Cut & Run

12th March 2006

Chelsea & Fulham H.O.G.

Held up by the church parade

It was nice to see such a good turn out for my first run as a C&F Road Captain. The weather was dry but very cold and I was amazed to see that 35 riders were prepared to brave the near-freezing conditions for the ride out to The Cricketers Arms Pub in Wisborough Green, West Sussex.

The initial safety brief was given to the assembled masses and it was pleasing to note that I was not the only novice for the day, as we had 4 new riders on their first ride out with C&F.

The route out of town was the first challenge, and for a change I opted for tackling the Wandsworth one way system to ensure that my drop off skills were up to scratch, which is fairly difficult when most of the route is on a “money generating” red route, therefore my first thanks goes to Michael Howers for assisting me by stopping on the central hatchings to direct the following riders up West Hill and out towards the A3.

A quick ride down the A3 to the Chessington turn off and on to the A243 to Leatherhead, where my timing was interrupted by the boy scouts and their marching band who decided to shut the road for 10 minutes for their Sunday Church parade accompanied by our 35 Harleys as a backing track.

Once around Leatherhead, we took the A246 towards Guildford through Bookham and Horsley until we reached Clandon where we turned left up to the top of the Surrey Downs and our first stop at Newlands Corner.

I think all of the riders were pleased to get a hot drink and get the blood moving back into their fingers, whilst having the opportunity to review a number of old British bikes out for a Sunday run.

Newlands Corner

Thawing out at Newlands Corner

Once we had got the blood moving again, it was time to set off on the second leg of our ride which would take us out through the Surrey villages of Abinger Hammer, Holmbury St Mary, Forest Green, Ewhurst and Cranleigh before we headed south on the B2133 towards Wisborough Green

Soon we were at our Sussex destination of Wisborough Green, home of the British Lawn Mower Racing Association, and the welcoming log fires, real ale and fine food of The Cricketers. The sport of Lawnmower racing was invented in the Cricketers Arms in 1973 by a bunch of guys who were moaning about the prohibitive costs of getting involved in any kind of motor sport. A number of options were discussed including motorised bar stools, but eventually someone hit on the fact that almost everyone had a lawnmower, and so the British Lawnmower Racing Association was formed. There are apparently various classes of racing, from ‘run-behind’ (hence cut & run) to ‘ride-on’ with 18 horsepower and speeds of up to 50mph!


C&F H.O.G. negotiate Ewhurst

I would like to thank the landlady Sarah who allocated half the front car park for us to use and for reserving a number of tables in the dinning area to ensure we had room to spread out and warm up whilst enjoying their fine food and beverages.

Thank you to Andrew Papas and Michael Howers who assisted as road Marshals for the ride, and to Cap’n Beakey for riding as my Last Man thus ensuring that all of those who started were able to finish my first run as a C&F Road Captain.

David O’Flaherty - C&F Road Captain

Cricketers Arms