A Gentle Recovery Ride

After another stent recently fitted in one of my coronary arteries, Mark Hancock’s promised flat ride really appealed to me.

A temporay blip occurred at the outset when Viv turned up with her saddle way down low. In the end it required a diversion to her Dad’s house in Banstead to get the adjustment made before we carried on through Epsom and into Oxshott. Here was where I introduced my favourite cut through Stokesheath Road South (full of posh McMansions as my son calls them) which avoids the horrible traffic light junction where cars beep at you while you do your undignified hill start.

Mark took us to his favourite tea stop at East Molesey Cricket Club which is now called Miss Polly Riverside Cafe. Good food at a price but you can keep an eye out on your precious bike while the green wellied Surrey folk walk along the Thamespath.

Leaving along the river, we cycled past Hampton Court into Bushey Park where we saw this impressive 8 point stag.

We crossed the river at Teddington Lock where the bridge is narrow and prohibits riding your bike. On the plus side, you do get a lovely view of the Teddington Lock.

Next comes the climb through Richmond Park and Roehampton before we tried to join the Wandle Trail in Wimbledon. Unfortunately, this section was being upgraded (no idea when it is due for completion) and is totally closed to pedestrians and bikes at the moment – all the way back to Colliers Wood in fact.

Mark took the closure as an opportunity to take us on a tour of his youth including the former Plough Lane Stadium – home of the Wimbledon “Crazy Gang” who triumphed over Liverpool’s “Culture Club” according to the late John Motson. The heirs of the Crazy Gang are AFC Wilmbledon who play further down the road. Here they have a remarkable, home crafted statue of Dave Beasant lifting the FA Cup.

Thankfully, we did join the Wandle Trail eventually before we made our way home peacefully avoiding the traffic.