Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Cycling in the pleasant Spring sunshine around Edenbridge

I cycled from Edenbridge on Sunday and it was a brilliantly sunny day. Warm too 17 degrees. The ride was from Philips cycle tours around South London. I did this ride last Feb and I started it later and it was really cold so I had to cut it short. So I did 34km in 4 hours 30 mins total time today I did the whole route in 4.40 so much improved.

I cycled out of Edenbridge and headed towards the North Downs. This picture was taken looking at Pains Hill. I then took a picture of the geese on the farm and it wasn't until I loaded the picture on the computer that I noticed that there were two walkers looking at me through binocculars!! This year I cycled up Pains hill in two goes! So I was pleased with myself.

I then cycled on the North Downs

Then down into Godstone for lunch.. purchased from a very happy chappy in the post office. For £1.99 I had a roast chicken wrap and it was scrummy. I ate it later at Crowhurst Church.

Below is a view of Godstone village green that I took last year, this year there was football being played so this made a better photo.

After leaving Godstone I passed Godstone farm and headed up Tilburtstow Hill. (which I did in two goes!!!!) This is along aRoman Road which eventually goes to Bignor Roman Villa in the foot of the South Downs. Then I cycled along the lovely lanes to Crowhurst. This sign is for the village and they are common in Surrey.

Just by here I met a lovely couple who began to tell me that they had grown up in the area during the war and often came back to the church. The man said how as a boy he had watched the Battle of Britain going on in the skies above him and he said it was very exciting. I then had my picnic lunch in the church yard.

Just to the right of this shot is the Crowhurst Yew which apparently is one of the top 50 British trees of interest. It didn't say why so I assume it was because it was old. Ah ha now I have googled it and it is supposed to be 4000 years old!! it has a hollow middle which was dug out by the villagers in 1820 and in the process they found two cannon balls from the English Civil War embedded in the tree. Wow.. thank goodness for google.
A photo of the tree from close up.
Further down the road I came across this interesting building. It's the gatehouse for Crowehurst Place which was built in 1420. The original house was destroyed but the gatehouse remains. Renovated in the 1920's. V nice.

I then cycled through Lingfield where I saw this collection of older houses on the High Street. Some buildings are 16th Century. Shame people are allowed to park their cars here though as there were an awful lot of them.

I then cycled along a lovely lane to Cowden. On the way I got a puncture. It was a teeny weeny piece of stone. So I pulled to the side of the road and managed to fix it. I was just pumping up the tyre when a man and woman stopped and helped me. Luckily he had a track pump in his car so he kindly pumped up my tyre for me. It wasn't as if I couldn't have done it but it was nice to not feel so alone knowing that there are kind people out there who are willing to help. Ta mate.

This is a view of the North Downs in the distance (where I was at the beginning of the ride!) overlooking Stonehurst farm. Lovely view that the photograph doesn't do justice. I then cycled through Markbeech which is near Hever Castle (where Anne Boyleyn lived as a girl - before she got involved with that King bloke!). Nice church next to a really nice pub - but I didn't stop as its not so great when you are on your own.

Another sign to round the day off.

Ride around Sutton

After dropping off Rachel at Stagecoach I went for a cycle. The weather was mixed. It started out looking promising so I put my shorts on but wrapped up which was lucky as it got cold later and a bit blustery!!

I went from Worcester Park to Nonsuch Park. Then came to Cheam Village where I saw the above cottages and neat little allotments. In the centre of Cheam is the Whitehouse. It is one of the buildings that back on to Nonsuch park which was one of King Henry VIII's hunting lodges. It has some brilliant Tudor features including an original exposed wall. The outside is a mish mash of extensions over the years since. It is a brilliant place to visit. The views below are of the front showing the Elizabethan hallway and the back of the building showing the sundial. Fabby place.

Then I cycled on into Sutton and realised why I never go there shopping... its a bit pants. But I found this as I cycled through a nearby park. I have tried to track down what it is but to no avail.
It was stuck in the middle of a green space with no label or anything. Wierd.

Then I cycled up to Banstead common and was not particularly impressed. The tracks were overgrown with broom (which was spikey!!) and then as the route travelled over a golf course I was stared at by lots of posh blokes in questionable clothes. Then as I cycled off the golf course into a posh private estate I found this house...

They were still putting the finishing touches on it and although it was a fantastic house it was surrounded by standard 1930 arts and crafts style houses so it looked way out of place. I spoke to a man doing his garden over the road. He said the same. Although he admired the house he did think it was out of keeping with the neighbourhood. And although I agreed with him I did have to laugh when he said that houses like this don't belong in the countryside... Who was he kidding... he is in London some way from the countryside!!! Ah posh people and their ideas huh...

Good ride though,

Thursday, 12 March 2009

tree cutting...

Last Sunday.. at a loose end... decided to cut down the fir tree..

Simon was away at his sister's so I took the opportunity to do some boy stuff...

Here I was after about an hour. I have attacked one side.

This was sometime later and I had done most of the lower branches.

Ta da... all done.

It does look strangely sculptural. But at least it is down as it was nearly dead in the inside and I managed to do it before the birds nested.
My body ached on Sunday night but then by Monday it was fine...

Sunday, 1 March 2009

Another ride from the book.

I had to drop Rachel off at her rehearsal today so decided to squeeze a ride in whilst she was there. So I drove to Mogador and parked the car.
more to follow... got to go for a mo...

My Ride around Dorking to Reigate

Today I chose a route from Rural Rides no.2 in East Surrey by Ron Strutt. ISBN 1 85284 273 3 called Gems of the Vale. I plotted it into the new GPS and then cycled off from home.
I cycled to Epsom and then up Chalky Lane (nearly in one go!!) and came out at the racecourse. I then went through Langley Vale to where this photograph was taken. It shows the new stand at Epsom now nearly complete and very big!

I then went via Headly and the wonderful Longdown Road to the bottom of Box Hill and into Dorking. From there I joined the route. This is a photo looking back at Box Hill ridge.

Then from there I cycled into Leigh (pronounced Lie) and there is a wonderful green with quaint Elizabethan cottages. The Church (which I photographed but it was too dull a day for it to be a nice photo.) dates back from 15th century, during the middle ages the church didn't have a resident priest so a visiting priest was sent out from Newark Priory near Woking and he stayed in this house.

This is a lovely cottage that was on the route too, just by the Church.

Then from there I cycled past Wonham Manor (which seems to now be a Police Dog training centre) and there is a huge field next to the road filled with deer who are never near enough for nice photos whenever I go past!! - yes they are the white dots in the photo below.

This is More Place which is a medievel building and manor house dating back from the 15th Century. Very nice but now only really visible when the gates are open.

I then went to Brockham - named after badgers aparently! This is a shot of the village green and the church. (13th century in style but actually victorian) The green used to be used for Cricket and WG Grace played here (village claim to fame!)

Then on into Dorking and sat in the Churchyard eating my lunch - a very nice grape and brie sandwich purchased from the Spar in Brockham. Interestingly the sell by date on the sarnie was 29 February 2008!! tasted ok to me!! Then it was on the cycle route alongside the Leatherhead Road back to Leatherhead. On the way out of Dorking I saw this tree house which I have been meaning to photograph for ages. Supurb or what.

Then home via Ashtead and Epsom. Wow... 41 miles. cool huh.

Sunday, 22 February 2009

My Mega Ride

Well my route started from Chessington, then through Claygate to Esher, then through Hersham to Weighbridge. From there I meandered to Addlestone (taking a cycle route which took me over this railway bridge with lots of steps to carry my heavy bike up!!)

I then went to Chertsey and headed into Woking on a pavement shared cycle track - which I hate because I really don't think that we cyclists should have to cycle on the pavement as it encourages cyclists to always use the pedestrian route. And I got some looks from car drivers who obviously didn't realise that the pathway was shared. But look where I found!

I then got some lunch - a Sainsburys Feel good ploughmans sandwich and some fruit in Woking and saw some strange sights.

The second one is a homage to HG Wells who lived in the town and the Aliens in War of the Worlds land on Horsell common not far from here.

Then I went to Send and took a little lane to Send Church where I had my lunch. And nice it was too. There were birds all around me and the sun was shining. It was actually warm enough to take my jacket off!!! I did try to see inside the church but it was locked.

The view from my lunch spot

The churchyard with my bench!

Thought I'd try one of those kookie photos that you take yourself... mixed results I feel but its nice to have a photo of me now and again!!

Then I got moving again and cycled along a lane that took me to the A3. I was horrified but it was ok as there was a cycle lane which was OKish. I then took the Clandon Road and cycled happily until I reached the Guildford road. I then decided that I needed to do a hill. So cycled up to Newlands Corner. It wasn't a huge hill but it was enough for me. I stopped a couple of times but got there! I then took time out at the cafe but as there was a huge queue I was pleased that I had brought my flask. Then I went down the long hill into Shere and it was a fab reward for doing the hill! I managed 50km/hr. wheeeee...

From there I went along the A25 until I turned offroad and went along a route I knew that ran parallel to the road through the woods.

From there I went through Dorking and along the cycle path back to Leatherhead. By now the sun was beautiful and I took some pictures of the River Mole

So all in all a great ride. I have plotted it as a route on Bikely.com and will post a like as soon as I figure out how to do it.
Great day had by me. (oh and 3400cals burned off!!)