Five riders left Cheam Station South at 09.00hrs. They were Mick Curtis, Dave Clarke, Andy Huddart, Dave Repson and myself leading the ride.
The weather was just as overcast today as it had been for the last few days, but thankfully the strong winds we had been fighting on the last few club rides had abated.
The first part of our ride to Nonsuch Park was pleasantly quiet due to the collapsed sewer in Ewell Road closing it to all traffic. We rolled out along the old concrete road through the park and encountered a dog which seemed to like kissing tyres. Said dog came off the worse for it after running headlong into my front tyre! Fortunately no cyclists were harmed.
Our usual route out along the Hogsmill River was used to take us into Kingston and across the bridge. We then headed into Bushey Park for a ride around the northern area of the park. The group had decided to go for my extended mileage ride option, a loop along the north side of the Thames and back along the south side tow path to the cafe. So we headed out of the western side of the park for the quiet residential streets of Hampton and onto some cycle paths I knew that cut through the middle of Sunbury On Thames, avoiding any main roads.
After reaching the outskirts of Shepperton we headed across Walton Bridge to take the tow path back to East Molesey for elevenses.
After elevenses Mick Curtis decided to take the direct route back via Kingston and so we said our cheerio’s and headed in the opposite direction. The route back for the rest of us took us through the back streets and alleyways of West Molesey to pick up the path through Molesey Heath Nature Reserve and the bridge crossing over the River Ember. Once over the river it leads through the residential area of Thames Ditton and the lower end of Esher to cross the Portsmouth Road and onto Littleworth Common. The mud had dried out nicely and so our pace was good and we were soon entering Arbrook Common and the slight ascent to Claygate’s south western corner.
Sleepy Claygate was now getting some dappled sunshine as we rode through, a pleasant surprise as I’ve not seen the sun in about four days. We soon crossed Claygate Common and headed for the bridleway underpass of the A3 to Chessington South. Another well-known path around the back of the houses led us into Horton Park where we said Goodbye to Dave Clarke who was heading for home in Epsom. The rest of us headed back through the park, along the Hogsmill and through Nonsuch Park where no ‘stunt dogs’ were encountered on the return trip!