Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Easy Riders - 31st July

This was the first time that I was to lead the Easy Riders and I was a little wary when I arrived at Walton Centre.  However, Fuzz soon had me sitting in the group and by the time we set off I had just about got the names sorted out.  There were 12 riders, including two new people, Katie and Sharon, whom I hope we shall see again.

We headed off along the towpath towards Walton Bridge, where we cycled across on the NEW cycle path - are we the first?  On the other side, a loop through River Ash Estate brought us out onto Fordbridge Road and we were soon passing through Lower Sunbury.  We turned off the Lower Sunbury Road on to a couple of paths which led us towards Hampton station and then via Ormond Avenue to the High Street.  Shortly after turning left, we took Dukes Head Passage into Bushy Park.  We cycled across to Chestnut Avenue, then picked up Cobblers Walk which brought us out to Park Road in Hampton Wick.  The last lap was along Lower Teddington Road/Broom Road to the pub, Tide End Cottage.

After lunch, the sun came out and we had a lovely sunny ride beside the river from Teddington Lock back to Kingston.  In the Market Place, there was a general consensus amongst those left that people would head home from here.  Sorry Norman, your recommendation for a tea-place in Kingston will have to wait for another time.  Thanks to everyone and special thanks to Ron for being back-marker and to Mark for showing me a useful short-cut.

Gill Finlay

'A' Ride 31st July

It was quite a surprise for me at Dorking Christian Centre that there would be 12 of us prepared to rough it on my ride. They included Mark, Brian, Dave, Simon, Peter, Vic, John, Paul, Jed, Colin and Daniel.
The weather looked promising for rough stuff in the Surrey hills and we set off at about 11:30 with plenty of time to do the course I had previously blogged.
We managed to climb Bagden Hill and thereon to Polesden Lacey comfortably (Daniel registered 20% gradient on Bagden Hill). The less comfortable climb over the rough Yewtree Lane up to Ranmore Road reduced our speed whilst for some of us I feel sure allowed to enjoy the scenery in the Yewtree Farm area, etc. It is believed that this path was an old drover's road some 500 years ago and appears to be about 1.5 mls long.

Unfortunately Paul had a puncture which on Ranmore Road he efficiently got us going again with a new tube. It was plain sailing down to East Horsley then along the A246 to West Horsley then continuing at a good rate to Ockham. At the Black Swan we had a leisurely lunch before we continued on to arrive about 3pm at Bike Beans for Tea.

Vic left us at Downside as Bike Beans at Ashstead would have been a long route home for him.
The rest of the off road to tea was flat - Bookham Common and River Lane Fetcham.
It was quiet on the rest of the roads: Randall's Road, Kingston Road and Lower Ashstead to Ashstead possibly because the schools are on holiday.
There were 10 of us at tea and trust we all had a comfortable journey home.


B Ride 31st July

Looking at the maps (thank you to Tim C for putting them on the blog) it is true to say that we did meander through Surrey but starting at Dorking, lunching in Cobham and taking tea in Long Ditton meant we could string together some well-known stretches with, for some, some completely unknown elements.
The B’s are always up for a challenge and we got the major climb of the day out of the way as soon as possible by going up on to Ranmore Common via Ranmore Road. There were 18 of us and everyone made it. Then it was along the top and down Crocknorth Road followed by the up and over Chalk Lane.
Down into Horsely and along the tarmac path next to the railway before turning right on to Silkmore Lane. Its bridleway section was a bit rough. However it ended at the next bridleway at Jury Farm which is paved. After a brief consultation two thirds of the way along the majority of us turned right through Shepardsgrove Copse to Ripley Lane where we reformed.
All very familiar as we made our way through Church End, Ockham (where the Hautboy is being converted into apartments), past the Black Swan (no sign of the A’s), on to Cobham Tilt and The Running Mare. No dramas with lunch meant we could enjoy the pleasant sunshine outside.
Tea at Squires in Long Ditton looks like a short run but we extended it by going in the direction of Fairmile and Oxshott and then dipping back down towards Stoke D’Abernon. Not far out of Oxshott is another tarmac bridleway which ends up back in Oxshott on Wrens Hill.
Back on the familiar roads again we took the recently resurfaced New Road bridleway to Claygate, under the A309 and into Woodstock Lane for tea. There were 12 of us at the end. I made it 30 miles from elevenses to tea.

A very pleasant day out with the B’s!

Peter T

B Group - 31st July (maps)

Peter Tiller's meandering route from Dorking to the Running Mare for Lunch and then to Squires in Long Ditton for Tea
Dorking Christian Centre to lunch at The Running Mare in Lower Cobham Tilt (17.7 miles)

from The Running Mare to Squires in Long Ditton (8.15 miles)

Detail of the afternoon ride on OS 1:25,000 showing the excursion down Bridle Lane

Detail of the three off-road paths around West Horsley on OS 1:25,000

A Group 31st July

A bit of a change from Ray today - the A Group off road!  Most came prepared, as there was a collection of sturdy bikes at elevenses, and everyone seemed to enjoy the novelty.

25.1 miles from elevenses in Dorking to tea at Bike Beans, Ashstead; with lunch at the Black Swan, Ockham.  A bit slower than usual, due to the surface of the tracks, but fast enough for most.

A good day out.


Tuesday, July 30, 2013

SCC Leatherhead Ashtead cycle path consultation

SCC have secured £600,000 to improve cycling between Leatherhead and Ashtead. The proposals are online for comment and I would encourage those of you who use the route regularly to do so. The plan is to put a path along the A24 but there are some "uncertainties" about the two most difficult areas... crossing the Leatherhead bypass ( where a Toucan crossing is proposed but not certain) and the stretch past the Shell garage to Woodfield Lane in Ashtead where the plan does not match the words that go with it.

There is a countercurrent of thinking in Ashtead suggesting improvements to the Ottways Lane/Linden Pit Path route that most of us use from time to time but the difficulties of traffic segregation and parking in Ottways Lane make this difficult to meet the criteria. However I'm sure we will all continue to use this if they dont get the A24 proposal right.

The details and questionnaire can be found at:

Have a look and have your say. Otherwise don't moan afterwards!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

A ride 31st July

For those with access to blogs, this is about the 'A' group ride I am taking on 31st July from Dorking. The route will be via Blagdon Hill To Polesden Lacey then off road climbing to Ranmore Common then descending down to East Horsley along the A246 to West Horsley and via Lanes to the Black Swan for lunch at Ockham. Tea at Ashstead (Bike Beans) going via Downside, Fetcham, Leatherhead, and Lower Ashstead.
Those wishing not to do rough stuff to Ranmore Common should be able to rejoin by road.


Friday, July 26, 2013

Easy Riders - 24th July (maps)

Lynda's ride from Shepperton Greeno to the Swan in Thames Ditton for lunch and then to tea at Ewell Court.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

A Group 24 July

Ride Report
Shepperton to Hedgerley

First the accident:

Shortly after turning left off Staines Road into Windsor road, I hear an insistent beep...beep...beep from behind the group. Eventually, I pull over to let the impatient twot past. Nice lady informs me that guy riding near the back has "...collapsed...". Use of horn had been to attract our attention.

Ride back, to find numerous vehicles stopped, a bloodied Peter in the recovery position with 2 members of the public (passing drivers) tending to him, one turns out to be a local GP. Looks to have nasty head injury with copious quantities of blood. One driver has already phoned 999 and ambulance is on its way. Mini bus driver produces bumper medical kit, which GP puts to good use. Other driver is directing traffic around the incident. All passing drivers negotiate the incident with due care and no complaint. Mini bus driver produces box of choc-ices and hands them round. Lady whose house we are outside, offers to take Pete's bike in for safe keeping and drive it round to his house later in the day. Shop keepers etc come out offering assistance.

Ambulance arrives, by which time Peter is compos mentis enough to walk into the ambulance, carted off to hospital. 

Cause? Front quick release was not done up tight enough. When wheel hit road hump it twisted out of the fork, jammed against the brake, stopped instantly and ejected Peter over the bars, ejector seat like, and he landed on the road head first. Bike is classic steel frame/fork, predating lawyers lips.

Be careful out there folks, and don't forget those pre ride safety checks we all know about but rarely do.....

Response of all the drivers helping or passing with care was exemplary.

Now the ride itself....

Plan had been for a modestly paced ride out to Burnham  Beeches, a stroll in the woods and a visit to the White Horse at Hedgerley. The above detailed delays made rather a mess of that schedule, so it was hammer down, and a fast paced ride out over flat roads then a leisurely pootle through the Beeches with a brief photo stop. I swear there is not a more beautiful place in the world than The Beeches on a day like yesterday: dappled sunshine playing on the road and, apart from a group of wheezing old gits on bikes, total silence.

The two great things about the White Horse are its great selection of real ales, all gravity fed direct from the cask with no bar, but service trough a hatch into the "cellar", plus it serves good wholesome, home made and well priced grub. Only down side is the distance.....

While there, we chatted to a group of Uxbridge CTC midweek riders.

Back to the Walled Garden at Sunbury for Tea - again hammer down because of timings, but being a small group of 6 we were able to keep a tight formation and benefit from drafting.

73 miles door to door for me.

Paul Kelly

Royal Baby Celebrations in Brookham

24 July 2013 - As seen in Brookham:

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

B Group - 24th July

Yesterday's ride was a conglomeration of ideas which was helped by talking to Gill and riding with Irene t'other Saturday!   After going over the route last week I realised the mileage was more than B group normally do but hoped that all would be up for it and it was great - 23 of us left Shepperton just after 11am - well done all - thank you! 

We took off through the High St., left at the lights to Laleham and there we picked up the tow-path to Llamas Park.  Onwards to Wraysbury, left to Horton, where we passed A group, obviously with a problem but all appeared to be under control so we kept going.  Did not wish to complicate matters, albeit we were all concerned.

After passing through Datchet we took the left towards Eton but turned right 'en-route' to the Jubilee River at a cycle sign depicting route 61. The Jubilee river was built to alleviate the flood risk to Maidenhead, Bray and Windsor but it has proved to be a failure after its opening in 2002, and it cost millions!!  (Google Jubilee river if interested)! 

I took advantage of a convenient drive to gather the troops and it was here that Irene told us that Bob Mc's chain had broken.   His mate John, Bob S and Pete B stayed with him and they cycled to Windsor for their lunch as they did not know our route, but Irene was told to carry on! Irene also said that John B and Ken W had left us earlier.

The surface of the Jubilee is hard and no problem to cycle.   The dust had lain after the previous days/nights rain- and no large puddles/pools of water!   Some people were a little flummoxed by the metal up/down steps, necessary to prevent access to certain vehicles! Sorry about that!   Five miles on we  joined the A4 and it was a short ride to The Thames Hotel on the Cookham road. 

What incredible service and the staff were so pleasant.  23 meals to prepare and I'm sure nobody waited longer than 20mins or so....apart from Vic as unfortunately they got his order wrong!!   The beer was very good too!!

Our return was via Bray, a short stretch along the M4 (alongside it-actually!!), on to Dorney, right towards the river at Eton Wick, and here we used the tow path towards Windsor.  We left the tow path to pick up route 4 along Vansittart Road and into Windsor Great Park at Cambourne Gate.  Past the long walk to exit at Bishopsgate, down Tite Hill, through Egham and Thorpe to Chertsey Bridge to reach Shepperton Lock at 4.50 for tea.   WOW..we made it before 5pm!!

Whilst cycling through Thorpe I had a hunch that we would not make the lock before closing time so I asked Vic if he would go on ahead to let the ladies know we were on our way-cheers Vic.   Luckily, the ladies had told us last week that they would not mind serving a group so near their closing time of 5pm.

What a day - it was great!    My thanks to Irene and Gill for back marking, Carolyn for middle marking, Vic for rushing off to the lock and every body who was out and hopefully enjoyed the day, also, my thanks to Tim for maps and blogging this report.

- Cheers, Pam :)

Maps for Pam's very enjoyable ride to Maidenhead, 18.2 miles to Lunch and 22 miles to Tea:

The first and last bits

The bit in the middle
Maidenhead - Dorney - Eton Wick on OS 1:25,000

Pete Betts

I've just spoken to Pete, who is home safe, and fairly well.  Cuts, grazes and loss of skin, but he'll mend soon enough.

He expresses his thanks to the Great British Public, who really stepped up to help him in his hour of need.  A lot of people did just what was necessary, at exactly the right time.

Get well soon, Pete.


A Group 24th July

A very enjoyable ride from Paul today.  A decent distance - 46.1 miles from elevenses at Shepperton to tea at the Walled Garden, Sunbury; a good pace - 14.3 mph; and a good lunch at the White Horse, Hedgerley.  Even the weather smiled on us, sunny but not too hot, which makes a change.

Unfortunately, our day was marred by Pete Betts taking a tumble at a speed bump.  With great help and goodwill from passers-by he was efficiently collected by an ambulance and taken to St Peter's Hospital.

I'll put a note on the blog when I have more news.


Monday, July 22, 2013

a message from Ian

Thanks to everyone who came. Sorry about disorganisation due partly to a car breakdown causing my late arrival and hence no time to set the hall up as planned. I suppose something was bound to go wrong!
For those who Broke the "Appleton Laws" and did send a card Thank you

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Tour de France for female professional cycling teams

Please use the link below to sign a petition to "Allow female professional cycling teams to race the Tour de France".

The petition has already been signed by:
Emma Pooley, GBR Olympian & World Champion Cyclist
Kathryn Bertine, SKN National Champion Cyclist and Filmmaker
Marianne Vos, NED World and Olympic Champion Cyclist
Chrissie Wellington, GBR World Ironman Triathlon Champion

LINK: Petition in English.

 Petition in French:équipes-féminines-de-cyclisme?share_id=jitaCizvTT&utm_campaign=signature_receipt&utm_medium=email&utm_source=share_petition

Please add your signature to the 59,000+ supporters who have already signed.

Thanks - Merci !  Françoise

Thursday, July 18, 2013

A Group ride 24 July - taster

I'll be leading, and survivors from my last ride will be pleased to know that this one will be all on tarmac! (apart from a quarter mile stretch to avoid a busy dual carriageway.

Lunch is 24 miles and the weather will be hot hot, so I'd like a prompt start so that we can keep the pace down. Plus there is a scenic patch mid ride that demands a stop!

Total ride:
46 Miles Shepperton to Sunbury. 1200ft climbing
Lunch @ Hedgerley

Paul Kelly

B Ride 17 July 2013

About 20 of us set out from Kingston, ("about" because each time I counted I got a different answer). Tony H led us to Kingston Gate of Richmond Park. Seen on the way, two wonderful shire horses:

We crossed the A3 and then across Wimbledon Common, parts of which were really hard work, a mixture of sand and loose gravel.The shade was nice though. Then a slightly complcated route through Wimbledon. I'm not sure at what point the numbers reduced but only 16 made it to lunch. It proved rather difficult to keep the group together, with so many people and so many traffic lights, often we had to stop because the group was split. We lost a couple on the way but they made it through their native good sense. 14 of the 16 were: Anna, Ed, Françoise, Frank, Lynda, Gillian, Ian, Pete C, Pete ?, Ray, Robin, Sandy, Tim and me.

Since it was the hottest day of the year it was good to be able to cool down in the pool. In several places in London it reached 32 degrees. (Françoise took some photos which I hope she'll put on the blog).

We set off again just before 3.00:

We went though Crystal Palace Park and Sydenham Woods (a fragment of the Great North Wood which was a natural oak forest that covered most of the area of raised ground starting some four miles (6 km) south of central London, covering the Sydenham Ridge and the southern reaches of the River Effra and its tributaries. At its full extent, the wood's boundaries stretched almost as far as Croydon and as far north as Camberwell).

We joined the river at Battersea Park and followed it as far as Wandsworth Bridge, on the way:

We had tea at Fulham Palace, which is really rather super. It's astonishing how much wealth the church had. The Manor of Fulham was bought by Waldhere, the Bishop of London, from Tyrhtilus, the Bishop of Hereford, about 700AD. The Manor covered the whole of what is now Hammersmith and Fulham, Ealing, Acton and Finchley. The Bishops owned other manors in Middlesex, Essex and Hertfordshire.Fulham Palace was one of several bishop’s palaces within easy reach of London, essential for attendance at court and Parliament, but away from the over-crowded city. In the 16th century there were 177 homes for 21 bishops, now there are 43 for 42.

By the time I got home I'd done 45 miles from North Cheam and I guess others had done a similar distance.

Message from Gill regarding provision for cyclists around the new Walton Bridge

Surrey County Council is seeking input on developing cycle paths linking Walton Bridge to Walton Town Centre and the Elmbridge Leisure Centre on the Walton side, and to Upper Halliford on the other side.  Apparently they have secured some money to do this.  (The bridge is NOT under discussion.)  Please go to their website for more information: where there is an on-line questionnaire.

Alternatively there will be EXHIBITIONS at WALTON LIBRARY on Friday, 26th July from 9-5p.m. and Saturday, 27th July from 9-4.30p.m.; at SHEPPERTON LIBRARY on Saturday, 3rd August from 9.30-1p.m.

Alternative B Group - 17th July, and advice from Pam regarding next Wednesday's ride

Just a few words from to-day's 'alternative' B riders.... please be prepared next week to leave Shepperton VERY SOON after 11am for today we cycled 40 miles from elevenses to tea at Shepperton Lock!   NOT hilly !!!

The photo of Gill, Carolyn, Liz, and her friend Kay and myself is at the pub in Maidenhead and the other one is at the Lock with two young Welsh lasses who left Cardiff on Monday to cycle Sustrans route four. They joined up with us en route in the afternoon and they were most grateful that they were able to cycle with us as it saved them from map reading etc...
See you all next week...Pam :)

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

"A"s Meeting of minds with East Sussex CTC

I can concur completely with Mark an excellent day out and a very convivial lunch with the bunch from East Sussex! Shy Esther can be seen in the middle though she declined to ride the bike today due to so many other commitments!
We had planned to go to Oaks Park for tea but the ice cream stop etc made it tricky to get there by 5pm closing time! Having shot down Farthing Down followed by John B I took a devious rout from Coulsdon following a Sutton Cycle route which took me over a railway footpath bridge and eventually down a long off-road route nettle bound to the spot Island at Oaks Park. Arriving at 4.56pm they said they were about to close so as with many of my rides with Mark I missed the afternoon tea and went to the Woolpack in Banstead for a pint. While there I saw Helina and others go by and as I was about to leave I'm sure I saw Rob's wife Ruth riding by on her bike. My mileage 56 but it seemed more like 86 in the heat but I enjoyed the hills and proved once again if only I could lose 2 stones I could fly like Contador!
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Wed 17th July

Easyriders - 17th July

A blistering day for a cool ride.  We headed through the market place and cut down to the riverside.  At Teddington Lock we crossed in order to enjoy the Twickenham riverside.  Here Fuzz's extensive knowledge came into play and we were guided to the gardens of York House to view the white bottoms of the water nymphs dangling in various poses from the greenery of a beautiful fountain, topped with charging horses with webbed hooves.  A fantastic spectacle in top grade Carrerra marble.   Photos to follow, when I can find the bit to download them...   Refreshed by viewing we proceeded up to Richmond and the usual route to Isleworth.  Lunch was enjoyed from the cool interior of the London Apprentice with a lovely view of the river.  Weather conditions gave Fuzz the excuse to enjoy two desserts instead of dinner.  As the majority of the party wanted to head towards Kew we set off resolutely through the afternoon heat, crossing the pleasant pastures of Syon House but thence main roads dominated until the greeny cool of Richmond Park allowed a little respite.  Three stopped for refreshments at the golf club before descending into Raynes Park and home.  Thanks to Judy, Norman, Fuzz, Brian, Roy, Ron and Ray. 

Easy Riders - 17th July (map)

Steph's route with the Easy Riders:

17th July - B Group (maps)

Sadly I'm not able to produce a map for the morning ride but after a refreshing swim, and dining very well chez Bernard, I was able to keep up and record the following for the ride from Bernard's house to Fulham Palace:

A Group 17th July

Four of us at North Cheam to start the day, through Ewell and up on to the Downs, with a brief chase to catch a chap who looked like Geoffrey but wasn't.  Then down Pebble Hill, through Leigh and up Norwood Hill, where we met the Ashstead contingent heading purposefully to elevenses.  As usual, we all missed the turn to Tesco's but soon sorted ourselves out and were ready for the eight item full English.  Well, actually, given the temperature, already high twenties, there were few takers for the full English today.

One by one the gang all turned up and we had a dozen cyclists heading East then South on our way to Horsted Keynes.  Simon was missed, but his blog was much appreciated. Enjoying the warmth, we rolled at pace through some very handsome countryside.  Discussing things later, we all agreed that a key attraction of  England in the heat is the corridors of dappled shade made by the trees.  It may be as warm as elsewhere, but cycling under the trees is always pleasant.

At Saints Hill we stopped briefly for a water break.  31.8°, which may be a Wayfarers record.  Setting a brisk pace past Stone Farm Mike had a Contador moment, but, reviewing the video, the Commisaires decided there was no dope involved.  Up again to Sharpthorne, and another water break, then a glorious cruise, slightly downhill and with wonderful views, to Horsted Keynes.  A short climb and we were at  the Green Man.

Our friends from the East Sussex CTC were already there, and we had a good chat and a jolly lunch whilst buttressing ourselves against the ever present risk of dehydration.  A group photo by Mike, and we were back on the road about 1415.

Taking the conditions into account we missed out a couple of solid hills on the way back (we can always go back in Winter), surmounted Turners Hill rather sweatily and then cruised down to Copthorne, where, by common accord, we stopped to buy ice-cream. Excellent.  Then a long, steady climb to Bletchingley, where members began to make their dispositions before the final band of hills.  Ray decided that he would head home past Fanny's, and Hans went with him; John was anxious to be at the Albert Hall by 1800 for tonight's Prom, so Mike went with him to set him on the right road.

That left eight of us going up Hilltop Lane and over Farthing Downs to Couldsdon where we had an excellent tea at Art Rebellion.

44.8 miles elevenses to tea, at a moving average of 13.5mph, which is very creditable for the hottest day of the year.  67.75 miles if you started from North Cheam.

A great day out with a great group of riders.


Tuesday, July 16, 2013

B Ride 17 July 2013

It's the swimming day tomorrow

Monday, July 15, 2013

Barn Dance - a reminder from Ian

BARN DANCE 19/07/2013


Christchurch Road
Epsom Surrey
KT19 8NE






Coast to Coast availability - Aug 29th

Patrick Ryan is organising  a C2C ride from Aug 29 - Sep 1. There are 6 places left. Please contact Patrick if you are interested. Brief details are as follows:
Thursday 29th August:   
·         Cycle from Ewell to Euston Station, about 15 miles,  Euston to Penrith,  £33.50 Advance Fare booking.
·         Coach from Penrith to first/second overnight stop at Greystoke provided by Peak Tours with baggage and bikes.
Friday 30th August:
·         Taken by coach to start at Workington – dip wheels in the Irish Sea.
·         Cycle through the lake district to Greystoke, 41 miles not too hilly.
·         Van follows to halfway with teas drinks and food and tools, spares and spare bikes in case of breakdown.
Saturday 31st August:
·         The big one over the Pennines, 49 miles, and it is a challenge climbing to 2000ft.
·         Van follows to halfway as before.        Stay over at Stanhope.
Sunday 1st September:
·         Mostly downhill or flat to Newcastle, 40 miles, lunch at the quayside Newcastle.
·         Cycle on to Tynemouth to dip wheels in the North Sea.
·         We are taken back to Newcastle station. Train to Kings Cross, £48.50 Advance Fare.
·         Get back to Ewell probably by minibus arriving 2050. Cost of minibus not known but will be given as soon as poss.
Price from Peak Tours is £325 sharing a room and £395 for a single room.  We will get a 10% discount (making a shared room £292.50 and a single room £355.50) if we get 10 or more people on the trip.
Trip price includes:
·         3 nights accommodation,   Breakfasts,   Lunch on 2 days.
·         minibus transfers,    Baggage transfer each day,   Breakdown/tea/bike van.
·         Maps and directions.  Garmin GPS files to upload to your Edge.
·         Other details on website
Anyone wanting to go, give me your name and contact details and then send your form with deposit direct to Peak Tours and mention SW London CTC. I will let you know about train times to  book.
Any questions, please let me know by email or telephone    
Patrick Ryan     Mob:    07811 302 196

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Next Wednesday's Ride

Next Wednesday I will be leading the ride to the Green Man at Horsted Keynes for our annual meeting with our friends from the East Sussex CTC.  We will start from North Cheam at 0900, elevenses at the cafe in Tesco's, Hookwood and expect to be at the Green Man about one o'clock.

The route back takes us over the Downs to Coulsdon, where there are good train connections for East Croydon and points North, then there is another short climb to the Oaks Park at Woodmansterne, where we shall take tea.  After tea I will be happy to lead those who want to Sutton, where there are good train connections to Wimbledon, Leatherhead and Central London.  So, although the route takes us a long way South, no-one should have any difficulty getting home in a reasonable time.

About seventy miles from North Cheam to tea, the pace will be set to suit the group.  No-one need fear being dropped.


Friday, July 12, 2013

Simon's East Coast trip.

I'm currently cycling up the east coast -tonight I'm in Walton-on-the-Naze and can recommend The Victory pub.  If you want to know more, I'm writing a blog at
Back in a couple of weeks.


Sou' Westers at the Dieppe Raid 2013

Link to photo website

B Group - 10th July

A very large number of us set off from Leatherhead in Wednesday's sunshine. At around 29 this was the biggest group since Robin's ride to Windsor some weeks ago and I felt a certain apprehension about towing such a long train over the 2 hour route I had planned. David kindly allowed himself to be press-ganged into the role of back marker and sadly he became the first casualty of the lack of communication between the engine and the caboose when, slowing down for riders ascending the rise up from Westhumble Station in Chapel Lane, he lost sight of the peloton which by now was chugging up Ranmore Common Lane. So David carried on up the steep slope in Chapel Lane and didn't rematerialise until we reached the Saddlers Arms.

After regrouping at the Denbies gate we cruised along the top, enjoying the scenery and the summer smells, eventually leading into Crocknorth Road and its steep descent. We remembered to take the sharp left turn into Green Dene which is a rather beautiful route though it would seem that I had lied to the few riders who sought reassurance about the terrain in that lane.

I think this was the first regular ride with B Group for Paul and Maggie so I want to extend a big hearty welcome to them. I hope they haven't been discouraged by the severity of the hills we like to tackle on some rides. They were with us in Dieppe so I don't imagine they will be.

Along Combe Lane we reached the top of Staple Lane and from there it was downhill all the way to lunch in Send Marsh. After the numerous times we have ridden up Staple Lane I have often imagined leading a ride down it and I like to believe that by the time we reached East Clandon most people had forgiven me for hauling them up onto Ranmore Common.

The appalling road surfaces in parts of Ripley Lane and Hungry Hill Lane left us rather shaken but we were soon enjoying lunch outside The Saddlers Arms. The folk who run the pub made us feel very welcome and given how very numerous we were they coped very well and bustled around making and serving our lunches until everybody had one. For a few this involved a bit of a wait but this was understandable. Good food I thought; I hope we all enjoyed it.

I was obliged to leave the ride after lunch and I am writing this in a hotel room in South Wales. When I return and find out how the afternoon ride went I will add another paragraph or two.

For the afternoon ride I struggled to devise a route which would offer as much fun as the morning ride. Having set in my mind the idea of Tea at Squires in Stoke d'Abernon I considered how to pad the ride out to the expected 13 or so miles. Fortunately I was not around to deal with the fallout and David kindly led the group the long way to Ripley, followed by the long haul down Rose Lane to West Horsley then a change of tack up to Effingham Junction via The Drift then SE down to Effingham and past the Vineries. Some people evidently realised that something weird was going on and bolted for home from Effingham Junction when common sense over-ruled the desire for tea and cake.

But I understand that a tearaway group, entering more fully into the spirit of all this meandering, decided to extend the route from the original plan by an extra mile, veering into Fetcham to achieve this. I gather that a good afternoon tea was enjoyed at Squires by what was still a large number of people.

Many thanks to David, who did the recce with me on Monday, rode as backmarker in the morning, then led the ride during the afternoon, armed with the confusing pile of information I had given him. Thanks to Terry who was back marker in the afternoon. Thanks to Bernard too for publishing some photos. Thanks to everyone who came for the ride and contributed to the enjoyment of the day out in the sunshine.

Lunch at Saddlers Arms, Ripley

 Asymmetrical Pam with symmetrical colleagues!

 The Saddlers Arms at Ripley, our lunch spot

Thursday, July 11, 2013

A Group - 10th July

A Monday reading of the blog may have solved last week's Case Of The Missing Peleton / Lanterne Rouge (two King's Heads in Guildford) but it meant major surgery for my intended route to avoid repetition.

In the continuing good weather, fifteen A's set forth from Leatherhead; the Lower Road got us to Effingham where we turned up White Down. A reverse Hilly 50 left us close to Peaslake where I failed to make contact with the pub (no signal). So we pressed on up to Pitch Hill, then along the ridge to Winterfold and down to Smithwood Common. We reached the B2128 with time to spare so I tossed in two more lanes (Upper House Lane, Stroud Lane) before stopping at the Bricklayers Arms in Shamley Green around 1245. Not many customers, definitely no cats! Well guarded by a panoply of umbrellas we dined alfresco.

One short for the return, we took the back lane, crossed over the B2128 to tackle the undulations to Blackheath and the plunge to Chilworth. One Tree Hill was the last major climb of the day before Merrow backstreets threaded a route to the A3 cyclepath. A final round of drinks and several comments on nettles at Ockham Bites. Around 35 miles from 11s to tea.

Easy Riders 10 July

C Group - Easy Riders - 10th July 2013

Having swapped leadership for the day with Lynda, I led a small select group of Easy Riders from Leatherhead.  It was good to see Fuzz and Mark Roy on their bikes again as well as Ron and a few new (to me) faces. Ten of us set out but two dropped out on the way to make their ways home for other appointments.  We made for the Kingston Road via the Leatherhead one way system, the cycle track by the station, and finally getting to ride alongside the main road to Kingston.  It was with some relief that we were able to turn on to the bridleway across the the north side of Epsom Common.  It was pleasant cycling through the woodland, and past the peaceful Stew Pond where several anglers were basking in the sunshine.  Soon we were out of the woods, the sandwich eaters went into the church grounds for their picnic, and the rest of us made for "The Cricketers" at Stamford Green.  Two of our number decided to go home for lunch, so just four of us ate in the pub garden.  After lunch Ron kindly agreed to lead the small number remaining back towards Ewell allowing yours truly to head for home in the opposite direction.
Mike Withers 

Easy Riders - 10th July (map)

Mike's route from Leatherhead:

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Sou'Wester Editor in USA

Your Sou'Wester  Editor is currently in the US and was hoping that the wonders of modern technology would allow him to continue his Sou'Westerly duties whilst away from home - but has found that all is not as it is cracked up to be.

The chore has now fallen on the shoulders of Mike Morley, who is requesting urgent submissions of copy for the edition; and - also due to the wonders of modern technology - has been failing dismally in managing to write his own post here...

So, if anyone has anything for the Sou'Wester please contact Mike asap - we don't want him having to resort to drastic measures, now, do we? ;)


Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Wednesday 17 July

Tomorrow week is our annual swimming day. Usual arrangements ie meet at Kingston, Lunch provided and a swim (optional!). Please bring your own swimmers but I have plenty of towels. Weather seems to be set fair!

Sunday, July 07, 2013

B Ride 3 July 2013

 Happy anniversary!

The group and the lunch pub

Thursday, July 04, 2013

B ride - 3rd July 2013


I had originally planned to go to the Little Park Hatch in Cranleigh, the largest village in England. When does a village become a town? You may ask.  “Leigh” is the Anglo-Saxon word for a “clearing in a forest”. “People who like this sort of thing will find this sort of thing they like” as Abe Lincoln allegedly said. However after a reccie on Sunday, I realized that the standard of food had dropped considerably since our last visit with the Cheam & Morden a few years ago and the garden which was then full with families enjoying their Sunday roast, was empty in spite of the sunny afternoon.

I therefore resorted to Plan B which was a visit to the Bull's Head in Ewhurst and a 6-mile shorter ride. 14 of us promptly left Cobham and headed to Hungryhill Lane, via Plough Lane and East Clandon. We then climbed Staple Lane to reach the picturesque village of Shere. We then proceeded straight up from Shere on the long  (some thought tiresome whilst others enjoyed the shade) climb of Hound House Road before dropping down to Ewhurst. Whilst two cyclists had to return straight away, 12 of us had lunch which was served by pleasant staff, even though they had no forewarning of our arrival. The food was of a good standard, served pipping hot and a choice of beers was on offer. “Senior” main courses are available – a slightly smaller portion, costing little more than a sandwich in other places.

Suitably rested, I led the group back by a flatter route via Ockley Road to Capel, Henfold and the usual route to Denbies where 10 of us enjoyed a "discounted" tea, although the Duty Manager of the day claimed no knowledge of the agreement for group cyclists.
Discombobulations: chain jumping in mid-climbs and a broken spoke, but nothing serious.
A total of 32 miles from Cobham to Denbies and 60 miles door-to-door for F&F.


Click on the link to view Frank's ride in OpenRunner: 


A group - 3 July

Cobham - Guildford - Walton

15 riders (including new member Peter Roberts - welcome Peter!) set off from Cobham under cloudy skies, and a few spots of rain which never came to anything.  We rode up to East Horsley where Paul punctured, but was quickly ready to go again.   Then up Chalk Lane and down Combe Lane to Shere, where we continued a gentle climb through leafy, well-surfaced lanes to Farley Heath and down to Shamley Green.   Turning north-west we rode through Wonersh and Shalford, then direct to the cobbles of Guildford High Street and a short ride to the King's Head.   We lost Vic at the bottom of the cobbles, maybe to the attractions of Wetherspoons or perhaps just having had enough experience of riding cobbles? 

Unfortunately we arrived at the same time as no less than three other parties of roughly equal size, but food was served quickly, except for a couple of inexplicably late meals that meant we were an hour and a half in the pub courtyard, with a glimpse of sun every now and again - a very pleasant way to while away the time.   It was good to be in a busy pub too.

New member Peter 3rd from right.
For the return journey I decided to return north of the North Downs, which meant a tricky mile or two heading out of Guildford on the busy Woking Road, but all negotiated this with seeming ease, and we grazed the south of Woking to head to Pyrford on more familiar territory.   Along the Wey Navigation to get to Byfleet, and then towards the Brooklands Museum and the Mercedes-Benz Experience, where we were entertained by a car on the skid pan on the old runway.  Passing round the back of the buildings we got chance to see part of the old Brooklands racing track close-up before a track took us up to Weybridge Station, and down to Walton.  

Having taken rather more time than planned in the pub, we were unlikely to be popular turning up 10 minutes before closing at the Arts Centre café in Walton, so we stopped for tea by the nearly-open Walton Bridge, to the gentle sounds of cranes and other heavy machinery.   Well, it will be good when it's finished (later this month I believe).

Wednesday, July 03, 2013

A Group 3rd July

Today, Simon led us by an agreeably undulating route to the Kings Head at Guildford, where we ate well in the courtyard.  34.8 miles from elevenses at Cobham to tea by the new bridge at Walton.   Rolling average 12.6 mph, pretty good taking some off-road mileage in to account.

Summer temperatures but not much sun.