Sunday, December 23, 2012

Sunday 23rd December 2012

Flooding was evident in the fields north of Givons Grove today on this traditionally short ride to Walton's Chequers pub where the conversation covered the closing of Kingston's pubs (Graham),the  northerly extension of the Bluebell Railway (me),Jeff's remarkable weight loss........he now weighs little more than a new born baby (Jake) and the difference between stalactites and stalagmites..........tights (tites) come down......geddit?(Pete).
But little was known of Bob's involvement in a website dedicated to the recording of stained glass windows in the churches of South and East of England. 

Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Christmas Eve........Eve ride 2012

Long shadows........shortest day on Friday :-(

Sunday 23rd December 2012
I would like to take a group photo at the Box Hill viewpoint (weather permitting) and arrive at the Chequers pub by midday.

So please arrive at Bocketts in plenty of time so as to be prepared to leave a little before 11am.

Sunday 16th December 2012

                                         Lunch at The Parrot, Forest Green

Not wishing to become five instant fillum stars we avoided a 'Filming Event' at Shere by riding along Goose Green from Gomshall then via Burrows Cross and Hook Lane to Hound House Road. The climb gave us opportunity to admire the wonderful, sunlit views, followed by the descent of Pitch Hill. We had to stop at the Ewhurst crossroads where a police sign implied the road was blocked by an accident - but surely a few cyclists could wiggle by ? A lorry had a flat front tyre and something (since removed) had rammed its' rear. We wiggled by and at the lunch stop five soon became eight.

The Parrot was quite busy but soon served our orders and we were able to get under way promptly, following the usual route to Dorking via Ockley, Capel (no more teas this year) and Newdigate. Hopefully all arrived home dry and in daylight.


Monday, December 10, 2012

Sunday 16th December

To reduce/eliminate distance travelled in the dark, I have changed the original plan for Sunday 16th December. 11s will still be at Gomshall, but we will go to The Parrot, Forest Green, for lunch. They do not sell sandwiches or baguettes on Sundays, but there are soup and starters, and/or children's portions of roasts. 3s will still be at Dorking.

See you at Gomshall.


Sunday 9th December 2012

Christmas pudding going down fast............Aw gawd....Jeff had called "time".

9 December 2012

Reigate - Wasp Green - Fanny's Farm Shop

A recent discovery has been that Morrisons is more than a convenient café for 11's. So on arrival I made a tour of inspection of the displays and confirmed my astonishment at the huge variety of unusual vegetables, kept fresh with a misty spray, and fruit as well as excellent fresh fish. Now my number one supermarket.

Welcome to Simon Telling - a member of the TFBs? After watching Geoffrey lubricate his arteries with liberal quantities of saturated fats, a sinister group of 13, reduced to a more dextrous 11 (farewell Ray and Terry), set off to get GBS's circulation going and wend our way to an alluringly nearby lunch-time venue. With daylight now so brief, the cunning plan was to accumulate the miles before lunch. We therefore followed the banks of the River Meander via Flanchford, Leigh, Parkgate, Charlwood, Gatwick, Burstow, Smallfield and Outwood, to wash up at the drawbridge of the Castle Inn Wasp Green. Wiser heads (Bob and Ian) had taken a direct route and were already at table.

After bread and ale, Geoffrey headed for the Great Wen, while the rest remounted under darkening skies for a less convoluted route via S. Nutfield and Merstham to tea at Fanny's Farm Shop. Some were so impatient for Fanny's warm embrace that they sped ahead and sacrificed the ascent of Rocky Lane. Seating was in short supply, though not mince pies. We lingered awhile before lighting up and slipping into the gloom for the warmth of home and hearth, with the mileometer barely touching 40.


Sunday, December 02, 2012

Sunday December 2nd 2012

12 of Santa's little helpers turned up at Magna Carta tea rooms for a well earned warm-up. On leaving two escapees left ten to skate to lunch via Windsor Great Park (Bishopsgate to Forest Lodge), Maiden's Green and on to Newell Green and The Plough and Harrow where some turned back a few years and ordered children portions; very nice it was too! The big boys had big boys' portions and one even asked for more (apple pie with two strawberries). We then returned to Notcutts garden centre in Laleham via Windsor Great Park(Watersplash to Bishopsgate), Tite Hill and Staines.

Thanks to one and all    

Monday, November 26, 2012

Sunday November 25th 2012

The previous day's weather had me expecting the worst but it was far less watery though gustier. A half dozen including two newbies, Andy and Paula, set out from Kingston on a roundabout flight taking in Bushy Park, General William Roy's cannon in Roy Close, the A316 spiral, and Sunbury Cross before touching down at 11s in Upper Halliford just after ten.

Refreshed double that original number headed off on another extended leg (Sheep Walk, St Anne's Hill, Lyne and Trumps Green). We were well stretched out by Longcross so I shouted to the posse "Left then Right" intending "take the first exit from this roundabout then first right" and then stopped until the back markers appeared. Unfortunately my instruction had been taken too literally and several went straight on towards Windlesham! Some soon reversed but we were a few short as we descended Staple Hill to the Horseshoes in Burrowhill for lunch. The wayward four turned up about five minutes later.

On leaving we were greeted by a heavy but brief burst of rain so the quickest route (Red Lion Road and Holloway Hill) it was to Addlestone's Golden Cafe for an undeserved tea and cakes. Home after only 43 miles and by 1545.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Sunday 18th November 2012

I would stick up for Kent in any conversation about the most attractive areas to ride a bike locally.
Today of all days with the low sun creating beautiful light and quite delightful lanes predictably some going up but with the wonderful freewheel's a joy to be on a bike.

The 9.15am start on paper became the 9.17am start in reality as we rode sun in our eyes toward the tower blocks of Croydon then
Shirley,West Wickham and the silence of Jackass Lane,Keston.........just a few birds twittering.
High Elms Visitor Centre was busy and Bob had secured a table where all 11 of us could sit around.

After 40 mins or so,most were keen to get going so we climbed up to Downe where the natural choice of road was a 1 in 4 ascent to Cudham.
A late change of route took us to Knockholt via Shelleys Lane and the descent of the North Downs at Sundridge Hill.
Then it was easy peasy along the Pilgrims Way to lunch at Westerham.
Jeff,Geoff and Daniel headed for the "General Wolfe" whilst Graham,Ed,Paul Steff and myself found some empty seats adjacent to Winston Churchill's statue.

Later we spent some time helping Steff and her wind up cycle lights............a purchase from the normally excellent Lidl but she may of dropped a clanger with these.
After the drag of Westerham Hill it was downhill all the way to the Dene cafe at Knights Garden Centre,Woldingham.

If you're puzzled why I took a picture of a pot of tea..............

So there we were Daniel and myself......he'd polished off his Orange cake (did order Carrot but the Secretary failed to spot the difference and scoffed it before he could switch)...........I said "teas taking along time".
Off to see the waitress........"Excuse me but we haven't had our teas yet.............erm any sign of them?"
To which she replied "sure..........they were all put on the other table".
"ohhhhh ok thanks"
Erm............hang on but there's nothing left.

The nameless had drunk the pots for two dry.

"Ooops said the waitress...........we'll make some more"

To whom it may concern............if a pot of tea contains two teabags it normally is for two people ;-)

Thanks to the riders who joined me today on the less popular jaunt eastwards.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Sunday's Ride

Seasons Restaurant at Upper Halliford opens at 1000 (according to the Garden Centre; the restaurant's phone being permanently engaged!). See you there unless you're interested on a slightly round the houses route from Kingston Bridge.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Sunday 18th November
Got home well before 4 so didn't have to use up any stored energy for illumination.  Thank you to Andy for a lovely day.  Steph

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Sunday 11th November 2012

What a delight to start and finish the day in glorious sunshine!  

I believe it was Andy who counted 25 cyclists in Squires cafe at Stoke D'Abernon this morning - but no!  They were not all there to come on the C+M ride to Horsell! 

We left Squires for Cobham passing the British Legion hall on the way to Plough Lane en route for Ockam and Ripley.  We waited for a short while in Plough Lane for Graham whose chain had broken but was instructed to continue before the job was finished!  After Ripley we stayed on the Olympic road race route past Newark Priory to Maybury.  Two of our group had dropped behind at this point but had said they would see us at lunch, which they did! 

The food was good and promptly served and we were back on the road by 2pm.  The group stayed together through Horsell, leading us onto the canal towpath which was a delight in the afternoon sun!   At West Byfleet the group split with some going to Addlestone and onwards whilst the rest of us continued to Lock Lane, Wisley and over the A3 to Ockham Bites for tea. 

It could have been the changing temperature or the hope of getting home before it got too dark that eventually encouraged us to say goodbye!!

Thank you Irene for being back marker to-day and thank you all for coming on to-days ride....Pam :) :) 

"Shouldn't take longer than a puncture" - Keith

25 at elevenses inc the "Squirrels"

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

How a bicycle is made (1945)

They sure don't make them like they used to.  What a glorious snapshot of true craftsmanship. Wonderful.

The old Raleigh factory (one of the oldest bicycle companies in the world) in Nottingham no longer exists. It was demolished a few year's ago when in our wonderfully globalised world, it was seen to be cheaper to employ Chinese and Vietnamese at pittance wages.
 The brownfield site was recently 'redeveloped' as student housing and the expansion of the University of Nottingham's Economics and Business Management Department.
 Fitting that an industry dedicated to making a tangible and useful product such as the bicycle is replaced by an institution teaching the next generation how to profit from the creating on non-tangible and potentially destructive financial products and 'services'. 

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

28 October 2012 - The AGM

 Walton-on-the-Hill - Redhill Aerodrome - W. Ewell

The lure of the C&M AGM brought a trio of committee men pondside at Walton-on-the-Hill to join me for a preliminary spin to Redhill Aerodrome (Ray, Steve, John G). For a change we forsook the tarmac for something softer to the tread. The path across Walton Heath to Mogador was not too boggy, though the mud did seem to fly everywhere, but at least did not create an unwelcome drag brake.

After Mogador, a brief stretch of road along Babylon Lane took us to a farm track, Crossways Lane. This proved rather steep, stony and deeply eroded for comfort, but we made it under the M25 to Gatton Bottom, then up through the grounds of the Royal Alexandra and Albert School in Gatton Park. A quick descent of Rocky Lane took us to the outskirts of Merstham and up Cormongers Lane to the A25, then down to the Aerodrome.

We had ample time for chat and cha as numbers swelled. Lunch was to be at the Sportsman in Mogador. Although quite close, an early arrival was advised as space is limited and fills quickly after 12.30pm. We retraced the morning's route as far as Gatton Bottom, but chose to ride up to the A217, rather than walk and carry our bikes up Crossways Lane. A quick zig-zag down Margery Lane and Buckland Road (more a track than a road) brought us to Mogador Road. So nearly there, but Daniel's front wheel found the edge of the road hidden by leaves, and unsaddled him. Fortunately man and beast were unharmed and we safely reached the Sportsman. 

Though only 12.30pm there were scarcely enough seats for us. Good beer (Otter) and food, beside a crackling fire, prepared us for our next leg. We crossed Walton Heath Golf Course and a bit more mud, before rediscovering tarmac all the way through Walton, Tadworth and Epsom Downs. At this point, Ed scented home and set a spanking pace to lead us to our destination. With our bikes stabled in and around Ed's garage, we were treated to tea and cake, before the serious business of the day began: the Annual General Meeting of the CTC Cheam and Morden Member Group. But that is another story.


P.S. On inspecting the bike today, maybe the mud was worse than I suggested. The bike was caked in dry mud and one spoke was broken. I blame the leader.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Sunday, October 21, 2012


After lunch at the Royal Oak, Pirbright
Leader Dave keeps a low profile

Sunday October 21 2012

At Kingston Bridge there were two new(ish) faces, Barry and Nancy. Hurst Park doesn't featured on many rides and we reviewed ongoing work whilst passing beneath Walton's bridges on a new path. In Weybridge John punctured; in Addlestone Dave nobly turned back to offer assistance. 11s was not far away so the rest continued to Bourne Valley GC (new venue) where gradually numbers reached double figures.

Refreshed we joined the Basingstoke at Woodham Lock but to my surprise turned off at Sheerwater where a busy B382 got us to Old Windsor. Following B380 to its conclusion left us just short of the Royal Oak in Pirbright. Despite being early, we had to sit where we could; some settling for the "Two for a tenner" offer.

After lunch Bisley camp and West End were visited before the turn for home. Lovelands Lane's ford was far too deep after recent rain. Soon Red Lion and Stonehill Roads hoved into view and after a final dash along Green Lane, we went our separate ways in Addlestone. Home just after four and 50 mild, dull and occasionally drizzly miles.

Monday, October 22, 2012

November 25 Ride

I'm reliably informed that the Nutty Lane garden centre is deceased (more or less) so it's Squires Upper Halliford for 11s. NB This doesn't open until 1030 hrs (neither did Nutty Lane) so expect a detour or two  from Kingston. Or maybe you will opt for a lie-in.

'Oop North'

On the left is SYHA Carbisdale Castle in foggy/freezing conditions. Still under wraps after two years and a  2013 re-opening seems....

On the right is Ben More Assynt from the Duchally power station road. "Is that snow?" you ask, "Yes".

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Sunday 14 October 2012

Runnymede - Holyport - Laleham

Vic stands defiant by Arnold's gravestone
At Boveney - What's the pub's phone number?
What a great day it was today.[a] Beautiful blue skies and wall to wall sunshine.[b] It was “see food and eat it day” for our disappearing Jeff. 13 turned up at 11s, 9 left the Magna Carta tea rooms leaving 4 to return home: Stef, Andy, Dave and Don. We continued to Old Windsor, Dorney, into the lakes where we turned right onto route 4 [the lakes closed to the public at the moment], up & over the river to Bray & Holyport to “The Sun and Stars”, where the publican made us very welcome giving Bob seconds for coffee while Jeff tucked into Chicken and bacon home made pie. We then made our way to Fifield, Drift Road, Willow Walk where Terry left us. We continued to Chertsey Bridge and Paul carried straight on and somewhere here John G must have escaped, as when we arrived at Notcutts he was gone. Margaret & Bill were there waiting for us. A very nice day. Thank you one and all.

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Sunday's lunch venue at Holyport, 14 October

In anticipation of this coming Sunday's C&M ride, the Belles of St Trinians have been putting all the pubs of Holyport through their paces, to decide which one to choose for lunch this Sunday, 14 October. Their decision seems to be the Sun and Stars. Details of the menu can be found on this link to the pub's website. We must thank Irene and Pam for their diligence on our behalf. They seem to have been able to weave their way home in safety, without being detained as drunk and disorderly in charge of a two-wheeled vehicle.

Sunday 7 October

The Queen's Head at Barns Green

The soda water was FREE!
Mmm. Set back a bit far?

Sunday October 7th

                                         Gomshall - Barns Green - Capel

A chilly morning but beautiful weather after the rain of the last week. Nevertheless the turnout was limited with only eight at elevenses, half of whom went home leaving a select group of Jeff, Terry, Ed and myself continuing to lunch. We headed south through Peaslake to Ewhurst and then into Somersbury Lane en route to Rudgwick. Here a northbound cyclist taking part in an event had come to grief and was being attended by the marshals. We later passed two ambulances heading north through Rudgwick. The Downs Link was damp but rideable avoiding the A281 to Slinfold where we rejoined the tarmac for the final stretch through Itchingfield to Barns Green. Emerging from Itchingfield we met Daniel who had made a late dash from Epsom to join us for lunch in the Queens Head. Refreshed, we continued south for a mile returning via Bashurst Hill and then through Warnham and Friday Street to Capel where most of us attacked the cakes. Jeff, unfortunately was on a fasting day so for the second time in two hours had summon the willpower to abstain. From here it was the usual route home through Newdigate and Pixham. Fifty seven miles for me.

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Sunday 30 September

Godstone - Turner's Hill - Fanny's Farm Shop

 Three photos to accompany Stephanie's report. Left: Gathering at Godstone Green Tea Rooms. Centre: After lunch outside the Crown at Turner's Hill (Ian was there). Right: The tea stop that got away. We didn't make it to Priory Farm at Nutfield. I went there out of curiosity as few seem to have been there.
Steph - this shows Priory Farm in relation to Bletchingly, Redhill, Merstham and Fanny's

Monday, October 01, 2012

Sunday 30th September

Lovely day, set off from Banstead, down and up again, past Fannies, through Merstham, left at Hawthorne school bridleway, then left and right and on to Betchworth, down the main road to the tea shop at Godstone.  Joined here by two fat boys (Pete & Pete), Richard and Jeff and Bob and Ian!   Minus Bob we then headed south up Tilburstow Hill, continued South and particularly enjoyed Chithurst Lane which joined up with Dowlands Lane at the end, then down the side of the Hedgehog pub, over Crawley Down and to the Crown for lunch where we were briefly joined by Graham.  Lovely return to Fannies for T.
Thank you Ed. 

Monday, September 24, 2012

Sunday Autumn Equinox

Knockholt – Episode II

Ed finds some cold comfort
Richard chose the direct route to Knockholt via the 1:4 North face of Cudham. I approached from the South along the Pilgrims’ Way and Westerham Hill and was surprised to find the trio of Naiads (Stephanie, Ed and Richard) still lingering and gently steaming at Green & Pleasant. S. headed home with her usual bright smile, while Richard revised his lunch destination to the Windmill at Sevenoaks Weald.

Another pub bites the dust
We arrived spot on 1pm to find only a brimming skip outside another skeleton pub, its spirit elevated to the great brewery in the sky. Here was the parting of the ways; Richard and Ed to Riverhead and the Lone Ranger South in increasingly heavy rain towards Bough Beech, in a vain effort to meet up with Daniel.

White van man takes to the waves
We passed unseen at Edenbridge, where D decided to lunch, while I resisted all calorific temptation and challenged the flooded lanes, hidden potholes and hostile motorists to head for home. It was cold and very wet but in some ways really quite enjoyable. On reaching home, the distance ridden seemed more than the 60 miles reported by Cateye. The damp squib was no hot water for the shower. Are there no limits to self-discipline?


Sunday, September 23, 2012

Sunday 23rd Sept.
A lovely run to Knockholt, only a slight splattering of rain.  Was pleased with my return route, particularly at Hawley's Corner where I took the "private road", Chestnut Avenue, which got me to the top of the road out of Westerham without losing any height.  Then a straight run to Woldingham, Caterham, Coulsdon.  Unfortunately the rain got heavier and  on my last uphill to Banstead my chain broke, I walked to the top, persuaded the bus driver of the S1 to let me on with bike and got bus to Sutton and train to South Merton so home safely.  Steph

Sunday, September 16, 2012

16 September

 Tour of Britain 2012
 As everyone was flashing cameras, I thought that there would be lots of pics on the blog.
Here is something to fill the gap