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.
Sunday 3rd February. A cold, Sunny day saw 14 Cyclists gather for the first Challenge ride of 2019, leave via Skerne Rd, Latchmere,- with 1 person having Gear & Freewheel problems, deciding to leave us-, Ham Gate Richmond Park, to Sheen gate, Sheen, Mortlake, Chiswick Bridge, -with 1 extra Cyclist, managing to predict our route, so back to 14-, Chiswick, Acton, – with a visit from the ‘P Fairy’, the victim insisting on the rest of the party continuing, – Park Royal, Stonebridge park, Wembley, where an Icy Cycle path caused our Leader to have an unplanned dismount, (a useful lesson to others to take it easy), Preston, Kenton, Kenton Park, Belmont to Harrow Weald for lunch at ‘the Duck in the Pond’,-with the ‘P victim’ managing to join us-, followed by a ‘steady climb’, to Harrow Weald Common, (Photo), Hatch end, Headstone, Headstone Manor Park, West Harrow, South Harrow, Northolt Park (a former Race track, the reason the area is now known as ‘the Racecourse Estate’), Northolt, Northala Field,- with no enthusiasm for an ‘alfresco tea stop’, Greenford, Southall, Norwood Green, to Osterley Park for Tea & Bread pudding, Osterley, Hounslow, Whitton, Twickenham, Strawberry hill, Teddington, Hampton Wick & Kingston Bridge. Total 42 Miles, 1 visit from the P fairy, 1 other Mechanical, 1 Icy slip, thanks to Andrea for Back marking duties, & many others for marking corners, thanks to John for the BP.
Sunday 8th October, a mostly bright day saw 25 Cyclists leave via Kingston Bridge, Bushy Park, Hampton, Hanworth, Feltham, East Bedfont, Stanwell, Stanwellmoor, Poyle, Horton, Datchet, Jubilee River path, (with many runners enjoying the Windsor Marathon), to Dorney for lunch at the ‘Pineapple’, sadly a very long 1.5 Hour wait for the food, together with malfunctioning gents loo mean it’s very unlikely we’ll be back anytime soon, so a delayed departure via the footbridge to Monkey Island, Fifield, Cranbourne, Woodside, Cheapside, Blacknest gate of Windsor great Park, to Virginia Water Cafe for an earlier than planned Tea & BP, then Virginia Water village, Lyne, Addlestone, Victory Park, Weybridge, Weybridge Park, Oatlands, Walton on Thames, Esher, Weston Green, Giggshill Green, Portsmouth Rd track to Kingston. Total 48 Miles, thanks to John E once again for back marking & many others for corner marking and thanks to John D for the Bread Pudding.
Sunday 12th February, a not quite Frozen, cloudy day, saw 15 Cyclists leave via Kingston Bridge, Bushy Park, Hampton, Lower Sunbury, Halliford, Shepperton, Chertsey Bridge, where a slipped chain caused a false alarm, but by Addlestone, a visit from the ‘P fairy’ and the complications of Hub gears, meant an early departure for Steve, so with a new Back Marker selected, via Homewood Park, Stonehill, Dunstall Green, Coxhill Green, Horsell to Woking for Lunch at ‘the Herbert Wells’, (Wetherspoons), then after pausing for the Photo, via Maybury, Pyrford, Wey Navigation path, Byfleet, Brooklands Park, Weybridge, Burwood Park, to Hersham Garden Centre for Tea & BP, then Hersham, Esher, Weston Green, Giggshill Green, Portsmouth Rd to Kingston. Total 40 Miles, 1 new face, (from Watford), 1 Puncture.
Thanks to Steve F & Andrea for Back marking duties and John for the Bread pudding.
Sunday 9th October. A bright Sunny Morning, with a Chilly breeze, saw 19 Cyclists dodge the ‘Fun runners’, via Skerne Rd, Towpath, Aerospace estate, Ham, Ham gate of Richmond park, to Sheen gate, East Sheen, Mortlake, Chiswick bridge, Grove park, Chiswick green, Acton, Acton park, West Acton, Park Royal, Stonebridge park, Wembley, Preston park, Kenton, Belmont to Stanmore for lunch at the ‘Duck in the pond’, afterwards a steady climb through Harrow Weald, to Harrow Weald Common, where John D suffered a slip, resulting in a few grazes, then Headstone lane, Headstone Manor park, West Harrow, W. Harrow Rec., South Harrow, Northolt to Northala Fields for Tea & BP at ‘San Remo’ Cafe, having dodged the Shower that had left some sizeable puddles, (could we get back to Kingston without more Rain?..), Southall, Norwood green, Osterley Park, (with Rainbow), Osterley, Worton, Whitton, Twickenham, Fulwell, Teddington, – where the Heavens finally opened-, Hampton Wick, Kingston bridge. Total 43 Miles, 2 new faces.
Thanks to Bai for Back marking & many others for watching corners.
Sunday 7th August, a mostly cloudy Morning, with bright Sunshine by Afternoon saw 18 Cyclists leave the Market place, with 1 more catching the tail on Portsmouth Rd, Long Ditton, Hinchley wood, Esher, Claremont, Fairmile- where the Back marker did his best to get lost, whilst consuming a Banana,-Cobham, Downside, Effingham Junction, Effingham, White hill, White down to Sutton Abinger for a well earned lunch at ‘the Volunteer’, then Abinger common, Friday street, -with 1 faller suffering some minor grazes,- Wotton, Westcott, Milton court, Dorking, Meadowbank Rec.,-with the leadership briefly passing to Nick, while 1 person was helped to find the correct Station for the train to London,- Norbury park farm, Givons grove, Bocketts farm for Tea & BP, Hawks hill, Leatherhead, Leatherhead common, Ashtead common, Epsom common, Manor park, St. Ebba’s path, Hogsmill path, West Ewell, Tolworth greenway, Berrylands, to Kingston. Toatal 44 Miles, 1 new face. Thanks to John for Back marking & the Bread pudding, and to all the ‘assistant Marshals’ for marking corners.
Sunday 8th May. A hot Sunny day saw 22 Cyclists ready for the 2nd Challenge ride, leave via Lower Marsh, Berrylands, New Malden, Worcester park, North Cheam, Sutton, Carshalton Beeches, Little Woodcote, Woodmansterne, Clockhouse estate, Coulsdon, Farthing down, Chaldon, Warwick Wold to Nutfield for Lunch at ‘the Inn on the pond’, afterwards as we were about to depart, the first visit of the day from the ‘P fairy’, but many hands soon had the problem fixed, so via Merstham, Gatton bottom, with the next visit from the P fairy, again many hands soon had it fixed, Chipstead, Banstead, East Ewell to Nonsuch park for Tea & BP, once again the P fairy had paid a visit, a very noble John was willing to stay & help the victim, with the main party continuing, Stoneleigh, Worcester park, New Malden, Berrylands, to Kingston. Total 37 Miles, 1 new face, 3 Punctures.
Virginia water Waterfall
Sunday 7th February. A dry but windy day saw 14 Cyclists, leave via Kingston bridge with 1 more having suffered a visit from the ‘P fairy’, catching up in Bushy park, Hampton, Hanworth, Feltham, Bedfont, Stanwell, Stanwell moor, Poyle, Horton, Datchet, then the ‘Jubilee River’ path to Dorney for lunch at the ‘Pineapple’, then via the Dorney footbridge, Monkey island, Fifield, where the ‘P fairy struck again, Cranbourne chase, ‘Peanut’ roundabout, Cheapside, Windsor great park & Virginia water lake and Waterfall, Virginia water village, Thorpe green, Chertsey, Chertsey bridge, Shepperton to Walton bridge for Tea & BP at ‘Gino’s’, Walton on Thames, Esher, Weston green, Giggshill green, Portsmouth Rd to Kingston. Total 48 Miles, 1 new face + 1 returnee from 5 years ago. 2 Punctures.
Sunday 11th October. a cool Sunny day saw 20 Cyclists gather at the alternative meeting point, Fountain New Malden, go via Motspur park, Bushey Mead, Merton park, Morden hall park, Mitcham, Thornton heath, Selhurst, South Norwood, Monks orchard, Shirley, Addington village, Featherbed lane to Fickleshole for lunch at ‘the White Bear’, then joined by 1 extra Cyclist and with a small ‘breakaway group’ safely Shepherded to Chelsham by John W, Warlingham, Mitchley wood, Riddlesdown common, Purley, South Croydon, Wallington to Beddington park for Tea & BP, then Hackbridge, the Wrythe, Sutton, Pyl brook path, Joseph Hood memorial park, Motspur park to New Malden. Total 36 Miles, 5 new faces.
Sunday 9th August. A hot Sunny day saw 19 Cyclists gather at Tolworth Station for the Summer special Challenge ride leave via, the ‘Bonesgate’ path, Horton country park (where a small twig almost terminated the leaders ride, thankfully just the front mudguard payed the price), Ashtead common, Leatherhead, Fetcham, Great Bookham, Effingham, White down, Abinger, Holmbury St. Mary, Forest green to Walliswood for a splendid lunch at ‘the Scarlett arms’. Then via Okewood hill, Tipham, Ockley, Capel, Newdigate, Shellwood cross to Brockham Church for Tea & BP, then Betchworth park, Pixham, Westhumble, Juniper hill, Headley, Langley vale, Woodcote, Epsom common, West Ewell to Tolworth. Total 50 Miles, 5 new faces, 38 very tired legs.