Monday, August 31, 2015

Wednesday's A ride

We have had several fairly flat rides recently.   I'm sure you are all keen to try out those climbing legs again, so we will be leaving Cobham promptly and heading south to the Scarlett Arms, Walliswood.   Back to tea at Pilgrim Cycles, Westhumble: 20 miles out, 13 back.   Should be a piece of cake, but I'm not saying what kind of cake.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

A Group Ride 26 August 2015

When I first recce’d a route from Weybridge to the Jack O’Newbery at Binfield in early August I envisioned an idyllic late summer day in the sun. As the date approached and the weather forecasts worsened I shortened the route to make it more wind and rain proof.
In the event no amount of rain proofing would have been enough on Wednesday. However the Weybridge-7 were highly motivated to take on anything that the Met Office severe weather warning could throw at us.
All went well if rather damply until Ascot Racecourse where without the benefit of trees to shelter us from wind and rain we were treated to a deluge of Biblical scale. Regrouping on the other side of the racecourse I was surprised that there were neither mutineers nor volunteers for an early train back from Ascot. Spirits remained surprisingly high as we battled the last few miles towards lunch. The final approach to the pub down a quiet lane was thwarted when the lane was found to be hosting a raging torrent.
Lunch with good local beer were speedily served by friendly staff who had our best interests at heart by recommending a comfortable return by train from Bracknell station 3 miles away.
Unmoved by such temptation six of us elected to ride back, this time with the aid of a tailwind and slowly improving weather, though impeded around Thorpe by some flooded roads. Tea at Upper Halliford Squires was followed by a ride home in the sun for most.
We welcomed new Wayfarers Dave and David. Thanks to Simon and Paul who shared the back-marking, and to everyone for staying out in such challenging conditions. See Paul’s map for the route.
43 miles Weybridge to tea at around 12.25 mph with hardly any climbing; beats the Dolomites in the sun.

When I recce'd the route I recall seeing a warning that the road was subject to flood, but I needed to be sure.

A day out in the Dolomites

This is supposed to be a walking holiday but it was Wednesday, a perfect day was forecast (unlike Surrey!!) so what better than giving Cheryl a day off relaxing in the sun while I hired a bike and rode the Sella Ronda. 53km, 4 passes, 1875m ascent and lunch in the sun at the top of the last pass.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

A Group 26 August 2015: David Vines Snorkel & Flipper ride

Easy Riders - 26th August

Brian Bent came to Bradbury Centre today on his bike. Then when we left for lunch he came for the ride. Mark [Roy] also cycled to the Centre.

Sandy, Liz and myself at North Cheam. Also, Tim [Gibbons] who wanted to go to Weybridge but didn't know the way, so did his own ride.

We got to Centre then Norman turned up. We were about 10 for coffee. We had a leisurely morning while it rained outside. Just before 12pm we left for lunch at Woodies. Fuzz went home as he had cycled to 11s in the rain. We managed to get there dry in between showers. After lunch 6 of us made our way home. We got caught in rain then.

~ Lynda

B Group - 26th August

Given the weather forecast for the day, it was not surprising that the number turning up for elevenses today at Weybridge was much smaller than normal, and of those who did, it was an even smaller number who actually went out on the rides!  It was good to see John Gould, brought along by his friend Roger Sceats so that he could catch up with us.  Roger said he was finally about to retire properly and hoped to be coming out again on Wednesdays.

It was already after 11.15 a.m., raining, the As had gone and with no-one else likely to turn up, that the six stalwarts (Steph, Ed, Vic, Robin, Ray and Tim) set out with me (Gill) on the planned B ride.  Lunch was to be at The Rose & Crown at Woodside, the other side of Windsor Great Park and we headed out through Addlestone and Lyne to Virginia Water.  As we reached the Lake, the heavens opened and the rain turned into a deluge!  By a stroke of good luck we were just outside The Wheatsheaf, so a quick decision was made to stop here for lunch.  It was after all 'lunchtime', being almost 12.30 p.m. by then, even if we had only covered about 8 miles.  Fortunately the pub staff were welcoming, despite our rather sodden state, and as the rain continued to fall heavily and there was even a clap of thunder, we were happy with our decision.  In fact, we extended our stay with puds (apple pie & treacle tart) and coffee, only leaving when we thought the rain had stopped!

It was the calm after the storm now, with gigantic puddles everywhere and not a ripple on Virginia Water.  We started in light rain but gradually this eased off.  Taking the path leading to the totem pole, we climbed up to the Savill Gardens' Visitor Centre, passing a group of walkers similarly kitted out for the wet weather - we were not the only mad ones to be out on such a wet day!  Then it was out on to the road and round to Englefield Green for the speedy descent down Tite Hill into Egham.  Here the road round the shopping centre was awash!  Most of us took to the path for a bit of extra height out of the water, with Vic doing a cunning loop back into the High Street and joining us on the other side.  This was becoming quite exciting!  However, our luck ran out for the two level crossings on our route into Staines and this was after getting caught at Addlestone as well in the morning!  Skies now began to clear and the sun even came out as we pedalled down the towpath to Laleham and on into Shepperton where we saw three A Group riders swoop down the High Street while we waited at the lights.  Six of us stopped for tea at the Mocha D Café and with the sun continuing to shine, all agreed it had been a good day.  Thanks to everyone for coming and to Tim for volunteering to be back-marker!

~ Gill Finlay

Map for Gill's route to The Wheatsheaf in Virginia Water (8.3 miles) then to Shepperton for Tea (10.9). Gill's weather was very sub-standard during the morning but came right in the end.

Gill's route to The Wheatsheaf

Stephanie's photos, at Virginia Water and in downtown Egham

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Easy Riders - 19th August

We were 20 or so at Bike Beans.  About 15 came on the ride.  As we went through Ashtead Park on the way there to coffee, we went through the Common to Ewell, Longmead, back roads to Chessington and Claygate.  Dropped down to Long Ditton and Thames Ditton.  We had lunch at The Swan.

After lunch we retraced to The Ferryman pub and took the cycle route to Kingston and out to Berrylands.  To Worcester Park then a right turn at The Plough to Stonleigh and West Ewell. We met Sonia at the garden centre for tea.


Monday, August 24, 2015

A Group Ride 26 August

Wednesday’s ride from Weybridge will be to the Jack O’Newbury at Binfield, with tea at Squires in Upper Halliford.

About 40 miles 11’s to tea; no challenging hills, all on tarmac. Biggest challenge is likely to be the weather, wind and rain forecast. Pray the forecasters are wrong.

If anyone wants to volunteer as back marker please let me know so I can supply a GPS route – – otherwise I will find a willing volunteer on Wednesday.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

B Group - 19th August

Porridge Pot to Snooty Fox

Our ride began with Guildown Road, the thinking man’s way up to the Hogs Back and the traffic-free route to the Watts Gallery and Puttenham before joining the quiet country road through Shackleford and near Elstead before turning East to Milford and The Refectory for lunch. This is the only pub available in the area, with prompter service than we have seen lately. This left us with time to spare for a stop in Lower Eashing, a picturesque corner seldom visited by club runs. At the end of Half-way Lane a hushed walk through someones garden led to Washbrook, bypassing Godalming en route to Catteshall, where the leaders memory failed him and instead of taking the eastbound path past Tannachie we found ourselves on a southbound path to Unsted, which traverses the Folkestone Beds, nowhere near the beach but with sand. We got to exercise our walking legs, but the long descent from Unsted led to the Horsham Road near Bramley where part of the original plan was salvaged and we arrived at the Shalford café at a civilised teatime. From here the tarmacked cycle path led us back to Guildford just as the promised rain set in for the evening, by which time most of the riders were back in the train, except for two diehards who rode home, in capes. All this ride fits into Surrey Cycle Guide No.4

~ Vic

Much of Vic's ride today was on-road, as the first map shows. Detail of some of the off-road sections is shown here in the second map, on OS Explorer.

Ed and Terry tunnelling through the shrubbery
Photo from Stephanie

A Group 19th August

A dozen of us left the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre cafe on a mild morning with some watery sunshine.  After a couple of hundred yards we crossed the Wey on the old bridge, now pedestrianised, and made an early start on the business of the day by ascending The Mount, which is pretty self-explanatory.  At the top we were soon on an ancient trackway, surfaced with flints, which must have been the original road along the Hog's Back.  As we agreed, this could only have been a pack-horse road, as the descent of The Mount into Guildford would have been unattractive to wheeled vehicles until well into the Twentieth Century.

Down the hill again and then a bit more trackway to Puttenham, passing the Good Intent where some fancied an early lunch.  But the A Group is made of sterner stuff, and we swept pleasantly along quiet lanes until we arrived at Tilford Green, a pretty spot, where we re-grouped.

A change of gear here, literally, as the climb to Hindhead is a big one, and long.  Hard work against the collar for ten minutes or so before re-grouping again, and then we entered a different world.  With the establishment of the Hindhead Tunnels the old A3 has been obliterated, the objective being to allow nature to return, something it has done with remarkable rapidity.  A fine track has been made to allow walkers and cyclists to take in the excellent views, completely traffic free and well surfaced.

We stopped at the top, and again a few yards further on at the Sailor's Stone, which commemorates the 'barbarous murder' of an unknown sailor in 1786.  I give you the Hampshire Chronicle, of 2nd October that year:

Sunday last a shocking murder was committed by three sailors, on one of their companions, a seaman also, between Godalming --- They nearly severed his head from his body, stripped him quite naked, and threw him into a valley, where he was providentially discovered, soon after the perpetration of the horrid crime, by some countrymen corning over Hind Head, who immediately gave the alarm, when the desperadoes were instantly pursued, and overtaken at the house of Mr. Adams, the Sun, at Rake. They were properly secured, and are since lodged in gaol, to take their trials at the next assizes for the county of Surrey.

The three murderers were tried at Kingston Assizes, hanged and their bodies displayed on Gibbet Hill, near the stone. Dickens picks up the story in Nicholas Nickleby.

Downhill for us from here, meeting Chris and Helen Juden and the West Surrey CTC on their way up.  Chris also has a part to play in this tale.  He had tipped me off about a short-cut that would avoid a stretch of main road.  His tip-off had come late, and I hadn't had a chance to recce it, but how hard could it be?  And so it was that some of the group followed their leader down the little-known cycle path along the platform at Witley Station, carrying their bikes over the foot-bridge before rejoining their more sensible companions in the car-park on the other side ... on to lunch...

We ate at the Merry Harriers, a good pub that Paul took us to a month or two ago.  Outside I was pleased to see two familiar bikes - John and Hans were there, having missed us at Guildford due to delays en route.  This kept our numbers up, as there was a bit of a changing of the guard after lunch with Geoffrey returning to Town, and Rob and Dave leaving for other appointments.

More familiar roads now, but still good riding, through Farley Green and Shere before climbing Combe Bottom.  Re-grouping at the top there was some concern about tea.  The Vineries web-site says that it closes at five, but local knowledge suggested that it was more like four, which was the time.  I proposed a rapid descent of Staple Lane to Squires at West Horsely, where we have had better luck, though not consistently.  So down Staple Lane we went, a road we rarely descend.  It's a good run, with fine open views, on this occasion clearly showing a band of rain coming in from the West.  Time for a quick tea, then.

At Squires we were in luck, with tea and cakes for all before leaving in picking rain.

Many thanks to everyone for an enjoyable day's riding, with special thanks to the indefatigable Geoff who kept us all together as back marker - and a warm welcome to Alan, who did well on a hard day.


Saturday, August 15, 2015

A Group 19th August

Next Wednesday's ride is train assisted, starting at the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Guildford.  We will take a loop out to the West, taking in some pretty countryside and passing over the old A3 and the Hindhead Tunnels.  Lunch at the Merry Harriers, Hambledon that Paul took us to a couple of weeks ago, and tea at the Vineries, Effingham, if we are in time - otherwise Leatherhead.

There are a couple of stretches of gravel path - a mile or so, in total - and several hills.  I have ridden the route on 25mm slicks, so your race bike will be fine.

Please be ready for a prompt start at 1100, to get the best out of the day.


Friday, August 14, 2015

'A' Group Ride - 12 August 2015

There was a pretty decent turnout for today's ride, with it being a holiday period.

Fifteen riders set out from Redhill for a flattish and not particularly fast ride to Colgate, between Horsham and Crawley, on what was a perfect Summer's day for cycling, - just warm enough and dry.
We welcomed new rider Charles to our party.

We took a bit of a loop through South Nutfield, then skirted Horley to Meath Green and Hookwood. After that, we passed Charlwood, Russ Hill and Rusper, before descending to Faygate, before the pull up to our lunch stop, the Dragon. This was previously one of our occasional watering holes, which, following a lengthy closure, re-opened two months ago. It boasts a good, sensibly priced menu, and has a decent garden, which we didn't use this time, having a reserved table inside, This was probably just as well, as it helped Jeff avoid any more attacks from marauding wasps.

Suitably refreshed, we headed North back via Newdigate, where Colin overshot the runway, missing a turning and becoming detached from the peloton. Geoff kindly embarked on a one man search party, and both rejoined us without too much delay later at Denbies. Here, our request for a group discount was granted, to our collective deep joy.

Thanks are due to Colin as back marker, and to Simon for the ride data.


Thursday, August 13, 2015

Easy Riders elevenses on Aug 26th

The Easy Riders have changes their elevenses venue for the 26th and it will be at the Bradbury Centre, Kingston. 

A/B at Weybridge as advertised.

A group 12 August: Map & Profile