Sunday, May 09, 2021

Ride Report - Sun 9 May 2021

Simon, Terry, Pam, Tony, Lilian, Graham, Ray, Ann, Ed, newcomer Mark (back for his second ride) and I gathered for elevenses at Cobham in very pleasant sunshine.   For only about the second time this year it actually felt a bit warm, although a stiff breeze never let it get too hot.

All but Ed joined me for the ride to Guildford.   As ever, I was completely unprepared for the need for more than one group, but Simon very kindly offered to lead a second one and Graham assisted him.  I think it would be true to say the two groups took broadly similar routes to lunch, but not completely identical ones!  Although my group set off first, we kept rounding corners to find the second group patiently awaiting our arrival, yet they hadn't overtaken us.   They'd wait for us to pass, then later they'd be waiting for us again.  How did they do that?   Anyway, the route took in four long off-road sections amounting to several miles (Bookham Common, Orestan Lane to East Horsley, East to West Horsley railway  path, and the Ryde Farm estate road) before the more mundane approach to Guildford.

Lilian left us at Guildford, but the rest of us had lunch at Stoke Park.   The kiosk was popular and seemed to have something even for those who hadn't brought sandwiches (and I'm not just talking about the duck food either)!   

After lunch I persuaded Graham to pilot us out of Guildford along the national cycle route from the Spectrum leisure centre to Clay Lane, a path which passes through an interesting nature reserve with lakes and wetlands.   It is a very nice route and well worth a try, but parts of it must get very boggy in any normal winter, and I struggle to understand how it could provide any form of strategic transport link!  Anyway, that was our fifth off-road section of the ride!

After that it was then a straight road to Ripley for tea, where I left the others to enjoy the sunshine.   Many thanks to Graham and Simon for your help, and to everyone else for your company.

Friday, May 07, 2021

Plans for Sunday 9 May

Sunday's ride will be from Cobham to Stoke Park, Guildford, as published.   In view of the heavy rain forecast for Saturday I will change my planned route to omit some unsurfaced sections, but there will still be plenty of surfaced off-road.

Hot drinks and some hot food are available at the Stoke Park cafe but you can still bring sandwiches.  Tea will be at Ripley.

Friday, April 30, 2021

C&M ride 2nd of May

Sunday the 2nd of May. 11's is Cowey sale, depart from there at 11.00 on the dot. Lunch will be at Windsor, lots of options, Wetherspoons, Cinnamon cafe etc. Around 21 miles to lunch, with around 14 miles to tea at Shepperton lock, there is some off road and no real hills.

Sunday, April 25, 2021

Off-road to Uxbridge, 25 April

Trouble is brewing at the Heathrow Biodiversity Site.  Human activity has endangered yet another species on the site.  The entire species of Cyclists is now Critically Endangered due to habitat loss.  Specifically, someone has placed six foot high concrete blocks across the southern entrance to the site, leaving a gap only suitable for a slimline person to squeeze through sideways, or perhaps a superhuman carrying their bike above their head.  This awful act of eco-sabotage was discovered by the Roving Raasay Warden on his travels on Wednesday, just in time for Sunday's ride to be diverted, avoiding an unnecessary mile or two of off-road.

Mr Whippy (with friends)

But I digress.  The five eco-warriors, David, Ann, Pam, Graham and myself, gathered at the rather chilly Pleasure Grounds in Runnymede, with weak sunshine overpowered by a cold easterly wind.  Nobody was keen to hang around so we donned our pith helmets and set off promptly to Datchet for the first bit of off-road, through Ditton Park and north through Langley on the cycle track.  We continued to follow NCN route 61 on quiet lanes to Iver before a short stretch on the towpath bought us to Uxbridge and the Rusty Bike Cafe.   We found a nice sheltered spot by the bandstand (is this becoming a tradition?), the sun came properly out, and from that point the day seemed to warm up.

Rusty Bike Cafe (with rusty bike)

Bandstand (with happy eaters)

Return was through the centre of Uxbridge, a trip down memory lane for Pam but a bit of a hash by me in my effort to get away from the main road, but we found a legal way out of the town centre and took the cycleway out of town before going off road again beside the River Pinn.  All very rural and pleasant until we were dumped at a ginormous junction on the A408 coming into Yiewley.  Four lanes turned swiftly into one lane and it was 'normal' town traffic through West Drayton, after which we turned onto Harmondsworth Moor, riding alongside the River Colne and the Wraysbury River, following a route pioneered by Dave Vine a few years ago with the Wayfarers, but with a few alterations, some of them intentional.   

David W left us at this point for a shorter (or possibly longer?) ride home.  Ahead was the Heathrow Biodiversity site and its direct route through to Stanwell Moor, but inhospitable to the genus Cyclist, so we went through Poyle instead.  Graham headed home from Stanwell Moor, and the remaining three of us headed down the bridleway and Moor Lane into Staines, and on to tea at Shepperton.  32 miles from elevenses to tea.   Ann will have ridden nearly 70 miles by the time she returns home.

For a normal rides, this would be the end of the story, but there's more.   As we relaxed in the sunshine at Nauticalia, a bedraggled figure emerged, bloodied and exhausted, from the jungle.   "Doctor Livingstone, I presume?" said Pam.   But the weary rider was none other than Ray Wren, who had arrived at Runnymede maybe ten minutes after we left, and had spent the day searching for us, armed only with a line plot of the route backed by a dodgy map, and a single chocolate bar for sustenance.   He'd been to places as far afield as Fulmer, travelled to Uxbridge but unfortunately not found the cafe.  Returning along the river Pinn and, heroically, he had traversed the Heathrow Biodiversity site, carrying his bike over the massive concrete barriers, before returning to Shepperton.

Heathrow Biodiversity Site (with barriers)

In a slightly related story, Cap'n Tony  'Birdseye' Hopkins took it one step further.  He didn't just stop at off-road but went off-land, travelling to Shepperton by boat for lunch with his family.

Watch out for that iceberg!

Monday, April 19, 2021

Woking (revisited)

 A surprising eleven showed at Cobham though it soon became clear that the attraction for four (Carolyn, Ed, Maureen, Helen) was the latest newsletter. Shall we say the planned route was conceptual so unexpectedly I found myself leading through Downside. At the Isle of Wight we turned to starboard and Keith turned I know not where. The Effingham track was drying, still a challenge to the nerves but popular with cyclists, walkers, the odd delivery van and at the bus stop Fixie Dave.

We inched past an unfinished gas main on Drift Road having ignored the almost accurate Road Closed signs. From Ockham the pubs and cafes were packed. And the Saddlers Arms was open  (but perhaps only to 3 drinkers?) In Send Terry headed home. After Old Woking the final puzzle was finding Woking Park bandstand, toilets and lunch.

It had been all too familiar so I decided on a detour. OS suggested a route just to the west of Morrisons. It was named Stepbridge Path and featured a steep footbridge! To prevent an insurrection  I continued alone on the towpath whereas the rest opted for the tarmac of Horsell Moor. The newish spiral bridge in Woking town centre and a shortish section on the towpath to Monument Bridge came next. There we reversed last week's ride through Sheerwater to West Byfleet and coffee at Bell' Amico. Left standing were: Ann, Dave, Pam, Ray and me. A final and unplanned split occurred when Ann was trapped on the wrong side of  Addlestone's level crossing.

40+ miles door to door in warm Spring sunshine

Photos from Sunday 19 April


Thursday, April 15, 2021

Sunday 17 April - Change From Published Programme

Sunday's ride will now start from Leg O'Mutton Playing Fields, Cobham, instead of Denbies.    Lunch stop to be arranged, so bringing sandwiches would be a wise precaution!

Monday, April 12, 2021

Sunday Aprl 11 2021 The Reality

 If one could see the sun one stayed warm but more likely one didn't and just six (G, Dave, Pam, Simon, Terry and Tony) made the West Byfleet start. Googling had uncovered ten or more public toilets on or near possible routes through Woking so which way to go?

The much used and recently refilled canal was soon discarded. Empty streets was excuse enough for a minor planetary (Ceres and Pluto)  ride through "have not" Sheerness, the town centre, and  "have" St Johns where Terry left for home. We continued on Neptune down steep Beechwood into Knaphill. Then came the east end of Bisley before we crossed and recrossed the A322 on Ford Road (no ford) before skirting the east end of West End. Ignoring traffic noise on nearby major roads the meandering rural ride led to Windlesham from the west along Pound Lane. Our lunch stop was the Recreation Ground and its recently opened cafe. No surprise was a shortage of seats and loos so we had to settle for a sheltered if not always sunny spot behind the cafe.

The return was quickly decided: down and up Updown Hill,Steep Hill, Burrowhill, and St Peters (major housing development). At the bottom of Holloway Hill Pam headed north to Chertsey and the rest towards Addlestone where Simon and Tony stopped for coffee.

48 miles door to door.

Final thoughts :

None of the few en route pubs looked as if they would be opening on the morrow (12/04).

Why are we restricted to six when the Ramblers limit is thirty; similar numbers for football pitches. And I was passed by two groups of at least a dozen riders?

Tuesday, April 06, 2021

Sunday April 11 2021 Ride

The weatherman says cold so it's a modest 20+ miles! This could be shortened at any time (after Knaphill). The Basingstoke has been refilled so may take the Ceres/Saturn/Pluto routes through Woking (surprisingly lumpy).

Start : Outside Costa West Byfleet railway station (all facilities except shelter (bus stop) within 150 yeards)

Lunch : Windlesham (newish cafe in Rec) or Chobham (slightly more)

Finish : Addlestone or Chertsey (or whereever)

Sunday, April 04, 2021

Sunday 4 April 2021 - Ride Report


It has been four months since we were last able to meet, so it was with some relish that Simon, Pam, Tony, Terry, Graham, Ed, Lilian, Maureen, Brian B and I assembled in glorious sunshine at Walton Bridge.  There was a lot of catching up to do and it was difficult to get going after elevenses, but all of us except Tony and Maureen eventually set off towards Ripley, taking advantage of both the new Weybridge to Brooklands cycle path and Muddy Lane, Byfleet, recently designated a bridleway.

Because of numbers, two separate groups were needed and each took a different, final route into Ripley, producing the almost inevitable outcome that the first group arrived last!   For hot drinks we shared our custom between Pinnocks coffee shop and a new venture on the other side of the road,  and ate our sandwiches on Ripley Green.

After lunch riders set off homeward in different directions.   I rode back to Walton with Simon and Pam and we went our separate ways from there.

Today's ride was very much a communal effort, so thanks to all for making it a very enjoyable first ride of what we all hope will be an uninterrupted programme from now on!

Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Welcome Back - Our Rides Restart on Sunday 4 April!

Our group rides can restart from Easter Sunday after what seems like an eternity!

For the time being we must keep to groups of six when riding or at refreshment breaks.

Until the ride on 18 April all refreshments will be takeaways or bring your own, and planned rides will be altered to suit.

Change of programme - our first ride on Sunday 4 April will start from Walton Bridge (not Ripley as published), lunch stop to be arranged (bring your own sandwiches and drink).

Watch this blog for details of/changes to planned rides and welcome back!

Monday, March 22, 2021

AGM 2021 (or is AGM 2020)

You may recall that our last AGM was 13/10/19. Due to (1) Covid, (2) CUK accounting changes, this year runs from October 2019 to March 2021 so an AGM is due. In the past dates had to appear in Cycle and Annual Returns had to be completed (one by me, one by Pam as Treasurer). But not a word from HQ.

There is a newish (2019?) online facility called Assemble designed for groups. Oddly I can list all of SWL volunteers!, the sort of detail needed for an annual return but there's no (obvious) mention of AGMs.

Trawling the CUK website I found which I couldn't find it using the Search option! Clearly it's directed towards prospective  members. Thus we read:

'AGMs are normally very social events and often feature a ride before or after the meeting'
'Unfortunately, due to Covid, most groups won't be able to host their AGMs in person as they normally would'
'Instead, most will be held online, using Microsoft Teams, Zoom or a similar service. Some groups have even decided to defer their AGM to a later date or make alternative arrangements, such as conducting it via email'

Hopefully the next two weeks will bring some clarity. Your views (when, where, agenda, or whatever) are sought for a decision in April. The quorum is 10, a number I doubt we'll reach. Is it time for consider the future (change of name or status) ? 

You may recall this was on my last ride of 2020. It's  disappeared! And one kissing gate has been 'improved' with builder's rubble so you may have to dismount.

I've reported this to Surrey CC but as it's priority 3 not much hope of immediate action. 






They must have been reading my thoughts as the proforma Annual Return turned up the same day! No advice on how to stage an AGM which must take place before the end of May.

Monday, February 08, 2021


 Seems not everyone can see the attachment at the bottom left of the email

An alternative in on the website under 'Information Hub' Newsletters.

Sou'Wester March/April 2021

We applaud your devotion in braving the cold and public transport to search out copies of the latest Sou'Wester Newsletter for our Members, deprived of opportunity to ride and meet together.

For those unable to take possession of a treasured paper copy of the Sou'Wester, it is available as an ethereal version. I shall try to attach a link to it, with no guarantees of success. Sou'Wester March/April 2021. Let's see if this works.


Souwester March/April 2021

 As Ed is not fully mobile, I've collected a dozen copies of the latest newletter from Colin -  home and back in an hour and a half using the (almost empty) buses

If you'd like your copy and have a cunning plan, please contact me.

Sunday, February 07, 2021

A cold windy walk


Cycled the last 2 days as the weather for Sunday was forecast as severely cold and snow. A longish walk was planned instead, fine for the first half mile then it got muddier and muddier.

So, a change of direction was instigated and I headed homeward to warm up with a Whisky or 3.

Not walking friendly at present.


Saturday, February 06, 2021


Just thought this may put a smile on your face.😁

Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Sunday December 27 2020 - Another Ride That Never Was

Firstly an apology to anyone who felt formal cancellation of Sunday's ride was needed.

But I couldn't waste a fine cycling day. After Bella and a lengthy call from a blue toothless caller, departure was late (after 11). Via Walton I reached Sainsbury's Cobham (the printed 11s) around 1215; unsurprisingly I didn't recognise any bikes.

Bella had left plenty of wet roads though none deep enough for wet feet. Taking no chances by Downside I went to Ripley (both cafes closed) before turning for home.

Muddy Lane has a new signpost! Its predecessor lay vandalised when last I passed this way.

It's hard to believe that there's a pandemic going on. Town centres may be largely empty but open spaces,  parks, Thames side, Muddy Lane, the Weybridge sewage path, etc etc were crowded as never before!

Roll on spring

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Lockdown Mileages 2020


 How far did you go in the year of covid lockdown 2020?

 The time is fast approaching when you will be invited to submit your mileage totals for the past year. This may not be top of your immediate priority list, but like all good Girl Guides and Boy Scouts: Be Prepared.

This is what I said last year.

 However, having filled this gap between Xmas and the New Year for too long, the time has come for someone more in touch with the membership to take on this cherished and dearly coveted privilege. The Committee has decreed, I understand, that the mantle should now rest on the shoulders of our dear Secretary: Tim Court, who can never resist a challenge. He must learn how to say:No! Perhaps he will delegate!

No doubt, he will soon be inviting you to submit your historically Covid reduced mileages from Jan to Dec 2020. Even with the restrictions of Tier 4, you may be tempted to go that extra mile before midnight on December 31.

Stay alert!


Saturday, December 19, 2020

As you were. Stop!

 Friday is a long time ago. Since then London and Surrey have been promoted to Tier 4 of the  Premier Lockdown League, with all the privileges that lock-down includes. As we can no longer surf the tiers and only cycle with A.N.Other, all rides are now once again suspended. Simon has had to cancel his Sunday ride. Many no doubt will desperately be trying to work out what this means for their Xmas arrangements. Who knows when the next ride will be. Hopefully before December 2021. We can be sure that there will be many changes of direction before then. 

Stay alert.


Friday, December 18, 2020

This Sunday's ride: CANCELLED ride for 20 Dec

Due to the move into Tier 4, we are not allowed to ride in groups of more than two.  Therefore, with regret, I have no choice to cancel the planned ride.   It is a shame that we can't get together but it's more important that we all stay safe.    Even more important than the very upsetting news about not getting together over Christmas.

Eventually, it will be over.   But not until the number of cases comes down to hugely lower numbers, or the outcomes are much improved.    The vaccine will help.   Limiting our contacts, especially indoors, will help.   Warmer weather will help - and it can't come soon enough!

My apologies for the short notice and I look forward to seeing you as soon as we are able.

Sending love and best wishes for whatever Christmas you can salvage, and for a much better 2021.


Further Notice - Rides Resume

 Go, Go, Stop Stop, Go

With effect from 00.01 GMT on Saturday 19 December 2020

 Ged Lawrenson has kindly provided the following advice on the MWW website, which I have tweaked slightly for Cheam and Morden.

" Following the government's announcement of Tier 3 for Surrey, the same Tier 3 Coronavirus restrictions now apply equally to all our riders. This means that we can all now ride in a group of six or fewer, no matter where we live  - so long as we follow all the relevant up-to-date guidelines on the website". 

 I'm sure that Dave Ward will keep us informed about forthcoming rides, eg Polesden Lacey this Sunday, 20 Dec. Keep your eyes peeled on the C&M Whats App group for the latest twists and turns.

 If you have any questions, I understand that Mr B Johnson and Mr M Hancock are available to clarify any ambiguities.

Hope I've got this right!


Tuesday, December 15, 2020

All rides cancelled until further notice.

As all will no doubt have realised, the permafrost of government designation as a Tier 3 Covid19 hotspot has descended on the Great Wen. This will take effect from one second after midnight this Wednesday, 16 December 2020. One of the effects of this is to discourage mingling of members who live in one Tier with those from another Tier, as well as travelling from one Tier into another. To all purposes, this seems to make club rides an indictable offence, subject to I know not what penalties.

Have a look at the succinct guidance posted by Ged Lawrenson, Wayfarers' Ride Sec,  on the MWW blog page.

We will do our best to adapt to these frosty conditions and await guidance from CUK on how to continue group riding within the confines of the law in 2021.

Bah! Humbug!

And oh yes, Have a Merry Xmas!


Sunday, December 13, 2020

Ride Report - Sunday 13 December 2020


It was a pretty foul morning and, unsurprisingly, I savoured my Squires six item breakfast at Stoke d'Abernon in stately splendour (and so it should be with the current restrictions, I hear you say)!  Somewhat to my surprise, Graham arrived just as I was leaving and we had a brief chat outside.   He turned for home, and I headed for Guildford, half thinking the rain might relent (it didn't)!

You get a few Sundays like that most years, but I think this year we have been spared until now!  Anyway, we'll hope for better things next week!

Friday, December 11, 2020

Sunday the 13th

 The weather for Sunday forecasts has a 25% chance of rain and temperatures from 7C up around 10C so the possibility of a ride is promising. 11's however is a problem with not being able to all meet within Squires. I have spoken to Squires and they have 2 outside tables and takeaway coffee, inside seating is available if you are solo or socially distanced.

 Lunch is planned for the Old Moat garden centre, Epsom, which has outside seating. Due to the early onset of twilight no afternoon tea stop is planned.