and Farnham station, to find services were back to normal. A very enjoyable day - Hampshire country lanes are quieter than Surrey and generally better surfaced.


Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Farnham - Vic's 'Train Assisted' Ride

A thoroughly enjoyable day.  The promised hills were delivered, the morning's rain was over by lunchtime and the route (and pubs) were excellent.

Friday, May 22, 2009

'A' Group 20th May

Edd sharp leading at Bray.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Easy Riders May 20th

Very good turnout in fine weather at Shepperton.We were treated to coffee and tea being the occasion of a birthday also Linda dispensed some very tasty chocolate covered coconut cakes. Phil was to have led the ride but for some reason Ron did the honours en route for The Red Lion at Thorpe. Among the fifteen or so riders was John C., Bill H., Fuzz, Dennis, Roger, Johnno, Lisa, Beryl, Lynda and me. We took the road through Lower Shepperton and over Chertsey Bridge, past the traffic lights then offroad through Penton Hook etc. The surface was quite reasonable until the last bit where the potholes had been filled in with rocks making progress tricky. We split up in Coldharbour Lane around fifty yards from the pub. The food was good and promptly served. Ron is a good leader; always waits for a chap like me and in spite of the rocks it was a good ride. I believe they went back to Shepperton for tea but being less than four miles from home I chickened out----------------Albert

B Group May 20th

B Group's ride was a river ride - the Thames, Wraysbury R., Jubilee R. and back to the Thames - and as such was a flat ride apart from bridges! A group of 15 set off from the Greeno - Judy, Stephanie, Sue, Johns G & M, Harold, Harry, Robin, Norman, Ray, David, Mick, Nev, Pete B and me, Gill. Conditions were good - bright if not sunny all the time and thankfully the wind had died down, though we seemed to have a bit of a headwind on the return journey in exposed areas. With The Greyhound at Eton Wick our lunch destination our route was along the Thames to Staines, Moor Lane to the path beside the M25 and the Wraysbury R., then westwards through Horton and Datchet to the Jubilee R. before turning off and approaching the pub from the North. By this time there were 12 of us for lunch. Sitting outside, a very cheery lady looked after us, ensuring we had all the right meals according to our names and the necessary condiments! Setting off again at 2.30 p.m. towards Eton along Cycle Path 4, we had excellent views of Windsor Castle. We crossed the Thames four times on the way back - Windsor, the back road to Datchet (twice) and finally Chertsey - with our route taking us through Old Windsor, Runnymede, Egham and Pentonhook to the Ferry Lane path into Chertsey. Afternoon tea was at The Walled Garden in Sunbury with 10 of us indulging in tea or cold drinks and cakes.

Apart from being by water, this ride was notable for all the wildflowers (especially white daisies, wild roses, pink clover, yellow irises) and wildlife (couple of herons, bunnies, moorhen chicks, a duck family, terns doing 'touch and go' getting drinks from the Jubilee R.) to be seen - or perhaps I was the lucky one at the front!! (Gill Finlay)

A Group 20 May 09

From Greeno to the White Hart, Moneyrow Green

Spring fever and a favourable forecast drew a colourful display of Wayfarers to the Greeno Centre, Shepperton. On arrival, eyes widened to the size of teacups to learn that tea and coffee were to be the gift of an unknown benefactor in a white hat. This largesse (please record it in the Register of Members' Interests) was soon revealed as the gift of Marsupial Mike, shy and retiring as ever, hopping around crutchless (can that be right?) like a kangaroo. He even performed an impromptu can-can, though without the frillies, so far as we know! This immediately brought the house to its feet - to head for the exit. Our thanks to Mike for the caffeine and the cabaret!

Marsupial Mike doing the Kangaroo Hop

The A Group males (with one honorary female in the form of Pam) lined up in echelon to be led off by Pied Piper Ed, toward the river and the hills. This happy, chattering band of innocents included: Brian, Don, Ed, Frank, Jeff, John B, Julian, Mark, Pam, Paul, Pete M, Ray, Toni and Vic. Apologies to those where the photographic memory is a trifle blurred.

Mark the Map has shown the detail of the route below, via Chertsea, Staines, Egham (past Pam's front door), Priest Hill, the maze of WGP, then along roads broad and lanes narrow (virgin territory for me) to the welcoming White Hart at Moneyrow Green, near Holyport. Good fare and VFM for all, with no tongue-lashing from mine hostess for unreconstructed self-service sandwich-eaters.

At the White Hart

Time called by Ed, it was off again to linger awhile outside the Fat Duck, Bray, breathe in the wafting savours and hare off around the corner before our credit cards were remotely debited. Then Dorney, Eton Wick and Datchet with a dash around the reservoirs, to home in again on Shepperton for tea-time, joined soon by a laggardly quartet delayed by lights at Wraysbury. Chit-chat, then ciao and home.

Tea-time back at Shepperton

Many thanks Ed for a most enjoyable ride.

For the record: 74 miles and one bruised hip.


Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Old Bike needs a home

I have an old bike at home that I don't really want to leave out the front
for the rag and bone man. It is a Pearson's Dawes. It must be about 180
years old and on the front it has a little shield stuck on. It is a man's size.
I wonder if anybody would be interested in it if only for an antique!
From Angie

Sunday, May 17, 2009

The Plough at Leigh

Here's a not very informative review of The Plough from Saturday's Times.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Easy Riders Maps

Here is today's Easy Riders route - elevenses to tea - and the telemetry. Ron gave us a grand day out in poor conditions. 

Yours, Mark

Thursday, May 14, 2009

May 13th

After the strong, gusty winds of the night before, it was a pleasant surprise to wake on Wednesday morning to calm conditions, albeit a bit damp.

On the way to 11's at Newland's Corner, there was a mass of bluebells in the wood on the climb to Netley Heath. Later in the day on more southern facing slopes they had all gone over.

Brian Greenwood joined me and along the track his front mudguard completely folded up, having been jammed up by a stick. Fortunately he was able to straighten it without too much bother.

At Newlands several had not studied the runs list and had to be extracted from the warm cafe and into the fresh air of the open tea bar (cheaper!).

The A & B groups combined as the total was only 10 people.

Steady drizzle through sunken, moss and fresh green lanes brought us out above Ewhurst, and the plunge down to lunch at the Chequers at Rowhook.

Leaving promptly at 2pm via Rusper John Scott punctured and admired by fellow riders fixed it quickly.

Tea was at Tanhill Farm - inside for once - followed by the ride home in slightly improving conditions.

Pete M.

Monday, May 11, 2009

A day out at the horses

Well almost. Proud Bob wanted to go and see daughter Ruth who had just produced a new Filly 5 days ago. Well not actualy Ruth - struth! Here he is stroking his Filly.
Brian and Leslie came along it was a great turnout. Ruth loves horses and apparently dogs as well. Great to see Brian out and about! We had a good value lunch at the Blue Anchor with Ranmoor bear!
The filly was a lively lass and kept prancing around, so it was difficult to get good pictures. Bob had the best position, he was inside the paddock and got some great shots. I hope he can get them on computer to share with Ruth.
Posted by Picasa

Saturday, May 09, 2009

B Group May 6th

I would like to say well done to Charles for leading the B group so ably on Wednesday, we explored new bridleways, (an interesting one runs parallel to Hungry Hill) avoided a field full of police and dogs on a training exercise, were threatened by a caged Rottweiller , enjoyed another lunch for a fiver (sandwiches and a half of bitter in Shere) (last week it was a jacket potato with cheese and beans and a half of bitter at the Greyhound , Charlwood) ascended White Downs and all returned safely to Leatherhead for tea. A lovely day - thanks Charles.
From Stephanie

B Group May 6th

A novice leader's dream, Lynda Barrow resolutely led the critical mass from North Cheam to Cobham BL. After 11s, the Bs set off for Holmbury St Mary in excellent weather, but at the South end of Guileshill Lane embarked off-road through enchanting woodlands East of Ryde farm.

A novice's nightmare ensued, with a clearly mapped red track ending in the disaster of reality at a locked gate, a fishpond, and (thankfully caged) snarling rottweilers. We partly re-traced our route enjoying the scenery but rather dismayed that a police dog unit was out, South of Humphreys Close.

Heading due South we re-found the route, but, having lost half-an-hour (and Norman), took lunch at Shere. We decided we'd then head for Leatherhead via a nice blue marked road (that transmorphed into White Downs Lane), Ranmore Common and West Humble. Tea at Annie's, and we were re-united with Norman.

My first go at leading reinforced Norman's 1st Rule - that you NEVER ride ahead - and my resolution, to reconnoitre all tracks I don't know. Thanks to John Gould for being back-marker. The bluebells were worth it.


Friday, May 08, 2009

Charles Shand Aota Valve Replacement

I had a call just now from Charles who wishes to be remembered to you all. He has now had some fairly extensive surgery to his heart area with access via a split Sternum and rib cage which is now wired up with Titanium and will take until end June'ish to heal. He is allowed to walk up to 1.1/2mls per day but no lifting, gardening etc. He anticipates gentle bike riding around July time. He is particularly grateful to Fuzz for keeping in touch with him. Well done Fuzz. Charles you are more then welcome to make a contribution to the Sou'Wester editorial whether it be current or "Hysterical" do not wait until you are back on the bike, strike now while what ever it is you have is hot! Make use of the quality time you now have, to do, what you want to do! OK so it's not writing about cycling!!

Mike Morley.Thanks for Get well card

Hi all and especially to those who signed my get well card and the kind person who was thoughtful to organise and send it. These things really help and cheer me up. It makes one realise what a wonderful bunch of people cyclists are and if that's what "Men of like Mind" means then lets go for it more and more. Of course I include women in that universal statement also. As a universal friend of us all says from time to time Ttfn :)

Easy Riders May 6

We had a very good turnout at Cobham with somewhat warmer weather and a slight breeze.. Having been nominated to lead I made for The Anchor at Bookham. Among our number was Bill H., Fuzz, Roger, Lynda, Beryl, Mike, Cliff (having a rest from B group), Ron, Jonno and Lisa with Dennis, Deanne, John C., with one or two more. Being front man, I started off at a slow pace which (for me) is almost motionless) and took the well tried route over Downside Bridge Road, Downside Common with the little chapel and well maintained village pump, then under the motorway to Bookham Common where, halfway we had a short wait for the group to catch up. Upon regaining the tarmac we had a gentle climb to Bookham where, at the crossroads, we left the picnickers at the church while the remainder pressed on to the pub. After a pleasant meal most of the others rejoined us when, returning by the same route we had tea at Cobham day centre. Jonno entertained us with a few popular tunes on the resident piano. Lynda had kindly warned them of our arrival. I really must get some phone numbers if I am to do the job properly. However I managed to get over 21 miles in--------Albert

Mark the Maps Route A Group

Thursday, May 07, 2009

A Group - 6 May

The Blue Ship at The Haven and Denbies

The Blue Ship
Al FrescoTea-time at Denbies

A Group—6 May

In the warm sun outside the hall at Cobham we welcomed Toni back from Italy, saw a photographic explanation of how Fuzz came by his name and signed a card for Mike M. Then, marshalled by blog and Jeff's penetrating whistle, twenty-two left Cobham at one minute past eleven for our annual pilgrimage to the Blue Ship. Turning left at Effingham Junction, we took the long drag up to Ranmore crossroads where, realising that the group was a little unwieldy, the back section split off to follow Pete M's route.

The rest of us went down Whitedown and up the second long drag to Holmbury St Mary, down to Ewhurst Green along the tranquil Lower Breache Road and then down Somersbury Lane to Cox Green, Rudgwick and The Haven. An advance party of Bob and Adam had arranged the tables and shortly afterwards Pete's group arrived and we enjoyed beer from the wood and prompt delivery of our food in the quiet, sunny garden.

After lunch, deciding against an off-road venture through Gibbon's Mill, we rerolled our wheels to Ellen's Green and took the Surrey Cycleway through Oakwoodhill and Weare Street to Ockley and Newdigate to Denbies for tea.

I clocked 62 miles door-to-door on this lovely English spring day with surprisingly little traffic. Thanks, Mike for your wishes—it turned out well, and it's good to hear that you are making progress.


Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Tuesday Offroad Ride.

Encouraged by Bob & Will, I took the OAP bus again from Walton Village to Redhill W'Spoons where we ate the usual good value food and reasonably priced wheat beer. They had a good off road ride over the downs with dry tracks. Will declined to have his photo taken so I threw my camera away. Bob asked if I could get a lift to Cobham 6 May but regrettably I can't and will miss you all. I hope Julian you get away to a good prompt start, have a great day. Making slow progress but I feel I am improving.
Purely as a matter of interest to you all and in regard to the Birthday rides, Ray Dare rang me last night to say he will probably now go so I look forward to that. There are still places available but Ray says that the reduced price rooms have now all gone.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Wednesday 6 May—A Group ride

This Wednesday 6 May I am planning to lead the A Group to the Blue Ship for lunch. It's a fairly long ride from Cobham, so I would like us to set off promptly as soon after eleven o'clock as possible, please.

The Blue Ship—at map reference 083305 on OS sheet 187—is near a village called The Haven about mid-way between Rudgwick and Billingshurst. The nearest Wetherspoons is at Horsham.

PS Apologies if you've already read this below. I've posted the message again in case it got lost among all the interesting ride reports from last week.

Eco Day at Stoneleigh Library

We have just learnt that there will be an Eco Day in Stoneleigh Library (Stoneleigh Broadway just by Stoneleigh station) 12.30 - 15.30 on Saturday 20 June. We could have a small stall if we wish.

Would anyone like to be there with leaflets and answer questions either for the whole time or until it is time to leave for the afternoon rides?
It clashes with the all day ride.

This is the last Saturday of Bike Week so I and Dr. Bike team members will be in Sutton Town Centre for the whole morning.

I will be pleased to hear of any offers on behalf of the Beginners/DA.

Thank you.


Sunday, May 03, 2009

Easy Riders - 29 April 2009

Weather cooler than of late but fine and sunny with a very good turnout at Elleray Hall. It seemed Ron had turned over the lead to Harold but I suspected not the sticky parts of the route. The lunch destination remained a mystery and a goodly crowd set off. Behind Harold there came Roger, Bill H., Beryl, Ron, Sonia, Lisa, Jonno, Dave, Tom, Fuzz, Les, me and quite a few more.
Having arrived via Bushy Park, I was pleased to be returning the same way as we entered Teddington Gate, but before reaching the pond we took a right turn still on a well paved surface, until reaching a spot entitled Woodland Walk where it was necessary to upend our bikes and join a pleasant if somewhat basic ride until reaching tarmac once more.
After a short ride a second more demanding bit of offroad was encountered without mishap. After emerging from this there was some discussion as to where we were to dive next into the fray. This was a real test of both skill and courage starting with a bumpy drop into a narrow slot between large clumps of briars and long grass and nettles. I was thankful I was not wearing shorts since the foliage was doing its best to dismount me. Rather than fall into some uncomfortable shrub, I started to walk when Harold returned to my aid. Upon reaching the roadway and seeing the Thames, I realised we had reached Lower Sunbury with The Flower Pot our lunch spot. Being only about three miles from home I felt it necessary to decline Harold`s kind invitation to tea at his place and made for the former. I still had over 22 miles on the clock--Albert

Wednesday 29 April 2009 - alternative C ride!

Wednesday 29 April 2009.
Alternative C ride from Elleray Hall, Teddington

A small group of riders Linda, David, Ernie and Allan led by Liz left Teddington and headed off down Waldegrave Road towards Twickenham passing St Mary’s College and Pope’s Grotto to reach the North bank of the Thames via Cross Deep and Wharf Lane. We continued up the river bank past Eel Pie Island, where the inventor of the clockwork wind up radio lives and the Stones started up, to Richmond Bridge. Crossing the main road we cycled along Duck Lane to Richmond Lock to cross over to the South bank and continue along the river past Kew Gardens. On reaching Kew Bridge we crossed the river again turning immediately right into Strand on the Green to have lunch at The City Barge. Most of us had fish and chips as we watched the herons on the river and the Fire Rescue launch powering up stream to some emergency or maybe just testing how fast they could go! After lunch we closely followed the river along Thames Road and Hartington Road to cross the river once again at Chiswick Bridge turning immediately left down to Thames Bank then right up Ship Lane and across the main road to Mortlake Station and Sheen Lane. From here it was a straight ride into Richmond Park via East Sheen Gate to the Isabella Plantation where we WALKED around admiring the fantastic flowering Azaleas and Rhododendrons in full bloom.(See Linda for pictures). Then a short ride UP (our only hill, but we did carry our bikes up and over at Richmond Lock!!) to the Pembroke Lodge café for a two teas and two Lattes, Allan had left us after the plantation experience! Refreshed and recharged we left at the Ham gate and made our way to the river again cycling along the North Bank to Kingston and home. It was a great ride well worth doing again sometime. I clocked 23 miles from Hampton, but how many times did I cross the river Thames?

Posted by David Salmon

Saturday, May 02, 2009

A Group Wednesday 29 April 09

West Hoathly and Fanny's Farm

Today’s mid-morning gathering point was the Redhill Methodist Centre, possibly rather close to the edge of the world for those who live to the West. Nonetheless, a good score of riders assembled to load up on tea and tannin before striking off in two groups and bright sunshine. Congratulations to Mike M, who managed to make it on one leg by bus from Walton-on-the Hill; his sombrero left on board his return bus consigned by a public-spirited traveller to the safe custody of Redhill bus depot.

With Ray in Cornwall, the A Group lead was taken up by Jeff – destination Tyes X and West Hoathly. The bright sunshine, however, very soon gave way to angry, black clouds as the Grand Old Duke of York led his troops insanely all the way up then down the length of Redstone Hollow, instead of along Philanthropic Lane to Clay Lane as intended. In the eyes of some, the glint of tombstones from Hilltop Cemetery seemed very menacing.

It soon became clear that the ambidextrous leader had trouble telling his left side from his right, as more than once he overshot his intended turn, starting with Kings Mill Lane to the West of Redhill Aerodrome, on the way to Outwood Mill. Two cheers for SCC, which has resurfaced some lanes, but with potholes replaced by loose chippings without the benefit of the heavy roller. Some never will be satisfied! On then past the proudly rising spire of St Mary’s Church at Horne to Bones Lane, nearly missing East Park Lane, to Newchapel. To avoid the A22 we faced a bone-shaking stretch of off-road along Stubpond Lane beside Hedgecourt Lake, followed by more flint and root on a bridle path and farm track to emerge, shaken but not stirred, at Imberhorne Lane.

From here it was blessed tarmac all the way, past Saint Hill Manor, (HQ of the scientologists), past the head of Weir Wood Reservoir, followed by a steady upward canter all the way to Tyes X. Freewheel along Top Road through Sharpthorne, then a quick climb up Church Hill to the lunch-time terminus and a softly purring welcome at the Cat Inn, West Hoathly.

The Cat Inn, West Hoathly

After unhurried tiffin of bread and ale, there was time to enjoy the cemetery of St Margaret’s and the view from 600ft along the valley of the Ouse to the South Downs and the Lewes Gap.

The viewpoint at St Martin's

However, our compass bearing now was to the North Downs, not the South. We joined the B2028 to Turners Hill and Crawley Down, then off the busy road to sail past Copthorne Prep School and Effingham Lane, along quiet farm lanes all the way to Smallfield. We passed the Windmill once again en route to Bletchingley. Then the swoop down Little Common Lane past the Hawthorns School to Merstham. A stone’s throw now to Markedge Lane and Fanny’s Farm, where relaxing tea and cakes were taken in the garden sun-trap. The fellowship then reluctantly dispersed, each to enjoy his Wednesday evening at his pleasure.
The end of the day at Fanny's Farm

The ride a modest 52 miles, door knocker to door knocker.


Friday, May 01, 2009

B group 29.4.09.

Pictures from Mark

After a few words with Mike M at Redhill (good to see you up and about Mike) Norman, with no fears of superstition, led Francoise, Stephanie, Brian G, Charles, Dave, Frank, Ian, Johns G and M, Mark the map, Ray H and me (Terry) south on NCN21 to Horley, then round the south side of Gatwick airport. A quick glimpse of older aircraft at the Gatwick Aviation Museum and we soon arrived at Charlwood, stopping at The Greyhound/Hungry Horse (special offer - fish 'n chips 'n peas 'n a pint £4.99). Ian and Ray left after lunch. Our return trip north was delayed slightly by a large herd of Friesians crossing the road, urged on by the farmer on a quad bike. No further problems as we passed through Leigh and Brockham then crossed the golf course, finally splitting up at Leatherhead where some stopped for tea at Annie's.


A Group Ride from Cobham next Wednesday (6 May)

Next Wednesday 6 May I am planning to lead the A Group to the Blue Ship for lunch. It's a fairly long ride from Cobham, so I would like us to set off promptly as soon after eleven o'clock as possible, please.

The Blue Ship—at map reference 083305 on OS sheet 187—is near a village called The Haven about mid-way between Rudgwick and Billingshurst. The nearest Wetherspoons is at Horsham.