Monday, April 29, 2013

Sunday, 28 April

 Rusper - Barns Green - Dorking

Welcome to Dave Stott

Congregation outside the Church of St Nicholas

Dribs and drabs arrived at a sunny but still chilly Rusper Golf Club, to form two foursomes with one reserve, Mike Morley, who stayed for the tea and company before taking his leave. We welcomed a newcomer, Dave Stott, who had found his way by car. Two TFBs, Pete and Simon, arrived in a lather, having already taken part in a local sportive, before swinging off for Rusper. Forewarned of the indisposition of our planned leader, Ed nobly put his experience at our service and offered to lead us to Barns Green.

His route was well chosen to avoid Horsham and was mostly on pleasant lanes, guiding us to lunch at the Queen’s Head. The service, food and drink were good, with a table to ourselves. On leaving we made a small diversion to Itchingfield to visit the 12th century church of St Nicholas. Spiritually refreshed we then returned via The Haven and Rudgwick to Newdigate. At this point Dave returned to collect his car at Rudgwick, the TFBs set off for Box Hill and the rest headed for Dorking. Despite a tempting offer of tea at the Parkgate Tea Room, Ed opted for the Leisure Centre. I can recommend the Go Pro recovery drink, not available in most tea shops.

Then it was home for Terry and a sprightly canter along the cycle path to Leatherhead, with the parting of the ways at Ashtead. Many thanks to Ed for an effortlessly improvised and excellent springtime ride.


Saturday, April 27, 2013

Sunday teas on the greens

This year, Brockham church will be providing teas on the green every Sunday from May 5 to October 6 and also Bank Holiday Mondays.

North Holmwood church will be providing teas on the green starting on Sunday 23 June - no further details available.


Monday, April 22, 2013

Sunday, 21 April

Walton on the Hill
Tanhurst Farm - Staplefield - Parkway Tea-Rooms

Having recently been left standing on the start line, Janice was most concerned at 8.55am to find herself alone with the ducks at Walton on the Hill. Mike M appeared to reassure and the punctilious leader arrived as the gong was striking nine. Helene completed the quartet.

At Tanhouse Farm - pic courtesy of Ray
Tanhouse Farm
We set off at 9.15 for Tanhurst Farm, a novel venue for mid-morning tea and somewhat closer than usual. However, the straight line between two points was bent to create a sinuosity or two via Brockham, Roothill and Gadbrook, before heading south through Parkgate and Newdigate for an early arrival at Tanhurst Farm, where Bob awaited us, with some KPRC also in attendance. With time to relax, we sunned ourselves and stretched our legs as our number swelled to double figures. Three planned an early return, to leave an eager eightsome to set off for Staplefield.

The unwonted sunshine may have gone to the leader’s head, as he pressed on at an exuberant pace. Sunstroke is no excuse and he offers his remorse. Rusper and Faygate flew past, though the climb to Colgate was rather more sedate. Paul led the charge along Grouse Road to Hammer Pond, where granny gears asserted dominance. Then it was an undulating spin across the A23 to Slaugham and our destination Staplefield. With lunch in sight, the leader nearly caused disaster at the cricket green by overshooting a left turn and braking so hard that Janice was nearly forced to convert two solos into a bicycle made for two, her lightning reactions and squeal of horror just saving the day. Jeff really should know better.

At The Jolly Tanners, Staplefield
Lunch was at the Jolly Tanners, the lunchtime tavern adopted by Terry’s hostel group the previous Wednesday. This is an independent pub with good food and a very fine array of ales. The landlord recommended the porter, a good choice, though I am not so sure about the 4.9% abv, which did have a delayed reaction later in the day. We dined in sunshine, while Janice sought to rearrange the seating arrangements on her new cycle to provide a more accommodating ride.

Tank with Pete, the Tadworth Tiddler
The climax of the day was to have been Capel, but the ladies have reduced their opening days, to widespread disappointment. After lunch a quick climb to Handcross unwittingly left Terry to help a deflated lady. He soon had Helene reflated and the group reassembled to descend on Pease Pottage, Colgate and Faygate, easier down than up. After Rusper the group zoomed ahead to Newdigate, where it was halted by a tank outside the Six Bells. With Capel off the agenda, tea became the subject of individual choice, as riders went their separate ways. Brockham we found to be a construction site, so Terry kindly offered tea and cake to Helene and Jeff at his home in Dorking. Our grateful thanks to the understanding Mrs L. Mileage 65. Many thanks to one and all for your company and your tolerance.


Saturday, April 20, 2013

Where are we going?

The Plan for Tomorrow's Ride to Staplefield.

For those who like to know in advance where they are being led, tomorrow's ride starts with feeding the ducks and cygnet at Walton on the Hill pond at 9am. We shall allow a decent recovery period for those still breathless or otherwise delayed, before heading for an earlyish elevenses at Tanhurst Farm, just south of Newdigate. Lunch will be at The Jolly Tanners at Staplefield. Unfortunately, the ladies of Capel will not be displaying their olympic, cake-baking talents at the Church of St John the Baptist. Subject to the outcome, if any, of an impromptu commitee meeting, tea will therefore be further north, at Dorking or Leatherhead. Please bring your own weather.


Monday, April 15, 2013

Sunday, 14 April

Burnham Beeches - Penn - Staines
Pam Alan & myself met Tony at Colnbrook village and waited for Graham to bring the rest of the peloton i.e. Paul, Ed and Jeff, when we proceeded to ride to Burnham Beeches where Vic was waiting. We left in glorious sunshine, all cursing we didn’t listen to the weatherman as we were overdressed, via Littleworth Common, Berghers Hill, Broad Lane to Forty Green, where we had lunch in the 900 year old pub “The Royal Standard” the oldest freehouse in England; see description on the C&M blog. After lunch we continued to Lude Farm where Vic hit a pothole and had an instant puncture.
 Down to the A40, straight over to Wooburn Green and then up the long slog of Windsor Hill, after which we had a nice ride down Cliveden Road to Dorney, Eton, Wraysbury and Staines, where tea and cake were served at Irene’s.

Weather really warm, a lovely day, super company. Thank you one and all.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Sunday 7 April 2013

Henfold - Cranleigh - Dorking

The piscatorial lures of Henfold drew a shoal of lycra-scaled mermaids and mermen to the bait of bacon sandwiches. For some however, appetites sated, the lure of Dunsfold dimmed and they melted away as Ed gathered his much reduced shoal of endangered species, to lead them through Newdigate to Capel and Ockley. Here we flouted the usual 'heads down and thunder on' convention to stop to visit the Church of St Margaret, Ockley, the present building dating from the early 1300s. The bells are considered one of the finest peals in Surrey and were cast at the Whitechapel foundry in 1701, the tenor bell reputedly a model for America's Liberty Bell. You may not have known that!

Having left Henfold very late, by the time we had passed Forest Green and Ewhurst, 1pm was just a memory. We therefore decided to dine at the Little Park Hatch at Cranleigh, rather than within earshot of Jeremy Clarkson at Dunsfold. Having waited for our lunch, our speedy return was via a very functional A29/A24 to Dorking and Denbies, where some lingered and some pressed on, to savour the sweet comforts of home.

I hope to rectify the absence of any pictorial record when I have cracked the enigma code of photographic transfer from mobile to pc. At present it is in invisible format.


Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Trenchermen Take Note!

I'm instructed to provide you with this Sunday's menu and a little of the pub's history. I'll be leading from Kingston Bridge to Colnbrook where a familiar face or two will be lurking in the bus shelter at the far end of the High Street.

Saturday, April 06, 2013

Saturday 30 March 2013

Despite incidents at Caen Hill, Farleigh Hungerford and Penleigh, we covered most of the planned ride - a modest and very chilly 45 miles. Praise to Daniel and Paul for getting to Imber when the rest of us headed for the warmth of the hotel. After reliving childhood memories, Irene and I used the farm track between Westbury and Bratton thus avoiding (most of) the B3098 which everyone else took.


Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Easter Sunday Night

The end of 2013 le tour de Vizes turned out to be free drinks in the pub. The Landlord was celebrating 5 years as publican & the first drink was free! Daniel took a shine to the bar staff one of whom took a shine to my hat. Saffy the dog took a shine both to Jen & me! Guess what it was a bitch and recognised tallent when it saw it!
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Dinner on Tour de Vizes

A resounding thanks to Ann & Steve for yet another great Easter Tour. It was good to have Peter Southworth join us from South Bucks CTC & you are invited again next year! Dinner was taken on Friday & Sunday night at the Castle Hotel.
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Devizes & Bradford on Avon

More from the Easter Tour
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Easter Tour Devizes

Some highlights from 2013 tour. Familiar white horse, Devizes to Westminster canoe marathon, Daniel inspecting monument & "The 3 Musketeers"
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C&M Sunday Ride - Easter Sunday - End of Lent

Boulter's Lock - Hedgerley - Walton-on-T

An auspicious day. Clocks put forward one hour to give us more evening light; Easter Sunday and early traffic on the roads to Kingston Bridge was light; despite a crisp frost, the roads were dry and mostly ice-free; for those who had just spent forty days in the wilderness, today marked the end of a self-imposed Lenten fast. So it was that three ladies and five gentlemen (let’s give Simon the benefit of the doubt) converged on Kingston Bridge. Has the word ‘lady’ really become a term of offence and disrespect to the female of the species? So I was informed this week on Woman’s Hour.
Notwithstanding, all happily followed Dave’s lead across the sun-lit Thames towards our Thames-side mid-morning destination at Boulter’s Lock near Maidenhead. With the river as our guide and the altimeter firmly stuck at sea-level, there was barely a ripple in the road surface to slow our progress through Sunbury and past Shepperton Studios to Staines, Runnymede, Windsor, Eton Wick, Dorney and the Fat Duck at Bray. Somehow, Dave managed to steer us across the Bath Road without our noticing to a well-earned bev and bun at Jenner’s Riverside Café by Boulter’s Lock. Here we were joined by a bemused foursome who, for some reason, had been waiting for us at Boulter’s Lock Café. How could there have been any doubt?

Refuelled, we left a swollen Thames for the gentle climb into Taplow, turned East just short of Cliveden to enjoy the narrow lanes of Littleworth before a short circuit along the A355 and beside the M4 took us up and down to Hedgerley and the whinny of the White Horse.

With a good choice of sandwiches and a bewildering selection of beers for those so inclined (my choice was a very tasty Churchill’s Pluck), we were soon being gently roasted by the volcanic heaters beside our table in the tented extension. By the end of the meal there was more lycra on the floor than on our shoulders, as well as the spleen we had vented on such objects of our discontent as our unworthy inheritors of the ‘rotten boroughs’ and in particular the dimwits now devaluing the BBC. How far down can dumbing-down go? Much further still it would seem.

What better therapy for discontent that the steep climb out of Hedgerley and then the mostly downhill glide through Fulmer, past Pinewood Studios, Shredding Green, Poyle, Stanwell, Ashford and Charlton back to the banks of the Thames at Walton. With the Garden Centre at Upper Halliford already shuttered, we took what cheer we could at Dino’s amid the building works of the reincarnated Walton Bridge. Our thanks to Dave for taking advantage of the extra hour of daylight and giving us an excellent and what for some may have been the longest ride of the year, my Cateye reading 83 miles.