Anyone who has been relying on a Buff as facemask when out cycling should take heed of the linked report - A buff is worse than useless as it breaks down large droplets into a greater number of more mobile smaller droplets.
Monday, September 28, 2020
Sunday, September 27, 2020
Saturday, September 26, 2020
Friday, September 25, 2020
Elevenses was at Eight on the River where, according to the Kingston magazine, they have the best coffee in the area. At least I agree. We rode in two groups through East Molesey along Island Farm Road and turned left into Fleetside where the first group were unable to find the track through to Fieldcommon Lane so stayed on the tarmac to turn left onto Molesey Road and then right along Rydens Road. Both groups crossed Hersham Road into Station Road to join Ashley Road and up to the roundabout. It was then straight over into Burwood Park and left into Onslow Road. As we emerged onto Burwood Road the heavens opened and we all got soaked. However, not knowing how long the deluge would last, we carried on through Hersham and joined Esher Road leading us to West End and to the Prince of Wales for lunch. The staff did not seem troubled about dripping wet cyclists turning up and made us feel welcome.
After lunch, where Frank Carter ordered "just a sandwich" but struggled with the enormity of it, we retraced our steps to cross Esher Road and into the Wayneflete Estate. We emerged from there to take More Lane into Weston Green and Thames Ditton. An executive decision was made not to stop for tea as we were still damp and went back through Berrylands and home to get wet again in our showers.
Thursday, September 24, 2020
I have planned a ride from Weybridge Garden Centre to The Duke of Kent pub in Perivale going via Chertsey, Stained, Bedding, Southall, the Grand Union Canal and then Greenford. 21 miles and 470ft of ascent. The return to tea at Dish cafe Hampton Court via Ealing, Brentford, the Grand Union canal, then Richmond and Teddington. 11 miles and 270ft of ascent. It is mainly quiet suburbia crossing busy roads with a bit of hard packed gravel towpath thrown in for good measure. A road bike should be fine. The pub has a covered garden area which the leaders will book.
Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org by 7pm Monday 28th to book a place. I will email you back a route with your leader details and timings.
Just to remind you, your leader and group will be separated by time from other groups, but under no circumstances should you contact or speak to other riders not in your group. The reason for this is that we need to be observed by the public as being separate. While we observe 2 metre distancing from the other members of our group of 6. We absolutely cannot talk to, wave, communicate or go near riders not in our 6. This is a legal requirement.
If on the day you feel unwell or cannot ride, call or text me on 07380 291273 and I will inform your leader.
Tally ho! Red Team peel out of the cloud to thrash the Hun
Life continues to be a learning experience; in this case, ride leading. Last time around the route was handed me on a plate and it was the first week after lockdown so there were no pubs open (or toilets, for that matter!). This was the first time I had to do it all; find a pub and plan a route on paper maps and then ride around the Surrey lanes for a couple of weeks, ascertaining whether double lines on an Ordnance Survey map were cyclable or fit only for cattle; in this case, something between the two.
You end up broadly familiar with the bulk of your route, save the one or two tricky bits on which you have not yet quite decided, so that on the final recce, when you show your sub-leaders what you have lumbered them with, you can at last relax a bit on the bike and revel in the realisation that this is some beautiful English countryside through which you are riding, and there are some gorgeous views.
Then, on the eve of the big event, you have to acknowledge that the weathermen might after all be right and all those miles you practised in benign sunshine might have to be shared with your friends in the cold drizzle!
Redhill has never been the most popular ride for the B Group but we ran two groups of five, John Austin kindly taking the first (Blue Team); Sue, Ken, Colin and Dudley. Mine was the Red Team (Tim, Tony, David and Dave), and the weather when we congregated at Pistachios in the Memorial Park at Redhill, twenty minutes apart with very little overlap and only a couple of minor fraternisations, was cool and grey but nowhere near as bad as had been predicted.
What a contrast Redhill provides for the cyclist. Every runner and dog walker we met as we left town through the country park could not have been friendlier, standing aside, greeting us. Perhaps they could put together a seminar on manners for the drivers on Coopers Hill Road, whom I strongly suspect, given the speed they were doing, were not locals!
It was there that the spits of rain increased to the point that we stopped to don rainwear but no matter, it was only a brief, light shower and we were dried out by the wind by the time we got to lunch. The off road was not universally popular but none of us had fallen off by the time we turned into the damp garden of the Barley Mow at Tandridge only to discover an issue that had not featured in my risk analysis; the pub had not opened in time for the first group.
It was one of those lunches where you had to balance the risks of getting Covid inside the pub against the risks of getting a chill outside. Blue Group opted for the garden; Red Group split, two in the second garden and three remainers. We allowed Blue Team fifteen minutes after their departure, which was just enough time for the heavens to open but it did not rain for long and we made our way over the North Downs and on to Caterham Hill to RAF Kenley, the best preserved of the remaining Battle of Britain airfields, appropriately a few days after the anniversary of the conclusion of that battle eighty years ago.
There was some excitement at the bottom of Old Lodge Lane, where the lorry in front of us had millimetres to spare under the railway bridge. He made it!
The last drag up past the posh houses of Woodcote was slightly more telling on the thighs than it would have been had we not climbed a fair amount already, but it was important to show the social deprivation in evidence all the way up the hill. Why do they call it Millionaires’ Row?
Chairman and editor, taken by the club secretary
Chairman and editor, taken by the club secretary
Pistachios at Banstead was not only open but offering a fine slice of chocolate cake as the rain came again; nicely timed! Thank you, John, for leading Blue Team, who had an equal share of rain, before and after lunch but found Salmons Lane a doddle! And thank you all for your companionship on an enjoyable day. I am glad my first “proper” ride is done and dusted!
Pistachios to Pistachios, thirty miles with a thousand feet of climbing
A reduced number of eight riders left Redhill in two groups on a day that promised a sprinkling of rain. Mark has described the route very well in his report (see below) so I won’t go into any more detail other than to comment on the fact that we encountered a number of new patches of tarmac on route. So great to ride on but they only serve to highlight the sections of potholes filled in with bits of road. The rain held off until lunch when Charlwood appeared to be the epicentre of a deluge, not a sprinkling. Thankfully, buoyed by a good lunch both groups made it to Box Hill/Leatherhead without any more rain.
Many thanks to all who rode with me, Patrick, Dave, Frances and Steve and a special thanks to Mark for leading his group.
Mark’s report: Five of us, Dave F, Dave W, Geoff, Gina and myself made a brisk start from Redhill, hampered after a mile or two by road works. However, the delay was slight, and we were soon over Tilburstow and taking the Eastern loop of the Surrey Cycleway at a good clip. The weather was generally OK, some milky sunshine from time to time, and we made the traditional stop at Crowhurst to see the Yew.
Through Horley on the Avenue Verte, a passer-by asking admiringly if were going to Paris, round the top of the airport where we saw a plane - rare enough, these days, and in to the pub at Charlwood in good time. We were expected, made welcome, and enjoyed our lunches.
Leaving after lunch it was pretty wet, but we rode away from the rain quite quickly, and had a good run through Parkgate and then down Root Hill. A bit of route revision was needed here, as the ‘Road Closed’ signs turned out to be true, with some heavy machinery working on the railway arch and making the road impassable. Back round through Brockham, Dave W took the Coach Road and the rest of us took the cycleway alongside the A25.
Just outside Denbies Gina punctured, and Hans’ gang went past as we fixed it. Back on the road a few minutes later, Dave F and Geoff heading off home leaving Gina and me to ride up Box Hill. At the top, we met Hans’ group, and had a short chat before making our farewells.
A good ride that made the best of an unpromising day.
Wednesday, September 23, 2020
As it says on the tin!
Given my multiple Garmins this elderly (7/8 years?), but good as new, device is redundant, however I'm reluctant to simply bin it.
Anyone care to give it a good home?
Tuesday, September 22, 2020
Tomorrow's ride from Redhill has eleven takers in all, so we are in two groups, with a spare leader in the second group just in case.......
Departure will be from Pistachio's Coffee shop in the Memorial Park, London Road, Redhill. Please remember to bring the usual spare tube and lights (the weather looks to be a bit dismal), as well as a face covering and hand gel. And bring your own sandwiches, for lunch. You will need fuel for the afternoon.
The ride is probably unsuitable for electric bikes because of a kilometre of rough off-road just before lunch.
We are now operating under the Rule of Six law, which means that not only do we have to ride in sixes but we cannot meet in a public place in larger groups, so we ask you to try to time your arrival sensibly and be ready to leave at your allotted time. Worst of all, we ask that you do not go and greet your friends in the A Group or in the other B Group.
Lunch is at the Barley Mow in Tandridge where we can sit in the garden at a separate table for each group (or if it is raining, inside, there should be plenty of room) and eat our own food so long as we buy a drink. They do tea and coffee as well as the usual. Tea, and the end of the ride, is in Banstead, precise location to depend upon our mood, the weather and our time of arrival.
John Austin (leader)
Paul James (leader)
Christina Berkley (reserve leader)
See you tomorrow
Monday, September 21, 2020
Sorry for the e-mail mistake, B Groupers
Saturday, September 19, 2020
Next Wednesday’s planned A ride from Redhill has been compromised by the Covid 19 self-isolation notice and the concrete blocks on the track from Cooper’s Hill to Outwood Lane. As a consequence the start of the route will follow the main road to Bletchingly. From there to Lingfield the route follows familiar roads. The ride onwards to Horley is flat and an opportunity for a good pace. Lunch will be at the Charlwood, which surprisingly enough is in Charlwood, approx 23 miles. The pub has a good menu and plenty of covered outdoor space. The planned finish is inspired by the TdF and will be on the ‘summit’ of Box Hill if in time for the 4pm closure of the cafe (alternative is the old standby of Denbies if wet, late or just had enough).
The meeting place will be in the park café at Redhill where social distancing will be essential, so remain in a bubble with members of your group only.
Group leaders are myself, Janice and Mark. Please email me, email@example.com before Monday, 9pm to book your place.
Friday, September 18, 2020
Mike has contacted me and asked me to let you know that it never rains but it pours.
Firstly the results of my Biopsy on 29th August disclose that in addition to the two existing Tumours which have not been tamed, they have now discovered 5 more small appearing not there before.
Secondly NHS/Kings College Denmark Hill have been procrastinating with indecision as to the treatment way forward for Embolization or whatever. I had a 50 minute consultation with my consultant on Monday 14th Sept. Fortunately Tim was with me and at one stage the consultant was expressing the view that I should have a combined treatment including Immune Therapy but this I finally rejected. Today (Fri 18th Sept I am expecting a delivery of Oral Treatment in tablet form which I will commence to take with breakfast on Monday 21st Sept.
That is the day I take delivery of my new Cannondale Bosh powered Road/Gravel type bike from the very helpful Sigma Sport.
MG-TF sadly I wrote the lovely little car off big time on Saturday 12th Sept and in the process it was a miracle that I was not killed! The good Lord or Michael the Ark Angel was looking after me! It is uneconomical to repair and I am settling the claim with my Insurer Aviva who I have to say have been, prompt, helpful and reasonable.
Type 2 Diabetes
The sting is in the tail. The accident caused me to be taken to Epsom Hospital in an Ambulance. They found that my blood sugar level had gone through the roof and was so dangerously high that I could be dead within two days, their comment not mine! Nett result is I spent 4 hours in the Diabetic unit at Epsom including an hour with a Dietician explaining how the days of cake, honey, chocolate are over for me. Specifically, they said I must refrain from the MWW elevenses cake etc!
So in the space of a week my world has turned upside down.