Sunday, October 31, 2021

Invitation to a B Group ride on 3rd November

Pete Beyer is inviting you all to join him for his ride from Cobham (British Legion) to the Stepping Stones p.h. in Westhumble. This will be a scenic but longish ride (23.5 miles):

Please contact him with WhatApp to let him know you are coming.

There will be two teams with Team Christina departing the RBL at 10:30, and Team Pete leaving at 10:45.

Note that in view of the long morning ride there is no route planned for the afternoon so we will all be able to make our ways home from Westhumble. But bring your lights anyway.

Look forward to seeing everyone over tea and coffee in the British Legion.

~Tim, p.p. Pete 

Saturday, October 30, 2021

Report for Easy Riders - 27th October

A lovely autumn morning for our meet-up at North Cheam; Sue B kindly led 10 of us via Kingston and through Bushy Park to coffee at Teddington. How lovely to be welcomed back to Elleray Hall; their choir was in full song as we arrived, and the coconut sponge with jam as delicious as I remembered! Bernard, Don, Bill and Eddie joined us there so we were 14 cycling via Richmond Park to lunch at the Telegraph on Putney Heath. The roads were very quiet, I can't remember the last time there were so few people about on the approach across Ham Common, and hardly any vehicles parked along the lane through the woods.

About half our group took the Pembroke Lodge route past Richmond gate and then down to Roehampton. The rest of us crossed the park via Pen Ponds and the ballet school; we saw a some large groups of deer and on our way down from the school, pausing while a herd of roes crossed the road ahead of us, we were lucky to observe stags locking horns in a brief skirmish while we waited.

Alas our peace was rudely awakened as we witnessed a traffic incident at the crossroads up to Roehampton village. All of us were stopped at the traffic lights; as they changed to green we moved off but only three of us were on our way across when the lights changed back to red. There was a loud bang, and a cyclist who'd been approaching the lights quite fast downhill from the opposite direction, was stopped by the driver who'd been next to our group at the lights, turning right into his path. It was shocking.

We all stopped and two of our group went over to help. Ed picked up the bike and brought it over to the side of the road. The driver got out of the vehicle and he and the cyclist talked to one another, then he drove off. We stayed with the cyclist about 15 minutes, but he called someone to pick him up and insisted he was ok to wait by himself, so we continued on our way.

Lunch at The Telegraph was good and after initial confusion, so was service. Afterwards, most peeled off, with a few of us heading to Wimbledon Park and then home via the Wandle trail through Merton Abbey Mills and Morden Hall Park. A shorter ride than in recent weeks, with no tea stop. I was home by 3 pm and only 16 miles from coffee!

~ Helen



Friday, October 29, 2021

Invitation to A Group ride Nov 3rd

A complete contrast to Neil's excellent ride to Harrow. This ride will be rural and we can count miles/turn rather than turns/mile but there will be more hills.

We are heading south from Cobham to the Frog and Nightgown in Wimlands Lane south of Rusper - 22 miles. On the return I plan to come back to Ashtead for tea - 19 miles.

There will be two or three groups depending on numbers. With sunset at 1630 those who live furthest north might want to be in one of the first two. I plan to lead the last group - ideal for those who live south of Surbiton. This time the Bs have the early slot at Cobham and we will be leaving approximately 1050-1100.

We haven't been asked to pre-order though I'll discuss on the recce so it might be worth you looking at the menus: the Tea Room menu includes the sandwich/jacket potato options and the Lily Pad is pizzas/lasagne. Those addicted to pies/sausage/fish and chips will be disappointed.

Frog and Nightgown 

Oh yes - those hills. Outwards over Whitedown and Leith, back via Little Switzerland. Long but fairly gentle ascents.

Please let me know by 6pm Monday.

**No lunch pre-order required.**

Report of the A Group Ride on 27 October. Teddington - Ace Cafe - Harrow-on-the-Hill - Richmond

For a successful ride you need acceptable weather, a good route, an efficient lunch stop, and willing leaders. On Wednesday we were lucky to have all of those.

  • The weather was dry and very mild for the end of October. Simon was still in open-toed sandals and shorts.
  • For the route I just needed to repeat Dave Vine's ride of February 2016.
  • Our usual destination in Harrow is The White Horse but on the recce I was met with a surly landlord and no sandwiches on the menu. Other local pubs were lacking suitable bike parking or even lacking chefs in the kitchen so were not serving food. Thus I added a loop along the Grand Union Canal to the Ace Cafe.
  • Steve D and Dave W had volunteered to lead several weeks ago and had been involved in the recce's. On Monday morning when twenty people had already signed up I thought an extra leader might be prudent. One email later I had Mike R lined up. Thanks very much Mike.
Elleray Hall was welcoming as ever and there were hordes of cyclists outside waiting to leave. 

Mike was first to leave with just a gpx track on his phone (with a hundred turns on the route ahead of him!) and with Fiona, Janice, Ged, Neil W and Dave B to keep him company. By the time I got to the Ace Cafe they were nearly finished their lunch and preparing to leave.

I know they made it to the top of the hill in Harrow because I found a picture of Janice crying beside Byron's Tomb.

During the afternoon I received a text from Mike to say he was already in Richmond but the cafe was shut (It had been open on all my recce's). They had gone to Stein's further along the towpath. When I got there over an hour later they were still there with tales of no tea, no coffee, but apple strudl, black forest gateau and comical service. However they all seemed to have enjoyed themselves. 

Steve was off next and here is his report.

Mark, Richard, Brian, Keith and myself left Teddington at 11 am, comprising the second group. The urban route was unusually quiet with little traffic. We set off with rain in the air, but it did not develop and we rode in mild dry conditions. The route was masterful and varied, going through Syon park, circumnavigating Brentford and Ealing.

We crossed the A40 at Perivale and joined the Paddington arm of the Grand Union canal towpath. Finally stopping for a breakfast lunch at the Ace Cafe, where I had large 'British Breakfast' and ogled some Triumph T150 retro twin cylinder motorcycles. Ah! The perfect day!

After lunch Mark left us to make his own way back. This was probably a good idea as we found our teeth rattling on the washboard finish of the Grand Union concrete towpath. We rode along in sunshine, neatly bypassing Northolt, Southall and Hounslow. 

On finding the Tide Tables cafe at Richmond closed, we all decided to make our way home. I waited for the next group to find out if there were any takers for an alternative cafe, but everyone headed for home.
Thanks to my fellow riders and Neil for all his help.

And here is Dave's report.

The 11.10 group comprised Dave Ferrett, Sue Chasty, Pete Betts and me.   Sadly, Gina wasn't able to join us. What did she miss?    Well, the ride to lunch was mainly uneventful except for a skirmish with the 'B's' - they were ahead of us approaching Twickenham, but my cunning (unofficial) town centre avoider saw us emerge from a side turning just ahead of them opposite Twickenham station only for us to be stopped by red lights.   Never mind, revenge was had in Syon Park!   

We reached the Ace Cafe in good time but Dave F only fancied a light snack.   Just as well as the route home promised a very steep hill!   The cafe had good choices and good service, our only complaint being the lack of 'proper 'coffee!

I was somewhat trepidatious about the 'Harrow loop' as Neil had only added it after I had done my recce.   As we rode along I was increasingly convinced we were going round in circles, and the lack of a guiding sun at this point probably didn't help!  Nevertheless, we stuck with it and found the mysterious 'gap in the hedge' and soon saw our goal ahead of us - a church spire in the clouds!   

Here my Garmin let me down badly (!) and after a false start into a construction site, we ended up climbing up the hill by a lane parallel to Football Lane.   Probably no less steep than the official route, but without the challenge of a barrier needing a dismount.   We duly found the churchyard viewpoint, then started looking for Byron's grave, had the 'it's behind you' moment, and spent some time in quiet contemplation and poetry recital!   Pete told us about his affliction, Gray's Allergy!    

By now the sun was shining, and the views to the east over London were spectacular, although only glimpsed between buildings.   Then it was all downhill and back to rat counting on the towpath.  We paused in Osterley Park and could have stopped there for tea had we known the official tea stop was closed.  Never mind.

Thanks to my group for being jolly good fellows all round, and to thanks to Neil for an ingenious and very inventive route that really kept us guessing!

I was the last to leave with Dave and Jennie J, Simon and Mike B. We soon encountered one of the B groups. It appears Tony Hooker had based his ride on a very similar route to ours but with lunch in Harrow.

We had only got as far as Brentford when Mike B discovered a flat front tyre. With his Marathon Plus tyre he new he was in for a struggle to get it sorted so told us to go on. Hope you got home alright Mike.

We met another B group on the footbridge over the A40 before we diverted towards lunch and they headed towards Harrow.

When we got to the Ace Cafe Brian had already received an ASBO.

After lunch we all left quietly and headed off for Harrow.

Harrow-on-the-Hill was eerily quiet as it was half-term for the school. As we climbed Football Lane past the Music Department there was no musical accompaniment to drown out our creaks and groans. After the detour to see the views from the churchyard we made our way back to the canal and then on to Osterley House.

The absence of the school run made the roads quieter than normal and we were soon in Richmond.  

Thanks to all who made it such a great day out.

Thursday, October 28, 2021

Report for B Group - 27th October

Sherpa Dave writes:

A nice return to Elleray Hall in Teddington, for elevenses.  We were welcomed by a group of Singers, seemingly doing their regular singing which made our visit all the more pleasant and set us in good fettle for our ride out to Harrow.

Our group consisted of eight riders =
Ann B, Christina,  Anne W, Clive, Grant, John A, Ken, and myself Dave C.

We made it to The Castle pub in Harrow, at about 1pm. Hopefully all were happy with their lunch, as I was.   

It was good to ride the route up around where Lord Byron spent some time admiring the view.
A few hiccups occurred with the navigation, but nothing too drastic.

The afternoon route back took us over a relatively new bridge spanning the Grand Union Canal near The Black Horse in Greenford. 75% of the group must have lost confidence with their leader's navigation skills. I believed that they wanted to head towards Perivale?

I led off thinking the group would follow, but only Christina did. We waited for a small while in vain, then we ambled ahead along the towpath (with Christina taking over the job of backmarker).

The 25% of the group continued onwards through Osterley Park, and on towards Coffee and Cake in Bushy Park.

Many thanks to Clive for back-marking.

~ Dave C.  (aka 'Fixie')

Sherpa Tim writes:

It was wonderful to be back in the Elleray Hall, still the cheerful place we all remember from before the plague.

As planned by Tony Hooker seventeen seasoned B Group explorers departed base camp, after tea, coffee and cake, for the terra incognita of the great northern suburbia, led by Sherpa Dave C and Sherpa Tim C. Before departure I had to warn the team that I had only just found out that Tony needed me to lead and therefore to expect the odd navigational blunder.

In his promotional material Tony Hooker had let us know in his half joking manner that the ascent of ‘Mt Harrow’ would be quite a challenge. Sadly, Tony who had originally planned the ride for this time last year, was unable to join the ride, so in our second group it fell to Tony Hopkins, who was probably the only one who ever had a clue where we were, to keep the jokes about the hilliness of Harrow alive with his occasional reminders that the next hill would be even worse than the one we were riding at the time. Thus encouraged we rode up from the foothills of Ealing and Perivale and passed the old school before cresting the twin peaks of Harrow-on-the-Hill.

Most of us managed to ride up to the end of Roxborough Park on the way to Lord Byron’s lookout point by St Mary’s Church but admitted defeat when it came to the footpath to the summit.

What might have been a clear and pristine view in Byron’s day was for us obscured by the rampant shrubbery and an Autumn haze over the landscape. But we were happy to have made it and even more happy that it was downhill all the way to lunch at The Castle. It was a homely pub with a relaxed atmosphere, and with good food if my pea and mint soup was anything to go by.

After the meandering labyrinth of the morning ride and its mountains, the afternoon ride had quite a different character, commencing with a slalom down the south facing slopes to arrive in Greenford where we joined the Paddington Arm of the Grand Union Canal. Despite my cunning alteration to the route at the point of access to the canal path it was in the end Dave’s group who found the new foot bridge across the canal to join the path and me who failed to find it, reverting to Tony’s original plan thanks to advice from Tim G.

Despite facing into the sun it was most enjoyable to cruise along the paved canal path, unlike other sections of the GU closer to home which are very substandard. We left the canal in Southall and realised that we were missing half the group. Liz had evidently had to stop and deal with a bottle cage that was at risk of falling off.

Waiting for the others (photo by Steph)

Here they come

But we were soon riding through the more familiar territory of Osterley Park, the Mogden Sewage Treatment Works, past the Rugby stadium and down the home straight to The Pheasantry in Bushy Park for late afternoon refreshments where we were joined by Dave.

Thanks to Ray Youlden for back-marking and to Tony Hopkins for assistance in places where I couldn’t decipher the route. Thanks to the team, Pam, Tony, Liz, Steph, Ray Y, Ray W, Paul and Tim G for hanging in and maintaining such good spirits throughout the day despite the rigours of the expedition.

~ Tim












Photos from the Exhibition


If any of the photographers who took part in the 2020 competition would like their prints from the display boards at the Annual Lunch please let me know.

Others have let me know that they would like certain photos if not claimed by the photographers.

Please email me to stake your claim




Tuesday, October 26, 2021

B Group teams for tomorrow

Sherpa David Avalanche will start the climb at 10-50 with his group:
Ann Bath, John Austin, Ken Day, Anne Walker, Clive Janes, Grant

Sherpa Tony Glacier starting climb at 11:05,  my group includes Pam, Liz B, Ray Y, Paul James, Stef, and back up Sherpa Tim Summit

We will be climbing the North Face of Mt Harrow followed by lunch at Camp Castle.


Tony Glacier

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.




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.

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.

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


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

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 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.

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 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.