Monday, November 29, 2021

 Easy Riders Wednesday 1st Dec

This week's ride is going to take us from Cobham to Kingston - about 12 miles. Those of you coming from N Cheam will be doing a further 12 miles. We are lunching at The Spring Grove in Bloomfield Road. The link to the ride is below. Subject to any change  tomorrow there are 2 short off road excursions - one of which is only about 75m long and is only walkable but enables us to avoid the very busy stretch into Esher.

Peter T

Sunday, November 28, 2021

Ride Report for Easy Riders - 24th November

Cold weather reduced our numbers and six set off from North Cheam comprising Anne Connaugton, Cam Phuoc, Siu Chong, Colin Lown, Gillian Calder and myself. We were joined by Caroline Toop, Madeleine Shearer, Peter Tiller and Ricardo for elevenses at Coffee Active in Ashtead. Ricardo had family commitments and did not stay for lunch.

We were on familiar territory, passing through Leatherhead, Fetcham and Bookham Common to lunch at the Cricketers at Downside. Our return journey took us through Cobham, West End and Thames Ditton with gathering dusk persuading us against a longer route. For reasons that were not apparent two of our number had chain problems but the ride was otherwise uneventful.

~ Frank


Saturday, November 27, 2021

A Group ride invitation 1st December

I have planned a route starting in Cobham through quiet roads via Ockham,West Horsley, Shere and Ockley to Newdigate. The plan was to have lunch at The Six Bells. However their policy is to take a £10 deposit per person for groups over 10. They also charge 10% service charge on the bill. The food is good and they are doing a prix fixe at £15 for three courses, or £12.5 for two, but I have failed to negotiate with them.

So we will be having lunch at The Royal Oak Stonebridge. The down side is that the morning ride will be 27 miles. The afternoon ride to tea at the Old Moat garden centre near Epsom will be 13.4 miles via Box Hill. The route is hilly with 2000 ft of ascent in the morning followed by 1000 ft in the afternoon. Because of this I plan to start the groups off from 10.20 am at 10 minute intervals to allow us time to journey to the pub. The menu is a selection of main meals and sandwiches/baguettes at reasonable prices without a deposit or service charge.

Weather looks to be cold and sunny with a chill westerly wind. If you would like to join this ride please email me by Monday 6 pm so I can organise the groups.

Steve D.


B Group  - Ride invitation for December 1st

Martin is pleased to invite you all on his B group ride on Wednesday December 1st.

The starting point is Cobham RBL.  There are also coffee shops nearby if you prefer.  The ride is a shorter route so we can get home before dark.  The morning route is about 17 miles to lunch at the Dukes Head, Dorking Road, Tadworth, KT20 5SL, via some of the Surrey Hills through Effingham, Ranmore Common, Headley Lane and up to Walton-on-the-Hill.  After lunch we continue for 6 miles via Epsom Downs and Epsom Common to the Old Moat for tea.

This is a link to the route if you would like to have a look:

Routes · Ride with GPS

There is no need to pre-order lunch but here’s a link to the Dukes Head menus:

The Dukes Head Tadworth – A Warm Welcome

Please let Martin know by email,, or private WhatsApp message if you would like to join the ride.

Thursday, November 25, 2021

Ride report for B Group - 24th November

Two groups of riders led by Dave Fixie and myself left Bocketts Farm cafe on a cold but dry morning.

Bocketts Farm

We were heading for The Cricketers Inn in Epsom, via Walton on the Hill, Chipstead and Banstead, 19miles to lunch. En route we paid our respects at the plaque of Emily Davison the suffragette killed at the Epsom Derby. Arriving at The Cricketers we were seated in an upstairs room reserved for us, the service was very good and the food good at a reasonable prices. Nine of us continued in one group to afternoon tea.

We found the cafe at Hampton Court Palace closed to non-ticket holders so onto Plan B, tea at The Pheasantry.

Thanks to Dave for leading the first group and Martin for backing marking for my group.

30 miles.  16 riders.



Tim writes:

It was a chlly ride down to Elevenses for all of us. But the fog has a special atmosphere when imposed on the autumn scenery and those of us who turned left off Hawk's Hill by the Elmer Water Works, and rode down the leafy Bocketts Lane path to the farm, were able to enjoy its full splendour and could almost imagine the sun coming out later in the day.

a good source of winter sustenance

It wasn't quite the expected team of riders who turned up but we were pleased that Clive brought his son George along for a taste of early retirement. Fortunately for him Tony had produced a good route and with Dave on his trusty fixed-wheel bike our group headed out first after coffee and cake in the barn. We descended Young Street and took Highlands Road out of Leatherhead for an excursion we rarely make, through Tyrell's Wood to Headley. Then Walton on the Hill, Kingswood, Chipstead and Rectory Lane brought us up to Woodmansterne for a flatter and faster ride through Banstead and Epsom Downs and we soon arrived at The Cricketers. As far as I was aware we all ate very well and the pub had a nice toasty ambience.

After lunch most gathered for team photos before they united as a single peloton and headed off through Chessington and Long Ditton to Hampton Court for Tea. However it seems that nowadays we can't visit the Tiltyard Café without tickets and the group also found that they couldn't wheel their bikes through the palace premises as we used to be able to do. So, forlorn and tealess, they employed a plan B which was to go to The Pheasantry in Bushy Park where satisfaction was had.

Thanks to Tony for coming up with and leading a very good ride and to Dave for leading our group, finally making sense of the disagreement between his Garmin and Strava about where Tony was intending to take us.

~ Tim

Brian made this sketch yesterday at lunchtime

'A' Group Ride Report - Weds 24 Nov 2021 (Leatherhead and Redhill)


The North Downs have not featured at all in the last few Wednesday 'A' rides and I was worried we might be gettting withdrawal symptoms, so, with the help of Brian and Steve Duffin, I came up with a route taking us up Bagden Hill, then up Little Switzerland, then up Hurst lane, all in quick succession, then, after a generous, flattish interlude of at least a couple of miles, up and down a few short, sharp bumps between Kingswood and Merstham, with the tempting reward of a lavish lunch at Wetherspoons, Redhill.  The plan for the afternoon was much more reasonable, with a flattish ride over Reigate Heath to Betchworth, then a quick shimmy through 'the gap' to tea at Leatherhead.   

The morning was at least a little bit bright (at times), and twenty 'A' riders gathered for a rather cold start.   The Edmund Tylney did good trade!   My group set off last at 10.40 am and reached lunch without incident.   After savouring the delicacies on offer at Wetherspoons and boggling over the prices, we were met with stygian gloom for the ride back to Leatherhead.   It was lights on from 2.00 pm!    Still, at least we can say we saw The Sun!    No one from my group stopped for tea and we all disappeared homewards through the gloom!

This report from Steve Duffin:

One of the big advantages of co-leading rides is that occasionally, when you do a recce of the route, you ride in glorious sunshine. Such was this route which covered many roads we have peddled along before, but put together in a way that impresses unforgettable vistas. Unfortunately we set off in cold, grey gloom today at 10.25 am. Janice, Mike, Hans, Patrick, Neil W and myself in the first group. Well the roads were quiet and we made good time, arriving at Weatherspoons Redhill at 12 pm. I had Ham, eggs and chips and a ginger beer for £3.99 ? Why can't all pubs produce value like this? 

Suitably refreshed we set off again at 12.55 pm and because they were all fast riders we reached the A24 cycle path to Leatherhead at 1.30 pm. We had a discussion about where to have tea and Destination Bike was chosen unanimously because of the excellent coffee. However it meant climbing Box Hill. I suppose it was fitting punishment for not going fast enough. While we were there we could ogle the latest Willier carbon gravel bike. A single 40 tooth chainwheel, driving a 44 to 9 tooth Campagnolo twelve speed cassette. The whole bike was about 8 kg with 45mm Panracer tubeless Gravelking tyres. Wow!

Back to earth! Thanks to my fellow riders for their company on a cold day out. Thank you Dave Ward for another intriguing route. (Too kind, I'm sure - Ed)    If only we could have seen it in warm sunshine like the recce!

This report from Simon Lambourn:

David's ride today had everything - hills, bracing weather, rarely-ridden roads, more hills, and a nice pub.  Our group's pre-ride preparation was carried out in Wetherspoons at Leatherhead, attracting several people from the other groups too.  It was around 2 degrees C when we set off, but we soon warmed up on the hills, first up to Bagden hill and then Little Switzerland and Walton on the Hill.   As we were approaching Walton on the Hill we sighted a colourful group of cyclists ahead.   Gleefully, we thought we had caught up with the first A group, but when we eventually caught them we realised it was one of the B groups, also enjoying the climb up to Walton.   After a tour round the quiet foothills of Mugswell we arrived at lunch at the Sun, Redhill, also a Wetherspoons pub.  There was talk of making it a three-Wetherspoons day by having tea back at The Edmund Tylney at Leatherhead (would this be a record for the Wayfarers??) but in the end we were tempted by the cakes at Charlie and Ginger instead.   A nice day out in good company.  Thank you to Dave Bartholomew for back-marking, and to David W for a most enjoyable and invigorating route.

Many thanks to Simon, Steve and Brian for their help, and to everyone else for your company.


Saturday, November 20, 2021

B Group - Ride invitation for 24th November

Tony is pleased to invite you all to his ride on Wednesday 24th.

As the Day Centre in Leatherhead is unable to accomodate us indoors we will be meeting for Elevenses at the Bocketts Farm Park Tearooms, address: Bocketts Farm Park, Young Street, Fetcham, Leatherhead, Surrey KT22 9BS. (Young Street is the A246.) The tearooms open at 10:00.

The 19.3 mile morning ride will take us up hill and down dale, and all around the houses to The Cricketers Inn by Stamford Green Pond in Epsom. After lunch the intention is to ride to Tea at the Tiltyard Café in the grounds of Hampton Court Palace.

This is the route, which leaders may vary at their discretion:

Please notify Tony by email if you are intending to come, or let him know by private WhatsApp message.

~ Tim C, p.p. Tony


Friday, November 19, 2021

Broken rear gear cable "get me home" fix.

When your rear gear cable snaps, the derailleur mechanism forces the arm to the smallest and highest cog, making it a hard work ride home. Some people have mentioned   tugging hard on the loose cable and tying it off  on the bike somehow. Courtesy of Simon, there is a simpler alternative. The answer is a pebble or piece of twig with a thickness of around 10mm. 

You need to pull the derailleur arm back and towards the  wheel to open up the "derailleur parallelogram" (splendid description Simon) and insert the spacer. That should enable you to have a fixed gear that is somewhat larger and lower than the smallest to continue your trip. It certainly worked for me on Wednesday. Glad I was in knowledgeable company. I was even allowed to take a shortcut to the pub missing a pre-lunch hilly loop, where I recorded the pebble for posterity.

This temporary fix is not perfect, as the chain will not be perfectly aligned / indexed with the cassette (unless you are very lucky with your chosen pebble) so expect some squeaks and accelerated wear and tear to chain and cassette. 

The real Fixie Dave does not suffer this type of problem!

Join the 'A' Group Ride on Weds 24 November

As the last two 'A' group rides have stayed well away from the North Downs, you may be experiencing withdrawal symptoms!    Fear not, I have just the thing for you!    Next Wednesday's 'A' ride will take a scenic, 20-mile, undulating route (about 1800 ft of ascent) from Leatherhead to lunch at The Sun, Redhill RH1 1LY (Wetherspoons), with a much flatter 12 miles or so back to tea at Charlie & Gingers, Leatherhead.   Nothing unsurfaced, no mud, and all home before dark, hopefully!  See .

Please note that we cannot use the day centre at Leatherhead, but there are plenty of other cafes available in the town centre, as well as the Edmund Tylney (Wetherspoons) and Costa Coffee.    In view of this the starting point will not be the day centre car park, but the back entrance to the Swan Centre on Leret Way, (behind Sainsburys and by the centre toilets).

If you would like to join the ride please e-mail me ( by 5.00 pm on Monday.  Groups will be setting off at 10.20, 10.30 and 10.40.  Let me know if you have any preference for a particular start time.

A group report, Weybridge to Pirbright

 Three groups set off for Pirbright on what turned out to be a beautiful, Autumn day. My group led the way and we were going well until Dave F’s gear cable snapped. Step forward the man with a plan. It seems that Simon had read about the use of a stone, wedged into the derailleur would do the trick. Scrabbling around in the stony driveway of house Simon selected a stone, right size, size shape and with the cable strapped up and stone in place we were off again. We reached lunch with no further mishaps ( Dave wisely took the short route to the pub), well fed and watered most of the A’s met at the cafe/bakery in Cobham in good time. 

Many thanks to Janice and Neil for sub leading and Simon for back marking my group and providing some ‘stone age’ knowledge.


My group of Steve W, Mike R, Dave B, Patrick and myself were last off as I’d been told by Hans we’d be fast. I wasn’t sure if that was something we had to live up to or not! 

Unfortunately I’d been unable to recce the ride as rain had forced a late cancellation on the scheduled day so I was leading from a gpx file in a relatively unfamiliar area. Fortunately my garmin behaved well and I only needed my back seat drivers to shout out the odd turn instruction. Mike also had the route on his garmin and Dave had part reccie’d the ride on a different day (so in fact I probably wasn’t needed at all). 

With my eyes firmly on the garmin for route instructions it felt like hard work into a headwind. Nevertheless the sun, mild temperature and golden autumnal trees were a treat. 

We passed Neil W’s group and then Hans’ as Dave F had a gear cable problem. Despite the wind we made amazing time to Pirbright, indeed I’d hardly had time to digest my excellent bread pudding from the day centre. The reason became apparent as the route continued on with no sign of the Royal Oak. We had a loop and the biggest hill of the day to cycle first before arriving at the pub!

By the time we arrived at the Royal Oak we found Dave already there as he had sensibly decided to miss the hill given his limited range of gears. We were more than ready for our lunch and it was quickly served to 3 of us, not so fast to 2. Great food though. 

We hadn’t decided where to stop for tea but Ripley came too soon so we headed for Cobham. In Cobham it was still very early so we decided to forgo tea and press on home. 

Thanks to Hans for a lovely route which we all enjoyed and to my group for their company and assistant navigating. The autumn colours and the sunshine were a bonus too. 


Thursday, November 18, 2021

Neil W's sub group ride from Weybridge - Fox on the Ride

We weren't able to recce the ride from Weybridge, so I did a virtual recce on google street view. I noticed several places with Fox in the name, so I invited the group to look out for them. The 70s pop song 'Fox on the Run' came to mind, the others in the group recognised it. But who was the band? 

Richard rode bare legged, and his verdict later was it was a bit chilly for that. But the sun did shine all day, making the autumnal colours vivid along Stonehill Road, then many other excellent roads like it. 

There were three foxes viewable along Stonehill Road, one of them was new to me - a pub-like sign outside Foxholes country spa/gym. Steve noticed Fox Hills lane near Ash Vale. 

Lunch at the Royal Oak went well. John related curious gems from his trip to Istanbul. Neil C shared what he knew about the Turkey: in Portugal they call it the Peru bird. John set a fair pace at lunch and it was Neil C left lagging with his remaining chips. Even so somehow John was delayed and sorry John you missed the group photo taken out front.  

Neil C was hesitant to admit he remembered this, but he thought the band was probably Sweet. (Correct, they who gave us 70s prose like 'Wig-wam bam sham-a-lam" and "Ho-chi-ka-ka-ho, Co-Co"). 

Onward, some were flagging a bit so we paused at the Fox Inn, FOX'S CORNER. . 

Then we arrived early at Cobham so plenty of time for a drink and cake. 

A lovely day out, thanks Hans, and Dave V. for backmarking. 

Late addition:  Neil C: "I'd like to claim another point for the real live fox that ran towards me in Lower Marsh Lane on my way home yesterday". That's a deserved bonus point!

Day Centres - Elevenses Update.

Day Centres have been opening-up. Since late summer we've enjoyed re-visiting Caterham, Dorking, Teddington, Hersham and Weybridge. Cobham Royal British Legion has welcomed us back for our monthly visits. Unfortunately the picture is mixed - with some Centres changing the way they operate. Addlestone remains closed. New Haw uncertain. Leatherhead Fairfield Centre, after welcoming us in August is unavailable again next week - due to more stringent Covid restrictions.  Kingston Bradbury Centre is closed, will no longer operate as a drop-in cafe Centre, and can't host us on 8th December. (Don't rely on the Rides List - look-out for ride leaders announcing alternative elevenses venues on the blog).

The good news is that Claygate Day Centre is open for business for our visit on 15th December, and Walton Day Centre - after hosting the Easy Riders in October, is expecting us all on 22nd December. After our successful large gathering at Teddington Elleray Hall last month, they are again ready to welcome us on the last ride of the year on 29th December. 

Looking further ahead to our Rides Programme 2022 (on the Rides List), it is hoped that more Day Centres will be open - very welcome in the winter months. (Weybridge will be geared-up to accept all 3 groups in February). As always, please adhere to local Covid restrictions in place at Day Centres - as well as at other elevenses venues, and to respect our hosts requirements. Happy Christmas!

Map for Ray's ride

~ Tim C

Autumn Ride with the B's to Rokers Park, 17th November


Magnificent weather, great company and the leaves changing colour all made Wednesday’s ride special, but it didn’t start of like that. We arrived at Walton Bridge to discover that the café was closed for the day in order to carryout some building work, so no coffee and no cakes. After some late reshuffling of groups we then set out with John Austin taking the first group at 10.15 followed by, Tim Gibbons, Tim Court and myself.


Tim Gibbons report: -

We could not have wished for a better day in November to be out on an autumn ride.

Having met at Walton, only to find the cafe closed, the consensus of opinion was to call at Weybridge for coffee. This did little to upset our schedule and we were still on the road in good time to follow the planned route.

Having cycled past the station we soon got to Brooklands via a short stretch along the river Wey. A brief stop to look at Concord also provided a good photo opportunity.



Picking up part of the Venus trail took us along a very attractive off-road section that connected with the Wey Navigation and on to West Byfleet.                                                              

 Later groups were gathering ground so we hastened our pace through Sheerwater and on to Woking Park. The remaining ride to Rokers went smoothly and we arrived on schedule.

Service was prompt and efficient and we were lucky to be able to sit outside and enjoy a welcome break in warm sunshine.

Our group number increased a little in the afternoon as Pam, Liz and Madeleine joined us for part of the return trip towards Burpham where we followed a familiar route alongside the A3 to Ockham and our final Destination at Cobham. Five of us decided to have a tea stop before making our way home.

Thanks to Sue, Jackie, Tony H, Bob and Dave for being an 'uncomplicated' group to lead and to Ray Y for devising the route.


A  good day had by all 


Tim G 


Tim Court’s report:-

Our team (Christina, Anne, Martin, Paula, Brian B, Colin) managed to leave ahead of the appointed time with Colin agreeing to be back-marker. Mildly discombobulated about the Wilde Brunch café being closed for building work and therefore depriving us of our customary refreshments we set off for Weybridge. Those who had needed it had already been to the café by the Walton marina.

In Weybridge our group deviated from Ray's prescribed route, crossing the High Street into Monument Green by the Pizza Express then Springfield Meadows to join the path alongside the Churchfields Recreation Ground through to Melrose Road and The Waverley.

 The full grandeur of this Autumn day unfolded after we had passed through the Weybridge Station car park and took the various paths until crossing the River Wey and following it through to the former Brooklands Aerodrome runway. We crossed Parvis Road and soon picked up the Venus trail on Murray's Lane and a stretch along the Wey Navigation from Murray's Bridge through to Dodd's Bridge and on to West Byfleet.

We had a quick toilet stop in Woking Park before completing our ride to Rokers Farmhouse Café where Florent and his team of happy helpers were already serving those who had arrived before us. It was good to be back there, last visited by us in June. The food is rather good and actually cheaper than many of the pubs we visit.

 After lunch we headed to Cobham via Jacob's Well and Ripley for Tea at Caffè Capital.

Ray had planned a very good route including numerous cycle paths of variable quality alongside the busy main roads but we'll remember all the Autumn colours and dappled sunshine along the off-road paths. For anyone who didn't linger too long over afternoon tea it was possible to reach home before serious darkness had descended.

Thanks to my cheerful team and to Ray for a splendid day.

~ Tim C

Rays Report

We headed off, Ken Pam Liz Grant Andrew Madeline, without any issues through Weybridge, took the cycle path up Heath Road to Weybridge station and down the path into Brooklands where we found the 2nd group admiring the VC 10. After a brief rest to let them get some distance away, followed on through to Byfleet, down Murry Lane, the Wey Navigation and across the bridge n to Dodd’s Lane.


A series of quiet minor roads lead us to Woking Park where we joined NCR 223 until Mayford where we left the NCR and headed to Worplsdon and onto Rokers Farm Café. Florent greeted us on arrival and all the groups sat outside in perfect autumn weather looking out at the farmland. Lunch was served quickly, efficiently, good value for money and enjoyed by all.

After lunch we started with a depleted group of four as the girls had left early to make back home for another appointment. The four of us left along Aldershot Road and then left into Gravetts Lane and onto Jacobs Well and the A3 path to Cobham. At Cobham the other three went up Hogshill Lane where Ken left and the other three, now joined by Christina, on to Esher and home. I waited for Tim Court’s group, that we overtook on the way out of Ripley while being entertained by the A Group, who had chosen the same café for their tea stop.

Thank you to all who helped, sub leaders John Austin, Tim Gibbons and Tim Court plus Andrew Newton who back marked.


Ray Youlden

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Funeral arrangements for John Brooks

Dear friends of John,

Gillian has received this invitation from John's family with details of arrangments for the funeral.

~ Tim


Dear friends and family

Thank you for all your support at this difficult time. Dad’s funeral service will take place on Thursday 25th November at 11.45am at Our Lady of Lourdes RC Church, Hampton Court Way, Thames Ditton, Surrey KT7 0LP.

There will be refreshments afterwards in the adjacent church hall. If you plan on attending, we should be grateful if you would let us know (by email) so we have an idea of numbers.

The dress code is whatever you would like to wear. The immediate family will not be wearing black.

Also, we would prefer a donation to charity rather than flowers. Details of Dad’s favourite charities will be on the funeral service sheet.

We hope that many of you will be able to join us and Mum on 25th November.

Kind regards

Sophie Leman & Rob Brooks