Ride report: Saturday 19th December, MTB Wilde Brunch, Walton Bridge

Three riders all from the same happy Tier 3 met at Nonsuch Park at the designated time.

Adam Domaingue, Trevor Kite and myself leading. Our route was a well travelled one used often out to Kingston along the Hogsmill River. There were the odd, very boggy spots along the river known by me, but these were deemed as a pointless hindrance this time of year and were avoided given last night’s torrential rain.

We passed through a relatively quiet Kingston; could it be the crowds have heeded the Covid warnings or have they just finished all their Xmas shopping already? We crossed over the River Thames and headed into Bushey Park. The park was very busy with dog walkers, parents and children, joggers and cyclists. I was surprised as it was a fairly miserable morning, overcast and with intermittent showers.

After leaving the park we passed through the residential streets of Hampton, Sunbury and Upper Halliford on the north west side of the Thames before crossing Walton Bridge to the outdoor takeaway cafe that is ‘Wilde Brunch.’

At the cafe Barry Gregory happened along and joined us for tea. A very pleasant conversation ensued about how important it was to have ‘pairs’ of disk brake pads in each of your brake callipers. This was followed soon after by the fact you shouldn’t wait until your disk brake rotors are so thin you could wrap the Xmas turkey with them before you should replace them!

Soon it was time to head home as the clouds were getting darker and thicker, also the forecast predicted rain around 13:00hrs. Our route back ended up having a diversion as one of the bridleways I use was blocked and fenced off courtesy of Thames Water laying pipelines to the reservoir. Soon we were in Thames Ditton, splashing across Arbrook Common and into the back streets of Claygate. We were being chased by a large threatening cloud, sometimes we’d get a few seconds of heavy rain and then it would stop as we were right on the edge of it.

At Chessington South Station the cloud finally caught up with us and decided to dump its contents on us and so we sheltered briefly to don our waterproofs. The brief deluge did however do us one favour, it washed off most of the caked on mud, and I could finally see my chain again!

After Horton Park I said farewell to Adam and Trevor as they headed Sutton bound as my car was parked in the back streets of Ewell.

Good ride chaps.

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