Friday, December 29, 2006

Dec 27th

Emerging from seasonal over-indulgence, we were pleased to find at Garson's Farm yesterday morning a very fit looking and ebullient Steve Bott - bikeless and taking time out from visiting his sister in Kingston.

Tom Fish, too - with bike. Harold is taking Tom to Cobham next week - along with a variety of unmissable bargains.

It's subscription time too, next week - £5 will cover subs (£3, including £1 for SWLDA) and £2 deposit on our 07Mar07 anniversary meal at the Cap in Hand, Hook (A3xA243). Choose from JDW menu later.

From Suzanne Lyndon in Sydney: Merry Christmas to you Brian, Frank and other Wayfarers. I hope to ride with you again in 2007.

Not many bargain hunters found their way to Garson’s Farm on this dullish but mild morning (writes Graham). We were similarly underrepresented so only one group headed off for greener pastures. Graham, Bob, Brian, Ed, Irene, Jake, Pete, Steve and Toni made up its “A” section. Les, Lynda, Norman, Terry and newish-comer Ed Nolan were the “B” component, with C&M providing Ann Bath and Keith Rook to complete the roster. From the old A3, the route went via Fairmile Lane (now with illuminating “Slow Down” signs) into Leigh Hill Road. Crossing over with difficulty into Tilt Road we went off-road to Downside and over Bookham Common. On the far side it was back to the hard stuff - Meadowside and other back roads to Fetcham. Today the Mill Pond featured a cormorant as well as the usual ducks, geese and swans. Finally it was up into Leatherhead town centre and the Edmund Tylney. Here Ed N headed for home and Ann and Jake who had opted for an on-road route from Downside rejoined. For once, Wetherspoons service was disappointing - Les winning narrowly with an hour-long wait! Ed S nobly stepped forward as host for an unscheduled tea stop, which left the leader unprepared. Fortunately Steve (and others) knew the M25 footbridge route into Ashstead. Its level crossing and common led to Stamford Green from where Ed led us to tea. Six was the number with newcomers treated to a tour of his fine models.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

C Group Dec20th

Subject: C group ride 20.12.06

Foggy, cold and pretty dismal. On the towpath from Weybridge to Walton the visibility was not more than twenty yards and my fingers were just short of frostbite! I was surprised to find such a good turnout at the day centre, many of whom had had a much longer journey,including yourself Brian, to make elevenses. Ron and Dennis were there but did not come on the ride which was led by Harold along with his namesake ( a newcomer) Harold S. followed by Bill, Fuzz, the other Bill (I must get his surname [Parkhouse] although he assures me the male line of his family back to his grandad were all called Albert but preferred to be called Bill). I think I`ll stick to the name I have! Sorry to digress but that makes six of us setting off into the gloom for The Wheatsheaf pub at Stanwell Moor. We turned left after crossing Walton bridge then through Shepperton and left again at the lights to Laleham where another left down Ferry Lane took us onto the towpath to Staines. A bit of a diversion here took us into the main carpark and what is now the pedestrianised main street where the entire population of Surrey seemed to be doing its Christmas shopping. We pressed on north to the Crooked Billet roundabout, then along Stanwell Moor Road to the traffic lights where we went right towards our pint and lunch. At this point we had lost Bill No.2 somehow. By the way the prices are pretty reasonable atThe Wheatsheaf for your diary.
Tea was to be at Walton but before we turned off for Laleham, Fuzz left us for home and I having had enough of the cold did the same at Chertsey bridge which we reached via the towpath and Laleham Thameside after bidding each other all the usual compliments of the season which I am happy to extend to your good self. ------------------ Albert

Dec 20th

Hello Wayfarers and friends

Thanks to all that have sent or given me a Christmas card - I am touched by your kindness but will refrain from quoting all your goodwill messages to the Wayfarers - please take them as read.

A vibrant Christmas ambience greeted us at Walton yesterday, contrasting from the drab, damp, almost freezing foggy weather outside. Albert had bounced back, looking as good as ever, with little sign of scars. Rarely, there was no sign of Ed S, a notable absentee.

En route from North Cheam, 'B' group leader Les suffered a double blow-out near Old Malden and retired back home. How he managed to fix the first puncture amazes me, as when I punctured on the A244 Mole bridge by Esher, I was too cold to even remove my rear wheel, opting to walk the two miles to Walton to have a new tyre and tube fitted for me. Graham and Vic later questioned my choice of tyre, but as it was the only tyre they had that fitted my wheel and as I liked my new 700x35mm Bontrager, I was a very, vary happy (much warmer) bunnie. Thanks to John G for taking over 'B' group leadership at nil notice.

Les, our intended leader, had a puncture on the way to Walton and decided to return home, so I found myself leading 'B' ride at very short notice again today. On the towpath towards Walton Bridge, we narrowly avoided being hit by a flock of geese, taking to the air in great haste as they were chased by a dog. From the North side of the bridge we took an early right turn into Penny Lane. After passing over the river access to Shepperton Marina, we went past the entrances to the Moat House Hotel and to the Swan Sanctuary to emerge onto Fordbridge Road. We then cycled thru Lower Sunbury and Hampton and entered Bushey Park at the Dukes Head pub, emerging from the Park via the grounds of the National Physical Laboratory. We crossed the Thames at Teddington Lock and cycled up the (extremely muddy) towpath to Richmond. We crossed the Thames again using the footbridge at Richmond Lock and arrived at the Town Wharf pub at Isleworth for our lunch. All eleven of us (Carole, Christine, Gill, Liz, Stephanie, Cliff, Ed, Gerry, Roger S, me and the rider from Dulwich who has recently joined Wayfarers and whose name may be Brian, but I am not sure) managed to arrange ourselves snugly and sociably around a table designed to seat eight, and even managed to eat our meals without knocking our neighbours' plates to the floor. After lunch, we crossed Richmond Bridge and Richmond Park and cycled along the A3 cycle track to the Coombe Lane flyover. Here the majority of riders decided to make for home before dark, but a minority went to tea in Raynes Park. Cliff recorded a total of 37 miles from North Cheam to North Cheam (same as Pete's 'A' ride mileage). I understand that any 'C' rider from North Cheam would have cycled more than 40 miles today. Will we 'B' riders ever live down this disgrace? John Gould

I punctured at Old Malden, near Hogsmill crossing. I changed the tube but the valve had a list and my hands were too cold to get much air in. I bade the others farewell. I limped home, got another bike and did the ride I had planned. From 11.00 Oatlands Drive, Hanger Hill, Weybridge, Brooklands Road Parris Road Old Woking Road Rose Lane, Guildford Road Egley Road Mayford Bird in Hand PH lunch. Westfield Road Westfield Old Woking, send, Send Marsh Road West Horsley Garden Centre Les J (a glutton for punishment, apparently)

Brian, If you get this in time and have space say to Pete Mitchell "thanks for the Christmas Lunch - I owe you £5"; to Bob "sorry I let you down on the agreed Two4One meal deal. I thought you would have had two lasagnes on such a cold day instead of that undercooked raw steak". I left Walton on the Hill in sunshine at 9.40am and returned at 4pm with blue skies and setting sun. I now know why it's nice to live on a hill even though it’s a tough climb home. The rest of the day had been clouded in mist and mellow fruitlessness trying to get a drink out of Pam. Mike M

Christmas greetings to all Wayfarers and friends, particularly those far or not-so-far flung that we haven't seen lately. Enjoy the festive season and the inevitable struggle to regain new-year fitness!

Olleh festive Hub.

Dec 20th A Group

A Ride Dec 20th
Todays ride & destination was prebooked in advance, as the morning turned out to be very cold and foggy a warm lunch spot was anticipated at the ‘Cap in Hand’ at Hook. This found 22 of us on a brisk ride over Walton bridge & on to Sunbury, left on to Kempton Road (path really) & Kent,s Passage via quiet spacious back roads & into a mystical misty enshrouded Bushy Park , past the skating rink at Hampton Court & old worldly Thames Ditton & so to Hook and a super Xmas Dinner with the usual mix up over who had ordered what causing some entertainment. The short ride today & even shorter ride home for most of us was just right on such a cold day. 31 miles
From Pete Mitchell

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Cheam & Morden Post Xmas Lunch

To be held at The Hand in Hand Boxhill 12.30am 11th Feb 2007 £10 tickets from Steve at 02083982775 or Pete at 02083942665

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Mike Morley the new SouWester Editor

Dec 13th

Under the heading "hors de combat", Albert says afraid I've done it again. Fell down three stairs Sunday morning and have had to have my left hand stitched up four inches so cannot manage the bike for a few days. Sorry to miss Ron`s ride on Wednesday and hope someone will do the honours PR wise. I can manage to operate this computer thank goodness!! Regards ---------- Albert

There is a piece about Mark in an Indian paper... check this link to have a look. (That's not him on the motor-bike).

Congratulations and thanks to Mike Morley for the splendid carol service and reception following the SWLDA AGM last Sunday. Congratulations too, to the said Mike for fending off any semblance of opposition to succeed venerable Clive as Sou'Wester Editor, a role we are confident he will fill with distinction ('we' evidently does not include wife Barbara). Thanks to Barbara and friends for the reception refreshments.

'A' group had accepted Greeno's invitation to their festive lunch, so after elevenses at Leatherhead, we took a tortuous committee driven route via the mansions of St George's Hill to arrive late at Shepperton. In the festive spirit, we were made welcome and enjoyed a splendid freshly prepared lunch with wine and post prandial cabaret. Having been denied our customary swift half, some repaired to The Regent in Walton for further sustenance before battling through the traffic laden streets to home. Mike certainly managed the 20 miles home from Walton on Thames to Walton-on-the-Hill quicker by bike than he would have in a car!

Hi Brian,
sorry I forgot all about a report but here goes: Cliff lead a group of eleven from Leatherhead including, but sorry I cannot recall everyone, Christine, Judy, Les, Norman, Terry our good backmarker, the two Eds two handsome bearded members and John, to Brockham via the golf course and on via Newdigate to Capel where we discussed whether or not to go on to Okewood Hill and the Plough. It was decided that we had had enough of the wind and weather and decided to have lunch there in Capel, all except Les that is who would have preferred to go on to Okewood. He was however out voted! Norman left at this point because he had to get back as his wife was, I believe, coming out of hospital that afternoon. Cannot remember the name of the Pub but it was the one opposite the road leading from Newdigate. A lovely fire greeted us in a small snug where we had nice lunch. We retraced our route back to Newdigate where we turned left up the Henfold Lakes road back thro Brockham to Annie's where Terry, John, Judy, Christine and I had tea and a bun. Terry left us here and the rest of us made our way to North Cheam. I was told that it was a bit fast, sorry it is this new bike! Just remembered there where two Johns there and John I won't accept your invitation to join the A group just yet thanks. Cliff

In the absence of our chief reporter Albert, bless his soul, I was given this task. I was thinking of skiving as I thought after my long absence from cycling in India I would not be able to keep up with the others. Our leader was Ron before we started I found out our lunch venue which was Derby Arms on Epsom downs I knew it would be a bit hilly but not that hilly the route he took, thought the woods and muddy pass Stane Street and following the Roman road and Shepherds walk to Downs road hill pass Langley village and long uphill to Epsom Down race coarse stands and Derby stables where sandwich brigade sat in the bus shelter and others went to Derby arms for lunch. Our bunch was Ron, Bill, Mark, Pat and Bill Mathews, Lynda, Elizabeth, John and Roger M. The wind was bitterly cold on top of the downs. John left us to go home and the rest of us flew down the Chalk Lane behind the hospital to the bottom of the hill. At that point except Ron, Roger and Bill everybody disappeared on their own way including your humble reporter to glad get home in warm room. It waaas cooold after my warm trip to India. Mark

Hi Brian,
Albert wasn't out today - hope he is well - and that Leatherhead was just too far from home. Here is a (backup) summary of our ride. Ron led Mark (just back from 5 weeks in India), Roger, John, Bill, Pat & Bill, Liz and myself up to Epsom Downs. It was a good route, out of the Swan Centre, left at the traffic lights to the roundabout, and straight onto the pavement which led to the woods. It wasn't too muddy, and was a very pleasant route. We came out to Langley Vale, and just headed up towards the Downs. Four of us went into the Derby Arms for lunch. Pat & Bill went for a ride (too early for their lunch); and the others went over to the bus-stop to eat their sandwiches! (The hardcore of the group). Just as we had finished lunch, I had a phone call from Harold, who is in Scotland at the moment, staying with his daughter. He said he couldn't go out on his bike today, as there were winds of 100mph! - and some parts were icy. It had been snowing in a nearby area to where he was staying. After lunch, Ron led the others to the day centre at the Wells. Liz & I headed for home. I stopped off at a couple of post offices looking for Xmas stamps. Epsom PO had a queue of about 30 deep; Stoneleigh didn't have Xmas ones; so I ended up in Cheam for the 2nd time this week and purchased some after a surprisingly short wait. I then popped into Cannons. An enjoyable day, a bit windy but pleasantly mild. Lynda.
Dear Brian Sorry to miss you all today, particularly as I really wanted to have another ride out with you. Having set off for the rendezvous in Leatherhead for elevenses I started to feel progressively out of sorts-I'll spare you the details-but it felt like a virus [over-excitement, perhaps?] so I turned around near the Tip. Hope to see you next week. Brian Forster.

I've just received a card from former Wayfarers secretary Geoff Avis, who writes:
"Here's wishing all my old "easy-riders" friends many more happy cycling miles in '07 (and fewer punctures) in the lovely Surrey country - how I miss it!! We miss you, too, Geoff."

Happy holidays and great cycling in the New Year from Janice and Ken, who would like you to visit

Olleh festive Hub.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Greeno Centre Sheperton Xmas lunch

Just one or two frolics ----
Presentation of Spoon

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Roehampton PS

...........and it was open this morning (Saturday 9th).

Friday, December 08, 2006

Roehampton reprieve!!

Here are Frank, David, Judy, Doreen, Ron and me (holding the camera) enjoying—as we thought—a last cup of coffee at the Roehampton café on Friday morning.

But on wishing the staff a tearful farewell, Frank learnt the good news that it had been decided on Thursday not to demolish the café but to keep it open, at least while the new one is being built. That at any rate is what we were told. So New Year's Day might be saved after all.


Thursday, December 07, 2006

A Ride Dec 6th

At Cobham we presented Hazel, Thelma and Joyce with a bottle of sparkling chardonnay each to enjoy at Christmas and took the opportunity to thank them for opening the RBL Club each first Wednesday and serving us refreshments and making us feel so at home. Long may this happy situation continue. Tom duly arrived with his stock and it was good to hear that his voice retains its qualities. We welcomed two newcomers, Brian Forster and Bernie O'Donovan, who we hope will wish to make their Wayfarers ride a regular event.

From Mike Morley in Sydney Australia:
Hi Brian et al, Fantastic hot weather here in Sydney, Fri 1 Dec. Regrettably we leave to Bangkok tonight, spend 4 days there and back home to cooler weather. Glad to hear Tom Fish OK, obviously there was some concern about him. Still on target to see you all on Wed 6 Dec [subject to Bangkok tummy]. I am on for the Xmas lunch at Greeno 13 Dec if available. Best regards, Mike M.

Dear Brian,
Brian Stead sends his warm greetings from Oz . I had to return by train last week before 11`s as my down tube snapped !! Best wishes, Brian N. Thanks, Brian via Brian, Brian.

As from 9th December, the Richmond Park cafe at Roehampton Gate will be closed indefinitely. Apparently the existing building will be flattened and a new one built. 3 months was mentioned. ' Oh ' yes, Wembley Stadium comes to mind. Presumably it will be open on Friday 8th. If any wish to be there at 11, it might be a good farewell gathering. Frank

Hello Brian,
From Cobham I led Christine, Gill, Judy, Liz, Toni, Bernard, new member Brian Forster, welcome, (Steve, Jack and I met Brian years ago on Sunday mornings at Alison's tea wagon at Headley), Cliff, upright Ed, John B, Les, Nev, Norman and Robin along Plough Lane (no longer awash as on Sunday), to be shortly passed by A group. We turned left at the now-expensive Black Swan (ask Norman) and carried straight on through Effingham and up Beech Avenue to have a brief pause at the crossroads before crossing Ranmore. A gentle descent to Dorking outskirts, turn left into Ashcombe Road then a few hundred yards of A24 before turning onto the cycle track, across the golf course to Brockham. Along Kiln Lane, admiring the views to north and south and soon we arrived at The Red Lion at Betchworth. We climbed over 500ft between Cobham and Betchworth (thanks Bernard). After enjoying lunch, we returned to Dorking alongside the A25, turned into Pixham Lane, then by (fairly) popular request a group of us scaled the south face of Boxhill via the Zig Zags, followed by a cup of National Trust tea, after which we went our separate ways. A good day out helped by the wonderful weather. After the next two Wednesdays the evenings will start to get lighter! Terry

Best weather so far this week. Sunshine all the way and just a spot of breeze. Roger led around twelve of us 'C' group from Cobham en route for the refurbished Black Swan (formerly but no longer Mucky Duck). Apart from me `n Im, there was Ron, Bill, Dave, John G., Alan,Fuzz,Dennis, Mike and Mary on tandem,Lynda,Liz, Bill `A` and another who name I did not catch (I cant remember him throwing it!). I know that`s more than twelve but Dennis and another took an alternative route probably up Plough Lane while we carried on up Downside Bridge Road and turned right at The Drift, at the end of which we did a left and right into East Horsley. Another right turn took us to Ockham, then past the disused Wisley airfield (stirring old memories), to the pub. They have done a complete makeover which is reflected in the prices but unfortunately the service was poor and some of the offerings when they arrived half an hour after we ordered them were a bit cold. None the less the staff were welcoming and there was nothing wrong with the beer. As the intention was to take tea at Claygate, I took the route back over the airfield, a rather lonely ride apart from a few friendly old ghosts, leaving at Wisley over the footbridge which crosses the A3 and a spot of offroad to Byfleet Village and home via Oyster Lane -------- Albert

The fine weather brought a large turnout to Cobham, where, in 'A' group were, Brian, Bob, Vic, Pam, Bernie, Pete B, Pete M, John S, John M, Frank C, Frank H, Graham, Ray, Toni, John B, Steve, Julian, Nigel, Grant, Ed S and Ed C. (was that all?). An early puncture for Grant saw our number reduced by 1, although when we passed B group in Plough Lane, we made up a combined peleton of not far off 40.
At modest pace, partly due to the stiff headwind, we passed through Ripley, then down Papercourt Lane, where there was quite a bit of surface water still lying on the fields, not to mention the roads. Then it was through Send and on to Old Woking and Mayford, then up Prey Heath Road past Worplesdon Railway Station. After crossing Fox Corner, and Bullswater Common, we arrived at our lunch destination, the Cricketers at Pirbright, to find ourselves beaten to it by a short head by West Surrey CTC. So some went to the White Hart just down the road for lunch, with a detachment heading off to Wetherspoons at Woking. While the rest of us were enjoying our lunch in the Cricketers' snooker room, a large black cloud unkindly disgorged its contents on Pam just as she was mending a puncture (ably assisted by Brian).
After lunch, at brisker pace we headed back via Worplesdon and Jacobs Well, where Bernie picked up our third puncture of the day, whereupon a small committee headed by Ed S soon fixed the problem and had us on our way again up the cycle path on the A3. I had originally intended to head for our tea stop at Ockham Bites via the lanes, but to save time we continued there up the A3, to be rejoined by Grant and also Jen.
By the time Brian and I got back to Banstead, it was well after dark, and we covered 54 miles altogether. Rob

This Sunday, please support the SWLDA AGM at Breech Lane 12.30pm and/or follow-up Cyclist's/Rambler's Carol Service at 2pm at nearby St Peters Church Walton-on-the-Hill. See you there.