Thursday, February 26, 2015

B Group - 25th February

Seventeen of us left Leatherhead soon after 11. We headed out via Waterway Road and took the path across the nature reserve into Lower Road. Beyond the Effingham Vineries we reached the end of Orestan Lane and turned South up Calvert Road. After the steady gradient of Green Dene and a rapid descent of Juniper Hill we arrived in Shere. John Scott had recently taken his bike to a bike shop for a ‘service’ which had left him without effective use of his bottom range of gears. As usual what works on the workshop stand doesn’t necessarily work on the actual road. So before Shere John took a more direct route (A25) back towards Dorking in order to reunite with us at the pub. The scenic undulations of Sandy Lane, Hook Lane, Pursers Lane and two bits of Hoe Lane took us down to the Horsham Road. After climbing up Sutton Lane we arrived at Abinger Common to regroup before whizzing down through the trees to the Stephan Langton at Friday Street, a pub I’ve wanted to visit with B Group for a long time.

Stephan Langton, Archbishop of Canterbury during the reign of King John, was a significant player in the events leading up to the signing of the Magna Carta.

Ian Williamson wasn’t able to stay for lunch but John materialised soon after we sat down. The Stephan Langton has a menu well suited to hungry cyclists and walkers, hearty soups and rather large jacket potatoes with an assortment of toppings. We were made to feel welcome, were served attentively, and ate well. The atmosphere in the pub is good and was enhanced by the sun coming out during lunch.

With a captive audience, Pam saw a business opportunity and did a great trade in taking orders and deposits for Sou’Westers cycling attire, having recently taken over in this rôle from Cliff. She was almost too busy to eat!

In the beautiful afternoon light we wove our way through the trees of Noons Copse, up some steep little climbs and down Sheephouse Lane where the steep banks and moss covered roots almost touched our shoulders. At Sheephouse Green, Peter Tiller took an opportunity to leave the ride to visit his sister.

After a fast spurt along 700 metres of the A25 we took refuge once again on our favourite back route into Dorking, Balchins Lane and the cycle path via Milton Court.

At Burford Bridge several carried on home via Leatherhead while the rest of us rode up the Zig Zag, including Ed who feared that if he went with the others they might not be stopping for a cuppa. Eight of us made it to the Grey Dove in Walton-on-the-Hill. Our group included Terry who clocked up an extra 16 or so miles by not going home when we passed through Dorking.

This café is one which I have wanted to visit as it is evidently a popular haunt for cyclists. Their cakes and pastries are home baked and the coffee was very good too. Mike Morley was recently struck down by a dreadful lurgy and had to stay in hospital but, although still feeling very weak, he was able to walk around the corner from his home to join us for Tea. And Brian popped in too, on the way home from Tea at Fanny’s Farm after leading A Group down to Copthorne.

Despite my apprehensions about the terrain, everyone, including some who are often wary about my choice of route, enjoyed the day, a feeling greatly magnified by not getting wet and by riding under a blue sky for much of the afternoon.

We were honoured to have our Chairman, Dave, with his fast A-Group legs, out with B Group. Although quite a challenging ride we had a marvellous day, quite a contrast to our recce when the weather was foul. Thanks to everyone for their good company and especially to David Cox for riding as back marker.

~ Tim

A Group 25th February

A Group 25th February

In spite of a damp ride to elevenses nineteen of us set off from Leatherhead even without the presence of several regulars. At this rate the A group will soon have a numbers issue on the scale of the Bs.

A change of tack today. Delightful as the country is to the south and west I felt the need for a change of direction so it was off to the southeast. The only significant climb of the morning was over Headley Heath after which it was down Pebble Hill to Betchworth and through the lanes south of Reigate to Lonesome Lane. We skirted Horley and Smallfield and then looped through Burstow and Shipley Bridge to arrive at The Cherry Tree in Copthorne from the south. Lunch was very efficently served with good food and a friendly welcome.

After lunch the sun shone and we went via Dowlands Lane and Horne for a brief encounter with the A22 then over Tilburstow to Bletchingley. The plan to go up Whitehill and use Spring Bottom Lane to approach Merstham was foiled by the road works having moved too far down the hill so we resorted to the rather wet N21 path across to Merstham Road. Peter punctured as we arrived in Merstham but we were soon on our way to tea and cake at Fanny's Farm.

On my way home I found the B Group still esconced in the Grey Dove at Walton.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

A Group 25th February

Definite touches of Spring for Brian's ride today.  10°C promised by the Weatherman; 12ºC measured on the top of a sunny Tilburstow Hill.  36.4 miles from elevenses at Leatherhead to tea at Fanny's, with a good lunch at the Cherry Tree, Copthorne.

A good day out.


Monday, February 23, 2015

An invitation from Wayfarers Artist Liz Bernard

I am having an exhibition of some of my new art work at the Fountain Gallery starting on 17th February, with two friends, Jenny O'Donoghue and Beate Tenberg-Spang.  Please see the attached invitation.  You are warmly invited to join me for a glass of wine at the Private View on Monday 16th 6.30-8.30pm or come and visit when I'm in the gallery over the following two weeks.  The rota is attached so that you know when to expect me there. 

Love to see you,

Liz Bernard

Friday, February 20, 2015

B Group, 18 February

Weybridge - Woking - Walled Garden

On a beautifully sunny, albeit brisk, morn, some 23 B's set off from Weybridge, led by Pete B and expertly shepherded by Terry at the rear. Across Chertsey Meads and up over St Anns Hill towards Lyne and Accommodation Road and then Gracious Pond. Down through Chobham and Castle Green and along to the lovely Goldworth Park before picking up the Basingstoke Canal into Woking where we were well fed and watered at the H G Wells. Back to the canal as far as Scotland Bridge where Tim took the place of Terry who headed off in a Southerly direction. Now with a welcome following wind, we passed through Woodham followed by the none too pleasant hill in Row Town and the back roads of Addlestone to cross the river at Walton and some to take tea at the Walled Garden in Lower Sunbury whilst the remainder made a more direct route home.


Thursday, February 19, 2015

Les Johnston update

Further to the information in Irene's report Lizzie has this news about Les:

"Unfortunately Les Johnson came a cropper on the way from North Cheam to Weybridge on Wednesday, at the A3 subway at Warren Drive. We managed to get him home then to St Helier Hospital where he had a scan and repairs to his grazed face, shin, and broken thumb.

Best wishes for a speedy recovery Les, hope to see you back in the saddle soon."

- Liz

Easy Riders - 18th February

Whilst waiting for the arrival of the Easy Riders we heard that Les Johnson had had fisty cuffs with a metal post and brick wall and sustained head and leg injuries.  Lizzie took him back home where his wife was going to take him to the Doctor’s.  We hope Les makes a good recovery and will soon be out again.  Thank you very much Lizzie.
We were only only 3 in number, with Judy and Sandy, so we left to go to the Prince of Wales at West End in Esher where we met up with Frank, Doreen and Ron.  We had an enjoyable lunch and then proceeded to Hook where we went our separate ways.
Thanks one and all
~ Irene

A Group 18th February

A group ride, Weybridge to Leatherhead

Wednesday 18th, in lovely weather nineteen riders set out for Newlands Corner. We were down to seventeen just 250 mts from the start, which has to be a new record? I promised the group two challenging hills, including Whitedown but forgot to mention the lumps in between Chilworth and Little London via Shamley Green and Farley Green. I'm glad to say everyone stuck to the task and hopefully enjoyed the ride through the lanes of the Surrey Hills. After a good lunch at the William IV and the slog over Whitedown we enjoyed a fast run into Leatherhead and tea at Annie's where Rob enjoyed a bumper plate of Ginger cake.
Many thanks to Mark and Brian for way & back marking. Congratulations to Neil for managing to find us at lunch and my apologies to Jeff, who didn't!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

B Group - 18th February

Pete B led about 20 of us over a meandering route to The Herbert Wells in Woking , 17 miles from Weybridge DC. It was an enjoyable and solid ride, followed after lunch by a lovely stretch along the Basingstoke Canal, ultimately to Tea at The Walled Garden.

A Group 18th February

The lure of the Surrey Hills remains powerful, and Hans led a strong peloton of the A Group over Newlands Corner to the William IV at Little London for lunch, then over White Down to tea at Annies.

35.8 miles and 2,584 feet of ascent on a sunny, Spring-like day.


Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Sou'westers cycling tops - Orders now being taken

Pam Jones has taken over the ordering of club tops from Cliff, and is now taking orders for Sou'westers tops.  From Pam: 

As far as I can tell I have all the gen to take and place orders with Gear Club, hence I will take orders via the phone,e.mail and at elevenses.... or 'where ever' ! 

The cost of a short sleeve shirt is £32.00....summer long sleeve is £34.00 and a winter long sleeve is £36.00.
I would like payment at time of ordering and I shall give a receipt with details of order!

To keep the prices as they are, I shall need an order for ten garments before I submit the completed order to supplier - otherwise the postage will be sky high!

Delivery is quoted as 3 - 4 weeks.

A note re sizes..........Cliff tells me that the sizes given are pretty tight - so beware!!  I could not wear the same size s/s top over a sleeve less - I need to order the next size up!?

The picture below is Gear Club's size guidance, which may be helpful, but see Pam's note above.
Add caption

Monday, February 16, 2015

A Ride - Wednesday 18 February

Good  news! No Bog Snorkelling, quizzes or off road this time, just more Surrey lanes and hills. The day includes Newlands Corner and a final hurrah over our old friend Whitedown Hill and tea in Leatherhead (time permitting).

Saturday, February 14, 2015

B Group - 11th Feb

The theme of this ride was water and green spaces.

24 riders left Teddington for Osterley Park via Twickenham Stadium and the sewage works. We then joined the Grand Union Canal, following it down to Brentford through to Syon Park to join the Thames.

We crossed over Richmond Bridge, cycling through Richmond Park and Putney Heath. We had lunch at The Telegraph, Putney Heath. Once we finally managed to order the service and the food was good.

As we were running out of time I had to shorten the ride back to Bushy Park for Tea via Wimbledon Common.

Thanks to all who helped out especially the back marker John.

Total mileage 30

Regards Tony

Our leader, Tony, with his well-fed team at The Telegraph
Teddington - Putney Heath - Bushy Park

Friday, February 13, 2015

The London Bike Show

I went to the Bike Show today, as I'm sure that a number of others did.  Plenty of fancy stuff there - Boardman was launching his SLS Disc Road bike, which looked a very good piece of kit, £2000-£3000+, depending on build.  Good value, as ever with Boardman, but still a pricy ride.

But the thing that particularly struck me was on the Pinarello stand ... wait for it ... Axiom Axle Runners, at about a tenner for four.

They fit under the quick release and provide a threaded mudguard mount for a bike that hasn't got one.  So you can have proper mudguards on your race bike.  Pinarello had fitted a set of SKS mudguards to a Dogma with 25mm tyres.  Pretty tight, but decent clearance and a good fit.  The fitting at the bottom of the rear guard was very neatly fabricated by drilling a couple of small holes in the mudguard and running a thin zip-tie around the seatpost.  Hard to see, at first, but the whole arrangement was very solid.

So there you are - just what you need for Spring in the Surrey Hills!


Thursday, February 12, 2015

Thursday 12 February 2015 - omission

Several bottles of wine arrived and I failed to notice whence they came. I'm most grateful to whoever it was!

Ad hoc ride Thursday 12 February 2015

Liz organised a ride to my house to try to comfort me about my non-cycling. Here they are:

... and on their way:

PS There was an unidentified bike. Does anyone know whose it is?

A Group, 11 February 2015

Teddington - Harmondsworth - Bushy Park
It was good to see Pete B at Elleray Hall, now mobile without his stabilisers

Keith caught in the line of fire.

Wayfaring barnstormers outside the Crown, Harmondsworth

 For those who did not go behind the church to see it: the Tithe Barn

A group 11 February

Frank was not well enough to lead yesterday's ride, so he asked me to lead.   I had twenty minutes to panic prepare.   The destination was set as Harmondsworth, and with the help of David Vine and a map, I quickly came up with a pretty direct route that would have got us there about quarter to twelve.   Luckily Graham Hill had a better idea and so he offered to lead.  It was destined to be a fairly urban route but Graham managed to stitch together an impressively flowing ride, taking in Bushy Park, Hampton Hill and Hampton; over the A316 on the spiral bridge; up to Ashford and Stanwell, then across to Colnbrook and back around to Harmondsworth.

Photo: English Heritage/Boris Baggs
Good food at reasonable prices was provided at the Crown; served strictly in the same sequence as orders were taken.  We had plenty of time and some did a 50 yard detour to visit the Tithe Barn which "ranks alongside the Houses of Parliament and Westminster Abbey for its architectural merit".  Then a rural ride back through the green fields and villages of Sipson and Harlington on the site of Heathrow's proposed third runway, before skirting through Heston to reach Osterley Park with its bicycle-eating speed trenches. Through Isleworth and back along the river to Twickenham en route to Bushy Park, where we met the B group for tea.

Thankyou to Graham for leading in the morning, to David Vine for cartographic services and to Steve Lloyd for back marking in the afternoon.   And we hope you get well soon Frank!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

A Group 11th February

Frank was unwell today, so Graham and Simon were drafted in at short notice for an ad-hoc lead.  They gave us an entertaining tour of the Villages of Heathrow, with an ample lunch at the Crown, Harmondsworth and tea at the Pheasantry, Bushey Park.  Happily we arrived just before the Bs, so there was some cake left.

30 miles elevenses to tea, not a lot of climbing, which makes a change.


Saturday, February 07, 2015

Photo Competition

Please note that we are no longer accepting new entries for the photo competition.

Thank you to everyone who has participated.

~ Tim

Thursday, February 05, 2015

Midweek Wayfarers CTC: A Group 4th February.

Midweek Wayfarers CTC: A Group 4th February

Well done Ray. On the ascent of Leith Hill I heard a thump behind me as you hit the deck with a nasty fall, yet after a few steps you gamely remounted to continue the climb. Not many 88year olds are made of sterner-stuff!

B Group - 4th February (map and photo)

Happy Birthday Mark Roy

At Elevenses Mark kindly treated us all to our morning tea to celebrate his birthday. He will be 90 tomorrow, 6th Feb.

Mark at Elevenses

Peter T's meandering route to Epsom then to Tea in Long Ditton

Wednesday, February 04, 2015

A Group 4th February

Fourteen of us left Cobham, which, taking into account a couple of apologies and a couple more skiing, is a big group for a hard ride at this time of year.  Away at eleven sharp we headed off across Fetcham Common in bits and pieces of wet snow, which was pretty much all we saw all day.  It was cold, and the temperature dropped slowly as the day went on, but it never got below freezing so no ice.

Bagden Hill from the easy side was our first.  There had been some snow there yesterday but it had all melted, so a swift and easy passage to the first real climb, Ranmore.  This had also been snowy yesterday but was now completely clear, so up we went in fine style

Over the top and down to Dorking, where road works made for a pleasant and traffic free passage through the town centre.  Then Coldharbour, which is a surprisingly long hill (or at least I thought so), before enlisting the aid of gravity to swoop down to Ockley.  There's method in my madness - the point was to get to the very bottom of Leith Hill so that we could say that we had ascended Surrey's highest road properly.  Everyone acknowledged that we had indeed done so, and some pointed out that we could have avoided quite a bit of climbing if we had only crossed by the landslip.  Well, up to a point, Lord Copper ....

Over the top and down to the Abinger Hatch, where they were expecting us, but not quite so many.  No problem, and we were quickly seated and fed.  A good chat in the warm, then back out to tick off a couple more hills.

Sheephouse was the first, a novelty for some, and arguably the steepest hill in Surrey.  We went nicely up this, with several noticing the genuine steep hill effect of the front wheel lifting as you climbed.  This is obviously the beginning of a potentially tricky situation, but everyone managed it well.  We all stopped at the top to puff and blow for a bit.

Only Whitedown left, so the day was almost over, and as we looped round past the pub there was some enthusiasm to go back in.  But sterner counsel prevailed and we did Whitedown in good style.  We were a bit unlucky with the traffic, as there were several cars both ascending and descending, but they were considerate enough and we were soon flying down the North side.  Across Ranmore Common in the sunshine, back down the hairpin and tea and cakes at Pilgrim Cycles.

32.9 miles elevenses to tea; 3,429 feet of ascent at a gentlemanly pace of 11 mph.  Not bad for Winter.

For those that enjoyed this ride, which is a counterpart to Simon's December ride, it is possible to do all of the hills that we rode in both of them (and a couple more) by riding the Tour of the Hills organised by West Surrey CTC.  Entry fee £8, good food included, 115kms and 2,300m of climbing.  You can win medals for doing it quickly, under five hours gets you Gold.  Now that is a hard day out ...  Full details at Audax UK - [Click HERE]

Thanks to all for participating in a great ride, special thanks to back markers and corner markers.  We did well.


Tuesday, February 03, 2015

A Group Ride - 4 February

There's been a certain amount of muttering about the flatness of January, so I plan to put this to rights on Wednesday.  Just before Christmas Simon took us on a very pleasant ride in the Western part of the Surrey Hills; I thought we could move a bit East for the next shot.

The plan is Bagden Hill, Ranmore, Coldharbour, Leith Hill, Sheephouse and Whitedown, with lunch at the Abinger Hatch and tea at Pilgrim Cycles.

That's the plan, but the weather may dictate otherwise.  We are promised frost and icy patches, some say snow.  The weather rarely delivers as predicted, being sometimes more and sometimes less.  So, let's posit success and make our final decisions on Wednesday.

Wrap up warm and be ready for a prompt start at 1100, please, as there's a bit to do.


Reg Beever RIP 7 April 1935 to 4 January 2015

Many of the older members from C&M and MWW will remember Reg who was a regular with the Family section before it became the Downladers. Reg has not cycled for some years since being confined with dementia. He was a great friend of  Bill Mathews and when they first met were keen runners. Ken also knew Harold Penfold before meeting Pat when they eventually married..Reg was a London Black Cab driver for over 50yrs and knew that are like the back of his hand which made him a very good rides leader!

Reg funeral was arranged by his family who he was very devoted to. In Reg early sporting life he was a semi-professional footballer but had to give up through knee injury. His grandchildren have followed his love of football and the two eldest granddaughter's play semi-professional for League club women's teams.
Moving tributes were paid by son Jason and daughter Vanessa. Some of his long standing cycling friends attended including David & Dawn Aylett, David Ward, Pat Mathews, Ed Sharp, Cliff & Maureen along with me. Ken & Janice Loy were also to attend but had to give up their attempt due to bad weather and traffic travelling up from the south coast. Peter Crofts of CTC cycle tours fame came all the way down from Salisbury to  be there. Reg had been on many of his tours to Nepal, Vietnam, South America and elsewhere.I well remember when Tim at the age of 12yrs came with me to the Easter Cider Festival at San-lo Normandy with Bill Mathews, Reg, David Vines and other past family section members present must have been around 1992.

The exit music appropriately enough was "Bicycle Race" by Queen.

Refreshments were generously provided by the family at the Crown Pub Twickenham.

Donations in memory of Reg may be made if desired to the Alzheimer's Society or Royal Star & Garter Homes.
C/O Lodge Brothers, 55 King St., Twickenham TW1 3SH

2015 Photographic Competition - Time is running out!

We need more entries for the photo competition. We know that many of you have been busy with your cameras during 2014. Some of you were caught red-handed:

So please read the rules and follow these instructions to enter your photographic masterpieces for this competition before Wednesday 4th Feb.

Further to the great success of last year's photo competition when we went digital for the first time we invite you to take part this year.

Please use this new method for sending your photos to us:

  • Visit the website:
  • Enter the access code: "lunch"
  • Locate the photo(s) on your computer and 'drag and drop' them into the big turquiose rectangle.
(As an alternative you may click on "+Choose Files" and select your photos using your file manager.)
  • Repeat this for each of the photos you intend to submit.
N.B. When using this website to transfer photos it is not necessary to sign up to dbinbox or Dropbox.

Send an email to me, Tim, confirming the name and CTC membership number of the photographer, and for each photo list:

  •     the filename (e.g. P1040276.jpg)
  •     the category for which the photo is being entered
  •     a short, descriptive caption
The rules and categories are simple:

Competition Period: The 2014 calendar year. 

Your photos must all illustrate a connection to cycling by depicting a bicycle for example, or other cycling association.

You may submit a photo or photos for every category.

    6.1. Person (male) or people
    6.2. Person (female) or people
    6.3. Action
    6.4. Scenery/landscape
    6.5. Building/buildings
    6.6. Humorous or funny

Note that the award for a winning photograph in each category will be given to the photographer who took the picture, not to the model.

[Last year we asked you to email your photos to and this email address is still available if you are unable to use the new method. Attach a single photo to each email and in your message give the information about the photographer and each photo, as above.]

~ Tim