Sunday, November 28, 2021

Ride Report - Sunday 28 Nov 2021 (Woodham & Windlesham)


It was the coldest start for some time and temperatures were not expected to rise much during the day, so it was not entirely surprising that only Simon, Graham, Keith, Pam and I were tempted out to elevenses at the Bourne Valley Garden Centre.    We have had better experiences at Bourne Valley GC, perhaps they were having a bad day!

When we eventually re-emerged it felt almost pleasant in the sunshine and shelter outside the garden centre, but the wind chill hit us as soon we set off for Windlesham (Keith made his own way home).   The stiff climb up to Row Town soon got us warmed up again, and we kept up a steady pace on yet another quirky route of mine!    The piece de resistance this time was a back roads route we have not ridden before between Bisley and Donkey Town.  I say 'roads' but one stretch turned out to be rather less than fully surfaced, although it was just about possible to avoid any mud.

We arrived at The Sun at Windlesham at 1.00 pm and spent a pleasant hour over lunch.  Then it was a straightforward route home towards Addlestone.   By now it was distinctly cooler and the first signs of dusk were appearing, so no one wanted to stop for tea and we all made our separate ways home from Stonehill.   Thanks to all for your company. 

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Plans for Sunday 28 November

Elevenses will be at the Bourne Valley Garden Centre, Woodham (as published), with lunch provisionally at The Sun, Windlesham.

Sunday, November 21, 2021

Ride Report - Sunday 21 Nov 2021


Several of our regular riders were away today, but an elevenses meet at The Vineries, Effingham always seems to attract a good crowd, and today was no exception.   Bob, Ed, Terry, Robert, Keith, Graham, Richard and I met and had a good chat and got far too comfortable!   Unsurprisingly, my intention of setting off not later than 11.00 am wasn't fulfilled!   

When we did eventually venture back out into the open air, we were met with a blast of cold air, the lovely bright sunshine of earlier had vanished, and it was trying to rain!   Undeterred, Graham, Robert, Terry and I pressed on towards lunch at Woking, crossing Wisley Airfield on the way.   Keith rode with us for a bit and then set off for his own ride.   It did brighten up again on the way to lunch and the autumn leaves looked at their best.

Wetherspoons at Woking was busier than usual but we still managed to find a table and enjoyed lunches at the usual unbelievably low prices.   Service was a bit slower than it can be, but we were still on the road for home by 1.30 pm.   Terry rode his own way home and I left Graham and Robert in sunshine at Walton Bridge.  with plenty of time to get home before nightfall.

Thanks all for your company and to Graham for navigating us across Wisley Airfield.

Monday, November 15, 2021

Remembrance Sunday 2021

My hoped for early start was not to be as Robert was over from Canada to collect two cycle tops, an order placed with Pam over two years ago! He arrived around 1045 in Staines just as the crowds were assembling across the road from the George.

In contrast the crowds were dispersing as we rode through Datchet and Eton so little time was lost. The route was an obvious choice - a clockwise circuit of Slough(see map). There was plenty of autumnal colours on the western edge of Burnham Beeches but few other visitors. The en route lunch stop was the Fox and Pheasant just ahead of a small group of Uxbridge Loiterers who knew Tony. Here Dave left for home. Pinewood came next followed by the Ivers. We reversed last week's route past the sewage works and incinerator and into Colnbrook. Don't be surprised if more concrete blocks appear around junction 14 as the "bikers" were out in force. 

In Stanwell Moor Pam headed off south to inspect the "improved" Crooked Billet roundabout where the underpass has disappeared! Robert and I went southeast; our ways separating in Bushy Park. Home around four and after 60 miles.  So two points for me, Dave, Pam and Robert, one for Ed, Lillian and Tony.

The North West Frontier (Of Burnham Beeches) courtesy of Pam and Robert.

Tuesday, November 09, 2021

Sunday the 7th November



 3 for tea, or not

A new venue for 11's, or 10.30 departure now with the clock change, for C&M, the Sunrise cafe at Upper Haliford, very much like a golden cafe.

A reasonable turnout of Dave, Simon, Graham, Ed(but only to 11's), Mark, Gemma (Gemma's partner started out for 11's but punctured on his very brand new bike and had some issues so never made it) and Pam. A no frills ride to Bedfont and onto Colbrook and across the M4 on the Old Slade lane (new) bridge, although the gate on the South side is still locked, but there is a suitable get round.

On to Thorney and a left past Thorney golf club and off road next to the Colne Brook and the nice track over the Slough arm of the Grand union upto Little Brtiain lake, past Brunel Uni to Uxbridge and lunch at the Good Yarn, a Wetherspoons pub no less.


Service is always quick at Spoons and we were lucky enough to grab the only outside seating. After lunch Mark had decided to let the train take the strain home. The rest of us headed back past the Uni and past Hillingdon Hospital down to Sipson, Harlington and through Heathrow along the way Dave took his leave and soon after Pam and Gemma headed west while Simon, Graham and I decided to head for tea at the Adrian Hall garden centre, locking our bikes we took the Covid route round the store, probably adding half a mile to my Strava, only to find the cafe closed for refurbishment, so to the loos, no they were closed as well. But a nice member of staff on the tills lets use them, arghhh.

So no tea and we headed back to the roundabout by the old Jobs dairy where we parted company, I took the long way home from there to get my 40 miles in. A nice day on the bike apart from the headwind most of the way to lunch.



November 14 2020

As Dave has already announced this Sunday's ride will start at 1030 sharp! from The George Staines aka Wetherspoons. It'll be a clockwise circuit round Slough taking in Eton Wick, Burnham, Burnham Beeches, Fulmer and Iver.

For lunch my first thoughts were The Blackwood Arms or Jolly Woodman but as they're slightly off route The Fox and Pheasant might be a better choice. I don't expect to stop for tea but notionally it'll be The George.

BUT I'm conscious that we could encounter a memorial service around 1100 just about anywhere so an anticlockwise route and a start (Stanwell Moor, Poyle, Colnbrook and Iver) like last Sunday might be the best option. 


Plans for the Rest of November

Sunday 14 November - Elevenses at The George, Staines as planned.   Graham intends to lead us to Burnham Beeches area for a look at the autumn leaves.

Sunday 21 November - Elevenses at The Vineries Garden Centre, Effingham as planned.   At the time of writing there are no definite plans for lunch, but Brockham is a place in easy reach which we haven't visited for some time, unless there are any other suggestions?

Sunday 21 November - Elevenses at Bourne Valley Garden Centre, Woodham as planned.   As we haven't visited The Sun at Windlesham for several months, this would seem to be a likely lunch stop.

Ride Report - Sunday 7 November


Led by Tony, we had an excellent day out, and the weather was very good as well!   We met at The Sunrise Cafe, Upper Halliford,  a new venue for us, which proved to offer speedier service and a less crowded environment than other local garden centres!   Ed returned home after elevenses, but Tony, Mark, Graham, Simon, Pam, Gemma and I set off into the unknown!    Until Colnbrook it was relatively straightforward, but we then followed a maze of paths and tracks, crossed a newly-reopened bridge across the M4, and negotiated umpteen, fiendish 'metal-puzzle' stiles before ending up in a quiet alleyway just off Uxbridge High Street for a very enjoyable lunch!

On the way home we followed a cycle route and mainly quiet back roads to Heathrow where traffic was noticeably busier than it has been for months.   I left the group there soon after that as they set off down yet another mysterious path towards tea....

Wednesday, November 03, 2021

Sunday the 7th November

This ride will be what should have taken place last Sunday. So, as the clocks have gone back and dusk is now just gone 5pm.

11's will change to a 10.30 departure from the Sunrise Cafe Upper Haliford, please be prompt and early if you require coffee, bacon butties etc. 

 Lunch will be at Wetherspoons Uxbridge and tea at the Pheasantry in Bushy park or by referendum on the day. Please bring LIGHTS just to be safe.


Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Changed Arrangements for Sunday 31 October 2021

Sunday's ride will now begin at the Sunrise Cafe, Upper Halliford, TW17 8SE (and not Squires GC, Stoke d'Abernon).    Tony Hopkins has very kindly devised a route to lunch at The Good Yarn, Uxbridge and will lead us.

Sunday, October 24, 2021

Sunday 24 October 2021 - Return to the Saddlers Arms


An elevenses meet at Leatherhead always seems to attract a good crowd and today Bob, Tony, Keith, Graham, Simon, Ed, Pam, Gemma, Ann, Ray and I were lured out by the promise of good weather.   All of us except Bob continued via Bookham, Effingham and various lanes to lunch at The Saddlers Arms at Send Marsh.

This pub used to be a favourite haunt of ours until a few years ago, well before lockdown, when they stopped serving lunches on Sundays.   Happily they have now re-started.   The menu is largely centred on roast meals, but there are a few other options, two-course deals are available, and they were happy to serve us 'child-sized' portions (they must be intended for very large children, I reckon).   Service was very welcoming and friendly and we will certainly call again.

After enjoying our meals in glorious autumn sunshine on the terrace we headed back to Walton Bridge via Pyrford, West Byfleet and Addlestone.    That was the last ride this year when we did not have to hurry home before dusk.

Thanks to Graham for kindly back-marking and to everyone else for your company.

Thursday, October 21, 2021

Change of Plan for Sunday 24 October

As last Sunday's ride ended up at Mortlake my planned ride this coming Sunday from Tolworth would have involved a lot of overlap.   

Apologies therefore, but a complete change of direction is called for and elevenses will now be at The Edmund Tylney, Leatherhead, with lunch provisionally at The Sadlers Arms, Send Marsh (now apparently serving food again on Sundays).

Monday, October 18, 2021

Sunday 17 October 2021

 I arrived at an overcast dew drenched Nauticalia to find Bob and Mark seated (but no Dave as previously announced). In time we were joined by Ed, Pam, Ray, Richard, Simon, Terry. We had no leader but I had a plan for something different. In truth parts had not been executed in years and lunch would reveal I had no maps!

Just five (me, Mark, Pam, Ray, Simon) headed off on a most familiar route (Shepperton High Street, Squires, Lower Sunbury, Hampton, Bushy Park) to cross the Thames at Teddington Lock. We climbed to Ham Cross, past the Pen Ponds cafe and out through Sheen Gate. The Ship at Mortlake (overshadowed  by the 10 year derelict "Watney" Brewery) was reached at 1245. Lunch was tasty if a tad tardy.

We were off by two leaving Mark to find his own way home. After Chiswick riverside took us to Brentford. At the end of the High Street a democratic vote was for an hour long detour along the Grand Union Canal. From the Waste Transfer Facility we made the 50+ ft climb beside the Hanwell Lock Flight to pause at Windmill Bridge where the canal crosses a railway and is crossed by a road.  We turned off at the next cobbled footbridge.

I knew our route was to our left but no more. And so it proved when we reached Norwood Green and the northern entrance of Osterley Park where tea was taken alfresco. Another senior moment occurred when I wrongly signalled first left after the Piccadilly Line. Across the A4 we took the first left and all was well! From Isleworth station we continued  to Old Isleworth. Alone I might have taken to the riverside for Richmond - not a great option at weekends. But Simon knew of the C40 cycle route (brand new, not even in Wikipedia). For us it paralleled the busy A309 and quietish roads brought us to Twickenham station. Here Simon turned right for home; later on Pam and Ray turned right at Pope's Grove; for me it was a second crossing of Teddington Lock and a first glimpse of sunlight. Home by 1630 and around 30 miles.


 Until better arrangements can be made the attendance can be viewed via this link

This runs from April 2021 to March 2022 unless advised otherwise by HQ.  

Jeff highlighted a missing ride. If you can provide (double?) evidence of attendance.....

Pam has provided a list of ten riders. It's probably too late to establish who did what so I've awarded everyone two points.

Sunday, October 10, 2021

Ride Report - Sunday 10 October 2021 (Cobham and Epsom)


Despite a cool and overcast start ten of us (Bob, Terry, Simon, Graham, Lilian, Pam, Ray, Ed, Maureen and I) met for coffee at Caffe Capital.   We all continued to lunch at Epsom although Bob and Maureen made their own ways there.   The main group rode via Bookham Common, Fetcham, Leatherhead and Ashtead Common (where we were piloted by Graham).

The promised afternoon sunshine did not appear while we were enjoying lunch at Wetherspoons but it was a little brighter and not too cold to stop us using the terrace seating.

Half made their own ways home from Epsom.   A group of five us continued to Hook and from there to Squires Garden Centre at Long Ditton for tea (by then, of course, we were bathed in sunshine)!

Thanks to all for your company, to Simon for back-marking, and to Graham for navigational assistance!

Friday, October 08, 2021

C&M attendance record

 I'm sure that many of you will have noted that the C&M attendance record expired on 26 September, 2021. I have asked Lisa Colombo to update the template for the coming twelve months, from 3rd October 2021. I don't want to destroy it myself as a farewell reminder.

As I am now a shadowy 'éminence grise' within C&M, spotted on a ride as often as a yeti, the time has clearly come for an active and diligent C & M aficionado, to assume the privilege of monitoring our members' weekly attendance. The powers that be will no doubt be well able to manage the throng pressing to take on the rôle. To my successor I wish: 'bonne chance', and to all those whose company I have greatly enjoyed, since my first ride with C&M on 30th April, 2008 to an unknown Dragon's Green, I  bid an appreciative 'adieu'.


Tuesday, October 05, 2021

October 2021 - Forthcoming Attractions....

October 10 - Elevenses at Caffe Capital, Cobham as published.   Suggested lunch stop - The Assembly Rooms, Epsom (Wetherspoons with plenty of outdoor seating).   Tea at Long Ditton or Hampton Court.

October 17 - Elevenses at Nauticalia, Shepperton.   Possibilities for lunch are The Perseverance, Wraysbury, The White Horse, Longford, or The Sun, Windlesham.   Let me know if you have any preference.

October 24 - The intended lunch stop doesn't have any outdoor seating so I will probably change this whole ride.  A possibility is for elevenses at Court Farm Garden Centre, Tolworth and lunch at Mortlake or Barnes where there are some interesting cafes to try.

If you have other suggestions for any of these rides don't hesitate to let me know.

Sunday, October 03, 2021

3 October Bagshot x3

A serious drop in temperature alerted us to the change of season as we followed the yellow brick road to Bourne Valley Garden Centre for the first ride of autumn.   Bob, David, Pam, Tony, Ed, Lilian, Graham, Jennie and myself were delighted to be joined by Vic, who we haven't seen on a C&M ride since before Covid struck.

Serious discussions at 11s
The cold grey weather for our ride to 11s was replaced by cold but beautifully sunny weather as we assembled for departure.   Bob, Vic and Ed headed home, and Tony also headed back after a short distance as we followed a very zig-zag route to Bagshot.  On the Basingstoke canal towpath we saw quite a few runners, part of the 40,000 running the 'virtual' part of the London Marathon, (in addition to the other 40,000 who were running around the London course).

Around Horsell we encountered a familiar rider: it was Elliott, who had read the runs list rather quickly and gone to Bagshot for 11s.   Realising his mistake, he followed the route in reverse to join us.   At Pennypot ford, after the heavy rain of yesterday, we all sensibly took the footbridge option - except one.   David rode straight into the rather deep one time all we could see was his snorkel, but he emerged out the other side saying "it's a bit deeper than the last time I did it", and giving all the credit to his Sealskinz socks for keeping him dry.

No pictures of the ford, unfortunately, but this is the lock at New Haw
The King's Arms in Bagshot offers a great range of food at extremely reasonable prices - on weekdays - but still at quite reasonable prices on a Sunday.  We were served very quickly and sat outside, enjoying the company and the sunshine.    Elliott was now reunited with his car, but elected to do the afternoon ride to Shepperton and then ride back to Bagshot for his third visit of the day.   We don't know if he had three meals there.

Outside the King's Arms, Bagshot
Due to forecast rain in the afternoon, I shortened the route a little.  The quiet road to Sunninghill that I enjoyed on the recce was infested by rather fast 4x4 drivers today, and we arrived shaken but not stirred, before finding some quieter roads to Windsor Great Park.   Going round the lake probably wasn't a great choice on a Sunday afternoon with plenty of people around, but with the smooth tact and diplomacy that C&M riders are famous for we managed not to knock anyone over or get into any fights.

Elliot's bike gets a little TLC from his domestiques.
We had one short but heavy shower on our way home, and were visited by another during tea at Shepperton, where we sat outside but under cover (is there a James Bond theme developing here?) watching the cars queue for petrol on the High Street.  Suddenly Graham recognised Ray and shouted.   Ray had been delayed at the start due to a flu jab, and had then chased us (more or less) around the route trying to catch up with us.   After he couldn't find us at our usual haunts at Shepperton, he was on his way home when Graham spotted him.

A beautiful clear but cold day out, with beautiful people.

Monday, September 27, 2021

Last Orders for Annual Lunch

If you haven't yet commited yourself to join us for the Annual Lunch next week, on Wednesday 6th October, please contact Jennie by email a.s.a.p.

To see the invitation with full details see this item in the blog:

~ Tim

Sunday, September 26, 2021

Ride Report - Sunday 26 September 2021 (Effingham & Guildford)

We have seemed to go from strength to strength recently, and today saw no fewer than fourteen of us (Bob, Mark, Simon, Tony, Geoff G, Keith, Terry, Graham, Pam, Gemma, Lilian, Ed, Ray and me) meet for elevenses at The Vineries.

All except Bob, Tony and Geoff continued to lunch, and we took a route with plenty of off-road sections.   With rain forecast from tomorrow onwards, this may be the last time before next spring we use some of these tracks and paths.

After lunch Graham very kindly offered to lead the main group back to Ripley, detouring for sightseeing at the castle, while another four of us made our own ways home.

Many thanks to Simon for the photos, and for back-marking, to Graham for leading after lunch, and to everyone else for your company.

Friday, September 24, 2021

Plans for Sunday 26 September 2021

Elevenses will be at Vineries Garden Centre, Effingham as published.   Provisionally, we will continue to lunch at The Kings Head, Guildford with plenty of off-road sections, but nothing we are not already familiar with!

Monday, September 20, 2021

This is a ride and a route which will not be remembered for a long time! Dull all day with patchy rain; plenty of traffic.

Improving Met Office forecasts encouraged me to brave half marathoners on Kingston Bridge and enter Bushy Park where the rut (at least for roe deer) has started. In Hampton I passed Tony on his way home (he'd reported in sick). Beside the Shepperton Studios extension drizzle started though never enough for action. In Lammas Park Simon was seated under a covered pergola later to be joined by Pam and  Ray. As the rain increased we talked vaguely of Dorney, Black Park, etc. By 1140 the vote was go west or go home.

Wraysbury roads were dry(!) and Datchet's gridlocked with closed crossings. Approaching the playing fields of Eton, drizzle turned to rain so waterproofs were donned and lunch was switched to the Cinnamon Cafe Windsor. It was packed but with prompt service. Next door Cafe Rouge was almost empty.

After lunch we voted again go west; not the best as the obvious way led only to the top of a six storey car park well to the west of the station! Down we went followed by a traverse of the coach park - no problem with Windsor still well short of visitors. Datchet (busy), Old Windsor, across the meads to Egham and Staines bridge brought us to a final vote outside Notcutts - Nauticalia for tea reached via a right turn at Shepperton's fish stop. 45+ miles door to door

Sunday, September 12, 2021

Ride Report - Sunday 12 September 2021


It was a sunny and warm Sunday morning for a change and ideal for a very pleasant elevenses on the cafe terrace at Clandon Park Garden Centre.   Simon, Mark, Terry, Graham, Keith and I found it hard to drag ourselves away, but eventually managed to struggle off towards Merrow, from where we 'roughed it' over the downs to One Tree Hill Road.   Then it was the rollercoaster Lane to Chilworth, followed by another climb up to Blackheath.   After Wonersh we headed for the 'Sewage Works Path' towards Farncombe.   This is usually a rutted and nettle-strewn obstacle course, but today it was disappointingly well kempt!   It would have been an easy ride from here to our lunch stop, but I had the bright idea, as it was still quite early, of leading us up Munstead Heath and then attempting to find the bridleway we used to use regularly, going back to the '90's, until the long-lamented Ram Cider House at Catteshall closed for business.

Well, find it we did, but time has not served it well and it was not at all as remembered!   For much of its length it is now, in effect, a dried-up steam bed.   There were sandy patches, deep ruts, and treacherous rock steps where small waterfalls must flow in times of rain.   As such, it was only partly rideable.   Never mind, as I said last week, you have to try these things, and at least this one wasn't too overgrown!

Once we regained tarmac we were not only very relieved, but also very close to our lunch stop, the somewhat eclectic 'Hector's Bistro' at Farncombe Boathouse.   The proprietor is somewhat eclectic too!   On arrival he popped out to tell us there was no room if we hadn't booked, but this proved to be just his little joke!   Anyway, all was well and there was a very varied menu.  We our enjoyed our lunches while we sat on the bank of the Wey.

By the time we left it had clouded over and turned threatening, and having been traumatised by our bridleway experience before lunch (!), Graham, Mark and I headed for Guildford station, while the rest made their own ways home.   Thanks to all, and apologies for subjecting you to yet another challenging off-road experience!

Sunday, September 05, 2021

Ride Report - Sunday 5 Sept 2021


For what seemed like the first time in many weeks, a pleasant summer day was forecast!    Simon, Bob, Tony, Terry, Ed, Lilian, Maureen and I met for elevenses at Walton Bridge.   Ed, Maureen and Bob made their own ways from there, while the rest of us set off for Callow Hill.  We managed to lose Tony before even leaving the car park, which did not augur well, but fortunately caught up with him again at the other end of the path from Walton to Weybridge via Broadwater.

We bypassed Addlestone by Coxes Lock footbridge, then I showed the group the new route off the Addlestone to Chertsey cycle path which neatly avoids the railway footbridge.   Hardwick Lane was very busy with traffic but we were soon on quieter roads again, and, from Thorpe Green, embarked on a traffic-free, off-road route of several miles all the rest of the way to lunch.  The culmination of this was Hollow Lane, a bridleway from Stroude to Callow Hill.   None of us seemed ever to have done the first section before, and it is not easily forgotten - a shady, steeply sloping track with high-banked sides which winds its way precipitously up the thickly wooded hillside.  We bravely proved it is rideable on road bikes, but only just!

The Rose and Olive Branch, our lunch stop, was conveniently near the end of the track.  We lunched in the lovely, shady garden.   Food and service were both excellent, and a full menu, including filled baguettes, is available on Sundays, a rare thing these days!

The sight of another inviting track winding downhill from the pub car park aroused our curiosity and the planned return route was duly amended.   As it goes with these things, it started off well but narrowed as it went along, and fallen trees and difficult to negotiate plank bridges began to proliferate.   What some would call a 'technical' route, I think!   By and by it became patently overgrown in places rather than 'technical', but it was gratifying that we eventually emerged, as planned, by Prune Hill level crossing, most of us bearing injuries sustained from nettles, brambles or worse!

The planned route had also included the Monks Walk track from Thorpe to Chertsey but somehow we had all had quite enough of off-roading for one Sunday, and an on-road route was quickly substituted!   Tea was at Shepperton Lock.    Thanks to all for your company and to Simon for back-marking.

Monday, August 30, 2021

August 29 2021

C&M hasn't been on the Alton Line since 2015 so yesterday four "trainees" (GFH, Ann, Ray and Terry) were met at Bentley by Dave who'd ridden from home.

We travelled west then south to Binsted (no time for Monty) and Oakhanger where 11s was at the Chocolate Frog tea rooms. A closed road at Blackmoor caused few problems as we eased  past the southern outskirts of Bordon to Standford and over a nascent branch of the Wey South. 

Around these parts the word Hill in several streetnames explains why the next three and half miles were an continuous uphill grind to Grayshott where lunch was the Village Cafe, a greasy spoon well suited to our needs. Here Dave left us for Haslemere.

 For the survivors the next section (Hindhead to Elstead) was much appreciated as the route drops almost 750 feet. There remained one(?) more obstacle, Charles Hill, before tea could be taken at Tilford Village Shop. We  dispersed at Farnham station.

As for the Atlantic Wall it didn't featured. Apart from the author all were on smooths.

PS Apologies to Elliott - I'm off to Kings Lynn. We may be coming out of Covid but things aren't what they used to be (in 2019) so always check this blog for latest information.

Monday, August 23, 2021

Sunday August 29 2021 Change (updated)

 Last week only buses ran on the Amberley line so no survey was possible. Hence my proposed trip to the seaside will have to wait a little longer.

Sunday's (29/8) ride will be train assisted to Bentley and from Farnham. In the morning there's only 0930 (Surbiton) to Bentley (1020). It's half hourly for the return  (xx.00 and xx.30 from 1400 onward).

The provisional stops are 11s: Oakhanger Chocolate Frog (6+ miles), lunch: Grayshott all services (15+ miles) and tea: (Tilford Tea Rooms(25 miles).

The total distance is under 30 miles

Just back from measuring the miles under the watchful eye of men with guns. Definitely military but none had beards. A visit to the "Atlantic Wall" on Hankley Common could be one of:

1) 1.20 sandy miles out and back from western edge;
2) 1.20 concrete + 0.6 sandy and back from eastern edge;
3)   0.6 concrete + 0.9 sandy (east to west or west to east);

Assume sandy miles are unrideable unless you have a gravel bike or better.

And before I forget there's nearly 2000 feet of climbing.

Sunday, August 22, 2021

Ride Report - Sunday 22 August 2021


Pam, Ann, Graham, Bob, Simon, Tony, Terry and I met for elevenses at Nauticalia, Shepperton.  Choices were somewhat limited by a lack of bacon, but we managed to compromise!  Terry and Bob wisely went their own ways while the rest of us pursued a somewhat quirky itinerary to lunch, taking in the remains of a disused ford at Shepperton, Europe's largest women's prison at Ashford, and the impressive causeway between the two Staines reservoirs, beloved of twitchers, but today bereft of them!  There weren't many birds to spot anyway, but plenty of activity visible at Heathrow.  The gate to exit the causeway on the west side is not bike-friendly, but we managed by team effort, continuing then to Stanwell Moor and close to Horton to reach The Perseverance at Wraysbury.   

This is a terrific pub with really friendly staff and a lovely garden.   The one drawback is that Sunday lunch choices are a bit limited.  Unfortunately, it was only me, who wasn't eating, who noticed the availability of child's roast meals at £6.95.   Never mind, home-made minestrone soup and  somewhat larger bowls of chips kept people happy!

Unfortunately, it came on to rain as we were about to leave, but it soon stopped and gradually grew sunnier and warmer as we headed via Staines Bridge and Thorpe for a long-overdue tea stop at Great Cockcrow railway (photo courtesy of Simon).   Fortunately, the railway and tea shop still just the same as on our last visit two years ago - except that they now take card payments!    Thanks all for your company.

Sunday, August 15, 2021

Ride Report - Sunday 15 August 2021

Although many of our number were away on holiday, we still managed to muster six members (Tony, Graham, Keith, Bob, Brian B and me) at our meeting point for the day at Squires Garden Centre, Stoke d'Abernon.   This must have been our first visit there as a group in 18 months!    It was raining while we were having our elevenses but had miraculously brightened up by setting off time.   Tony had devised a route to Woking, but had to return home before lunch.   Bob didn't join us for the ride and  Keith eventually went off his own way, leaving Graham, Brian and I to continue to Woking.

Our lunch stop was at the The Herbert Wells.   Again, it is so long since we visited this old favourite haunt that we were flummoxed to find no trace remaining of the railings to which we used to lock our bikes!  Brian set off straight away for home, while Graham and I installed ourselves outside the pub.   Being a Wetherspoons app user, I didn't even have to walk to the bar!    Lunch over, it was a straight ride home, Graham leaving me at Walton Bridge.   Thanks all for your company.

Thursday, August 12, 2021

Sunday the 15th

 Due to the Melton Mowbray trip, a few of the regulars will be away this weekend and numbers obviously depleted, especially as lunch was planned for moss End. 

Therefore I have changed 11's to Squires at Stoke D'Abernon, the lunch venue will be decided on the day.


Old Slade lane bridge

 I recently email highways England re the bridge and have just had this reply.

Dear Mr Hopkins

Thank you for your email on 6 August 2021 regarding Old Slade Lane bridge.

I can confirm Old Slade Lane bridge in Langley is now open to pedestrians.

Thank you once again for your email. If you have any further queries or require any information, please contact us on the details below or visit the Highways England website.
Kind regards

Anu Vashisht, Administrator (Smart Motorways Programme)
Highways England |

M4 J3 to 12 Smart Motorways


Old Slade Lane Bridge

Due to recent rain I postponed a survey of Amberley and other points south and instead choose to head northwest. The good news the bridge has reopened and has been resurfaced (mostly). The barrier nearest to the industrial estate is still padlocked. Many feet have trampled a path on the the left hand (west) side of the barrier so no obstacle at all!

Word of warning: don't try the bridleway that starts opposite the A4 cafe and continues beside the Colne unless you're a fan of ferocious nettles, brambles and a fallen tree which hasn't moved for at least 460 days. 


Tuesday, August 10, 2021

Southern Refreshments

Tea 'n cake are now available at...

 Brockham Church hall every Sunday afternoon to October 24th.

 Capel Church 15th, 29th, 30th  August, 12th September, 3rd October, 7th and 28th November, 12th December..

Ockley Church (new) !st Sunday of each month - but no end date quoted.

Sunday, August 08, 2021

August 8 2021 - Torsion at Brookwood or the Tale of the Twisted Derailleur


A wet start and not the best of mornings, but the Cheam and Morden are made of sterner stuff than another local cycling club (not worth their salts, if you see what I mean) who apparently cancelled their ride because of the weather.   These flighty thoroughbreds!   Admittedly, we did have a few apologies but Mark, Pam and Graham still joined me for elevenses at Fairoaks.   It was dry when we arrived so the outside seating was preferred, but the rain soon set in again and we retreated inside to save my sausage, egg and chips from getting too soggy!

The worst of the rain was over by the time we were ready to set off, although the weather was hardly cheery!   I was rather looking forward to trying my ingenious (I think) route to Windlesham, which after the backwaters of Woking and Hook Heath, would have taken us to Brookwood, then to Bisley and West End using a few roads and paths new to me.   However, the fickle finger of fate had other plans for me and, for reasons unknown, my rear mech suddenly plunged into my rear wheel during a gear change, and was wrecked.  Fortunately, the wheel was intact.

There was only one solution.   I saw it done about 1988, and I have always remembered it lest I should ever have the need!   The trick is to remove the derailleur, then break and shorten the chain with the aim of it running on one cog only of the cassette.   With help from the others we pulled it off.   My Wolftooth missing link pliers weren't of any use in breaking the chain, but the chain tool on my Topeak multi-tool did the job in breaking, shortening and refixing the chain (just as well I had realised much earlier that the Topeak tool needs a separate hex key to operate it - there is one of the right size built into the tool, but it can't be removed to work the built-in chain tool - design fault or what).

It all seemed to take ages, but actually it didn't take all that long.   I would describe it as a get you to the nearest station fix, rather than get you home.  To make it work properly, you really need old-style dropouts with a bit of adjustment in them, otherwise it's difficult to get enough tension in the chain and it jumps about, gradually working its way onto the smallest cog then off!

Anyway, the others kindly rode with me towards the nearest train and I got home without too much trouble, although I won't be looking to repeat this experience if I can avoid it!

Graham, Pam and Mark took to the towpath after leaving me and eventually found some lunch, although not as planned.  Thanks to them for their company and their help, and we'll try my route again another time!

Tuesday, August 03, 2021

August 1 2021

 So finally C&M's year19-21 has been laid to rest. At Old Moat there were a surprising number of mourners (Anne, Bob, Dave W, Ed, Elliott, Gemma, GFH, Irene, Jeff, Maureen, Pam, Terry, Tony). 

For Bob and Maureen this was far enough. The rest crossed over into trees and the first stop was the Pete Mitchell bench(in use). The trackbed of the long vanished Horton Estate Light Railway led us finally to tarmac in Rollesby Road. Beside the Bonesgate Stream we reached the Kingston Road A240 where traffic was stationary just as it had been more than an hour before! Seeking an escape a procession of at least 20 mourners (cars) trailed us on the short rise to Old Malden. Here they turned left as we went right and down into Worcester Park and first left after the station. After the edge of Morden Cemetery came more suburban roads on the way to Raynes Park. C31 (and its continuation) delivered us to Elm Road and home.

Here Irene and I stopped to pick up supplies (largely unneeded); the others were sent on ahead to Richmond Park. Just inside the park they discovered the toilet card machine out of commission and two fallen logs which were to serve as the forum for the AGM. 13 miles

Change to Planned Ride - Sunday 8 August 2021

Our ride on Sunday 8 August 2021 will now start from the Hanger Cafe, Fairoaks Airfield, Chobham, lunch stop to be confirmed, but Windlesham is a distinct possibility.

The planned ride to the London area will now take place in October with slightly changed arrangements.

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

AGM August 1 2021

At lunch last Sunday we agreed that the 2019-2021 AGM should be a picnic in Richmond Park weather permitting.

Leaving the Old Moat garden centre Epsom(KT19 8PQ) no later than 1130, the ride will be largely off-road but there'll be no muddy sections! ETA at Richmond Park around 1300.

Pembroke Lodge and Roehampton Gate have both cafe and toilet but are very busy at weekends. Other places have one or the other, or none at Ham Gate. Kingston Gate has a toilet (charge 20p card only) and a small "garden shed" selling snacks and drinks.

Our rallying point will be the solitary tree in the middle of the grassy area marked on the map by an "X". Elsewhere might involve a significant climb (for example 100 feet to King's Clump, site of the 1948 Olympic Village). Also shown are my house and ASDA Kingston (charge 0p).

Hopefully you'll bring all you need. I expect to stop off at my house to pick up food, drink, pens, papers, seats(tarps and rubble sacks), tick remover, etc. I may walk to the picnic (<1/2 mile) if the load is great! Better Irene did this as she's no longer a registered C&M volunteer.

After the meeting some may wish to visit the Wych Elm and/or Norbiton Hotel gardens. Don't expect them to be quiet. Or the Willoughby, Park Tavern, Black Horse, Albert, Canbury Arms, etc. all within a half mile radius of home.

Monday, July 26, 2021

July 26 2021 Silchester 2

The forecast wasn't promising but three (Simon, Tony, me) at Surbiton station became four (Pam) at Woking and six (Anne, Dave) at Winchfield. And as we entered Hartley Wintney from the northeast, we espied Ray emerging from a side street.

Tony felt unwell and headed home. The now six left the A30's roar for the quiet of narrow lanes and a plague of cyclists. A right turn after Hazeley's closed Leg Off Mutton saw us beside the one time Police College in Bramshill. The Devil's Highway (London's roman road to the west) was met at a ford (SU743634); fortunately it wasn't on our route. It must be around 60 feet wide and there's no bridge. So some tarried when a man, a dog and a 4x4 attempted knee-deep uneven crossings. Meanwhile just up the road I had my own problem (a pirouetting horse spooked by a fallen and long decayed tree!).

To avoid byway (= muddy) sections of the Devil's Highway we used NCN23 until it turned south for Basingstoke. A sharp shower near one of the entrances to Strathfield Saye saw us caped but it eased before we reached the amphitheatre at Silchester (more correctly Calleva Atrebatum). It was now after one and from the outside the Calleva Arms looked packed. But the garden was empty and the service prompt.

The MetOffice had been more or less right about noon rain; the four o'clock sounded a lot more threatening. So plans were changed. Dave headed for Mortimer(3 miles) whilst the rest decided Hook station (12 miles) was best. This plan was almost unseated when Ray punctured on the two mile descent through Little London and later on in Old Basing a missed unsigned turn added a mile to the journey. But we weren't in a great hurry.

Ray's car was in Hartley Wintney so in Hook he departed hoping that a dualled section of the A30 could be avoided. The skies were ever darkening but still no rain fell as we reached the station where the 1623 was on time. Before Fleet the skies opened and in Surbiton roads were awash and headlights on. Just two miles to go; Ann, Pam and Simon weren't so lucky. Revised miles:31 + 1! The rain finally stopped around eight.

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

FNRTTC (August?) / Silchester (25/07) / AGM (01/08)

FNRTTC (August)

It was never intended that this ride would be on a Friday night from London to the coast! Starting from Leatherhead two surveys have thrown up a problem south of Amberley.

On survey 1 (North Stoke to South Stoke) the path was guarded by three tight kissing gates; on survey 2 (Houghton to South Stoke) the path was rootsy and slippery chalk. Apart from a puncture I got through but both paths are walkers only.

This might work!

Buy return ticket from home to Ford (West Sussex). Freedom Pass holders (me)  home = East Croydon so a return would be £14.60 (single is £14.50!).

Ride to Amberley (roughly 40 miles). 11s : Broadbridge Heath (Tesco or Garden Centre) 20 miles; Amberley has a pub and tea rooms adjacent to the station and a further two pubs in the village.

If interest catch train(xx.56) south to Arundel, ride to Climping beach and back to Ford station (A259 has cyclepath); only 8 miles

Catch train(xx.58  from Amberley, xx.48 and xx.06 from Ford) north to home.

Sunday July 25 2021 (Train Assisted to Winchfield)

The start is once again Winchfield Station and a ride of 36 miles will bring us back to the start. It's anticlockwise with  some of last year's route tackled in reverse. Be warned some roads could be described as "single track without passing places"! Optionally we could finish in Basingstoke (30 miles), Hook (31), or Fleet (40 but half hourly trains from 14.02).

Not bumpy - elevation is 150 to 350 feet and no Devil's Highway (roman road) means no mud. Not too many shops, pubs, or whatever so best to pack emergency rations.

Some (DW?) will ride to the start (25+ miles). For others the only option is hourly semi-fast (CJ 0915, Wim 0922, Sur 0930, Wok 0942, ..., Winchfield 1009). Buy a return to Hook as it's the same price. Any(first 9?) carriage will do seems to be the rule for cycles!


Hartley Witney: the north side of High Street (A30) is Costa Coffee (0700-1700) and Tesco (0600-2300); opposite are Courtyard Cafe (1000-1600) and Wagon and Horses (1000-2200).


A definite stop is Silchester Roman Amphitheatre just before Calleva Arms (same pub as last year). Little London and Pamber End pubs are unlikely alternatives.


Conkers Old Basing (1000-1600 but only 10 miles from lunch) or Odiham pub (Waterwitch?). Last year's farm shop closes at 1430. Arm twisting may see us back on the Basingstoke as Odiham is uphill. 

Route has been added to Google Drive which I haven't used in quite awhile - hope you can view it!

GPX (text file for those with GPS software)
PDF (for those content with a pretty picture) 

Sunday August 1 2021 (AGM)

Before Boris changes his mind again I intend to stage an AGM at my house. Bring your own but I'll pop into ASDA to see what savouries and sweets they have. We may have to wrestle large pieces of furniture to ensure everyone gets a seat! A Norfolk based member may be present but without her raffle winning e-bike.

11s will be the Old Moat Garden Centre Epsom (opposite Horton Park) followed by a 10 to 15 mile ride to north Kingston. No planned lunch or tea stops but several local options.

Draft Secretary's report deleted 03/08/21




Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Sunday the 18th

11's at Cobham, the Bakery or Brontes.
Lunch will be at the Assembly rooms, Epsom. And tea at Nauticaliar,  Shepperton lock. About 16 undulating miles to lunch and 15 miles to tea.

Designed to meet the needs of most current  C&M regulars.

Tuesday, July 13, 2021

A ride 'down' to Rusper - 11 July

Rusper is the highest village in West Sussex, so even though it's south of Leatherhead, it's hardly a ride 'down' to Rusper.   Still, it could have been worse.  My original plan was to go to Reigate Hill, lovely views but very definitely 'up'.   And it was a mud-bath on the North Downs Way, so it wouldn't have been that popular.

Nine ... (including the photographer)

+ 1  (was it something we said?)

There was a good number at elevenses at Leatherhead.  Bob, Graham, Terry, Ray, Brian Bent, Keith, Lillian, David, and myself were very pleased to be joined by new rider Elliot.   Bob was doing his own ride, so nine of us set off in two groups via Pixham and Brockham.  David, Graham and Ray said they would have a relaxed ride and meet us there, so we were a bit surprised to find them in front of us as we approached Rusper!   It turned out they had gone a slightly different route, missing Betchworth and Partridge Lane.


The Star initially had some doubts whether they would be able to fit us in when I phoned in advance, but in fact there were only a handful of tables occupied, and they were happy to serve small portions or sandwiches in addition to the regular Sunday menu, so we were all well fed.  Brian and David left us at lunch time (after Brian had thoroughly inspected the cart pulled by two huge horses - possibly for a future work of art).  Then it was almost all downhill to tea, with a gentle tail wind to help us along.   We elected for tea in Leatherhead before going our separate ways home.  Graham, Ray and I went back over Ashtead Common and with Graham's help we visited Pete Mitchell's bench in Horton Country Park.  A very enjoyable day out in good company.

Wednesday, July 07, 2021

25/07/21 and 01/08/21 Provisional Dates

Before Boris changes his mind... These two dates are empty. I propose:

25/07 Winchfield - Hartley Wintney - Silchester-Hatch or Odiham - Winchfield

The distance is 35 to 40 miles and the route anticlockwise to confuse anyone who rode last year. And no Devil's Highway = no mud! The high point is still close to the Greywell tunnel but I'm omitting the canal so we can visit Odiham. 

The outward train is hourly and semi-fast: CJ, Wimbledon, Surbiton(0930), Woking. If coming by train, buy a return  to Hook(we'll leave the train one stop early). Fleet is an alternate finish as its Sunday pm service is half-hourly but around 4 or 5 more miles.

No doubt Dave will cycle from home say 25+ miles  

01/08 AGM

Our last AGM was Oct 19. Since then the CUK accounting year has been moved from Oct-Sep to Apr-Mar in line with HMRC. So this year's AGM should have been in Apr or May 2021 but Rule Of Six ruled that out until now. 

I'll stage it if I don't get a better offer but you may find yourselves eating, drinking, and sitting on the floor! 

For 11s somewhere like The Old Moat followed by a roundabout route to North Kingston. 

Sunday, July 04, 2021

Ride report - Sunday 4 July 2021


Very heavy rain until about 9.00 am would have deterred many from setting off on their bikes, but Graham, Pam, Ray, Lilian, Ed, Tony and I met at Walton Bridge despite the rather unsettled weather and with the threat of more showers looming.   The idea was to reattempt last year's ride to The White Horse at Longford, in the process, pretty much completing a ride almost right around Heathrow.

As the weather was much better when we did the same ride last year, it was never going to be quite as enjoyable this time, but we were still favoured with pleasant, warm sunshine at the pub, and the service and food remained as good as before.   We did notice was that there were far more planes taking off from Heathrow than last year (some passing very low above us).

On the way home we couldn't even manage a view of the outside of the medieval long barn at Harmondsworth (last year we had a guided tour of the inside).   The wind had also strengthened and made hard work of the ride as we turned south round the airport.    I left the main group at Snakey Lane where they were heading for tea.   Thanks all for your company and to Tony for guiding us around the nooks and crannies of Harmondsworth.