Three riders met at Cheam Station Southside at 09:00hrs, Dave Rapson, Dave Clarke and myself leading. We cycled over the top end of Sutton, the south side and met Mick Curtis on route. Both Adam Domaingue and Sean Slammon met us at the designated secondary meeting spot, Carshalton Ponds at 09:30hrs.
The Merry men’s route followed the Wandle River Trail through Morden, Collier’s Wood and out into Earlsfield where we took residential roads up to Wimbledon Park. After crossing the park we climbed up Queensmere Road, one of the many hill roads seen in the background on the TV during the Wimbledon Tennis Tournament. At the top we crossed Parkside and onto Wimbledon Common. Minutes later we found ourselves at the elevenses stop at The Windmill Tea Rooms. The site is currently set up as an outdoor eating venue due to the Covid gig, and so tea and a pasty was a popular choice by the group.
Our route back had us heading south west, descending past the Queensmere pond and using a bridleway that brings us out onto the side of the A3 at the Robin Hood Gate, Richmond Park. The park was being heavily patronised by more than a few “All the gear and no idea” wannabes and so we kept well to one side of the cycle path to avoid their egos accidentally knocking us off as they passed! 😂👍
Our happy little group exited the park at Ham. At this point there are a few hundred yards of busy road before we turned right into the National Trust’s Ham House Estate bridleways. This led onto Ham Lands North bridleways, a new trail recently discovered as a route alternative to the Thames Tow Path, which is extremely busy at weekends.
This is only the second time I’ve used it and after the recent heavy rains I wanted to see what the surface condition was like. It was muddy, but passable, whether it will remain passable by January is debatable! The newish trail brings us out onto the Thames Tow Path just north of Teddington Lock.
The rest of the route back was the regular one up to Kingston on the Tow Path and back along the Hogsmill River to Cheam via Stoneleigh a route we’ve not used recently.
Good ride Chaps @28.5 miles for me, more than enough for a damp, cold Autumn day.
This will alas be the last time I lead a ride to Wimbledon Common for elevenses at The Windmill Tea Rooms. The Common is heavily infected. Infected with a virulent new rash of ‘No Cycling’ signs which have popped up like a plague in the last six months during Covid. After years of traversing without much of a problem we have on our last three trips due to these new signs popping up unexpectedly had animosity from the locals and clearly whoever manages the Common is actively bent on discrimination against cyclists.