Sunday, January 25, 2009

Burns Day 2009

Dreich was my word for the day so goretexed from tip to toe I set forth in heavy rain driven on by a strong easterly wind. It was a day for bonding with ones duvet and only Andrew cowered beneath the awning at Cheam. Momentarily we debated our options but the prospect of a new teastop drove us to a quick start (0910) down familiar roads. Ewell and back o' Epsom lead up to Headley where capes off was the order - no that it mattered as it rained on and off all day. A splashy Pebblecombe lead onto watery lanes past Wonham deer and mill (still standing - just) and then to South Park, East Surrey hospital and finally Redhill Airport where the cafe was well signposted from the main entrance. It's like Fairoaks but roomier and with more choice - a mug of tea would rate 90AC. Well we waited and waited but by quarter to twelve we were still two. So Andrew headed off for Hilly 50 miles and I headed home for a repeat of the 1927 Cup Final. Around 45 miles.

Sunday, 18 January 2009

The Blu Moon Café at Beare Green was the focal point on which the C&M converged on a chill but sunny Sabbath morn, to face the first real challenge of the day - how to resist the temptation of a not so isotonic greasy breakfast.

The second challenge was mounting up for stage two to Shere. Leader Keith showed the way by puncturing within the first five minutes. Then off apace via Capel towards Forest Green. Here a sneering motorist feigned the good samaritan by telling Keith that one of our number had fallen by the wayside. Fortunately not so.

Then we followed familiar lanes in a reverse and mostly sharply rising direction! Thus up to Hurtwood, down to Peaslake, up to Burrows Cross and down to Shere. At the planned hostelry, however, no food at the inn. At the second, food but no room. Plenty of space nonetheless in the garden for those with sandwiches and thermal underwear in their toolkit. John and Ed had perhaps wisely taken a more leisurely detour to the Abinger Tearooms.

After lunch, it was the single chevron climb up Coombe Lane to get the circulation going again before down again to the A246 and Effingham, with riders peeling off to left and right to make their own ways home. By Leatherhead just three were left to head into the setting sun, or in one case into Lidls for a possible last minute bargain.

A modest 43 miles under the belt, many of which, however, were in defiance of the laws of gravity, well known and so much loved by cyclists.


Monday, January 19, 2009

Easter Tour 2009

Ann and Steve will be doing a recce of Bristol next month. For those considering two-day rides to/from Bristol, they are suggesting Clyffe Pypard (NNW of Avebury) and Streatley as overnight stops (CP is a YHA bunkhouse attached to the CAMRA
"Goddard Arms" with 14 beds(4,4,6)). If interested in a group booking, please contact Steve/Ann (020 8398 2775; steveandann61 at before next Friday (23/1).

PS To help you decide, I trialled the routes using Autoroute. This gave "shortest distance" of 79, 37, 73, and 44 miles; of course A4 etc are used for long distances. Therefore for some, partial use of the train may be the answer. On the outward journey, starting at Winnersh (Waterloo-Reading; semi-rural) would give a maximum of 45 miles for day 1. Perhaps a train from Bristol to Westbury for day 3 but a better choice might be to stop both ways at CP.

From Graham

Monday, January 12, 2009

Sunday 11th January 2009

Saturday's daytime Central London temperature was -1, the coldest day for a decade.
No worries today though, plenty of warm-ish sunshine and dry.
I arrived at Morrisons, Reigate to find the NC starters Mike(L), Graham and Ed locking their bikes. Inside was Bob, Jake, Florence & Ian to soon be joined by off-roaders Keith and Andrew.
After picking up "free" clems & coffee courtesy of the Daily Mirror, it was an easterly direction, wind assisted to lunch at Crockham Hill.
Lunch carriers sat in the memorial gardens in bright sunshine. The "ravenous" rest picked the short straw when the publican sent them on their way due to a large unbooked party and insufficient staffing levels.
We eventually regrouped at W'spoons in Oxted. The remainder of the ride was in two groups - Mike leading homeward bound and Ian leading Graham & myself to a computer masterclass at his bungalow.
The later proved successful although a considerable amount of work is still to be done.
In the meantime, thanks go to Ian for his generosity at Wetherspoons and later in a Kingston restaurant.

Pics include Tilburstow Hill viewpoint and a nasty stretch of ice where Florence lost contact with the road...........glad to report she's OK.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Sunday 4th January 2009

My run to Dormansland and just 3 at NC,Adam,John & Jeff but the distance I clock our secretary.But oh dear.........he'll be returning to wence he came......something about it being too cold.
Well it is -5 and keeping warm will be a challenge today.
Westerham we arrived by the way of Purley and the climb that is Downscourt Road.Normally feared but today I relished in it's power to pump blood to my extremities and relief from the bitter cold.
I joined Bob,Ian & Simon to talk about the economy.........yawn and Simon's new venture - opening a bike shop.....................and closing it a few years later!
Everyone followed to lunch,via Crockham and lanes south to "The Old House at Home".Ice encountered but no fallers.
After an alfresco sandwich or soup - £4.25,the majority made for D'land BR leaving Ian,Jeff and myself to sample Fanny's (free) marmalade tarts.
Around 50 miles and mild frostbite.

Friday, January 02, 2009

New Years Day

A wonderful turnout of SW London DA members were waitng at Ewell (at least22) on New Years Day including several new faces on this particular ride so welcome to Les, Ruth, Jeff, Charles, Eddie, Geoff, Mike.
A very sedate pace as promised with several people misunderstanding the leaders chosen route found us regrouping at Ewell Court House. Onward on good surface tracks along side the Hogsmill River to Tolworth Bridge on minor roads, underpasses & into Richmond Park via LadderStile Gate to a lateish 11s at Roehampton Café with at least 42 fellow cyclist’s from the DA.
Climbing up the steepish hill towards Kingston the request to regroup was observed by 2 out of 25! But with memories of the mornings devious way caused a halt at the next junction. Into Kingston on cycle ways back to the Hogsmill, the pushers on still thought they could second guess the leader (wrong) so the bulk continued by a good track into Ewell Court observing the new track for cycling & walking into Ewell Mill
Next year perhaps?
Videos, pictures, music & good food ended the day thanks to host Ed Sharp
From Pete Mitchell