Tuesday, September 16, 2014
A trip up to London in September must mean only one thing............The Friends Life Tour of Britain.
Seven of us enjoyed a new elevenses at Kennington Park (NB this establishment doesn't open until 10.30am on Sundays) then CS7 to London Bridge where we saw the time trial.
Blink and you'll miss Wiggo (winner with a time of 9:50.710).
After a disappointing hunt for a free table at The Liberty Bounds (some folk headed home) we eventually got a window seat thanks to MM and his (persuasive?) powers.
The main race of ten laps didn't start until 3.30pm which was a bit much especially as the time trial finished at 1pm!
We walked across the road and viewed the poppies around the moat of the Tower of London,read more here:
Our vantage point in front of the pub:
The view from our tea stop (Pret a Manger,King William Street):
Marcel Kittel won the sprint with Cav second (1:50.33).
Overall winner Dylan Van Baarle of Netherlands (Garmin-Sharp).
Monday, September 15, 2014
Here are some of my photos from the day in London. I ended up with 150 in total and I have selected 17. The quality of the photos isn't as good as I'd hoped from my Lumix TZ40. A last minute change of mind made me take my TZ40 instead of using my DSLR, as it's smaller and easier to carry around.
Monday, September 08, 2014
|Ed.......doing his Bruce Forsyth impression (Good game,good game)|
|Looks like crab.............but isn't|
|"Now.......WHERE do I start?|
|One of life's couples...........Daniel & Roast!|
|Blue skies,gentle warmth...........tea & cake £1.50...........final tea 14th Sept|
Gomshall - Walliswood - North Holmwood
|Apologies to the absentees!|
This Sunday, riders found their own way to the banks of Tilling Brook at Gomshall, graced by the hostelry reincarnated as the tea-rooms now known as Tillings. A warm welcome back to Lilian, fresh from Slovenia. Welcome also to Peter Bowles, a refugee from the MWW as well as to the reappearance of Nick Griffiths and a seasonal visit by Roger Mace.
Our route was to be a lame descent from the sublime heights of the earlier conquest of the English Channel to a ridiculously short perambulation of our Surrey lanes, to seek out the consolation of one of our sometimes superlative Surrey pubs. Hopefully our choice did not disappoint. With Walliswood so close, we had to keep our riders on their toes by wondering, after Winterfold and Ewehurst, what might be our next unexpected turn. A few giddy twirls and an unaccustomed acquaintance with Okewood Hill led us to an early arrival at the Scarlett Arms.
Despite the cloud we dined outside in relative, radiated warmth. The food was good, our hostess most welcoming and Badger beer on tap, tempting but untasted - the beer that is. Daniel sang its praises. After unhurried R&R we resaddled for a short canter to North Holmwood, our progress reduced a tad by the now smooth and seductive curves ot Tanhurst Lane. I had to applaud the effortless ease with which our mountain goats rose to the challenge, from an admiring and respectful distance. Then it was up to Leith Hill and the exhilarating swoop down Coldharbour Lane. Janice, why did you brake? All heeded the caution not to let the blood rush to their heads and invade Dorking, as we were to approach North Holmwood from the North, with a novel right turn along Ridgeway Rd. to Flint Hill and a freewheel down to Spook Hill and an early arrival for tea and cake, courtesy of the stalwart ladies of the Church of St John. Why always ladies? In no time, all chairs were occupied, so our promptitude was well rewarded.
By now the sky was blue as we surrendered to the warmth of gloriously comforting September sunshine. Let's enjoy it while we can. Our days are shortening. Many thanks to those who shared it, with time in hand for an unhurried journey home.
P.S. Our Rides Secretary will provide the photographic record.
Monday, September 01, 2014
Five of the regular riders arrived at Reigate - Janice, Ed, Neil, Daniel and Paul, along with some new or not so recent faces - Paul's dad Ken, Matt and Patrick. At the designated hour I did a brief check of the new town hall (Bob had mentioned that on one of the rides people were waiting there) then we headed south towards Lonesome Lane.
Left along Lodge Lane then over the A23 to head towards Smallfield, Effingham Road then the B2028 to Turners Hill and the first hill of the day before descending to Tulleys Farm where Andy and Jeff joined us. I also met Sue from Addiscombe with another CTC group. Sue had looked for my ride on the web and found a CTC ride stopping at Tulley's led by Dave but it was the wrong Dave!
After refreshments Ed decided he would head back leaving 10 of us to head for the lunch venue. We did a swift downhill to join the Worth Way for the first part of the ride. The section up to Crawley Down was relatively comfortable but it got a bit rougher after that. The plan was to stay on for about 2 kilometres then leave at Imberhorne Farm and take the farm road alongside Worth Way to the road. An operator error by whoever edited the route in my gps (that would be me) meant we nearly missed the turn off but luckily we spotted it in time.
I had implemented plan B in case anyone wasn't happy with the 4 kilometre hill I had initially included so we headed through East Grinstead and used the A22 to get to Forest Row. We didn't escape completely though because there was a shorter but steeper hill by Coleman's Hatch. After that though it was an easy ride to our lunch stop at Withyham where we arrived about an hour earlier than I had expected.
The lunchers entered the pub leaving the sandwichers to eat at the front. Our table was ready so we ordered lunch - ploughmans, soup and a sandwich and Daniel's meal. Daniel was interested in the roast grouse so ordered that but changed his mind when he heard it was £25 and settled for the beef.
Everyone joined the lunchers later including Bob who had arrived by train and bike.
After lunch we said goodbye to Bob and started the lumpy section of the ride. We had some uphill by Bolebroke Castle then by Cowden then a flat section through Edenbridge where Jeff left us. I'll give a special mention to Crockham Hill which had quite a bit of uphill and some descents that would have been very nice apart from the large holes in the road from time to time. Janice had a close call here when the car in front of her did a sudden stop.
Anyway everyone arrived in Westerham safely and prepared for the last climb of the day that was included in the itinerary.
Clarks Lane seems to be the least steep of the ways up to the ridge above Oxted and everyone arrived at Tatsfield Church ready for refreshments. A shortage of milk jugs and teaspoons caused some consternation in the hall but our team had just about enough to go round.
After tea Neil was heading to Caterham on the Hill because he hadn't done enough hills (or it could have been he was meeting someone). The rest of us headed through Westerham to Purley and Woodcote Valley Road. At the end of the road I said goodbye and turned towards Coulsdon while the others headed towards the bridle path that would take them to Banstead and beyond.
For a change I had a short day with just over 60 miles leaving the others to wend their way onwards.
|The Dorset Arms - Withyam|
|High tea - Tatsfield|
First outing for my pure 100% Merino wool top at the bargain price of £19.99.
Warm but with wicking qualities too.
As I write "lot's in stock" of large,x large & xx large.
Tuesday, August 26, 2014
Monday, August 25, 2014
|He ordered a full english but ate my breakfast bap|
|"Not the best.........bread not crispy enough"|
|Sea Lane cafe|
|Dave mends his puncture within sight of a crowded Sea lane cafe|
|The Mulberry Tree - Goring-on-sea|
A unseasonably VERY cold late August early morning 8° but that didn't deter five hardriders.
Typically, I set off way too fast for most and was soon getting a severe telling off (b*llocking) as we passed the "West Sussex" sign at around 8.40am.
Happy to slow down we were soon tucking into W'spoons' breakfast bap and drink (£2.29).
There was some confusion about Daniel's order but it meant he ended up eating a full english and a breakfast bap!
Also typically, Jeff arrived as we were leaving 9.40am but Stenying and the South Downs beckoned.
To be fair, any folk wishing to meet up on a coast run are unaware of where we'll be at certain times so from next year, I'll carry my mobile so organising a rendezvous would be simpler.
Apologies to Terry & Richard who missed us at Horsham.
So continuing south through Southwater, Dial Post, Ashurst to Stenying 10.40am.
I picked the first cafe I saw and that was the Sussex Produce Company.
Two chevrons a little way apart led us up onto the delightful road that drops down to Sompting.
I elected a short detour to Lancing to pick up the coastal cycle path (midday) and arrived at the designated lunch (Sea Lane cafe - Ferring).
This was the first disappointment of the day because it was way too busy with the queue for food out of the doorway.
After the photos we set off in search of lunch but got no further than 100yds...........a thorn puncture for Dave.
Fish and chips for me at The Mulberry Tree pub £4.99.............the plan B lunch stop.
Then Clapham, Storrington, West Chiltington, and the long road north to tea at Newbridge.
It was 4.15pm by now and Stooks shuts at 4pm on a Sunday...........but remarkably the owner called us back in offering tea and cakes but no coffee.
We were less than satisfied with the poor quality, overpriced cakes (my stem ginger traybake was too dry) but beggars can't be choosers and perhaps the free cheese scones the owner offered helped restore faith in this establishment!
Some chose to go their separate ways as far out as West Chiltington (Jeff) .........Dave (Friday Street) and I took flight from Janice & Paul at Blackbrook deciding the climb to Headley (pain) for the downhill run into Epsom (gain).
A coolish day for late August 20° but mostly sunny.
Probably 100 miles but for me it's always about quality over quantity.
An enjoyable dayout that for the most part went as planned.
As I write, on this Bank Holiday Monday........it's raining of course!
Take a look at these three short films of cycling in six cities around the world.........but don't bother with London, we've heard it all before.