Friday, April 30, 2010

A Group - 28 April

Redhill - Horsted Keynes - Fanny's
Despite its being in one of the darkest corners of the known world, a motley group of flat-earthers assembled at the Redhill Methodist Centre ready (well, nearly ready) to spread the cycling gospel into the unexplored and heathen depths of darkest Surrey and Sussex. Brian had an eager cohort ready to follow him to Dormansland. Fewer were ready to follow me into unknown regions - a reluctance ascribed not to apprehension, but a desire to save themselves for an evening endeavour of muscle, soul and sinew on the proving ground better known as the G10 42. A small but steadfast group of pilgrims, prepared to give their all, therefore set off to bring the word to Horsted Keynes. On the start line we had a high-octane octet: Bob, Dave V, Jeff, John B, John S, Rob, Simon L and Will.
For a change, we left Redhill via the A25 with a climb past the station, then to head south down Fuller's Wood Lane to Outwood and round Horne to Newchapel. We took a bouncy Studpond Lane past Hedgecourt Lake and then a rather flinty bridlepath and farm track to find Imberhorne Lane. Bob, however, had picked up the faintest scent of a distant Wetherspoons and we lost him. South took us past Saint Hill Manor, home of the sainted Ron L Hubbard, to the tip of Weir Wood Reservoir and a long haul up to Tyes Cross, to cross the aptly named Top Road. A long freewheel down Chilling Street brought us effortlessly past the Bluebell Railway to Horsted Keynes, where a last little pull delivered us to the waiting arms of The Green Man.
We were able to wine and dine outside in sunshine, food good as you would expect from a tavern sporting the symbol of the Winged Wheel. How refreshing to see it still proudly sporting its definite article, - The CTC - which the CTC HQ marketing men want to amputate, to give the Club what they consider to be a more modern, corporate identity. Illiterate balderdash! After a relaxed repast it was off again, with a brief stop to observe the roadside Ludwell Spring, first recorded we are told by the Revd. Giles Moore in 1668. After HK Station it was another long haul up Hammingdean Lane to bring us to the Fox Revived at West Hoathly. A short stretch of B2028 led to Turner's Hill, where Rob won the hill climb, but overshot the left turn for Tulley's and had to stretch his legs to catch us up. Copthorne and Smallfield led to Nutfield, where John S forsook us for the A25 and Redhill Station and the rest swooped down to Merstham, then up to Fanny's Farm Shop for a well-earned pot of tea and slice of Fanny's finest. The top of Markedge Lane saw the parting of the ways.

We had stayed on Landranger 187, met not one chevron and totted up just 57 miles on a perfect day for cycling.


Thursday, April 29, 2010

April 28th Easy Riders

Phil kindly phoned me the evening prior to his ride which would have given me quite a long flog home at the end. All was not lost however as Bill and Margaret Squirrell with myself and Peter on our two tandem trikes and Bill H., left Elleray Hall after a very well attended elevenses, and made off through Bushy Park to The Albion at Hampton Court for lunch. For the record, we used the towpath from Weybridge to Hampton Court in both directions even negotiating the wooden footbridge at Walton Marina non stop. ------------Albert

Easy Riders April 28th

Phil M. led a very interesting ride today from Teddington. About 15 of us left the day centre, went across the high street;turned left and soon came to Crane Park. A very nice park in dry weather. (Donkey Wood not adviseable in wet weather)! From there we went over Hounslow Heath. We passed the Cavalry Barracks where 2 soldiers were guarding; one with rifle. Passed with a greeting, then went over the M4 to lunch at The Grand Junction pub at Southall. The landlord opened the back gate for our bikes; and went to the shops to get fresh salad ingredients. Obviously, not use to getting 10 hungry cyclists turn up together! We were the only ones in the pub for a while and enjoyed our drinks before waiting for our lunch to be freshly made. The unusual thing about this pub is they do not sell beer! So, it was guinness and cider all round; and the food was cheap but very tasty. After lunch, the picnic people met us once more and we continued our ride back along The Grand Union Canal; passing Hanwell Flight Locks. As Beryl said, it was a beautiful ride back; passing many swans en route and canal boats. We continued through Brentford to Richmond Bridge, where we had afternoon tea in the newly, refurbished cafe under the bridge. Phil then left to make his way home; and the rest of us continued to Richmond Park and homewards.


B Group April 28th

It was billed as the warmest day of the year but was a bit overcast when 13 of us set off from Redhill. Stephanie, Liz, Terry, Mark, Mike M, Dave J, Eddie, Ed, Godfrey, Les, Ian, Brian Nixon and myself. We headed south past the hospital then through Outwood, Cogman’s Lane and Newchapel to Lingfield. A right turn took us past the racecourse and Dormansland station to approach Dormansland from the south. The Old House at Home provided a very efficient lunch service complemented by the sun finally putting in a proper appearance. Ian and Brian decided to train it home leaving 11 for the return. We stopped at Crowhurst to admire the yew tree in the churchyard and at the top of Tilburstow Hill for the view of the weald. Then via Bletchingley and Merstham to Fanny’s Farm for tea. I made it just over 30 miles from Redhill.

Brian Greenwood

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

B Group 28th April

Dappled Spring sunshine for Brian's ride from Redhill to Fanny's, with lunch at the Old House at Home in Dormansland and an interesting stop at the Crowhurst Yew. 29.88 miles at a rolling average of 11.1 mph, average power 68 watts and 1420 calories.


Saturday, April 24, 2010

Easy Riders April 21st

About a dozen of us left weybridge then we went on to poet's corner, through addlestone, up the road to ottershaw.
then through the lane's to the red lion at chobham.
we had a very nice lunch then we made our way back to chertsey.
then down eddie docket lane by the river toward's walton bridge.
along the towpath to hampton court where some had tea at five on the bridge, after tea we all made our own way home.

roger m.

Friday, April 23, 2010

B Group at Lunch

Pictures from Pam

Paul Kelly with a problem

Paul and bike being sorted!
Impatient driver did a quick u-turn then immediate right across the junction I was crossing on West Barnes Lane on the way home. I went into his front wing then the bike scraped along the side. I'm a little sore (thumb and lower back) but should be ok. The bike is in a very bad way, but the car needs new bonnet, wing and two doors (or at least significant repairs to all those! Driver was very upset and pedestrians very helpful. I ended up with the full works: paramedic car, ambulance, police & fire brigade. Graham will be able to give you a full report he was a few yards behind me - many thanks to him for not only sorting me out but getting witness details etc At least I may now be able to slip a new bike past the financial controller "But dear, it will be months before the insurance sort out the repairs...... I can have the new one in a couple of weeks...." See you in a couple of weeks!!! Paul Kelly

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Day Centre Access

Access Ramp to Weybridge Day Centre
Wednesday 21 April
Unfortunately, discipline slipped on Wednesday at Weybridge Day Centre of all places. Cycles were parked on the access ramp, causing obstruction to visitors with mobility difficulties. Most of you will recall the problem caused by this behaviour on a previous occasion.

The DA has issued guidance for riders, dated July 2009, which everybody should have received (see below) and available on request. This includes the advice:

"We often share elevenses facilities with those less active than ourselves. Please park your bike sensibly and don't obstruct entrances".

If we are to remain welcome at these venues and in the interests of all, please respect the needs of the regular users of the Day Centres.


SWLDA Rides Guidance

B Group April 21st

Today’s B ride from Weybridge attracted 26 or 27 riders (is this a record?); so we divided into 2 groups, with the second group, led by Terry, supposedly following the first group, led by me, at a distance of one or two hundred yards.
We lost the second group almost immediately because group 1 crossed the Addlestone to Byfleet railway line by the Mill footbridge near the river Wey, while group 2 took the traditional route and were delayed by the closed level crossing outside Addlestone station. Luckily, as we were crossing Station Road we noticed them waiting on the other side of the level crossing and the 2 groups were immediately reunited. But in view of this incident I took the revolutionary step of revealing to Terry the name and address of the planned lunch venue and also gave him one or two small clues on how we were going to get there. I was soon glad I had done so because somewhere between Lyne and Trumps Green we lost them again only to find they had somehow overtaken us and were waiting patiently a couple of miles further on, half way along picturesque (and exceedingly posh) West Drive on the Wentworth Estate. After Wentworth, we proceeded in a combined group through Sunningdale to lunch at the “Thatched Tavern” at Cheapside near Ascot. Despite the size of our party, lunch was served promptly by efficient and friendly staff in the pub’s sunny garden.
After lunch we traversed Windsor Park to Bishopsgate, then via Englefield Green to Egham. Here the majority of riders followed Irene to tea at the Walled Garden, Sunbury while a minority went to tea at Pam’s house.

John Gould

A Group April 21st

A Group April 21st

Sixteen riders left Weybridge by Woburn Hill,cutting out the usual crawl through Addlestone.Over Hatch Bridge into Green Lane,Bittams Lane,the mortuary road through St. Peters Hospital ,Stonehills Road to Chobham,Castle Green,Warbury Lane,Clews Lane,Queens Road past Bisley Ranges,Brunswick Road,off-road across the Basingstoke Canal and under the railway,halfway up Tunnel Hill,Grange Road to Pirbright,Aldershot Road to The Royal Oak for lunch by 12.34 After lunch,down Ash Road to Fox Corner,Worplesdon Road Goose Rye,Burdenshot,Jacobs Well,Burpham,London Road,Merrow Lane,Park Lane,then began the usual burnup along Epsom Road,where the leader managed to stay in front of all but two until we got to the teastop at East Horsley garden centre at 3o'clock. After tea the party dispersed to their various destinations,the day still being sunny but requiring gloves to complement the shorts. (N.B. The handdrier in the gents at The Royal Oak is strong enough to blow you out the door;not many people got to find that out) Vic

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

A Group 21st April

Sunshine all the way for Vic's ride today; Weybridge to West Horsley with lunch at Pirbright. 29.75 miles at a gentlemanly 78 watts, rolling average speed 13.1 mph, 976 feet of ascent and 1414 calories.


Saturday, April 17, 2010

Hostel trip 14 and 15 April

Hawker Hunter at Ford

We do like to be beside the seaside

Street entertainers at Chichester

Guarding the Centurion Way

Gurkha bridge

Having given A group a few minutes to set off from Henfold, Pete M led Irene, Pam, Brian G, Dave J, Ed, Ian, Ray D and Terry to Newdigate thence via Rusper, Horsham outskirts (ominously named Doomsday Lane?), Mannings Heath and Monks Gate to a leisurely pub lunch at Nuthurst. The north-easterly had helped us so far, but a little sunshine would have been welcome. We continued south eventually arriving at Steyning where Dave was disappointed to find the cycle shop shut (half-day Wednesday ?) - there were some vintage-ish bikes in the window ! Shortly we had a good view of the long closed cement works, the sun started to break through and the A group appeared on their homeward leg. Keeping west of the Adur we soon arrived at Shoreham Airport for a welcome tea and cake break and view of the intrepid aviators. Then a ride along the coast to Ferring where we were obliged to head inland a little, eventually rejoining the coast road at Rustington, about three miles from our destination, Littlehampton Youth Hostel. This is a self-catering hostel, so we dined at Wetherspoons, a short stroll away.

Thursday morning a full English breakfast was taken at a nearby cafe, and at about 0945 we departed, having been joined by my daughter's partner, Paul. The land is pretty flat south of the South Downs (spot heights on the OS are all single figures) so we had a fairly undemanding ride along the lanes past the Hawker Hunter on a pole (RNAS Ford gate guardian) to Chichester where we had 11s alfresco. In the pedestrian area we saw and heard a three piece band - Dave declined a suggestion he should do a solo. Soon we joined the Centurion Way - yet another ex railway track, now a pleasant cyclist/pedestrian route (named by a local schoolboy) with various interesting sculptures and a Roman amphitheatre to see. The track ends at West Dean where there is a conveniently located pub. So far, so good, but after heading east at Singleton and riding through quiet villages alongside a crystal clear stream, we faced TODAY'S HILL just beyond East Dean. Climbing this certainly warranted a rest, we eventually set off, some ups, some downs, crossed the A29 and A27 and after Brian had topped up his slow case of deflation, we arrived for 3s at Belinda's tearooms in Arundel. These tearooms have existed since the 16th century, the experience accrued was evident in the cream teas. Most chose to have the evening meal at the hostel, a few went to a pub in town, enjoying a nice riverside walk back in the dark.

The north-east wind was still blowing Friday morning but the sun was shining as Pete led us up and down the track to North Stoke. The views from the top were really wonderful. We walked to see the quite new Gurkha bridge - apparently they cleared the site and erected it in a weekend. Back on the bikes we continued along the lanes to Amberley and West Chiltington to Barns Green for a slightly early pub lunch (no 11s possible). Shortly we passed through Christ's Hospital, over Littlehaven level crossing to 3s at Tanhouse farm where there were several numbered lambs and mums to watch. The usual route then led to Leatherhead where we split up to make our own ways.


Friday, April 16, 2010

Shoreham Coast Ride 14 April 2010

The only photo I managed to take, that of the Landladies cat at lunch. The rest of the time I spent catch-up. Thanks to Robin Johnson for dragging me home and to Stephanie for all the encouragement. It was a great day out but one of the hardest rides in a long time. I managed 74mls (with a bit of train assist - Horsham to Redhill) and finally conquered Wray Lane after half an energy bar on the train. The other half I will reserve for the next ride to the coast with Mark. The FNRttC is much easier even though it goes over Ditchling!
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Easy Riders April 14th

Good turnout for elevenses at East Molesey. The weather was rather cool and overcast but dry with a brisk breeze. Linda led the ride with Beryl, Chris, Fuzz, Roger, Peter and me on the tandem trike plus a couple more, ostensibly with the intention of lunching at The Ram in Kingston. In the event we went through Bushy Park to Teddington where Peter and yours truly, with some difficulty got our monster machine across the tidal weir, followed by some offroad along the river, arriving at Kingston Bridge, followed by lunch at The White Hart at Hampton Wick. A good spot for our refreshment. The photo gives a good idea of the crowd at Elevenses-------------------------Albert

C Group today

B Group April 14th

Ten of us left Henfold today on the B ride. Passing through Newdigate and Capel we followed Weare Street to Oakwoodhill. On to Walliswood and Forest Green until arriving at our lunch stop at in Holmbury St. Mary.
A welcome break from what was quite a chilly day, Frank, Franciose, Adam, Cliff, David, John, Gill, Les, Eddie (from Balham) and myself enjoyed a very nice lunch at the Royal Oak.
On our way through Sutton Abinger we found Roger going in the opposite direction who then joined our party. There was just a tad of whinging from the group as we approached White Downs, but the downhill stretch to Effingham made the effort worthwhile before tea at Annies in Leatherhead.


Thursday, April 15, 2010

A Group 14th April

Pictures by Jeff

From Cheam to Shining Sea

A grey morning at Cheam crossroads, but not cold, and a sizeable gang of Wayfarers waited eagerly for the start - Seasiders, Hostellers and Wednesday Riders. Sun was promised for later and there was general expectation of a good day.

At 0900 on the dot the Seaside Peleton set off towards Ewell and began the climb over Epsom Downs towards Walton on the Hill. As arranged, Luc was waiting at Mere pond and we swept down Pebblecombe Hill, on to Brockham, Tanners Hill Lane and Henfold Lakes. Two surprises awaited us - the cafe is smartly and comfortably refurbished, and it was packed. A lot of people were ready for a Spring Ride.

So, to a cacophany of whistles, all of them loud, the Coast Group formed up. Sixteen of us left Henfold: Andrew, Bob, Frank, Graham, Jeff, John, Luc, Maggie, Mike, Mike M, Paul, Rob, Robin, Steph, Toni and me. On our way at 1045 we set off at a brisk pace along roads initially familiar through Newdigate, Rusper and Faygate. Tower Road was our first real hill, not a big one, but taken at speed it provided the peak five minutes output of the day at 224 watts. Mike M dropped back a bit - he is still building fitness after his accident and his mountain bike limited his speed, so the group settled at fifteen where it remained until lunch.

Past the Hammer Ponds, Warninglid and Wineham, with the countryside becoming less familiar to most, we began to get glimpses of the South Downs. But we were going round them, not over, and after a short stop at Blackstone for Robin to replace the batteries in his GPS we went on at pace through Small Dole heading for Upper Beeding, wanting to put the busy section of the A 2037 behind us as soon as possible.

Here we jinked over the River Adur by a footbridge and exchanged the A283 and its lorries for the pleasant Coombes Lane with views of Lancing College. Back over the Adur to the cycle path, mostly well surfaced, through Ropemaker Quay and there was the Bridge Inn, Shoreham, where lunch awaited.

Imogen, the landlady, had promised us a table in the garden if sunny, but indoors if not, and, sadly, there was our table in the middle of the dining room. The forecast sun hadn't arrived. We were cheerfully and promptly served, perhaps a little erratically in some cases, and all ate well to fuel themselves for the next half. And, blow me, just as we were finishing here came Mike M - a really heroic effort.

The implication of covering twelve miles in every hour for eight hours was now clear to all, and Robin, Steph and Mike M elected to start out with the group but to set themselves a slightly slower pace. They would follow the same route and might see us at the stops.

So, with a short delay while the Maintenance Team fixed Paul's puncture (funny how often they happen over lunch) it was back on the road - or at least the pavement - as we walked over the Adur footbridge for a run along Beach Road and a glimpse of the sea. No takers for paddling, and we were soon battling the North East wind past the airport. It brought some benefit, though, as it blew the clouds away, and before we got to Coombes we were bathed in Spring sunshine which remained with us for the rest of the ride. Coming round the corner past Botolphs it was a nice surprise to see the Hostel Group heading towards us on their outward journey. Waves, hellos and then on our way.

Due to a muddle at road works traffic lights in Steyning we lost Paul. It's still not clear exactly how this happened, and the general assumption at the next regrouping stop that he had taken up with Robin, Steph and Mike M was later revealed to be wrong. But he's a capable chap and made his own way to Wetherspoons in Leatherhead and was in at the finish.

The next fifteen miles were hard graft. Good roads, generally flat but not without hills, and into the teeth of the North Easter. I was worried that we would fail to make Hilliers Garden Centre before it closed, and by the time we passed though Monks Gate the peleton was a little ragged and more than ready for its tea. My bag of sweeties wasn't going to do the trick if they were shut. We were just in the nick of time - they had put the cakes away, but got them out again for us and we ate, drank and drew breath. Less than twenty miles to the finish and moving into familiar territory, which always seems a bit easier.

Coming out of Hilliers we had the heartbreaking experience of seeing Robin, Steph and Mike M arrive. The cafe had closed behind us and there was no cake for them. There was no help for it and we pressed on. The pace seemed higher, tho' the telemetry shows that it wasn't, but the next few miles got short shrift in any case. By the time we got to Newdigate people were making plans for their homeward journeys: Rob was going back to Dorking, Jeff was going via Reigate, Andrew, Bob and Maggie and Frank were all making their separate ways.

So it was a pleasant few miles in the evening sunshine along the easy run into Leatherhead where Graham, John, Luc, Mike, Paul, Toni and I enjoyed a welcome drink and digested the ride. Just as we were leaving, here came Robin. He had left Steph at the edge of Leatherhead on her way home and had come in for his supper. So John and I stayed and chatted with him while he ate and then it was off home.

The stats are pretty much as planned - 93.8 miles Cheam to Leatherhead, moving average 12.2 mph, 82 watts (which is solid but a little down on one of our shorter, faster rides) and 4,459 calories. Everyone achieved the goals that they had set themselves for what was a pretty tough day. Home to home mileages were more than 100 miles for most - Frank was, I think, top at 121 miles door to door.

Not bad for pensioners ...


Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Wednesday's ride to Shoreham

Mark posted a map and details about next Wednesday's ride to the coast on the blog on 23 March. For the avoidance of any doubt, the start time from North Cheam is 9 am sharp.

You can be early but don't be late!


Tuesday, April 13, 2010


As I am sure you are all aware, at the CTC AGM at Loughborough on 15 May there is a proposal to change the constitution of the CTC from its present dual structure of a membership club and charitable trust to one unified charity. This has been publicised in CTC mag CYCLE, also Jeff Tollermann has published an article in the Sou 'Wester and on the DA, Wayfarers and Cheam and Morden blogs, see also . If you are not attending the AGM, be sure to use your proxy vote - the appropriate form is in the current issue of CYCLE.


Sunday, April 11, 2010

End to End 2010

We made it! The first few days were lovely days after clear frosty mornings across Cornwall and Devon, steep hills and many of them, but it did allow me a personal record – 47 mph. Dartmoor was beautiful in the sunshine. Then all the way up north the wind was due south. We had a bit of trouble finding accommodation near Bristol – would you believe everywhere was booked up because of Cheltenham races – so we ended up at Chepstow after 70 miles, the last bit being on a busy main road in the dark which Luisa hated. Up the Wye valley was really attractive. Continued on the A6 which wasn’t too bad, over Shap in the rain albeit with a following wind. We stayed in Shap village after a short day because Luisa had to be in London the next day. So another short day, we left our bikes in an hotel next to Carlisle station and had a night at home. After Gretna we turned left and the wind turned to the east! Up the coast to Gourock, ferry to Dunoon avoiding Glasgow completely. Up the west coast of Scotland in good weather and great scenery, made more dramatic by all the snow. Then the weather God turned against us. As we cycled up the Great Glen the wind turned to the NE and we battled along Loch Ness in two days of continuous blizzards, at one point it was touch and go – the road was completely snowed over, compacted in parts, and almost un-cycleable. (Mitigated by a night at Invergarry Castle Hotel which was lovely). Then up the east coast. The last day was Good Friday, which I understand was grotty down south, but for us was a brisk southerly wind, sunshine sparkling on the sea to our right, snow-covered hills to our left. We whizzed along with no effort, cycling doesn’t get better. It was just short of 1,000 miles and 20 days cycling, or 18 if you allow for truncated days to catch the train at Carlisle and for blizzards in Scotland. No mishaps, no punctures. Regards Bernard

Friday, April 09, 2010

B Group April 7th

After our enlightening meeting re. the proposed CTC conversion to a charitable trust.
Sixteen left Cobham, Gill, Cliff, David V, Phill M, Terry, Brian, Stephaney, Lisa, Pat W, Liz, Les, Johnston, Robin, and very sorry not to have the names of two others.
We went through Pointers Green, Martyrs Green, and Ripley across the A3, then NW to Woking . Direct to and left along the canal to the second bridge onto the road. Turning left walking across the main roads straight into the pedestrian shopping street left again to Weatherspoons for lunch they were rather busy, we only just managed to find spare seating but service was good.
At 2 pm, back to the canal via the one way system and off the canal at Addlestone, right after the station and through the back streets to Weybridge Road . At this awkward crossing Cliff unfortunately fell at the roundabout and was helped up thank goodness without injury. Again through back streets to the Thames and straight to Walton Bridge where some departed and eight Continued for tea at the Hampton bridge café.
I finished guiding three to Richmond Station on the way home.
Cheers Robin.

Leader for B Group Ride 28 April - Sit Vac

Dear All

Unfortunately, our leader for the B Group ride from Redhill on 28 April will be indisposed. This presents an exciting opportunity for someone to take the reins and lead the peloton from the Methodist Centre. The moment maketh the man - or woman. Please let me know if you would be willing, able and keen to take the lead on 28th.

Many thanks


B Group April 7th

B Group on the Canal

Thursday, April 08, 2010

A Group April 7th

Leader Ed.
13 riders set out for Godalming Wetherspoons for lunch.
Tea at West Horsley Garden Centre (have I done this before!?) Went via Send Prison, Combe Bottom, Shere & Chilworth at a pace due to Ray, Simon & Tony taking the front!
Weather chilly no rain. 55 miles
From Ed.

A Group - Wednesday, 7 April

Cobham - Godalming - West Horsley

Elevenses at Cobham was accompanied by a discussion on the uncertain future of the CTC and proxy voting arrangements on the proposal to convert the CTC from a Club into a charity. Colin Quemby outlined the proposals and their implications and answered questions. The DA Committee advises members to consider voting against the three motions on the voting form. Forms come with the current issue of Cycle Magazine and are available on request.
After this we all needed some fresh air! Ed then led a frisky band of As, under unbroken cloud, via Plough Lane and the Hautboy, Shere and Shalford along Meadrow to pass the ghost of Cotterell House, remembered with affection. How many of you have been inclined to visit the fortress that now houses the CTC HQ? Nostalgia soon gave way to the Jack Phillips, the Wetherspoons temple in Godalming.
After food and drink, our return was along the Guildford Road to....Guildford. We ran the gauntlet of the cobbled High St and blissfully meandering pedestrians. Then it was a straightforward canter along the A246 to the herbaceous charms of West Horsley Garden Centre, aka Squires. Tea taken, the group fragmented somewhat, with the main body taking Dirtham Lane. I followed the A246 down Young Street before heading off for Headley Forge, no more a forge and up for sale.
Our leader valiantly and patiently held his frisky group together, even if at times the elastic did stretch to nearly breaking point. Our thanks to Ed for a most enjoyable ride, untroubled by even the faintest glimpse of sun, the distance travelled some 54 miles.


Easy Riders April 7th

Eight riders came on my ride after the Cobham meeting. Beryl, Sonia, Mike W., Chris, Fuzz and Mark. Eric and Mick turned off before lunch. The rest of us headed for Hinchley Wood. It was drizzly rain but didn't bother us too much. We took the route to The Swan at Claygate, then turned off for Hinchley Wood. Did a left turn and came to the Scilly Isles. Took the 3rd exit to Kingston; and continued on the Portsmouth Road. We arrived just in time before the rain came down heavy. We had lunch at Harts Boat Yard; a place I last visited about 20 years ago! I remember hanging rowing boats from the rafters! It has now gone up market but very friendly. I was a bit unsure as I walked in with all the suited diners; but the bar staff and waitress welcomed us. We were seated and chose from a varied menu. An adequate size portion of various pasta was under £7. It arrived in good time and we were served with a smile. We all agreed it was very tasty and good value for money. After lunch, Fuzz and Beryl turned off towards home; and four of us carried on to Kingston; took the tow path to Hampton Court and two carried on home; while Sonia and myself went to - yes, you guessed it! - 5 at the bridge. At one moment, we were the only customers in there. We enjoyed a very nice slice of fresh cake and latte. As we came out, it had stopped raining, so had a nice ride home. I stopped off at my usual place for relaxation.


Thursday, April 01, 2010

Message from our CTC Councillors for Greater London

Dear All

Below is a message from Greg Price and Helen Vecht, our CTC Councillors for Greater London. In it they give their views on the proposal to turn the CTC into a Charitable Trust. They state their own reasons for rejecting the proposal and recommend that members vote against the 3 motions numbered 8, 9 and 10 on the voting form which comes with the current issue of Cycle Magazine.

Please make sure that you use your vote. You will not have another chance.

As they are Councillors who oppose this proposal, the CTC has not extended to them the opportunity to have their views circulated from CTC HQ through centrally held membership lists. Councillors who support the proposal have been given this opportunity. This posting is made partly to redress that imbalance.


A message from your CTC Councillors for London

Hello everyone

Over the next few days, the April-May copy of Cycle will be dropping on to your doormat. Along with the magazine will be the agenda for CTC’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) on 15 May, together with a proxy voting form. It is the AGM, and certain motions before that meeting, that we are writing to you about.

At the AGM on 15 May, Council will be asking members to agree to changes in the status of the CTC – these changes will have significant and far reaching implications for the membership and for the future of the organisation. Council wants members to authorise it to change the Club, the organisation that has existed as a membership company for over 130 years, into a charity and to merge it with the CTC Trust.

You may have noticed over the few months that there have been a lot of positive messages put out about the proposals – for example the new issue of Cycle which accompanies the AGM agenda and proxy voting paper has a pro-change article on pages 6 and 7, and subtle (and some less subtle) hints have been appearing in the weekly CTC email newsletter. There has been a ‘hard sell’ going on and, although a previous issue of Cycle had an opposing view eloquently put by Simon Legg (a former Councillor), those who may oppose the proposals have been denied full access to the resources being deployed by Council and National Office to persuade you to vote in favour.

For Council’s decision to put these proposals to the membership was not unanimous, and as more information about the possible implications for members and member groups has emerged, a number Councillors have become uneasy about the direction Council and National Office are trying to take the Club in. We are two of these Councillors and, despite a number of unfortunate attacks on the personal integrity of those councillors and former councillors who do not support the proposals, we have made our views known publicly as we believe that is what you, the members, would want.

We oppose the proposals being put forward by Council as we are of the firm opinion that they are not in the best interests of the members, the member groups or the Club. Making the CTC a charity will not restore control of the Club and the trust to members – indeed it will have the opposite effect.

Under charity law, Councillors (who would also be trustees) would have to put the wider public interest and the interests of the organisations before the concerns of members or member groups. No amount of spin or fine words from those supporting these proposals can change this simple fact. And the members of other organisations, such as the Youth Hostelling Association, have found to their cost that the lure of supposed tax breaks doesn’t make up for losing control of your club.

There is also the issue of Club and Trust finances. These are far from transparent but it is clear that the Club is pumping in large amounts of members’ money to ensure that the Trust is able to balance its books - £453,051 in the last financial year alone. This is addition to the £407,000 paid by the Club for services provided to it by the Trust.

Council and National Office have assured the membership that the finances are in fine fettle, and they have made much about offering a meeting on the accounts to those with concerns. But we have to report that this meeting was far from successful. National Office and Council were not able to adequately explain the finances and the figures they were putting forward as supporting the proposal to change the Club to a charity did not stand up to scrutiny. These are not just our views – but those of an expert accountant who was at that meeting.

Council has tried to suggest that those who are opposing the changes are doing so for nefarious reasons. This is not the case. Those who have concerns over the proposals (us included) simply believe that there is a better way forward for CTC and that, with proper governance and clearer accountability, the present structure can be made to work properly and in the best interests of members.

We would urge all members to consider the proposals very carefully. Look at all the information that is available and take care to look behind the spins and rhetoric. You might also find it useful to look at the discussions on the CTC’s forums ( or the information available on the Save the CTC web-site (

Please bear in mind that the changes being proposed by Council – if agreed and enacted – will be irreversible. You are being asked to take a step that will not only affect you and your family, but future generations of CTC members.

Our personal recommendation to members is that they should vote against Motions 8, 9 and 10 at this year’s AGM.

But whatever you do, and whichever way you decide to vote, please ensure that you do vote in this AGM. If you are unable to attend the AGM itself in Loughborough on 15 May, please use your proxy vote. If you haven’t received a form you can ask for one from National Office.

This is your club and your chance to have a say in its future! Please make sure you vote.

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us. Greg’s e-mail is and his telephone number is 07986 217852 . Helen’s e-mail is

Kind regards

Greg Price and Helen Vecht

CTC Councillors for Greater London

A Group - 31 March

Dorking - Lamb's Green and Rusper - Denbies

Spring at last! The weather gods were laughing at us. Undeterred, off we set for Lambs Green: Brian, Jeff, John B, Luc - welcome back, Mark, Toni, and Vic) in the damp and grey mid-morn. The route was a very familiar Frith Hill, Inholms Lane, Blackbrook Rd, Henfold Lane to Newdigate, then almost before we realised it, Rusper, with our blood only just beginning to thaw. Time then for an impromptu right hand loop along Wimlands Rd and back to Rusper. Here to our shame, we found a stoical John outside the Star, nursing a broken rear axle. Our combined mechanical and technical prowess was unable, alas, to put Humpty together again. All we could offer was sympathy, a 'phone number and directions to Faygate Station.
We then took East St and Lambs Green Rd to the Lamb Inn, where a warm welcome awaited us. The full might of the West Sussex Fire Brigade was in possession of the lane and tavern to quell a chimney fire - the hostelry closed for the rest of the day. A brief focus group agreed on back to the Star. There was nearly a schism when Ray was sorely tempted by the charms of the Holmbush Inn at Faygate. The others, however, were unmoved and the majority prevailed. Soon we were entabled at the Star in the warm beside a primed but safely unlit fire basket. We were rejoined by John, seeking comfort in the menu. Food good, though unpredictable in delivery, the Lancashire hot-pot strongly to be recommended. Far later than usual we rose to depart, John on foot to Faygate, the rest for a sprightly northbound canter, following much of the morning's route, to Denbies. A slight hitch when Brian soon punctured (his rear tyre that is), to bring him up to joint first place in the MWW puncture league.

Today Denbies was still open. We took our tea and cake, questioned the nature of the universe and parted, our questions all unanswered. The final homeward leg was in the light, but accompanied by two or three sharp showers of sleet. A day of fits and starts - say that carefully. The mileage tally failed dismally to reach the usual minimum half century. End of term report: beware the weather forecast, watch the pace. Must do better!