Next Wednesday's ride will follow Paul Kelly's well received model - a couple of hills before lunch for sport; a decent pub and a gentler route to tea. Finish by 1530 so that we're all home in the light.
Despite the dismal forecast (which , sadly, proved accurate) about thirty cyclists arrived at the refurbished Dorking Christian Centre for 11s, after which most joined either the As or Bs to ride to Root Hill, scene of this year's fwc.
Pete B pushed me off (downhill !) first, but I hadn't got far before Mark shot by. Soon Geoff Pyke passed me and looked like a possible contender. By the time I found Mark and put a stake in the ground, most others had finished far short, so I retraced my tyremarks on the very wet road to find Robin wobbling to a halt just short of the Tanners Brook bridge, but having just beaten Geoff.
Liz just beat Pam, we then rode on to our reserved tables at The Royal Oak, Brockham for a VERY welcome lunch.
Ed had made the customary unique winners'awards, thanks Ed, the runners-up each won a tube.
After lunch the outlook didn't seem very promising so a short ride back to Leatherhead was favourite, either Annie's or JDW.
Post-event notes :
Mark and Robin both had Gatorskin tyres but Mark admitted to Cherry Blossom Treatment - a lesson for some of us ?
Alison and I left Hampton for the ride meeting at the King's Centre, Chessington. On the way from Long Ditton we went under the Kingston Bypass, cycling up a muddy bank around a horse that was blocking the entrance to the tunnel which was really wet, smelly and muddy. I decided not to bring the riders back through here and changed my planned route for leading the group assisted by Alan who knew the route to the A3 underpass between Hook and Tolworth.
Those starting the ride were Alison, Beryl, Gillian, Lynda, Sonia, David, Norman, Malcolm, Ron, Tom, Alan W, Bill, and John H. From the underpass we took the most direct route through Surbiton to Kingston Bridge where Sonia left us. Over the bridge we turned right and headed down Broome Road passing the re-built Teddington Academy to Teddington Lock where we followed Twickenham Road past Pope's Grotto to the river bank at Twickenham. From here we followed the river all the way, crossing the foot of Richmond Bridge, to the London Apprentice at Isleworth arriving for lunch at 1.00 pm after a 13 mile ride.
We had an excellent lunch overlooking the river before we returned to Richmond Bridge and this time crossing the river and turning right into Petersham Road and getting back onto the river down River Lane. We followed the tow path to Ham House where we went down the back roads to Teddington Lock. At this point the group split with four deciding to go directly to Kingston and the main group heading on over the river and through Teddington and Bushy Park to Hampton Court. Here David and Alison, who had to go to a meeting in London for 5.00 pm, left the group who went to have tea at '5 on the Bridge'.
I clocked 28.5 miles but the main group would have done 30+ miles all in all an interesting and relaxing day.
Irene led 14 riders to Mayford via Ottershaw, past Fairoakes airport into Chobham, past the Grove public house, into Barrs Lane then a right up Anchor Hill, Knaphill. A left at the traffic lights led us to Blackhorse Road, left again at Saunders Lane, and so to Mayford.
Another day when the weather remained kind to us - at least until tea! Some what cooler than of late but only to be expected.
It seems that B group have not been to the Mayford Arms before, so it was good to hear that they were all delighted at the good value and the pleasant service from the staff.
Our route to 3s's was along New Lane, past Sutton Green golf course to Jacobs Well, onto the cycle path alongside the A3 and then we threadled our way to Hungry Hill and so into Cobham for tea at Sainsburys. Only four of us stopped to quench our thirsts (and a chat) for the skies had suddenly become very heavy with dark clouds! It did rain whilst we were inside but Irene and I reached home - still dry - but not with out the occasional threat of a soaking!
I do hope our new member Malcolm enjoyed his morning (he left us after lunch), for I'm sure his intention was to join the A group but before he had time to eat his bread pudding the A group had left!!
Irene tells me that I must say that she was grateful to me for being 'tail end Charlie' and to thank all who were on her ride. It was a very nice day........thank you Irene:)
OH!...and thank you Tim for blogging the days course.
Crisp Autumn sunshine for Ed and Vic's double-header from Addlestone to lunch at Farnborough, tea at Watson's, Ripley.
31.5 miles at a rolling average of 11.0 mph, 1,036 feet of ascent and 1,411 calories.
Ed has asked me to prepare something from the rear for today's A ride and its two leaders, Ed and Vic. Around 20 headed along Green Lane for a quick tour of St Peter's Hospital. Emerging on Holloway Hill we continued to Burrowhill and beyond. A quiet detour just before the M3 brought us to Lightwater; there Ambleside Avenue was preferred to the main road. The long downhill from the top took us past the home of darts, Lakeside, and offroading over two railway lines, one dual carriageway and the Blackwater got us to lunch in Farnborough North. Here we divided between the Imperial Arms and the cheaper Prince Of Wales. The way back went up Tunnel Hill and down into Pirbright. At the top of Brookwood cemetery, we turned surprisingly left but a right along Blackhorse Lane had us heading back towards Mayford. Sadly we had to ignore the intriguing hand painted sign “Yum Yum's Cafe Now Open” pointing towards Worplesdon station. Old Woking then Tannery/Papercourt Lane led on to Watson's Ripley where the doughnuts had been baked much earlier in the day. Sunny but cool, and dry though roads from Cobham to Esher told a different tale.
The Wayfarers fwc (free wheel competition) is held annually about this time and this year will be held. Wed 26 October (as publicised in The Sou’Wester).
A few thoughts before the event.
In ideal conditions of no wind (but tail wind would obviously help), the smaller personal frontal area the better, less wind resistance means you travel quicker and consequently further.
So – any forward-facing hemispherical protuberances eg caused by consumption of vast quantities of alcoholic beverages could create a disturbance to the airflow around you, thus affecting your distance travelled so either get rid of them or, probably easier, try and smoothly blend them in.
Owners of a large proboscis should keep ‘eyes front’ – unless there is a side wind, in which case try to turn the head 90o (to reduce area exposed to the wind).
Any helmetless follicly challenged person could take advantage of the situation by a light application of Cherry Blossom (or similar) light tan polish.
Conversely, anyone with excessive facial follicles should seriously consider appearing clean shaven for the event (and hopefully remaining so) – if an award winner proof of identity will be required.
Polish (or, at least, clean), front forks and head tube.
Ensure the lever of qr wheels is horizontal.
On the day – head down, tyre pressures up, one eye looking for pot-holes, one eye looking for tractors, one eye analysing the road ahead and selecting the optimum route, think thin (unless it’s a tailwind), cranks horizontal – and – good luck.
CTC AGMs are like busses - they all seem to come at the same time.
I'm sure that you all have the DA AGM indelibly marked in your diaries for 12.30pm on Sunday, 6 November, at Breech Lane Community Centre, Walton on the Hill.
Those who aspire to enter Mastermind with CTC AGMs as their specialist subject, will no doubt have noted with horror the incorrect time of 14.00 hours (no fault of the CTC) recorded on page 78 of the October/November issue of Cycle. The correct details were published in the Sept/Oct issue of the Sou'Wester.
There will be a short Cheam & Morden ride on that day, which will lead to Walton on the Hill for the AGM at 12.30pm, possibly to be followed by a bracing sasparillo at the Chequers.
13 set off under cloudy skies but with a following wind, from Hersham, though some were intending to return home as the ride was to Wimbledon Common via Surbiton and New Malden.
After the long, but relatively easy, climb up Copse Hill we were down to 11. Five decided to lunch in a pub by the Common and the rest went onto the Windmill Cafe. The sun made an unscheduled appearance and it was pleasant sitting outside the cafe.
Later, those in the pub decided to go home and the remainder continued across Wimbledon, Putney and Barnes Commons to the Thames Path at Mortlake. Rowers were out in force on the River which was very high and almost covered the path by Richmond half-tide lock after we crossed over at Kew. Four finished up at Pembroke Lodge cafe, passing on the way up Richmond Hill the shop specialising in electric bikes. Food for thought for those of us with waning energy.
Tim Court kindly provides the memory-map of the route, which was 23 miles from Hersham to Richmond Park. Most of us will therefore have done rather more for the whole day.
After an exhilarating AGM we left Hersham to arrive at Weatherspoons Walton-on-Thames at approx 12:30 pm - a 2.41 miles ride as registered on Mark's 'I' Phone.
There must have been something like 25 of us being served quite rapidly for us to eat leisurely and leave before 2:00 pm,
I was not sure of the easiest way to get to the Wey Navigation Canal (my intention being to commence this near Weybridge) but whilst at lunch Tony with his Android phone was able to show how easy it would be to avoid the Walton town centre and go direct on minor roads to the River Thames tow path and go on from Walton bridge by roads to Weybridge. Such is the wonder of technology that we had already discovered our distance covered and route both communicated via satellite. However it will, I am sure, be a long time before we can discard maps and that was indicated by Ian who was concerned if left behind would be lost in getting to 3's without a map. In the event with Mark having kindly agreed to be back marker this should not be the case.
I apologise for not having names of all the Wayfarerers but will continue to name as appropriate, however there were 20 plus of us leaving Weatherspoons.
Whilst on the Thames tow path I thought how nice it would be for us all to continue on a sailing boat but I have only been on the helm with 6 aboard and that was on the Norfolk Broads some 50 years ago.
So at Walton bridge we were soon on the road alongside the river heading for Weybridge but at a point about a mile from Weybridge centre Vic supposedly advised that by turning off right on a lesser road we would avoid the town centre and arrive at the point I was aiming for namely a minor road parallel to the A307 about half a mile west of Weybridge centre, this was not the case and with what appeared to be tacking as on a sailing boat we arrived some how at the Wey Navigation further down than intended at New Haw.
It was always doubtful that we would arrive early for tea at my home as previously arranged and once again used technology to let my wife, Beryl, know there would be about 20 arriving by 4pm, hoping this would not inconvenience any one too much.
It seemed so relaxing to be off road in what appeared to be perfect conditions as we progressed to Pyrford Lock. Irene understandably living at Staines would not be wanting to be riding in the dark if she continued on to Fetcham where I live, so she left us when we arrived at Wisley having left Pyrford Lock (Pam later phoned to say she had joined Irene which I was glad of despite I'm sure we all missed them at tea, they had tea together at Ockham Bites).
We crossed the A3 on the Bridge linking us with the disused airfield previously used by Vickers. Vic took off at this point whilst the rest of us I think skirted the airfield on road developing into a sometimes muddy track through the woods. We met the road near Ockham Bites and went right to the Black Swan, Martys Green and right again then over the M25 and right to Downside to cross Bookham Common, initially tarmac under M25 and and railway line then off road into the woods to fork left at the Fetcham/Bookham junction thereon to Fetcham.
On arrival at my home we found Vic already there having crossed the airfield rather that skirting it, pilot error?
Beryl had prepared a well organised reception with tea and cakes which I am sure all enjoyed, for which she received well earned thanks.
Hope every one got home before lights being necessary.
No photos from me today I'm sure Jeff or someone will post. What I really want to say is well done to Jeff for your excellent stint as Rides sec for the last 3 years. You have really done an excellent job and I think the encouragement of new rides leaders is very much down to you also having found a number of new leaders during your tenure. I hope that others who have access to this blog will post a comment to Jeff also and may I also reiterate don't be shy if you would like to have a go at leading a ride you will be encouraged by all you lead! Brian Greenwood is to be congratulated for taking over the reins from Jeff and no doubt all will agree he is an admirable replacement! The proposal by Ray to award posthumously the Arthur Jessop Shield to Pete Mitchell was unanimously accepted by all and I feel very appropriate.
Despite monthly visits, South from Cobham still means virgin territory for some so I had no qualms about today's route; well maybe "wasn't it a bit lumpy?" First up was Bookham Common and its fast emerging service station. Then come Effingham Cross Roads and the long drag up to White Down where Bob went right and Ed decided his pace was fast enough. Continuing on a reverse Hilly 50 route meant Hoe Lane was on the ride and harder in this direction? After Peaslake busy with MTBers, I was amused that the next steep section is called Walking Bottom. Soon we were near the top of Pitch Hill. Rather than an immediate plunge into Ewhurst I opted for the even sheerer Horseblock Hollow which led directly to the Little Park Hatch lunch stop.
Amazingly Ed had arrived as had Mike and Toni, left behind at the start (oops! and my apologies). I counted seventeen of us. Naturally we were served gargantuan portions (the Rides Secretary failing to empty his plate even with assistance). Ewhurst was closed to traffic; not that we were going that way but it did add to traffic on the lanes. A police car on Lower Breache Lane passed with comment. Ignorance is bliss so it had to be a dry(ish) Tanhurst. Being delayed by JB's backward roll low down (merely a muddied top), I rely on others for the information that some walked higher up. From Coldharbour it was race to be first into Denbies where something was going on. Mike spent time in discussion with a lady of East European origin so knows all.
Overcast with a spit of rain on Leith Hill and a glimpse of sunshine after Denbies and just over 50 miles.
Thoroughly enjoyed today. Ed and I never imagined we’d be “leading” a group of 30+ back across Ashtead Common to Horton but I like to think Pete would have enjoyed the sight.
It was drizzling first thing at home (Effingham), but by 10 o'clock it had stopped and the sun was trying to break through, so I got ready and set off for the short ride to Cobham. Fuzz was ready to lead what he said would be his last as a leader of an Easy Rider run. So it was that we set off, about a dozen of us, and after a dramatic U-turn in Cobham High Street, headed along Hogshill Lane towards Fairmile Common. From there he took us, by guesswork and clever map-reading, across Esher and Arbrook Commons. This was a ride through lovely wooded country, the ground littered with sweet chestnuts, and just the job for those like myself, who like a bit of off-road, a very "interesting" Fuzz-ride. We hardly touched a metalled road between Cobham and our lunch stop at The Swan Inn on the edge of Claygate. The service was prompt and the food tasty, and it was pleasantly warm enough to lunch in the open air.
After lunch a bit more bridle-path cycling until we reached Esher and then we were into the traffic of Emberbrook , Molesey and finally Hampton Court where we quickly made for a cafe that everyone but myself had been to before, what was it? "5 on the Bridge"? something like that, anyway the staff seemed to recognise the Easy Riders, the coffee was good Fuzz's tea a bit aneamic until an extra tea-bag was added, and the cake looked good. After that we all went our separate ways home. Thanks Fuzz, amost enjoyable ride.
We then followed a funeral car to the crematorium at Leatherhead with the hearse bringing up the rear. The cyclists were led by members of the Phoenix Club. There were so many at the crematorium that not everyone could get in. The crematorium manager read several touching tributes to Pete, two of which were from his children.
Afterwards we stood around for a while in the sunshine.
Then on to Horton Park Golf Club where despite the sadness of the occasion most people were in the mood to be grateful for his life.
The ride was programmed to be 25 miles – 11 before lunch (with stops at the top of each hill) and 14 afterwards with lunch at The Abinger Hatch and so it was. Chinese whispers however were the downfall of one starter who returned to the RBL for a lost possession (not communicated to the leader!) and who then went towards Abinger Hammer. A gentle ride through Downside and across Bookham Common took us to Effingham and on to Hogden Lane for the first hill. Here Cliff found the going tough and Terry did an excellent job of sheparding. We proceeded on via Ranmore Common Road, over White Down and up on to Abinger Common for lunch. Terry arrived shortly afterwards and said that Cliff had decided to go home via Dorking and let the train take the strain (I spoke to Cliff later in the day at home - he had got back and was feeling OK). After lunch we continued south round the bottom of Leith Hill to Coldharbour. It was on this section one of our number complained his gears weren’t working properly. The piece of string which came out was about 2 foot long – no wonder his gears were temperamental! After Coldharbour it was down to Dorking, past Denbies to Annie’s in Leatherhead for tea. 23 started, there were 22 for lunch and 15 took tea. Like the numbers the weather declined during the day and by the end there was a distinct autumn chill in the air.
The Chichester bit isn't right, nor, for that matter is the Alfriston part. But Ms Farjeon wouldn't have got on half as well with 'East Meon to Polegate', so I've gilded the lily a bit. Anyway, you get the drift - I've taken advantage of the dry conditions to ride the South Downs Way, and a jolly good ride it has been.
I set off from East Meon because it's easily accessible by train from Sutton - change at Guildford and ride from Petersfield. It's also a good place to start because it's here that the path rises up to the top of the Downs, and the real journey begins. Conditions were good, and the surface was mostly dry, but it was surprising that there were still some puddles in the sticky chalk marl in places. This is no route for a wet day.
Monday was an absolute stunner - the last day of our 'Barbecue Autumn' - with great views and warm sunshine all the way. I took lunch at the 'Ship' in South Harting, where they promised locally sourced food and a warm welcome, delivering handsomely on both. Tea was at the Boathouse, Amberley - a table by the river for home made apple pie in the sunshine. The overnight stop was in Arundel, with an easy choice of hotel - the Norfolk Arms, which is the only hotel recommended by my 1899 CTC Handbook. I did ask about the service offered in 1899 to wash and store your bicycle for 6d (2.5p, for youngsters), but apparently it's no longer available - but I could put my bike in the boilerhouse for nothing. So that was OK. Maggie came down for supper, and we ate well - me dressed in the clean clothes she had brought.
An early start this morning, as Maggie had to get back to work and I was happy to be on my way. Very prettily up on to the Downs, with the pace increasing as lunchtime neared (no elevenses). I'd had to descend to South Harting on Monday, and today was no different - I went down to the Bull in Ditchling where I ate well. It also meant going back up Ditchling Beacon, but there you are. If I have one criticism of the South Downs Way it is that there is nothing to eat at the top of the hill - take it with you, or ride down.
Today's route consisted of climbing a set of downs, rattling along the top, a whizz downhill and then repeat. Good fun, and not bad views sometimes, but generally hazy weather cheered up by occasional bursts of sunshine. A sunny run over Firle at the end of the afternoon, but shadowy as I descended to Alfriston. I rode across the river and started towards the Wilmington Long Man, but it was evident even to me that it was beginning to get dark - a quarter to six. This off road stuff is interesting enough, but it's not quick. Tarmac was the solution, and I put the hammer down for Polegate and a train home. I caught the 1804 and Maggie picked me up at East Croydon just after seven.
Not a bad little adventure. 96.7 miles, 11,901 feet of climbing and a very slow average speed. My Genesis Croix de Fer did well - it was in its element, really - no punctures, no problems.