Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Weather Warning

To Ride or not to Ride
Dear All

I contacted the Royal British Legion today, but unfortunately was not able to confirm what the position will be tomorrow. However, Terry has been told that the RBL Hall will definitely be closed. The alternative is therefore Sainsburys in Cobham.

I have spoken to Mike Withers on the 'phone and he has confirmed that, because of the conditions, he will definitely not be leading a ride for the Easy Riders.

The main thing will be what the roads are like. Frank has said he will endeavour to lead a short ride but give tea a miss. We shall see how many turn up. We shall each have to decide in the light of local conditions. At present, I am pretty well snowed in, but don't know what the main roads are like. I may be a dns. If the roads are icy, don't take unnecessary risks. Better to miss a day than spend Xmas in hospital.

Have an ice day,


Sunday, November 28, 2010

B Group Nov 24th

A record number of 25 started from Teddington. We had to make a split when riding. It was good to have two new riders join our group.
We went south across Bushey Park, over Hampton Bridge, right to Ember lane
Then left along Lower Green Road, R and L By the railway straight on to the footpath over the river. Left at Molsey Road straight on through Hersham along Burwood Road left on the Seven Hills Road footpath, left into Rocket Lane, left through Cobham main street to The Running Mare at Tilt Green
A Very English Up market pub good food. A small group went on to the Plough at Stoke D Abernon.
On through S D A and Blumdel Lane, then footpath across Oxshott Heath, R and L Over railway along Fairoak lane one mile left on footpath to Claygate Common and along Woodstock Lane through tunnel under the A3. Through Long Ditton, Surbiton, and back streets of Kingston to a new tea shop at the corner of Park Road and Glenville Road on the way to Richmond Park.

A relatively short ride. I arrived home just at lighting up time.

Cheers Robin.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

B Group Nov 24th

Easy Riders Nov 24th

When I arrived at Teddington parking the bike was a problem as so many were already there so I imagined there would be a fair number of riders.In fact there were not many easy riders.Three Fuzz,Roger and Lynda took advantage to visit Tom Fish whose residential home is close to Teddington centre.I led Chris and Ron to the Cricketers at Stamford Green via Chessington and Longmead via various paths and back roads.Ron left us in Green Lane as he wanted to investigate a ride he is leading in December.Chris and I arrived at the pub shortly followed by Lynda and Roger .Tom Fish is well ,Fuzz decided to head for home after visiting Tom. Sonia joined us at the pub coming straight from home. After lunch Lynda took us for tea at the Point in Cheam village which is connected to the Baptist Church where we had great cakes followed by an interesting talk by a lady who worked as a seamstress for Norman Hartnall from the 1950's many thanks Lynda.


A Group, 24 November

Teddington - Horsell - Ockham

Welcome to Peter Tiller
River Ash near Shepperton Studios, Littleton

A Group Nov 24th

It was a bright winter's day as I rode the short three miles to the start where about twenty were keen to dog my every step. Seeking out unfamiliar ways we entered Bushy Park beside NPL and departed into leafy Hampton via a carelessly unpadlocked gate. There was no time for General Ray as the Hanworth spiral and BP Sunbury were amongst the day's targets. The Black Dog saw us across the A308 to a Shepperton ford photoshoot. After Chertsey's level crossing we turned off up the hill past the hospital zigzagging through autumnal colours to the Plough at Horsell. As we arrived, John B and Ray appeared having been left at the start!

Luckily we arrived earlier as service took the best part of an hour with eventually Ray having to be separated from an half-eaten baguette. Back we went along the Basingstoke Canal to West Byfleet then the lanes past the Anchor to Ockham Bites for the farewell repast. At times we'd been a very long line but somehow the elastic never snapped - apart from Wisley Gardens sprint! Only 44 miles and home in the light (just).
from Graham

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

A Group 24th November

A cold day for Graham's ride from Teddington to the Plough at Horsell, with tea at Ockham Bites. 26.21 miles at a moving average of 11.7 mph and 1,174 calories.


Sunday, November 21, 2010

Two Below Sea Level

Maggie and I have just returned from a trip to Death Valley with our tandem. It sounds an odd choice, but it's quite rational - Death Valley is a National Park, which means that the roads (and everything else) are immaculately maintained, people only go there on holiday so the few cars are outstandingly considerate of cyclists and the weather at this time of the year is spectacularly good. Access is quite easy - direct flights to Las Vegas, which is less than three hours away, and all arrangements were made by Rich Merrick of Cycling Escapes who provided first class van and ride support from airport pick-up to airport drop-off.

Cycling Escapes offers 'challenging' riding - 100+ miles on some days and more than 5000' of ascent on others. We found the climbs hard - harder than the Alps - as the roads tend to be relatively modern, with steady gradients sometimes going on for twenty miles or more. They are designed for cars, not for walkers or horse traffic as many European roads originally were, so there's no respite. But starting below sea level and ending 5600 feet above it is a good day out (Mont Ventoux is 4200 feet of climbing); or riding for eighty miles without ever going above sea level is another interesting experience.

The routes were planned and supported by Cycling Escapes. The van is important, as for most routes you encounter no human habitation at all. Distances are large, and running short of water would be a serious mistake. The van and trailer are comprehensively equipped with spares, food, water and so on and wait at pre-specified 'SAG' points - about twenty miles apart - until all the party has passed, before scooting on to the next 'SAG'. Lunch is taken at the roadside - chairs and tables from the van - and the van is last in to the hotel, so no-one is stranded. Despite all this, it's lonely out there...

The trip is billed as 422 miles and 21,300' of climbing - we cut a couple of corners so did less than this, but we were still over 400 miles and 20,000' - not bad for November, and, with daytime temperatures in the 80s, all in summer kit.

So if you're looking for somewhere to beat the Winter gloom, the deserts of South Western USA are worth a look. We'll be back.


Easy Riders Nov 17th

Phil M lead from Claygate - Roger, Chris, Lynda, Ron, David S., John C., Fuzz and Dennis came along later. We crossed over the road from the day centre, turned left and up the hill, then right and left through a Private housing estate. Over a common then came out to Winney Hill. Continued down Gilders, Chessington, then over the mini roundabout and a sharp right; off road to Horton Country Park. Then onto Ashtead Common. Phil made me laugh, when he said turning left it would be muddy; but the right wouldn't be! Four of us enjoyed fish and chips in Ashtead High Street and the others went to The Woodman. After lunch, I led over the drier part of the Common to Longmead, then down Green Lanes to Ewell Court Park; where we had afternoon tea.


Saturday, November 20, 2010

B Group Nov 17th

Around 18 riders set off from Claygate on a rather murkey day through Hinchley Wood, Thames Ditton to Hampton Court. A quick skip via Bushey Park to Teddington, Strawberry Hill and Twickenham found us on the river
en route to Richmond. Passing through St. Margarets we reached our lunch destination at the Wharf in Isleworth. One wonders how they make a living, we were practically the only people in the place.
After lunch the group continued through Richmond Park via Ham and Teddington Lock to the YMCA (Hawkers) for an early tea stop before dispersing in our separate directions.
Not a great distance in mileage I'm afraid (I only clocked up 31 miles) but very pleasant.
My thanks to Stephanie as back marker.


Friday, November 19, 2010

A Group, 17 November

Claygate - Horton - Walton

Many thanks to Grant, who led us at a spanking pace from Claygate to Horton, on a route that often often spurned the soft option of firm tarmac, without sinking us up to the axles in mud! The rain held off till early evening.


Thursday, November 18, 2010

Annual Attendance Competition

Dear All,

Terry tells me that not very many members have sent in annual attendance records for the period 1 October 2009 to 30 September 2010. You will have received the MWW Annual Programme/Attendance Record at or soon after the AGM last year. These can be sent to Terry as an attachment to an email or by using pen and ink and handing them to him over a cup of tea. Don't leave it till the last minute - you may have forgotten what you were doing that day!

I sent out programmes for this year from 1st October 2010 to 30 September 2011 by email before this year's AGM last month. Copies were available at the meeting. If you havent go one, Terry has copies or contact me.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Easy Riders before lunch

At elevenses Roger announced that Lynda would not be able to start leading the ride from Shepperton due to tendonitus in her leg and could we lead ourselves to Hampton Court to 5 on the bridge. Hence followed the debate the south side of the river route was rejected because of the previous days heavy rain, There were objections to the lower Sunbury route because of the narrow road and potholes. However with Dave leading Roger, Chris, Fuzz, Bill, Ron and another we took the Sunbury route with a detour after Halliford Road up Green Street, along Manor Road and back down French Street to join the Lower Hampton Road. We then took a left between the reservoirs and the filter beds at Thames Water Works and crossed the Upper Sunbury Road into Hampton via Kent's passage. On our way through the village Chris spotted a lady who appeared to have collapsed on the pavement in Ormond Avenue, the group stopped as one with mobiles ready to summon help while Chris approached the prostrate woman, he soon discovered that she was in fact quite happily lying down reading her water meter!! We remounted and made our way into Bushy Park via Duke's Head Passage and eventually to 5 on the bridge where we met Lynda and Sonia who had downed several lattes and cakes since 11.10 a.m. We continued under new leadership to the White Swan in Thames Ditton where we took lunch.
From David Salmon

Easy Riders after lunch

When the rest of the group arrived at 5 on the bridge; it was about 12.20pm. We continued on the cycle path to Thames Ditton and had lunch at The Swan. Some went home from there; and 4 of us made our way to Ewell Court Park cafe, taking back roads through Long Ditton, over the A3 bridge to Hook, Chessington and Ewell. We had tea and cake and made our way home before it got to lighting up time.


Saturday, November 13, 2010

10th November - B Group

Shepperton - Datchet - Lower Sunbury - not one of our longest rides but I felt it was far enough for this time of year! I did not expect such good weather when I planned the ride after swapping with Terry who was going to lead due to John Gould being unable to cycle after his accident - get well soon, John:)

Not such a good start for Frank, he had a 'flat' at Greenos but Irene very kindly stayed with F and F to lead them to Datchet whilst the rest of 'B' group got started. I had outlined the route to Terry who agreed to back mark (without words!!), thanks buddy!

We took the road to Chertsey and then through Thorpe to Egham, across the meads and on to Old Windsor. It was here that Terry went back for Ray who had a 'needs must' divert, but Ray arrived at lunch well before Terry! I understand they took different roads to Datchet! There were 22 riders plus Ron and Doreen at the Royal Stag where the food was excellent - as well as the service. It was later that I was told Terry had punctured as we left Datchet but said that we should carry on.

Our route to Lower Sunbury was via Horton, then a right to Wraysbury which I almost missed - guess what - I was talking!! At the far end of Lammas Park, Staines (or is it Staines on Thames), it was tow path all the way to Chertsey Bridge.

As we moved on to the road, the A group came storming past!! Oh no!!

Were they also heading for the same destination as us?! The last time both groups made it to the Walled Garden we had been asked to call in and warn the staff!! No problem, as Ed passed he mentioned the bakers at Shepperton!
Quite a few stopped for tea and quite a few continued on their way! One of them being a 'first timer' Peter Tiller, who shook my hand and thanked me, and explained that he will not be out next Wednesday as he has other commitments! We look forward to seeing you again, Peter.
Frank and Francoise asked me to say thank you to Irene and I wish to thank every rider for their company - great!


Thursday, November 11, 2010

A Group, 10 November

Sunninghill/dale and Shepperton
Welcome to Tony
After Tuesday’ deluge, it was sunshine, blue skies and a crisp nip in the air for Wednesday. The Greeno Centre was stretching its seams, as were one or two nameless others! We welcomed two newcomers, Peter from Esher and Tony from Brentford, Peter opting to try out the B group on his first outing and Tony going for the A group.

Ed was officer i/c A platoon and soon had us yomping beside the Thames at Chertsey, before making a courtesy call on Pam J (otherwise engaged) at Egham. We crossed the A30 for a path across the water meadows of Runnymede to Windsor Road. A left turn at the roundabout before Old Windsor caused some confusion among those anticipating the leader’s intent, when we turned our back on sea level to exercise our lungs up Priest Hill.

Next stop Savill Garden, where a quick spurt along Wicks Lane to turn smartly right into the garden car park was enough to sever head from tail. With the two parts reunited by the marvels of modern science and a lot of shouting, it was a spin along Rhododendron Ride beside the gunnera, now cut down in the shape of little tepees, to protect the growth buds from frost damage. Then the maze of Windsor Park, about which I cannot comment; I just follow the leader’s wheel.

On leaving the park, a strategic change of plan led us not into temptation or Fifield but to Sunninghill/dale and the Royal Oak, where our numbers proved too great for single handed Emma. We therefore split, with a second foraging party seeking out the Nag’s Head, where we were greeted with a warm fire and reasonably priced food.

Warmed, fed and watered we reassembled at the Royal Oak. Vic took command for the afternoon and led us via Sunningdale, across Chobham Common and beside the M3 to Chertsey. Here we gleefully passed the massed ranks of the B group, en route to Shepperton, a warm welcome and polystyrene tea at Watson’s Bakery. It was then each man and woman for him/herself in a futile race with lighting-up time.

Many thanks Ed and Vic for an enjoyable November ride.


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

A Group 10th November

Another bright Autumn day for Ed's ride to Windsor Great Park, with lunch at Sunningdale and tea at Shepperton. 28.02 miles elevenses to tea, rolling average 12.7 mph and 1255 calories.

Lights on on the way home.


Sunday, November 07, 2010


TANDEM - for friend of Brian Nixon. For further details contact Brian:

5 Landford Road Putney 020 8785 3303 NIXON534@aol.com

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Easy Riders - Nov 3rd

A day to view the autumn colours, along Downside Common Road, across Bookham Common, through the nature reserve into Leatherhead where lunch was had at Wetherspoons, Cliff and David Aylett having raced ahead were just finishing as we arrived. After lunch Fuzz went for the train and we lost Roger but he turned up in time for tea. We crossed Ashtead Common and six (Linda, Roger, Chris, Ron, Beryl, Liz) finished to enjoy tea at Nonesuch Park, arriving just in time as they close at 3 pm mid week.


Nov 3rd - B Group

Not to be outdone by A Group and their liking for hills, especially with Mark as leader, I decided to throw in a big one for B Group on their way to Guildford for lunch. With amazingly mild and sunny weather, there was a good turn out at Cobham and it was a group of 19 which set off towards West Horsley. The gradient was fairly gentle up to this point but after crossing the A246 it increased dramatically as the road ahead disappeared into a mass of golden beech trees. This road, Shere Road, has two summits with a steep dip in the middle, so is a double challenge.

(Unfortunately, John Scott (nice to see you out, John) took a tumble on one of the steeper sections, drawing blood from a finger.) However, once up, the reward was a level stretch followed by the wonderful downhill run of Combe Bottom. From here we followed the A25 for a short distance before turning off on to the A248 which took us through Albury (tall chimneys) and Chilworth. Somewhere along this bit, Irene had a puncture, unknown to many of the group till she turned up a bit late at the pub.

At the far end of Chilworth, we turned right, and after crossing the railway line followed East Shalford Lane (another hill), Tilehouse Road (the outskirts of Guildford), left into Pilgrims Way, across the busy A281 and into Guildford on the cycle path. The Boatman is right on the path, beside the R. Wey - a delightful setting which half of the group could not resist and opted to sit outside to eat - is this a record for November?! Service was friendly and food arrived quickly given the numbers.

After lunch, our route was up Guildford High Street and out on the London Road. While trying to cross the road at the first major roundabout after Stoke Park, part of the group witnessed an accident between a car and a van, which caused a slight hold-up. At Burpham we turned left on to minor roads which brought us out at the path beside the A3 - the quick route to Ripley. With tea to be at the Medicine Garden in Cobham, we cut across Wisley Airstrip (little to be seen of the filming which had been taking place there) and approached Cobham via Plough Lane.

Eight of us partook of tea in dainty cups and saucers, with individual teapots, sitting outside (again!) in the courtyard - all very pleasant. As we set off for home at 4.00 p.m., lights were in readiness if not already on - the only sign of approaching winter on this mild day. Thanks, Terry, for being back-marker.

Gill Finlay

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Cogratulations Gill

A belated presentation by Terry to Gill Finlay today at Cobham of the Trophy for the greatest improvement in mileage from the previous year some 1900+ mls. Well done and also congratulations for being such a splendid rides leader in the past years and more despite all your commitments at home. Gill please keep up the good work we all appreciate it very much!
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A Group, 3 November

Betchworth and Banstead
Left or right?
The Dolphin and Pistachios

A Group 3rd November - The Autumn Canter

It was fairly sunny at Cobham, with a good turn-out of Wayfarers. Tea was courtesy of John Hammond, to celebrate his 94th birthday - Happy Birthday, John. A strong 'A' Group was ready to do battle with the Downs - Dave, John, Mike M, Neil, Pete B, Ray, Simon, Toni, Vic, Will and I set off South at about 1115. We played ourselves in gently at first, taking lanes across Downside Common and Bookham Common and through Great Bookham before climbing slowly and steadily up Chapel Lane. Speeding down towards West Humble there was no need to signal what came next - everyone assumed that we would be going over Ranmore Common, and we did.

Banter and joshing at the beginning of the hill, rather less to say as we progressed, but we were soon at the top in good form, and ready to see how fast we could go on the descent to Dorking. 36.7 mph, was the answer.

Through the town and out on the old Horsham Road, then up Spook Hill before turning left through the lanes to Brockham where we wanted to take a look at the bonfire. They're still working on it, but it's well developed and looks more or less ready to go.

Down Wheelers Lane to Wellhouse Lane and within fifteen minutes we were at the Dolphin. John was slightly delayed by a dropped chain at the bridge - easy enough to fix, as he said, though Andy Schleck may not agree. Ron and Doreen were there, sitting by the fire, and within a few minutes we were joined by Paul Kelly, back for his first ride after a lengthy spell of convalescence following his accident, and then by Jeff Tollerman. Jeff had collected the Arthur Jessop trophy at Cobham and had decided to take a detour via his house to put it away safely.

After lunch Vic, Pete and John made their separate ways home and the rest of us set off towards Reigate, through the tunnel, which improbably, was once the main road, and then to the second hill of the day, Wray Lane. Again, all up in good order, and Neil signed off at the top to start his journey home. The rest of us set off down Gatton Bottom - a very fast but rough stretch - and Toni showed his bike-handling skills by coming safely to a stop after a double puncture - front and rear. It was obviously going to take a few minutes to fix, so he said that we should carry on. This was kind - the light wasn't so good any more.

Up past Fanny's and down Castle Road - one way down, now, but a fierce hill-climb course in the past. Then the last hill of the day, Park Road, into Banstead, and tea and cakes in Pistachios overlooking the park - good bike parking and a friendly welcome. The outstanding advantage of Banstead, of course, is that it's downhill home for everyone.

Ray set off for home without tea, the rest of us talked about rides and riding and gradually a wild, but plausible, idea emerged. We could do the Hilly 50 as an A Group ride ... so we will, probably.

31.1 miles elevenses to tea, total ascent 2,376 feet, a rolling average of 11.6 mph and 1394 calories. Power output was 94 watts, which is pretty much smack-on the 'sustained average power of a well-trained touring cyclist' - or so the MIT says, anyway.


Monday, November 01, 2010

Wednesday's A Group Ride - Menu

Wednesday's ride will be a steady Autumn canter over the Downs - nothing too serious. Lunch will be taken at the Dolphin, Betchworth - not one of our regulars but a pleasant, old-fashioned sort of pub with a nice fire.

However, they've got the builders in doing them a new kitchen, so the menu is necessarily very limited. There's a copy above, but, as a guide, I had one of their Cornish Pasties on the recce and it kept me going nicely.