Monday, September 29, 2014

A Group Ride 1 October from Cobham

Wednesday’s ride from Cobham will be to the Scarlett Arms at Walliswood. Some climbing, plenty of descending, and a couple of short unpaved sections, provided the forecast showers hold off. Around 20 miles to lunch, similar on return to tea in Leatherhead, depending on timing.
I look forward to seeing you there.

Friday, September 26, 2014

The Cycle Show

Maggie and I went to the Cycle Show today, to see what's going on.  It was pleasing to see that the show is a growing success; some of the earlier ones in Birmingham had seemed a bit flat after Earls Court, but there is little doubt now that it has found its footing and is growing steadily.

The major trend I would pick out is that it's all about the road.  Mountain bikes are still there, but fewer in number.  The trade is still banging the drum for e-Bikes, but I'm not sure if the UK is listening.  Utility bikes are there in numbers, but the emphasis is on fancy, high-end road-bikes.  That's what's selling, as five minutes on Box Hill will confirm.

The Trek stand was worth visiting - the Emonda lightweight showed what you can get for a lot of money - c. £10,000.  A bike, with a warranty, that weighs less than four kilos - eight pounds or so.  Less money gets you more weight, but you still get a very light bike.  That's real progress.  The Trek stand also illustrated the other major trend - disc brakes are here.  Many models, from many manufacturers, could be had in either rim brake or disc brake versions.  As far as I was able to tell there was no difference in weight or handling between them - it was just your choice.  I'd take the discs every time.

Perhaps of interest to Wayfarers is that Condors also follow this trend, and their Heritage and Fratello Touring/Audax frames can be had in disc versions.  £699 for the frame, if I recall correctly, so a very good basis for a solid - and handsome - all round bike.

Interesting stuff from Campag - electronic is the way ahead, they say, and they had a captive bike where you could experience the joys of EPS shifting.  But for 2015 there's also a new range of Super Record,  Record  and Chorus that are entirely mechanical (and substantially carbon fibre).  Bets well hedged at Campag.  The other handy bit on their stand was a climbing version of their very widely used Bora carbon wheels.  Made for Nairo Quintana, and in the shops in November.

It was good to see that Chris Boardman was on the Boardman stand, and that he'd brought his Lotus bike with him.  More than twenty years old, but still unbeaten.  The queue for autographs snaked into the distance.

And blow me if Van Nicholas didn't have a Rohloff version of their Yukon on display.  I ordered one of these a couple of years ago when it was first announced, but it never turned up.  Normal availability now, apparently.  Have to think about that one.

Lastly, a novelty item that I thought was a good idea.  It's a rear light, made of bright LEDs, about 6" by 4".  It displays, flashing red, the speed of the bike.  The intention is that if drivers, or fellow riders, have an idea of your speed, then they can behave appropriately.  It will only work, of course, if the following car realises what the numbers mean.  It certainly draws attention, which is half the battle.

A good show, with lots to see, and we enjoyed our day out.  


B Group - 24th September

Ed and 16 cyclists left the Greeno Centre and after the morning rain the weather improved for the rest of the day.

The lunch stop was at the Pineapple in Dorney. Unfortunately the service was slow, but the sandwiches were great.

We returned by the Jubilee River to Tea at the walled garden in Sunbury. By then we were down to 6 riders. A good day was had by all on the 35 miles flat route.


Map of Ed's route recorded by Ray Wren


Thursday, September 25, 2014

A Group, 24 September 2014

Shepperton - Forty Green - Stanwell Moor
The Royal Standard of England

 Squires and Equerries at table

 What pagan ritual do you imagine that John is incanting?
 Those faithful Wayfarers keep up the tradition

'A' ride 24 September: Shepperton - Forty Green - Stanwell Moor

Perhaps it was the early morning drizzle, or the promise of a long ride to the Far North: only nine joined the A group ride to the delights of Buckinghamshire.   By the time we left, the sun had come out, and it stayed sunny for the whole day.   A steady ride on fast roads took us through Laleham, Staines, Wraysbury, and Datchet, for a tour of the highlights of Slough.   After Farnham Royal it was onto leafy lanes, through Burnham Beeches, and more lanes took us briefly to the A355 near the temptations of Wetherspoons at Beaconsfield motorway services, but we resisted.  Our destination was near, so we headed through Beaconsfield to Forty Green and the Royal Standard of England, which claims to have been selling ale to 'wayfarers' for 900 years.   Dave Vine remembers visiting from school (???) when the pub didn't have electric light, and it still retains a wonderful old world ambiance, with ancient wood beams and the odd piece of armour, which was probably left there by a customer hundreds of years ago.

We enjoyed good food, good company and, er, hydration, in the garden, until Tony found a copious supply of recently fallen hazel nuts nearby, when behaviour degenerated somewhat.  On the way back  we met a rider with two ponies, one of which was startled either by the bright shirts or John's 'Laurence of Arabia' headdress - but no harm was done.  The return journey was 99% downhill with a tail wind and just a few short sharp uphills, mostly on good surfaces but a few interludes of appauling gravel or holes.  On one of these near Fulmer, Geoff  gave a masterclass in how to fix a puncture, while we all helped by watching.   Then it was back past Pinewood Studios to Colnbrook, and after noting the time (nearly 4pm), we decided to take tea in Vermeulens at Stanwell Moor.

41.7 miles with 1109 ft ascent from elevenses to tea.  

Thankyou to all for an enjoyable day out, and to Colin for acting as back marker.

Monday, September 22, 2014

This Wednesday's 'A' ride

To celebrate the end of meteorological summer, I plan to stretch our legs a little, inspired by the following text:

I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills: from whence cometh my lunch.
Into the far north, yea even unto Beaconsfield: will I guide my pedals.

I am not promising a ride of biblical proportions, no floods or plagues of frogs, but a nice pub which is almost of biblical age:  the Royal Standard of England at Forty Green claims to be Englands oldest free house and I think it will be worth the ride.

23 miles to lunch, 25 back to tea at Upper Halliford.   Not too hilly, but I would appreciate a prompt start please.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Riding in groups - rides conduct

As Jeff mentioned on the blog a couple of weeks ago, Tony Hopkins has kindly agreed to lead some work to see how we can improve our group riding, so we continue to have safe and enjoyable rides and give a good impression to other road users.

Tell us your views

Tony is keen to have your input: what guidance should we have; what is the biggest problem we have to tackle, etc?   You can email Tony, or any committee member, who will forward it to Tony.   Or you can post directly in the Wayfarers Forum thread which Tony has set up to keep track of all our input.  You may need to be registered to post to the forum but you can view what's already been said here.

(Committee members are Tim Court, Jeff Tollerman, Brian Greenwood, Mike Morley, Simon Lambourn, Colin Quemby, Harry Cole.   I won't post email addresses on the web but you can find them in the contact list.)

Thursday, September 18, 2014

A Group 17th September

Fairoaks - Farnham - W. Horsley

 This pub should be called: "Hunt the Thimble"

 We hunt him here, we hunt him there...
 I think we've found that darned elusive Pimpernel

Dave V demonstrates an explosive surge down Farncombe Hill - followed by a deflated visit to Farncombe Station. There was little we could do but sympathise at this rimless spectacle.

A Group 17th Sept

Fourteen of us set off from Fairoaks through Chobham and Warbury Lane to Bisley, then over Tunnel Hill to Mytchett. From here it was south through Ash to Tongham where the road through the centre was closed for resurfacing but we made it past on the pavement. After crossing the Hogs Back to Runfold we took a short stretch of bridleway ( NCN22) through Moor Park farm, then  over the Wey and a short climb up Monk's Walk to reach the outskirts of Farnham. From here it was a direct route to the Bat and Ball culminating in the rather rough Upper Bourne Lane. The food and service were good and we left soon after 2, avoiding Tilford on Sheephatch Lane and then through Elstead and Hurtmore to Farncombe. Here a sound like a rifle shot turned out to be David Vine's rear rim exploding, conveniently close to the station so we left him to make his way home by train. We continued past Loseley to Sandy Lane, Guildford and the well worn route up the A246 to Squires at West Horsley.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Easy Riders - 17th September

It was lovely to see Lynda back in the saddle after 2 eye operations. Best wishes for a complete recovery.  Mark spent his lunch time repairing a puncture but thought it better to get the train home, hope everything stayed together. 

15 left the day centre on a warm but cloudy morning making for Wetherspoons at Leatherhead,  via Clayton Lane, Woodstock Lane to Coverts Road & on to New Road. (which is so new they haven’t had time to tarmac it yet) making for Blundels Lane and Leatherhead. After lunch we then proceeded to “The Wells” day centre on Epsom Common. 

Something Ron noticed when we walked to the top of the Swan Centre by the road, a big white building called “The Letherhead Institution 1897 “ note the absence of the “a” in Leatherhead.!!!! 

Many thanks to everyone for making today so good, thanks Lizzy for being TEC and for leading through the maze to The Wells. 


B Group - 17th September

17 B's set off from Fairoaks on a cloudy but mild Autumn day, past Chobham and Castle Green before taking the (new to most) Romany Road quite ridable off-road through Chobham Golf Course. Past Bisley, with the sound of rifle fire rattling in our ears, and down to Pirbright. Turning back towards home we took a brief detour round Brooklands Cemetery, noting the magnificent Italian Family Mausoleums but having to leave our search for the Military Cemetery until next time. Unfortunately the back gate we have used in the past now appears to be permanently locked (although there is a hole in the wall that could be used) and so we took the Basingstoke Canal for a short way before turning south past Worplesdon to our destination at Guildford Wetherspoons. Suitably refreshed it was the turn of the Wey Canal, now basking in beautiful Autumn sunshine, and some off-road parallel to the A3 to take tea at Ockham Bites and thence home.

Thanks to Terry for being the back marker.

= Pete

Our somewhat indirect route to Guildford (17.3 miles) followed by a shorter ride up to Ockham Bites for Tea (9.5 miles):

Fairoaks Airport - Guilford - Ockham Bites
Pete took us for a guided tour around Brookwood Cemetery

A Group 17th September

A warm day with some sunny spells, but there was a touch of Autumn in the air for Brian's ride today. 40.8 miles from elevenses at Fairoaks Airfield to tea at Squires, West Horsley, with lunch at the Bat and Ball near Farnham.  2,243 feet of ascent and a rolling average of 12.9mph.

A good ride in good company.


Monday, September 15, 2014

A Group: Weds from Fairoaks

A return to the Bat and Ball near Farnham this week so for those that dont know it the approach involves several hundred yards of unadopted and unmade lane. Just to add to the fun our outward route also involves a brief but better surfaced departure from the tarmac along Sustrans Route 22. About 20 miles to lunch so please be ready to leave soon after 11.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

A Group, Wednesday 10th September

Effingham - S. Godstone - Tattenham Corner

Effingham usually invites a southerly thrust, but a wicked imp whispered: "Go east, young man". It is unwise to listen to these imps, but susceptible to temptation, I succombed to its siren voice. An initial feint up High Barn Lane transposed abruptly into an eastward surge along Ranmore, down to Dorking and the mischievous A25(E). We briefly revisited the Old Reigate Road behind Dorking Garden Centre and then across the A25 to Betchworth. By now the group was quite alarmed to be reliving some of Ray's valedictory route of the previous week, but soon our paths diverged. At Reigate, Lesbourne Rd took us past La Maison du Vélo to Redhill and the breathtaking swell of Philanthropic Rd, with its watchful tombstones. Soon the M23 towered above us, driving us away to explore the rural charms of Surrey farmland. So we shunned the tarmac to cross the cattle grid of Henshaw Farm. Most of us that is, as the impetuous Toad of Toad Hall, a certain MM, was last seen swooping exhuberantly towards the coast. It would be some time before we saw him again. Undaunted we pressed on along a bumpy but not unpleasant farm track to Outwood Lane.  The farm track of Cucksey's Farm then took us through tranquil  fields and woods to South Park. A short climb delivered us unexpectedly to Rabies Heath Rd. for a quick descent of Tilburstow Hill and our somewhat tardy arrival at the welcoming Fox and Hounds in South Godstone.
Many a time have we passed this pub but never stopped. Today we tarried and enjoyed the fine food and jolly welcome, though leisurely service, of this fine old 16 century hostelry.   So leisurely indeed was the service that an intrepid Mike M rejoined us well before all were served.

Having arrived late we left late, but with not so far to go. Tilburstow to Bletchingley was uneventful but a splinter group of Red Arrows broke ranks, some to rejoin the group a mile or two later. MM delayed his reunion. We spurned Merstham and Fanny to take Harp's Oak Lane, then Rectory Lane,  briefly to find the A217 before heading for Tadworth and Epsom Racecourse, to breast the tape at the Silver Spoon Café at Tattenham Corner, where MM awaited us. We had time to enjoy our tea and carrot cake while planning how on earth to get home from there.

I hope that our riders did not feel short-changed by today's perhaps eccentric ride with a few hills and no great mileage, but hopefully a pleasant late-summer outing with a few surprises and time to get home in time for dinner. Soon we shall be lighting up!

Advance Notice - Wednesday 29 October

I have taken over Pam's slot on the 29th. AND we are starting from North Cheam. Secret venue but if it suits anyone better coffee is at Tower Hill Diner (there's a clue!)

Easy Riders - 10th September

Liz Scrivens led the group from the Elleray Hall to The Ship in Mortlake for lunch then on to the cyclists' café in Richmond Park for a cup of tea. Lynda took a train to meet up with the team for elevenses. And she reports that she has now been for her second to last checkup to learn that she will be able to start cycling again, slowly and carefully to begin with. It will be good to see her out riding again.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

B Group - 10th September

18 riders left the vineries at Effingham on a fine day. We made good time to Godalming despite my route via Catteshall which had to be curtailed due to a wrong turning and concern of the state of the cycle path.

Lunch was at the Jack Phillips in Godalming. The service and food was good. We met Peter after lunch as he had cycled at his own pace.

The tea stop was at the Medicine Gardens at Cobham.

Thanks to David our back marker and input from Pam.

54 miles, no major hills!

Regards Tony =

Maps for Tony's very enjoyable ride to Godalming including a close-up of the off-road bits on OS 1:25,000

A Group 10 September

An anfractuous route from Jeff today, 37.3 miles from elevenses at The Vineries to tea at Tattenham Corner, lunch being taken at the Fox and Hounds, South Godstone.  Moving average 11.7 mph and 3,146 feet of ascent.

A most entertaining ride giving us a new perspective on familiar ways.


Monday, September 08, 2014

Easy Riders Sept 3rd

In Linda’s absence recovering from eye surgery, I lead about a dozen C group riders from Cobham to lunch at Ye Olde Swan in Thames Ditton.  More than half the route was off-road (apologies to those on racing tyres) and on one narrow path we were delayed for five minutes or so by tree-cutting operations.  At Claygate we passed the house where Sue had her first job as nanny to two small children who must now be in their twenties. When we arrived at the pub at about 12.30, we found Fuzz, who had started behind us, had come by a more direct route and was already waiting for us. 
As the day was warm with sunshine we wanted to sit outside, but were put off by the loud banging of workers dismantling (or may be assembling) scaffolding on the footbridge to Thames Ditton Island.  The pub manager somehow managed to persuade the scaffolders to suspend operations for an hour; so we were able to eat outside by the river in a calm and relaxing atmosphere.
The food was served promptly. But there was a hiccup when Norman, who had ordered a jacket potato with king prawns, started eating Judy’s tuna jacket potato instead. Last to be served was Les and it took him some time to consume his usual gammon steak with pineapple, chips and two fried eggs. Nevertheless we were able to leave Ye Olde Swan at about 2 p.m.  Ron, Mark and Brian decided to visit 87 years old ex-wayfarer Derek Robinson who lives in Thames Ditton, and others decided to make straight for home. The remaining group proceeded via Hampton Court, Bushey Park and Teddington Lock into Richmond Park at Ham Gate.  We left the park at Roehampton Gate, and took a short cut through Queen Mary’s hospital to Putney Park Road and along Telegraph Road to Tibbett’s Corner. By the time we reached our intended tea stop at the Windmill on Wimbledon Common there were only five of us (Judy, Sue, Les, John Bellamy and me); so we decided to give the windmill café a miss and to go to my home for tea instead.

Sunday, September 07, 2014

"B" Ride - 3rd September 2014 - Cobham/Cranleigh/Dorking (Denbies)

On a pleasant end of summer day, I led 16 out of Cobham to the Park Hatch Pub in Cranleigh (Meadow of cranes from old English). I had planned to ride to Cranleigh last summer but the pub, the food and service were disappointing to say the least. It was therefore a surprise to return on a reccie to find a refurbished pub with friendly service and much improved fare.

The route via Hungry Hill Lane, the beastly Staple Lane and Shere was undulating. We then climbed out of Shere and headed towards Farley Green to pick up the "Cranleigh Link". We continued on an almost traffic-free lane through the woods. We passed the impressive Cranleigh Boarding School, turned on to the High Street, then onto Ewhurst Road and arrived at the Pub at ten past one. We were promptly and amicably served with above average pub food.

After lunch we cycled to Ewhurst, Ockley, on to Capel, Newdigate, passed Henfold Lake, through Brockham to Denbies for tea.

No discombobulations to report and a round trip of 65 miles for F & F.
The leader and backmarker slept well that night.

Frank H.

Friday, September 05, 2014

Guidelines on Rides Conduct - What do you think?

 Dear All,

We already have some guidelines on basic Rides Conduct, (dated July 2009), to which there is a link on our homepage. At the last DA Committee meeting it was suggested that these might be reviewed. Tony Hopkins has very kindly agreed to find out what guidance other clubs/organisations have devised, to see if we can learn from their experience and usefully update our own advice for all existing and new members of  CTC SWLondon.

We all have our own views on this sensitive subject. It would therefore be most valuable if you would put on your thinking caps and let Tony and any member of the committee have your suggestions on what you think should be included. We shall then try to put the best of what we find into a draft document, as short and sharp as possible, for everybody to comment on.

You should have all the contact details.

Please let us know what you think.


Thursday, September 04, 2014

Easy Riders - 3rd September

John Gould kindly offered to lead the Easy Riders. The map shows his route from Cobham to Ye Olde Swan in Thames Ditton. After lunch John took the group up to the Windmill on Wimbledon Common. Meanwhile Mark, and Ron who was collecting the GPS data, went to visit ex-Wayfarer Derek Robinson. Derek would be pleased to see any of his old cycling friends.

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

B Group - 3rd September (maps)

The maps show the route to Cranleigh (18.8 miles) and the afternoon route to Denbies (19.1 miles) over which Frank and Françoise led us today. It was an excellent day out for all of us, all the more so for being more ambitious than usual; I have no recollection of ever riding to Cranleigh with the Wayfarers. If my stats can be believed the ride involved 2,423 feet of climbing.

B Ride Wednesday 3 September 2014

Our leader with the pub sign

Us lot with the pub (in Cranleigh)

A Group 3rd September

Today was Ray's swan-song as an A Group leader.  38.7 miles from elevenses at Cobham to tea at Denbies, lunch at the Castle, Wasp Green. Rolling average 12.1 mph, 1,848 feet of ascent.

A very enjoyable ride in good company.  Thank you, Ray.