Thursday, December 31, 2009

DA Competition Rules

The rules for the DA competitions are available for viewing here:

Now is the time to consider your entries.


Easy Riders Dec 30th

A drizzly start for a day's ride. We left Albert with Bill and Margaret at the Day Centre, they were going to join us for lunch by car.
Fuzz led 'C' group out of Walton Day Centre and towards Molesley Heath. We were, Phil, Bill H., Mark and myself. Dennis followed a bit later, as he got to the centre as we were ready to leave. We thought, at first, going off road was a bad idea; but decided to follow on condition we would turn back if it got boggy. We were surprised, that a new surface has been laid, and it proved to be bogless! But we did go through some puddles on the smooth concrete path afterwards. We cycled around the back of Walton and stopped to read a plaque where the Walton Manor stands. It was built in the 14th C! and improvements made in the 16thC. It still looks a fine building, with a wavy roof. It is situated down near the river, round the bend from the Swan pub, on the left; before the next pub. We continued over Walton bridge, keeping to the right side and going down to the Marina. It started to rain quite hard by now; so we caped up and continued to The Flowerpot where the others were already eating their lunch. Dennis, Phil and Mark went home after their sandwiches; and Fuzz, Bill and myself continued to Hampton Court station. I left them to catch a train and I continued home in the rain!


Having been offered a lift by Bill and Margaret the best I can offer is this shot taken at The Flower Pot.
A Happy New Year to you all ----------- Albert

B Group Dec 31st

It was to be a 'scenic river ride' for B Group this week, from Molesey to the Town Wharf at Old Isleworth. What a pity it was such a grey and damp day!

It had been a bit tricky finding the Molesey Centre for Retired People which turned out to be in School Road, not Hansler Grove as indicated by the Post Code, even some of the locals were unaware of its existence. Still a goodly crowd turned up at the right place and added some interest to those people waiting for their New Year Lunch of fish and chips.

After a false start occasioned by this change of location to School Road (which turned out to be a cul-de-sac!), B Group eventually set off in the right direction to join the towpath at Molesey Boat Club. There were ten of us - Stephanie, Liz, Pam, Brian, Norman, Bernard, Cliff, Les, John and me, Gill. (It was good to see Les out with us again and John had joined us by accident as he had missed the departure of A Group.) The route to Old Isleworth was along the towpath to Kingston, roads through Teddington to Twickenham, back to the river along Warren Footpath, past Marble Hill House, to Richmond and finally a mixture of paths and roads to our destination. We had noticed that it was high tide and this was borne out by water lapping over the path in one place! Speaking for myself, this was the first time that the tide had been anything other than low when visiting this pub, with mud flats and stepping stones across to the island usually being visible. It made a nice change!

The staff at the Town Wharf looked after us very well - a table was laid in readiness for us, prices for food and drink were extremely reasonable and we were served in good time. However, while we were having lunch the rain started again in earnest but did ease off later. We retraced our outward route back to Richmond (no problems with the tide this time), crossed the Bridge and climbed up Richmond Hill into the Park. Taking the road past Pembroke Lodge, the party split with four going direct to Kingston Gate while the leader and the remaining five left the Park at Ham Gate and returned to the river and towpath at Teddington Lock. Four of us had tea at the YMCA Hawker Centre (very reasonably priced!) and at Kingston everyone headed for home. Not the pleasantest of days for a ride but a good day out all the same. (Gill Finlay)

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

A Group Staines Lunch

Thanks again to Ed for leading the ride the picture reflects many of the riders except Vic et al on another table. A wet wet day but my new coat was weatherproof!! Sorry I missed the rest of you at Molesey, couldn't find it! Hope Gill and Fuzz had a good ride.
Soon it will be New Year 2010 I wish everyone a healthy and happy year! Mike M.

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A Group 30th December

On a wet last Wednesday of the year Ed led a sizeable band of well-fed Wayfarers from the warmth of Molesey to the sofas of Wetherspoons in Staines; thence to tea at Shepperton.

The solstice has passed and the mileage is up - 17.88 miles at a rolling average of 9.82 mph. It was never going to be a hilly ride, but it is interesting to see how the telemetry represents the thirty-odd feet of climbing into Staines. It looks quite a hill ...

Still no news from the calorie machine.

A Happy New Year to All,


Thursday, December 24, 2009

Easy Riders Dec 23rd

Not only `easy` but darned cold at the start; Pete and I got to Walton DC to find our group consisted of just us two plus Dennis!
The other two groups fared a little better with Pam`s cheerful outgoing to brighten the gloom. Believe me, I was in two minds about the weather, but after twelve it became a bit less cold and the three of us made a beeline for Weybridge through Oatlands Drive and down Baker Street, then after a brief visit to the cemetery to visit my family grave we went for liquid refreshment to The British Volunteer and a spot of nosh. I used to pass this pub every day on my way to school but this was my first visit. Dennis was determined to make his home run to Surbiton via the towpath so we two came home where it was not only warm but whisky mac was available--Albert

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Happy Christmas to one and all!

Thanks to Rob for leading the "A" group we made it to W'Spoon Epsom for some Yew ell Tide Beer. Jeff and I finished off at the Chequers in Walton le Hill by which time it was raining, hence the shower cap Jeff was wearing!
As for me on arriving home I placed another Christmas card on the mantelpiece and noticed the HO! Ho! Ho! theme especially from Irene next to one from Texas and a Robin from Ed.
The one in the middle puts me in a diddle, it came from down under and looks like a blunder, me and Barbara on Tandem no way, she's too old for that and prefers rolling in hay!! Ho Ho Ho!

HAVE A VERY HAPPY CHRISTMAS AND A MERRY NEW YEAR go steady on drinking and gentle on beer! See you all in the NEW YEAR!
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B Group Dec 23rd

B Group at The Bear Cobham

A Group Dec 23rd

A vision of snow and ice was the first thing to be seen this morning, so for the first time since joining the Wayfarers, bike was put on back of van, to be transported in comparative safety to Oxshott. The roads, at least the main ones, looked to be rideable from there, so my trip to Walton was completed on two wheels.
A few hardy souls had gathered there, ignoring the doom laden weather forecast and meagre window of daylight. Thus it was that our group, focusing on quality rather than quantity, and consisting of Eddie, Mark, (resplendent with new snow tyres), Mike, Ray, Jeff and Rob, set off into the frozen wastes.
The plan originally had been to end up at Guildford, but this had to be hastily revised, and a main road only route to Epsom was substituted. Heavy Christmas traffic was encountered in Walton, and later at Esher, where Ray and Eddie were temporarily detached. All met up safely at ‘Spoons at Epsom, where an earnest discussion about the CTC becoming a full blown charity was held.
Tea was dispensed with, and everybody dispersed hopefully in time to get home in the light. Mileage for me was a crippling 21.

B group 23 December

From Walton I led Gill, Irene and black-eyed Pam to Weybridge via the riverside Walton Lane, where the frost- covered scenery was quite beautiful. Pam then advised on a route avoiding both Weybridge and Monument Hill, joining Oatlands Drive in time to see the Easy Riders pass by. For a while the roads were fairly busy, so we decided to turn into the slightly icy but not difficult Redhill Road, past the bus museum (nostalgia for Pam). The cycle track alongside the A3 was clear, as were Old Lane, Ockham Lane and Plough Lane. We had a slightly pricey but generous lunch at The Old Bear, Cobham, after which we went our separate ways. I rode thirty miles dtd, not a lot but quite sufficient for a mid-winter day.

Seasonal greetings to all Wayfarers.


A Group 23rd December

On an icy December morning with lying snow on the verges Rob led a small but stalwart band from Walton to Wetherspoons in Epsom. Wisely choosing a route that favoured prudence above all else he may have set a record of sorts.

10.84 miles, rolling average 11.91 mph and a highest speed of 25.49 mph - courageous in the circumstances. It's not the time of year to talk about calories.

A Merry Christmas to all Wayfarers,


Models by Bill Squirrell

A model of Honfleur made by Bill Squirrell

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

News from John Hammond

I have not been able to cycle this year (a very major loss) but have done almost all my own shopping on foot travelling out every day on crowded buses. I always get a seat!
We were the lucky generation with empty roads - few traffic lights in 1930's.
In Sept 1937 when i was 20 I entered a 100 in 7 - start was at 08:45 am, 29 miles away - we rode as a small group of 16 riders - had severe cramp near the end but got my hard riders badge with seconds to spare!
Rode home at about 8mph.

Just reminiscing. Enjoy.

John Hammond

Walton Day Centre Open

Amanda, the Day Centre Manager at Walton, has confirmed that they are up and running, open for business and expecting us on Wednesday, 23 December. So put on your snow tyres, snow shoes, snow hat and make it to 11's tomorrow.

I've got to collect a turkey first so don't leave me behind!


Snow Tyres

Prompted by the current cold snap I have fitted a pair of snow tyres. Although rare in the UK, these are commonplace in the snowier parts of Europe where people use their bikes for utility purposes like shopping and going to work.

Snow tyres are made of a rubber that includes sharp granules in the moulding to give snow and ice grip; heavy duty versions include varying numbers of metal studs. The widest choice is in 26'' MTB fittings, but winter tyres in 700c touring sizes can also be had. Touring staples such as Continental Top Contact and Schwalbe Marathon are made in Winter variants, for example.

If you want to buy a pair - or just to take a look at what's available - have some and have a wide range.

In use they're a bit clunky but they certainly work. You can ride a bicycle on surfaces where it would be difficult to walk in normal shoes. I rode the Wandle Trail yesterday, long sections of which were sheet ice, with no problem. Staying clear of cars, which may be less well equipped, is probably wise, though ...


Friday, December 18, 2009

A Group 16 December 09

Leader Ray briefing the troops at the Fairfield Centre

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Easy Riders Dec 16th

Our thanks to Lynda who arranged our Christmas lunch with the cafe at Ewell Court. This was very enjoyable.
Seven of us Lynda, Bill, Roger, Cliff, Sonia, Les and me left Leatherhead Fairfield Centre as the snow was starting to fall which increased as time went on. We crossed the bridge over the motorway and proceeded to Epsom via Ottway Lane, Parkers Lane, Ashtead Park & Avenue Road. Bill left us here as he had enough snow and carried on to Epsom Station to get the train back to London. The rest of us continued via quiet roads and cycle paths to Ewell village and onto Ewell Court via King George Field. Chris had cycled direct from Claygate and was already at the cafe when we arrived. After lunch we went home our various ways still snowing and starting to look pretty if you like that sort of thing.


B Group Dec 16th

Pictures from Steph
Picture from Bernard

Six hardy riders Gill,Liz,Steph, Bernard, Phill. & Robin set off from Leatherhead.

We rode past the duck pond through Fetcham, left at Effingham.

Straight on into Critten lane and over the mountain in a blizzard.

Down onto the A25 to shere and the White Horse for lunch.

Bernard repaired a puncture before setting off returning via Combe

Lane down through East Horsley to Cobham for mince pies and teas.

Great fun in the snow see Bernards photo.-Robin

A Ride Dec 16th

Pictures from Pam

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Some pictures Of Xmas Lunch and ride

Xmas Lunch 16th Dec 09

On a cold day we set off in two groups hopeful that the weather would remain kind to us. Brian Greenwood had kindly agreed to lead the second group to make the ride more controllable. From The Fairfield Day Centre Leatherhead the route taken was Randalls Road and River Lane over the River Mole at The Splash - not quite the weather for a splash but who knows if the weather hadn't shown signs of deteriating! Here after taking pictures we continued through Fetcham and across Lower Road and The Ridgeway to meet the A246 at Young Street (The Canadian built road during the 2nd world War). At this stage it was at higher ground snowing and Jake thought it wise to seek warmer climes. Many of us continued on across Norbury Park to eventually descend from the Woodchopping shop on a metalled but snow covered surface to West Humble. This was decision time as here some continued on up Little Switzerland (one time noted for it's Holly this time of the year) whilst others took the flatter route on the cycle path to Leatherhead.

The conditions worsened but rideable for the Little Switzerland group whilst climbing some 2.5 miles to Slough Lane where we had some backwheel slip on climbing sections but no real problems. The descent on main roads via the Headley Rehabilitation Centre was fast to Leatherhead and Weatherspoons.

It was nice to see those Xmas lunchers that had arrived earlier comfortably waiting at the laid tables stretched out to accomodate 28 of us of the 30 booked. One had to cancel and the other decided on the day to ride only. I hope the weather did not spoil the day and that the food and service made a memorable day.


White Christmas Lunch

A masterful lead by Ray. Not the longest ride of the season, nor the fastest, but consistently interesting and continuously snowy. So, after all, it may have been the longest and fastest ride in the snow ...

12.63 miles, 1004 feet of ascent, slowest speed 0 mph on Slough Lane (wheelspin) and far too few calories to match the excellent Christmas Lunch that followed.


Monday, December 14, 2009

B Group Dec 9th

We set off in the direction of Box Hill to Headley via Juniper Bottom then diverted along Dorking Road to Walton Heath, where we cut through to Kingswood (very posh). Eventually arriving at our lunch destination, The Ramblers Rest, a little up-market but very nice.
Those present included David, Eddie, Norman, Mick, Steph, Ray, Cliff, John, Frank, Franciose, Sue, Bernard and Louisa (the birthday girl).
After lunch we proceeded up Holly Lane through Banstead then on to Cheam where we stopped for tea at Cannons (Nuffield Gym).

I clocked up a total of 33 miles.


Thursday, December 10, 2009

Wallis & Grommit Alias Graham

Note Raasay Warden has changed his Tartan for an odd shirt making his hair look more appropriate for a woolly haired sheep or is it a Dog!!
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Steam at Dorking

A Group - 9 December

Newdigate - The Six Bells

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Easy Riders Dec 9th

There was a good turn-out at Kings Centre in Chessington for 11's. For some, it was their first time there. A bit of a hiccup; as there was an 'Accountancy Exam' taking place in the hall adjacent to where we were sitting having our 11's. They had signs up saying, 'Exam in Progress - Please be quiet'. Well, we are a bike group! And I did notice that, Fuzz, has the deepest voice! So, after a while, a very nice man came and politely pointed to another area of the cafe where we could sit and be a bit quiet. Pat and Bill were there; Albert and Peter by their tandem trike, Dennis and Bill H., who decided to go to Hampton Court for lunch.

The rest of the group, Roger, Fuzz, John C. Chris, Lisa, Jono, Helga, Les J., Charles, Mark and back-marker, Ron. I led them the back roads of Chessington and Ewell to Longmead cycle path. We then headed for Ashtead Common going through part of Epsom Common. At Ashtead station we turned right to go over the path on the green towards The Woodman on Barnetwood Road. I was quite surprised that the Common was well drained and no problem with puddles. After lunch, we went up to Ashtead High Street and turned left and right to go through Ashtead Park; the back of Epsom Hospital and the back streets to Ewell; where we had afternoon tea with cake/mince pies. A gem of a place; but cannot reveal where, as we are going back next week for our Christmas lunch!

Lynda .


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A group 9th Dec

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35028 Merchant Navy class 'Clan Line' at Dorking this afternoon.

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And here's one I took earlier!

After enjoying a delicious slice of Birthday Cake (thanks Louisa and Bernard) on a windless, sunless and thankfully rainless morning I led a largish group from St Martin's, Dorking past the cockerel roundabout to turn south into Punchbowl Lane, shortly turning into Tilehurst Lane. Soon we joined Bushbury Road (the lower end of Roothill) - and had to be alert to avoid the potholes which would have made the fwc there too risky. We left Brockham on Wheelers Lane and pedalled on to lunch at The Six Bells, Newdigate, via Dawes Green, Leigh, Norwood Hill and Parkgate. I think they were pleased to see us - there was only a handful of other customers. After a pleasant break we left just after 2pm, using the most direct route to Dorking, aiming to be there by 3pm for a special treat. However, most preferred to carry on to Annie's but a few of us diverted to Dorking Deepdene station to see steam locomotive no 35028 Merchant Navy class 'Clan Line' thunder through. We then rejoined the group at Leatherhead for refreshments before going our separate ways. Thanks to Brian G for backmarking.


A Group 9th December

Terry led off from Dorking promising a 'devious' route to Newdigate, which he duly delivered, with a brisk run back after lunch to allow steam enthusiasts to catch a glimpse of the 1500 at Dorking. Tea at Annies, Victoria sponge again. I am becoming a creature of habit.

24.83 miles - not bad for a week before the solstice, moving average 11.21 mph, 1180 calories and a highest speed of 33.4 mph down Punchbowl Lane on the return leg.

And it didn't rain.


Friday, December 04, 2009

Easy Riders Dec 2nd

I am sending this report of C group of today's ride from Cobham.I was quite surprised the number of people came on our ride. our leader decided to have a short ride as he had some problem with his gears. the total number of people were five mark Roy, Roger Mitchell, Les, Ron and the leader Phil Marx the destination was a pub in the middle of Leatherhead. the route was through Bookham.when we reached Bookham Ron decided to visit Mike Withers so we were left only four. However we reached our destination hurried our lunch to go for tea at West Ewell I wanted to avoid the rain which was forecasted for the after noon so I did not stop for tea and rushed to reach home before the rain but no I was caught only half a mile from home and got drenched.I must say it was a brave effort on our part, I am sure all other C group people will agree. Mark Roy

Thursday, December 03, 2009

A Group - 2 December 09

Three Horseshoes - Irons Bottom

One I took earlier before the rains came down
Bob played Father Christmas and led the sleigh-ride over some well chosen off-road and on-road to the Three Horseshoes near Sidlow. Top class range of beers (excellent mild), good food and welcoming host. Submariner Graham took over the helm for the return. Pete is challenging for the title of Lone Rider.