Monday, June 28, 2021

A Possible Ride To The Coast (or FNRTTC Revisited) (or Not?)

Please declare an interest by contacting either me or Dave (preferably email).

Longtime SWL members will remember the FNRTTC rides organized by Simon Legg; some may still have the official uniform.

Provided there's interest and subject to successful recce(s), C&M may stage a 2021 replica. Like its inspiration it would be one way trip returning by train. It's based on a well used FNRTTC route but it would not start under the Wellington Arch (Hyde Park Corner) at midnight Friday! So we'll call it SDRTTC (Sunday Day Ride To The Coast). The following are merely suggestions.

Weather will be the defining factor. Leatherhead to Felpham or Climping would be around 50 miles. You can join or leave where ever you like (hopefully by prior arrangement).  A likely route might be: Dorking, Rusper, Horsham, Coolham, West Chiltington, Amberley, Arundel.

Horsham (20 miles), Amberley (38 miles) and Arundel have refreshments and an hourly rail service back to the Smoke if it gets all too much. This may apply to the leader! Bognor and Littlehampton have rail links, but inland towns like Barnham may have a better service. Regular fares are £20+; advanced tickets are cheap (around a fiver)  but so far I've not found any!

Waiting for the roadies in Arundel


Finally this is not a route for panniers, MTBs, trikes, tandems, ordinaries nor probably skateboards, e-bikes/e-scooters. Discarding mudguards is optional. 


Yesterday's recce started from Horsham. The four stiles between North and South Stoke are now (tight) kissing gates. Four rather than two hands are now almost essential!  And the route is much overgrown and muddy (last week's rain?). A ride would likely stop at Amberley just as it did 15 to 20 years ago on the C&M "nearly 100" rides.  

On my next recce I'll try Broadbridge Heath (garden centre), Barnes Green,  etc

Sunday June 27 2002

Ageing legs decreed this should be a short train assisted ride; only Bob agreed. I trained as far as Woking and arrived to find Bob, Dave, Mark, Simon, Terry in Guildford Wetherspoons. Ed and Lillian turned up just as we were leaving.

We turned off NCN22 at the waterworks and headed into Shalford. For the last few weeks southwest Surrey has seen a plethora of road closed and diversion signs, traffic jams and busier than usual side roads. The principal culprit (A281) had re-opened (weekends only?) so it was back to normal between Thorncombe Street and the Wintershall turn - a single car. And spotting two relatives of the Oxshott A3 horse's head was that much easier.

I had in mind Run Common Road which has been closed since March 2020. Don't badgers know they shouldn't build setts under roads? But the clock had ticked past 1230 so I took an undemocratic decision - an offroad shortcut. We turned south onto the A281 at Birtley Green and fifty yards later east through Rooks Hill Farm. It was mostly downhill (gravel, bumpy grassland, bridge (with step) and mud (but not enough for a sunbathing pig). Of the Wey and Arun canal the only trace is an information board!

One mile later we were in Shamley Green facing a road closed sign (so Run Common might not have been a good option). The Red Lion was fully booked inside but no booking needed outdoor. Child's portions available regardless of age suited us fine!

Dave left us here to dig his potatoes (or whatever he does). The start of cricket on the green prompted us to depart via Norley Common back to the B2128. Another road closed sign was ignored but eased the undulations to Blackheath where we descended past Barnett Hill. Terry was bound for Albury and points east leaving three to cross over to East Shalford rejoining the outward route at the waterworks.

 Around 20 from Guildford. Dull but no significant rain before nightfall.

Saturday, June 26, 2021

More On Sunday's Ride

Tomorrow's ride is short for a variety of reasons. 

MetOffice says light rain in the morning, heavy from early afternoon whereas for Kingston  heavy starts late afternoon. So we might be lucky!

Some (like me) will entrain. From Surbiton there's a cluster of trains (0930 Woking only, 0932 and 0936 Guildford). If fine, I'll catch the last of these to Woking else Guildford, the next stop.
If you miss all of these, the next train is 1005.

The A281 (Guildford-Horsham) is closed at Bramley. Alternatives such as the Shamley Green road (B2128) are busier than normal, and some are single track. Further south the turnoff into Run Common Road has been closed for the last 18 months as it crosses a collapsed badger sett and is near a colony of great crested newts, a protected species. Footpaths do parallel the road but they may be out of bounds even to cyclists! There's a direct route to lunch (small amount of mud)  just short of the turnoff. I'll let the weather decide which route we take.

NB currently Downslink is for mudlovers only where not part of NCN22.

I haven't planned a tea stop but West Byfleet would suit me fine. 

Thursday, June 24, 2021

Plans for Sunday 27 June 2021

In  a change from the published programme, our ride on Sunday 27 June will now start from Guildford (optional train assist to/from Guildford).    Elevenses will be at The Rodboro' Buildings (Wetherspoons) near the station .  There is plenty of outdoor seating round the back, and it would be best if we gathered there, weather permitting!  

From Guildford Graham will lead us by an unusual route to Shamley Green for lunch (choice of two pubs or bring your own sandwiches), then back to the station (a round trip of about 20 miles).

Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Ride Report - Sunday 20th June


Last week we expected a hot day, this week a damp day!   Fortunately for our group, it stayed dry although cool with the promise of rain, particularly after lunch.  I arrived at Wetherspoons in Staines just before eleven, where I joined Ray Wren outside and inside was Dave, Graham and Simon.  We were on our way well before eleven-thirty but we hadn't gone far when Graham had to return to the pub for his helmet.   We waited for a while before carrying on but pleased to say that Graham caught us up in Thorpe.

Our route to The Sun public house at Windlesham was on roads known to each of us, via Lyne and Chobham; returning via Burrowhill and Chertsey to Nauticalia, Shepperton for afternoon tea.   The staff at The Sun were very welcoming, with good service and food - just as it always was before Lockdown !!

Thank you chaps for a very enjoyable day

Monday, June 14, 2021

More Pictures from Sunday 13 June


Thanks everyone - some great photos here!

Reliving 13/06/21

 If you fell asleep thinking "I'd love to do that all over again", try this link

Norbury Park ride 13/06/21

reconstructed from memory

Sunday, June 13, 2021

Ride Report - Sunday 13 June 2021

It promised to be the hottest day of the year so far.   The scheduled elevenses venue, Amici, opened late, so early arrivals decamped to the terrace of Wetherspoons, just up the road, to wrestle with the app in the shade!   Bob, Maureen and Richard went their own ways, leaving Simon, Pam, Lilian, Graham, Mark, Brian B, Terry, Ann, Dave S and me to set off on the official ride to lunch.   

It wasn't a promising start - the lovingly researched route to Norbury Park wouldn't transfer from my phone to my Garmin, so horror of horrors, I was obliged to resort to old-school technology (ie maps and asking other people the way)!    In the event it didn't turn out too badly.   We headed through the back roads of Fetcham to Little Bookham, then off road to emerge on tarmac near Polesden Lacey, before picking up tracks again towards Crabtree Cottages and Norbury Park.  We did make a few stops to check the route (thanks to all for your help with this), but managed to complete the route without taking a wrong turn (well, we ended up in the right place, anyway).   A lot of the tracks were new to me.   I think it is fair to say they were variable in quality.   There were a lot of long, easily rideable sections, but these were punctuated by other stretches which were either deeply-rutted, or full of big flints, or tree roots, or all of these!    True, there was very little mud, and I didn't actually have to get off my road bike and walk at any point, but this isn't a route I'd ever think of repeating between October and April!   We gained a lot of altitude without really noticing and at intervals had excellent, if hazy views in different directions, including the Wembley Arch!

Progress was slow, but at length we finally reached the Wild About Coffee stall at Norbury Park, our planned lunch stop.  Service of hot and cold drinks and a limited range of cakes was friendly and efficient, and there were plenty of seats in the shade and an easy-going atmosphere.

Navigation back home was much easier - we just headed downhill on the very attractive road passing Mickleham Abbey, and then on to Leatherhead where our ways started to diverge.

Many thanks to all for your company and for putting up with another of my quirky routes (!) and to Terry for back-marking.

Saturday, June 12, 2021

Sunday 13 June - Minor Change to Elevenses Venue

Elevenses on 13 June will now be at Amici, High St Leatherhead, and not the nearby Edward Tylney as published.

Possible route for a ride to lunch at but I know not everyone will be able to open this link

Monday, June 07, 2021

Sunday June 6 2021

I'd had a busy week with trips to Silchester and Kings Lynn and I'd forgotten the phone (backup map) so a KISS route it would have to be.

 I was second to arrive behind Dave who'd seen (actually written) the blog so knew the start was West Byfleet station not Bourne Valley. Others hadn't!

As darkening skies turned to rain Ann, Dave, Pam, Ray, Simon, Steve Terry, and the leader departed via the public toilets. Past Pyrford Green, Sends Marsh and Grove the A3 was reached with "Capes off" beside the Jacob's Well memorial.

The A320 was busy but not for long as we took the left turn onto Burdenshott Road and later Goose Rye Road to reach an equally unpleasant A322 at  Fox Corner. In Pirbright five headed for the White Hart whilst on the pond geese (Canada and Egyptian) and ducks (mallard) waited in vain for crumbs from the rest of us.  

Pam and Terry's views were sought for an off-road return to Fox Corner. After recent (Wednesday)  usage they were not keen so we returned the way we'd come. Worplesdon station lead on to Pile Hill, Jacobs Well and eventually Ripley where soaring temperatures forced a protracted stay in Pinnocks. Only 25 miles (and 55 door to door)



Wednesday, June 02, 2021

Change to Published Programme - Sunday 6 June

The elevenses meeting point on Sunday 6 June will now be at West Byfleet (by the station), instead of Woodham.    Cafes/coffee shops/toilets nearby.   Graham has kindly offered to lead the onward ride to Pirbright.