Tuesday, February 28, 2006

22nd February 2006 - Update

Breaking news

5 B-riders led by "volunteered" leader Norman, in absence of Cliff. Terry, Les, John and Ed C cycled via Redhill to Woodhatch then to Norwood Hill and onward to the Plough at Leigh. After lunch John left us and in view of the unfriendly weather a unanimous decision was made not to stop for tea. Ed took a train at Dorking, Terry departed home at Leatherhead, Les and Norman back to Ewell and then home.

Out of interest, I started with C group but had to stop at Fetcham with a puncture and after pumping it up three times the penny dropped? They must be on another road to Ripley .The point of this is that I found myself at Blundells lane and yes it is very closed. Back to the Leatherhead road over the bridge left into public right of way ----- to a cross country route beyond the closed Rd: Very cold, Very wet, Very muddy. Yes Mike I offer to you for consideration.

I checked Blundells Lane this afternoon and the railway bridge is completely closed - not even pedestrians can get by. But the route via the level crossing further towards Oxshott seems fine. Chilly isn't it............

Saturday, February 25, 2006

C Group Ride

C Group The weather was really miserable, drizzle on and off all day, but that did not deter John C's small party. There were nine of us in all, John C, another John, Beryl, Bill Hammond (our calligraphist), Ron, Roger, Denis, and yours truly Mike. John led us to Ripley via Bookham, Effingham and the lanes. Four sandwich eaters made for the day-centre in Ripley; this was not the sort of day for sitting in a drafty bus shelter. Five of us quickly made our way to the comfort of the Jovial Sailor where we enjoyed some good food and drink plus some warmth. After lunch we collected the four from the day-centre and made our way homeward. I had decided to leave the group at the Black Swan crossroads. As we were saying our farewells another group of cyclists emerged from the Black Swan. "Did you know" they said, "that this place is going up market?" I think we did. They were from West Surrey DA - a pleasant bunch, and they had read all about us in the recent edtion of Cycle. John C's party headed off for the day-centre in Cobham for tea and I hurried home to Effingham for a hot shower.

I shall be leading (from Cobham) to Claygate and the Foley Arms next week, it may have to be a circuitous route as spies tell me that Blundells Lane (the road I would normally take to get from Cobham to Oxshott) is closed for several weeks for roadworks. If anyone has any news on this I should be pleased to hear it.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Merstham elevenses

Reading Brian's report, how glad I was that I missed the endurance test and to enjoy the warmth of home on this occasion rather than Weatherspoon's. Having partially lead the 'A' group from N Cheam on a route initially decided by Les leading off on his own presumably with 'B' group absent, we arrived in good time at Hungers End.
Thank you Brian for taking over, I shall have to arrange better weather in future.

Hungers End in 2005

22nd February 2006

Hello Wayfarers and friends,

On what was this winter's most bleak and uninspiring a day for cycling (or anything else) about eighteen stalwarts made it yesterday to Merstham, where Anita made us most welcome. Grant punctured before Merstham and wisely returned to his fireside. Ray had been forced to withdraw from leading due to a pm appointment so I took on 'A' group leadership (otherwise I'd have remained fireside) and Cliff had to withdraw from leading 'B' group.

As we 'A' group set off, Anita asked our destination, which was "The Jubilee Oak" in Crawley. We stopped at Merstham Clock-tower to check numbers (nine - Pete M, daughter Jake, Pete B, Bob, Toni, Julian, Steve, Ed S and me) then proceeded in atrocious weather via Nutfield, Smallfield, Copthorne and Three Bridges to the warmth of the said JDW pub. We enjoyed our meal deals and were just thinking about returning, when in came John Bassett, "hounding" us from Anita's, where he had parked out the back and not seen us go. When we did get going for home the weather was colder than before, but not actually raining. We skirted the back of Gatwick airport to Charlwood and then up Blanks Lane to Parkgate and on down Root Hill, our previous downhill route, back to Denbies for tea, from where seven went our separate ways.

Meanwhile, 'B' group set off for "The Plough" at Leigh and were expected, but were not seen to have arrived, for tea at Denbies.

John C was due to lead 'C' group from Leatherhead and with luck we will hear from someone on this ride.

Brian, I enjoyed our Tuesday ride, especially the sleet, snow and hail through Richmond Park. I had a call that night from an old colleague in Chichester who has asked me to visit him. He is not too well. As the weather Wednesday did not fit my "fine weather cyclist" ethos, I decided to contribute further to global warming. Not that I am proud of that. Mike M.

Congratulations to Ed Sharp, long time organiser of the Hilly 50K for SWLDA, for an outstanding success last Saturday when 92 entrants descended to and ascended from Ryka's Café at the foot of Box Hill to take on this mean challenge. Our Hilly 50 had been in decline, but with publicity by our lively DA treasurer Simon Legg and help from the Mitchell dynasty, it is back to its former glory and can be read and seen all about on the following links. My three Clarencourt CC mates averaged 55 miles at 12.5mph with 1350m of climbing, but still managed our City tour on Sunday (also dreadful weather).


Next week it's our Annual Lunch at The Foley Arms, Claygate, celebrating 25 years of the Midweek Wayfarers Section, so group rides will be somewhat curtailed. Your £2.00 deposit leaves £8.00 to be paid to the hosts and we will put round an envelope for a staff gratuity. Bon appetite!

We have six takers for our two-nights tour to Littlehampton 07-09Jun06 and if we get more, the B&B price should be below the £28pppn previously quoted. Look at www.arun-sands.co.uk/ for an idea of the comfort to be expected on this strictly for leisure trip and let me know your interest.

It's 21:15 and nothing has arrived from the other rides, so that's about it from your Frozen Hub.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Littlehampton Trip

Brian Starey wrote:

You are receiving this as a Wayfarer possibly interested in a two nights Littlehampton trip at about £28pppn as mooted in yesterday's despatch. Whilst I've had encouraging responses, it has been pointed out that 21-22Jun06 would mean a clash with the Dieppe Raid, also mentioned yesterday, to which some of us are committed.
I regret not marking my diary before emailing, but in view of the level of interest, I am sounding you out now for a two-nights Littlehampton visit 07-08 Jun06 instead, leaving from Cobham elevenses.
Please respond so that I can approach B&B providers.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

15th February 2006

It was an impressive turn-out at Kingston yesterday and we were again made most welcome on our second visit to this splendid venue. We too welcomed Stephanie and Gino and hope they enjoyed their day with us, and will be joining us again whenever they are able to (Stephanie teaches and Gino is looking to move to Hove). I had the great privilege of introducing Gino to Toni - they had both left their native Italia in their youth to forge UK careers and have resided close to each other in Sutton for years, but hadnot bumped into each other until today - when they made up for it - not quite literally!

Talk turned to our CTC Birthday rides (at Dumfries, Brian, not in Dieppe, dear) and, as usual, there seems to be quite a bit of interest. I have B&B accommodation at http://www.torbaylodge.co.uk/, which is ideally situated for anyone travelling by train. I see too, that the Dieppe Raid 22-24Jun06 details are available at http://www.dieppetour.com/ and no doubt another Sou'Westers contingent will again be challenging for prizes.

'A' Ride report by Frank C:
Looking or listening to the weather report on Tuesday evening as I guess all Wayfarer's do, I was prepared to lead a small group of diehards on a very wet and windy ride for the day. However, the day dawned bright if breezy, therefore 19, I think, comprising Bob, Brian, Rob, Grant, Graham, Irene, Tony, Vic, Steve, Pete M, Jake, Ray D, Ray
H, Robin, Ed, Gino and Mike M left the excellent 11's at Bradbury Active Age Centre, Grange Road after enjoying free tea and cakes kindly donated by Bernard celebrating his birthday. We negotiated the cobbled area of Market Place, over the Thames north bound and right into Church Grove and Sandy Lane, on entering Bushy Park the main gates were closed for the long overdue resurfacing taking place, the pedestrian gates each side halved the delay and we were quickly on our way with the finished surface to ourselves.
Exiting at the West side of the park near Pantile Bridge there was a little jiggle and on the A312 for two hundred yards to bear left along the alternative back road of Hanworth Road, over the A316 via the very circular (I counted two circles then got giddy) cycle path, and continued the west side of Hanworth Park to Feltham. 'O' the changes since I was born there in 1940. From Bedfont Lane we crossed the Staines Road for more cycle paths across the Longford and Duke of Northumberland Rivers. From here it was the usual route via Stanwell, Stanwell Moore over the M25 for lunch at the Five Bells at Horton, Bob S. of course chose an alternative ale house for lunch, but, for the rest of us, the service was as usual excellent with very little delay and friendly staff. After lunch, and still dry, we had a wind assisted ride via Sunnymeads, Wraysbury, Hythe End and Staines Town. It was here I requested local expert Irene to come to the front to guide us to view her future new home, right on the towpath of the Thames. Continuing from here along the tow path numbers were diminishing to make their separate ways home, therefore eight of us had tea at the bakery in Shepperton.

Hello Brian (writes Terry)
I led Carole, Gill, Judy, Stephanie, Bernard, Cliff, Ed, Frank H, Ian, Jon, Johns M and S, Les, Mike and Norman to Kingston bridge then onto the towpath to Hampton Court (quite good) to Walton bridge (quite puddly) from where we took to the road to Weybridge. Alongside the Wey Navigation to Addlestone then via Green Lane to join the A320 (very briefly), Hardwick lane and Almners Lane to lunch at The Marine at Lyne. This was a new pub to us and we did well - they only had a handful of customers before we arrived but the kitchen coped pretty well. After lunch we headed south, turning onto the B3121 (Addlestone road) at the Ottershaw roundabout, then turning into Hare Hill and via Woodham (Faris
Lane) to cross the Basingstoke Canal at Woodham Lock. Through West Byfleet we headed for tea at Watson's at Ripley. Some carried on non stop, after tea the remainder were riding along Wisley runway when there was a nasty metallic cracking noise - Bernard's saddle mounting bolt had snapped. He managed to ride to Cobham cycle shop where he was happy to be left and possibly catch a train back to his car. A pleasant ride, a bit wet from Hampton Court bridge to Walton Bridge, fortunately the promised rain held off, but I expect everyone had a lot of cleaning up to do!

Hi Brian It was Stephanie Wyatt who was allowed out to play today as it was half-term at her school. Also, it was good to see Mark (Roy) out today. He has been busy looking after his wife, who has recently had a brain operation and is now suffering from thyroid problems. Mark came
part way on our 'C' group ride today, then turned back home. Hope to see him out next week; and hope his wife is feeling much better. Lynda.

Allan writes:
I found myself appointed diarist halfway through this ride! So, unaccustomed as I am, here goes. We met at the Bradley Active Age Centre in Kingston and were agreeably surprised to be treated to a free tea and slice of homemade cake (Many Happy Returns, Bernard!). On a beautiful spring-like morning Roger led Mark, Phil, Ron, Dave, Denis, Lynda,
Beryl, Harold, John and myself through the Market Place and over Kingston Bridge heading for West End village, Esher. We proceeded through a blissfully traffic-free Bushey Park to emerge opposite the Lion Gate after which the peace was shattered by the thrills (thankfully no spills) of Hampton Court Bridge. Onward through East Molesey where Harold noted the old Summer Road ford of youthful memory and I simultaneously spotted a young woman emerging from her front door in a revealing dressing gown - which also stirred youthful memories. Ember Lane brought us eventually to the environs of Esher and thus to a path crossing the edge of Molesey Heath where we able to make our way on the level and traffic free to Hersham. Thence by Lammas Lane to West End where some of us lunched at a crowded Prince of Wales - thanks for getting us there early, Roger - and some took sandwiches on the green.
After lunch we retraced our steps by a similar route to East Molesey where I departed, leaving the others to take tea in the sun close by Hampton Court Bridge. If you are reading this Albert, hurry back. You and your literary skills are missed. Allan

Our proposed visit to Littlehampton in June or September has hit a wobbly as the YHA hostel will be running YHA's escape 2 scheme and this involves booking the whole hostel. We could do B&B for about £28 pppn, if this has appeal 21-22 June is favourite and the format would be to ride (8am start N Cheam 21Jun06) to Horsham as programmed and a split thereafter.
Littlehampton bound riders would continue south and others would continue the day-leader's route. Thursday's ride out from Littlehampton would be followed by return on Friday. I am trying to gauge interest for this possibility, so please let me know either way.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Dieppe Raid last year

A couple of pictures of last year, from Carole Dockett

Thursday, February 09, 2006

8th February 2006

Hello Wayfarers and friends

Redhill elevenses today saw the biggest turn-out in years at this easterly venue and we were pleased to welcome Eddy Hefford to our ranks (see his response below).

"Hi Brian, just a few words of thanks for your report from Pam relaxing/biking in the sun, although often a cold wind! Not so cold as GB!! Bye, Pam"

"Brian, Sorry I could not make it 2day, I must have missed the best sunny days ride so far in 2006. Gino has sold his house and press-ganged me into going down to Shoreham/Worthing area to help him find a new one. I guess being foreign he likes a native with him. He has only lived in UK 50yrs. Well I hope it helped him, it certainly wore me out. Yesterday I also missed our Tue off-road ride as I had to wait in all day for an upholsterer to come and fix a new settee we bought. So now I am frustrated with no biking and this weekend I am away in Spain for 4 days. It's a hard life I know. Just didn't want you 2 think I was ignoring you all. See you next week all being well. Best regards, Mike M."

Graham reports:
At last the cold snap appeared to be over - bright and sunny, but windy if you were leading in a SW/W direction; plenty of bunnies so perhaps Spring will soon be here. With Ken temporarily out of action, we settled for a combined A & B ride. The group of 17 headed west from the Redhill Methodist Centre to A25, and thence via Blakeborough Road and Park Lane to South Park (not the home of the Simpsons!). Leigh was next, followed by Parkgate and the long haul up to Rusper. Those on the front could enjoy speeds of 30+ mph on the descent through Old Holbrook where crossing the A264 proved tricky.
Once in Horsham we headed directly for that old favourite, the Lynd Cross, in the town centre. Jake had to disappear early but was quickly replaced by a late arriving Jen. On leaving "Rising Universe"/Shelley's Fountain did its thing answering all questions re its purpose. Initially the route out was the route back but we veered off to visit Capel and Newdigate. Tea was taken at Denbies with 13 still in tow.
For collectors of such details, the 17(or should that be 18) were: Bob, Brian, Ed (UK and US varieties), first timer Eddy, Frank H, Graham, Grant, Jake, Jen, John B, Julian, Les, Norman, Pete M, Ray, Terry, and Toni. Unfortunately we found out too late that Bernard was no longer with us and Steve didn't even make it to Redhill, having his rear mech get into argument with his wheel!

"Brian Thanks for yours and everyone else's hospitality, it was a delightful day. I had to go to Cobham and I thought it would be easier if I didn't stop for tea. You will see me again. Best wishes Eddy"

Hi Brian,
Well, what can I say about today's 'C' ride. It was adventurous, challenging, slightly difficult, different, exhilarating. Phil led Beryl, Dawn, myself, Roger, Dennis, newcomer Don, (from Central London), John G., Dave, Harold, Alan, Bill, John, probably a couple more (I can't remember their names) out of Walton Day Centre down to the tow-path to Weybridge.
It wasn't too bad after last night's rainfall. Then we came to a railway crossing/stile. It was a sight to remember. Bikes were hauled over one by one. We had plenty of man/woman power. Once owners' were reunited with their bikes we proceeded - still off-road. There were puddles, and rather large stones (a bit like Brighton beach)! But, we were not deterred; Phil carried on leading. We passed by the Basingstoke Canal and came to a bridge, where we had to dismount, due to the wooden slates we had to guide our bikes between. I think, at this time, Harold thought it such a sight, all of us trudging up and over this bridge, that he took a photo for remembrance. On we went, carefully manoeuvring through barriers. Well, we were all very pleased to see our lunch stop in front of us - The Castle.
After a good lunch we were ready to head for Shepperton Day centre. Yes, there was a bit more off-road before we came to Addlestone High Street (Albert's territory). Then, we came through Chertsey to Shepperton. Phil did well to get us all there and back without too many hiccups. I felt as it I was in training for something - I'm not sure what - but we all had rosy cheeks by the end of the ride. Shattered, yes - but fitter. I dare the other groups to take the same route! Looking back it was a good ride. I did whinge at the time but it was quite an experience. Lynda.

Or put another way:
About 12 "A N Others" from 'C' group played follow my leader behind Phil down to the Thames, you know who you are so why expose your name, you managed to sneak out so good luck, I say. Turn left was implied so obstacle 1 caused groans and crunching of gears with the dismounting of many upon the single lane bridge prior to Walton bridge, some pretending to admire the view to cover lack of ability, you know who you are and brave enough to continue, good luck, I say. We continue along the tow path and emerge at Weybridge and take the back route to the A317 crossing the road to bridge road. I'm not going to tell you this was a one way street coz no one noticed, over the bridge with the lights in our favour, whoops nearly missed it, turn left onto the track prior to the small weir, after a short while we came to a stile at this point Harold was heard saying that he had previously rejected this route but despite Lynda's fears would not say why. Over two stiles and the railway line (with much muttering among the troops - we know who you are and where you live). We the survivors by devious paths came upon New Haw, and being too civilised crossed the road to the Wey navigation and by more strange paths reached our lunch place at Ottershaw. I am with sleep now--- so goodnight all you unnamed followers on Phil's well conducted ride. Reported by another A N Other

The Bradbury Age Aid Centre, our elevenses venue next week, invites anyone interested to also partake of lunch, but how this fits in with a ride is not clear. I have told them not to expect too high a response to their kind invitation. See you all there.

Don't forget to regularly visit http://midweekwayfarers.blogspot.com/

Olleh Flying Hub

1st February 2006 - "B" group

Norman led 11 riders: Judy, Gill, Mary, Terry, Les, Cliff, Mike, John, Steve, Ed (recumbent) and one newcomer (Ian), to Sutton Green (not the one at the bottom of Sutton High Street!).The route was via Ripley, Old Woking and Mayford. The pub was the recently refurbished "Olive Tree" (Formerly the Fox and Hounds). We were joined at lunch by a tall cyclist who was apparently a refugee from the A-group! The food was very good but expensive. Return was back to Cobham, by-passing Ripley, to tea at the Cobham Day Centre, where we joined up with the Easy-Riders.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

1st February 2006

Hello Wayfarers and friends

We had another splendid turnout at Cobham yesterday, Ron Beams and all, despite the bitter weather. I gave a membership list (already needing amendment) to current members and we are delighted to welcome Ian Buxton (amendment 1) to our ranks. Mike and Mary, his close neighbours, introduced Ian, who we hope will continue to enjoy our company and rides. We had the opportunity to indicate which meal we desire at The Foley Arms on 01Mar06 (Beef, Fish Pie or Vegetarian). If you have a ticket but haven't yet indicated your preference, please email me now so that I can firm up numbers.

Albert writes: "Sorry folks; I have to cry off rides for a while as I have been feeling rather grotty and intend to see the quack on Thursday [good luck, Albert}. I am taking part in a documentary on the Dakota aircraft of which I used to be a driver for some yonks and the film crew which is coming from the US of A want to cart me off to Berlin during the weekend of the 11th to the 14th of this month, so I want to be in reasonable shape. If I manage to survive the Berlin winter I will be glad to get the bike out to join some of my best friends. More when I get back. All the best Albert"

Harold reports: "Albert could not make it last week for our "C" group ride but was there in spirit, as, due to a few tumbles of late, a warning to take care down the rough Test Hill path was heard as "don't do an Albert". Can't keep a good man down!"

'A' group, 17 strong with Ed leading, set off for The Jack Phillips pub in Godalming and were last seen by a Flagging Hub haring off down the A246 towards Guildford. Having officially baled out, I made my way to The Olive Tree at Sutton Green where 'B' group, led by Norman with Ian, Mary, Mike, Cliff, Gill, Les, Terry, John G and Ed C were enjoying fine fare. This was Norman's and most others first visit to this venue and I recall Frank C leading us there for its grand re-opening (ex Fox and Hounds) two or three years back, only to find the builders still in occupation. Tea at Cobham found us in the company of 'C' group, leaving few cakes for us.
Graham popped into HQ to see Mark Walters so missed lunch. However he did learn that these hostels might close at the end of 2006 (or later)

Kirkby Stephen
Steps Bridge
Quantock Hills

* = under review
** = alternative site sought [hopefully more comfortable]

SWLDA Barn Dance tickets (£10 includes supper) are now available from Social Secretary Jen, or from Brian.

Olleh Flagging Hub

"Hi Brian I don't know if Harold is going to do the write-up. I did ask him, as I did it last week. But, in case he didn't [thanks again Lynda]: Dave led Beryl, myself, Dennis, Bill, Ron, John C, Roger, Mike W., Alan, Ron W., and Harold out of the British Legion Club, turning a left to Church Road via the Mill. We passed the cemetery over The Mole and took a track between Tilt and Downside. We turned a left into Bookham Rd., then over the Common. Passed through Lower Bookham Rd., and turned off to Chalk Pit Lane. A few moans and groans here, as it was a bit muddy, stony and steep! But we conquered - and came out to Hogden Rd/Dorking Rd and straight to The Anchor pub where lunch sitting by an open-log fire was very satisfying. We returned down Lower Rd., right at Effingham Common Rd., Horsley Rd, Downside to Cobham Day Centre. It was a cold day - Ron made it 5© on his pocket thermometer! But it could be worse - I have just heard the weather forecast for tomorrow - and they say it won't get above freezing!!! PS: I had an email from Albert [didn't we all?] - he's going to be a movie star! Bye for now, Lynda."

1st February 2006 - "A" group

Wayfarers Wed. 1st February 2006 ‘A’ Ride Leader Ed. Sharp
Cobham Royal Britsh Legion
Weather – Dry Dull 2°C
Destination Godalming Jack Phillips Wetherspoon
Present: Jake, Irene, Pete, Bob, Brian, John Scott, John,Ray, Julian,Steve, Mike, Toni, Graham, Grant, Vic, Rob, Ed.
Route out: Ockham, Send, East Clandon, Merrow Downs, Chilworth, Shalford, Peasmarsh, Godalming. Left Toni, Mike and Brian at East Clandon. Bob Led from Peasmarsh desperate for a pint! Left Graham at CTC HQ joined us later at pub.

Route back: Guildford, Merrow, Clandon Park, E. Clandon, West Horsley Garden Centre for Tea.
Present at Tea: Ed, Pete, Vic, John, Rob, Ray, Steve who gave us a flap jack each as it was his birthday.
Back home 4.45 PM still 2°C! distance for me 55 Miles via N. Cheam
From Ed.