Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Sunday, 29 December - the alternative ride

Redhill Aerodrome to Fickleshole

Lone Rider
White Bear, Fickleshole
The unaccustomed frost and ice seemed to make many quite light-headed. Redhill aerodrome was bright and sunny; the stretch to Wychcroft House  across two farm tracks manageable and uneventful. However, the decision to attempt to tackle the track past Wychcroft to the Fox and Hounds was a challenge too far for me, having reconnoitred the route last year. I therefore chose the High Road up South Park Lane, Rabies Heath Rd and down Tilburstow Hill Rd to the Fox and Hounds, where the farm track meets the tarmac. There was no sight of cycle tracks nor of lycra across the fields, but perhaps they were in front of me. After waiting a while and ignoring the closed road sign, I pressed on along Hart's Lane and Miles Lane to Tandridge, across the A25 and  up Chalkpit Lane, along The Ridge to Botley Hill, then down Beddlestead Lane, where for a few hundred yards, the ice made Hessiers Hill unrideable and nearly unwalkable, to arrive at the White Bear at Fickleshole, expecting a jovial welcome. The pub should be called The Raft of the Medusa. No twitch of C&M life to be seen. Ian A arrived to share my consternation. I then unearthed my mobile to find messages to alert me that the group had been delayed by briars and ice to take lunch at the Barley Mow in Tandridge, where Paul and Dave were repairing broken mudguards and Daniel failing to repair a puncture, with a faulty tube and no spare patch. Not sure how he managed without help.  Ian I reluctantly left to dine alone and ploughed my furrow home, to arrive in blazing sunlight.

The Lone Rider

Monday, December 30, 2013

Sunday 29th December 2013

Now it has to be said that nothing much happens on our rides............................other than the pursuit of climbing,freewheeling,eating,sweating,laughing,etc,etc.
However today was different.
I set off and nearly hit the deck within 5 minutes of being on the bike.
A very heavy frost had caused a invisible coating of ice on roads that had barely dried from significant rainfall in recent days.
I arrived at M & S Banstead to find Ed & Dave seated.Daniel arrived within a minute of departure and we were soon freewheeling down Holly Lane.
I decided to ride (illegally) up Castle Road to emerge at Elmore Pond.Within a minute of telling the guys "it's OK ,we're unlikely to see any vehicles"..........a BT van appeared around the bend.
Instead of the familarity of Markedge Lane,I continued to Reigate Hill where we posed for pics.
We walked down Wray Lane to the cyclepath then on approaching Redhill town centre we came across a very icy stretch of road where we needed nerves of steel.
Still all upright, it was up and down to Hooley Lane and Philanthropic Road.
Arrived at Redhill Aerodrome at 10.40am after a 9.05am start.
Our four became eight as we headed east using the bridleways parallel with the A25.
Henshaw Farm, Cuckseys Farm to South Park Farm where Jeff left us,presumably prefering the tarmac.
The map (and Paul's SatNav) indicated a continuation of the track past Wychroft House to emerge south of Tiburstow Hill near the Fox and Hounds,which we took despite being unkept at it's end.
Still going east it was Harts Lane to cross the A22 into Miles Lane.
This is where the fun? started.
A gentle downhill stretch on a normal day but within seconds I was struggling to stay upright.
I heard a rider fall (Paul) and shortly after Dave fell also.Whilst composing ourselves and checking for damage we almost witnessed a head on collision between two cars.
It was at this point I decided to make for the nearest hostelry (Barley Mow,Tandridge).
I managed to repair both Dave's and Paul's mudguards that had broken in their falls.
We were about to leave (13.50) but were delayed because Daniel had a puncture.It soon became apparent this was no quick tube replacement and we soon departed leaving him to find the source of escaping air.
Down to four now as Helene had joined Terry taking the main road home.
My route home included a mile of the A22 to Tupwood Lane where I had a puncture.
The "cyclepath" along the A22 was covered in twigs,branches and fallen trees from the storm of 23rd December ,but I quickly found the thorn and after consulting with a bike riding family out for a spin,made for Caterham via Gravelly Hill and Stanstead Road.
We "lighted up" at the Rising Sun,Chipstead Valley...........home about half-four.

Sunny & cold.
Less than 50 miles.

I was amused to read this article:


A quite simply beautiful morning

Gravelly Hill shortly before sunset

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Sunday, 22nd December

Fairoaks - Woodside - Halliford

14 turned up at Fairoaks Airport this morning on a beautiful sunny and glorious blue sky day.  8 left just after 11 o/c to proceed to the lunch venue, via Accomodation Road, Trumps Green into Wentworth Golf Club, a short burst up the A30 then right into Bedford Lane to Blackness Gate, Mill Lane and onto Woodside at the Rose & Crown.  We had a good lunch and were able to leave at 1.45 pm.

 We returned via the peanut roundabout into Windsor Park in the beautiful sunshine and proceed to Tite Hill, Egham, Staines and onto Squires G.C at Halliford where we were able to partake of tea and cakes. It was still light when we all left so hope everyone managed to get near home before night descended.
Thank you one and all for bringing the beautiful weather and making it a lovely day.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Sunday 15th December 2013

Vic tucking into fishpie.He overtook me going up Whitedown..................gulp!

Bikes stored in an old barn

Someone's got a sense of humour!

To be fair,I've known worse roads not helped by copious amounts of rainwater.

One of Vic's "buxom blondes"at the Vinery,Effingham.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Sunday December 15 2013

As nobody else has...

What northern folks call dreich though it started fair. Sixteen was our number at Sainsburys Cobham with half that number led by Ed exiting via the back door into Cobham. A hint of rain became light drizzle not long after the restart.The route could not have been simpler with just two turns, a left into Effingham Common Road, and another after Crossways Farm into Abinger Lane.

In Critten Lane someone has erected three signs, one of which compares it to the roads of Baghdad and Gaza; fair comment I cannot say as I have visited neither. As we mounted the final ramp the rain proved so much for the editor who was last seen scuttling off to his warren. After stowing the steeds in a stygian barn at the rear of The Abinger Hatch, our early(1215) arrival meant seats were available. Many tucked into something hearty; our trencherman setting a hot pace with two courses and two pints (or was that three).

Ed's had ideas about Coldharbour but the noes had it. So we reversed our outward journey with Ed and Richard walking White Down. The Vinery was the target though I didn't stop preferring a watery crossing of Bookham Common from Maddox Lane. I reached home in the light and dampish - the forecast heavy rain not arriving until well after dark. Barely 40 miles door-to-door.

Friday, December 13, 2013

8 December, 2013

Tea-Tasting at Fanny's
We must include a photo of our doughty leader Andy enjoying a pot of tea at Fanny's Farm Shop, that he now appreciates as great value for money (VFM), not to mention the mince pies and cake. Andy could enter Mastermind with the speciality subject of the cost of a cup of tea at any cycling venue in S.E.England. He would score a max.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Sunday 8th December 2013

I had them guessing from the start as to my outward route so.............. after the A22 to Whyteleafe we ascended the valley leading to Warlingham school.
Morrisons - Oxted for elevenses - cappuccino £1.59.
The roads to lunch were smooth and fast (12.30pm).
Initially quiet pub quickly filled due to a pre booked event.
Away by 1.30pm............sitting down in Fanny's at 2.30pm.
Most home before dark.

46 miles.
Overcast am..........bright pm.
Outwood Windmill is a Grade I listed[1] post mill in Outwood, Surrey. Built in 1665 by Thomas Budgen, a miller from Nutfield in Surrey, it is Britain's oldest working windmill.[2]
The windmill was one of a pair, as there was a smock mill built alongside in 1797. This mill had the tallest smock tower in the United Kingdom. The mill collapsed in 1960.(courtesy wikipedia)

"The Castle is a restaurant in all but name, the pub has been virtually linened and cutleryed out of existence, except that there is a pub bar which not only has pumps still on active service but with an unusually good selection of real ales. The beers on were; Harveys Sussex, Pilgrim Progress & Pilgrim Sussex from Reigate Brewery, and Brakspears Oxford. I tried the Oxford and it was very good but my brother tried one of the Pilgrims and abandoned it. Well, that's just the luck of the draw when you try beers you haven't come across before.
No doubt, by the look of the chalk board menu, you can eat rather well here for a reasonable price, but it is the beers that are the Castle's saving grace as a pub."(courtesy beerintheevening)

"I ordered tea and cake and waited for about 20 minutes till they finally delivered it outside I thought they had forgotten us.
Anyway, I poured myself a cup of tea to drink then my toddler daughter decides she would like some tea but of course it's far too hot for her! Not to worry I'll just go and fetch an extra cup so she can have her own cooler milky one. Simple right?!
Oh no after waiting forever at the till the girl directs me to the kitchen to collect a cup. However, Fanny's daughter then boomingly instructs me that she can't just give me an extra cup I have to go back to the till and pay and order one! Thus meaning I would then have the privilege of waiting another 20 minutes for an expensive empty tea cup.
Flabbergasted, I then plead with Fanny Junior for a plastic cup (whilst looking at them on the shelf) instead of gracefully giving me one she then lies and says they don't have any!
I cannot believe how rude she is. I feel sorry for the little girls who work there who she bullies around.
The Fannys seriously need to go on a customer service course!" (courtesy tripadvisor)
Oh dear Fanny..............but we still love you.............don't we?

Monday, December 02, 2013

Sunday 1st December 2013

Getting ready to leave The White Hart

Unfamiliar sight underneath Ascot Racecourse

Sunday December 1 2013

With Laleham less than an hour away, there was time to enjoy Bushy Park's avenue of hornbeams (planted 1702); like most trees, they still had a goodly complement of leaves. And then it was my familiar route via the Feltham wheatbelt, BP and Bronzefield. For such a dull day there was a pleasing(high teens) turnout at 11s.

The faithful numbered a dozen. Once again I failed to navigate out of Egham via Grange Road though this time I didn't need a passers-by's help. And so via Middle Hill we reached the Great Park where the entire (hundreds of them) Red Deer herd was on the move unaided by herders or dogs. And then the fun(?) began. As most waited at the Loch Fyne, the backmarkers were off on a journey which evidently took in Cheapside and Ascot. I'd waited at the turn, but not long enough as they'd tossed in a circuit (partially on foot) of the Peanut. By 1215 we arrived unannounced at the White Hart in Winkfield and were ushered into the restaurant as they were expecting a large christening party (shades of Faygate). But the food came quickly. The backmarkers trailed in some 15 minutes later.

By 1330 we were ready for the road. For me it was an opportunity to explore new territory, one shared with all but the backmarkers who'd seen it, done it this very day! We headed south down Braziers Road and later south down the Coach Road (despite signs, a footpath). Thus we reached the racecourse where we forced to walk as the "turftray" was hors de combat. Cheapside, Blacknest, Sunningdale and Longcross got us to Addlestone where just six stopped for refreshment at Cafe Two. 50 miles door to door.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Post Christmas Lunch 26 Jan 2014

Most of you will have received an email. But you didn't, I've summarized its content removing Steve and Ann's contact details so email me if you need them! 

Same arrangement as last year 

The Angel Pub, Angel Rd, Thames Ditton KT7 0AU 

Cost £10 for two courses: 
MAIN          : Beef, Chicken or Veg Risotto 
DESSERT : Fruit Crumble or Treacle Sponge 
Start            : 12.30 in pub. Food served from 1pm in function room. 

This year preferred payment method is by bank transfer. After doing the transfer, email your choices to us and we will confirm within a few days that we have received it. 

Alternatively post choices with payment before 17th January


Monday, November 25, 2013

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Sunday November 24 2013

On a gloomy damp Sunday morning when normal people turn over for another 5 minutes I met up with Alan and arrived at Stoke d’Abernon Garden Centre to be greeted by several smiling faces. Not wishing to risk the Tilt, we made our way via Cobham, Wisley airfield and the centre of Woking to arrive at The Plough in Horsell to a lovely welcome from Nicki. We were treated very well; the pub was fully booked, which is really nice to see, but a table was ready for us. After lunch we left at 1.30 pm to join the Basingstoke Canal near Arthur's Bridge and continued along it to West Byfleet where I bade farewell, and Jeff and Helena rejoined after an on-road experience. The group continued to Ockham Bites where they sampled the cakes, teas, coffees.

Thank you everyone for turning out, at least the rain didn’t amount to anything.

Sunday, 24th November

Garden Centre formerly known as Shoots at Stoke d'Abernon
Fourteen green shoots at elevenses - with Lilian out of shot

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

A visit to Camden Lock

Having seen seen the article on BBC News on Saturday morning I decided to to take a trip along the Regents Canal from the Olympic Stadium. It is a route that Bob Stairey showed me some time ago but beforehand I visted a church with a depiction by an artist of the origins of man by Leonardo a replica of what you can aparently see in the Cistene Chapel in Rome!

This is a telephoto shot of the emptied lock exposing the floor with its brickwork completely intack!

At the lock I came across some peculiar sights!

While journeying alon the canal I came across these figures by a barge which regretably had been disfigured by yellow paint. In all I biked 67 miles B4 returning home. Not that it would be a mystery anymore I would be happy to conduct a ride next year to the church if anyone is interested?
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Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Sunday, 17th November

Gomshall - Okewood Hill - Capel
Tellings at Gomshall

Some of the C&M at 11s
Our mid-morning watering hole at Gomshall was close to the flows of the Tilling Bourne and the A25, at a venue new to me called Tillings. Until recently it was a Thai restaurant, before that a pub called the Black Horse and before that please let me know. Generously tabled, nearly all were occupied and the spacious room was buzzing with a surprising number of people out for Sunday morning coffee. How does it attract such numbers? Breakfast portions were generous, with prices to match. The cake looked super-scrumptious, but remained intact. However, with the numbers to serve, service, while attentive, was not of the fastest.

Ed with his Trophy
With lunch just a hop away we dallied over elevenses and did not saddle up until gone 11.30, some for lunch and some for home. Our route from Shere was simple, due south up Sandy Lane and Hound House Rd to cross Winterfold Forest, down to Ewhurst and a sprightly pace along Horsham Rd and Froggetts Lane to Okewood Hill and the Punchbowl Inn. We were expected, with a comfortable corner of the Public Bar set aside for us. In great contrast to the previous Sunday at the unwelcoming Holmbush Inn at Faygate, our welcome was warm, the food and beer good. Special mention must be made of the excellent Badger ‘Hopeful Hop’. Here too we dallied, with ample time to digest our lunch, refresh our glasses and discuss with those with local knowledge the authentic name for Okewood Hill, Oakwood Hill or Oakwoodhill.. The road signs are not in harmony and the judgment of our friendly hostess was countermanded by the sign above the bar.  She claimed that ‘oke was a rivulet, though I can find no authority to confirm her belief.  It seems to be a Middle English form of ‘oak’.

Capel - I think I must scrap that camera!
With Capel Church close enough for us to hear the bells summon the faithful to tea and cakes at 3pm, we made another late departure, to arrive at Capel in good time tor the final cakefest of the year. Having taken our last rites, with dusk fast approaching, one by one we look our leave for home, most I imagine arriving on their thresholds in the dark and recording a late autumn mileage total of some 50 miles. We did do some cycling. The ladies of Capel are next due to regale us on Mothering Sunday, 30th March 2014.


Thursday, November 14, 2013

Sunday 10th November 2013

Fifty minutes is all it took to get to Bromley (Waitrose) where Bob was enjoying his (free) pot of tea.
We were probably away well before 11am which at this time of year is a good idea.
I continued east,through Jubilee Park where some careful navigating was required,the intention being to reach the lanes going toward Hextable.
This involved climbing three sets of steps going over a junction of  railway lines between London and Chatham/Tonbridge.
After the last set it was mucky to say the least (this was part of the London Loop) but we soon emerged into a valley going toward Tongs Farm.
Just after the pleasant Swanley village,under the M25 to South Darenth and Horton Kirby,our lunch stop.
At 12.50pm we parked our bikes and headed into The Bull where Keith,Ed & Jeff dined.
Richard,Paul and myself sat outside enjoying the bright sunshine and views down the Darenth valley.
After new roads for most all morning,we returned via Eynsford and Lullingstone Park Visitors Centre,climbing the only real hill of the day to freewheel down to Chelsfield.
Change of tea stop to High Elms to save time but lights were required upon leaving and a ETA of 6pm.
An enjoyable ride in Kent and by staying north we were able to avoid hills,just gentle undulation.

Sunny with little cloud,less than 10 degrees.

Between 50 & 60 miles.

Waitrose Bromley

Approaching Tongs Farm

Looking north,you can just see the Queen Elizabeth bridge above Keith's head

The view from The Bull's beer garden

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Sunday, 3rd November

Reigate - Faygate - W. Humble
The expressions on the faces below might sit well in a Dürer
 Fortunately a fast day, as the reception at the Holmbush to a group of cyclists seeking lunch was as frosty inside as chilly outside. Food was provided but no table. We might charitably suspect that the vacant tables were already booked. Stools for some and a two tiered cocktail table had to suffice.

Sunday November 3 2013

Today saw the first nip of winter in the form of a fresh northwesterly. At Morrisons I counted 13 including Clive Oxx, now a Reigate resident. Ed's XI headed west along the A25, and over Reigate Heath. From Leigh we climbed to The Fox Revived when Ed caused a minor surprise by turning right. Thus we descending into Charlwood via Stan Hill. Any traffic disappeared after we turned into Prestwood Lane and soon a fornlorn looking Gate hoved into view. It's not for sale! After Lamb's Green we halted in Faygate. As Ed put it, "Colgate is a hill too far."

We headed back through Rusper, turned right before Newdigate church down Hogspudding Lane and so to Brockham where as Bob had predicted the church was closed for teas. Large crowds peered into the smouldering and occasionally flaming remains of last night's bonfire. And so we departed for Pilgrim Bikes at West Humble station. With 3 tables and 11 chairs it's probably too small for our groups. Just a lucky four got cakes.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Sunday, 27 October

West Horsley Forest Green - Capel
The things that a telephone can do these days!
Outside the Parrot after a nourishing lunch of mussels and home baked bread.
Quiz: Identify the shrinking violets with their backs to the telephone.

Sunday 28 October 2013

A recent calamity saw me deleting(!) myself from the blog (hence the missing photos, maps, etc). So I thought it best to get straight back into action with a new id but the same alias, RaasayWarden.

I was most surprised by a phone call at 0840 so a hurried twenty minutes later at Kingston Bridge I met up with temporary visitor, Martin, from CTC Winchester. This proved the perfect excuse for blustery detours to the University, back of Sandown Park, Fairmile Lane, a watery Cobham Tilt and The Hautbois. Thus we approached Squires West Horsley from the west.

16-18 riders was my best guess though several turned back leaving Ed to tow the remaining ten along the A246, up Staple Lane and down Coombe Bottom and into Shere via the ford. Peaslake and its MTBers came next then Ewhurst where we turned left picking up a strong tailwind which propelled us to a crowded Parrot at Forest Green. Most settled for substantial though I do wonder how miles one can ride on a bowl or mussels.

Capel was but a short distance away and we arrived well before the opening hour(1500). That wasn't a problem so a now thinned down eight enjoyed cakes and tea before dispersing. Pushed along by the wind, I reached home before five (still in the light - just) after a modest 58 miles.

Capel Church Teas 2014

March 30, April 20 & 21, May 4, 25 and 26,
June 8, July 6 and 27, August 24 and 25,
September 14, October 5 and 19, November 2 and 23.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Tour de France 2014

Route Presentation.
Click on "Route Presentation On-Demand" for coverage from Paris (with English translation).


Monday, October 21, 2013

Sunday, 20th October - C&M AGM

BikeBeans - Walton on the Hill - W Ewell
  Cosy AGM with tea and cake thanks to Ed

 New water jump (not there in the morning) by the grandstand at Epsom.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Sunday 20th October 2013

BikeBeans cycle cafe,Ashtead

Member group AGM today where amongst discussion was the (possible) demise of the Hilly 50,possible increase in value of attendance winner's prize,next years club lunch (26th January 2014) & Easter Tour 2014 (Market Harborough).