Wednesday, 27 September 2017

All day ride September: Last of the summer days out...

Overlooking Dorking from Denbies estate.
(l to r) John, Sue, Steve, Godfrey, Tracie, Helen, Toni, Liz, Lynda, Alice, Maureen

At the top of Critten Lane, on Ranmoor Common Road

Looking across to Leith Hill; fantastic skyscapes
and air so clear we could see the tower
This isn't a blog for cloudwatchers I know, but these pictures seemed worth sharing. Our cyclists were lucky to experience absolutely beautiful skyscapes for Liz's lovely "Last of the Summer" all day ride on 9th September.  She took us to a wonderful place to see them...above Dorking to lovely Ranmoor Common, one of our most beloved local beauty spots. 

Eleven of us met at Mansion House in Nonsuch Park, setting out at 10 am. We stopped for coffee in Leatherhead, then Liz lead us down to the bottom of town to a little green path through the nature reserve and onto the road through Fetcham, following the Lower Road from Great Bookham and uphill towards Effingham past the Vineries Garden Centre. Left to follow The Street, then straight over into Beech Lane.  From here it's mainly a long slow climb all the way, continuing up Critten Lane to Ranmoor Common Road at the top, where we stopped for a breather, a photo, and to allow everyone to catch up. Some of us were really challenged, me included.

Time now to enjoy the switchback that is Ranmore Common Road, a well deserved treat after all that hard slog! Past the NT Denbies carpark and then we followed the bridleway/ shared use path down to the right onto Denbies estate, where a kind passing walker took our photo above the lovely view of Dorking.

Then down to the Stepping Stones pub for a much needed lunch. Afterwards the group divided; some took the low road, the cycle route along the A24 back to Leatherhead; others took the high road via Juniper Bottom and Swiss Cottage then along Headley Road.  We all met again for tea at Ashtead Park Garden Centre.  Just in time as while we reposed, there was a rumble of thunder and heavy rain. But there were only odd drops on our way back and the late afternoon sun was out again.

Thank you Liz for planning and leading this lovely ride, and thanks all for your company on another gorgeous day out.  I can't wait for our group's monthly all day Saturday rides to begin again in the spring. Many thanks to all the ride leaders who make them possible and so enjoyable.

N.B. Beginners rides will continue throughout the winter every Saturday afternoon. Meet at 1.45 pm for 2 o'clock departure from Mansion House in Nonsuch Park.
Just one more shot of those gorgeous clouds...
and our gorgeous cyclists too, of course!
 You can see lovely Dorking too - this pic has everything except me!

River and canal: All day ride Saturday 19 August

Outside Wisley Church
At Pyrford Lock after lunch.

Wisley airfield
Stephanie's summer ride took us on a beautiful route, with many sights of interest.  We mainly followed her along cool waterways, and passed by a huge Victorian mill (with linked enormous millpond), through a community farm, past a leading national garden, and through a disused WWII airfield along the way.  Our route was shared with walkers, rowers, a few other cyclists, canal boats, rowing boats and canoes, but very few cars over the entire day, which was a real pleasure enjoyed by all of us. We passed a boat race on the Thames, taking care through yelling supporters outside their clubhouse on the Thames towpath; and a couple of us were nearly knocked off the Wey towpath by an enthusiastic coach running alongside racing canoeists!

Twelve of us met at Kingston Bridge on a glorious warm and sunny August morning, starting along the Thames towpath to Hampton Court. Here we crossed the bridge to follow the towpath from East Molesey.  The river was lovely this morning, with not as many people as is usual on a Saturday afternoon, but still quite a few enjoying watery activities.  There were a few puddles after rain earlier in the week, and this route can be a little rough in places, but generally conditions were good. Toni had unfortunately brought the wrong bike, so left us after a few miles.  The rest of us carried on through to Walton on Thames, a couple taking some of the route in parallel by road, then Stephanie lead us along the cycle route through Weybridge to the River Wey Navigation.
Much of this route is lightly shaded by trees, so it was a pleasant ride all the way to Pyrford Lock, where we arrived early for lunch at the Anchor.

Back on the road, we followed the quiet lane through Wisley to the pedestrian bridge over the A3 just past the RHS Wisley entrance. Having crossed it, we found quiet fields (including the airfield)of maize and grazing cows, with our route taking us through a farmyard and onto a quiet lane. This had recently been resurfaced with large pebbles so we had a very bumpy ride for a mile or so!

We spent the afternoon on quiet lanes making our way back to Molesey and the Thames, having enjoyed a wonderful day's ride.  Many thanks Stephanie for a great ride and to all for your pleasant company on a lovely day out.

Monday, 18 September 2017

New orders for Sou'Wester club kit

If you would like to order some new Sou'Wester club kit please get in touch with Pam. Get yourself a new outfit and ride out proudly with our elite squads of riders, smug in the knowlege that no other cyclists out there look quite like we do.

For a guide on prices have a look at the Gear Club website and remember to add VAT to the prices quoted, and allow a bit more for postage. Pam will need at least 7 orders to cover the postage at a reasonable rate, and remember that the cost of postage for returns will need to be met by the customer.

The Gear Club site is at:

It is easiest for Pam if we stick to the selection of designs currently worn by us but do ask her about other options if you see something you fancy on the website.

Once Pam has placed the order, delivery time is around 6 weeks.

Sunday, 17 September 2017

Open House weekend/ Wandle Fortnight OR How many cyclists does it take to pump up a tyre?

The ride from Beddington Park featured in the Wandle Fortnight programme. We hoped it would be well attended but it wasn't to be. At 2pm Colin was on his own at the Pavilion cafe. Torrential rain just after 13.30 kept all but a faithful few at home. Shortly after 2pm six bedraggled cyclists appeared from various directions, some in cycling shorts and some in appropriate rainproof gear.

We consulted and agreed to visit Baitful Futuh Mosque in Morden which was open today as part of the Open House weekend. We cycled straight out of Beddington Park at the Hackbridge gate,  over the railway bridge and left down Hackbridge Road to join the route along the River Wandle which we followed past the Imperial Sports Ground and through Ravensbury Park. We left the river to cycle along the Drive, across St Helier Ave and Central Road taking back streets to Morden where we crossed the railway sidings on the cycle unfriendly footbridge, remounted and  turned left up London Road to enter the Mosque by which time Roger had had a disagreement with a blackthorn and had a flat tyre.

We were treated to hot samosas, drinks and cakes and then a tour of the mosque. 'The building is a blend of Islamic and modern British architecture and incorporates much of the structure of the old dairy site' says the book quite accurately.  Our guide was welcoming and interesting and we left to watch Roger sort out his flat tyre as Anna, Ken and Brian took it in turns to man the pump.

We returned by a quicker route on the cycle lane up the A24, turning to cycle through Reigate Avenue Recreation Ground and across Rose Hill and make our way home. 

                                         Roger, Ken and Anna at the Baitful Futuh Mosque