Monday, March 25, 2019

Easy riders 20 March Ewell to Ashtead Woodman

Ten met for C group ride at North Cheam last Wednesday for a short first leg to coffee at Ewell.  Heading south and west through Stoneleigh, as we entered the Hogsmill Conservation Area, our group divided into two, with 6 of us heading north along the river for a detour through Horton Country Park, while the rest made their way directly through to Westmead Road.
Thirteen of us met for coffee at Ewell and there was some discussion of preferences for lunch.  John B called for a meaningful vote, but in the end we came to a consensus that Ashtead Woodman would suit the majority, and we set off towards Stamford Green at about 20 past 11, lead by me. Passing by the Cricketers and Jolly Coopers, we followed Evelyn Way up to the red bridge, where we crossed the railway line and then the A24, taking Woodcote Side through to Wilmerhatch Lane.  Bearing right, we headed down Pleasure Pit Lane then Rookery Hill, passing by Ashtead Park and the  City of London Freemens School on our left.
Dene Road and Parkers Lane lead us back to the A24 where we crossed into Ottways Lane.  Taking a right into Agates Lane, we then turned right again at the bottom, onto Barnett Wood Lane and our destination lunch venue.
Ten of us had lunch together then eight made our way across Ashtead and Epsom Commons.  No tea stop this afternoon so we headed for home; Bernard and I were back in Stoneleigh by 2.30, he headed to Sutton for his train and I cycled up the hill home.
Pleasant ride on a generally overcast grey day.  Thanks all for your kind and happy company, and Maureen for our photo after lunch.
l to r:  Frank, John, Godfrey, Ray, Bernard, Dave and Helen. After lunch
at the Woodman, Ashtead

Saturday, March 23, 2019

The Truth

A couple of weeks ago, Simon sent me a link to a copy of the CTC Gazette dated August 1890.  I was pleased to receive it, as I enjoy reading these things - it's in the Wayfarers Library at .

What I was particularly pleased to note is that this particular edition, summarising earlier correspondence, contained The Truth.  Here it is:

As Mr C.W. Brown informed us then, so it is now.  A light bike is a better thing.


Thursday, March 21, 2019

A Group Ride Wednesday 27th March

I have planned a route to Wonersh via Effingham and Shere, exploring single track roads in Winterfold Wood with 19 miles of gentle climbing and two long descents. This includes two miles of Downs Link riding north, starting with a slightly muddy surface and ending with concrete path. This wasn't too bad the other day, but it is still winter riding conditions so needs care and mudguards. I have booked a 'conference room' at The Grantley Arms pub and there is space for six bikes in the car park entrance, but do not block the door which is a fire exit! There is also parking at the front, which is as well because Surrey Council have ripped out the bicycle racks across the road. We then return 15 miles to Cobham for tea at Bronte's Cafe via Black Heath, Chilworth and the A3 cycle path. Watch out for the Alpaca on the right as we climb up round St. Martha's Hill!

Other interesting rides are available...

After Ged's intricate and fascinating ride through some of London's history, I thought you might like to see the route.
Roll Up! Roll Up! for Ged's Magical History Tour
And if you would like to immerse yourself in other unusual rides conducted by our members, you will find links to them on our website, under the Rides menu item - labeled as "Interesting Rides" - although, in truth, all of our rides are interesting.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

London Ride, 20th March - A Magical History Tour.

The more I researched this ride, the more historical facts were uncovered: not just of places - and place-making, but of people and events. Hence the London Ride, to places I suspect were unfamiliar to you as they were to me, became a fascinating tour through local history. A 'magical history tour'!

(Rather than clutter this write-up with arcane historical information I've sprinkled the text with numerous links. You may know much already. Skip them all if you like, and just read about the cycling!)

On the doorstep of North Cheam we cycled through a former sewage treatment plant. Not that you would recognise it now. The Hamptons is a little bit of New England real estate transported to Worcester Park. (I don't go in for pastiche architecture, but I suppose it could come in useful as a film-set).
A little bit of New England - the Hamptons.
Most will know the Wandle Trail as we exited Morden Hall Park, but did you know the Surrey Iron Railway ran along much of the banks of the River Wandle? Not the first, but a very early railway. (Rails seem to be a recurring theme after last week's A ride!)

Continuing along the Wandle Trail, now dubbed part of TfL's Quietway 4 after Wandle Meadow,, we cycled through Earlsfield and skirted Tooting to arrive at the San Remo cafe in Tooting Bec Common with the Italian ladies working hard on the coffee machine to serve 35 of us. (120 years old and the cafe is still going strong).

The San Remo cafe - (apologies for the bum shot!).
Along the way some stopped at a rather older artefact - a 145million years tree trunk!
Jurassic tree in Tooting Bec Common.

Along the back of Brixton prison, and avoiding Brixton Town centre, we stopped to regroup opposite the historic City of London Gresham Almshouses.

Skirting Peckham, we arrived at Addison Square on the edge of Burgess Park. Delightful now, but number 33 has a somewhat notorious history, being the home of the Richardson Brothers - East End gangsters who traded violence with the Krays in the 1960's.

Burgess Park - a post-war creation of the (first) London Plan in 1943, (I've a copy on my bookshelf), provided a excellent linear cycle route on our way to Rotherhithe with some interesting structures retained from the era when the Grand Surrey Canal ran through here from the Surrey Docks to Camberwell and beyond.

Around the Lime Kiln
The bridge to nowhere
 After a circuitous route around Southwark Park - a park 150 years in the making,,
we arrived on the banks of the Thames, with the River in full spate.

At the Thames - with Dr. Salter looking on.
The sculptures here of Doctor Salter and his family are poignant reminders of the dire heath and living conditions of the local population in the early part of the 20th Century; these are now a popular tourist attraction on the Thames Path.

Pete and the learned Doc. - with the site of King Edward III's Manor House behind.
Along London pave we reached St Mary's Church in Rotherhithe St. - famous for its connection with the Mayflower, the Pilgrim Fathers, and specially the captain, Christopher Jones.

This area is also associated with Brunel - and the first tunnel here of its type, dating from 1843, (and still in use today).

 A quick spin along the east side of Greenland Dock in Surrey Quays and we were in the Surrey Docks pub before 1.30pm. (Probably the biggest group of Sou'westers to gather at a 'Spoons).

Some of the London Riders at the Surrey Docks
Five of the group left to go separate ways, but still leaving 30+ for the shorter leg back to south west London. Re-visiting Burgess Park we watched enthralled as the BMX kids did their stuff on the renowned Peckham circuit.

Old timers - and the new kids on the circuit.
By the time we reached the Home Community Cafe in Earlsfield - after a quick run along Cycling Super Highway 7 and over Wandsworth Common, we were ready for tea and delicious cakes.

Many thanks for joining me on this Spring Equinox London Ride. Dave V. and Mike B. did an excellent job back-marking such a large group, and Simon had my .gpx files ready in case my Garmin misfired. You all did brilliantly at corner-marking - including those new at the game!

I thought 32 riders and 32miles last year would be a difficult act to follow. With 35 riders and 33+ miles you exceeded my expectations. Well done! And finally welcome to Jacqui on her first ride!

Kray lecture 😁

Sunday, March 17, 2019

London Ride - 20th March. As and Bs, North Cheam to Rotherhithe.

Our annual London Ride will be heading out to east London, via quiet roads, paths and parks.

Elevenses is at the San Remo Cafe, Tooting Bec Common,, and lunch at Wetherspoons, The Surrey Docks,

From lunch we'll head back to south-west London for tea at the Home Community Cafe, Garrat Lane, Earlsfield,

Around 24, evenly-paced miles from North Cheam to lunch, with plenty of opportunities to stop and take-in points of interest. A few faster-paced miles on busier Super Highway 7 back via Clapham Common to Earlsfield. (If the sun shines we'll sit in the not-for-profit Home Cafe garden for delicous home-made cakes).

For those wishing to cut-short the ride after lunch Surrey Quays Overground station is opposite the pub - with trains to Clapham Junction, whilst Quietway 1 (South), soon after the start of our route back, continues on to Waterloo station. Otherwise, after tea, you can follow the outward route back to North Cheam.

Mike Barrett and Dave Vine will be sharing back-marking duties - with the route loaded onto their Garmins -  to shepherd any lost sheep back into the fold.

Prompt 9.30am start at North Cheam please.

Saturday, March 16, 2019

94th VĂ©locio Hill-Climb - Col de la RĂ©publique

I've just received a flier for this year's VĂ©locio event.  It's on the 9th June, so a busy time of year for many Wayfarers, but it's quite a thing if you're in the St Etienne area.  The Col de la RĂ©publique was the first major climb undertaken by the Tour de France in 1903, and was the scene of serious misbehaviour by spectators in 1904, when officials fired gunshots as warnings.  Things don't change much, eh?

'VĂ©locio' was the pen name of Paul de Vivie, revered in French cycling history for his work promoting the use of derailleur gears for long-distance riding, and this event commemorates him.

There are several events but the main two from our point of view are either a timed climb - for which you need a racing licence - or an untimed climb that anyone can do.  As you'll see, there is a web-site, entries cost 6€.


Friday, March 15, 2019

Narrow Gauge Railway Loxhill

Hello Pete Barnard, your article on above was very interesting. Not sure if you saw my comment but I contacted Douglas and I thought that you and those out on the Wed "A" ride might like to hear his comments:

Interesting ....
Loxhill Farm was the location of the private locomotive collection of a Mr. Latham of Woking; he had seceral 2ft gauge 'industrial' type steam locomotives in his 'garden', and a small length of track to run them on.  He died in ca. 1998 and his collection was dispersed, but at leat one I know of is Lilla which is preserved, and still runs occasionally, on the Ffestiniog Railway in North Wales; it is a 'Quarry Hunslet' type locomotive from a quarry near Penrhyn, so she has gone back to place quite near where she spent her working life at Cilgwyn Quarry in the Nattlle valley.  There is lots more about Lilla and her history on the Festipedia Website if you want to know more.  Where his other locos went I am less sure, but I think he had at least two more.

Mark I realise that this post will now override your TriVet announcement feel free to put it in front as only you will know how. I will sign up for the 100 mile.

CTC Tri-Vets 2019 - Entries are now open!

Exciting news!   You can now book your place on the Tri-Vets ride Event which will be held on Weds 19 June 2019.   Details of the event and the route options are here, with some further details about riding groups here.

We are pleased to announce that the cost to enter will be kept the same at £5, which covers hire of the hall and catering costs, but not badges, which are ordered after you complete the event.  I will be collecting money at 11s over the next few weeks.

The number of riders is limited to 80, and we will be announcing the event on the CTC website for the wider public to join within the next few weeks, so get your registration in soon!