Monday, December 29, 2014

Sunday 28th December 2014

 The last ride of 2014 was a repeat of last year.
From Sainsbury's Cobham I led five south to Bookham Common where I appeared to take the wrong turning and ended up in Fetcham.An extra mile or so is of little consequence this time of year.For those familiar with Critten Lane and a blogpost from 15th December last year...........the road is now as smooth as a pancake with not so much as a indentation to spoil the surface.
A table for 10 was ready and waiting at the Abinger Hatch but we were now down to 4 diners.
Most had a "bland" (Keith's view) soup at £5.50.Daniel had his usual followed by Spiced Orange Cake with Port Roasted Plums & Mulled Apple Sorbet £6.50.


Saturday, December 27, 2014

New Year's Day Ride

It's not mentioned in the newsletter but as usual food and drink will be available at Ed's after the ride.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Sunday the 21st December

I took the shortest most direct route to 11's at Notcutts garden centre as it meant cycling into a headwind. Numbers swelled by 11 and and 12 set off towards Chertsey although there at least 18 for 11's. Across Chertsey Meads and then bypassing Adlestone and on through Ottershaw. Heading towards Virginia Water, at the roundabout at the top of Wellington avenue I stopped to re-group but Vic thinking of his youth headed on up Callow hill but was retrieved by the by the unofficial back marker, thank you Graham, and we headed into Windsor Great park by the Wheatsheaf pub.

We cycled round the lake towards Blacknest Gate, in hindsight, not a good idea as a considerable number of people and shunned Christmas shopping to walk their dogs on said path. Turning right at Blacknest Gate and on the road towards Bishopsgate and at last with a tailwind! We reached the Barley Mow at Englefield Green and a reserved table awaited us. Pam and Jeff spent some time deciding which of the abundant selection of fine ales to wash down lunch with! Roger found his to be moorish and went back for another pint!

Most of the food was served quickly but alas Irene and Graham’s vitals took longer to materialise. Leaving Englefield Green we took the decent down Prune hill and headed the shortest route back to Hampton Court. Terry left us midway to head home. With the wind behind us Five on the Bridge at Hampton court was reached in good time. Chatting over pots of tea we were joined by Ray and also by Liz and her daughter Tammy. Farewells said we all headed to wend our way home through the Christmas traffic. Thank you all for you company and to the shy photographer. Merry Christmas and safe cycling in the new year.


Sunday, December 21, 2014

The Shortest Day

Laleham - Englefield Green - Hampton Court

 Leader Tony

              Pam                                                               "Graham, he's looking at us"

Tony's fellow travellers

Monday, December 15, 2014

Sunday 14 December 2014

Sunday 14th December 2014

 What a beautiful day for cycling - even if we had to pay for it with a bitterly cold start!

 Six, plus myself, left Squires at Stoke D'abernon approximately 11.15.   Tony very kindly stayed alongside me to give me a nudge when it was time to turn into River Lane which now has a superior surface  (long time since I was last there)!  A right at Downside Common led us  to Horsley Road where we turned left in order to make a loop to Ripley via The Drift, East Lane, The Street and then down hill to the end of Ripley Lane.  Across the Portsmouth Road to pass Pyrford Abbey and on to Maybury.    We used the towpath into Woking, avoiding the Six crossroads roundabout which was incredibly busy a couple of weeks ago! 

 Tony punctured just before turning into Horsell Rise, hence Vic, Graham, Ed and Irene continued to the pub, The Plough, and Terry, Tony and I followed on.

 Landlady Vicki and staff looked after us well.   Before Terry had sat down, his  pint fell down between the tables that had been pushed together.. whoops...but soon sorted - and then Ray Wren arrived to join us for lunch. 

 The afternoon tea venue was changed to Addlestone... sort of via Fairoakes Aerodrome!    We had to say goodbye to Terry upon leaving  the pub for he needed to make his way home via W. Byfleet etc.     For us it was almost a direct ride, planned so that riders could get home in good time - but, surprise, surprise - all seven of us had tea at the Golden Cafe in Addlestone before heading for home in various directions!   We left the pub just after 2pm and was at the cafe 2.40 where we were made welcome as the cafe did not shut till 3 o'clock.

 Thanks all, a  very enjoyable day

 Seasons greetings....Pam :):)


Monday, December 08, 2014

Sunday, 7 December

 I wonder how long before The Castle crumbles

Where IS she?
All present and correct

18 rode to the 11s. venue for light refreshment, 11 continued to Chobham via Laleham, Staines, Egham and on to Windsor Park where we exited at Blacknest Gate taking the back lanes to the A30 at Sunningdale. We then continued along Chobham Road, Windsor Road to our destination, The Castle Grove pub, where the food was soon delivered.   We then continued to Horsell  and Woking where we continued along the Basingstoke Canal to West Byfleet.
Thank you everyone for a lovely day. We were very lucky with the weather.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

This Sunday's ride................

Another change to the published lunch venue.
Now "Chobham Castle" NOT The Four Horseshoes,Burrowhill.

Emirates Ride

The view from the Emirates cable car yesterday.
Graham's ride will (hopefully) afford similar views on 1st February 2015.

Sunday, 30 November

 Reigate - Dormansland - Fanny's Farm Shop

 All together

Dave's pictures

Sunday 30th November 2014

When I set off from home it was a very foggy day but this had largely cleared when I arrived at Morrisons in Reigate for the meet and it eventually became a pleasant day for this time of year.
We were aiming for a prompt start to make sure we arrived at our lunch stop in time for the bar menu which they could offer us if we were there by about 12.30.  Ian set off by himself a bit earlier saying he would meet us there. The other riders left without too much delay - 11 of us headed out at about 11.15.
We left Morrisons and turned south along Bell Street then left along Lesbourne Road towards Redhill, passing the Cafe du VĂ©lo on route.
Continuing westwards towards Merstham I discovered that roadworks had popped up blocking our planned bypass through the Watercolours estate so we carried on to Merstham before turning towards Nutfield. Jeff warned of a hillock ahead. This was Church Hill and sure enough the road rose and continued rising until we reached the A25 at Nutfield.
We stayed on this road until just after Bletchingly where we joined Rabies Heath Road - another incline but this time milder. A brief uphill to the top of Tilburstow and down the other side where we turned along Hart's Lane and the route flattened out. We crossed the A22 and rode through Crowhurst and Lingfield reaching the Old House at Home just a few minutes after our scheduled time of 12.30.
Neil decided he had to do Daniel's role so he had the roast but could only manage one pint. Most others chose from our cyclists only bar menu.
Some time after we had ordered, Ian arrived having had a navigational mishap at Lingfield but was allowed to order from our special menu.
After lunch Ed and Ian set off by themselves leaving 10 of us to head west in the group.  We rode together past Lingfield to Newchapel then northwest along Bones Lane.  We turned left towards Smallfield Road at the end of the lane and shortly after said goodbye to those heading towards Horley as 5 of us turned north towards Outwood and Fannies Farm.
This brought us fairly promptly to Horne Court Hill which although a little steep was fairly short. We had a short break by Outwood Mill which has recently been restored before continuing towards Nutfield via Coopers Hill. Then straight over to Church Hill - much easier in this direction - and into Merstham. Here we split temporarily with Mike and Jeff braving the slopes of Rocky lane leaving Sue, Andy, Neil and me to climb the gentle slope on the main road through the village. No escaping the last climb to Fannies Farm though.
We all met at the farm where Neil, Jeff and Mike headed home.
There were three left for tea, Andy, Sue and me. Ian arrived a bit later.
I left with Sue to guide her to Coulsdon arriving home about 4.30, probably one of the shortest returns from tea I've had. Mileage about 45.

From Dave S 

Apologies for the beats getting out of the chair!

Monday, November 24, 2014

This Sunday's ride...............

Your leader has informed me of a change to the destination.
It will now be The Old House at Home, Dormansland.
Please arrive at Morrisons ,Reigate promptly so to enable a 12.30pm arrival for lunch.

To quote Dave "The Old House at Home said they do only roasts on a Sunday as well but said they could do baguettes and sandwiches if we get there by 12:30 so it's just as well it is a shorter ride so  we leave Morrisons promptly and no stragglers.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Sunday 23 November

Having seen the forecast and waking to the sound of rain I didn't expect to see many at Tillings. After refreshments Dave and I set off for an abbreviated ride to The Parrot at Forest Green via Abinger Hammer and Holmbury St Mary.

There were plenty of autumn leaves to admire - most of them were on the road, floating in the torrents which at times covered the road. Lunch was soon served at The Parrot - there were few customers at just past noon. After drying out (a little) but noting the rain hadn't stopped, we decided to venture forth and head for home. Unfortunately  this meant missing out on the last of the Capel cakes for this year - we didn't want to wait around for over an hour to 'opening time'.

We parted company at the top of Newdigate hill. I was looking forward to descending Henfold Lane but at the top I could see the road and entrance to the lake was flooded, as was the road a few yards further on, so a cautious descent was necessary. I arrived home at 14.30ish with less than 30 on my computer.


Thursday, November 20, 2014

Sunday 16th November 2014

Someone has a sense of humour :-) it.

This Sunday (23rd) your leader has informed me of a change..................The Bull at Ewhurst is the preferred destination.

Radio 2 lunchtime presenter Jeremy Vine rides to the BBC from his home in Chiswick every day, and wears a helmet cam.................this is what happened today:

Sunday 16 November 2014

High Elms - Westerham - (Woldingham)

On riding towards Sutton, the sun was breaking through but waiting at Carshalton Ponds, the  gathering mist portended gloom.  Still, as the ride through splendid autumnal trees proved, this was a late autumn ride.  The meeting at Carshalton was the occasion for two anniversaries: for Neil's first ride earlier this year and apparently Jeff's first encounter with your correspondent (well-remembered).  We were also glad to welcome Lilian after her long beginners Saturday ride through Woolwich.

Taking the direct route on the A232, seven rode over the Croydon flyover, presenting a few highlights: crossing the tram tracks at Addiscombe Road, the art deco of Shirley Library and West Wickham Public Conveniences.

Andy passed us as on Jackass Lane (via Kingsway from Coney Hall) -- the backward glance not revealing The Shard on the horizon.  A brief stop at the top of Shire Lane indicated a broken front brake cable for Neil.  At High Elms elevenses, he explained its 19-year vintage and subsequently mended it, so our concerns about a forthcoming one-brake descent of Hogtrough Hill were alleviated.  With only 8.5 miles to lunch and an ascent to Downe and the 25% of Church Hill, Jeff demonstrated his superior climbing technique to avoid spectacular wheelies to Cudham.  The descent towards Brasted, with good views despite low cloud, separated us from lunch but whither did Force Green Lane disappear?
Keith triumphant over Church Hill
Arriving at The General Wolfe (Westerham born; died leading the Battle of Quebec, 1759) at 1220 the hearty soup was more solid than liquid.  Departing at 1320, with the slippery decking gingerly negotiated, an ascent of Clacket Lane preceded another mystery: all but one preferred not to climb White Hill when pausing at the fine westward view of the bluff of Titsey Hill.  One wonders why.
A rapid descent of The Ridge left us passing Knight's at Woldingham at 1415 and all opting for an early return home, apparently by different routes.  For one, Burntwood Lane (pain) via Coulsdon Common offered the descent of Marlpit Lane (gain) at 41+mph and a return via Banstead High Street.  A return home at 1515 was welcome after merely 46 miles as steady rain started before 4pm.  Many thanks to my variously impressive companions.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Sunday 9th November 2014

A rare visit from Brian G

Well the leader's ready

Wikipedia link not required today

Whitehill Lane just north of the M25...........FNRttC??

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Sunday, 9th November

Norwood Hill - Smallfield - Fanny's Farm Shop 

A select sextet was drawn by the magnetic pull of  a 9.15 am start at Ryka's. The polarity was not quite strong enough for all; Janice docked via the West Humble underpass, while others followed a quite different, magnetic field to Norwood Hill. With elevenses less than a 6 mile crow's flight away, the leader assumed a generous licence to meander. Our serpentine route took us via Punchbowl Lane to the still glowing embers of the Brockham bonfire, where we adopted a lonesome Mike Morley warming his spirits, then down to Parkgate, where an independent-minded Angie broke loose and did her own meander, before rejoining us aglow at the Fox Revived.

Here our numbers swelled, many eager to experience the flavour of a new for us mid-morning venue. Andy produced vouchers for a Revival Breakfast, with time in hand to explore the menu. The response I think was positive, though a forgotten wallet left me salivating like a hungry hyena at the sight of Terry's generous bacon sandwich. A kindly angel slipped a groat into my pocket.

After a pretty relaxed stay, we rose; some to return home, some dirty dozen game to meander further, the promised 6 mile pancake-flat promenade to lunch now tripled. With Smallfield due east of Norwood Hill, we headed south through Charlwood and Ifield to skirt the perimeter of Gatwick Airport. Here, Neil discovered the limits of his Poundland light set and Geoffrey, rather cheated by the lack of altitude and effort, keeled off to visit the Evans' Cycling Treasure Chest to find some woolies to keep him warm. The undaunted others pressed on via Shipley Bridge, Copthorne, Turner's Hill and Rowfant to rediscover magnetic north and coast effortlessly down Turner's Hill Road to find Mill Lane. Here we were overwhelmed by the Proustian waft of school dinners, drifting evocatively from Copthorne Prep School, to take us back to early memories of boiled swede and turnip. Do you remember? Effingham and Downlands Lanes took us to Plough Lane and our target of  Smallfield's Plough and Furrow.

 Despite the season we dined, (well, most of us),  in bright sunshine beneath an almost cloudless sky. The P and F is a welcoming and cycle-friendly pub, warmly to be recommended. We left, with the sun still quite high in the sky, to head due north towards Bletchingley (not Redhill as promised in the programme). Ken soon struck off towards Redhill, as did Paula and Andy and Terry at the A25. The dwindling rump pressed on for an early tea at Fanny's. We lingered over tea and cakes; Fanny conscripted Paul for potato hauling duties, for which he was rewarded with an apple. What more might he ask?

With the sun now sinking and the temperature dropping, we headed home, our cycling having been enhanced by an almost perfect sunny November Sunday, which I hope was thoroughly enjoyed by all.