Stephan Langton, Archbishop of Canterbury during the reign of King John, was a significant player in the events leading up to the signing of the Magna Carta.
Ian Williamson wasn’t able to stay for lunch but John materialised soon after we sat down. The Stephan Langton has a menu well suited to hungry cyclists and walkers, hearty soups and rather large jacket potatoes with an assortment of toppings. We were made to feel welcome, were served attentively, and ate well. The atmosphere in the pub is good and was enhanced by the sun coming out during lunch.
With a captive audience, Pam saw a business opportunity and did a great trade in taking orders and deposits for Sou’Westers cycling attire, having recently taken over in this rôle from Cliff. She was almost too busy to eat!
In the beautiful afternoon light we wove our way through the trees of Noons Copse, up some steep little climbs and down Sheephouse Lane where the steep banks and moss covered roots almost touched our shoulders. At Sheephouse Green, Peter Tiller took an opportunity to leave the ride to visit his sister.
After a fast spurt along 700 metres of the A25 we took refuge once again on our favourite back route into Dorking, Balchins Lane and the cycle path via Milton Court.
At Burford Bridge several carried on home via Leatherhead while the rest of us rode up the Zig Zag, including Ed who feared that if he went with the others they might not be stopping for a cuppa. Eight of us made it to the Grey Dove in Walton-on-the-Hill. Our group included Terry who clocked up an extra 16 or so miles by not going home when we passed through Dorking.
This café is one which I have wanted to visit as it is evidently a popular haunt for cyclists. Their cakes and pastries are home baked and the coffee was very good too. Mike Morley was recently struck down by a dreadful lurgy and had to stay in hospital but, although still feeling very weak, he was able to walk around the corner from his home to join us for Tea. And Brian popped in too, on the way home from Tea at Fanny’s Farm after leading A Group down to Copthorne.
Despite my apprehensions about the terrain, everyone, including some who are often wary about my choice of route, enjoyed the day, a feeling greatly magnified by not getting wet and by riding under a blue sky for much of the afternoon.
We were honoured to have our Chairman, Dave, with his fast A-Group legs, out with B Group. Although quite a challenging ride we had a marvellous day, quite a contrast to our recce when the weather was foul. Thanks to everyone for their good company and especially to David Cox for riding as back marker.