Saturday, October 23, 2021

Invitation to B Group ride on 27th October

B riders,

If you would like to join me in climbing Mt Harrow on Wednesday please sign up by the evening of Monday 25th.

We will be setting off from base camp at Teddington Elleray Hall. No ropes or crampons required but bring your own oxygen.

To see the routes in RideWithGPS check these links:

    Morning route

    Afternoon route

If these maps look confusing zoom in for greater clarity. You can also select from various map styles.

Regards

Tony

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For the benefit of many newer members who have never met at the Elleray Hall for Elevenses here is a map:

Elleray Road, Teddington, TW11 0HG

Traditionally all three groups have turned up to this particular venue in large numbers. Please be considerate about where you park your bike, especially to leave room for the minibus and cars visiting the centre to park and deliver the regular clientele. Take care not to block access at the side entrance from the car park.

~ Tim

Friday, October 22, 2021

Info for A Group ride from Teddington - 27 October.

We will be meeting at Elleray Hall, Elleray Road, Teddington, TW11 0HG  ,as we did in pre-plague times. There will be a choir practicing at the front of the hall until 10.30, so you may wish to time your arrival for some time after that.

In the morning we will be having a shortish, predominantly flat ride along quiet backstreets and through parks to lunch at The Ace Cafe on the North Circular Road, just north of the Hanger Lane Gyratory. But fear not, we approach it along the Grand Union Canal, not the A406.

Pre-ordering is not required and there is a large and varied menu.  https://london.acecafe.com/menu-2/

Suitably fuelled we then head for the hills. The high-point of the ride is Harrow-on-the-Hill where there are views east towards London, and also westwards if you visit the churchyard. The final hill is steep and will probably be taken at walking pace, whether you are on or off your bike!

Then it is downhill all the way back to the canal and then to Richmond for afternoon tea at the cafe under Richmond Bridge. The canal towpaths are all paved but in places are not very smooth. So the larger the tyres you have the more comfortable you will be.

Three groups will leave at 11.00, 11.10 and 11.20. It is only 13 miles to lunch but 20 miles back to Richmond.

If you wish to join us please email me at supercrocks@tiscali.co.uk by 6pm Monday. 

On Tuesday I will reply with your start time and a copy of the gpx files in case you are interested

B Group report for 21st October

David Jackson’s report:

Since the week-end and even a day before the weather forecast for Wednesday was terrible, but as with a lot of things, you can’t believe all you read!

So, it was great that in the end we had 19 riders set off in three groups for the ride to Bagshot. I lead the first group, Clive the second and Jennie the third, spaced 15 minutes apart. In the first group, we were able to welcome Andrew Newton, who had done a few rides with the C Group and on Saturdays. Andrew proved to be a good, safe rider, easily coping with the distance, he would have done about 60 miles for the round trip. I’m sure he will be a good addition to the B’s.

I borrowed most of the route from a route that Simon had taken a few Sunday’s ago, Jennie had said it was a wonderful route and I think most of us would agree, so a personal thanks to Simon!

From the start at the garden centre we took a section of the canal, and then meandered our way through Horsell, Chobham, Lightwater and into Bagshot. The autumn colours, particularly along the canal were wonderful, the sun came out, a real October day.

The Kings Arms pub is a very large pub, more than able to cope with the groups as they arrived, as the weather was so nice we all decided to sit outside, the refreshments arrived swiftly and well served.


 

After lunch, the route back to Shepperton, more undulating than the morning section, took in Ascot, the Great Park, Virginia Water and Chertsey. The weather turned somewhat so we needed to ‘cape up’ but nothing too serious. We were again able to sit outside at the Ferry Café at the end and were soon chatting to the other groups after they arrived. Tony Hopkins, who had been unable to make the ride joined for tea, which was good and eventually we dispersed and made our ways home.



Special mention should be made to Jacqui Pitman, who I think was only rider, brave enough or foolhardy enough to attempt the ford crossing at Chobham, I didn’t do it on the recce on Monday, let alone after all the rain we had on Tuesday, a true Wayfarer!

Thanks to everyone in my group for making it such a great day out and also to my sub-leaders Clive and Jennie.
 

    
Clive Janes wrote:

My group of Paula, Jacqui, Christina, Tony and Dave set off from Bourne Valley Garden Centre in unseasonably warm weather and sunshine despite the forecast for cloud and rain. The weather proved pretty good all day just sheltering from brief showers a couple of times. After leaving the garden centre my navigational skills were soon called in to question as I missed the very first turning! But thanks to Garmin we were soon back on track and riding along the Basingstoke Canal from Woodham all the way to Woking where we said goodbye to the canal and headed through Horsell, up to Chobham Common, back through Chobham village and then towards Bagshot via Windlesham.

This was a very enjoyable ride through pretty countryside and along quiet and quaintly named lanes such as Gracious Pond Road and Lovelands Lane. The latter being the scene of Jacqui’s brave but ultimately doomed attempt to cross a ford which had amassed abyssal depths after heavy rainfall the night before. Not even the sight of several vehicles backing up and returning whence they came would put her off the attempt. After building up a head of steam she careened in to the ford, water going everywhere. Disastrously, forward momentum was lost once the water level reached the top of her wheels and she toppled over just saving herself from a complete drenching while the rest of us watched on from the dry safety of the foot bridge. It was a fine effort.

Aquatic bird Jacqui landing in the water

Once all the excitement had died down, we continued on our way to the lunch stop at the Kings Arms in Bagshot and were unexpectedly able to take refreshment outside in the sun, along with the other two groups. The food was generally thought to be pretty good and was served in good time although Dave had to settle for scampi and chips this time, due to a problem with the fish fryer.

Suitably refreshed and having allowed most of the water to drain from Jacqui’s bike we continued on our way towards Sunningdale, around Virginia Water in Windsor Great Park and on to Chertsey where we turned off the Chertsey Road towards the Thames. It was here that Christina peeled off to head home, or so we thought. We followed the Thames to Shepperton Lock where we stopped for tea and were reunited again with the other groups and also with Christina who had mysteriously got there before us.

At the polo ground in Windsor Great Park

After tea we headed for Walton Bridge where we started to split up for our rides home.

Many thanks to everyone for the company and especially to David Jackson for putting together a very enjoyable route and for giving me a preview of it during Monday’s recce - it was all new ground for me.

~ Clive

Following the rainbow

(Tim)


Thursday, October 21, 2021

Ride Report A group ride to Stoke Poges

 I will start by saying I admire very much, everyone who went out on this ride, because the weather forecast was not favourable. The day was beset with challenges starting with Hans who turned up at Addlestone to find his rear tubeless tyre leaking sealant. I too have had this problem because the sealant seals up small punctures without you noticing, but then in wet weather or if you store the bike for some time the sealant drains from the puncture site and leaks. In any case the first group was down to six. Namely Janice and her guest rider Richard Varian, Ged, Patrick, Neil W and myself. We left at 10.30 to cover the reasonably flat 23 miles to lunch with no rain. Of course we had a Slough puncture (pun courtesy of Ged).


Patrick had a rear flat and the issues were unscrewing the through bolt, which then still proved difficult to remove and then removing the tough Gatorskin tyre. Amazingly Neil W put the tyre back on without tyre levers! During this time it commenced to rain, but as we began to set off, blue sky appeared and with it the sun. We were surprised that the second group had not overtaken us. Nevertheless we decided to ride the optional loop round Burnham Beeches, in bright sunshine. What a lovely piece of woodland!

We arrived at the Fox & Pheasant to find they had not received the lunch order. My fault! I had mis-typed the email address, but it took 24 hours to show up, because I had turned off wi fi to save battery for my sat nav. on my phone. Fortunately I had a low tech  hand written master copy, so the staff set to sorting out our food and there were no delays, albeit a bit of confusion on payment. The food was good and so we set off at 2 pm refreshed and dry.

Well we rode straight into a vicious blustery headwind all the way to Upper Halliford. Janice, Neil, Richard and Patrick rode ahead of me (very kind to an old man!) to bear the brunt of the blast. The return was a mixture of urban road and cycle path and despite their efforts I was glad to rest. Nevertheless we arrived at Squires for tea at 3.15 pm. 17 miles in 75 minutes! No wonder I was tired. Ged, Neil and Patrick stopped for tea. Then at 4.15 pm we all left for home or rather I watched the other three disappear into the far distance not having the legs to keep up. They are seriously strong riders. We were lucky to have a mostly sunny day to ride this time of year although 4 punctures in all ( and number 5 by Dave Ward on the recce) shows how we need to prepare for the wintry season ahead. Thanks to all the riders in my group and especially to Ged for back marking. Steve D.

The second group off was at 10.40 am led by Dave Ward. Here's what he has to say:-

Fiona, Steve W, John B, Richard B, Simon (who very kindly agreed to back-mark) were the second away from elevenses.   I never look back when someone is trying to catch me up (it could always be someone I owe money to), but I'm told Vic White made contact with the back of the group as we were leaving Addlestone.   It's nice to know he is hale and hearty getting out and about.   All my attempts to shake the group off were in vain and, apart from spotting a rainbow, we rode without incident, or serious rain, until Eton where Richard was unlucky to suffer a rear wheel puncture.  With Simon to assist all was sorted quickly and efficiently, although the spare inner tube available was rather too large for the narrow profile tyre, and Richard dared only re-inflate it to a low pressure, which made the remainder of the ride rather hard work for him, although he gamely stuck it out and didn't seem to be suffering too much!

Neil's group passed us before the repair was complete.    We took no satisfaction at all when, having completed our optional Beeches loop, we found them stopped by the road sorting out a puncture of their own and we swept past them in turn!  Honour was saved!

We enjoyed our lunches at the Fox and Pheasant although Simon felt badly treated because the custard accompaniment to his blackberry crumble did not come in a miniature saucepan!



Thanks to Steve D for organising a very enjoyable ride and to my group for your company and good spirits, and to Simon for back-marking.

There were no punctures on the way back to Squires, Upper Halliford, just a struggle against the wind, so our contribution to the day's puncture count was one and a half (because I had had a puncture on my recce of the route)!

Finally a word from Group 3 leader Neil C:-

"The sun shone, the rain stayed away from us, we enjoyed our lunches and we had a great ride. Thanks Steve."

Look at the sun streaming in through the window! I look forward to more of the same.

Monday, October 18, 2021

Christmas Lunches

Bookings have been made for the A's on Wednesday 15th December - B's on the 8th December at The Angel Inn, Angel Road, Thames Ditton, KT7 0AU. 

1 course £12.  2 courses £16.  3 courses £20.  Max 35 people each lunch.

Please let Pam know your menu choice by the 1st December, email pwjjones@talktalk.net

You can pay by bank transfer (details from Simon), or you can pay cash either to Simon or Pam.  Please put payments to Pam in an envelope with your menu choices on it.

~ Pam  🎄

Saturday, October 16, 2021

Invitation to a B group ride on 20th October

You are invited to join us for an undulating ride to Bagshot and back.

We shall be starting in Bourne Valley Garden Centre, KT15 3TH, NOTE not from Addlestone as listed, make our way to Bagshot and to lunch at the Kings Arms public house. After lunch, tea will be at The Ferry Point café, Shepperton.

About 17 miles before lunch and another 17 miles to tea. No major climbs but the afternoon is more undulating, mainly on roads, some towpath but a decent surface.

Please email me, David at d.jackson49@aol.co.uk by the latest 18.00 hrs. on Monday 18th October if you wish to join the ride. I will send out details of your groups and start times on Tuesday.

Please observe the current Covid riding rules.

I’m looking forward to a good day out and seeing you all.

David Jackson

 

Hilly 50k – A date for your diary – 7th May 2022

Next year’s Hilly 50 will be on Saturday 7 May 2022 from Ryka’s, Dorking.

The route, and all the hills you love are unchanged. The date has now been moved from the traditional March to May to guarantee fine weather and the most pleasant traverse of Logmore Lane imaginable.

Last year we learned to be flexible, so if 7th May is not suitable, you are welcome to do the ride alone or with friends at any time of your choosing.

As in previous years we ask riders to support St Raphael’s Hospice, a cause close to the heart of our late organiser, Mike Morley. Donations via our JustGiving page which will remain open.

Friday, October 15, 2021

Invitation for A group ride 20th October to Stoke Poges

 The start point will be Addlestone outside the Golden Cafe. There is Costa and Tesco just along from this and toilets in all three. The lunch destination is The Fox and Pheasant and the menu is here. 

https://www.greeneking-pubs.co.uk/pubs/buckinghamshire/fox-pheasant/menu/main-menu

To save time and to avoid using the app to order your food, I have arranged to email your orders with names to the pub the day before. So if you would like to ride the route please email me also with your food orders.

The route itself goes north through familiar roads Egham, Eton,  an interesting cycle path bypassing Slough and Burnham with an option to do a 12 minute loop through Burnham Beeches forest depending on how the weather develops. 23 miles and 962 ft of ascent, which looks easy, but takes 2 hours because of the slow nature of cycle paths. The return starts with woodland and gradually becomes more urban after Iver Heath, through Stanwell, Ashford and finishing at Upper Halliford at Squire's Garden Centre. 17 miles and 292 ft of ascent. Because of the tricky junctions on the route, I plan to have three groups leaving at 10.30, 10.40 and 10.50 am. So if you live at a distance from Addlestone I can place you in a group with a later start time.

If you would like to ride please email me at steve_duffin@yahoo.co.uk by 6pm on Monday 18th with your choice of lunch order. I will email everyone on Tuesday morning with your group, start times and attach gpx route files for your use.

Steve D.

Thursday, October 14, 2021

Fastish 'A' group Freewheeling , Rusper, Horsham

With a 9:10am early start at Epsom Downs it was a cool ride to the start. We were not expecting Patrick because of his close encounter of the Kia kind. As we were discussing my group leaving a bit early there he was - Patrick loves these rides - it takes more than a dislocated finger to keep him away! It was good to find out that Steve D had fully recovered, and Janice mostly better from strains. 

Our group was Mike R., Hans, Dave B., Marcus, Patrick, Steve W., Mark, Steve D., and Peter. One of our group wanted to go not too fast, which I think I properly complied with for at least the first mile. We rode Tadworth, Walton on the Hill, Pebble Hill, then after a short way took a right up Sandy Lane. This was a great solution to the bad roads Janice and I found on the recce. The group seemed to keep up well so we pressed on. We covered the 20.8 miles to Brockham at an average 16.9mph, the group was mostly happy with this, (sorry Hans and others for my bad lead at the Brockham red traffic light). 

After the coffee break it was off to the top of Root Hill. 


I thought I was in with a chance having a big weight 'advantage' for this but the evidence is: greater mass does NOT win out over a long freewheel when the gradient becomes near flat. Patrick did well, but the awards, given at Brockham Green, went to Sue C. and well done Marcus for getting runner up.
We adjusted the groups a bit, Ged joined us. After a while at a T-junction I wasn't sure if all were up so I went across opposite the T-junction to a nicely concreted area of a farm entrance. As I wheeled round to see if all were up I had gone off the concrete and fell as the wheels slid out  (I like to think a graceful fall). Patrick had the sense to say I needed to check the bike properly, and I found a problem with the chain, soon after I found it was due to a bent outer chain-ring, unusable.

The group were good about my limited pace using the small chainring, after a while we passed a garage and I dropped off there to seek help, the others went on. It was a bit like the Monty Python cheese emporium. The sign said they serviced cars, motorbikes and bikes. I showed the problem, the mechanic said sorry he didn't have the tools for it. I asked for a wrench, (sorry mate, don't have one), pliars (sorry, no) spanner (what size -> small -> no). It isn't really much of a garage then is it? Finest garage in the area sir. And what leads you to that conclusion. Well, it so tidy. It's certainly uncluttered by tools. He let me have a hammer. Said he couldn't watch this, turned away. Two deft knocks and it was running nicely, nearly perfect.    

At Rusper the pub provided great service, including a workbench for Mike to try and fix a gear problem. 



We continued with great sunny conditions, penetrating Horsham, then promptly turning back. Just as on the recce the Garmin did not prompt a left turn off the dual carriage way, but I remembered it as Janice had said to look out for the rather good pub named the Frog and Nightgown along the lane from that turn. All good going back, except later on Dave B. got cramp, thanks Ged for backmarking and sticking with Dave. We finished with Box Hill, and Destination Bikes. To my taste their coffee is the best, better than any of our regular venues, and very good snack slices too.   

Many thanks Janice, excellent route, planning, lunch venue and after a forecast of it being overcast all day we had a great bonus of good sunny weather, you excelled again.

A group freewheel competition - Rusper - Destination Bikes

With the prospect of a short ride following on from the previous week's annual lunch I decided to offer the A group the option of a pre-competion 21 miles. This meant an early start of 9.10am from the Tea Hut at the top of Epsom Downs so I was unsure of the response but it turned out to be a popular choice with 14 of us meeting there, leaving 6 to start the day a little later in Dorking, just a short ride away from Roothill.

I split the 20 riders for the day into 2 groups with Neil sub leading a faster group and me leading a group at a pace that suited the rest of us. Here's Neil's report of his slightly eventful ride.

(Edit: Neil’s report has been deleted and re-posted separately to enable his photos to be be seen).

My group comprising Dave V (thanks for back marking Dave), Dave W, Sue C, Richard and Pete B left the Tea Hut first to allow Neil's group the joy of overtaking us, which of course they did. It was a cold start and I for one was regretting my lack of layers. However, the day was clear and the roads and scenery pleasant and by the time we arrived in Brockham the sky turned blue so we were able to sit and enjoy our coffee and cake outside in glorious warm sunshine.

Off we then went the couple of miles to the freewheel competition where we were joined by the rest of my group; Keith, Mark, Dave F, Gina and John B. Ged had led them from Dorking and he went on to join in with Neil's group.

The freewheel competition started and some, myself included, had their ride frustrated by a fast moving tractor. However, Sue C managed to claim a resounding victory by not only winning the ladies competition but also by beating the men, not something that has ever happened before. Well done Sue!


Marcus won for the men with Keith taking 2nd place.



After prize giving we split into our 2 groups and took a relatively straightforward route to The Star in Rusper. My group managed to get to the bar first and avoid any queue due to Neil's mechanical issues. The Star did an excellent job of serving 20 of us bearing in mind they also had a large group of West Surrey CTC there.


After lunch, still in glorious sunshine, we dropped down into Horsham before turning towards home. The long descent was then paid for by the ascent of Wimlands Hill after the Frog and Nightgown. We mainly travelled lovely Surrey roads and lanes but with one incident with a van driver who edged so close to Sue that she was able to knock on his window. 

With some gritting of teeth the group went up Boxhill and it was worth it for the sense of achievement after a long ride and for the fantastic coffee and cake in Destination Bikes. I'll certainly be using there again!

Thanks you for your cheerful company on a glorious early Autumnal day with particular thanks to Dave V for back marking and Neil W for sub leading.

The 2021 Freewheel Competition

Thank you to the 15 or so riders who joined the B ride in glorious weather on Wednesday. And an extra thank you to Dave for getting us all off to a fine start at the top of Root Hill and to Clive for leading the second group, or was that the later, or shorter, or longer one? I think most of us have forgotten and probably never really cared too much.

John A.

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John Austin led one group of Bs from Dorking Christian Centre to Root Hill for the annual freewheel competition. Fixie Dave was in the second group and soon after he arrived he pushed off and the competition was under way.

Waiting for everyone else
 
Poised at the start

Waiting for the big tractors
I went first and stopped opposite a large yellow vehicle. Mark soon rushed by my marker as did many others. A little later Sue Chasty and Marcus Phillips came by, almost level. Eventually they stopped, Sue travelling about one length further. The other Sue (Foster) was lady runner-up – this competition was in complete contrast to her recent marvellous performance in Scotland (see blog), Keith Rook was runner-up (male) – I remember when he used to win.

We gathered on the green at Brockham for prizegiving – again Ed had made a couple of unique wood carvings for the winners (Thanks Ed), and the runners-up received an inner tube – never know when it might be useful. I hope everyone enjoyed this annual diversion – I understand large tractors with large trailers were a problem for some – if it happens again you can always go back and try again.

Terry

The streamlined Sues

Runner-up Sue with her prize

Sue with her Work of Art made by Ed

Runner-up Keith with his new tube

New rider Marcus, proud of his trophy








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Clive Janes led the second B Group:

Mother nature confounded the forecasters once again and the early cloud dispersed giving way to blue skies and sunshine by the time everyone arrived at St Martins church in Dorking.  The warm sunshine had its effect, and my group of Sue, Tony, Tim, Grant, Dave and Paul were very laid back and not concerned at all as we chatted, drank coffee and ate cake in the church cafe while the appointed departure time slipped by. We were still very relaxed 20 minutes later when we mounted our trusty steeds to make the journey to Root Hill. Even the prospect of intense competition to come could not crack the chilled nature of this group.

After making our way through Dorking High Street, then through Betchworth Park golf course we were soon cycling through England’s green and pleasant land. The divine countenance was certainly shining forth and illuminating Surrey’s pleasant pastures on this beautiful Autumn morning.

As we approached Root Hill, a chromatic spectrum of coloured cycling jerseys could be seen gathered at the summit – we were the last to arrive, but we weren’t bothered.



This breezy attitude clearly paid off and our group performed admirably in the racing with Sue Foster collecting the Womens runner-up prize; well done Sue.

After the racing, and the prize giving on the Green, we were the last group to set off for the short ride to the lunch stop at Henfold Lakes.

Soon after eating lunch the topic of conversation quickly turned to where we would stop for tea and cakes. You can see where the priorities of this group lie! It was decided that bicycle friendly Ginger & Charlie in Leatherhead would fit the bill nicely, so we made a bee line for Leatherhead. Only the south face of Punchbowl Lane stood in our way, but it was a piece of cake with tea and cake almost within touching distance.

Following a very enjoyable tea stop where the topics of conversation were wide ranging from how good the coffee was to climate change to the merits, or otherwise, of various  elevenses locations, I made the short journey home while others had further to go.

~ Clive  

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