Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Easyriders Wednesday 25th April

Got to North Cheam to discover only Les (he deserves a medal for turning up in wet weather).  We unanimously decided to head for Elleray Hall rather than Dorking and got there to discover Beryl's bike all alone outside.  Inside we discovered Albert, Philip (looking very well) and the Squirrels.  We enjoyed a leisurely coffee, watched a bit of line dancing and then donned the waterproofs for a short ride through Bushy Park, along the lower Sunbury Road, over Walton Bridge and down to The Weir.
Les and Beryl had lovely steak and mushroom pies with chips and peas and I had a tasty carrot and coriander soup, all cleaned their plates.  On to the towpath where we would have been ok if we'd had paddles instead of pedals, it being a little like a tributary of the Thames rather than the towpath.  However we pressed on for Hampton Court, then enjoying the puddles very much we continued on towpath to Kingston for tea (thank you Beryl).


A /B Groups - 25 April


 Musical chairs at Dorking, where the problem was not webbed toes but trench foot. After the hailstorm in the High St, with emergency cover provided by the Halifax, direction of travel for me was decided not by the food and beer at Brockham but by the siren call of warm, dry socks.(Jeff)

A day only fit for diehards and Wayfarers’ leaders today, as the April showers(?), encouraged by the hosepipe ban, continued today with renewed zeal.

Arriving at Dorking, a solitary bike was leaning against the wall (house point to Terry). Eventually, a quorum was formed, consisting of Mark, Ian, John B, Jeff, Vic and Terry. A large contingent from North Cheam was not expected, based on last week’s party consisting of Les alone. In the event, today’s North Cheam number was one down on last week’s.
A democratic decision was soon taken (we’re not going out, are we?) that discretion would most certainly be the better part of valour on this particular day, so a local lunch stop would be favourite.  Thus it was that we reluctantly emerged onto Dorking High Street to be greeted by a ferocious hailstorm. Gingerly making our way along the new tributary of the River Mole (previously known as the A25), we disembarked into the Royal Oak at Brockham. Thoughts of tea were subsequently abandoned as we headed home into the driving rain, having covered, I would think, a record low mileage for a Wednesday ride.


A/B Groups 25th April

High winds and torrential rain today, with a consequently limited turn-out at Dorking.  Seven all told (and I had come by car).  We sat and chatted until lunch-time and then went to the Royal Oak, Brockham.  On the way we enjoyed the heaviest rain of the day, with a side-dish of hail.

If this drought persists we shall all develop webbed feet.


Saturday, April 21, 2012

Jordans Youth Hostel

Easy Riders - 18th April 2012

Got up, looked out of the window and put on all the weatherproofing I had. Was late arriving at Weybridge due to lots of unforeseen circumstances but I need not have worried as this had given Fuzz time to organise a wonderful ride to the Jolly Coopers at Hampton. Accompanied by two lovely ladies, Fuzz led via the towpath to Walton Bridge, over the bridge and down Penny Lane where we watched the small ferry cross Shepperton Marina.

Lovely lunch and a cycle across Bushy Park in the afternoon, lovely sunshine, the trees in bud against a leaden sky. We escaped homewards before the skies opened again.


Hostel trip April 18-20

After lunch with the Bs at Datchet, six of us set off for Jordans Youth Hostel, via the Jubilee River cycle track to Maidenhead, then heading north on the A4094, noting the blue plaque for Richard Dimbleby at Boulter's Lock. The cafe at Cookham was closed but fortunately the local supermarket had a hot drinks machine. Onwards to Bourne End where we briefly took to the lanes before being obliged to use the A355 and a short stretch of the A40 before returning to lanes leading to the Hostel. The warden, Nicola, remembered one of us from a previous visit a few years ago. Jordans is a self-catering Hostel, but Nicola kindly volunteered to drive to fairly nearby fish and chip and  Chinese restaurants which was much appreciated. Also at the Hostel was a French family, celebrating a birthday. They shared some delicious home-made quince, orange and other jams with us.

Thursday started fine and after a 0930ish start we headed towards Beaconsfield, turning off on the outskirts to ride through Hall Barn Estate which has a wonderful wooden building at the entrance, several statues in the grounds and also a fine main house. Vic hopes to return to take photos. We arrived at the pub at Little Marlow dripping, but soon were enjoying a hot drink. It was fine when we left, and soon after a little off-roading we were passing through Marlow en route to lunch at Fingest (venue for a C and M lunch soon) via Chisbridge Cross, Frieth and past Tony's sister's former house. After lunch we saw Turville Hill windmill on our route to Christmas Common, where from the top of the escarpment there is a good view of Oxfordshire (on a clear day!). Red kites are quite common here. We then headed south-westish to Nuffield thence to Stoke Row and the Maharajah's Well followed by an easy run through Woodcote and Goring to Streatley, Vic managing the last few yards with a rapidly deflating front tube. Our hopes of a pub meal were dashed - The Bull at Streatley was closed for refurbishment but warden Nick provided a very good meal at the Hostel.

Friday also started fine - our chosen route was briefly on the A329 to Pangbourne then over the toll bridge (bikes free) to Whitchurch and the slightly bumpy, muddy bridleway to Mapledurham where the surface was concrete. Cake and coffee was available at Caversham, the end of the bridleway. After joining the Thames path south of Caversham bridge we kept off-road to Sonning, heading for Waltham St Lawrence and lunch (venue for C and M lunch last Sunday). Our homeward route was via the peanut roundabout, Windsor Great Park to Egham where we went our separate ways, encountering a few more showers.

Thanks to Vic and Tony for local knowledge - it was a great help - pity about the showers but they're not so bad when you share them with friends !


Thursday, April 19, 2012

An outing to Winchester – 'A' ride 18 April

I planned this trip during the March heatwave. Imagine us all cycling through beautiful Hampshire countryside – dappled sunlight playing on our faces as we cycled down bosky lanes; vistas of sun-drenched fields; sunshine glinting off the watercress beds as we cycled between gurgling streams. Well, we could only imagine it yesterday, since the sun was replaced by a lot of rain and a severe weather warning of rain, hail, thunder, and inundated roads. Strangely, Weybridge day centre was much quieter than usual. The North Cheam contingent numbered only Les! As and Bs only mustered about 8 riders each, and a large number of sausage rolls remained uneaten.

Despite this, Rob, Peter Betts, Dave, Ged, John B, Mark and myself set off on our longer-than-usual ride, accompanied for the first few miles by Pete Barnard who later went off to recce another route. The idea was seeded by Vic's recent encouragement to visit different places, further afield; catching the train back so we could avoid crowds(!) of people trying to catch the same train out to 11's. In the event, crowds were not a problem. We went via Foxhills to Chobam, Knaphill and Pirbright, then over Tunnel Hill and Mytchett to Ash, where Greyhound had a special offer on a curry and a drink, and we narrowly missed a heavy downpour.

Emerging to sunshine, we paid a short cultural visit to the Hog's Back brewery, then from Tongham to Runfold and more or less south to Tilford. John's cape was acting as a sail in the strong southerly wind so this was quite a challenge for him. Thence across to Millbridge and Frensham: beautiful countryside on a nice day and not bad in the rain; through the Alice Holt forest and due west to Binsted and Alton, where we had tea and impressive cakes in Poppins cafe with 40 miles on the clock, after which John left us for home. The route to seemed to be blocked by a large hill, but this was overcome by cake-power, then it was plain sailing through Alresford and along a tiny lane between two streams, taking us almost to Winchester. Just as the end was in sight, Mark punctured: it appeared that a large flint (perhaps a neolithic arrow-head?) had got into his tyre.

We arrived around 6pm, wet, tired, thirsty and happy, for another cultural visit to The Eclipse Inn, which dates from about 1540 and was originally used by pilgrims to the nearby shrine of St Swithun, and is haunted by the ghost of Lady Alicia Lisle.

Many thanks to Dave for acting as back marker, and to all who came, for your company.

B Group 18 April

Weybridge - Datchet - Shepperton

12 Hardy souls set out from Weybridge all looking like “deep sea divers” to Chertsey Bridge, tow path to Staines then down what's left of the “old Moor Lane” which in the good old days was a 10 mile Time Trial course, but with the needs of more and more motorways was duly built over for the car park known as the M25. On to Horton and Datchet to the “Royal Stag”where they were expecting us . Lunch over we split into 2 groups the roughie toughies 6 in all then departed to go hostelling for 3 days and the rest back through Old Windsor to Shepperton bakery for a ready cup of tea. Thank you one and all who braved the elements.


Wednesday, April 18, 2012

A Group 18th April - Weybridge to Winchester

A Group 18th April

Welcome innovation from Simon today - a point-to point ride with a return by train. 59.15 miles from elevenses at Weybridge to a celebratory beer at the Eclipse, Winchester. Lunch at the Greyhound, Ash and tea at Alton. 4,256 feet of ascent and 2,650 calories, rolling average 12.0 mph.

A very enjoyable ride and a successful day out, despite generally poor weather.


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Winchester outing - tomorrow

Just a reminder that the 'A's are off to Winchester tomorrow - more details here. It won't be a race, so we will finish later than usual. Lunch at Ash, tea at Alton, refreshment at Winchester before the train back.

Monday, April 16, 2012

The CTC Charity Proposal and Vote

When you think that it couldn’t get worse, it does!
The Charity Commission has now explicitly stated that, with the CTC as a Charity, its members will have no power whatsoever to control or influence the policies and governance of the CTC.
Having advised the CTC on how to reword the relevant Articles within the revised M&As to meet its own requirements, the Charity Commission has now noted that Article 11 provides for a poll of the whole Club on any question, the outcome binding the Club and Council for 6 months. This is the Article that we used to challenge the conversion proposal.
The CC has now told the CTC, at some length and in some detail, that this Article, while not affecting charitable status ‘isn’t really appropriate for a charity’ and ‘we would strongly recommend its deletion’. If not at the AGM, because a 'faction' might oppose it, then at a subsequent General Meeting.
It is pretty difficult to summarise the 1,367 words used by the CC to support this claim.
The nub of it is that the trustees of the charity have ‘a legal duty to act as trustees only in the best interests of their charity in furthering its charitable purposes. ………In the case of a charity with a membership, the members role in its administration is normally to elect the trustees………But it would not be appropriate for trustees to be obliged to act on the recommendations of the membership.’ As we have been able to require since the CTC was founded in 1878.
The CTC responded to the CC: “The poll of the whole club was used for the first time in many years during the campaign by a small CTC faction to try and stop this charitable proposal. To suggest its removal at this point could antagonise this group again and jeopardise the prospects of getting the new objects approved.”
The CTC has asked the CC for further advice on how to respond to this concern. When is it going to be honest with members? Before the AGM on 12 May? It won’t because it is too scared that the truth would influence the vote!
Is it the legitimate role of the Charity Commission to conspire with the directors of a company owned by its members in order to influence and manipulate the outcome?
In other words, this is precisely what we have been saying for the past 18 months. The CTC ceases to be a members’ club, the members lose all power to control or influence the policies and governance of the Club and the members (an appropriate word) become no more than impotent eunuchs in the harem of the CTC and Charity Commission.
Are you prepared to vote for the castration of your Club? Is that worth a cycling jacket?
How on earth do we get this message out to the 50,000 odd voting members of the CTC, the media and the wider public?

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Easy Riders - 11th April

Easy Riders C Ride, 11th April.

I led ten of us from Molesey Day Centre through Walton Rd turned right past the reservoirs & left into Terrace Rd then towards Walton over Walton Bridge & onto Gaston Bridge Rd. Left down Green Lane towards Shepperton over the motorway bridge to Paul Rd then we made our way to Docket-Eddy Lane where we had lunch at Thames Court by the river.

After lunch we made our back to Shepperton & Russell Rd then Sunbury & Hampton Court where we had tea at five on the bridge, then we all made our way home.

Roger M.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

A Group 11 April

Redhill - Cowden - Fanny's

A Members' Club for how much longer?

Outside the Fountain at Cowden after lunch while John make a cautious exit

A straggly stop at Furnace Pond before taking the waters at the Fountain Cowden.
Oh yes, and the Muck Spreaders' trophies

We revisit the Crowhurst Yew to make sure it is still there

Despite a schism between tyre and casing, leader Brian makes it to join his brood at Fanny's, with Mark taking up the slack

A Group, April 11th

No rain before lunch said the man on the BBC just before I left home and 5 minutes later it was raining in Ashtead. So I togged up accordingly and set off for what became a sunny ride to Redhill. From here the first stretch was the familiar route past the hospital, then to Outwood, Bones Lane and Lingfield. From the racecourse a long climb followed through Dormansland and beyond whence the descent soon brought us to Smithers Lane. We savoured the rural peace and stopped for a photo and industrial history interlude at Furnace Pond. Now only a mile to lunch at the Fountain in Cowden and still dry. Lunch was swiftly provided and soon after two we were on our way. Its a bit of a pull going north out of Cowden straight after lunch but soon we were sweeping down to Edenbridge. On to Haxted and Crowhurst ( with the statutory stop to look at the yew) it remained dry but the clouds were building. A sharp shower just after the railway bridge caused a stop for some to don their jackets and the rain instantly ceased! Towards Tilburstow I unwisely discussed tyre life and the age of my Specialized Armadillo Elites.  So it was that fate was tempted and soon after the summit an ominous thumping from the rear wheel was felt. A splitting wall was swiftly diagnosed and I sent the party on to Fanny's while I nursed the offending object slowly homewards. Three were still in the queue when I reached there so it was a full team for tea and I made it home without further mishap or rain. About 60 miles in total.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

B Group Wednesday 11th April 2012

B group Wednesday 11 April

From Redhill I led the B group via the peace and quiet (and zero gradient) of  N21 north eastwards to Marsh Road. We then climbed Church Hill, the first hill of the day. After a short stretch of the A25 through Bletchingley a right fork into Rabies Heath Road led to the last hill of the day, old favourite, Tilburstow. A pause at the top enabled me to warn the pub of our impending visit, also to study the approaching grey clouds to the west and wonder if we would beat them to lunch (we did). A rapid descent led to a brief stretch of the A22 before turning right into Byers Lane and Brickhouse Lane, noting no lookouts in the Watchtower. Virtually traffic-free Bones and East Park Lanes and B2028 West Park Road led to Effingham Road and lunch stop at The Hedgehog, Copthorne (former meeting place of The Guinea Pig Club of WW11 burns victims). Peter joined us here after carrying out some running repairs and buying a map.

After a satisfactory but time-consuming lunch we set off, realising we couldn't reach my no.1 choice for 3s - Redhill Airfield cafe, since they close promptly at 3. Turning right into Peeks Brook Lane after crossing the M23 at Shipley Bridge we passed the site of  Thunderfield Castle (the moat remains) and joined the B2036 to Horley. Heading north on Meath Green Lane and after admiring the teddies we were obliged to stop and don waterproofs. Continuing along the appropriately named Lonesome Lane ( with a nice display of bluebells) we had almost dried out by the time we reached Reigate Garden Centre for a welcome break. Afterwards most replaced waterproofs and made for Dorking and the Gap (Liz bravely chose Pebble Hill).


A Group 11th April

Brian led us on an expedition to Kent today - the Fountain, at Cowden. We were well received, as might be expected from a pub resplendent with a CTC Winged Wheel.

39.06 miles from elevenses at Redhill to tea at Fanny's; 2,115 ft of ascent and 1,750 calories. Maximum speed 40.2 mph and a good day out.


Tuesday, April 10, 2012

'A/Bs and ERs' - Venues - Wed 11 April

Dear All,

Venues for Wednesday's ride are not as clear as they might be in the March/April Sou'Wester. Although I'm sure that most will know, the Redhill Methodist Centre is in Gloucester Road. The post codes are correct.

The venue for the Easy Riders is indeed School Road - at the Molesey DC. The two addresses somehow merged in the printing!


Monday, April 09, 2012

A Group Weds 11th April

Just a note from your leader to request a prompt getaway soon after 11 as we have a few miles to cover. I had been a bit concerned about the weather but the pundits say it will will be a fine morning with a chance of a shower ( they dont agree on how heavy!!) on the way home. See you at Redhill.  Brian.

Friday, April 06, 2012

B Group - April 4th 2012

Despite a poor forecast, 16 set out from Cobham to ride to the Boatman pub at Guildford. This is about the ideal size for a group for which I was grateful. We went slowly up hill in almost a straight line via East Horsley to the top of the North Downs with the sun still shining and little or no wind from the SE. I always enjoy the way you emerge from the trees on the descent to the A25 as the country opens out in front of you. A brisk ride through Albury and Chilworth with clouds
gathering got us to the pub at 12:35 which is when I like to stop. It was sadly too gloomy and cold to sit outside by the river but there were blasts of warm air from a blower over our heads and the food was served promptly.

We made a brief visit to Guildford Castle, which few seemed to have visited before, and then descended via Burpham, the A3 parallel path, and Ockham to the Medicine Garden cafe at Cobham. The air temperature seemed to have dropped by now and there was the odd spot of rain. All in all the ride was about 25 miles with no mishaps.

A thankyou to Gill as the back marker and also for showing me this route in November 2010 and to Bernard for the photos at the castle.

Harry Cole

Thursday, April 05, 2012

A Group 4th April

Living North of the Thames means I am not on home ground when it comes to leading rides in Surrey, yes I have been lead many times into Surrey and but when lead you tend to be very blinkered, well I do. So when Brian allocated me  to lead from Cobham it meant a good few hours looking at maps and long rides to plan my route.

So a merry bunch set off from Cobham RBL hall down Downside Bridge rd with a right into Plough lane, across Old lane and into Ockham lane and a right across Wisley airfield and over the footbridge into Wisley lane and passed Pyrford lock and onto Pyrford. The weather forecast had been for showers but although there was a chill in the air the Sun shone warmly.

On down Papercourt lane and on to Send and a right turn into Send Barns lane and across the A3 and a left right into Tythebarns lane and a right into Ripley road. I took Back lane in The St then right again into the Old Epsom road for a brief stop to look at the marvelous fence made completely from tools. We were headed to the Vineries Garden centre for a non-alcoholic lunch, a real change for the “A”s! To workup an appetite we headed over the A246 Epsom road and up Staple lane which slowed the pace. Left at the end into Combe and onto Green Dene for a fast descent all the way back to  the A246. Needless to say at this point the fast desenders took off! But we regrouped at the junction. A left took us Dirtham Lane and into Effingham and lunch.

Service at the Vineries is somewhat spasmodic but the food is excellent and well priced. Halfway through lunch two “A” group tailenders arrived after claiming to have added a few more hills (they actually stopped for a comfort break and dropped off the back).

Rain clouds were threatening and the sky was very overcast. For afternoon tea I planned to take the group to Chessington Nurseries, a new venue for tea and close to home for many. We set off passed Bookham station and across Bookham common with a right turn across country at Pump cottages and into Tilt road. A left into Stoke road and right bought us to Oxshot and Birdshill rise and onto the B280 to Chessington and tea. A very nice venue and a great choice of cake, I thought I was at a cake eating contest the way the group tucked in. The clouds were still threatening rain and I had 13 miles to home but with just a few drops I made it home without a soaking.


Wednesday, April 04, 2012

A Group 4 April

Cobham - Effingham - Chessington
Our Leader Tony

Fancy fence in Old Epsom Road, E. Clandon.
Can you identify all the tools?

No hurry to move off as Staple Lane is just round the corner

Tea at Chessington Garden Centre

B Group 4 April 2012

Our esteemed leader, Harry
Lunch at the Boathouse
Guildford Castle
The castle gardens
Here we are at Guilford Castle

A Group 4th April

Tony led us widdershins from Cobham today; though Wisley and Send, East Clandon and Staples Corner to lunch at the Vineries then on to tea at Chessington. A good ride and we were well looked after at the meal stops.

29.69 miles elevenses to tea; 1,253 feet of ascent and 1,330 calories. 6ÂșC and just starting to rain as I got home - quite a difference from last week.