Roger’s review of 2020

Socially distanced lunch, Walton-on-the-Hill Credit Chris F

What turned out to be a very strange year, with various Covid lockdowns & other restrictions, had started very well with numbers at a record high of 21 after 6 Sunday rides, Midweek rides had also been well supported, with an average of 14, but then in March everything changed, the Government imposed a Lockdown to help control the Coronavirus, Covid 19, no group Cycling allowed ๐Ÿ˜ฆ, the one other highlight from the early part of 2020, I was invited to visit Kingston Guildhall to receive a ‘Mayors Community award’, see fuller report here, https://kingstoncyclecampaign.wordpress.com/2020/03/07/community-award-and-history/ after being nominated by Derek, a very great pleasure & surprise.

After a 3 Month Hiatus, and looking at the ‘new rules’, from the Government,- Groups of up to 6 are allowed to mix-, but with Pub’s & Cafe’s still closed for now, would there be any support for a ‘Picnic ride’, the answer was an emphatic Yes, so in late June, after recruiting a couple of ‘Co-pilots’, – Special thanks to Mike & Mags-, perhaps a bit too Hilly for a first effort, after such a long lay off, but all said they had enjoyed the outing, with a few more willing Co-pilots for the various rides, Sunday, Midweek, 2 part, Challenge & Evening, we resumed, but with new restrictions, a max of 6 per group, having to book in advance at any Pubs (some regulars not so keen on visiting a Pub, due to Social distancing constraints), and by September our parent body, LCC, decided we should all book in advance using ‘Eventbrite’, which actually worked very smoothly. Evening rides had an average of 10 from 3 rides, Midweek managed just under 11 from 4 rides, the various Sunday rides had an average of 17 before the second Lockdown in early November, restrictions lifted briefly for 1 more ride in December with 18, ( it would have been 24 if the Weather had been more helpful), then London was put in Tier 4, effectively another Lockdown.

Very special thanks to all the Co-pilots who have helped lead rides, Mike, Bai, Mags, Carl, Steve F, Jon W, Steve D & Steve J, sterling work all & very much appreciated by many other participants on the various rides.

As always thanks to John D for all the delicious Bread puddings in what should have been a very special twentieth anniversary Year. Special thanks to all the Back markers, whilst often not really necessary, it still gives reassurance to any new Cyclists, and is still required to satisfy LCC, our parent body.

It was very notable that Cycling in smaller groups, we reached the Lunch & Tea stops much earlier than when we Cycle in one large group, which will be food for thought when we can return to ‘normal service’.

We hope to resume group rides again, as soon as the rules allow, but for the foreseeable future, it has to be ‘solo Cycling’, let’s hope normality can resume early in 2021.

Bread pudding ride to Northolt

Sunday 13th December, to bring a very odd year to a close, a semi-Picnic ride. After 5 cancellations & 1 no show, a Chilly day, with drizzly Showers saw 18 Cyclists split into 4 groups, leave 5 mins apart via Kingston Bridge, Bushy Park, Fulwell, Twickenham, River Crane path, Whitton, Hounslow Heath, West Hounslow, Cranford, Sipson, West Drayton, Hillingdon, Hayes, Northolt to Northala Fields for Tea & Bread pudding

Group 2 Northala Fields, Tea stop credit: Bai Kamara

(Photo group 2), with leader of group 4 suffering a visit from the ‘P fairy’, a few also having a picnic lunch, then Southall, Brent Valley Park, Hanwell, West Ealing, Ealing, Acton, Chiswick green (Photo group 1),

Group 1 Chiswick Green, Credit: Lindsay Webster

Grove Park, group 1 having a visit from the ‘P Fairy’, seeing group 2 & 3 by-pass, & even group 4 before the group got back on the Road, Chiswick Bridge, Mortlake, Sheen gate Richmond Park, White Lodge, Ham gate, North Kingston to finish in the Market place. Total 35 Miles, 2 visits from the ‘P Fairy’. Special thanks to Bai, Mike & Carl for group leading, thanks to Ellie, Steve F, John E & Nigel for back marking each group, thanks to John D for the BP.

Map:-www.plotaroute.com/route/1364189

I hope everyone has an enjoyable Christmas, lets hope we can get back to ‘normal service’ early in the new Year.

Challenge ride to Downe

Sunday 4th October. A largely Wet day still saw 11 brave Cyclists, with 5 cancellations split into 2 groups rather than the 3 planned, leave the Fountain Roundabout via Motspur park, Joseph Hood Park, North Cheam, Sutton, Wrythe Green, & the new Pop up planters on Butter Hill, Beddington Park- with bonus points for anyone doing the Breaststroke in the ‘Guy Road Pond’-, Croydon, Heavers Meadow, Ashburton Field, Shirley, Coney Hall, Keston to Downe for a welcoming lunch at the Queens Head, High Elms, Farnbo0rough, Orpington, Southborough, Norman Park, Bromley, to Beckenham for Tea & Bread Pudding at Kelsey Park Cafe and Photo’s

Group 1 Kelsey Park
Group 2 Kelsey Park

Elmers End, South Norwood Country Park, South Norwood with more Pop up Planters ๐Ÿ™‚, Heavers Meadow, Selhurst, Thornton heath, Pollards hill, Mitcham, Morden Hall Park, Merton park, Wimbledon Chase, Raynes park, to finish back in New Malden, Total 45 Miles, special thanks to Bai for leading group 2 also Carl for being ready to lead a third group, thanks to Mike F & John E for back marking duties, thanks to John D for the BP.

Map:-www.plotaroute.com/route/1302921

Bread pudding ride to Wraysbury

Sunday 20th September. 18 Cyclists having successfully negotiated the new booking system from LCC, in fact it worked so well, the ride was fully booked barely 4 Hours after sending the invite ! A mostly warm Sunny Day saw 16 Cyclists, with 1 late cancellation & 1 no show, the 3 seperate groups left via Kingston Bridge, Bushy Park, Hampton Hill, Hampton, Hanworth, Feltham, Bedfont

St Mary the virgin & its Topiary with group 1
who’d have thought, Group 2 at the same spot Credit:Bai Kamara

(Photo, group 1 & group 2, more on the Topiary can be found here https://londongardenstrust.org/conservation/inventory/site-record/?ID=HOU046 ), Stanwell -including a new Cycle track, not very far but might get extended sometime, Stanwell Moor, Poyle, to Wraysbury for lunch at the ‘Perseverance’, with service slightly peddestrian, but worth it when the Food & Drinks did arrive, then Hythe End, Staines, Laleham, Shepperton (with group one missing a turn, soon back tracked, whatever distracted our leader, we’ll never know), Walton Bridge, to ‘Wilde Bunch’

Group 3 enjoying Tea & Bread pudding, if the other two groups haven’t eaten it all ๐Ÿ˜‰

for Tea & Bread pudding, Walton, Molesey, -all three groups struggled crossing a very busy A309, Hampton Court Way-, Thames Ditton, Portsmouth Rd & track to Kingston. Total 31 Miles special thanks to Bai & Carl for sterling work leading group’s 2 & 3, thanks to Amy, Ellie & Andrea for back marking there group, thanks to John D for the Bread pudding

Map:- http://www.plotaroute.com/route/1287729

2 Part ride to Chessington & Bushy Park

Sunday 6th September Part 1. A mostly bright morning saw 18 Cyclists split into 3 groups, leave 5 Minutes apart go via Lower Marsh, Berrylands, New Malden, Motspur park alas the Level crossing was down an inordinate time, allowing group 2 to catch the tail of group 1 ๐Ÿ˜ฆ, Joseph Hood Park, North Cheam, Cheam Park, Nonsuch Park, Stoneleigh, Hogsmill open Space, West Ewell, to Chessington for lunch at the very pleasant ‘William Bourne’ (Stonegate), Bonesgate Path, Tolworth & Greenway, Surbiton, Cranes park to Kingston. Sub total 17 Miles, 1 new face, special thanks to Jon W & Mike F for group leading,, thanks to Ellie, John D & John E for back marking their group.

Map:-www.plotaroute.com/route/860017

Afternoon Tea stop, Bushy Park Credit: Steve J/ Amy

Part 2 saying farewell to 8 and welcome to 4 fresh faces, with group 2 in a rush to depart, before group 3 from the morning had finished, so 2 led the way via Skerne Rd, Kingston Gate Richmond Park, the Tamsin trail, (group 1 almost catching the leaders at Petersham gate), Richmond, Richmond Bridge, Ducks walk, East Twickenham, group 1 took a devious detour to pass group 2, ๐Ÿ˜‰ St Margartets, Cole Park, Crane River Path, Twickenham, Fulwell, Hampton to Bushy Park for Tea & Bread pudding at the Pheasantry, Cobblers walk, Hampton Wick gate, Kingston Bridge to Kingston. Sub total 12 Miles, Total 29 Miles, special thanks to Steve J & Mike for group leading, thanks to Amy, Ralph, & John E for back marking duties, thanks to John D for the BP. Thanks to Amy for remembering to take a Photo at Tea.

Map:-www.plotaroute.com/route/1263233

Challenge ride to Walliswood

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Group 1, Weare Street Duck pond

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Group 2 Fetcham Meadows

Sunday 9th August, A hot steamy day was perhaps not the best day to pick one of the Hillier rides we might do, but having to plan, organise sub groups & book ahead at the moment meant we had to stick to the plan. 14 Cyclists (after 2 late cancellations), split 3 ways, leave via Kingston Rd Cycle track, Chessington, Claygate, Princes Coverts, Oxshott, Fetcham (Photo 2, (who is the masked crusader? Me thinks it might be Chris)), Bookham, Effingham, with group 1 deciding wrongly in hindsight to use the Bridleway past the Roadworks, groups 2 & 3 wisely walked past the obstruction, Whitedown, Abinger, Holmbury St Mary, Forest Green to Walliswood for lunch at the always delightful ‘Scarlett Arms’, then Okewood Hill, Weare Street (Photo 1), Ockley, Capel, -where things started to go slightly awry-, 2 of group 1 decided to take a detour to visit ‘Dorking Brewery’, then had to backtrack, hence Group 2 caught up & took the lead, Newdigate, Henfold, Stonebridge, -only to lose 2 of group 2 off the front (a reminder to listen to instruction from leader if you get in front)-, hence Group 1 retook the lead, Pixham, A24 Cycle track to Burford Bridge, for Tea & Bread pudding at ‘Rykas’, with group 3 splintering, some heading for Leatherhead & Train, 1 missing a turn & heading straight for home, the last man standing joined group 1, the 2 groups remaining electing to take an easier less Hilly route than planned, Leatherhead, Ashtead Common, Horton, West Ewell, to Tolworth. Total 49 Miles, special thanks to Bai for leading group 2, & Mags leading group 3, thanks to John E, Steve F & Will for back marking each group, thanks to John D for the BP.

Map:-www.plotaroute.com/route/1238121

Bread Pudding ride to Northolt

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Group 1 Northala field

Sunday 26th July , a mostly bright day with light rain at the end of the lunch breaks, & steadier Rain after the Tea stop, saw 15 Cyclists, split into 3 groups ofย  5, having managed to find an alternative to Garmin’s non functioning Website for group 2, leave via Kingston Bridge, Teddington, Twickenham & the new ‘Railway Path’, Isleworth, Syon Park, Brentford, South Ealing, Boston Manor Cycle track, Hanwell, Churchfield Rec, High Lane Path, Southall, Greenford to Northolt for lunch at the very hospitable ‘Crown’ (Sizzling Pubs), all 3 groups electing to stay in the Garden, then Northala field, (Photo group 1), Southall, Norwood green, Osterley Park, Osterley, Hounslow, Whitton, to Kneller Gardens for Tea & Bread pudding, -with group 2 finding an alternative route, & temporarily mislaying 2 members, oops-, 20200726_145553group 3 arrived before 2ย  (Photo group 3 at Tea), Crane river Park, Fulwell, Bushy Park, Kingston Bridge, to find group 2 had found a different route to Bushy Park, usurping group 1 in the process. Total 29 Miles, very special thanks to Carl & Bai for leading groups 2 & 3, thanks to Mike, Ralph & John E for Back marking each group, thanks to John D for the BP.

Map:- www.plotaroute.com/route/1212522

 

Bread pudding ride to Walton on the Hill

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Socially distanced lunch, Walton-on-the-Hill. Credit: Chris F

Sunday 28th June. After such a long hiatus, due to the Covid pandemic, how to get back on track, why not have three rides in one day ! As current rules stipulate, a maximum of 6 people (Socially distancing of course), on a first come first served basis, with 14 response’s, we settled on 2 groups of 5, with 1 group of 4. A bright Sunny day, with a light sprinkling of Drizzle as we finished lunch, Group 1 left via Lower Marsh, Berrylands, Tolworth, West Ewell, St Ebba’s path, Epsom, Court Rec, the Red Bridge, Woodcote, Langley Vale, Hurst Rd to Walton on the Hill for a Picnic lunch, arriving almost on cue, 5 minutes behind group 2, followed again 5 mins later by group 3, thankfully Chris remembered we needed a Photo (thanks for joining us for lunch Chris & Graham), separating again, via Kingswood, Chipstead Valley, to Banstead for Tea & Bread pudding, at Pistachios (could we resist eating it all before the others arrived…., yes we could), in fact it was group 3 who arrived first, with group 2 close behind (no ones admitting they got lost, so we’ll assume gr 3 where just a bit hungrier), also joining us briefly ‘Nurse Andrea’ , Belmont, Cheam village, Cheam Park, pausing to see the ‘Sinkhole’, still unrepaired since before Lockdown,

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Cheam Park Sinkhole

North Cheam, Joseph Hood Park, Motspur park, New Malden, Berrylands to Kingston. Total 31 Miles, special thanks to Co-leaders Mike & Mags, thanks to John D for the BP.

Map:- www.plotaroute.com/route/1181994

2 part ride to Twickenham & Nonsuch Park

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with General Roy’s Cannon, Hampton

Sunday 15th March Part 1. A largely cloudy morning saw 12 Cyclists leave via Kingston Bridge, Bushy Park,- pausing to hear about ย SHAEF-, Hampton, another pause to visit the Memorial to General Roy, ‘Grandfather of the Ordenance Survey’, (Photo), Hanworth, Hanworth Park, Letrim Park, Crane River Park, including the Shot tower, -with a minor mechanical causing a short delay-, Kneller Park, to Twickenham, for lunch at the ‘Prince Blucher’, (Fullers), Strawberry hill, to find the Level crossing closed for works, with a few of the Bikes carried through the works, but all the Cyclists & other Bikes used the Footbridge, then Teddington, Hampton Wick & Kingston Bridge. Sub total 14 Miles, thanks to Derek for Back marking, 2 new faces.

Map:- www.plotaroute.com/route/528789

Part 2. A cloudy afternoon, with some light Drizzle at Tea, turning to 1 brief but heavy Shower, say farewell to 9, but welcome 5 fresh faces, so 8 Cyclists, left via the new Penrhyn Rd track, Surbiton, King Charles Bridge, Tolworth, & Greenway, Kingston Rd track, West Ewell, Hogsmill path, Ewell village, East Ewell, to Nonsuch Park cafe for Tea & Bread pudding, some large Puddles, due to Waterlogged fields overflowing, Cuddington, Worcester park, Old Malden, New Malden, Berrylands, to Kingston. Sub total 13 Miles, Total 27Miles, thanks to Kasren & Steve for back marking duties.

Map:- www.plotaroute.com/route/1052842

Bread pudding ride to Harlesden

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Syon Park, Brentford

Sunday 1st March. A mostly bright day, with a strong breeze, saw 24 Cyclists leave via Kingston Bridge, Hampton Wick, Teddington, Strawberry hill, Twickenham, St Margerets, Isleworth, Syon Park, (Photo), Brentford, (with a tailwind ๐Ÿ™‚), Carville hall Park, Gunnersbury Park, Ealing Common, West Acton, Park Royal, Grand union Canal path to Harlesden for lunch at ‘the Grand junction arms’, more Canal towpath, -with the first visit from the ‘P Fairy’,- North Kensington, Shepperds bush, Brook Green,-alas the ‘P Fairy’ has struck again, eventually leading to the victim abandoning the ride, ๐Ÿ˜ฆ – Fulham, Bishops Park, Putney Bridge, Putney, Barnes Common, Roehampton Gate Richmond Park, (with Headwind, ๐Ÿ˜ฆ), Ham gate, to Kingston. Total 29 Miles, 1 new face, & many others for marking corners, thanks to John for the Bread pudding. 2 visits from the ‘P Fairy’.

Map :-www.plotaroute.com/route/1042144