Monday, October 31, 2016

Wednesday's A Group ride

We shall be riding over well ridden roads from Cobham to Lambs Green via Dorking, Newdigate, about 20 miles to lunch.  Tea will be at Wyevale Garden Centre on the Reigate Road not far from Pixham Lane. Approximately 38 miles total.

Don't Forget Your Lights now that the clocks have gone back.

~ Geoff

Friday, October 28, 2016

Letter from America

They say in the USA anyone can run for president:  Mike Barrett sent this picture from his current trip, where he has been dodging Hurricane Matthew in the southern states.

Vote Barrett!

SWLEOC

Hi folks,

I've not been around much since  February when I snapped  my ACL skiing.

But I have not been idle.

We had already booked a September Skedaddle tour in Provence  - including a climb up Mt Ventoux. So I turned down my consultant's offer of a private op "in a couple of weeks" and opted to keep our holiday plans for France and a Spring driving tour in Scotland.

Hence, my Spring and Summer was spent first of all rehabbing from the injury, then pre-habbing for the operation. Three or four days a week in the gym mobilising the joint then building up the muscle to do the job of the missing ACL. Then lots of cycling specific gym work before getting out on the road again -and oh! that was just soooooo nice!

Skipping the middle bit of the Summer...

Vicky and I, with Graham and Gill Holder, did the Skedaddle trip.  But Ventoux lived up to its name and 2km from the top we were turned around as wind was gusting at 120kph at the summit. Shame but we will try again next year. Skedaddle, by the way were fantastic. Our second tour with them - flawless service each time. We recommend them.

Which neatly brings me to the purpose of this Blog Post.

I had my NHS op a week ago at SWLEOC (South West London Elective Orthopaedic Center) @ Epsom Hospital. An NHS centre of excellence dealing only in Elective Surgery, an alternative name for them might be "New Hips and Knees R US".

Now, given that most of us Wayfarers are of an age when new hips and knees are a distinct possibility I thought my views on their service might be helpful.

One every measure. From first referral. Through consultant appointment (my choice of consultant who specialises in ACLs). To pre visits to SWLEOC. To the operation itself.

On every possible measure I rate the service I received 10/10 - there was nothing I could have asked to be better.

The warmth and friendliness of every staff member I interacted with was real and touching. Every Medic who dealt with me, simply oozed competence and empathy.

Would that every part of the  NHS were the same, but without reservation of any form, I am happy to recommend SWLEOC.

Happy Cycling, and see some of you at the Xmas Lunch.

Paul Kelly


Thursday, October 27, 2016

A Group ride to Rickmansworth

Barnes Wallace memorial
Taking the opportunity to see Harmondsworth before it's covered in concrete, thirteen A Group riders set off from Teddington for Rickmansworth. Good weather, reasonable roads and excellent group riding (being chivvied along by the back marker) meant that we made very good time to lunch at Batchworth Heath.

 A good lunch, served in reasonably good time despite it being a very busy pub helped maintain a fast pace back to Richmond. On route we crossed Church Fields into Hanwell and down the tow path on the Grand Union to Brentford where Neil nearly lost his life as my back tube exploded. A quick repair and on our way to tea in a very sunny Richmond.


Thanks to Steve for back marking, Neil and others for marking the corners and to the whole group for sticking together so well. 48 miles from start to finish.




 

 

B Group - 26th October

It is rarely a big surprise to set off from the Elleray Hall with a large group but for this ride I was obliged to ask everyone to pre-order their lunches so I knew the night before that we would have at least 20. And by the time we set out we had added another 7.

Our first great pleasure was to ride through the park by the Crane with its rich autumn colours and the leaves crunching under our wheels.


We wrapped around the Rugby stadium in Twickenham and found the narrow path which runs alongside the stream by the Mogden Sewage Works where small autumn leaves were snowing down around us.
 

From Isleworth we were in Osterley Park for a pit stop and out the other side on Osterley Lane to cross the M4. Then a brief meander via North Hyde Lane to pick up the Grand Union Canal path which we were to follow westward for several miles, through Hayes and West Drayton, past the junction with the Slough Arm and the Packet Boat Marina.
 

In Yiewsley one or two people apparently noticed our lunch venue on the other side of the canal and commented that Tim had missed the turn over the bridge which would have brought us out at the Waters Edge Restaurant. But at a risk of arriving a bit late we carried on up the canal to the Cowley Lock, crossed the canal and turned back down Old Mill Lane to Little Britain Lake, deviating onto a minor path with water on either side to enjoy 5 minutes of tranquillity before turning into Packet Boat Lane to reach the bar.
 

The Waters Edge staff had arranged and dressed our tables as if for a celebration and having pre-ordered our lunches they were being delivered as we sat down. Everything went well except that Peter Carpenter had punctured some way back on the canal path so Bob Panel rode back to meet him and brought him across to the bar which overlooks the Packet Boat Dock.
 

Having enjoyed our lunch we retraced our route along the Lane and across a small foot bridge to reach Ford Lane and Iver Lane. We followed Old Slade Lane beyond Richings Park, crossed the M4, and took the small path by the Colne Brook and crossed the busy bypass to reach Colnbrook. We picked up another narrow track, the Colne Valley Way through to Horton. Brian had advised me about these routes from Old Slade through to Horton. I had been fretting about finding a safe and sensible route which didn’t involve the major roads and an unpleasant roundabout we had encountered during the recce.
 

Seen on the recce
On the recce David and I tested the route which links Park Lane in Horton to Douglas Lane in Wraysbury but rejected it on account of mud which prevented our wheels from turning and having to lift our bikes over two high styles on either side of the Sunnymeads – Wraysbury stretch of the railway and over another fence at the top of Douglas Lane. But at the Horton end there are beautiful vistas of the gravel pit lakes complete with ducks, swans and herons.
 

After Wraysbury we skirted around Staines and arrived for Tea in Shepperton at the CafĂ© Mocha D just after 4 o’clock. With longer hours of daylight it would have been preferable to follow the river around rather than endure all the traffic. But it was the last ride before the clocks go back and we felt good to have squeezed in a pleasant ride on a dry and quite warm day.
 

Thanks to David Cox who was brave enough to be back-marker for our big group and to numerous people who marked corners and made it possible to get the whole circus around the course. We were pleased to welcome Bob Panel on his second ride with B Group and were pleased too to have Ray Dare as our guest from A Group.



~ Tim

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Top of the range bikeway


This is about as smart as Brisbane bikeways get. 2 lanes, pedestians segregated, signposts, maps and even street lights. Its not all like this and a shared 1.5-2m track is more common.

NW Brisbane is very hilly but intersected by creeks which are green spaces because they may flood. Many have bikeways and Kedron Brook is one of the longest. It's only is about 1km from my son's house and heading east for 10km it meets the Morton Bay bikeway which runs another 15km out to the coast with a further 15km or so possible on quiet suburban roads.

A Group ride, Wednesday 26th.


We are heading north this week from Teddington towards Rickmansworth via Ickenham & Harefield. 28 miles to lunch at Batchworth and a swift ride home through Ruislip, Greenford and Kew via Church Fields and The Grand Union (a good path). Tea will be in Richmond Park or by the Bridge depending on time. A mostly urban ride, a little over 48 miles in total.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

B Group - Pre-order your lunch for Wednesday 26th

We will ride along the Grand Union Canal path to the Watersedge Bar for lunch. The proprietors have advised me that things will be easier for them and quicker for us if we can pre-order our food. So please look at this menu and let me know what you'd like to order before Wednesday. My new email address is timcourt50@gmail.com.



There will be more off road paths after lunch but the ride will be a lot less daft than the one we did in May 2014. Of the weather it's hard to call but it looks like cool (12° - 15°C), without rain, varying between "mostly cloudy" and "partly sunny".

Tea will probably be in Shepperton.

Please be ready to depart from the Elleray Hall at 11:00 

~ Tim

Saturday, October 22, 2016

B Group ride from Addlestone. 19th October.


18 of us left Addlestone for a 15 mile ride to West End nr Bisley to have lunch at the Hare & Hounds. The pub is tucked away down a side road and easily over looked and I only found it after zooming in on google maps, looked at their website and gave them a call. I hadn’t found it when I was doing the recce – I had another pub in mind. Tim’s photos give a good idea of what it is like. The staff were very welcoming and the food and beer excellent. It deserves a return visit.

Getting there was straight forward enough. We carried our bikes over the rail bridge behind Chertsey and continued off-road along Ferry Lane. After Laleham Reach we took the obvious route through Thorpe to Virginia Water, Longcross, Valley End and the minor roads into West End.

I had been tempted to use Blind Lane (more off-road and in very good condition except the recce showed that at the very end a fencing contractor had turned it into 30 metres of quagmire). I gave it a miss this time.

After lunch we continued westwards down Brentmoor Road and turned into Priest Lane (I missed the turn initially) – more unpaved road. If we have a continuous spell of rain this will be impassable but for us it was OK on the day.

Thanks to Bob’s local knowledge we were able to ignore the road closed signs approaching Bisley. We made our way down to the canal via Knaphill and along to West Byfleet where a number peeled off. The rest of us stopped for at tea at the Bourne Valley GC. – 11 miles from lunch.

My thanks to Tim for the photos, maps and being TEC and to all who marked the corners.

Peter T

Thursday, October 20, 2016

A Group ride from Addlestone. 19th October.

Our Autumn ride took us north to Burnham Beeches in South Bucks. with lunch at the White Horse, Hedgerely - a real ale pub 'discovered' by Paul Kelly way back in 2012. (Hope the op went ok Paul - hope to see you back soon).

Fourteen of us left Addlestone, and after an inauspicious start, (turning right on a no right turn outside the Day Centre) we made speedy progress, that is until I shortly made the second wrong turn, on the way to Egham. Instead of using Hardwick Lane on the way to Lyne, we added an extra 3 miles to lunch by using the B386 Longcross Road and having to double-back alongside the M3 past Longcross Film Studios. (The first of 3 Film Studios we passed - Pinewood and Shepperton being the others). Did anyone notice this strange dog-leg route? It took me a while to realise this wayward navigation - and of course I blame my new Garmin!


Once through Egham we attacked Tite Hill - the only serious climb of the day, and used our newly discovered freewheel skills descending Crimp Hill to Old Windsor. Avoiding Slough was achieved by transgressing Ditton Park, and via back lanes through Middle Green, George Green and Stoke Green on the way to Farnham Royal, with more quiet roads to Burnham Beeches and Egypt Woods. Leaves were still turning. The extra 3 or so miles added 15mins to our 1 o'clock schedule, but with good food and beer at the White Horse we were away before 2.30pm.


The pace was maintained after lunch with a swift 21 miles to Squires at Upper Halliford via Fulmer, Langley, Colnbrook, Wraysbury, Staines, and Shepperton.

Half of the Group made it to tea at Squires, and the eventual mileage from Elevenses was just shy of 50 miles - not bad for an Autumn ride before the clocks change.


Double thanks to Geoff for excellent back-marking and pub photo, and for corner markers making it a nice pacey ride.


B Group - 19th October (maps and photos)


Men at work
Bantam 44 on the lookout


Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Le Tour de Pub

Part of the route in London
Now here is a grand challenge: a team of scientists have worked out the shortest route to visit all the pubs in the UK.   There are 24,727 of them, including those on various islands, and the total distance travelled is about 45,500 km.   Now THAT would be an unforgettable cycling tour!  This link gives you the details, along with step by step (or should that be stagger by stagger) instructions if you need them.

A Group 19th October



Off to Burnham Beeches with Ged today, to see the Autumn colours.  A bit early, as it turned out, but very pretty and an enjoyable ride, with a good lunch at the ever-reliable White Horse.  Back to Squires for tea, parting in an early dusk.

It is Autumn now, though - lights on on the way home.

Mark

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

B Group, 19th October from Addlestone

We're off to West End (not THE West End) to have lunch at the Hare & Hounds and then to tea at Bourne Valley.

Not 100% asphalt. A few modest Ups. 15miles to lunch.

Peter T

Monday, October 17, 2016

A Group, 19th October from Addlestone

It's the fall - so a visit to Burnham Beeches is Wednesday's A Group ride. Lunch at the White Horse, Hedgerley, and tea at Sunbury.
http://www.thegoodpubguide.co.uk/pub/view/White-Horse-SL2-3UY
(A CTC Cyclist's Welcome pub, with a good range of beers)
We'll give the Pilgrims Way a miss this week - 100% asphalt guaranteed, and only a few climbs. 25miles to lunch so prompt start please.


Thursday, October 13, 2016

Cast your mind back over the last 200 years ...

https://goo.gl/photos/CgurJrBzVUCaSwRB7

Many thanks to David Aylett for this

B group October 12th

Looking outside on Wednesday I noticed the wind was northish and looking at my OS I noticed Root Hill ran northish - not a good omen for the free wheel competition.

Rain encountered by some had stopped by the time we left Dorking and we had an uneventful ride to Root Hill. Here with Simon as lookout at the bend (thanks) and Tony pushing off (thanks) I had a straightforward run - the tractor with smelly load waited for me to pass but I understand others met him en route.

The road was in fairly good condition and traffic was minimal so nobody reported problems. Steph won the Ladies' award and Mike closely challenged Mark for the Gents' award. As usual, Ed had made the beautiful awards, see photos. Thanks Ed. Presentations took place on Brockham Green, bonfire erection well in hand in the background.

The Bs then retired across the road to The Royal Oak, just after a group of walkers. This caused a slight delay with our meals but that wasn't a problem - they were good when they came.

After lunch we had the obligatory off-road - the bridleway to Mill Hill leading to Kiln Lane. We soon headed south through Betchworth to Dawesgreen, noting Flanchford Road is still closed due to bridge replacement taking longer than predicted. In Leigh we turned right into Clayhill Road, then headed north at Shellwood Cross to Strood Green and Brockham again. A quiet ride along Coach Road and Pixham Lane led to Denbies (grapes ripening nicely) where we beat the As to t'n'c.

Thanks to Tim for backmarking and people various for corner marking.

Terry 

B Group - 12th October, Freewheel Competition (photos and map)


B Group star with her trophy










































A Group 12 October: Dorking - Newdigate - Denbies

Freewheel Competition trophy, hand made by Ed

Map of the river Mole seen at the Surrey Oaks
A short burst of rain around 9.30 may have deterred some people but despite the uncertain forecast, that was the only rain of the day.   Everyone was trying to appear relaxed about the Freewheel Competition but I could spot telltale signs of meticulous preparation, not least the consumption of bread pudding and cheese scones at Dorking.   Around 15 in the A group reached Root Hill via a slightly roundabout route which included a practice freewheel down Inholms Lane.   After all the preparations we were so quick on the practice that we arrived around 10 minutes early at the competition start line.   Conditions were marred by a north-westerly breeze with a whiff of manure, and more importantly Farmer McSpreader driving his tractor up and down the hill during the competition.    Despite this, a good time was had by all.  Congratulations to the winners and thanks to Terry and Tony Hooker for organising.

Lunch was at The Surrey Oaks at Newdigate: a nice pub with a good choice of ales and a rather eclectic menu, where all found something good to eat.   Then it was swiftly over to Capel and Beare Green: gently uphill all the way so that by the time we began the assault on Leith Hill we were already at 110 metres.    Anstie Lane is one of our less-used ways up to Coldharbour, last visited by me on Mark's Octopus ride, with good views from the top.  I decided to visit the remaining tentacle of the Octopus by coming down Logmore Lane, which was closed on the day
Looking south from the top of Anstie Lane
 of the Octopus ride itself.   It is by now traditional to include a bit of the Pilgrim's Way in our rides and Logmore Lane could perhaps qualify, as it is certainly a holy road.  We descended with care and and then, after getting a bit lost in the metropolis of Westcott, we eventually found the cycle track into Dorking and back to Denbies to join the B's for tea and cake.

A good day out and quite a bit of sunshine in the afternoon.   Thank you to Colin for back marking and to all for your company.

Free Wheel contest

Sorry Simon to jump in first as you have the best photo of Eds wonderful fretsaw carvings of bikes for the winners.
This is what I have got:




Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Easy Riders - 12th October

Leatherhead - Marquis of Granby, Esher.
Eleven arrived at the day centre looking a bit wet and dishevelled but soon looked better after the tea and cakes.  Brian & Ray decided to do a different ride going to Denbies but eight came with me to lunch, via the nature reserve, Cobham Road to Stoke D’Abernon, Cobham High street, Convent Lane and Seven Hill Road. We turned right into Burwood Road and left Westcar Lane down to Walton and right into Rydens Road to take the lane to Lower Green Road and on to the Scilly Isles. We had a new gentleman today, Bob, a friend of Peter T. Hope we see you again.

Lunch was soon served and as everyone was making for home Bernard & I rode to Hampton Court where we parted for our different routes home.
Thank you to Liz for being a T.E.C. and for everyone making it a very pleasant day.  I managed to just get home before the next rain came, hope you all did.

Irene

A Group 12th October



First up was the Freewheel Competition, impeccably organised by Terry, as ever, with handsome prizes hand-made by Ed.  Then Simon herded up the As and led us to a good lunch at the Surrey Oaks, Newdigate.

After lunch we did Leith Hill the hard way, tucked in the missing tentacle of the Octopus, found a bit of Pilgrims' Way (well, maybe) and enjoyed tea and cake at Denbies.  We were lucky, really, as the Bs were there before us ...

Thanks to Terry and Simon for a good day out.

Mark



Monday, October 10, 2016

Wayfarers' Xmas Lunches at 'The Angel'

Wayfarers' Xmas Lunches at
'The Angel', Thames Ditton, KT7 0AU

7th DECEMBER for ‘B’ RIDERS and

21st DECEMBER for ‘A’ RIDERS

The Angel doesn’t print hundreds of menus so …..….
 

Please look at their website ...
http://www.theangelthamesditton.com/christmas-menu/
... where you will see their Xmas Menu….delicious food, a choice of four dishes for each course including vegetarian choices.

£10 for one course
£14 for two courses and
£18 for three courses.         

Please write your food choices on an envelope with your name and group, enclose full cost and pass it on to me!    I do need to have all your orders by the end of November (especially for B group) so I can let the pub know how many etc. in good time.
 

If you know of anybody who is unable to use the website, let me know and I will give them a menu.
 

Cheers

Pam

Freewheel Competition, Oct 12

This Wednesday sees the competitive highlight of the Wayfarers year, the Freewheel Competition.   I have managed to work out the following from the highly complex rules: it involves rolling down a hill without pedalling.  The lady and gent who travel the furthest are the winners.  And there are prizes!    As someone who has never come close to winning it, may I offer some tips:

  1. Aerodynamics:  wear your slickest outfit
  2. Friction:   disassemble and grease everything
  3. Rolling resistance: rock-hard tyres are best
  4. Momentum:  eat plenty of sausage rolls at elevenses, these will help accelerate you down the hill
The As and Bs will travel independently from elevenses at Dorking to the nominated hill, which of course is highly confidential until the competition starts.   After the competition (and did I mention prizes?) the As will go to The Surrey Oaks at Newdigate (NB not the one at Warnham), which has recently won CAMRA local pub of the year.   I think they do food as well.   The afternoon will involve a Hill, but don't worry, we're only doing the top half.   Maybe a bit of the Pilgrim's Way too, just out of habit.

Friday, October 07, 2016

Orders for Club Clothing

If you would like to order more club clothing before Pam goes away on Monday please contact her. If she receives two more orders she will be able to economise on postage costs from the vendor.

So if your Sou'Wester outfit is becoming a little worn out, or if you just want to look as trendy on the road as the rest of us then get yourself a new outfit, summer/winter, short sleeve/long sleeve, full zip/half zip, big/small cycling tops then please discuss your requirements with Pam. Even shorts are a possibility.

~ Tim

Thursday, October 06, 2016

A Group - Cobham – Bletchingly 5 October



I started planning Wednesday’s ride a few weeks ago when the weather outlook was uncertain. The route I envisaged could be on road if the weather was bad, and also headed southeast, away from the prevailing wind. In the event I was wrong on both counts; the weather was fine, enabling me to continue the pattern of recent rides of seeking out less familiar off-road routes, and the wind was at times strongly in our faces.

The ride was always going to be hilly, but we started off taking an uncommon (for us) direction across Bookham Common. So far flat enough, but thereafter the climbs and descents became frequent. We briefly stopped at Netherne-on-the-Hill before ducking and diving round the M23/M25 junction, briefly taking to the Pilgrims Way round Merstham, before the final (and probably unwelcome to most) climb to Bletchingly.

The Red Lion had reserved a section of the bar area for us, and food was served rapidly by friendly staff.

We were running about 30 minutes late, but descended southwards before turning towards South Nutfield and a pleasant return to last week’s off-road crossing of Nutfield Marsh. Then came the biggest climb of the day to Chaldon. Farthing Down rewarded us some fine views over London, before more climbing around Chipstead and Woodmansterne took us to tea in the autumn sunshine at Oaks Park. Hopefully those making their way home on the main road to Banstead were not too put out by the volume of rush hour traffic.

Many thanks to Mike Barrett for volunteering as back marker, Mark for the stats, and to all who corner marked on the way.

A strong turnout of 21, including a welcome return if Tri-Vets rider Steve Duffin, 19 at lunch, and about a dozen for tea. Only one puncture.

Dave Vine

Wednesday, October 05, 2016

B Group - 5th October

On a wonderfully sunny autumn day a large group, 29 of us, left Cobham to make our way towards Ripley. After being delayed by large lorries using Plough Lane, and one lady who seemed to think it was us causing the traffic jam, we got into a steady pace and were able to reach Ripley, then on to Send, Wood Street Village and north up to the Royal Oak in Pirbright. Two riders dropped off before lunch but allowing that we were so numerous the meals all arrived in a reasonable time.

Leaving the pub we again headed north and joined the Basingstoke Canal to make our way back towards Addlestone. Riding along the canal can be tricky depending on the number of walkers etc. but even though it was a beautiful afternoon we were able to maintain a decent pace.

We left the canal, went along the Scotland Bridge Road and along to the Wyevale garden center where 15 of us stopped for tea and cakes.

How many more days like that we shall get this year?

As usual thanks to all the riders that did corner marking and to David for back marking.

Jennie


Thanks to Tammy for these photos

A large B Group outside the Royal Oak


The maps show our sunny route to Pirbright for lunch (19.2 miles) and along the shady Basingstoke Canal to Crockford Bridge GC (11.7 miles) for Tea

A Group 5th October



An interesting and enjoyable ride from Dave today.  Plenty of variety - on road and off, up hill and down - a good lunch at the Red Lion, Bletchingley and tea in the sunshine at the Oaks Park.

Who could ask for more, at the beginning of October?

Mark