Thursday, March 30, 2017

B Group Wed 29 March

I must say I enjoyed the B group for a change it was a challenging but enjoyable ride well lead by Dave J. With my knobbly Cube MTB tyres I was glad I had opted for the more sedate ride but non the less was dropped by most on the hills. Also pleased that we did not get the rain that A group reported.
As Dave reported Pam who still can't have a conversation up hill has not lost her ability to fly down hills. After a re-grouping at Cold Harbor I was first away and legged it down to Dorking only to be passed at speed by Pam who was first to the bottom on her slick road bike!
Lunch at the Stepping Stones was very good. I was first to arrive or so I thought only to find Vic already at the bar ordering food and drink. He had not taken a short cut but had demonstrated his masculinity by completing the rout 15 minutes ahead of us in the big gear he pushes.
I ordered my food next and no sooner had we sat down then the sandwiches arrived which prompted me to ask were they made yesterday?
Poor old Robin J was last to be served with a massive baked potato and prawns with salad. He had waited so long that many spare chips were offered to him, prompting me to think what a Gannet but he was hungry and being a slow eater (therefore not a Gannet) he nearly missed the photo call after lunch. Reminds me of John B in the A group somehow always last to finish.
The picture below shows robin enjoying has lunch.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

A Group - 29th March - Mucky Duck, Tisman's Common

Fifteen riders were prised out of The Vineries Garden Centre by 11.15 for our trip south. Orestan lane led us to Green Dene where we ignored the "Road Closed" signs. The obstruction was soon reached and circumvented leaving us on a much quieter than usual ride up to the top of Combe Bottom.

After swooping down to Shere we were soon climbing again towards Pitch Hill, before a right turn brought us to the top of Barhatch Lane. Here there was another "Road Closed" sign,  but not wanting any possibility of having to climb back up we diverted over Winterfold Heath and down to Smithwood Common.

Cranleigh had the worst traffic of the day but we turned South again and headed into the wind to reach Tisman's Common and The Mucky Duck around one o'clock.

Lunch was promptly served and we were on our way again shortly after two. However the weather had deteriorated over lunch, so those that had them donned their waterproofs while others just commented that rain wasn't in the forecast!

Due to the weather the planned trip to Gibbon's Mill was saved for another day and we kept to the road to Buck's Green and The Haven. Some of the riders seemed concerned that we were still heading South as the rain got heavier but at the A29 we turned North and got the wind on our backs.

Taking the back road to Slinfold, and over to Broadbridge Heath, we crossed the railway at the Warnham level crossing. Then is was just familiar roads to Rusper, Newdigate and Punchbowl Lane to tea at Denbies.

Eleven of us stayed for a leisurely break before heading out into what was the best weather of the day.

Thanks to all who kept the ride moving, Geoff for the photo, and Mark for the map and profile.

Easy Riders - 29th March

Walton on Thames  D.C. - Wych Elm, Kingston - Ewell  Costa Coffee

Well the broom cupboard certainly turned up trumps today, everyone came out to see the daffodils.  21 arrived at the D.C. it was lovely to see them all again.   17 left at 11.30 am to head to the Wych Elm in Kingston where a roaring fire was there to greet us.  We travelled over Walton Bridge along lower Sunbury road to Bushy Park where we entered the side gate and rode along the path to Diana Fountain then left to Teddington Gate, through the High Street to the river where we walked over the bridge and turned right along the towpath to Lower Kings Road, over traffic lights to Kings Road and into Elm Road to the Pub.  We were soon served lunch, Lynda kindly offered to take all who wanted to go to tea, a few were getting the train and yours truly retraced my steps back to Staines.

I would like to thank my T E C  John Bellamy who as ever was great in not losing anyone.  Thank you one and all for a great day, wasn’t sunny but it didn’t rain either, though it was in the air coming home.


B Group - 29th March

I had posted that the ride would involve quite a lot of climbing so was very pleased at the number that turned out for the ride. Nineteen of us left The Vineries, turned right and started to climb straight away. The weather was cloudy but dry, up Beech Avenue, across Ranmore Common Road before ascending then descending Whitedown Lane. Then came the sharpest part of the trip, up Abinger Lane on past the Abinger Hatch Public House, which was tackled at a steady pace. We still had more climbing to do, Leith Hill Road and on to Coldharbour. The road surface at the top of Leith Hill was damp from the mist but the descent into Dorking was particular enjoyed by Pam and Mike Morley. That was the hardest part of the ride behind us, a good spin along the cycle path from Dorking and into The Stepping Stones at one minute past one, only 15 miles but a challenging ride. Everyone appeared ready for some refreshment and lunches and drinks were served promptly. After lunch a light drizzle started and it was certainly cooler than the forecasters had stated. Members of the group started to drop off and go their separate ways home around Leatherhead and although it was not flat after the morning’s exertions it posed few difficulties. Cobham Road then Fairmile Lane led to a short stretch of the A307 and ten of us turned into the car park at Claremont Gardens, somewhere riders had been before but not for a while. Drinks and cake were duly consumed, a very good way to end a more than pleasurable day.

For a B group ride this was meant to be challenge, and everyone managed it, hard work but I think all got something out of it.

As usual thanks to those that marked corners, and also to Jennie for back marking.

Just as a side note, whilst driving down Rushett Lane on Sunday we saw Tim Gibbons out on his bike, we didn’t have the opportunity to stop and chat but it was really good to see him out after his accident last year. Hurry back to the group Tim, you are missed!


A lovely ride from David J. It was very nice to engage with some of our favourite hills again. The grey weather today reflected the gravity of affairs in another sphere.

~ Tim

A Group 29th March

Neil took us over the hills and down to Tisman's Common today.  A good lunch at the Mucky Duck, attentively served, followed by a dip further South before turning to familiar roads up to Denbies.

A bit of drizzle but a good day out.


Tuesday, March 28, 2017

A graphic illustration

The timber deck of the old bridge in Kangaroo Valley, NSW might catch the unwary. Not a good place to crook yourself. Although the river has only 80 metres to fall to the sea it flows down a gorge and all roads out involve 400m or more of climbing!

A Group Ride on 29th March

We will be heading south from Effingham so a few big hills to climb. Bring your best legs and your best brakes. Lunch at The Mucky Duck, Tisman's Common.

After lunch there will be a 30m section of technical, off-road down-hill where a mountain bike would be best! But I managed it on 25mm tyres and as it is short it can be walked.

Heading towards Dorking after lunch so tea probably at Denbies.

Monday, March 27, 2017

B Group ride - 29th March

On the day that we start to leave the EU I propose a route that those of us who have cycled in mainland Europe will recognize, a long, slow climb!  From The Vineries, Wednesday’s ride will see us heading up the ‘back route’ to the top of Whitedown Lane then descend and climb again past the Abinger Hatch PH and up to Coldharbour. Generally then it’s down to Dorking and along to The Stepping Stones pub for lunch, only 15 miles but climbing for most of it. After lunch the route is not so taxing, Leatherhead, to the side of Cobham and to tea at the National Trust tea room at Claremont Gardens.

As you would expect the whole ride is on ‘tarmac’

The forecast is cloudy but dry.

A prompt start at 11.00am please.

Looking forward to it.


Thursday, March 23, 2017

Westminster and all that!

Dear Simon thank you for showing so much concern bout me but firstly on the positive side. I had been invited to attend a memorial service at Westminster Cathedral for Nada the wife of a good friend of mine form Italy. It turned out to be a very Posh do by a lovely family. So although I was intent on doing the London Ride (see also my disastrous ride with KPRC on Saturday 18 March) I did not think that it was appropriate to go to the service in Lycra!
I went by trian from Tadworth and got to the Shakespeare Head by about 12 noon so got my Tuna Pennini and Midland Red beer and waited for you all to arrive! One more beer you did but it would appear without the "B" group? Anyway what I wanted to do was present Simon L with a receipt from fund raising office St. Raphael's for £495 to cover the donations on the start line. See photo below. Thanks again to all who helped me with this event-much appreciated.

For those that might be interested in a picture of the lady chapel at Westminster Cathedral her it is

Now to matters more dramatic. I had a terrible time catching a bus from W'Spoons traffic was so bad I finally got to Charring Cross about 2,20pm and was so frustrated. So I jumped off the bus and rand down Whitehall and got on a No.91. At 2.35pm we were stopped by a RED light at Parliament Sq. The light turned GREEN and we went right passed Westminster Abbey as the carnage was taking place though I was not aware of it. Had the bus been one or two minutes later we would have been caught up in it and I would not have made the service. Seems like my cycling mates from "A" grop were equally lucky only more so as thy might have been mow'n down by a maniac!

No doubt all our families were concerned! What concerns me most was that I got a call from a friend in East London, knowing that I was in Westminster. It seems that the perpetrator is a well known English Man on the Home Office Radar and has adopted a Muslim name  and been making frequent visits outside of the UK to become radicalized.  He recently returned from Romania. Two questions
  1. Why was he allowed to escape the Radar screen?
  2. How was he allowed to run from his car with a knife and kill an unarmed police officer. Where were the armed guy's Asleep?

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Today's London ride

Just to say that all twelve riders returned safely after being quite close to today's incident in Westminster, just after it happened.   More later.

Westminster attack and the London Ride group

View from the south side of Westminster Bridge (Simon)
A brief update from today's London Ride. It appears that when the group were turned back by the police cordon at Westminster we were less than 200 mts from the crashed terrorist vehicle and quite probably there only ten minutes after the incident occurred. Shockingly, the vehicle appears to have crashed just by the cycle lane we would have been on.

Its around here somewhere (Simon)
The tragic events of yesterday afternoon overshadow the morning ride to Camden and all points north, south, east and west. Fourteen hardy souls left Putney Bridge, crossed Wandsworth Bridge then on through Battersea Park and crossed the Thames again on Waterloo Bridge. On through theatre land to Euston, the British Library and Camden where my last minute changes to the route sent the Garmin into a tail spin. However, with the assistance of Dave and Simon we managed to arrive at lunch in reasonably good time. We were joined by Mike Morley, who had been at the Shakespeare’s Head for some time before attending a funeral.
The delay in getting to the pub, and leaving once the rain had stopped probably prevented us from being caught-up in the tragedy at Westminster Bridge.
Still, looking on the bright side all fourteen of us now know the Regents Canal route very well. My thanks to Dave for leading from Cheam , Simon for his support and Steve for back marking.
Next year…. Anywhere but the Regents Canal.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

London Ride Wed 22nd March

Hans & the "A"+"B" group ride. Unfortunately I wont be able to make the ride though could perhaps make the lunch. I will be attending a funeral at Westminster Cathedral and am advised that I should not turn up looking like a scruff on a bike!
I hope that you all have an enjoyable day with better luck than the KPRC off-road ride I did on Saturday. Andy Pearce had planned this ride some weeks ago to include a ride on the cable car with bikes from docklands to Greenwich. Despite checking it out on-line when we got there it was shut for maintenance and so we had to revert to the Woolich Ferry. I decided to take some photo's of the Thames Barrier and in the process got dropped and had to find my own way home. The group went to look at the Cutty Sark and I decided to take the DLR from Greenwich to BANK with bike. A bit tricky with loads of escalators especially getting from Bank to exit at monument, which then left me a short ride to London Bridge and train home to Tadworth all for six quid (single zone 6)

Monday, March 20, 2017

It could have been worse ... part 2

You may remember a blog I posted on 4 September last year, it was about Tony Ditalia and I being knocked of by a car door simultaneously.
Well, this is the end of the story. On 8 December the driver was prosecuted by the police and fined £440 with £129 costs. No mention of any points.
Immediately after the accident I approached Slater and Gordon through the CTC and the solicitor, Natalie Grant, who dealt with me was exemplary. I have just been awarded £1,800. Not quite the £5 million I told some of you that I was expecting, but very welcome nonetheless.
PS You may be interested to learn that there is a relatively new offence "Opening Door to Danger" which was introduced after a chap got off a manslaughter charge having killed a cyclist with his car door because he "wasn't driving"!

Saturday, March 18, 2017

London Ride for A & B groups

We will be meeting at Putney Bridge Station for elevenses. There are two cafes to choose from but apparently the loos are closed so the alternative 'venue' for the facilities will be in Bishop's Park on the other side of Putney Bridge Approach Rd.

Dave Vine has kindly agreed to lead from N. Cheam for those of you leaving from there at 9.00 am.

We will be heading back and forth across the Thames to reach Camden. Lunch will be at the Shakespeare's Head on Kingsway and the ride will end at Clapham Station. Just over twenty miles from elevenses to tea and a flat ride.


Thursday, March 16, 2017

A Group Ride Report - 15 March

Some 15 of us out today on what was the hottest day of the year so far, around 17deg, with many of us regretting that we were wearing too many winter layers.
The destination was The White Horse at Wokingham Without, located in the narrowing stretch of open country between Bracknell and Wokingham town. It’s an area rarely visited by us because getting past Bracknell and Bracknell Forest can be problematic, with most roads very busy. Today we were in luck because the B3034 to Binfield was closed, but open to cyclists, which reduced the traffic flow.
Lunch at the White Horse was served quickly, though today they were serving only sandwiches and chips because British Gas were excavating the gas mains in the road outside.
Return was on a surprisingly quiet route through Bracknell, avoiding the town centre and the busy outer ring road, using a combination of cycle paths and residential streets.Tea was at Upper Halliford Squires, where we sat outside in the afternoon sun, another 2017 first, and the staff were happy for us to stay even after their 5pm close.
44 miles, all of 1,400ft of climbing, moving ave 13mph, 1,500 calories, 1 puncture.
Many thanks to Colin for back marking, always clearly visible in orange, Geoff for group photography, and to all for their corner marking and their company.