MTB Saturday 24th February 2018

This ride report starts with commiserations going out to Mick Curtis who unfortunately took a fall on today’s ride that resulted in an ambulance call and the subsequent diagnosis this afternoon of of a broken hip!

I/we wish you a speedy recovery, mate.

My thanks also goes to those involved  who snapped into action and the ‘Top notch fellow’ who jumped into his car at a moment’s notice to recover Mick’s bike from the scene of the tumble.  

Four riders left Cheam Station at 0900hrs in temperatures hovering around zero degrees – in no particular order: Paul White, Mick Curtis, Dave Repson and Bill Martin.

The usual routes were used out through the back of Nonsuch Park, which in today’s temperatures had the usual thick mud, thankfully frozen solid!

We avoided ‘Boggy Bill’s’ favorite north bank of the Hogsmill River just outside Ewell, which loves to clog my trusty steed to stalling point, using the much more civilised path instead!

Our route took us through the lower end of Worcester Park still following the Hogsmill River arriving at the A3 crossing point. It was at this location the unlucky delay occurred. After we had sorted Mick out and transferred him to the care of two of the ambulance services’ finest professionals, we proceeded on following the Hogsmill River.

We entered the area well known to us in the winter for its boggy, silty surface that recently led one of our club members to ‘Jettison his rear mech’ due to dead Chinese knot weed debris spoiling his rapid progress!

Alas when first deciding to traverse the said area we knew it would be frozen, but the ‘unlucky delay’ had given the sun’s heat (what little there was!) enough time to thaw it enough to turn it back into porridge, and yours truly’s bike took on enough London Clay to make a dozen house bricks.

This did require a minor delay on my part whilst I proceeded with some bike frame stick digging to recreate the wheel clearance that the designers had originally created on my Cube mountain bike that had been ‘bricked in.’

We continued through Berrylands and towards Kingston with both my and Dave Repson’s bikes lobbing great clods of clay in all directions as the wheels struggled to clear the insidious goo.

Crossing Kingston Bridge we headed into Hampton Court Park and came out onto the Thames around a mile from Hampton Court Bridge.

I made a quick trip (1/4 mile further on) down to East Molesey Cricket Club to check Barry Gregory wasn’t in residence, which he wasn’t, before back-tracking to the hastily-researched-on-Google-Earth-five-hours-before backup tea stop, Henry’s Cafe in Bridge Street, East Molesey.

Messrs Repson and Martin had in my absence secured a table stronghold in the front window after pressuring the owner to let us thaw out and eat his wonderful breakfast/lunch comestibles. Well done chaps!

The usual East Molesey C.C. cafe is currently in the process of moving site across the road to the rowing club. It is only doing minimal catering for anyone heading that way in the next two months. Ironically, for regular cyclists to this venue, they are currently in the process of filling in all the potholes in the drive alongside the cricket green!

After a leisurely brunch we headed out back through Bushey Park to Kingston, which cuts a sizable loop off the route following the river.

After this we retraced our route avoiding the west side of the Hogsmill River ‘Boggy Bill’s’ favourite, opting for the road and after the A3 underpass, back onto the Hogsmill and the minor climb south of Worcester Park towards Stoneleigh.

After Stoneleigh we parted company for home with my continuing through Nonsuch Park and back to my car – Nonsuch Park today on the way back being very cold and bereft of large amounts of doggies and the hazardous ‘invisible telescopic leads of doom.’

 

Paul White

 

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