Six riders met at Cheam Station south side at 09:00hrs – Dave Rapson, Mick Curtis, Sean Slammon, Tracy Caudle, Trevor Kite and myself leading.
Our ride took us out through the usual Nonsuch Park avoiding the joggers and slithering down to the Ewell bypass to cross through the back of Ewell to the Hogsmill River. The day was cold (-1C) with bright blue skies, which I thought would’ve frozen the mud overnight. Alas it hadn’t for the most part. Dave found a boggy bit for us to slosh through just before the pedestrian underpass at the A3, but after that we decided to avoid the silty mud section infamous to us this time of year for clogging the wheels until they won’t turn. We used the road to Berrylands Stations, Surbiton before we picked up cycle paths to the Thames at Kingston. After crossing Kingston Bridge we followed the towpath all the way to Hampton Court and East Molesey. The Thames was still in flood and so the towpath just before Molesey Lock couldn’t be used as it was under water.
The elevenses stop was moved a few hundred yards farther down from the Rowing Club cafe to the Cricket Club as the latter was rammed with customers attracted to the riverside by the blue skies and the sunshine. Our return trip was via Bushey Park where we did a loop out to the west of the park before turning and heading back towards Kingston. After that we followed our usual route through the residential streets of Worcester Park, Stoneleigh and back across Nonsuch Park. Just for a change to scenery I asked Dave to lead us through the back doubles east of Stoneleigh to the car park in Nonsuch at the top of the hill on the A24. This he did very nicely, but alas then found a path into Nonsuch Park that was an impassible soupy clay. We back tracked a little, some with bootfuls of water (!), to the proper path leading downhill to the cafe in the mansion.
A good ride and very amusing soupy mud stuff at the end.