Sunday, September 20, 2020

Ride Report - Sunday 20 September 2020


Once again we were favoured with a dry, sunny and warm day, and Bob, Graham, Pam, Ray, Keith and I gathered for elevenses at Clandon Park Garden Centre.   The centre has made excellent arrangements to accommodate social distancing and table service here worked really well.    Bob made his way home leaving the rest of us to 'rough it', first over Merrow Downs and then across Pewley Down.   From here the views were excellent and we were particularly struck by the sight of St Catherine's Chapel, high on a hill across the Wey, apparently much more visible since a landslip last winter and subsequent stabilisation works still in progress.

A very steep off-road descent led us to the road down to Shalford Park, and from there we took the cycle route towards Peasmarsh.   We lunched at Broadwater Park, Farncombe.   There was a cafe (open), and toilets, but these were quite widely spaced on opposite sides of the park.   

Graham left us after lunch, and the rest of us detoured from the intended route back to get a closer look at St Catherine's Chapel, then took the Pilgrims' Way towards Shalford Park, crossing the Wey on a rather impressive footbridge.   Keith left us there, and the remaining three took the towpath through the centre of Guildford as a prelude to the standard route to Ripley and home.

Thanks to all for your company and to Graham and Keith for route advice.

Friday, September 18, 2020

Rule of Six

Just a reminder that, until further notice, we must  behave as quite separate groups of no more than six when out on club rides, especially at refreshment stops.   No mingling between groups is allowed.   To avoid any possible misunderstandings, it is probably best to avoid wearing your SWLDA jersey or jacket when on club rides at the present time (no problem if you are on a solo ride).    Hopefully, the restrictions will not be in place for too long.

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Plans for Sunday 20 September

Elevenses is at Clandon Park Garden Centre (plenty of tables outside, hopefully).   The lunch stop is Broadwater Park, Farncombe.   Unfortunately, a road closure means we cannot use our usual, much-loved, and nettle-strewn route towards Godalming, but we will do more off-road on Merrow Downs and after Shalford instead.  A much shorter route than the usual ride to The Jack Phillips - probably less than 10 miles from elevenses to lunch, but it is a long way to elevenses, after all!   Tea at Ripley, but the return route will pass within a few miles of Clandon Station if  you are taking the train-assisted option.

Broadwater Park has a large lake, toilets and a cafe (but I can't find out the cafe opening times, so best to arm yourself with sandwiches and a drink or buy something at elevenses).

Weybridge - Brooklands Cycle Route - Further Improvements

From where the recently-transformed cycle path from Weybridge Station to Mercedes Benz World ends, it appears further work is now in hand.    A left turn takes you along an access road past the museums and alongside the River Wey.  Work seems to be in hand to surface this route after it leaves the access road, continuing through the community park across the road from the shopping centre, and then alongside the road on a new section to end at the junction with the A245.

This links very well with Muddy Lane, potentially giving an excellent route from Weybridge to Wisley and beyond, providing some attention is given to the A245 roundabout.

Monday, September 14, 2020

 Two links you may wish to follow:

AGM votes for each 2020 motion; membership roughly 60/40.

FAQ membership changes. The date of change is now 01/11/20 (previously 01/10/20).

Sunday, September 13, 2020

Ride Report - Sunday 13 September 2020


It was rather a lovely day for mid-September, quickly warming up with cloudless skies, and the sunshine tempted Simon, Bob, Tony, Graham, Terry, Ray, Pam, newbie Bernie (on his second ride with us), and me out to elevenses at The Wilde Brunch, Walton Bridge.

All but Bob, Simon, Graham and Tony continued, kindly led by Pam, on the rest of the ride to Horsell.  The outward ride involved us both climbing St Anns Hill and Staple Hill in quick succession, but only after the exertions of sprinting past a speeding, steam-powered steam roller towing a trailer with half a dozen passengers!

It was quite a shady route, fortunately, and there was a refreshing breeze, but The Cricketers at Horsell Birch looked busy and hot, so we continued to the pleasant gardens at the southern end of Horsell High Street, and, sandwiches eaten, crossed the road to conveniently-sited Crown for liquid refreshment.   It proved to be a much better option, and I think we will call again.

A shorter and flatter but still pleasantly shaded route allowed us to complete the circuit back to Walton Bridge for tea, pausing only to admire the Crouch Oak in Addlestone, often passed and seldom noticed, but which recently figured in a list of 'the ten most important trees in Britain'!

Many thanks to all for your company, and to Pam for leading the ride.

Sunday, September 06, 2020

Ride Report - Sunday 6 September 2020


It was nice to be back at The Vineries Garden Centre for elevenses for the first time in about six months, but we had to drag ourselves away in the end, leaving behind Ed, Maureen, Lilian and Bob.  We took a substantially off-road route to Guildford (the Effingham to East Horsley, East Horsley to West Horsley, West Horsley to Hungry Hill, and Burnt Common to Burpham sections all being on tracks or cycle routes).   

Lunch at was at Stoke Park kiosk which seemed to offer everything we needed (except a pint).   Over our food there was much debate over the next section of the ride (N223), and how to access it.  Graham masterminded the operation, advised by Simon and Ray, and there were intense discussions while Keith, Terry and I looked on, but in the end the route was easily found and followed with only one wrong turning, and took us back out of Guildford and right to Burpham completely off-road, so thanks for the group effort.

From Burpham it was a straight run back to tea at Ripley.    Thanks to all for your company and to Simon for back-marking.

Monday, August 31, 2020

Graham's Ride

Roman Amphitheatre 

Graham's Sunday Ride

Bodium Castle.

Late Summer Bank Holiday Ride (30/08/20)

Officially it was late summer but most came dressed for autumn. After days of heavy rain, overcast, dry and a northerly breeze was the recipe of the day.

Five and more years of over familiar roads suggested it was time for a train assisted ride. Two at Surbiton (Graham, Tony) became three at Woking (Pam) and five (Dave and Bernard from Buckland, a rare visitor) when we detrained at Winchfield. We needed the Basingstoke to get us to 11s (Lodge Farm on OS maps) where Ray joined.

The cafe had reduced seating (in use) but takeaways were on offer and accepted. The A287 links the M3 to I know not where and was heavy with traffic. But our turnoff was immediate (Mill Lane) past two fords and back onto the Basingstoke where we stopped briefly at Odiham (King John’s) Castle and Greywell Tunnel (open only to bats).Paradoxically next came the high of the day before a steady descent took us past the isolated final remnants of the canal.

Dave had cycled from home so left us in Old Basing where two changes of light were needed to get us across the high speed A33 crossroad.  When first I passed this way over 40 years a lane led through open fields; not anymore! It exists only as cycle path sections (flanked by newer roads and housing and guarded by double metal barriers at each crossing). We continued through Cufaude and Bramley to lunch at the Calleva Arms Silchester which attracts cyclists (and others); no problems with food. 

Just before one we turned back the hands of time to visit the Roman Calleva remains (walls, amphitheatre). The next few miles yielded two more fords and fewer(!) cars. Once again the A33 crossing was alarming. Sometime later we passed through Rotherwick where Tony once schooled.

 As I turned into Hook’s station yard our train was slowing down. A sprint onto the platform and the closed doors of the last carriage were hastily thrown open. Pam and Tony tumbled in after me leaving Bernard and Ray to wonder where they’d parked their cars. 

Of no relevance to the ride Fassett road Kingston was staging a street party with live music. No obstacle to me so I kept on pedaling.

One canal, one castle, one Roman city, four fords – not a bad haul from 37+ lumpy miles door to door.

Monday, August 24, 2020

Ride Report 23 August 2020 - Tour de Heathrow

An excellent turn-out at elevenses.   Graham, Pam, Tony, Ray W, Steve D, Liz, Jill and Ed joined me for the ride, enough riders for two small groups to be needed.  Bob, Maureen, Lilian and Terry went home.

We took a rather quirky route, skirting Shepperton and Ashford, and, after Stanwell, suddenly emerging onto the Heathrow Western Perimeter cycle route, which offers interesting views of the airport.   A couple of miles later, and just round the corner, our arrival in Longford was like being transported back in time.    The White Horse pub looked very inviting, providing you dodged the low beams, and we were very warmly welcomed.   There was a very good range of food at all prices, including sandwiches and baguettes (unusual these days on a Sunday), and very attractive surroundings.   We'll definitely be visiting again.

Sadly, we had to drag ourselves away before the band started their session!    A mile or so north east we found Harmondsworth, a very attractive village (what a shame it would be if the third runway does ever cause these delightful places to be bulldozed).   Tony Hopkins (whose birthday it was) kindly showed us the sights (the grave of the father of the Coxes Orange Pippin and the Barnes-Wallis memorial).

Just on the off-chance, we made a detour to the third attraction, the medieval long barn, fully expecting to find it shut, but, to our surprise, it was open and we were given a very informative guided tour by an English Heritage volunteer.   Very interesting and highly recommended!

Then we struck out towards Sipson, and on south to pick up the Heathrow Eastern perimeter road towards Hatton Cross, passing an endless row of doomed BA jumbo jets on the other side of the road.   The final distraction of the day was the rather surreal yew topiary at Bedfont church, then it was on to Walton Bridge and tea or straight home.

Many thanks to all for your company, to Graham for leading the second group, and to Tony for local knowledge.

Thursday, August 20, 2020

Sunday 23 August 2020

Sunday's ride will start from Churchfields Rec, Weybridge.   Tentative lunch stop is The Sun, Windlesham.   Another option is a tour of Heathrow, mainly on cycle paths, with lunch at Longford or Harmondsworth, a very surprising and interesting ride if you are not familiar with it.   Let me know if you have any preference or any other suggestions.

Sunday 30 August - As per Graham's item below, the ride is changed from the published programme, and the Claygate elevenses meet is cancelled.

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Summer Bank Holiday Ride (30/08/20)

Hopefully the last survey! I didn't escape showers completely but Tuesday's weather was likely to be better than Wednesday's.

UPDATE Revised train details as service doesn't stop at intermediate stations between Surbiton and Woking. 

As previously announced the train-assisted ride will start at Winchfield and finish at Hook. There are no 'real' hills but it's not flat. Early on there are 2.5 miles on two bumpy sections alongside the Basingstoke canal; the rest is on-road.

Start(1009hrs)     Winchfield station SU763545

11s 4 miles     Newlyns Farm Shop Cafe SU735526 

    (or Conkers Hatch SU675520)

Lunch 13 miles     Calleva Arms Silchester SU625621

    (or Red Lion Mortimer SU634641)

Tea 13+ miles    Hartlett Cafe SU730544 but closes at 1500

   (or Tesco beside station (Costa,Krispy) SU726539)

Finish    Train services depart at 23 minutes past the hour

The train service is hourly on Sundays. During the week it's 12 car with plenty of space for bikes and toilets. Dave has hinted that he'll ride to the start so I'm giving you an extra hour in bed. The preferred service is 0930 Surbiton. From intermediate stations change at Woking. Hook return costs £14.10(£9.30 with railcard). NB On a bike there's no "safe" route between the start and finish except by train.

If travelling by car, you could park in Hook or near/at 11s. From the first roundabout south of Hook a rough LH footpath runs alongside the A287. The second roundabout takes you over the M3 motorway junction 5. Just before the third roundabout (layby), the path disappears into trees but soon emerges on the old(?) road. We'll cross here to North Wanborough on dropped pavements.

Sunday, August 16, 2020

Ride Report - Sunday 16 August

As I sat down to my elevenses, rather looking forward to the coffee and Smarties cookie I had just bought, I chanced to remark an absence of fellow riders.   Probably I was just early, but I thought I had better double-check on the rides list.   Elevenses was at Cobham, it turned out, but I was at Weybridge!   Never mind, half an hour and a scolded throat later and I was reunited with the rest of the group (Graham, Bob, Simon, Tony, Ray, Pam and Ged). 

Next problem, where to go for lunch (my tentative plans having been based on a Weybridge start)? Group-think soon came up with Pirbright, and we set off for there (minus Bob and Simon) via Ockham and Send.   As we came to the end of Send Hill, about to turn right towards Cartbridge, I had one of my unfortunate brainwaves -  a sudden recollection that there was a footpath from Send Church to Sutton Green which might be rideable.  I consulted Graham, who knew the route, and he led us off.   Broadly, the path was rideable, although in places it was just a deep rut, so narrow that it was impossible to turn the cranks.  The scooting motion required must have been akin to that of the early pioneers of cycling riding pedal-less 'hobby horses'.

The brambles and nettles weren't too much of a problem, providing you were wearing socks!   Then there was the bridge over the River Wey.   This must have been designed for SAS training, I think, with very deep concrete steps and a sharp turn onto the narrow bridge deck, making it very difficult to manoeuvre our bikes up and over.

After the challenges of the bridge, the stile which came next was child's play.

After that, we were soon back on tarmac, heading through Sutton Green, Mayfield and Hook Heath to Pirbright.

Our pub of choice, The Cricketers, was closed (but re-opening the next day), so we had to settle for The White Hart.   At first sight the menu choices didn't offer much for our needs, but the starters and pre-starters actually offered some good options, and the garden was spacious,  pleasant and not crowded.   Table service meant a bit of a wait to settle up, but we got away by 2.00 pm, with time to pay a quick visit to the grave of H M Stanley in the nearby churchyard - very appropriate given the jungle-like conditions we had encountered on the outbound route!

From there the route back was through Bisley, West End, Fellow Green, Chobham and Stonehill, where Ray left us.    Rain threatened as we passed through Addlestone, and it was raining hard soon after I left the others at Weybridge.   No tea stop at Walton Bridge for me as I had to tend to my pumpkins!

Thanks to all for your company and forbearance, and thanks once again to Graham for route advice

Sunday, August 09, 2020

Ride Report - Sunday 9 August

Phew, what a scorcher!   Actually, the first part of the morning wasn't too unpleasant, and Bob, Simon, Tony, Pam, Liz, Ray, Graham, Terry and I met for elevenses in the shade at The Wilde Brunch, Walton Bridge.

Given the likely heat later on, it was difficult to choose a lunch stop not too far away, but enough to give us at least a bit of a ride.   I mentioned a few places randomly, including Thorpe, and Simon suggested a route using a path alongside Thorpe Park.

Simon didn't actually join us for the ride to lunch (Terry and Bob also made their excuses), which was a little ominous, but the remaining six of us set off on a trip into the unknown (well, unknown to me, anyway).   From the outskirts of Chertsey we rode on very minor roads, tracks and paths (Willow Walk, Ferry Lane, and Monks Walk),  at the mercy of Viewranger, passing by lakes, crossing numerous bridges, hearing the screams from the rides at Thrope Park, and eventually, emerging from the shade, mole-like and blinking, as if by magic, in the middle of Thorpe village.   To get a few more miles in, we continued to Great Fosters then took the cycle route along the very narrow Hurst Lane to arrive right by the Rose & Crown at Thorpe Green.

We had a very friendly welcome at the pub and were able to take our bikes into the garden with us.  There was plenty of space and an outside bar, so we'd certainly visit again.

The heat really was building by the time lunch was over, so it was a straight route (well, barring a minor diversion to skirt the roadworks at Weybridge), all on tarmac, to tea back at Walton Bridge.

Thanks to all for your company, to Simon for the suggestion, and to Tony and Graham for navigational assistance.

Wednesday, August 05, 2020

A248 Closed near Silent Pool

Emergency repairs to the bridge over the Tillingborne has closed the eastern section of the road for several weeks. So if you're bound for say Chilworth or Farley Green, you'll need to ride through Shere and turn right just before the railway bridge.

In addition between Shere and Silent Pool there are extensive roadworks on the A25. 


Monday, August 03, 2020

August 2 2020 (From Lammas On Lammas Day + 1)

Plan A had been Lammas-Burnham Beeches-Lammas but no BB toilets ruled that out. Plan B was Black Park and see what happens.

There were seven at the all services Staines Lammas (me, Dave, Jill, Liz, Pam, Ray, Tony). We set out along Moor Lane but before Poyle we lost Dave to a puncture. After Horton and Colnbrook we continued to Shreding Green,   the first off-road section (all of 25 yards), the busy PYO farm and Langley Park. The dash across the dual carriageway into Black Park was unusually exciting thanks to one of the now regular M4 weekend closures - a foretaste of junctions on the return leg.

At the busy cafe, Dave reappeared and later disappeared as did Ray after a phone conversation with his wife. Idle chatter revealed that some had never visited Pinewood. Not wanting to share with lakeside crowds, we returned along our inward route. Fortunately traffic noise soon indicated the SE corner of the park; Here we turned north to the permissive path and Pinewood for a photo shoot.

Southwards took us through Iver Heath, Iver and Richings Park. With Old Slade bridge  demolished last February, the recommended cycle route is right (west) to Langley so naturally I turned east to Thorney and onto Harmondsworth Moor. If you can stand the noise (being sandwiched between the M25 and Heathrow), it's worth exploring but not much traveled by me. However Tony is a regular; health warning: on grounds of roughness he declined direct passage from the old Bath Road to Poyle where he rejoined. The ladies were not so lucky.

(Busy) Nauticalia has become a regular tea stop over the last four weeks, this time reached by Stanwell Moor (and a brand new cycle path to Stanwell), Ashford, Charlton, NuttyLane to Shepperton (and 4-way working at the War Memorial roundabout) - about 30 miles.

Friday, July 31, 2020

CTC Membership (updated x3)

Subject to approval at the next AGM, there will be changes to subscription rates. Details will be printed in the next mag, etc,  etc. The major changes for members of this group are :

1) No concessionary rate for over 65's (£48 pa from November onward) ;

2) New life membership will be based on age and length of membership.


But I've found web pages with differing rates:
the discount is £12 per year up to the age of 71.

Tucked away among the FAQs accessible via

the discount is £6 per year up to the age of 71.

which is a difference of £426! For me, the cost might be under £100. I can only assume that the first discount is only available up to the end of September, and the second thereafter. I'll contact HQ for clarification.


I've now spoken with Membership. The age discount is £12 pa until 71. They were not aware that a discrepancy existed on the website.

You can apply at any time.


One lucky member who lives near the Wash is now a life membership : cost £47

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Summer Bank Holiday (August 30)

We've not had a train assisted ride for around five years. So I surveyed one whilst recently visiting my sister. Which is what I'll do again if nobody turns up!

The start will be Winchfield station with an hourly service (xx30 from Surbiton, journey time 45mins).  The 0830 would be ideal but at least one rider wants to ride from home! The station has no facilities but within ten miles there is least one coffee shop and two garden centres. Conkers GC (SU677523) is the furthest away but on the planned route.

Optional attractions include King John's Castle (c. 1210) at Odiham, Greywell tunnel (Europe's largest bat colony) and Calleva amphitheatre (c. 70AD). For ford fans there's one near Calleva.

I'm thinking picnic at Silchester rec (next to pub); there are only three more on route. We'll finish in Hook where there's a small cafe (Hartletts closes 1500) and/or toilets in Tesco next to station.

The total length is just over 30 miles. The high point is 360 feet but it doesn't feel flat! 


Sunday August 2 Staines Lammas Park (TW18 4UA or more accurately TQ028718)

Sunday's ride will be circular starting and ending in Lammas Park Staines. My original lunchstop was Burnham Beeches cafe but seven days ago it had limited seating and no toilets. It's still an option and for me the longest ride of the year.

But my revised plan is a democratic vote at Black Park (all services, after 12 miles) for a return via either Burnham Beeches (say 20 miles) or Langley Park (10 miles).

Plenty of the (not too) bumpy stuff  - I've left out plenty more!

Sunday, July 26, 2020

Ride Report - Sunday 26 July 2020

The switch of elevenses venue to Amici, Leatherhead didn't seem to deter too many!     Bob, Keith, Mike and Helen Tovey arrived, as well as the core group of Graham, Pam, Ray W, Ed, Maureen, Tony and I who continued to lunch.

At first sight there were some similarities to our ride to Woking two weeks before, but care was taken to use a completely different route across Bookham Common, before a slightly different route across Wisley Airfield, which led us in turn to Muddy Lane, recently declared a bridleway (spot the difference - public footpath signs and anti-cycle barriers still firmly in place)!  After that we couldn't resist another bash at the newly-upgraded Brooklands to Weybridge cycle route, before finishing up by the canal at The Pelican, Addlestone.   There was a bit of wait to order by the entrance, but nothing too serious, and plenty of space outside for social distancing.

After lunch some headed for tea at Shepperton Lock, while others made for the comfort of their homes or the harsh regime of their allotments!

Many thanks to all for your company, to Graham for help with the route, and Ray for back-marking.

Saturday, July 25, 2020

Change of Elevenses - Sunday 26 July

Elevenses will now be at Amici, Leatherhead (changed from Tattenham Corner).   Lunch stop to be decided.   Apologies for the short notice.   Bob has kindly investigated the other possibilities at Tattenham Corner and The Silver Spoon cafe may well appear in a future programme!

Monday, July 20, 2020

Photos from Sunday 19 July

(Credits and thanks to Ray Wren for the first three).

Sunday 19 July 2020 Mercedes Benz

Dave was first to arrive, I was next. At intervals four more (Pam, Ray, Simon, and Tony) appeared in a variable drizzle. West Byfleet Rec. was not ideal having but one bench with facilities at best within walking distance. Eventually the tree cover proved inadequate and the decision was home. I suggested a gentle off-road back to Weybridge.

A right along Leisure Lane brought us into Dartnell Park.We crossed the canal and headed north to the break in Brooklands banking close to M&S. After (the model) Concorde Mercedes Benz  beckoned to reveal a new (under seven days old) ten foot wide strip of tarmac which provides a steady but relatively easy climb from Seven Arches bridge past the sewage works. Gone forever the mud though this can still be sampled if and when New Haw calls! From the station the path descends but ends at Brooklands Lane (or in the town centre when complete).

After prolonged refreshments at Walton Bridge, four decided Nauticalia should also be visited whilst Dave and I opted for home. Naturally there was little rain after Byfleet and only 30 miles door to door.

Saturday, July 18, 2020

Plan for Sunday 19 July

The weather forecast for tomorrow morning is uncertain, so elevenses at West Byfleet Rec, although the preferred choice, will be subject to a Stewards' Inspection!   If it is raining and there is some shelter somewhere nearby, then we'll keep it as West Byfleet if we can, but, if it is raining steadily and there is no shelter, then the alternative plan will be Bourne Valley Garden Centre.   I'll put something on Whats App in the morning when things are clearer!

Sunday, July 12, 2020

Ride Report - Sunday 12 July

Members suggested a change of elevenses venue to Amici Cafe, Leatherhead.   This proved an excellent choice and is highly recommended.    The proprietor is very helpful, and toilets and water were offered.   Graham, Mike M, Pam, Tony Hopkins, Maureen, Lilian, Ray, Ed, Steve Duffin and Simon duly assembled, and it was also very nice to see Bob and Keith again, after what seem like very long absences.

Ray, Ed, Steve, Graham, Pam, Lilian and I formed two discrete groups and proceeded east to west over Bookham Common to Effingham Junction, then across Wisley Airfield to Ripley and Old Woking, from where it was but a short ride along a mixture of narrow lanes and busier roads to our impromptu lunch stop at Woking Park. 

The park was busy but there was plenty of space and we were able to commandeer the bandstand!

After a relaxing lunch and comfort stop we skirted Woking town centre by quiet back roads and headed through Sheerwater and New Haw for tea at Addlestone.

Many thanks to all.