SADR Ride on 26 March 2017

This was a right old ‘suffer-fest’ for me: I mean, 89 miles and it’s still only March, not to mention only my third ride of the year! Paddy and Chris – sorry no photos – sensibly headed home after coffee, but that would still have been about 60 miles. Good to see Dane at coffee too, which was at a café in Alresford. We – that is Clive, Dave, Keith and yours truly then headed south east to cross the South Downs bound for lunch at Rowlands Castle.

Clive deserves a medal for ensuring that the journey home – he peeled off at Liphook of course – was as flat as it could be, and to Dave and Keith for their excellent company; if it wasn’t for them I think I’d still be lying in a ditch somewhere along the way. There’s no doubt it was a lovely ride, and we enjoyed lovely weather too, as the pics below show.

Apologies as usual that they’re not in the order they were taken – it’s a strange quirk of this website that they load up randomly. The band of folk dressed up like they’re on their way to a fight were found in the Meon Valley. The final picture is of my heroes, Dave and Keith. Hope you made it OK back to Guildford – you must have easily topped the ton: well done, guys!

The route may be found on Strava here:  It was 89.1 miles in length and total ascent was 4,333ft.

WMW Ride to Walbury Hill ~ 19 October 2016

This was a great ride, planned by Phil, which started and finished at Micheldever. It was great to cycle outside of our usual area, particularly when the route was so good….. and so quiet! There was very little traffic and what a pleasure that was! Below are some photos including one in the churchyard of St Peter’s parish church in St Mary Bourne; we stopped there for a moment to focus our thoughts for a few moments on Ron Richardson, whose funeral was today.

We were a large group of 18 people for some of the ride. A couple of our number got stuck for well over an hour in a jam on the M3, following an accident, on their way to the start of the ride, so they didn’t join us till later on the ride. Other than that, the day went smoothly enough and in fine cycling conditions. The pub wasn’t bad either.




Near the summit of Walbury Hill


In the churchyard at St Mary Bourne








Walbury Hill again












Another from Walbury Hill

WMW Group 3 Ride ~ 16 March 2016

What, no rain and no frost? It must be spring! It is and we all know what that means – cold easterly winds; and we were not to be disappointed. Nevertheless, it wasn’t too bad, and as the day wore on, it became sunnier, but not much warmer. Certainly more riders had crawled out of their burrows than on the past two or more rides and here they all are at the bus stop on Pirbright Green – well, the thees and fours anyway; the ones and twos were allowed another half hour in bed so we didn’t see them.

The threes quickly overtook the fours – Mr Murdoch was re-named Mr Puncture for the day, although they still somehow beat us to coffee in Odiham – must have taken a shorter route. The route is only glorious for the last section; unfortunately there are things called connurbations between Pirbright and Odiham and they have to be passed through: never mind, close your eyes and think of England (or the Royal Aircraft Establishment, Farnborough, if you prefer – you see a lot of it!).

The coffee stop in Odiham, the ‘Next Door at the George’ – it looked like the Bel and the Dragon to me – with no fewer than two blue plaques on the outside, is a very pleasant place to take a mid-morning break; and it really was a mid-morning break today, since we had to cycle a lot further than usual to get to it. The place was buzzing; nevertheless, a large young man with a Scottish accent took our order before we even had time to sit down and make ourselves comfortable – now that’s service! I had a delicous cuppacino and toasted tea cake and still got change from a fiver – 30p!

After that we enjoyed a most enjoyable twelve or so miles south to Churt, along comparatively quiet country lanes – they are seldom very quiet in this part of the world. There were a few ups and downs but nothing that stopped the surge of energy being put into a multitude of cranks by the fourteen of us; oh yes, the Spring sap is beginning to rise!

Luncheon was taken at the Crossways in Churt, who told us they weren’t informed that we were coming; they didn’t seem unhappy though and served us quickly and efficiently, mainly with sandwiches. Neil and a.n.other bought baskets of chips and passed them round – how very civilized! And very good they were too! Thanks!

As always happens after lunch, it wasn’t long – well immediately on this occasion – that people start peeling off bound for home; this time Marion left first heading back to Haslemere, and not long after, once we had passed through Tilford, having done a stretch along the dreary Rushmoor straight at a speed of over 22mph, I noticed with surprise, we lost Ian and Brian who were headed for Godalming. I should have been with them but they had cycled to Pirbright and I hadn’t, so I had to see this ride through to the bitter end.

Once over the bridge at Tilford, I noticed that it’s uphill all the way to the top of the Hog’s Back, although we crossed opposite Tongham, so it didn’t involve a big climb at the end, but I, for one, was looking forward to something a bit flatter; and indeed the final stretches to Pirbright are thankfully fairly flat but we did have to fight the wind all the way.

Thanks, John, for the ride, the route, and for not getting upset with all the people who didn’t keep behind you all the time. Riders out today were: Marion Davison, John Child, Neil Eason, Brian East, Phil Gasson, Pete Hathaway, Russell Johnson, Alec MacKenzie, Ian Pickering, John Pletts, Keith Rickards, Keith Stainer, Chris Williamson and Mark Waters.

The route may be viewed below and if you want to see it in more detail, then click on this link:

Wednesday 29 July Group 3 Ride

Me#1 006Mark Waters writes….

Your scribe, together with John Child and new member Alec Mackenzie, rode over from Godalming to meet the group at Mytchett at the very agreeable coffee shop at the Canal Centre. It was by no means the biggest assembly of recent weeks, no doubt partly because the Group 4 riders decided to have coffee at Seale. It was good to see Roger there – obviously on the up and up following his broken femur, Helen, the Tanners, Sue, Chris Jeggo, Rico and Russ, to name but a few.

Phil Gasson was doing the leading today and with minimum fuss or delay, other than bumping into two fully laden Dutch cycle tourists who one simply had to exchange a few words with, we set off on what was advertised as being a long but fairly flat ride into an area not often visited, namely the area south of Reading – sort of Berks / Hants border country. And, after an easy, brief and uneventful ride through Farnborough we were out into the lanes. Thanks to Phil for clearly doing some useful re-connoitering prior to the ride; we even tackled a longish stretch of track at one point although I’m not entirely sure what we avoided by doing this, but it made for a pleasant diversion and added variety.

The lanes were lovely and very scenic and the route even included an uncrossable ford – well, not if you were prepared to go in up to your thighs – but Phil had studied Google Maps and found a bridge some 75 metres up river which we crossed by.

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Phil, Keith, Laurie and Alec


And no, Laurie hadn’t just waded through whatever he might want you to believe!

The Coach and Horses at Rotherwick provided a very satisfactory lunch with people choosing either a baguette or baked potato for about £6 a head which was reasonable. Even better, Laurie had a birthday last Sunday and bought us all a drink – cheers, Laurie!

After lunch it rained: well, it’s England and it’s July so what else can one expect! Clearly John and Neil didn’t expect because they hadn’t brought rain jackets – you won’t do that again, will you, chaps! Anyway, it wasn’t too bad really but enough for a wetting. Nevertheless it had cleared up by the time we got back to Farnham via lots more lovely lanes. Our route actually reversed some of the 1st stage of that well known West Surrey Audax ride, the Stonehenge. Once in Farnham, which is getting horribly busy these days, the group started to disassemble in order to go their separate ways home.

As always it was good to have the company of two ladies, both relatively new to the group: Susie and Alison – hope I’ve got the names right. Alison is a refugee from the Charlotteville where, she says, they don’t look after their riders so well on club rides: well, you’ve come to the right place for serious TLC, Alison. Susie joined after meeting Louise and is training hard for a Seattle to Boston adventure in September / October: wow – a 4,000+ mile wow!

Finally, thanks, Phil, for a really enjoyable, nice ‘n gentle 60 mile bash.

Here’s a picture of the route and a link below to Strava for full details:


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