Sunday, March 27, 2011
Ohhhhhhhh what a lovely day.
Just a few lines on my ride into Kent which began from Carshalton at 9.10am.
Joining me was Janice,Jolanta,Ed,Paul & just before West Wickham......Dave.
Arriving in good time at Lullingstone Park Golf Club we sat outside in the warm sunshine in this peaceful spot overlooking the Darenth Valley.
The track down to the River Darenth was a little stony in places but perfectly rideable.
Under the viaduct at Eynsford then a steep climb to Romney Street and a short distance to Heaverham for lunch.
Another nice spot and if this was Surrey you could be sure of a packed pub.......but this being Kent plenty of space,although it's not 1pm yet.
Some lovely lanes to Shoreham where a closed museum(opens next weekend!) mean't High Elms was to be the tea location.
A fantastic day (not my words......lol).
Nice little film on this annual event........http://vimeo.com/20622427
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
Then it was right into the back streets of Ashford and Knowle Green. Staines town centre was reached via the council offices. Instead of turning for Pooley Green, Ian who had gone to the front was last seen heading towards Thorpe. Meanwhile the rest endured a delay at the level crossing before Hummer Road lead the way to 11s at Runnymede. (Thanks Graham)
As I left my house in Egham my phone rang with a plea for help from Ian - he was lost, not far from where I live! At least I got one or two miles in before 11's. Oh my goodness, so many cyclist in the cafe, as Graham said, Spring was definitely in the air!
Our route took us up Priest hill which I always find a struggle so I, and a few others left the cafe before the faster/fitter riders! We then made our way into Windsor great park via Bishopsgate and out on to the A332. After turning right at the peanut roundabout we headed for Maidens Green. A right turn into Bishops Lane, then after a few more lefts and rights we passed Moss End Garden Centre. We then took the next right, left into Ryehurst Lane, up past the cemetery to take the
turn to Binfield to have lunch at the Victoria Arms. I had phoned earlier with our expected number and boy, didn't they do well!!
Tables had been put together to seat the dozen or so who were dining and the food was good and the service was incredibly fast!! There was actually seventeen of us at lunch, not all eating in the pub!
We were all ready to leave by 1.30. Our return route took us along a couple of bridle paths (I didn't hear any complaints!) Oh dear!
Jeff's rear mudguard did get mangled but I understand it had happened before - sorry Jeff! First bridle path was after the sewer works approaching Moss End and our next was after the Carnation estate.
The third bridle path led us towards Ascot Race Course. The weather was truly kind to us and it was a real pleasure cycling with friends in all these open spaces - for after the race course we headed for Windsor Great Park again, this time entering from Water Splash Lane, Ascot Gate to exit at Bishops Gate.
Irene (who's ride I was leading) had booked us in for tea at the Riverhouse Arts Centre cafe at Walton for 4pm, (closing at 4.30pm).
The previous Sunday it had taken Irene and I two and half hours to get from Binfield to Walton - hence - I was for ever conscious of the time all afternoon!!
Thus we could not dally for too long, so from this point we took a direct route to Walton. Down Tite Hill into Egham, where we just had to stop to answer natures call! We then continued along the Avenue to take the cycle/pedestrian path under the M25 into the Causeway to Staines, Laleham Road to Shepperton, Manygate Lane, over Walton bridge and so to tea - arriving at 3.50!!!
My apologies for going ahead of a couple of riders but it was very satisfying to know they were in the capable hands of Graham AND Ian was well looked after by Steve - 'cos Ian told us all at tea!!!
At least a dozen folks stayed for tea and cakes, sitting in the open air! Again,we had wonderful service! A huge pot of tea at one pound each and free top-ups of coffee!
As Graham said, 16 miles from Kingston to Runnymede - I know Francoise and Frank's total mileage was 64 miles: mine a paltry 50!!
Thank you Graham, and thanks to all for a great day out... Pam :)
Monday, March 21, 2011
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
The best country lane
Spring is not far away – just before setting out I made a quick change from winter gloves to lighter mitts. Five of us set out from Cheam and rode up Farthing Down, past the spruced-up car park, in mild but cloudy conditions. We arrived in good time at Bletchingley but to no avail as we discovered the tea place would not open for another 25 minutes or so. Propping a message on the window sill we rode off to the Café Nova at Godstone garden centre where our numbers rose to eleven.
This change of elevenses resulted in an unscheduled encounter with Tilburstow Hill but from then on it was plain sailing, so to speak, past the Crowhurst yew and Lingfield racecourse to Dormansland. Shortly after we turned into Smithers Lane. Rolling past the farmyards, one or two hillettes, good views at this time of year and the delightful Furnace Lake this was unanimously declared the best lane for cycling in the south-east of England. Nine of us lunched in the garden at the Fountain pub, notable for its prominent CTC sign. It was a little chilly outside until the temperamental outside heater burst into life. Across from the pub the red phone box is now without its telephone but, with piles of second-hand books, continues in service as a library.
Avoiding the main road we rode to Mark Beech and a good long downhill stretch to Edenbridge. Darkening skies finally gave way to steady rain. Another change of plan, we decided to ride up Tilburstow again and back to Lamingtons at Bletchingley for tea. This was a good decision. It is a fine place for tea and the cakes are especially recommended. There will be another chance to sample them on 5 June.
From the gateway to the south I covered 74 miles, not bad at all for this time of year.
Sunday, March 13, 2011
Wednesday, March 09, 2011
Monday, March 07, 2011
Sunday, March 06, 2011