Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Staines on Thames

What a conundrum this conjures up! I had no idea that the fathers of Staines had decided to insult the Thames in this way as I remarked during tea with the "A" group at Sheperton! If I may speak as it were on behalf of "Old Father Thames" I have never been so insulted in my life by any suggestion that I am stained, either on my surface or on my bottom! What would Barbara say if I suggested that her underwear had "Staines"?
Graham retorted by saying that Irene has some wonderful pictures in her abode (in Staines) of Staines in all it's pristinen glory in the old days when it was referred to as just plain "Staines"!

B Ride 31 October 2012

19 of us set out from Addlestone. I forgot to call the register and it would embarrass me to have an incomplete list. We went to the river in Weybridge and then all the way along the towpath to Kingston. There were a few puddles but no mud, the path surface is quite reasonable and it was good to be by the river with no traffic. I'm conscious that going north doesn't suit everyone so we lost a few along the way. We stopped briefly at Hampton Court for a photo:

Anyway we got to the Boater's Inn just downstream from Kingston where we had a pretty good lunch at a table looking across the river. After lunch we went to Richmond Park which looked lovely with the leaves just turning We entered at the south-western corner and left by the Star and Garter. Then to a idiosyncratic cafe called "The Original Maids of Honour" (by Kew Gardens) where they provided "delectable pastries":

We only had two possible candidates for maids, they didn't seem eligible as maids in the traditional sense so I reckoned they must be old maids:
We had got down to only five at tea, a rather high wastage rate!

B Group - 31st October

Bernard's flat and easy route from Addlestone DC to The Boatman in Kingtson, and thence to Kew via Richmond Park for a very posh afternoon tea

(Sorry about the poor resolution in this map)

A Group 31st October

A flat but pacey run from Simon today.  35.16 miles from elevenses at Addlestone to tea at Shepperton; lunch at Fifield.  Rolling average 13.2mph, maximum speed 26.5mph and 1,575 calories.

Lights on on the way home.


Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Phil Marx

Phil's daughter, Veronica, e-mailed me this morning with news that Phil died last Sunday. She will inform me of funeral arrangements.


Sunday, October 28, 2012

Franks Dream Machine Tricycle

Not wishing to superimpose Jeff's message from Doreen about Ron see item below. Meanwhile for those that are interested see my blog on KPRC regarding Franks prang on the trike. It seems that as a 71yr old my recollection of the vision I saw of what happened is muddled but I truly believe that the motorist was being very aggressive and should not have been overtaking on the hatching! In other words he should not have put himself in a position where as he put it he was forced into the hatching by the right turning cyclists, that is he should have stayed back and not overtaken until it was safe to do so!
Does anyone have another or any opinion on this? I do think that we were very lucky not to have ended up with a more serious outcome than we did and though I hope not I do hope that Frank does not have longer term pain that may later manifest itself. I speak from bitter experience from nearly being killed by a motorist in 1976 when the Police took no action and now many years later I have serious arthritis in my right ankle!

Having said that I must pay tribute to the off duty police officer who took complete and admirable control of the situation.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Ron Powney

Ron is now in St Helier Hospital as from Tues 23rd Oct. He is in ward C6 (C Block, 6th floor, Cardiac Care Unit) and visiting hours are 2.30pm to 8.00pm. I'll let you know when he comes home.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

A Group 24 October

Downhill - Root Hill - Brockham - Betchworth

The A group's downhill started before the first uphill. As a tooting motorist tried to overtake us as we were indicating to turn right into Punchbowl Lane, there was a touching of wheels and two of our number came down in the middle of the A25. Frank came down heavily and John Bellamy grazed his foot. A passing off-duty policeman called an ambulance and the police and organised proceedings. Statements were taken. Many thanks to Maggie for her description of the incident from the back of the tandem.

 Frank and John were examined in the ambulance; Frank shaken but not broken, John's foot cleaned and dressed and fortunately  no visit to A&E necessary. However, the wheels of Frank's new trike will need some serious surgery and the brake blocks of John's front wheel caused a problem that persuaded hin not to try and ride the bike any further. Mike Morley very kindly agreed to ride home (up Pebble Hill) to return with his car to take Frank and trike back home. In the meantime Pete Barnard led the rest of the group to the top of Root Hill, though I understand that disappointingly, not everybody made it there. But the show went on and I gather was a  success.

The A Group lunched in the excellent Dolphin, after which, with blue skies and ever brightening sunshine,  I led a brisk ride South to Rusper and back via Capel and Newdigate to tea at Denbies. Many thanks to Terry for organising the event, to Ed for creating some fine new trophies and to the worthy winners, with Grant winning by a mile.


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

B Group 24 October

A good start to the day - notice at entrance to Dorking Christian Centre.

After Jeff kindly set off leading the many As to Root Hill, I led a similar number of Bs eastwards out of Dorking, to be surprised just short of Punchbowl Lane where an incident with the As had just occurred. Realising we really couldn't help we carried on to the hill to find Pete Barnard and some As approaching from the opposite direction.

With Pete 'pushing off' (the competitors) I went first and put a stake in the ground where I stopped. Liz came next, but having been 'carved up' by a car , causing her to brake, didn't go as far as she might. Pam soon appeared and travelled further. Meanwhile my marker was soon passed with Tony just beating Bernard. Stephanie was runner-up to Pam. Soon Grant appeared and travelled much further than anyone.

The As had lunch at The Dolphin, Betchworth and the Bs dined at The Royal Oak, Brockham, where the winners received beautiful unique wooden awards carved by Ed - thanks, Ed. Runners-up received tubes . After lunch the Bs had a ride round the lanes, calling in at The Dolphin to find Maggie, Mark and Luke just about to depart. Most of us had refreshments at Annie's before making our separate ways.

Next year the fwc will be at a different time of year at a different venue - you have been warned!


Ed's trophies

Ed's Trophies for the freewheel competition

B Group - 24th October

Todays ride which included the Freewheel competition and after lunch at Brockham, a nice tour of the country lanes

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Christmas Lunch

 For those who like to plan ahead, there are 67 cycling days to Xmas. In anticipation, Pam and Irene are arranging the MWW Xmas lunch. Details are:

For the A Group:

Date:     12 December, after ride from Dorking.
Venue:    Cap in Hand, Hook.
Cost:     £7.25 for main course and drink. Starter £2 and dessert £2.
Orders with £3 non-refundable deposit should be placed with Pam.

For the B Group:

Date:     19 December, after ride  from Leatherhead.
Venue:    The King's Tun, Kingston.
Cost:     £8.25 for main course and drink. Starter £2 and dessert £2.
Orders with £3 non-refundable deposit should be placed with Irene.

Should demand exceed capacity, the earlier you pay, the higher you are on the list. Hopefully nobody will be disappointed.

The reason for the difference in cost is that Wetherspoons does not have a uniform Xmas tariff, so different outlets have differing prices. All enquiries to the company please.


P.S. Here is a link to the Cap in Hand Xmas menu  and the  Booking Form
       Here is a link to the Kings Tun Xmas menu and the  Booking Form

If you download the Booking Form, you can print off and complete the individual menu choice of Starter, Main Meal and Dessert to give to Pam or Irene with your deposit. Copies will be available for those still innocent of the www. Please make sure that you click on the correct link as the prices differ!

Monday, October 22, 2012

The CTC is at it again

Draft CTC Policy Handbook for Member Groups

The CTC has returned to one of its favourite pastimes - meddling with the structure of District Associations, Sections and Member Groups. It has produced a draft CTC Policy Handbook for Member Groups. I do not recall reading anything about this in Cycle or CycleClips and can find nothing on the new CTC website. Have I missed it? The CTC continues its superlative record of communicating openly and fully with its membership. To be fair, the document has been sent to our DA Secretary, except there is no DA.

We are told that "Groups MUST no longer use words such as 'District Association' or 'Section' in their titles as these terms are now redundant." As Editor of the Sou'Wester, I imagined that this was the Newsletter of South West London DA - that is what it says. The centre pages give details of our 'Section Rides'. Oh dear, what terrible punishment awaits us?

A couple of years ago, without any cogent argument or understanding of what it was doing, the CTC made a dog's dinner of the membership structure. As a result, the Midweek Wayfarers decided that they did not want to become a formal Member Group and opted to be an Informal Member Group.

This new draft policy instructs that if we want to be an Informal Member group, "we must submit a written request to the Secretary of the Formal Member Group with which (we) wish to be associated." There isn't one! And there isn't a DA! But the Cheam & Morden is a Formal Member Group.

So perhaps we shall go back to what we were before, but call ourselves a Member Group insead of a DA. Maybe the wheel will turn full circle. All we want  is to be left alone to organise our rides, within the reasonable requirements of what used to be our Club. But we are not a charity and are not part of the CTC Charitable Trust. Where exactly do we fit into the CTC, other than by paying our subscriptions? Nobody has yet told us.

Despite this disorganised shambles, I'm sure that we shall be able to sort ourselves out.

If anybody would like to punish themselves by reading this draft policy, I have put a copy on Google Docs. You will find it much more effective than valium in helping you to sleep and it is not addictive. Masochists, please click on this link and good luck!

The document does not say that it is for consultation nor invite comments, but we may wish to respond. Gordon Seabright, the 'new' CTC Chief Executive, will be attending our DA AGM at Hersham on 14 November. You might wish to raise a question or two.


Friday, October 19, 2012

Ron Powney

Update on Ron from Doreen.
"He is still in the Brompton but now waiting for a bed at St Helier Hosp rehab. He's been making good progress lately and can walk a considerable distance and has been on the exercise bike. Unfortunately, I've been unable to visit him since Tues 9th when a sore throat began to develop. This led to sniffles and then a chest infection and laryngitis which needed an antibiotic and steam inhalation. Improving now so hope it won't be too long before I can visit him wherever he is. Hope it won't be too long before he is home."

Easy Riders - 17th October

Ron led this ride, in place of Roger, taking a dozen or so Easy Riders into Horton Country Park. The first stop was a sequoia (giant redwood) tree where a lesson in how to measure the height of a big tree was given to the baffled group. Part two of the lesson entailed learning how to assess the age of such a tree. Once the group had recovered they soldiered on, up onto the old railway embankment where the Horton Light Railway used to convey coal and other essential supplies to the five hospitals in the complex. They carried on past a small brick building which is believed to have once housed an electrical generator for emergency lighting for the hospitals but which is now used as a bat roost. After carrying on around the old railway path as far as the small museum, for a quick visit, the peloton resumed the course around the railway to West Park in the hope of seeing a peregrine falcon which is known to live on the old boiler house smoke stack. Sadly he or she was not in residence. Thence to Epsom Common and the Stew Ponds and on to Ashtead for a lunch of fish and chips for some and to The Woodman for others. After lunch the group rode on to 'The Wells' which was the original source of Epsom Salts, and into the Day Centre nearby to be treated by Ron to a cup of tea. The final educational excursion of the day was to another small museum in the foyer of the David Lloyd Centre to learn how the five hospitals were provided with hot and cold running water, as well as gas and electricity.

- Ron W.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Phoenix Reborn

I could have sworn that Mike was there

Where's Mad Hatter Mike the Wayward Wayfarer!

Well here I am back home after a splendid day out doing the BEC & Catford Hill Climbs except that due to my waywardness I missed out on Yorks Hill. Having regrouped at the Cock we then set off via Braestead to do Hogtrough Hill and this time I thought that I would not get left behind and set off to be first at the top (I had been last up White Lane (BEC) in the morning. Having got to the top no one was in sight so I assumed we turn left and carried on at a slow pace not wanting to get cold. This is where I became even more wayward, I went past the Titsey turn and carried on slowly. Then I stopped and waited and no one came so I retraced my steps. Then I realised my mistake so chased on to Titsey Hill and Purley Cross towards Oaks Park. I tried to call Mark several times on mobile but traffic noise was horrendous so in the end I went home to smoke my pipe as I had no idea of Mark's address. No doubt more cakes for the rest & apologies to Maggie that I missed the treat!
Posted by Picasa

B Group 17th October

Eleven of us set off for Lingfield  through Marden Park and then down to Godstone where Stephanie punctured. Ed's years of practice made swift work of this and we were soon on the road again along a short stretch of A25 ( with cycle lane) to Tandridge. A swift descent through the village was followed by a left turn into Southlands Lane and a somewhat circuitous route to Lingfield. We navigated the waters of Pope's Lane and continued south through Merle Common to Haxted, then taking Piers Lane to approach Lingfield past the racecourse.

At the Star we found Bob, who had abandoned our meanderings, already well fed. We were swiftly and cheerfully served - a very pleasant pub. Ian left us to catch the train home and Bob headed off at Outwood to ensure he didnt miss the football. We continued to South Nutfield and soon left Peter to make his way philanthropically to Redhill. Eight of us remained for the last climb up Fullers Wood Road to the A25 before the descent to Merstham and tea at Fanny's. 31 miles from elevenses and 55 in total for me.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

B Group - 17th October

Maps showing Brian's ride in two parts, the morning ride from Caterham to Lingfield, and the afternoon ride to Fannys Farm for afternoon tea

Most of the Bs would agree that Brian's ride merits a rainbow edition of the route map, courtesy of GPS Visualizer using a Google Hybrid map:

A Group 17 October

Caterham on the Hill - Ide Hill - Carshalton

Bec Hill Climb.

Chartwell - Where's Mike?
Catford Hill Climb
The reward: a feast of cake -  grateful thanks from all to Mrs G
Somebody had to make the sacrifice, so I had the honour of getting to the top of the hills first, to capture on film the happy smiles of the riders as they crested the summit. This did mean that I had to take a rather more circuitous but quicker route!

A Group 17th October

Turn out was a bit thin at Caterham, and a couple of normally hard riders were not able to make it, so there were nine of us ready to start this Autumn's Challenging Ride.  Unfortunately, Toni was immediately ruled out by a mechanical failure - he had ridden over a pothole on the way and, it transpired, had broken four spokes. Bad luck indeed.

So eight of us set off on the Woldingham Road for the first hill of the day, Slines Oak. The map gives this one as 20%, but we all doubted this, as it is much easier than some of the later climbs. All were briskly up, and we then rolled over the Downs to the top of Titsey Hill. Luc peeled off at this point, as he hasn't been riding that much lately, and drew the very reasonable conclusion that discretion was the better part of valour.

The rest of us descended Titsey Hill at pace, heading for the bottom of White Lane, the Bec hill climb course. Titsey is rough and slippery, so it was instructive to note how few of us were able to stop in time to make the turn, and, indeed, how far down the hill those who failed to stop went... But we were soon together at the bottom of White Lane, and one minute and forty seconds later we were at the top. (That last bit isn't true). Some pictures by Jeff, and then fast down to Westerham and up Hoosey Hill before another quick descent towards Chartwell. Somehow we mislaid Mike here, but we got him back at lunch.

Briskly through Four Elms to the bottom of York's Hill, with a few minutes relaxation while I repaired a puncture - lots of flints in Kent. Then up York's Hill, the Catford Hill climb course, in fine style. More pictures by Jeff at the top, and on to the Cock Inn for lunch. It's a pleasant, old-fashioned place where we were made welcome and quickly served.

Easy rolling down to Brasted, then the question of the day - should we go up Hogtrough Hill (short and sharp), or should we go up Clarks Lane (longer but easier)? Hogtrough got it by an overwhelming majority, so up we went, inexplicably losing Mike again on a straight road. Hey ho. Along the top through Tatsfield and, bingo, here we were at the top of White Lane again.

Home straight now, but much more traffic as we headed back towards London. Purley Cross was pretty awful. But we hauled ourselves out of it, and Mrs G was waiting with more cake than we could eat. (That's quite a lot of cake). Tea and chatter, while we looked at Simon Warren's '100 Best Climbs' books. Gratifyingly, our climbs were in them, with respectable scores. So that was all right.

39.99 miles elevenses to tea, 3,218 feet of ascent, maximum speed 42.5 mph coming down to Brasted, steepest hill York's Hill at 21.4%, beating White Lane by a couple of percent at 18.3%. That's how it felt, too.


Friday, October 12, 2012

Easy Riders - 10th October

Ron led the Easy Riders from Hersham after the AGM to Esher Green for lunch and then to the Kings Centre in Chessington for Tea and cake.

A Group - Challenging Ride

Click HERE for 2012 Video

Click Here for Video



It's the Bec and Catford Hill Climbs this weekend - end of season classics.  The Catford, in particular, has strong claim to being the oldest bike race in the World, having been held regularly since 1886.  Short, fierce hills, which the best riders ascend in about a minute and a half.

The Wayfarers, wishing to pay homage to these athletes, and perhaps remembering achievements of their youth, will visit these hills on next week's Challenging Ride.  A minute and a half is an unlikely target, but we'll all get to the top, and be pleased with ourselves when we have.

Elevenses at Caterham, lunch at The Cock, Ide Hill, and tea at Gladwyn Towers, where Mrs G promises tea and cakes.  

Prompt start at elevenses, please - we'll have a bit to do.


Thursday, October 11, 2012

A Group Ride and AGM, 10 October

Hersham - Westcott - Leatherhead
 The AGM

A quick sprint to the PoW at Westcott

'A' Group 10th October

Thanks Mark for your coverage of the route and comments.
It was a fastish ride made possible by the good weather and in my case the use of a lightweight bike.
Most of us starting away from Hersham managed one way or another to get to the Prince of Wales Westcott by 2 pm including Simon regardless of his puncture at Hersham.Thank you for others staying with him.We received cordial treatment at the P of W with good quality food delivered efficiently.
After a photo take by Jeff we left about 3.15pm for tea to Annie's Leatherhead, a matter of 8 mls not too far on a full stomach, but for a few some distance to go afterwards for home.My total 37 mls.


A Group 10th October

A good idea from Ray today - knowing that we would finish the AGM late he found a pub that would serve us lunch late, and that was on the far side of a convenient hill, and rode fast to it.  Simples.

22.95 miles from Hersham to Annies, lunch at the Prince of Wales, Westcott.  Moving average 13.5 mph, 1,309 feet of ascent, maximum speed 42.4 mph and 1,028 calories.  

Not bad for a short day.


Wednesday, October 10, 2012

B Group - 10th October

There really isn't much that I can say about the route is there?  After all, it was very short and non strenuous as Pete 'the pump' can confirm - he thanked me with a kiss because of it :)  Lunch was good at The Twynersh, Chertsey and the staff were most hospitable.  We left the pub at approximately 14.40 after having arrived there before 13.30.  Then as you say Tim, within an hour we were at Shepperton Squires, drinking tea and eating cakes!!
I can only thank all my helpers of the day.....maybe next time I won't be leading a ride straight from two holidays.....but I enjoyed the day and I must add that I thought the AGM was conducted extremely well, thanks to Pete and Terry, and I would like to say that I believe Cliff needs a pat on the back!


Friday, October 05, 2012

Another French pic

Not so much 'pomme frite a l'epaule', more a case of 'Iphiclides Podalirius a la Francoise'
(Scarce Swallowtail butterfly - not seen in the UK - thanks Vic).

A Group October 3rd

An unlucky 13 of us set off for today’s ride from Cobham, though shortly after departure Mike M. thoughtfully departed elsewhere, leaving us as a more fortunate dozen. For a change, we were headed due east, through Oxshott and Fairoak Lane to Malden Rushett, and thence Epsom. From there, we negotiated a steady climb of a mile up onto Epsom Downs, and then passed through Tadworth, before leaving the A217 shortly before Lower Kingswood. Stopping for a short break at Mugswell, which must be one of the remoter villages inside the M25 ring, we had a look at the Parson’s House there, the walls of which were dressed with local flint, a feature of a good number of buildings on the Downs.
Our climbing pretty well over, we crossed the M25 at Reigate Hill, before descending Reigate Hill, where we managed in excess of 40 mph. From there it was a short hop to our lunch destination at the Three Horseshoes at Irons Bottom, where food and beer met with general approval, with the added bonus, at the table where I was, of a plumbing masterclass from Toni.
The puncture gremlins had got at John B’s steed during lunch, which meant a short delay.
Then our way home was through Leigh and Brockham, where Bonfire Night preparations seemed in full swing, before arriving at Annies, Leatherhead for tea, where we made short work of whatever cake remained in the café.

I covered a modest 54 miles in all, smugly noting that we had adroitly avoided the day’s showers which had been falling all around, but not on, us.


Easy Riders - 3rd October

Mike's route from Cobham to the Barley Mow in West Horsley and then back home through Leatherhead after lunch:

(GPS data gathered and donated by Ron)

Thursday, October 04, 2012

A ride post AGM 9th Oct

I have checked possible ride after AGM and propose to take route to Westcott approx 16 mls going via White Down.There are two eating venues there -The Prince of Wales pub and a new Deli cafe almost opposite the P of W.Both do meals after 2.00 pm. 3's can be at Annie's Leatherhead returning via Dorking.

Hope this would suit all 'A' riders assuming the AGM concludes by say 12:15


Wednesday, October 03, 2012

B Group ride to Holmbury St Mary - 3rd October

Clearly my rides are not arduous enough, as twenty six cyclists, including new comers Liz and Gary, turned up for the B ride from Cobham  to the "King's Head", Holmbury St Mary. The route was via Plough Lane, Effingham, Whitedown and  then up Raikes Lane before turning left onto Horsham Road to reach the pub by 12;45pm.  One of life's mysteries, John Scott only yards from the pub got lost, completely missing a sign which was marked Pub with an arrow. He eventually arrived to see everyone enjoying a drink. Three cyclists had turned back to Dorking which left twenty three to enjoy a nice lunch, promptly served by the owners who had asked us to pre order.

Getting soft in my old age, I took the flat route back to Dorking, along Horsham Road, down to Forest Green, Walliswood, Oakwoodhill  before turning right into Ruckmans Lane and then Weare street to Capel. This route avoided Leith hill and Coldharbour lane. From Capel, we headed to Newdigate, then past Henfold Lakes to Denbies where eighteen of us had tea. This route disappointed Bernard who was not tired enough and wanted more hills.

Surprisingly given the forecast none of us got wet. A round trip of 60.4 miles for F&F.


PS Two unknown racing cyclists complained to me that our lane discipline was a shambles and that we were six abreast whilst cycling along Plough Lane; this must be a record or a slight exaggeration. Anyway, compared to some of the comments we receive from motorists, this is a compliment, but please  "single file" in future.

Map in two parts for Frank's route from Cobham to Holmbury St Mary (12 miles) for lunch then to Denbies (19 miles) for Tea

A Group 3rd October

Wet roads but dry riders as Rob dodged the showers today.  34.63 miles from elevenses at Cobham to tea at Annies, lunch at the Three Horseshoes, Iron's Bottom.

1,643 feet of ascent, 1,551 calories, rolling average 12.5 mph and a maximum speed of 42.4 mph.

Autumn's here...


Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Update on Ron Powney

Doreen has provided the following update on Ron's progress since his operation:
"He's out of High Dependency now and making visible progress daily. He feels much better in himself and is eating better since about last Sunday week. He is also exercising, in the corridor and in his room. Might be home in about a week, but they want to do another "procedure" to get rid of the Atrial Flutter, if they can do it in the next week they will, otherwise he'll come home and he'll go back in a few weeks time to have it done as an outpatient. Perhaps he'll be home for his birthday, 9th October."