Sunday, November 23, 2014

Sunday 23 November

Having seen the forecast and waking to the sound of rain I didn't expect to see many at Tillings. After refreshments Dave and I set off for an abbreviated ride to The Parrot at Forest Green via Abinger Hammer and Holmbury St Mary.

There were plenty of autumn leaves to admire - most of them were on the road, floating in the torrents which at times covered the road. Lunch was soon served at The Parrot - there were few customers at just past noon. After drying out (a little) but noting the rain hadn't stopped, we decided to venture forth and head for home. Unfortunately  this meant missing out on the last of the Capel cakes for this year - we didn't want to wait around for over an hour to 'opening time'.

We parted company at the top of Newdigate hill. I was looking forward to descending Henfold Lane but at the top I could see the road and entrance to the lake was flooded, as was the road a few yards further on, so a cautious descent was necessary. I arrived home at 14.30ish with less than 30 on my computer.


Thursday, November 20, 2014

Sunday 16th November 2014

Someone has a sense of humour :-) it.

This Sunday (23rd) your leader has informed me of a change..................The Bull at Ewhurst is the preferred destination.

Radio 2 lunchtime presenter Jeremy Vine rides to the BBC from his home in Chiswick every day, and wears a helmet cam.................this is what happened today:

Sunday 16 November 2014

High Elms - Westerham - (Woldingham)

On riding towards Sutton, the sun was breaking through but waiting at Carshalton Ponds, the  gathering mist portended gloom.  Still, as the ride through splendid autumnal trees proved, this was a late autumn ride.  The meeting at Carshalton was the occasion for two anniversaries: for Neil's first ride earlier this year and apparently Jeff's first encounter with your correspondent (well-remembered).  We were also glad to welcome Lilian after her long beginners Saturday ride through Woolwich.

Taking the direct route on the A232, seven rode over the Croydon flyover, presenting a few highlights: crossing the tram tracks at Addiscombe Road, the art deco of Shirley Library and West Wickham Public Conveniences.

Andy passed us as on Jackass Lane (via Kingsway from Coney Hall) -- the backward glance not revealing The Shard on the horizon.  A brief stop at the top of Shire Lane indicated a broken front brake cable for Neil.  At High Elms elevenses, he explained its 19-year vintage and subsequently mended it, so our concerns about a forthcoming one-brake descent of Hogtrough Hill were alleviated.  With only 8.5 miles to lunch and an ascent to Downe and the 25% of Church Hill, Jeff demonstrated his superior climbing technique to avoid spectacular wheelies to Cudham.  The descent towards Brasted, with good views despite low cloud, separated us from lunch but whither did Force Green Lane disappear?
Keith triumphant over Church Hill
Arriving at The General Wolfe (Westerham born; died leading the Battle of Quebec, 1759) at 1220 the hearty soup was more solid than liquid.  Departing at 1320, with the slippery decking gingerly negotiated, an ascent of Clacket Lane preceded another mystery: all but one preferred not to climb White Hill when pausing at the fine westward view of the bluff of Titsey Hill.  One wonders why.
A rapid descent of The Ridge left us passing Knight's at Woldingham at 1415 and all opting for an early return home, apparently by different routes.  For one, Burntwood Lane (pain) via Coulsdon Common offered the descent of Marlpit Lane (gain) at 41+mph and a return via Banstead High Street.  A return home at 1515 was welcome after merely 46 miles as steady rain started before 4pm.  Many thanks to my variously impressive companions.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Sunday 9th November 2014

A rare visit from Brian G

Well the leader's ready

Wikipedia link not required today

Whitehill Lane just north of the M25...........FNRttC??

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Sunday, 9th November

Norwood Hill - Smallfield - Fanny's Farm Shop 

A select sextet was drawn by the magnetic pull of  a 9.15 am start at Ryka's. The polarity was not quite strong enough for all; Janice docked via the West Humble underpass, while others followed a quite different, magnetic field to Norwood Hill. With elevenses less than a 6 mile crow's flight away, the leader assumed a generous licence to meander. Our serpentine route took us via Punchbowl Lane to the still glowing embers of the Brockham bonfire, where we adopted a lonesome Mike Morley warming his spirits, then down to Parkgate, where an independent-minded Angie broke loose and did her own meander, before rejoining us aglow at the Fox Revived.

Here our numbers swelled, many eager to experience the flavour of a new for us mid-morning venue. Andy produced vouchers for a Revival Breakfast, with time in hand to explore the menu. The response I think was positive, though a forgotten wallet left me salivating like a hungry hyena at the sight of Terry's generous bacon sandwich. A kindly angel slipped a groat into my pocket.

After a pretty relaxed stay, we rose; some to return home, some dirty dozen game to meander further, the promised 6 mile pancake-flat promenade to lunch now tripled. With Smallfield due east of Norwood Hill, we headed south through Charlwood and Ifield to skirt the perimeter of Gatwick Airport. Here, Neil discovered the limits of his Poundland light set and Geoffrey, rather cheated by the lack of altitude and effort, keeled off to visit the Evans' Cycling Treasure Chest to find some woolies to keep him warm. The undaunted others pressed on via Shipley Bridge, Copthorne, Turner's Hill and Rowfant to rediscover magnetic north and coast effortlessly down Turner's Hill Road to find Mill Lane. Here we were overwhelmed by the Proustian waft of school dinners, drifting evocatively from Copthorne Prep School, to take us back to early memories of boiled swede and turnip. Do you remember? Effingham and Downlands Lanes took us to Plough Lane and our target of  Smallfield's Plough and Furrow.

 Despite the season we dined, (well, most of us),  in bright sunshine beneath an almost cloudless sky. The P and F is a welcoming and cycle-friendly pub, warmly to be recommended. We left, with the sun still quite high in the sky, to head due north towards Bletchingley (not Redhill as promised in the programme). Ken soon struck off towards Redhill, as did Paula and Andy and Terry at the A25. The dwindling rump pressed on for an early tea at Fanny's. We lingered over tea and cakes; Fanny conscripted Paul for potato hauling duties, for which he was rewarded with an apple. What more might he ask?

With the sun now sinking and the temperature dropping, we headed home, our cycling having been enhanced by an almost perfect sunny November Sunday, which I hope was thoroughly enjoyed by all.


Thursday, November 06, 2014

The Fox Revived

Any folk intending to be out for Jeff's ride to this new 11's maybe interested in this voucher for "The Revival Breakfast".............five items for £5.

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Sunday 2nd November 2014

Your photographer was puzzled by the bell

We were keen to leave before nightfall

Grateful thanks to Sally & Terry

Monday, November 03, 2014

Remember, remember the 2nd November

  Parkway Tea Rooms
Photo report from our special correspondent

Sunday, November 02, 2014

Sunday November 2 2014

With the skies looking worse by the minute, I left hurriedly around nine after a late stowing of waterproofs (well that's what they claim to be). As I headed towards Surbiton, it occurred to me that I should have been going to Kingston Bridge where someone might be waiting - there was, six of them!

We'd reached Esher from Hinchley Wood (by the "back door") when rain started to fall heavily. So the waterproofs put in a appearance. We continued down A307; most cars had lights on - a stygian gloom reviving memories of the 2014 Pru Ride. The rain persisted until well beyond Ockham where the Hautboy conversion to flats appears complete. By now we were thoroughly soaked and the roads were awash with water.

Arriving at a very crowded Seasons Restaurant made a baker's dozen but only five were prepared to carry on. Waiting for an improvement meant we left just after twelve. Sheepleas, Shere and Jesses Land got us to Peaslake (almost devoid of MTBers) and Radnor Lane saw us to Holmbury St Mary from the south. After a chance meeting with Jeff, Daniel had reached the King's Head ahead of us. Just in case he'd also checked out The Royal Oak!

We had not pre-booked so there was no food until after two (the trencherman had his usual roast plus two pints). Terry now made an offer of tea which was accepted with alacrity. The revised route took in Friday Street but that plan only lasted four hundred yards (to the start of the Pasture Wood climb) where Dave shouted problem. I lingered at the top of the climb and eventually was persuaded to retrace by his continuing absence - his rear mech had detached from the frame! As a more or less a terminal condition  Dave retreated to the pub to phone for assistance from his daughter while I rejoined the others at Abinger Common. Another snip  - we now headed directly to the A25. As most had not tried NCN 22, we turned off in Westcott to sample a couple of miles into Dorking. Either side of the tea stop came yet another drenching. I got home in the dark (1730) after 48 hard earned miles.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Sunday 26th October 2014

Pee stop somewhere north of Stoke Poges

The café at Stanwell Moor can be noisy

Postscript to "The Chossy" building.

Daniel's father ( Councillor for EEBC ) writes:

I recall Chossy saddle bags as a schoolboy ( C 1948-52) they were highly regarded and our headmaster recommended we had one.

The site of 168 East Street was granted planning permission for 9 units of housing earlier this month.  It has a large site with an entrance on to Dirdene Gardens.

I recall the owner, Mr. Osborne and can picture him with a 1950 Humber Hawk.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Sunday October 26 2014

Once again for completeness

After turning back the clocks, I set off for Hampton Court; no contact with street furniture this time! Relative to the start, Windsor Farm Shop offers few options - Dave choose Shepperton Studios and the Causeway (with the usual frisson of excitement when passing under the M25). If squirrels count, there were over twenty of us for 11s, and sixteen were keen for more.

After Datchet came a surprise. We headed northeast for a M4 close-up before turning north onto NCN 61 (new to me) through Langley. Then the compass swung round to northwest as we rode on through George Green and along the west side of Stoke Poges (no lowing herd or weary ploughman today).  Hedgerley was reached at the unusually early hour of 1220. For once The White Horse wasn't packed to the rafters so some even managed an inside seat though most had to settle for the tented garden.

We could have switched on automatic pilot for return bypassing Fulmer then heading down the long straight from Pinewood through Iver Heath to Colnbrook and Poyle. Not wanting to test lights on the first day of GMT, the majority headed home with the rump stopping for tea at Stanwell Moor. I was back before 1530; a modest 55 miles and one hill (where Janice unshipped, the rest not wanting dirty fingers rode on).  

"The Chossy"

I write in memory of "The Chossy" saddlebag.
I just got outbid on ebay...........grrrrr.
I do have one though, kindly donated by Ed.
All the manufacturing was done on a site a stones throw from where I am now.
Built in the 1930's, C.T Osborne made saddlebags here until the early 1990's.
Remarkably, the building still remains today and is virtually unaltered but puzzling to me is.......what is its use now because I pass it most days and there is no activity at parked cars,people entering the building,etc.
Does anyone know?

A contributor to (London Fixed Gear and Single Speed) writes:

"dear oh dear I do remember these things being bee's and ee's for CTC wallah's
-one who is still around to this day riding in West London DA, but thankfully his boxer underpants (they weren't called that then) aren't on show nowadays. His used to hang out of the black cloth cycling shorts he wore, much to the amusement of very young girls, and the embarrassment of other riders nearby..."

Sunday, October 19, 2014

19 October 2014, The Day of the AGM

 Reigate - Stamford Green - W. Ewell
No room at the Inn for Neil and Paul

The top table
Our thanks to Ed for hosting the AGM

 The serious business of the day

A tribute to Simon Legg & the FNRttC

It is 2 years since I did my last FNRttC. Simon has decided to go to pastures new but I decided that I would try and take part in his last two rides (Bognor & Southend). Frankly I found this it a big challenge and as Simon suggested I am getting past it and I am sure that my wife would agree it happened 20 years ago! Not withstanding that I made it and will do my utmost to get to Southend a ride I have never yet done!
Before the start on 10 Oct for Felpham I met a friend in London and after a few pints (too many) I came across the Bomber Command Memorial which I have not seen before. Personally I think it is appropriate and clearly the Queen felt the same! See photo's below along with a dawn stop near Arundel where we waited for a multiple puncture culprit! There is always one and he was a very nice chap!

Friday, October 17, 2014

More photos from Sunday 12th October ride

Resting after a hill climb

Kent countryside

The Blacksmith's Arms flowers

The Blacksmith's Arms flowers

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Sunday 12th October 2014

Mini disaster at the start.
My water bottle (not bidon) had leaked into my musette causing my Nokia 3210 circa 1999 to flood with water.
As I write, it's drying off but the chances of it actually working again seem slim.
I led three to Purley then the quiet A22 to the "Ann Summers" r/b.
Uphill past Woldingham station and the North Downs Golf Club.
From there you're just a short distance to Westerham via the long downhill sweep.
Cyclists were coming from all directions...............not suprising since this was the "hill climb" weekend with the Catford CC's Yorks Hill just a stones throw away from our elevenses at Chartwell.
Friend of Dave, a nice chap called Ian was nearing the end of his twice yearly stay in the UK and was due to fly back to South Africa this very evening after emigrating there.
A 10.10am arrival at the deserted café allowed for a leisurely alfresco break on this bright early autumn day as first Bob then Ian and finally Daniel made their appearances.
A long downhill to Brasted swiftly followed by Hogtrough Hill to The Blacksmiths Arms at Cudham for an early lunch.
The pub has a history going right back to 1628 and has one of the most lavish "smoking areas" I have ever seen with books and a tv too.
Apparently the garden has won awards which doesn't suprise me.I've never seen so much colour in a pub garden in early October as witnessed today.......probably due to the warmest September since 1910!
We were at the Bec CC hill climb shortly after it's 2pm start and Daniel not suprisingly and perhaps wisely aimed straight for the tea & cakes............I queued for 20 minutes at 3pm.
In one of the biggest crowds that this event is ever likely to see, most were here for just one see Garmin-Sharp professional rider David Millar ride his very last cycle event and first hill climb, before retiring.
His wife (Nicole) also rode joining many more women,juniors and vets.
A whopping 142 riders and he was number 130............about 4.15pm.
ITV's cycling front man Ned Boulting told the PA guy he would ride next year..........possibly a joke but who knows?
Dave's time was 2.03 and the winning time remained at 1.53 as we headed home. (update in due course).
Light rain and a strengthing wind meant many left before the last rider (including us).

The garden at The Blacksmith's Arms

David Millar's wife

ITV's Ned Boulting

It's Millar time!

The journo's were on him straight away

STOP PRESS............Winner - Jack Pullar of Starley Primal Pro Cycling (1.49) for the third time in as many years.
David Millar was 21st..........Nicole was 137th (3.23)
Her tweet :
If you want to see what 700yds uphill looks like.......unnamed rider has a helmet cam:

William Fotheringham's article on David Millar in The Guardian