*****Ride and report by Brian and Helen

Timing to coffee was perfect. The Woking CTC quicker group were just about to leave Seale Craft Centre tea shop, the sensible group and the Camberley club had yet to arrive. Surprisingly, as the weather was warm and sunny, the only cycling clubs we encountered all day. Perhaps our route from Guildford via Surrey University, Christmas Pie trail and Alice Holt Forest trails was the reason. The weather had, however, brought tots on trikes (and bikes and mums) to the forest trails. The sight of seven tandems bearing down caused several to stop, open-mouthed, to wave and others veer in random directions in terror.

Earlier in the week the weather had not been so pleasant and many of the trails’ potholes were brimming with muddy water. Only one, the hidden depth of a small bomb crater, covered the whole trail. Complaints of wet feet from stokers confirmed the pilots had decided it was a “no prisoners” day, using speed and fitness gained from summer trips. The ford at Frensham Little Pond is often dry in summer. With a good downhill run to it, the shrieks from stokers affirmed a wet summer.

At the pub at Batt’s Corner we were warned of an hour’s wait for food (timing not perfect) but gave a good excuse for a leisurely drink or two before eating the excellent food. With added weight, all seven tandems comfortably exceeded the 30 mph limit through Dockenfield before making their way back to Guildford via the above-mentioned ford, Elstead and Charterhouse. 44 miles at an average of over 12 mph (19 kph for those still at school, Christopher). The reward: tea and hot tart of blackberry and apple from Helen & Brian’s garden with ice cream - just des(s)erts?

Seale Cafe - Photo by Dave

Alice Holt Forest - Photo by Dave

Alice Holt Forest - Photo by Dave

Alice Holt Forest - Photo by Dave

Relaxing in the shade - Photo by Dave

At the start - Photo by Liz

Negotiating a barrier - Photo by Liz

Along the Christmas Pie Trail - Photo by Liz

The last barrier - Photo by Liz

Homemade tart served with ice cream! - Photo by Liz

Guildford Route

On the Christmas Pie Route near Flexford - Photo by Neville

Approaching Frensham Church - Photo by Neville

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