Saturday 13th January, off road Clark’s Cafe

My first ride of the year started well when I discovered on my return that I hadn’t switched on Strava to record the route we took. So my thanks to Adam Domaingue for providing the map shown here. (I’ve chopped off his ride from home.)

Bill Kent, Bill Martin, Trevor Hughes, Dave Elliott, Adam Domaingue, Ed Pegg and myself leading today. A cunning plan was hatched by myself on Thursday to lead the ride as it was my first ride in four weeks due to a brush with Covid. This allowed me to make it flatter than normal – there’s a method in my madness!

The day was gloomy, overcast and hovering around 2°C, not the most inviting weather, but at least it was dry! My route: out through Ewell, Horton Country Park (avoiding the boggy bits!), Ashtead Common, ‘Land of Crufts’, and then climbing around the north side  trail alongside the M25. This all went well and we arrived in the ‘burbs’ of Leatherhead around eleven o’clock. Upon arrival at Clark’s we found it was full up and so headed to the backup cafe just beyond the river bridge in the middle of Leatherhead.

After suitable heat-generating food had been consumed, the return journey took us more or less our usual route up and under the M25 and back along the west side of Epsom Common. The big surprise was the local highways authority after some fifteen  years has finally cleared the shared path that’s been two feet wide for years. Believe it or not we discovered that under all the mud and grass was a path actually built around seven feet wide.


Half way across Epsom Common Bill Kent picked up a Hawthorne, which deflated his spirits, and his back tyre. Bill Martin and myself stopped to help him change out the tube and the others were advised of our predicament and told to ride on, which didn’t take much persuasion given the gloom and the temperature. Repair completed we rode back through Horton Park where I bode farewell to the duo heading back to Nonsuch and jumped into a warm car for the journey home.


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