Monday, July 31, 2017

A Ride – 2 August – Cobham

For those looking for a recovery ride after the Pru 100 this could be just the answer. Lunch at the Sun Inn Dunsfold ( The Sun have asked us to pre-order the food so I will take your order before we leave Cobham. 24 miles to lunch, 1,700 ft climbing, max gradient 15% downhill on Combe Lane. Return about 22 miles to Denbies/Pilgrim, avoiding closed White Down. Possibly some pre-asphalt macadam, nothing technical, but given the pm weather forecast may decide to take the shortest route home.

Mike Morley on the Mall

Close run thing ...

Epic Ride London 100 dedicated to Ray Dare

Firstly thank you Mark for flagging this event up on the Blog. Would be interested to know if you were able to track me and notice that on Leith Hill I was not walking but managing to stay upright at 3 MPH. Remarkably I was in the same Start Pen as Dave Vine. On arriving at the start over two hours before I looked behind and there was Dave some 4 rows back, so I went and had a chat. Soon after the start we got detached,he was in front on his Airnimal and riding so well. We got together around Harrods and I struggled to keep up but we were more or less together until entering Richmond Park where Dave powered ahead and left me for dead! We met again at the watering station in Richmond park, where I also got a free chain lube from William of Pearson Cycles. They had a mechanics well set up there to help all including customers. At this point 21 miles I said to David that I am struggling to keep having found the headwind very wearing. Later on I wished that I had had an earlier start for as the day wore on I was getting further and further towards the back of the field. Janice meantime I gather had set off earlier and no doubt finished around Noon?
One thing that kept me going was the fact that I had decided to dedicate this ride to Ray and although I doubt that I would have packed other than a major mechanical, I was up against it all the time. By the time I got to Newlands corner almost half way (48 miles) the feed station was packing up and going home, no energy drink left, I grabbed a quick Banana and peanut energy bar but was told the cut off point for Leith hill 18 minutes to go. I flew down from Newlands corner in top gear as fast as I could, 38MPH and managed to get to the right turn in Abinger with a few minutes to spare! One thing about the late start which was great was the lack of hold-ups and ease of riding up the hills with few walkers unlike previous years where it was chaos. As I progressed back to the A25 I had intended to stop in Westcott for tea & cake with friends but I was told that the cut-off time for Box Hill was 2.48, it was 2.25pm so I popped in and said hello, grabbed a Banana and shot off through Dorking to lots of roars of approval, as If I was part of the breakaway in the main peleton. I raced like hell to start the accent of Box Hill, when half way up an annoying motor cyclist followed behind me off enormously. I tried to get him to come by and "P" off only to find him ride along side to say that he was the sweeper up. He explained that I had 3 minutes to get to the top otherwise I would have to pull over and the the Pros come through. I made it to the top nipped quickly into the watering station only only to hear the exclamation "Mike Morley". What a pleasant surprise, it was Ann Bath & Steve as volunteers. They topped up my water bottle and rushed me on the way. I got to the Headley left hand turn and as I shot round I heard someone shout Mike go for it but did not see who it was but it sounded like Andy Pearce.
Pressing on still with some 30 miles to go I was starting to really suffer and wondered if I could make it with the ever present pressure of the bunch behind me. I was dreading the final hill up from Wimbledon village to the final feed station, which by now I was relying on. I finally got there only to find they had packed up, would not let me stop and made me press on which I did flying down into Putney where I was expecting to be urged on by the Hospice movement cheering point just over the bridge where I had hoped maybe someone could help re-hydrate only to find they had gone home also. By this time it was fairly flat and I got a second wind and pushed on along the embankment, though Parliament Sq., Whitehall and up the Mall overtaking as many riders as I could to get a roar of approval from all waiting for the real thing. It was now 5.30pm. I collected my medal and had to be lifted off my bike. My left knee, right ankle and both arms were in agony! How I ever expected to complete a 100 mile TT , which was cancelled the week before I will never know! The final ignominy was getting to the Golden Lion pub in St James where the Hospice movement had laid on sandwiches and soft drink only to find that they had all gone home and all I got was a free coke! They had even run out of coffee, which I don't normally drink but felt I really needed as a pick me up.
At this time I picked up a message from Dave V to say that he had finished at 4.30pm so well done Dave. Will I do it again! At this point NO! clearly I am getting too old but lets wait until next, you get a certain buzz from chatting to all the ladies in Lycra, in the start Pen and en-route!

Thursday, July 27, 2017

B Group - 26th July

The weather forecast for once proved to be quite accurate, so eight of us left Dorking suitably dressed against the wind and rain and headed in a generally southerly direction.  Included in the group was Ian who was giving a first long ride outing to his recently purchased electric bike.

Along the path to Brockham, then past Henfold Lakes where only the electric bike had a problem going up the 17% gradient, due to Ian not being familiar with how the bike works.

Down Wear Street and on to Rudgwick where we arrived just before one o’clock.
The lunches at the Kings Head had been pre-ordered and arrived very quickly and were of excellent quality, well recommended.

Whilst we were having lunch the rain stopped and although it would have been very easy to stay all afternoon in the pub, we knew we had to get back on the bikes and head home. Ian decided to go on to Horsham and return back train assisted, so the remaining seven came back via Ewhurst, Forest Green, Capel and Newdigate.

Steph left us at Stood Green so six took tea, very kindly bought by Peter T, and cake, outside but under the awning as the rain returned, at the Shop at Stood Green.

Thanks to all for a great ride, wonderful company, a good day out!

Being a small group we were able to ride for the most part without corner markers but I did notice that Alan did do one so thanks to him and anyone else that I may have missed.

Thanks also to Jennie for back marking.


At The Kings Head, Rudgwick
Tea at the Community Café in Strood Green

A Group 26th July

At the time I planned this ride we were going to sit in the pub garden for lunch but it was not to be. In the conditions I was very impressed that there were thirteen of us setting out from elevenses.

By the time we left Dorking a steady rain was falling though much less so at Coldharbour where Mark and I joked that we might have been above it. A short while later we were certainly in the cloud as a thick mist enveloped Leith Hill and we encountered several cars without lights. I was glad I'd brought mine so they could see us. At this point Mike punctured but it was quickly fixed. In the conditions I abandoned the plan to go down Tanhurst and headed down Leith Hill Lane. By the time we got to Walliswood the rain eased off and we had some respite until it returned briefly around Broadbridge Heath. A rare trip up Itchingfield Lane brought us to Barns Green and then to the Bax Castle - once a regular haunt of the C&M but everyone's first visit with the Wayfarer's. Good food was quickly served and we were made very welcome. They are on the Down's Link so cyclists are very much part of normal business and bike racks are provided.

The return was almost dry and with the wind behind us we made good progress. The path across Rookwood Golf Course took us to Warnham and from Rusper we returned to Denbies along Partridge Lane where we had clearly just missed some excitement involving several police cars.

Bax residents....

Epic Rides

This Sunday, as usual, a number of Wayfarers are riding the Ride London 100.  If you'd like to send me your number and start time (or add them as comments to this post)  I'll list them out so that your clubmates can follow your progress.

Have a great ride!

Dave Vine            Rider Number 54590     Start Time 08.56
Mike Morley         Rider Number 47950     Start Time 08.56
Janice Dawes      Rider Number 45696

Rider tracking is available on the Ride London web site , and there is an app that can be downloaded, too

And, even more epic, on the same day Neil Crocker is setting off on London-Edinburgh-London.  1400kms, unsupported, largely without sleep.  Tough ride - all the best, Neil.

Live tracking is available at


Wednesday, July 26, 2017

White Down Lane Closed Until Mid-September

Janice has passed on the note below, which she received from the Epsom CC mailing list.  I didn't know anything about it, I don't know if anyone else did.  Anyway, here's the email:

Dear Councillors. Sir Madam.

For a number of months colleagues from SESWater formally known as Sutton and East Surrey Water have been planning a water mains replacement project for the White Down Lane and Critten Lane  area of Ranmore Common, Dorking. The existing main of old metal pipes has reached the end of its life and will be replaced by new plastic pipes

Following the Prudential Ride 100 Cycle Event this coming Sunday, SESWater will commence works in White Down Lane from Monday 31st July 2017. They will excavate from the underground reservoir into the carriageway travelling north to the junction with Crocknorth Road and then on and into Critten Lane to a point near St Teresas School. At this point works will be suspended and a restart planned for next year to complete the mains replacement scheme in Critten Lane .
It is expected that the first phase of these works will be completed by the 13th September 2017.

For these works to be conducted safely White Down Lane will be closed to all traffic first, with all motorists required to use the diversion route. Once complete, Critten Lane will be closed, again to all traffic with a diversion route for all to use.
Due to the narrow carriageways access will be limited to residents and emergency service vehicles, all other users will be required to use the diversion route which will be clearly sign posted.

Whilst these works are being undertaken some disruption is to be expected in this area.


Martin Breckell
Network Coordinator - Mole Valley
Network Coordination Team
Network and Asset Management Group
Surrey Highways


A Group 26th July

Damp at first, for Brian's ride today, but it dried out later and was always mild.  A good run to the Bax Castle, a new destination for the A Group, where we enjoyed good food and pleasant and efficient service.

We were back on the road before two, and into Denbies for our tea a couple of hours later.

A good, brisk ride making the best of a not-quite-summer's day.


Monday, July 24, 2017

B Group ride on Wednesday 26th

Wednesday’s ride from Dorking will see us heading south and into West Sussex for lunch at the Kings Head pub in Rudgwick.

We have been asked to pre-order our food so if you could look at the online menus and get your order to me at it will help us all.

The afternoon tea stop is planned for at the community shop at Strood Green near Brockham.

No major hills but most would describe the ride as ‘undulating’. The majority of the ride is on ‘tarmac’; where we do take paths they have a decent surface.

Unfortunately the weather forecast is not great, be prepared for wind and rain.

The pub website is:

We have about 20 miles to do before lunch so a prompt start at 11.00am please.


Sunday, July 23, 2017

A ride Weds 26th July

We are heading south from Dorking to the Bax Castle near Southwater for lunch. There may be some hard surfaced ( too hard, I thought today) off road along the Downs Link if we are desparate to get to lunch in the shelter of the trees. Over Leith Hill - dont weigh yourself down with too much bread pudding at Dorking - and then an easy ride though we have to climb to Rusper on the way home.

After last weeks strike by the PF it seems the Rain God has me in his sights this week. The forecast for Wednesday seems to be changing by the hour - not usually for the better. There will be my original plan for the return and a Plan B which is basically to get back by the most direct route if the weather dictates, though you can always head to Horsham station. I anticipate tea will be in the warmth of Denbies.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Only One Hill

Only One Hill
I arrived early at Nibbles Datchet to find Dave Ward already tucking into a Bacon sandwich. The numbers steadily increased to 15 when Grant, the last to arrive, announced he was only coming to 11's. 11 o'clock arrived and the queue for the single toilet had ended we set off. The weather was overcast and looked as though it promised rain, I kept the pace a tad high as it was 23 miles to lunch and all gently uphill. All went well until the descent to Aston where the overnight storm has caused masses of mud and gravel to cascade across the road just after which we had our first visit from the puncture fairy and our newest member Robin was the target, this did mean that the rest of the group could spend a few minutes at Hambleden lock, which was crowded with sight see-errs watching the Swanuppers in their jolly outfits and very grand watercraft.
On to lunch just 4 miles further on and a view of the Windmill on the hill just above Turville. The pub had set a table for us and orders were taken but  nearly and hour delay ensued before food arrived but the food was good, all done by just gone 3 (ugh) and a photo by Tim off we set to Marlow, the route was undulating and towards Marlow the roads again were covered in debris, on the decent into Marlow the PF struck again to yours truly, quickly sorted and through Marlow and the ascent of Quarry Wood road and the steep hair pin bend.  Hills over the descent to Cookham via Winter hill then Sutton road to tea at Jenners cafe as it was now too late for tea at Nibbles. 
Tea over we pushed on to Datchet Via Dorney and Eton. Time was now late and the dispersal prompt for people to catch trains or cycle home. 43 miles 11's to tea and 73 miles for me, 15 miles each way to Datchet. The rain did make an appearance  but only with the occasional drizzle. Thank you all for a great day out on the bike and thanks to those who marked corners and Pam for back marking,

I cannot close this article without a word or two about the very sad loss of Ray Dare, such a tragedy, and an inspiration to many in his exploits. Ride safe.

Swan Uppers at Hambleden

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Ray Dare RIP

Very sad news to report for those with access please refer to the sad news about Ray on the Kingston Phoenix www.
I spoke to Ray this morning to wish him all the best. It seems that Ray who was riding a 10 TT on the A41 Tring course was hit by a car from behind while trying to break the 91 year old record and pronounced dead at the scene.
This is so, so sad and my heart goes out to Beryl who will be utterly devastated. John Beer was helping Ray with this attempt and his wife Carolyn visited Beryl this evening. Beryl has asked not to be contacted by phone or visit's but I feel a condolence card would be appropriate.

B Group - 19th July

"Only one hill of any consequence", the climb through Quarry Wood
~ Tim

A Group 19th July

A good turnout at Hookwood, despite the unpromising weather, and a baker's dozen set off for our annual journey South to meet our friends from the East Sussex CTC.  Passing through Horley we paused briefly to admire the NCN21 'London to Paris' cycleway sign,
and then continued past Smallwood to Copthorne and on towards Turner's Hill.  So far, so conventional, but after a couple of miles on Turners Hill Road we turned off onto the Worth Way, a gravelled Sustrans route that took us quickly and pleasantly past the A22 and East Grinstead traffic to the Saints Hill Road.  We mislaid Mike M at the Worth Way - he was riding his Time Trial bike, in readiness for the KPRC Evening 10, and he didn't fancy it.  We planned to meet on the way to the pub, but it didn't work out.

Down to the reservoir, up to the hill above Sharpthorne and then along the ridgeway that leads to Horsted Keynes.  There are normally beautiful views on this part of the ride, but the grey skies  and generally muggy weather took the edge off it a bit.

Anyway, we were at the Green Man good and early, which turned out to be a good thing, as a slight mix-up with the bookings had led the landlady to expect less than half the number of cyclists for lunch, leading to some unpredictable and lengthy delays.
Ordering a simple meal early was no guarantee of prompt service, and here we have the unusual, perhaps unique, picture of John waiting for Brian to finish.

Food delays notwithstanding, the lunch was sociable and a great success, and it was good to meet our friends and talk of journeys done, and journeys yet to come.  We had passed a party of London-to-Parisers as we entered Horsted Keynes, very smart in matching shirts and with a large support van.  It turned out that East Sussex CTC, as well as keen Dieppe Raiders, did a club London to Paris every now and then - something for us to think about, perhaps.

Anyway, we were late away from the pub, and the weather had changed.  It was still muggy, with a curious sort of sea-fret blown in with the Southerly wind.  Not really rain, but wet enough for the difference not to matter.

This didn't do us much good.  The thunderstorm of the previous night had washed flints on to the road, the dampness lubricated them nicely and we received the first of several visits from the Puncture Fairy on the climb up from the Ardingly Reservoir.

A few miles later we embarked upon the second of my off-road novelties - a bridleway through Cowdray Forest.  This too cuts off some busy stretches of road, but it had been a tricky bit of riding in the dry, and the dampness had done little to improve it.  I think it's fair to say that it had a mixed reception.  There we are - that's always the trouble with adventures - the gap between triumph and disaster is not a large one.

The Fairy called again near Pease Pottage, and while the puncture was being mended Mike and Dave set off for home, as they had a way to go and time was getting on.  John too departed, heading for a train at Crawley and the evening's Promenade Concert.  The rest of us rode on for no more than a couple of miles before the Fairy appeared once more.  Things were getting serious now - tea was at risk.

With the puncture more or less fixed, I was despatched as runner to ensure that Tanhouse Farm kept tea for us.  At least that part worked out, and seven of us took our teas at a rather breezy table while the staff shut up shop around us.

There had been a fairly persistent rumour that the rainy mizzle was a Sussex phenomenon, and that once we were in Surrey we would be all right.  Anyway, leaving Tanhouse Farm, the sun came out.  Just sayin' ...

My thanks to Keith for back marking, to the corner markers for keeping us moving, and to our friends from East Sussex CTC for a good day out.


Sunday, July 16, 2017

B Ride Wednesday the 19th

 This will be a train assisted ride. Trains to Datchet from Clapham Junction, Richmond, Twickenham etc.

11's will be at Nibbles cafe next to Datchet station. Lunch will be at the Chequers Inn Fingest and 3's back at Nibbles Datchet. The ride will be undulating but only one hill of any consequence.


Meeting CTC East Sussex - Wednesday 19th

A prompt start at 1100 from Hookwood Tesco's as usual, please - 21 miles to lunch at the Green Man, Horsted Keynes.  As is customary, there will be a few miles of trackway on both the outward and return legs.  NCN 21 outward - good surface; on the return, a couple of miles of ancient trackway, now a bridle path.  Care needed with tree roots in places, but nothing to worry about.

Tea in the Dorking area, depending on time.  Tanhouse Farm, Denbies or Pilgrims.


Thursday, July 13, 2017

A Group to Tisman’s Common – 12 July

I was stand-in leader for Mike who unfortunately could not be with us. Geoff Gregory kindly supplied an excellent route, which saved me a lot of time in preparation.

My main concern was the state of the roads after 12 hours rain the night before, especially the descents of White Down and Leith Hill. In the event we had no problems.

Arriving at the Mucky Duck before 1pm (a tailwind assisted PB) we were met by Geoffrey Shields who had made his own way there, making a group of 14. Lunch was quickly served, and we were out by 2pm (another PB).

The afternoon route was my own concoction, and involved climbing Holmbury and White Down, accomplished with aplomb by Ray Dare, now 91 years young, and showing no sign of slowing down. Next week he is going for a national record  10mile TT, and we wish him every success.

After White Down there was little appetite for a detour to climb Chapel Lane, so we went directly to tea at Squires Stoke D’Abernon, where we met Mike Barrett, on a half day release from domestic duties.

40.6miles 11’s to tea, 3,130ft climbing, 12.75mph moving, and a massive 1,868calories.

Thanks to Brian for back marking, to all who corner marked, and very best wishes to Ray the Record Breaker.