Tuesday, February 27, 2024

From Brian Mackie

                                                              Brian Mackie

Hi, I wish I could still do your rides? At ninety it'the electric scooter now? I enjoy reading your reports! Brings back many memories of 1950s. All a little more spartan in those days! Then we used to assemble at Ridge road school for meetings. Sunday runs started from the Grenada Nth Cheam, then later Worcester Park was start to the day! Best wishes to you all! Brian Mackie. Now live in Swaffham Norfolk.
This was posted on Facebook.

Sunday, February 25, 2024

Sunday 25th February 2024

This February has been pretty dismal (to say the least) with rainy and/or windy weather putting many off cycling, so with another unfavourable forecast it was nice to see 16 cyclists at The Vineries.

Ed, Dave V, Maureen & Graham went their separate ways leaving Bernard, Sabine, Keith, Diane, Christina, Caroline, Lillian, Dave W, Terry, Dawn & Simon led by myself to a new lunch venue - Ruby's café just south of Beare Green.

A number of years ago C & M rides were graded to give new members an indication to the difficulty of the ride.

80% were "2" - flat or undulating, up to 50 miles, suitable for most.

20% were "1" - either hilly and/or 70 miles (or more).

Today would of been a "1" ........no question. 👀

Dappeled sunshine made the gradual climb to the top of Chapel Lane quite enjoyable even though some may of been thinking about the stinking great climb in a few miles time (I'd posted part of the route in a blog post.......to encourage or put people off ....I'm not sure which).

The effects of recent rain caused a split in the bunch with some wanting to avoid (the possibilty) of muddy conditions on NCN Route 22 between Dorking & Westcott...so Dave W kindly took the majority via tarmac whilst Keith, Sabine, Bernard, Dawn & Simon joined my "not too bad" route.

Some confusion where the routes meet but we were soon onto the "highlight" of the day, Logmore Lane.

Just a personal view but this is why I love cycling the hills of Surrey......it starts quite steeply past the church then levels out.....even goes downhill. 

Then boom.....back on the lowest gear.....but we all made it. 👏

A sense of an achievement.........whatever the age you are.

After a photo op at the top of a chilly Anstie Lane, downhill to Ruby.

Great refreshment place this (I would say that!) with orders served efficiently......one I'm bound to use again.

I hope it doesn't go the same way as Henfold lake (closed - seeking new tenants).

We left well nourished but by now light rain had started falling.

I suffered a collapse of the rear mudguard caused by a fallen branch on the run in to Leatherhead.

Tea (& biscuits) at Spoons.........yummy!

Steady rain was to end a great day in the saddle.

Only around 40 miles for me but thanks to Logmore....it felt like more.😀

Thanks as always to my supporters, my back markers & my photographers.

Please refer to March/April rides list for next week - 3rd March (11's Waitrose Dorking NOT W'Spoons L'head).


Sunday, February 18, 2024

A right royal jaunt to Maidenhead - 18 Feb

It was almost like spring today for our ride to the deep west.   We missed the overnight downpours, waking to grey skies and wet roads, but this soon improved to a warm day with patches of sunshine and a few short showers.   A few of us met at Shepperton for a pre-ride to 11s at the Royal Farm Coffee Shop in Windsor.   In total there were nine of us, not bad for such a faraway start.   We split into two groups:  Tony, Pam and Liz took a more direct route while David, Andy, Diane, Christina, Steph and myself headed in a northerly loop towards Maidenhead.   We enjoyed some of the lovelier parts of Slough, namely Herschel Park, Salt Hill Park and the Godolphin recreation grounds, before a quick visit to Burnham Beeches, freshly washed and gleaming in the sunshine.   Then it was off to Maidenhead via Taplow and Boulter's Island, home of Richard Dimbleby for many years.  

Blossoming in Bray

Viewing the castle at Windsor
We arrived at almost exactly the same time as the other group and enjoyed lunch at sunny upstairs tables.  Then it was back by a fairly direct route, through Bray, Dorney (a special treat to ride across Dorney Common with a tail wind), Windsor and Runnymede, where I managed to find a rather muddy track for a hundred yards or so (sorry everyone!) before joining the newly-surfaced riverside path.   Just as we were contemplating whether to have tea at Egham or Shepperton, standing near the Runnymede Cafe, it started to rain, so the decision was made to stop there for tea instead.  Of course the rain stopped before we had sat down with our tea.   Pam was nearly home by then but she volunteered (sort of) to lead us to Chertsey via Thorpe.

All in all, a nice day out with a taste of warm days to come, in good company and rather lucky with the weather.   Thank you to all who came along, to Tony and Pam for leading parts of the ride, and to David W and Diane for back-marking.

Sunday, February 11, 2024

Sunday 11th February 2024

The day dawned damp & murky, a typical February day but with the temperature the right side of 10°.

Seven riders met at Starbucks, Hooley, a satisfactory number I thought considering the impending "hilly" ride.

Pre-ride chat dwelt on amongst other things, the merits (or otherwise) of narrowboats & Steph & Caroline's forthcoming Majorca trip.

On leaving, we immediately began climbing Dean Lane, the obvious way going East to be followed by the fast decent of Hilltop Lane.

NCN route 21 took us past Mercers farm & lake, tricky in places after all the recent rain but it's a NATIONAL CYCLE ROUTE so must be okay?....right?

This stretch is graded as "reasonable to cycle at any time of year" with "the odd pot-hole or bumpy bit" (SCC cycle map 2014).

Although Sustrans come up with the concept, it's down to indivdual landowners to maintain the paths which are left to the elements.

A surface would be nice.

Coopers Hill Road took us south from Nutfield to the track going east through the Henshaw Farm estate....a new experience for some.

Outwood has a windmill, in fact a very old windmill. 

It was constructed during the Great Fire of London & the builders it is said, watched the fire glowing in the distance 25 miles away.

It was last used commercially in 1996 & is the oldest working windmill in the UK.

Grade 1 listed building & only £800,000 (June 2018).

The Castle at Wasps Green...or Outwood as Google would have us believe was better than I'd thought ticking many boxes.

Attentive waiter, good food (not a roast in sight), comfortable surroundings & special thanks to Caroline for picking up the drinks tab.

We were away by 1.30 & 3 more climbs, Outwood Lane, Markedge Lane & Holly Lane brought us to tea at Banstead.

A pleasant day's ride with some hills to exercise the legs in the expectation of longer rides as the days lengthen.

Thanks to all for your company & Dave & Simon for backmarking.

Sunday, February 04, 2024

Ride Report - Sun 4 Feb 2024 (Addlestone & Woking)


Several members were out of the country today and unable to join us on the ride - rumours I was leading must have got about!   Who grassed?   Anyway, Simon, Diane, Tony, Martina, Niall, Pam, Liz, Christina, Steph, Graham, Carolyn & Vic (very nice to see him out and about) joined me for elevenses at the ever-popular Golden Cafe, and more than made up for absent friends.   All except Carolyn and Vic then joined the ride towards lunch at Woking.

It had not escaped my attention that a certain mid week cycling group had also lunched at Woking very recently so I tried to come up with a different route.   This was proved to be slightly over-ambitious of me given a slightly later departure from elevenses than planned, and a stiff headwind, and so at Knaphill we diverted to a more direct route to lunch.

We had a very convivial meal at Wetherspoons and the service, as ever there, was friendly and efficient.

After lunch I decided to lure the group into a false sense of security by setting off on our traditional route back through Sheerwater, then veering off to Weybridge via Brooklands.  I managed to get away with it this time but I doubt if the trick will work again!   Anyway we made it to tea at Walton Bridge long before the somewhat fickle serving-hatch shutters had closed and neatly avoided a return through Addlestone!

Thanks all for your company and thanks to Graham for back-marking and Simon for relieving him.

Friday, February 02, 2024

Competition Deadlines

For the photo competition please submit your photos by midnight this Sunday, 4th February. This will give the judges time to deliberate and reach their verdicts in time for the engraver to do his work before our prize-giving on 6th March.

See this link to the invitation for the rules and instructions on how to upload photos.

For the mileages league table please send me your 2023 mileage score by midnight on Sunday, 4th February. I will happily update the table with any scores sent to me after Sunday but you won't be considered as a contender for any of the shiny trophies.

For anyone who won a trophy or two last year please let me know if you will be bringing it/them to Cobham for me on Wednesday. Thank you to several people who have delivered theirs already.

Thank you

~ Tim C

Sunday, January 28, 2024

Ride Report - Sunday 28th January 2024 (North Cheam and Redhill)

It had been eerily quiet on the C&M WhatsApp group – by Sunday morning only 2 had made their apologies, the rest were keeping their cards close to their chest. So I was somewhat surprised by the large group already at The Nonsuch Inn when I arrived, with more trickling in to make no less than 18 gathered for elevenses!

Everyone loves a 'spoons elevenses!   

Tony, Maureen and Ed had alternative plans for a more local lunch at Claygate, and so the rest of us made to leave. But what was this? 80% of the assembled A riders hatched a little plan to spend a bit more time in the pub, and wriggle out of the 16 mile route to lunch at Redhill, stating "they would catch us up"! I won’t go into detail here, for fear of copycats, but it seems they all kindly supported each other in this misadventure and deserve some recognition!

The remaining 11 struck out through Cheam and Belmont, with a slight headwind as we made our way across a short stretch of Banstead Common and up to Banstead. Here Helen peeled off, and 10 went on through Woodmansterne, Chipstead and Coulsdon, re-grouping for photos at the top of Farthing Down. There was a request to stop at the beautiful little church at Chaldon, to admire the “internationally renowned” twelfth-century wall painting, which I for one had not seen before.

Up Farthing Down

Here's the church, here's the steeple...look inside...

Meanwhile the breakaway group had finally left the pub and were cycling like bats out of hell to make lunch via a more direct route. Travelling on down (thankfully) the steep hills into Merstham and then along the traditional route into Redhill to The Sun, we arrived just before they caught us up. Dave and Steve did not stop, making it 13 at lunch as we found Terry there waiting for us. Lunch was quick enough given the pub was quite busy.

After lunch, Steph and Brenda (her first C&M ride – welcome!) opted for a more direct route home and Dawn headed to the train station, leaving 10 to meander through the back streets of Redhill and Reigate until we came to the glorious familiar lanes that take us through Brockham and Pixham, where Terry peeled off home, to wind up in Leatherhead. Graham, Keith, Tim and Colin did not stop as it was getting a bit late, so just 5 of us – myself, Sabina and Bernard, Andy and Simon, stopped for a well-deserved tea at new-to-me Lucio’s Coffee and Deli.  

Thanks to everyone for coming out on a very pleasant sunny Sunday, and to Graham and Simon for back-marking at different times. 

Thursday, January 25, 2024

Ride Invitation for Sunday 28th Jan

Firstly please note that the destination has been tweaked from Reigate Hill to The Sun at Redhill - despite the very reasonable weather forecast I think we should save the al fresco dining for the Summer! 

Please join me for this Sunday's ride from 'spoons The Nonsuch Inn at North Cheam to 'spoons in Redhill - a distance of about 15 miles with two uphill stretches, to Banstead/Woodmansterne and then to Chaldon as we make our way over the North Downs. There is one short stretch of off road planned, to take our minds of the gentle but long uphill gradient. After the second up we will be rewarded with some lovely views just right for a photo op. From there it's downhill to lunch, about 15 miles altogether. 

Those who wish to take a train to and/or from lunch will find themselves very close to Redhill station, and those who are happy to cycle after lunch will be led through the flattish country lanes via Brockham and Pixham back to Leatherhead for tea, another 14 miles, with just the Coach Road as the usual bit of off-road. 

The GPX file can be emailed on request, any questions please ask! 

Thanks, Diane 

Tuesday, January 23, 2024

Sou'Wester Shorts - Did you receive the latest edition?

Issue 73 of Sou'Wester Shorts, edited by Dave Vine, has just been distributed by email.   If you missed out on receiving it, then this info is for you.

Shorts contains a digest of news of our rides, with photos and other information about the club.  It's published every few weeks and sent via a google distribution service called googlegroups.

If you are a new member, you may not be subscribed to the newsletter.   If so please click here to email me and I can add you to the distribution list.

If you have been a member for a few years and you still don't receive it, it's possible that you are already subscribed but your email system is registering Shorts as spam.  We're aware of a few people who often don't receive it.  If it's not in your spam folder, please do let me know, and we will try to get a copy to you one way or another.

Happy reading!

Monday, January 22, 2024

Sunday 21/01/24 Bushy Park - Byfleet - Walton Bridge

Dave had emailed during the week; Ripley was mentioned. By Sunday that was put in doubt by the impending arrival of Storm Isha.

I arrived not expecting to lead! In a crowded Pheasantry 13 were up for a ride. Out of the car park we turn left thus avoiding most of the Diana fountain. After the Palace, a left at the level crossing was rewarded by five minutes delay (4-way temporary lights at Thames Ditton station)! The A309 was busy. The bridleway(!) between Esher sewage works and Hersham is newly tarmac'ed and a second newish strip took us down into Brooklands and beside the museums into Byfleet.

The Bridge Over The River Mole

By now it was past 1230. Ripley was still 4 to 5 miles away and probably Muddy Lane so time now for lunch. The Plough had beer but no food. A few doors down was the Capital Cafe (plenty of space, options, very well priced) - just what we gourmands needed.

From one o'clock the cafe began to fill so we were moved slowly to move. The roads were quieter and the inward journey was 2+ mph faster thanks to Isha. With time is hand I added a brief detour to Coxes Mill. Tea was Walton Bridge - as far as I know nobody stopped! 

A measly 18 miles and a day of misadventures which won't be detailed here.


Sunday, January 21, 2024

Sunday 21st January - Ride map


Bushy Park to Capital Café in Byfleet to Walton on Thames

Thursday, January 18, 2024

Update for Sunday 21 Jan 2024

Change to published programme - on Sunday 21st we'll be meeting at The Pheasantry, Bushy Park as planned but will head for lunch in the Ripley area (instead of Greenford as billed).

Sunday, January 14, 2024

C&M Ride, Stoke D to Epsom for lunch. 14/1/24

Cafe Barbeara is a really nice 11's, I arrived just before 10.30 to a good throng of C&M cyclists., Dave, Simon, Madi, Diane, Terry, Andy, Bernard and Sabina. Carolin, John, Ed and Graham were also present but only went to 11's. Madi and Ed made their own way to lunch. We set off and headed towards Oxshot and on the way Martina joined us, she is one of the Ealing Friday riders. A round-the-(very nice private)-house route brought us to Sandy Lane and then onto the A244 heading North to the roundabout of the Esher bypass (A3). The plan was to get onto Esher Common, but my route was barred by a fallen tree. But another entrance in the bushes meant we managed, but the first section was not really cyclable.

Getting ready to leave the warmth of 11's
We soon reached the private road which we cycled for around 200 metres, then onto a nice off-road track taking us to Arbrook Lane and North for a mile or 2 eventually coming around to Claygate. We were soon at the outskirts of Chessington. We took the usual Woodgate Avenue but carried on past Mansfield Road, heading into Merritt Gdns, and a few wrong turns before I eventually found the entrance to the bridleway that led to Barwell Lane. We crossed the A243 into Garrison Lane, coming out on Moor Lane heading towards Ewell, then the route past Horton Country Park and to lunch at the Assembly Rooms in Epsom.

Easher Common

Bob and Ed were taking the Sunout side joined by Madi. During lunch Dave headed off home and after lunch numbers dwindled slightly as only Bernard, Sabina, Simon, Diane and Martina headed for tea at Dish, Hampton Court. Hot Chocolate and chatter, a few had cake and tea. Before it was time to head for our homes, as dusk was rapidly approaching. A lovely if somewhat chilly day out, thank you all for your company and to Simon for back marking, also a big thank you to Andy for being the day's photographer.


Tuesday, January 09, 2024

SWLDA Annual Competitions

Details of the SWLDA annual competitions are on the Midweek Wayfarers blog at https://midweekwayfarers.blogspot.com/2024/01/invitation-to-enter-2023-photo.html and https://midweekwayfarers.blogspot.com/2024/01/how-far-did-you-ride-in-2023.html .   The competitions are open to all SWLDA members including those from the Cheam and Morden section.

Sunday, January 07, 2024

Ride Report - Sunday 7 Jan 2024 (Staines and Windsor)

Well, today we really put the 'adventure' into 'bike adventure' (or should that be 'misadventure')?    A simple, short  ride from Staines to Windsor and it was a lovely, sunny start - what could possibly go wrong?   After elevenses at Staines the ride started off uneventfully enough, Shortwood Common giving us no problems except the negotiation of two kissing gates.   The first signs of trouble to come were later, as we took the causeway over the Staines reservoirs, never usually muddy but distinctly on the mushy side today and with a fearsome crosswind, and a couple more kissing gates of increasing difficulty to negotiate!

(Not the seaside but the Staines reservoirs)

(Us not beside a river but the Datchet to Eton road)!

There were mutterings of dissent but open rebellion did not actually start until the M25 cycle crossing between Stanwellmoor and Poyle, again unprecedentedly muddy.   Here I found myself riding alone while the group had turned back and taken the alternative route round the roundabout!   Order was soon restored and we were almost at Eton before the next spot of bother - Pococks Lane was under water by the leisure centre and cars were turning back and causing chaos!   Fortunately, a high level path on one side allowed us to skirt the danger and dodge the splashes!  The rest of the ride to lunch at Cafe Cinnamon was without incident, and we had a good lunch only slightly marred by an unfortunate accident to Diane's new bike.

We set off for home and all went well until we ran into queuing traffic and discovered the A308 was under water for a stretch near the Runnymede Pleasure Grounds.   I ploughed through the flood and was a little puzzled by the disgruntled reaction of the others.   It only dawned on me much later that not everyone else was attired in my standard winter garb of Goretex MTB boots over waterproof socks and windproof longs!   Nothing succeeds like excess!    All the more unfortunately there were a couple more small floods on the path across 'The Meads' into Egham!    Once in Egham I thought the tide would finally have turned, as it were, but alas no!   My planned route (Vicarage Road) was unexpectedly closed and, thinking on my (still dry) feet I diverted us towards The Causeway.   

Rounding the corner into the M25 subway on the cycle route I discovered yet another flood!  'It's not very deep' I said after I had ridden through, trying to reassure!   The others seemed less convinced and I began to feel like Captain Blye with a mutinous crew on the Cheam & Morden ark (see C & M blog December).  We were running out of options and in the end, with Simon's encouragement, everyone took the plunge, as it were, and we dripped our way into Staines!    

Ferry Lane, Laleham being closed and not advisable even with my clobber, we diverted again to get to Shepperton.   I left it to the others to discover whether or not the road to Nauticalia was open and headed for home!  

Thanks to Diane, Tony, Simon, Pam and Andy for your company throughout and for putting up with it all, and to Graham for joining us at elevenses and wisely turning straight for home!

Photo credits to Andy!

Monday, January 01, 2024

Sunday, December 31, 2023

Ride Report - Sunday 31 January 2023


We ended 2023 with another Sunday of three halves!    It started sunny and benign, but as I neared elevenses at Leatherhead the sky darkened ominously and the heavens opened!

I could scarcely have expected anyone else to turn up in the face of such foul conditions, but the Cheam and Morden never cease to amaze and Andy, Simon, Keith, Ed, Dave V,  Terry and Brian all braved the elements!

The rain relented and an intrepid four (Simon, Andy, Brian and Keith) plus an unintrepid me headed for lunch at Ripley, while the others wisely went home!

Soon there was even welcome sunshine, but road conditions everywhere were pretty mucky following not just the earlier downpour but heavy overnight rain, and giant puddles abounded!    We made a short detour to sample the newly-revamped Elm Lane which previously had the reputation of being one Surrey's most reliably muddy byways, winter or summer.   Ironically, today it was the clearest and cleanest road in the county!

Elm Lane may have been made easier to negotiate, but everything has its cost, and the downside is that the Wisley A3 footbridge now has a daunting scaffolding staircase to scale on the south side, fortunately only temporary.

Keith and Brian went their own ways after this but Simon, Andy and I continued to the ever-reliable Pinnocks at Ripley for lunch before setting off for home.

Thanks to all who braved the elements today, and a happy New Year to all Cheam and Morden riders!

(Photo credits to Andy, Brian & Simon).

Monday, December 18, 2023

Sunday 17/12/23 - Old Moat to Surbiton Spoons and no further!

Bright sunshine and mild temperatures drew a sizable crowd to the Old Moat. I counted at least 16 but not all were there for the ride. A crow had warned "less than four miles" hence the snake like route - a homage to my formative years.

With off-road scoring nul point we headed northeast then northwest (Horton Lane and Chessington Road) around Horton Country Park A left 300 yards beyond Ruxley Lane led to strings of suburban semis as we continued to Chessington South station. The A3 tunnel was known to be flooded so more semis came and went in Claygate, Hinchley Wood, and Long Ditton. Nearing our target, we veered off to Southborough where most of its grand 19c mansions have been replaced by blocks of late 20c/21c flats.

Across the Ewell Road is "between the wars" Surbiton where we descended  to Berrylands station. Next came a Sikh temple and the much larger Kingston sewage works (with a hint of its perfume). The final climb took us past two pubs, Rising Sun and Railway Tavern (both long gone now flats), and my Grammar School (1956-63) before a gentle descent to Spoons (aka Ritz cinema) - about 13 miles. 


GPX link (hopefully):

Sunday, December 10, 2023

Ride Report - Sunday 10 December 2023 (Addlestone & Windsor)

(Rumours that this picture shows the Cheam & Morden setting sail 

aboard their version of Noah's Ark have been greatly exaggerated!)

How can I best sum up today - a tale of two cafes, or could it be a day of two halves (or should that be three)?  Anyway, the weather flattered to deceive at first and an impressive number of members were tempted out to our elevenses meet at the ever-popular Golden Cafe, including Vic White, not seen at a Cheam and Morden elevenses for several years, I think!

Sadly, while we were cosily ensconced, the weather forecasters' predictions came true and, in an uncanny re-run of the previous Sunday, it began to rain steadily.    Graham, Liz, Tony, Pam, Graham, Dave J and Vic wisely decided to forego the farrago of my 'quirky' ride to Windsor, but Simon, Diane, Steph, Andy and Jennie would not be deterred!

We headed for Thorpe via little-known ways through Addlestone and Chertsey before, democratic as ever, I generously offered the group the choice between Prune Hill and Middle Hill (like asking turkeys to choose between Thanksgiving and Christmas, this one)!    Prune Hill was the 'popular' choice.   However, if there was any weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth, the sound of the rain hammering down drowned it out!   After that, it was down the other side at speed before the extra treat of a tour around unfamiliar back-streets and narrow alleyways of Windsor delivered us, as if by magic, right to the entrance of the Cinnamon Cafe!

Lunch here was excellent, as ever, and we were intrigued by the sight of a party of rather soggy festive Santa cyclists who were remarkably cheerful in their rather waterlogged outfits!   That's dedication!   Disappointingly, it was still raining a bit as we headed via Datchet and Wraysbury to Staines.   After a few more back roads it did finally dry up and we were eventually bathed in glorious sunshine for the final few miles along the Thames from Laleham to Shepperton Lock, our tea stop.

Whether or not you came on the ride, or just to elevenses, many thanks all for your company, and thanks too to Simon for very kindly back-marking all day!   (Credits to Simon and an unknown bystander for the photos).

Sunday, December 03, 2023

Ride Report - Sunday 3 Dec 2023


Today was one of those irritating days that start off looking as if they are going to turn out better than you expected, lull you into a false sense of security, then produce a sting in the tail!   Anyway, predictions of snow, ice and below-freezing temperatures followed by freezing rain to start the day proved to be a little wide of the mark and it was dry, well above freezing, and even a little bright as I set off for elevenses.   Still, the weather forecasters had done their best to deter many of us and it was a small but select group (Tony, Diane, Graham and me) who met at Claremont Gardens for a cosy elevenses.

By the time we were due to leave desultory rain had set in.   Tony headed for home but the rest of us set off undeterred towards our planned lunch stop at Woking.  Needless to say, the rain gathered momentum as our ride continued, and I eventually curtailed the route to reduce our exposure to the elements, delicate souls that we are!

Nevertheless, the Cheam and Morden (motto 'Per ardua ad Wetherspoons') made it to lunch.   Skies brightened as we enjoyed our meals and plans to return home by train were hastily abandoned!   It did start to rain again, but only after we had reached Walton Bridge, the end of the ride.  Only Diane stopped for tea but it looks as if she enjoyed a lavish (but well-deserved) spread!

So, a day of mixed fortunes but an enjoyable ride nonetheless.   Many thanks to all for your company!