Saturday 23rd March, off road, Flitton’s Nursery, Wallington

Five riders out today, Adam Domaingue, Ed Pegg, Bill Kent, Dave Elliott and myself leading. A cold, bright day with a 15mph wind from the west. The route out was towards Priest Hill, (Nescot area) and then the back streets of Epsom, before climbing up onto Epsom Downs. We followed the perimeter road around Tattenham Corner past the memorial to the Suffragette who ran out in front of King George’s horse in 1913.

We dropped to Walton Downs, the valley south of the racecourse, and then looped around the back to Tattenham Corner Station, where we took to the road towards Nork and Church Lane, cycle route 22. After crossing the busy A217 a ride through the park at Banstead Village to get to Woodmansterne, where Ed Pegg took over to refresh my memory of the fuzzy route ahead. His local route knowledge of the Woodmansterne area proved very useful, and has been stored in the, ‘little grey cells’ for future use.

We arrived at Flitton’s around 11:00hrs, thankfully to an indoor cafe venue as the wind was picking up, the temperature was dropping, and the sky was looking more dark and ominous by the minute. The usual sustenance was purchased from the very nice staff, and then a while later we braced ourselves for the wind chill of the second day of Spring!

The route back dropped through the small holdings metalled roads, (Oaks Track) at the back of the old Queen Mary’s Children’s Hospital site and then crossed the Woodmansterne Road, Carshalton Beeches end, before climbing up to Banstead Downs. A loop was done of the Downs at the request of Ed Pegg before we parted company at the Belmont bus turn-around circle. Dave had left us at the cafe for the short ride home, which only left Adam, Ed, Bill and myself. Adam and Ed headed for Carshalton and Hackbridge, whilst Bill and I headed for the southern end of Cheam and Nonsuch Park.

At the park Bill headed back to his car,  and in reverse to the norm for our rides,  was left to ride solo back to Horton Country Park to my car and then for home. Thankfully apart from a few drops of rain we all made it back in time before an absolute squall came in. It arrived about ten minutes after I got back to the car, I was driving down to Malden Rushett traffic lights and the temperature dropped enough to spot a few snow flakes as I passed through Oxshott. Thankfully it only lasted around ten minutes because you couldn’t see the end of the car bonnet at times!

A good ride today, a little more climbing, and the first time over Epsom Downs for me this years.

Thanks chaps.

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