Monday, December 31, 2012

SWLDA Photographic Competition


See reminder in Jan/Feb 2013 Sou'Wester. Entries in various categories to Colin Quemby by Thursday 31st January 2013. Photos to be taken by the entrant for the previous 12 months ending 30 Sept 2012.
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Sunday, December 30, 2012

Bikes for Snowy Roads

Maggie and I are in Zermatt at the moment, enjoying a family Winter holiday. It's a car-free town, which is nice, and quite a few people use bikes to get about, despite the snow and ice.

The pictures show a couple parked at the ski-lift this morning. The Cannondale is pretty typical of what people use - it's an old mountain bike with mudguards and snow tyres. The white bike has an electric motor in the front hub, which makes going up the numerous hills rather easier. There are quite a lot of these around, too. The black plastic tubes at the rear wheel of each bike are to hold your skis - you just stick them in.

The road outside our chalet is pretty steep - steep enough to ski down - but every morning you see plenty of bikes whizzing down to town or to the lifts. Easier than walking, really.

Happy New Year and an enjoyable 2013 season to all.


Saturday, December 29, 2012


Happy new year everyone! Here's looking forward to longer, and especially drier days in 2012.

And may I remind you that Wayfarers subscriptions are now due. I will bring the official collecting tin to Cobham on Jan 2nd and look forward to seeing you there. The subscription is £3 (£2 for the DA and £1 for Wayfarers), plus another £2 deposit for the Wayfarers' lunch on March 6, organised by Lynda in Prezzo, Cheam village.

So if you can bring £5, or £3 if you can't make the lunch, that would be great.


Thursday, December 20, 2012

A ride 19th Dec

Eight of us including: Brian, Colin, David, Ged, John, Mark and Peter set off from Leatherhead in what seemed to be fairly dry conditions. Once we got on the cycle path to Dorking we were able to progress at quite a brisk pace. We made a slight detour leaving the cycle path just beyond the Denbies turn off to cross the railway passing through what appeared to be Denbies Vines. In a matter of a few yards we were on Calvert Road  and thereon to Ashcombe and Station roads to continue on the A25.

We met our first major climb on Coast Hill and before long were off the A25 to climb up to Abinger Common above Friday Street at which point passed by a Lutyen's designed house with it's ornamental chimneys. We tuned right (part of the 50k hilly course) to Holmbury St Mary and arrived for lunch at the Kings Head about 12:20 having escaped serious rain.

There were only two people in the bar when we arrived and that appeared the total number apart from us when we left, so we had immediate service from two charming ladies, with good liquid refreshments, but unfortunately a long wait for the food. In the event this was fortunate because we missed most of the heavy rain judging by the state of the roads when we left about 2:20.

After dropping down to the A25 at Abinger we decided en bloc to return homeward via White Down rather than Coombe Bottom, a shorter route to the Vineries at Bookham. Brian and Colin decided at this stage to  miss out the tea stop  which is something I very often do. I hope every one arrived home safely and thank you to all members for turning out on what could have been a better day weatherwise and thanks to Mark and David for acting as back markers.
Happy Xmas.


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

B Group 19th December

With Christmas lunch awaiting us at Wetherspoon's Kingston a reasonably direct route was required, so with Frank leading the second group (thanks) I led through Ashtead to the outskirts of Epsom. Horton Lane led to Chessington Road and briefly Hook, turning into Clayton Road meant peace and quiet to Long Ditton via the tunnel under the A3. Heading into Surbiton I turned into Seething Wells Road (because I like the name) then we soon arrived in Kingston, where Irene had organised the lunch (thanks).

Happy Christmas everyone - see you at Cobham.


PS Did you notice the 'Nipper Alley' nameplate on JDW's wall ? Nipper was the dog shown in HMV advertising, and was buried locally - see

Easy Riders - 19 Dec

I led 10 riders for our Christmas meal today at The Grumpy Mole in Cheam (alias The Bell). From Leatherhead Day Centre, we went back over the bridge and through the back roads of Epsom into Ewell Village and through Nonsuch Park. From the exit, we took a right up to Nonsuch High School and the pub is opposite. We locked our bikes in the back garden and were escorted to a very nice table, set in an alcove with white table linen. We all chose various dishes; from bar snacks of bagettes and sandwiches to home made pie and veg and filled jacket potato with home made coleslaw. We all agreed it was very nice food and a bit special! (and I was very impressed with the toilets). It certainly is very different now to the 7 years when I worked there.


Happy Christmas, everyone. See you all in the New Year!

B Riders' Christmas Lunch

B Group - 19th December

Terry led B Group to lunch, from Leatherhead to Kingston, over a fairly no-nonsense route which involved no rain, puddles or mud. (12.5 miles)

Per Birotam ad Tabernam

A Group 19th December

A nicely judged ride from Ray today.  Briskly over to the Kings Arms at Holmbury St Mary, rain while we ate, still raining when we left so a direct route to tea at the Vineries.

19.56 miles from elevenses to tea, rolling average 10mph.

From our next ride the days will be getting longer...


Monday, December 17, 2012

A Group Xmas Lunch


As has been said already "Thanks to Pam" for an excellent time! Here are a few photos of the merry makers. A great time was had by all! Thanks to all our Rides Leaders in 2012 please carry on with the good work in 2013 in all the sections!
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Friday, December 14, 2012

Christmas Lunch Wed December 19th

Irene tells me those going direct to Kingston Wetherspoon's should arrive for a 1pm meal - the rest will leave Leatherhead very soon after 11am.

JDW is in Clarence (one-way) Street, opposite Wilkinson's and a cinema. There are plenty of railings to which bikes can be locked.


Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Easyriders Wednesday 12th December

Caught the tale end of Linda leading out from North Cheam just as they approached the footpath to Berrylands.  Wondered why they were walking and soon discovered that three of them had gone down on an icy patch.  We proceeded with caution to Kingston where Sandy decided her knee would be better off at home in a hot bath.  Lingering over coffee we eventually braved the cold to ride across the Fairfield, up Elm Rd into the park, out by the Ham Gate across the front of Ham House, caution again on the tow path to Richmond, then across the bridge and quickly to the warmth of The London Apprentice.  Brian and Ron ate out.  The rest of us thawed out.  We then returned by similar route but took Teddington side of the Thames.  Prettiest sight was the frozen cobwebs as we crossed the bridge at Teddington Lock.  Thanks to all for the company.

Easy Riders - 12th December



The map shows Stephanie's route from Kingston to Isleworth but differs from the official return journey after lunch.

B Group - 12th December

Frank led a team of hardy B Group riders from The Dorking Christian Centre to the Edward Rayne in Raynes Park where we all thawed out.

Per Birotam ad Tabernam
(Thanks to Jeff for his advice about Latin grammar) 

Wayfarers at Table

Many thanks to Pam for organising an excellent lunch - Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all!

New Shoes?

240 titanium studs ....


Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Photo - Hickey's Almshouses

Hickey's Almshouses: Sheen Road

Christmas Lunch Wed Dec 12

For those going direct to The Cap in Hand tomorrow, lunch is booked for about 1pm.

See you there or at Dorking.


Saturday, December 08, 2012

Contact List

I've now emailed an updated version of the Wayfarers contact list to all those with known emails.    Several people have already provided corrections, which will be included in the next version in 2013, and at least one person received a completely gobbledegook version??!!! Some email addresses were rejected as invalid so if you didn't receive one, or if you got the scrambled version, please contact me on and I'll send you a copy.


From the Archive

Our grateful thanks to Pete Barnard for sharing these memories of  cycling times past.
How many of these children (and Mums and Dads) can you recognise?
Marden park 1956

 Family Section Martyrs Green 1958

Picture taken by Ernie Barnard

Has anybody else got some photographs to rekindle memories of their early (or later) days of happy cycling that they would like to share with us all? Have a look in those dusty old albums. Maybe we could put some in the Sou'Wester. On the blog you can see them much better but they fall off the bottom of the page too quickly!


News update

Seems like only yesterday
Mark Roy asks how many of you can recognise yourselves in this cutting. Don't know the date.

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

B Group 5th December

From Cobham a select B group of 7 followed Mark's route, some making a brief stop at East Clandon to admire the unique fence panels above. Look closely ! At the top of Staple Lane we found Simon carrying out roadside repairs - he soon joined us. We decided to miss Crocknorth and carried on to the A246, shortly turning into (now) No Dog Alley, which has recently been nicely resurfaced. Most of the speed humps can be avoided.

Choosing the Lower Road over the A246 gave us a relatively quiet ride to Fetcham, then through Leatherhead Leisure  Centre to the cycle track south, eventually finding the well-hidden William IV at Mickleham.

The A group were already seated, but not eating. The service was a little slow but the food was good -  who's in a rush anyway ?  We left a little after the As to make our separate ways. A nice winter's day run, I recorded 20.69 from Cobham to Mickleham.


PS At Cobham, Michael told me his partner, Hazel (the small lady who retired earlier this year) is progressing well, and Thelma, the other lady who retired, recently fell and broke a toe !

A Group 5th December

Short days, this time of the year, so a short ride seemed the best thing to ensure that everyone could get home in the light.  The problem is, how do you satisfy the hard men of the 'A' Group with a short ride? Put in a few hills, and ride up 'em fast, was my solution, and this did the trick nicely. The weather gods helped, too, with a good sprinkling of snow before we set off, just to make sure it wasn't too easy.

The snow also complicated things a little as the 'B' Group had, on this account, lost its leader. So we agreed that we would go on generally the same route, and meet at the same pub for lunch.

Off to the West from Cobham; nine of us heading along Plough Lane at a steady pace, taking the usual route though Martyrs Green to Hungry Hill and East Clandon. Some snow on the verges and in the fields as we rode up Staple Lane, and a bit of packed snow on the road surface towards the top. No real difficulty for anyone, and the sun was starting to come out. Just the thing for a December ride.

Re-grouping at the top, we found that Simon had chain problems - a link was coming apart. He kindly said that the rest of us should go ahead while he fixed it.

Down Green Dene, the road surface wet on this side, but no snow to speak of. We were quickly at the bottom of Crocknorth Lane, proceeding at a more measured pace to the top. A brisk roll over Ranmore Common, St Barnabas looking handsome in the winter sun, then down again to West Humble before heading along the Old London Road to Mickelham.

The William IV is a good pub here, and easy enough to find if you know where it is. The landlady had left the garden gate open for us, so that we could park our bikes safely. This gave us a few minutes healthy exercise carrying them up to the garden, as the pub is on a steep slope. All safely gathered in, and on to lunch.

The food is good here, as is the beer, but they were busy so service was rather slow. However, Simon turned up with his bike not fixed but rideable, and several members of the 'B' group arrived a little later. The pub is small, but we all managed to squeeze in. Jeff arrived while we were eating, a fasting day for him so speed of service wasn't an issue.

More fun getting the bikes back down the steps after lunch, then up Little Switzerland in the sunshine and past the former Headley Forge to Epsom. Tea at Wetherspoons by 1530; some deciding to head straight home.

27.38 miles elevenses to tea, rolling average 12.6 mph, 1,904 feet of ascent  and 1,227 calories.

A fine December day.


Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Shirts Galore

The makers advise that a special order for David Aylett for a short sleeved summer shirt has inadvertantly been labelled as 2XL. Anyone having a 2XL s/s that is an odd fit please contact Cliff!! Secondly, the delivery for Terry, Ian, John Bassett and Richard Delamere is expected early next week. Finally, as a result of frustrated orders, I have in stock a ladies S/S summer size XL, a ladies L/S winter size large, a ladies L/S summer size large, and a mens L/S summer also sized large. Ring 8337 3152 if interested.

Cliff W

Monday, December 03, 2012

Gatorskin or Gruyère?

Just bought some new tyres and they both had holes like this. 'Phoned the shop to request replacements. Their stock of 700 x 23C was similarly affected. What do you suppose was the explanation?

Sunday, December 02, 2012


I should like to thank those of you who have so kindly contacted me, or made enquiries through Pam, about my recovery from my recent op. It is very much appreciated. I am now pleased to report that life has just about returned to normal and I am back to driving, so I plan to make it (by car!) to Elevenses at Cobham on Wednesday. I look forward to catching up with everyone again soon.