Tuesday, November 21, 2017

A Group ride from Leatherhead

A few climbs (quite a few ) to challenge the ‘winter’ legs  as Wednesday’s ride from Leatherhead will be heading out over Box Hill (the wrong way), up over Leith Hill/Holmbury and Newlands Corner with a few down hills to compensate. Lunch will be at the White Horse in Shere and tea at Esher. A shade over 42 miles.

Monday, November 20, 2017

B Group ride, Wednesday 22nd November

We shall be eventually heading south from Leatherhead on Wednesday’s ride, lunch at the Plough, Church Road, Leigh with afternoon tea at Horton Park Golf Club, Epsom.

There are a couple of climbs in the morning, after lunch we shall climb Box Hill.

At present the route is mainly on road with a section of track, but if we have more rain I may change that to be all on tarmac.

Look forward to seeing you all.

David J

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Fat Tyres

For the last few years I have been trying out various sorts of fatter tyres, and have been increasingly pleased with what I've found.  I started with 30mm Schwalbe Marathon Racers for Paris Roubaix in 2014, and these worked very well.  Even for Paris Roubaix 30mm was pretty big in those days, and various disasters were forecast which didn't happen.  I changed to Schwalbe S-One 30mm for the Tour of Flanders in 2016, tubeless by now, and they were excellent. 

Testing the limits a bit, I used 40mm G-One gravel tyres, Schwalbe again, for the club Freewheel Competition in 2016.  They rolled better than anything else.  In the Spring of this year I rode the Hilly 50 on Compass 38mm tyres and came in third on the road.  And I'm an old man.  In July, I did the Dartmoor Ghost on Compass 44mm.  Perfect for the job - I did a good time.

So far so good.  But where is the limit for these things?  Would an infinitely large tyre be infinitely better?

Intuitively, the answer would seem to be no, and by experimentation I can confirm this.

The old Dawes tandem in the picture has 54mm tyres fitted.  It rolls much better with them, is very smooth, and the roads of Surrey appear to have been miraculously re-surfaced.  But, the Hill of Truth, Root Hill, reveals that a limit has been reached.  Tandems normally roll well, and this one does, but it wouldn't have won the Freewheel Competition.  It does very well, and I shan't be taking the tyres off, but it hasn't shown the performance gain that the smaller sizes have.

So, what have we learned?  Nowadays, everyone knows that fatter tyres are better.  The pros have started to use them, with 25mm or even 28mm being pretty common.  Their limits are set by the width of their brakes.  Discs will solve that problem and I think there will be more to come.

My suggestion would be that 30mm is where the benefits really start to show themselves.  If your bike will take them, fit tyres of at least this size.  The benefits generally seem to be a little greater between 30mm and 40mm.  Tyres larger than this give greater smoothness and much better capability on poor roads or tracks, but performance is starting to edge off again.

As a given, the tyres need to be light and of high quality.  Wall flexibility is particularly important.  They need to be run at low pressures - 40 psi does most things, you can go lower with fatter tyres.  If the tyres are tubeless - and most of them are - so much the better.

If you change to good quality tubeless tyres in the mid-30mm range your bike will roll better, be more comfortable on rough surfaces, grip better and suffer fewer punctures.


Friday, November 17, 2017

B Group 15th November 2017 - Post Script

B Group - 15th November - some more photos

~ Tim

B Group 15th November - Windlesham

A dank and murky morning didn’t deter 21 riders from starting out from Weybridge, our numbers bolstered by two Theresa’s, one a previous B grouper, the other on their first ride with us!   We set out via Cox’s Lock, Liberty Lane and Rowtown then climbed towards Foxhills.  Pam punctured here and she and Tim took the direct route to lunch after effecting repairs, while the main group (less one who also left us at this point) continued via Gracious Pond, Chobham and Pennypot Lane to West End, then taking the back lanes towards Lightwater before turning for Windlesham.  The Sun did us proud as usual.  They already had a group booking so service was slightly slower than is usual here, but we were still away for home shortly after 2.00pm, and the general verdict on choice, quality, and value for money at the pub was very good!   

Emerging from the cosy bar the gloom only seemed to have worsened, so I slightly commuted the planned return route to take us via Valley End, Gracious Pond (again!) to Foxhills and Chertsey level crossing.  Here we were just caught by the barriers and became involuntary ‘anoraks’ for some minutes as we waited for a very long goods train to pass!  It was plain sailing then to Addlestonemoor, Weybridge and Walton, where we arrived just before 3.30 pm for tea.   The group was somewhat depleted by then, many having peeled off to make their separate ways home and dodge the premature twilight.   All in all a miserable day weather-wise, but lifted by a cheery bunch of riders and the brilliant displays of autumn leaves along the route!  Many thanks to Tony Hooker for excellent back-marking out and back, and to corner-markers too numerous to name, but who all did multiple stints,  but most especially Gill!

Thursday, November 16, 2017

A Group to Godalming 15th November

It seemed the weather gods were with us today, no rain just overcast, a good temperature for a ride.

A group of 19 of us set out in Autumnal weather via Heath Road and Brooklands. Our first mechanical came as we were entering Parvis Road and our first loss of the back of the group that had stopped to help fix the problem, (Oh dear).

We were all together by West Byfleet then off down Pyrford Road to the village, then on to Send Marsh. The Portsmouth Road and Clandon Road led us up to Epsom Road and off towards Guildford.

Tangier Road, One Tree Hill and Half Penny Lane to Chilworth, then off to Wonersh, Chinthurst Lane cutting left on Tannery Lane. A quick right then left took us on to Foxburrow Hill Road and our final drag up to Munstead Heath Road, then at last a fast decent down into Godalming and The Star pub in Church Street.

We had pre booked our lunch, and on arrival the staff started to bring out the food to the back room that had been set  for us. We were all served before the last one of us had ordered and paid for our food and beer.
Excellent service by the staff, after their trepidation with regards to getting everything available for our arrival.

A quick up hill on Deanery Road, the last hill of the day, then dropping down to the main road to Guildford, up Castle Road to run parallel with the High Street, back on to the Epsom Road and then left into Clandon Road and down to tea (pudding) at Pinnocks. Not a long distance from lunch for this time of year, dark setting in as we left Ripley.

Thanks to Ged for back marking and all those corner markers who made the ride go so well. Look forward to meeting you all again next week.


Wednesday, November 15, 2017

"A" Ride 15 Nov 2017

Hi all this should really be a comment and not a full blown selfi Blog but here goes.
As you all know I have been in the wars lately and this week has been very eventful with many hospital visits. Yesterday evening however I visited the home of Alex & Sue to review the new KPRC Strip. En-rout I passed by Ed Sharps to pick up a current Sou'Wester and much to my surprise read Jeff's account of recent casualties.
I could not make Wheybridge today 11's as I had an Ultrasound on my Liver and right Kidney at Epsom Hosp. at 10am. It was very thorough  and I await the results!
Monday however was more dramatic. As many of you will know for some time I have been suffering from arthritis in the left knee. Two years ago I was referred to a consultant who said that he could not recommend a knew knee because of the large number of miles I do per year, saying that it would wear out in a short time and a further replacement would be difficult!?
On Monday I was encouraged by another surgeon, French to go ahead as my left knee had deteriorated in the last 12 months. So I am inclined to go ahead! Does anyone have any experience of replacement knees for cyclists and how successful have they been?

On a more positive footnote I did not go to Ripley for tea but  called in to see Beryl Dare on the way home. I had a lovely cup of tea and Rock Cake with her. She looked really well with a sparkle in her eye and has clearly come to terms with the sad passing away of Ray. She told me that her neighbours are really helping her out with keeping the garden tidy and helping with the shopping. They have also put a memorial Bird Bath opposite the house by the duck pond. Unfortunately I did not have my camera with me!
Marian her daughter in law was with her and was to stay the night. They had been shopping and out for lunch. We reminisced about how all the family missed Ray, he was so popular with all the grand children.

Ok Folks sorry to bore you but for me today that was a hard ride and to top it all my (Jeff Tolerman) Chinese lantern front light ran out of battery power as I was coming up Hurst Road into Walton on the Hill. Pitch black and I was completely disorientated! What's new you say!

Easy Riders - 15th November

Weybridge D C - The Angel, Thames Ditton
On an overcast but dry day eight left the Weybridge D.C. for lunch at The Angel, the 2 Bernards, Helen (who did the David Bailey bit after lunch) standing on the top of the steps!! Maureen, Frank, Don Elms, & John Bellamy. We rode through the car park and into the alley from Church Lane, then left and right to Princes Road to Oatlands Avenue through Burwood Park, Lammas Lane and into Esher Estate continued to Claygate left then over the railway and first right into Manor Road. Straight over the A3 to Hinchley Wood  and on to Angel Road.  A table was set for us right in front of a roaring fire. Food soon came and was very good and reasonable .
Thanks every one and thanks to John for being T.E.C.


A Group 15th November

Mucky roads to start with for Geoff's ride today, but it cleared later.  A good lunch at The Star, Godalming, and back to Ripley for tea.

The map's not quite right, as I peeled off at Merrow.  I stopped the clock at Squires so the distance should be about right.


Monday, November 13, 2017

A Group ride 15th November

The ride to lunch in Godalming by the looks of the weather forecast it will be dry, not like the last time I lead to there.
Lunch will be at The Star in Church Street, there is parking in the rear garden accessed via the front door and through what appears to be a secret door in front of you as you enter.

They have asked if we will pre order lunch, I will bring copies of the menu but you can look online to check out possibilities.

The route out of Weybridge will take us over parts of the last two weeks ride as far as Pyrford and Send Marsh, then steady uphill from there.

The tea stop will depend on time, either Squires in West Horsley or Pinnocks in Ripley.

Don't forget to check your lights.

I look forward to seeing you on Wednesday.


Musette Cycle Cafe Dorking

A new addition to the cycle cafe genre which a leader might like to try. By the traffic lights at the junction of West/South/High Streets it initially looks as if there is nowhere to park a bike. However I put my head in while in Dorking last week and there are about 6 stands in the front window and apparently another 8 out at the back. So manageable for the As but a full B group would be a challenge. They also stay open until 5 - not an issue at this time of the year but worth knowing.

B Group 15th November

Our ride on Wednesday will be to that old favourite The Sun at Windlesham (http://thesunwindlesham.co.uk/). 

The Sun already have quite a large group booked at the same time but have very kindly agreed, after some initial reluctance, to accommodate us as well, as SWLDA are old clients!   The ride from 11's to lunch and back to tea at Walton-on-Thames is about 25 miles and is a hillier one than you might expect with about 300 metres of climbing (ie just over one Leith Hill's worth in all), if Strava is to be believed!  Two footbridges are to be negotiated en route, one rideable but the other with shallow, sloping steps which requires bike carrying.  I aim to back to tea well before sunset (16.13) but advise provision of lights just in case!  David (W)