Saturday, August 29, 2020

Information for A Group Ride on 2 September.

Meet in the field opposite the British Legion in Cobham.

Lunch at The Sussex Oak in Warnham.

Route all on-road via Shere, Peaslake and Ewhurst to Warnham. (23 miles)

Return via Rusper to tea at Hillier's Garden Centre on the A25 in Dorking. (15 miles)

Please book in to me before 9pm on Monday.

I will then reply with your start time and other safety info.

Easy Riders 26 August

C group riders could choose to take the high road or the low road this week from coffee at Leatherhead to our lunch destination, the Watermill at Pixham. 

Lynda kindly stepped in to lead the low road cycle route alongside the A24. Her group of four duly got to lunch about 10 minutes early and had the choice of tables on the lovely terrace looking up towards Box Hill. 

Meanwhile Helen and Eric took their pods up the challenge route. Confusingly, this involved taking the Lower goes up quite a long way☺. We followed up to Effingham...and then took High Barn Road/Lane on ever upwards to Ranmore Common Road. We headed towards Denbies viewpoint, then past the church at the top to follow the path down through the vineyards past Denbies visitor centre. Crossing the A24, we made our way to lunch just a few minutes late (Eric's pod) and 15 minutes behind (mine). The odd thing was,  my group had set out ahead and none of us had noticed passing the others, that was a bit of a mystery.

After lunch, Eric kindly offered a short extension to our tour. Five went with him to  Betchworth Castle,  historic ruins just a few minutes ride away, along a secret path near the entrance of the local golf club. You would never know it was there! Three enjoyed exploring inside the ruins while the sensible tendency took the walk around the outside of the walls and fence!

From there it was a fast dash back with the wind behind us up the A24, over Ashtead and Epsom Commons, arriving just in time for tea and cake at Old Moat Garden Centre near Horton Country Park. 

Friday, August 28, 2020

A Group - 26th August

 We had been promised the best day of the week for weather and I think it will have been. In total we were thirteen split into three groups. Six of us had met at Cobham from where Ged led us to Guildford at a pace which would have done us credit without a headwind. 

Our start from Guildford was rather unconventional with a sharp climb up Jenner Road round the one way system above the High Street towards the castle and then along Warwicks Bench to Shalford. From there we took Chinthurst Lane to Bramley and then up to Busbridge and Hydon Hill before descending Markwick Lane to Loxhill. At Dunsfold we cut down Knightons Lane which becomes the well surfaced Wey-South path through Sidney Wood to Rosemary Lane and Alfold followed by the canal towpath from Loxwood to Drungewick Lane. This was in remarkably good condition after the recent rain with just a few puddles near Drungewick.

From there it was an easy run through Bucks Green to the Milk Churn. Concerns about debris on the roads after Tuesday's gale and queues at the Milk Churn had all proved unfounded and we were all on the road again before 2pm.

From here we warmed up our legs through Ellens Green and Walliswood in preparation for Tanhurst Lane and then enjoyed the descent from Coldharbour. My final group arrived at Denbies shortly after 3 to see the first group leaving and no sign of the second. Only Ged and I stopped but unfortunately missed Janice's advice on avoiding the lengthy queue until too late.

My thanks to Frances for leading the first group, Hans and Mike for the second and Ged for the ride from Cobham. 


Thursday, August 27, 2020

B Group - 26th August

There were early bulletins about a points failure and a few train cancellations so I was pleased that the twelve people who had signed up all arrived in Stoke Park where we could bask in the sunshine with our teas and coffees before take-off. Some had taken no chances and cycled all the way from home.

Dave Cullen and Tim Gibbons had volunteered to be sub-leaders and were first to lead their groups out past the floral border beside the tennis courts and to Nightingale Road. We picked up a path from the Woodbridge CafĂ© leading to the footbridge over the Wey and from Walnut Tree Close took the small lane which ramps up to Yorkie’s Bridge to cross the railway tracks and into the university campus.

By the Wey

On the Perimeter Road near Terry’s Pond we paused to marvel at the cycling fish sculpture and remembered the wonderful feminist slogan from many years ago, “a woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle” which possibly inspired this artwork. We soon turned right onto Guildford’s futuristic cycle network and dreamed our way under the A3, around a sequence of roundabouts, through Bannister Field and were soon in Applegarth Avenue to find the sign to the Chrismas Pie Trail.

We found that the trail was quite unaffected by all the recent rain and happily meandered through the trees for quite some time before emerging onto Flexford Road. We climbed Wanborough Hill to the Hog’s Back, regrouped and descended to Puttenham to pass The Good Intent and through to Seale, finally turning South into Binton Lane. We paused at Islamabad in Sheephatch Lane which I now know is home of the Mubarak Mosque and Education Centre.

With a slight sense of smugness we ignored a series of ‘Road closed’ and ‘Deviation’ signs although too many motorists seemed to know that the roads are not really closed and rather spoilt the tranquillity of our ride. We stopped for photos on the 13th Century bridge just before Tilford Green then around to the Barley Mow.

13th Century stone bridge held together by 20th Century timberwork

We were glad to see Dave’s and Tim’s teams seated at tables at the front of the pub. The pub was hectic with queues and a large number of diners under the marquee. The staff were extremely busy and our food took half an hour to arrive, longer in one case. But we enjoyed it and will go again if the opportunity arises. Both the pub and ourselves were great beneficiaries of the 'Eat out to Help out' scheme which will end soon.

After lunch team 2

Dave's team
Tim's team

For the benefit of people who intended to ride home from Guildford rather than take trains I happily agreed to the proposal to amalgamate our three groups into two so that Dave with the first group could get away for their longer ride. Tim G did an excellent job of leading our second group after lunch.

We crossed the Wey again, this time on the temporary footbridge built alongside the historic East Bridge which is being rebuilt. We reached a junction in Whitmead Lane to continue onto the unpaved road, part of the Medieval Waverley Trail, which joins the B3001 by the The Donkey pub. We had been concerned that recent rain would have turned this road to mush but were pleased to find just a few muddy puddles to negotiate and could enjoy the scenery.

Ray hurtling along the Waverley Trail

The B3001 Milford Road through Elstead was unpleasantly busy with motor traffic but this improved when we turned up towards Shackleford, crossed the Wey again and rode up the hill to pass Peper Harrow, once a therapeutic centre for the treatment of abused and disturbed adolescents. We sailed past another famous school, Charterhouse, then into Farncombe. At Peasmarsh we turned off the main roads, crossed the Wey and bobbled all the way into Guildford on NCN route 22.

Dave's team by Broadwater Lake near Farncombe

Thank you to Tim and Dave for leading and delivering your teams safely. Thank you to everyone who came on the ride. Especial congratulations to those few who cycled all the way to Guildford in the morning and home in the afternoon and will have clocked up over 70 miles.

~ Tim

Our section of the Christmas Pie Trail

Monday, August 24, 2020

Cyclists in Scotland ?

Watching waves crash over the shoreline in Saltcoats, Scotland (Getty)

 (Photo in the Independent on Friday 21st August)

Simon and Dave Bartholomew are currently on a cycle tour in Scotland. Could this be them?

Saturday, August 22, 2020

Details of A Group ride 26th August.

 We will meet at the Kiosk in Stoke Park, Guildford - as will the B's.

Stoke Park Kiosk

 Please see the B Group post for train times if you don't intend to ride to Guildford. Note that there is only one train an hour on the Worcester Park/Epsom/Leatherhead route. If you intend to come by train please let me know your timings so that I can put you in an appropriate group.

A number of regulars are away this week so if numbers are lower than normal I may only arrange three groups which will make the timings easier. Therefore please ensure that you book you place by 6pm Monday.

We are going to the Milk Churn at Rudgwick for lunch and Denbies for tea. The Milk Churn will be happy to see us but are not taking bookings so please be patient if we have to wait a short while for a table. Masks are required. I will check the arrangements for getting a beer from the Firebird brewery on Monday.  It seems that Denbies are now open until 5pm.

After a hilly departure from Guildford we are going via Bramley, Munstead Heath, Dunsfold and Loxwood to lunch. The afternoon will include following in the wheel grooves of the Bs recent ride over Tanhurst Lane and Leith Hill  to Dorking

There are two stretches off-road - both of which were dry last weekend only two days after the thunderstorms. The first section from Knightons Lane near Dunsfold to Alfold ( last ridden by the Wayfarers in April 2011) is very well surfaced. The canal towpath from Loxwood to Drungewick Lane has a few tree roots showing on the middle stretch but is generally better surfaced than some the offroad we did with Dave B on the 12th.

Bookings to:

Easy Riders - 19th August

The wet weather deterred some of our usual riders however six of us met at a cafe with canopy shelter in The Apple Market in Kingston for elevenses with drinks coffee and tea at half price. We followed the Thames path along the Surrey side and crossed over Richmond Bridge to take the path up to The London Apprentice where two tables for six had been booked . This would have been about right had we had our usual contingent turn up but we didn't say anything.

After lunch we went through Syon Park to join High Street, Brentford and then on to and over Kew Bridge where we took the Thames Path to Mortlake. We turned left into Mortlake High Street and followed through into Barnes High Street where we turned right into Station Road and right again into Vine Road which has a double level crossing. We surmised that it was the train that Bernard Brindley caught at Barnes that held us up. We then turned right into Upper Richmond Road and first left into Hertford Avenue which led us to Sheen Gate and then along to the cafe by Roehampton Gate. Only two of us stopped there for tea. In fact we two were the only customers sitting down. We exited Robin Hood Gate to join the A3 and home.



Friday, August 21, 2020

News from the (ex) Medicine Garden


Fran, the lady who served the coffee and cakes so well at the Medicine Garden has moved to Clifton Nursery on the A317 Woburn Hill between Weybridge and Addlestone, where she provides excellent coffee and the same yummy cakes, every day except Monday.


Woburn Hill is not the nicest road to ride, but does have an off-road cycle track.


Clifton Nursery is uber-posh but welcoming, and features a remarkable topiary cyclist in addition to Fran’s pink caravan.