Crab Tree Run

21st August 2005

Gathering at Warr’s before the ride-out is always special.

No, it’s not just the coffee and croissants. It’s renewing acquaintances, catching up with mates, greeting newcomers... showing off your latest bits of chrome.

On the verge of giving the Safety Briefing we could hear loud Harleys approaching. In came two guys on identical Springers with ground-trembling pipes. A short pause while they dismounted to join us (no Briefing - no Ride!). Aha - helmets off, and these were two women. Brilliant, most welcome!

Today we were off to The Crab Tree in Lower Beeding, a superbly run restaurant come bar. Of course, we had enjoyed a few recces and sampled their culinary delights and real ale already. As you do.

Yes. Ok, we were heading off down the A3, as usual. But hey, is there a quicker and more convenient green artery for Chelsea & Fulham? Our 1st man drop-off system thrives on good, well placed and plentiful drop-offs. It is difficult to do too many and, afterall, one of the dominant aspects of riding a bike for so many, apart from safety, is not getting lost.

Slipping from the A3 we negotiated Ewell by-pass and turned off towards Burgh Heath and the A217. Once through the big roundabout at Kingswood we were into the greenery. Aah. Being a fairly sedate ride south through Surrey and into the heart of West Sussex, Peter ‘Scottie’ Scott was very happy astride his lovely old ’45 rumbling easily along the lanes.

As ride leader, I stopped when I saw the horse approaching in the tunnelled leafy lane and warned the rider of the noisy procession behind. Undeterred, she continued, but the horse had different ideas... 100 yards down the lane no bikes appeared in my mirrors. I waited, and sure enough there came a horse, alone. Rehearsed, everyone had switched-off at the rider’s situation and she soon gathered him up to continue her journey. No probs.

The next horse we met in close encounters was led away to one side as we paused in our happily throbbing line. We all potato-potatoed by nice ’n easy.

The Surrey and Sussex countryside never ceases to amaze. Yet again some of the new views, villages and locations we rumbled through were spectacular. Around Plummers Plain was a sheer delight. Approaching Lower Beeding we emerged from our leafy encapsulation onto the B2110 to pass by Leonardslee Estate before turning left and to our destination.

Our two women riders were mother and daughter - known to Warr’s for some time, but on their first big ride-out. They loved it, we should have come before they said... they all say that! Full of smiles and cheer, we settled down for much chit-chat and laughter and our much awaited Sunday lunchtime feast.

Paul Wiggins - C&F Road Captain