This week’s A group ride left Weybridge with 16 riders and the hope that Tuesday’s torrential rain stayed away. Heading north via Chertsey and the Thames-side path towards Staines, once past Staines station, we picked up a path that runs alongside the reservoir, and popped us out a few miles later in Stanwell Moor. The path is clearly used sparsely as evidenced by its bumpy surface, muddy patches and overgrown bushes, but is an interesting alternative to the busy road on the other side of the reservoir.
Taking the cycle path underneath the M25 we quickly passed through Poyle and Colnbrook and crossed the A4 and headed up through Iver and into Langley Country Park. Here we briefly stopped for a look at the film set built in the park by nearby Pinewood Studios for the filming of "The Voyage of Dr. Doolittle" staring Robert Downey Jr. It was here that we also realised that we had lost one of our riders when he stopped off for a sneaky comfort break and the peloton moved on without him…silly boy should have told someone !! (Yes, that’s you Neil !!).
|If you look carefully you can see piles of beer barrels,|
such was our thirst
Quick progress was made on Black Park Road up through Fulmer and around Stoke Common to bring us to the White Horse at Hedgerley a few minutes after 1pm. Lunch was quickly ordered, but took longer to arrive, but was eventually worth the wait, and allowed our errant ride colleague to catch up and still enjoy a late lunch. We were later leaving for the return journey than was ideal at 2.20pm, however, a swift route through Stoke Poges and Slough quickly allowed us to pick up the Jubilee River path and then on through Upton Court Park into Wraysbury. A straight road through Staines, Laleham and Shepperton enabled us to arrive at our tea destination the Riverhouse Barn cafe in Walton bang on 4pm.
42 miles were covered from 11’s to tea, with very little climbing to talk of…..if you forget the short but very steep hill immediately after lunch !! A mixture of off-road tracks, tow-paths, cycle routes, parkland and some gravel broke up the odd sections of road on the way out, but the return was almost entirely on road (almost…but not quite!).
Thanks to all those came along for the adventure, all who marked corners and to Steve Lloyd for back-marking.
~ Dave Bartholomew