Monday, December 28, 2009

Sunday, 27 December 09

Hookwood - Lingfield - Fanny's

Ed led a small but resolute band, determined to fight the Xmas flab, from the N. Cheam home-base to the Tesco Emporium at Hookwood. Bob, as ever first to arrive, awaited the laggards: Ed, Janice, Keith, (apparently sweeping up Mike at Walton), and lone rider Jeff. After a lengthy stay over an inflation busting breakfast, Mike beat an early retreat with his photographic memory of the ride, while the rest, bar Bob, struck out behind leader Ed en route for Lingfield. Bob had his ways to get in front of us! The day was dank and dark but rain-free; the ride untroubled by hillettes, took us smoothly to the Old Cage at Lingfield, quiet on our arrival.

There was soup, sandwiches and beer to sup for some, until we glimpsed the Lone Rider of the Apocalypse, Andy, gliding past outside, first one way, then another. A bellow halted him, but he broke his bread in the Lingfield Cage before joining his companions.

Another lengthy stay before we set off again, the tea-time venue changed from Redhill to Fanny's Farm Shop. Janice and Keith soon disappeared, the threat of a lightless sundown looming. Bob went his way and the rump rode on to Fanny's. Markedge Lane revealed no trace of the top of Andy's bell, shaken loose on the outward journey.

After Fanny's warm, enveloping embrace, it was lights on and into the gloaming for the final homeward furlong. Our thanks to Ed for an enjoyable and relaxing ride with a modest 38 winter miles to add to the tally.


Sunday, December 27, 2009

Sun.27Dec09 Hookwood 11's

The Hardy 3 from North Cheam + me met @ Walton Pond
Breakfast, with Bob 1st to arrive and Jeff with leader Ed. I then departed for more partying in Acton !! What?
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Thursday, December 24, 2009

Sunday 20th December 2009

Call me foolish,ambitious,crazy..........point grabbing.........some did make it Reigate Morrisons.
Thanks for your company Bob and Merry Christmas to one and all.

Picture a snowy Priory Park,Reigate.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

20 December 09 - Snow. No Show

Oh, dear!
Call me unadventurous, over-cautious, a wimp, a big girl's blouse, a scaredy-cat, but I am still not going out on that! Apologies to Ann and Steve, but the lure of mince pies and good company around the fire could still not overcome my sense of self-preservation!

P.S. Mark seems to have cracked the proplem with snow tyres - see the MWW blog!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Sunday's ride - 20th December

With the current icy conditions and deep frost forcast for overnight, Steve is re-considering the plans for tomorrow. He plans to go to North Cheam to see if there is anyone there, but possibly not to Reigate for 11s. (I haven't checked what the runs list actually says).

Anyone wanting to minimise exposure to the elements tomorrow is welcome to head directly to Ann & Steve's for tea.


Jan 1st Ride

The ride starts from The Spring Tavern at Ewell 10.00am. NOT AT North Cheam

Monday, December 14, 2009

Sunday December 13th 2009

After recent rides, Sunday came as a pleasant surprise - bright, partial cloud, cold, very occasional light showers. Just four at the start so we took a direct Lower Sunbury, Shepperton and Laleham route. In dribs and drabs others arrived finally making ten to sample Irene's mince pies. It should have been eleven as Richard was seen passing on the towpath at least twice; Irene went a-searching but must have frightened him off!

Middle Hill led into the Park and out the other side to the Peanut. Then familiar roads took us to the Cricketers at Winkfield where we were greeted as old friends and found the public bar armchairs much to our liking. On leaving seven dropped to five as we hurried past Ascot racecourse and Cheapside in gloom to Blacknest Gate and Sunninghill. A few spots of rain greeted us as we joined the Xmas throng at Tesco Addlestone where there was a parting of the ways. Short and distinctly not stressful.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

6 December 09

Westerham and Bletchingley

Whatever weather forecast you chose, when you looked out of the window at 8.30am, it was raining with persistent intent. Gritted teeth and rusty resolution are what it took to don the wet-weather wear and head due north along the flooded A217 to 235 650. To my surprise, three equally determined figures were awaiting my arrival: Stephanie, Mike F and a welcome new face Tim, waiting for his call up papers.

Soon we cast off, stopping shortly for the leader to take off his shower cap. Then on through Cheam, Sutton, Wallington, S. Croydon, a climb up Coombe Lane beside the tram line, down Gravel Hill and the long climb up Featherbed Lane and Beddlestead Lane, with the floodwater gushing down on both sides and the occasional dead sheep floating past. The final swoop into Westerham brought more flooding, with gleeful motorists seeing how high a bow-wave they could raise and bringing out the more colourful side of Mike's vocabulary.

After scrambled egg and bacon sandwiches, the sun now shining, Steph headed west and the rest south up Hosey Hill for a circuit via Crockham Hill and watery lanes to Tilburstow and Bletchingley. Half way up the hill into Bletchingley a shout of welcome from Ed, taking a sandwich and watching the world go by on the A25. We met up and dried out a bit in the William IV, where some scrumptious bread pudding was on offer, made by one of the locals. Mike then headed home while we kept to the plan of tea at Fanny's. With the light still with us, it was the parting of the ways.
For me the distance nearly fifty, the altitude I know not, but a good deal of the mileage was under water.


Sunday, November 29, 2009

Sunday 29th November 2009

It's tipping down and I talk to the only person (me) on Kingston bridge. By nine fifteen there's still but one. Others may be heading directly to elevenses so the quick route it is via Hampton Court, Lower Sunbury, Shepperton (where it clears), and Laleham. In Staines Irene, and Pam (by phone) can't be persuaded that one point is theirs for the taking. At Runnymede David, Don, Pete and Lisa are swapping teapots. The yield from our wait is nil so it's back naturally in the dry. Well almost - after exiting Kingston town centre, claps of thunder accompany another downpour. Around 31 miles (longer than Wednesday's three stoppers!).

Saturday, November 21, 2009

My First failure as Rides Leader 15 Nov.09

Pete Mitchell remarked today that he had not seen my ride report for High Elms & Tatsfield - Explanation I didn't make it!
Reason too much partying the night before. Despite my bad ankle and and 643mls in Sicily I somehow or other managed to get through a whole night of dancing for one of Barbara's friends 60th Birthday. My Catania £2 hat came in useful!
Profuse apologies to Andy the night before and he was very understanding. I think he's put me down for leading on 10th Jan 2010. Don't know which is worst, 37000ft of bike climbing in Sicily or 4 hrs non stop jiving to 1am!
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Monday, November 09, 2009

DA Competition Rules

The rules for the DA competitions are available for viewing here:

Now is the time to start considering your entries.


Friday, November 06, 2009

Henfold Lakes

The club house / café is closed for renovation, a new proprietor has taken over and hopes to re-open by the end of November.


Sunday, November 01, 2009

Friday Night Ride to the Coast November 2009

The final ride of the year is to Brighton.

For details see

Friday, October 30, 2009

25 October '09 - AGM

Ready to take off from Redhill Aerodrome via the Falkland Arms, Dorking and Little Switzerland to land at Ed's for the AGM

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Sunday 18th October 2009

10 riders (women equalling men) left Magna Carta tea rooms to enjoy a lovely ride through Windsor Park, Drift Road, Shurlock Row and on to the Green Man at Hurst. A warm and cosy interior with log fire burning, but we opted for the fresh air and flowery exterior with fuschias still blooming. Excellent lunch we returned to Winkfield Row across Ascot Race Course and through Windsor Park - in glorious sunshine this time. Then down to Egham where some stopped for tea. Thank you Irene for a lovely day.


Saturday, October 17, 2009

Monday, October 12, 2009

Sunday, 11 October 2009

Catford and Bec Hill Climbs

An uncertain weather forecast and the certain prospect of a hilly ride to Yorks Hill contained the N. Cheam Consort to a tightly-strung quartet: Janice on Pearson, Daniel on Dawes (not Janice), Grant on I'm not sure what, plus Jeff on Specialized.

A smart start was halted after 200 yards by the loss of Grant's rear mudflap. Flap over, the pace quickened as we followed a main arterial route through Cheam, Sutton, Carshalton and Wallington to Five Ways and S. Croydon, where the angle of inclination increased by a few degrees and remained that way for the next few miles, through Farleigh and Warlingham to Botley Hill. At this point, a whispered word in Janice's ear that it was now all downhill to Westerham was enough to set her off in a cloud of dust, brakes superfluous, nerves in neutral and Daniel in hot pursuit.

Regrouping at Westerham, a brief canter along the A25 brought us to New Road, where we turned South for the long haul up Ide Hill, brakes still superfluous! This got Daniel's adrenalin flowing, now with Janice in hot pursuit. We came together at the green, whence Grant led us past the lines of parked cars and riders warming up on rollers, to the top of Yorks Hill. Here we joined the annual convention of cycling sado-masochists that is the Catford Hill Climb.

With the finishing line already drenched in testosterone, Janice's priority was an egg and bacon baguette; you can't watch this on an empty stomach. We met up with others from C&M: Lisa, Andy and Pete, with his own enigmatic method of timing riders at the finishing line. With Robert Gough the victor (1.58.1), it was time to move on, next stop Chipstead - downhill all the way. Janice peeled off at the A25 for an early shower, so a newly formed trio gathered at the Bricklayers Arms: Andy, Daniel, Jeff. Here we met two undercover agents posing as cyclists, who were really inspectors working for CAMRA. The Sussex Best received an outstanding recommendation.

Revitalised, we headed West along the Pilgrim's Way to White Lane for the Bec Hill Climb, the drizzle already setting in. More faces from the C&M: Ed and Keith. As we watched, the rain fell harder (as did poor young Germain Burton - what time might he have otherwise achieved?) and we got wetter and colder. For the record, the winner was Michael Leonard Smith at 1.46.3 - when the hill was dry.

Now time to go, so a bedraggled quartet of Andy, Ed, Daniel and Jeff splashed its way down to Purley and headed home to dry out under the shower and warm up with a welcoming hot toddy.

Then the sun came out!


Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Sunday, 4 October, 2009

The Villagers
Or should that be The Pillagers, with squash & water more expensive than a single malt!

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Friday Night Ride to the Coast October 2009 mk II

It's to Whitstable. For details see

Ed gets a mention (sort of).

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Sunday 27th September 2009

I might of guessed it,Jeff determined to win the club dinner,appeared at all the right places but it was my fault that we were not able to join him on his lonely quest.............
I punctured just after Sainsburys in Warlingham,so in bright sunshine I began to plan my course of action.
It was fast approaching 10.30am so Chartwell was a hill to far,besides Ed looked knackered,Jake less fact she looked vaguely disappointed having never visited Churchill's home.
A quick call to Ian and we were in the Tudor Rose by 11am.
Now where to go? Richard in the Plaxtol camp,the rest bar Jake,stop at 1'o clock,nearest pub etc.
So just after one we rolled up to The Snail,Stone Street.
Lovely sitting on the grassy bank in quite warm sun............Richard's birthday,so plenty to celebrate.
Ian's thoughts soon turned to tea and Richard's suggestion of the Battle of Britain museum at Shoreham proved a fine choice.

64 miles (from Ewell).

Monday, September 28, 2009

Sunday, 27 September, 2009

Chartwell and Plaxtol

The Phantom Riders of the C&M
A late start on a frost-free, sunny Sunday morning - ideal for an autumnal foray into Kent. No body-warmers will be needed on those Wealden hills. So by-passing North Cheam, it was onto the small chainwheel en route for Chartwell, Churchill's country seat. The temperature gradually rose from Kingswood and Banstead Woods to Bletchingley, Tilburstow to Crowhurst, Marlpit and Four Elms. Gone 11am already - I'll have to get a move on or I'll be too late. A final snail-like sprint up Mapleton Rd and I'm there, at a quarter past the hour. But where are the C&M? Blast! I must have missed them. A quick call to the leader's mobile: voicemail. I'll catch them up at Plaxtol.

This means a few more hills: Puddledock, Toy's Hill, Ide Hill. Then Goathurst Common, Gracious Lane to Stone Street, Ivy Hatch then Plaxtol. I see the vicar at the entrance to the church - I'll ask him where the pub is. "Excuse me, Reverend...." But blow me, it's not the vicar but our revered and former Rides Secretary, Bob (though in confusion I call him John). Fortunately, he gives me a sabbatical pardon. Five minutes past the hour, but where's the C&M? No sign. We savour our sandwiches, chew the cud, then freewheel down to the Papermakers Arms, a C&M free zone.

We take a glass in the garden, admire the view, bask in the autumn sun and ruminate on the mystery of those lost within the Kentish Triangle. But time is passing and we must not be overtaken by an early sundown. So we remount for the return, concerned about whatever fate has overtaken the phantoms of the C&M. As we pass the church, we sense a sudden chill and raise a silent prayer. God rest their souls.

Requiescant in pacem


Tuesday, September 22, 2009

20 September, 2009

London Skyride

On a cool and bright Sunday morning, lightning struck for the second time in one week. The Wayfarers on Wednesday and the C&M on Sunday, both set off for the Great Wen. From their North Cheam launch pad, the Sunday Skyriders opting to follow this North West Passage were: Ann, Andrew, Andy, Eddy, Jeff, Mike and expedition leader Steve. Objective one was Holland Park. The route taken was not the usual, thundering highway but unfamiliar byways following a leafy, wooded Wandle, as though deep in the countryside. We seemed to be threading our way between the cemeteries of S.W. London: Sutton, Morden, Lambeth, Wimbledon, Wandsworth. Our only brief stop was at Merton Abbey Mills, before the Wandle dumped us in the Thames by Wandsworth Bridge. A network of side streets brought us past the monumental family vaults in Brompton cemetery to Holland Park and a restlessly pacing Graham, awaiting our arrival.

Tea taken, it was off again with Skyride signs to guide us through Kensington, the Park to HPC, where the volume of cyclists had swelled to wondrous proportions, the combustion engines now held at bay. It seemed as though some cosmic force had sucked in every cyclist within its gravitational pull. I have never seen so many cyclists of every possible shape and size (fortunately all flowing in the same direction), and not one sign of friction. There may have been some road rage, but all I saw was smiles.

Along the Mall in St James's Park we stopped to elbow our way to the displays and came away with gifts of puncture kits and maps. Rejoining the flow, the only problem was how to keep in touch and recognise each other, until we were carried irresistibly to Tower Hill, where we took our lunch. This was not Chez Gérard but next door at Wetherspoons, or in the Green. After that, with Mike somewhat distracted by the mini-skirted pom-pom girls, we retraced our route (still going with the flow), stopping only to pick up a goody bag. At Buckingham Palace we peeled off and headed south for a tea-time stop on Clapham Common, before plotting our own ways home through the suburbs of London.

A very different ride today, no altitude or calorific stats, but registering very high on the scale of cycling pleasure shared.


Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Sunday, 13 September 2009

Barns Green - a few miles short of Smock Alley
Warm inside - a chill wind outside. Autumn's nearly here.

Sunday 13th September 2009

Thanks to Mr and Mrs K-B and Ed for running Saturday's Hilly 50 - the section is £125 better off. There were just under 50 starters with the first three back in 1:51. Ray was a hour behind ahead of Mike M, our only toiler.

There was a strong hint of autumn (overcast, chill northerly) as I reached Beare Green and the early arrivals were in full English mode. On the restart eleven had been whittled down to five with "Smock Alley's an awfully long way" in the air. We set off through Capel and towards Rusper. Taking the lead in Friday Street we plunged down into Horsham and up the other side. Just after the Christ's Hospital entrance we halted; mysteriously five had become three. A retreat to the Boar's Head revealed nothing so back again via Bax Castle to Barns Green and we waited outside the Queens Head. A lucky tip-off sent back us the way we'd came; lo and behold 100 yards later along came the missing Andy and Keith. Andy has spotted booty in the road then they'd turned right at the school before realising probably we hadn't! By now it was one so time to stop.

The wind was increasing by the minute as we headed through Itchingfield to the A264. Broadbridge Heath provides relief and then it was Warnham, the landfill and Capel where the church was open. Naturally we stopped; it turned out to be a gathering of the cycling clans: a Surrey League event; visitors from C&M, West Surrey, and Horsham and Crawley. I was home just after six and 70 miles.

Monday, September 07, 2009

Sunday 6th September 2009

I arrive at Hookwood Tesco to find Jeff awaiting the loan of my (very) cheap lock.Once inside,it was the long trek to the cafe via the cycle stuff,computers and satin emulsion paint.
Ed arrived via Chalk Lane,Epsom and our number totalled 13.
Stephanie headed back,we continued to Wasp Green (The Castle).Apparently,Judi Dench lives nearby in a house surrounded by five acres.
I was previously aware of teas on the green at Buckland today and it didn't take too much persuasion as our leader had not a good word for our Fanny......."She don't like me.....she accused me of not paying"
I led via Lonesome Lane,and the track that skirts Reigate Heath Golf Course.It was here my memory failed me and we soon retraced to go the left of Ivy Cottage.
We regrouped at Dungates Farm where Lawrence had a screw leave his rack & Paul's front mudguard proved unbreakable but pretty mishaped.
The tea stop was a very local affair with around 100 people enjoying the event,monies going toward the Christmas lights in the village.

Autumn Ripley Cycle Jumble...........Saturday 26th September 2009.

Sunday August 30 2009 (The Route)

For completists, the route was:

Kingston Bridge - Hampton Waterworks - Shepperton riverside - Chertsey Bridge- Laleham - Datchet - Dorney - Marsh Lane to A4 - A4094 to 11s (Jenners Maidenhead).
Cookham - Marlow - Rockwell End - Hambleden (lunch) - over Mill End weir to Aston - Knowl Hill - White Waltham - Paley Street - Drift Road to Peanut - Windsor Great Park (just before Copper Horse) where the ride divided into teastoppers (at Pam's) and earlyhomers.

Friday Night Ride To The Coast(October 2009)

It's to Sarffend. For details see

Monday, August 31, 2009

Sunday, 30 August, 2009

Boulter's Lock and Hambleden, Bucks

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Sunday 23rd August 2009

To see Ray Dare at North Cheam is a rarity..........but at Carshalton Ponds?
I think we had double figures to Bat & Ball,in part due to the beautiful weather but possibly a new destination (Tudeley in Kent).
The route...........simply a familiar course via West Wickham public convenience (see pic),Coney Hall,Jackass Lane,Keston,the truely awful 1 in 4 up to Cudham,Knockholt,Star Hill.......... wonderful downhill,Otford then to JS.
Just before noon,ten of us,with the sun still brilliant and not a cloud in the sky,headed south through Stone Street,Plaxtol,Hadlow where Kent's infamous hills disappeared and sat navs had flatline.
We ended up at the George & Dragon,Five Oak Green (no knife and fork required).
Half past two meant lunch was a leisurely affair with nobody in the mood to move.........but eventually it was up the busy A245 to Sevenoaks Weald and the return of the b***dy hills!
The killer for your correspondent was Bayley's Hill.........not nice after 55 miles and 25 degree heat.
Not suprisingly,Ed succombed at Ide Hill and I decided to join him and Ian for a late tea in "97 degrees" a pricey alternative to Tatsfield............

Monday, August 24, 2009

Sunday, 23 August '09

Carshalton - Bat and Ball - Tudeley - Tatsfield
(Every picture tells a story - to be continued)

From ashes to ashes
The Tatsfield tea room stayed open just for us - you should have seen them 20 minutes earlier!