Sunday, April 30, 2017

News update: Mark Roy

I've just heard Mark came out of hospital today. I bet he's really pleased! He was in there for a month!


Saturday, April 29, 2017

Marco Pantani's Tour Bike

Cycling through Northwood Hills I stopped at Cycle Right, a cycle shop with a cafe, for a coffee. In the Window they have, on loan from Bianchi, Marco Pantani's bike he won the Giro and TDF on in 1998.

The last Aluminium bike to win the tour and weighing just over 7 kilos.


Thursday, April 27, 2017

B Group ride 26th April

Teddington is a difficult location to lead from as you pass other day centres in most directions unless you head North. So North it was. As North of the Thames is my home patch it was an easy task to pick a route.

I wanted off road as much as possible as the ground was still very dry. Off along the Thames to Isleworth and Syon park with 14 riders following and Tony Hooker as back marker, good choice as he was the only one in Orange and easy to spot. A short section on road and onto the Grand union canal. Hanwell was soon  reached and a few back roads brought us to more off road and across Brent Valley Golf course, Brent Valley park and Perivale park and onto the cycle path along side the A40 which is better than it sounds, across Marnham fields and into Norhtala Park and a nice climb up to the view point. At this point the rain started but didn’t deter the group from admiring the views across London to Canary Wharfe and South East to Box Hill. The hills were constructed using the spoil from the demolition of the old Wembley stadium.

The loo’s at Northala were well attended but Vic, having left his bike out of sight was left behind and it was only a mile further on that Dave W noticed him missing and went back to find him agreeing to meet us at lunch. Now we were on side roads for a while but rain and hail blighted our progress with everyone beginning to feel the cold. One more section off road and we were at Stockley park Wetherspoons for a welcome warm up and lunch.

We did linger over lunch and were joined by a good friend of mine, Tony Cates, the secreatary of another CTC group, the Uxbridge Loiterers who accused us of Loitering more than the actual Loiterers. Tony joined us for a mile or 2 on our way to Hayes and a stint on the Grand Union canal. We were soon cycling through Osterley park and to Isleworth, just before our arrivel at tea the majority of the group decided not to stop but continue and head for home.

Just 4 of us had tea at Syon park GC and after which I said my goodbyes for my long 1.2 mile cycle home.

The group seemed to enjoy the foray in unknown parts of darkest North London, for me a great day on the bike with a really good bunch of like minded cyclists. One point I must mention is that Dave W and Vic never did meet us for lunch but I did get a txt from Dave saying they couldn’t find the pub were headed home via Heathrow.

Thank you all for your company.

Photos Courtesy of Dave Ward

Tony H(opkins)

A Group April 26

Fourteen turned up at Teddington, mostly having already decided their lunch order. Thank you! It made the leader's life easy and paid off later. We made a prompt getaway and good progress to Osterley, alomg the canal to Hayes and through Stockley Park where the first signs of showers appeared but only lightly. Packet Boat Lane got us out of the urban sprawl and the showers left us alone until after we crossed Langley Park to George Green and across the A412. By now we were well on track for my planned 1.15 arrival at the pub when everything happened at once. Pete Betts punctured, the hail arrived and as soon as that was over Simon punctured and Pete's tyre went down again!

At this point we split the group. Ten went on to get to the pub by 1.30 while Neil and Colin ( back marker) stayed with Simon and Pete. They didn't get to the pub till after 2 but their order's were started as soon as they came in sight and were on the table by the time they had bought a drink. Pre-ordering is normally a nuisance but in this case it saved us a great deal of time and gave the latecomers a much more relaxing lunch. A big thumbs up to the Emperor for the quality and speedy delivery of the food.

We set off at 2.45 to Walton via Slough, Datchet and Staines and made it with only a little dampness in the air at times. The weather threatened much but delivered little and my rain jacket stayed packed away all day. The Riverhouse Barn cafe is now open until 5 which we reached at 4.20 for a welcome tea and cake in the warm.

Many thanks to Colin ( back marker), Neil ( for volunteering to stay with the punctured and lead them to lunch) and to all who corner marked especially on the convoluted outward route.

Update about Mark Roy

Lynda has some detailed news about Mark. Among other things it is a reminder of the strong connection Mark feels with the club and his cycling friends:

"I went to visit Mark, yesterday in Kingston hospital. He has been there a month now. I went 2 weeks ago and he asked me to put something in the Sou Wester, which I did but it hasn't been printed yet.

He has been moved to Alexandra ward on the 4th floor. He has improved, but not eating much. I made some flapjacks which I offered to his daughter, myself and Mark ate one, with a cup of water before and another one after. I told him he had to get stronger to get back on his bike! His daughter said, maybe he should have one for breakfast, one for lunch and one for dinner! Before I left, Mark said again, to let Wayfarers know where he is. I don't think he is used to being the one in bed; usually he goes round visiting others."

~ Tim

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

2017 Prudential Ride London Sunday 30 July.

St. Raphael's Hospice North Cheam still have places left to enter for a concessionary entry fee of £20 per person. All that they ask is for you to commit to raise £400. If interested contact or by phone 02082543463. Entries must be completed by 26 May 2017.

Monday, April 24, 2017

B Ride 26th April

B Group ride 26th April.

We will be heading North through parks and some towpath to Northala Fields park for some great views of London and then onto lunch at Wetherspoons Stockley park. Tea will be at he Garden centre Syon Park.

Northala Fields Park


A ride 26 April

I may not be popular with those gravelophobes riding wafer thin 23s who hate to leave the tarmac. On the recce I heard a dad at Osterley explain to his young daughter that his game with her was "not dangerous, just mild peril". So maybe it's "mild peril" that awaits those who venture with me beyond Osterley to the Grand Union canal. We'll rejoin the tarmac for most of the ride out to Cowley and Iver. Then a short stretch of Sustrans 61 to Bellswood Lane ( where it's too early for last year's nettle peril)  is followed by more "mild peril|" on the bridleway across Langley Park to George Green. From there it's all road to the Emperor at Farnham Royal. A straightforward return across the wastes of Slough to Datchet. Tea probably at Walton.

The Emperor have asked me to gather lunch orders. I'll start doing this about 1045 and aim for a prompt 1100 departure if we are to arrive by 1315. The menu is attached so you can come prepared.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

B Group - 9th April

Welcome to two new all day riders Sarah Erwin, who rides for Kingston Phoenix and Mark McNamara who is back cycling after a long absence. After a late start 11 riders made their way to the Sportsman Public House in Mogador via Wray Lane and Colley Hill. The service and food was very good.

Five of us made it to tea at the Moat Garden Centre in Ewell. The weather was fine.

It was nice to meet with Angie for elevenies



Thursday, April 20, 2017

A Group Ride 19th April

Good morning and a Happy Birthday to Simon good to see you and Neil after your cycling weekend.
A Big thank you to Brian for back marking and to all of those that marked corners and junctions.

Arriving at Tanhouse Farm a few of us felt that we had done half of the ride already. With the start of the day rather cold but sunny 19 of us set off for the Blue Ship at The Haven, soon after leaving we turned left on to Partridge Lane and out towards Charlwood then swinging round to Lambs Green and back to Rusper. The Rusper Road lead us down to Warnham, Broadbridge Heath and Slinfold. My intention was to pass Holmbush Manor but as my Garmin wasn't quite working with me I lead the group along a greater length of the A29 than intended, once at the turn off for The Haven we were back on the country roads and soon at the Blue Ship.

We were lucky enough to be able to sit in the sun for lunch, the service was not fast but the food was good, I will take more care when booking a pub to take a menu away with me so that we can preorder, my mistake this time.

As last week we were joined by a young lady by the name of Miss Marple who once securing her bike to the fence settled down in the sun, unfortunately she was not able to join us for the rest of the day.

Before setting off we gathered for the pub group shot not to disappoint our readers.
 So setting off from the Blue Ship we headed for Bucks Green then through to Knowles Lane and on to Cranleigh, Rowley, Shamley Green and Wonersh.
Once regrouped off again to New Road, Chilworth and Albury, a well travelled route. Together again and up Coombe Lane to Staple Lane, Ripley Road in to Gambles lane and our final stop at Pinnocks in Ripley for tea.

A good days ride and thank you to everyone that chose to ride along, now to recce my next ride at the end of May


Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Mark Beaumont - trip round the coast of Britain

I just heard that Mark Beaumont is currently cycling round the entire coast of Britain, 3500 miles, as a training ride for his next proper ride, which will be to cycle round the world in 80 days.   He plans to do 240 miles a day (on the training and the full ride), so he will circumnavigate Britain in 15 days, and is due to finish around now.

What a lightweight.   He's not even visiting the islands.   I will be returning to Scotland to continue my 'proper' circumnavigation next month.   If you want a taste of why it's so beguiling to cycle round the Scottish coastline, click here for a video of his last ride round the North Coast 500, which may not encourage you.  Or you could read my blog: I'll put a link on here when I go.

Monday, April 17, 2017

A Group Ride from Tanhurst Farm 19th April

We shall be heading for 'The Blue Ship' near Haven, approximately 23 miles to lunch, They have a good menu that does change, but check their website for some idea of what to possibly choose.

Tuesday UPDATE if you would like to look at the menu to preorder it will make it quicker to be served,  I imagine it will be the usual wait otherwise.

Our route will take us out via Charlwood, Rusper and Broadbridge Heath.

Returning by a well used route to Cranleigh and finally going up Coombe Bottom and then down to 'Pinnocks' in Ripley for tea. (yes I do have a loyalty card should you be wondering) about 22 miles back.

Geoff G

Friday, April 14, 2017

Using a mobile phone to navigate

Quite some time ago I wrote a couple of articles about using a mobile phone for navigation. What I have written is starting to age but does for the most part still seem relevant. My experience is limited to Android phones with just a couple of references to iPhones. I don't know if Microsoft phones are in the game.

For a general overview see the article:
GPS Navigation by Phone

For an article about using 'Mapas de EspaƱa' see this:
GPS Navigation in Spain

~ Tim

Thursday, April 13, 2017

B Group - 12th April

Twenty three riders took off from the Day Centre and passed under Walton Bridge VI to join Walton Lane at Cowey Sale.  In Weybridge, after Portmore Road and a few hundred metres on the cycle lane on Weybridge Road we ducked down Weystone Road to join the more serene lane by the River Wey.

For the next eight miles, through Addlestone, Chertsey South, Homewood Park, Stonehill, Burrowhill and beyond, we followed exactly the route taken by Pam for her ride to Donkey Town on March 15th. Approaching Windlesham, due to Woodlands Lane being closed, we diverted up Highams Lane to join the Chertsey Road. The Woodlands Lane Bridge was demolished by blowing it up last November. There is plenty of footage of this spectacular event on the web. The replacement bridge is expected to open some time during the coming Winter.

Beyond Windlesham, despite running off the edge of the Greater London A-Z, we made do with OS Landranger to find our way up to Ascot, to convene at The Stag for lunch. After a pretty cold start for the morning ride to Elevenses the day had warmed up nicely well before we reached Ascot and the majority of us sat out in the sunny courtyard to eat lunch. The staff coped with our big group very well and it is very much a pub that we would return to. When David Cox and I did the recce we had it in mind to go a bit further to have lunch at The Belvedere Arms, just outside the Blacknest Gate into the Great Park. But we were overcome by how posh it was and skedaddled around Virginia Water to The Wheatsheaf for a lunch we could afford.

One of the big pleasures of the day was that our new rider Christina came with her husband Pat and 15 year old son Edward, both accomplished riders and good company. Mags and Will McKinley came out again and we hope that they will join our rides as often as they can despite other cycling allegiances. Denver Lawson turned up for more after enjoying last week’s ride to Guildford. And, like migrating geese, freshly arrived back from Canada, Robert Tolley and Margaret Wild joined us too. David “school holidays only” Vines impressed us all with his choice of steed, a beautiful 1960s Jack Taylor, a real work of art. Good to have all these folk with us.

New Mile Road, through Cheapside and Mill Lane was a really enjoyable way to get to the Blacknest Gate where we entered Windsor Great Park, resplendent in its Spring leafiness. We took a slightly different route than usual, turning right after Breakheart Hill to pass the Polo Grounds and The Guards Polo Club before a pleasant meander through the trees to Egham Wick to emerge onto Wick Road.

We whizzed down Prune Hill and after Whitehall Lane Pam left us to go home, less than a mile away, and prepare for the Easter Tour. After Thorpe Lea and Eastly End we took the quiet Laleham Reach road around Penton Hook to join the rather rough Ferry Lane, more of a goat track than a cycle path, through to Chertsey. After Mead Lane we rode across the field on the footpath to Woburn Park and up the sharp rise onto the cycle path alongside Woburn Hill and thence to Weybridge and the usual route alongside the Desborough Channel to Walton-on-Thames. We sat outside the 1955 Club and although the staff confused themselves over our orders we were soon quaffing our steaming beverages and munching on some very decent slabs of cake.

Thanks to everyone for being such good company on what was a day of many miles, 18.3 to Lunch, 17.5 to Tea. Thanks to David Cox for back marking and riding the two recces with me. The route I had planned originally left a lot to be desired and you wouldn’t have enjoyed it nearly as much as the one we rode yesterday. Thanks too to the several people who marked corners and to John Austin who volunteered his services as an auxiliary back-marker.

~ Tim

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

A Group Ride - 12th April

Walton to Fetcham via West End Lane and Fairmile, a bit of bridleway on the way to Great Bookham, down Chapel Lane to Westhumble, up Box Hill, across Headley Heath and back down to The Running Horses at Mickleham via Headley Lane. After lunch, a bit of forest track and a steep hill to avoid (most of) the A24, then via Tyrell's Wood to Epsom and on to Kingston for tea. The weather was kind to us (better than forecast) and we had only 1 puncture between us which provided Alan with an excellent excuse to skip Box Hill. Many thanks to DaveB for an excellent job of backmarking.

Top of Box Hill

The Running Horses in Mickleham
A very attractive young lady joined us for lunch

Easy Riders - 12th April

Walton D. C. - Marquis of Granby (Scilly Isles)

Well the weather turned out much better than forecast but the wind did get up by the afternoon.  We were 11 in total who left the day centre to ride to Walton Bridge turning down under before the bridge to ride alongside the river on Cowie Sale towards Weybridge. Unfortunately Bernard Brindley had new cleats and peddles which didn’t release quick enough and he went a cropper just as we reached Cowie Sale luckily nothing was coming so with a bloodied knee the cavalry sorted everything out Terry having the right size alan key to adjust the peddle.

We proceeded along Cowie Sale turning right into Portmore Park Road and onto the roundabout in Weybridge, we went straight over to Church Lane into the ally, at the bottom we turned left then right to Princes Road; a right and left took us to Oatlands Avenue and into Burwood Park and Onslow Road. Left at the bottom to A244, Esher Road where I decided not to go up Lammas Lane but turn left at bottom in Riverside Drive through the little pedestrian gate and up to Wayneflete Tower Avenue (not a good choice, I came down it with the “Bs” years ago much better down than up) then up to the Brown Bear where we turned left into Esher Park Estate, left Hare Lane left Oaken Lane over railway bridge left to Littleworth Common which was tinder dry and onto lunch.

We were told we might have to wait anything up to an hour but sitting outside in the sunshine we didn’t mind but lunch was all served in ½ a hour so we all left after being there for only 1 hour.

Thank you John Bellamy for being my TEC, a grand job and didn’t lose anyone, and thank you all for such a good day.

~ Irene

Monday, April 10, 2017

For the A group ride on Wednesday 12th April:
UPDATE - news flash! There are a couple of short off-road/bridleway sections, but Dave& I rode them today (Tue) and we should have no problems on any type of bike in the dry weather expected.
We will meet at Walton DC and head via Stoke D'Abernon, Great Bookham and Westhumble to ascend the infamous Box Hill (I don't think I've ever ridden it with the Wednesday Wayfarers so I thought it would be nice). Whiz back down to The Running Horses in Mickleham for lunch, then via Epsom and Chessington to Kingston's historic market centre for tea.  The BBC weather app says it's going to be cloudy, while WeatherPro predicts 5h of sunshine that day, however both agree on a stiff westerly breeze which will help blow us up Box Hill.

A Pilgrimage - Advanced Notice

On 10th May I will be leading a ride from Caterham, and, as ever, I will try to make the ride a little bit different.

The plan is to do a linear ride, like Simon's Winchester rides, but going in the opposite direction, to Canterbury.

The route will be a mixture of country lanes, and, if the weather permits, a fair amount of Pilgrims' Way.  We can finalise the detail on the day, as the Pilgrims' Way does not ride well in the wet.

Lunch will be in the Wrotham area, about 25 miles from the start, and Dave Vine has kindly agreed to lead a party back from there, for those that want a normal Wednesday ride.  

The rest will go on to Lenham for tea, about 20 miles from lunch. There is a choice of stations near there for those that wish to return by train after tea.

It's 20 miles more from Lenham to Canterbury and we should arrive at about 1800.  There's a choice of trains from there, either on the Redhill line or on lines to London.  With a bit of planning we should be able to get everyone on one train or another, or you could spend the night in Canterbury and ride back the next day.

Have a word if you'd like more information; full details will be published in due course.


ps - you don't need a horse, but Rapha are doing the jerseys above...

Thursday, April 06, 2017

A Group 5 April: Cobham - Alfold - West Horsley

New rider Trevor
The day started with a touch of winter and a chilly northerly wind, prompting several to dash back inside to change from shorts to longs.  But there was plenty of sunshine and it turned into a glorious day.   Twenty set out from Cobham along the well-worn route through Ockley to begin the gentle ascent of Hungry Hill and Staple Lane.   It was very good to see Geoffrey back out with us again, seemingly back to full fitness, and also to welcome new rider Trevor to the group.

Checking directions at Blackheath
Instead of going through Shere we headed across to Albury and Chilworth, and another gentle climb through Blackheath before descending down towards Shamley Green.   Many people were saying what a kind leader we had, choosing all those gentle hills and such lovely sunshine.  Easy riding to the outskirts of Cranleigh where we turned off towards Alfold and the Three Compasses.   When I booked, they told me that they were expecting a crowd that day as Top Gear was filming at nearby Dunsfold Aerodrome, but most had already gone into the aerodrome when we arrived.   The food took a little while to arrive, but we were sitting outside in the sun (for the first time this year, I think) and nobody seemed to mind too much.

Most definitely NOT outside a pub
For the return journey I tried to have a lot of miles of descent.  Okay, this meant a few short miles of ascent too.   A few headed direct to Guildford, and a few headed Eastwards towards Weare Street so we were about 15 starting the return journey.  We headed back to Cranleigh and disappointed some by avoiding Barhatch and ascending Winterfold instead (only 1 in 7 - so kind) with a long descent to Shere and then again avoiding White Down by ascending Combe Lane, giving us another freewheel (mostly) down to West Horsley.

A good day out, and a foretaste of summer rides.  Thank you to all who marked corners to give us a free flowing ride, to those who left gaps for motorists to overtake, and to Mike Barrett who kept us all together as back marker.

B Group - 5th April

Not surprisingly, given the glorious sunny day, it was a large group of 25 riders which set off from Cobham.  Welcome to new rider, Denver Lawson, who had managed to find his way to Cobham from Brixton!  Welcome also to Mags & Will McKinley whom I had not met before.  Lunch was to be at The King's Head in Guildford and our route was pretty straightforward - starting off in a diagonal direction from Plough Lane to East Clandon.  Here we crossed the A246 and yes, we did climb Staple Lane!  After last week's challenging ride, there had to be at least one steep hill to keep up the momentum!  Besides, the speedy descent down Coombe Bottom is always worth the slog up on the other side.  Our route was now through Albury and Chilworth, then across the level crossing to come into Guildford on back roads.  With everyone safely across the railway lines, Dave Ward who had been holding open the gate for everyone else had to give way to a passing train before he could cross!  Thanks, Dave.

Once in Guildford, the last lap to the pub was a 'walk' up the one-way (wrong direction) Quarry Street before turning off and into the Castle grounds which were looking magnificent with all the spring flowers.  We left our bikes at the entrance/exit to the grounds on the far side, turned left and into the pub.   Having been warned of the numbers, extra staff had been brought in.  Most people ate indoors, seeking shelter from the cold wind, but the few who braved it outside were very happy in a sheltered spot in the sunshine!

The return route would have been familiar to many, up the High Street, into Stoke Park and past the Leisure Centre to the Nature Reserve by the Wey Navigation to Jacob's Well and so towards Ripley, with the main group turning at Send Marsh to cut across to Pyrford, West Byfleet and New Haw to the Garden Centre at Addlestone for tea.  Here, 10 of us enjoyed relaxing in the sunshine, seemingly in no hurry to push on home.  It had been a wonderful spring day and the countryside was looking at its best.  Thanks to Tim and Pam for being Back Markers and to those who marked corners.

Gill Finlay

The map shows the route for our jolly good and very well attended ride down to Guildford with Gill.

~ Tim

Wednesday, April 05, 2017

A Group 5 April

A bright, Spring ride from Simon today - over the hills to the Three Compasses, Alford Crossways, and back over the hills to tea at Squires West Horsely.

Grumbling from some at the omission of Barhatch, but that seemed to be a minority view...

A good ride in the sunshine.


Monday, April 03, 2017

A Ride 5 April

Neil's ride was so enjoyable last week that we will be doing a few bits of it again - not necessarily in the same order.   Lunch at The Three Compasses, Alfold, and back to West Horsley for tea.   The forecast is for fine weather with a risk of some sharp hills in the afternoon.   See you at Cobham.