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.