Rides for Explorers – Surrey Woodlands – Sunday 8th October

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Meet at Twickenham Riverside 10.00. We head out across Bushy Park and through Thames Ditton to Littleworth Common and Ardbrook Common to reach Cobham. Crossing the Mole we follow lanes to Bookham Common and up to to NT cafe outside of Polsden Lacy. On the way home we add Oxshott Common and Claygate woods.

37 miles mostly away from the traffic.

Route

Just 3 of us met up. The conditions were great and fairly dry across the commons so that ,even with  a half hour visit to the gardens at Polsden Lacy , we were back in Twickenham by 14.30.

Ride for Everybody – Feeder Ride to London Freecycle

Saturday 29th July.

FreecycleFeederEnjoy a day in Central London free of motor vehicles.

We meet on Richmond Little Green 10.00 and head off via Putney Riverside, Wandsworth Park and Battersea Gardens and then up through Belgravia to join the Freecycle where Central London roads are traffic free. Leave London for the ride home at 15.00.

Our routes in and out.

About 80 of us met up and enjoyed a good ride up to London and saw some  parts of town that were new to many. The Freecycle route itself was busy, but not impossibly so, and, as usual, it was great to see so many cyclists, some very young, making full use of London streets. With rain starting only about 30 chose to join us for the trip home and we got back to Richmond by 16.30 in a damp but unbowed condition.

As one participant said “there should be a straightforward way of cycling into London” but there isn’t , at least not without battling one’s way through heavy traffic. Our circuitous route meant that we were little affected by traffic until we hit Barnes and Mortlake.

Thanks to Jim, Jean, Ian , Cameron and Tim for looking after everybody.

Rides for Everyone: Saturday 24th June : Coffee at the Windmill.

Wimbledon Common June 2017At the windmill June 2017Meet Teddington Station East Side 10:10.

We follow the route of the proposed Quietway across Teddington Lock and through Richmond Park to Roehampton from which we cut under the A3 to Wimbledon Common and a coffee stop at the windmill cafe. We return by a slightly rougher path down to Robin Hood Gate and back through Richmond Park.

A bit longer than our usual Rides for Everyone at 14 miles. Anyone having had enough after the break just  has to  freewheel down to Wimbledon Station to catch the train.

Route

Just 3 of us met up at Teddington. In terms of testing the route for 8-80 we certainly exceeded the upper end. Teddington High Street was unthreatening and our only issues in Ham was about signs hidden behind foliage. Marking on the road surface is most reliable.

We tried the shared use path on Ham Avenue and found the surface bumpy and the rejoining of the road inside the park difficult. (The off-road path up the hill is only suitable for mountain bikers). The rumble strips on the path through Richmond Park are no problem and Danebury Avenue shows what can be achieved by simply closing a road at one end.

This bit of the Quietway should be a useful and attractive route for all ages (e-bike may be helpful for some as it is hilly)

We diverged on a rougher path through Putney Heath / Wimbledon Common including an underpass of the A3. This was closed to all cycling until ?20 years ago. Progress does happen if slowly.

 

Rides for Explorers – Off-road in Surrey : Sunday 11th June

NorburyMeet Twickenham riverside 10.15

We head South via Kingston and Tolworth before heading away from the traffic along the Hogsmill and then through Horton Country Park and Ashstead Common. Emerging in Leatherhead we pass through the Mole gap before climbing to Norbury Park – Southern England’s best approximation to an alpine meadow. A Track takes us to Brockets Farm for lunch and our return journey features a foot/cycle bridge across the Mole , Oxstead Common and Claygate woods. 37 miles with a serious hill. This has been done on a fixer but not-over-narrow tyres would be comfortable.

Route

5 of us met up on the riverside despite nearly coinciding with a charity run. Apart from a headwind on the way south we enjoyed ideal weather and the paths were dry underwheel. Perhaps a bit early for maximum flowers in Norbury Park. Back in Kingston Market place where we split up at about 3.

Rides for Everyone – Palaces of West London – Sunday 21st May

Osterley 2017Meet Richmond Little Green by theatre at 10.00am.

We Cross the Thames and pass through the grounds of Sion House before heading up the Grand Union Canal to Norwood Green. A country lane takes us into the wide spaces of Osterley Park where we enjoy coffee in the stables before passing the mansion on the way home. About 10 miles, quiet with some slopes. Should be back around 12 ish.

Route

Six of us met up with the youngest aged 7 and 11 – this is a Ride for Everyone.  We enjoyed excellent weather and no one fell in the canal. From the response to the sites that we visited we should be applying for sponsorship from the London Tourism Board.

 

Rides for Explorers – Windsor Great Park – 7th May

Windsor Ride - Sun InnWindsor Ride May 17 2

Meet Twickenham Riverside , by Eel Pie Bridge , 10.30. 7th  May

We cut across to Hampton then roughly follow the Thames upstream using NCR4 from Chertsey to Staines. A steep climb to Englefield Green is rewarded by lunch at the Sun Inn then we enjoy the practically traffic free Windsor Great Park and track into Windsor. We than return more directly to Twickenham with more mixed surroundings but finishing with our local Crane Park trail.  38 miles with one big hill.

Route

17 of us turned up on a grey Twickenham Riverside but the sun broke through as we got through Staines. The Sun coped a bit slowly with the unexpected load but we had a sunny garden with chickens and were well fed and watered for a ride through verdant Windsor Great Park and down a twisty track into Windsor and traffic again.

Rides for Everyone – 15th April – Crane Park

crane ride april 2017

With trains in the Twickenham area suspended we are starting this ride from Teddington Station (west side). Meet 10.30.

We pass by Bushy House and NPL to enter Bushy Park then through Hampton Hill back streets to cut across past a golf course to a bridge across the Chertsey Road . We enjoy a rare cycle track separate both from the road and the footway to reach a newish track up the Hounslow side of the Crane before crossing to “our” side to ride down to Kneller Gardens for coffee after which we cut across back to Teddington Station.

Route

Five of us met up on a bright but chilly morning. A pleasant and uneventful ride with flowering trees and bluebells. Getting into the cut-across behind the leisure centre proved   a challenge for bikes with wide handlebars. This has been marked a potential route since 2007 with a toucan crossing of the A305 which only makes sense as part of it. The on-road alternative is a big gyratory – not a ride for everyone !

 

Rides for Explorers – 2nd April – Up the Wandle

Wandle Ride 17Meet Richmond Little Green (by Richmond Theatre) 10.30. We head to Putney Bridge and then go along the Thames via Wandsworth Park to the mouth of the Wandle where we head upstream along the Wandle Trail. After a bit of busy road we get into King Georges Park and then is is mostly a mixture of parkland and quiet roads to Morden Hall Park for lunch.

We return, after a quick look at a gate from Merton Abbey transplanted to a quiet church in Merton Park,  via Wimbledon Common and Richmond Park .

A fairly short ride at 20 miles but lots to see.

Route

Six of us met up on a bright morning. There was a bit of congestion where the boat race was being prepared in Putney but we soon reached the Wandle. The first part was along quite busy roads and the contra-flow cycle lane full of parked cars wasn’t encouraging but we were soon cycling through parkland. There was a general request for a coffee stop at Merton Abbey Mills so we didn’t linger in the crowded Morden Hall Park and had lunch at the Windmill on Wimbledon Common. Hence down into Richmond Park and up again (one of us electrically powered) to Richmond Gate where we split.

Rides for Explorers – January 8th – Box Hill

Box Hill Ride

Meet Twickenham Riverside – by Eel Pie bridge 10.00.

Our traditional post-turkey jaunt. On/off road quiet route to Box Hill then a steady climb to the viewpoint and lunch in NT Cafe at the top (as the pub we used to patronise is now a trendy wine-bar). Enjoy  a switchback descent taking us most of the way home. About 40 miles in total. Better bring lights but expect to get back before 4.

Eight of us met up with rather more “locals” than usual but with two riders who had already cycled from NW London. The weather was “atmospheric misty” but not cold and the surfaces across Horton Country Park / Ashsted Common not bad. We took our soup outside as the cafe was rather full and the weather still mild. The downhill return was marred a bit by drizzle encouraging us not to linger – we were back in the Borough soon after 3.

Route