Steam Day Ride

5th June 2005

The ‘pre-St Tropez’ run took place on Sunday 5th June with the destination being the Watercress Line in Alton, Hampshire, where a ride on a steam train was available for those who wished to avail themselves of the opportunity.

John Warr opened up the shop and kindly supplied breakfast before the off. Following the usual comprehensive briefing we set off exactly on time to try out a new but thoroughly reconnoitred route. We have to start with the A3 (or one of the arterial routes out of London) but we soon turned off to pass Chessington World of Adventures on our way down to Leatherhead. From there it was A roads to just north of Guildford, and then some twisty stuff as far as Godalming and Farnham. The last 10 miles is a blast along the A31 before turning off into Alton - or rather not turning off because the drop-off misread my indication and sent everyone the wrong way. How we laughed!

After a few minutes confusion order was restored and safe arrival occurred at Alton station just before 12 noon, for almost exactly a two hour run. I had to leave straight away to get back for a son’s 21st birthday, and some ‘progressive’ riding got me back home at 12.45pm.

Thanks to Colin Houliston and Richard Beake for helping with the recce and last-man duties.

Michael Howers - C&F Road Captain