Monday, April 27, 2015

Train assisted ride to Hampshire

As well as the hot, smelly, smoky, polluting (but wonderful!) unrebuilt West Country steam loco at Alton station, we also had ample time to study ALFI's efforts (Alton Local Food Initiative), one of which was this magnificent rhubarb crown. This led to a fascinating detailed description of rhubarb preparation and avoidance of possible pitfalls (thanks, Graham) - the general consensus was that rhubarb is best consumed in a crumble, accompanied by lashings of custard.


Sunday 26th April 2015

Someone at South West Trains has a sense of humour
Reading JT's letter to Terry
The Pub With No Name in literally the middle of nowhere

Spot Lilian?
Jane Austen's House
Steam loco "Wadebridge" taking on water at Alton

There was some confusion when arriving on the station concourse,because our train wasn't shown on the dot matrix information boards.
With the time ticking away,our train appeared as a "change of platform" announcement and we were soon on our way.........the 9.30am Surbiton to Bentley.
Terry joined us at Aldershot and a bit before 10.30am we were riding the quiet lanes to elevenses.
Not wanting to travel on the same road twice, I opted to go via Dockenfield,Frensham & Rushmoor then south to Hindhead on a long drag which seemed to go on forever.
That costly error of judgement was to creep up and bite me later in the day.
Paul having ridden down was about to give up hope when we eventually arrived at the NT cafe,Devils Punchbowl.
Naturally I was keen to keep it short and we were away at 12.20pm.
I'd phoned the pub with an order of food and was sure we'd be there at around 1.30pm.
We headed west to Whitehill on largely flatish roads until a climb past Bradshott Hall was to signify a change in terrain.
A fast descent through Empshott then a succession of three climbs one after the other slowed us considerably.
We were just west of Hawkley and approaching "The Pub With No Name",Priors was 2.10pm.
After taking lunch alfresco,I ventured into the pub to join Lilian,Terry & Ed.
Then began alot of head scratching.
It was clear to both Graham and myself that tea was quite possibly unachievable and the route in the afternoon didn't apppear to offer any easy options.
Trying to think quickly, I decided that we would head north to Alton along the main road and catch the train from there.
But not before taking tea at Jane Austen's House,Chawton.
As we chatted on the train homeward bound,reflecting on the day,I was satisfied that we'd had fun riding along beautifully quiet lanes in a picturesque part of Hampshire.
The weather could of been better, a cool overcast day but the train ride went without a hitch.
And Graham & myself have lots of ideas for future rides using the train.
So why not join us?

My route today:

PS to follow Terry's story..........
1.Chop rhubarb
2.Boil 40mls of water & 48g of sugar
3.Add 400g of Sainsbury's British rhubarb (other makes are available)
4.Return to boil
5.Simmer on medium heat until tender

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Info for train assisted this Sunday (26th)

The runs list is wrong for this Sunday........the train leaves Surbiton at 9.30am.
Please be at the station by 9.15am.
The ticket to Bentley without railcard is £13.20 but if you arrive in time, up to 3 can travel on my ticket for £8.70 return,
The train is direct calling at Woking - Brookwood  - Ash Vale - Aldershot - Farnham - Bentley and takes 50 minutes.
I intend to catch the 17.23 on the return arriving Surbiton  18.09 (46 mins).
I will have my phone turned on from 8am on Sunday :07852599362.
Latest weather:
Light rain shower,13 centigrade,westerly wind 11 mph.

Sunday 19th April 2015

Monday, April 20, 2015

19 April Buckland - Walliswood - West Humble

As I arrived at The Jolly Farmers in Buckland I was greeted by a host of bikes lined up by the fence and more by the door. Worries about cycling alone were dispelled.

Inside the gathering throng had commandeered the largest table and were stoking up for the journey ahead. Pam, Irene and Alan arrived for a rare visit this far east but I failed to convince them all that my ride was short and flat. So they tarried, along with those with family duties, while nine of us set off towards Walliswood.

We headed west on the A25 briefly before turning left at Buckland church towards Betchworth. Sandy Lane brought us to Wonham Lane, Wonham Mill and south along Flanchford Road towards Leigh.

The roads were quiet, the sun was shining but there was still a chill to the wind.

Through Leigh we headed for Newdigate, approaching the church via Hogspudding Lane and Old School Lane. Kingsland, Trig Street and Misbrooks Green Road led us to Capel. Across the A24, and past Ockley Station we reached Weare Street.

Notwithstanding the road surface, this is a delightful lane and we stopped by the pond to visit the geese. However they seemed less than pleased to see us and we soon beat a hasty departure before blood was spilt.

Crossing the A29 and through Oakwoodhill we arrived at The Scarlett Arms in Walliswood just before 1.00.

Some used the rustic wooden bicycle rack while others thought better of it and made other arrangements. Inside a large table had been reserved for us in the back room. Most chose from the Starters section of the menu with "Bubble and Squeak with Smoked Salmon and a Fried Egg" a popular choice. I pushed the boat out and went for the full Sunday Roast Lamb.

Leaving about 2.20 we headed north to Forest Green and towards Holmbury St Mary. Andy wanted to ascend Tanhurst Lane to Coldharbour but couldn't find much support so we continued the gentler climb to Holmbury SM. Up Pasture Wood Road and down Hollow Lane brought us back to the A25.

This appeared a little bit quieter than usual but at the bottom of Coast Hill we turned into Balchins Lane to follow the cycle path around the back of Westcott. Briefly back onto the busy roads of Dorking, but with one final detour led by Terry where we cut across the railway and the vineyard to arrive at Pilgrim Cycles for tea.

A sunny spring ride in good company. Thanks for joining me.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Photos from Easter Sunday 2015

Here are some of my photos from my day off the bike in Sherborne.

Pageant Gardens

Country House

Sherborne Abbey

Sherborne Castle

Sherborne Old Castle ruins

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Brockham Teas on the Green 2015....

....will be served from April 26 to October 18.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Sunday 12th April 2015

Having missed my ride a couple of weeks ago I found myself leading today so Terry could be with his unwell wife..........get well soon Sally.
11's at this new Waitrose in Dorking ticked all the boxes,especially for "MyWaitrose" card holders.........did you know you can pay 20p and upgrade to a large drink?
I decided the climb to Coldharbour was worth the effort so we could use the delightful Mole Street to Walliswood.
Pleasant lanes brought us to the A281,a busy road that links Horsham with Guildford.
Past "Stooks" cafe at Newbridge Garden Centre where a considerable number of new housing and roads was evident.
The Red Lyon at Slinfold was reached at 13.02.
We all dined outside in the sunny but breezy conditions.
On the return,the ride split at Ellens Green with Graham's crowd heading back to Dorking via Henfold (tea) and I led to Ewhurst where Ken left us at Moon Hall road and we turned right past the Duke of Kent school to avoid a significant climb.
Before long Janice & myself had gone through Peaslake and we took tea at Gomshall (Tillings) before the climb home.
Home just after 5pm.

Cloudless skies and a moderate southwesterly which blew us home in record time.........Gomshall to Epsom in an hour!

STOP PRESS:Redhill Aerodrome cafe maybe no more...........

Just a reminder that this Saturday (18th) is the Ripley Jumble.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Sunday, 5 April 2015

Dorney - Littleworth - Wraysbury
Warm enough to dine outside + no room inside!

A cohort of great worth outside the Blackwood Arms at Littleworth

Transport thoughtfully provided
The horses weren't using it

Dave assembled his troops at Hampton Court, though I first saw his platoon at Dorney Court, where morning tea was served in a marquee. Several layers were peeled off before we set off in warm sunshine for the morning's yomp to Littleworth Common. Pleasant lanes led us upward between Taplow and Burnham to our well hidden lunchtime venue of the Blackwood Arms; fully booked inside but with space outside. On leaving we fortunately had no need for the emergency ambulance in attendance. Our return was through Burnham Beeches to by-pass Slough for an early tea at the Liquid Leisure water sports centre in Wraysbury. Soon after resuming our return journey, a red traffic light alerted me  that I had left my shoulder bag at the tea stop. I therefore bade farewell to the group, returned to recover my impedimenta and then head homeward, where the Cateye recorded a round trip of 78 miles. Our thanks to Dave for a most enjoyable ride.

Saturday, April 04, 2015

Sunday, 29 March 2015

 Biggin Hill - Chipstead

I gather his rates are quite reasonable

At  Carshalton Ponds
The tea leaves for Sunday were not promising; our leader Andy had been stricken by the 'flu and the skies were leaden. The prospect of wind, rain and Kent had discouraged all but the hardy, if not foolhardy. Ken and Paul Day were duly in attendance at the Carshalton War Memorial. We headed East to S. Croydon, up to Addington and along Lodge Lane to our old familiar friend, Saltbox Hill. Biggin Hill airport and the A233 soon took us to Waitrose for a nourishing bacon roll and cup of tea on the house.

Ready for a gusty afternoon
With drizzle in the air it was back to Jail Lane for another climb to Cudham, Shelley's Lane and Knockholt. Our reward was downhill via Starhill Road to Chevening and the Bricklayer's Arms in Chipstead. All tables were booked and we were not expected, but a table was found with a later reservation. Beef baguettes and chunky roast potatoes were more than adequate. 

We left before 1.30pm to face a murky afternoon and decided to bypass tea. We headed for Sundridge Hill but turned West along the Pilgrim's Way to Tatsfield, where we parted company; K&P aimed for Warlingham and I for Woldingham. This upset the Gods; the wind swelled and started to gust alarmingly. I know not if K&P were equally discomfited, but as I took to The Ridge, I was repeatedly blown to an obscenely cursing standstill by fierce squalls which persisted through Woldingham, Caterham on the Hill, Chaldon and Farthing Down. It was a relief to arrive home unbroken, as I hope did Ken and Paul. My thanks to them for their enjoyable company and support.


Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Ripley Cycle Jumbles 2015

Pam very kindly has forwarded the following dates for your diary:



Sunday 22nd March 2015

Deliciously light and soft lemon cakes
Best Wishes to Graham suffering from a bad ofc not all the cakes were eaten :-)  
14 arrived at the Magna Carta tearooms for 11’s  on a magnificent sunny crisp morning.  3 returned home which left 11 to continue the ride to lunch via Priest Hill, Bishopsgate Windsor Park exiting at Cranbourne Gate to Drift Road taking 1st left towards Maidens Green, Nuptown to Moss End then Tickleback Lane to The New Leatherned Bottle  as I understand it they are new tenants of 6 months.   Sadly we waited over 1 hour for our food they were unexpectedly busy but it was worth it as the food was beautifully served, very nice and very reasonably priced.
We then returned via Ascot racecource  to Windsor Park and on to Staines where 9 stayed to partake of cakes & tea, we then discovered that it was Vic’s 83rd birthday so Pam & I hoped he had enjoyed his birthday party.   Thank you one and all for a very enjoyable day

Monday, March 16, 2015

Capel Teas

After a recce by the advanced party, all can be revealed:

Mar      15
Apr       3(Fri), 5, 6(Mon)
May      3, 4 (Mon), 24, 25 (Mon)
Jun       14, 20 (Sat)
Jul        12
Aug      2, 30, 31 (Mon)
Sep       20
Oct       4
Nov      1, 22    

Sunday, 15 March 2015

Rusper GC - Bax Castle - Capel

You will have trouble finding Bax Castle on the OS map
 It was a pity those wall heaters were not working. It was nearly as cold 
inside the conservatory as outside

We lost the lady, but seven set out and seven came home

Mothers' Day 2015

Hopefully this was the last throes of winter - cold and damp thanks to the gusty easterlies. So a quiet Rusper GC welcomed  just eight of us.

With Angela heading off to dig her potatoes, we climbed to Rusper where it's now the Plough And Attic Rooms(!). Right by The Star and a first left saw us heading down the rarely used Wimland Road. After passing the now closed and semi-dark Frog And Nightgown, walkers drew our attention drawn to a distressed bird of prey(buzzard?, sparrowhawk?) flapping on only one wing but nothing we could do.

We crossed the A264 into Old Crawley Road and suburbia. Doomsday Green saw us back amongst the green stuff and heading towards Sedgwick. Here we experienced what I presume is road rage - unpleasant; obnoxious individual. On exiting Southwater, our forces were divided with a bare majority Downs Linking to the Bax Castle. The 45-minute wait was to be expected but discussed. Stop it was; eventually even the hardiest was forced to seek shelter from the cold.

By Christ's Hospital and under the A24 saw us back in the centre of Horsham. As usual a complete lack of traffic made not the climb of Old Holbrook any easier. All that remained was the downhill swoop into Capel at three for the first cakes of the year. Around 70 miles door to door - rather too many for my aching back.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Sunday, 8 March 2015

Hookwood - Markbeech - Fanny's

Seen on a wall in Merstham

Seven gathered in bright sunlight to watch the gulls and ducks on a chilly Walton pond. After a decent wait for late arrivals, the last having a ride of several hundred yards, we set off southwards down a pock-marked Chequers Lane, to savour once again the joy of swooping down a now reopened Pebble Hill. A sprightly jaunt through familiar flatlands took us through Brockham, Leigh, and the slight incline of Norwood Hill to the A217 and the Temple of Tesco at Hookwood. We locked up our bikes under the observant gaze of two jovial Romanians with a blacked out people carrier. Bob and a reincarnated Andy were there to greet us and Ian soon joined us as we broke our fast. Our number then fell by two as Angie left, sharing a wheel with Mike, to tend her garden.

Once out of Horley, our pace quickened with a chuff easterly wind to speed us through the billiard table fields of Smallfield and Newchapel to Lingfield. The angle of inclination then tilted through Dormansland up to the delightful Smithy's Lane. We dallied at Furnace Lake, then continued past the Winged Wheel at Cowden's Fountain Inn and on up the aptly named Blowers Hill, where Cow Lane led us to the Kentish Horse.

 Our reservation was wise, as the pub was soon humming and tables full. Good food and drink before a remount to discover that blue skies had turned to grey. Our tea stop was revised from Godstone Green to Fanny's. Those of little faith were shocked to find that my promise of a long downhill to Edenbridge proved true. Thereafter the ride was flattish via Staffhurst to Tilburstow, where who knows what strange substances impelled a supercharged Andy nearly into orbit. There was a price to pay. A steward's enquiry at the top of Tilburstow revealed no mechanical ill, but the climb into Bletchingley took its toll of Andy's chain, no longer able to take the strain. Paul stopped to give encouragement while the rest rode on for a conference at the top of the hill. Mobile technology failed and the consensus was to carry on, one group via high road, the other via low road, to meet again in Merstham, for a final haul up Markedge Lane to Fanny's. Concern about the light, or lack of it, had reduced our number, but a final luminous four refreshed themselves with tea and cake. Neil weighed in the balance the competing claims of tea and light; tea won. I trust that all made landfall safely and enjoyed a pleasant foray into Kent.