Thursday, May 26, 2011

B group (?) May 25

Pictures taken at Shepperton Lock
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Easy Riders May 25th

On my arrival at Claygate day centre there were a lot of riders a long wait for tea.We decided to let the other groups depart first. This at the end left only five of us .Fuzz,Ron,Roger me and Richard who usually rides with the A group but wanted to be home early.We had been deserted by the girls who decided to go with the B group to get fitter for France.
We left the centre via coverts Road and Milbournehold Plantation to Fairoaks Lane,along Prince's Drive to Stoke D'Abernon over the Tilt to Downside.A hungry looking Heron was seen in the river.Over Great Bookham common for lunch at the Anchor in Bookham .Pub has changed management and is a little more expensive the friendly girls behind the bar have departed. Fuzz left after lunch to get a train home ,whilst we rode to Ashtead Park garden centre for tea.Richard left us in Leatherhead down to three. We joined up with Adam and Chris on their way home from the B ride .


A Group, 25 May

Claygate - Godalming - West Horsley


Acknowledgements to Paul and Mark for the telemetry.
As for Paul's HR - is there a doctor in the house?

Today the 'A's just couldn't compete with Gill's seductive magnetism, as a swarm of 'B's gathered around the queen, augmented by some cautious phoenixes anticipating a later time of trial. Ed's outward route was a variant of an earlier C&M ride to Godalming, this time via Cobham and East Clandon to Shere, Wonersh, Bramley and the lanes of Munstead Heath. Menu news at JDW: there is now 'new' fish on the fish and chip platter, definitely a great improvement on the 'old'. The return was a well-worn route via the Guildford cobblestones to the West Horsley Garden Centre. There was no sprint to tea as we couldn't get past Ed, though I did get the 30mph speed warning to flash on the way to Claygate!


B Group May 25th

It all started off so well ... it was a beautiful day; the 27 out of a total of 28 riders planning to take lunch at the Bull's Head, West Clandon, all arrived in good order saying they had enjoyed the ride which had taken them via Oxshott, Stoke D'Abernon, a 'new-to-most' off-road bridleway across Bookham Common to Effingham Junction station, the Drift, West Horsley and rural Blakes Lane parallel to the busy A246; the pub coped well with the large numbers, with a constant flow of meals being brought outside to us in the sunny garden, identified by individual numbers which does avoid memory lapses on what has been ordered by whom!

After this it all fell in a heap ... several people left early to make their own way home and a couple or so indicated that they would turn off to go back via Cobham. Fine ... only when it came to the time for those people to peel off towards Send Prison, it appears that more people decided to go home that way which caused a big gap between the leader and the rest of the pack. Unaware of all this, the leader turned right towards Ripley at the big Burntcommon roundabout to discover that she had only two followers - Robin and Christine! We stopped to wait for the rest only to see them storm straight across the roundabout! Unable to attract their attention and thinking that back-marker Terry was with them and knowing the route planned would bring them back on track, we three hurried on to see if we could cut them off at the pass in Send Marsh but to no avail, so we turned off and got on to Tannery Lane to take us across to Pyrford and the planned route. At West Byfleet station we saw Dev, one of our missing group, about to take a train home. We gathered him up - now we were four! Shortly afterwards, Terry responded to a phone message - he was just ahead of us at Woodham/New Haw with the rest of the group, we thought, that is until he cycled up on his own to join us!! He and Dev, it appears, had got completely separated at the time of the Cobham group's departure! However, he did know the route. The five of us continued through Row Town, to Chertsey and so to Shepperton Lock for tea. We fully expected to see the others there already but not a sign of them. Having now spoken to one of the missing group, it appears that Norman stepped in and led them back to Ripley and so to Cobham - thank-you, Norman.

Many apologies for what turned into a rather disjoined ride - hopefully all's well that ends well and everyone got back home safely. I wonder if I qualify for any records? Have I beaten Bernard's record for losing riders? Will I have any takers on my next ride?

It was good to see Mike Pontin out with us again and thanks to Terry for being back-marker. Cheers, Gill.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

"B" Ride

Was it a small Horse or a large Dog neither an Argentinian Poney caught up with Terry tail end Charlie.

A great ride and route thanks to Gill seen here at lunch with part of her large following at East Glandon.
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Monday, May 23, 2011

A Tour of the Hills

Last weekend Maggie had a business meeting in Edinburgh, and I was invited along as her Consort for the formal dinner. While this looked like pretty good fun, I thought I could get a bit more out of it by adding on a couple of days before, and a couple after, to do some of the better climbs in Simon Warren's 'Greatest Cycling Climbs' book.

So, on Thursday morning, I set off for Lincoln to ride up Michaelgate, the first of my climbs. It's a steep cobbled street that is used in the Lincoln Grand Prix, and the book advises that you turn off at the top rather than ride the obvious finish 'Steep Hill', which is also cobbled and even steeper. The feeble excuse given is that Steep Hill is pedestrianised, but once I got going I forgot all about this and the few pedestrians on Steep Hill were happy to stand aside; some even applauded my efforts. A couple of minutes later I was at the top in a fine medieval square.

Next was Rosedale Chimney, but I drove over the Humber Bridge on the way and stopped for a few minutes to ride the bike across - easy riding and grand open views over the estuary. Then on to Hutton-le-Hole, which was my base for the Rosedale Chimney.

Approaching this way you come to the top of the climb and ride down first, passing a couple of discouraging signs. The hill itself is very steep - the road sign shows 33%, or 1 in 3, though the GPS shows rather less, and this makes it difficult to climb. Not for the obvious reason, though that is part of it, but because it is so steep that any major effort on the pedals lifts the front wheel off the road, clearly a bad thing. Equally, failing to make a major effort on the pedals is not much good either ... so I was glad when the slope eased off a bit and the balancing act was over.

After a pleasant night in Durham I drove to St John's Chapel to ride up Chapel Fell, the highest paved road in England. The book says that you will be alone with the wind at the top, and so it was. Plenty of both, really.

Then on to Edinburgh, best bib and tucker and on parade, under the stern eye of Mrs G.

Leaving Edinburgh on Sunday the weather was pleasant enough, but it got rapidly worse as I drove North. I soon abandoned plans to ride up the Lecht, and concentrated on Bealach na Ba, arguably the greatest climb in Britain. Driving towards Lochcarron, my base, the weather was terrible, with a North-Easterly gale and heavy rain. However, the weather forecast was for the wind to swing round to the West, and there was a chance of a break in the worst of it as it did so. So I headed for Bealach na Ba and waited for the wind to change. It would be a shame to come all this way and have to abandon the ride.

Bealach na Ba is quite a serious climb. It starts at sea level and rises to 2050-odd feet. It's in two parts, the first being a series of ramps with a couple of sharp bends, the second is a series of hairpins. It's a bit like Whitedown with Box Hill on top, but bigger. The country is impressive - wild and remote with expansive views.

Well, the wind did change. It wasn't exactly calm, and the squalls were still pretty wild, but I thought I'd go for it. It's a good ride, but pretty hard in the conditions. I had to stop twice to brace myself against squalls, which is a real nuisance as starting again on a steep hill in a strong wind isn't easy. Better than being blown over, though. By the time I had got to the top the wind had made it to the West and was beginning to get up. Time to go down.

Next morning it was obvious that hill climbing was over for the next few days. The view across the loch was entirely obliterated by sheets of rain, driven by the gale. The forecast was for it to get stronger, and this turned out to be right - gusts over 100 mph were recorded later in the day.

So, with a full tank of diesel and 'SM5' on the GPS it was off on the road home, for supper at my own table and a chance to regale Maggie with traveller's tales.

But it was a very good little adventure, and I'll do another when I have the chance.


Steve's burst rim

Former Wayfarer Steve Bott modelling his burst rear rim.

Whilst braking downhill (approaching a flock of free - range chickens in the road) Steve inadvertently stopped, closely followed by a loud bang. The rim had burst, tyre become unseated and tube punctured.

Fortunately thanks to his mobile phone help was soon at hand and he was driven home by a lovely lady.
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Sunday, May 22, 2011

Easy Riders May 18th

Phil led the ride from Shepperton over Chertsey Bridge and turned left to the back roads towards Addlestone then we went onto some off road through the woods near Newhaw and over the canal then onto Byfleet.
Then we went down Dodds lane over the motorway bridge onto the back of Byfleet to the Plough Pub where we had a nice lunch.
When we left the pub we turned left over the M25 then right to the Wey Canal towards Weybridge then we went along the Thames towpath to Walton where we had tea at the Arts Centre.After tea some of us went along the towpath to Hampton Court then Bushy Park then Kingston then we all made our way home from there.
Names of the people who rode out are- Roger,Ron,Mark,David,Lynda,Dawn, & Sandy.

from Roger M.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Cycle Jumble

Don't forget the Spring Cycle Jumble at Ripley Village Hall on May 21st,10 o.clock .For more information call John Lattimore on 01932 247614

Thursday, May 19, 2011

End of week three

We have had 7 days of hills through the Auvergne, across the Aubrac mountains, along part of the Tan Gorge and across the Cevernnes mountains.
We had one wet day that started with a thunderstorm so we were pretty wet after 10 minutes. I pushed my bike for 2 and a half miles yesterday, Luisa rode all the way. We had the last of the day of our serious climbs today so it is flat to the Camaurge tomorrow and then along the coast to the Spanish border, which is our objective. 925 miles so far.
Bernard and L

From France

Chers Cyclistes, We have been rained off our bikes today so we have time to send you a postcard from Auvergne where we have enjoyed - until today - very summery days. The cycling has been enjoyable with lovely landscapes and very little traffic on the roads. Here are a few views: 1) Col du Frissonet (702) 2) Col du Perthuis (952 m) 3) Lac d'Aubusson We are coming back to England on Tuesday and hope to see you on the Wayfarers' rides.
A bientôt Frank et Françoise

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The CTC Conversion to Charity - Outcome of Vote

The CTC - born 1878 - died 2011
Dear All,

At the CTC AGM last Saturday, the outcome of the vote on the changes to the CTC Memorandum and Articles of Association was a large majority in favour of the motion. This means that the CTC will be proceeding with arrangements to convert the CTC into a full charity.

Although the voting took place last Saturday at the AGM the CTC has not released the full voting figures. They have said only that over 11,000 members voted, of whom 88.3% supported conversion.

Of this 11,000 I understand from other sources that 5,439 voted for the motion and 4,184 left the Chairman to decide for them. The Chairman held 1,212 proxy votes against the motion. Votes + proxies in the room were 72 for and 73 against. Bottom line seems to be:
  • For: 9,695
  • Against: 1,285
  • Abstentions: 206
This means that of an approximate membership of 62,000 (subject to amendment), 51,000 failed to vote - a turnout of about 18%.

Members across the country will now have to decide what their personal response is to this significant change to the CTC as a membership organisation for cyclists and what choices they have. I'm sure that we shall be considering those options.


Alberts Report May 18th

An appropriate subtitle would be `Two Byfleets`.
We had a good turnout at Shepperton with Mark, Bill H.,Lynda, Sandy, Ron, John C., Phil and quite a few more. Fuzz arrived late so i hope he caught up. Before starting we had a photo call. I would have liked to take one, but getting in and out of these cleats is a long job. No one seemed to know the exact destination except for Byfleet, so despite my inability to catch up and being on home ground I pressed on. The others took for Chertsey Meads after crossing the bridge and I crossed the road with them
at the pedestrian lights near The Woburn Arms.
By the time I had clawed my way over the climb near Hatch Bridge the others had got away again. The route had taken them passing my home so I went in and called Lynda on my mobile. She kindly text me what info she had from the others and said it was West Byfleet rather than `Old` so I pressed on once more still not knowing the name of the pub. On arrival I went into The Harvester, being the only place
in West Byfleet where I knew I could assuage the thirst I was suffering. I also had a good meal and another message from Lynda (bless her) to the effect
the pub they were at was The Plough. According to the barman it was in Old Byfleet. That would have been around a mile up The Parvis Road with a climb over the M25! Ho Hum---------Albert

B Group May 18th

Where? The typical response at Shepperton when I informed prospective riders that the B group was going to Iver for lunch suggested that this part of South Bucks might be terra incognita for most of them. However 15 took up the challenge ( Liz, Steph, Gill, Judy, Terry, Pete M, Ray, Norman, Ian, Peter, Adam, Colin, Eddie, Les, Dave + myself) and we set off at a steady pace on the well ridden route to Laleham, along the river to Staines and on to Wraysbury and Sunnymeads. From Horton we went north to Colnbrook, across the A4 and skirted the edge of Langley along Market Lane. After crossing the canal we turned left along Hollow Hill Lane to pick up Sustrans route 61 which took us via Billet Lane, Bellswood Lane and a bridle path to Love Green. From there it was only a mile to lunch in the Swan at Iver. A short stretch of the B470 took us to Mill lane which we followed to join the Grand Union at Packet Boat Lane. Here we were entertained by a family of coots trying, without much success, to stuff a piece of foil paper into their nest. We followed the towpath to Norwood Green and then across Osterley Park to Isleworth and along the river to Richmond. Some headed home and the remaining 9 of us had tea by the river at the Tide Tables café. About 29 miles from Shepperton and 56 for me when I got home.
A big thankyou to Terry as back marker

Brian Greenwood

Lunch Venue May 18th

The Swan at Iver for Lunch

B Group May 18

B group admiring coots on the Grand Union Canal. Note nest built around rudder of narrowboat !
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A Group 18th May

17 A's, led by Pete B, set off from Shepperton in fairly overcast, blustery, conditions. Fortunately the forecast rain held off till the evening and conditions warmed significantly as the day progressed. Through Chertsey, with a bit of trainspotting at the level crossing, and on over Chobham Common and Staple Hill. Dropping down through Chobham and past the, favourite of many, pub at Castle Green and so into Goldsworth Park. A circuit of the lake was followed by a brief stretch of the Basingstoke Canal before taking lunch at a busy Herbert Wells in Woking. Back on the canal path to the Woodham Lock and through Byfleet and past Pyrford Lock to Wisley and then across the old airfield. By now the leader was suffering from a dickey crank so Cobham Sainsburys was chosen for tea and then a welcome following wind home.

A Group 18th May

Mild and slightly overcast for Pete's ride today. 26.83 easy miles, with lunch at the H G Wells in Woking, replete with 'War of the Worlds' artefacts, and tea at Sainsbury's Cobham.

Not much climbing and 1,202 calories, but a pleasant day out.


Sunday, May 15, 2011

French Top to Bottom

End of week two, 6 days of sunshine and today it's been cloudy and misty. The scenery has changed from pastoral to dramatic, we have been along the Chouvigny and Sioule Gorges finishing the day with 1000 feet climb over 4 miles. Most of the places we have stayed have been Chambre d'Hote, old buildings with lots of Oak beams but refurbished with modern bathrooms, etc.

We are very close to where we will meet again in July. We have got a Col at 1,065m to look toward to tomorrow. 635 miles.

Regards Bernard and L.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

B Group May 11th

A change of leader this week due to Bernard's absence (arranged some time ago, sorry Jeff for the confusion)
Leaving Leatherhead around 20 riders set off for the Surrey Hills via Great Bookham and Effingham before the steady climb past Dogkennel Green and White Downs. Descending down to the A25 was a treat before continuing to Sutton Abinger and our luncheon destination at the Royal Oak at Holmbury St. Mary.
Our return route found us at Abinger Hammer, where several of our party opted for an alternative journey home via Dorking, before continuing to Shere.
We climbed up Coombe Bottom through East Horsley and on to the Medicine Gardens at Cobham for tea before setting of our separate ways for home.
I clocked up 44 miles.
Welcome to Colin Garrod on his first ride with us.
My thanks to Stephanie as back marker.


Friday, May 13, 2011

A Group, 11 May

Google bowled a googly and temporarily deleted some posts. Thanks to Pete and Lisa for helping to restore.

Leatherhead - Staffhurst Wood - Fanny's

Mike B still smiling

Despite his suffering a painful bout of sciatica, it was good to see Grant at Leatherhead on two wheels and no stabilisers. The bad news was that I would take his place to lead the A ride. This was as welcome as a banker's bonus, and created a cyclist free zone. Some pleaded race obligations and the need to keep themselves pure, but six were trawled off squealing for an unwelcome dose of cycling therapy. Half escaped before lunch. In brief:
  1. Climb to Walton Heath
  2. Descent to Merstham. Two escaped.
  3. Climb to Bletchingley and Tilburstow.
  4. Descent to Crowhurst. One escaped.
  5. Lunch at the Royal Oak, Staffhurst Wood.
  6. Spin to 4 Elms. Route shortened to miss Chiddingstone, Larkins brewery and Toy's Hill.
  7. Climb to Chartwell.
  8. Return via Bletchingley to Fanny's, just in time for last orders.
  9. Home
Acknowledgements to Mike B, Ged and Paul for their forebearance.

With the recession seriously reducing demand, I may soon have to follow the advice of Norman Tebbit!


Easy Riders May 11th

From Leatherhead day centre, I led Sonie, Sandy, Susie, Roger, Mark, Eddie, Nev and Fuzz passed Leatherhead station, the cemetery and continued to Woodlands Hotel. We then turned right towards Stoke D'Abernon and The Tilt. A right turn at Fairmile Lane took us to the old A3 road. As we passed Blackhills, Nev turned off and 7 of us turned left at West End Lane and arrived at The Prince of Wales for lunch. Albert and the Squirrels were already there, arriving by car.

After an enjoyable lunch, we went up to the main road and turned into Blackhills and over to Arbrook Common, through Claygate and turned left to go to Squires at Long Ditton for afternoon tea. Susie had the longest ride as she had a return trip to Newdigate. The rest of us made our way home.


Wednesday, May 11, 2011

"B" Group Holmbury

Ably led yet again by "Liz" well done a challenging ride a few punctures and an excellent lunch! Full story to follow from Liz but I must scout as I should be on the KPRC start line in 2hrs time. Wish I hadn't done those 44mls beforehand now. My goal is to beat Toni De both on time and handicap we will see but we cannot let the "I"ties get away with it!
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Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Easy riders May 4th

More wonderful sunny weather meant 15 or so easyriders keen to take to the hills. We left Cobham on Downside Bridge Road, turning right at the Plough and right again at the Black Swan downhill to Ockham Bites where we joined the A3 cycleway to the bridge for Wisley. We skirted Wisley Gardens admiring the rhodedendrons we could see on the driveway. At Pyrford we joined the Wey Navigation for a mile or so and then turned left onto a footpath that took us over a small footbridge and then within view of Ockham Mill, where I was informed by Mike that the distinctive stonework is similar to many other buildings of this vintage in the area, we later passed the Hautboy and this was confirmed, there is also a restaurant on the main street in Ripley opposite the Anchor with similar black brick patterning. After admiring the mill we quickly turned right onto a footpath (Hollybush Lane) that brought us through pleasant woodland and onto Ripley common and the Half Moon for lunch. The sandwiches were freshly made and an interesting range of pizzas (Pigs Last Tango is recommended). After lunch Pat, Alan and David returned via a riverside route to Kingston. Our return route was direct, Rose Lane and over the A3 back to Ockham passing the Hautboy, waving goodbye to Mike at the Black Swan, down towards Cobham but turning right to enjoy Chilmark Road and the route over Downside and past the little chapel (which may not be the littlest chapel in England for much longer as they appear to be building a brick extension onto the back of it). Tea was intended to be taken at Shoots Garden Centre at Stoke D'Abignon but it was closed for the day for stocktaking as it is being taken over by Squires. It was here that Fuzz Mark and Philip headed back for the station and the remainder continued towards Ashtead, eventually becoming a girly threesome enjoying tea at the Olive Tree Garden Centre at the end of Pleasure Pit Road. Thanks to all who followed and made it such an enjoyable day. 9 miles Cobham to lunch, 6 miles lunch to Stoke D'Ab. 40 mile + round trip for those who did Cheam to Cheam.
From Steph

Friday, May 06, 2011

More from Bernard

End of week 1, 7 days of sunshine. First four days a strong NE wind which was more help than hindrance. Next 3 days gentle head wind. Dunkirk to Belgian border flat, busy, dull. Then the route has been really super, quite, well paved roads. Charming countryside, fields and woods, across the Seine valley, along way along the Eure valley. One crash in loose gravel, no serious injury. Tyres at 7 bars, bikes going well. 390 miles.

Regards Bernard and L. X

B Leader needed from Leatherhead next Wednesday

Dear All,

Having seen the message from Bernard in France on the blog, I fear that he might not be able to lead the B ride from Leatherhead this coming Wednesday, 11 May, if he really is going from 'top to bottom'.

If Bernard is not able to make it, would somebody enjoy the honour of leading the B group from Leatherhead? In anticipation of a heavy response, it will have to be first come, first served! Please let me know by 'phone or email - my contact details are in the Sou'Wester or the contact list that Pete has circulated.

Many thanks in anticipation.


Wednesday, May 04, 2011

B Group May4th

In ideal cycling weather, 13 set off from Cobham. We cycled thru' Ripley and Mayford before taking the canal-side path thru' Woking, emerging at Arthur's Bridge Road. Then on to Castle Green, where, in order to by-pass the traffic in the centre of Chobham, we took the long way round via Lovelands Lane, Pennypot Lane and Watery Lane. The latter was overgrown with nettles and only those still wearing long cycling tights/trousers avoided the stings. We arrived at the Sun, our lunch stop in Windlesham, just before 1 p.m. and were joined by three extra riders (who had reached Windlesham independently), and a pet Australian Lizard which was sunning itself on a neighbouring table. Newish Wayfarers' member Peter Carpenter, who keeps pet rats at his home in Tolworth, joined the lizard's owners for an animated conversation over lunch; but what they found to talk about (do rats have anything in common with lizards?) I do not know.

The food was good, and the service was very friendly and only slightly chaotic, a circumstance which resulted in two of our number, who normally bring sandwiches from home, sharing a free meal because the bar staff had over-ordered from the kitchen.

In the afternoon we took quiet cross country roads to Burrowhill and then the usual route through Stonehill to Addlestone. Several of us had tea/coffee/cakes at the Walton Arts Centre.

John Gould

French Trip Top to Bottom

Lunch on day5 at Les Andelys on the bank of the Seine. Sunshine and countryside lovely, both well, quiet good surface roads. Heaven! 260 miles.
from Luisa and Bernard

A Group, 4 May

Cobham - Guildford - Leatherhead

A Group 4th May

After a chilly start, today was an almost perfect day for cycling. I led fifteen As east from Cobham, turning into Tilt Lane then off-road River Lane leading to Pointers Lane, crossing the A3 by the footbridge. Some chose the direct route to Guildford, most followed me to Papercourt Lane via Pyrford Lock, then it was a little trafficy through Old Woking and Westfield. Heading south through Jacobs Well we used residential roads or cycle routes to reach our lunch destination, the Row Barge Inn, arriving just before the direct routers. A very pleasant break sitting by the river was slightly spoiled by the late arrival of a couple of lunches but we were under way again about 1400 hrs.

We then headed south briefly, under the A3 and over the A25 by footbridge, alongside the A25 until crossing it onto a cycle route. We could then hear but not see the A3 until joining the cycletrack alongside it. At Burnt Common we took to the lanes again, arriving at West Horsley via Tithebarns Lane, Hungry Hill Lane, Guileshill lane and Longreach leading to the penultimate off-road stretch, Lollesworth Lane. Back on the road to East Horsley, the last stretch of off-road led to Orestan Lane and Annie's at Leatherhead via the Lower Road, just avoiding school closing at Effingham. A very pleasant day, but the wind was a little chilly at times.


A Group 4th May

A strong contender for the 'Most Intricate Ride' prize from Terry today - elevenses at Cobham, lunch at The Rowbarge, Guildford and tea at Annie's. 33.69 miles at a rolling average of 11.4 mph, a gentlemanly 60 watts and 1509 calories.