Monday, July 24, 2017

B Group ride on Wednesday 26th

Wednesday’s ride from Dorking will see us heading south and into West Sussex for lunch at the Kings Head pub in Rudgwick.

We have been asked to pre-order our food so if you could look at the online menus and get your order to me at it will help us all.

The afternoon tea stop is planned for at the community shop at Strood Green near Brockham.

No major hills but most would describe the ride as ‘undulating’. The majority of the ride is on ‘tarmac’; where we do take paths they have a decent surface.

Unfortunately the weather forecast is not great, be prepared for wind and rain.

The pub website is:

We have about 20 miles to do before lunch so a prompt start at 11.00am please.


Sunday, July 23, 2017

A ride Weds 26th July

We are heading south from Dorking to the Bax Castle near Southwater for lunch. There may be some hard surfaced ( too hard, I thought today) off road along the Downs Link if we are desparate to get to lunch in the shelter of the trees. Over Leith Hill - dont weigh yourself down with too much bread pudding at Dorking - and then an easy ride though we have to climb to Rusper on the way home.

After last weeks strike by the PF it seems the Rain God has me in his sights this week. The forecast for Wednesday seems to be changing by the hour - not usually for the better. There will be my original plan for the return and a Plan B which is basically to get back by the most direct route if the weather dictates, though you can always head to Horsham station. I anticipate tea will be in the warmth of Denbies.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Only One Hill

Only One Hill
I arrived early at Nibbles Datchet to find Dave Ward already tucking into a Bacon sandwich. The numbers steadily increased to 15 when Grant, the last to arrive, announced he was only coming to 11's. 11 o'clock arrived and the queue for the single toilet had ended we set off. The weather was overcast and looked as though it promised rain, I kept the pace a tad high as it was 23 miles to lunch and all gently uphill. All went well until the descent to Aston where the overnight storm has caused masses of mud and gravel to cascade across the road just after which we had our first visit from the puncture fairy and our newest member Robin was the target, this did mean that the rest of the group could spend a few minutes at Hambleden lock, which was crowded with sight see-errs watching the Swanuppers in their jolly outfits and very grand watercraft.
On to lunch just 4 miles further on and a view of the Windmill on the hill just above Turville. The pub had set a table for us and orders were taken but  nearly and hour delay ensued before food arrived but the food was good, all done by just gone 3 (ugh) and a photo by Tim off we set to Marlow, the route was undulating and towards Marlow the roads again were covered in debris, on the decent into Marlow the PF struck again to yours truly, quickly sorted and through Marlow and the ascent of Quarry Wood road and the steep hair pin bend.  Hills over the descent to Cookham via Winter hill then Sutton road to tea at Jenners cafe as it was now too late for tea at Nibbles. 
Tea over we pushed on to Datchet Via Dorney and Eton. Time was now late and the dispersal prompt for people to catch trains or cycle home. 43 miles 11's to tea and 73 miles for me, 15 miles each way to Datchet. The rain did make an appearance  but only with the occasional drizzle. Thank you all for a great day out on the bike and thanks to those who marked corners and Pam for back marking,

I cannot close this article without a word or two about the very sad loss of Ray Dare, such a tragedy, and an inspiration to many in his exploits. Ride safe.

Swan Uppers at Hambleden

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Ray Dare RIP

Very sad news to report for those with access please refer to the sad news about Ray on the Kingston Phoenix www.
I spoke to Ray this morning to wish him all the best. It seems that Ray who was riding a 10 TT on the A41 Tring course was hit by a car from behind while trying to break the 91 year old record and pronounced dead at the scene.
This is so, so sad and my heart goes out to Beryl who will be utterly devastated. John Beer was helping Ray with this attempt and his wife Carolyn visited Beryl this evening. Beryl has asked not to be contacted by phone or visit's but I feel a condolence card would be appropriate.

B Group - 19th July

"Only one hill of any consequence", the climb through Quarry Wood
~ Tim

A Group 19th July

A good turnout at Hookwood, despite the unpromising weather, and a baker's dozen set off for our annual journey South to meet our friends from the East Sussex CTC.  Passing through Horley we paused briefly to admire the NCN21 'London to Paris' cycleway sign,
and then continued past Smallwood to Copthorne and on towards Turner's Hill.  So far, so conventional, but after a couple of miles on Turners Hill Road we turned off onto the Worth Way, a gravelled Sustrans route that took us quickly and pleasantly past the A22 and East Grinstead traffic to the Saints Hill Road.  We mislaid Mike M at the Worth Way - he was riding his Time Trial bike, in readiness for the KPRC Evening 10, and he didn't fancy it.  We planned to meet on the way to the pub, but it didn't work out.

Down to the reservoir, up to the hill above Sharpthorne and then along the ridgeway that leads to Horsted Keynes.  There are normally beautiful views on this part of the ride, but the grey skies  and generally muggy weather took the edge off it a bit.

Anyway, we were at the Green Man good and early, which turned out to be a good thing, as a slight mix-up with the bookings had led the landlady to expect less than half the number of cyclists for lunch, leading to some unpredictable and lengthy delays.
Ordering a simple meal early was no guarantee of prompt service, and here we have the unusual, perhaps unique, picture of John waiting for Brian to finish.

Food delays notwithstanding, the lunch was sociable and a great success, and it was good to meet our friends and talk of journeys done, and journeys yet to come.  We had passed a party of London-to-Parisers as we entered Horsted Keynes, very smart in matching shirts and with a large support van.  It turned out that East Sussex CTC, as well as keen Dieppe Raiders, did a club London to Paris every now and then - something for us to think about, perhaps.

Anyway, we were late away from the pub, and the weather had changed.  It was still muggy, with a curious sort of sea-fret blown in with the Southerly wind.  Not really rain, but wet enough for the difference not to matter.

This didn't do us much good.  The thunderstorm of the previous night had washed flints on to the road, the dampness lubricated them nicely and we received the first of several visits from the Puncture Fairy on the climb up from the Ardingly Reservoir.

A few miles later we embarked upon the second of my off-road novelties - a bridleway through Cowdray Forest.  This too cuts off some busy stretches of road, but it had been a tricky bit of riding in the dry, and the dampness had done little to improve it.  I think it's fair to say that it had a mixed reception.  There we are - that's always the trouble with adventures - the gap between triumph and disaster is not a large one.

The Fairy called again near Pease Pottage, and while the puncture was being mended Mike and Dave set off for home, as they had a way to go and time was getting on.  John too departed, heading for a train at Crawley and the evening's Promenade Concert.  The rest of us rode on for no more than a couple of miles before the Fairy appeared once more.  Things were getting serious now - tea was at risk.

With the puncture more or less fixed, I was despatched as runner to ensure that Tanhouse Farm kept tea for us.  At least that part worked out, and seven of us took our teas at a rather breezy table while the staff shut up shop around us.

There had been a fairly persistent rumour that the rainy mizzle was a Sussex phenomenon, and that once we were in Surrey we would be all right.  Anyway, leaving Tanhouse Farm, the sun came out.  Just sayin' ...

My thanks to Keith for back marking, to the corner markers for keeping us moving, and to our friends from East Sussex CTC for a good day out.


Sunday, July 16, 2017

B Ride Wednesday the 19th

 This will be a train assisted ride. Trains to Datchet from Clapham Junction, Richmond, Twickenham etc.

11's will be at Nibbles cafe next to Datchet station. Lunch will be at the Chequers Inn Fingest and 3's back at Nibbles Datchet. The ride will be undulating but only one hill of any consequence.


Meeting CTC East Sussex - Wednesday 19th

A prompt start at 1100 from Hookwood Tesco's as usual, please - 21 miles to lunch at the Green Man, Horsted Keynes.  As is customary, there will be a few miles of trackway on both the outward and return legs.  NCN 21 outward - good surface; on the return, a couple of miles of ancient trackway, now a bridle path.  Care needed with tree roots in places, but nothing to worry about.

Tea in the Dorking area, depending on time.  Tanhouse Farm, Denbies or Pilgrims.


Thursday, July 13, 2017

A Group to Tisman’s Common – 12 July

I was stand-in leader for Mike who unfortunately could not be with us. Geoff Gregory kindly supplied an excellent route, which saved me a lot of time in preparation.

My main concern was the state of the roads after 12 hours rain the night before, especially the descents of White Down and Leith Hill. In the event we had no problems.

Arriving at the Mucky Duck before 1pm (a tailwind assisted PB) we were met by Geoffrey Shields who had made his own way there, making a group of 14. Lunch was quickly served, and we were out by 2pm (another PB).

The afternoon route was my own concoction, and involved climbing Holmbury and White Down, accomplished with aplomb by Ray Dare, now 91 years young, and showing no sign of slowing down. Next week he is going for a national record  10mile TT, and we wish him every success.

After White Down there was little appetite for a detour to climb Chapel Lane, so we went directly to tea at Squires Stoke D’Abernon, where we met Mike Barrett, on a half day release from domestic duties.

40.6miles 11’s to tea, 3,130ft climbing, 12.75mph moving, and a massive 1,868calories.

Thanks to Brian for back marking, to all who corner marked, and very best wishes to Ray the Record Breaker.

B Group - 12th July

It was sweltering when I reccied this ride so thought that less mileage could be a good idea!  Going up Green Dene in the shade was most welcome but, as we all know, yesterday's weather was somewhat cool to start with!  Also, the workmen in Calvert Road told me they would be finished before Wednesday this week - but that was not the case.  Apparently due to a mishap earlier the road had to be dug up again!   The workmen were extremely kind and made way for our nineteen strong group to get through, saving us from retracing our steps/wheels!

From Green Dene it was down Combe Bottom, through Albury and Chilworth where we turned right, over the level crossing to East Shalford. We used the cycle path along side of the A281 taking us into Guildford for lunch at The Kings Head, adjacent to the grounds of Guildford Castle. The food and service was very good, hence we were able to get away in good time - not that we were in any hurry!

Irene had shown me around the castle gardens on our reccie and she very kindly lead us through and up to a higher level which I had not been aware of before.  These gardens are truly beautiful and well worth a visit.  Our group photo was taken at the exit we used to go into the High Street to continue with our return journey, through Stoke Park, along the River Wey to the unpopular A3 cycle path towards Ripley.  Another well worn route, Grove Heath, Guileshill and Ockham Lane to Cobham where we enjoyed tea and cakes in the cafĂ© at Painshill Park.  A convenient stop for all the group to make their way home.

My thanks to all for their company and a big welcome to Theresa whom we look forward to seeing again.  Welcome too to Rob (Robin) Turner who was out with us for his second ride.

A big thank you to corner and back markers...and ..of course, our photographer, Tim :)

Pam :) :)

B Group with a banner advertising the average age of our riders

Vineries - Guildford (13.1 miles) - Painshill Park (12.3 miles)

If the map images appear to be too fuzzy to see the route detail when you click on them it is possible with most web browsers to view images in a separate window with an option to magnify to 100%, (i.e 1:1). So if this ever matters to you, whether you are using Firefox, Chrome, Edge, Opera, Internet Explorer, or any other browser, it is worth understanding how to do it. The maps are in a digital photo format so the same process will work for all the photos.

~ Tim

Monday, July 10, 2017

12 July – A Group Ride from Effingham Vineries

Unfortunately Mike is not available to lead Wednesday’s A ride. 
I will lead an un-recced ride to the Mucky Duck ( at Tisman’s Common. About 19 Leith-hilly miles. This route has been kindly provided by Geoff Gregory, for which many thanks.
Return will be similarly hilly, probably White Down focused. Depending on the mood of the peloton we may do some more hills.
Please note, I have not had time to recce this route, so cannot warn you of the present state of potholes, gravel or other hazards. Ride accordingly.

Wednesday B ride from Effingham Vineries

Pam will be leading this ride at Peters request.

Lunch will be at the Kings Head, Guildford Castle and afternoon tea will be at Painshill Park.


The science of efficient cycling

The A group
Well - some of the science.  I went to the Royal Institution's Summer Science Fair last week, and Bristol University had a stand explaining how they had brought a 1.5% efficiency gain to the GB cycling team at the Rio Olympics.  There are some possible ideas for us all.  But first: the science bit:
How hard you have to pedal for a given speed, v
There are three main parts to this equation:
  1. Air resistance (at the top left), which goes up extremely fast as your speed increases, and quickly becomes the most important thing trying to slow you down above about 10mph.  At 20mph, air resistance makes up about 80% of the work you have to do.  To reduce air resistance, you need to have a small surface area (skinny bike, skinny rider, no panniers, tucked low on the bars), and wear skin-tight, aerodynamic clothes.   Or cycle slower.    And of course, cycling into the wind makes makes your effective speed higher, so it's even more important - this is why cycling behind someone else makes it easier, since it reduces the effective headwind.
  2. Rolling resistance (top right) is resistance between your tyres and the road.  The GB team use high pressure kevlar tyres - and a very smooth track surface - but recent articles in Cycle magazine, and Mark's investigations, seem to suggest that wider, lower pressure tyres may be just as good on real road surfaces.  So - take your pick.  And - rolling resistance varies in proportion to your weight and speed.
  3. Transmission efficiency (bottom of the equation) is how much effort gets from your legs through the chain and gears to drive the back wheel.  This is where the Bristol University research found 1.5% efficiency gains.  Chains are quite efficient - only about  5% of your effort is lost in the drive chain) - but this can be improved by using a bigger cog, front and back, as it reduces chain friction, and careful lubrication.  Team GB had a secret lubricant fomula that even the Bristol researchers don't know.   Cross-chaining is also said to be bad for transmission efficiency (see here).   I doubt this is a major factor for most of us.
  4. Something is missing: hill-climbing effort.  The Bristol researchers had not heard of the Surrey Hills when they did their research, and so only took account of flat cycling.   They live a sheltered life.   So a fourth term has to be added: mgvSin(s) - your mass, times gravity, times your speed, times the sine of the steepness of the hill you're climbing.   This is by far the biggest factor (as we all know!).  If you're climbing even a 1% hill at 10 mph, more than half your hard work is going into climbing, rather than air resistance etc.   So - best to avoid hills!
So what did we learn?   Probably not much of use - but in summary: going uphill, most of your work is going into climbing;  on the flat, most is going against wind resistance;  and downhill - enjoy!

There is an online model here, if you want to put your own numbers in and see where your hard work is going on Box Hill or similar.