Thursday, November 26, 2009

Alberts Story

Pictures from Albert

I hope you get a full report of Stephanie`s ride as I was with Peter 0n my tandem trike quite unable to follow the others and opted for our own route to The Tide End Cottage near Teddington Lock. At Elleray Hall there was a good turnout with Mark, Lynda, John C., Fuzz, Roger, Les, Dennis, Ron, Johnno, Lisa, Chris, Peter and myself plus of course Stephanie who led the ride. My only contribution is a few photos of those of us who arrived at this delightful watering hole----------------Albert

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Easy Riders

A surprising number for a windy day. Began at the Elleray Centre by buying 3 ladies their teas (they gave me the money) as they were getting a little tired of waiting for the queue to go down. Then a lovely day in the sunshine, through Bushy Park, in and out of gates. Thanks Ron for being back marker and for enlightening me, the gates in an out of the water garden are not intended to make it difficult for us to get in but to stop deer from getting in. Along the R Crane in sunshine, back roads to the long footpath at the side of Strawberry Hill railway and down to Tides End Cottage. Service good considering numbers but delayed our afternoon start so a short run along the north bank of the Thames to Kingston and back into Bushy Park to join As and Bs at tea in the new cafe. Good to see Albert and Peter who joined us for lunch. Mick, Roy, Fuzz, Frank and John C, who left us after lunch, and Roger, Chris, Jono, Les, Eddy, Lynda and Liz who stayed for tea. From Stephanie

A Group Nov 25th

I uttered the phrase "Get home in the light" and suddenly the A ride was 28
strong (it seemed more) at times stretched out over hundreds of yards of
tarmac. But nobody was lost thanks to Tail End Irene. Bushy Park was entered
unusually behind NPL and exited in Hampton; both have "kissing" gates! Soon
we were in an anonymous cul-de-sac (Roy Grove) where surprisingly there is a
monument to the man whom many consider to be the founder of Ordnance Survey
(Major-General William Roy). From leafy avenues our way lead under the A316
into Feltham and through BP's main UK site at Sunbury. TEI may have been
unmoved but Ed was delighted with home town (Ashford) and Europe's largest
female prison (HMP Bronzefield). After the Spelthorne council offices we
were divided in the centre of Staines, some to The George, others to The
Town Hall and the rest to somewhere near the church. For your future use,
the Town Hall service is not Wetherspoon quick but the gents has inflatable
pigs and sheep for sale ( Our rendezvous was brief and
orderly; somewhere on towpath to Laleham, Pete B terra-firma'ed seemingly
without injury. Five were last seen heading towards the Shepperton bakery
and an early bath. Around Lower Sunbury Frank/Francoise punctured; never to
be seen again. From Hampton station and down to 13, we went back to the
haves and have nots of the stag world. The Refractory was a new teastop,
relatively expensive, glass and steel. It should have been perfect (mid
afternoon, midweek, term time) but the place was packed with B/C Wayfarers!
A blustery southwester and copious sunshine made it a fine day for cycling
but a mere 27 miles door to door.

Graham Hill

A Group 25th November

Today's map is not a complete record as I turned off a couple of miles before tea to head for Hampton Court Bridge.

On a bright late November day Graham led us 18.78 miles from elevenses to Sunnyside Reservoir - probably just over twenty altogether. Moving average 10.21 mph, 893 calories and a pretty flat run.


Thursday, November 19, 2009

Easy Riders Nov 18th

It was quite an eventful day.

We had a pleasant ride through Ewell Park to Claygate with Liz. Then, as it is a closer destination from our start, we had a leisurely tea/coffee before getting into our groups. Albert led on his trike, followed by Chris, Bill H., Fuzz, Roger, John x2, Beryl, Angie, Les and Mark towards West End. It was a very windy day and the threat of rain loomed overhead. We got past The Bear at Esher when there was a camber in the road; with potholes. It was a very bad stretch for those on two wheels; (Les took some photos on his phone camera); but, unfortunely Albert got unbalanced and went down. His injuries consisted of a cut on the top of his nose; caused by his glasses and a cut hand,which looked quite deep, even though he had gloves on. Chris and Bill stayed with him to contact his son, Peter; the rest of the group continued to The Pub; (can't remember the name now); next to Garsons Farm. It was good to get there early; as we were first served. Its a very popular pub with very good food and service. After lunch, Roger lead to Hampton Court; where we enjoyed cake and tea at, yes, you guessed, Five on the Bridge. Beryl was telling us stories of her recent holiday in Australia, where she stayed for 2 months and 2 weeks . We were down to six then and made our separate ways home. On my way through Nonsuch Park I saw Lionel Blair walking his two dogs, on a rather long lead. It was stretching right across the path; he was 'miles away', so he didn't see me on my bike till I came face to face with him; he said, Sorry! He's the only smart person I know with a tan that walks their dog in Nonsuch Park. Then, I called in to Nuffield for a jaquassi and sauna. Its Harold's moving day today - hope all went well. I'm off to the cinema this evening to see, 'Men starring at goats' - say no more!!!


A Group - 18 November '09

Pete's Last Lead

Abinger Hatchlings
As you will have read below, the ride to Abinger Common was the occasion of Pete Mitchell's last ride as a runs leader. It may be no coincidence that the green opposite the Abinger Hatch still sports a well-worn and weathered set of stocks, with space for three miscreants. There may well be more than three among our number, who have been guilty of grievous offence, worst of which is willfully riding ahead of the leader. Could that be you in the stocks? Let he who is without sin cast the first stone!

We shall sorely miss Pete's wise head at the front of the group, as well as his extensive knowledge of so many lovely lanes and byways. We know how easily he can leave an impetuous front-runner suddnly alone and bewildered, wondering where the group has gone.
We are all indebted to Pete for the thought and time he has put into leading rides and choosing venues for so many years.

Many thanks, Pete, for giving us the benefit of your experience. It will still be with us even if not from the helm.


A Group Nov 18th

15 of us left Claygate following in the tracks of B group across the A3 bridge behind Claygate & onto a very sheltered track away from the gusty wind. A pause to let B group disappear, continuing up through Oxshot & River Road closing on the rear guard of the B's another pause and our routes parted at last, we climbed up and down White Downs. Ed & Bob were missing but a phone call to Ed (Phone on!) confirmed it was Bob with a puncture and no pump with Bob!. On to a very well prepared lunch at Abinger Hatch complete with log fire. Away by 2pm into the golden leafy lanes of Friday Street & back to Dorking with a strong following wind (Frank C 35.4 mph on 68" fixed = 175rpm) The ride allong the cycle path to Leatherhead was notable as we all kept together (most unusual!) thanks to Frank on the front with the leader effectively blocking any attempts to dash ahead. Tea at Annies. warm scones ready to leave at 4pm just in time to make space for B group who arrived in dribs and drabs home across Ashtead Common before dark 41 miles and the last day as a runs leader is over.
Pete M

B Group 18 Nov

Our Leader Brian just passed Polsden Lacey. An excellent well thought out route some parts of which many of us had not ridden before!

Same spot with the second group ascending. We split into two groups due to numbers.
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Harolds final farewell

Harold has donated one of his older treasured mountain bikes to Barbara. Little did I know that it was all in bits but I will put it together and hope that Barbara will give it a go. Needed one soft and comfortable saddle for a lady! Anyone got a spare? I picked the bike up on Monday afternoon believing that Harold was off to Scotland on Wednesday 18 Nov but he was leaving for LHR at 4pm and so for me it was a final farewell. I wished him well for the future and he insisted that he may even be back next year to ride that 10 mile TT with KPRC. That's the spirit never give up!
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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

B Group Nov 18th

The very blustery conditions didn’t seem to have deterred riders and 17 of us set off from Claygate through Oxshott and then via River Lane to Fetcham. The climb through Bookham to Chapel Lane was taken at a gentle pace and the descent of Blagden Hill treated with due caution given the conditions. Then via Pixham and Brockham to the Plough at Leigh. The relaxed pace of the day seemed to have extended to the food preparation and a lengthy wait ensued so we didn’t head for home until after 2.30. Avoiding Brockham via Tilehurst Lane and Punchbowl Hill we headed for Annie’s at Leatherhead where we found the A group just leaving. By now it was about 3.35 and few stayed for tea. The group was Irene ( who left us at Fetcham), Liz, Harold, Bernard, Mike M, Stephanie, Les, Cliff, Robin, Terry, Mark, Ian, Norman, Roger, Ed, Mick and myself. Thanks to Terry for backmarking and to Norman for splitting the group along the A244.
From Brian

B Group Nov 18th

Our esteemed leader Brian Greenwood
Bernard trying to hold Liz down

B Group Ride 18th November

Brian led us 29.49 miles from elevenses at Claygate to lunch at Leigh and on to Annie's for tea - a respectable run for the latter half of November. Moving average speed 8.31 mph, 1254.7 feet of ascent and 1402 calories. The highest speed attained was 26.6 mph at Roothill Lane on the homeward leg.


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Tom Fish

I've just spoken to Robin (Tom's son) - Tom was checked, x-rayed and released OK from Kingston Hospital on Sunday afternoon.


Sicily Part 2

The two weeks following Bernard's report were as interesting as the first week, the long hills continued. The highest town we stayed at was Troina 1121m. The lowest being Catania at 7m! Our journey continued North and East stopping at Hotel Mariano in Castellana Sicula, where we had a memorable six course Sicilian meal! 

The chef had asked his daughter, who spoke English, to come to the hotel to ask us what we would like to eat! We visited Mount Etna from Nicolosi, putting our bikes on the bus to the foot of the cable car station, (apart from Mike who cycled). After the cable car a jeep took us to approx 3000m where we walked around the crater with steam emerging! It was great riding down the mountain, especially as we had not ridden up!! Yes, we did have mixed weather but no problem if one had water proofs to wear! Who didn't take waterproofs? 

Ian and I were delighted to find that our efforts to book accommodation on the web were successful. There were no organisers on the trip, every body was free to do as they wished. Another pleasing fact was that the CTC Poly bags we put the bikes in, were accepted by Easyjet and B.A. - and to my knowledge, none of the bikes were damaged!


Monday, November 16, 2009

Sicily Finale mjm

I think it was Toni de'Italia that said there was something "fishy" about travelling on the last day (2nd Nov) and indeed we found it at the market in Catania.

The Duomo Catania was quite impressive both inside and out!

Alas time to go home as we made our way to the airport and there ahead was Mt. Etna, the clearest view yet, a far cry from the day we made the ascent but for those who took the Jeep ride they were rewarded by the snow scene near the summit as Pam reported and yes it was me that came unprepared with no waterproof top and thanks to the kind lady who came to my rescue!
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Sunday, November 15, 2009

Tom Fish

Tom fell off his bike this morning - apparently nobody else was involved. Second person on the scene was CTC member Mick Rock from Molesey who helped out and took Tom's bike home and then rang me. I contacted Tom's son Robin at Kingston Hospital, he said Tom had a graze on the back of his head but seemed OK (not checked by doctor then, but nothing was broken) , and expected to go home soon. Robin will keep me up-to-date.


Sicily 4 mjm

Typical long climbs quite severe in places.

One of the many refueling stops often taken alfresco due to lack of cafe's open in Oct.

Typical ascent or decent with lots of agricuture

A typical view in this case from a B&B place we stayed at.
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Saturday, November 14, 2009

Sicily 3 mjm

Enjoying our time with the hosts at one of the many good B&B's booked by Pam & Ian

The Valley of the Temples, the contrast from the day before with torrential rain was incredible

A feature from the interesting museum. Robin could have spent a day there!

Some fascinating statues especially the one on the right.

P.S. Please look more closely at the Police Women that arrested me in the earlier pics. They have real guns and were not just people of beauty!
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Thursday, November 12, 2009

Easy Riders Nov 11th

Pretty wet and chilly for the most part but we had a good turnout at Walton. Ron`s original intention was to have lunch at The Plough at Stoke d`Abernon but owing to the shortness of the daylight, decided to make it The Albion at East Molesley. A good decision and although Pete and I considered using the main road and the others the towpath, we changed our minds and found the towpath route a pleasant way to go on the tandem trike. In the event we all got there a the same time rather damp but glad of the good food and liquid refreshment. Ron led the ride with Bill H., Roger, Lynda, Les, Fuzz, Chris, and one or two more,with Pete and me as stoker. Tea was to be at Claygate but Pete and I made a beeline for home with the exception of a coffee shop stop in Weybridge where the old firestation used to be.---------Albert

Free Wheeling Contest

Pictures from Bernard

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Free-wheel competition November 11 2009

From Dorking I led A and B groups through the golf course to Brockham, past the burnt-out fire to Strood green and Leigh to Norwood Hill. (It would appear The Fox Revived may soon be back in business). With Ed and Norman organising departures (thanks), I freewheeled away first. The weather was fine but the road was dampish so the first corner had to be treated with a certain amount of respect, otherwise it was an uneventful run. Liz was next down and kept an eye on the ladies' efforts (thanks). Aerodynamic Mark beat me by a couple of metres (or yards, if you prefer), then soon Francoise beat Liz by a similar margin. After everyone had wiggled their way down we carried on to Charlwood for lunch at pre-warned The Greyhound. Ed's unique carvings (thanks) were presented to Francoise and Mark, Liz and Terry won inner tubes, then we set off for 3s, to be at Annie's (I warned them we were coming, they had various cakes in stock but no muffins). Delayed slightly by sheep being unloaded at Russ Hill, we pressed on through very slight drizzle to Parkgate, Newdigate and Dorking to Leatherhead, where, upon leaving to go our separate ways, the sky brightened up a little.


Free Wheel Competition

Free Wheel Course

Free Wheel Telemetry

The Free Wheel Competition, led by Terry, made good use of a dreich November day. Elevenses to tea: 27.1 miles, moving average 11.8 mph and 1137 ft of ascent. As the main purpose of the day was descent details of the Free Wheel course and telemetry are also included this week.


Tuesday, November 10, 2009

More from Sicily mjm part2

Need a bike or a part Palermo had the lot, a whole street devoted to nothing but bikes!

The hostess with the mostest. More like a guardian angel! When we needed help Louisa would sort it in. We all missed her when she and Bernard went their own way for their second week.

The ever effervescent Mrs. R.S. queen of the mountains and a star on her MTB showing the way up the mountains with such ease. Where does she get that power from?

Pam and Robin enjoying each others company in some of the fairer sunny weather on offer. The mountains though, they were a grind and some of the downhills fantastic, 8mls of free decent it was simply wonderful.

More pics to come.
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