West Clandon – Godalming – Effingham
What betterplace to be at 9.15am on a bright Sunday morning in early May than sitting on a bench outside Wetherspoons in Leatherhead, anticipating a cycle ride into the unknown? So also believed a quintet of cyclists (Janice, Lilian, Dave S, Ray and Vic), ready for whatever the leader might throw at them. While Jeff favoured the diretissima approach, Janice preferred a maximum mileage to elevenses. Ever attentive to a lady’s expectations, Jeff therefore improvised a loopy route via Ray’s home at Fetcham, Effingham Junction, Ockham and E. Clandon, before a stretch of our beloved A246 to the GC at W. Clandon.
Dave W and Don were already half way through their breakfast, before we were joined by the ever- ebullient Pam and the ever-reliable Terry. Jake and her KPRC clubmates put in an appearance, before disappearing to continue their exertions.
The more leisurely C&M contingent twiddled off (sadly abandoned by Ray), for the climb to Newlands Corner. Here, the group were thunderstruck when the leader swerved off the tarmac through the car park and on to the rocky, muddy, root-infested Drove ‘Road’, the only way to reach Guildford Lane. Somehow we lost Dave and Vic. Dave was waiting for us as we emerged from the woods. A pretty downhill took us along Halfpenny Lane to Blacksmith Lane, where somehow we met Vic cycling towards us. He can explain how far better than I can. A stretch of A248 took us to Christmas Hill, where Janice’s rapacious hunger for miles incited a longer loop than planned to Bramley.
Crossing the Horsham Road we glided blissfully (well, Vic and I did) along Snowdenham Lane and Thorncombe St., before we branched off west up Allden’s Hill, to pause near the top to enjoy the glorious views of so far unravaged Surrey countryside. Rough and ready Heath Lane took us past Lutyens Land, before a descent to the more functional shape of the Wetherspoons known as Jack Phillips, for lunch at Godalming.
Out return was a familiar and humdrum route via the A3100, Meadrow, haunted by CTC ghosts of Cotterell House, to the cobblestones of Guildford High Street and the A245, for a relaxing tea-time at the vineries in Effingham, whence I made an early departure. The weather smiled on us and I hope that one and all got home before the rain and enjoyed a pleasant ride.