Thursday, May 27, 2021

Sunday the 30th ride

Sunday the 30th of May: 11's will now be at the Golden grill, Ashford and lunch will be at  Burnham Beeches.

Golden Grill   Link.

Sunday 30 May - Note Change from Published Programme

The ride will now begin at the Golden Grill, Ashford, TW15 2PE and lunch will be at Burnham Beeches (leader - Tony Hopkins).

Sunday, May 23, 2021

Ride Report - Sunday 23 May 2021


Rain threatened as we met (fortunately indoors) at Vineries Garden Centre, Effingham for the first time since September last year!   Bob and I were soon joined by Simon, Steve Duffin, Graham, Ed, Lilian, Terry and Pam, some of whom arrived just in time to dodge a heavy shower!   After the rain eased, Simon, Steve Graham, Pam and were the only ones who decided to brave the weather and continue to lunch at Horsell.    Once we had crossed Wisley Airfield, surprisingly unmuddy despite a wet month, our route bore a surprising resemblance to a recent Wednesday 'A' group ride led by Steve, so acknowledgements to him! 

The uncertain weather favoured a stop at a pub rather than a picnic, and The Crown proved a good choice.   Food is not served and, drinks purchased, the landlord gave us permission to eat our sandwiches in the pub garden where there was a large and dry marquee.

Everyone was keen to reach home quickly so we took a direct route.   Graham and Pam went their own ways leaving Simon, Steve and I the only ones stopping for tea at The Wilde Bunch.

Thanks to Simon for back-marking, Graham for navigating us across Wisley Airfield, and to everyone else for your company.

Sunday, May 16, 2021

Windlesham 16 May

The forecast was awful - wall to wall heavy rain - but we were very, very lucky.  Contingency plans including a) do a ride b) ride direct to tea c) ride straight home were drawn up.   I fully expected elevenses at Staines to be quite a lonely affair but after a brief heavy shower, the sun shone and David, Pam, Ann, Graham, Steve Duffin and Ray plus myself formed up into two groups, intending to keep visual contact at a distance.   

Buttercups on the way to Staines

Sunny Staines

 After about a mile we were hit by a heavy shower.  Graham's group of optimists stopped to put on waterproofs, and my group of pessimists, already wearing waterproofs, waited at the next junction.  We never saw them again until lunch.   Our route was Virginia Water, Sunninghill and Longacres garden centre in Bagshot, where we intended to get lunch, but were greeted by DisneyWorld-size queues just to get into the place.   So instead we headed for the Memorial Field cafe in Windlesham, where we had the triple luxury of good food in the sunshine, seated at outdoor tables.   Graham's route involved Thorpe and Lyne, and I think Gracious Pond Road.

Queuing for the garden centre

Sunny Windlesham

Amazingly we had no further rain until teatime, heading back via Stonehills and Chertsey, where we passed Graham's group going in the opposite direction (in search of toilets I think).   We just reached the under cover tables at Nauticalia when the heavens opened again.   Ann had to leave and set off into the deluge, while we stayed chatting for over an hour.   Just as we decided we really had to go, it stopped raining, and I think we would all have had a dry ride home.

It was a pleasure to have everyone's company.   Thank you for the contribution of several people into planning today's ride (at embarrassingly short notice - my mistake) and to Graham for leading the second group.  About 26 miles from 11s to tea for my group.

Sunday, May 09, 2021

Ride Report - Sun 9 May 2021

Simon, Terry, Pam, Tony, Lilian, Graham, Ray, Ann, Ed, newcomer Mark (back for his second ride) and I gathered for elevenses at Cobham in very pleasant sunshine.   For only about the second time this year it actually felt a bit warm, although a stiff breeze never let it get too hot.

All but Ed joined me for the ride to Guildford.   As ever, I was completely unprepared for the need for more than one group, but Simon very kindly offered to lead a second one and Graham assisted him.  I think it would be true to say the two groups took broadly similar routes to lunch, but not completely identical ones!  Although my group set off first, we kept rounding corners to find the second group patiently awaiting our arrival, yet they hadn't overtaken us.   They'd wait for us to pass, then later they'd be waiting for us again.  How did they do that?   Anyway, the route took in four long off-road sections amounting to several miles (Bookham Common, Orestan Lane to East Horsley, East to West Horsley railway  path, and the Ryde Farm estate road) before the more mundane approach to Guildford.

Lilian left us at Guildford, but the rest of us had lunch at Stoke Park.   The kiosk was popular and seemed to have something even for those who hadn't brought sandwiches (and I'm not just talking about the duck food either)!   

After lunch I persuaded Graham to pilot us out of Guildford along the national cycle route from the Spectrum leisure centre to Clay Lane, a path which passes through an interesting nature reserve with lakes and wetlands.   It is a very nice route and well worth a try, but parts of it must get very boggy in any normal winter, and I struggle to understand how it could provide any form of strategic transport link!  Anyway, that was our fifth off-road section of the ride!

After that it was then a straight road to Ripley for tea, where I left the others to enjoy the sunshine.   Many thanks to Graham and Simon for your help, and to everyone else for your company.

Friday, May 07, 2021

Plans for Sunday 9 May

Sunday's ride will be from Cobham to Stoke Park, Guildford, as published.   In view of the heavy rain forecast for Saturday I will change my planned route to omit some unsurfaced sections, but there will still be plenty of surfaced off-road.

Hot drinks and some hot food are available at the Stoke Park cafe but you can still bring sandwiches.  Tea will be at Ripley.