Ride by Andy and Tish

*****Report by Tish and Andy We watched the weather forecast with trepidation as gale force winds were threatened for the UK. However, though we had a pretty windy day, the rain stayed away and only the odd splatter of raindrops made it through. We were 3 tandems in total starting at Epsom racecourse, Tim and Anne had arrived by train and Angela and Murray were parked up next to a group of mods on Scooters when we arrived. We skirted round the racecourse, through Headley and dropped down to Mickleham under Box Hill via a short but well horse manured lane that makes up part of the Surrey Cycleway. Nipping through the A24 underpass, we gained a little height from Westhumble before a steep climb up to Polesden Lacey and a welcome coffee and cake at the deli cafe. On through the village to Bookham Common and our first off road section took us through delightful, quiet woodland with a heron waiting gracefully by the pond. Downside Common and the cranes of the new M25 service area loomed as we crossed and re crossed the M25 for the 3rd time today. A right turn took us onto the end of the Ockham and Wisley airfield. With a long abandoned 2km runway ahead of us, we spread our wings and rode abreast to the end and out at the busy A3. A short blast up the slip road and we turned off happily towards our lunchtime destination passing RHS Wisley where the carpark was packed with visitors for the day. A shower threatened and we gladly pulled into The Anchor at Pyrford on The Wey Navigation. The pub was busy and luckily the sun came out as we bagged a table by the canal. The 20 mile canal, linking Guildford and Godalming to Weybridge, has made the River Wey navigable since 1653 and is now owned and maintained by The National Trust. This seemed to be a theme of the day so we diverted from our original plan and took the towpath for a couple of miles, rejoining our route two locks and a weir further on. Slightly lumpy and bumpy but it was worth it for a splendid view of the remains of Newark Priory. After a steady few miles and an inevitable tough climb onto Ranmore Common (NT). We were tempted by the icecream van at the viewpoint and watched as a pink fairy and superman ran by on some running event on the common! A blast downhill at last and we clipped the edge of Dorking, crossing our outward journey. Inspired by the recent Olympic test cyclerace, we headed up their route via the Zig-zag road arriving at the very welcome National Trust tea stop at Box Hill. Then with the worst of the days hills behind us, we made our way back to Tattenham Corner via Walton-on-the-Hill and were sad to part company after a great day and 46.5 miles of varied terrain behind us.

IMG_8512 - Underneath the A24

IMG_8499-1 - Flying at the airfield

IMG_8500 - At lunch

IMG_8501 - By the lock

IMG_8511-1 - Newark Priory

IMG_8516 - Welcome afternoon tea stop

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