Midweek ride to West Horsley


Ashtead Common, with the Poser at the front & his new Bike

Wednesday 17th April, a largely bright Sunny day saw 16 Cyclists leave via the Portsmouth Rd track, with 1 extra ‘late starter’, joining us as we approached Winters Bridge, Long Ditton, Hinchley wood, – with a short delay whilst someone got his stamps !-, Littleworth, Esher, Fairmile, Cobham, Hatchford, Ockham, to West Horsley for lunch at the ‘Barley Mow’, then East Horsley, Effingham, Bookham, Fetcham, Leatherhead, Ashtead Common (Photo), – with a brief explanation of how the ‘Coal Tax’, helped the City of London maintain this & many other Commons & green spaces around the City-, Epsom Common, to the ‘Old Moat Garden Centre’ for refreshments, West Ewell, Tolworth, Berrylands to Kingston. Total 32 Miles, 2 new Faces, thanks to Steve D for back marking, & others for marking corners.

Map:- www.plotaroute.com/route/763492

Bread pudding ride to Northolt

Sunday 25th July. A mostly dark day, with 1 light shower in the Morning, a few rumbles of Thunder & light Drizzle as we approached Tea, with steady Rain for the last part, saw 18 Cyclists split into 2 groups, leave via Kingston Bridge, Bushy Park, Fulwell, Twickenham, Whitton, Isleworth, Osterley Park, Norwood Green, (Photo’s), Southall, Northala Field to Northolt for an al-fresco lunch at ‘the Crown’, (Sizzle Pubs), Greenford, Hanwell, West Ealing, South Ealing, Brentford to Syon Park for Tea & Bread pudding,, at the newly opened Garden centre, Isleworth -with a short dismount section due to Roadworks-, St Margerets, Strawberry Hill, Teddington, Hampton Wick, Kingston Bridge to finish. 30 Miles, 1 new face, Special thanks to Bai for leading group 2, thanks to Ralph & Toni for back marking duties, thanks to John D for the BP.

Group 1 at Norwood green, Packhorse Bridge: Lindsay
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Midweek ride to Thorpe & Virginia Water

Wednesday 21st July, A hot Sultry day saw 9 Cyclists leave via Portsmouth Rd, Thames Ditton, Molesey, Walton, Weybridge, Addlestone, Bretlands, Lyne to Thorpe Green for lunch at the ‘Rose & Crown’ (Barons Pubs), Virginia Water village & Lake, Totem Pole (Photos),

Totem Pole fenced off, awaiting restoration

Egham Wick, Egham, Staines Bridge, – with the Back marker suffering a broken gear cable, hence a deputy Tail ender took the rear-, Staines, Thames Towpath past Penton Hook, Laleham, Shepperton, to Sunbury for Tea & Refreshments at the Walled garden, Hampton, Bushy Park, Hampton Wick Kingston Bridge to finish. Total 36 Miles.

Thanks to John E & Mike F for Back marking. Map:- www.plotaroute.com/route/849407

Evening ride to Ewell

A warm bright Evening saw 8 Cyclists, in 1 group leave via Lower Marsh, Berrylands, New Malden, Old Malden, Auriol Park- with loose Dogs, & ‘trainee Cyclists’ almost bringing the leader to his knees-, Stoneleigh, Nonsuch Park, East Ewell to Ewell village for refreshments at the very welcoming ‘Wheatsheaf’, West Ewell, a short bit of Hogsmill Path, Tolworth, Surbiton, to finish back in Kingston. Total 13 Miles, thanks to John E for back marking.

Map:- wwwplotaroute.com/route/903978

Bread pudding ride to Harmondsworth

Sunday 11th July. A surprisingly Sunny Morning, with more Cloud later, after 2 late cancellations, 1 no show & with 1 surprise guest saw 20 Cyclists in 2 groups leave via Kingston Bridge, Bushy Park, Fulwell, River Crane path, Whitton, Hounslow Heath, West Hounslow, Cranford, Harlington, Sipson to Harmondsworth for lunch at the ‘Crown’ with a few electing for the ‘Five Bells’, also stopping to admire the ‘Great Barn‘, (Photo group 2),

Group 2 with the Great Barn, Harmondsworth: Bai Kamara

then Harmondsworth Moor (with a few ‘slippery patches’), Poyle, Stanwell moor, Stanwell -with new Cycle path 🙂-, Ashford, Feltham, Hanworth, Hampton to Bushy Park (Photo group 1),

Group 1 with a few Deer in the background, Bushy Park: Lindsay Webster

for Tea & Bread pudding at the Pheasantry, Hampton Wick, Kingston Bridge to finish. 29 Miles, special thanks to Bai for leading group 2, thanks to John E & Mike F for back marking each group, Special thanks to Christine for the gorgeous Bread pudding.

Map:- www.plotaroute.com/route/1610437

20mph in Kingston: An update – Surbiton to get safer roads whilst the rest of the Borough gets left behind

Kingston Council ran a Borough wide consultation in early January/February 2020 proposing to make the Borough’s roads safer by introducing a 20mph speed limit on all residential roads. Due to Covid, the outcome from the consultation was delayed and has only recently reached Kingston’s four neighbourhood committees.

Whilst many have been focussing on the Euros championship in the past couple of weeks, we’ve instead been closely following the result of the neighbourhood committees and how they have voted on the further roll-out (or otherwise) of 20mph limits in their area. We’ve set out below what has been decided and what might happen next but before we kick-off, a quick reminder of why the Council wanted to introduce 20mph speed limits:

There are three main reasons why the council feels 20mph would be great for our roads:

  1. Improved air quality: by lowering and evening out acceleration.
  2. Fewer casualties: lower speeds give drivers and others more time to react.
  3. Better health: more people walk and cycle, as they feel safer.

There is also evidence from other areas of the UK that shows a reduction in average speeds when area-wide 20mph is introduced, even if there is no enforcement or traffic calming measures in place.

What’s been decided?

Kingston Town Neighbourhood (Tudor, Canbury, Grove, Norbiton wards) – decided to introduce 20mph limits on a handful of additional roads near Sainsburys (Sury Basin). Prior to the final vote, an amendment was proposed by Cllr Wehring and seconded by Cllr Tolley. This amendment would have extended 20mph limits to a number of additional roads (Portsmouth Road, Queen Elizabeth Road, Cromwell Road, Wood Street, Horse Fair, Tudor Drive, Coombe Road (junction with Wolverton Ave to London Road)). However, the amendment fell after the vote was split evenly (plus one abstention) with the chair of the committee making the casting vote to block the amendment. The committee also agreed that residents may be consulted in the future (on an undetermined timeframe) if they would like 20mph limits on their roads (which roads these might be is not specified…). KCC Summary – Kingston Town started at the top of the table (currently 70% of roads have 20mph limits in the neighbourhood) but will be overtaken by Surbiton’s plans (see below). Losing the amendment after extra time means Kingston Town goes home with little to show for it despite some excellent shots on target by some of the Councillors present.

Maldens & Coombe Neighbourhood (Coombe Hill, Coombe Vale, St James, Beverley wards) – Disappointingly there will be no immediate extension of 20mph limits anywhere in the Maldens & Coombe neighbourhood. Though again, residents on specific roads (unnamed) will be consulted in the future (no specific timeframes) on whether they would like 20mph limits on their roads. KCC Summary – nothing can hide the disappointing result from this committee – there were few attempts on the target (of making roads in the neighbourhood safer) here with supporters leaving before the final result as it seemed to be clear that a win wasn’t going to be forthcoming this night.

South of the Borough Neighbourhood (Tolworth & Hook Rise, Chessington North & Hook, Chessington South wards) – As with Maldens & Coombe, there will be no immediate extension of 20mph limits on roads fully within the South of the Borough despite only 36% of the neighbourhood’s roads currently having 20mph limits. However, the committee voted to commit highways officers to investigate reducing the speed limit on roads which currently have speed limits in excess of 30mph in the neighbourhood. This means that part of Jubilee Way could reduce from 40mph to 30mph and parts of Rushett and Fairoak Lanes could reduce from 60mph (the only 60mph roads anywhere in the Borough!) to 40mph. In addition, the committee voted to allow Red Lion Road and Herne Road (and, by implication, Thornhill Road) which are shared with Surbiton neighbourhood, to change to 20mph if Surbiton neighbourhood voted for this (which they did). The neighbourhood has also committed to consult (without specified timeframes) with specific roads (which, spot the theme, are unnamed) in the future on whether they would like 20mph limits introduced. KCC Summary – again, a disappointing result but with a small silver lining of following Surbiton’s decision on moving to 20mph shared roads and looking into reducing the speed limit on roads with a limit of 40mph or above in the neighbourhood. Room for improvement in future outings.

Surbiton Neighbourhood (Alexandra, Berrylands, St Marks, Surbiton Hill wards) – After an amendment proposed by Cllr Sumner and seconded by Cllr Green, Surbiton neighbourhood committee voted unanimously to introduce a 20mph speed limit on ALL Borough controlled roads within the neighbourhood boundary. Highways officers have also been asked by the committee to ask Transport for London to consider lowering the speed limit on the A240 as well as the A3 slip roads which are in TfL’s control (the A3 itself wasn’t included in this request). KCC Summary – full roll out with unanimous support, clearly had eyes focussed on the goal (of safer streets) resulting in being the standout neighbourhood champions. All Surbiton neighbourhood Councillors should be proud of the part they played in the result. Other neighbourhoods look on at what might have been.

What’s next?

Surbiton neighbourhood is clearly leading the way in introducing comprehensive 20mph limits in the Borough by committing to rolling out this limit to all of the roads controlled by the Borough in its area. Traffic orders will now need to be prepared by highways officers and it is likely these will go to committee again in September for final approval. We’d hope the 20mph limits could then roll out by early 2022. This is also the likely process for the handful of roads in Kingston Town that are proposed to move to 20mph. The timings for a review of the roads in South of the Borough which currently have a speed limit of more than 30mph is uncertain.

What about roads which are not going to be 20mph? Well, this is where it gets very unclear. None of the (non-Surbiton) committees discussed this in detail though it was mentioned in one committee that residents could create petitions for their roads to move to 20mph. The problem with petitions for this are:

  • that it will require residents to be organised and know about the ability to petition for safer streets
  • it will require time to be scheduled at a neighbourhood committee to discuss the petition
  • it will require a traffic order for each set of proposals agreed
  • is more expensive than making a wider 20mph limit (as officer time will be required to assess each petition and the roads contained with the petition, more traffic orders are likely to be required and additional boundary signage will also be needed)

Unfortunately Transport for London is currently in the middle of cut-backs and has reduced grants to local Councils (including Kingston). Kingston Council also does not have a strong track record of investing additional sums in Healthy Streets initiatives beyond those given to it in grants from Transport for London or from funds from developers. This means that any future extension of 20mph limits beyond those agreed in recent Committees could be some time away.

Kingston Cycling Campaign is a strong believer in 20mph limits being an important step in creating safer roads and we will therefore continue to campaign for the rest of the Borough’s roads to move to 20mph. As per the consultation documents, 20mph roads are safer (lower speeds reduce the number of collisions and when collisions do happen their severity is reduced too), they encourage more people to walk and cycle and can also reduce air pollution as less acceleration/braking is required.

All local Councillors were given the opportunity to vote on the roll-out of 20mph limits in their neighbourhood. If you therefore share our disappointment in the outcome of the 20mph consultation in three of the neighbourhoods (or if you live in Surbiton neighbourhood and want to congratulate someone!), why not let your local Councillor know?

How to find out more about 20mph

Transport for London map showing all the speed limits in London. This shows the widespread 20mph roads (green) in neighbouring Richmond, Merton and Wandsworth. Kingston shows lots of blue (30mph) roads. Only the roads in Surbiton neighbourhood are likely to have significant changes on this map for the Borough of Kingston in the next 12 months.

20sPlenty website – want to find out more about the benefits of 20mph limits – here’s the site!

Kingston Council 20mph consultation – want to find out more about the original Borough consultation together with maps of all the collisions resulting in injuries on Kingston’s roads in a 5 year period – this is where you’ll find them.

Current Kingston 20mph speed limit map – want to see which roads are currently in 20mph and what the average speed of vehicles on roads near you are, helpfully, Kingston Council has the map for you.

Changing Gears on Fossil Fuels

Simon Sinclair and friend Sam are soon setting off on an epic bike ride raising awareness of oil extraction in Surrey and inspiring people to cycle as they go. We asked Simon some questions to find out more:

Sam riding an earlier tour

Hello Simon. What’s this challenge then?

My friend Sam and I will be cycling from Kingston to Barcelona on Saturday 3rd July. We’ve given ourselves a month to complete the trip, and we plan to do around 50 miles a day (with the occasional day-off, of course). We are expecting it to be pretty tough, what with the heat and mountainous terrain!

What causes are you promoting?

So we have two related causes. The first is to raise awareness of oil and gas exploration in Surrey, which most residents aren’t aware of, and to raise money for the legal challenge against the permission to extract oil from the site at Horse Hill (Horley, Surrey) for the next 20 years. A good overview of this challenge can be found here.

The second is a general promotion of cycling; we’d love to inspire more people to take up cycling for a variety of reasons – the physical and mental health benefits, saving money, tackling air pollution and reducing carbon emissions to tackle the climate emergency, to name a few. We hope to do this by bringing people to join us (<Facebook Events link) on our first 20 miles and by sharing on our Facebook page tips and inspiration throughout our journey to get more people on their bikes. To join Sam and Simon on their departure on Saturday 3rd July please sign up on the Facebook Events link above. It’s a 9am meet-up for 9:30 departure from Kingston’s Memorial Square (Postcode KT1 1RJ)

How did you plan your route?

Our original preferred route was similar to one that Sam has done a couple of times previously; Kingston to Horse Hill (we will be visiting the oil site and hearing from locals about the campaign against it) down to Brighton, across to Hastings (where we planned to do a talk at a school where we have previously worked) and back to Newhaven, over to Dieppe via ferry, along the spine of France, including Paris, and through the Pyrenees to Spain. Along this route we had planned to visit various sustainable communities and renewable energy projects and interview people involved.

However, we have had to come up with a plan B due to restrictions on Brits entering France. This involves cycling from Kingston to Brighton (as above), then to Portsmouth to take the ferry to the north-west coast of Spain, west to Santiago de Compostela, then back across the centre of the country, finishing in Barcelona. We hope to find similar communities and projects to visit as per plan A!

Have you done other long bike rides?

I (Simon) have never done a long distance bike trip before! I only really started getting into cycling at the end of last year when I got my first proper road bike for my birthday, and I have been slowly building up my distances over the year. I’ve done three or four 20 milers so far – so still a long way to go to get to the 50 miles we will be doing on day 1…but hopefully this will show that if I can do it, anyone can!

Luckily, Sam is much more accomplished. He cycled from Ireland to Japan with his Dad when he was 18, which took a year. He has also cycled to Spain and Italy. So I feel more at ease knowing we have his expertise to draw on…

Sam and Simon on their trial ride

Tell us about your bike/ luggage

Sam will be taking the same bike he used on his Ireland to Japan trip – a Dawes Super Galaxy touring bike. Unfortunately, my road bike won’t be suitable for the extra weight and longer distance. Luckily, Sam’s Dad, Mark has kindly lent me the bike that he used on their trip to Japan – a Dawes Sterling tour bike – for which I am eternally grateful. Thank you Mark!

So fairly old bikes but we tested them out on a 20 mile trial ride from Canterbury to Folkestone the other day and they’ve still got it.

On loan: Mark’s Dawes Sterling Tour

Where will you stay?

We plan to camp for most of the way, so it will be a mix of campsites and free camping, which is allowed in France and Spain. We are paying all the expenses out of our own pockets so trying to keep them to a minimum, however we will no doubt be grateful for a proper bed every now and then so I am sure we will visit the occasional hostel too”

What foods do you like to keep your energy up?

We are determined to eat and drink healthily for the entire trip, and starting now. So no more alcohol, caffeine or processed sugar. No doubt we will be needing a lot of carbs  – pasta, rice – and fruit. Personally, my go-to energy food will be porridge with banana, whilst for Sam its banana, peanut butter and date sandwiches.

KCC wish Simon and Sam the best of luck with their adventure.

You can go to their fund-raising page here:


Evening ride to Richmond Hill

Wednesday 23rd June. A mostly Sunny Evening, with 2 late cancellations, saw 10 Cyclists in 1 group leave via Kingston Bridge, Bushy Park, Fulwell, Twickenham, St Margerets, Richmond Bridge, to Richmond Hill for refreshments at ‘the Roebuck’, also meeting up with the ‘unofficial Merton group’, the big question, would we get to enjoy a Sunset ? not quite, but pretty good all the same, (Clouds appearing just after the Photo)

Approaching Sunset from the Terrace, Richmond Hill : John E

then with a slight delay for a minor Mechanical problem, via Richmond Park, Kingston, the new Station Bridge to finish. Total 11 Miles, Special thanks to Ralph for Back marking.

Map:- www.plotaroute.com/route/1588396

The history of Kingston’s Low Traffic Neighbourhoods – 1968 to present day

As a decision by the Council on Kingston’s three Low Traffic Neighbourhood (LTN) trials approaches, Kingston Cycling Campaign has been undertaking research into the history of LTNs in Kingston.

Our research has found that LTNs in the Borough are far from new and one of the first ‘modal filters’ (the restriction of motor traffic passing through) was created at the junction of Lower Ham Road/Lower King’s Road in c.1968. Whilst another was installed on Bonner Hill Road in c.1978. 

The modal filter on Bonner Hill Road (pictured below) helps create one of the Borough’s largest LTNs around Cambridge Road estate. This single modal filter helps reduce motor traffic and by making the roads safer, encourages walking and cycling which can reduce the use of motor vehicles that worsen the Borough’s air pollution problems.

Bonner Hill Road modal filter, installed c.1978

Our research found other LTNs were introduced in the Borough in the 1980s, 1990s, 2000s and, prior to the new LTN trials, the most recent one we have found was created in c.2008 through the installation of a modal filter on Walton Avenue in New Malden at its junction with Burlington Road.

We have also identified that LTNs have been introduced across many different parts of the Borough in the past 50 years including in the South (Stormont Way and Compton Crescent); in New Malden (Walton Avenue and George Road); and through to the North of the Borough (Skerne Road and Chatham Road).

Below you can see our map of LTNs already located in the Borough and which includes the three trial LTNs. This map is based on our own research and whilst we understand it to be correct, please do let us know if there are any omissions or errors.

This map also shows Kingston’s Go Cycle routes (either built, in construction or proposed) and that two of the trial LTNs (Albert Road and King Charles Road) link directly onto the Go Cycle network. This means the residents of these two LTNs not only have safer neighbourhood roads but can use these to connect to safer cycle access along the main roads to many destinations across the Borough. The provision of a network of safer cycle (and walking) routes along main roads that connect neighbourhoods is an absolutely essential part of encouraging walking and cycling. It is also an important part of supporting the accessibility of the Borough for the 29% of households in the Borough that do not own a car.

Though we know LTNs can receive some loud objections at the time they are put in place, if they are designed appropriately, they can have a large positive net impact on the community. Surveys show too that across London substantially more people support LTNs than oppose them. Recent research has also shown that road safety substantially improves within LTNs whilst not worsening on neighbouring main roads

In Waltham Forest, which has had a large programme of new LTNs in recent years, research has shown that children in the Borough are now expected to live longer from the impact of reduced air pollution and increased physical activity whilst motor vehicle ownership has decreased and the measures have even led to reduced street crime

More benefits of LTNs can be found in a London Cycle Campaign guide to LTNs and a collection of evidence that the charity Sustrans has put together.

We have already seen many people enjoy Kingston’s new LTNs (whilst we continue to see people enjoying the ones that have been in place for over 50 years too). We hope that these new LTNs will be made permanent so that their benefits can continue to be enjoyed. We have therefore written to all of the Borough’s Councillors today asking them to support making the trial LTNs permanent and asking them to assist residents in other parts of the Borough with making their roads safer too.

Full list of Low Traffic Neighbourhoods identified in the Royal Borough of Kingston

Low Traffic NeighbourhoodAreaRoads covered by Low Traffic NeighbourhoodDate established*
1Lower Ham Road (1)KingstonLower Ham Road (part), Eastbury Road, Chestnut Road, Woodside Road1968
2Bonner Hill RoadKingstonBonner Hill Road, Hampden Road1978
3South LaneKingstonSouth Lane1985
4Palmer Crescent/Grange RoadKingstonPalmer Crescent, Grange Road1988
5Barnsbury LaneTolworthBarnsbury Lane (part)1988
6Chatham RoadKingstonChatham Road, Cobham Road, Chesham Road1991
7Woodbines Avenue/ The BittomsKingstonWoodbines Avenue, The Bittoms, Milner Road1992
8Knight’s Park BridgeKingstonKnight’s Park1993
9Albert/George/Queen’s RoadsNew MaldenAlbert Road, George Road, Queen’s Road1993
10Stormont WayChessingtonStormont Way, Newlands Way, Devon Way, Holsworthy Way, Riponn Gardens, Tiverton Way, Hereford Way1995
11Caverleigh WayWorcester ParkCaverleigh Way, Pembruy Avenue1995
12Sussex RoadNew MaldenSussex Road1995
13Compton CrescentChessingtonCompton Crescent, Marston Avenue, Church Rise, Wilson Road1996
14Mill PlaceKingstonMill Place, Dudley Road1998
15Skerne WalkKingstonSkerne Walk, Lower Kings Road2001
16St Mary’s RoadSurbitonSt Mary’s Road, Cottage GrovePre-2008
17Walton AvenueNew MaldenWalton Avenue, Cavendish Road, Cromwell Avenue2008
18Lower Ham Road (2)KingstonLower Ham Road (part), Bank Lane, Albany Park Road2020
19King Charles RoadTolworthKing Charles Road (part), Beaconsfield Road, Broomfield Road, Derby Road2020
20Albert RoadKingstonAlbert Road, Victoria Road, Church Road2020

*Our research is based on Traffic Regulation Orders (TRO) administered by Kingston Council. We have used the date of the TRO as the date when the Low Traffic Neighbourhood was established. In some cases, the TRO date may not exactly match where the modal filter (or other measures) were implemented.

As a final note, there are also many Low Traffic Neighbourhoods in the Borough that were established at the time they were built. Examples of this are cul-de-sacs or other estates which were built without provision for through motor vehicles. We have not included these in our analysis and have focussed on those converted to Low Traffic Neighbourhoods through the use of modal filters.

Bread pudding ride to Bookham

Sunday 20th June. A Cloudy, but otherwise pleasant day after 2 late Cancellations, & 1 abandon before the start, due to a visit from the ‘P Fairy’, so 15 Cyclists split into 2 groups, leave via Lower Marsh, Berrylands, Tolworth & Greenway, West Ewell collecting 1 extra Cyclist, Long Grove Park, Epsom Common, pausing briefly at a Coal tax Post, also a short chat about Ashtead Common & why it’s owned by the City of London, Leatherhead, Fetcham, to Bookham, -not Pub in Little Bookham as originally planned, it turns out someone should have done a bit more research-, as the ‘Old Crown’ isn’t doing food at the moment, but does have very helpful, friendly staff & 2 Pet Rabbits, so we elected to stay, whilst some had come prepared, others found the local Co-op for grub, then with darkening Skies, Effingham, Martyr’s Green, Hatchford, Downside (Photo 1), Cobham, Fairmile, to Claremont Lake Cafe for Tea & Bread pudding, Esher, Hinchley wood, Long Ditton, Surbiton (Photo 2) to finish back in Kingston. Special thanks to Mags for group leading, thanks to Amy & Toni for Back marking each group, very special thanks to Christine for the BP.

Map:- www.plotaroute/route/954549

Group 1 Downside Bridge
Group 2 Queens Prom, Surbiton : Tracey C

Midweek ride to West Wickham

A glorious Sunny, if somewhat humid day, after 3 late cancellations, saw 13 Cyclists gather at New Malden, split into 2 groups, leave via Raynes park, South Wimbledon, Colliers wood, – with 1 member of group 2 suffering a ‘brief encounter with some Nettles-, Tooting collecting 1 extra Cyclist, Streatham, Norbury, Thornton heath, Heavers Meadow, Woodside, Ashburton Field, Shirley, Langley Park, to West Wickham for lunch at ‘the Railway’ (Ember Inns),

Group 1 Beddington Park, with newly planted Cherry Trees.
Group 2 Lloyd Park: Pete M

then more Shirley, Addiscombe, Lloyd Park (Photo 2), South Croydon, Waddon to Beddington Park (Photo 1) for Tea & Refreshments, a congested Hackbridge, a nicely re-wilded part of the Wandle trail, Morden, Morden Park, Merton Cemetery, Motspur Park, to finish back in New Malden. Total 31 Miles. Special thanks to Pete M for leading Group 2, thanks to Stephanie & John E for back marking each group.

Map:- www.plotaroute.com/route/1579827