Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Bikes for sale

You may have seen in Sou'Wester Shorts that Alan, who has ridden with the Beginners and Easy Riders, is selling some of his rather lovely bikes after discovering the joys of an E-bike.

Here are a few more pictures and details of the bikes, which have frame sizes around 55cm  (TT=Top tube length).

Cliff Shrubb racer: Shimano 105 10 speed, 58cm Horizontal TT        

Cliff Shrubb tourer: Shimano 105 10 speed,
57cm Horizontal TT

Joe Waugh tourer : Campag MTB treble 8 speed,
58cm Horizontal TT

Condor Leggero: Full DuraAce 10 speed groupset, 54cm sloping TT

You can contact Alan at ahl@doctors.org.uk.

Saturday, June 26, 2021

Invitation to A Group ride 30th June

 Note: This ride will start from the Village Cafe in Walton on the Hill, not Leatherhead.

Lunch is at the Bell in Outwood and tea at Brockham/Denbies as desired. There is nearly two miles of offroad which we have done before - usually hard track but after last week's monsoon see my summary of conditions today at the end of this report.

The route takes us over Walton Golf Course to Mogador and than a stretch of the North Downs Way to Colley Hill and ( I hope) the views to the south. We return to Buckland Road and through the lanes to Mugswell and Chipstead before a dip down to the A23 and then the climb of Farthing Down. After Hilltop Lane we head for Bletchingly and Outwood. 

After lunch we continue south through Coglands and Dowlands Lanes before returning through Horley to Brockham and Denbies. Note that the toilets at Brockham Village Hall are now open so it is a viable tea stop - closes 4pm.

About 20 miles to lunch and 19 more to Denbies. 

We shall be passing the 11thC Chaldon Church with its "doom" fresco. Unfortunately, with the indoor Covid restrictions having been extended, the church while open this morning makes it clear that this is only for individuals and groups should not visit.  It's a shame but I think we must respect that.

Please email me briangreenwood@yahoo.co.uk by 6pm on Monday for a place.


Today's ride report: It was drier than Dave V found on Wednesday. There were still large puddles on the route over Walton GC but I avoided all on firm though damp ground. The margin on the last one on the top of the golf course was narrow but I could have ridden on the bank. The NDW is dry.

The section after Colley Hill between Margery Wood and Buckland Road is dry but eroded by the rain and rough for about 50 yards. No shame in walking this if you dont feel confident. After that it's all on road to lunch.

After lunch there is a short section of offroad from Peeks Brook Lane to Haroldslea on the approach to Horley. Some may remember it in a cloudburst on the first Tri-vets. The path section was damp today and looked a bit slick in places but hard underneath. Dave mentioned the nettles on this stretch but today there was just enough clearance. After that there is about 200 yds of potholed track before the tarmac starts. I managed to avoid all the puddles but there was some surface mud between a few of them. 

The Brockham coach road was dry.

Hopefully in spite of the forecast Sunday night rain it won't be worse on Wednesday.


Friday, June 25, 2021

Invitation to B Group Ride for 30 June, NOW WITH LINK ATTACHED

Another step towards normality? 

On 30 June, B Group will be meeting at the Fairfield Centre at Leatherhead for elevenses like we used to.

Hip hip Hoorah!

This is made possible despite limited spaces by the selfless decision of A Group and Easy Riders to stand aside and have their elevenses elsewhere.

For they are jolly good fellows, and so say all of us!

You are invited to come along for the ride, which will travel Eastwards but return in a loop to finish at the Moat House in Horton Lane in Epsom.

Lunch is at the Wattenden Arms near the top of Old Lodge Lane in Purley.  It has tables indoors and outdoors (usual rules apply) and decent ale.  It cannot match our upper middle class experiences in Ascot and Eton but it is the pub where the 18 and 20 year olds who gave their lives in the Battle of Britain from RAF Kenley would have supped their last pints.

We have an option of finishing points.  The plan takes us through Banstead to go by Epsom Race Course, across Ashtead Common and finish at the Moat House garden centre cafe, but if individuals prefer, they can finish earlier at Pistachio's in Banstead.

Please let me know your finishing preference, so we can attempt to match riders' preferences with those of the leaders.

20 miles to lunch with three climbs.  A further 7 much easier miles to Banstead, or 16 to the Moat House.

The route was adjusted on a recce today and the link is below.  Sorry, it would not post as a link; you'll have to copy it and paste it into your search engine.  All the leaders have it.


Applications, please, by 8pm on Monday night.


A Group Ride from Redhill, 23rd June.

A hilly route was planned from Redhill - as a reward for As missing the hills on last week's 'no hills' Shoreham Century! An off-road section was abandoned because of recent heavy rains, replaced instead by a route on top of the North Downs - much of it along the ancient Pilgrims Way. 

First away was Frances's group.

It was great to arrive in Redhill on a sunny morning after a rain soaked recce earlier in the week!

My team Gina, David W, Janice and Dave F were all ready to leave promptly in anticipation of a few hills ahead of us before lunch time.
The route did not disappoint and apart from the A25 section it was quiet with wide open views.  In particular it was lovely to ride along the Pilgrims Way in glorious sunshine.  I did opt to avoid the only small off road bit at Coombe Bank Drive (sorry Dave F) and follow the road to rejoin the route a few minutes later heading for Sundridge. 

We arrived ready for lunch just before 12.30pm and the pub was very organised. 

The other groups all appeared whilst we sat in the garden and enjoyed photo opportunities. We set off by 1.30 to return to Banstead via Edenbridge where Dave W left us for the train option. We headed up South Godstone and Merstham for the final push uphill to Banstead. Dave left us at top of Markedge road and the three ladies went on to the final climb of Park Road which was made easier by the thought of a nice ice cream at Pistachios in the park at Banstead.  I would congratulate Janice for legs of steel after her marathon ride a few days before - I had her back wheel during this ride! Also to Gina for spinning up the hills and our two gentlemen for their support throughout a glorious sunny day in Kent.

Next away was Steve Duffin's group. 

Our group 2 left Redhill at 10.30 am and comprised Neil C., Sue Chasty, Mark, Steve W. and Patrick. What a lovely day! Sunny with a gentle breeze. We only stopped at the top of one of the hills to rehydrate and admire the Kent countryside. 

We paused to admire the timber framed houses with pargetting on the walls at Church Town. The route was a goodly mix of fast roads and descents and quiet climbs up mostly clear roads. Of course being the consumate leader I am, I managed to miss a right turn at Toys Hill and failed to stop Steve and Patrick from flying on downhill. Fortunately they made their own way to Four Elms arriving at 12.45 and we demolished baguettes and cold drinks in the sunny garden of The Four Elms pub. Neil ordered a lamb shank main course and it looked very good.

We set off again at 1.55 pm and our aching legs took a time to ease up with the climb up to Bletchingly. Nearing Banstead, Mark and Sue turned off for home. At Banstead Neil went off too leaving Patrick and Steve W. and myself for tea and cake. We couldn't believe the number of children in the play ground. We arrived at 3.30 pm and despite being the slowest group managed 12.9 mph average, not bad considering 3551 ft of ascent. Many thanks to Mark for marking the turns and to Ged for an unusual route through beautiful countryside.

My group of five became four before the North Downs ridge - Geoffrey dismissing Gangers Hill and descending to Woldingham. The rolling Pilgrims Way was a delight, as was the fast descent into Sundridge, and we coped well with the Combe Bank gravel road over the M25. After traversing Ide Hill and Toys Hill, we stopped for a photo-opportunity in Puddledock Lane with views over the Weald of Kent. (At lunch Mark recognised our stop as the Memorial Well to Octavia Hill, open-spaces campaigner and one of the co-founders of the National Trust).

At the Octavia Hill Memorial Well, Toys Hill

Neil (W) was spooked by a Muntjac deer jumping-out in front of his wheel, but soon recovered at the Four Elms Inn.  Afterwards we paused at Crowhurst church inviting Neil into the Crowhurst tree - for the first time, and later-on stopped at Tilburstow Hill. (Alas, trees now block the view to the South Downs).

I promised a hilly ride, and 2,900ft of ascent was augmented by door-to-door climbs: some of our Strava feeds showed up to 4,500ft. However fine cycling weather made it very doable. As alway, small groups worked very well on a pacey 48mile ride.
Thanks to Frances and Steve Duffin for expert sub-leading, and Janice for pub group photos, as well as rare action shots.

B Group - 23rd June

14 riders B riders made their way south from Redhill, through Bletchingley and Lingfield to East Grinstead in glorious summer sunshine. After lunch at the The Old Dunnings Mill we made our way north westwards around Gatwick and back towards Dorking.

Martin's group playing in the ancient Crowhurst Yew tree
Thank you to all riders for their company and a special thank you to Martin for leading the second group, his first time as a sub leader.

New leader Martin







John A.

Thanks to Tony for this photo

Easy Riders - 23rd June

A beautiful day for cycling, sunny and warm after recent chilly days. With glad hearts eleven of us set out from North Cheam led by Madeleine, on her maiden voyage as C Group's routemaster.

We took a circuitous route through Stoneleigh and Ewell, bringing us to the delightful path through the woods along the Hogsmill river to Ewell Court Park. We stayed by the Hogsmill until turning left along the Bonesgate stream, which lead us to Chessington and then via Horton Country Park through to Epsom Common. Past the Stewponds and along the boundary path to emerge on the Kingston Road by the Star at Malden Rushett.

Here we met John Bellamy, Ray and Caroline who were beginning to wonder where we'd got to as it was past 11.30. Our bucolic wanderings had taken longer than expected after a late-ish 10 am start...They headed off to be the advance party for lunch and reassure the pub that the rest of us were on our way!

Soon we followed them via the path to Princes Coverts, a downhill lane with a quite treacherous surface,  which we followed with care for a mile or so. There was a left turn onto a better gravel surface and we were soon crossing the Leatherhead Road at the bottom. Up a brief hilly lane, then taking a narrow path down to join Blundells Lane just before the railway bridge.

From here Madeleine lead us through by Stoke d'Abernon station, along the Tilt through by the cemetery and across the little bridge (where we stopped for a photo) through fields and alongside  the green to the Cricketers. John Brookes joined us, after a mishap in the morning required a visit to the optician.  A warm welcome and wonderful food and service were enjoyed in the pub's pretty garden.

After lunch we made our way to Bookham Common. I was slightly delayed at the green, so John and Ray waited for me at the bottom of the hill. We were just a few minutes behind the main group but took a different fork, so when we emerged from the common at speed downhill, we were surprised to see Madeleine and the rest of the group just about to turn into our road as we sped by. We all continued in John's wake through Fetcham via River Lane and Cheevers Road to Ashtead. Up to Ashtead Park in hope of tea at the garden centre, but it was gone 3.30 so all decided to head for home without.

A really lovely ride and day out. Sandy commented at lunch that it was surprising how many greenways and cycleways there were between North Cheam and our lunch destination, and how little traffic we'd experienced all day. Many thanks Madeleine for knitting it all together for us, and for excellent choice of pub. And of course to everyone for your pleasant company.

~ Helen


Thursday, June 24, 2021

So does a penny and four farthings = 2d?


In the Beamish museum. One of the photos on the basket shows five of these in procession

Outstanding re-cycling


Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Brian Bent Picture at The Angel


Some time ago Brian Bent presented The Angel at Thames Ditton with a painting of Wayfarers gathered outside the pub, an ancient stopping place for thirsty riders, based on an original drawing by Frank Patterson (of which more here). The Frank Patterson original hangs in the front bar, but Brian’s painting (which features recognisable Wayfarers) hangs in the flat upstairs and is not on public view.

Now However Brian’s masterpiece has been incorporated into the front page of their food menu, so can now be admired by all The Angel’s diners.