Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Farewell to Shepperton

Unfortunately we will no longer be using Shepperton for Elevenses. It seems that they are getting so busy that they are having to move some of their regular customers out when we visit and they have reluctantly advised that they are no longer able to offer their hospitality.

Future rides for 2017 scheduled for Shepperton will now go to Walton for Elevenses. The first of these is April 12th.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Dieppe Raid

A nice write-up of the Dieppe Raid, with lots of pictures.   There is still time to book ... http://www.freewheelingfrance.com/where-to-go/dieppe-raid-and-tour.html

Dining at Prezzo

Gill and Pam have remembered that we can download vouchers from the Prezzo website:


We understand that with one voucher per table a 30% discount on most food can be enjoyed. With each of us settling our bills individually I'm not sure how the staff at Prezzo keep track of it all. But get yourself a voucher anyway.

~ Tim

Tite Hill, Egham

For those of you who have enjoyed a fast descent of Tite Hill in the past, take care!
The council in their wisdom have installed speed humps up and down the hill during the last week, making a fast descent hazardous. 

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Clive Oxx at KPRC 80th Dinner

Good to see Clive enjoying himself with his family. Also Angie entertaining Tony Alston!

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

"A" Group More Plane spotting 22 Feb 2017

This time a near miss under the glide path. After the first over-shoot we all got cold and it was a while before the next plane flew overhead to land (we assume) on the only available runway!

B Group - 22nd February

An interesting ride from Peter with some wacky meandering through Fetcham and Bookham and later, in West Horsely, Green Lane West proved to be the ultimate experience for off-roaders, with a whole year's supply of mud concentrated in just over half a kilometre of what must once have been pristine swamp.

Paul Darbyshire with his father-in-law

A Group 22nd February

A grey start at Leatherhead, but sixteen hard riders were eager to explore the wilds of Gatwick and points South.  A shabby bit of route-finding at first, as I ignored my chirruping GPS because I was chatting to Neil.  But we recovered, setting a good pace over Headley and down Pebble Combe heading for Leigh.  Not such a good pace after that, with a strong wind on the nose, but still steady enough until we got to Horley.  Memory lane for some, as we were reversing the Tri-Vets route, and, to keep the memory alive, it started to drizzle.

Here we picked up the cycleway that leads through Gatwick, which is actually pretty good.  There's a lot of bike parking and many airport workers evidently commute by bike.  We stopped for a few minutes at the glide-path lights, wanting to see a plane.  

The first was rather a dud, changing its mind having set up for landing and going round again.  (I expect the people in it thought that too...).  But the next, the ever-reliable EasyJet, did the job nicely.

A bit further down the cycle-way we stopped again to see the Beehive, the original Gatwick terminal built in 1936.  An architectural triumph in its day, it looks a bit small now.  Then cycleways again to the centre of Crawley, which, oddly, we have never previously visited.

At the White Hart they were ready for us and provided a good lunch, with the thoughtful addition of jugs of water on the table - someone there is a cyclist.  Then, back on the road.

Another short piece of cycleway and, suddenly, Crawley was behind us.  It is salutary to note just how close what we view as countryside is to the airport and the town.  

The wind, which an optimist might have described as a tail wind at this point, gave us  a bit of help, and the damp mizzle gave us the motivation, so the miles to Denbies passed pretty briskly.  Farewells for some, tea and cakes for others.

Not a bad outing for a windy February day.  My thanks to Geoff Gregory for his exemplary back marking, and to all the corner makers who allowed us to traverse a complicated route without problem.

Next week - Stanstead.


Picture credits - Geoff Gregory

Monday, February 20, 2017

A Group 22nd February - Planespotting

Something different for Wednesday.  Chatting over tea a couple of weeks ago, someone ventured that you can cycle through Schipol Airport.  I'm sure you can, and I'm sure that the facilities are excellent.  But you can cycle through Gatwick Airport too, y'know ...

So off to Sussex we go.  Some hills, both up and down, lunch at the White Hart, an unreconstructed pub of some antiquity in Crawley High Street and tea at Denbies, or Pilgrims if it's warm enough to sit out.

Twenty one miles to lunch, so a prompt start, please.  The route is mostly surfaced, with a bit of gravel at the end for those that fancy it.

Don't forget your Boarding Pass.


Thursday, February 16, 2017

A Ride to Holyport Map

With thanks to Hans, 47.6 miles Weybridge to Hampton Ct, my average speed 13.3mph, though Hans was appreciably faster, and we were owed 1903 calories of cake at the finish. Map below.

Birthday Rides 2017

Steph has just confirmed that the booking forms for the Birthday Rides are now available.

Visit the website http://www.birthdayrides.org where you can download the prospectus and the booking pack to view the various price options. Note the cost advantages of booking before 20th April.

~ Tim

A ride to Holyport, 15 February

Seventeen A riders set out for Holyport this Wednesday. A good pace was interrupted by a puncture and whilst waiting I discovered a slow puncture on my bike and whipped out my sealant, which provided much merriment when what looked suspiciously like shaving foam engulfed the wheel. Needless to say the 'shaving foam' didn't last long and the tyre was flat by the time we reached Egham. At this point Ray decided that it was time to exit stage left. With no more mishaps we negotiated Tithe Hill, down Crimp Hill and onto Windsor and eventually arrived at The White Hart just after 1pm. Just in time it seemed as the heavens opened during lunch. We set off from the pub in a mild drizzle which soon stopped. A fast pace to Sunningdale where Mark, uncharacteristically sought the comfort of the train. Onto Chertsey where a  decision to take a shorter route to Walton meant that we arrived in Hampton Court shortly after 4pm.

Thanks to Steve for back marking and all who took a turn to mark the corners and to Janice for the 'foam' photo.Sadly my gps started to play up so I don't have a record of the ride but I'm reliably informed that it was the longest this year so far.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

B Group - 15th February


The day started well; eighteen of us were on our way by 11.12.  Up and over Woburn Hill on the way to Chertsey where we entered the park off  Free Prae Road, crossing Guildford Street into Gogmore Farm Park heading for St Anne's Hill.   Upon exiting the park I waited so that we could re-assemble but only one or two were with me.  Then others came to say somebody had taken a tumble.  We made our way back to learn that Liz had been thrown from her bike by coming into contact with a wooden 'border' plank on the only short muddy path of the day!!  Poor girl was in terrible pain....it was per chance Tammy, Liz's daughter had joined us today and she had everything under control.   I don't know exactly what happened after Tammy phoned for an ambulance - only that she was not getting the response that was expected!   Hence she called a cab to take Mum to hospital.  The bikes were locked to some railings which were collected this afternoon. Liz has a fractured radial bone on her right wrist and will be in plaster for six weeks.   We are all desperately sorry for her...I know I would be lost with out my right hand but Liz says she will now learn to use her left hand!

Soooo - once Tammy and Liz were on their way to A+E, we continued towards Lyne then Longcross, but turning off towards Trump's Green then to Virginia Water where we entered Windsor Great Park.  As we were running a little late I cut out the ride through the park, hence exiting at Saville Gardens into Wick Lane.  Crimp Hill very quickly got us to the Fox and Castle where we received good food and excellent service.

Our return was very direct - already planned but very convenient as it was raining steadily upon leaving the pub!  Along Windsor Road, across Runnymede into Egham, Thorpe, across Chertsey Bridge to our tea stop at the Café Mocha in Shepperton Eight of us stopped for refreshments various whilst others continued home wards.  

My thanks to all who came out today - especially to Terry, who once again took the rear, to corner markers and Gill for giving me advice when it was needed!  And of course - to Tim for the map and posting this to the blog.  Not forgetting to send our very best wishes to Liz...

Pam :) :)

Easy Riders - 15th February

Weybridge D.C.  --  Angel Pub, Thames Ditton.
Eight left the day centre to lunch at The Angel Thames Ditton via Church Road to Princes Road, Oatlands Avenue into Burwood Park, first left Onslow Road where left to Molesey Road right Pool Road and on to Summer Road and over river Mole. Straight over main Hampton Court Road across level crossing past The Old Swan and into Giggshill road  and The Angel.

A table had been set aside for us right by a large burning fire, it was so hot we couldn’t sit there and went into the back room where lunch was quickly served, they certainly do you well with portions and the reasonable prices.   As it was raining when we left everyone made for home.

Thank you to Bernard Power, Brian Bent, John Brookes, Gillian, Frank Carter, Ian Appleton, John Bellamy the best T.E.C. and yours truly,  (I think Uncle Tom Cobley was there somewhere ?).

~ Irene

Monday, February 13, 2017

Grant & Ray VTTA Awards

Sunday 12 February was the Surrey/Sussex Group annual lunch and prize presentation at the Normandy Center Horsham. Guest of Honor was Jim Burgin, Philips dad who presented the prizes. Grant was awarded an age standard and Ray once again, gained a Nation record for for a 90 year old 25mile TT with a plus of 15mins. 52secs. Pictures below.

A Group ride from Weybridge

The A Group ride this Wednesday will head Windsor way. Lunch at Holyport and a swift ride back to Shepperton or Hampton Court ( if we make good time) for tea. The weather is improving and there is a promise of 10/11 degrees on the day.

Wednesday, February 08, 2017

A Group Ride from Teddington, 8th February.

I promised a water-themed ride - but failed to mention the mud! Still, the fourteen of us who set off along the Thames and then the Grand Union Canal from Brentford Lock soon got to grips with the rather gloopy towpath - apart from Jenny and Keith. Fortunately both came a cropper to the right of the towpath, rather than to the left, and avoided an early bath in the Canal: they remounted to no obvious ill effects.

The towpath route from Brentford Lock was a regular commute of mine up to West Drayton and Uxbridge, though I never remember it as muddy - maybe because most of my trips were in the summer!

We were glad to escape the towpath at Stockley Park, encouraged by signs of Horton Lane - (too soon for some), and made our way through West Drayton, Richings Park, Sutton, Colnbrook Village and Poyle to the The Horton Arms on Stanwell Road, just the other side of the Colne Brook. The pub's makeover from the former Five Bells meant for more convivial surroundings with a good range of food and beers, promptly served.

Having rode 21 miles to lunch, our tea stop was Squires at Upper Halliford, only a further 10miles or so, and eight of us enjoyed an early tea, leaving enough time to get home before the lengthening dusk.

You may notice a guest appearance of Geoff in the photo, (but no John) - having expertly handed over his photographic duties to Jackie, the barmaid, but I'm sure normal service will soon be resumed. Thanks again to Mike for back marking.

B Group Ride to Stockley Park

23 left Shepperton, we left Stephany behind as she had lost the key to her bike lock! She said she would join us at lunch when the matter was sorted, she never got to lunch with us. The route was off road where possible through parks and open spaces, along the river Crane and across Hounslow heath, Avenue and Cranford parks, where we lost Peter C  who went off to the loo and never rejoined us, and and the cycle park along side the Hayes by-pass to Minet Country park and a lap of Hillingdon cycle circuit. 

Then on through back roads and across Lake Farm Country park to lunch at the White House Stockley park and a chance to warm up. Chris had punctured and managed to join us for lunch. Service, as usual in Wetherspoons, was good and it was soon time to leave. I opted for a quicker route to tea as the temperature had dropped. Heading South to Harlington and through Cranford and over the M4 into Osterley park and South to the river. Heading towards Twickenham we were soon at tea at the Coach house in Marble Hill park.

A pleasant ride with good company through suburbs on a cold and dull day.

Lunch in the warmth of Wetherspoons

A Group 8th February

Ged was careful not to wean us off the mud too quickly this week, with an interesting ride widdershins around Heathrow.  Parks, river, canal and pretty villages, with a good lunch at Horton and tea at Upper Halliford.

Very enjoyable, and very nearly home in the light.


Tuesday, February 07, 2017

Brighton YHA Highly Recommended

See my report on C&M Blog. It was supposed to go onto MWW Blog but somehow I screwed it!

Thank you Tony for re-posting my Angel lunch blog onto C&M. I fear that I am having too many Senior moments these days. Must be going through the change!

Monday, February 06, 2017

C&M Lunch at the Angel

Dear all, I do not know what is happening to the C&M blog at the moment but I have tried to access (Graham Please note) but I was unsuccessful. So I post this tribute on the Wafarers!

Thank you Steve and Ann for both organizing and being such splendid hosts!  The hospitality you showed at your home beforehand was so Splendid with the fantastic cakes and most appreciated aperative's. They were the best starter to any meal one could imagine! So some pictures to remind!

A Group Ride from Teddington 8th February.

Looks like we'll be heading in the same direction as the B's - out to West London, and beyond. Hopefully a dry, but water-based ride along the Thames and Grand Union Canal, with lunch at The Horton Arms, Horton, (formerly The Five Bells). www.thehortonarms.co.uk
21miles to lunch, and less than half again to tea. Prompt start for some slow-paced off-road riding. (I'll have a bike bell to scatter any unwary pedestrians!)

Sunday, February 05, 2017

B Ride 8th Feb

A flat and reasonably short ride, of around 25 miles from 11‘s to tea, going North through the suburbs to Hillingdon cycle circuit for a lap or 2, then on to the White House Stockley Park for lunch, a Wetherspoons pub. Some of the ride will be on tracks and through parks. Afternoon tea will be at the Coach House café in Marble Hill Park Twickenham.

Saturday, February 04, 2017

Easy Riders - 2nd February

About six from North Cheam made our way to Cobham.  The weather was disappointing; as I thought the drizzle was going to faze out; but it gradually got worse.  Anyway, after a hot drink at Cobham we made our way towards Leatherhead, round the back of the station and into Ashtead.  We stopped for lunch at The Woodman. We were joined by Sonia, so seven on the long table.  As I was going out in the evening we made our separate ways home after a nice, social lunchtime.


Friday, February 03, 2017

Gears For Old Legs (cont'd)

A few weeks ago, I posted a note about my various changes to cranksets to make climbing a bit easier, and I promised to follow up with changes at the rear mech.  There's quite a lot that can be done at the back end, but for a starter, here's a really simple change that will give you lower ratios.

The device is called a 'Lindarets Road Link', and it looks like this.

It's engagingly simple, but nicely made.  You bolt it on to your rear derailleur hanger and it provides a new mounting hole for the rear mech which is about an inch lower.  This allows a larger cassette to be fitted.  How much larger?  Well, here's the Lindarets compatibility table:

There's more information available at http://www.wolftoothcomponents.com/products/roadlink.

I'm using one on my Open with 46/34 on the front and 11-36 at the rear.  It's running Di2, which is fussy, and it works absolutely perfectly.  


Thursday, February 02, 2017

A Group, 1 February. Cobham - Chilworth - Ripley

The weather was miserable when it was time to leave Cobham and so the excuses started - "I've got a puncture", "I've lost my helmet", "I've lost my wallet", "I've lost my Garmin", "The dog ate my homework"......

Finally a dozen headed off via Downside, Ockham, West Horsley and on to the concrete track from Jury Farm to Sussex Farm. Past the prison, through East Clandon and up Staple Lane.The bend on Combe Lane was flooded to add to the usual hazard of gravel but we all safely arrived at the A25. Towards Albury but then left up to Albury Heath and Farley Green.

Here we encountered a "Road Closed" but pushed on to see just how closed. Finally as we were descending into Shamley Green we were brought to a halt by workmen digging a hole in the road. They were friendly enough but the spoil tip spread the full width of the road between steep verges. Various techniques were used to scramble around the obstruction but most ended up with very muddy feet and bikes. There were plenty of road-side puddles to try and clean ourselves up but with limited success.

We continued to Blackheath and followed the "This Way" sign to bring us to The Percy Arms in Chilworth. Still with dirty feet we were glad the pub had stone floors and not carpet. The pub has a South African theme and a rather unusual menu but most chose the sandwiches and baguettes served with really nice chips.

Geoff's photo of the cyclocross team (oblivious to their next challenge behind them)

After lunch we soon (much too soon for some) ascended Halfpenny Lane to pass St Martha's Hill and Pewley Down before descending into Merrow, Burpham and by the A3 to Burntcommon and on to Ripley.

Here nine of us took tea at Pinnocks before pushing on for home.

Thanks to Colin and Geoff for backmarking, all the corner markers, Mark for the map and profile, and everyone for a good (if muddy) day out.

P.S. One or more of the excuses in the first paragraph may not be true.

Wednesday, February 01, 2017

B Group - 1st February

The weather forecast was rainy and wet and it was likely to be the same up to about 12pm. We assembled at Cobham British Legion for elevenses. After some debate it was decided to go ahead with the ride. The destination was Godalming. 

Eight riders were up for the ride and set off. We went to Effingham Junction, East Horsley, where two riders dropped out, Combe Bottom, Albury, Chilworth, past St Augustine’s Benedictine monastery to Wonersh, and then to Bramley and then after about 3 miles going steadily up hill, we passed a water tower, built at the end of the nineteenth century which had been converted into someone’s house, and after about half a mile, we arrived in Goldalming (18½ miles from Cobham). At Godalming we stopped at The Jack Phillips, a Wetherspoons’ pub, for lunch.

The meals and at The Jack Phillips were good, and the service was good, and there was a good selection of beers available at very reasonable prices, which is usually the case at a Wetherspoon’s.  The Wayfarers had been there before from time to time.
During lunch, the weather improved, but there remained occasional light showers. After lunch, when we set off, the weather looked more overcast again. The group remained more or less intact until we got to Shalford when the leader discovered it had disappeared. 

Finally, I am grateful to Steph who backed-up for us. Also, Tony Hooker volunteered to marshal at corners, roundabouts and crossroads.   Getting good back-up and marshalling support is essential for a successful ride. 

Peter Carpenter 

After a good lunch at the Jack Phillips
Cobham - Godalming (18.3 miles) - Cobham (16.4 miles)
Peter's hills

A Group 1st February

Neil took us over the hills to Chilworth today, with some mucky old lanes on the way, exactly as promised.  A good lunch at the Percy Arms and a fine tea at Ripley.

It's getting lighter, too ...