Ride report: Saturday 29th February, MTB ‘The Regent’ Walton on Thames

Seven intrepid riders met at the Ewell Springs pub at 09:30hrs. Bill Martin, Dave Rapson and myself leading the ride from the Clarencourt. From the Phoenix Andy Pierce, Trevor Kite, Tracy Caudle and Barry Toogood.

Our ride took us out of the back of Ewell following the Hogsmill River. The path was saturated and flooded in places after yet more heavy overnight rain, but luckily as predicted the rain stopped just about the time we all met up. We ‘sailed’ our way to Kingston where we met Gareth ’surname TBC’ another member from KPRC and so we were eight.

After crossing Kingston Bridge we headed into Bushey Park where it promptly decided to rain heavily as we splashed our way  cross country through the water-logged grass paths. About half way across I decided that the next grassy section would now be a road detour such was the boggy conditions. This was a slight mistake as I missed a turning halfway along (couldn’t see much of anything with glasses covered in water to be honest!) and put us slightly off course for the Hampton Wick gate exit.

The error was corrected by a quarter mile ride south down the High Street to the correct turning. We cycled through the residential streets in the pouring rain and howling gale. I suddenly thought ‘This is nuts, I wonder if anyone would like to divert to East  Molesey Cricket Club instead?’ Nobody in the group took much persuading and so we back tracked a few hundred yards into Bushey Park and headed for Hampton Court Bridge.

With some irony as we approached the bridge the storm suddenly stopped, the clouds broke and we saw blue skies. Typical British weather! By this time a few in the group had damp feet so no attempt was made to carry onto Walton on Thames and The Regent.

After elevenses we headed back by taking the Thames towpath for around a mile west and then taking bridleways across to Thames Ditton, Arbrook Common and Claygate Common. At Barwell Farm Road just outside Chessington we took the path to the ‘Flood of Doom’ which at about twelve inches deep cleaned out the crud rubbing around in the disk brakes very nicely, thank you very much.

After this we cut along to ‘Butcher’s Row,’ a path in the top north corner of Horton Country Park and headed for home.


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