Three riders met at Cheam Station Southside at 09:00hrs for the ride, Mick Curtis, David Clarke and myself leading. It was a little chilly as we left and the first time for a while I dispensed with mitts and went for full gloves. With overcast skies we set out across Nonsuch Park and then followed the Hogsmill River all the way to Kingston.
The bridge over the Thames was busy with cyclists using the new wider designated cycle lane poached from no doubt unhappy motorists. On the west side of the bridge we entered Hampton Court Park and proceeded south west along the edge of the park until we reached the gate to take us out onto the Thames Towpath near Hampton Court Palace.
Upon crossing Hampton Court Bridge we found that the outdoor cafe opposite East Molesey lock had re-opened and also the Cricket Club has been refurbished and is now selling outdoor food again. But today our goal was ‘The Wild Brunche’ cafe at Walton on Thames. We continued west sometimes slowly and sometimes at a pace depending on out of control dogs, children or the mobile device obsessed.
We arrived at Walton without incident and enjoyed as usual lovely food and some conversation with other cycling groups. I even got a few customers laughing because I put my food order under the name of ‘Rambo’ which the lady dutifully shouted out when it was ready!
Our route back through Thames Ditton and across Littleworth Common, Esher went well until we reached the other side of the common. Upon joining Littleworth Road heading for Arbrook Common, Claygate a large mature tree was across the road and a crew was there waving chainsaws at it, and so a detour was required. A detour was found after a little squinting at the mobile phone map and we ended up near the centre of Claygate Village, but luckily a left turn took us neatly onto the west side of Claygate Common. We had a little more route variation after this by way of going under the A3 rather than over thus avoiding ‘Fortress Barwell’ the recently proclaimed’Private Road’ farmyard that up until June we’d been riding through for thirty years!
The route after this was pretty much the usual through Chessington South and across Horton Park back to Cheam.
Good ride chaps 33.7 miles for me despite what Strava says!