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.