Cycle Ride Yately Common, 3rd May 2018
Eight Seavets - Andrew Bailey, Alan Chick, Alan Jackson, David Kinnerly, Andy Lacy, Jim West, Richard Williams and myself met at the Crown and Cushion, Minley for a ride that was to start by crossing Yateley Common.
The weather turned out to be a bit warmer than forecast and we set off before our scheduled 10:30 start with everybody in good spirits. The route I had planned started with an easy ride past Hawley Lake with a left turn to find our way across Yateley common. I believe I turned left a little early as we ran into a dead end when we found ourselves at the rear of Gibralter Barracks which is used by the Royal Engineers. An about turn followed and I managed to lose my bearings and take everybody around in a large circle before heading in the wrong direction across Hawley Common. When we got to the edge of the common at a road I recognised I then managed to get us back on route across Yateley Common to our planned point for crossing the A30.
At this point we were running a bit behind schedule and decided to make our way off road to the café at Blackbush Airport. Alan C who was riding a hybrid bike but with road tyres decided to take the road and meet us there, where we discussed our continuing route options over our well-earned refreshments. Alan C decided to take the pathed cycle route back to the pub and the rest decided to ride around the old unused runways before heading around the rear of Minley Manor.
Following a seven abreast ride on an unused runway we made our way back across the A30 to grounds of Minley Manor where we planned to find a mountain bike track that Richard had discovered on a previous visit. This turned out to be a tricky ride through the woods with very tight turns and a number of obstacles which was completed by all before re-joining our route around the Manor and then downhill back to the pub. We then had a well-earned lunch and agreed that despite my poor sense of direction the 14.5 miles we had covered on various surfaces and gradients made for a very enjoyable ride.
|Cycle tour of Windsor, 20th December 2017
On the 20th December nine Seavets took part in our 4th annual cycle tour of Windsor: Alan Jackson, Andy Lacy, Steve Fletcher, John Ellis, Adrian Brearley, Brian Tilbury, David's Kinnerley and Thompson plus myself. After pre-ordering our lunch at the Palmer arms Dorney we set off at 10.30 and headed towards Eton along the Jubilee river, crossing the famous playing fields and along the high street we paused on Windsor bridge for the traditional mince pies and mulled cider. (attached is a photo taken by David K).
We then joined the route 4 cycle path which follows the Thames towards Dorney and the Olympic rowing lake, after a circuit of this we crossed the river again and called in to see our old friend Simon Frost at Bray Lake Watersports. After a coffee and a chat we headed back across the Thames again and joined the Jubilee river for the last couple of miles back to the pub. We arrived at 1.00 having completed 13 fairly easy miles, we will have to make the next ride a bit more demanding judging by how fresh everyone looked afterwards and the array of shiny new bikes being ridden.
Despite being very busy the pub served our lunches quickly and the food was excellent and reasonably priced.
Cycle Ride from Denham, 30th January 2018
On a bright but chilly morning nine Seavets met up in the picturesque village of Denham for our second too-cold-to-sail season bike ride; Adrian, Andy, Alan, John, Steve, David's T & K, Russ C and myself. We set off at 10.15 and headed for the Grand Union Canal via Denham Country Park. Once on the towpath we headed South for a couple of miles passing through Uxbridge, and, judging by the amount of smoke coming from the narrow boats chimneys, the smokeless zone hasn't reached this area yet.
On reaching Cowley we turned off the Canal and headed through a wetlands area known as Little Britain. Here an option to ride through a ford was declined and we continued on steadily uphill on a series of bridleways to Langley Park, via Iver and Love Green. After a quick tour of the Park we crossed over into Black Park, where we took up the challenge of a purpose built bike course with varying degrees of success, but thankfully no broken bones or bikes.
After this we made our way downhill into the Alderbourne valley near Fulmer and this time everyone took up the challenge of our second ford of the day, with one or two soggy feet to show for the crossing. We then had a fairly stiff climb back up to Tatling End, here we crossed the M 25 on the old A40, then off road again down to the Misbourne Valley, then the last couple of miles on road back to Denham.
We had completed 16 fairly hard off road miles and were rewarded with a nice lunch at The Green Dragon, one of the three pubs in this small village.
Swinley Forest Cycle Ride, 13th February, 2018
With a forecast for light rain and 5c for this ride at Swinley Forest it was good to see 6 Seavets ready to brave the elements. They were, Andy, Adrian, Joe, John E, Brian and myself. It turned out Brian wasn't as brave as he thought and returned home leaving 5 of us. The rain that had been falling heavily on arrival had now abated as we made our way to the start of the 3 main trails in the Forest, ignoring the easy Green trail we went straight for the Blue moderate option, only 6.25 miles long but fairly undulating, with some short steep climbs and equally steep descents with lots of very tight turns.
In amongst the trees we were sheltered from the elements and the rain had virtually stopped, the surface was fairly good if a bit slippery in places, so we took it fairly steadily and on reaching the start of the Red difficult trail decided to stay with the blue.
Having finished the trail in good time we considered going round again but opted to try the 1 mile green easy trail and head for the pub. On finishing we were all covered in a good layer of mud and changed into the clean clothes we had all sensibly thought to bring along, then enjoyed a very nice lunch at the nearby Golden Retriever.
All enjoyed the experience and are keen to return when the trails have dried up a bit and maybe take on the red next time.
Hambleden Valley bike ride report, Wednesday 28th Feb 2018
(More photos on the Seavets Facebook group page)
On a day when most of the country was exhorted to stay indoors, a hardy trio of Seavets (Richard Williams, Dave Thompson and myself) decided that as it was a little chilly for windsurfing, it was plenty warm enough for a ride into the Chilterns from Maidenhead. Admittedly numbers were down on previous rides, but then as it was minus 5 deg C in my back garden this was not surprising.
We set off from The Shire Horse at Maidenhead Thicket in lovely bright sunshine, and a sprinkling of snow added a sparkle to the scene as we made our way along Sustrans Route 4 to Knowl Hill. From here the route continued off road up and over Bowsey Hill, then down to cross the Thames at Hambleden Lock. Much of the land round here is owned by two very wealthy people – Park Place before we turned off the Henley road is now owned by a Mr Borodin, ex chief executive of the Bank of Moscow, and wanted in Russia for absconding with hundreds of millions of pounds, and the Hambleden estate and much else, previously owned by the WH Smith family is now owned by a former Swiss banker, Urs Schwarzenbach (worth a quick Google).
After admiring the force of the water flowing over the lock weir, we rode up to Hambleden village for coffee and cake at the post office. Suitably fortified we carried on up the valley on the Pheasants Hill side before returning back on the lower valley road, passing a flock of lapwings or peewits on the way. Their population had declined by 80% since 1960 so it was nice to see them. By now the earlier blue skies had been obscured by clouds and we had the first of several flurries of snow. The advantage of it being so cold was that the snow was dry and blew off us before it melted.
We re-crossed the Thames at Hambleden lock, and after surprising a heron which took off just in front, climbed back up from the Flower Pot Hotel to Cockpole Green then Warren Row where there is a good café/cyclists workshop. We pedalled past despite the increasing strength of the easterly wind. A bit more off-road round the back of Ashley Hill took us past the Dew Drop Inn. Again we resisted temptation and pressed on through Burchett’s Green and so back against driving snow to The Shire Horse where we had started. A convivial lunch by a roaring fire rounded the morning off nicely.
Vital Stats: Distance 19.85 miles, vertical 817 feet, average speed 6.6 mph (includes coffee and other stops), max speed 32.9 mph.
Link to the Garmin route detail
Last modified 13-May-2018