Saturday 30th March, off road to Ockham Bites

Four riders out today for some Easter weekend exercise, Adam Domaingue, Bill Kent, Mick Curtis and myself leading. A lovely blue sky today, very little wind and a temperature much warmer than predicted to cheer us up. The route, Horton Country Park, Epsom Common north-west side, Prince’s Coverts, Cobham Downside, up and over the M25 to Telegraph Hill, and then across what’s left of Ockham Common.

Prince’s Coverts proved interest at one point with a section of brown liquid mud about 15cm deep to paddle through. At Cobham there was plenty of evidence that the River Mole had recently invaded the farmer’s fields, also a couple of minor miracles. Two sections of road in the Cobham Downside area resurfaced after being riddled with pot-holes for years. Clearly the locals spray painting of large pink penises and testicles on the road protesting at its conditions does work!

Once on Ockham Common we were met with the sad sight of the damage the Highways Agency had inflicted on what was lush green vegetation. Trees cut to their stumps, vegetation removed, and some of our favourite technical trails destroyed for good. I hope it’s worth saving ten minutes on a vehicle journey time, because from my experience the more motorway lanes you create the more vehicles you encourage to fill them up!

The Sun was bright, and for the first time this years it actually had some heat to it. Ockham Bites welcomed us and provided us with some excellent food. If you get a chance to go down there please support them as their business has lost @£137,000 since the Highways Agency started its folly.

Our ride back retraced over Telegraph Hill, (No choice, only one other road route, and  that’s full of deadly pot-holes!) to Cobham and then back through a very boggy Esher Common, Claygate Common and Chessington South. At Chessington South the amusing spectacle of a gremlin in the pedestrian crossing lights greeted us, causing them to go red and beep to cross immediately after just turning green was encountered, I’ve not seen that one before.

A good ride chaps.

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