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!

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