Wednesday, February 29, 2012

B Group - 29th February

Today's route from Leatherhead to Brockham for lunch and then back to Nonsuch Park via Leatherhead for Tea. Thank you Liz.

The main part of the ride, a loop from Leatherhead...
...and since a bit of climbing was involved this looks nice rendered in rainbow colours
The last bit from Leatherhead to Nonsuch Park

A Group 29 February

Leatherhead - Ewhurst - Leatherhead

A Group 29th February

Today, the A Group declared the end of Winter. This may have been slightly premature, but so far, so good. We left Leatherhead intending to do a few more miles than we usually would at this time of year, and to do them a little quicker. By and large we succeeded, and the value of the exercise was emphasised by the statistics - this would have been an easy ride in June, but today we had to work a bit.

Sixteen of us set off along Lower Road, braving the Gypsies' dogs in Calvert Road before turning into Green Dene and beginning the first climb. No real problems, but we took a short breather at the junction with Staple Lane before a cautious descent around Agony Corner - slippery - and fast down Combe Bottom to Shere.

Through the village and climbing again up Sandy Lane, right through Albury Heath and Farley Green, climbing steadily through the Winterfold Forest until we got to the corner of the Greensand Lane. After a brief discussion we decided against the interesting possibility of going down the steep hill through Lapscombe Close in order to come up again by Barhatch Lane, which is one of the harder hills hereabouts. Instead we stuck to the crest and descended a benign Barhatch Road until we got to Ride Way, leading to the top of Pitch Hill. Fast down - more than 40 mph - and we were at the Bull's Head in Ewhurst just before one.

The landlord had asked that we telephone our lunch orders through at elevenses, so that the staff would have time to prepare our meals. After a brief hiatus, while we wondered if this had in fact been a good idea, the food duly appeared and we were all well and promptly served. We were in and fed within forty minutes, so this was indeed a good idea, as an hour is often tight for a pub lunch.

So, a stroll out and then the easier part of our ride. The sun was out, with a temperature of 14.5ºC as we headed South to Honeywood Lane, picking up Weare Street heading towards Capel. As we passed through the aptly named Spring Copse there were indeed signs of spring - many snowdrops, some crocuses, many daffodils just about to bloom and even a few primroses. This all seems a bit premature for February, but no complaints.

Familiar roads from Capel, heading North to Newdigate then up Henfold Lane, where, unusually for the A Group, the pace began to climb and a bit of a line-out began to form. By the time we got to Annie's it was head down, devil-take-the-hindmost ... I think that it's important that these great traditions are maintained.

My apologies to my fellow riders for the lack of a cultural interlude this week, but at least it kept us out of the graveyards. 39.52 miles at just over 12 mph (computer glitch prevents greater precision); 2388 feet of ascent and a best speed of 40.1 mph. And we were in to Annies just after 1530, so we could have done more. As the year unfolds, I'm sure we will.


Monday, February 27, 2012

Olympic Folly - the Euro

Art or Artifice? - The

Yesterday, the Cheam and Morden visited Stratford to inspect progress on construction of the Olympic stadium. This photo shows what I thought at first to be a giant concrete mixer. Then Neil told me that it is an 'art installation', the misshapen progeny of an alliance between Anish Kapoor and an engineer called Cecil Balmond/Arup. I hereby name it: The Euro. It looks like a fairground ride that has been hit by a tsunami. Cost:£19m of which £16m has been provided by a steel magnate and £3m by the Olympic Delivery Authority. A fitting reminder perhaps of Olympian profligacy and philistinism. It will be owned and operated by the Olympic Park Legacy Company, who will charge the public to visit the observation platform. To find out more, follow this link which I have called a poke in the eye. Read all about it and add a comment to say what you think.


Saturday, February 25, 2012

A Group 29th February - Lunch Menu

Lunch will be at the Bull's Head, Ewhurst next Wednesday, and the pub has said that they will be able to serve us quicker if we phone our order ahead. It's not essential, but it will help.

If you could take a look at these I'll collect orders at elevenses.


Friday, February 24, 2012

Sheepcote 2009

Just to show that Sheepcote Lane holds no fears for some
Ray in October 2009 cresting Sheepcote while chatting away quite happily

Vic's Point to Point - Leatherhead to Friday Street

Vic seems to think that we may be getting a bit soft. He has recalled this little Point to Point from Leatherhead to Friday Street to test our mettle.

Vic in 1950 at the top of Sheepcote Lane. Note the gears – he hasn’t got any, well one!

On 29th January 1950 some local clubs got together to run a point-to-point from Leatherhead to Friday Street. I don’t know if it was intended to be competitive, but it would probably turn out to be. I was too young to take part in the main event but I followed on with a club mate.

In January 2012 I went out to retrace that ride. From notes and photographs made at the time I got fairly close, but some of the terrain is no longer as friendly as it was then, so I skipped it. If you want to try it, it’s best to go on a weekday morning with not too many people, and take some food. It’s mostly rideable on a touring machine except perhaps at one point indicated in these directions. My reconnaissance took me 3 hours, but without the map-reading, wrong turns, and photography it would probably be closer to 2 hours.

From Leatherhead set out on the Dorking road; use the painted cycle path on the carriageway. Take the second turning left (Givons Grove, No Through Road). Follow Mickleham Drive uphill until it doubles back as a hairpin. Go straight on along the footpath (panoramic views) to a gateway into Dell Close. Drop down to Box Hill School, turn left. At “The Running Horses” pub turn right (Swanworth Lane). At the main road turn left on the permanent cycle path. At Burford Bridge cross over through the subway, turn left. Within a few hundred yards turn right through a gate with heraldic medallions on the ironwork (North Downs Way). Go up this cobbly lane until it merges into a smooth road with gates. Go through two (narrow) gates (more panorama). At the third gate (locked) change smartly into your granny gear and turn sharp right. This path leads shortly to Ranmore Common Road. Turn left, pass the church, and at the T-junction turn right. At about one mile turn left into the public byway (SP Dorking Scouts Ranmore Campsite). Follow this all the way downhill to the railway.

Some of this is white-knuckle country; you are allowed to dismount, as did some of the original riders (but not all!). Cross the railway by the gates provided. A short length of path (the last) leads into Holehill Lane. At T-junction go into Balchins Lane. Look out for the blue plaque on the left. At the main road turn right up Coast Hill. At Wotton Hatch turn left into Sheephouse Lane. Follow the sign to Friday Street to finish at the “Stephan Langton”. Read their menu. Break out your sandwiches. This route is 18km. long; if you have time and energy to spare you might like to retrace a short way to Broadmoor and photograph each other in front of the waterfall at TQ136459.

Vic White

Thursday, February 23, 2012

A Group 29th February - The Leap Year Proposal

Spring is evidently on the way, and may even last until next Wednesday, so I thought it might be time to stretch our legs a little. Here's the Leap Year Proposal - the proposal being that we do a few miles more than we usually do at this time of the year, but easy miles. The ride is designed in accordance with Dr Kelly's rules; there are a couple of hills before lunch but nothing much afterwards.

The plan is to get away from Leatherhead just after eleven and to be back in Annie's about four.

If Winter should return I'll shorten the route.


Ash Wednesday Ride

A dull day which turned out to be quite wet! Graham led the way almost along the Wey but down the Basingstoke and here the troops are seen traversing the canal!
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B Ride 22 Bebruary 2012

We had a nice lunch at the rather attractive pub.

Surrey Cycle Maps - availability

As you probably know these were recently reprinted and are being sold for £2 each. I was disappointed to find that Surrey Council Offices in Kingston don't stock them any more, and Leatherhead library only sold the local ones (Nos. 3 and 5). However if anyone else is looking to buy the full set, I'm pleased to say that I found all eight in stock in Staines library. If you know other libraries that stock the full set, perhaps you could comment to this blog article or email me for a future Sou'westers article?

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

A Group 22 February

So much for careful planning! The forecasts were gusty followed by rush hour rain (heavy in places) so I clipped the curlicues from my intended route. Now this ran along a roadworked Sidney Road to Walton and Weybridge stations, popped in and out of Brooklands and used Woking's planet(Venus?) trail from Byfleet to West Byfleet. Halfway we paused on the bridge across the Navigation for the photo shoot and a chance to phone the intended lunch stop. The answer was a blank stare, "What group of cyclists?" Hastily I changed venue and direction now heading towards Woking via Maybury rather than Mayford – a shorter ride so an earlier stop at the Herbert Wells aka Wetherspoon’s. Once seated, I looked up to see passers-by unfurling umbrellas – it was 1230 (rush hour according to BBC/Met Office).

On the restart a steady drizzle patterned the Basingstoke as we tackled the towpath. In West Byfleet part of the outward route was retraced before the turn into Lock Lane closed (but not to us) for tree surgery. Here Ray and Jeff went AWOL heading towards Ripley and could not be recalled. Nevertheless Ray beat us to a drying Sainsbury's Cobham; we having taken in Wisley’s Gardens and Airfield. I made it 20 for lunch and 13 for tea. Home just after four and a meagre 45 miles.


B Group 22 February

‘B’ ride Wednesday 22nd February 2012. 18 left Walton D.C. on a dry cloudy day to cycle to ‘The Fox & Castle at Old Windsor via Chertsey , Hurst Lane, Middle Hill then whoosh down Crimp Hill to Pub arriving at 12.45pm. service was very good with everybody being served very promptly. After lunch with rain now falling steadily we left via:- Runnymedes, Laleham to the Shepperton bakery where 6 very brave souls stayed to munch on doughnuts & iced buns etc. Thank you everyone and thanks to Tim for the route map.


B Group - 22nd February

Irene's ride (clockwise) from the Walton Day Centre to the Fox and Castle
 in Old Windsor and on to the bakery in Shepperton for tea
(21.5 miles)

Easy Riders 22nd February

My day began by leading an innocent wayfarer astray en route to Walton He had caught sight of the fluorescent jacket and followed as he thought I was heading to Walton but I was actually doing a quick reccy of Burwood Park as I’d heard they were gating it. I sent him backwards in a general direction and continued to find that the Burwood Park Estate is to have barriers operated by residents pass but not gated so shouldn’t be an obstacle to cyclists. I then had to ask three people directions to the day centre as I could not find it myself. However this was not to be an omen for the ride which proceeded as planned, cutting through the pedestrian only passageway to Sainsbury’s thence through Ashley Park/Burwood Park/Burwood Golf Club x R.Mole and devious route through Norwood Farm, exiting on Elvedon Road. So many “private” places. What a lovely route but marred by notices telling me trespassers will be prosecuted in the Norwood Farm area. For those interested in prosecution the route down Norwood Farm Lane ends in a large gate that can only be opened by combination number (which Ron tells me is 0 for milkmen and postmen). However as a pedestrian one can still walk round the end of the fence and proceed to Sainsbury’s in Cobham. Safely in the public spaces of Cobham we took usual route to Cricketers at Downside. New management and menu, drinks and food served at the table, a little pricier than it used to be but still soup and flatbreads (sandwiches) on the menu so something for everyone. Rain commenced so we went back past the ever expanding “little” chapel onto Fairmile/Water/Littleheath/Oxshott Heath/Claygate for tea and home. Ten sat down to lunch and eleven at tea where we picked up Ron again – Lynda Malcolm David and Wendy Alan Norman Roger John and Sandy.


Easy Riders - 22nd February

Stephanie's route from Walton to Downside for lunch at The Cricketers then to Claygate for tea

In fact this map doesn't represent the entire route correctly due to the bearer of the GPS recorder diverting to a cycle shop in Cobham instead of riding on to Downside to dine at the Cricketers.

A Group 22nd February - Half Measure

Half measures from me for Graham's ride from Walton to Woking today. When the forecast rain turned up at 1300 rather than 1700 I ate my lunch then hopped on a train for a dry ride home ...

11.69 miles recorded at a rolling average of 8 mph; 524 calories. Others will be able to say whether the final total was double this or more.


Sunday, February 19, 2012

Friday, February 17, 2012

The Olympic Velodrome

Today, Maggie and I went to the Olympic Velodrome to see some of the UCI Track Cycling World Cup. It was a bit of a consolation prize, as, like millions of others, we have failed to get tickets for the Olympics. So this was a chance to see what it would be like, and to see the Velodrome used for its first serious competition.

Getting there was a bit of a faff, as the trains went wrong, but once we got to Stratford it was fairly straightforward. There was quite a bit of queuing, as security is airport-style, and we had to take a bus to the Velodrome once we had checked in. I don't think that this will be the case for the Games themselves, but it is necessary at the moment because of the large amount of building work still going on. The advantage of the bus is that you get a tour of the entire Olympic Park.

We only saw a couple of hours of the competition, as even the 'London Prepares' events are hot tickets, but we did see Chris Hoy and the lads qualify for the final, being just pipped to first place by the Australians; and we saw the Australian women set a new World Record in the Team Sprint. Not bad for a couple of hours on a Friday afternoon.

To know what's going on you need either to really understand it or to watch it on the television. But for the experience, you have to be there. We're glad we went.


Thursday, February 16, 2012

Easy Riders - 15th February

The morning section of the day's ride from the Weybridge Day Centre to The White Hart in Hampton Wick (Kingston), led by David S.

(GPS data gathered by Ron W)

A Group, 15 February

Weybridge - Gomshall - Dorking

A Group 15th February

Well the milder weather allowed a return to the hills so we set off South from Weybridge to Brooklands and Byfleet then along the Wey Navigation from Murray's Lane to the Anchor. Our token off road stretch over we continued through Pyrford and along Polesden Lane to Send Marsh where we did a little dogleg through Gambles Lane to reach Hungry Hill Lane. So far so flat and mostly wind assisted but after East Clandon we tackled Staple Hill to the top of Combe Lane. Here my attempted descent on a very slippery surface provided some amusement when after locking the rear wheel three times on the approach to the right hander I abandoned the turn and came to rest gently ( and upright) against the bank. So on to the waiting horde at the bottom and a loop through Shere before arriving at the Compasses at Gomshall. Eighteen of us enjoyed good food and Surrey Hills Brewery ales and away by 2. At this point Peter Tiller had a puncture and we waited while he pumped it up in the hope that it was a slow - not very, it transpired. From lunch we went up to Burrows Cross, then Hoe Lane and Sutton Lane to Abinger Common and the long drag up to Leith Hill. Having waited for the last of the flock at the Abinger Road turn to Coldharbour it seemed the others had a thirst for tea and fled leaderless to Denbies. Here there were seventeen of us with Peter having dropped out to mend the puncture. He arrived just as we left having had the misfortune of a second puncture in Dorking.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

B Group - 15th February

What a difference a day makes' - do you remember that song? Well, I was delighted that I could leave off the thermals to-day, even so, I was still a little over heated! I heard the same remark from others as the day went on!

Twenty four B riders left Weybridge; eleven stayed for tea in Cobham.
Our route took us over the footbridge in Addlestone into Crockford Park Road, Liberty Lane, onto the bridge over motorway to Row Town, New Haw and West Byfleet where I wandered if Dave Jarvis would catch sight of us from his jewellers shop?! We took to the tow-path at Sheerwater and left at Arthur's Bridge Road. Up the short hill on Church St and on to the pavement to get around the roadwork's allowing us to turn right into South St. and so to The Plough. The staff always make us welcome, enjoyable food and no looong waits!

Back on the road at 13.40. We turned right out of the pub, another right and soon to the six cross roads on A320. After Maybury we encountered another set of major road works in College Road, but once again we were able to cycle on the pavement! (Do you think the council's are using up their coffers as it is nearing the end of the financial year?) Pyrford Common Lane took us into Newark Lane into Ripley and from there we followed the well ridden route into Cobham. My thanks to back markers- where would I be with out them? :)

A fine day, my computer tells me I cycled 44.5 miles in total. Not alot, but enough!!

Pam :) :)

Pam's ride from the Weybridge DC to The Plough in Horsell then on to the Sainsburys cafeteria in Cobham, 23.1 miles

A Group 15th February

A good ride from Brian today, who set aside the Kelly Doctrine, giving us hills before and after lunch. No complaints. 29.58 miles at a rolling average of 11.2 mph; maximum speed 39.2 mph and 1,325 calories. Didn't really notice the temperature, but it was almost double figures, giving a 12º rise in a week.


Friday, February 10, 2012

A Group, 8 February

Effingham - Headley - Banstead
Morning tea at the Vineries Garden Centre Effingham
Between Friday, when the roads were cold but dry and the following Wednesday, the Snow Queen and her servile courtier, Jack Frost, had decided to intervene. The southerly Plan A was therefore unceremoniously abandoned, to be replaced by its polar opposite, the northerly Plan B. The chilling effects of global warming did not detract from a warm welcome at the Vineries Garden Centre in Effingham, chosen for the first time as our congregation point for elevenses. I'm sure we shall return. Tables were reserved, staff friendly and the atmosphere convivial. At first we had two leaders each with one follower, but numbers swelled to about 25 before we each set off.

The A group did not have time to get into its stride before a pause was called at the Church of St Lawrence to visit the grave of Barnes Neville Wallis, of bouncing bomb renown. Some anxiety was expressed at the rather unhealthy interest being shown by certain leaders in visiting graveyards. Nonetheless, we were soon happily bouncing along northward on roads more familiar in the opposite direction. Conditions were mercifully snow and ice free as we passed Martyr's Green, Cobham, Stoke d'Abernon, Oxshott and Malden Rushett to reach the outskirts of Epsom.

At Stamford Green we turned South and started to gain altitude as we headed towards Woodcote, the RAC Club and Langley Vale. Here snow still covered the hills and fields, but the lanes were clear as we reached our lunch-time stop - the Cock Inn at Headley. A Cock stop, as it were. We were expected and served with staple fare, though the IPA was a little sour but changed without quibble.

Offered the choice of a longer or a shorter ride to tea, the vote was unequivocal; no need for putinesque ballot rigging. Banstead it would be, via Walton and Kingswood (where we had time for a minor altercation with a hooting motorist), before a warming ride to Pistachios for an early tea. Soon it was time to remount, with a sporting chance of getting home in the light. I shall not question Mark's Garmin which recorded a distance of 26.57 miles from elevenses to tea - and a minimum temperature of -2.4 degrees C.

My thanks to all for a cautious ride - no thrills but no spills.


B Group 8th February

What a good turnout for a new venue on a bitterly cold day! Starting so close to the hills and not being able to go up them was a huge disappointment for some though for others probably a sigh of relief! Having recced possible routes on Saturday, Monday & Tuesday (and seen the snow), today’s route felt rather strange and was definitely a compromise.
17 of us emerged from the Effingham Vineries Garden Centre to find some suspicious white stuff on our bikes. Turning into the wind with a distinct chill factor that was to last until tea , we made our way across Great Bookham Common to the Tilt area in Cobham and on towards Esher via Fairmile Lane. We avoided Esher itself by dipping down into West End. After photographs of Wayneflete’s Tower (an impressive 15th century brick gatehouse, which is all that remains of the palace of the Bishop of Winchester) and now on a private estate, we descended by Sandown Park to Hampton Court. Using the towpath to Kingston Bridge we got to The Anglers pub at Teddington Lock around 1pm.
Lunch was leisurely despite the prompt service – we needed to re-connect with our extremities! Then it was across the bridge and on to the towpath to Richmond Bridge. It was my intention to go on to Kew and back through North Sheen to Richmond Park but after discussion and with the increasingly grey look about everything we turned up Richmond Hill to the Park and “enjoyed” the bracing run down to Roehampton Gate and tea 23 miles from coffee (17 before lunch and 6 afterwards).
In view of the cold a few rightly turned for home after lunch and then even more did so on the way to tea where there were just 4 of us. It was here we “finally turned the corner” away from the wind but all 4 of us had to go up Broomfield Hill to get to our various homes. I did a modest 41 miles – others will have done more – and despite the unremitting cold it was a good day out, and I am glad to say, with no dramas.
Peter T

B Group - 8th February

Peter T's ride from Effingham Vineries to Teddington Lock for lunch and on to the Richmond Park café for tea, 23 miles

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Some pictures of Jeff's 'A' Group's ride

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Snow in Walton on the Hill

Apologies to Jeff for missing the turn after visiting Barns Wallis grave but I then decided upon two things:

Firstly to visit Jolana at the Ramada East Horsley, some of you will remember her from Denbies last year at tea - well at least I do. Jolana has offered to help with accomodation for Paraplegic Paul Smith's wheelchair of hope ride in April to raise £55k for Children in Need.

Secondly I then rode the first lap of Kingston Wheelers Sporting 14 mile TT course starting in Ripley and around Hungry Hill, surprisingly clear of snow apart from one very dodgy corner. I hope it's still OK on Sunday 12 Feb.

Finally on arriving home this evening I had to walk along Meadow Walk it was so icy with lots of snow still piled high! It's tough at the top (of North Downs)!

Phil Marx

This is a news about one of our easy riders leader. As you all know Phil Marx had been a long time rider with wayfarers and he was to lead our wednesday ride.few days back Jeff sent the news that Phil had a fall few days back and he is in the hospital and wanted a new leader for the wednesday ride. Phil telephoned me on Tuesday evening to tell me this news which shook me. He was riding with Uxbridge section week before last, after about 20 miles all of a sudden he felt unbalanced and fell down other riders helped him up and he got on the bike again after about 2 miles he fell dizzy again and fell down and hurt himself. The ambulance was called and he was taken to the hospital where they asked him why he fell. When he told them that he felt unbalanced they did a scan on his head and found a tumor; he was taken to Royal Marsden where they confirmed that the tumor is cancerous. He is waiting to get admitted for treatment which he will know what kind. This is the news so far. He promised to keep in touch and anything I hear I will let everyone know.

Mark Roy

A Group 8th February

A well judged ride from Jeff today - quiet roads, but not so quiet that they were ribbons of ice, and a steady pace to keep the cold at bay. 26.57 miles from elevenses at Effingham to tea at Banstead; lunch at the rehabilitated Cock Inn, Headley. Rolling average 11.4 mph, lowest temperature -2.4ºC on Chequers Lane, Walton on the Hill.

(Yes, that is minus 2.4ºC!)


Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Photo Comp - deadline 29 Feb.

If you have been thinking of submitting one or more photos for the annual photo competition (qualifying period 1st October 2010 to 30 September 2011), you still have time. The deadline for receipt of entries is 29 February. Entries should be sent to your Section Secretary well before that date. Here is a link to the different photo categories and competition rules.
This link gives details of all DA competition rules.

Good luck and happy shooting.


The Pete Mitchell Memorial Trophy

The fund in memory of Pete Mitchell raised over £1500 - he was a popular man! - and we have now purchased a trophy to present within the Kingston Phoenix in his memory.

We could have bought a bigger one, but don't want it to overshadow the other Club Trophies. The balance of the fund will be kept seperate from the general Kingston Phoenix RC accounts and we propose to come up with other things that he would have approved of to spend the money on.

The first recipient of the trophy is the winner of the last event that Pete attended, just 2 days before he died and we will endeavour to allow as many of the people that contributed to the fund as possible to have a look at the trophy in person - hopefully it will be available for anyone to see at the Barn Dance, and of course for the few of you that attend the Phoenix Dinner.


Easy Riders - January 25th 2012

We started off from Molesey Day Centre & there were 14 of us, we went through Molesey down to Walton Road & we turned right at the reservoirs then into Hurst Road then onto Walton Bridge then onto Gaston Bridge Road. we turned through Left St Sheperton over the motorway bridge, onto Squires Bridge Rd, then we turned left onto Chertsey Rd then Eddy-Docket Lane by the river to The Thames Court Pub where we had a nice lunch.

After lunch we went onto Ford-Bridge Rd, down past Sunbury where we had a delay when Cliff had a puncture in his front wheel.

then we made our way to Hampton Court Bridge, we turned left through Thames Ditton, up into Long Ditton past the church then onto Hook & Chessington Kings Centre where we had tea & cake then we all made our way own way home. Many thanks to Mark Roy for the tea & cakes in the morning because it's his 87th birthday next week.

From Roger M

Apologies to Roger, I have been a bit distracted with my father's funeral this last couple of weeks, and as most of the reports are now posted directly on here, had missed the arrival of his report for the week before last. Lisa

Monday, February 06, 2012

Phil Marx / Easy Riders lead Weds 8th

I understand from Robin Johnson that Phil is in hospital following a recent fall. Phil was due to lead any Easy Riders who brave the elements to Chessington on Wednesday. Is anyone prepared to volunteer in his place?

New Venue for A/B groups

Just a reminder that for the first time the A and B groups are meeting at the cafe in the Vineries Garden Centre, Lower Road, Effingham. KT24 5JP on Wednesday. Some of you will already have been there for tea. It's opposite the Howard of Effingham school playing fields. Take care in the current conditions. Your leaders are reviewing their routes!

Sunday, February 05, 2012

The Dieppe Raid - a beginner's view

New Wayfarers may have heard talk of the Dieppe Raid and wondered what it is. I was in that position last year, so here are a few details to tempt you to come along.
The Dieppe Raid is an annual cycle outing, named after the WW2 commando raid. Last year nearly 20 Wayfarers and SW London DA cyclists took part, together with perhaps 150 other Brits. It's organised by the french Dieppe cycling club who lay on a variety of rides: 30, 50, 90 and 130km from memory, which vary each year.

It's not a race - it's more like a Wednesday ride, only in the lovely Normandy countryside with French coffee stops, a picnic lunch provided, and an end-of-ride ceremony at which countless prizes are awarded for almost everything you can think of. It seems the French cyclists go round much quicker, or earlier, than the Brits, so we didn't see much of them, but their preparations were evident from the well marked route. The hills are no bigger than we encounter at home but seem steadier climbs. The ride is followed by an (optional) dinner in one of the seafront hotels.

As well as the ride it's a very sociable outing over a weekend in June (this year its June 24th).

Here are several blog entries from last year: (Mark), (Pete & Lisa), (prizes!), (Tony's photos), (Ray), (Brian).

There are different approaches to travel and accommodation. The basics are:

- Register on the (UK) info and registration website, using the club/team name “Souwesters”.

- Ride (or drive) down to Newhaven – about 40 miles from Dorking?

- Stay in Newhaven (B&B or Telscombe Youth Hostel), or nearby Lewes (B&B) with more eating options

- Newhaven to Dieppe by ferry the next day (4 hrs)

- Many options to stay in Dieppe: camping, various hotels but many stay in the Hotel de la Plage. Some extend the weekend and stay nearby for a week's cycling.

Everybody's welcome and I would encourage anyone to give it a try. The more the merrier – and there is a prize (of course) for the largest 'team' entering...


Thursday, February 02, 2012

Cash crash

On my way home from Cobham yesterday, the tin that I keep Wayfarers' funds in fell from my overloaded pannier. Before I'd noticed and retrieved it from the middle of the road, it had been run over by at least one car. Our money was intact, but flatter. The tin was rather squashed, so I've switched from German marzipan to English fudge.


A Group - Feb 1

We started away on a crisp bright day heading for the hills, as well illustrated in Mark's Blog.

This was initially across the quiet flat Bookham Common then steadily rising through Effingham near the church where Barnes Wallis of Dambuster fame is buried. The route was then: High Barn, Yew Tree Lane and Ranmore Common and then an exhilarating descent to Dorking. We were soon through the one way system in Dorking to Flint Hill and Spook Hill where Toni D reminded me of the many TT's we had performed. It was up Inholms Lane then on flat riding via Blackbrook, Red Lane, Brockenhurst Road, Gadbrook Road and Betchworth village passing the church where much of the film '4 weddings and a funeral' was made.We arrived at the Red Lion pub/hotel in good time to eat a meal leisurely.
As can be seen by my shadow on leaving the Sun was very prominent. It was intended that we should get home before the Sun went down, so the ride to the tea place Bockett's Farm should be as swift and direct as possible with - in the main - a following but cold wind. This was via Brockham lanewise and then on the A25 to Pixham Lane (here a culture stop - a cry from Jeff to admire the Chapel) then across the A24 on to the Cycle path to Young Street (the Canadian built road during the war). Enough time to enjoy our tea at Bockett's hoping all riders got home in the light.