Saturday, July 21, 2018

B's Wednesday the 25th July

Train assisted ride with 11's at Nibble's cafe, Datchet station. We will leave at 11.00am as usual.

We will be heading North to Beaconsfield for lunch at the Hope & Champion, a Wetherspons pub.

No off road (but a short section on a gravel path) but there will be some hills. Afternoon tea will be decided on the day. Around 35 miles Datchet to Datchet.

Grovel Friday 20 July 2018

Excuse me Mark for making some observations on your suggestion of a welcome and anticipated scenic short-cut to Arundel. I managed to find the path, starting at an old bridge over the Arun. See pic.1. I made it along dry grass to the first kissing gate which was a challenge. The next field I could not believe it was water logged full of cow dung and my cycling shoes almost departed my foot more that once by being sucked into the mud! The next challenge was a bridge with a bar across it which I had a struggle to lift my Cube over being now in a more depleted state. See pic.2. the way forward seemed to be through Jungle see pic.3. Then to cap it all the roots appeared see pic.5. Then there was a series of elevated wooden tracks with a hand rail on one side but very tricky to ride on an MTB with wide bars. Furthermore the gaps between the planks were too dangerous for narrow road wheels but OK for MTB slicks. See Pic.4. These were ideal for walkers but very tricky for cyclists.
The challenge then continued as I carried on towards Arundel. The path was completely root infested and I found it impossible to stay mounted fearing a fall and further damage to my right hip complete with 3 long screws. I have to say Mark I must congratulate you for riding this path but I would caution others to be very wary before trying. You definitely in my mind need nobly wide tyres at a softer pressure.

Gravel Friday 20 July 18

Thanks to Mark for a fantastic ride though I suffered more than one death, out of breath and overweight. I do not know how Ken Day did it on his road bike but he did. Those Borstals were horrific and I nearly chickened out!
In my case I made it a two day trip staying in the YHA Thrs. night. this gave me the chance to go to a concert in St Pauls Church for a Venice night out. It was very interesting with a senior entry of £5 with a glass of wine. Picture 1 below shows one of the artists.
The Gravel ride overall I did not enjoy but maybe that was the ending along the Arun to Arundel. Today I feel that I did achieve something and would like to thank my fellow Borstalers for being so patient in waiting for me as I delayed their arrival at the Moon by probably an hour! Normally mean and tight Morley decided that it was the least I could do to try and compensate with a complimentary drink. Picture 2 includes Mark before we set off from Devil's Dyke.
One of my aims of this ride was to go to an ordination at Arundel Cathederal, my first. The ceremony almost two hours was almost a Crucifixion for me as I arrived just in time all sweaty and dusty. Picture 3 refers. It was compensated however afterwards, by a splendid celebration in the Barons' Hall courtesy of Their Graces, the Duke and Duchess of Norfolk in Arundel Castle with canopies and wine. Pic 4.
In conclusion I have to thank Mark for his suggestion that I take a short cut along the banks of the Arun from Storrington. I found this one of the most challenging rides of my life. Sure in my younger days I may have found it a cape walk on my MTB but as it turned out it was a root infested walk. At the risk of boring everyone I will post more pics on sep blog.

Friday, July 20, 2018

Gravel Friday

Today, we learned a new word.  Bostal.  A bostal is a short, steep hill from the agricultural land at the bottom of the South Downs to the agricultural land at the top.  Some are surfaced,  and some are not.  The road up Ditching Beacon is a bostal, for example. Bostals played a big part in today's ride.

We met at Bystanders Cafe in Brighton, as arranged, and some took advantage of the ample breakfasts on offer.  A good plan, as it was a fair pull to lunch.  We left the cafe just before eleven, rode up out of town and up again along the long drag that leads to Devils Dyke.  A brief pause here for photography, then off along the trackway on the crest of the Downs.

Bostal Boys
Good riding for several miles, rolling country with varying surfaces, but nothing difficult.  Cresting a rise, we encountered heavy traffic - a very large tractor.  The farmer waved.  Then it was time for the first bostal, which took us down to Upper Beeding.  Unsurfaced, it needed a bit of care for a safe descent, but no problems and we were soon rolling through the pretty village past Bramber Castle.  Up towards Steyning, then left on to Steyning Bostal.  This gets an entry in Simon Warren's '100 Greatest Climbs ' book, and he gives it 5/10.   Scores varied from our group by the time we had done two 17% pitches, but, at least, it was surfaced.

We were now back on the top and rolled along nicely to the Chanctonbury Ring, with Leith Hill just visible in one direction and the sea in the other.  Mike M was blowing a bit at this point, so we agreed that having descended the next bostal, Washington Bostal, he would take the road to the pub while the rest of us went up one more bostal, and then back down another.  This worked swimmingly, and, having got to the pub first, Mike generously bought beer for all of us.

A good lunch, eaten in the Secret Garden, then it was Ten Green Bottles on the way home.  Mike M waved us goodbye from the pub, as he was going on to Arundel to meet friends; Steve turned off at Barns Green to take the Downs Link to Lancing, also to meet friends; Mike R and Ray left at Horsham heading for Gatwick and their cars, and Ken and I parted company at Rusper, making our separate ways home.

A good ride for a dry summer,  plenty of entertainment, good views and good company.  Thank you all.


Wednesday, July 18, 2018

A ride 18th July

Here are some of us at Cranleigh. Thanks to everyone for a lovely day out and especially the corner markers and Brian for back marking.

B Group - 18th July


The Vineries - Mayford - Walton-on-Thames

We may have lost certain bike parking places but it didn't seem to make a problem!  It was good being able to sit outside in the sun with our morning coffees and teas.   To continue.....nineteen B riders left The Vineries for lunch at the Mayford Arms.  When I planned my route, I had been up Green Dene three times on various club rides, hence I chose to go in the opposite direction!   BUT....Before I continue I must welcome Dave Ferrett to our group.  It was Dave's first ride with the Wayfarers yesterday and we hope to see much more of him.

Down past Effingham Junction station to turn left into Forest Road, then right at the T.  East Lane, Ripley Lane, Hungry Hill and then Tithebarns Lane towards Send.  Woodhill and Potters Lane to Old Woking following the A247 to join up with a very good cycle path along side the A320 to Mayford, arriving approximately 12.45.

As the food was all pre-ordered we expected to sit down with a short wait before it arrived.  It didn't happen!!  The food was extremely good, but, we were still waiting for orders an hour later!   Sunshine and good company took the sting out of the waiting.

Upon leaving the pub two members took off for Woking station whilst the rest of us headed for St. John's to pick up the Basingstoke canal.  As we 'per chance' rode the Basingstoke and took tea at the same place as I had reccied last week,  I was going to change my return route but the general consensus was to carry out plan A - which we did!! The canal to Woodham/New Haw, Addlestone, Weybridge to the Walton River Barn for tea.

At the scene of the crime, standing on the hard shoulder
This was not such a good plan for Liz B for whilst the group stopped to say goodbye to Terry, Dave and Liz N at the Byfleet exit, we noticed three people missing.  We waited, and we waited.  Brian very kindly cycled back to find out if there was any thing wrong; I phoned Liz, Tim and Vic but no replies!   Then a text from Tim.  Brian returned and said they were on their way - thankfully.   Well!!!!  Liz  and bike had been in the canal!!   A cyclist going towards Liz, swerved to avoid a 'parked' bike, rode into Liz who landed up in the canal!   The best bit is that Liz appeared to be unharmed or fazed by the incident.  I do hope you are still feeling as good Liz :) :)

Soooo, at The Barn we were served several large pots of tea to share, each paying for a cuppa with only one or two sampling the cakes.  As usual, we left in dribs and drabs, going in various directions home.

Inspecting Liz to confirm that she hadn't entirely dried out
Whew, what a day!   Thank you Liz and Tim for back marking and all those who cornered.  Photos and route courtesy of Tim, but the one of us all watching Liz dry out was taken by me!

Thank you all for your company - happy cycling Pam :) :) 

More photos HERE

A Group 18th July

Today, Steve gave us a proper ride on a proper Summer's day.  Pleasant roads, shady tracks, a good lunch and ice-creams at Pilgrims.



Pam's ride to the Mayford arms.

Great food.....eventually.

Monday, July 16, 2018

Gravel Friday - Trip Notes

The forecast is good for Friday, so here are the arrangements.  

Elevenses will be at the Bystander Cafe, 1 Terminus Road, Brighton BN1 3PD.  It's just on the right as you come out of the station.  It's covered with scaffolding at the moment, but the sign is just about visible.

We'll ride along the edge of the Downs to Storrington, lunch at the Moon, then quiet lanes to Horsham and familiar lanes from there.  

Here's the route, the gravel is mostly in good condition and the riding is easy, with great views all along the ridge.  There are two tricky descents, which you can walk if you don't fancy them, and one climb from Simon Warren's '100 Greatest Cycling Climbs' - Steyning Bostal, 5/10.  

Get some while it's hot!


Saturday, July 14, 2018

B Group - please preorder your lunch

B Group - Wednesday 18th July

Pam will lead us from the Effingham Vineries garden centre to the Mayford Arms PH. For the sake of efficient service on the day the staff at the pub would like us to preorder our lunches. Unfortunately their web site is down so please peruse these pages from the menu and notify Pam of your choice, by email to or by text to 07900 3350 256.

Please read the important message from Simon about parking your bikes at the garden centre.

~ Tim

Friday, July 13, 2018

Bike parking at Effingham

Good news:  the Vineries have a new outdoor eating area.
Bad news: it's where we used to park our bikes. 

There is space for a few bikes round the back of the cafe building, as before, but we have been asked PLEASE don't block the access for servers with trays to get to the new outdoor area.   The best place to park bikes is at the end of the car park nearest the cafe (not the display area for the garden furniture shop).   Please pass the message around.   Thank you.

B Group - 11th July

Claygate is a starting venue that offers the chance of numerous opportunities for our rides, I decided to head off in a north westerly direction.  20 of us left the elevenses meeting point and we passed through Esher, Cobham, Ockley and on to Ripley. Here we turned right and made our way along the country roads, Papercourt Lane and Tannery Lane to Send. Again, turning right, we made our way to the outskirts of Woking by way of Old Woking and on to the Cricketers pub at Horsell Birch, arriving at 12:50.

The pub knew we were coming, however unfortunately they didn’t get the lunch orders right and this resulted in one of us having to wait so long for their food to arrive that he decided to forgo eating it, rather snacking on chips, at least he didn’t have to pay for anything! Unfortunate as I say as in the past the pub has served us well.

We left the pub, took Brewery Road and went down the path onto the Basingstoke Canal. Along the very familiar track, leaving it at Scotland Bridge Road. Through Addlestone and onto Weybridge, here Pam kindly showed me a safer, better route along to Walton, well known by the B group riders.
Again, unfortunately, Jennie suffered a double puncture just short of our tea stop, the Theatre, but was able to push the bike to the car park, we had tea and cake and then replaced the inner tubes.       

A very enjoyable ride, good company and great weather.

Thanks to those that marked corners that enabled the ride to keep moving along, and also to Jennie for back marking.


Thursday, July 12, 2018

A Ride Wednesday 18th

I have planned a strait forward, quiet route from Effingham to Cranleigh for lunch at The Richard Onslow where there will be tables and bike storage at the rear. The route includes two miles of the Downs Link (flat). After lunch we'll do another two miles of the Downs Link (flat) and then on to finish at West Humble station for tea. To download the .GPX routes click on the link below!AjuQql-aFKiyadT1PYJFA_YRnlQ

LGW en-route to meet East Sussex

Unlike my shots of the RAF flypast I too missed the plane taking of at LGW. I tried to be clever and get the guys and gals in the same shot as a plane took off but the angle on my camera was not wide enough. If we do it again the trick will be to have you all lining up under the flight-path, not to one side. Anyway after the plane had flown I took the photo below with worthy leader Mark on the left.
A hard day for me but good practice for the Pru 100.
Thanks very much Ged for being such a patient and helpful back-marker.

Meeting East Sussex CTC

Relive Video by Janice:

Arriving at the Tesco store at Hookwood there was a gratifying number of bicycles outside, and we made a brisk start by a different route from normal.  Heading south through Gatwick Airport we stopped for a moment to see a plane pass, as we have before.  And, as before, it proved more difficult to get a photograph than might be expected, as the planes are reluctant to put themselves in the right place.  So here's one from another ride - you get the drift, just imagine a group of cyclists on the track.

On to the Worth Way, passing through the car-park of yet another enormous Tesco, and then sun-dappled gravel for six or seven miles until the outskirts of East Grinstead.  This Sustrans route serves us well, avoiding some pretty busy and uncongenial roads, but the trouble with all of these rail-trails is that they're a bit samey, with not a lot to see.

Anyway, off the track and on to the road - the rest of the route to Horsted Keynes is very pretty indeed, fine rolling country which was looking at its best.  We were at the pub just before one, just before our East Sussex friends, and John was there too, having missed us at Hookwood.

The pub was a mixed success.  Despite warning, they struggled a bit with the very large group that presented itself, and poor old Brian was last to be served again this year, despite an early order, as last.  But the event itself was a considerable success, with the cheerful conversation and reminiscences that flow easily enough with any group of cyclists.  A token of the success is the growing numbers - seventeen of us, and more than twenty from East Sussex.  The most I have seen in my time.

As ever, we were slow to leave, and it was well after half past two before we were back on the road.

Over lunch, there had been loose talk of a bonus hill, Cob Lane, a 25% Sussex classic.  Glass in hand, it had looked attractive, but we didn't do it and I don't think anyone thought we were short of hills, in the end.

Road all the way back, with tea at Tanhouse Farm at half past four.  From here we went our various ways, many keen to be home for the footy.

Not everything goes as well as a Wayfarers' ride on a sunny day.

My thanks to Ged for sterling work as a back marker, to all of the corner markers who helped to manage a complex route, and to our friends from East Sussex CTC for a grand day out at the height of summer.