An overcast cold and occasionally showery morning led to lengthy gossip at Old Moat before we headed our various ways home.
Sunday, November 28, 2021
It was the coldest start for some time and temperatures were not expected to rise much during the day, so it was not entirely surprising that only Simon, Graham, Keith, Pam and I were tempted out to elevenses at the Bourne Valley Garden Centre. We have had better experiences at Bourne Valley GC, perhaps they were having a bad day!
When we eventually re-emerged it felt almost pleasant in the sunshine and shelter outside the garden centre, but the wind chill hit us as soon we set off for Windlesham (Keith made his own way home). The stiff climb up to Row Town soon got us warmed up again, and we kept up a steady pace on yet another quirky route of mine! The piece de resistance this time was a back roads route we have not ridden before between Bisley and Donkey Town. I say 'roads' but one stretch turned out to be rather less than fully surfaced, although it was just about possible to avoid any mud.
We arrived at The Sun at Windlesham at 1.00 pm and spent a pleasant hour over lunch. Then it was a straightforward route home towards Addlestone. By now it was distinctly cooler and the first signs of dusk were appearing, so no one wanted to stop for tea and we all made our separate ways home from Stonehill. Thanks to all for your company.
Wednesday, November 24, 2021
Sunday, November 21, 2021
Several of our regular riders were away today, but an elevenses meet at The Vineries, Effingham always seems to attract a good crowd, and today was no exception. Bob, Ed, Terry, Robert, Keith, Graham, Richard and I met and had a good chat and got far too comfortable! Unsurprisingly, my intention of setting off not later than 11.00 am wasn't fulfilled!
When we did eventually venture back out into the open air, we were met with a blast of cold air, the lovely bright sunshine of earlier had vanished, and it was trying to rain! Undeterred, Graham, Robert, Terry and I pressed on towards lunch at Woking, crossing Wisley Airfield on the way. Keith rode with us for a bit and then set off for his own ride. It did brighten up again on the way to lunch and the autumn leaves looked at their best.
Wetherspoons at Woking was busier than usual but we still managed to find a table and enjoyed lunches at the usual unbelievably low prices. Service was a bit slower than it can be, but we were still on the road for home by 1.30 pm. Terry rode his own way home and I left Graham and Robert in sunshine at Walton Bridge. with plenty of time to get home before nightfall.
Thanks all for your company and to Graham for navigating us across Wisley Airfield.
Monday, November 15, 2021
My hoped for early start was not to be as Robert was over from Canada to collect two cycle tops, an order placed with Pam over two years ago! He arrived around 1045 in Staines just as the crowds were assembling across the road from the George.
In contrast the crowds were dispersing as we rode through Datchet and Eton so little time was lost. The route was an obvious choice - a clockwise circuit of Slough(see map). There was plenty of autumnal colours on the western edge of Burnham Beeches but few other visitors. The en route lunch stop was the Fox and Pheasant just ahead of a small group of Uxbridge Loiterers who knew Tony. Here Dave left for home. Pinewood came next followed by the Ivers. We reversed last week's route past the sewage works and incinerator and into Colnbrook. Don't be surprised if more concrete blocks appear around junction 14 as the "bikers" were out in force.
In Stanwell Moor Pam headed off south to inspect the "improved" Crooked Billet roundabout where the underpass has disappeared! Robert and I went southeast; our ways separating in Bushy Park. Home around four and after 60 miles. So two points for me, Dave, Pam and Robert, one for Ed, Lillian and Tony.
Tuesday, November 09, 2021
3 for tea, or not
A new venue for 11's, or 10.30 departure now with the clock change, for C&M, the Sunrise cafe at Upper Haliford, very much like a golden cafe.
A reasonable turnout of Dave, Simon, Graham, Ed(but only to 11's), Mark, Gemma (Gemma's partner started out for 11's but punctured on his very brand new bike and had some issues so never made it) and Pam. A no frills ride to Bedfont and onto Colbrook and across the M4 on the Old Slade lane (new) bridge, although the gate on the South side is still locked, but there is a suitable get round.
On to Thorney and a left past Thorney golf club and off road next to the Colne Brook and the nice track over the Slough arm of the Grand union upto Little Brtiain lake, past Brunel Uni to Uxbridge and lunch at the Good Yarn, a Wetherspoons pub no less.
Service is always quick at Spoons and we were lucky enough to grab the only outside seating. After lunch Mark had decided to let the train take the strain home. The rest of us headed back past the Uni and past Hillingdon Hospital down to Sipson, Harlington and through Heathrow along the way Dave took his leave and soon after Pam and Gemma headed west while Simon, Graham and I decided to head for tea at the Adrian Hall garden centre, locking our bikes we took the Covid route round the store, probably adding half a mile to my Strava, only to find the cafe closed for refurbishment, so to the loos, no they were closed as well. But a nice member of staff on the tills lets use them, arghhh.
So no tea and we headed back to the roundabout by the old Jobs dairy where we parted company, I took the long way home from there to get my 40 miles in. A nice day on the bike apart from the headwind most of the way to lunch.
As Dave has already announced this Sunday's ride will start at 1030 sharp! from The George Staines aka Wetherspoons. It'll be a clockwise circuit round Slough taking in Eton Wick, Burnham, Burnham Beeches, Fulmer and Iver.
For lunch my first thoughts were The Blackwood Arms or Jolly Woodman but as they're slightly off route The Fox and Pheasant might be a better choice. I don't expect to stop for tea but notionally it'll be The George.
BUT I'm conscious that we could encounter a memorial service around 1100 just about anywhere so an anticlockwise route and a start (Stanwell Moor, Poyle, Colnbrook and Iver) like last Sunday might be the best option.
Sunday 14 November - Elevenses at The George, Staines as planned. Graham intends to lead us to Burnham Beeches area for a look at the autumn leaves.
Sunday 21 November - Elevenses at The Vineries Garden Centre, Effingham as planned. At the time of writing there are no definite plans for lunch, but Brockham is a place in easy reach which we haven't visited for some time, unless there are any other suggestions?
Sunday 21 November - Elevenses at Bourne Valley Garden Centre, Woodham as planned. As we haven't visited The Sun at Windlesham for several months, this would seem to be a likely lunch stop.
Led by Tony, we had an excellent day out, and the weather was very good as well! We met at The Sunrise Cafe, Upper Halliford, a new venue for us, which proved to offer speedier service and a less crowded environment than other local garden centres! Ed returned home after elevenses, but Tony, Mark, Graham, Simon, Pam, Gemma and I set off into the unknown! Until Colnbrook it was relatively straightforward, but we then followed a maze of paths and tracks, crossed a newly-reopened bridge across the M4, and negotiated umpteen, fiendish 'metal-puzzle' stiles before ending up in a quiet alleyway just off Uxbridge High Street for a very enjoyable lunch!
On the way home we followed a cycle route and mainly quiet back roads to Heathrow where traffic was noticeably busier than it has been for months. I left the group there soon after that as they set off down yet another mysterious path towards tea....
Wednesday, November 03, 2021
This ride will be what should have taken place last Sunday. So, as the clocks have gone back and dusk is now just gone 5pm.
11's will change to a 10.30 departure from the Sunrise Cafe Upper Haliford, please be prompt and early if you require coffee, bacon butties etc.
Lunch will be at Wetherspoons Uxbridge and tea at the Pheasantry in Bushy park or by referendum on the day. Please bring LIGHTS just to be safe.
Wednesday, October 27, 2021
Sunday, October 24, 2021
An elevenses meet at Leatherhead always seems to attract a good crowd and today Bob, Tony, Keith, Graham, Simon, Ed, Pam, Gemma, Ann, Ray and I were lured out by the promise of good weather. All of us except Bob continued via Bookham, Effingham and various lanes to lunch at The Saddlers Arms at Send Marsh.
This pub used to be a favourite haunt of ours until a few years ago, well before lockdown, when they stopped serving lunches on Sundays. Happily they have now re-started. The menu is largely centred on roast meals, but there are a few other options, two-course deals are available, and they were happy to serve us 'child-sized' portions (they must be intended for very large children, I reckon). Service was very welcoming and friendly and we will certainly call again.
After enjoying our meals in glorious autumn sunshine on the terrace we headed back to Walton Bridge via Pyrford, West Byfleet and Addlestone. That was the last ride this year when we did not have to hurry home before dusk.
Thanks to Graham for kindly back-marking and to everyone else for your company.
Thursday, October 21, 2021
As last Sunday's ride ended up at Mortlake my planned ride this coming Sunday from Tolworth would have involved a lot of overlap.
Apologies therefore, but a complete change of direction is called for and elevenses will now be at The Edmund Tylney, Leatherhead, with lunch provisionally at The Sadlers Arms, Send Marsh (now apparently serving food again on Sundays).
Monday, October 18, 2021
I arrived at an overcast dew drenched Nauticalia to find Bob and Mark seated (but no Dave as previously announced). In time we were joined by Ed, Pam, Ray, Richard, Simon, Terry. We had no leader but I had a plan for something different. In truth parts had not been executed in years and lunch would reveal I had no maps!
Just five (me, Mark, Pam, Ray, Simon) headed off on a most familiar route (Shepperton High Street, Squires, Lower Sunbury, Hampton, Bushy Park) to cross the Thames at Teddington Lock. We climbed to Ham Cross, past the Pen Ponds cafe and out through Sheen Gate. The Ship at Mortlake (overshadowed by the 10 year derelict "Watney" Brewery) was reached at 1245. Lunch was tasty if a tad tardy.
We were off by two leaving Mark to find his own way home. After Chiswick riverside took us to Brentford. At the end of the High Street a democratic vote was for an hour long detour along the Grand Union Canal. From the Waste Transfer Facility we made the 50+ ft climb beside the Hanwell Lock Flight to pause at Windmill Bridge where the canal crosses a railway and is crossed by a road. We turned off at the next cobbled footbridge.
I knew our route was to our left but no more. And so it proved when we reached Norwood Green and the northern entrance of Osterley Park where tea was taken alfresco. Another senior moment occurred when I wrongly signalled first left after the Piccadilly Line. Across the A4 we took the first left and all was well! From Isleworth station we continued to Old Isleworth. Alone I might have taken to the riverside for Richmond - not a great option at weekends. But Simon knew of the C40 cycle route (brand new, not even in Wikipedia). For us it paralleled the busy A309 and quietish roads brought us to Twickenham station. Here Simon turned right for home; later on Pam and Ray turned right at Pope's Grove; for me it was a second crossing of Teddington Lock and a first glimpse of sunlight. Home by 1630 and around 30 miles.
Until better arrangements can be made the attendance can be viewed via this link
This runs from April 2021 to March 2022 unless advised otherwise by HQ.
Jeff highlighted a missing ride. If you can provide (double?) evidence of attendance.....
Pam has provided a list of ten riders. It's probably too late to establish who did what so I've awarded everyone two points.
Sunday, October 10, 2021
Despite a cool and overcast start ten of us (Bob, Terry, Simon, Graham, Lilian, Pam, Ray, Ed, Maureen and I) met for coffee at Caffe Capital. We all continued to lunch at Epsom although Bob and Maureen made their own ways there. The main group rode via Bookham Common, Fetcham, Leatherhead and Ashtead Common (where we were piloted by Graham).
The promised afternoon sunshine did not appear while we were enjoying lunch at Wetherspoons but it was a little brighter and not too cold to stop us using the terrace seating.
Half made their own ways home from Epsom. A group of five us continued to Hook and from there to Squires Garden Centre at Long Ditton for tea (by then, of course, we were bathed in sunshine)!
Thanks to all for your company, to Simon for back-marking, and to Graham for navigational assistance!
Friday, October 08, 2021
I'm sure that many of you will have noted that the C&M attendance record expired on 26 September, 2021. I have asked Lisa Colombo to update the template for the coming twelve months, from 3rd October 2021. I don't want to destroy it myself as a farewell reminder.
As I am now a shadowy 'éminence grise' within C&M, spotted on a ride as often as a yeti, the time has clearly come for an active and diligent C & M aficionado, to assume the privilege of monitoring our members' weekly attendance. The powers that be will no doubt be well able to manage the throng pressing to take on the rôle. To my successor I wish: 'bonne chance', and to all those whose company I have greatly enjoyed, since my first ride with C&M on 30th April, 2008 to an unknown Dragon's Green, I bid an appreciative 'adieu'.
Tuesday, October 05, 2021
October 10 - Elevenses at Caffe Capital, Cobham as published. Suggested lunch stop - The Assembly Rooms, Epsom (Wetherspoons with plenty of outdoor seating). Tea at Long Ditton or Hampton Court.
October 17 - Elevenses at Nauticalia, Shepperton. Possibilities for lunch are The Perseverance, Wraysbury, The White Horse, Longford, or The Sun, Windlesham. Let me know if you have any preference.
October 24 - The intended lunch stop doesn't have any outdoor seating so I will probably change this whole ride. A possibility is for elevenses at Court Farm Garden Centre, Tolworth and lunch at Mortlake or Barnes where there are some interesting cafes to try.
If you have other suggestions for any of these rides don't hesitate to let me know.
Sunday, October 03, 2021
|Serious discussions at 11s|
Monday, September 27, 2021
If you haven't yet commited yourself to join us for the Annual Lunch next week, on Wednesday 6th October, please contact Jennie by email a.s.a.p.
To see the invitation with full details see this item in the blog:
Sunday, September 26, 2021
We have seemed to go from strength to strength recently, and today saw no fewer than fourteen of us (Bob, Mark, Simon, Tony, Geoff G, Keith, Terry, Graham, Pam, Gemma, Lilian, Ed, Ray and me) meet for elevenses at The Vineries.
All except Bob, Tony and Geoff continued to lunch, and we took a route with plenty of off-road sections. With rain forecast from tomorrow onwards, this may be the last time before next spring we use some of these tracks and paths.
After lunch Graham very kindly offered to lead the main group back to Ripley, detouring for sightseeing at the castle, while another four of us made our own ways home.
Many thanks to Simon for the photos, and for back-marking, to Graham for leading after lunch, and to everyone else for your company.
Friday, September 24, 2021
Monday, September 20, 2021
This is a ride and a route which will not be remembered for a long time! Dull all day with patchy rain; plenty of traffic.
Improving Met Office forecasts encouraged me to brave half marathoners on Kingston Bridge and enter Bushy Park where the rut (at least for roe deer) has started. In Hampton I passed Tony on his way home (he'd reported in sick). Beside the Shepperton Studios extension drizzle started though never enough for action. In Lammas Park Simon was seated under a covered pergola later to be joined by Pam and Ray. As the rain increased we talked vaguely of Dorney, Black Park, etc. By 1140 the vote was go west or go home.
Wraysbury roads were dry(!) and Datchet's gridlocked with closed crossings. Approaching the playing fields of Eton, drizzle turned to rain so waterproofs were donned and lunch was switched to the Cinnamon Cafe Windsor. It was packed but with prompt service. Next door Cafe Rouge was almost empty.
After lunch we voted again go west; not the best as the obvious way led only to the top of a six storey car park well to the west of the station! Down we went followed by a traverse of the coach park - no problem with Windsor still well short of visitors. Datchet (busy), Old Windsor, across the meads to Egham and Staines bridge brought us to a final vote outside Notcutts - Nauticalia for tea reached via a right turn at Shepperton's fish stop. 45+ miles door to door
Sunday, September 12, 2021
It was a sunny and warm Sunday morning for a change and ideal for a very pleasant elevenses on the cafe terrace at Clandon Park Garden Centre. Simon, Mark, Terry, Graham, Keith and I found it hard to drag ourselves away, but eventually managed to struggle off towards Merrow, from where we 'roughed it' over the downs to One Tree Hill Road. Then it was the rollercoaster Lane to Chilworth, followed by another climb up to Blackheath. After Wonersh we headed for the 'Sewage Works Path' towards Farncombe. This is usually a rutted and nettle-strewn obstacle course, but today it was disappointingly well kempt! It would have been an easy ride from here to our lunch stop, but I had the bright idea, as it was still quite early, of leading us up Munstead Heath and then attempting to find the bridleway we used to use regularly, going back to the '90's, until the long-lamented Ram Cider House at Catteshall closed for business.
Well, find it we did, but time has not served it well and it was not at all as remembered! For much of its length it is now, in effect, a dried-up steam bed. There were sandy patches, deep ruts, and treacherous rock steps where small waterfalls must flow in times of rain. As such, it was only partly rideable. Never mind, as I said last week, you have to try these things, and at least this one wasn't too overgrown!
Once we regained tarmac we were not only very relieved, but also very close to our lunch stop, the somewhat eclectic 'Hector's Bistro' at Farncombe Boathouse. The proprietor is somewhat eclectic too! On arrival he popped out to tell us there was no room if we hadn't booked, but this proved to be just his little joke! Anyway, all was well and there was a very varied menu. We our enjoyed our lunches while we sat on the bank of the Wey.
By the time we left it had clouded over and turned threatening, and having been traumatised by our bridleway experience before lunch (!), Graham, Mark and I headed for Guildford station, while the rest made their own ways home. Thanks to all, and apologies for subjecting you to yet another challenging off-road experience!
Sunday, September 05, 2021
For what seemed like the first time in many weeks, a pleasant summer day was forecast! Simon, Bob, Tony, Terry, Ed, Lilian, Maureen and I met for elevenses at Walton Bridge. Ed, Maureen and Bob made their own ways from there, while the rest of us set off for Callow Hill. We managed to lose Tony before even leaving the car park, which did not augur well, but fortunately caught up with him again at the other end of the path from Walton to Weybridge via Broadwater.
We bypassed Addlestone by Coxes Lock footbridge, then I showed the group the new route off the Addlestone to Chertsey cycle path which neatly avoids the railway footbridge. Hardwick Lane was very busy with traffic but we were soon on quieter roads again, and, from Thorpe Green, embarked on a traffic-free, off-road route of several miles all the rest of the way to lunch. The culmination of this was Hollow Lane, a bridleway from Stroude to Callow Hill. None of us seemed ever to have done the first section before, and it is not easily forgotten - a shady, steeply sloping track with high-banked sides which winds its way precipitously up the thickly wooded hillside. We bravely proved it is rideable on road bikes, but only just!
The Rose and Olive Branch, our lunch stop, was conveniently near the end of the track. We lunched in the lovely, shady garden. Food and service were both excellent, and a full menu, including filled baguettes, is available on Sundays, a rare thing these days!
The sight of another inviting track winding downhill from the pub car park aroused our curiosity and the planned return route was duly amended. As it goes with these things, it started off well but narrowed as it went along, and fallen trees and difficult to negotiate plank bridges began to proliferate. What some would call a 'technical' route, I think! By and by it became patently overgrown in places rather than 'technical', but it was gratifying that we eventually emerged, as planned, by Prune Hill level crossing, most of us bearing injuries sustained from nettles, brambles or worse!
The planned route had also included the Monks Walk track from Thorpe to Chertsey but somehow we had all had quite enough of off-roading for one Sunday, and an on-road route was quickly substituted! Tea was at Shepperton Lock. Thanks to all for your company and to Simon for back-marking.