Saturday 8th February, MTB Walton on Thames


Five riders met at Cheam Station, Bill Martin, Dave Rapson, Mick Curtis, Andy Pierce  and myself leading the ride. The weather was reasonable calm considering the Storm Ciara that was to hit on the Sunday and we actually got some sunshine on the ride.

My route out took us through Ewell, the Hogsmill River through to Kingston where we crossed the Thames and entered Bushey Park. We crossed through the middle of the park between the ponds on a route I’d used before and threaded our way through the suburbs of Hampton Wick down towards Kempton/Sunbury On Thames using many bridleways and paths I know. We ‘iggy wiggied’ our way through the back streets of Shepperton and crossed Walton Bridge to the elevenses stop at ‘The Regent’, an ex-Wetherspoons pub. A very strange thing in itself as Wetherspoons aren’t know for pulling out of venues once they have them!

Mick Curtis ordered a family size English breakfast, four of everything on the plate by mistake, that’s his story and he’s sticking to it! He demolished all but one sausage and so soon we’re going to train him up and enter him in a burger eating contest. 👍😀👍

After refuelling we headed back east along the road as there was a running event on the tow path. We turned east after about a mile towards Thames Ditton and Esher via yet more bridleways and little used paths to the south of the Queen Elizabeth 2 Reservoir. After crossing the busy road up to Sandown Park Racecourse we headed across Littleworth Common and into Arbrook Common. On Arbrook Common a tree stuck its root out and tripped Andy up and Gravity took over soon after. The tree wasn’t damaged and so we continued in the direction of Claygate and Chessington South.

At Barwell Farm Road we found ‘The Flood of Doom’ was still there and we all found the hidden pot hole in the middle of it, some getting wet feet in the process! I can report that Mick’s ‘Leccy assist bike’ seemed to be ok with eight inches or so of water!  Soon after we were in Horton Park and heading back to Nonsuch Park via more well know tracks and byways following the route of the Hogsmill River.

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