Thursday, July 30, 2015

Free Maps

Surrey Cycle Guides nos 1-8 have been updated and are now clearer than before. They are available from libraries and, I believe, other sources. There is the same cover picture on all - the cycling statue at Denbies roundabout, AND THEY ARE FREE.


B Group 

Wednesday 29th July

Thanks to Tim for the maps and photos and also for “escorting” Pam to lunch after her puncture even though they took the extension!

Like the A’s we weaved our way through the lanes SE of Dorking. In fact the A’s passed us while we waiting for back markers which caused confusion with one motorist who thought we were cycling 4 abreast – it was probably just the A’s passing the B’s. Toni dealt with her woman to woman – in my view the best way.

Dorking for some is quite a trek and the thought of a further 17 miles to lunch was just too much. We saw Liz and Gill outside the pub in Leigh but we declined their invitation as we were at that moment closing in on our chosen destination – The Black Horse close to Reigate Heath.

At the pub, who were very good with service and the quality of food and beer, we were joined by Tim, Pam and Ian and to my surprise Peter C and another. I think they had gone out in front and missed my left turn off-road through Beggarshouse Lane where Ed rode into a hedge but came through the experience OK.

After lunch it was back to the outskirts of Dorking via Betchworth, Brockham, across the Golf Course and Pixham Lane. Tea was taken at Annie’s (just in time).

Another good day out with the B’s.

Peter T

B Group - 29th July

Maps and photos for Peter T's ride to Reigate

The dotted line shows the route taken by Pam's puncture party while
the main group took a short cut through Beggarshouse Lane

29 July - A Group

Dorking - Bletchingley - Oaks Park

Who is missing?

29 July A Group: Dorking to Bletchingly

Good turnout of 16 for today's ride.

From Dorking out over Punchbowl Lane, Then into the lanes of Flatland. Lunch was a scant 10 miles due East @ Bletchingly, but a meandering route that spent more time going North or South West than it did East took us through Leigh and eventually turned east @ Newdigate thence to Horley and a pleasant almost traffic free route through Horley - though the road humps did add significantly to the days total climbing! - North from Smallfield brought the first of the days climbing up to Outwood.

Then down and up again brought us to the Whyte Harte @ Bletchingly - a pub often cycled past but not before visited by most of us. Good food and beer - inside, to avoid the attentions of marauding wasps.

Thence, via Springbottom and Hilltop Lanes to Farting Down and on to the final climb up from Coulsdon to Wodmansterne for Tea at the Oaks Park.

Now a few days rest before the Pru100 on Sunday.


Wednesday, July 29, 2015

A Group 29th July

A pleasant and easy ride from Paul today, welcomed by racers and invalids alike.  38 miles from elevenses at Dorking to tea at The Oaks, lunch being taken at the Whyte Harte, Bletchingley.

Best wishes to all riders on Sunday!


Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Easy Riders 22nd July

I led from North Cheam towards Tolworth, Long Ditton and Summer Road into Molesley. At Walton we turned right passing the Day Centre to the river.   Along the towpath to Shepperton, we came up by the bridge and made our way over the road to the Day Centre. 

After coffee, we went left on our way to Lower Sunbury.  Left again, into Hampton, where we took the alley by the side of the Lido which leads into Bushey Park.  Passed the Pheasantry and out to Teddington.  Down the High St., a right bend to Tied End Cottage.  It is now open after being repainted.  We had  lunch outside on the verranda.  We then went over the blue bridge on the tow path to Kingston.  Liz then led towards Berrylands and Tolworth so we could put Mark R. s get well card in his letterbox.  I had a text from Mark at the weekend, saying he had his op of putting a stent in; and now needs a couple of weeks to rest and get well.   Four of us then went on to tea and cake at Ewell Crt park.


Monday, July 27, 2015

Midweek Wayfarers CTC: Prudential Ride London-Surrey 100

I'm riding for St Raphaels Hospice, again - start 7.48am (Yellow Zone, Wave F). 7 hours+ for me!

Ged Lawrenson
I think the Sky team were pleased with the result of the TdF!

A Group Dorking 29 July

Out of deference to those of us doing the Pru100 at the weekend, this will be a modest ride.

27 very flat miles (with a slight kicker at the end) to Bletchingly for lunch. with a scant 10 miles to tea at the Oaks Park, with only a little matter of  Farthing Down to deal with on the way. 37 miles total. <2000feet

To keep the speed to lunch modest, I'd like a prompt start at 11 please.

Paul K

Prudential Ride London-Surrey 100

Here's the list of Wayfarers and Friends who are riding next Sunday.  I'm out, for medical reasons, so I'll be cheering at the roadside.  These are the ones I've got - it's not too late for an update if you want to send me one.

                                         Rider              Number               Start Time

                                        Geoff G              5653                       0745
                                        Janice D             9620                       0733
                                        Gill H                 23152                     0748
                                        Mark G              52904                      tbd
                                        Paul K               39947                      0720
                                        Vicky K              2780                       0750
                                        Ged L                  tbd                         0748
                                        Dave V              25205                      0848

Most of us can expect a time in the 6-7 hours bracket, end to end, so you can calculate the offset of your rider from the start time using this as as guide.  Spotting your rider is quite another matter - there will be about 35,000 bikes this year.  But they may well spot you, which is the encouragement they will be looking for.

Best of luck to all riders, sorry I won't be there this year.


Saturday, July 25, 2015

Advance warning - Brockham roadworks

A leaflet on the table at the Strood Green cafe advised that Surrey CC are to resurface the road through Brockham from the A25 to the junction with Bunce Green Road. This will take from Aug 7 to Sept 11 and closures / diversions can be expected though the details will only be available nearer the time on:

Under the "Middle Street resurfacing " heading.

Leaders please take note. The works are Mon-Fri 7am to 5pm so the C&M should not be affected.

Friday, July 24, 2015

A Group, 22 July - Laid low by venom

Vespula Germanica
Yet another reason to vote 'no' in the forthcoming referendum!  I was greatly looking forward to Simon's bountiful ride to Bourne End on 22 July - as gently undulating a riverside ride as Paul might ever wish for on a balmy summer's day. The Leader, like the customer, is of course 'always right'. I might have been able to freewheel along the banks of the River Thames, without having at any time to pedal in earnest, were it not for the malice of an  EU immigrant from Germany.

Midnight on Sunday was pencilled in the diary for the extermination of a pulsating wasp nest under the front tiles of the house. As the last chime faded into the late evening air, I mounted the ladder, armed with Bendiocarb. However, the nest was still active, with highly trained and heavily armed guards patrolling the entrance. Within seconds they struck, wounding me in the foot. Outgunned, I had to retreat before I could release my weapon of mass destruction. These were no common or garden wasps.

The next day my foot looked more like the suppurating red bladder of a football and gradually got worse. I called in the SAS, who came fully armed and in full protective gear. The invaders were identified as a particularly aggressive German wasp, vespula germanica. Soon they were blasted out of existence, despite the howls of protest from the environmental lobby. As for the wound, it did not qualify for care by 'General Practice'. A kindly local pharmacist took pity and treated me with sympathy and antihistamines.

Unfortunately, pedalling more than a short distance was not an option, so Simon's gentle jaunt was sacrificed. The swollen foot might simply have exploded and given cause for reprimand as 'disgraceful ride conduct'. The wound is now healing. I do hope that the lip of my comrade in arms Tony does not follow the same course. Perhaps it was not a German wasp.


Thursday, July 23, 2015

Wasp sting on the lower lip had many a lunch time chuckle!

A group 22 July: Shepperton - Bourne End - Laleham

We had a return to more usual numbers in the A group today with 15 turning out at Shepperton.  Maybe now the school holidays are starting, we have all finished or suspended our trips away?   A prompt 11.05 start (thank you all) was followed by what seemed a flowing ride through Chertsey, Virginia Water, Egham, Windsor Great Park, round the peanut roundabout, down Drift Lane to Fifield and through Bray to Maidenhead, where we picked up Mark, who is recovering from the recent loss of his appendix and was probably attracted to this ride as it was advertised as "almost all downhill".  Well - maybe not, but it was nice to see him anyway.  We headed up past Boulter's Lock and Cookham to Bourne End Station where we had to carry the bikes across the bridge to The Bounty, a pub without any road access which was introduced to us by Jeff a couple of years ago.

Somewhere along the way Tony tried to eat a wasp, which led him being stung on his lip.  By the time we reached the pub, it had swollen up to equally worrying and comical proportions.   (The lip, not the wasp.)    An anti-histamine seemed to stop it getting worse luckily.  Speaking of wasps, Jeff couldn't be with us due to a recent altercation with another wasp of dubious nationality, which has led to an infected wound on his Achilles tendon and having to brave his local GP again, which seems to involve a very long wait for an appointment.   The wasp was thought to be from inside the EU so it had the legal right to be here, but no passport was provided, and it was angry because Jeff was destroying its nest.  Jeff will no doubt explain all on his return: I just hope he doesn't provide photos as it all sounds rather nasty.

Anyway...  the Bounty.  It is an idiosyncratic pub right with a beer garden right on the Thames.  Beer is delivered by rowing boat.   On a sunny summer's day, it's an unforgettable place to while away a lunchtime watching the marine world go by.   Unfortunately, yesterday wasn't one of those days, being rather overcast.   We sat outside with several Grumpy Cows(*) until it started to rain, and then retreated into a handy marquee, where we were served quickly with generous portions of good food.  The rain had stopped by the time came to leave, so we were feeling quite pleased with ourselves as we headed back across the bridge.  Then it really rained - chucked it down - while we sheltered under the bridge or under trees, but not for long.  After 10 mins we were on the road again with only spits of rain to keep us cool as we headed to one of the short non-downhill sections, Hedsor Hill.  Mark left us at Cliveden to head back to Maidenhead: we were now back on the downhill track to Burnham, Dorney, and the great open plain of Eton Wick with the wind behind us, something which has never happened to me before.

Across the bridge for a close view of Windsor Castle before heading through the town and out through a rather busy Runnymede, making use of the new pedestrian island to turn right across the field to Egham, and via Staines to Notcutts at Laleham by 4pm.   45 miles and 1000 feet of ascent from elevenses to tea, not bad for almost all downhill.   Some will have managed approaching 75 miles by the time they got home.  Thank you to Mike Barrett and later to Colin who back-marked and kept the group intact.   Nice to be out with a good bunch of friends - thankyou all.  And we hope Mark, Jeff, and Tony have a speedy recovery.

* Grumpy Cow is a type of beer.   I expect you guessed.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

B Group - 22nd July

Just as we were about to ride away from the day centre Liz had to replace her chain - the only mechanical of the day - I'm pleased to say!  Straight out towards Chertsey, into Willow Walk and Colonel's Lane heading for the motorway bridge on the A320.   Right hand down - gently does it for it was a steep right hander onto Monk's Walk, just a dirt track to start with but soon becoming quite a hard surface - beware of tree roots!!   We were cycling between Thorpe Park and the Water ski centre towards the village of Thorpe.  Upon reaching the end of the path we had to clamber over a large paving slab and down two steps....I was helped by a young gentleman taking time out for a smoke and then of course we all helped each other!  I was concerned that the group would be up in arms but thankfully I did not hear any adverse comments!

We continued through the village, into Lyne Lane, Longcross Road, Accommodation Road to Stonehills Road.   A well known area for some....from here we headed for Burrowhill to turn left into Ford Road, a bridle path with a wee bridge over the Bourne to Pennypot Lane and into Lovelands Lane to cross the Ford...well...5 riders went through the ford..and didn't get tumbles!!!  A couple more turns and we were at Guildford Road which took us to the Garibaldi and lunch just after 1pm.

We were made most welcome by the staff and the tables had all been put together for us - but - only one person in the kitchen stretched our lunch stop to over an hour and a half and I felt bad for Andy had only just eaten his last mouthful as we prepared to leave!

In no time at all we were on the Basingstoke Canal - then the River Wey to New Haw.  Time was not on our side for I really would have preferred to get to Shepperton Lock or Squires at Halliford for tea;  instead, I chose to go  into Addlestone G.Centre.   As it was we were asked to move on at four thirty!!

Tim tells me that our distance to lunch was 16.5 miles and to tea only 9.8.  
Thank you all for being out yesterday - shame about the heavy shower in the afternoon!

Thank you very much to Irene for back marking, assisted by Terry and to others who stopped at the corners.

A most enjoyable day,

Pam :) :)  

Off road route from Chertsey to Thorpe

The blue line shows the Basingstoke Canal path

Monday, July 20, 2015

Next Wednesday's A ride

The A group will be heading to The Bounty at Bourne End on Wednesday - a lovely pub worth a few extra miles to get there.  A fairly flat route, in fact mostly downhill (ok - apart from a few short ups).  26 miles to lunch, 18 back to tea at Laleham, so please be ready to depart promptly at 11.05.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

B Group - 15th July (maps and photos)

Helene's ride around the parks and river paths...

Some of the diners at The Magpie
Thanks to the new entente-cordiale with Iran we found a friendly photographer to capture us all during Afternoon Tea at the Roehampton Café.

18.8 miles but only 4.25 miles as the crow flies

10.2 miles to the Roehampton Café

Easy Riders - 15th July

Claygate D.C. - Leatherhead Wetherspoons - Longmead D.C. 

Twelve left the day centre to cycle to Leatherhead via off road New Road (which was really dry), turning right on the B280 to ride through the Birds Hill Estate, over A244 to Blundel Lane, Stoke D’Abernon and on the A245 to  Leatherhead arriving at 12.20 pm.  We then lost Ian who was continuing to Dorking and picked up Frank who arrived same time.  Very good meal as usual and we were ready to leave at 1.30 pm so we could arrive at the Longmead D.C. before they closed.  We then continued via Linden Road, up and over A24 to Epsom Common where Liz stopped the group because a wee tortoise was walking across the path.  Magically enough she knew that a vets was just down the road; they said it looked about 1 year old and took it in. OUR GOOD DEED OF THE DAY,  thanks Liz.  Arriving at the D.C. at 2.30 pm we all enjoyed a nice cuppa. 

Lovely see Bernard out for the first time in ages.  Also Lynda reported that Mark Roy was waiting for a new stent to be fitted.  Best wishes to you Mark hope to see you soon. 

Thanks all for an enjoyable day, weather just perfect.


A Group July 15

Another day of absent friends. At 1040 there were only Jeff, Geoff and I at Hookwood but numbers finally climbed to six so we were outnumbered two to one by the E Sussex. Thanks to Mark for his gpx of previous runs which we followed out of Horley through Haroldslea Lane to Smallfield, then on to Bones Lane and the A22 to Felbridge. Here we nearly lost Jeff who had to be rescued from a headlong attempt to reach East Grinsted. At Weir Wood reservoir I abandoned tradition and turned left into Legsheath Road, scoring a couple of points by taking Jeff up a road previously untravelled which is quite hard to achieve. At Hindleap we turned right onto Twyford Lane descending through the woods to a ford and then on to Birchgrove and Horsted Keynes. I was later told of my near miss on the descent to the ford when a large deer emerged onto the lane behind me, of which I was blissfully unaware. After a pleasant and conversational lunch with the ESsx we returned via Sharpthorne to Turners Hill, Copthorne and Nutfield to make our way to Fanny's for tea. 42 miles from Hookwood at 13.5mph.

 Twyford Lane courtesy of Google Maps, and lunch at HK

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

A Group, 15 July, Meet with CTC E.Sussex

 Hookwood - Horsted Keynes - Fanny's 
 Emblem of The Club
 We were not deterred

 Some of our E. Sussex clubmates about to head south

Monday, July 13, 2015

Dieppe Raid and Gite holiday - 2015

On Thursday June 25 Liz, Pam, Tony, Colin, Tim and I caught the evening ferry from Newhaven, arriving latish in Dieppe. We rode round to La Plage where the ever-efficient Isabelle and daughter Camille were waiting for us.

After a leisurely breakfast (a little later than planned due to noisy gulls reducing hours of sleep for some) we headed eastish - it doesn’t matter which direction you leave Dieppe - it is UPHILL. Tim had planned a quiet route to 11s at Tourville-la-Chappelle. Soon we changed to Plan B to Criel-Plage where we found one restaurant which closed promptly despite having six customers at the door. However we dined very well across the road with huge salads various and croques messieurs for most. The return to Dieppe was via further peaceful roads passing a nuclear power station at Penly. After studying dinner menus at several restaurants we (Tony?) chose the one which offered rhum baba - a very good choice.

Saturday is market day in Dieppe - and what a market. It is well worth a visit - you don’t have to buy anything. After lunch (and another rhum baba for one of us) we split up and ‘did our own thing’ ensuring we arrived back in time for the Raid welcoming ceremony at 1700 where we met many other Sou’Westers and Raiders.

Sunday, after signing on, about a dozen of us set off on the 100k route - the same route as 2013. The route is well marked out on the road but we had two pre-programmed electronic gizmos (thanks, Tim), two maps and about twenty-four eyes (you can’t be too sure). There are usually about 250 English entries and about the same French but you see very few others on the road. The French name for the event is ‘Randonée des Trois Vallees’ but the ups and downs are easier than Surrey hills. Having covered most of the morning’s route we stopped for 11s at Les Grandes Ventes (the only opportunity), just up the road from a gite we used a few years ago. The route to lunch at St Aubin le Cauf included a few miles of an Avenue Verte, also being used by cycling families. After lunch there were a few longish climbs but well worth the effort for the views. It was wonderful to find the ‘usual’ bar open at Envermeu but surprisingly some rode by.

a celebratory drink in Dieppe
Having had an incident-free ride we arrived in Dieppe in good time for a celebratory drink before going to the prizegiving ceremony at which Pam won the award for Least Young Lady, Eric Ashford for Least Young Man and Sou’Westers for Largest Club entry. A very enjoyable day was rounded off with the traditional dinner at the Windsor Hotel.

Unfortunately Tony had had news from home and had to return Monday morning. After Isabelle supplied us with a generous picnic lunch we headed south using a different Avenue Verte to Offranville, a convenient spot for 11s. By choosing minor roads we saw very few vehicles, they gave us a wide berth, the road surfaces were good, the sun was shining - what more could a cyclist ask for? We ate at a restaurant mid-day, keeping Isabelle’s contribution for evening. The gite was at a tiny village called Villequier on the north bank of the Seine - an ideal location.

View along La Risle in Pont Audemer, by Liz
Chez nous in Villequier
Tuesday was another fine, sunny day. We started riding alongside the Seine to the nearest town, Caudebec-en-Caux, then headed south, crossing the river by the Pont de Brotonne, a high suspension bridge which had a lane for cyclists and slow moving vehicles. In Normandy there are several thatched houses - some of which have irises planted in the peak of the thatch to help anchor the thatching. The ride continued through the Forêt Domaniale de Brotonne to Bourneville then on to the picturesque old town Pont-Audemer for lunch. Continuing on minor roads to Quillebeuf-sur-Seine we crossed the river by one of the several free to all ferries and had good views of the local refinery. After briefly seeing the outskirts of Notre Dame de Gravenchon we were very pleased to find an open shop selling cold drinks, albeit only a few miles short of the gite.
Irises growing in the thatch


Wednesday proved to be the hottest day but it was quite pleasant riding alongside the Seine for some miles before having lunch at Lillebonne. The temperature decided the length of ride - we soon returned to Caudebec for refreshment where a nearby thermometer indicated 34C. Certainly the amber liquid available was more palatable than the lukewarm water in our bottles.

Heavy traffic at the bottom of our garden    
Thursday was much cooler riding alongside the Seine westwards but before catching another free ferry we had to don waterproofs. Fortunately there was a café just beyond the ferry and the rain had stopped by the time we emerged. We then rode mostly close to the south bank of the Seine to cross it at the Pont de Brotonne and have a late lunch at Caudebec.

Friday was a fine, dry day. Our ride took us east alongside the Seine before turning south east to Duclair for 11s. Continuing to ride near the river we arrived at the old  town Jumièges and its abbey. After a brief stop we had a short ride to another free ferry, after which we rode mostly alongside the Seine to our favourite Pont then returned to the gite. Despite looking all week we couldn’t find any hills comparable to Surrey’s. We then visited the Victor Hugo  Museum next door. In 1843 his daughter Léopoldine and son-in-law drowned nearby in the Seine.

Departure from our gite in Villequier
An early start was necessary on Saturday - we had about 45 miles to Dieppe by 1600. Fortunately the weather was good, we had a different return route rejoining the outgoing at Offranville. After a pleasant mostly downhill run on an Avenue Verte we were in Dieppe with plenty of time for a late lunch before catching the ferry. After disembarking we stayed at the Premier Inn, Newhaven.

Sunday morning started wet and didn’t stop raining until after 11s at Ditchling. Liz and Tim wanted to go to the Hampton Court flower show so caught a train from Lewes. Tony joined us for lunch at Pease Pottage (pub large, but well worth a visit) and we rode to Dorking where I stopped and the remainder made their own ways.

A very enjoyable trip, gite worth repeating, excellent company, thanks all.


More photos, from Terry:
from Pam:
from Tony:
from Tim:

A Group - Hookwood on Weds

Like a bad penny, it's me again on Weds. If you are not familiar with the Hookwood location it's the Tesco's just off the A217 north of Gatwick. Suggest you aim for 1030 arrival and 1100 departure. If anyone is going to N Cheam for a 9.00 start please let me know so that we can ensure that we dont have a situation where only those who dont know the way go to NC!!

Friday, July 10, 2015

Opportunity to promote the CTC and the activities of SWL

I've received this invitation which is for anyone in the club who would like to take part:

Hi Tim,

Really good to talk to you today about CTC’s involvement and opportunities at RideLondon this year on 1st August.

As it stands CTC has been allocated space at 6 locations in central London, where we have been given permission to run activations.

  •        Green Park
  •        St Pauls
  •        Guildhall Yard
  •        Leadenhall Market 
  •        Aldwych / Somerset House
  •        Lincoln Inn Fields
At each location we would like to give our local CTC groups an opportunity to promote themselves and their activities, with some branding materials and support from CTC HQ. We will also be running alongside this activation a basic Dr Bike service, which you may or may not wish to help support. Each location will have a gazebo, tables and chairs and access to facilities. 

We feel this is a wonderful opportunity to showcase the CTC local group’s contribution to cycling and the geographical spread of the national cycling charity and its members.

CTC would like to offer travel subsidy and lunch and refreshments to all that come along from your group to showcase your contribution to cycling. Each person will also receive a CTC t-shirt and other small cycling goodies.

The event will see 50,000+ cyclists take to the closed roads of central London on an 8 mile circuit taking in English heritage and well-known landmarks. Aimed at riders young and old, we hope that you will take up this opportunity to help us show what an outstanding cycling organisation CTC is and promote the brilliant work in cycling that our local groups do.

If you have any questions please contact me on 07824888020 or reply to this email.
I will give you a follow up call on Monday 13th July to find out if I can be of any further assistance and to ensure that we have the correct promotion materials for you.

I hope to hear back from you soon.

Kind regards,

Mark Slater

Thursday, July 09, 2015

A Group, 8 July 2015

Leatherhead - Leigh - Bike Beans

 They made Leight work of the hills

A Group - 8th July - Leatherhead - Leigh - Ashtead

When planning this ride I set out to find the quieter lanes closer to home rather than seeing how far from home we could get for lunch. Whilst doing so I noticed many roads I hadn't ridden and others where I had only ridden in one direction. So a sinuous route was devised that had lunch only seven miles from Leatherhead - but only for crows!

Twelve of us set off east from Leatherhead, up Headley Road, past Headley Court, and right along Slough Lane to reach the top of Lodge Bottom Road. I have cycled up this road many times but this was the first time I had been down. And what a delight it is. At the bottom in Mickleham it was pointed out to me that we had taken half an hour to get only two miles from the start but I knew that already!

Next we went through Westhumble along Chapel Lane and then left up Ranmore Common Road. At the top of the hill we met Tim and the B Group and despite the inter-mingling during the the breather nobody took the opportunity to switch groups. Another long down hill led us to the centre of Dorking to remind us why we don't like busy roads.

Leaving the High Street via Cotmandene, and a short length of the A24, we turned into Blackbrook Road  but soon turned left to head north on Punchbowl Lane. As we cycled along Tilehurst Lane the first heavy shower of the day arrived - some stopped for waterproofs while others pushed on over Root Hill hoping for the best. After regrouping at the left turn onto Brockhamhurst Road a loop around past Strood Green, Wellhouse Road and Tapner's Road brought us to The Plough at Leigh.

After ordering food and arranging re-hydration we rather hopefully sat outside around open tables. However a sudden shower left us rushing for other seats under the giant umbrellas. The food arrived promptly for most but there was no hurry to leave as we didn't have far to get home.

Quiet lanes like Gadbrook Road and Wheelers Lane brought us to Brockham where Jeff was last seen heading off-road while the rest of us took Old School Lane, Tilehurst Lane and Punchbowl Lane to avoid the A25.

One last hill was planned but some decided they had more pressing appointments. So a more select group was left to re-visit Chapel Lane, this time going straight on past the entrance to Polesden Lacey and down to Bookham.

Lower Road, the centre of Leatherhead and a quick blast down the A24 brought us to Bike Beans in time to see the last 48km of the Tour de France. Tea, coffee, cake and TdF biscuits were consumed but we thoughtfully left some for the B Group who turned up with tales of epic derring-do. Only 37 miles of roads for us.

Wednesday, July 08, 2015

B Group - 8th July

Twenty one left the Fairfield Centre at about 11:15 and took off down the cycle path towards Dorking. The main theme for the day’s ride, apart from lunch, was to be lots of off-road trails, mainly on the National Cycle Route 22. Our guest from A Group was Mick Furnival-Adams and from C Group was Brian Bent. Tim Gibbons came out with us on what was his third ride with the club and Andy brought a friend of his called Charles along to see if our sort of riding was for him. As a seasoned triathlete he experienced nothing outside his comfort zone during the day. I hope that both he and Tim will settle in with us for many rides in the future.

Before Denbies we turned right between the big stone posts at the beginning of this section of the North Downs Way which starts out as a nicely paved cycle way but soon degenerates into a rougher and steeper path. After the hard bit the path meets the paved route up from Denbies which Mick chose to explore, arriving at the intersection at the same time as the rest of us. We had to get off the route to let the Denbies ‘train’ pass and, thanks to all the gates being wide open, we soon arrived at the top of Ranmore Common Road to find A Group catching their breath.

We fast forwarded along the top of Ranmore Common Road and whizzed down the White Downs road until just past the bridge over the railway line. Then we turned West onto Route 22 through the Abinger Roughs, apparently passing close to a Memorial to the Bishop of Winchester who was thrown off his horse in 1873 and died from the accident.
Our route led on through the Broomy Downs to emerge on to Hackhurst Lane for a quick descent to Abinger Hammer.  We endured about 100 metres of the A25 before escaping into Felday Road then Horsham Road for nearly twenty minutes of easy and scenic touring to reach the Royal Oak at Holmbury St Mary. Peter C had missed my warning on the blog concerning the terrain and had found his own on-road route to lunch on his trusty red Peugeot and was waiting for us when we arrived. The pub now has new owners and has been spruced up. The new proprietor is Sue who some will know from the Crown in Capel. They reopened just a couple of weeks ago and, forewarned that we would be coming, she took on a brace of Traceys to help prepare and deliver our orders. With a couple of exceptions we were served very quickly. The food was good and I am happy to recommend the pub for future visits.
After lunch we turned into Pasture Wood Road which has a very steep section for about half a mile. This wasn’t at all welcome so soon after lunch but it brought us to Abinger Common and the pleasure of zooming quite quickly down Hollow Lane until the A25. Here we negotiated some 0.03 of a mile of this often busy road, regrouping on the bus stop before turning up West Lane towards Deerleap Wood, riding through the trees until we reached the point where we had turned onto Route 22 earlier in the day. Knowing that a ride up White Down would be unpopular we turned East onto a rather narrow section of Route 22 until Park Farm when the route becomes a fairly respectable access road for the farm and a few other residents.
We eventually reached Balchins Lane and turned off onto the cycle path towards Milton Court and Dorking. Here word reached the front that Toni Zoella had punctured and was being assisted by Terry and Brian. However they were happy for us to proceed to Tea while they dealt with the puncture. While we carried on to Bike Beans in Ashtead they decided to take Tea at Pilgrim Cycles in Westhumble.
Unfortunately I lost several people in Leatherhead, for which, humble apologies. A good number of us did arrive at Bike Beans for Tea however, although with last orders at 4:30 we had to get our orders in quickly. We also had to share the café with A Group who had arrived ahead of us and were ensconced in front of the telly watching the Tour de France.
Thanks to Terry for being back-marker and thank you everyone for the spirit in which you rode the rough stuff. Despite the intermittent rain, and the somewhat careless leadership through Leatherhead, it sounded as if everyone had a pretty good day.
~ Tim

We all stop so that Toni d'Italia can assess the weather
Ray looks bewildered after the Big Bike Beans Bird swoops down and eats his scone

Sunday, July 05, 2015

Mountain bike for sale

Specialized Rockhopper Mountain Bike £299

2012 Model – low mileage and in excellent condition
27 Gears - Front Suspension - Disc Brakes - 17 inch Frame
A donation of 10% of the sale price will be made to Rianna’s Fund

Contact - John Fenn     Mobile - 07903 944955
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