After a showery Saturday it was little surprise to find a mixed group of eight gathered on a much brighter day for a sortie out to Virginia Water Lake. Having sampled the mucky lanes during the week, a north-westerly trajectory appealed; a sort of Bushy Park with knobs on. Effingham, Ockham and Ripley flicked past as we approached the edge of RCC's known world. West Byfleet, Row Town (what - no rivers nearby?) and Ottershaw (little did we know at the time but in a flashing myriad of colour the peleton we spied flying across the upcoming junction at Stonehill Road was the 60 mile Surrey League Ottershaw Series race Cats. E/1/2/3). God forbid if they came up behind us as doubtless one or two of our number (see picture) would have hitched a lift.
At Virginia Water Lake the tea facilities were ideal and inexpensive for the stockbroker belt that is. Before leaving we pootled round the lake circuit - four miles - giving utmost consideration to the doggie walkers and families enjoying the sights: totem pole, Guards Polo Club, various follies, five arch bridge etc. all the while savouring the decaying fragrance of autumn. Off again, 10 miles through Wentworth (poa) and Woking back to RCC's hallowed territory. Ripley Lane, the Horsleys and Crocknorth went by amidst pleasant chat and banter, engendering such bonhomie that Philip sleep walked into his nemesis on the Ranmore Road descent into Dorking, stacking it comprehensively at 36mph. Of course amongst the RCC band of sisters and brothers it goes without saying how kind and supportive the group were and credit to every one of them, way beyond the call of duty hanging around while the police, a passing doctor and the paramedics performed their due diligence. Graham and Jean (his wife) even shipped Philip home from Arkle Manor and he was processed and duly sectioned by the excellent staff at East Surrey A&E next day: nothing broken just bashed about. Philip blames a lump of dried-up concrete immediately followed by a hidden patch of loose dirt two-thirds the way down (so watch out for it) but in reality he had it coming to him! Hopefully he'll be out again soon.