Tuesday, November 21, 2017

A Group ride from Leatherhead

A few climbs (quite a few ) to challenge the ‘winter’ legs  as Wednesday’s ride from Leatherhead will be heading out over Box Hill (the wrong way), up over Leith Hill/Holmbury and Newlands Corner with a few down hills to compensate. Lunch will be at the White Horse in Shere and tea at Esher. A shade over 42 miles.

Monday, November 20, 2017

B Group ride, Wednesday 22nd November

We shall be eventually heading south from Leatherhead on Wednesday’s ride, lunch at the Plough, Church Road, Leigh with afternoon tea at Horton Park Golf Club, Epsom.

There are a couple of climbs in the morning, after lunch we shall climb Box Hill.

At present the route is mainly on road with a section of track, but if we have more rain I may change that to be all on tarmac.

Look forward to seeing you all.

David J

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Fat Tyres

For the last few years I have been trying out various sorts of fatter tyres, and have been increasingly pleased with what I've found.  I started with 30mm Schwalbe Marathon Racers for Paris Roubaix in 2014, and these worked very well.  Even for Paris Roubaix 30mm was pretty big in those days, and various disasters were forecast which didn't happen.  I changed to Schwalbe S-One 30mm for the Tour of Flanders in 2016, tubeless by now, and they were excellent. 

Testing the limits a bit, I used 40mm G-One gravel tyres, Schwalbe again, for the club Freewheel Competition in 2016.  They rolled better than anything else.  In the Spring of this year I rode the Hilly 50 on Compass 38mm tyres and came in third on the road.  And I'm an old man.  In July, I did the Dartmoor Ghost on Compass 44mm.  Perfect for the job - I did a good time.

So far so good.  But where is the limit for these things?  Would an infinitely large tyre be infinitely better?

Intuitively, the answer would seem to be no, and by experimentation I can confirm this.

The old Dawes tandem in the picture has 54mm tyres fitted.  It rolls much better with them, is very smooth, and the roads of Surrey appear to have been miraculously re-surfaced.  But, the Hill of Truth, Root Hill, reveals that a limit has been reached.  Tandems normally roll well, and this one does, but it wouldn't have won the Freewheel Competition.  It does very well, and I shan't be taking the tyres off, but it hasn't shown the performance gain that the smaller sizes have.

So, what have we learned?  Nowadays, everyone knows that fatter tyres are better.  The pros have started to use them, with 25mm or even 28mm being pretty common.  Their limits are set by the width of their brakes.  Discs will solve that problem and I think there will be more to come.

My suggestion would be that 30mm is where the benefits really start to show themselves.  If your bike will take them, fit tyres of at least this size.  The benefits generally seem to be a little greater between 30mm and 40mm.  Tyres larger than this give greater smoothness and much better capability on poor roads or tracks, but performance is starting to edge off again.

As a given, the tyres need to be light and of high quality.  Wall flexibility is particularly important.  They need to be run at low pressures - 40 psi does most things, you can go lower with fatter tyres.  If the tyres are tubeless - and most of them are - so much the better.

If you change to good quality tubeless tyres in the mid-30mm range your bike will roll better, be more comfortable on rough surfaces, grip better and suffer fewer punctures.


Friday, November 17, 2017

B Group 15th November 2017 - Post Script

B Group - 15th November - some more photos

~ Tim

B Group 15th November - Windlesham

A dank and murky morning didn’t deter 21 riders from starting out from Weybridge, our numbers bolstered by two Theresa’s, one a previous B grouper, the other on their first ride with us!   We set out via Cox’s Lock, Liberty Lane and Rowtown then climbed towards Foxhills.  Pam punctured here and she and Tim took the direct route to lunch after effecting repairs, while the main group (less one who also left us at this point) continued via Gracious Pond, Chobham and Pennypot Lane to West End, then taking the back lanes towards Lightwater before turning for Windlesham.  The Sun did us proud as usual.  They already had a group booking so service was slightly slower than is usual here, but we were still away for home shortly after 2.00pm, and the general verdict on choice, quality, and value for money at the pub was very good!   

Emerging from the cosy bar the gloom only seemed to have worsened, so I slightly commuted the planned return route to take us via Valley End, Gracious Pond (again!) to Foxhills and Chertsey level crossing.  Here we were just caught by the barriers and became involuntary ‘anoraks’ for some minutes as we waited for a very long goods train to pass!  It was plain sailing then to Addlestonemoor, Weybridge and Walton, where we arrived just before 3.30 pm for tea.   The group was somewhat depleted by then, many having peeled off to make their separate ways home and dodge the premature twilight.   All in all a miserable day weather-wise, but lifted by a cheery bunch of riders and the brilliant displays of autumn leaves along the route!  Many thanks to Tony Hooker for excellent back-marking out and back, and to corner-markers too numerous to name, but who all did multiple stints,  but most especially Gill!

Thursday, November 16, 2017

A Group to Godalming 15th November

It seemed the weather gods were with us today, no rain just overcast, a good temperature for a ride.

A group of 19 of us set out in Autumnal weather via Heath Road and Brooklands. Our first mechanical came as we were entering Parvis Road and our first loss of the back of the group that had stopped to help fix the problem, (Oh dear).

We were all together by West Byfleet then off down Pyrford Road to the village, then on to Send Marsh. The Portsmouth Road and Clandon Road led us up to Epsom Road and off towards Guildford.

Tangier Road, One Tree Hill and Half Penny Lane to Chilworth, then off to Wonersh, Chinthurst Lane cutting left on Tannery Lane. A quick right then left took us on to Foxburrow Hill Road and our final drag up to Munstead Heath Road, then at last a fast decent down into Godalming and The Star pub in Church Street.

We had pre booked our lunch, and on arrival the staff started to bring out the food to the back room that had been set  for us. We were all served before the last one of us had ordered and paid for our food and beer.
Excellent service by the staff, after their trepidation with regards to getting everything available for our arrival.

A quick up hill on Deanery Road, the last hill of the day, then dropping down to the main road to Guildford, up Castle Road to run parallel with the High Street, back on to the Epsom Road and then left into Clandon Road and down to tea (pudding) at Pinnocks. Not a long distance from lunch for this time of year, dark setting in as we left Ripley.

Thanks to Ged for back marking and all those corner markers who made the ride go so well. Look forward to meeting you all again next week.


Wednesday, November 15, 2017

"A" Ride 15 Nov 2017

Hi all this should really be a comment and not a full blown selfi Blog but here goes.
As you all know I have been in the wars lately and this week has been very eventful with many hospital visits. Yesterday evening however I visited the home of Alex & Sue to review the new KPRC Strip. En-rout I passed by Ed Sharps to pick up a current Sou'Wester and much to my surprise read Jeff's account of recent casualties.
I could not make Wheybridge today 11's as I had an Ultrasound on my Liver and right Kidney at Epsom Hosp. at 10am. It was very thorough  and I await the results!
Monday however was more dramatic. As many of you will know for some time I have been suffering from arthritis in the left knee. Two years ago I was referred to a consultant who said that he could not recommend a knew knee because of the large number of miles I do per year, saying that it would wear out in a short time and a further replacement would be difficult!?
On Monday I was encouraged by another surgeon, French to go ahead as my left knee had deteriorated in the last 12 months. So I am inclined to go ahead! Does anyone have any experience of replacement knees for cyclists and how successful have they been?

On a more positive footnote I did not go to Ripley for tea but  called in to see Beryl Dare on the way home. I had a lovely cup of tea and Rock Cake with her. She looked really well with a sparkle in her eye and has clearly come to terms with the sad passing away of Ray. She told me that her neighbours are really helping her out with keeping the garden tidy and helping with the shopping. They have also put a memorial Bird Bath opposite the house by the duck pond. Unfortunately I did not have my camera with me!
Marian her daughter in law was with her and was to stay the night. They had been shopping and out for lunch. We reminisced about how all the family missed Ray, he was so popular with all the grand children.

Ok Folks sorry to bore you but for me today that was a hard ride and to top it all my (Jeff Tolerman) Chinese lantern front light ran out of battery power as I was coming up Hurst Road into Walton on the Hill. Pitch black and I was completely disorientated! What's new you say!

Easy Riders - 15th November

Weybridge D C - The Angel, Thames Ditton
On an overcast but dry day eight left the Weybridge D.C. for lunch at The Angel, the 2 Bernards, Helen (who did the David Bailey bit after lunch) standing on the top of the steps!! Maureen, Frank, Don Elms, & John Bellamy. We rode through the car park and into the alley from Church Lane, then left and right to Princes Road to Oatlands Avenue through Burwood Park, Lammas Lane and into Esher Estate continued to Claygate left then over the railway and first right into Manor Road. Straight over the A3 to Hinchley Wood  and on to Angel Road.  A table was set for us right in front of a roaring fire. Food soon came and was very good and reasonable .
Thanks every one and thanks to John for being T.E.C.


A Group 15th November

Mucky roads to start with for Geoff's ride today, but it cleared later.  A good lunch at The Star, Godalming, and back to Ripley for tea.

The map's not quite right, as I peeled off at Merrow.  I stopped the clock at Squires so the distance should be about right.


Monday, November 13, 2017

A Group ride 15th November

The ride to lunch in Godalming by the looks of the weather forecast it will be dry, not like the last time I lead to there.
Lunch will be at The Star in Church Street, there is parking in the rear garden accessed via the front door and through what appears to be a secret door in front of you as you enter.

They have asked if we will pre order lunch, I will bring copies of the menu but you can look online to check out possibilities.

The route out of Weybridge will take us over parts of the last two weeks ride as far as Pyrford and Send Marsh, then steady uphill from there.

The tea stop will depend on time, either Squires in West Horsley or Pinnocks in Ripley.

Don't forget to check your lights.

I look forward to seeing you on Wednesday.


Musette Cycle Cafe Dorking

A new addition to the cycle cafe genre which a leader might like to try. By the traffic lights at the junction of West/South/High Streets it initially looks as if there is nowhere to park a bike. However I put my head in while in Dorking last week and there are about 6 stands in the front window and apparently another 8 out at the back. So manageable for the As but a full B group would be a challenge. They also stay open until 5 - not an issue at this time of the year but worth knowing.

B Group 15th November

Our ride on Wednesday will be to that old favourite The Sun at Windlesham (http://thesunwindlesham.co.uk/). 

The Sun already have quite a large group booked at the same time but have very kindly agreed, after some initial reluctance, to accommodate us as well, as SWLDA are old clients!   The ride from 11's to lunch and back to tea at Walton-on-Thames is about 25 miles and is a hillier one than you might expect with about 300 metres of climbing (ie just over one Leith Hill's worth in all), if Strava is to be believed!  Two footbridges are to be negotiated en route, one rideable but the other with shallow, sloping steps which requires bike carrying.  I aim to back to tea well before sunset (16.13) but advise provision of lights just in case!  David (W)

Thursday, November 09, 2017

Attendance sheets / Elevenses lists

Following the AGM yesterday the 2017 sheet in the Rides List is up to date with Walton replacing Shepperton. I have also added the draft 2018 sheet.

A Group 8th November

Following a late finish of the AGM, I made a hasty start without realising that we had left Simon, David V and Neil behind. Apologies to them for the oversight, but they found their own way to the pub and were already settled in before we arrived.
We set out via Weybridge station and the cycle track through to the old Brooklands race track. Here we stopped a moment to admire Concorde (See pictures in Mikes post), then on towards Byfleet with a small detour to ride along a stretch of the old banked race track.
From Byfleet we continued via a track to Wisley and Pyrford Lock, and from there a short run to the Saddlers Arms at Send Marsh where we were well provided for.
After lunch we took a fairly direct route via Ripley, Hungry Hill and Bookham to Leatherhead for tea as mentioned by Mark, Annie's was closed so those who wanted a tea stop went back to Amici's.
Thanks to all for corner marking and good company, and especially to Geoff for the photo and Ged for backmarking for the day.

The A group fed and watered and ready to go

Wednesday, November 08, 2017


"A" group Concorde to Lunch

Just goes to show how little knowledge I have of Brooklands. Pity Concorde was hiding behind a tower of yellow steel but just about managed to take a picture as if she was taking off in front of me!
Not sure what the other aircraft might be but someone said VC10?
A good route Keith as Mark has already said.

Computer playing up will post pictures separately

Arthur Jessop Trophy

Tony you beat me to it but I think this is also a good photo. No doubt Shirley will have some good ones too. See also SWLDABlog.

B Group - 8th November, after the AGM

It is always a short ride to lunch after the AGM and I had chosen the Old Plough at Stoke D'Abernon, which was about 5 miles from Hersham.  A group of 14 sat down to lunch, though we did start with one or two more.  Our route was out to West End, Esher, and up to the Portsmouth Road, which we followed to Fairmile Lane.  The next turn was into Leigh Hill Road with a nice downhill run to the Tilt and so to the pub, arriving about 1.00 p.m.

It was pretty much full house at the pub but a long table had been put aside for us.  We were looked after beautifully.  Orders for drinks and then meals were taken at the table, bottles of water and glasses were provided as a matter of course and at the end we were able to settle up individually at the bar.  All very satisfactory.

With various people doing their own thing after lunch, the group had dropped down to 8 for the next part of the ride.  Going back to Fairmile Lane, we went straight ahead at the mini roundabout on to Water Lane, then turned up Knipp Hil and into Sandy Lane.  Crossing the busy Copsem Lane we took the dead end lane at Gunter's Mead.  It was at this point that the call of 'puncture' was heard from Christina.  Manfully, Tony Hopkins came to the rescue and fixed it despite one or two problems - this was your spare bike wasn't it, Christina?  Otherwise a new one might be recommended or a different spare inner!  Setting off again, along what used to be a semi off-road link with a gate across it but which is now beautifully surfaced though still with the gate, we joined Fairoak Lane and cut down on the off-road path which took us into Claygate and so to Long Ditton Squires for tea.  Here the 6 of us who had stopped were joined by Brian who had been doing his own thing, and Grant on the way back from A Group, wanting to give Pam his money for the Christmas Lunch.  Lights were definitely needed for the final lap home.

Thanks everyone for your company, to Terry & Pam for back-marking and to those who marked corners.

Gill Finlay

Sou'Westers Logo Garment printing

Printing of the Sou'Westers logo is available in 2 sizes of 3 inch and 8 inch. Printing colours are either Blue or Yellow and will print on most fabrics. Costs are £5.00 per garment, approx.

Please email me if you are interested.  tonyiahopkins@gmail.com

Please note this is totally separate from the Wayfarers top that Pam supplies.

Blue on Yellow


Arthur Jessop Trophy

This years trophy was awarded to Colin Quemby and very well deserved.

The Arthur Jessop Trophy: For Outstanding Achievement

A Group 8th November

A natty little ride from Keith today, making best use of the time available after the AGM.  Interesting byways to Brooklands, where we were able to ride on the old track, a good lunch at the Saddlers Arms in Send Marsh and tea at Amici in Leatherhead - Annies was closed.

Lights on on the way home.


Monday, November 06, 2017

A Group ride from AGM Hersham

Sorry all, but only time for a short flat ride to The Saddlers Arms in Send Marsh, includes a little bit of off road if the conditions are OK.
Afternoon tea at Leatherhead.

B Group ride after the AGM

Gill has sent this advice: Lunch will be at Stoke D'Abernon, tea at Long Ditton Squires with a short offroad section before Claygate.

Hardest Climb in the World

Saturday, November 04, 2017

Notice of Annual General Meeting

CTC South West London will hold its AGM at 11:00 am
Wednesday 8th November.

Please be on time.

The new venue is just a short walk from the Queens Road exit from the Day Centre.

All Saints Hall
All Saints Roman Catholic Church
13 Queens Road
KT12 5LU

The hall is located at the back of the premises. There are two halls with a shared entrance. Our meeting is in the Small Hall.

There are no bike racks but there is plenty of space to park bikes against the buildings near the hall entrance. Please bring your bikes to the hall rather than leave them at the Day Centre.

There are normally plenty of spaces on the premises in front of the church for anyone arriving by motor vehicle, with access from Queens Road.

~ Tim

Friday, November 03, 2017

B Group - 1st November

Cobham - Lower Ashtead - Squires (Long Ditton)

23 riders set off on a lovely sunny morning, our route took us past Polesden Lacy down to West Humble and over Box Hill. John Scott took a tumble but managed to continue with cut fingers. We continued on to Headley and then down to the Woodman Pub in Lower Ashtead, we found the pub staff very hospitable, good service with a good menu, reasonably priced.

After lunch most riders made their own way home. 8 of us made our way to the tea stop at Squires Long Ditton where another three riders departed.

Thanks to Chris and Ray for back marking, and the corner markers.

Approx 25 miles in all

Regards, Tony

I didn't ride with B Group but thanks to Stephanie who recorded Tony's ride with Strava. I've rendered it here on OS1:50,000 (Landranger) as usual.

~ Tim

Thursday, November 02, 2017

A group ride 1 November

The prospect of leading a ride and indeed doing anything creative is a scary prospect, but thanks to the support of every rider in the group, marking the turns, back marking and just being there, it becomes a shared journey which everyone can enjoy. So I would encourage everyone to have a go at leading and show us all places we haven't visited yet. Thanks to everyone for making my first go at leader a good experience.

The Jurors
In one picture is "The Jurors" artwork. Twelve bronze seats which have different experiences of  injustice, which cry out for "justice for all". Interestingly, I have to do my jury service at the end of this month and so will find out for real what occurs in court. The artwork commemorates the site where 800 years ago Magna Carta was signed, placing restrictions on King John's power. The resulting legislation has been applied and refined through the ages to the present day and given us parliament. I have driven past countless times and never stopped to consider.

There are lots of historical sites out there to visit like the RAF monument-see picture.

The pictures of Hans and the salad competition are hilarious, but it shows what fun you can have eating healthily.  I am looking forward to more fun rides in the future!

~ Steve D

Wednesday, November 01, 2017

The A group went bowling

My first ride with the A's for a while and a nice brisk pace to Egham and then Tite Hill and down Crimp Hill to lunch at the Bells of Ouzeley. Some opted for the works while others held a competition to see who could eat the most bowls of salad, it was a fierce competition down to the final two of Hans and Simon, both gorging themselves on 3 bowls apiece, then  a period of calm as both looked near to bursting. Hans made a final dash to the salad bar and returned to triumph with  a final few mouthfuls.

Our leader Steve on the far left

 The going was tough
Shovels would have been better

The Winning Bowl

Triumphant Hans


A group November 1st

A nicely executed ride from Steve D today on his first time leading.   Plenty of autumn sunshine, and even more unlimited salad at lunch for some.   Lights on for the ride home for tea.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Notice about B Group ride on Wednesday 1st

Some hills, some off road, but then a cruise down to The Woodman Pub in Lower Ashtead for lunch. After lunch onto Cardinal Wolsey's house for tea.



Monday, October 30, 2017

Christmas lunches for A and B groups

Pam has been busy organizing your lunches:
  • B Group on 6th December
  • A Group on 13th December
As The Angel has a limit on the number that can be comfortably served at each Christmas lunch - a maximum of 40 - you  should get your orders in soon rather than risk missing out.

So please write the following on the front of an envelope ...

  • your NAME
  • Menu choice
  • A or B group (most important)
... then enclose the TOTAL cost of your meal and give your envelope to Pam on a Wednesday, Sunday, or at any other time!

If you keep company with anybody who does not see the blog please pass this information on to them. Pam will have several paper copies of the menu with her on Wednesday and on future rides.

This is your menu:

~ Tim

Orders for Club kit

Further to Pam's sales promotion in September ...

Orders for new Sou'Westers garments

... please contact her to discuss and place your orders for new outfits, tops, jackets, long sleeve, winter or/and summer clothing etc, as soon as possible.

She needs orders for four more garments in order to meet the conditions for free postage.

~ Tim

Thursday, October 26, 2017

A Group 25 October: Teddington - Eton - Shepperton

What a gorgeous day!  When I planned the ride, heavy rain was forecast so my ambition was rather limited, but in the event we had wall-to-wall sunshine.   Our escape route from Teddington was northwards: dodging the A316 through a couple of tunnels to enter Crane Park, and shortly on to Hounslow Heath.   More urban riding., speeded along by expert corner marking, past Hounslow West and up to Heston before we turned west along Cranford Lane, which takes you through open fields earmarked to be Heathrow's third runway.  At Sipson we went a bit further north to West Drayton where we carried on west through Thorney and Richings Park, before hitting the back streets of Langley and then diving southwards on the cycle route through Ditton Park and eventually across the Millennium river into Eton.  Neil was ticking off the motorways we passed:  M4, M25, M4 (again); others may have been doing a bit of plane spotting.
The Waterman's Arms at Eton has a good selection of beers and food, but always seems very short-staffed behind the bar, and so it was today.  It took a while for us all to be served but the food arrived promptly.  Most sat indoors in the relative gloom of 'the library', but since there were eighteen of us on the ride, some of us were forced to sit outside in the sun.

The return route was less urban, less flat, and less off-road.   A quick stop for photos on the bridge before heading up through Windsor town on the way to conquer Crimp Hill;   Englefield Green and then it was supposed to be down Callow Hill, but parts of it were very definitely up - and via Virginia Water and St Anne's Hill to Chertsey and Shepperton. 

We took the scenic route along Dockett Eddy Lane and found that the kiosk at Shepperton Lock was open, so we had tea there.
Thank you to Mike for back marking, to Geoff and Mark for a wealth of photos, and to everyone who came along.   Special welcome to Sue on her first A group ride - we hope you'll join us again!