30. Sunday 11 December, an overcast day, but otherwise mostly dry day saw 21 Cyclists ready for the annual Christmas ride – Lower Marsh Lane, Berrylands, New Malden, past Coombe Hill golf club, Ladderstile Gate of Richmond Park, Broomfield Hill, past White Lodge, ‘the Tamsin trail’ from Sheen Gate, to Cambrian Gate to Richmond for lunch at the ‘White cross’. Afterwards, Richmond Bridge, Ducks Walk, St Margerets, Whitton, Subway under the A316, Crane Park, Fulwell, Bushy Tark for Tea & BP at The Pheasentry, (another yellow card for eating our own grub), and then one person noticed they’d left their trousers at the lunch stop ( I don’t think it was Brian Rix, but…), then Hampton Wick and Kingston Bridge. Total 18.5 Miles. Map of the route at www.a-trip.com/tracks/view/92528
29. Sunday 20 November
- A chilly and foggy day saw 17 cyclists ready for the last two part ride, via Kingston Bridge, Bushy Park, Hampton to visit the memorial to General Roy, ‘father’ of the Ordnance Survey (grid ref. 138709), Hanworth, the River Crane path to see the Shot Tower, to Twickenham for lunch at the ‘Prince Blucher’. After lunch via Strawberry Hill, Teddington, the footbridge then towpath to Kingston. Sub-total 14 Miles. Map at www.a-trip.com/tracks/view/90977
- Part 2, we said goodbye to 10 but hello to three fresh faces, so 10 Cyclists left via Portsmouth Road, Long Ditton, Hinchley Wood, Claygate, Fairoak Lane, Horton Country Park, to the Golfclub for Tea & BP + other nibbles from Nicky, then via West Ewell, Hogsmill path, Tolworth and King Charles Road to Kingston. Sub-total 15 Miles, Total 29 Miles, 2 New faces. You can see a map at www.a-trip.com/tracks/view/90978
28. Sunday 6 November, a chilly, overcast, but otherwise dry day saw 18 Cyclists on the final ‘Challenge’ ride of the year, so via the High Street, the Bittoms, Lower Marsh, Berrylands, New Malden, Worcester Park, North Cheam, Sutton, Carshalton, Beddington Park, Wallington, South Croydon, Selsdon to Farleigh for lunch at ‘The Plough’ (AKA The Harrow Inn). Afterwards, via Warlingham, Mitchley Wood, Ribblesdown Common, Purley, Woodcote, Clockhouse, Woodmansterne, to the ‘Oaks Park’ for Tea & Not BP, but cookies & apple flapjack, both homemade, then Carshalton beeches, Sutton, Cheam, Worcester park, New Malden, Berrylands, back to Kingston. Total 37 Miles, 3 new faces, 1 minor handlebar problem.You can see a map of the route at www.a-trip.com/tracks/view/89966′
27. Sunday 23 October, first, apologies to anyone expecting to see a map of today’s route; the ‘tracker’ hasn’t worked. A dry sunny day saw 19 Cyclists go via Canbury Gardens, along the towpath, the Aerospace estate, Ham, Hame Gate of Richmond Park, Richmond Gate, Kew Road, Kew Bridge, South Ealing, Ealing Studios, West Ealing, Pitshanger Park, Perivale, then the Grand Union Canal towpath, including London’s only Aquaduct (across the North Circular Road), to Harlesden for lunch at the ‘Grand Junction Arms’. Afterwards, still on the Canal towpath to Kensal Town and Ladbroke Grove, Holland Park (and a short delay for a slipped chain), Kensington, Brompton Cemetery, Fulham, Putney Bridge, Putney, Barnes Common, Roehampton Gate of Richmond Park, for Tea & BP, then via White Lodge, Ham Cross, Kingston Gate and back to the Market Place. Total 32 Miles, 3 new faces.
26. Sunday 9 October, a mostly cloudy day with occasional glimpses of the sun, saw 12 Cyclists dodge all the runners and the St. Johns ambulances, leaving via Lower Marsh Lane, Berrylands, New Malden, Motspur Park, Bushy Mead, Morden Park, Morden Hall Park, Mitcham, Tooting, Tooting Common, Streatham Hill, Tulse Hill, Brockwell Park, Dulwich Park to East Dulwich for lunch at ‘The Vale’. Afterwards via Herne Hill, to Brixton Windmill, then Clapham Common, Wandsworth Common where the chance of an early tea was declined, so Earlsfield then Wimbledon Park for Tea & BP, then Church Road past the tennis club, Wimbledon Village, Copse Hill, across Malden golf course, Norbiton back to Kingston. 1 new face, total 32 Miles.
25. Sunday 25 September
- Part 1, mostly bright and sunny, saw 15 Cyclists, set off via Lower Marsh Lane, Berrylands, New Malden, past Coombe Hill golf club, Ladderstyle Gate of Richmond Park, Broomfield Hill, Ham Cross, Petersham, Ham, Teddington footbridge to lunch at ‘The Anglers’, then back across the footbridge and towpath to Kingston, 1 new face, total 14 Miles. Part 2 to follow with a fresh, (not too fresh) leader. We lost 9 but gained 4 fresh faces…
- …and tuned into Listen with Uncle Nick for Part 2. So the intrepid 10 set off on their jolly adventure going all the way out to Epsom, via the huge roundabout at Tolworth, avoiding that big bad road the A3 and all those ghastly, vulgar motorists imprisoned in their little tin boxes. A brief respite on the Hogsmill trail and deft following of shared use paths, saw them head, immensely cleverly, around Epsom town centre, through back streets coming out on a bridleway (golly how they wished they were galloping on horseback) which took them all the way to East Ewell ! From there our young (?) heroes reached Nonsuch Park by the back entrance; how clever and superior they felt, not at all like the common children. There they had lashings of tea and a delightfully solid bread pudding, before heading back to Kingston through Worcester Park and Berrylands and going happily to bed, absolutely tired out after an enormous 17 miles.
24. Sunday 11 September: Recipe for a Bread Pudding Ride
11 cyclists with 11 bikes
1 pub lunch
1 tea stop with Bread Pudding
A sprinkling of photos, according to taste
Method: Assemble cyclists and bikes in an Ancient Market Place on a morning with reasonably clear skies. Blend together and gradually add the other ingredients while passing through: Chessington, Claygate, Oxshott, Stoke D’abernon, Martyrs’ Green (lunch at the surprisingly expensive Mucky Duck), Effingham Junction, East Horseley, Ockham, Wisley Airfield, back to Martyrs’ Green, Chobham, Esher Common, Claremont Park (reassuringly reasonable cuppa and John’s BP), Waynflete’s Tower, Weston Green and Portsmouth Road to Kingston. After 32 miles serve in the Market Place at around 4pm with an optional pint in The Druid’s Head. You can see the route mapped out at http://twitpic.com/6jjbn7/full (thanks, Mark!)
23. Wednesday 7 September, an overcast evening saw just 3 Cyclists assemble for the final evening ride of 2011. With the usual routemaster indisposed, it fell to the back marker to lead the way, so via Kingston Bridge, towpath to Hampton Court, then Molesey for refreshments at ‘The Bell’. Afterwards, via Thames Ditton and Portsmouth Road to return to Kingston.
22. Sunday 4 September. Our racing correspondent writes:
Overcast skies saw around 80 runners and riders assemble at the Ancient Market Place all-weather racecourse. They gathered for one of the most popular events in the flat racing season – the Classic Kingston Derby, also known as SkyRide. The Going firm, jockeys Roger and Nick took the lead while John D was pushed into final place because he was making sure no-one got lost. Mostly flat with many easy bends the track is irregular and of an unusual length: around 240 furlongs, not including the central loop.
It crosses Richmond Park, Putney Bridge, Brompton Cemetery and Hyde Park; it continues along the Mall and makes a circuit of Central London; then passes many landmarks, before turning back towards Kingston. Most of the riders abandoned the race at this point but 30 stayed the course. And so, as with all Classic races, fewer riders crossed the finish line. Heavy rain affected the Going mid-race. But despite a couple of falls no runners (or riders!) were put down. And there was only one puncture.
21. Sunday 28 August, with broken sunshine and just one shower after lunch, 16 Cyclists set out via Portsmouth Road, Thames Ditton, Weston Green, Esher, clearing a fallen branch clearing a fallen branch off the path to Hersham, then Walton, Weybridge, Addlestone to Lyne, where the chosen lunch stop had no food, so on to Virginia Water for lunch at the ‘Rose & Olive branch’. Afterwards, to Windsor Great Park to see Virginia Water lake, passed the totem pole, Savill Gardens, Egham Wick, Egham, a busy Staines Bridge, then towpath to Laleham, Shepperton, Sunbury for Tea & BP at ‘The Walled Garden’, then Sunbury Court, Hampton, Bushy park and back to Kingston. Total 38 Miles.
20. Wednesday 17 August, saw just three Cyclists brave the showers,(which had ceased by the start time), via Canbury Gardens, towpath, the ‘Aerospace estate’, Ham House, towpath to Richmond across the bridge to Twickenham for refreshments at ‘The White Swan’. Afterwards, Twickenham, Strawberry Hill, Teddington & Kingston Bridge. Total 12 Miles.
19. Sunday 14 August, a mostly cloudy but warm day saw 13 Cyclists leave via Kingston Bridge, towpath to Hampton Court, where pause was taken to watch the ‘London-Surrey Classic’ Cycle race cross the bridge ( and all the police outriders, race officials, team cars etc. etc.) then more towpath to Walton Bridge, Shepperton, to Laleham for lunch at ‘the Three Horseshoes’. The entertainment was provided by Chris’s bike yet again with a huge blow out whilst we were enjoying lunch, so after Chris fitted yet another tube, via Chertsey Bridge, Chertsey Meads, Addlestone, Weybridge, Oatlands Park and Hersham to Squires garden centre for Tea & BP, then Hersham centre, Molesey, Thames Ditton and return to Kingston. Total 28 Miles, 1 stupendous puncture.
18. Sunday 24 July, a mostly warm sunny day saw just eight cyclists remember the early start for this ‘Super Challenge Ride’, after everyone was admiring Chris’s brand new bike it was noticed he had a flat tyre (not a good omen for the day). After a quick change of tube, we left via Portsmouth Road, (with the other Chris suffering a puncture), Long Ditton, Hinchley Wood, Arbrook Common, Esher Common, Fairmile, Stoke d’abernon, Downside, Ockham, Hungry Hill, East Clandon, Combe Bottom, Shere to Albury Heath, for lunch at the ‘William the Fourth’, while Chris 1 fixed his second puncture. Afterwards, via Shere, Gomshall, Dearleep Wood, Westcott, Milton Court, Dorking, Westhumble, to Bockets Farm for Tea & BP, then Leatherhead, the B & Q Bridge, Leatherhead Road, Ashtead Common, (and Chris 2’s second puncture), Horton Country Park, West Ewell, Hogsmill Path, Tolworth, King Charles Rd, to Kingston. Total 45 Miles, 4 punctures, equal shares to the two Chrises.
17. Wednesday 20 July, a damp and drizzly evening saw just four brave Cyclists leave after pointing two tourists in the direction of Hampton Wick, we left via Lower Marsh, Berrylands, New Malden, Worcester Park, Nonsuch Park, East Ewell for refreshments at the ‘Wheatsheaf’, with the rain more steady, across the Hogsmill, then West Ewell, Tolworth, King Charles Road, back to Kingston. Total 14 Miles, 1 new face.
16. Sunday 10 July, a mostly cloudy day with some breaks for sun, saw 17 Cyclists, set off via Kingston Bridge, Bushy Park, Hampton, Fulwell, River Crane Park, Whitton, Isleworth, Osterley Park, Norwood Green, Southall to Northolt for lunch at ‘The Crown’. After a quick look at St Mary’s church, to join the Grand Union Canal towpath, to Greenford, then Hanwell, Hanwell Viaduct, rejoin the canal towpath, to Brentford, then Syon Park for Tea & BP (compliments to the temporary chef, some say he should get the job on a perminent basis, but the majority just favour letting the main man back in September). Afterwards, Isleworth, Ducks Walk, Richmond Bridge, Richmond Hill to enjoy the views from the terrace, Richmond Park, to Kingston Gate and the Market Place. Total 30 Miles, 1 new face.
15. Sunday 26 June
- Part 1, a hot and sunny day saw 11 Cyclists say thanks to Dr. Bike, set off across Kingston bridge, towpath to Hampton court, then East Molesey, Esher, Littleworth common, where a large twig caused 1 to say goodbye to a mudgaurd, Arbrook common & Claygate for lunch at ‘The Foley arms’. Afterwards, via Hinchley wood, Long Ditton, Surbiton & back to the Market place, sub-total 14 Miles.
- Part 2, we said farewell to 5 and hello to 6 fresh faces, so 12 Cyclists set off via Cranes park, King Charles bridge, Tolworth, the Hogsmill path to West Ewell, then Ewell East & Nonsuch park for tea & BP, then Stoneleigh, Worcester park, Old Malden, South lane Subway, New Malden, Berrylands & Kingston, Sub-total 15 Miles, 6 new faces, 29 Miles all day.
14. Wednesday 22 June. A cloudy but still bright evening saw 6 Cyclists ready for the ‘Annual Bike Week ride’, via Kingston Bridge, Bushy Park, Fulwell, Twickenham, Crane River Park, St Margerets, Ducks Walk, Richmond Bridge, Richmond Hill for refreshments at ‘The Roebuck’, and after enjoying the sunset with other groups from SW London, via Richmond Park, to Kingston Gate and return to the Market Place. Total 14 Miles, 1 new face.
13. Sunday 5 June. A mostly cloudy day with occasional drops of rain, gradually turning to steady drizzle, saw 15 Cyclists avoid the ‘sleeping bakers van’ (to quote the local constabualry). So via Lower marsh lane, Berrylands, New Malden, Motspur park, Joseph Hood Park, to Sutton, then Carshalton to follow the Wandle trail to Merton Abbey Mills for lunch at the ‘William Morris’. After saying goodbye to the Youngs Dray & Horses, still following the river Wandle, but with the rain becoming more persistent by Earlsfield, an early stop for Tea & BP in Wimbledon Park, with rain still falling passing Wimbledon tennis club, Wimbledon Village, Copse Hill, across Malden golf course, Mount Pleasant, Norbiton and back to Kingston. Total 25 Miles, 3 new faces.
12. Wednesday 25 May, a bright but chilly evening saw seven cyclists set off via Canbury Gardens, the towpath to Ham, Ham Common, Richmond Park, to Roehampton Gate, Roehampton, Putney Heath, Wimbledon Common to the ‘Hand in Hand’ for refreshments, then Copse Hill, across Malden golf course, New Malden and return to Kingston.
11. Sunday 22 May, a mostly sunny day, with just a few drops of rain and a very strong gusty breeze saw 14 cyclists, set off across Kingston Bridge, then Bushy Park to Hampton, Fulwell, Twickenham, River Crane Park, Whitton, Isleworth, Osterley Park, Norwood Green, then the Grand Union Canal towpath to Hanwell for lunch at ‘The Fox’. After a longer than expected lunch, and a ‘late payer’, the towpath was resumed to Brentford, Syon Park, Isleworth, Ducks Walk, East Twickenham to Marble Hill Park for Tea & BP, then Twickenham, Strawberry Hill, Teddington, Teddington footbridge, then the towpath back to Kingston. Total 24 Miles.
10. Sunday 9 May, a mostly cloudy day, with occasional glimpses of the Sun, saw 16 cyclists escape the clutches of ‘Pollards Hill Cyclists’ (who had stopped in the market place for tea), set off via Lower Marsh Lane to Berrylands, New Malden, Worcester Park, West Sutton, Carshalton Beeches, Woodmansterne, Coulsdon, Farthing Down (with a strong headwind), Chaldon to Nutfield for lunch at ‘The Inn on the Pond’. Afterwards, via Merstham, Gatton Bottom, Chipstead, Banstead and Cheam to Nonsuch Park where we found the tea room closed for redecoration, so a quick rethink led via Ewell to Horton Park golf club for tea and the temporary catering manager suddenly revealing he’d sneaked the BP into my pannier (no wonder I struggled on those hills). But the service was like no other, with superb serving tongs. We continued via the Hogsmill path, Tolworth, King Charles Bridge to Kingston. Total 36 Miles, 2 new faces.
9. Wednesday 20 April, the first Evening ride of ’11, saw 11 Cyclists set off via Surbiton, Long Ditton, Hinchley Wood, the edge of Claygate and Esher to East Molesey for refreshments at ‘The Bell’, afterwards via Summer Road and Thames Ditton to Kingston. Total 12 Miles.
8. Sunday 17 April, apologies to anyone expecting another ‘football’ themed report. ( I blame the person who got 110%.) A cloudy morning quickly cleared for a mostly sunny day. 17 Cyclists set off across Kingston bridge, however four missed the crucial turn to the towpath,(partly due to two fire engines also wanting to hog the towpath) and found themselves in Bushy Park. So they made their own way to Hampton Court, whilst the main party used the towpath, with everyone back together, across Hampton court bridge then more towpath to Walton Bridge and Weybridge, then on the Wey Navigation to New Haw, then the Basingstoke Canal to Woking and Horsell Common for lunch at the ‘Plough’. Afterwards, via Horsell Common, Ottershaw, Addlestone, Chertsey Meads, Chertsey Bridge, Shepperton, to Sunbury for Tea & BP at ‘The Walled Garden’, then Hampton, Bushy Park and return to Kingston. Total 35 Miles, 1 new face, 1 breakaway group, 1 Puncture.
7. Sunday 3 April. It was a game of two halves, Gary…
With Skipper Roger currently on loan, in the morning new captain Nick led a team of 18 from Kingston Market Place. Some new faces in the side, John stoically remained sweeper and crowd favourite Chris F returned following a knee injury. The team pushed towards Horton Country Park via Tolworth and the Hogsmill Path. After a slow period of play a tactical re-think saw KCC Wanderers defend amid confusion in the West Ewell and Old Malden areas before arriving at Woodies for half-time.
Charles Barraball of Merton United provided a team talk at the break. KCC were Over the Moon that he’d reserved a big table.
Substitutions were made for the second half and four new players were brought on for a smaller but faster team of 10. Moving through Bushey Park and Hanworth, Ruth was not out on The Left, despite appearances. Forging ahead along the Crane River Path, new signing Derek marshalled admirably. There was time for a team photo by the Shot Tower. The players turned down the chance of tea at Kneller Gardens and pitched up at the Marble Hill cafe via Twickenham. John gave it 110%. He served up a superlative BP and no-one was sick as a parrot. Return to Kingston training ground through Teddington.
First half: 13 miles
Woodies to Kingston: 2 miles
Second half: 17 miles
5 new signings
6. Sunday 20 March, a cloudy morning with some brighter skies later saw 16 Cyclists go via Canbury Gardens, the towpath to Ham and the ‘Aerospace’ estate, then Ham Gate of Richmond Park, Richmond Gate, Kew, Brentford, South and West Ealing, Pitshanger Park, Perivale, then the Grand Union Canal to Greenford for lunch at the ‘Black Horse’. Afterwards still on the Canal (the towpath!) to Southall, Norwood Green and Osterley Park for Tea & BP, then Osterley, the edge of Hounslow, Whitton, Twickenham, Fulwell, Bushy Park and Kingston. Total 29 Miles, 4 new faces.
5. Sunday 6 March, with overcast skies and a chilly north wind, 16 Cyclists set off via Portsmouth Rd, Giggs Hill Green, Weston Green, Esher and Walton on Thames, where pause was taken at a recently refurbished plaque to a crashed Spitfire from the Second World War, co-incidently on the 75th anniversary of the first flight of a Spitfire, then Weybridge Station and a new link to the former Brooklands motor racing track to see some of the famous banking (thanks to Tony for the last 2 items) then Byfleet and the Wey navigation to Pyrford Lock for lunch at the ‘Anchor’. After a rendition of Happy Birthday for the leader (1 day late, but who’s counting) , then a ‘phantom puncture’, via Wisley, the disused Wisley airfield, Martyrs Green, Cobham, Fairmile, Esher Common, to Claremont Gardens for Tea & BP, also to admire the new decking, but a distinct lack of Cycle racks, then Esher, Hinchley Wood, Long Ditton, Surbiton and Kingston. Total 29 Miles, 1 very slow puncture, 1 new face.
4. Sunday 20 February, with grey skies and a chilly breeze, 18 Cyclists set off via Canbury Gardens towpath and the ‘Aerospace’ Estate to Ham, then Ham Gate of Richmond Park to Roehampton Gate, Priory Lane, Barnes Common, Putney and Putney Bridge, then Fulham and Parsons Green, where an encounter with the Police saw several people have their bikes tagged, past Chelsea FC, then Brompton Cemetery, Kensington, Kensington Gardens, Hyde Park, Paddington, then the Grand Union Canal to Little Venice for lunch for some at the ‘Warwick Castle’, but as the Staff insisted they were fully booked, some went for Starbucks and covered bike parking. Afterwards, on the Grand Union Canal through Kensal Town and Harlsden to Park Royal, then West Acton and Ealing Common to Gunnersbury Park for Tea & BP, then via Kew Bridge, Richmond and Richmond Park back to Kingston. Total 31 Miles, 4 new faces.
3. Sunday 6 February, a stiff headwind, but otherwise dry day saw 11 cyclists set off on the first challenge ride of 2011 via Cranes Park, King Charles Bridge, Tolworth, Hogsmill path, Horton Country Park where we met the Pollards Hill cyclists en route to Ashtead, but we continued via Epsom Common, Ashtead Park then Walton on the Hill, Walton Heath where we had a small delay whilst some mud had to be removed from 2 bikes with narrow frames, then Mogador for lunch at ‘The Sportsman’. Afterwards via Lower Kingswood, Chipstead, Woodmansterne to ‘Oaks Park’ for Tea & BP, also getting a ‘Yellow card’ from the cafe for eating our own food,(well they didn’t have Bread Pudding on the menu, so we had to eat John’s !). Pausing for the photo, then Carshalton Beeches, Sutton, North Cheam, Worcester Park, Old Malden, Berrylands, back to Kingston. Total 33 Miles, 1 new face.
2. Sunday 23 January, an overcast day, with a chilly breeze, saw 16 cyclists leave via Kingston Bridge, Bushy Park to Hampton Hill, Hanworth, Feltham, Bedfont, Stanwell, Stanwell Moor, Poyle, to Horton for lunch at ‘The Five Bells’, with a slower than expected service. Afterwards, pausing for a photo outside where reputedly John Milton lived in the 1630s, then Wraysbury, Staines, the towpath to Laleham, Shepperton to Walton Bridge for Tea & BP, then Hersham, Esher, Weston Green, Thames Ditton, past the road block for the recently appearing ‘pothole’ back to Kingston. Total 32 Miles.
1. Sunday 9 January, a bright sunny, but chilly day saw 22 Cyclists gather for the first ride of the year, via Lower Marsh, Berrylands, New Malden, Motspur Park, Raynes Park, South Wimbledon, then the Wandle trail, to Earlsfield, Wandsworth Common, Clapham Common, Battersea Park to visit the ‘bridge to nowhere’, a photo by Chelsea Bridge then Battersea for lunch at ‘The Woodman’. Afterwards via Wandsworth, Wandsworth Park, Putney, where the group seemed to split several ways. But mobiles kept in touch, so to Barnes, Sheen, Palewell Common, where a moment’s inattention saw our leader collide with a wooden barrier/gate. As the bike stopped very suddenly the only option for Roger was to go over the barrier, left spread-eagled. Once the laughter had finished and checks that the bike and cyclist were both in working order, to Sheen Gate at Richmond Park to gather the remainder of the group, then to Pembroke Lodge for Tea & BP, then to Kingston Gate and the Market Place. 2 new faces.Total 26 Miles.