Monday, August 31, 2009

Mont Ventoux

Maggie and I have had a very good week in Provence on a CTC holiday led by Chris Ellison. A number of people have spoken well of it, and we can certainly endorse their recommendation. The holiday is based at Buis les Baronnies which is in the middle of some very good cycling country - quiet roads, good climbs and good company.

Climbing Mont Ventoux was undoubtedly the highlight of the week - despite its fearsome reputation it's actually not too bad if you take it steadily, though the wind at the top really was something. One of the few places where the weight of a tandem is an advantage.

Stats for the week (all in statute measure - this was a CTC holiday) were 263.88 miles, 21,277.7 ft of ascent and a highest speed of 44.1 mph - faster than we've ever gone on the Holmwood course ...

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Easy Riders - August 26th 2009

Afraid this report is a bit late but here goes:-

With me on my trike with a goodly following we departed in splendid weather from the Greeno at Shepperton for lunch at The Red Lion at Thorpe. Included in our number there were two ladies, Lynda and Beryl then Bill H., Chris, Roger, Fuzz, Dave, Phil, John C., Dennis and Mark. By the direct route we would have arrived much too early so we headed for Laleham and Staines. Crossing the Thames we were then held up for a while at the level crossing at Egham Hythe. I have led on this route before but I can still manage to get lost when arriving at Thorpe Lea. After discovering I had led them all up a cul de sac, we retraced a way and with the help of Chris we discovered My remembered landmark Ten Acre Lane from where the route became a piece of cake. After a pint and a very good lunch Lynda said she would like to try my trike around the pub car park. I did not witness her effort but she had the same problem as most folk at first go!
We returned to Shepperton for tea via Thorpe Road and Chertsey and found vehicular traffic becoming pretty solid due, it seemed, to the M25 being closed on account of a gas leak near Junction 13. It`s no wonder my gas bill is so high. On my journey home it became my turn to queue behind cars crossing Chertsey bridge. I peeled off across the Meads for a much quieter ride and found the hitherto bad approach road had been resurfaced at last.

Peter and I expect to see you at Cobham next week when we get my tandem trike out once more. Cheers ------------------------- Albert

Friday, August 28, 2009

Thanks from Bernard

To all those who contributed to my lovely bottle of malt whiskey very many thanks
Thanks a lot
Regards Bernard

Les Johnston

Les has been to fracture clinic this a.m. and has fractured head of humerous and it will take about 3 weeks to heal.


Thursday, August 27, 2009

Ken Preece

Just a short update folks. Ken continues to improve and wishes to send his regards to all. He is undergoing daily Radio Therapy at Royal Marsden and when I say him yesterday, I must say there were distinct signs of improvement from when last I took him, Brian Starey and Henk for a pub lunch. He and Ann are open to visitors but please ring beforehand as life is very hectic at present!

Harold Fifield Leaving Town

After much head banging by various people Harold, Veena and Lynda have agreed that Harold's leaving do will be at lunchtime at Harolds House in Kingston on Wednesday 4th November. More details will follow and all are invited from all groups. It is confirmed that the normal 11's will take place on the first Wednesday of the month at Cobham RBL. Jeff in due course will post a rides list (currently tba for that date) and it will appear in the next issue of the Sou'Wester.

B Group at the ford

B Group at the ford

A Group

A Group - 26 August, 2009

Classic trike and rider - outside the Greeno

Leader Ray very kindly treating his followers to tea at the Black Swan

'A' Riders 26th Aug.

In what was promised to be a wet and windy day, according to the forecast, I decided to make the ride fairly short and leisurely as possible. Encountering the 'B' group at Walton Bridge they having forestalled us on the route to Weybridge, we took the towpath descending via the steps rather than a right turn on the road. Continuing on the towpath I was glad that the 'B' group had got away.
In Weybridge the luck was not going to last as due to the intensity of traffic Vic and Jeff got separated and were not seen again until lunch at Woking.
The route taken was quite direct parallel to the A317 over the river Wey joining the A317 shortly before the junction to Addlestone. Beyond Addlestone we crossed the M25 and turned left to Woodham o the B385 and to Woking on a triangular route which took us alongside the railway line to Weatherspoons.
After a normal economic satisfying meal I thought, we continued on at a slightly brisker pace once we were on the way to Old Woking. At this point we turned right onto the A247 to cross the A3 and immediately left on to a by road to Hungry Hill, Church End and to the Black Swan at Ockham where nine of us stopped for 3's. The nine were Pam, Will, Jeff, Vic, Pete M, John S, John B, Mike P and me. Pete Barnard had other commitments and kept going, we followed on going our own routes home after a comfortable rest and chatter with our tea.


Wednesday, August 26, 2009

B Group Aug 26 2009

After a grey start, the morning improved and the outlook seemed distinctly promising as I (Terry) led Christine, Liz, Pat, Steph, Bernard, Dave, Eddie, John G, Ian, Les, Norman (backmarker, thanks), Richard (good to see you back) and Toni d'I from Shepperton over Walton bridge ahead of the A group to Weybridge. Then through the back streets of Addlestone to Ottershaw where we found some quiet, peaceful, shady lanes to Chobham. Just before turning into Pennypot Lane Ian punctured, but being so close to lunch and with a special task to perform we left him with a map and instructions to The Plough at Horsell. Soon we reached the ford through the Bourne, Steph opting to check the depth with a carefully placed foot ! It was deep ! Most of the rest opted to be fillum stars (see vid, thanks Pete), Bernard chose to ride through, not falling off this time. Soon we arrived at Horsell for a slower than usual lunch, Ian joined us but at leaving time we needed our jackets. On the outskirts of Woking we joined the recently resurfaced Basingstoke Canal towpath which we left at West Byfleet, then followed the usual route to Cobham via Wisley, cycle track and Pointers Lane (when I recced the route a few weekends ago I heard the Lancaster fly over, no such luck today). After a leisurely break at Cafe Aromas (two tea bags per pot per person) we went our separate ways.


PS I understand the very useful FREE Surrey cyclist's maps are out of print - so get any replacements ASAP - no 7 seems to be particularly scarce.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Easy Riders Aug 19th

Mark Roy,Pat Mathews both turned up at the bradbury centre for 11 & we had a good turn out because of the good weather. There were about a dozen of us altogether.
we went through the back roads through surbiton to Hinchley Wood, Claygate,& then onto Arbrook Common through black hills & the back ways to Cobham where we had lunch at the Running Mare.
When we came out of the pub we saw Albert & son Peter with the tandem trike they were late for lunch because they had a puncture at Walton on the way to Kingston.
After lunch we went back towards Claygate & then onto Littleworth Common towards Molsey. where we had tea at five at the bridge at Hampton Court & eight of us there then after tea we all made our way home.
i had a puncture on the way home on the towpath.

regards Roger.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

B Group Aug 19th

What a lovely day! Especially in the morning before it got too hot. 10 of us left the Douglas Brunton Centre, in Caterham and set off northwards. After crossing the A22 at Norman's request we struggled up Succombs Hill (which ought to be called Succombs Hill and a half). Only Charles made it to the top without walking. At Hamsey green we turned off Limpsfield Rood and had a couple of miles through Kings Wood which was nice albeit on an unmade road. Straight across the main Road and then I got a bit lost (again) in the maze of suburban roads which meant a mile on Gravel Hill, then through Shirley to Crystal Palace. We lost Norman at some point but when we got to my house he was there already. We had drinks, swims, barbeque, strawberries, etc. All very nice (even though I say it myself!). I led them through Crystal Palace Park as far as Streatham from where they knew the way back.


From John Gould

Please include the following re today's B ride. Thanks
John Gould.

Bernard Brindley, today's B Group Leader, invited all 10 B Group riders to barbecue lunch in his lovely garden and swimming in his delightful pool. The lunch was magnificent. For drinkers, there was red wine and beer. For carnivores there were very generous quantities of steak, lamb chop and venison sausages. In the vegetable department, there was corn-on-the-cob, grilled mushrooms, grilled tomatoes, green salad and baked potatoes. And for afters there was strawberries and cream. A perfect afternoon, perfectly organised by our host.

Thank you Bernard.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

A Group, 19 August, 2009

The Three Horseshoes, Knockholt Pound

A forecast of blue skies and temperatures in the eighties promised a warm ride, perhaps a little hot for some. As there is no way to approach Caterham without a climb of some sort, riders arrived at the Douglas Brunton Centre gently glowing, the odd bead of sweat on the brow. With an invitation to Bernard’s Crystal Palace on the programme, the prospect of sun-loungers and pool-side pina coladas was clearly going to be irresistible for some. The group therefore split into sybarites for Sydenham and Spartans for Sundridge.

The start was easy, a swift downhill to the A22 followed by a long haul up Woldingham Road. At this point, Steve began to wonder if his choice of a 70" fixed had been entirely wise. However, a body count near the top revealed two missing in action, Bob and Phil. As nobody appeared, it was opined they must be taking an alternative route. We then followed the Ridge to Botley Hill and a white knuckle descent of White Lane (Bec Hill Climb), blocked at one point by a probably sat-nav inspired traffic jam and an elderly driver mystifyingly attempting a 3 point turn...

More desperate braking took us from Titsey Hill into Pilgrim’s Lane and an invigorating canter along the Pilgrims Way, with Mark looking longingly at all the tempting climbs on our left that we were so stubbornly resisting. We skirted the Foreign Secretary’s country residence in Chevening Park and for a while followed the G10/38 along Sundridge Road past Smelly Corner to the roundabout at the foot of Polhill. Here we transposed into the GH35 for the climb of Star Hill, the last climb of the morning before lunch at the top of the hill at the Three Horseshoes at Knockholt Pound.

We gathered outside the pub while Mark went round to remove the padlock to the garden gate. Profuse apologies to Paul and John, whom we expected to appear. They must have passed within a few hundred yards of the pub. Here Pete was already in residence, though no sign of Grant, who had changed his plan and decided to spurn the hills and lunch in Westerham. We sat outside and the diners were very firmly served good fare by the most imposing landlady with more than a slight country burr.

After lunch, with Pete again deciding to follow his own route, we headed west along Main Road with surely all the climbs behind us. However, the grimpeurs were not to be too disappointed. Shelley’s Lane gave a little sting to the legs. Then it was Cudham and the deeply rutted surface of New Barn Lane to Tatsfield and the Reptile Zoo. Back once again at the top of White Lane, we head north along Beddlestead Lane to Hesier’s Hill, then downhill all the way along Featherbed Lane, up Gravel Hill past Addington Palace, across the tram lines and down Coombe Lane to our tea-time stop at the refurbished and renamed Coach House CafĂ©, in the splendid gardens of Coombe Wood. Grant joins us for tea; we admire the gardens, then separate to find our own ways home.

An easy day with just 50 miles in the saddle.

As for the exam results: with four lost en route – a dismal fail! I shall just have to re-read those guidance notes and apply for a resit for a Leader's licence.

A Group Ride

Here are the telemetry and route map of today's ride - a splendid outing on a perfect summer's day, under Jeff's exemplary direction. Taken elevenses to tea - 31.63 miles, 2141.6 feet of ascent, moving average 12.86 mph and 1503 calories. The fastest speed of the day was on the Pilgrims Way at 32.5 mph, the steepest ascent was Hesiers Hill on the home run at 13.9%, but White Lane, which we went down, is steeper at -14.4%.

'1' is elevenses, '2' is tea - click to enlarge, as usual.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Harold Fifield Leaving Town

Harold has asked me to let you all know that he and his Veena plan to move to Scotland within some weeks to be near their daughter Shivali. It is Harold's wish to have a little party to which all Wayfarers are invited, not this time at his home where many of us have enjoyed lovely Indian food in the past but at a Midweek Wayfarers venue!
Question is where?
Harold would like it to be at the Cobham British Legion but it may not be large enough for all to sit down comfortably and for practical reasons does not fit in with our rides pattern as a lunchtime venue Veena would like to have a venue where she can bring in hot food with access to a kitchen facility to brew tea etc. She does not plan to cook as such but maybe keep things warm. They would like to serve food as a lunch between 1pm to 2pm. Again difficult at any day centre venue as they are supplying lunches for their normal customers.
We have however been invited to say a Christmas lunch at on venue in the past? to share with the regulars. I have talked to Jeff about the practicality and explained to Harold that the rides list is already published for Sept/Oct (where's my copy?) so its not easy to just make things coincide. One suggestion could be arrange at the time of MWW AGM or the DA AGM at Walton on Hill. Another could be hire the facilities at Nonsuch Park but I suspect that would be costly.

Veena and Harold would like to do this within Sept/Oct but its all tied in with when they find a buyer for their house! Early November may be quite practical.

May I invite any comments of suggestions as to venues, particularly from Colin, Dave Aylett and Pete Barnard or anyone else who knows the venues better than either Jeff or me! May I also suggest that if any of the Ladies would like to help on the day I'm sure it would be appreciated and Lynda you may have some ideas on this front?

There will be a prize for the one that comes up with the winning solution so put your thinking caps on!
For a picture of Harold see earlier blog posted by Pete of Harold receiving his trophy for best photo at the Barn Dance.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Easy Riders Aug 12th

From Walton Day Centre, 'C' group; Beryl, Dave, John, Roger, Les J., Albert, Bill H., Allan and co. made their way on the tow path to Kingston. I headed for the Ram for lunch. We then set off to visit Harold for afternoon tea. He is very bruised and has his arm in a sling to rest it. We had a very enjoyable time.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

B Group Aug 12

Ten of us left New Haw and headed through Woking by the canal. The group consisted of Gill, Pat, Charles, Jack, Norman, Terry, John G, Ed, David and myself. We left the canal to cross Lockfield Drive and followed the signed cycle route up Marston Road to Goldsworth Park lake and on to Littlewick. Then via Warbury Lane and Clews Lane to Bisley taking Queens Road south to Pirbright bridge and the A324. From there it was a straightforward run south via Pirbright and Cobbett Hill Road to Wood Street Village and lunch at the Royal Oak. Returning through Guildford on Stoughton Road Pat peeled off to take the train and we continued to the Woking Road and the Wey Navigation. This tranquil stretch of towpath took us past Stoke Lock to Clay Lane and the bustle of the A3. Then through Send, Grove Heath Road and Ockham to Cobham for tea. 28 miles from New Haw without too much traffic even on the A324. 51 from home to home for me.
From Brian Greenwood

A Group 12 August '09

Guildford Castle
(See Graham's report below)

A Group Aug 12

With the Easyriders at Walton and others on the grouse moors, there seemed
to be few about but I still counted 16 of Irene's followers. After Terry's
safety speech, we stalked the B group to the canal where they took to the
towpath. Onwards to West Byfleet and down the Pyrford Road got us to Ripley
then a right before the Seven Sisters led on to Send and Potter's Lane. From
the A3 cyclepath we wandered through the Burpham's suburbs and up into the
centre of Guildford. To keep everyone happy Irene had options: Wetherspoons
or the Kings Head; only Adam and John B chose the former. The rest followed
Irene up a blind alley but at the second attempt we hit the target with a
splinter group of four settling for the castle gardens. Our return was
delayed whilst Irene dug out the Wetherspoons two but soon we were heading
along the banks of the Navigation. After pausing to admire the tree
sculpture in Woodbridge Meadows, we continued to the A3 and the very
familiar route to Ockham Bites where Ray was settling into his tea having
taken to the road. The mileage eaters may have felt shortchanged by little
more than twenty miles of communal riding but I was home on four well ahead
of the rain which had threatened all day.

Graham Hill

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

A Group Ride 12th August

Here are the route and telemetry for today's ride, led by Irene. The forecast rain never materialised, giving us a pleasant run to Guildford. Taken elevenses to tea:- 21.46 miles, moving average 9.55 mph, 439 ft of ascent and 1020 calories. As usual, click on either image to see it at a larger size.

Friday, August 07, 2009

B Group Aug5th

We rode from Cobham coffee stop to Effingham up to and along Ranmore common. Took the bridle path down past Denbies, having admired the view above the Dorking valley Crossed the A24 and A25, Coach Lane to Brockham, then through Bunce Common, Leigh, and Nalderswood to The Three Horse Shoes at Irons Bottom, where the food was of a good standard.
After lunch we took the A217 then westerly skirting South Park to Betchworth where a few rode home via Pebble Hill Road . Nine of us now retraced the morning route through Brockham to the Leatherhaead road, and nine for tea at Annies.
Twenty started ;- Mike P, Mike M, John G, David, Harry, Adam, Norman, John S, Brian, Liz, Godfrey, Neil, Robin, Pat, Cliff, Neville, Jill, Mike A, & Harold. Sorry some were busy and peeled off early before lunch. After the start we split into 2 groups and thank Norman for guideing the 2nd group to lunch. A good day, no one lost and no punctures. Approx 15 miles to lunch and 11 miles to tea.

Cheers Robin

Thursday, August 06, 2009

A Group Aug 5th

Superb specimen seen outside Cobham RBL Hall - see Mike's report below
Cold shoulder on the menu at the Mayford Arms

A Group Aug 5th

A variety of reasons including an oft-whispered "roughstuff" kept our
numbers down to 11 at the start. Plough Lane led us to The Hautbois and up
to West Horsley where we reversed before sampling the improved(?) concrete
road through Jury Farm. At Burnt Common Wilf punctured but was content to
soldier on alone. We followed Vicarage Lane then Potter's Lane to the New
Inn where the prospect of rougher roughstuff proved too much for Jeff who
stuck to the roads. The towpath to Twigg's Lock is indeed undulating but
nobody fell off or in. All that was left was the blackstuff of Robin Hood
Lane and Pyle Hill and soon we were at the Mayford Arms where Jeff was
settling into his drink. Moments later we were joined by Wilf and all tucked
into the generous portions; double portions of vegetables for some, none for
others. But it was all sorted out amicably in the end. At two we headed up
to Hook Heath and down the canal for the ride to West Byfleet (much like
last week). This time we headed south to arrive at Ockham Bites for an
extended break. By four with the weather now hot and humid, the cafe's
closure was our signal to scatter.

Graham Hill

Easy Riders Aug 5th

"C" Group ride

Phil led a group of around 20 from the Cobham elevenses stop. There were too many to name everyone but the regulars were all there - Fuzz, Roger, Lynda, Beryl, Lisa, Jonathan etc. It was a fine day but people seemed reluctant to get going so it was nearly 11.30 before we left - having first politely let the A and B Groups take to the road. Our route took us over the Mole along Plough Lane, and Ockham Lane to the cycle path alongside the A3, (via Martyr's Green and Old Lane). We left the A3 by crossing the footbridge to Wisley and then to Pyrford lock. A right and a left turn took us to abridleway (Sandy Lane) and we were soon headng for lunch at the Saddler's Arms Sendmarsh. We found here that Albert and Son with their splendid tandem tricycle were happily esconced there. Everyone enjoyed lunch in th sunshine and appreciated the friendly service and good food (very reasonably priced). After lunch it was the regular route home via Groveheath Road and Ockham. I left the peleton at the Black Swan to head home to Effingham, they were heading to tea at Claygate.

Mike Withers

Sunday, August 02, 2009

News of Harold Fifield

To midweek wayfarers

I am sad to say that my father Harold Fifield fell off his bike last Tuesday. He was on his way to Dorking to compete in a 10mile time trial that evening. He has a broken collar bone and extensive grazes and bruising.

He is making a steady recovery and as always is working hard to get better and gain his strength back. Nevertheless it will be slow progress and I do not anticipate he will be back on his bike for some time.

He sends you all his best wishes.

Shivali - Harold's daughter

News of People

Brian Starey, Henk Schutten & Ned Walsh at lunch Fri.31July09 Woodman
Later that same day Rides sec and S'W ed plotting the next issue at Chequers Walton.

Harold Fifield. Fell of his bike en-route to the KPRC Tue 28July "Ten" and sustained a broken collar bone. He was admitted to hospital but discharged to home that night. No doubt he would welcome callers but suggest phoning first. His daughter is down from Scotland staying for a period.
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Saturday, August 01, 2009

Alpine Passes

I've just got back from an enjoyable few days cycling in the Alps with my two sons. Our purposes were rather different - I wanted to cross some passes, revisiting old favourites and adding on a couple of new ones; they wanted high altitude training for a savage triathlon that they're doing in Norway next week. That means big mileages and big climbs. With me, it's one or the other these days, but with a bit of planning we were able to meet everyone's needs. We rode separately, but had lunch together every day, shook hands on some big passes and generally had a very good time.

We chose passes that the Tour de France has been over, either this year or in the last couple. This gives good atmosphere, with the 'Go Wiggo' graffiti on the roads, and real humility when you compare the times of the Tour riders with your own. My passes were Petit St Bernard, Cormet de Roselend, Col des Saisies, Alpe d'Huez, and a double crossing of the Galibier, going Lauteret-Galibier-Telegraphe-Galibier-Lauteret. I've done each side before but the double was a treat.

Here's the team at the top of the Alpe d'Huez. It was a very hot afternoon - about 34 degrees at the bottom, probably more part way up. I attributed my rather pedestrian time to this, until I found that Henry (he's the Bianchi one) had taken more than ten minutes off his personal best. So, just like Lance Armstrong on the podium in Paris last week, you can see that the chap in third place has the wistful look of one who realises that his best times are behind him, and that it's downhill from here.

My ride reports wouldn't be complete without maps, so here are a couple - the Galibier and the Alpe d'Huez. The week's stats are 221.84 km; 6506.9 metres of ascent with a moving average of 13.62 kph. This last of course, is a balance of going up very slowly but down very fast ....