Wednesday, November 30, 2011

A Group Pics

'A' Group some more pictures: at the National Trust for lunch and the Canal on the way back.

'B' Group.....Wednesday 30th November 2011

To-days ride was led by Irene.
On yet another fine November morning, nineteen cyclists left Weybridge on their way to Addlestone. Into Green Lane, left and right, next right into Hardwick Lane making our way to Stroude Road where we passed Great Fosters Hotel, originally a 16th century mansion that was once actually in Windsor Great Park! Into Egham, up the hill, right into Middle Hill arriving at Englefield Green, apparently heading for Windsor Park but we turned into Wick Lane where thirteen of us had lunch at The Sun public house, six chose to go to Saville Gardens for refreshment! The Sun is a very nice pub but it took over an hour before all the group received their food!! Hence, the folks who went into Saville Gardens finished their lunch long before The Sun group - so - led by Gill, they went on their way to 3s's! (Or home)!
It must have been 2.30 when we cycled away from the pub! Irene was hoping to have tea in Walton but as it was so late, she settled for tea at The Bakers in Shepperton.
We had that wonderful free wheel ride down Tite Hill into Egham, through Thorpe, around Penton Park and over Chertsey Bridge to Shepperton. Only four folks stopped for tea. After sharing Bernard's rather large piece of bread pudding, Pam and Irene returned to Staines and Robin and Bernard cycled to Feltham station.

PS....I was in such a hurry when I wrote this report that I forgot to thank Irene for leading us to-day on a very interesting and pleasant ride - Thank you Irene :)

A Group 30th November

An entertaining ride from Dave today. Elegantly by road and park, canal and river to lunch at Osterley and tea at the Pheasantry, Bushey Park.

27.69 miles from elevenses to tea; 1,241 calories, modest ascent and 11.7 degrees at noon, on this the last day of November.


Monday, November 28, 2011

Hopping to Kent

I made one of my Great Discoveries today - or, rather, I noticed for the first time something everyone else probably knew. My Discovery is that trains go from Redhill to Tonbridge - indeed, if you're prepared to change at Tonbridge you can go as far as Ramsgate or Dover. The train takes about half an hour and there are two per hour - more at busy times.

So it's pretty easy to start your day's ride at the very edge of the country we normally cover, giving scope for new and interesting rides. Before people start thinking of enhanced vistas, it's not an A Group panacea, as the trains formally take two bikes. You could probably fit in a couple more with care and a willing guard, but that's about it with the off-peak trains. But it's a good option for a few chums looking to explore.

I rode towards Maidstone, picked up the Pilgrims' Way which I left at Lenham for lunch at the Dog and Bear. Nice pub with a fine CTC Winged Wheel, despite which it's not in the 1899 Guide. Johnny-come-lately, evidently. Loop round via Headcorn and home by 1630 - still just light.


Friday, November 25, 2011

A Group-23-11-2011

My first ride as leader was, at first, rather daunting with 26 taking my rear wheel! I had told the pub that around 15 would be  dinning!   I found out later that 4 were B group riders who had gone the wrong way and a few others  dropped off early leaving a manageable group for lunch. We Left Ellery road into Middle lane and then right into Park road and into Bushy park, a right turn took us up Cobblers walk and out into Hampton High street.  
Through  Hanworth,  Bedfont , Stanwell and Stanwell moor  and over  the M25 to Poyle  and Colnbrook which has some lovely old buildings notably the Ostrich Inn, not a pub for lunch stops as in  1624 the Landlord murdered 13 patrons!  On past Queen Mother Reservoir  to Horton and Wraysbury at which point I punctured! Fortunately Vic, prompted by Graham, gave a brief tour of the Windmill which kept the throng amused.  
Then off through Staines and back roads to Lunch at the Kings Fairway Ashford. With one main and a second main for a £1 we filled our bellies well.  The only downside was only 1 person was on bar duty which slowed things a trifle.
Leaving Ashford we passed Queen Mary Reservoir  then through Upper Haliford,  Lower Sunbury and on to Five on the Bridge for  tea  which we were beaten to by some of the B group.  After sufficient rehydration the few that remained headed home. Thank you  Graham for being unofficial TEC.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

A Group 23rd November

Tony's first lead today, and a good lead it was. Cleverly amongst the reservoirs and waterways of Middlesex, finding some picturesque spots and a good lunch. 31.4 miles elevenses to tea; rolling average 11.9mph and 1,405 calories.


B Group - 23rd November 2011

Around 26 set off from Elleray Hall, 4 almost immediately getting dropped as other groups left at the same time. However the 4 made it to the lunch stop at the Thames Court pub at Shepperton Lock via Bushy and Sunbury, the remainder heading towards Twickenham and the Crane River park. This is really a " green corridor" heading upstream to Feltham and is a pleasant 3 mile ride on good surfaces past the shot tower ( relic of an explosive past) and an island nature reserve. It is quite testing for such a large group with two low bridges to negotiate.

Tim has kindly shown the rest of the route via Feltham Airparc ( former airfield) and Littleton to the river Thames arriving at the lunch stop just past my ETA of 1230 in order to ensure we left well before it gets dark. The catering was prompt and polite and reckoned to be good quality and we left by 1.45 for a spin across the river to tea at Squires in Long Ditton. 6 stopped for tea, the remainder peeling off to beat the gathering darkness.

Thanks to Gill , Stephanie and Terry for back marking and the rest for being pleasant and informative company. The weather was kind with hazy sunshine and little wind and the temperature was even measured at 13c at 1.30 pm.

Harry Cole

Harry's ride from Teddington to Shepperton and back to Squires for afternoon tea
(from Elevenses to Afternoon tea: 21.2 miles)

(Please note that I won't be around next week on the 30th so if anyone can collect the route data for the B team's ride, on anything capable of recording GPS data, I would be happy to put the route onto an OS map for the blog when I return. - Tim)

Easy Riders - 23rd November

David's ride with the Easy Riders, from the Elleray Hall through Esher (West End) to Chessington, 
just over 15 miles from Elevenses to Tea

(Track data diligently collected by Ron)

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

BBC's "Britain in a day"

For the BBC's "Britain in a day" project David Salmon filmed the Beginners' Section on the Saturday ride this week. His comments and the video itself can be seen here on the DA Blog


Easy Riders - 16th November

Route data collected by Ron

Easy Riders - November 16th 2011

Unusually, I found myself free to ride today (no clash with a morning language class) so I headed for Claygate Day Centre having noticed that Fuzz would be leading another “last ride”. He mustered ten or so Easy Riders (inconsolable though he was on learning that Lynda would not be joining the Group!) and we set off through Covert Woods towards Fairoak Lane. Here the plan was to cross the road and ride through the Prince’s Covert, gaining entrance using a newly obtained key to the padlock securing the gated entrance. However this was not to be, in short the key did not work although several of the party tried. We considered sliding our bikes under the gate but decided that this might draw undue attention to ourselves.

Fuzz, being Fuzz had a back-up plan so we all set of along Fairoak Lane towards Oxshott. A right turn at the road junction followed by a quick left turn, took us through Oxshott railway station car park and into the woods. This was a sunless day but the woods in Autumn colours were well worth a visit as well as taking us away from the frantic main roads. The bridle path took us to the Fairmile estate and down Water Lane to The Tilt at Stoke D’Abernon where Fuzz had another little diversion for us. A crematorium is not normally high on one’s list of places to visit on a cycle run, but the crematorium at Stoke D’Abernon has at least one interesting feature. Adjoining the crematorium is the MacAlpine mausoleum. Because the family is Jewish, the building housing coffins is outside the main grounds in a fenced gated area. The building itself, product of the MacAlpine builders dynasty, is not a thing of great beauty, but the small paved area in front contains a magnificent bronze statue of a female - we know not who she is supposed to be. Fuzz assured us that she cost £500,000.

Having gazed at the statue and chatted to a friendly member of the crematorium staff we made our way to Downside for lunch at The Cricketers. We were made very welcome and enjoyed a pleasant lunch together (Fuzz was especially pleased at being allowed to select from the children’s menu !). After lunch the main party was heading for tea at Thames Ditton, so I took my leave and headed for home in the opposite direction, (having been volunteered as “blog writer”). My thanks to Fuzz for a pleasant and interesting ride, I am sorry if this is really his last ride as leader with the Easy Riders. Perhaps he can have another Last Ride.

Mike Withers

B Group - 16th November

John's hilly B Group ride
(I make it 27 miles from Elevenses to Afternoon tea at Squires)

This profile shows the ascent towards Polesden Lacey, the descent towards West Humble then the usual route up to Ranmore Common

GPS Visualizer view of the hilly part of John's ride

A Group 16th November

A proper November day today, with a damp chill in the air, but Pete B led us at a brisk pace that kept the cold at bay. Circuitously from elevenses at Claygate to lunch at Wetherspoons, Woking, then back by canal and river to tea at the Walled Garden, Sunbury.

31.2 miles at a moving average of 8.8mph and 1,397 calories, which should have just about covered my bumper slice of cake at tea.



With Summer (both proper and Indian) well behind us, some 18 A's, led by Pete B (with Graham Hill kindly offering to cover the rear), set off from Claygate on a chilly and misty morning. Following the B's for a while before taking Stokesheath Road and Sandy Lane through Fairmile to Knipp Hill and Water Lane. Across the Tilt to Downside where the leader delayed the pack for a while with a puncture. Down Pointers Lane to negotiate Junction 10 of the M25 and follow the A3 to the Wisley footbridge.
Past Pyrford Lock and Newark Priory to take Papercourt Lane towards Send and then through Cartbridge to Old Woking. Here a diversion on a, new to most, signposted route through Woking Park took us into the town, albeit on the wrong side of the railway, which required carrying bikes through the pedestrian underpass before lunch was taken at the H G Wells. Here we were joined by 2 more who had missed the start. Then, with no sign of the temperatures improving, it was along the Basingstoke Canal, which was looking most Autumnal, to New Haw. Up through Woodham and Row Town to Addlestone and over the railway to the backroads of Weybridge.
Crossing Walton Bridge it was clear that preparations are now well underway for its replacement. Then, turning right into Penny Lane, a never seen before view of the Shepperton Marina before rejoining Fordbridge Road to the Walled Garden in Lower Sunbury for teas and large slices of cake followed by returns home under still leaden skies.


Friday, November 11, 2011

Maps for Summer rides

For anyone who is curious I have now added some historic maps for B Group and Easy Rider routes which were ridden in July, August and September.

For Easy Riders they are:
  • 6th July           Cobham - Basingstoke Canal - Walton (Phil M)
  • 27th July         Leatherhead - Brockham - Leatherhead (John C)
  • 10th August    Walton - Teddington Lock - Hampton Court (Lynda)
  • 31st August     Molesey - Osterley Park - GU Canal - Richmond (Phil M)
For B Group:
  • 3rd August       Cobham - Woking - Shepperton Lock (Pam)
  • 24th August     Shepperton - Isleworth - Richmond Park (Gill)
  • 7th September  Cobham - Chobham - Walton (John G)
Also, for 5th October, Cobham - White Down - Leith Hill (Peter T), I have inserted a second map, produced on the GPS Visualizer web site, which uses colour coding to illustrate the altitude along the route. Very pretty for any route with a few decent hills!

Click on any of the links (the date) to see what's been added.


Easy Riders, 9 November 2011

Sandy Bayliss
How long before Sandy gets the Easy Riders into wet suits and running shorts?

Caught on camera

For the record, one taken a week ago, after a couple of miles in the Basingstoke Canal
(The water tasted a bit off)

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Easy Riders - 9th November, 2011

Easy Riders route from Shepperton to Chessington via Hampton Court 
(Trail of cup-cake crumbs followed by Ron)

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

B Group - 9th November

B Group ride led by Gill
27.7 miles from Shepperton Greeno to the Riverside Barn Arts Centre in Walton

Despite the dull start, there was a big turnout at Shepperton and as leader of B Group, I set off with 21 riders. Our destination was the Fox and Castle pub at Old Windsor by way of the Thames towpath from Laleham to Lammas Park in Staines, Wraysbury and Datchet.
Depending on the time we reached Datchet, I had choices to make about the best route which would allow us to arrive at the pub at 1.00 p.m. Fortunately, with a good pace being maintained, I was able to stick to my original plan and we headed on to Eton where we were able to see well-dressed scholars in their tails walking around the school buildings. Crossing the river into Windsor, we encountered our first and only hill of the day as we climbed up to the entrance to the Castle. After this it was downhill to the road parallel to the Long Walk, on to a cycle path crossing the Long Walk and leading us straight to the big roundabout at Old Windsor. By using the path we were able to miss the queue of traffic at the roadworks and after crossing at the lights we were soon into the back streets which led us to the Fox and Castle pretty much spot on 1.00 p.m.
Here we were given a warm welcome, food and service were good and despite the large numbers (19 of us at this stage) we were on the road again at 2.10 p.m. By now the sun was out and it was a lovely, bright afternoon. Our route was a familiar one - Runnymede, across the Meads to Egham, Thorpe, Pentonhook, Ferry Lane (a bit muddy on the new footpath at the end) Chertsey, Shepperton and Walton. Tea was at the Riverhouse Barn but with the shorter days now, most people opted to keep going to try and get home in the light. Four of us, however, did partake of tea and had a very interesting conversation about the sayings on the rims of £2 coins! Thank you, Alan! Most enlightening! Thanks, also, to Irene and Pam for being back-markers and for 'challenging me with options' for the route chosen when out doing the recce last Sunday. 

Gill Finlay


A Group, 9 November

Shepperton - Wood Street Village - Cobham

A Group 9th November

Unseasonably mild again today, and Rob led us at a Summer's pace. 35.18 miles from elevenses at Shepperton to tea at Cobham; lunch at the Royal Oak, Wood Street. 1,576 calories; home by moonlight.

Today’s ‘A’ ride was officially declared Hill free – and not just because Graham was otherwise engaged. Meandering between the Thames and Wey valleys, a substantial number of calories was saved by not exercising the digit in frequent gear changes.

Thus it was that a goodly number of riders set out across Walton Bridge, from the surrounds of which woodland had been cleared, prompting speculation about a new bridge?? We proceeded along a variety of streets which all seemed to be named ‘Oatlands’, before crossing into St George’s Ave and into Brooklands. After Byfleet, a stretch of off road took us along a short length of the Wey Navigation, after which we picked up the B382 to bring us to Old Woking. Out into the country at last, we passed Worplesdon Station and Fox Corner en route to the Royal Oak in Wood Street village.

Shortly before our arrival, Geoffrey had the misfortune to snap his chain, but matters were soon rectified with the assistance of Dave and a powerlink. The landlord at the pub had regrettably recently been taken ill, understandably creating some confusion behind the bar, resulting in a bit of a wait for the food. Nevertheless, we were soon on our way, passing through North Guildford, before picking up the A3 cycle path and Tithebarns Lane before arriving at Sainsburys at Cobham for tea, with the added bonus of an unimpeded view of the A3 in all its glory.

The cycling gods clearly had it in for Geoffrey today as on departure from tea, a flat front tyre was discovered. Despite being a not particularly long ride, it was lights on all round for the last leg home. I covered 61 miles overall.



Monday, November 07, 2011

Brockham Bonfire Remains 6 Nov 11

After Jeffs mww photo of the large bonfire on Wednesday I did a warm up ride before the SWLDA AGM and you can see the church was almost in peril and my tyres were starting to melt. Daniel who was at the AGM was at the bonfire and the fireworks were most spectacular!

note this is a test transmission I am having problems bloging via Picasa this is direct from the blog. Thanks Jeff for your help.

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Sub needed for A Group Weybridge 30 November

Dear All,

Following Ed's tumble, even with an inflatable boot, I would not expect him to be back in the saddle by the end of November.

As he was going to lead a ride from Weybridge DC on 30 November, may I ask if somebody familiar with that neck of the woods would like to volunteer to take his place to lead the A group? These opportunities don't often crop up so I suggest that you seize the chance asap! Lines are open now.

Many thanks,


Thursday, November 03, 2011

£19 short change

At the risk of many wayfarers making false claims (as if they would) on one of their forgetful fellow cyclist's someone kindly bought a raffle ticket with a £20 note. Thelma from the Royal British Legion phoned me last night to say when she returned with £19 change the gentleman had gone! I jokingly said he probably thought keep the change anyway. I said I would try and identify the person in the meantime and suggested that she keep the change until Dec 7th when hopefully the lucky person will have remembered! I plan to be in Nottingham that day for a seasonal reunion ride with my old racing club Long Eaton Paragon now Long Eaton Velo amalgamated with Long Eaton CC, so will be unable to make any false claim! An eleven digit phone number given for the ticket does not seem to work! Hopefully this note will help to identify! Please mention to any of your fellow Wayfarers that may not have a computer.

Wayfarers B Group - 2nd November 2011

Cobham - Merrow for lunch - Leatherhead for tea

A large group of 20 plus riders set off from Cobham towards Ockham, then via Guileshill Lane, through a farm track to bring us out at Tithebarns Lane.

We continued southerly to West Clandon and on to the A25 for a short stretch before arriving at our lunch destination, the Horse and Groom in Merrow. Nice pub and grub although the staff found our presence in number a little overwhelming.

A steady climb (not ideal directly after lunch) found the group on the North Downs Way and eventually on Combe Lane heading towards Effingham via Dirtham Lane.

Proceeding through Great Bookham and Fetcham we arrived at Annie's in Leatherhead for tea and cakes where we were joined by several of the A group.

My thanks to the ever dependable Terry as ' sheep dog' and Tim who has kindly downloaded the route map.

Mileage from Cobham to Leatherhead: 22.25 miles

- Liz

November 2nd, EasyRiders

Mike's ride with the Easy Riders from Cobham to Send Marsh and back
(Track recorded by Ron)

The Easy Riders head back to afternoon tea in Chessington

Easy Riders - November 2nd 2011

There was a good turnout at Cobham RBL on a dry sunny, but breezy November morning. I found myself with a dozen Easy Riders, some new faces among the regulars. We set out towards Ockham via Plough Lane, past The Black Swan and the boarded up Hautboy. At the end of Ockham Lane a right turn took us along to Guileshill Lane, steep hill and then the compensating run down to Ockham Road North. Right turn here and ignoring Hungry Hill for a change we rode on to take Grove Heath Lane up to the old Portsmouth Road at Send. Left here and past The Jovial Sailor, then right into Sendmarsh Road to reach our lunch stop The Saddlers Arms.

There has been a change of management since we last visited, but in a brief recce last week I found a friendly landlord who seemed pleased at the idea of a visit from a group of cyclists. He said he would note date and time in his diary and reserve tables in the hope that the weather would be kind to us on the day. He was as good as his word and we enjoyed pleasant lunch during which we were joined by Fuzz who had elected to find his own way by a flatter route.

Lunch over we headed along Polesden Lane towards Ripley, still in sunshine but from time to time having to face a strong southerly wind. We retraced our route to The Black Swan crossroads at Ockham and then parted company. I headed for home in Effingham, one party making for tea at The Prince’s Centre Chessington, others making their separate ways home.

Mike Withers

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

A Group 2 November

Mark's Autumbulation
Cobham - Betchworth - Leatherhead

Birthday cake and tea at Cobham, thanks to Mike Morley

A Group 2nd November - The Autumn Amble

A Baker's Dozen left Cobham for today's ride - quite bright, and unseasonably mild. We had all chosen longs and long sleeves, but we've had cooler days in Summer.

Prettily over Downside and Bookham Common to start - it's been a great Autumn for leaf colours - then a jink through Leatherhead and our first hill of the day. We went up via Downs Lane to the top of Givons Grove, then on through Tyrrell's Wood to Tot Hill. It's part of the KPRC Hilly 12 course, and it's a fair pull. Graham left us here, on his way to visit the injured Ed. The rest of us had our reward - a fine descent down Lodge Bottom Lane under golden arches of trees, re-grouping at the corner for our next climb, Box Hill.

Steadily upwards at first, having agreed that there was to be no racing, as it was not part of the ethos of the Amble. Ray engaged a young lady in conversation - she was a triathlete in training, and they discussed racing and mutual friends. Then, with a smile and a twinkle in his eye, Ray got out of the saddle and left her. Well, you couldn't let him go by himself ... I'd say he had a three minute lead over her by the top, but then, Ray's not in training.

We all gathered at the viewpoint and Jeff Cartier-Tollerman recorded our achievements, then on to Pebble Combe Hill for another glorious swoop down. Best speed of the day here, at just over 40mph, and ten minutes later we were in the Red Lion at Betchworth. Tables were reserved for us and we all ate well.

After lunch we began the second half of the Amble - no big hills, and no high speeds. There were lots of deer out at Wonham Manor and plenty of Autumn colours. We headed South through Leigh, then back North at Shellwood Cross to go to Brockham to see the bonfire. It's said to be the biggest in England, and this year's is certainly impressively large. Then West to take a look at the last part of the Free Wheel course before heading to Leatherhead and tea at Annies.

Coming up the High Street it looked as if our luck had changed - the B Group had beaten us to it and had probably eaten all of the cakes. But, in the event, it wasn't so bad - Annie managed to find something for us, so all ended well.

34.56 miles, 2,020 feet of ascent and a rolling average of 9.7 mph - the Autumn Amble.