Saturday, May 15, 2021

B Group - 12th May

Walton-on-Thames, Windsor, Shepperton

David Jackson’s report

28 riders registered and a full complement set off in groups of six maximums from the café at Walton Bridge for an undulating ride to Windsor and back to Shepperton.

We had one debutant for B group rides, Madeleine Shearer, who I am informed by her sub-leader coped well with the ride and enjoyed the experience.

Ray, Martin and Madeleine

The route took us along the river to Addlestone, crossed over the motorway and along tree lined lanes passing Chobham, Windelsham, South Ascot and then alongside the race track at Ascot itself before we going through Cheapside and into the Great Park.

Taking an almost straight route through the park we left using Rangers Gate before having a steady ride into Windsor and lunch via the Sheet Street Road and the Kings Road, 24 miles of good cycling.

Lunch was at the Cinnamon Café next to Windsor and Eton Central Station, where we found parking for the bikes, tables to sit at and very reasonably priced refreshments.

After lunch, flatter but more of an urban ride through Datchet, Staines and onto the Ferry Point café at Shepperton, 12 miles from Windsor to tea. Here we were greeted by numerous, socially distanced, riders from various groups enjoying further refreshments and sunshine.

Thanks to all the sub-leaders, John A, Fixie Dave/Tony, Christina/Pam and Jennie also to those that back marked in the groups.



David Cullen (Fixie Dave) wrote:

We being the 2nd group on the road, almost the 3rd group leaving, since 4 of us left Worcester park at 8.50a.m. which didn’t give us enough time! To get to Walton Bridge, having taken the scenic route through Bushy park. (Mea culpa) apologies to Ken & Ann, who had arrived in good time. 

Thanks Dave J for sending me a RideWithGPS link to your well-planned route, on Monday. No time for a Recce. (My fault for being backward, in coming forward) to volunteer as a sub-leader, or impersonating one. 

No real problems navigating the pleasant route out to Windsor, on my iPhone. A popular venue for the lunch stop at the Cinnamon Café, judging by the number of people there. 

I failed to bring along a backup battery for my mobile, (battery dropped below 20%) So our group deviated slightly from the planned official route after lunch, but we soon got back on track, that being alongside the Thames. 

We decided to finish our course back at the starting point of Walton-On-Thames. 

Easy Riders Walton to Teddington, 19th May 2021


This week we are meeting at Cowey Sale, Walton on Thames at 11.00 and leaving at 11.30 and 11.40. We will be crossing the river at Walton and going through Shepperton, Sunbury, Hampton, Bushey Park and on to Teddington where we will have lunch at the Tide End Cottage Pub. Here we will finish the ride and let everyone find their way home.

I am looking for an additional sub leader who is willing to lead the group from Cheam and Morden to Walton and then onto lunch. So if you fancy the chance to show the way please let me know via email .

The route is available to view on and it is around 12 miles to lunch from Walton. If you would like it in another format please email me and I will see what I can do.

Please drop me or Helen an email or what's app message before 19.00 on Monday night if you are coming as I need to book tables at the pub for lunch. 

Ray Youlden

 (01932 225930)

Friday, May 14, 2021

Alexandra Palace 19 May - A group ride invitation

This is a scenic and historic ride visiting many little-known green spaces and several rivers. In all we visit sixteen parks and three rivers (River Brent, Dollis Brook, and Pymme’s Brook; not counting the Thames) which create green corridors through London. Scenic highlights include the Ace Cafe, Wembley Stadium, Alexandra Palace, the disused Northern Heights railway, George Michael’s London house, and Chalcot Crescent, one of the most picturesque streets in London.

The Ace Cafe on an earlier visit in 2011
Elevenses is at the Ace Cafe, Stonebridge Park - just ten miles from the centre point of where our members live. As it's a bit radical to have elevenses in a northerly direction, my co-leaders have kindly agreed to lead pre-rides to elevenses from Twickenham (9 bonus miles, leaving around 9.15-10 am), or you can go direct to 11s. Tea will be at Barnes, about a mile from Roehampton Gate in Richmond Park. About 33 miles from 11s to tea, or 42 from Twickenham to tea.

You can find the route here. Our speed will be lower in London so the tea stop will be later than usual.  You may not be home in time to watch Flog It! on TV.  Most of the off-road is on tarmac but two sections are unpaved. There is only one real hill: a bit before and a bit after lunch, to Highgate (425ft). Total ascent 1,400 ft.

Please email me to book a place, and let me know if you are riding direct to the Ace Cafe.  I do hope you can join us.

Thursday, May 13, 2021

'A' Group 12 May 2021 - Ride Report (Nauticalia, Shepperton & Velolife, Warren Row)

22 'A' groupers set off on this ride with the help of our very enthusiastic co-leaders (Dave Bartholomew, Steve Duffin, and Neil Croker, in order of departure).   They, and Frances Stewart (see below) had given up their time to put in a lot of recce rides beforehand and try to make it a seamless experience for you in the face of my (unintentionally, I can assure you) fiendish route!  The weather was capricious, alternating between warmth and sun, and coolness and menacing cloud, with a niggling southerly wind that was never really helpful, but some lucky groups were actually spared any rain despite the constant threat.  Those unfortunate riders living furthest from the start easily turned in rides of 80-miles home and back,  so while I would happily join Nauticalia and Velolife together in another ride in the future, I would perhaps link them by a more straightforward route!    Staines, Datchet and Wraysbury aren't so bad!   Everyone seemed to enjoy it anyway!

First Group

Second Group (Report from Steve Duffin)

Having completed a recce with Frances and Dave Bartholomew I knew it was a long, fast route, but spectacular with bluebells off-road. Sadly, we heard that Frances' father in law was taken ill and so she had to drop out. I do hope he recovers successfully. Geoffrey Shields had pulled a muscle playing tennis. What is it with tennis? It seems a very dangerous activity, because Frances pulled her calf muscle the week before engaging in the same sport. So my group was down to four with Neil Warland, Dave Vine and Mike Reynell and myself. Well we had an uneventful, fast ride to lunch apart from me going wrong twice. We particularly enjoyed the route through Windsor and Bray and the quiet off-road section with the carpet of bluebells.

On the return route Neil got a puncture in his rear Schwalbe Marathon Supreme tyre caused by a triangular piece of flint shaped like a half inch arrow head. Of course it then rained while Neil and Dave wrestled with the tyre to inflate the new tube! Then back on the bikes and warp 10 to Walton. It took us 2 hours 15 minutes to lunch and 1hour and 55 minutes to tea. Thanks to Dave Ward for a fascinating way past Maidenhead and a pretty slick round route of exploration to Velolife.  (Too kind!  Ed).    Thanks to Mike for his reassuring back marking.   Sorry I went wrong twice on the return trip too!   

Third Group

Neil's group welcomed Jackie Townsend and Sue Foster.   This is photographic evidence of an unauthorised detour from the official route which almost led to my group catching them up!

Fourth Group

Ably assisted by back-marker Simon, who even managed to ward off the rain, we had a largely uneventful ride.   We were all on top form before lunch and perhaps pushed the pace a bit too much, paying the price on the return ride when we were more into the wind!   Imagine our dismay then, having turned down a tea stop at Virginia Water, to arrive at The Wilde Bunch, and find it had closed its shutters early due to lack of custom!    Every cloud has a silver lining (and there were lots of them today), and Walton Marina nearby proved to be an oasis of tea and cake in the riverside desert!   Thanks to my group for their company and good spirits!

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Arthur Jessop trophy award


Our Chairman, Dave Vine spoke at the AGM yesyerday to commend Mark Gladwyn for the award of the Arthur Jessop trophy in recoginition of his many and diverse contibutions to the life of the club.

"I would like to commend to you someone who has perhaps wisely steered clear of an official position in the club, but who has made a formidable contribution to both how we ride and to helping individual members. I am talking about Mark Gladwyn.

Mark joined the Wayfarers about 12 years ago and quickly made his mark as a ride leader. He raised our expectations of what a ride could achieve in distance and organisation. His first major initiative was the Shoreham Century, a 100 mile trip to the seaside at an inclusive pace acceptable to many, not just A riders. It has now become a firm favourite. Notably for an accomplished climber like Mark, this was advertised as flat, which was true, once you had surmounted the North Downs. 

As well as leading, Mark roamed far and wide in search of challenging rides, be it Audax, Raids in the Pyrenees, or spring classics on Belgian pave, always bringing back entertaining stories for the blogs, illustrated with stunning photos. More recently he has been exploring ancient unpaved trackways, some very unpaved, while encouraging us to ride with him, to the delight of some of us. 

Mark is an enthusiast for cycling history, particularly CTC, unearthing old texts and guidebooks from second-hand bookshops and the internet. So it was no surprise when he revived the TriVets 100mile challenge, but this time with 100km and 50km variants for those working up to their 100, together with group leaders to provide encouragement. And everyone qualified for a winged wheel badge to remind us of our heritage.

Mark has been ahead of the curve on technology too. He appreciated that we are all getting older and needed lower gearing. He started with advocating 32t rear sprockets, a rarity with road bikes a decade ago, moving on to finding niche makers of smaller chainwheels. Some 10 years later Shimano caught up with his thinking and released the GRX chainset.

That’s not all; in almost every development to make cycling more enjoyable and accessible, GPS navigation, tubeless tyres, gravel bikes, and now most importantly, electric bikes, Mark is a pioneer.

But above all we should recognise Mark for prompting us to ride further and more adventurously and for his unfailing generosity in helping individual riders in countless ways with his time, advice and encouragement.

I commend to you and propose Mark as a worthy recipient of the Arthur Jessop Shield for Outstanding Achievement."

Dave Vine, Chairman

11th May, 2021

Monday, May 10, 2021

Mike Withers - Invitation to a celebration of his life on 17 July

As you may remember, long-time Wayfarer Mike Withers died last year, and during the Covid restrictions it was not possible to invite many people to his funeral.    I have received this invitation from Mike's wife, Pat:
Dear Friends,

My family and I should like to invite you to join us in a celebration of the
life of Michael Withers, much loved husband, father and grandfather, on
Saturday, 17th July, at [address supplied to me], Effingham, anytime
between 12noon and 4.00pm. We will be serving a selection of light
refreshments throughout the afternoon and would love to see you.

As you will remember, Michael died suddenly in October last year. We
were so sorry that, due to Covid restrictions, we were unable to invite
everyone to his funeral, but further lockdowns permitting, we should like
to see as many of his friends as possible on July, 17th to thank you for
the messages of sympathy we received and to share some memories.

With best wishes,

Pat Withers

I have not published Pat's address and contact details on the blog so please email me for these details.

Friday, May 07, 2021

Invitation to a B group ride on 12th May

You are invited to join us for an undulating ride to Windsor and back.

We shall be starting by the café at Walton Bridge, make our way to Chobham, then Ascot and onto lunch at the Cinnamon Café next to Windsor and Eton Central Station. After lunch, Datchet, Staines and onto the Ferry Point café at Shepperton. About 23 miles before lunch and 12 miles from Windsor to tea.

Please email David at by the latest 18.00 hrs. on Monday 10th May if you wish to join the ride. He will send out details of your groups of 6 and start times on Tuesday.

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

I’m looking forward to a good day out.

David Jackson