Six riders met at the non-regular Nonsuch Park cafe at the non-regular time of 09:15hrs. Adam Domaingue, Dave Clarke, Mick Curtis, Tracy Caudle, Trevor Kite and myself leading. This was our first Saturday ride since Boris let us back out to play in tier two.
The ride was a straightforward; almost there and back by the same route due to the temperature only being about 5c for most of the morning. And so the route took us out of Nonsuch Park, through Ewell Springs and then followed the Hogsmill River all the way to Kingston Upon Thames. I found a few muddy bits to entertain the group, but concentrated on getting us to our cafe stop at East Molesey by around 10:30hrs before the crowds appeared. Alas with all the indoor venues closed our normal cafe stops have become triple busy.
We crossed carefully through Kingston Market ringing our bells merrily, as crowds are blinkered to anything but getting their Xmas shopping done, especially as the lockdown has only just been lifted! Then over Kingston Bridge and into Hampton Court Park. It was cold and overcast whilst cycling through the park and not a sign of any deer anywhere. Mick Curtis found a muddy patch to lie down in whilst crossing the park, but as usual dusted himself off and thrashed on regardless.
Hampton Court was busy with people visiting the huge temporary ice rink installed in the entrance yard at the palace. It was very active with skaters probably because it’s one of the few things not closed or cancelled this year! We lucked out with our elevenses spot, which we arrived at by 10:30hrs ahead of the main crowds. We got an outdoor table for six with shelter from a cutting cold wind. Also the sun decided to come out and warm it just a little bit.
After re-fuelling we returned along the Thames Tow Path to Kingston Bridge, weaved our way carefully through the shoppers and retraced our steps for the most part back to Cheam.
Good ride Lady and Gentlemen, for me a mere 24 miles, the cold dampening my cycling enthusiasm today.