Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Sunday December 27 2020 - Another Ride That Never Was

Firstly an apology to anyone who felt formal cancellation of Sunday's ride was needed.

But I couldn't waste a fine cycling day. After Bella and a lengthy call from a blue toothless caller, departure was late (after 11). Via Walton I reached Sainsbury's Cobham (the printed 11s) around 1215; unsurprisingly I didn't recognise any bikes.

Bella had left plenty of wet roads though none deep enough for wet feet. Taking no chances by Downside I went to Ripley (both cafes closed) before turning for home.

Muddy Lane has a new signpost! Its predecessor lay vandalised when last I passed this way.

It's hard to believe that there's a pandemic going on. Town centres may be largely empty but open spaces,  parks, Thames side, Muddy Lane, the Weybridge sewage path, etc etc were crowded as never before!

Roll on spring

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Lockdown Mileages 2020


 How far did you go in the year of covid lockdown 2020?

 The time is fast approaching when you will be invited to submit your mileage totals for the past year. This may not be top of your immediate priority list, but like all good Girl Guides and Boy Scouts: Be Prepared.

This is what I said last year.


 However, having filled this gap between Xmas and the New Year for too long, the time has come for someone more in touch with the membership to take on this cherished and dearly coveted privilege. The Committee has decreed, I understand, that the mantle should now rest on the shoulders of our dear Secretary: Tim Court, who can never resist a challenge. He must learn how to say:No! Perhaps he will delegate!

No doubt, he will soon be inviting you to submit your historically Covid reduced mileages from Jan to Dec 2020. Even with the restrictions of Tier 4, you may be tempted to go that extra mile before midnight on December 31.

Stay alert!


Saturday, December 19, 2020

As you were. Stop!

 Friday is a long time ago. Since then London and Surrey have been promoted to Tier 4 of the  Premier Lockdown League, with all the privileges that lock-down includes. As we can no longer surf the tiers and only cycle with A.N.Other, all rides are now once again suspended. Simon has had to cancel his Sunday ride. Many no doubt will desperately be trying to work out what this means for their Xmas arrangements. Who knows when the next ride will be. Hopefully before December 2021. We can be sure that there will be many changes of direction before then. 

Stay alert.


Friday, December 18, 2020

This Sunday's ride: CANCELLED ride for 20 Dec

Due to the move into Tier 4, we are not allowed to ride in groups of more than two.  Therefore, with regret, I have no choice to cancel the planned ride.   It is a shame that we can't get together but it's more important that we all stay safe.    Even more important than the very upsetting news about not getting together over Christmas.

Eventually, it will be over.   But not until the number of cases comes down to hugely lower numbers, or the outcomes are much improved.    The vaccine will help.   Limiting our contacts, especially indoors, will help.   Warmer weather will help - and it can't come soon enough!

My apologies for the short notice and I look forward to seeing you as soon as we are able.

Sending love and best wishes for whatever Christmas you can salvage, and for a much better 2021.


Further Notice - Rides Resume

 Go, Go, Stop Stop, Go

With effect from 00.01 GMT on Saturday 19 December 2020

 Ged Lawrenson has kindly provided the following advice on the MWW website, which I have tweaked slightly for Cheam and Morden.

" Following the government's announcement of Tier 3 for Surrey, the same Tier 3 Coronavirus restrictions now apply equally to all our riders. This means that we can all now ride in a group of six or fewer, no matter where we live  - so long as we follow all the relevant up-to-date guidelines on the website". 

 I'm sure that Dave Ward will keep us informed about forthcoming rides, eg Polesden Lacey this Sunday, 20 Dec. Keep your eyes peeled on the C&M Whats App group for the latest twists and turns.

 If you have any questions, I understand that Mr B Johnson and Mr M Hancock are available to clarify any ambiguities.

Hope I've got this right!


Tuesday, December 15, 2020

All rides cancelled until further notice.

As all will no doubt have realised, the permafrost of government designation as a Tier 3 Covid19 hotspot has descended on the Great Wen. This will take effect from one second after midnight this Wednesday, 16 December 2020. One of the effects of this is to discourage mingling of members who live in one Tier with those from another Tier, as well as travelling from one Tier into another. To all purposes, this seems to make club rides an indictable offence, subject to I know not what penalties.

Have a look at the succinct guidance posted by Ged Lawrenson, Wayfarers' Ride Sec,  on the MWW blog page.

We will do our best to adapt to these frosty conditions and await guidance from CUK on how to continue group riding within the confines of the law in 2021.

Bah! Humbug!

And oh yes, Have a Merry Xmas!


Sunday, December 13, 2020

Ride Report - Sunday 13 December 2020


It was a pretty foul morning and, unsurprisingly, I savoured my Squires six item breakfast at Stoke d'Abernon in stately splendour (and so it should be with the current restrictions, I hear you say)!  Somewhat to my surprise, Graham arrived just as I was leaving and we had a brief chat outside.   He turned for home, and I headed for Guildford, half thinking the rain might relent (it didn't)!

You get a few Sundays like that most years, but I think this year we have been spared until now!  Anyway, we'll hope for better things next week!

Friday, December 11, 2020

Sunday the 13th

 The weather for Sunday forecasts has a 25% chance of rain and temperatures from 7C up around 10C so the possibility of a ride is promising. 11's however is a problem with not being able to all meet within Squires. I have spoken to Squires and they have 2 outside tables and takeaway coffee, inside seating is available if you are solo or socially distanced.

 Lunch is planned for the Old Moat garden centre, Epsom, which has outside seating. Due to the early onset of twilight no afternoon tea stop is planned.


Wednesday, December 09, 2020

Jeff hangs up his wheels

 This is from Jeff (slightly edited)

"Dear Friends,

I am sure that we are all familiar with the need for succession planning. I’m not so sure that CTCSWL has in the past had such foresight. Which may be why I suddenly found myself with a number of unsought privileges, when our much loved and indefatigable Capo di Capo fell asleep in the night, not to awake.
He had already frightened the life out of me one day at, not now sure if it was Addlestone or Weybridge, to say that he wanted a quiet word with me. As a newbie, I wondered who I might have upset, though in those heady days, I was not overly perturbed. A number of us are now familiar with that innocent tap on the shoulder. At that time, it was an unexpected invitation to take on the mantle of Rides Sec, even though I had no idea where all the elevenses venues were to be found. Not my area. I vividly recall my first lead.
When he sadly left us, I inherited a vacuum for responsibility for monitoring members’ annual mileages.

As I am now to all intents a non-cyclist and unknown to a majority of riders, it seems most inappropriate that I should have any such responsibility at all.  Paul has valiantly and most brilliantly enhanced and expanded the role of Editor of the Sou’Wester. With my duties now minimal, the committee should consider who (or if) it wishes to choose to monitor our members’ annual mileage exploits.

It will be for C&M to decide who and how (in the absence of an AGM) to choose to represent its interests on the CTCSWL Committee. My greatest ambition now is not to lead a sprint up Pebble Hill, but  to get to the front of the queue for a Covid19 vaccination."

Jeff joined C&M/Wayfarers in 2007/8. In the early years he was a keen competitor for C&M's best attendance aka a free meal. Fittingly he became the C&M scorer in 2011 (following on from PM) and the DA Rep in 2015 (after MM).  We won't forget his battles with HQ over charitable status.

Our 2020 autumn AGM will be no earlier than April 2021 due to Covid19 and HQ accountancy changes. If anyone wants to act pro tem, let me know.

Monday, December 07, 2020

Report - Sun 6 Dec 2020


After a four week break we were all keen to get back on the road again!   Six of us were tempted out to elevenses at Walton Bridge but unfortunately spent a bit too long sitting catching up, and despite many layers of clothing, getting very cold!  Most weren't inclined to stay out for a longer ride, but Tony and Pam bravely continued to Shepperton.   We hope for something a bit milder next week!

Monday, November 30, 2020

We're Back....

Our rides (in groups of no more than six) will restart from Sunday 6 December.

No elevenses was planned for next Sunday, but let's celebrate the occasion, in a socially-distanced way, by adding one in!    

So, see you at The Wilde Brunch, Walton Bridge from 10.00 am on Sunday.   Lunch stop to be confirmed (could still be West Horsley, depending on interest).


Sunday, November 29, 2020

Sunday the 29th November

 It dawned cold and damp but no mist. Simon met me for an early start from my house at 9.30 and we headed North to Heathrow with some exploritary off road tracks. Through Harlington, and memories of being knocked off my bike by a police car.

Stockley park, Hillingdon and onto coffee at the Rusty Bike cafe at Fassnidge Park Uxbridge, a small queue of mainly cyclists but a hot chocolate and giant double choc cookie soon cheered the mood. Denham and past Sir John mills old house, Denham golf course and the climb up past Denham Golf course station, where the roads were very wet and the dampness made for more of a chill,  and then the gentle climb upto Chalfont common and up Burtons lane to lunch at Little Chalfont.

The Rex Artisan bakery provided hot coffee and great food but  sitting out in the small park did nothing warm the spirit. Only a brief stop for our lunch in fear of the chill seeping in. Heading into Cokes lane Simons Eagles eyes spotted a loo and it was open! On to Chalfont St Giles passing the turnoff for the Captain Cook monument and down into Chalfont St Giles which is a quaint little village, into Bowstridge lane which took us to Chalfont St Peter and the road to Gerrards Cross, on through and the nice decent to Pinewood and down to Iver, it had started to feel chilly again now and both simon and I already had our waterproof jackets on to keep out the damp and chill. We were also conscious of lighting up time which was fast approaching, although we both had lights I prefer to be home before dark. 

Thorney, West Drayton, Sipson, Cranford and we were soon cycling across Hounslow heath and the edge of Whitton where we parted company, another 2 miles and I was home before 4 and straight into a hot shower. Although cold and damp it was a lovely day's cycling. Thank you Simon for back marking.  


Saturday, November 21, 2020

An early Sunday ride as we did it Saturday

.Well it was supposed to be a Friday ride but due to the expected rain we moved it to Saturday, Simon and I that is.

Simon knocked for me at around 10.30 and we headed into the wind for Cobham, via Esher.  Heading to the Patisserie at Stoke D'Abernon and Cobham station.

This sign is in the window, so we shared one of their rather large sausage rolls and with a coffee each, the bill came to £1.80, and lovely coffee it was. On then to Leatherhead and a loo stop, then Simon took us on roads new to me and a very pleasant route to Ashstead then across the common (so many people on the common) and down to Ewell and a visit to Ed.

.Ed is looking well and now is free of the hospital boot. As you can see he has been very active and produced this fantastic fretwork. We chatted, socially distanced of course, for about 15 minutes then took our leave and headed for Thames Ditton where Simon bought us coffees at the Nice Buns cafe (great name) and we headed to the lovely little church memorial garden where we sat with our drinks.

Then off to face the mayhem of Hampton court roundabout and the many cars, bikes and general public. Onto the high street at Hampton hill where we parted company. A really nice time on the bike today, thank you Simon.

On a different tack, I phoned Alan Anderson this evening. He is well and still unable to cycle as caring for his wife takes all his time, he now has no Parkrun which he used to do pushing his wife round in a wheelchair. But takes her round just the same minus the company of the other participants. He is just the same and tried to talk me into a joint venture on one of his madcap inventions for unlimited free energy.


Thursday, November 19, 2020

The Great Wen

It was a wind is rising, leaves falling off the trees sort of day with rain forecast around noon. So I set off in the late rush hour on NCN4 for central London. During my last visit in May traffic had been nonexistent and it's still well below normal levels.

I'd no planned route as the map reveals! Well perhaps a trip down memory lane: Albert Memorial (the 1987 Great Storm), Admiralty Arch (FNRttCs and early L2B rides) and Victoria (15 years of commuting).

Keeping an eye on the weather at the end of Embankment cycle path I turned north then west along Fleet Street.  I had one more mission: to discover if this plaque existed hence the detour through Lincoln Inn Fields and Covent Garden. By the time I reached Richmond Park I was being overtaken by e-bikes such was the strength of the wind. Home by noon and the rain was at least two hours late. 

Friday, November 13, 2020

C&M magazine, 1951

Mark Gladwyn found this gem advertised on eBay.  A typewritten newsletter from October 1951.   Since the photos are published, I am taking the opportunity of reproducing them here.   The original is still available at a very reasonable price of £5, only a little higher than the original price of 1½d.  Comments welcome!

Sunday, November 08, 2020

C&M solo ride, well me and my shadow.

 A mild day with some sun. I decided to meander and explore some new possible routes and was successful. Some lovely off road gravel paths through Hanworth park. Once at Feltham I thought I'd take Bedfont lane and pass the school where Feltham road club used to meet many years ago. But the level crossing has gone and the only way across is a footbridge, which is not yet finished.

There is another option by going over the bridge but I had made my mind up by then for a different option and headed up Harlington road west and the route through Heathrow and passed the vast, but nearly empty, Covid testing station.

I had decided to stop at the Costa Coffee at Stockley park as they have loos. Sadly the loos were closed but they did have a Christmas tree 😄 Sadly none of the presents had my name on it. Coffee and a sandwich sitting outside and off to explore some of the new paths that have now appeared. 

 Coming out onto the West Drayton road and past the old tractor that is now beginning to disappear in the overgrown fuana.

On past Hillingdon hospital and on to Iver and through the Orchards residential park where I met a group of 6 cyclists who had a variation on the rule of 2? I upped the pace and quickly passed this wayward group. Now down past the edge of Slough and into Ditton park and onto Datchet

                                                                       Ditton manor

                                                                  Ditton manor church

Wraysbury, where it started to get colder and a brief stop to add a layer,Staines, Ashford and down to Feltham and onto Hampton and home. An enjoyable ride and some new paths, as it was getting chilly now me and my shadow raced the last few miles, I wish. .


Monday, November 02, 2020

Sunday the 1st November (the ride into lockdown)

Left home heading for Runnymede and within a mille the puncture fairy struck my front wheel. Managed to sort it reasonably quickly and headed off again, within 500metres  the level crossing barrier went down! More delay.Off again and I took the shortest route to 11's.

Photo courtesy Simon

I arrived at 10.50 and 3 were seated, outside. Dave, Pam and Simon who only came to 11's. In  the present circumstances it is a good venue. Slight delay while I topped up on refreshments, (and duck food, but that's another story). Not feeling at my best after a cold, yes just a cold. I headed for the lunch venue which was only 11 miles but through suburbia. The nice little off road path to  the Staines-Runnymede road  and then Moor lane, the off road section had stretches submerged but luckily not too much mud. Then onto roads I know well having cycled regularly North of the M4.

Photo courtesy Pam

On reaching our lunch destination and looking forward to a coffee, we found it closed due to illness. Mmmmm, complete change of route plan and we headed into Stockley park and to Costa for refreshments and natural breaks. Nice really considering and we sat outside undercover. Heading back via Cranford and the Hounslow heath and onto Hanworth, at this point I was on my last legs, the cold had taken it's toll. We had decided on not stopping for tea and at this point I turned left for Hampton and home, Dave and Pam continued towards Haliford.

I stopped  twice more to let my legs gather strength before the last mile and a half home. I did enjoy the ride but was glad to get home. Thank you Pam and Dave for bearing with me and to Simon for the small group photo.

Finally, best wishes for a speedy recovery to Ed, Ray, Terry and Lillian, at least you can take a month off without having to send in your sick note

Sunday, November 01, 2020

Rides Suspended

 Dear All,

  Rides Suspended due to Covid - 19 National Lockdown. 

 Those living on the dark side of the moon may have missed the Downing Street declaration on Saturday evening  that we once again face lockdown. The new measures will come into force from midnight on Thursday morning, 5 November Guy Fawkes Day, and last until 2 December. The following link gives the full text of Mr Johnson's statement:


These measures require that we stay at home and leave home only for specifically defined reasons. The reference to exercise and recreation is:

"For exercise and recreation outdoors, with your household or on your own with one person from another household."

 The Midweek Wayfarers have decided that from next Thursday 5th November all Wayfarer group rides are suspended until December. This decision will be updated on the Blog in the light of any further announcements made by the Government and any additional guidance issued from Cycling UK.


Subject to your agreement, It is proposed that, in the interests of consistency, other Sections and Cheam and Morden adopt the same policy.

 Jeff Tollerman

Friday, October 30, 2020

Sunday the 1st Nov

 A change to the advertised lunch venue due to the probability of the cafe being overwhelmed and only inside seating. So lunch will now be at the Rural tea room Goulds Green, about 11 miles from 11's and tea TBD. Some slight off road. I will take a sandwich. A suburban ride to pastures new, for most.😁😈

Thursday, October 29, 2020

Changes to Programme - Sundays 1 and 8 November 2020

Tony's planned 8 November ride to Pinewood Nurseries has now been brought forward to 1 November but the elevenses meet will be at the Pleasure Grounds Cafe, Runnymede (instead of Magna Carta Tearooms).  

Details for 8 November will follow next week.

Monday, October 26, 2020

Sunday October 25 2020

 Maybe we looked at the wrong forecast; it suggested that overnight rain would ease by early morning. At times this seemed to be true. So at least five set off from home in steady drizzle! and surface water; only three made it to the Cobham rendezvous.  The "Waitrose" bus shelter was dry but surrounded by a veritable moat of standing water so I continued to the cut-through where Simon huddled under an archway. Sometime later Pam arrived.

By 11 the rain had stopped and Simon headed home. To rebut accusations of two easy points, Pam and I rode through Downside, Ockham, Send and Cartbridge to Old Woking. After a safari into suburbia we emerged in Woking Park beside the bandstand. Soon it commenced to rain attracting a mob of unruly kids.

Hurriedly finishing our snap (as they say in Yorkshire) we headed for the station. The subway is no friend to Pam so we veered onto Victoria Way to inspect the improved Chobham Road bridge (not quite finished!). Leaving the canal at Monument Bridge Sheerwater, Woodham came next and then Liberty Lane where we went our separate ways at the A318 junction.

I was home before three which rather wasted a perfect autumnal afternoon. 40+ miles door to door.

Thursday, October 22, 2020

Scam email

Dear All,

A cautionary word.

Today I received an email purporting to be from one of our former members, saying ’hi’ and inviting me to click on a link.

This member’s name is Harold Fifield. Some of you may remember him.

I mention this only because he died several years ago.




Cycling UK AGM

 If you're interested in what Cycling UK is doing and what its priorities are, this presentation from the AGM gives a good indication.  The voting results are here.

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

October 25 2020 New Start

The first ride of winter will start from Cobham. After that extra hour in bed I'm hoping you'll arrive earlier rather than later.

If it's dry we'll assemble on the "cut through" between the main road A245 and the RBL where there's seating. If wet there's a bus shelter opposite Waitrose but if October 4 is anything to go by...

Ride will go through Woking to Addlestone or Walton Bridge. Once again lunch will be the bandstand beside the Woking Leisure Centre.

If there's any interest we could try out the new bridge over the canal in the town centre.

Saturday, October 17, 2020

Change of lunch venue for 18th Oct

Change of lunch stop. Lunch will now be at the small tea caravan inside Blacknest gate at Windsor Great Park. The original stop would not now be viable.


Covid Guidance

Thanks to Janice for finding this.

Thursday, October 15, 2020

Who said life was easy? Let's honour them both

 This is just for the nerds

For a long time, the CTC/CUK has worked to a financial year starting in October and ending in September, though for the rest of us our financial year starts on 1st April. That is why our attendance record has been Oct. to Sept. and our AGM dated accordingly. Way back on Sept. 27, 2020 we were notified by CUK that the end of its financial year had been moved to 31st March. So it seems that our attendance record should be shifted accordingly. Yawn! MWW already works to April to March. In the interests of harmony, it seems that we should adjust accordingly. At least, we have the track and trace statistics, however we use them.

We might commission the Office for National Statistics to audit and adjudicate accordingly. However, consultancy charges might dent our bank balance. For me, both Graham and Dave have served C&M valiantly and deserve all our support and appreciation.

Both deserve a free virtual meal on the house at our 2021 virtual annual lunch, for which I am more than happy to give them virtual support. How about you?


New Covid-19 Restrictions - Bad News and Good News!

From 17 October residents of any London Borough or Elmbridge Borough will no longer be able to meet anyone who is not from their own household in any indoor venue, not just within those areas, but anywhere else outside them in England as well.  This will cover many, but not all our members, but the restrictions will also apply to anyone from outside when visiting the restricted areas.   Complicated, isn't it!

The good news is simpler - there are still no restrictions on meeting outside (with or without refreshments), or riding in socially-distanced groups of no more than six, so we can carry on cycling!

At this time of year weather can often be the deciding factor anyway, so I suggest we don't bother attempting to change all our existing programme formally, just take it week by week and see nearer the time whether the next planned ride is okay as it is, or needs changing to an all outdoor affair.

Please therefore note that the rides list is subject to change in the light of new Government regulations, and check this blog for changes.

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

C&M Attendance Record - 1st October 2020 to 30 September 2021 (and 1st Oct 2019 to 30 Sept 2020).

 Nature Abhors a Vacuum

 The good news:     We now have a new attendance record sheet from 1st October 2020 to 30th September 2021, hungry for attendances.

The disappointing news:   We already have an embarrassing gap where attendances on October 4th should be. This may be because of the reference in the Rides List to an AGM.  Our old friend 'covid' has already wiped out agms. Does this mean 'nul points'? What happened on 4th October?

The challenging news: Oh dear! I cannot believe that this has happened for the third year on the trot!

After all those gruelling miles ground out in the past year, the record shows once again a near dead heat between Dave Ward and Graham Hill with 71 for David and 70 for Graham. This does not include attendance at the Annual Lunch on 9th February, which I believe was attended by Graham and not by Dave = dead heat. Subject to audit and appeal!

Life is never easy.


Sunday, October 11, 2020

Ride Report - Sunday 11 October 2020


Harris & Hoole at Tesco's, New Malden is a bit off the beaten track for us and I wasn't sure how many members it would tempt out, so it was great to be joined by Bob, Tony, Pam, Gill, Ray, Graham and, making a welcome return after a long absence, Chris.  Harris & Hoole proved to be quite a good venue, and not too busy, once you had managed firstly to find your way into the Tesco car park, and then, secondly, to find where in the store the coffee shop was hidden!

After elevenses all of us except Bob set off in the sunshine to meander through the leafy byways of Horatio Nelson country, then along the banks of the Wandle, before the long drag up to Wandsworth Common.   We stopped for lunch by an open air cafe on the western fringes of Clapham Common which wasn't too busy.

The skies had clouded over by now and we didn't linger too long as it had become quite chilly, and we headed off across the Common proper, a very busy spot today, but positively quiet in comparison with a heaving Battersea Park which we negotiated very gingerly indeed before crossing the Thames by the Albert Bridge.

Our route was then along NCN4 towards Putney and Richmond Park.   NCN is quite fiddly in places with sudden, random turns in residential roads, and by Putney Common I was feeling quite pleased that we kept together on the trickiest parts, but pride always comes before a fall!  Most unfortunately, a spur of the moment decision to veer off and inspect the rear side of the unofficial Marc Bolan memorial at Barnes Common led to us unintentionally parting company with Gill!    Worse still, despite our best efforts, we could not track her down!   Mea culpa, and sincere apologies!   The moral is that a ride leader you must never relax your guard!

Anyway, we eventually carried on across Richmond Park, still hoping in vain to be reunited with Gill (the story did have a happy ending and Gill was very nice about it all).   We ended up at the Flying Cloud, Teddington Lock, where some stopped for tea, and some headed straight home.

Thanks to all for your company, and to Graham and Tony for your help.

Thursday, October 08, 2020

Loyal member

Plans for Sunday 11 October

Elevenses will be at Harris & Hoole, Tesco Extra, New Malden.   It's on the ground floor of the store and we can get take-away drinks to take outside.  Toilets inside.   Easily accessible from the New Malden - Raynes Park cycle route.

Lunch stop is at La Baita Bandstand Cafe, Clapham Common (or bring your own), which we will reach using as many quieter roads and cycle paths as possible.   Toilets nearby.

After lunch we'll zip down to Chelsea Bridge (passing Queenstown Road and Battersea Park stations), and, once over the Thames, can then turn west to ride home via Putney Bridge and Richmond Park, or else east to head for Waterloo for a softer option!

One caveat - I'm familiar with most of the route, but not necessarily in this order (the exception being Tesco's itself, which I haven't visited for years)!   I couldn't do a recce last weekend because of the foul weather, but don't foresee major problems, just a bit of a stutter here and there!

Saturday, October 03, 2020

CUK 2020 Summer Raffle

And the winner of the first prize is: 


... but Raleigh haven't yet been in touch!

Monday, September 28, 2020

27 Sept to Dorney

Got up. Put on a ridiculous amount of clothes.  Went outside.   Realised it was the correct amount of clothes.   Rode to elevenses.

The best laid plans etc.  Plan A was to go to the New Leathern Bottle in Jeallot's Hill.   But it seems to be permanently closed.   Plan B, on advice from the group, was as above, but take a picnic.   On the day however it was cold with a keen north wind and we decided to shorten the ride a bit and go to Dorney instead.

A legitimate six at elevenses in Staines, although we never met together as six:   Bob, Graham, David, Tony and myself inside Wetherspoons; Pam staying safe in the (very) fresh air.   After coffee and chat, Bob left us and we headed out towards Egham and Prune Hill to warm us up, although nobody seemed particularly grateful for that part of the ride.   I was leading a group of experienced leaders, most of whom had taught me a few routes themselves, but everyone seemed happy to follow along today.    We rode past a polo match at the Guards Polo Club, where the score was 0-0 but nothing else could be understood about the state of play, and descended to Windsor: a bit of tow path and we were at Dorney Lake: the lake was off limits with a locked gate but we followed the winding NCN4 around the perimeter to get to lunch.

David W left us at Dorney.  Lunch was at Dorney Court Garden Centre:  I chose a nice sunny table, but the sun went in so we were a bit chilly by the time we got back on our bikes, and a direct route home seemed the best option.   After Datchet, Graham left us as we three turned off for Wraysbury junction; Pam left us at Staines, and Tony and I pedalled on to tea at Shepperton.  Tony and I compared Garmins (it's a man thing): his said 672 ft climbing, mine said 390 metres (1280 feet), despite really no difference in height between where we started.  An enjoyable day out, if a little chilly.   Thank you all for your contributions to the ride and for your company.

Friday, September 25, 2020

This Sunday's ride - picnic lunch recommended

As advertised, we are going to the New Leathern Bottle at Jeallot's Hill this Sunday.   It will be a scenic ride, however the pub appears to be very closed.   There are two other alternatives within 1/4 mile, but both have drawbacks:  Moss End garden centre had long queues last Saturday, and The Shepherd's House offers full Sunday meals for around £12, with limited smaller alternatives.   Advice from the C&M WhatsApp group is that we take a picnic, and then visit to The Shepherd's House for a drink, but you are welcome to try one of the alternatives if you prefer.

We're leaving from outside Wetherspoons at Staines at 11 ish.   Hope to see you there.

Sunday, September 20, 2020

Ride Report - Sunday 20 September 2020


Once again we were favoured with a dry, sunny and warm day, and Bob, Graham, Pam, Ray, Keith and I gathered for elevenses at Clandon Park Garden Centre.   The centre has made excellent arrangements to accommodate social distancing and table service here worked really well.    Bob made his way home leaving the rest of us to 'rough it', first over Merrow Downs and then across Pewley Down.   From here the views were excellent and we were particularly struck by the sight of St Catherine's Chapel, high on a hill across the Wey, apparently much more visible since a landslip last winter and subsequent stabilisation works still in progress.

A very steep off-road descent led us to the road down to Shalford Park, and from there we took the cycle route towards Peasmarsh.   We lunched at Broadwater Park, Farncombe.   There was a cafe (open), and toilets, but these were quite widely spaced on opposite sides of the park.   

Graham left us after lunch, and the rest of us detoured from the intended route back to get a closer look at St Catherine's Chapel, then took the Pilgrims' Way towards Shalford Park, crossing the Wey on a rather impressive footbridge.   Keith left us there, and the remaining three took the towpath through the centre of Guildford as a prelude to the standard route to Ripley and home.

Thanks to all for your company and to Graham and Keith for route advice.

Friday, September 18, 2020

Rule of Six

Just a reminder that, until further notice, we must  behave as quite separate groups of no more than six when out on club rides, especially at refreshment stops.   No mingling between groups is allowed.   To avoid any possible misunderstandings, it is probably best to avoid wearing your SWLDA jersey or jacket when on club rides at the present time (no problem if you are on a solo ride).    Hopefully, the restrictions will not be in place for too long.

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Plans for Sunday 20 September

Elevenses is at Clandon Park Garden Centre (plenty of tables outside, hopefully).   The lunch stop is Broadwater Park, Farncombe.   Unfortunately, a road closure means we cannot use our usual, much-loved, and nettle-strewn route towards Godalming, but we will do more off-road on Merrow Downs and after Shalford instead.  A much shorter route than the usual ride to The Jack Phillips - probably less than 10 miles from elevenses to lunch, but it is a long way to elevenses, after all!   Tea at Ripley, but the return route will pass within a few miles of Clandon Station if  you are taking the train-assisted option.

Broadwater Park has a large lake, toilets and a cafe (but I can't find out the cafe opening times, so best to arm yourself with sandwiches and a drink or buy something at elevenses).

Weybridge - Brooklands Cycle Route - Further Improvements

From where the recently-transformed cycle path from Weybridge Station to Mercedes Benz World ends, it appears further work is now in hand.    A left turn takes you along an access road past the museums and alongside the River Wey.  Work seems to be in hand to surface this route after it leaves the access road, continuing through the community park across the road from the shopping centre, and then alongside the road on a new section to end at the junction with the A245.

This links very well with Muddy Lane, potentially giving an excellent route from Weybridge to Wisley and beyond, providing some attention is given to the A245 roundabout.

Monday, September 14, 2020

 Two links you may wish to follow:

AGM votes for each 2020 motion; membership roughly 60/40.

FAQ membership changes. The date of change is now 01/11/20 (previously 01/10/20).

Sunday, September 13, 2020

Ride Report - Sunday 13 September 2020


It was rather a lovely day for mid-September, quickly warming up with cloudless skies, and the sunshine tempted Simon, Bob, Tony, Graham, Terry, Ray, Pam, newbie Bernie (on his second ride with us), and me out to elevenses at The Wilde Brunch, Walton Bridge.

All but Bob, Simon, Graham and Tony continued, kindly led by Pam, on the rest of the ride to Horsell.  The outward ride involved us both climbing St Anns Hill and Staple Hill in quick succession, but only after the exertions of sprinting past a speeding, steam-powered steam roller towing a trailer with half a dozen passengers!

It was quite a shady route, fortunately, and there was a refreshing breeze, but The Cricketers at Horsell Birch looked busy and hot, so we continued to the pleasant gardens at the southern end of Horsell High Street, and, sandwiches eaten, crossed the road to conveniently-sited Crown for liquid refreshment.   It proved to be a much better option, and I think we will call again.

A shorter and flatter but still pleasantly shaded route allowed us to complete the circuit back to Walton Bridge for tea, pausing only to admire the Crouch Oak in Addlestone, often passed and seldom noticed, but which recently figured in a list of 'the ten most important trees in Britain'!

Many thanks to all for your company, and to Pam for leading the ride.

Sunday, September 06, 2020

Ride Report - Sunday 6 September 2020


It was nice to be back at The Vineries Garden Centre for elevenses for the first time in about six months, but we had to drag ourselves away in the end, leaving behind Ed, Maureen, Lilian and Bob.  We took a substantially off-road route to Guildford (the Effingham to East Horsley, East Horsley to West Horsley, West Horsley to Hungry Hill, and Burnt Common to Burpham sections all being on tracks or cycle routes).   

Lunch at was at Stoke Park kiosk which seemed to offer everything we needed (except a pint).   Over our food there was much debate over the next section of the ride (N223), and how to access it.  Graham masterminded the operation, advised by Simon and Ray, and there were intense discussions while Keith, Terry and I looked on, but in the end the route was easily found and followed with only one wrong turning, and took us back out of Guildford and right to Burpham completely off-road, so thanks for the group effort.

From Burpham it was a straight run back to tea at Ripley.    Thanks to all for your company and to Simon for back-marking.

Monday, August 31, 2020

Graham's Ride

Roman Amphitheatre 

Graham's Sunday Ride

Bodium Castle.

Late Summer Bank Holiday Ride (30/08/20)

Officially it was late summer but most came dressed for autumn. After days of heavy rain, overcast, dry and a northerly breeze was the recipe of the day.

Five and more years of over familiar roads suggested it was time for a train assisted ride. Two at Surbiton (Graham, Tony) became three at Woking (Pam) and five (Dave and Bernard from Buckland, a rare visitor) when we detrained at Winchfield. We needed the Basingstoke to get us to 11s (Lodge Farm on OS maps) where Ray joined.

The cafe had reduced seating (in use) but takeaways were on offer and accepted. The A287 links the M3 to I know not where and was heavy with traffic. But our turnoff was immediate (Mill Lane) past two fords and back onto the Basingstoke where we stopped briefly at Odiham (King John’s) Castle and Greywell Tunnel (open only to bats).Paradoxically next came the high of the day before a steady descent took us past the isolated final remnants of the canal.

Dave had cycled from home so left us in Old Basing where two changes of light were needed to get us across the high speed A33 crossroad.  When first I passed this way over 40 years a lane led through open fields; not anymore! It exists only as cycle path sections (flanked by newer roads and housing and guarded by double metal barriers at each crossing). We continued through Cufaude and Bramley to lunch at the Calleva Arms Silchester which attracts cyclists (and others); no problems with food. 

Just before one we turned back the hands of time to visit the Roman Calleva remains (walls, amphitheatre). The next few miles yielded two more fords and fewer(!) cars. Once again the A33 crossing was alarming. Sometime later we passed through Rotherwick where Tony once schooled.

 As I turned into Hook’s station yard our train was slowing down. A sprint onto the platform and the closed doors of the last carriage were hastily thrown open. Pam and Tony tumbled in after me leaving Bernard and Ray to wonder where they’d parked their cars. 

Of no relevance to the ride Fassett road Kingston was staging a street party with live music. No obstacle to me so I kept on pedaling.

One canal, one castle, one Roman city, four fords – not a bad haul from 37+ lumpy miles door to door.