Tuesday, April 20, 2021

The Return of Wayfarers Group Rides: Don't Delay - Have your Say.

 A Framework for the return of normal Wayfarers rides was posted on the blog on 12th April.

Do you want to return to riding in large groups, or stick to smaller groups now running? Your views will shape how Wayfarers rides are run in the future.

If you haven't already done so please respond by Monday 26th April.

Friday, April 16, 2021

Invitation to the A group ride on April 21

You are cordially invited to join the A group ride to probably the best pub in Puttenham, the Good Intent, on April 21st.   The exceptionally dry weather has opened up the chance to revisit the scenic High Level Route discovered by Mark Gladwyn several years ago along the North Downs Way to Guildford.  This has some off-road, but Don't Panic!!!   a) it's not that scary, and b) for the off-road hesitant, there is an on-road alternative group.

I have found a most convenient start point at the conveniences, Great Bookham, with at least three cafes nearby, recommended by the B group after their ride on 31 March.  (I'll add cafe details after the recce).   Tea is at Ripley.

We have been asked to pre-order food from the menu here.  Please let me know by Monday 6pm if you would like to join the ride, your meal choice, and which ride option (main or alternative) you would prefer.

The biggest hill on the route is the ascent of Green Dene to the top of Combe Lane, so it's not very hilly, but it's not flat either.  From the top of Combe Lane, the off-road route follows the North Downs Way to Guildford.  This is hard-packed mud, dry, mostly smooth, and fairly level or gently downhill, and takes you to Newlands Corner and then on to Pewley Down above Guildford before rejoining tarmac for a steep descent into Guildford - good brakes essential.  There are a few muddy puddles to ride around and tree roots to avoid, so you need to leave gaps to see what's coming, but it's a wide track and there is no rush.

The on-road route follows roads and rejoins the off-road route at Shalford, for a few undulations via Shackleford to lunch.

After lunch, there is again a short off-road option along the lovely Christmaspie trail, flat and easy riding, while the on-road alternative does a slightly longer loop to rejoin at Wood Street before heading to Ripley.

Routes and mileages: main (with off-road sections): 35 miles, 1470 feet of ascent.  Alternative (all on road): 37.3 miles, 1580 feet of ascent.

B Group ride on 21st April

Pete Beyer invites you to join his ride from Effingham next Wednesday.

The intention is for the groups to meet in The Street at Effingham. To get there, if you have approached it from Bookham, turn left at the roundabout a little way beyond the entrance to the Vineries and ride up past the Sir Douglas Haig pub. There are a couple of places you can get coffee (The Coffee Bar and The Bakery).

The plan is go up onto Ranmore, down White Down, climb to Abinger Hatch, then Friday Street, Leith Hill, and on towards Coldharbour, then down to Ockley. Round the south side of Capel, along to Rusper then turn north to Tanhouse Farm for lunch.

After lunch turn into Church Lane/Hoggspudding Lane by Newdigate church, and head towards Denbies via Roothill Lane.

Hopefully we shall arrive at Denbies in time for tea.

The majority of the climbing is before lunch, 19 miles, after lunch just 9 miles to Tea.

If you want to preview the route or download it for your navigation gizmo this is it:


As Pete is currently without internet access please email David Jackson at d.jackson49@aol.co.uk by 18.00 hrs. on Monday 19th April if you wish to join the ride. He will send out details of your groups of 6 and start times on Tuesday.

David has phoned The Vineries to ask if they will be open to serve morning tea/coffee; they are open on a takeaway basis so that you can sit outside and drink it. This may appeal to some because The Vineries has toilets. However do remember that this is NOT the start point for the ride so allow plenty of extra time to get to the start for your scheduled departure.

Please observe the current Covid riding rules here, especially around keeping to your groups of 6.

Thursday, April 15, 2021

Old Moat Garden Centre Cafe

Unfortunately the cafe is closed for the time being. There was a fire in late February and at present the repairs are not complete and so they have been unable to reopen the cafe.

A Group ride 14th April

This week the sun was out and the prospect of going further afield attracted 22 riders split into four groups. Elevenses was held for the first time at the Six Bells, Newdigate who are offering a cyclists menu from 9-12.  From there a devious route to Warnham took us up Broomehall Road to Leith Hill, down Tanhurst Lane and then Lyefield/Somersbury Lanes to Ellens Green before turning east to Warnham. Back via Rusper and Partridge Lane. About 38 miles from Newdigate to Denbies. 

Reports as follows:

First off was Janice's group:

Hans, Fiona, Dave B, Mike R and Patrick were already at the Six Bells tucking into their cyclists coffee and muffin when I arrived a little later than needed. I quickly caught up with a coffee and very good croissant and then it was straight on the bike to head for the hills.

I’m not sure that it was a help having the ascent of Leith Hill via Broome Hall Road in my recent memory from the recce, knowing exactly what was coming. However, we all agreed that the advert for e bike hire was extremely well placed!

With clear sunny weather the views were spectacular and we stopped for a photo at the top of Tanhurst Lane. The descent wasn’t too bad, the road having cleared and dried a bit even since the recce. Just the potholes to watch out for.

Lovely roads and just the roadworks requiring bikes to be carried on the grass verge and we were soon at the Sussex Oak. Hans had a devious plan and ordered 10 minutes after the rest of us but was served his hot food 20 minutes before us. Never mind, he had to put up with our comments and drooling as he happily got stuck in.

Leaving the pub we were straight into what felt like a fierce headwind but we decided not to stop at Denbies. Patrick had a birthday to celebrate (and cake to eat) and Mike had a 6.15 booking in his 3rd pub of the day.

A lovely route, enjoyed by all. Thanks for your company and especially to Mike for sub-navigating and Dave for back marking. 

Frances was off next with her team seen here at lunch. Geoffrey's bike needed a little attention before the ride and he joined us for coffee just after Frances left and then rejoined them for lunch.

Next off was Dave:

My team assembled punctually in the Six Bells garden in glorious sunshine ready for the scheduled start. However, due to some coffee and cake orders being diverted to the later group, and poor Geoff not even getting his cake, we were on our way about 5 mins late, conscious of Brian's Hares on our tail. We were all quite hot huffing and puffing our way bravely up Broom Hall lane, tempted by the E bike adverts strategically placed there. We paused briefly on Coldharbour lane  to catch our breath, admire the views and and take some water before beginning the careful decent of Tanhurst lane. Could have been even more eventful as your truly discovered his front wheel  quick release  was undone and stopped to make good. Only ever happened to me twice, both times on Leith Hill. Must be sending me a subliminal message. We then enjoyed the run to lunch, progress a bit disrupted by the "Road Closed"  tarmac crew who were definitely not there on the Recce. There was much excitement at having a pub garden lunch with a few enjoying the first pint of cask beer in many months. Happy Days! The pub was working hard to feed and water a full garden of guests resulting in the Lunch stop being  five or ten mins  over the hour. By that time the sun had gone, the wind had picked up and we were starting to feel much cooler. Langhurst Lane hills soon warmed us up. After Rusper it was largely downhill via the very scenic Partridge Lane route Brian had chosen. However for sub group leaders the increasing northerly headwind was not quite so appreciated. Unfortunately my phone and power bank decided to give up the ghost before we reached Dorking (it lasted the whole ride last Friday -but with only 1 pit- stop. Note to self for future rides.  Geoff kindly gave advanced warning of upcoming turns on his still functioning Garmin. We made one further unscheduled comfort stop before arriving at Denbies around 4 pm (just ahead of Brian's hares) . Half the group decided to head for tea and myself, Gina and Geoff needed to head off home. Our sub - group pace was a reasonable  12.5 mph against the 13.5 to 14.5 pace set by the quicker sub groups. My group unanimously enjoyed the outing and join me in offering many thanks to Brian for a great route and extremely well organised pub garden pit stops. 


Finally my group left about twenty minutes after Dave. It was mostly uneventful except for the tarmac crew at Rowhook so I don't have a lot to add. No yellow advance warning signs on the recce - and I had checked the roadworks map - but that's for Surrey and Rowhook is in Sussex you silly so and so! Just as well we weren't 20 minutes later when they would have got the bit with no verge! 


We enjoyed the beer and lunch but but now the pressure on the kitchen was telling and we didn't get our food until after 2.15. We finally left at about 2.50 concious of what we thought was the 4.30 Denbies deadline. We pushed hard after crossing the railway and made it back just after 4 to find that Denbies had closed early - the only negative thing in a very good day. My thanks to my riders and to Janice, Frances and Dave for their efforts and company on the recce.

B Group to Forest Green - 14th April

One of us after all (thanks to Pam for sending this)

On the way down to Ryka’s with Sue and Anne, Sue mentioned that the route referenced in my invitation didn’t seem to go to The Parrot. I had a mild panic but was pleased to learn when I saw John just before he departed with his first group that I had given the correct route to the three sub-leaders but that in my plan I had simply omitted the turn off Ockley Road into Horsham Road where The Parrot is situated. Phew!

Panic over, we took off down towards Brockham via the Coach Road, commencing our circular ride up Root Hill, then Parkgate, Newdigate, Capel and Ockley, and across Stane Street to Forest Green. After commencing our new post-lockdown season with two fairly challenging rides I thought that the least I could do was ease into the day with a morning of gentle undulations. So it was, and although the season has yet to spring into its full verdant leafiness there was the lovely Surrey countryside rolling by with lots of little roadside flowers to enjoy, including I believe a few bluebells, though probably the naughty Spanish sort and not our own more modest English ones. 

For lunch I chose The Parrot because it was halfway around the course I had planned, thinking then of Tea in Ashtead. Since many of us would have a longish ride down to Ryka’s I thought that 15.5 miles to lunch was about right, allowing also that the last group wouldn’t be leaving Ryka’s until 11:20.

However, in correspondence with Chris, the Manager, when I made the booking it was clear that they would be very pleased to have us all to lunch and we received a warm welcome. We parked on the lawn around the back and sat out in the sun on their spacious patio, venturing indoors only to use the amenities.

The menu didn’t have sandwiches and not many light bites but most of us were happy to dive into the main menu for what was a most satisfying lunch. (note to self: must go again). Ann Bath left us after lunch to go home and see Steve to make sure he wasn’t laid low by his second vaccination.

Brenda, Stephen, Ann, Tim C, Anne, Sue F

Dave, Steph, Tony, Martin, Grant

Tim G, Christina, Colin, Jackie, Simon

John, Pete, Sue C, Terry

Pete, Terry, John, Clive, Sue, Yasmine

Yasmine, Clive, John, Terry Sue

Goats cheese quiche and Anne W

A pudding fit for a a leader

After lunch we had a bit of climbing to do so departed from the Parroty paradise of wholesome refreshment for the climb up to Holmbury St Mary, and at Sutton Abinger, up some more to Abinger Common. Balchins Lane and NCN Route 22 took us into Dorking and at Ryka’s our group decided to take the easy option with a Tea stop in Leatherhead. At Westhumble one of our first-time riders, Stephen Morris left us to catch the train home for which he had a return ticket. Along the Mickleham bypass path we had turned to cross the old bridge over the Mole to pass the Norbury Park Farm which I see is also home to a Surrey Wildlife Trust office. As the three remaining people in our team assembled on the bridge for a photo shoot Brian Bent emerged from the farm road. He had been pottering around on his bike and was heading down to Denbies. That was a nice surprise.

Anne, Sue and Brenda with a surprise appearance from Brian


Charlie and Ginger was closed so Brenda, Sue, Anne and myself decided to brave the cold and sit outside the Amici Café for coffee and hot chocolate. During lockdown, if anything was open at all in Leatherhead it was this modest little café with its very genial and hospitable proprietor so we were pleased to stop there again before the final leg home.

Brenda, Anne and Sue


It was a pleasure to welcome two new people to the Wayfarers, Stephen Morris and Anne Walker, both experienced cyclists who took the day’s riding in their stride. And we should mention Clive Janes who came riding with us for the first time last week and, without explanation, came back again yesterday for more. Welcome back to Martin Gandy who hasn't been out with us for ages. From A Group we had two guest riders, Jackie Townsend and Simon Lambourn who enjoyed their day out with us, a little respite from their usual hard-core rides I imagine.

It was just as well that I had co-opted three sub-leaders. After a quiet start to the bookings we ended up with 22 riders. Thank you very much to John A, Dave (fixed wheel/knobbly knees) and Tim Gibbons for delivering your teams to The Parrot and leading them home again. 

Thank you to everyone for your company and your enthusiasm. Thank you to our several photographers.

~ Tim


Brenda lubricating her other bike at home

A lovely day by the Thames: C group 14 April

We met for coffee yesterday at lovely Molesey Boat Club, with its roof level outdoor terrace and wonderful pastries - perfect for our gathering on such a bright and sunny morning. Nine set out from N Cheam in two groups; Kam with her niece, Antra on a new bike received for her 18th birthday a few weeks ago; Frank, Maureen, Dawn, Anne, Sandie, Godfrey and me. At Molesey we were pleased to see John Bellamy and Bernard, both joining us for their first outing of the season; Don, who greeted us but had another group to go to (such luxury after the winter indoors!); Ed and Gillian. Godfrey headed home after coffee, so we had two sixes for our ride to lunch along the river to Marble Hill Park. We took the Barge Walk to Kingston bridge then headed through Hampton Wick. The first group stayed with the Teddington Road; John B lead our second group along the much quieter lower road, until we rejoined the main route through to Twickenham at Manor Road, by Teddington Lock. At the end of Cross Deep we took the pedestrian crossing and entered Wharf Lane rejoin the river. The path took us to the gate of Marble Hill, where we were surprised to see the first group heading in our direction from the other end of the park! We decided to stop for our picnic at the children's playground just outside the park, as there were benches by the riverside, with a lovely view of Ham House across the water. There's also a cafe, with basic but reasonably clean toilets. After lunch John and Bernard headed for home. The rest of us continued to Richmond bridge, then up the hill to the park; a nice challenge after our easy ride of the morning! Gillian, Ed and I stopped for tea at Roehampton gate while the others steamed on home. North Cheamers completed about 26 miles. Thanks everyone for delightful company and a most enjoyable day out. Dawn is leading our ride from Leatherhead next week. Please contact Helen by Monday to book your place.

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Notice of 2021 Annual General Meeting

An online virtual AGM will be held on Tuesday 11 May, 2021 to start at 10:00 a.m.

We hope that as many people as possible will participate and we will invite everyone to connect from 09:30 onwards to be sure that we are all ready for the meeting itself to start at 10:00.

We will also hold a practice meeting at 09:30 on Tuesday 4th May, an open session to allow everyone to check that they can connect and to sort out any technical issues that may arise. Many of us will be prompted to install the 'Teams' app on our PCs or other chosen device so consider doing this before the session. 

Please register your intention to attend the AGM by email to the Secretary. Please also advise whether you will join the Practice Meeting and advise what device you will use to connect, (e.g. Windows PC or Laptop, Apple Mac PC or Laptop, Apple iPad, iPhone, Android Tablet, Android Phone)

To everyone who registers we will send instructions on how to set up and use Microsoft 'Teams' with an internet browser or using the 'Teams' app which will need to be installed at the time of joining the meeting or beforehand.

The meetings will be hosted on Cycling UK's 'Teams' platform and supervised by Tom Page at CUK.

For each meeting a web link will be emailed to all participants shortly before the meeting.


Hon. Secretary

CTC South west London

The Original Hilly 50

Would anyone be interested in riding a "Group of 6 Hilly 50" on the original (Ryka's to Box Hill) on Saturday 1 May in memory of Mike Morley? All donations to St Raphael's welcome.


Mike on Box Hill - KPRC Hilly 12 mile TT 2010

As you are aware this year the normal Hilly 50 open event fell victim to lockdown rules against group riding and straying far from home. Paul James organised a DIY Local H50 from Carshalton which raised around £700 for St Raphael's. It would be a fitting memorial to Mike if we could get to £1,000.

Please let me know if you are interested in riding the Group of 6 Hilly 50 (d.vine207@btinternet.com). Further details when I have an idea of numbers.

Monday, April 12, 2021

The Return of Wayfarers Group Rides - a Framework for the Future.

We have now resumed group riding. This is limited to groups of up to six - as is meeting for elevenses, lunch and tea. After riding in small groups, do we want to ride in large groups again? Or do we want to capture - and build on what we’ve learnt, and like, from small group rides?

The committee want your views on a Framework for the resumption of normal Wayfarers rides.

Most would agree that there’s been benefits from the imposed small group rides, such as:- smaller groups are better managed; rides are often more enjoyable, flow better, some faster, with fewer stoppages; more leaders and sub-leaders have led; lunches are quicker; the blog or email invitations to join rides has worked well; new refreshment venues have been discovered; and split-group routes have been well-planned and executed.

But we’ve missed the social interactions of normal club life, particularly at elevenses. And leaders have faced new challenges, with more responsibilities - and lead more often.

We want to know what you think about the following Framework for the resumption of normal club life.

  1. A and B group rides each be split into smaller rides, say up to 10 riders in a sub-group.

  2. Rides should be pre-booked: the size of the sub-group, agreed by the leader, determined by take-up.

  3. Each A and each B sub-group ride follow the same basic route and the same stops.

  4. Sub-group rides can vary: faster or slower, longer or shorter - it’s up to the leader/sub leader, and your choice of ride.

  5. Riders may choose freely between A and B groups - as before.

  6. North Cheam start - for those wanting guiding to elevenses - as before.

  7. Varied departure times from elevenses - depending on sub-group pace / distance.

Please respond on the blog or to Ged Lawrenson, Wayfarers Rides Secretary, with any comments or suggestions you may have on this Framework. gedlawrenson150@gmail.com

Thereafter more detailed Guidelines will be prepared for the planning and running Wayfarers rides.

Thank you.

All day Sat ride No. 2 on 8th May

 All-day ride No 2 will depart from Nonesuch on Sat 8th May.  We will take a route up to Epsom Downs and through Walton on the Hill to the top of Box Hill for coffee.  We descend and cross over to make a slow ascent of Ranmore on the very pretty route through Denbies..  Noone will be left behind and the ride along the top makes the climb worthwhile.  We ll descend Crocknorth to lunch at East Horsley and then downhill all the way to Cobham for tea.  A return to the Ewell area will be by Stoke D'Abernon, Oxshott and Horton Country Park.  We may have to carry sandwiches as I am having difficulty booking a pub in the area on a Saturday lunch time.

If you would like to come or sub-lead email haremale@hotmail.com   
Or text 07909774234
Steph Wyatt

Leith Hill Greenway - Update

 I've been trundling around the Surrey Hills, and have spotted a couple of things:

(i)  At the top of Wolven Lane, at Coldharbour, Surrey CC has erected a sign saying that the lane is temporarily closed to vehicular traffic.  Taking the optimistic prognosis, this aligns with the works being carried out lower down which may mean that the Greenway is to be properly extended, at least to here.  

(ii) I have found a pathway to the top of Leith Hill from the East, which is rideable with a gravel or touring bike.  

Go up the track past the Cricket Ground, and on to a point where five tracks meet in a little col - about a mile.  The difficult rocky ascent to the Tower is obvious to the West.  Go a short distance up hill towards it,  and there is a small sign to your right saying 'Caution - Cyclists Crossing'.  This is the 'Summer Lightning' descent.  There is a narrow track here, on the right of an old sunken trackway.  Follow this to the top, then bear left up easily to the Tower.

This route means that a traverse of Leith Hill, from Coldharbour to Starveall or reverse, is safe and relatively easy on a sturdy bike.


Saturday, April 10, 2021

Lockdown cycling in Sussex - a photographic collection

Don Elms has sent this link to a very lovely collection of photos by Roff Smith, presented in the New York Times:



~ Tim

Invitation to A ride 14th April

So next week the pubs are open at last and just to make up for lost time we’re going to two. It has often been the custom to start the April “Dorking” ride at Henfold or Tanhouse Farm. For a change we are splitting the difference and starting at the Six Bells in Newdigate.

The pub says it is offering “Cyclists Lunch” from 9-12: elevenses for us.  Enquiries with the landlord indicate that there will be croissants, muffins, sandwiches and energy bars together with coffee etc. - but not beer! They have a new wooden structure in the garden with seating and the toilets will be open. I plan to warn the landlord of likely numbers but since he is experimenting with no previous track record then I think we need to be understanding if he hasn’t got our first choice.

Because of the distance to elevenses I intend to start the groups slightly later than normal with the first group probably at 1040-1050 depending on numbers.

We are heading to the Sussex Oak at Warnham. Not far as the crow flies but your leader has designed a circuitous route of just over 20 miles. We firstly take in Leith Hill via the little climbed Broomehall Road and then a loop west as far as Ellens Green. In view of this (and the experience of the recce team riding from home without elevenses) you are strongly advised to ensure that you are adequately nourished before leaving Newdigate – or bring an energy bar or two if you plan to get to Newdigate two minutes before departure.

The return is fairly straightforward via Rusper and Partridge Lane to Denbies, 17 miles, so I would hope that all groups will be there by 4pm. The Denbies website says that the hatch servery will be open until 4.30 pm on weekdays from 12th April and the toilets open until 5pm.

Please let me know if you wish to ride by 6pm on Monday.  briangreenwood@yahoo.co.uk   Also whether you have a preference for an earlier or later start – I will do my best.