Tandem Club - South East London - 2011 Events

All tandem riders (and bike riders interested in tandem riding) are welcome on any of our rides.
Participation in any of these events is entirely at the rider's own risk. The Tandem Club, its officers
or representatives can accept no responsibility for any accident, loss, injury or death however caused.
We aim to start all rides promptly at the published times.

Note: Please contact ride organizer before attending a ride.
January April July October
February May August November
March June September December

Sunday, 23rd January 2011

South East London
start time: 09:45 for 10:00
approx. ride distance: 25 miles
organized by: John & Sue
telephone: 020 8855 1693

Starting from Charlton Hse we will go to a cafe / toilet stop in Woolwich and then over the Thames, by Ferry if running.
We will then take the Greenway to the ViewTube. for lunch, about 4 miles.
The cafe needs lunch choices beforehand - please contact John or Sue for the menu.
From there we will head South towards docklands and cross via the tunnel to Greenwich. Quick sprint up the hill for cafe / toilet stop then back to Charlton Hse.
Ride distance will be under 20miles & quite slow.

Our visit to the Olympic site started at Charlton House on a cold but dry morning, heading off for a coffee stop in nearby Woolwich.
Everyone refreshed, we boarded the Woolwich ferry, heading for the Greenway cycle path, which took us to the viewpoint cafe for lunch.
Suitably impressed by the 80,000 seat stadium, Velodrome & Aquatic centre, we made our way to the Greenwich foot tunnel to get across the Thames. Unfortunately the tunnel was closed due to a faulty lift, so plan B (a dash for the Woolwich Ferry) was put into operation.
With light fading, we made it back to the start, with 26 riders on 11 tandems, 2 solos 1 tag-along & a child seat having taken part.

Report by Heather Butcher

click here for pictures

Sunday, 20th February 2011

Joint SEL/Kent ride - North Kent

start time: 09:45 for 10:00
approx. ride distance: 35 miles
organized by: Cliff & Pauline
telephone: 01732 750885
Starting at Otford at 9.45 for 10 start approx 35 miles
Coffee stop at Ightham before heading up across the downs to Harvel for lunch, then returning to Otford.
Please let us know if you are coming so we can book the pub. Thank you.

We all assembled in Otford car park for this joint SEL/Kent region ride kindly organised by Cliff and Pauline.
Enjoying the cold drizzle the group headed out via Kemsing, Noah's Ark and Styant Bottom using lovely quiet lanes for coffee and sausage rolls at the Ightham Village Shop. No seating so we stood around outside catching up on the gossip.
At Wrotham there was a minor incident as one pair disappeared up the wrong road, but reunited we rolled through Trottiscliffe, Ryarsh and Birling, with legs and minds beginning to anticipate the climb up Poundgate to our lunch stop at Harvel. No-one was cold at the top!
Angela was still not feeling well, but turned up for lunch (possibly to keep an eye on Murray who was piloting Caroline for this ride) and who did an excellent job of taking the traditional pub stop photo.
Cliff had spotted a track on the map, looked like an excellent shortcut, but it was untested. It turned out to be quite gravelly, slippy and very steep! I loved it but I'm not sure everyone did. After unclogging mudguards and repairing a puncture we continued through Stansted and up a steep climb, which unfortunately was too much for the hub gear on Tim's Pino - it locked up and Tim was unable to continue. They freewheeled to Kemsing then Tim took Brendan's bike to retrieve the car. Meanwhile there were two other punctures to fix, and the reduced light meant that a few decided to continue on their own.
Eventually the remainder of the ride continued, lights flashing, going through Knatts Valley, past Woodlands and then straight back to Otford, cutting out the planned loop through Shoreham.
Report by Dave

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Sunday, 27th March 2011

Note: British Summer Time begins today. Time Springs forward one hour.

start time: 09:45 for 10:00
approx. ride distance: 40 miles
organized by: Nick & Daphne
telephone: 01322 662873
Starting in Swanley, 09:45 for 10:00 start, approx 35 miles but hilly in places.
Easier / shorter options are available for most stages.

Coffee stop at Eynsford before heading to Ightham for lunch.

Afternoon coffee in Shoreham before returning to Swanley.

Sunny weather always brings out the best in people, and it was no exception today. Friendly company, beautiful scenery & rolling hills (not the nasty sharp ones that you have to walk up). The nice thing about being slow riders is we get to see everyone else. As we climb hills everyone passes us with a comment, and at the top they all stop & we get to pass them again. All very well designed really.

Leaving our start in Swanley we mainly coasted downhill enjoying the scenery, until we met a few hills on the rural outskirts of Orpington, but that was okay as it helped the appetite for coffee & cake at Lullingstone Visitor centre. A short sharp climb along the private road past the 'Hop Shop' (unusual for us to go past as we usually pop in for a few supplies), brought us out onto the A225. Looking back we could see the bee hives lining the field edges & the early lavender crops. What does lavender honey taste like? We'll have to return & buy some just to find out.

We rolled through Otford & Kemsing, and I began my search for large wooden structures with a variety of animals. Daphne started mentioning deer ahead of us, and I wondered if they would be in pairs. The views were good, but I could only see the normal barns & cottages. There's a bridge over the M26, not noted for its ability to flood, and a few cottages. Why call this area Noah's Ark if there's nothing to support the theory?

"We'll stop on the corner by the station, get a drink, then climb the hill past the deer" said Daphne. A quick sip later we turned the corner & looked at a large empty field. Hiding our disappointment we slowly worked our way up the hill, as the rest of the crews overtook us & defied gravity by floating up the hill ahead of us. At the top we turned into some small lanes & realised the 'top' was still to come. All this climbing did mean that we had a quick, albeit noisy (Daphne again, she likes to mention to me that I shouldn't go that fast) descent before turning into the car park of the George & Dragon at Ightham.

With impeccable timing Tricia arrived as we did, and we chatted our way through an excellent lunch.

After a running repair on a damaged chain we climbed to the Pilgrims Way & started heading back towards Otford, passing (with permission) through private & public roads before a quick trip along a bridleway. As the last 200 yards was a footpath, we were very good & walked, except for Christopher who disappeared to explore the local chalk quarry. As an adult it would cost me a fortune to get jeans with that pattern on them.

We resisted the temptation to ooh & aah over the ducklings on the pond in Otford, and climbed out of the village towards Orpington, before descending towards Shoreham again. Good views before we entered the village & negotiated the cars that were parked just about everywhere. The ladies at the Shoreham Tea Rooms had been forewarned, and 14 places had been reserved for us. I knew that more hills were ahead, so I took on a few energy supplies (coffee & walnut cake) with my coffee.

Eynsford is a lovely village, which is why you always have to weave round the parked ice cream vans & cars before you can start the climb to Crockenhill. We see everyone again as they float up the hill (I like my theory about cake, but it does to seem to have a weight penalty). A 10 yard walk over the railway bridge in Swanley neatly avoids the 200 yard climb up the hill, and we're back to the car park.

Would we 'lead' another ride? We will if you'll come along again, because you made it such a nice experience (the coffee & walnut cake was pretty good to).

Report by Daphne & Nick

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Friday, 29th April to Monday, 2nd May 2011
Camping Weekend
Nayland, Suffolk
start time: probably 09:30 but will be agreed by attendees at the time
approx. ride distances: 30-50 miles
organized by: Alan & Wendy
telephone: home: 01621 818060
Back to basics camping weekend, making use of the additional Bank Holiday for the Royal Wedding.
Please contact Alan and Wendy by email ASAP if you'd like to join us for this weekend.

Whilst Prince William and Catherine Middleton were getting married on Friday 29th April, 21 of us were gathering at Rushbanks Farm campsite near Nayland just over the Essex border into Suffolk, with another 2 in a B&B in picturesque Nayland itself. The campsite is located beside the River Stour and is very popular with canoeists – we were given a large field all to ourselves.

8 tandems and 1 solo set off at 1.30pm on a south westerly circuit to Aldham Garden Centre for tea. The first incident of the weekend occurred on the rather nasty little hill from Bures back to Rushbanks Farm when Mike's gears jammed, causing them to stop suddenly, and Anne's mirror attacked Ken's arm, drawing rather a lot of blood; Liz managed to staunch it and bandage him up. That evening 21 of us piled into cars and drove to The Swan pub in Bures for a very enjoyable dinner.

26 miles cycled

click here for Friday's pictures

Saturday 30th April

Another sunny day but with a cool breeze blowing and 11 tandems and 1 solo attempted a bigger south westerly loop: unfortunately we managed to lose 3 tandems and the solo before we got to Wormingford, less than 5 miles from the start! Phone contact was finally made and, as they'd turned north instead of continuing south, they were given a different route to get them to Stanway Garden Centre for coffee. The main group enjoyed a very long coffee stop, with time to look around the extensive garden centre and also the outdoor shop next door with various purchases being made.

A rather hot looking "breakaway" group finally arrived having done double the intended mileage so far! They were given a shorter route to lunch and were left to enjoy their coffee whilst the rest of us set off south again before turning west to Tiptree, passing the famous jam factory. A stop was made in Tiptree to shop for picnic "makings" which were duly crammed into panniers and bags. We then took a slightly circuitous route to Perrywood Garden Centre just north west of Tiptree near Inworth. We were pleased to see that the "breakaway" group was already there!

Some ate in the garden centre cafè whilst others picnicked in the grounds. Jake's Dad joined us for lunch (he'd had a long wait for us!) and, before leaving, did a "cruise past" in his very large old American Ford. Upon re-gathering it was noticed that Ken was sporting a new bandage on his other arm – apparently a picnic table had jumped up and bitten him!! Luckily Liz had stocked up with more dressings during our Tiptree stop!

All together again, and taking great care to not lose anybody, we made our way north west to Stisted and the excellent cyclists' cafè, Specialities, at The Old Post Office (5% discount for arriving by bike). Alan had warned us to save space for their large selection of home-made cakes – Jake did them justice by having two! From there it was north east back to Bures and the hard little road back to our campsite and a rather rushed wash and brush up for the 12 that went to The Anchor pub in Nayland for dinner at 7pm. We were all then treated to the sounds of camp-fire songs sung by The Boys Brigade in the field next to us until 10.30pm!

52 miles cycled

click here for Saturday pictures

Sunday 1st May

Sunny again but the NE wind had got colder and stronger. 11 tandems went on a north easterly loop; we stopped at the top of a hill in Polstead and had quite a long look around the little Bygones Corner shop, with Jo wanting the tin bath to bathe her dog in – Ian refused to take it on the tandem so the purchase wasn't made! Before Kersey Alan warned us that there was a ford at the bottom of the hill; Alan & Wendy went safely through but the slimy, cobbled bottom caught out Jake & Tricia who were following and they went down and got wet left sides: Liz & Mark made it through safely but all others decided on the route of caution and walked around the path. Jake & Tricia dried out in the sunshine on the way to the Corn Craft cafè at Bridge Farm Barns, Monks Eleigh where they recovered with bacon butties.

Our lunch stop was in Lavenham where we split up, some of us lunching in a pub and others having our picnics on benches in the square, with our tandems causing some interest. There was time for a short walk around the famous old houses. Just before leaving another group of tandems arrived from Suffolk Region and, after some chat, they took over our benches for their picnic lunch – perfect timing!

From Lavenham we came south west, skirting north of Sudbury, to Spencer's Farm Shop at Wickham St Paul for our tea and cake stop. Not far down the road we were missing Nick & Daphne – they'd had a spoke break on their Rohloff back wheel but joined us again and made it back to camp OK. South east now with the head wind becoming very noticeable and making it really hard work along the road from Bures to the campsite, splitting us all up along the way. Jake was pleased that he was the first tandem home!

Tonight was barbecue night and so we erected two large windbreaks near Liz & Ken's van and everyone gathered round, well wrapped up against the cold wind. Jake did a good job tending the barbecues and cooking sausages, bacon and burgers for various people. The Boys Brigade did their campfire sing-songs again.

47 miles cycled

click here for Sunday pictures

Monday 2nd May

Nick & Daphne didn't want to risk their back wheel on another ride (they'd forgotten to bring their spare spokes!) and Tricia was aching from the unaccustomed mileage, so an alternative walking group was formed. 7 tandems and 1 solo went east into the NE wind to coffee at the National Trust's Flatford Mill, famous for John Constable's Haywain painting. The walking group drove to Dedham and walked through fields and beside the River Stour to meet up with the cyclists for coffee at Flatford Mill. Time was taken to look around this very picturesque and historic spot before going our separate ways again: cyclists to do yet more hills to Dedham via Alton Water Reservoir and walkers to do a loop back to Dedham. We met up only to part to various lunch venues, all arriving back at camp around 3.15pm: Jake on his solo beat everyone home. Some finished packing up tents and vans and left for home, with 3 vans staying on site that night.

39 miles cycled

It was an excellent weekend, perfectly organised by Alan & Wendy in beautiful cycling country. It was lovely to see friends from far and near, Jo & Ian and Mary & Alan from near Lincoln, Mike & Anne from near Milton Keynes, Ray from Soham, new members Les & Jill from Tiptree along with Wendy & Alan and the remainder from various places south of The Thames. My thanks to everyone for making it such a good weekend and to Alan & Wendy for arranging it all.

click here for Monday pictures

Report by Tricia Anderson-Frost

Sunday, 22nd May 2011

Hawley, near Dartford, Kent
start time: 09:15 for 09:30
approx. ride distance: 40 miles
organized by: Murray and Angela
telephone:01322 294984
Start will be from Hawley, near Dartford, Kent at 09:30 sharp.
Toilets will be available at the venue.

The route will follow gentle undulations up to Speedgate Stables Cafe for coffee before travelling on to lunch at The Plough Inn at Ivy Hatch via Woodlands Manor, Kemsing and Ightham Mote then returning to Hawley, possibly via the Shoreham Station Tea Room. Distance is expected to be just over 40 miles.

If you are interested, please contact them by Wed 19/5 for pub meal details. Thanks

Start at Hawley Pavilion, Hawley in Kent. 5 tandems and 2 solo's in attendance. Starting in the bottom of the Darent Valley, the ride had only one way to go......up! After this initial climb up through Hawley Village, the route undulated through Sutton at Hone and Horton Kirby before the longest rise of the day up to Speedgate Stables where the well stocked cafe welcomed us for our first stop at around 10 miles. Once refreshed we rode up past the Paddock entrance to Brands Hatch, here we could hear the finely tuned machines, wailing like banshees, locked in combat on the racing circuit. We were soon in the tranquillity of Knatts Valley where a long and gentle climb led up to Woodlands Manor Golf club (we are members there). A further rise out of the valley was rewarded with a much needed descent down to the Pilgrims Way at Kemsing, then descending again, only to be met by a short sharp climb at Seal. Passing the Wilderness Golf Club, the riders could sense that lunch was near. A few miles and a few more hills and we arrived at the Plough Inn at Ivy Hatch. Here we dined in the conservatory admiring our machines, and four free roaming chickens in the gardens outside.

A little rain dampened a few miles once we left the pub, but the clouds soon parted again and another impromptu stop was required to pack away the waterproof jackets. From here we undulated back along the Pilgrims Way, passing through Otford and on to the picturesque village of Shoreham where we took afternoon tea at the station Tearooms. With pinkies extended we enjoyed the quaint charm of the former station waiting room before once more mounting our steeds for the final push for home.

Further undulations followed through Lullingstone, Eynsford (we all used the bridge!) and Farningham as we weaved our way back along the Darent Valley. Another trip through the upper reaches of Horton Kirby and Sutton at Hone finished with a final welcome decent back in to Hawley.

With satisfied smiles and tired legs, we had cycled 43 miles in 3hours 45 mins of ride time.

Report by Murray & Angela Spencer

click here for pictures

Sunday, 26th June 2011

Yalding, Kent
start time: 9:45 for 10:00
approx. ride distance: 40 miles
organized by: David & Annabelle
telephone: 01689 835673
Lunch at Headcorn, approx. 40 miles - "flat as a pancake"

Please contact Dave and Annabelle as soon as possible - the pub wants to know numbers. Thanks.

Yalding to Headcorn and Back

Ten tandems, two newbies, met at the café in Hampstead Lane, Yalding with, strangely enough, 20 people. Tandems were assembled by some in the station car park and they then took the first part of the ride at an easy pace the 300 metres to the cafe. Breakfast and coffee were required to refresh tired limbs and the group idled away the time in idle chatter way past the advertised start time.

The ride was advertised as pan flat 40 miles, well it was not exactly pan - felt more like griddle pan flat with a couple of bumps and of course it was 45 miles. What was not advertised was the weather, scorchio, hottest day of the year, absolutely great.

So off for a meander through the Kentish lanes at their best, beautiful countryside, minimal traffic, tandems riding side by side, group riding as it should be. Leading a ride can be a lonely experience but you know the ride is at the right pace if you can hear lots of talk and laughter behind. Which, thankfully, we did. It always amazes me that whatever group of cyclists I ride with you show them any sort of hill and this steely competitive edge shrouds the group as they race each other to the top and the leader is left at the back. But of course revenge is sweet as half the group missed the left turn which I forgot to tell them about. Of course I didn’t do it on purpose, shame on those who thought I did but I did enjoy it.

Lunch at the George and Dragon in Headcorn High Street, the group was scattered inside and out all merrily chatting away, food came out of the kitchen fairly briskly. No tea stop on the way back so a few had dessert.

Back to Yalding via more quiet lanes, decided not to use the fiendish piece of off road which was planned because of the brand new Cannondale racing tandem being ridden by two members on their first ride with our group. Interesting that we rode for over half an hour and then cycled past a sign which said two miles to Headcorn! but it wasn’t mentioned by anyone.

Ever onwards cycling in the general direction of Yalding and at the end of the ride a welcome ice cream at the Teapot Café by the lock. Place was teeming with people and the River Medway full of kids. Sadly the large 6ft teapot, which periodically pours water from its spout, was fenced off so the children, sorry adults, couldn’t have a cooling shower.

Until the next time.

Report by David & Annabelle

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Sunday, 24th July 2011

Dorking, Surrey
start time: 09:15 for 09:30
approx. ride distance: 40 miles
organized by: Mark & Maggs
telephone: 020 8643 5813
Be ready for hills!

Ten of us met at Dorking - four tandems and two half bikes, and just after nine thirty we set off South down the High Street towards the ominously named Spook Hill. Nothing to worry about, though, and we were soon passing Henfold Lakes at a fair clip, through Newdigate to Tanhouse Farm, where we enjoyed our morning coffee. This time we were fortunate enough to be able to sit out in the sunshine, and to reinforce our energy stores with the ample helpings of cake.

Rolling country after this, with Tower Hill at Faygate the only real ascent of this stage. Prettily through Mannings Heath, then Nuthurst and, quickly thereafter, Maplehurst, where we were to have lunch at the White Horse.

The route (click for larger version)
The route
Click for larger version
Such was our pace that we had arrived a few minutes before they were ready for us, but after parking and chatting in the sunny garden they were ready to take our orders that were quickly filled. For the second time in the morning ample portions were on offer, and we all enjoyed a pleasant lunch at a table in the sunshine - warm enough to prompt some to don sunscreen.

Then off through Copsale to Horsham, where the lunchtime traffic was light, and out West of the town to Rowhook, where we tackled Rowhook Hill in exemplary fashion. A sunny and rolling road through Walliswood - some fancy cars outside the Scarlett Arms - and on though Forest Green to the main challenge of the day, Leith Hill. Tortoise and Hare problem here, where the Hares missed the turning and had to be fetched back by a panting Tortoise. Then through Coldharbour to the fast descent of Coldharbour Lane where your leaders, cruising at a steady 40 mph, were passed at speed by the Redhill Rockets doing a good ten miles per hour more.

And so back to Dorking, where we took our tea at the new Leisure Centre. There was general agreement that we could easily have done ten miles more, with the tacit understanding that we weren’t going to.

A good day out, in good company, with some proper Summer weather.

The raw stats: 45.67 miles, at a rolling average of 12.7 mph. Maximum speed 40.6mph, 2,806 feet of ascent, maximum gradient 16.3%, all fueled by the consumption of 2,046 calories.

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Report by Mark Gladwyn

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No ride due to clash with National Rally in Lucton and Mildenhall Cycling Rally

Sunday, 25th September 2011

Upper Rodmersham, Kent
start time: 09:45 for 10:00
approx. ride distance: 30 miles
organized by: Rob &Hilary
telephone: 07973512953 or 01795 830664

An almost immediate stop for coffee at Rodmersham Green, then over to the Isle of Sheppey to Barton's Point Coastal Park (www.bartonspointcoastalpark.co.uk) for lunch at a lovely little cafe overlooking the water: sandwiches, baked potatoes, etc but also a specially laid on roast lunch if we let the lady know who would like one. So please contact Hilary by Saturday 17th September if you'd like a roast. There's a children's play area, a little railway that costs only £1 to go on, plus they fly model areoplanes and you can watch windsurfers on the lake. We will then head back to the leaders' house for tea & cakes. It is a bit of a there and back ride as the cycle path we had hoped to use isn't open yet. However, apart from one very steep hill, the route is pretty much flat.

We were lucky enough to catch the beginning of the promised "Indian Summer" for our ride to the Isle of Sheppey. Once we had squeezed Tricia's van into our driveway, 5 tandems, and 5 solos (one plus tag-a-long) set off in the sunshine for a quick 10 minute ride to the coffee stop in Rodmersham Green. We set off again only to stop for the first puncture of the day 5 minutes later. The ride took us through Sittingbourne and out to Barton's Point Coastal Park on the Isle of Sheppey. After a lunch which came miraculously fast for some, and very, very slowly for others, some of us went for a ride on the little steam railway. It was great fun, and the grown-ups appeared to enjoy it as much as the kids. We set off back pretty much the way we had come, stopping several times to pump up another flat tyre which did eventually have to be changed. The ride back to the bridge off The Island was made much harder by a stiff headwind, and progress was slower than anticipated. The 3rd puncture of the day provided a welcome rest for some, and also allowed a forward party to head back to Rodmersham at a slightly slower pace to put the kettle on. We finished with tea & cakes in our garden in the sunshine after approximately 30 miles. Special congratulations to Ellie (age 7 years) who cycled about 80% of the way solo, only needing an occasional helping hand attached to her Dad's bike by a trailgator. Well done also to Millie & Madeleine, the other two under 8's, who also cycled all the way round on a tandem and a tag-a-long respectively. This was the first tandem ride any of them had actually pedalled on, so they all did very well.

Report by Hilary Audsley

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Sunday, 23rd October 2011

Dartford, Kent
start time: 09:45 for 10:00
approx. ride distance: 38 miles
organized by: Murray &Angela
telephone: 01322 294984 or 07889031310

In the spirit of South East London the ride starts inside the M25 and is entirely on roads in the south eastern corner of OS Map 177 - East London. This part of Kent is renowned for its undulating nature, there are therefore a few warming climbs and some brisk descents. The entire route is on tarmac. Morning tea will be at Speedgate Stables after 8 miles. Lunch is after 22 miles at The Leather Bottle in Cobham. Finish back at Birchwood Park Golf Club for tea and cake.

With the warm autumn sunshine bathing the course at Birchwood Park Golf Club 10 tandems and one solo headed off for what turned out to be a fairly challenging ride. We rode out through Swanley Village and Horton Kirby up to the Speedgate Stables Cafe for morning coffee. Suitably refreshed we took a short descent down to Fawkham before climbing up to Ash, up the CC Bexley hill-climb course at Stansted then on through rolling lanes past Vigo and then through some beautiful valleys around Luddesdowne and Great Buckland. One final long climb took us all up to Cobham and the Leather Bottle pub.

A photo call outside the Dickensian hostelry, which is apparently named in Charles Dickens' Pickwick Papers, brought an end to a very pleasant lunch. We passed through Meopham and Hartley Bottom and then climbed the long drag up past the leafy village of New Ash Green. A steep descent brought us all in to the Fawkham Valley and a nice long flat run down to Longfield. A gentle climb took us to the top of South Darenth before we swooped down in to the Darent Valley and on to a winding lane through to Hextable. One last rise and we were back at Birchwood Park with 40 miles on the clock.

With bikes secured it was in to the club house for tea and cake overlooking the 18th green. The sun was finally setting on this wonderful day, it was time to head for home with fond farewells and the anticipation of the next ride in three weeks time.

Thank you all for coming, we hope you enjoyed the day as much as we did.

Report by Murray and Angela

Note from Tricia (Regional Officer): The Noble family's excellent support of the South East London Region rides (9 out of a possible 13) already made them the 2011 winners of the John Steggles Most Rides Trophy and it was a pleasure to be able to present them with this trophy, rather earlier than usual, during tea at the end of our ride at Birchwood Park Golf Club. My thanks go to them for their support throughout this year. The results can be seen here

click here for pictures

Sunday, 27th November 2011

Richmond and the Thames
start time: 09:45 for 10:00
approx. ride distance: 25 miles
organized by: Adrian & Caroline
telephone: 020 8660 1753

The ride will start at 10am in Richmond Park (for security of vehicles, please contact the ride leaders for the exact location). There is a cafe there which opens at 9am and there are also loos. The ride sets off round the park off road, and there is an opportunity to stop for coffee before leaving the park for a short road section. We then join the Thames Path and make our way via Kingston to Hampton Court.

Lunch has been arranged at The Prince of Wales pub at Hampton Court for 12.30pm. Please contact Adrian & Caroline by the preceding Wednesday 23rd November, if you are coming so that numbers can be given to the pub. They do a roast Sunday lunch for £8.95 as well as lots of other choices. After lunch we continue along the Thames Path, this time on the north bank, past Hampton Court to Kingston and then on road to Twickenham where we rejoin the Thames Path to Richmond and then up Richmond Hill. There is an excellent view point at the top, where we hope the rest of the riders will wait for the leaders to catch up! Finally it's back into Richmond Park and round the perimeter to the car park.

click here for pictures

Sunday, 4th December 2011

South East England Joint 3 Region Christmas Ride and Lunch at Woodlands Manor Golf Club, Kent
start time: 09:45 for 10:00
approx. ride distance: 15 miles
organized by: Angela & Murray
telephone: 01322 294984 or 07889031310

Our Christmas lunch will be a joint affair with Kent and Surrey & Sussex Regions. It will be held at Woodlands Manor Golf Club, Kent at 1pm, preceeded by a short ride with coffee stop. This event must be pre-booked by Monday 14th November. For further details please contact Liz & Ken Gates Tel: 01323 735620 or 07866468840 / e-mail: Please note that mobile reception is very poor at Woodlands Manor.

There were 12 tandems and 2 solo bikes on the Christmas ride, 4 of which were decorated in the Christmas spirit.
We climbed out of Knatts Valley towards Shoreham and stopped at the Lullingstone Visitor Centre for a short coffee break. From there we headed via Eynsford and Horton Kirby to Speedgate, on to Brands Hatch, then down to the bottom of Knatts Valley which led back to Woodlands Manor Golf Club.
We had good weather for this time of the year, which made the 18 miles a nice way to build up our appetites.

Report by Murray and Angela

The lunch was well attended (34), with most of the usual faces and welcome new ones, though those too far away to make it were missed by everyone.
The meal was excellent, and the time flew by pulling crackers, complaining about the jokes, chatting and eating.
Jake made everyone feel rather scruffy in comparison to his immaculate suit/tie, continued to entertain everyone throughout the meal and then turned into a waiter offering the coffee around. Well done Jake.
It was quite dark by the time everyone reluctantly left for home.

Thanks to Liz and Ken for organising the event, with the help of Cliff and Pauline, and of course thanks to Murray and Angela who did a superb job organising their third ride in their first year with the Tandem Club.
Tricia - The South East London regional officer - was away in Africa and was greatly missed. Again many thanks for her work throughout the year organising us all, sorting out next years Diary and making sure things happened.

Report by Dave

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