Thursday, May 30, 2013

A Group 29th May

A dozen of us left The Vineries, Effingham in good weather getting on the A246 to take the quiet lane to Shere as quickly as possible. The descent to Shere was exhilarating and our climb to Winterfold taken in our stride with a welcome interruption with Peter's mechanical adjustment on his bike and mine with my computer. Riding through Winterfold with its luscious trees in their Spring green best was a pleasure to be followed by another inspiring descent to our lunch place - The Little Park Hatch at Cranleigh (3 pictures above).

We all had, I believe, good gut busting meals before we left in now drizzly conditions to Ewhurst and Holmbury St Mary perhaps affected by over eating on the lumpy roads. On arriving at Wotton I unfortunately had a puncture which I was able only to sort out because of the welcome help particularly from Jeff with suitable levers and Graham with a tube having an extra long stem. Time was on our side but it was necessary for Geoffrey to leave for he had furthest to go.
We arrived at Denbies to enjoy the warm atmosphere, drink and chat leaving quietly for our homes, safely I trust. My total home to home was approx 33 mls map measurement as my computer let me down. Thank you, Mark, for your figure which I think compares and your observation that the swallows had arrived the herald of summer.


Wednesday, May 29, 2013

B Group - 29th May (maps)

We followed Ed for 17 miles from The Vineries garden centre in Effingham over a hilly but very enjoyable and well designed route to The Jack Phillips in Godalming. Heading out we passed St Lawrence Church where the grave of Sir Barnes Wallis can be found. Thence along the Orestan Lane and the fresh new surface on Calvert Road and Dirtham Lane. After East Clandon we wound our way up Staple Lane and zoomed down Coombe Bottom. We turned off at Silent Pool to pass through Albury and Chilworth. A little way beyond Wonersh we rode along a stretch of the Downs Link (following the disused Cranleigh Line of the The Guildford and Horsham Direct Railway) after stopping to read the plaques in the Bramley and Wonersh Station which commemorated the bombing of the station by a German plane in 1942 and the people who died in the attack.

Entering Godalming we passed near the memorial to the hero of the Titanic disaster, Jack Phillips who had been the Chief Wireless Telegraphist on the ship. After a most satisfying lunch at the Wetherspoons, which also bears his (Jack Phillips') name, Ed took us back to the Sainsburys café in Cobham via Guildford, East Clandon and Ockham, another 17 miles. We had put our raincoats on soon after midday but barely got wet at all.

- Tim

A Group 29th May

We had a bit of luck with the weather on Ray's ride today - grey, and a few spots of rain around lunchtime, but generally dry.  Maggie tells me it rained all afternoon at home.  Devil looks after his own, I suppose.

Anyway, 24.96 miles from elevenses at the Vineries to tea at Denbies; lunch at the Little Park Hatch, Cranleigh.  There is some approximation in the telemetry, as I (once again) forgot to press a button at the right time.  But rolling average about 12mph and a top speed of 41.2mph on Coast Hill.

The swallows have arrived at Denbies, so it must be summer.


Thursday, May 23, 2013

B Ride 22 May 2013

Osterley House

Osterley House Stables
 Along the Grand Union


 Our lunch-time pub

A Team Wednesday 22nd May

Teddington - Maple Cross - Richmond

After lunch, with arteries as well greased as chains.
15 A riders left Teddington Day Centre sharp, and with me leading it was no surprise we were heading slightly west of north on our way to lunch at Maple Cross, Rickmonsworth.
Looks as though Paul was first
Coronary Care, anyone?
It was the usual route through Feltham, Stanwell, Poyle and Colnbrook, then heading dead north via Iver Heath past Pinewood film studios and dropping down to Fulmer, navigating the ford that appeared in the film Genevieve  but unlike Kenneth Moore our vehicles didn’t stall and get stuck; then the climb to Gerrards Cross and again the plunge down to Chalfont St. Peter. From here it was up Joiners Lane and the very narrow and twisty West Hyde Lane to the A412 and left along Old Uxbridge Road to Maple Cross for lunch at Duran’s Café (greasy spoon) at really give away prices.

After a hearty lunch and the obligatory photo shoot, we continued on to Rickmonsworth turning right into Spingwell Lane to climb up to Harefield and to Swakelleys junction on the A40. Using the excellent cycle path on the south side of the A40, we passed RAF Northolt on our left and the 4 huge earth mounds on our right, which is now a nature reserve under which is the old Wembley Stadium. Then on to Greenford, Hanwell, Brentford, Syon Park and along the tow path to Richmond to have tea at the café under Richmond Bridge.

46 miles from Teddington to tea at an average speed around 14mph. My total was 62miles but am sure others logged more.
It was a pleasure to lead such a professional group of riders.

Frank C

Easy Riders - 22nd May (map)

Stephanie's route from the Elleray Hall to The Flower Pot in Lower Sunbury for lunch and then back across Walton Bridge and along the river path to Five at the Bridge at Hampton Court

(GPS data gathered up by Ron on the eve of his eightieth birthday)

Happy Birthday Ron

B Group 22nd May

Two years ago I led the Bs on roughly the reverse of today's route but had not had the local knowledge to do an anti-clockwise version from Teddington until Tony led the A's north via Osterley in February. So I unashamedly plagiarised the route for today - thanks Tony!

From Teddington our progress up Church Road was abruptly, but temporarily, halted by an approaching fire engine. From there, in spite of having a group of 24, progress was uneventful and the group kept together well. North to Whitton and skirting the west of Hounslow to the the A315 we reached Thornbury Road leading up to Osterley Park. A brief pause for a comfort stop before we threaded our way through to the Grand Union canal. Mostly the towpath was in good condition though a few stretches a little slippery, more so than when I recce'd it. Ian punctured but fortunately less than half a mile before lunch so most of the group were able to continue to the pub. The Malt Shovel next to Cowley Green lock were unfazed by the numbers and had set aside a room for us. Food was good and the service prompt, so we were ready to depart in little over an hour.

The return was through Iver, Richings Green and Old Slade Lane to cut through to Colnbrook. Now back on familiar territory we reached Staines via Wraysbury and then took the river path to Laleham. Unfortunately the weather had stayed grey and cold so the original plan of tea at Shepperton Lock was abandoned in favour riding direct to Cafe Mocha in Shepperton, just over 29 miles from Teddington.
Thanks to Terry for backmarking , an invaluable role especially on the complex stretch up to Osterley.

Jigsaw Puzzle

Is there a prize?


Wednesday, May 22, 2013

B Group - 22nd May (maps)

For strategic reasons, and at a risk of being slightly annoying, the maps of today's route are being presented as a jigsaw puzzle:

A-Z Greater London. Copyright © 2005 Geographer's A-Z Map Company Limited
Created using Memory-Map digital mapping software,

A Group 22nd May

A brisk Spring canter from Frank today.  We went so far North that it became cold.  45.58 miles from elevenses at Elleray Hall to tea at Richmond Bridge, with lunch taken at Duran's Cafe, Maple Cross.

Rolling average a sporting 13.4mph, 1,264 feet of ascent and 2,042 calories. (Many expressed interest in this last.  You get a lot of food for your money at Duran's.)

A good fast road day.


Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Dieppe Raid on Facebook

If you're going to the Dieppe Raid this year, you might be interested to know there's a Facebook group for it run by Caroline Street, the organiser, with news updates etc, here.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Two at the Toe - A Tandem in Sicily

Last May, Maggie and I did a tour in Tuscany.  We had a good time, and ate and drank well, but the weather wasn't what we had hoped.  We like Italy though, and thought that we'd try something a bit further South for our Spring Tour this year.  Sicily is about as far South as you can get in Italy, more or less on the latitude of North Africa.  It was a good choice.  Those of you who have been watching the Giro will know that the weather on mainland Italy has been largely terrible, but in Sicily it was fine every day but one.  On that day the Scirocco blew, and it was hazy but warm.  There are worse things than a warm tailwind, as any cyclist will tell you.

The trip was organised by Skedaddle, based on Catania Airport, taking a loop around the Eastern part of Sicily.  Renato and Dario from Skedaddle Italia were excellent, and their support when we had a mechanical disaster was impeccable.  Coming fast down a long hill I missed the change for the next steep uphill and, putting the power on hard, completely destroyed the rear derailleur.  Bit of an issue.  The van was there in two minutes, the tandem was on the roof-rack two minutes later and we were on our way to the spotless high-tech bike shop in the ancient city of Modica two minutes after that.  Dario called ahead and the mechanic had stopped the job he was on and was waiting for the tandem when we arrived.  Half an hour's spanner work and some new parts and we were back on the road, the van having left us to go ahead and prepare the meal for the rest of the party.  We didn't even miss lunch.

We stayed in some good places; a converted railway station, a 'Feudo', which is a sort of chateau devoted to wine growing, an orange farm and some quirky but comfortable hotels.  Standards were high. Good food, good lunches served from the van en route, and some interesting riding - the ascent of Mount Etna being the highlight.  A bit like Ventoux, but an active volcano.  Hmm.  Lots of lava.

A great trip and some great cycling.  The guide book we bought at the airport advised against cycling in Sicily.  Terrible roads, and terrible drivers, it said.  It did admit that there was good cycling to be had, but that you needed local knowledge to find it.  We had that, and we had a terrific time.  Riding a bike in Italy during the Giro is a great experience, and if you wear a pink jersey, well ...

266.2 miles, 21,816 feet of ascent and a rolling average of 12.1mph.  We never locked our bikes all week and no-one had a puncture.


Thursday, May 16, 2013

Easy Riders - 15th May

Lynda's ride from Chessington (Kings Centre) to Leatherhead for lunch and back to Ewell Bakery for Tea

A Group - 15 May

New Haw - Hurley - Upper Haliford

Spellin ain't wot it used to be

Risin' to the challenge after lunch

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

A Group 15th May 2013

An undulating ride with no significant hills from 11's at New Haw to lunch at Hurley and tea at Squires GC Upper Haliford. 51.4 miles from 11's to tea at a moving average of 14.1 MPH.

12 left New Haw day centre for lunch at the Rising Sun Hurley. A brisk pace into a headwind as we had a good ride ahead of use before and after lunch. Through Ottershaw and across Chobham Common and through Suningdale (where one of our number headed for home) to Ascot and past the race course. Through Winkfield, (with a brief stop to don rain gear) Hawthorne Hill, Littlefield Green to White Waltham.

Into Butchers Lane and Bottle Lane and a left turn onto NCN4 and a lovely stretch across hedge-less fields of Yellow Rapeseed and across the A4 to Burchetts Green and onto Honey Lane and a nice descent down to Hurley and Lunch. New Landlords at the Rising Sun and the service and food were top notch, Tony D said Buon appetito then Ne Voglio Ancora which he never had.

After lunch we took the Henley road, A4430, towards Pinkneys Green with a nasty little after lunch climb, short but after a relaxing lunch it got the blood pumping. Skirting Maidenhead to the South and onto the A308 Windsor road into Windsor. Down through Datchet and Old Windsor and Runnymede, Staines, Laleham and Shepperton (where Jeff took his leave) to tea at Squires garden centre Upper Haliford. Pots of tea and big lumps of cake later the remaining group went their separate ways home.

B Group - 15th May (+ Map)

The hardest part about yesterday's ride was battling the headwinds to get to New Haw!  Well, apart from a few hills, that is!  Luckily, by going northwards on the ride we avoided the worst of the wind and even had some tailwinds in the afternoon.  The weather was with us, too.  Apart from a few spots of rain now and then, and some heavier drops as we arrived at the pub for lunch, the cloudy skies of the morning gradually brightened to sunshine after lunch.

Our destination was the Rose and Crown at Woodside.  A group of about 16+ set off but we lost a few on the way and ended up with 14 at lunchtime.  The Row Town hill was the first challenge and right at the start of the ride!  Sorry folks!  Thereafter it was undulating as we made our way to Virginia Water via Ottershaw, Accommodation Road, Trumps Green Road - where John Scott punctured and some overshot the turn into Wellington Avenue but were brought back into the fold by temporary backmarker, Carolyn - and so to Virginia Water.  We left the park at Blacknest Gate, on to Mill Lane and northwards on the Sunninghill Road, skirting Windsor Great Park.  With several hills on this stretch, it was a relief to cut across to Woodside and to the pub.  The puncture party of John, Robin and Pam amazingly arrived just behind us!

The Rose and Crown gave us a very warm welcome.  It is run by the Fielder family, with husband and wife responsible for the food.  The menu comprises sandwiches and light bites, as well as meals, and everyone seemed happy with what they had ordered.  As we departed, our hosts kindly took the obligatory group photograph and we were asked to come again next week!

Our return route was via Windsor Great Park to Bishopsgate, down Tite Hill to Egham, past Great Fosters to Thorpe Green, through parks in Chertsey and back to my place in Sunbury for Afternoon Tea - with the second puncture party of Tim and Pam, following on.  It may not have been a brilliantly sunny day but with everywhere looking so fresh and green, it was a pleasure to be out.  Thanks to Pam for being backmarker and to Carolyn for being assistant backmarker.

- Gill

From the New Haw DC to The Rose and Crown in Woodside for lunch was13.7 miles, and the afternoon leg back to Sunbury for a very enjoyable Afternoon Tea with Gill was 16 miles.

B Ride Wednesday15 May 2013

Virginia Water, Cold and Windy

The pub

The party

SWLDA Committee Meeting Monday May 13


This should really go on the SWLDA blog but as no one reads it (much) I put it on the most popular blog spot! Purpose to let all budding committee members know what they are missing - home made cake & the pleasures of Morley's Log Cabin! Our meeting on Monday 13 May was short of some members due to other commitments! You will recall from AGM that Pete Barnard has declared that he wishes to step down at the next AGM. He has done sterling service over a number of years and it is only fair that we find a replacement! So come on gang lets have a volunteer! In my opinion it is good to rotate these jobs every 3 years and bring some new ideas and vitality to our member group! We also need to find a new Social Secretary currently vacant! Don't be shy give it a try your member group needs you!
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Tuesday, May 14, 2013

New Haw from N Cheam?

Is anyone planning to lead from N Cheam to New Haw tomorrow? I seem to remember there was an issue last year with the lack of route knowledge on the day. If you want to come and need a few tips please email me before 6 this evening.

A group ride on Wednesday the 15th May

The A group ride on the 15th May from New Haw day centre will be a little bit longer than of late. 27 miles to lunch at Hurley (on Thames) and 23 miles to tea at Squires GC Upper Haliford.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Capel Sunday Teas 2013

For those with a sweet tooth, the ladies of Capel will be tempting the dissolute to destruction with their irresistible display of cakes for every taste, on the Sunday dates set out in their programme for 2013. You can print off the programme from Google Drive should you wish. Fortunately I am impervious to such temptation.


Sunday, May 12, 2013

The Squirrells in Bushey Park on Chestnut Sunday

Racing doesn't get tougher than this !

Thursday, May 09, 2013

Easy Riders - 8th May

Lynda's route from Hersham to The Swan for lunch and then to Ewell Court Library for Tea