Lovely ride from Effingham to Godalming. What a pretty traffic free High Street, old buildings, some dated 1666. Arrived a little damp for lunch as a heavy shower forced us under cover. Lovely lunch, lovely company. Drizzle continued after lunch persuading Pat, Pete and John to head for the train, the remainder headed for Wetherspoons in Leatherhead where the cheesecake with fruit coulis was very tasty. Thank you Ed for a lovely day.
Another of the Summer's longer rides - Paul led us 45.78 miles from elevenses at the Vineries to tea at Squires, East Horsley. Lunch was at the Bat and Ball, Farnham. A fine pub, but, as Paul warned, one of the hardest in Surrey to find. That may be true, based on Tony's and my experience. Rolling average 11.8 mph; total climb 2,545 ft and 2,051 calories. The forecast rain arrived promptly, but was of little consequence - everyone enjoyed the day. Mark
I'm leading next week from Vineries Garden Centre, Effingham and given the opportunity of a westerly start point, I'll be going further west to Farnham to one of the best pubs in Surrey - and one of the most difficult to find!
Ride to lunch will be a little further than normal at 25 miles, but with only one hill of note as we go over the Downs via Coombe Lane, then rolling roads to lunch and then similarly after lunch to West Horsley for "4's" - total 45 miles 11's to tea.
I'd like to start from the Vineries no later than 11:10, please.
With a B+ ride to deplete the number of A's for Wednesdays ride and the
Greeno centre looking bare of cyclists I was pleased to have a group of
10 for the ride to Virginia Water for lunch, almost. Jeff was concerned
that he could not change gear and on examination I discovered that the
cable had actually broken, so off he set with only 2 high gears to get a
replacement agreeing to meet us at lunch.
Frank was on his new rather exquisite trike, having lifted it up it
weighs less than my old Raleigh! We headed into Shepperton and then
left into Laleham road and left again into Sheep walk, a right into
Chertsey road and through Chertsey and onto Thorpe road and a right a
Thorpe green took us off road to Hurst lane, Stroud lane and a left
through to Prune hill and Englefield Green and Wick road and into
Windsor Great park. A loop up Bishopsgate road and left into Prince
Consorts drive lead us to the HRH Jubilee statue for a minor photo shoot.
On past the Guards Polo fields and out to Blacknest road and across the
A30 and into the Wentworth estate and a left took us to Callow hill and
down to lunch at the Rose and Olive Branch where Jeff, camera in hand,
Once everybody, apart from Jeff, had had their fill we were off the easy
way down Callow hill and back to Chertsey(Vic departed at the bridge),
past Shepperton Studios and on to Upper Haliford and through Ginge Farm
estate, Hazelwood golf course and onto Hampton and back roads to Squires
Garden centre at Fulwell for afternoon tea. For me 54 miles with a
nice crowd and good weather.
I'll admit that a week or so ago as I wrote the instructions for eight people to get to Petersfield from five different stations I wondered if all this was too complicated. So by the time John Austin, Terry and I had met at Guildford I was relieved not to have had any emergency calls from those on the Wimbledon/Surbiton route, especially given earlier reports of delays. Then I checked the phone to get a message that the pub had a power cut but could do sandwiches if that was OK. Was this an omen? We boarded the train to find the cycle spaces occupied by two enormous suitcases so two bikes were propped against them and John's fitted in on a "move as required" basis. Four of the others, rather than two, were already on the train having boarded at Woking but none had seen Peter C or Harry at Surbiton. We found them already seated ( as planned) at Heidi's patisserie in the square at Petersfield. Wednesdays are market days and a busy scene with music could be enjoyed by those with seats outside.
So far, so good. Nine of us set off up Bell Hill to Steep and then followed Mill Lane towards Hawkley. The direct lane to Hawkley was blocked by cones and a Road Closed sign but a quick check of the map confirmed that we were following Cottage Lane to the left around the slopes of Wheaten Hill. A further 200 yds and another Road Closed sign - this time with concrete blocks to keep out the motors. It had been some months since I checked the route! A trail of horse droppings suggested that larger steeds than bikes could continue and so we did. After signs of the road slipping down the hill we emerged past another barrier at which point the surface deteriorated! I had to convince the others that this was not off road and was mapped in yellow! On to Hawkley and then a steady climb to Newton Valance along lanes almost devoid of traffic. Now the climbing was over and a swift descent to Selborne followed. From here we took Honey Lane with its views of the "golf balls" of RAF Oakhanger, the "listening devices" being sufficiently sensitive that no trace is marked on the OS map. Our route took us north past these to the Cricketers at Kingsley for lunch where power had been restored.
After a short, busy stretch of the B3004 we crossed the A325 to find more quiet lanes taking us through Wishanger to Frensham Great Pond, enlivened with a colourful display of dinghy sails. A right turn at Millbridge led us past the Rural Life Centre to Tilford, then Whitmead Lane and on to Elstead. Now we were on familiar territory and only a few miles more took us to the cafe at Farncombe Boat House, overrun with a summer school outing when we arrived.
After copious quantities of tea we went our separate ways, three to Guildford station, four along the A246 towards home and Terry and Richard heading home via Shalford. 32 miles from Petersfield to tea, 52 for me to home. A different format and a change of scene, little traffic and for me a very enjoyable ride in good company.
An entertaining ride from Tony today, combining the familiar with the novel at a good pace. 36.73 miles from elevenses at Shepperton to tea at Fulwell with lunch in the garden of the Rose and Olive Branch, Virginia Water. Prune Hill (and others) gave us 1,095 feet of ascent; top speed 30.9mph and 1,646 calories. Mark
We had a change of leader last week as we decided
to visit Phill Marx in Teddington
after lunch en route to 3's.
David S. led our group through Richmond Park
over to Petersham and to the river to Richmond
bridge. We had lunch at The London Apprentice, sitting outside. A nice pub, one
of my favourites for location and food. About six of us continued to Teddington
to visit Phill. He looks well, with rosy cheeks and extra weight. He says he is
eating well but misses not being able to ride in the fresh air. We left him a
Cycling Weekly with Olympic photos; we also signed a card for him to read and
keep. On the way out I asked a nurse if they could take him in a wheelchair to
the garden to sit outside when the weather is good. She seemed very amenable
and said they would take him out the next day. As we left, we saw Phil walk
with his zimmer frame. He seems well in himself; and says his daughter cycles
over to see him. On the way back, David showed us Mo Farah's gold post box in
Teddington High Street. We had our photo taken by a passer-by, so maybe that
will come on the blog next. We continued through Bushy Park
and stopped at 5 at the Bridge for tea.
The babbling forecasters all
agreed – heavy rain. They were wrong. Undeterred by the tea-leaves, an octet
saddled up to leave the comfort of Caterham-on-the Hill Brunton Centre for a foray into the
ups and downs of Kent.
We started off with a descent, followed by a longish climb up Woldingham Rd to follow The Ridge to
Botley Hill. Then it was downhill again towards Westerham before dropping down Rectory Lane and Clacket Lane. The
surface (what surface there was) left something to be desired, as did an
on-coming lorry peeling back the hedgerows as it advanced and we retired.
We crossed the A25 by the
Grasshopper to start the gentle rise of Moorhouse Road, until Dave’s Marathon tyre proved unequal to the penetrating power of
glass. The volunteer spirit prevailed and with spirits reinflated, we pressed
on to Limpsfield Chart and down Trevereux Hill past the Marie Curie Research
Centre to Swaynesland and the foot of Crockham Hill. No time to visit
Chartwell, so we made a smart pace to Four Elms and Bough Beech. Now within
spitting distance of Chiddingstone, the gremlins took a bite out of Brian’s
tyre. A team of domestiques supported him, while the rest completed the last
few furlongs to the Castle Inn at Chiddingstone.
The food was fine and the Larkins
beer from the small, local brewery was excellent. The Platinum Blond demands
attention, though not from monocular John, who dropped a lens at lunch. The brewery has been going for some 25 years, but the beers are only
available within a 30 mile radius. It was a shame that we did not have time to
drop in but had to cycle past, as well as postpone a visit to the Chiding
Stone. Our return was pretty flat via Four Elms, Marlpit Hill, Stafffhurst
(where we did stop to see St Silvan’s Church), Tilburstow (not flat) and
Merstham to take a late tea and cake at Fanny’s.
Apologies from the leader, who blotted
his copybook by pressing on at Tilburstow, where Brian was carrying out the
invaluable duties of TEC. We came together for the last hill and the ride up
Harp’s Oak Lane, also not very flat.
Though mileage was modest (53 miles for me), we were often fighting the clock
and some had many a mile to go before reaching home. Tony, I hope that you got
home in the light and John, I hope that you made the start of the Prom. Many thanks for the good company and good cheer.
Seven of us left the Day Centre, with Barry joining us for the first time, and after the rush down to Wapses roundabout we went through beautiful Marden Park. The wind had risen and light rain led to the donning of waterproofs before the climb up Gangers Lane to the ridge road along the North Downs. Fine views are to be had over the Weald and towards the South Downs on a clearer day, but the rain had now eased and the wind was across and behind. The other features of this area are short steep descents to streams and short steep climbs up the other side, which require rapid gear changes at the bottom or potential damage to the knees climbing out.
We passed through Tatsfield Green, Hawleys Corner and Berrys Green before arriving at the George and Dragon in Downe Village, where the life-size Lizard and Gorilla replicas in the pub garden led to speculation on our distant ancestry.
The food was average for these times and was followed by a fast descent towards West Whickham where we joined NCN route 21 as far as Norwood Country Park. Despite threatening clouds no rain materialised before the tea stop at the Rookery cafe on Streatham Common.
With a good pace, no mishaps, and great company the mileage was 26 from Caterham. I did 43 by the time I arrived home, a distance that suits me fine.
An early start
from Henfold gave the opportunity to go further south than normal, destination
Pulborough, and a good group of 15 set out. Familiar roads via Capel &
Weare St, skirting Rudgwick led to Drungwick Lane and Wisborough. This was the start of
the scenic but challenging 400ft climb to Fittleworth, followed by a rewarding
Lunch at the
White Hart by the old Stopham packhorse bridge over the Arun, surprisingly
tidal to remind us we were not so far from the sea.
We were in
competition with a group of walkers for lunch so only left around 2:30 with rain clouds gathering. Luckily
the rain which fell on the B’s spared us, as we headed north via West Chiltington, Warnham crossing, and Rusper. Brian
reported that he thought Rusper is the highest village in West Sussex; yesterday it certainly felt that way.
Tanhurst Farm, by now in the sunshine, was most welcome. A few departed from
here. Those who continued to Wetherspoons in Leatherhead did 77 miles from N Cheam and enough climbing for one day.
thanks to Simon for back marking throughout the day, and to Graham who guided the
rearguard (including Paul, injured in a skirmish with a tyre lever) back to
Taking advantage of a southerly 'elevenses' I decided the Bs would head further south to briefly ride one of Doctor Beeching's follies. From Henfold our route was via Newdigate and Capel to Weare Street, which these days has to be treated with utmost care - the surface is downright dangerous for anyone on two wheels. The roads were quite good and quiet through Oakwoodhill, Ellen's Green and Cox Green to Rudgwick where we turned off the main road to join the folly (formerly the Guildford - Shoreham railway line, now known as the Downs Link). Soon we crossed the A281 and continued along the Link to the two tier bridge (see photo). The gradient from the brick bridge over the River Arun to Rudgwick station was considered too steep so the upper bridge was built. (Look closely at the photo - some of the Bs are about make a mass dive into the Arun to meet up with the As at Pulborough ). Returning to the A281 we rode to lunch at The Fox at Bucks Green.
Just as we finished the rain started but after a few minutes' wait it showed no sign of stopping so we started off heading north, passing through Cox Green, Ellen's Green, Ewhurst Green (Plough Lane is not quite as bad as Weare Street) to Forest Green. As we turned into Abinger Road it was considered safe to remove waterproofs before tackling the lower slopes of Leith Hill. Approaching Coldharbour the view to the south wasn't very good so we pressed on to tea/coffee and cake at Parkway, Dorking. Hopefully everyone arrived home dry.
About thirty miles Henfold - Dorking, but I expect most rode many more.
A grand ride from Dave today - quiet roads and pleasant rural scenery. 48.7 miles from elevenses at Henfold to tea at Tanhouse Farm, lunch being taken at the White Hart, Pulborough overlooking the Arun. 65.07 miles from Cheam, with 3,357 feet of ascent for those who started there. Mark
A number of us agreed that of the alternatives we had in viewing the time trial it would be worth going to Bushy Park to see the Men's event only. It was thanks to Tony who knew the back roads that we avoided main roads and attempting to cross any Thames bridges which we knew would be closed.This meant going to Richmond and crossing the Thames there. So with Tony's help ten of us ( including guest Brian Vine) were able to have lunch at a cafe in Marble Hill Park before continuing on to Bushy Park.
We had a good viewing place just over 1km from the finish at Hampton Court.
We knew well ahead before the appearance of Bradley Wiggins by the crescendo of noise further back as he entered Bushy Park. It was not so noticeable with Froome's arrival but nevertheless added much fervour to the event.
It was rather chaotic with so many people leaving in all directions four of us going via Hampton Court which by the time we got there the presentations were about to start which were impressive to say the least.
It was a long haul getting across Hampton Court bridge but less of a problem to us as cyclists at other road closures. I was home by 6 pm and I hope the rest of us managed to get home without too much hassle.
I am sorry I have no pictures to display as I had forgotten my camera the only disappointment after having enjoyed the occasion which hopefully all others did.
What a glorious day Wednesday was. Pam, her friend Brian, Gill and yours
truly cycled to Bushey Park, where Graham met us and tried to lose us up various
alleys ‘didn’t succeed’ to his house, where we left our bikes and walked back to
Kingston town to see the time trials. We saw Tim and Adam opposite us. First
class racing. As Bradley said:'The
cheering in Kingston was great', my ears
are still ringing. Had a truly wonderful day, everyone was so happy. Sorry to Brian but it
would have been quite a marathon to try and get to Cobham but thanks for
thinking of us.
Ten of us set out from North Cheam viz. Cliff, Gillian, Harold, John G, Liz, Lynda, Malcombe, Maureen, Pat and me. We went north through suburbia streets to Wimbledon Common and then on the main road to Putney Bridge. Over the river and coffee at a the pleasant Cafe at the Cottage at the feet of Johnny Haynes - whom several people had seen play.
The pace proved too blistering for Harold who abandoned us exhausted. The rest carried on to lunch. Along the river through Wandsworth Park. I had hesitated about a couple of miles south from Wandsworth Bridge on the A214 because whenever I've been there it's been really busy. However, perhaps because of the Olympics, all three lanes were quiet. Lunch and swimming at my house.
There's a small prize for non-attenders who can identify the swimmer:
A minor excitement (for me at any rate) was to see a Jersey Tiger Moth in the garden, only the second one. There's a local population in south London, it's unusual in that it flies in the daytime and has bright orange underneath its wings.
After lunch we parted at Streatham Common, I hope the others found their way back without difficulty.
There was a distinct shortage of Easy Riders at Cobham,
just a select few, Mark, Ron, John Conacher and Brian Bent. With the
Olympic Time Trial passing close by we agreed that we should get a piece of the
action. Our first move was to locate Cobham Recreation Ground and the large
screen installed there. This done we decided that rather than wait for the
start of the Ladies Race we would go for an early lunch and get back in time for
the race. We went out via Downside and Bookham to the Sir Douglas Haig at
Effingham. Mark left us to return to the Cobham Screen, John and I caught up on
Olympic Rowing on The Haig's big screen while Ron and Brian found somewhere to
eat their sandwiches. After lunch John headed for Leatherhead and home, leaving
Ron, Brian and myself to go back to Cobham and the big Screen. We met up with
Mark again and saw the last stages of the Ladies Race. We then bade each other
farewell, I stayed long enough to see Bradley Wiggins setting out, (on the big
screen), and then raced home to catch the finale on my TV.
I had expected that some non swimming Bs might turn up at Cobham so was prepared to lead them if they did. In the end there weren't many and several went with the A's to watch the Olympic time trial. So it was a select band of Terry, son in law Paul, John Mason and myself who headed off for the countryside. We were told by one group of cyclists in Plough Lane that we were going the wrong way! We made our way to the canal at Woking via Wisley and Pyrford and then followed it all the way to Brookwood. The last stretch was new for all of us. Strangely at Brookwood the cycle path ends in steps whereas the footpath on the other side of the canal has a ramp. Very odd! Did the builders mix the plans up? From there it was a short run along the Cemetary Pales to Pirbright and the Royal Oak on the A324. Alas, no screen but by then we had figured out that a direct run back to Cobham should allow us to watch the end on the screen there. So we left just after 2 and rode briskly taking a fairly direct route along Goose Rye Road to Old Woking, then Send Marsh, Grove Heath Road and Ockham. By 3.15 we were on an almost deserted recreation ground in Cobham watching the screen and enjoying an ice cream in the sunshine. We got to see most of the Wiggins/Froome rides and were later joined by hundreds who had been at the roadside nearby. I say most, not because we missed their starts but because just as Brad crossed Kingston Bridge the screen went blank and the signal was lost. Frenetic work by the operators averted a public lynching with the picture being restored to loud acclaim less than a minute before the gold was won. A fine end to a pleasant day out.