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.