Friday, December 13, 2019

A group pre-election ride, 11th December

A very bright and crisp sunny morning tempted out a larger-than-usual group for a December ride, all possibly looking for something, anything to take minds away from the last volumes of pre-election bulls...  spin.
And so, 20 riders departed Claygate soon after 10.30. With limited escape routes out of the village, we headed for the Milbourne Lane option, and after an unavoidable dash along Copsem Lane, under the A3 and up the A244, we turned into the relative quiet of Sandy Lane. Then Knipp Hill, Water Lane and the path across The Tilt brought us out into more familiar roads through Ockham and Ripley and on to Old Woking via Tannery Lane.
Skirting around the south side of Woking itself via Kingfield and Wych Hill, we headed through Hook Heath and down Gorse Hill, then looped round via Fox Corner into Pirbright, Brookwood and arriving at our lunch stop at The Garibaldi in Knaphill at around 12.40pm.

Whilst out doing a couple of recon rides, I was unpleasantly surprised by how hard it had been to find a lunch venue at this time of year that didn't want to serve a full Xmas lunch, didn't want a deposit up front, and didn't want food orders several days (or in one case, a week in advance, even for sandwiches!!).

So, The Garibaldi ended up as a bit of an unknown and risky option, but I shouldn't have worried, and we were warmly welcomed, all food options were served in good time and we were ready to depart by 1.45. Apart from a very brief shower early on around the back of Cobham, the only rain of the day that we saw very conveniently arrived whilst we were having lunch, and we set off again on roads that were wet but at least it was not actually raining.

A quicker shorter route back, this time avoiding Woking town centre by the northern route took us from Knaphill via Horsell and Philpot Lane and then back onto much more commonly ridden roads past Fairoaks and on to Addlestone, Weybridge and arriving for tea in Walton pretty much bang on 3pm.

The earlier start time seems to work very well from my perspective, and allowed us to stop for tea and still giving all a chance of being home before dark, ready to contemplate how to deploy their vote.

24 miles from 11's to lunch, and then 13 miles from lunch to tea, with about 1100 feet of climbing in total....and managing to avoid virtually all of the forecast rain.

The usual thanks to all who came along, and all those who contributed by marking corners, and to Janice for back-marking.

Thursday, December 12, 2019

Have you lost your water bottle?


One smoky coloured Water Bottle with black screw top and red spout left at Claygate Day Centre, 11 December.

If the owner wishes to claim it please telephone John Bellamy on 0208-395-0981.

John B

B Group - 11th December, to Christmas Lunch (map and photos)

"Bridge on the River Mole"

Thanks to Françoise for this photo
What did Father Christmas suffer from when he got stuck in a chimney?
(Nearly all of us had the same joke which was a massive disappointment.)
Mrs Claus supervising the table manners
Peter's indirect route from Claygate to The Angel
(Apparently he had steeped his Garmin in Brandy overnight!)

Thanks to Pam for all her hard work to organize our excellent Christmas Lunch and thanks to Peter for getting us there.

~ Tim

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

A group ride from Claygate, 11th December

Looking for a reason to take your mind off of the bluster, bluff and buffoonery of our politicians?..... then come join this week's A group ride, which will head off from Claygate in a south-westerly direction, ending up 23 miles later for lunch at The Garibaldi pub in Knaphill. I have been asked to take orders for lunch, and there is a menu on the web-site.

Bizarrely, the usual choices for lunch (sandwiches, jacket potatoes) are not on the main menu, so see below.

I suspect the chips at 50p may be a popular option !!!

After lunch, it is 14 miles to tea at the Riverhouse Barn in Walton-on-Thames.

The ride is mainly flat with a few lumps but no major climbs along the way....about 1000 feet of climbing from 11's to tea. The weather looks dry but cold, so layer up, and be ready for a prompt start at 10.30am.

Early starts

Just to put a slightly different perspective on this..... I went out for a morning spin on the Kedron Brook Bikeway this morning. Saw a club run out at 6.15 and another 15 minutes later. Well it is summer in Brisbane and by 1030 it will be over 30C.

Monday, December 09, 2019

Christmas lunch - further advice from Pam

Anybody making their own way to The Angel for the B Group lunch should aim to arrive at 12.30, to mix and mingle, as our lunch will be served at 1 o'clock.

See you all tomorrow

Cheers, Pam :) :)
B Group - 11th December

Choices, choices!!

It's either a direct 2.4 miles from Claygate to our Christmas Lunch at The Angel, Giggs Hill Green, Thames Ditton (navigating yourself) or 14 miles with me. If you follow me, we will explore parts of Walton on Thames you may not know existed including some off-road - conditions permitting.

Since we are likely to be a big group, please split into groups of 6 to 8 and also since its mostly suburban there will be plenty of opportunities for corner marking.

Don't forget the 1030 start!

Peter T

More on Whiteley Village....

There was lively discussion recently when, on one of Neil C's rides, he attempted to shepherd his reluctant fold through Whiteley Village, a place not in the past known to encourage visits by groups of cyclists! 

One of the entrances to the village now sports a large banner advertising a new Lantern Cafe within.  The cafe, it says, is open to all, seven days a week - for more see

Saturday, December 07, 2019

Train Assisted CTC Ride 8 May 1955

I’m sure some of you have seen this film before, but I hadn’t, and it’s worth watching. A lot has changed as you will see, but not pubs for lunch, punctures and the bonk.


Thursday, December 05, 2019

Christmas greetings from Tony Ashford

Dear Sou'westers,

Just to wish you all a happy Christmas and all the best for the New Year. I hope to see you next year if you come to Dieppe. I may have to come alone, unless I can think of an acceptable reason for taking Alec out of school. I'm working on it!

All the best


PS and just to make you jealous (or maybe not, looking at the temperature outside, -3°C and wind blowing), I will be in Dieppe next week with the bike.

Cheers T

Tony adds:

Thanks for your greetings. Re Dieppe, it seems like it will be not so cold but probably not dry, but I can cope with that. It is different to June, but my father Eric and I  often did a trip at this time of year and the feel, look, and smell of the countryside was always something special. And there was always a vin chaud, and in extremis a Calvados to thaw out with!

Wednesday, December 04, 2019

B Group - 4th December

On a frosty but brilliantly sunny morning, 17 (or was it 18?) members of B Group set off at 10.40 a.m. along Plough Lane, crossed the Wisley airstrip and emerged on to the busy A3 which was crossed using the footbridge.  From a quick look at the car park for Wisley Gardens, it seemed we weren't the only people out & about, enjoying the sunshine.  We crossed the Wey Navigation at Pyrford Lock and after a series of right & left turns, had a nice run downhill on Pyrford Common Road to join the Old Woking Road.  It's always a bit of a climb up to Maybury but then downhill to join the Basingstoke Canal on Monument Road.  The canal had been drained, presumably for winter maintenance work, so was looking rather muddy & empty right up to the centre of Woking, as well as requiring us to leave the towpath for a short stretch.  We rejoined it after the Brewery Road car park and were soon cycling alongside a canal full of glassy water, reflecting the autumn colours of the trees on either side.  We came off the canal at St Johns, followed Hermitage Road to the first roundabout then took Amstel Way to the next roundabout.  From here Robin Hood Road led us straight to the Royal Oak pub on Anchor Hill, Knaphill.  It was 12.15 p.m. and somehow we had lost Grant on the way.  Sorry, Grant!

With only one person on the bar and one in the kitchen, the pub handled the numbers pretty well with no pre-ordering having been required.  However, there's always someone to be served last and today it was Tim's turn.  With a full meal and only two others still eating, he managed to clear the plate (very impressive!) and we were still able to depart at 1.30 p.m.!  (Ann Bath had joined us at the pub, so our numbers were back up again.)  The sun was now behind us as we headed along Littlewick Road.  Turning off at Horsell Common Road, it wasn't until we reached Philpot Lane, off Chobham Road, that we realised we were three short - namely the back-marker and two corner-markers! Concerned at what had gone wrong, we tried in vain to make contact and eventually decided to continue on the homeward route - skirting Fairoaks Airport, Stonehill Road, Holloway Hill, Addlestone, Chertsey Meads, Shepperton and so to tea at Riverhouse Barn, Walton, by 3.00 p.m..  Amazingly, the three missing riders turned up here, so it was a happy ending to the ride after all and nine of us enjoyed tea and cakes, while discussing the issue of how long corner-markers should wait when there are big gaps in time & they could be left waiting in limbo.  Food for thought! 

Many thanks to all for coming, to Tim C. & Tony Hooker as back-markers and to all the corner-markers.  It was generally felt that the earlier start time had been worthwhile.

Gill Finlay

photo by Davey Cullen

A group Christmas lunch photos

I’d like to add my thanks to Pam for organising the lunch and post these photos of her organising the whip round, all with a smile!

It's another post about our 40th anniversary

I mentioned recently on the blog an idea regarding a possible way of having a celebratory badge or pin.

You will be aware of some ideas Simon posted a while back, so now that we are on our way I am sure that  there are others of you who will have a thought of a design that could be used.

As its the Wayfarers 40 this should be part of the design. It has been recognised that people may not be inclined to sew a badge onto their kit, a pin is the other option so any design would need to fit a pin.

There are a number of websites that show designs to give you inspiration, please get out your coloured pencils before you are overwhelmed by the election and Christmas or use it as your New Years resolution to present your art work.

Thank you for all your help to create a design to be proud of.


A Group 4 December - Christmas Lunch ride

But first - a couple of songs to get you in the Christmas mood.  Feel free to sing along:

‘Tis the season to be merry
Fa la la la la, la la la la
Everyone was at Cobham, even Terry
Fa la la la la, la la la la
Tim gave presents to the Cobham crew,
Fa la la, la la la, la la la
Thanked them all for everything they do
Fa la la la la, la la la la


We fourteen Wayfarers of west London are
Bearing warm clothes, we traverse afar
Field and fountain, moor and Epsom Downs,
Following yonder Garmin

Oh, ride of wonder, ride of frostbite,
ride with winter beauty bright
Round in circles, still proceeding
Twenty miles before we’re eating

Other people's entries gratefully welcomed: they cannot be worse!

The first of the early starts for December rides: I arrived early at Cobham to find the door still shut, with Tim and Ged already standing outside.    After waiting about ten minutes, a sizeable queue had built up, and we decided to try the door.  It was open!   Tim and Ged knew this and were simply chatting outside in the sunshine.   Inside were several Wayfarers, and the Cobham RBL volunteers all assembled to serve us tea and coffee, probably wondering where we all were.  Tim presented the Cobham team with gifts from the Wayfarers, thanking them for looking after this "monthly circus of cyclists" as he kindly described us!  David Bellchamber in turn thanked us and said they very much enjoy hosting us each month, which was nice to hear.

View from Epsom Downs (Photo: Neil W)
Dave was due to lead the ride today but was poorly, so I got to lead his lovely ride through hills and dales to lunch at Thames Ditton.  Winter sunshine on frosty fields:  although there was a bit of mist still in the air the views from Headley and Epsom Downs were rather lovely and worth the ascents on quiet roads.   From Epsom Downs it was all downhill to lunch and we arrived a bit early at The Angel with cold noses and toeses, in time for a pre-lunch drink.

Pam's organisation worked flawlessly and the staff were great, serving us a very enjoyable meal which I think was enjoyed by all, especially Patrick, who was celebrating the end of a two-week diet.

Thank you to Dave for planning such an enjoyable ride: we all send our best wishes for a quick recovery, to Ged for back-marking,    And huge thanks to Pam, who organises the lunch so well and makes it look so easy, which I'm sure results from a lot of hard work and organisation behind the scenes.

Dave's route

Dave's hills

The perfect bike for the older Wayferer

A's Christmas dinner

Loads of banter 👍