Thursday, September 30, 2010

B Group Sept 29th

After lunch Bernard very thoughtfully arranged for a visit to church so that we could kneel and pray for our safe return. Steph
A small group at North Cheam and an even smaller group for Redhill – eight to be precise. I suppose with so many members living west it’s not surprising. Or maybe it’s the hills, in metres I noticed 45, 170, 100, 190, 85. We managed to make a mistake on the way to Redhill, I blame Ed who said he knew the route “intimately” but wasn’t at the front. We got there in the end and eight of us set out from Redhill. Not the same eight, we were Brian, Christine, Ed, François, Frank, John G, Stephanie and yours truly. We were en route to Rusper. All went well until I took the wrong turning out of Charlwood, one thing led to another and soon we were in the suburbs of Crawley. After a U-turn in a shopping centre we then explored the extensive and fascinating industrial estates on the west side of Crawley. By now I’d given up with the map and was just using my compass! We got to The Star Inn in Rusper (built in 1486) at about 1.30 after 23 miles from coffee. The food was pretty good, Christine had a steak and kidney pudding that was intended for a family of four while Stephanie was consuming a gigantic pudding. We then had some easy miles to Newdigate, Rusper is the highest village in Sussex so it was gently downhill and with the wind behind us. We stopped and had a quick look at St Peter’s Newdigate parts of which are 12th and 13th century. On to Brockham, across the golf course and tea at Denbies vineyard. Just as we arrived the rain started – the forecast had been dire but we had stayed dry, even a few bits of hazy sun – but the tea was good after which we went our several ways. 50 miles from North Cheam.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

A Group 29th September

Redhill for elevenses today - never a popular meeting place - and a damp morning with the forecast of rain kept the numbers down. But quality made up for quantity, and five of us - Dave, Graham, Mike M, Pete B and I set off for the North Downs, with a tacit agreement to give up when the rain started.

Quickly through traffic-free back-streets to the edge of town, then steady climbing up Warwick Wold Road to Hilltop Lane. This is a sharp little climb with a hairpin at the top and usually very little traffic. No trouble for the group, now styling itself A+, and on to Farthing Downs. Memory lane for Pete, who remembered coming there as a child with the CTC Family Group. The swing-boats and the cafe are gone now, but there's a nice orientation stone on the top and we stopped for a few minutes to take in distant views of the City, Crystal Palace and Canary Wharf.

Briskly down to Chipstead Valley then up again by Rectory Lane to Woodmansterne and on to Banstead. We crossed the A217 at the end of Garratts Lane and then took a new bit of NCN 22 alongside Nork Park - partly surfaced, partly gravel. A bit flinty, it fact, of which more later - but a handy connection.

Down to Tattenham Corner and then along Epsom Lane next to the Downs - good views again. Turning into Kingswood Road I had the sinking feeling of a visit from the Puncture Fairy. Drat - only a couple of miles from the pub. It had gone down slowly, so Graham and I blew it up good and hard and cracked on for lunch.

When we got to the Chequers a familiar Pearson was leaning on the wall - John was there. Mike, Pete and Graham went in to order lunch and I spent a couple of minutes sorting out the puncture with Dave. I was very grateful for Dave's keen eyes - he found the tiny flint that had done the damage. Perfectly shaped for the purpose, like an arrowhead, and as sharp as a razor. A new tube and that was that.

As we entered the pub there was another surprise - here was Jeff, barely recognisable in civvies, with a natty bow tie to top off his ensemble. So the A Group peaked at seven, but dwindled again after a good lunch. Pete was heading home, Mike thought he'd have another beer, and Jeff wasn't riding anyway. But John, with only seven miles under his belt, was eager for more, so with a fresh substitute on the team we headed off down Pebblecombe to Brockham (they're starting to build the bonfire) then back by Tilehurst Lane and Pixham Lane to the Zig-Zags, where I was able to demonstrate that, no matter how hard you pedal, a Moulton won't go fast up hill.

We were now on the Hilly 12 course, so, with a quick picture for posterity at the top of Box Hill, we set off for Annie's at pace. One of the advantages of a small group that regularly rides together is that you can get about the country pretty quickly. So we were in to Annie's at just after three thirty, which suited Graham as he had an important appointment later, and out just after four, as the rain started. Perfect timing, really.

34.46 miles elevenses to tea; 2,097 feet of ascent; rolling average 11.4 mph but a maximum speed of 39.8 mph (Pebblecombe) and 1,566 calories.


Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Weybridge Day Centre - Complaint

Complaint Number 2

The behaviour of the Wayfarers has been the subject of a second complaint from Weybridge Day Centre.

On my arrival this morning, I was told by the Centre Manager that one of our number had tried to secure his bicycle in a car parking space. The manager had asked the cyclist to move it, only to be the subject of verbal abuse and offensive language. There were two cyclists. The offender then rode off. Neither was identified. The incident caused great offence and the manager was visibly upset.

I apologised as best I could on behalf of the Wayfarers, but this behaviour is unacceptable. It is the second incident involving foul language; the first addressed to a receptionist, the second to the Centre Manager.
The Midweek Wayfarers now have an unenviable reputation at this Centre. I do not know if we shall receive a written complaint from the Manager or from the Council. What is clear is that any further incident may well result in our being asked not to return.

I do not know who was involved. Whatever his version of events, our reputation has been damaged and it does seem that we are now in a position of 'three strikes and you are out'.
Do the Wayfarers really wish to be associated with this loutish behaviour?

We cannot afford to let this happen again.


Saturday, September 25, 2010

B Group Sept 22nd

From Weybridge. 20 set off with;- Bernard, Pam, Steph, Gill, Les, Terry, Eddie, Mick, Godfrey, Dave, Judy, Pete B, Francoise, Frank, Dave, Jane, Allan, Bob, John, and Robin.

West along the High street right into Bridge Road to Addlestone station to Green Lane, Holloway Hill, left and right round Oxhills Golf course. Left and R. over M3, through Wentworth Estate via East Drive, exit at western end L at A30 then R. to Coworth Farm. L at A329 R. into Blacknest gate Windsor Park,. Out of the Park at Rangers Gate and cross the A 332 and right onto the cycle path 1 mile then right back to the A332 to Windsor Weatherspoons. After lunch up past the castle, out along King Edward Av. through Datchet and Wraysbury onto the tow path just before and under Staines Bridge, avoiding the Staines traffic. Along the Thames to Chertsey Bridge, Docket Eddy Lane to Shepperton lock for tea with 11 in the shade under the owl.

Beautiful warm sunny day approximately 31 miles coffee to tea stops.
From Robin

Friday, September 24, 2010

Thursday, September 23, 2010

A Group Sept 22nd

A good sized group turned out at Weybridge, consisting of Frank, Graham, John, Brian, Pete M, Ray, Vic, Ian, Simon, Ed, Mark, Graham, Johns M & G, Will and Rob, whilst Ron and Doreen joined us for lunch and tea.

Our destination was Wood Street Village. In contrast to the excitement of last week’s ride via the vivid blue of the London Superhighway, the road out of Weybridge remained a disappointing charcoal grey, although one only had to look up to see the vivid blue of a perfect late September day.

We set off at a steady pace through Byfleet, after which a short stretch of off road necessitated negotiating a newly installed gate shortly before Pyrford. At Mayford came an unplanned parting of the ways, with the A plus group heading toward Wood Street via Cobbett Hill Road, whilst the A minus group took a slightly more direct approach.
The best Olympic synchronized swimmers could not have engineered a better timed rendezvous at Frog Grove Lane, though, despite the A plus group having a minor hiatus when Mark’s satnav disengaged itself, whilst the following motorist was evidently of the view that its performance would be enhanced if he were allowed to drive over it, as he seemed unwilling to stop. No damage occurred, however, and we proceeded as an ensemble to lunch at the Royal Oak, where we basked outside in the warm sunshine, hopefully not for the last time this year.

The way back took us through the suburbs of Guildford and then through Ripley, into Cobham. John had been feeling unwell after his sausage lunch, so it seemed fitting that we should take tea at the Medicine Garden, Downside Road, a venue I for one had not previously visited. The walls of what was formerly a good sized Victorian kitchen garden were on show, together with an art gallery (works in acrylic available if you have £200+ of loose change), garden shop, and another workshop selling old agricultural implements. The café seemed a tad overwhelmed by the arrival of a bunch of cyclists, but it certainly is a pleasant place for a tea stop and one to be recommended.

I covered 61 miles all told.


Easy Riders Sept 22nd

Thank you to Andrew H. He signed my Churches Ride sponsor form. As one of my sponsors; I did the ride on the 11th September. We visited 33 churches that day. We cycled up to Banstead and around Wallington, Carshalton, Sutton and back to Nonsuch Park for a sandwich. It did rain in the morning; but we dried off before lunchtime, when the sun came out. After a 10mins break; we were off again, going round Epsom, Ewell and Stonleigh. We covered 34 very challenging miles. I was so hungry, we went to Preezo afterwards for a pasta meal.

Our ride today from Weybridge Day Centre. A lovely day for cycling along the tow path. I led, Roger, Beryl, Fuzz (GBS), Bill H., John C., David S., Davide A., Angie, Albert, Mark,Chris, Cliff, and we met Liz at Hampton Court. We followed the path to Kingston; where we had lunch at The White Hart at Hampton Wick. After very nice lunches, (recommend), we continued over the bridge and down along the other side to Teddington; through the town, then into Bushy Park. Here, we saw some young deer playing 'chicken' running from side to side of the road. It was a lovely sight. Out of the park, we turned right and had afternoon tea and cake in the back garden of Five on the Bridge. Great weather, great ride.


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

A Group 22nd September

A balmy Summer's day - possibly the last of the year - for Rob's ride from elevenses at Weybridge to lunch at the Royal Oak, Wood Street and tea at the Medicine Garden, Cobham. 31.78 miles at a rolling average of 13 mph; pretty flat at 1003 feet of ascent and 1,424 calories.


Monday, September 20, 2010

Ripley Jumble

Ripley Jumble is on Saturday (25th Sep)

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Easy Riders Sept 15th

There was quite a gathering up at North Cheam this morning; most were waiting to go on the Mystery ride. Which left Norman and myself to cycle to Leatherhead Day Centre, where we met up with the rest of the group; plus 3 who didn't know to meet at N. Cheam!

I led, Beryl, Roger, Mark, Allan, Bill H., Fuzz, Bill, Ron and Ian, from the day centre over the footbridge and down Skinners Lane to Ashtead. Over the Common and down Manor Green to Longmead. We then crossed over to Green Lane and through Ewell Park, passed the playground, then a left over the newish gravel path to Ruxley Lane. We then made our way through Chessington, Claygate and down pass Squires at Long Ditton to Ye Olde Swan at Thames Ditton, where we had lunch. It has just been quite extensively refurbished and they still offer 2 main meals for under £10. We met Albert and the Squirrels there who were having their lunch. We got there a little later than usual; due to a leisurely coffee break and the distance being 12 1/2mls. But the service was friendly and quick, and the meals were good.

After lunch, Ron, Beryl, Roger and myself made our way through Bushey Park to The Pheasantry, where we had afternoon tea. While we were sitting outside, I had a phone call from Harold. The reception wasn't very good; but we said our 'hello s'. We returned via the park to Kingston, where we made our own ways home. I clocked 34mls. The weather stayed dry; but very windy.

Lunch venue for the A Group at Highgate

Mystery Ride 15 September

St Paul's and Swain's Lane, Highgate

Mystery Ride 15th September

A good turn-out at North Cheam on a fine sunny morning, with some speculation as to where the ride might go and who would be leading. Jeff gave a brief description and the Wayfarers, in general, managed to conceal their delight when they learned that I would be leading it.

Despite this bad news, assurances that the ride would be more-or-less flat and an interesting day out meant that twenty-three of us set out down London Road towards Morden Hall Park and the Wandle Trail. Pleasantly under the chestnuts to Colliers Wood, where we joined the new Cycle Superhighway. This worked well, and many spoke well of it. Our only real problem was the size of the group - you can't get twenty-three cyclists through a set of traffic lights before they change, no matter how competent they are. So we had three or four stops to re-group, which was no problem, and in about forty minutes we crossed Southwark Bridge and turned West along Cannon Street to St Pauls.

Here we took a break of half an hour or so, with people taking their elevenses at one of the various cafes or just having a look around. Then it was back on the road, with the benefits of the Superhighway being immediately apparent as we fought our way down Ludgate Hill through a maelstrom of traffic. There was a bike lane, but it didn't help much. However, a right turn at Ludgate Circus and things were much better, and we began to follow a series of pretty good bike-paths that led us to Regent's Canal.

We had a frisson of excitement in Eckford Street, when the breeze blew a set of plastic barriers across the road, cutting the group in half. But we soon re-joined head to body, to general amusement, and then we cut across some of the busiest parts of London having the towpath largely to ourselves. The signs said that considerate cyclists were welcome, and we thought we'd pass muster.

Away from the canal at Camden Lock, up past Gospel Oak and right into Swain's Lane - which most didn't know was one of the few Hill-Climb courses within the boundaries of a major city. But everyone soon got the hang of it, and with cheery waves to Karl Marx in Highgate Cemetery (he didn't look well ...) we were soon at the Gatehouse, the only Wetherspoons with a Theatre.

I had arranged for us to be allowed to put the bikes in a little yard at the back of the pub, which meant wheeling them through the bar. The lady behind the bar knew nothing of it, but was quite happy with the arrangement, but another lady grew quite fractious when about half of them had gone through. I suppose that twenty three bikes is quite a lot to wheel through a pub, but it all passed off well enough and, with our bikes safely stored, we all enjoyed JD's finest.

After lunch it was down Highgate Hill, across Parliament Hill Fields and Hampstead Heath, with some of the ladies expressing interest at the Mens' Bathing Pond, while others averted their eyes. Down again past Regent's Park, Wigmore Street to Edgware Road and then into Hyde Park. Sliding smoothly through Belgravia we were soon on the Embankment, where a rough but practical dual-use pavement took us safely to Chelsea Harbour. Generally traffic-free riding to Putney Bridge, which was jammed, and then more pleasant riding along the river once we had crossed the bridge.

We were now on the home straight, and briskly crossing Barnes Common we were soon passing though Roehampton Gate for tea at the cafe in Richmond Park.

We had almost a full crew at tea - a couple of people had turned off for home as we approached the Park - but this is a record for me and a testament to the riding skill of the group. It was a complicated route, with some heavy traffic in places, but we maintained a steady pace throughout. Special thanks are due to Jeff, Brian and Terry, each of whom took a turn as back marker which was invaluable in holding us all together.

The raw stats are 37.5 miles at a very creditable 10 mph, a modest 42 watts and 1,678 calories. But the bigger story was a grand day out in one of the world's great cities.


Friday, September 10, 2010

Graham and Gill Holder - Safe Home

After 72 days and 2021 miles we have returned home from our trip through Northern Europe. The final section of our route took us through Denmark which was fantastic, so much so that we might return to cycle part of the North Sea Coast route and some of the islands in more detail, but after a break!!
During our trip we passed through 10 countries ( one or two only briefly!); travelled on 6 ferries with two of these passages being 26.5 hours Helsinki to Rostock and Esbjerg to Harwich 18 hours through a force 7! There were also a number of smaller ferries across rivers or to link the route between islands in Denmark etc.
The bikes, identical Dawes Super Galaxy's, performed fantastically well. We only had one puncture and a slight adjustment problem with the brakes to one of the bikes. The insurance policy of taking a spare tyre, brake blocks, cables, chain links, inner tubes, cable ties and adhesive tape paid off.
The route, which mostly followed the Eurovelo route 1 is largely through countryside so don't rely on finding any tea rooms on the way, self catering is the order of the day. I would also recommend that if you are considering doing the R1 then wider wheel/ tyres than the 32's we had would be better for the long sections of off road particularly in Germany or the minor roads in Poland and the Baltic States.
All the countries that we passed through were generally considerate to cyclists with the notable exception of the part of Poland referred to in earlier emails. It seems that cycling in Poland is not a widespread leisure pursuit, except for motorists that is!
We found that travel on trains, particularly in the Baltic States very easy and cheap. They still allow you to walk your bikes across the tracks to change platforms rather than carry them up and down the stairs (so much for health and safety!) One thing to bear in mind though is that you need to climb three or four steps to enter the train carriage which means that the bikes need to be unloaded each time you board.
Before I finish I have to say that we found the people either in the countryside and/or towns generally very friendly and helpful and the accommodation good although some campsites and guest houses were a little basic to say the least.
If you are thinking of doing all or part of the route Gill and I took then we will be happy to share our experiences with you in more detail together with a review of the countless maps that are now squeezed into our bookcase.
I will be back to cycling on Wednesday next week hopefully with a clean bike!

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Terry's "A" Ride 8 Sept (2nd attempt to publish

See text below picture missing.
See text below picture missing. (Morley's frequent problems with blogging - still not so user friendly foolproof system)
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Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Terry's "A" Ride 8 Sept

Congratulations to our leader on the Basingstoke Canal, it was an excellelent days ride. Sorry about the camera shake but it was a one handed job while riding my Raleigh Rondonnur and Terry was setting a hell of a pace!
Only to stop on the canal viaduct over the A331 to then turn around and go back again. 65 miles door to door which is the only thing that makes sence to me for filling in my mileage chart!

Easy Riders Sept 8th

A large crowd at Molesey. About a dozen set off for Isleworth, a visit was intended to Tom Fish but alas too late he was moving that very day into a care home. An interesting stop at the Ordnance Survey marker in Roy Grove, a cannon buried in the ground as a marker, thanks to Ron. This took me off route a little and required us to re-route through Bushy Park to see some magnificent stags at very close range. Soon back on track, through Twickenham (not intentional) and on to The London Apprentice where the sun came out and lunch was outside with a lovely view of the river and mature trees on Isleworth Ait. We searched the graveyard of All Saints for the memorial to the Plague victims of the 1650s who were dumped on barges and ferried out of the City of London to be thrown into the pit at the back of the church. Returned to Kingston by river,keeping to the west bank, crossing at Teddington Lock where there are many new paths being constructed, but not yet finished because of a wait for a piece of machinery to flatten the surface. Thanks to Lynda, Ron, Chris, Norman and Roger who stuck with me to tea time in Kingston.
From Steph

B Group Sept 8th

It was a select group of nine which formed B Group this week - Liz, Pam, Bob, John, Grant, Pete M., Ed, Godfrey and me Gill. We let A Group go first as they were going to be following the same route as us at the start but then found ourselves cutting them off at the pass as they opted for the longer route out of Fairoaks, and we the shorter route! As we were heading to The Royal Oak in Wood Street Village for lunch, we began by going due south to join the Basingstoke Canal towpath just off the Lockfield Drive roundabout. From here our route was westwards. As always, it was pleasant cycling beside the canal - we saw two herons, one of which stood to attention by the water's edge as we cycled past, the other took evasive action and flew up into a nearby tall tree till the danger had passed. A swan family with five teenage cygnets was treated to crumbs from an energy bar courtesy of Liz. The original plan was to come off at Pirbright but Bob knew of a quieter route and took us off at Brookwood where he led us through the tranquil grounds of Brookwood Cemetery, coming out at Pirbright Green from where we continued southwards. With the weather looking dubious, a table had been reserved for us indoors at The Royal Oak and we were well looked after. After lunch, a new route for most was taken across Broadstreet Common, where Pete met an old friend,(Mole Valley Walking Group) then on cycle paths past Tesco at Park Barn and across to Guildford University where we cycled through the campus to the back of the station, and crossed the R. Wey on a footbridge. Here the rain which had been threatening, came down with a vengeance and waterproofs were donned for the wet ride up to and across Stoke Park. After this we followed the usual route through the nature reserve to the path by the A3, by which time the sun was out. Three left us in Ripley while the rest of us continued to Cobham, turning off at the bakery and going via Ockham and Martyr's Green. Liz punctured on this stretch but Dr Ed soon had her up and running again. At Cobham, Pete knew of a new tea place - the Hothouse Cafe in the Medicine Garden between the pub at the end of Plough Lane and the timber yard. Four of us had tea in a huge walled garden before exploring the courtyard garden centre behind it. Open till 5.00 p.m. it is to be put on the tea place register for future use. All in all, a great day - thanks everyone for your contributions. (Gill Finlay)

A Group, 8 September

Fairoaks - Ash Vale - Ripley

Lunch at the Swan - Tea at Watsons
Basingstoke Canal & Aqueduct over the A331 with Terry looking on

A Group 8th September

Having seen very pessimistic weather forecasts, this morning I set off with several maps and Plans A,B and C in mind. En route to Fairoaks I happened to pass West Byfleet station, where after a few minutes' wait with Pete M we were rewarded with this view of a Black 5. The airfield was very quiet so when we were all refreshed I led Brian, Dave, Geoffrey, Jeff, John B, Mark, Mike M, Simon and Vic to Chobham and despite the best efforts of the shooters at Bisley we arrived safely at Brookwood or Decision Point 1. The weather was OK, timing was OK so I scrapped Plan C and headed west, alongside the railway. Soon we reached Decision Point 2 - do we turn right to Frimley (Plan B) or straight on up today's hill (Tunnel Hill Plan A) to Ash Vale ? Everything was fine so over the hill to Mytchett where we joined the Basingstoke Canal towpath to The Swan at Ash Vale, arriving just as light rain started. After a good lunch we continued in the dry along the towpath to the aqueduct over the A331 and a stop for photos. Returning along the towpath we soon rejoined the road at Ash where John B left us having an appointment at the Royal Albert Hall. Heading east along various lanes and tracks we emerged from White Hart Lane (Wood Street Village) to note the White Hart pub now closed. Here waterproofs were required, though happily not for long. A conventional route of north Guildford, Jacobs Well and A3 cycle track led to Watson's (no toilets) at Ripley where we had barely started to eat our cakes when some Bs passed by. We then made our separate ways home. Apologies to Mark - his altimeter function must have thought it was a holiday !

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A Group 8th September

The forecast rain largely failed to materialise, and Terry in any case wisely followed the now established custom of allowing most of the rain to fall in the lunch break. So a short shower in the afternoon and that was that. 29.33 miles from elevenses at Fairoaks to tea at Ripley, a slightly surprising 797 feet of ascent on what was, by any measure, a fairly flat ride; rolling average 10.8 mph and 1,314 calories.


Tuesday, September 07, 2010

V-CC Camp 2010

Another great week at the V-CC camp, great fun and entertainment- and some very fine cycling! This year we gathered at St Martins College, Ampleforth, North Yorkshire. Our breakfasts and evening meals were eaten in the beautiful dining hall of the college - with an ample supply of food!
The theme for the afternoon sports this year was medieval - hence my appearance in the photograph!! You should have seen the others!!!!!
Upon our arrival we were given route sheets for each days ride and any other information deemed necessary like phone numbers if one should need help - for what ever reason!. One of our ladies came off her bike at about 4 miles an hour on a bridleway. She was most unfortunate for her brake lever went through her thigh!!! So she was a hospital case but was hobbling on crutches by the end of camp AND still smiling!
Our rides took us to Helmsley, Pickering, Castle Howard, Kirbymoorside and Malton etc. Only got wet one afternoon, and the rain was quite heavy when we started off on Friday, but I felt we should go for folks had set up a tea wagon for the riders and we had to make it worth their while for turning riders used them (120 at camp)!! Most people used their cars to get to Malton that day! One must remember that the bicycles used are really quite old, two chaps used their ordinaries ('pennies') all week - up hill and down dale and there were others riding very old bicycles, I mean turn of the century! Mine is a 1947 Hills Special ladies tourer - fixed!
There were visits to museums in Pickering and Malton, and a sort of garden centre called Yorkshire Lavender - where one can buy some marvelous gifts and there is lavender for miles and miles (well, sort of)!
Friday evening came all too soon for most but for some it was time for the nerves to be put to the test! It was time to 'break a leg' and to 'get on with the show'!!! A pantomime (for the want of any other explanation) written by a V-CC member was about to commence! What a laugh! I understand that it was enjoyed by all ??!! I certainly enjoyed it!
Yet another V-CC camp that has left me with lot's of happy memories - roll on next year!
From Pam

Two Up - Again

Maggie and I have been back to the Alps - the Alpes de Haute Provence, this time. We went on a CTC Tour led by Sheila Simpson, which was based on the Relais de Mont Ventoux, at Aurel in the Vaucluse. It is a very pleasant little hotel that deals well with cyclists.

Some of the participants drove - we did - the majority came on the Bike Bus, which worked well enough, but there is no doubt that a number found the 70k from Orange a bit of a slog. Last year, Chris Ellison met the group at the bus with a van and carried their luggage for them. That's the way to go, if you've got a choice.

The format was the choice of an easy ride or a hard ride on most days, or the option of independent touring. Most people did some and some - there were very few takers for the harder rides.

We ended up doing Ventoux twice. The first was the group ride on the Monday, with a screaming Mistral blowing and very violent winds. Having seen people blown down we walked from the Tommy Simpson memorial to the top, struggling to hold the tandem down. A lot of people gave up - it was very hard to stand on the top, bike or no bike. By contrast, we rode up on Thursday with another tandem and it couldn't have been nicer - warm, calm and easy riding.

All in all, a good trip - the Vaucluse is an excellent area for cycling with good weather, good roads and very little traffic. The food's good, too...


Sunday, September 05, 2010

A Group 1st Sept

A 17 strong A group set off from Cobham on a glorious first day of September. Along Plough Lane to the Hautboy and then Long Reach for a leg stretch up Shere Road followed by an exhilarating drop down Coombe Bottom, made all the more exciting by the rain deposited gravel on the bottom corner. Through Albury and Chilworth to Wonersh and the old railway line before the backroads of Tilthams Corner in to Godalming for lunch. Some had social calls to make in Guildford and went direct but the majority continued down the old railway into Shalford and along the Wey Navigational before taking the off road through the nature reserve that meets the cycle path along the A3 to Ockham Bites for tea and departure.
From Pete Barnard

Friday, September 03, 2010

A Group, 1 September

Cobham - Godalming - Ockham

Our thanks to the smiling RBL team who are always there for us at Cobham on the first Wednesday of the month.
Hazel, Thelma, Michael, Irene
Leader Pete
Throwing out time at the tradesmen's entrance, Wetherspoons Godalming
A final cup of tea at Ockham to help us home.

Tom Fish

Unfortunately it appears that Tom is going downhill rather rapidly at the moment, suffering from dementia. He is currently in Lampton Ward, West Middx Hospital, Isleworth. The family say visitors are welcome, although, of course, Tom may or may not recognize them.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

B Group Sept 1st

From Cobham in ideal cycling weather twenty of us took the direct route to Ripley and on to Pyrford Village, where the aptly named and scenic Sandy Lane took us downhill for half a mile into Pyrford proper. North of Maybury, we joined the Basingstoke Canal, following it for about two miles through the Centre of Woking, and leaving the canal path at Arthur's Bridge. Passing to the East of Goldsworth Park Trading Estate, we took Carthouse Lane and Guildford Road into Chobham, and turned left into Bagshot Road, and right onto Clappers Lane. But I had to give the order to reverse (again!) after initially missing the right turn into the (again!) aptly named , but much narrower than expected, Watery Lane. Emerging from the latter onto Ford Road, we turned East along Windlesham Road and Red Lion Road to lunch ( all twenty of us) in the large and peaceful garden of the Red Lion Pub in Burrow Hill. After a leisurely meal we took Gracious Pond Road and Stonehill Road almost into Chertsey before turning right through Botley Park, Bittams Lane, Green Lane and Victory Park to Addlestone. With a little help from Pete Mitchell, we found the bridge over the railway by the old mill next to the River Wey and proceeded via Weybridge and Walton Bridge to tea at the Walled Garden at Sunbury. John Gould

Easy Riders Sept 1st

The first Wednesday in September and a beautiful Autumn morning. I had agreed a swap with John Conacher and was happy to lead on such a fine morning. We had potentially 13 riders but Bill Hammond, Mark Roy and Denis headed for home after elevenses, so I set out with 9 riders in tow. We made first for Downside then along Bookham Road and across the common to Little Bookham Street, through Bookham and along the Dorking Road towards Polesden Lacey. Phil, Norman, Alan and another Bill decided that they would rather go over the tops and down Hodgen Hill (1 in 5) than follow me off-road. The rest of us took the slower rougher route along what is known as the Admiral's Road a public byway. (The story goes that "The Admiral" a century or so ago arranged for a private road to be cut through the estate in order to avoid paying tolls at the turnpike.) This took us through the Norbury Park Estate, past Roaringhouse Farm and up to the sawmill. After that it was a pleasant ride through the woods to Crabtree Lane and the downhill run to West Humble where, at the railway station, we left the sandwich eaters. The rest of us went on to lunch at "The Stepping Stones PH, reasonably priced and promptly served. After lunch we made our way to the day centre at Leatherhead for teas coffees and cakes and made our separate way home. A fairly short run, some 15 miles, good company and good cycling weather.

Mike Withers