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 😦, 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, 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.

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

Midweek ride to Beckenham Place Park

With the latest news from the Government, that a new Lockdown will begin on Thursday 5th November, a swift review of a planned Sunday ride thus.

Wednesday 4th November. A largely Sunny but chilled day, with 1 cancellation & 1 no show, saw 14 Cyclists, with 1 to join us a bit later, split into 3 groups, leave via Farefield, Norbiton, New Malden, Raynes park, South Wimbledon, Tooting, -where suddenly we saw a familiar face , but with the Bike upside down, fortuitously with a nice man, a very very nice man helping to repair a ‘P’-, Tooting Bec Common, Streatham Hill, Tulse Hill, Brockwell Park,

Groupp 1 Brockwell Park & London Skyline

Dulwich, Dulwich Park, East Dulwich, Peckham Rye Park, Nunhead, Brockley, Ladywell Field, Catford- with another visit from the ‘P fairy’, leading to Group 3 taking the lead ? Where had group 2 got to ?, Ah here they come, so now 1 becomes 3, Bellingham, to Beckenham place Park for Refreshments at the ‘Stableyard Cafe’, also some self catering in evidence, New Beckenham, Cator Park, Beckenham, Maberley Field, South Norwood Country Park, South Norwood,- with a ‘kind member of the public’, helpfully holding the Traffic, for group 2 to catch Group 1, not-, Heavers Meadow, Selhurst, Thornton heath, Pollards hill, Mitcham, Morden, Morden Park, Lower Morden, Motspur park, New Malden, Berrylands, to Kingston. Total 37 Miles. 2 visits from the ‘P Fairy’, 1 new face. Special thanks to Mike & Steve for group leading, thanks to Dave, John & Amy for back marking each group.

Midweek ride to Ashtead

Wednesday 14th October, a bright start, with more cloud in the Afternoon, would it stay dry ? We had a full house of 18 Cyclists, split into the usual 3 Group’s, leave via Lower Marsh, Berrylands, New Malden, Motspur park, Joseph Hood Park, North Cheam, Cheam Park, still with ‘Sinkhole’, Nonsuch Park, East Ewell, Nescot Path, Epsom, Woodcote, Ashtead Park (Photo group 1), to Ashtead for lunch at the ‘Woodman (Ember Inns),

Grouip 1 Ashtead Park

-Fortuitously, the Heavy shower of Rain came whilst all 3 groups where enjoying lunch, which did mean some large Puddles to negotiate-, Leatherhead, Fetcham (Photo Group 3), Bookham Common, including ‘the Isle of Wight’ area of the Common, Downside, Cobham, Fairmile, to Claremont Lake Cafe for Tea & Refreshments, Claremont Estate, Claygate, Hinchley Wood, Long Ditton, Surbiton, Portsmouth Rd track to finish back in Kingston. Total 31 Miles, 2 new Face’s, Special thanks to Steve F & Mags for leading groups 2 & 3, thanks to Dave P, Ellie & Mike F for back marking each group.

Group 3, Fetcham Splash

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 🙂, 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.

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 ), 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 😉

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


Midweek ride to Merstham

Wednesday 16th September, with a cloudy start, a total of 9 Cyclists, split into two groups, from New Malden, Motspur park, Joseph Hood Park, Pyl Brook path, Sutton, Carshalton, Carshalton Park, Wallington, Woodmansterne, Chipstead, – with 1 extra Cyclist joining group 2-, Coulsdon, Farthing Down, -with a minor Chain slippage causing group 1 leader to take a tumble, no harm done, swiftly remounted-, Chaldon, to Merstham for lunch at a very hospitable ‘Feathers’ (Stonegate), with a glorious Sunny afternoon, Reigate Hill, Colley Hill for the superb views of the South Downs & the Folly (Photo)

Folly near Colley Hill, with group 1

Walton Heath, – with group 1 having a visit from the ‘P Fairy’, whilst a bit later group 2 took a minor detour-, Walton on the Hill, Tadworth, Tattenham Corner, East Ewell, to Nionsuch Park for Tea & refreshments, Worcester park, Malden Manor to New Malden. Total 35 Miles, special thanks to Mike F for leading group 2, thanks to Steve F and John E for Back marking their groups.


Evening ride to Wimbledon

Wednesday 9th September. A warm slightly humid Evening saw 7 Cyclists, (all Socially distant), after 1 late cancellation, go via Lower Marsh, Berrylands, New Malden, Motspur park, Cannon Hill, Merton park, South Wimbledon to Wimbledon for refreshments at Wibbas Down Inn (Wetherspoons), Wimbledon chase, Raynes park, New Malden, Norbiton, to Kingston. Total 14 Miles, thanks to John E for back marking.


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 😦, 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.

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, 😉 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.

Bread pudding Picnic ride to Brooklands

Sunday 23rd August. a largely bright Sunny day saw 20, -it would have been 22 but for two late cancelations with 1 extra who did make it, almost being left off the list due to an admin error-, so 21 Cyclists manage to find 4 Leaders, leaving at 5 Minute intervals, via Kingston Bridge, Bushy Park, Hampton, Sunbury, Halliford, Shepperton, Chertsey Bridge, Chertsey Meads (Photo group 2), Addlestone, Row Town, New Haw, West Byfleet, to Brooklands Community Park & the vastly improved Cycle path for our Picnic lunch near the River Wey (Photo group 1 & group 4), continuing on the new Tarmac path, Weybridge, Walton-on-Thames, West Molesey, to Molesey Boat club for Tea & Bread pudding at ‘Eight on the River’, Cafe, with group 4 taking the nearby Molesey Lock Cafe option, Thames Ditton, Portsmouth Rd track to Kingston. Total 29 Miles, very special thanks to Bai, Steve D & Mags for group leading, thanks to Andrea, John E, Mike F & Will for Back marking duties, thanks to John D for the BP