Thursday, March 30, 2006

Sunday 26th March 2006

A day of ups & downs in more ways than one. Thirteen turned up at Sainsbury's Cobham to find no hot water in the cafe's beverage machines................the day had not started well.
Eventually we got under way with Ed up front for scheduled lunch at The Dolphin at Betchworth. Leaving Bob, Terry, Ray, Pete Mit, Jake & Pete Mat, the peloton headed over the Mole and on to Effingham X roads.
At this point your correspondent would like to inform readers that in my capacity as Rides Secretary, leaders are persuaded to adopt a route that allows the pub to be reached within the window of 12.45-13.15.
I was concerned that Ed's choice of roads kept going up & up..............& up & and some of the group's morale was going down & down.............well you can guess that by the time we had reached Coldharbour, Irene chose to rest with Graham at the tiny pub in the mist,whilst we continued.
Bev Porter scarpered at the first raindrop leaving Pete, Daphne, Keith, Simon, Ed & myself to gain our (well deserved) 2 points each on arrival at the Dolph.
A fine hostelry in a beautiful location made up for the earlier shenanigans and as seems the course of late,tea was abandoned for our own home's comforts.

Each post will now include a cycling associated website for interest,this week go to

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Sunday 19th March 2006

Here we are well into March and no sign of shorts weather,I've scarcely seen a daff in bloom although the warmth is apparent in the glorious sunshine we enjoyed today.
New 11's at Wisley RHS and new member Gopi,Pete,Daphne,Ed,Simon & leader Graham joined Bob & myself alfresco.
Two coaches had already arrived so sitting inside the cramped cafe was not an option however the establishment did receive the thumbs up despite the prices (not cheap).
A lengthy delay caused by a Guildford bound driver asking for directions meant our rendezvous with the two Petes in Shere was a shade later than planned.The(hilly)route chosen by Graham was made very ageeable by the sunshine and the fine view from the top of the road climbing out of East Clandon towards Coombe Bottom.After Shere(still with"snow"on the roof tops)the way up continued through Winterfold then dropping speedily to lunch at Cranleigh.
With Gopi still in tow Denbies was reached via Were Street and with a pot of tea at £1.65,I'm tempted to have the local "vin"next time.It might be a little cheaper!!.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Sunday 12th March

Exactly 23 years ago to the day,I have attempted to repeat the 11's & lunch from 1983 (South Godstone Little Chef & Colemans Hatch).It has to be said that over recent years L C's have fallen out of fashion,however,with new management they are busy reinventing themselves with reduced prices and better menus.Although my choice of beverage in the morning has seen a modest price increase, I believe £1.59 for a large mug (free refill) is reasonable.
Eight of us (Keith,Graham,Jake,Richard,Ed,new member,leader Pete and myself) rode south east to the amended choice of lunch destination (Ashurstwood).Winter 2006 so it must be a N. Easterly and along way off the 10C it should be.It was 17C this time last year.(Where is the "degrees"sign on the keyboard?)The pub,The Three Crowns had comfy chairs that you sink into but as Graham noted, a fair number of tatooed folk smoking merrily & playing darts.
Tea was billed to be Bannisters at Blindley Heath until Jake caught sight of the dreaded CLOSED sign.On further inspection it is now only OPEN Tues-Sat.
The ride fragmented after this with the leader doing a runner followed by Graham heading for the gap and the rest going over Tilburstow.I chose the semi rough stuff through South Parke emerging just before Bletchingley.Not knowing if I was in front or behind,arrived at Fanny's for a comfort stop then shortly after, caught 3 on the climb to Banstead.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

DA Photographic Comp Result

The DA Photographic competition winners are now up - with pictures - on the SWLDA website


Monday, March 06, 2006

Sunday, March 5th 2006

It’s a good job the Rides Secretary wasn’t out today. Before the day, 80 miles in early March seemed too far and by the end felt it. But at least the elements were kind if one ignores the wind and cold so typical of this winter.

The Blu-Moon Café in Beare Green was the morning rendezous; no doubt it will be a more pleasant spot when Anti-Smoking legislation comes into force. Leaving Irene, Pete and Ray to find their own way home, seven (Ed, Graham, Jake, John M, Keith, Richard, Terry) followed Andrew through Newdigate, Rusper and Faygate and up the long drag to Colgate. With time pressing it was down to Pease Pottage, Handcross and thence to Staplefield.

The Victory Inn was the chosen spot. We were “unlucky” and the service tardy - nearly 1½ hours with only one meal. Back through Crawley skipping tea was the verdict. The initial signage was good but instead of leading us into Crawley the cyclepath petered out at the A23/M23 intersection!* Do or die we headed into the town centre and soon spotted another cyclepath which lead to NCN20/21, Gatwick and Horley. Here forces divided: Andrew, Jake and Keith heading for Reigate and the rest for the Gap.

* Ignore the left turn over the M23 at Pease Pottage. Here NCN 20 turns right (Parish Lane) – at least it did when I came this way illegally during Foot and Mouth. Just kidding, it still does (according to the website)!