Wednesday, July 31, 2019

'A' Ride Weds 31 July 2019

Just as well I didn't mention on the blog that one of the intended highlights of this ride was to pass the famous Lakeside darts venue at Frimley, as a road closure meant we had to miss it!  Never mind, a ride through Pennypot Ford (by two of us anyway, the rest just spectated), and a glimpse of St Michaels Abbey from a dual carriageway bridge, provided alternative diversions on our rather windy ride westwards (with a few meanders) to lunch.  St Michaels Abbey, somewhat improbably, is the final resting place of Napoleon III, his wife the Empress Eugenie, and their son, the Prince Imperial, and it also has one of St Alban's thigh bones!

All this culture was soon forgotten when we espied the £3.99 manager's special cod and chips meal on offer at The Tilly Shilling, our lunch stop!   At these prices there was, unsurprisingly, a very long queue at the bar for those without the Wetherspoon's app, but we had still all been fed and watered in time for our 2.00 pm departure.   Rain threatened as we breasted Tunnel Hill and then savoured the very long descent to Pirbright, but we didn't get wet and it eventually started to brighten up.   The Riverside Barn at Walton was just closing when we arrived for tea - I blame the wait at Addlestone level crossing!   Undeterred, a group continued to Hampton Court in search of another cafe while I headed for my allotment.

Many thanks to Ged for back-marking, to corner markers too numerous to name, and to everyone for keeping up a good pace and making this an enjoyable ride.

David W

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

From the Boss

B Ride Wed 31 July

Tomorrow we are heading to Pirbright (Royal Oak) - it will be a mix road and tracks and a runway. About 16 miles out and 12 miles back with the GC at Rowtown as a possibility for tea.

I'm avoiding the "notorious" Tunnel Hill this time as we, the B's, did this on the last occasion when I led!

If anyone would like to backmark, please feel free to volunteer. I have .gpx and .fit files available. 

Peter T

Monday, July 29, 2019

Weybridge Elevenses - New Arrangements for Securing Bikes.

At the request of the Manager of Weybridge Day Centre we have been asked not to secure bikes to the railings at the entrance to the Centre. (This had caused inconvenience to clients accessing the Centre when we last met there on 29th May 2019).

For those wishing to secure bikes to a fixed point - and also keep them under observation, arrangements have been made for us to leave bikes at the back of the Centre, between the main hall and the tennis courts. There are a some cycle stands here, as well as a fixed bench. You'll be able to keep an eye on your bike from the main hall.

The access to the rear of the Centre is from Churchfield Road. (From the High Street, instead of turning left into Churchfield Road to get to the the front of the Centre, carry-on to where Churchfield road bends right, and the entrance to the rear of the Centre is from a path right on this bend on the left).

I haven't had chance to check this out, but I'll be there nice and early to assist.

(Of course you can also continue to leave your bike along the brick boundary wall to the left of the Centre entrance).

Thanks for your assistance.

'A' Ride Weds 31 July 2019

Wednesday's somewhat quirky (I hope) ride from Weybridge will take us into an area we don't often visit, with lunch at The Tilly Shilling (aka Wetherspoon's), Farnborough (Hants), and tea at Walton-on-Thames, a distance of about 45 miles all told.  One or two surprises await us en route!   Probably a flatter than average 'A' ride but not totally devoid of undulations, including the notorious Tunnel Hill!

A .gpx file is available from me on request.   Health warning - the ride has been arranged at short notice and so the route is of the 'here's one I made earlier' type!   Mike Reynell has very kindly and efficiently tidied up the .gpx for us, but there are currently a couple of road closures which will mean we have to make slight detours not shown on the .gpx which may confuse your Garmins! 

In case of problems on the day my mobile no is 07872 183 540.

David W

Thursday, July 25, 2019

B Group - 24th July

Our departure was delayed by about 10 minutes owing to poor Christina getting caught up in the road closure at Headley.

Once we were all gathered together we made our way up Coldharbour Lane and into the village, and then down Broom Hall Lane (past Broome Hall the once home of Oliver Reed) and into Ockley.

From Ockley we went towards Rusper then a right turn towards Graylands industrial estate where Max's Diner was situated.

We all tucked into all sorts of scrumptious goodies and few bottles of beer. Very nice too.

The route home was via Rusper and Parkgate with a little tea and bun stop at Pilgrim cycles for those that wanted it.

The weather was very hot and to the best of my knowledge we all made it back.
Can't actually remember how many I started with, but never mind. [Hmmm, 16 I think ~ Tim]

Hope you all enjoyed it.


Thanks to Christina for recording the ride

Easy Riders - 24th July

At Lynda's suggestion we decided to ride from Ashtead to the Stepping Stones at Westhumble  but just as we were ready to leave my chain broke and I had a vision of tramping down to Ashtead train station. As fortune would have it there was a local bike mechanic who took my multi tool which had a chain breaker and promptly re-joined the chain. As it was apparent that I had never had the tool out of the pouch he advised me that I should regard it as a useful tool to be used rather than just an ornament. Rather humbling.

We went a slightly different route around Leatherhead via Ermyn Way and I promptly lost six of the group but it wasn't serious. After re-grouping we trundled along to Westhumble via Norbury Park Farm and enjoyed our starters as main courses were out of the question on such a hot day. It was then back to Leatherhead and over Ashtead Common to enjoy our tea stop at Senzos café adjacent to the Epsom train station entrance.

Home to a cooling shower - separately, of course.


Further Down

A year ago, to the day, I got up early and took a train to Brighton to ride on the South Downs before the heat of the day.  Yesterday, it seemed a good idea to repeat the plan.

Riding up the High Street in Croydon I noticed that it was 26 degrees at about half past six in the morning, so it had certainly been a warm night.  An early train - air conditioned - to Barnham, and I was ready to go.

A pleasant breakfast in the sun at a little coffee bar outside the station, then out of the town and on to a cycle way that leads towards the Downs.

After a couple of miles the tarmac ends and you begin to climb on decent gravel for about three miles to the crest.  This was cool enough, sheltered by trees for most of the way, and, interestingly, there were signs of maintenance, so someone cares.

Warm on the top, about 32 degrees, but with a pleasant breeze, also warm, so some enjoyable riding

The warmest part of the ride was crossing the river at the Arun Gap - it was about 34 degrees here, so not as warm as last year on Windover Hill, but the sun had a couple of hours to go, so it might have made it.

Back up again and along the ridge, passing Chantry Lane that we rode on Janice's ride a few weeks ago, past the Chanctonbury Ring, eventually descending to Steyning and on to Botolphs, picking up the new cycleway to Shoreham, where the ever-popular Bridge Inn provided an early lunch in the garden.  26 degrees there, with a pleasant breeze off the sea.

Another train - also air conditioned - and the guard's fears of rails deforming in the heat proved groundless, so I was back home in time to watch the slow, dispiriting stage of the Tour where people were complaining of 40 degree heat.

They should get up earlier.


A's hot ride

A big thank you to the 14 brave souls who joined me on such a hot day.

The first climb of Box Hill saw me cranking slowly up being shepherded by Simon and Dave Vine, I thought that was the start of a very hot and slow ride for me, thank goodness that changed as the day went on.
Passing Epsom race course I noticed my Garmin had stuck on the Box Hill road, this lead me to taking the wrong roundabout leading down towards who knows where Janice who lives in the area soon had us in exactly the place I should have been, many thanks Janice.
A gravel path a puncture and people running short of water before Nonsuch Park needed a redirection to fill water bottles and missing out another little climb. Thanks to Dave for leading out of the park.

We have done the tarmac and gravel now for a bit of concrete that led us finally through to Worcester Park and into Green Lane. Following some tarmac paths through to NewMalden we then had a short sharp climb to Cannon Hill Lane. Martin Way soon had us in Lower Downs Road and we were then on the final climb of the morning up The Downs and across Wimbledon Common, then the final back roads to Wetherspoons by Putney Bridge.

A quick game of Where's Pete for you to play.

A decision was made that we should continue the ride on the North side of the river, so over Putney Bridge and into Bishops Park, and along the ThamesPath, I'm pleased to say we did not encounter many pedestrians so a quite east ride. Chiswick Bridge crossed we were on our route to Sheen, once negotiated we headed into Richmond Park and out through Ham Gate.
By this point our numbers were depleted as many had chosen to head home.
After Ham Gate Avenue we decided as some of the remaining group had said they would also be breaking away and had no need to go to Esher apart from those needing to use it as their route home we should end the ride and go our separate ways.
Many thanks go to all who braved the heat of the day, corner marked, helped me out and to Simon who backed marked.
I hope you all had a safe return home and will see you next week for a cooler ride.

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

B ride for Wednesday 24th July. To Warnham

From Dorking we will head out to Coldharbour, Ockley and on to Warnham where we will sample the delights of Max's Diner. A real treat for those that have never been before.
Then back to Denbies for tea and buns.
No off road and only one hill to Coldharbour.


Monday, July 22, 2019

Easy Riders - 17th July

From Teddington we went to Twickenham then Richmond through to Ham via towpath. Then through Richmond Park to Roehampton then Putney Heath for lunch at the Green Man. Returning via Wimbledon Common. 

Hope John recovers soon - we all missed him. 

Regards, Liz x

Ian Appleton

Maureen and I joined Ian and his daughter Gill to celebrate Ian's birthday Saturday afternoon. We were delighted to find Ian so much better in himself. Enjoying  his electric wheel chair and still enjoying his cake and coffee as he always did. He thanked every body for their good wishes and don't forget, you can always phone him..on his mobile.


A group July 24th

Urban Ups and Downs, tarmac, gravel and concrete.

From Dorking we head out for an urban route to Wetherspoons by the Thames in Putney. We start by heading up Box Hill then via Langley Vale passing by Epsom race course. Some back paths and roads before a climb to Wimbledon Common and then down to Putney 26 miles approx
If time and heat allows we shall add in an extra climb before the common.

Tea will be at Esher after a flat route on the north Thames path to Chiswick Bridge, Richmond Park and Hersham. I am aware that some of you will be near home on our route to tea and may wish to head home, just let myself or the backmarker know, 21.47

If anyone would like the Strava routes please let me know, if you cannot access the routes shown below.

PLEASE be aware that the weather is due to be VERY HOT, don't forget your sun cream and as many drinks you feel you may need. if we feel that the heat is to much after lunch, there is a shorter route to Esher of 12.46 miles on offer.


Friday, July 19, 2019

Sunday the 21st

This Sunday is the annual joint ride with South bucks CTC, this year it is thier turn to host the ride.

11's will be at Burnham Beeches and lunch at Wetherspoons Maidenhead, afternoon tea will be at Dorney court.

I shall be leading to 11's, meeting at Staines bridge at 9.30am.

All are welcome, it will be at "B" rides pace.


Nor’westers ?

The Northwest section of the Sou'westers, the Nor'westers, (or those members living 
Northwest of the catchment area), decided at 11’s that a 26 mile ride home from 
afternoon tea was a tad excessive so opted for an alternative plan.

There were 6 Nor’westers, Pam, Liz, Gill, Ed, Ray and myself. I was thrown into the 
fray to lead as I had suggested Woking. So off Ripley bound. Heading up Hungry hill 
we met Tony D coming the other way. We stopped for a brief chat and he was doing 
a solo long ride. 

Approaching Send I had a change of plan and headed around Woking heading for 
Chobham and Pashas for lunch, about 18 miles from 11’s.

We arrived at around 1.10 and sat inside in the cool. After a really nice lunch with everyone's 
appetite sated we set off for tea at Walton arts centre. Right out of  Chobham on the 
Chertsey road and a virtually straight road to Cherstey.

Languishing in the garden supping tea, it was hard to leave, but we did and at this point
dispersal was the order of the day and off home with 11 miles to go. For me. A lovely day
on the bike with the Nor'westers 

Tandem Trip to Thailand

We are in need of sighted travellers for our tandem cycling trip in Thailand.
The dates for the trip are 14th October to 25th of October – 12 Days.
The current sighted price is £2399 but we are offering it at less than cost price, as we really don’t want to let the VI’s down.
So the trip has 25% off bringing the sighted price down to £1799.
Here is a link to the holiday -
If you are able to please share the holiday around including the special offer and ask anyone interested to give me a call.
Thank you for your help.


Thursday, July 18, 2019

Mission report: A Group 17 July

After years of training, sixteen of the Wayfarers' finest escaped the gravitational pull of their sofas and made their way to the launchpad at Cape Vineries, Effingham.  Unfortunately two were not selected for the mission, so Geoff and Peter had to make their way back to their quarters to wait for another opportunity.   Outside, some of the most advanced cycling technology on earth had been assembled for the mission (and, it has to be said, some of the worst too).

Lift-off was set for 11.00 BST.  As the final seconds ticked down, the tension was almost noticeable.   With a few seconds to go - a technical hitch.  Countdown was delayed due to a faulty bottle cage noticed in pre-flight inspection.   A replacement was found and fitted, but not without a twenty minute delay.

Finally, the countdown was restarted, and the mission blasted off skywards, heading towards White Down.  Evasive action had to be taken to avoid space junk, in the form of the B Group, but no collisions were detected in the ascent.   Mission control had been working hard to re-plan the mission after the delayed lift-off, and a planned orbit of Abinger Common had to be abandoned to keep everything on track.  A new trajectory directly towards Holmbury St Mary was programmed in, and then it was a matter of waiting and enjoying the views in the airless environment of Ewhurst Green.

Soon they were on their descent towards Loxwood, but, at this critical moment, would you believe it, the guidance computer malfunctioned, directing them along a bridleway which would have taken them to the dark side of Loxwood.   The Loxwood Excursion Module was quickly switched to manual control and a safe landing was made at The Onslow Arms, to the relief of all involved.

A few grainy pictures are attached, evidence in case anyone disputes that we actually went there.   After an hour or so of extra-bicycular activity it was time to head for home.  Leaving a few uneaten chips and empty glasses as souvenirs, lift-off was achieved, this time without a hitch.   The route back was over Winterfold - not because it is easy, but because it is hard.  Then came the buffeting re-entry down Hound House Road into Shere.   A final burn, gasping for breath up Coombe Lane, and our heroes gently floated down to tea at West Horsley.

Thanks to everyone who made it a success: Mike Barrett for back-marking, Peter Betts for joining me on the "Apollo 10" reconnaissance mission last week, all those who marked corners, and everyone for your company on a nice day out.

More B Group photos July 17th

Happy post-lunch people

Wild (not very) life at Weare Street

Where's our food ?

I'm in charge

Where's our food ?

Photos from Pete B and A.N.Other.

B Group - 17th July (photos and map)

Hills in the morning, mild undulations in the afternoon

~ Tim

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

B Group 17th July

On a comfortably warm and almost windless morning I led fourteen Wayfarers from The Vineries, leaving seven to 'do their own thing'. For a change we went up Church Street, Effingham, to see the trompe d'oeil. Ignoring the Road Closed signs (having obtained an OK on Monday) we proceded up Beech Avenue, taking to the bank for a short stretch. (Apparently the pipe-laying is scheduled to end in September). After descending Whitedown and crossing the A25 we turned into Abinger Lane in order to freewheel (except Dave) down Sutton Lane. The route then was straightforward through Holmbury St Mary, Forest Green and Walliswood to The Punchbowl at Okewood Hill, ten of us arriving just before the rearguard group.

After a good lunch it was the 'usual route' to Strood Green via Weare Street (stopping for duck photos), Capel, Newdigate and Parkgate. Most of us stopped for refreshments, then continued into Brockham and along the Coach Road to Dorking, where I peeled off.

Thanks to Tim for tec, various others for corner marking, everybody for company and making it such a pleasant day in beautiful Surrey.


Monday, July 15, 2019

B Group 17th July....

....will be having lunch at The Punchbowl, Okewood Hill and threes at The Shop at Strood Green.


Les Johnston

Les at Surrey Wheels for All, Epsom
Following the article about Les in last month's Sou'Wester, we were sent these pictures by Matthew Wing from Cycling Projects (click the link to find out more about Cycling Projects).  It seem's that thanks to some help from his wife Barbara, Les is still able to enjoy some outdoor cycling as well as his turbo trainer at home.

A Group 17 July

We will be heading south from Effingham to the Onslow Arms at Loxwood.  A couple of hills on the way out, and a couple of Hills on the way back with a lot of lovely Surrey lanes (and a bit of West Sussex) to enjoy as well.   38 miles out and back to tea at West Horsley.

The pub has asked us to pre-order so I will be collecting your lunch orders at elevenses: menu here.

Bike parking: just a reminder that Effingham Vineries have asked us to park our bikes in the car park, to avoid blocking the route the serving staff use to get to the outdoor seating.

Sunday, July 14, 2019

New Malden to Raynes Park Cycleway

As forecast in John Bellamy’s Easy Riders post below the New Malden to Raynes Park Cycleway was formally opened yesterday.

 It provides a direct traffic free link between the two town centres which can easily be cycled in less time than it would take to drive. But it also does so in style, and nicely engineered too.
When I sampled it at 4.30 yesterday afternoon it was being well used by riders and walkers, so hopefully it will prove a great success, and inspire similar imaginative schemes.

New Malden to Raynes Park C31 - more photos

A real triumph and it will be even better when the landscaping is completed and all the displaced birds and bugs and other creatures return to rebuild their habitats on the margins of the path.

The route was opened by Dr. Will Norman, London's Walking and Cycling Commissioner, with speeches by Lib. Dem. Councillor and environmental activist Hilary Gander, and (sorry ?).

The Mayor, Cllr Margaret Thompson with her consort and husband Richard, both keen cyclists, were present and very much into the spirit of the occasion.

The project has been a collaboration of Royal Burough of Kingston's 'Go Cycle' programme with Sustrans and I would say, keen participation from the Kingston Cycling Campaign.

~ Tim
During construction - photo courtesy of Kingston Council web site

One of the first - John Bellamy

Willilam Ward, occasional B Group rider, talking to John

"No, if you want Raynes Park you should go that way!"

Kingston Cycling Campaign luminaries, Roger and Rob