Friday, September 28, 2012

Easy Riders - 26th September

Stephanie's ride from Weybridge to The Flowerpot in Sunbury and then to Kingston

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Pam's photos from the Tour de Sarthe

PhotoPam's photos from the Humphrey Tours expedition to France, including many cheeky portraits.

A Group 26th September

Both I and the weather forecasters had a Plan A and B on Tuesday and by Weds morning it was different again. So signs of brightness at Weybridge led me to stick with my Plan A. Only 9 of us were up for it and we set off optimistically with rain gear packed away. We made it through Addlestone, West Byfleet and beyond Pyrford before the rain set in and stopped just after Newark Bridge to don waterproofs. This was obviously more complicated for some than others and took a while but eventually we were off again down Polesden Lane to Send and then Potters Lane and the A3 to Burpham. Up Woodruff Avenue to go under the railway where Toni took a tumble on the old concrete slabs. Climbing Tangier Road it became clear that Jeff's fasting had left him short of calories so the climbs over St Martha's Hill to Chilworth and up to Blackheath became a bit drawn out. By now we had dried out a little and arrived at the Bricklayers Arms in Shamley Green just in time to avoid a downpour. Lunch was not the quickest and so it was 2.30 before we were away but at least the weather was improving. Heading for Cranleigh, Mark could not resist the lure of Barhatch Lane and headed north while we continued through Ewhurst Green to Holmbury St Mary. A regrouping stop by the Volunteer and no Jeff though there was a suggestion that he had been taking his wet weather gear off at the summit before Holmbury. No reply to a phone call so Toni and I headed back. Jeff called but then we lost the mobile signal only later to get the message that he was so revived by lunch that he had headed over Leith Hill. Seems he had told the back of the team of his plans but must have been misheard. By now the plan to go via Abinger and Donkey Lane to the A25 had to abandoned and so off along Raikes Lane we set.  At this inopportune moment I had a puncture! I sent the rest on for their just reward and arrived to join them, and Jeff, just before 5. An eventful but enjoyable day. 37 miles from Weybridge to Denbies.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

B Group - 26th September

Due to the inclement conditions today, understandably,  the number of cyclists were very much reduced with only 6 departing from North Cheam to Weybridge.
Twelve of us set off via Addlestone, Foxhills and Knowle Hill before deviating through Wentworth Golf Course (rapidly) to arrive at Virginia Water.
After a  very pleasant ride around the lake and park we travelled via Bishops Gate to Englefield Green and our lunch destination at the Barley Mow.
The homeward route took us through Egham, Thorpe Lea, Chertsey and Shepperton (with Pams assistance) to our tea stop at the Sunbury Walled Garden where a welcome cuppa in the sun was enjoyed by all.
Overall a lovely day with just a few scattered showers.
My thanks to Pam for her navigational expertise, Gill for being the back marker and Tim for logging the route we took today.
From door to door I clocked up 51 miles.


(25.6 miles from Elevenses to Tea)

A Group 26th September

Brian led off on an optimistic note today - the weather, while not great, was definitely better than forecast, so he chose the longer of his prepared rides - lunch at the Bricklayers Arms, Shamley Green, looping round to tea at Denbies.

Not everyone took the route recorded.  We all rode together to lunch, but, astonishingly, no-one responded to my blandishments to return via Barhatch Lane and Whitedown.  So what you have is half right, and half the track of a solitary Wayfarer.

37.22 miles elevenses to tea, 2,364 ft of ascent and 1,677 calories.

A good day out.


Easy riders Wednesday 26th September - Weybridge

Sunny days, blue skies, ice-creams. (Or the story of Ron's bell)

If you see Ron on his maroon AW Cycles machine please take note of the historic artefact attached to his handlebars.  If you are a radio listener you may have heard Ron demonstrating the mouth-watering tinkle of the ice-cream vendor's bell across the airways of the UK last week.  His bicycle bell was once attached to an ice-cream cycle cart that sold ice-creams on Wimbledon Common.  The bell broke and Ron's mate paid out 7/6 for a new one giving the old one to Ron which he duly mended and has used on his bicycle ever since.  Ron's voice has also been heard across the loud speaker system in Sainsbury's at North Cheam reciting The Listeners by Walter de la Mare but that's another story....      

For those interested in the ride, there were four takers, two were lost temporarily on Penny Lane (later retrieved), lunch at the Flower Pot was very good.  The rain did enhance the autumnal colouring in Bushy Park.  Thanks for an entertaining day as always with the easy riders, Brian, Malcolm, Ron and Cliff (watch that man as he now has enough for a cheap weekend in Paris).                                 

Monday, September 24, 2012

Sou'Wester Shirt

New Sou'Wester Shirt

Dear All,

You may have read in the Sept/Oct 2012 Sou’Wester about a new Sou’Wester shirt being considered. Cliff Whitfield has sent me the latest specs and costs, see below. The cost of the shirts, before any possible subsidy from club funds to be discussed at the AGM, is as follows:

  • Sleeveless (ladies) and short sleeves summer weight £31.50p
  • long sleeve summer weight £33.90p
  • long sleeve winter weight £36.30p
Any zip length.

These prices include VAT @20% and carriage from the maker’s factory but not to home addresses. There is no extra charge for XL sizes.

Cliff will be at Cobham with shirt samples for sizing purposes on Wed. 3rd October and at the AGM on the 10th Oct. at Hersham. Please make sure that you attend the AGM when this will be discussed - and also buy a shirt. The shirts can also be available at 48 St Clair Drive Worcester Park please - ring first: 0208 337 3152.

If you are interested, Cliff is asking for £20 deposits to be sent to him. Check with Cliff about sizing – you will almost definitely need to go up at least one size. You might very well wish to try on a sample for size before your order is confirmed. Let Cliff know if you are game to buy by sending/giving him a deposit.


Friday, September 21, 2012

Ron Powney

Doreen has let me know that Ron has had an operation and is in hospital recovering:

"Ron had his quadruple heart bypass operation last Thursday (September 13) in the Royal Brompton Hospital. He is progressing well now after having fluid drained from his left lung a couple of days ago. He can breathe more comfortably and deeply now, so will be able to start exercising gently.

He can have visitors. All wards have a no-visiting time around mid-day, so phone me first to find out about this and also to find out which ward he is on. He has been moved about quite a lot. My number is: 020 8644 4400. I'm sure he will welcome visitors, also when he's home of course, though he won't be home for several days yet. I'll keep you posted."

Easy Riders - 19th September

Lynda's ride from Ashtead to The Harrow in Chessington for lunch and then to Ewell Court Library for Tea

Tea time at Ewell Court Library

Thursday, September 20, 2012

A Group 19 September

Fairoaks - Dorney - Felthamhill

 A fresh north-westerly greeted the dozen who left Fairoaks for Wentworth. The only hill of the day was the modest Callow Hill. In Englefield Green I inserted a loop along Wick Lane before the rapid descent of Crimp Hill (no sign of either Elton or Nick) into Old Windsor. For a change Eton Bridge and route 4 alongside the railway got us to Eton Wick. By 1245 we had reached a quiet Pineapple Dorney where the menu takes some understanding. 
We dined alfresco and alone in the garden. After an hour long battle, wind was a clear winner over sun so all were keen to return (with tailwind). Perhaps the very dusty Jubilee riverside path should have been a warning and boldly we ignored a second ("footpath closed"). It had been harrowed if not ploughed and unrideable.Fortunately the verge was passable though precarious due to a very adjacent barrier. Unfortunately John B suffered two front wheel punctures (the second a snake bite) . The ensuing 45+ minutes delay ruined my plan to explore more of route 61 so it was an eyes out hour long race through Datchet, Poyle (where Vic went in search of Moor Lane), and Ashford for cakes at the Adrian Hall Garden Centre. Just under 60 miles door to door.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Gill's photos from our tour of Normandy...

... are now available here, or via the link in the main article on the Tour of Sarthe - in the footsteps of William the Conqueror.

A Group 19th September

The pacific - well, fairly peaceful - northwest for Graham's ride today.  33.8 miles from elevenses at Fairoaks to tea at Feltham Hill, lunch at the Pineapple, Dorney.  Moving average 11.8 mph, 683 feet of ascent and 1,516 calories.


B Group - 19th September

14 left Fairoaks Airport on a sunny but very chilly morning making our way along Accommodation Road towards Egham where Pam very kindly took over and lead us safely through to the A30 flyover to the B376 Wraysbury.  On the way to lunch at Horton we stopped to look at the Fake Windmill we then continued to the 5 Bells where lunch was delivered very promptly. Then on to the 1000 year old Church next door, which was unfortunately locked, to see the Romany grave yard which was very impressive.  We returned via Staines towpath to Chertsey Bridge and Shepperton where we took tea.
I would like to say a welcome hello to two new riders today,  Liz and daughter Tammy. Best wishes to Tammy for Sunday in the London Triathlon.
Thanks to Tim for printing out the route, hope everyone got safely home.

- Irene

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Easy Riders - September 12th

I led 10 of us from Leatherhead Day Centre & it was nice to see Hellga out with us. We went through Leatherhead along Randalls Rd past Randalls Cemetery then onto Woodlands Lane then onto Stoke Rd past the Chealsea football training ground & then towards Cobham where we had lunch at the Runningmare pub.

After sitting in the sunshine having our lunch we went through Cobham onto the Fairmile & Blackhills, through Arbrook Common onto Claygate along Woodstock Lane then we went to the Kings Centre in Chessington where we had tea & cake & after that we all made our way home.

from Roger M.

Easy Riders - 12th September

Roger's route from Leatherhead DC
Note that due to an issue with the collection of GPS data for this ride I have reconstructed the pre-lunch part of the ride from Roger's notes. This is represented by the dotted line.

Friday, September 14, 2012

A Trip to Sarthe with Frank and Françoise

(28th August to 8th September 2012)

Sixteen Francophile cyclists who enjoy French culture and cuisine crossed the Channel via Portsmouth, on the evening of Tuesday 28th August 2012 to be met by Frank, Francoise, Marcel (Francoise's brother) and Brigitte in Ouistreham, Normandy, in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

Following a flat route, Marcel led the group through the port along a cycle path besides River Orne. After a few miles we stopped to view the famous Pegasus Bridge, and the house (now a cafe) that was the first building in France to be liberated by the allies during the Second World War. We continued on the "voie verte" crossing the city of Caen.  From there we travelled through the plains of Normandy, against a strong headwind, to reach our first destination - Falaise - by lunchtime. We lunched in a small brasserie on a typical Menu du Jour or "Menu ouvrier". After lunch we visited the Falaise Castle where William the Conqueror was born. We then continued our way to our overnight stay at the "Hotel du Faisan Doré", in Fontenai-sur-Orne. In our quest for gastronomy, Mme Coiffard, the lady-chef at La Table de Catherine, had prepared our first group dinner.

Next morning we set off early as we had to ride 40 miles in the morning to reach one of the highlights of the tour: Le Musée du Vélo at La Fresnaye-sur-Chedouet in Sarthe. A few hills had to be climbed to reach some 375 m. The dense Forêt d’Ecouves crossed on the way was a sharp and agreeable contrast to the flat and windy roads of Day One. "Musée du Vélo", also known as "Musée de la Grande Echapée" (ie. Tour de France) retraces the history of the Tour from its inception. Bikes used from the first Tour de France to the latest one are exhibited. We were lead through the Museum by its enthusiastic and knowledgeable owner who showed us his entire collection of bikes and artefacts. Cycling through the Forest of Perseigne, we circumnavigated Alencon to reach les "Alpes Mancelles" where some challenging hills had to be climbed. These were soon forgotten when we reached the charming village of Saint-Léonard-des-Bois where everyone enjoyed a beer in "La Cave à Bière", an unusual beer kellar for France, with views on a mini canyon. Liz, who could not join us on Day One had no difficulty in finding “La Cave” and was waving to us as she spotted the group descending fast into Saint-Léonard.  Half a mile away, a restored mansion - Le Domaine du Gasseau - was our exclusive abode for the night. The group elegantly filled the smart dining hall where the only clue to Le Gasseau initial purpose was represented on the impressive fireplace by the engravings of two shapely-naked ladies. Next morning, the owner of the hotel revealed that Le Gasseau had been built in 1941 by the Germans and during the last war, it was used as a b..., in other words a house of ill-repute.

After a typical French breakfast of croissants and bread just coming out of the local baker’s oven, we set off through the Forest of Sillé to the village of Loué where Françoise and Marcel were brought up. The village and rural area around Loué is now famous all over France for its free range organic chickens. Most of the group stayed in wooden chalets by River Vègre for five nights whilst a few chose to stay at Hotel Ricordeau, a 19th century coach-house. Dinner on the first evening was at Hotel Ricordeau which has continuously offered fine cuisine through the years; the group had an aperitif in the garden sampling "Rillettes", (a local potted pork which used to be the staple diet in all the surrounding farms) before sitting down in the Empire private room, to an excellent gourmet dinner, the main course being "Poulet de Loué"!

The following afternoon, a group of five riders was led by Marcel to Malicorne, a pleasant village situated by the Sarthe River. Frank, Brian, Terry, Tim enjoyed a fast ride and a well-deserved beer at a local cafe. The rest of the group had a more relaxing time visiting the garden of Manoir de la Massonière, just a two miles’ ride from Loué where a version of "English Tea" was served as a reminder that the restorer of the Manoir is English born. Then it was time for an “al-fresco aperitif” offered by Gerald and Marcel and served on the banks of River Vègre which flows at the bottom of Brigitte & Marcel’s garden. This was followed by a barbecue dinner at the chalets.

Sunday saw the group riding through the Forest of Charnie to Sainte-Suzanne in Mayenne, a fortified village that William the Conqueror - supposedly - was unable to capture. For lunch, we rode a short distance to a reconstructed medieval fort at La Ferté-Clairbois where, dressed in costumes, we were served a medieval style lunch whilst listening to period songs and lute playing. We were then entertained with an excellent show of jousting, sword fighting, archery and horsemanship.

On Monday it was an early start (8:00 am) as we headed for Le Mans and cycled on 7 kms of the smooth tarmac of the famous “24 Hours” motor racing track. We enjoyed a very typical French lunch in the dining hall for elite apprentices (La Maison des Compagnons du Devoir) before visiting, with a lively English-speaking guide, Cité Plantagenêt, Le Mans old medieval quarters, and its famous cathedral. Both are often used as back-drop for films. Henri II (Plantagenet), son of William the Conqueror was born there.

At Brian’s suggestion (yes, we do take note of good suggestions), a picnic dinner was organised by Gerald, Marcel’s Anglophile friend, who loves Fish & Chips and English beer – and possibly the only French man to be stopped by the French Customs whilst returning from England with a large suitcase full of English food. On Monday night though, local charcuterie purchased directly from a local pig farmer/butcher, watered down with a few bottles of Jasnières (white wine from Southern Sarthe) were the order of the day.

Tuesday was an easy day with a ride to Solesmes. We visited the Abbey, built beside River Sarthe, and listened to Gregorian prayers chanted by some of the 55 monks who live in the Abbey.

On Wednesday, we had to leave the quiet rural village of Loué and Sarthe. We were off early - again - for a fairly long and at times arduous stage via Villaine-la-Juhel to the attractive spa town of Bagnoles de l'Orne. The luxury at Hotel du Béryl was a fine contrast to the rustic chalets of Loué and ensured a very comfortable night to all after the extremely good diner served at this hotel which overlooks a lake.

From Bagnoles, we had to face the longest and hardest day of the tour yet to reach Bayeux. The terrain was undulating and we completed 63 hard miles via a “beastly” hill, the top of which being dominated by military radars.
Friday morning, we admired the impressive Bayeux Tapestry that is nearly 1000 years’ old and viewed the events leading up to the Norman invasion of England in 1066. Most of the group would have been happy to spend longer in the Museum but we were scheduled to head for Ouistreham in the afternoon.

The route to Ouistreham was fairly uninteresting and had to be livened up by an ice-cream stop at Arromanches. However from Bernières-sur-Mer, we managed to cycle right along the seafront on a sunny afternoon. Not far from our destination, Françoise spotted a large terraced cafe where we all stopped for afternoon tea/beer - almost basking in the Normandy sun!

After dinner, Frank, Françoise, Brigitte and Marcel (the latter relieved and proud to have led an English group without any problems, to and back from his small country village of Loué) waved “Farewell” at the Ferry terminal to the 17 cyclists who, regardless of the road difficulties, had been such pleasant companions, on 700 kms of French roads for the last ten days (750 kms for the hard riders who went to Malicorne).
The success of any tour depends as much on the organisation as on the participants and we congratulate everyone for making such an excellent group. It has been a pleasure to organise this holiday for you and we have enjoyed your company both on the roads and during the numerous breaks and meals.
F & F

The group:
From the UK:
Julian & Avril, on tandem
Gill, Lynda, Liz, Pam, Sandy
Bernard, Brian, Ian, Robin, Terry, Tim
Cliff & Maureen, Dave & Jane
From France:
Marcel & Brigitte, Gerald
Frank & Francoise

Personal Best:  
  1. Marcel - for leading an English group over so many miles of mostly traffic-free roads, at times through lovely forests, getting everyone motivated over the long and arduous hills. Marcel showed us his intimate knowledge of both Normandy and Sarthe small road network. We are grateful for Marcel’s leadership which got us to the right place at the right time! 
  2. Sandy and Avril - Longest distance cycled in one day: 63 miles or 108 kms – Bagnoles to Bayeux 
  3. Sandy - Highest climb - 375 m in Forêt d’Ecouves (Day 2 – Fontenai-s-Orne to Saint-Leonard):
Highest overall mileage (including the miles on the English side)
Pamela – 948 kms 
Terry – 948 kms plus Malicorne fast run of 54 kms

Maps and Profiles – Courtesy of Tim – Many thanks, Tim, for sorting out the elevation graphs which prove how well we all did and sharing your photos with us.
Punctures: 1
Photos: Tim, Pam, Frank & Francoise. More contributions are expected.

Please click on the following for maps and photos:

The above maps and photos are displayed in Google+. Unfortunately I haven't found a way to extend the time interval for the slideshow so it is probably best to click the photos or maps to move through them. Captions are displayed in the right hand panel, if the panel is left open. In the side panel, if you click on "Photo details" there should be a little google map for most of the photos to indicate where they were taken. It is possible to download individual photos.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Marks Mystery Ride

Well not really but in my case after the foot tunnel from Greenwich it became a mystery. My mistake taking a last photo across the river as you all dissapeard with no back marker for protection (my fault). So where is the above found while trying to track you all down?

I meandered around Canary Wharf and along the Thames Path to St Katherin's Dock and over Tower Bridge where I photographed the Shard. My eventual route home was via Route 3 Clapham Common and then Wandle from Wimbledon to Morden Park to then get a call from Jeff to say you were all still in St. James Park by this time it was gone 4pm. An enjoyable day must pay a call on the "Hornyman" and look around.
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Wednesday, September 12, 2012

London Ride, 12 September

The London Ride

 Horse Guards Parade
© Copyright David Hawgood and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence. 

A pot-pourri of images of Mark's excellent and intricate London Ride. Somehow he took us to the heights without our realising (well hardly) that we were climbing. I really should have snapped Admiralty Parade, The Cabinet Office and the back of No 10 - I was too busy admiring. At Vauxhall Bridge Rd, Pete, Tim and I were stranded by a red light. Pete hared off home while Tim and I crossed Vauxhall Bridge, where we were spooked.  Tim decided to consult his Garmin, while I sped off down S. Lambeth Rd to Stockwell Stn to pick up the CS7 Super Highway. However, with  no sign of a herd of mamils in sight by Balham, I diverted to Tooting Bec Common to head for home. Our thanks to Mark for an exciting day in London, with big city traffic managed effortlessy by all - the pedestrians are much more dangerous! Apologies to Mike for not realising that part of the lizard's tail had dropped off inside the tunnel!


The London Ride 12th September

Well, that was quite a day out.  More than thirty of us left North Cheam this morning, taking a complicated route to Greenwich, home via the City and St James' Park.  Only 39.9 miles from North Cheam to Morden Hall, at a stately moving average of 7.7 mph.  

We started off along the London Road, but soon left it for Lloyd Park, then taking back-roads and paths along the Wandle Trail to Croydon.  Crossing under the dual carriageway it was more quiet roads to Crystal Palace Park, where we ascended the day's hill in fine fashion.  Along the top of Sydenham Hill and then a short run downhill to the Horniman Museum, for coffee, cake and views.

Busier roads, briefly, until we turned up to Blythe Hill.  Here we had an amusing incident where we lost a few riders, who had missed the corner marker, and flew on, pursued by the back marker.  Minutes later, they reappeared going the other way, and missed the turn again ...  The rest of us waited at the top of the hill taking in the views over Canary Wharf while they caught up and then it was down again to Ladywell Park and the interesting spiral bridge over the railway.  Some rode, some walked.

Serpentine but easy riding from here to Greenwich, and soon we began to see cranes along the river and then, suddenly, the Thames itself.  We gathered under the bowsprit of the Cutty Sark before heading to Wetherspoons for lunch.

Fed and watered we returned to the Cutty Sark for the next stage.  One or two had left - Pete B had a broken spoke, for example - but the rest of us crossed the Thames by the Foot Tunnel, some in the new lifts and some by the stairs.  Ten or twelve bikes per lift, which is impressive of itself, and I'd guess that a couple of dozen of us passed through the tunnel.

Through Millwall  (which is much prettier than it was) to Canary Wharf, where we did a short tour of the Banking Quarter and rode part of the route of the Canary Wharf road race held earlier in the year.  Then Limehouse and the C3 Superhighway that took us easily into the City.  On this part of the ride we began to get some of the problems that we have had in the past, as there are bicycle traffic lights on the Superhighway that change too quickly to get the whole group through.  The only solution we have so far found is to wait, which is fine, but it does slow things down rather.

A couple more left as we entered the City, but we were still a large group.  No problems along Eastcheap, and Cannon Street was closed to cars by emergency road works, giving an easy run to the wily cyclists.  Past St Pauls and then Fleet Street, where we got a completely different London experience.  It was really busy and we struggled to thread our way to the Royal Courts of Justice.  Here we nipped into Bell Yard, immediately traffic free, and at the corner some were delighted to note that we were, quite literally, in Carey Street.

Lincolns Inn Fields, Bow Street and then Covent Garden for acrobats and loos.  Here we had a brief council o' war.  It was getting on - about four o'clock - and we clearly weren't going  to get to Morden Hall by four thirty. The upshot was that some, individually and severally, began their rides home, and some agreed to take their tea in London.

So it was round Trafalgar Square and under Admiralty Arch to St James Park for tea, then homewards down Horse Guards.  (We had to miss out the Mall as it it still being cleared up after the Olympics and Paralympics). 

At Vauxhall Cross our back marker disappeared in heavy traffic.  We were unable to find him and eventually concluded that he had fallen prey to shadowy agencies, so there was no option but to press on.  CS7 Superhighway took us efficiently to Colliers Wood - the same traffic lights problem, but less so now as the group was much smaller, and finally the Wandle Trail to Morden Hall where we arrived at about five thirty.  

Farewells from the happy band of heroes and heroines, then the last few miles home - quite a few, still, for some.

Special thanks to Terry and Jeff for acting as back markers, and to Peter and Colin for being excellent greyhounds, marking corners as we went along.  Thanks too to the Wayfarers, for being such good company and for their skilful riding in a fascinating, but very busy, city.


Tour of Britain

Official Website

If you are following the Tour of Britain, this link gives you all the details:


Friday, September 07, 2012

B Group 5 September

Cobham - Irons Bottom - Annies
Despite a slim-line attendance at Cobham, double figures opted to give me a run for my money on a fine day for cycling. After a tour of the Tilt, it was a steady rise from Stoke d'Abernon through Fetcham to Bocketts Farm. Here tarmac was thrown out of the window and we bounced our way across Fetcham Downs and Norbury Park, past the Saw Mill to meet Crabtree Lane and a cooling downhill to West Humble. After some cycle path we took the Coach Road to Brockham, then through Leigh to Irons Bottom and the Three Horseshoes.

Lunch was leisurely beneath blue skies. Service was also leisurely but worth waiting for, even if I was only a spectator. There was no clamour to remount, but at last we turned tail and passed Leigh and Flanchford to reach Wonham. At the Manor gates, our gallant Sir Phil leapt to the rescue of a pretty cycling maid in distress, whose saddle was parting from its post, no laughing matter for maid or man. Her distress was soon assuaged with the help of a tool of appropriate guage. In recompense she took our picture before departing with a smile - and with her father.

With a righteous glow of service rendered, we cantered on to Betchworth, Brockham and Old  School Lane, past Bushberry Farm (well known to veterans of the Free Wheel Competition) and empty of the cattle I had bumped into on my earlier visit. Tilehurst lane had a little sting in its tail before Punchbowl Lane. Then, with the scent of tea in the air, it was Pixham and the cycle path along the A24. The leader caused a flurry of consternation at Burford Bridge, by ignoring the cycle path above the underpass. However, order was restored and we regrouped to pass through Norbury Park Farm, before the final rise into Leatherhead and Annie's welcoming arms, already fully occupied with the A Group, who had pipped us to the teapot. Our circuit had taken in some 35 miles or so in pleasant late summer sunshine, untroubled by stress or perspiration.


A Group 5 September

A Team Wednesday 5th September

Our group of 11 left Cobham BL at 11-15 comprising of  Mark, Paul, Peter, Rob, Simon, Colin, John, Vic and Tony D.
At a briskish pace we set off  on the well trodden route to Plough Lane, Ockham, Hungry Hill (it wasn’t closed) to East Clandon but not up Staple Lane, but right along the A246 for the short ride to Merrow, then up to Newlands on the quieter Trodds Lane.
Re grouping at the top it was a very fast descent down the newly resurfaced A25 to Abinger Hammer where right up the steady climb through Sutton, Holmbury St Mary to Forest Green, continuing on to Wallis Wood and Okewoodhill and lunch at The Punchbowl Inn.
A better day to lunch in the garden you couldn’t wish for, service was a tad slow but all agreed, well worth the wait for the excellent meals.
Watered and fed, it was off across the A29 along Weare Street, this familiar beautiful quiet road is ruined by the bad surface in many places, then to Ockley, Capel, Newdigate, Blackbrook and Pixham Lane for tea at Annie’s in Leatherhead, just ordering our tea and cakes before the arrival of the B group.
40 miles from Cobham to tea, for me 76 miles from door to door quite possibly similar to many of our group.

Frank C   

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Easy Riders 5 September

Wayfarers - Easy Riders - C Group 5th September - Cobham
I was standing in for Lynda who had arranged an alternative Tour de France. There was a dearth of Easy Riders but we made up a very select group 6. John, Roger, Brian, Mick (I hope I got the name right) Norman and myself. Roger suggested a visit to The New Inn at Send, this met with approval and we set of in that direction. We followed the usual route, Plough Lane, Hatchford, and Guiles Lane. We had intended to go via Hungry Hill but were greeted by ROAD AHEAD CLOSED sign. Not wishing to risk the chance of meeting a complete impasse (and not being overly keen on that particular hill) we dutifully followed the diversion signs skirting Ripley to find our way to Potters Lane and eventually The New Inn at Send. (Brian had a front wheel puncture but was not far behind us). 
 It was a delightful day for cycling and we were pleased to eat lunch in warm sunshine in the garden overlooking the canal. Mick had left us just before lunch so we were down to five. We found the Inn welcoming and reasonably priced. There seemed to be a lot of renovation work going on, and I was slightly worried to see a sign advertising for a Manager and Staff - that does not always bode well. Hope I am wrong - we shall see. Present staff are very pleasant and looking forward to Sunday 16th September when the Tour of Britain passes the pub - bringing a lot of custom they hope.
After lunch we set off for Ripley via the towpath and Papercourt Lock (minus Norman) 1 down 4 to go.) We stayed as a group of four until The Black Swan cross-road where Roger and Brian made for Cobham. John and I headed for Effingham, John for a train, and I for home.
Mike W

A Group 5th September

Summer at last for Frank's ride to the Punchbowle at Okewood Hill.  39.8 miles from elevenses at Cobham to tea at Annie's; rolling average 14.1 mph; maximum speed 39.2 mph and 2,043 feet of ascent.


Saturday, September 01, 2012

The London Ride 12th September - No Mystery!

I've been talking this over with Brian, our Rides Secretary, and we have agreed that giving people more information about the ride is probably more sensible than keeping it a secret.  So here's the outline of the ride that I'll be leading on 12th September.  It will be a London Ride, just as we have done for the last couple of years.  People seem to have enjoyed these rides, and we very rarely visit the Capital.

We will start, as usual, from North Cheam at 0930.  Much of the route is NCN Cycleways - quiet streets or paths - and there is only one hill, up to Crystal Palace through the park.  Not steep, and no traffic.  Naturally, as this is a London ride, some parts will be busy, but we'll take it steadily and I'm sure it will be fine.

Elevenses will be at the Horniman Museum on Streatham Hill, and lunch will be at the Gate Clock, a Wetherspoons in Greenwich.  I plan a slightly extended lunch break, so that people have time to look around if they want.  After lunch we will cross the Thames by the Greenwich Foot Tunnel, pass through Canary Wharf, which people liked last year, through the City to St Pauls and Covent Garden.  Then down the Mall and Birdcage Walk to Westminster Abbey, over Vauxhall Bridge to the Oval and the Superhighway back to the Wandle Trail at Colliers Wood.  This will take us the last couple of miles to Morden Hall Park for tea.  I expect to be there by 1630.

We'll need to be in single file for much of the ride, and if the group is large I'll divide it up with a second leader to make life easier - we can see how that goes.  There will be a back marker and a rider will wait at each major junction.

For those who want to, it is possible to cover part of the route by public transport.  The Horniman Museum is a mile or so from Crystal Palace station and about six miles from Clapham Junction; Morden Hall Park is close to Wimbledon so 'train assists' to begin or end the day are easy.  And adventurers can cross the Thames by boat rather than through the Tunnel - about £4, less with a Freedom Pass. (The Tunnel is free, of course.)

I'll bring some printed copies of this note to Cobham next Wednesday, but it would also help if people could pass the information on to Wayfarers who don't use the Internet.