Thursday, 23 June 2016

Ride to Windsor Great Park on Saturday the 18th June

  After a week of thundery downpours, more than in recent years in June, 15 riders assembled under leaden skies on Kingston Bridge. Luckily the weather stayed dry all day apart from one drizzly shower near Lyne, but it could not be described as "flaming "June.
  We set off along the Portsmouth road, admiring the new cycle track on the opposite side of the road.
Unfortunately, to get on and off this when going south involves dismounting and walking over a pedestrian crossing. The lane also ends at the Kingston Borough boundary just beyond the turning to Surbiton, so we stayed on the road. This sort of problem seems to defeat traffic engineers, who are reluctant to put in a proper cyclist crossing for fear of slowing down motor traffic.
  We carried on through Molesey and along by the reservoirs to the turning down to the Thames Path by Walton Leisure Centre. This path has been resurfaced recently, and makes for a good ride into Walton by the river, which was full of the usual rowers and around 50 paddle boarders heading downstream.

  After a short stop in Walton by the bridge, we carried on through Weybridge and Addlestone to Lyne and the aforementioned drizzle, before arriving at the visitor centre at Virginia Water Lake for an early lunch stop and entertainment from a Youth Group having a sing song. Away from motor traffic of any sort, bar the occasional estate vehicle, we rode past the cascade and Leptis Magna ruins to the top of the lake and turned to skirt the Guards Polo ground to the Village, where a red kite was spotted. We
were then able to catch a distant glimpse of the Queen as she passed by in a small convoy of cars on her way to the races at Ascot, where I believe her horse won a race.
  We then descended back into the traffic at Egham and Staines before joining the Thames Path and rode to Chertsey Bridge. The plan was to ride to the cafe by Shepperton Lock down Dockett Eddy Lane, but on arrival found it closed. After a near collision on the left turn in Manygate Lane with an impatient motorist, we arrived at Squires Garden Centre cafe in Upper Halliford for the tea stop. After that we went along the River to Hampton where we cut across to the Hampton Hill entrance to Bushey Park and traversed the Park to Hampton Wick and over the Bridge to Kingston.
  Many thanks to Tony for back marking throughout. With no mechanicals or flats we did 45 miles in total at a mostly good pace.

Friday, 10 June 2016

All day Intermediate ride to Windsor Great Park on Saturday 18th June.

  Harry will lead a ride to Windsor Great Park, starting from outside TKMax by Kingston Bridge at 10am. We will ride to Weybridge and then onto Virginia Water, where we can halt for a lunch stop at the Visitor Centre. 
  Afterwards we will ride around the Park, hoping to spot some Red Kites, to the famous view of the castle and then descend to Staines and the Thames Path to Shepperton Lock, where a further break can be taken. Thereafter to Kingston via Sunbury and Bushey Park, arriving by 5pm.
  There will be some riding off road and a few hilly bits and the overall distance is about 45 miles.