Sunday, August 29, 2021

A Group ride, Wednesday 1st September.

 This week’s A group ride from Cobham (meeting by the cafe/bakery) will be heading for the George on the Green in Holyport (see below). Apologies to the hill munchers but this a reasonably flat, faster (15+mph) ride. A mixture of roads, some reasonably busy but I’ve changed the route to avoid road works, closed bike lanes (Virginia water) etc. Only two ride leaders to date so this may mean slightly larger groups depending on demand. Please email me by Monday evening if you want to take part.

Thursday, August 26, 2021

Easy Riders report for picnic ride on 25th

Day dawned bright for the Wayfarers picnic.  Twelve easy riders met at North Cheam; Paul and Maggie kindly offered to lead a subgroup. Lynda and Karen turned right at Sparrow Farm Road to take their own route via Manor Green Road, while the rest of us headed straight down the A24 and through Ewell High Street.

We were in Leatherhead well before 11 to enjoy coffee with friends from the As and Bs at the Fairfield Centre. What a treat to join them all, we have missed their friendly faces this past year. The terrace was buzzing as we all caught up with each other and expressed our pleasure to renew old acquaintances.
Then they all headed away to do some distance to work up an appetite for lunch while we easies did a bit of loitering and chatting. Paul suggested we visit Betchworth Castle en route to lunch, so we headed away a little after 11.30.

When we arrived at the castle there were others there, a quite unusual occurrence. A team of local volunteers were just finishing up footpath and weed clearance, which made for a pleasant stroll around the ruins. We were fortunate that the local building historian happened to be there; he invited us inside the fence to have a look round and told us a little about the place. 

Soon we were back on the carriageway through to Brockham, and joined everyone at the cricket pavilion with our picnics. A very convivial event, much chat and laughter as we ate and drank together in the warm late August sunshine, looking across the cricket pitch. A lovely spot to gather.

Our group divided after lunch; some wanted to go over Box Hill, I lead a group that didn't! We headed back up the A24, then via Leatherhead station through to Ashtead and Epsom commons and the Old Moat. It was closed this afternoon for a volunteers' barbecue, so we continued to the other end of Horton Lane, where Lynda and I enjoyed tea cakes with our tea and coffee before heading for home.

Many thanks all for your cheery company over the day, to Paul and Maggie for looking after the second group, to Ged for getting coffee venues booked again and to Simon for organising the picnic. Also to the Fairfield for their warm welcome and delicious cheese scones, definitely a highlight on the way!

~ Helen

Photos by Sue Bellamy

The A Group Ride to the Wayfarers Picnic - 25 August

Star of the day was Simon for organising such perfect weather for a ride and a picnic.

At Leatherhead it was good to see friends from all the groups together again. There was lots of chatting in the sunshine and most people seemed reluctant to get on their bikes and go for a ride!

The first group persuaded to leave was led by Dave V, and here is his report - 

Firstly many thanks to Simon for organising the Picnic arrangements at Brockham, and all the work associated with setting up and clearing away afterwards. My personal assistance was limited to washing 3 mugs, but hopefully others were more generous with their support.

For the ride Neil had designed a nicely balanced route incorporating a few hills, some superb views, and some long descents.

He told me at the start that it was not a race and we should enjoy the sunshine and the countryside. As a result we were soon overtaken by both following groups. But we did enjoy ourselves, stopping at Lowfield Heath for a historical research into the windmill, still working after 250 years, thanks to an astonishing renovation project.

Lunch was most enjoyable, the first time we have had almost everyone present since the Annual Lunch in March 2020. We even had some “old” faces from way back who had made long journeys to be there. Thanks Simon.

After lunch David & Jennie departed for grandparent duties, and Mike Barrett who had been doing sterling service as back marker, volunteered to remain with Simon for clearing-up duties, a different sort of rear-guard. Thanks Mike and welcome back.

Neil offered to lead me and my group of two survivors, Pete B and Dave F for the afternoon ride, so I was then free to enjoy the ride up from Denbies, sample the views of Dorking, dodge the road roller which was stopping for nobody, and be only the second person to ride up their vastly improved and newly asphalted road, albeit a little warm and sticky under the tyres.

Tea was in Cobham where we met up with the earlier, dare I say, faster group who were rewarding themselves with an extended tea break.

Thanks to my group for their most agreeable company, and to Simon for making it all possible.


My group of Sue C, Gina, Frances and Brian also required a little persuasion to leave Leatherhead, but shortly after eleven we headed off towards Headley. It was a long and steady climb but was rewarded with the swooping descent of Lodgebottom Road. 

Root Hill required a little more effort than in the freewheel competition, but after that is was gently rolling to Parkgate and the delightful Cidermill Road before turning towards lunch. Norwood Hill was quickly dispatched and then it was all downhill to lunch.

After lunch we joined up with the remains of Team Dave and made a steady ascent through Denbies, pausing to take in views in much the same place as Team Steve (see photo below). 

All three groups met up again in Cobham where drinks and ice creams were consumed before we all pushed on for home.

Thanks to Brian for back-marking all day.


Steve D led the third group and here is his report -

I did not have time to recce the ride and so I studied it to try and memorise it in my head. At the Fairfield Leatherhead day centre it was very refreshing to see everyone from all disciplines of the club, meeting each other once more informally and catching up on news. 

I set off with Neil W, Patrick, Steve W, Janice and Ged, a strong bunch of riders. So I set a fast pace, as we were the last group off, making sure I didn't lose anyone. I need not have worried. Pretty soon we overtook both the first two groups. Sometimes on a warm sunny day it is good to ride fast. Neil C's route was a lovely mix of fast descents and level country roads which we all relished. 

We quickly descended Lodge Bottom Road, crossed the A25 and then out into undulating quiet country lanes. Shellwood Cross, Charlwood and Leigh, back to Brockham. Seeing me struggling with the pace, Janice, Neil W and Patrick set up a peloton ahead of me. However I couldn't stay with them and they disappeared to Brockham, but shot past the village hall where our lunch stop was. Anyway we all met at the cricket pavilion and spent time chatting and a very pleasant time was had by all, as the other groups gradually arrived.

After lunch we set off for our final climb of the day up Denbies zig zag. The view was stunning so we stopped to take pictures.

At the top workers had just finished laying new tarmac. Yes we could cycle up it. Bad idea! We all had tyres coated with tarmac. My rear tyre developed a heat blister which delaminated the outer case and a penny sized lump peeled off. Fortunately it didn't deflate. Everyone else had tarmac glued to their tyres which grabbed stones and grit in a coating like sandpaper. (Another little tyre repair job for tomorrow!). After spending ten minutes scraping our tyres we set off again, A246 to West Horsley, then Ockham and tea at Cobham. 

An exhilarating ride thanks to Neil C's route, which I was able to follow without going wrong. Many thanks to Ged for back marking and a lovely cup of tea. I needed it as I was tired out.

PS from Simon.
It was great to see so many people together enjoying the sunshine and company today.  Thanks to all those who lent a hand, whether it was sorting out chairs & tables, tidying up or washing up.  It all makes it run more smoothly.

Geoff Gregory was unable to join us this week but he says hello to all.

Invitation to B group ride - Wed 1st Sept

 The ride will start at Cobham and lunch at The New Inn Send .  Morning route is on my strava/kamoot.  Afternoon route Ripley/Cobham/Hogden Lane/ Garsons Farm Esher for T.  The New Inn would appreciate advance notice of lunch requests.   Willing sub leader/s very welcome- if you would like a pre ride reccy I m available Sun/Mon.

B Group report - 25th August

Tim Gibbons reports:

The day began with a very relaxed elevenses, in fine and bright weather at the day center at Leatherhead. We were admirably catered for by the staff who had set out tables and chairs outside on the patio.

Together with Brenda, Inder, John and Terry we all set off promptly at 10.30am for the first leg of today's ride.


Passing through Leatherhead we took the familiar route through Westhumble, Dorking and over the golf course to Brockham. It is always a pleasure to cycle the lanes in this area and today was no exception especially in fine weather.

The off road section through Hammond's Copse was an interesting diversion and not a route that was particularly familiar. The farm/manor house to which it led looked very grand in its well manicured surroundings.

We were the first group to arrive back at Brockham for the picnic lunch to find all had been set out and prepared by Simon in advance. Other groups soon arrived to enjoy what to be a most successful picnic lunch in ideal surroundings. It was good to see such a large turnout and reconnect with many members who we had not seen for a while.


Tempting as it was to spend the whole afternoon in such pleasant surroundings we nevertheless took on the challenge of our afternoon ride heading for Headley via Pixham, Westhumble and Box Hill. We decided collectively not to stop for tea but instead to carry on to Epsom Downs. Terry peeled off after Headley and the rest of us carried on through Langley Vale to our agreed destination.

Many thanks to all my group members for being so compliant and cooperative. Always a pleasure to lead a group of uncomplicated participants. Thanks also to Christina for planning the route and to Simon for organizing the picnic lunch and venue. All very much appreciated and a good day had by all.

~ Tim G 


Ann Bath reports:

After a lovely gathering of all 3 groups at the Day Centre at Leatherhead where we were served outside my group left our picnics with Simon and set off via the A24 cycle path where we detoured to Norbury Park viewing the cattle that were once walking so slowly on the road to be milked that I had to turn around! At least one of the group hadn't done it before.

Then it was back on the cycle path to cross a rather sandy and gravelly (for narrow tires!) Betchworth golf course, then lovely quiet lanes to a good surface off road route through Hammond's Copse, and we arrived at Brockham at 12.25 where our picnics had been delivered!

Gorgeous sunshine and great to catch up with everyone. As I'd made a last minute decision to run a mile race in Bushy Park at 7pm Pete Beyer agreed to lead my group up the zig zags to Headley while I went by the flat route home. Thanks for your company and to Christina for a lovely route.

~ Ann

Christina's excellent morning route