Sunday 4 Dec-Toy Run

Typical, after a frost free day yesterday , when I wake up this morning everything is covered in a thick white frost. And although it is sunny and bright I’m really not confident to ride when I don’t have to.

I post onto Facebook that I’m going to wait until later , but other riders assure me it’s ok.

So at 9.45am I decide to give it a go , as the plan is to meet at Mac Ds at 10 to ride to Bolney…but as I reverse the bike out of my shed, my foot slips on the ramp. That decides it I’m going to wait until later  and have to start the bike up to get it back into the shed.

By 11 the frost has gone, so I get my bike out, with its added new moustache and ride direct to Gatwick Manor.

The Run itself has already arrived and I quickly find the others who I would normally have ridden with and who were braver than me : Nutty, Clive,Brian, Sean,Ollie, Alan & Rona.

Here’s Ollie in his Santa suit.

It’s a pretty good haul and all the toys are distributed by The Golden Lions Trust to children with special needs and disadvantaged young people.

My Tiger has found a few friends.

A few of us traditionally go to the Toby Carvery. Alan & rona have thought to book a table this year, which is just as well as its a popular place and we would have had to wait a minimum of 90 minutes with no booking.

Rona, Hayley, Alan & Sean getting ready to tuck in.



Now that’s what I call a Sunday Roast: Beef, Pork, Crackling, Apple Sauce, Roast Potatoes, Cauliflower Cheese, Red Cabbage, Carrots, Peas and lashings of Gravy.






Saturday 3 Dec Newlands Corner

Its funny how what you think is going to be a short blast out to clear the cobwebs turns into a five hour ride around the countryside, but sometimes you just have to go with the flow. After all when you ride a bike it’s usually about the journey, not the destination.

So my ride takes from East Grinstead, through Bletchingley, Redhill and Reigate.

There is a Xmas fair in Reigate, I ummed and ahhed whether to stop but decided not to.

Up until this point I didn’t have a destination in mind, but I decide to head to Newland’s Corner I can grab a coffee there and there’s  usually  a few bikes and bikers up there.

I continue along the A25, through Dorking to Abinger Hammer. Where I stop to take a photo of the famous clock which  portrays the figure of “Jack the Blacksmith”, who strikes the hour with his hammer. The clock bears the motto “By me you know how fast to go”.

Four bikes pass me as I’m taking my photos, including a couple of tigers…I wonder if they are headed to Newland’s Corner too?

When I arrive there’s 25/30 bikes lined up in front of the cafe area. The normal parking lot is taken up by a Xmas Tree pop-up shop!.

I grab a coffee. Love the festive Elf cup.

Such spectacular views across the Surrey hills.

I wander over and chat the bikers that passed me earlier. They are member of Solent Riders and are on quite a day’s ride out with about 5 coffee stops planned.

They invite me to join them next weekend on a group trip to Bruge Xmas Market. Its tempting as there are a couple of other lady rider going , but I politely decline as cant imagine riding all that way mid December! However I may look them up next year when the weather gets a bit warmer.

Right, what route shall I take home? I decide to go the long way. So with a few place names in mind I head off.

A25 to Guildford, A281 through Bramley ( I wonder if this is where the apples come from?)

I then turn left to Billingshurst, where there’s another Xmas Fair on, again I don’t stop ;o)

I’m now on the A272, although usually I’m headed the other way!

After Handcross I get caught in a rather long traffic jam.  There’s an extra long vehicle with trailer poodling down the country lanes and absolutely no chance to overtake with the road being so twisty.

He goes straight across at Turners Hill, there’s no way I’m following that all the way to East Grinstead, so  decide to turn left and take the longer route back.

Back in East Grinstead,  I park up at the top of town to buy some material to decorate my bike with for tomorrow’s Toy Run.

Back at home, my Tiger is transformed into Santa!