Friday, October 30, 2015

Emergency Contact Details

If you were incapacitated on a ride, who should we inform?

We hope this never happens of course. It's the first guideline in the Group Riding Guidelines, and the importance of having emergency contact details was stressed again recently at a CTC Ride Leaders' workshop attended by Peter Carpenter. What should we all do?

  1. Fill in our details on the back of the SWLDA membership card - but as Jeff Tollerman recently discovered, exposure to moisture can render this illegible. 
  2. Put 'ICE' (In Case of Emergency) details into your phone: follow these links for Android or iPhone; for 'traditional' (non-smart) phones, add a contact starting with the letters ICE. If the phone can be locked, check that the ICE contact can be seen without unlocking the phone - and test it! Phones vary, but Google often has helpful advice... 
  3. We intend to add ICE information to the Wayfarers contact list, which is carried by several people on rides. This would increase the chance of having the details available if necessary on a ride. We can discuss this at the AGM - and of course anyone who's unhappy with this can opt out. 

Ride safely!

A Group - 28 October

The Merry Waifs of Windsor
A regal band of Ged's Knights Errant, flanking our statutory Lady, after banqueting in the shadow of the House of Battenburg/Mountbatten/Windsor and not hiding their lights under a bushel .

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

A Group Ride 28th October

The predicted rain failed to materialise as 16 Wayfarers left Elleray Hall, Teddington for a ride west to Windsor. From the Coleshill Gate in Bushy Park to Hampton Hill, and on to Virginia Water via Sunbury, Shepperton, and Chertsey, we reached the only (modest) climb of the day - Callow Hill. From Englefield Green we were soon into Windsor Great Park and enjoying the warm autumn sunshine. Neil did a detour via The Royal School, whilst we waited patiently, and finally exited the Park at Rangers Gate, picking-up the SUSTRANS Thames Cycle Route into Windsor.
A 'hidden' rear entrance to the Wetherspoon's King and Castle in Thames St via the River St. car park enabled bikes to be secured in the beer garden, and lunch was served soon after 1.00pm.
Onwards to tea at the Pheasantry Cafe in Bushy Park was via Datchet - where 3 of the Group missed a turn but were capably rounded-up by back markers, Wraysbury, Staines, and Laleham. The last leg to the Park followed our route out through Shepperton and Sunbury. Eight of us enjoyed an early tea in a rather noisy 'half-term' Pheasantry Cafe.
Many thanks to Geoff and Simon who shared back-marking duties and enabled my first led ride to be as stress-free as possible. 40 miles from Elevenses to Tea seemed about right for this time of year, hopefully enabling most to arrive safely home before dusk.

Ged Lawrenson

B Group 28 October

With a not very good weather forecast for the morning at least I set off for south west Urbania aka Teddington hoping for the best. A pleasant start to elevenses was cakes and teas/coffees from almost birthday boy Mike, thanks Mike.

I led a couple of dozen or so to the fountain in Bushy Park then turned right and joined Hampton Court Road. Soon we escaped much of the traffic by turning into Lower Sunbury Road which led to Shepperton. A combination of poor memory and new Surrey Cycle Guides which don't name all roads shown led to a halt and head scratching in Chertsey but Tim with his magic gizmo came to my rescue. We were soon under way again and found our lunch stop The Golden Grove at the foot of St Ann's Hill (there's a clue). Lunch was good but inevitably took a little while, we didn't leave until well after 1400.

My original plan was to head west to Chobham but that was obviously out of the question so in even nicer weather we sped up St Ann's Hill to Lyne, passing The Royal Marine (my originally planned lunch stop but they couldn't cope with our numbers). Soon we were obliged to stop and watch a Portacabin being loaded onto a lorry, after which we turned into Accommodation Road then headed for Ottershaw. Hare Hill and Liberty Rise led to the footbridge over the M25 thence to Crockford Bridge Farm Shop, where some stopped, others proceded homewards. Not many miles but there wasn't really time for many more. A pleasant day out, weather better than expected, thanks to Tim for backmarking and everyone for your company.


B Group - 28th October (map and photos)

A real Autumnal day for Terry's ride to Chertsey:

A Group 28th October

Bright Autumn sunshine for Ged's ride today; 40.2 miles from elevenses at Elleray Hall to tea at The Pheasantry, Bushy Park.  Lunch at the magnificent King and Castle Wetherspoons in Windsor and a good day out for all.


Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Councillor Election Results for SE England


Dear Fellow Cyclists, 

I would like you to read this and let me know what you think.
With the last issue of Cycle some of us received voting papers for 3 trustee councillors to represent, not Members, but the interests of the charity known as the CTC, in SE England (excluding London) from 1 January 2016 to 31 December 2018. After voting had closed, I searched in vain on the CTC website for the results. I therefore started a thread on the CTC Forum asking for news of the results. Phil Benstead, the candidate Councillor who came to speak to us at Cobham, was kind enough to reply and gave the results. The outcome is pretty dire.  Throughout the whole of SE England, 170 valid ballot papers were received which is 1.83% of eligible voters. Phil was not successful. He provided a copy of the CTC Returning Officer's Report.  I was intending to put a link to this on our website. 

When I tried, I found that, without explanation, the CTC had censored the entire thread that I had put on the Forum and deleted it, including Phil's reply. It does not now exist. You will not find it. What has the CTC got to hide and why is it so morbidly paranoid?  What is so intensely secret about electon results? Why must we wait two months for the rubber stamp of the eunuchs on the CTC Council before results may be announced in the bi-monthly issue of Cycle magazine? Why not on the website? Why not in CycleClips? Why not NOW? There is no rational reason.  The CTC seems to have become an opaque and  inward-looking organisation.

In the interests of open governance and honesty, here is a link to the CTC Returning Officer's Report. 

Do you think that this should have been deleted from the CTC Forum?

Is this the way for a cycling charity or any competent organisation to behave?

Let me know.


Monday, October 26, 2015

A Handsome Devil

No, not me.

It's the end of October,  so it's time for the Dartmoor Devil.  This year's ride was a brilliant contrast to my last in 2013, when heavy rain and high winds made a hard ride even harder.  This year we enjoyed sunshine, mild temperatures and almost no wind for the Devil of your dreams.

A new course for this year, with the general direction being anti-clockwise and some new hills that the organisers were able to fit in.   We had a double passage of Widecombe in the Moor, a village in a deep fold meaning 20% climbs to get out of it, and Pepperdon Hall Lane, a new one for me,  very steep, narrow and covered in slippery moss and leaves.  My GPS gave 38%, which is surely not true, but it was very steep.

Soup at Whiddon Down, lunch at Princetown and the finish, as usual, at the Kestor Inn, Manaton, reached by the 'Classic Route' over the moors, with wild rocks, autumn colours and distant views of the sea.

69.2 miles, 8411 feet of ascent and a really good ride.


A Group Ride - Teddington

To kick-off the winter season, Wednesday's A Group ride will be heading west. Lunch at Wetherspoon's, Windsor, and tea in Bushy Park. A flat ride with only a short off-road section into Windsor. Prompt 11.00am departure from Elleray Hall. Weather suggests only light oilskins not wetsuits!

Saturday, October 24, 2015

B Grouplet - 21 October

Addlestone - W Horsley - Leatherhead

Reportlet on a ridelet by a grouplet

The best laid plans are sometimes washed away and so it was on Wednesday. We faced not a deluge but an unrelenting drizzle. There was talk at Addlestone of merging A+B, but  a quorum of Bs (Ray D, Peter T, Jeff T and Vic W held fast to their intended direction if not distance of travel. Peaslake was jettisoned and the compass set for West Horsley.
So south it was as we set sail for West Byfleet and a course beside the Wey and sewage works for Wisley Bridge, cunningly avoiding Muddy Lane and its irascible custodian, befriended by Vic. This seemed far enough for phase one as we sought sanctuary in Wisley Church, so often passed and rarely visited. It is a modest Norman building, dating from the mid-12th century, notable perhaps more for its survival through the centuries than its magnificance. Suitably shriven, we processed along Lock Lane to Wisley. In the gloom and foreboding of the airfield, awating its 'new town', the leader lost his way and had to be guided to Ockley and the Hautboy from a novel direction. Long Reach soon took us to lunchtime shelter in the King Bill at W. Horsley. Peaslake would have to wait for another day. Time passed pleasantly as our two veterans, R and V, reminisced about past exploits. Before you could say 'CTC' it was time for tea. We scuttled smartly along the A246 to Leatherhead, where Annie's let us in after closing time. We departed still in daylight.
This was not a ride to register in the record books. It may be remembered as a pleasant and enjoyable ride in autumn rain and excellent company.


Easy Riders - Wednesday 21st October

I was the sole rider from North Cheam to Walton Day Centre.   I wasn't surprised, it was pouring with rain!  I was going to collect Sou'Westers, which Graham was taking there.  When I arrived, the Squirrels were having  tea with Fuzz.  A little later Bernard turned up and then Brian.  So, we made the best of it and cycled to Hampton Court.  We  had very nice lunches in 5 at the Bridge.  Sonia joined us a little later for lunch .   After;  Fuzz and Bernard went to the station, and Sonia and I went to Squires at Long Ditton for tea.  It had stopped raining by the time we came out, so had a dry ride home.  


Friday, October 23, 2015

Hans' A group ride - route

Another in the series of water-themed rides this autumn: this one started wet and got drier.  41.7 miles from 11s to tea.  Thankyou Hans!

Thursday, October 22, 2015

A Ride to Denham...

A wet start to the day meant there were a lot of uneaten cakes at Addlestone DC as only the hardy few made it to elevenses. ‘The Magnificent Seven’ riders set off and for the rest of the day, although damp, not too troubled by additional rain. We managed a swift twenty eight miles ride to Denham Village for lunch via Pinewood Studios, Fulmer, Gerrard’s Cross and Chalfont St Peter. We were joined at The Falcon Inn by Tony Hopkins who had been attending another CTC AGM in the village.

The ride home was rapid, through Uxbridge and couple of miles of solid towpath along the Grand Union to Southall and eventually tea in Richmond.

Well done to the riders for braving the early day elements on a very grey’ Back to the Future’ day.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

B Group ride - Addlestone heading south

The plan for tomorrow's B Group ride is to head south, a short stretch of off-road taking us along mostly rural lanes for lunch at Peaslake and tea in Dorking or Leatherhead. Although clocks do not go back until Sunday, cycle lights are essential equipment. So too are wetsuits and flippers, if the Met Office is to be believed, so do not leave them at home. Like all good Girl Guides and Boy Scouts: 'Be prepared'.


A Group ride - Addlestone heading north.

Tomorrow’s A Group ride is heading north from Addlestone, an urban/suburban ride which has a variety of quiet lanes, busy roads and a stretch of solid tow path along the Grand Union. Lunch will be at Denham Village and finishing up with tea in Richmond.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Tubeless Tyres

It's the puncture season, as several have commented.  If only there was some way of avoiding this, one of bicycling's great blights.  Well, maybe there is ...

As some of you will know, I have been interested in using tubeless tyres on a road bike for some time.  The main (and over-riding) reason is that they are claimed to be much less prone to punctures, but a secondary reason is that every other sort of pneumatically-shod transport, from earth-movers to wheelbarrows, uses this system.  It has been standard fitting on the family car for about half a century.  So what's so special about us?

Some of my Audax UK clubmates have been using tubeless tyres for the last couple of years.  These are long-distance riders and their reports are good - tubeless does reduce the incidence of punctures, and is often able to self-seal, so that if a puncture does occur then it is not even noticed until you are home.  But there must be some disadvantages, mustn't there?  Well, yes, but let's have a look at the system first.

There are four special parts to the system, compared with a standard set-up; the tyre, the rim, the valve and the sealant.  Let's start with the rim.

Here's a tubeless rim.  If you look carefully at the picture you can see that there is a lip that the tyre engages with.  You can also see the rim-tape, which is a sort of super sellotape - these two elements make the rim airtight.  To get the air in you need a valve

which screws into the rim.  The business end is a sort of fleshy rubber - you do it up finger-tight.  Lastly, you need the sealant.

The little bottle is the right size for your tyre, you fill it from the big bottle.  The sealant in your tyre  lasts for about six to eight months - it evaporates gradually, depending on temperature.  You can check the amount in your tyre by unscrewing the valve core and dipping in an allen key or similar - if it has gone down, then a quick squirt tops it up.

Put it all together, and this is what you get:

I've been running mine since July, and so far so good.  

But what about these disadvantages, then?  Well, some of them are just the way things are, rather than actual disadvantages.  It's a different system, so you have to deal differently with it.  But here's how it looks to me.

Firstly, the tyres.  They are not easy to get.  Schwalbe, Mavic, Hutchinson and Vittoria make them, to my knowledge, and they come in in small quantities and get out of stock quickly.  I don't know why this is, but I have had to wait for the ones I have and am currently waiting for spares.  The best place I have found to get them is - they seem to have more stock, more often, than anyone else.  No idea why this is, or why supplies come and go. 

The wheels and rims, on the other hand, seem readily available.  Mavic, Shimano, Campagnolo, Trek, Specialized and I have no doubt many others produce rims and wheels that will take tubeless tyres.  Many of this year's bikes have them, sometimes with tubeless tyres fitted and sometimes not - the rims will take either.  I would guess that this variability of fitting is a supply problem, too.

But physically fitting the tyre is another issue.  To seat the bead on the tyre in the groove on the rim needs high pressure.  Some say a track pump will do it, some say a workshop compressor is better.  If you've ever watched while the chap in the tyre depot puts a tyre on your car, you'll know exactly what I mean.  The tyre is put on the rim with a spot of sealant around the edge, a brief hiss with the air-line and 'pop' the bead is seated.  This may be the ideal way to fit them - get someone with the right tools to do it for you...

Ahh, I hear you say, what about punctures then?  Some Wayfarers may be able to remember repairing a puncture in a car tyre, but most of us have never done it.  Tubeless tyres are very much less prone to punctures than tubed tyres, and generally deflate slowly if they pick up a nail or some-such.  The system I have outlined above has sealant in the tyre that should seal most punctures - thorns, flints and nails seem to fall in this category.  For a larger puncture there is a puncture outfit consisting of sticky rubber plugs - you push one into the hole from the outside.  And if you get a truly enormous gash from a broken bottle then you have much the same problem as you have with a tubed tyre - you'll have to use some sort of tyre boot to bridge the gash and put in a new tube to get you home - where you'll have to replace the ruined tyre, tubed or tubeless.

Aha!  But I won't have a compressor with me!  No, of course you won't.  But to inflate a tube you won't need one - it will come up to pressure with a pump in the normal way and, incidentally, seat the bead for you.  A spare tube would always get you home, but with any luck you will never need to use it.

So, does it work?  Dunno.  This year, tubeless tyres were used by pro teams in the Paris-Roubaix.  Long distance racers and riders on the Transcontinental and Paris-Brest-Paris also used them, and all reports are either of no punctures or of punctures where the sealant has worked.  The manufacturers are making huge claims, as you would expect - 'fastest ever'  'no more flats' and so on. You'd expect that.  

For performance, I've tested mine in a roll-out down Root Hill and they seem the same as everything else.  My tubeless tyres are Schwalbe One 28s, and I don't have an exact comparator, but they seem a little worse than a 23mm Grand Prix and a little better than a 28mm Gatorskin.  A slight difference is possibly greater comfort, as they use a lower pressure - 80 psi is about typical.  If there is a difference it's hardly night and day, though.

I'm going to run mine through the Winter, and use them for the cobbles of the Tour of Flanders in the Spring.  I'll let you know how I get on.


Friday, October 16, 2015

CTC South West London AGM - 11th November

The AGM for CTC South West London will commence at 11:02 in the Hersham Amenity Hall on Wednesday 11th November.

The date and time coincides with Armistice Day so we will observe the 2 minute silence before the meeting starts. Please be in the hall by 10:50 to ensure you that you have time to find a seat before 11 o'clock.

Signing in and distribution of the agenda and other paperwork will take place after this moment of quiet.

Should you arrive late the silence will be observed in the cafeteria and throughout the premises by the staff and regular clientele of the Day Centre.

It is the custom to award the Arthur Jessop Shield to recognise outstanding achievement in the club. If you wish to nominate someone for this award please communicate with the secretary or a member of the committee.

Tim Court

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Message from Peter Betts

It is now a year since the mishap that fractured my femur. the leg has recovered well and I am walking with the Kingston Ramblers to keep myself sane while not cycling. I intend to return to the road next Spring having given the bone plenty of healing time.

~Peter Betts

A Group 14th October

My morning was a trial by puncture. The first sign of a slow just before the FWC and I chaned the tube at Brockham. Then only another few miles before it was flat again though no leak could be found in the tube. A second replacement went flat almost immediately only to find a bit of grit in the rim. With the aid of a patch progress was resumed. Meanwhile the rest of the group ( Except Hans who stayed for support) had gone ahead to the Crown at Capel. Here some confusion between the bar and the kitchen resulted in two additional rounds of sandwiches ( gratis) being shared around.
In spite of the delays we were away by about 2.15 for a hilly afternoon. First to Ockley and then up Leith Hill where we turned left at the church to reach Leith Hill Road. Over the top and then right into Sheephouse Lane for the descent to Wootton and the A25. After a mile we took the back route to Dorking by turning into Balchins Lane ( aka the Leader's revenge ) losing two of our headstrong group who clearly haven't taken on board the Ride Guideline about not being in front of the leader!!
From Dorking we climbed Box Hill to tea at the Grey Dove cafe on Walton on the Hill. Several left us after Box Hill to return home via Epsom but a respectable 8 of our original 17 came to Walton with Mike reappearing for a cameo appearance.
My thanks to Hans for keeping me sane on the way to Capel and Geoff for back marking.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Easy Riders - 14th October

What a change in the weather, cool & breezy but nice in the sun.  I met Jonathon at Oatlands Chase at 10 o/c this morning where we then rode to Mole hall to await the Easy Riders.
20 left at 11.30 am  (yes that’s right 20) and made our way through Esher to Hook “The Cap in Hand”.  Jonathon comfortably came in via the wheelchair entrance where we all enjoyed the good food.
Lynda kindly lead the afternoon ride to Ewell Court whilst Jonathon and myself made tracks for Weybridge and home.  Would like to welcome 3 new riders  Maggie & Paul but sadly cannot remember the other gentleman’s name. sorry.
A big thank you to Lynda and John Bellamy for being such good “Tail end Charlie's”
Thanks to one and all for a lovely day.

B Group 14 October

Root Hill (for the Freewheel Competition) was the destination from Dorking Christian Centre, achieved with no problems. My beautiful assistant/pusher off was Neil, who did a splendid job.

After adopting my OAP (Optimum Aerodynamic Profile - base up, apex down, but not too far otherwise you can't see out of your bifocals) I set off. Pushing the blue-tipped bamboo in the ground where I stopped I soon saw Mark whoosh by to stop much further along the road. Mike soon came by but didn't quite reach Mark's bamboo. Only two ladies competed this year, Ingrid the winner with Liz Scrivens running up.We all found the eastish wind a problem.

After the event Tim presented the awards (Ed's unique carved trophies for the winners - thanks, Ed) and toobs for the runners up, on Brockham Green. B group then adjourned to the fairly recently nicely refurbished Royal Oak, just across the green, within sight of next month's half complete bonfire. The food and service couldn't be faulted - well worth future visits.

After a leisurely lunch John led us - I had to peel off early but managed a quick cuppa at Annie's.


Freewheel Competition 14 Oct Root Hill

Firstly an almighty big thanks to Terry for yet again organizing this event and sticking his canes in the ground to mark first & second place.

As ever also a special thanks to Ed for making the wooden Trophy's Gent's & Ladies winners. See picture below.

Also picture of the winners, Ingrid & Mark. This was Ingid's first win at I think her first attempt. Pam you had better look out!

Second place went to Liz & Mike who celebrated together with only an inner tube between them. Brockham Green has never had such excitement apart from Bonfire night.

Thanks also to Neil for being an excellent pusher off and to our Hon. Sec Tim for presenting.

B Group - 14th October

Here is a map showing Terry's morning ride and the route of the Freewheel Competition with the bright green line showing the extent of Mark's winning ride. How he got so far with that stiff headwind is beyond comprehension.

After lunch John Austin took us to Bike Beans. He was concerned that his ride wasn't long enough but we were all profoundly grateful to arrive at Bike Beans so comfortably before they closed the café for the day.

~ Tim

A Group 14th October

Two good rides today.  First, the ever-popular Freewheel Competition, arranged by Terry - much trickier this year, with a strong headwind - then a good ride for the As, led by Brian, where we were able to fill in some of the gaps in our Surrey Hills programme before tea at the Grey Dove, Walton on the Hill.  Good cakes.

33.6 miles elevenses to tea, lunch at the Crown, Capel.


Monday, October 12, 2015

Freewheel competition Wednesday 14 October

This year's competition will be held at Root Hill.

Whilst waiting to be called (by my beautiful assistant) for your turn, please park on the verge on the right hand side of the road.

After the event the awards will be presented at Brockham Green.

B group will then adjourn to the nearby Royal Oak (the first pub on your left).

Happy 'wheeling.


Sunday, October 11, 2015

The Bec Hill Climb

Not an easy ride - well done, Mike.


Thursday, October 08, 2015

A ride October 7 2015

Dull with light rain sums it up; clearing skies were forecast but they didn't appear until I was back indoors. It did not start well; in my haste to meet up with Rachel on Kingston Bridge, I left behind my wet gear. So by the time we reached Cobham I was damp. Already seasoned with the rains of recent days, my revised brew involved no rough stuff, few hills and low miles (50 door to door) - heady enough to attract riders not normally seen on "A" rides.

We started with the familiar, Wisley airfield and gardens, West Byfleet. Then fun started as my reconnaissance had been in fine weather and in the reverse direction (not recommended). We joined the canal towpath at Sheerwater Recreation Ground much earlier than intended and left it in the middle of Woking. After rounding the back of Castle Grove (as was), we continued to West End. The A319 was busy but soon we were waved across. After beating a hasty retreat at the unexpected sight of the Bagshot bypass, we correctly took the second (rather than first) left which indeed led us to lunch at The Sun in Windlesham.

Here food is attractively priced so many forsook their bread with filling and opted for the more substantial. The staff coped well with the 20 meals and all were served within 30/40 minutes. Another worrying sign of times: throughout our stay we were more than 80% of the customers.

If ignored a "Road Closed" sign might have meant a second ignominious retreat so we rode past The Cricketers and Brickmakers to Highams Lane. Here I was momentarily confused - "Road Closed" and "Diversion"! Opting to believe the latter we turned to Valley End. I've always been puzzled by Steep Hill (which isn't) but at least we were back on very familiar territory (Gracious Pond, St Peter's and Addlestonemoor). Sheepwalk saw us into Shepperton and an hour in the Upper Halliford garden centre rounded off the day. Home well before five. 
 The route without the mistakes!

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

B Group - 7th October

Our ride to Cranleigh (17.2 miles with 1220 feet of climbing) was led by Helene. We had Tea at Pilgrim Cycles after a further 13.2 miles and 911 feet of climbing.

Our leader

Monday, October 05, 2015

Bec Hill Climb

If you're thinking of a ride next Sunday, then a run out to watch the Bec Hill Climb will be very worthwhile.  It's a long-standing classic, attracting a strong field, and very good for spectators.  But this year a particular attraction is our own Mike Morley, starting off No 4 just after two o'clock.

A good place to watch is at the top of White Lane, near the finish - the green dot on the map.  There's always a good crowd, and there will be quite a few from the Kingston Phoenix there, both as riders and spectators.

Maggie and I will be going on our tandem - see you there!


Christmas lunches

It had been thought that our regular recent venue, the Cap in Hand, was to close but it now has a reprieve until after Christmas. Pam has therefore booked it for the 9th December ( B group) and 16th December ( A group).

Some members were planning to collect booking forms. Pam is away for a few weeks so if you have one just fill it in and keep it.  Pam will collect forms and payment from 28th October.

Easy Riders 30th Sept

A lovely day Wednesday for our ride from Leatherhead to Brockham. 10 of us had lunch on the sunny patio at the front of the Grumpy Mole. A rider, Eric, who came out some time ago joined us. We then cycled back to Leatherhead and through Ashtead Park stopping at The Olive Tree for tea. Their new cafe will open towards the end of the month.

B Group ride on Wednesday

We will be riding from Cobham to Cranleigh to dine at the Park Hatch.

Tea will be somewhere like Denbies, Pilgrm Cycles, or even Leatherhead if we are going well.

Don't forget the Council election event taking place at the RBL before we take off:

~ Tim

Sunday, October 04, 2015

CTC Road Sign

A couple of weeks ago I mentioned the CTC 'Caution' sign on Stede Hill, in Kent.  Erected in the 1890s, this was one of the very earliest road signs, put in place by the club for the benefit of its members.  Rare enough at the time, there are very few of these around now - this may be the only original.  The only other one I know of is in Richmond Park, but it is a copy, made to replace the original stolen in the '70s.

I was riding an Audax in Kent today, and quite by chance the route went up Stede Hill, so I stopped to take a picture.   Descending the hill on a modern bike is quite impressive; 'Caution' would have been sound advice for the brakes of the 1890s.

The sign is not particularly large, nor particularly obvious.  But it's one of the first, and it's still there.


Saturday, October 03, 2015

Election Hustings - Wednesday 7th October

This Wednesday, at the Royal British Legion in Cobham, Philip Benstead will be taking to the soapbox to address us in his bid to win support for his re-election to CTC Council as the Councillor for the South East Region. Your committee has welcomed this opportunity to engage with one of our councillors and can advise you that Philip is the only one who has suggested talking to us.

The South East Region extends throughout Kent, Sussex, Surrey, Hampshire, Berkshire. Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Isle of Wight, Channel Isles so for those of us not represented by Kristian Gregory, CTC Councillor for London, there is an opportunity to vote in the upcoming election.

Philip is a forthright, enthusiastic and engaging speaker so please try to sip your tea quietly while you listen to him set out his stall. In particular he wants to invite questions from members so please stand by to fire some good questions at him.

Those of us who are in the South East catchment and therefore eligible to vote in the election should be receiving ballot papers and personal statements for all the candidates.

There is a page about Philip on the CTC website at:

His brief address will begin at around 10:35 so please try to be in before he takes the floor.


Thursday, October 01, 2015

B Group - 30th September

I would like to open my ride report with my THANKS - to all the riders yesterday who thanked me and congratulated me on such an enjoyable ride. I believe most of that was due to the excellent weather ! As a leader, it is great to get such positive feed back. Each and every leader has to spend time putting rides together, either by using maps, gismos, cars or however  - all taking time.  Hence, my appreciation - thank you all :) :) 

Another large group, 28 riders were counted, left Effingham a little later than intended. Nice to have the company of two of our ladies who have not been out with the B group for some time.   I asked one or two chaps to mark corners for me and it worked beautifully - saving such a large group snaking down the road!  Well done all :) :) 

First climb was up Green Dene leading to a great swoop down to the A25 from which we took the Albury road, turning at Chilworth station, up to the crossroads leading to nowhere/somewhere/elsewhere???    We then passed through Wonersh heading for Bramley station....Whilst there we gathered in front of the 'station platform' for a photo before continuing along the Downs Link cycle way, crossing the Horsham Road into Trunley Heath Road.   After taking a left into Unstead Lane we turned into what looks like an opening to some houses, in fact it is the start of a bridle path, a little narrow, even muddy in places with a fair sprinkling of nettles!  This bridle way led us to Cattershall Road, Woolsack Way, and into The Burys to the rear of The Jack Phillips - another Wetherspoons Public House!   So named in honour of the radio operator on the Titanic!   What can one say about Wetherspoon grub?   Blooming good ....a pint and a tuna jacket for less than a fiver!? 

Our return was pretty straight forward along the A3100 until a left turn into Nightingale Road where we entered Stoke Park. Over the A25 to follow the river Wey to the A3.  Apologies there from me for turning left instead of right!!! 

On through Ripley to our tea stop at Ockham Bites.....24 of us, chatting over tea and cakes!!  I guess we were all making the most of the opportunity to sit and linger in the sunshine.

 I then parted company with all but Irene and Gill for everybody else headed off in the direction of Cobham and home. My day's mileage was 60 miles. 

Great company - great weather - Cheers Pam :) :)

Photos at Bramley and Wonersh Station and at Ockham Bites

Maps on OS Landranger and Explorer:

A Group - 30 September

 Vineries - Lucky Duck - Denbies
 Last of the summer wine at Tisman's Corner

Leith Hill
Enjoying the view and taking a breather

New member of the A Group?

Brian's leadership qualities attracted the attention of another potential member of the group at the Mucky Duck yesterday.   

Unfortunately this rather lovely spaniel has not yet learned to ride a bike, but he definitely didn't want Brian to leave - sticking so close to him that he fell over when Brian moved his leg!  Suggestions on a postcard for the name of the new canine section?

A Group 30th September

A perfect cloudless day. Sixteen set off from Effingham up Green Dene to Shere and then through the lanes to Peaslake. A long climb over Pitch Hill brought us to the top of Bar Hatch and a fast descent to Cranleigh. Here Mike left us and shortly afterwards Steve also headed home. So 14 of us enjoyed lunch in the sun at the Mucky Duck, Tisman's Common. Returning via Ellen's Green, Walliswood and Mole Street we climbed Leith Hill where we stopped at the viewpoint to admire the vista over the Weald to the South Downs. Finally down to Dorking and tea at Denbies.

Where did we go Yesterday?