Thursday, August 31, 2017

Golden Beeches 2017, Weekend 20th to 22nd October

CTC South Bucks invite you to our Golden Beeches 2017


A weekend event based at Great Kingshill, Bucks

   SU 876 979

All cyclists welcome . . .

.    Previously used and well proven venue
.    Quiet routes, with route maps or GPS instructions
·    Choice of rides each day, returning for refreshments

·    (enquiries: e-mail )
·    Downloads will appear here later in 2017:
Contact Audrey Hughes (01296 696229)    

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

A Riders, Rain stopped enjoyment of all the hill climbs

There were signs of deja vu regarding today and the Tri Vets ride, I was hoping that the route would hold good unlike last year as I was leading again.
Discussions were held between myself, David V and Brian G before departing as to the best escape route should the weather turn wet but is wasn't going to happen was it? Stepping out from the Centre so the rain decided to try its luck, its luck was in.
Out we set from Leatherhead to travel on Lower Road to Effingham and then start our accent of High Barn to Ranmore Common, on the way down Ranmore Common Road we passed B group going up into the rain We gathered in our huddled masses and decided that the route from Mickleham to Bookham via Pixham Lane was to be our  best escape from the pleasure of Box and Pebble Hill.
At last we arrived at the pavilion to a welcome by a very eruditely dressed Simon wearing a Sou'Wester top, which looked very dry. Soon hot tea (rather than cold) was provided.

Several people spoke about the food that was available and as a matter of finding the recipe on line here are two websites I used.
Courgette and apple cake care of Bun
Zucchine slice care of
There are many more sites to choose from with different combinations of ingredients. Happy cooking.
Last but not least thanks to all those who were able to attend the A group ride and Dave V for back marking, and to Simon for coming up with the idea.  



Our hearty thanks to Simon for defying the elements to bring us together at Brockham, in communal opposition to  global warming. The threat seems more to be one of global incontinence. Not to be intimidated, a worthy throng at Leatherhead braved the weather gods to come together at Brockham Cricket Pavilion, drenched but not unbowed, for an indoors picnic. Leader Geoff even managed to provide us with home made quiche and apple and aubergine cake. Do his qualities know no bounds? Leaders, take note. Your performance will be scrupulously monitored to match this outstanding example.   Hopefully all made it home, by one means or another, through the persistent drizzle.

Whatever the weather, I would call this a success.


Picnic in Brockham

Thanks to the technology ...

... we just knew that a Déjeurner sur l'Herbe might be out of the question, apart from one person who remained keen on the idea of sitting on the lawn ...

... while at least one of us was fairly glad to be indoors:

In the end we all enjoyed our picnics and cups of tea indoors, finishing nicely with a slice of Geoff's fine Courgette Cake.

Many thanks to Simon for having the idea and organising this event. It was good to see people who haven't been out with us lately, especially Tim Gibbons who remains cheerful, and philosophical about his long recovery from operations to mend his broken bones, and Gill who has returned from her Arctic expedition with tales of her adventure. And Bernard now has a Moustache!

We all agreed that today's weather was quite a lot better than it was on the day of our Tri-Vets rides last year.

~ Tim

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

A Riders The Great British Picnic?

We shall have a couple of ups and downs followed by a flat bit before arriving at Brockham approx. 23miles ---BUT---- as with some of our rides of late the outlook is not great according to the latest weather broadcast, so we may need to cut our ride short. David Vine has offered to back mark and we will discuss tomorrow if  needs be.
The picnic time could well be extended by the weather conditions or if any wished to use the facilities of the local hostelries.
The afternoon part of the ride again has a couple of ups interspersed with a bit of flat, tea could be at the top of Box Hill or Pilgrims or Denbies. Box Hill being first choice. This again can be cut short.
The weather will play a significant part in our plans, lets hope things go our way.


Thursday, August 24, 2017

Wayfarers Picnic - Wednesday 30 Aug

Exciting News! Next week it is the Wayfarers Picnic, as advertised in the Sou'wester.   So you can plan your picnic extravaganza, here are the details:

The main thing to know is that it will be just like a normal Wednesday ride, with separate A/B/Easy Riders rides, except that all rides will meet for lunch at Brockham Cricket Pavilion.   Bring your picnic to Leatherhead for elevenses (or buy it at Sainsbury's there) and transport will be available to take your picnic to Brockham.    Tea and coffee will be available, or you may wish to bring something a little stronger.   The whole thing is just an excuse for (another) sociable lunchtime with all the groups together.  

Your leader may let you linger a bit longer over lunch, maybe not - afterwards each group will go their own way to tea as normal.   All welcome - if you don't want to ride there is car parking at Brockham, which will be open from 12-2.30pm.   See you there!

A Group 23rd August

We had a good turn out, 14 in all, for what I believe was our first ride to a quiet corner of Kent. The wind was favourable for much of the way out, on a warm but overcast and humid day. The Lamb Inn at Swanley village was very welcoming and the pre-ordered food promptly arrived as we settled in the garden. The undulating route out was via Warlingham, Keston, Chelsfield, Lullingstone and Crockenhill. After lunch Dave W left for a train home, the rest of us took a small loop to see the view north towards the Dartford crossing then on towards St Marys Cray. After negotiating some fly-tipping which completely blocked the road we stopped breifly at Star Lane cemetery to view the impressive gravestones. From there it was a fairly direct route via Petts Wood mostly following London Cycling Network route through to our tea stop at the Coach House in Coombe Wood which was a welcome break after riding into a light headwind most of the way back.
Many thanks to Geoff for back marking and the group photo, and as usual, thank you to all corner markers who keep the ride flowing.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

B Group - 23rd August

After sampling free cakes (apparently donated to the centre by Tesco) at Caterham ON THE HILL, ten Bs (including newcomer Dave Whiteley, welcome Dave, hope to see you again) set off south in muggy but dry conditions up Roffe’s Lane. Following a steepish descent, over the M25 we then turned left to Bletchingley. Continuing on the very quiet roads south to Outwood, Horne, Smallfield and Copthorne we were soon at The Shipley Bridge. Here the food was good and quite quickly served. Sitting outside we could watch the airliners on approach to Gatwick and listen to the M23 but it didn’t prevent conversation.

After lunch we crossed the M23 then turned right into Peeks Brook Lane and continued on the track at the Lane end, eventually joining Haroldslea Lane, leading to the Balcombe Road and Horley. The weather had improved, we frequently saw the sun. Having passed through Meath Green (and noticed the teddies in residence) we were somewhat surprised to see a new building estate. I think Lonesome Lane won’t be lonesome for much longer. We arrived at Reigate Garden Centre promptly at 1500 hrs for a leisurely break, then most rode home via Dorking.      

Thanks to Tim for being tec, others for corner marking and all for company.


The new Dave
John and Gillian
The well-fed team

Thanks to Steph for the segments of our route which my dodgy phone failed to record

~ Tim

A Group 23rd August

Keith took us out to the East today, terra incognita for most, but interesting riding and a good pub.  Neatly back through the suburbs to an ample tea at Lloyd Park, Croydon.

A very enjoyable day out.


Tuesday, August 22, 2017

A Group ride 23rd August Caterham

This weeks ride is to the Lamb Inn in Swanley village. About 21 miles from Caterham, mostly nice little lanes out, but mostly suburban route home.
We will need to pre-order lunch, I will have a copy of menu and take orders at 11ses.
Unfortunately there is no online menu available.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Easy riders 16th August

Twenty one of us gathered at Ashtead Bike Beans for coffee, then most of us followed Lynda down through Leatherhead and along our well-loved cycle route next to the A24 through Pixham Lane to the lovely Watermill Pub.  The beautiful garden terrace looking across to Boxhill viewpoint was empty as we arrived, so we spread ourselves across half of it, as you see! A lovely relaxed sunny lunch enjoyed by all, with our individual orders arriving in strict rotation from the took a long while with so many of us, but we were happy to linger.

On the way home a few of us headed along the railway line from Leatherhead station, over Ashtead and Epsom Commons, and to the Moat House tea room near Horton Park, lead by John Bellamy; while most of the group followed Lynda back to Chad's in Epsom for tea.

A lovely day out enjoyed by all.

B Group - 16th August

Despite the gloomy prognostications from South West Trains 14 riders met at the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre for our ride. Steph had taken no chances with the railways and cycled all the way from Wimbledon to Elevenses. Chapeau !

To avoid the terminally horrible A281 we took a series of cycle paths which comprise Dagley Lane (aka NCN22) to Shalford. A quiet meander through Chinthurst Lane and Tannery Lane brought us back to the A281 which led to Foxburrow Hill Road and Munstead Heath.
Near Milford Hospital in Tuesley we picked up a beautiful new cycle path which took us around to the level crossing by Milford Station. The path is so new that it hasn’t yet appeared on’s website.

After Mare Hill Common we all turned off from the Lea Coach Road to ride the bobbley but rather lovely track through The Shrubbery, by Thursley Lake, to French Lane, apart from Dave Ward who probably feared a confrontation with the Knights who say ‘Ni’, and so opted to continue on paved roads and ride along the A3, the lesser of the two evils for him no doubt.

After Thursley we skirted around to the South of the MOD ‘Managed Access’ territory then had a fast run up through Rushmoor to the Barley Mow on Tilford Green.
We sat outside in the Garden just above the banks of the River Wey (South Branch). We had pre-ordered and although it took a wee while to deliver our food it was good stuff when it arrived. The staff looked after us well and we allowed ourselves to become blissed out in the sunshine a little longer than we usually do, especially as nobody had seen the sun on a Wednesday since July.

Sadly Terry discovered a flat tyre just as we were leaving the pub so retired to replace his tube while the rest of us carried on with the afternoon ride. We stopped for photos on the old 13th century West Bridge just around the corner from the pub.

We headed North until we reached Seale Lane on the Pilgrims’ Way where we turned East through Seale and Puttenham, then took a very scenic route along a rather grotty bit of route 22 to emerge near the Watts Gallery. In Compton we veered off the main road to find a quiet path through the trees on Compton Common, after which it was plain sailing into Farncombe for our Tea stop at Natters Café, a nice place where excellent coffee and tea was served by cheerful staff.

After Tea, rather than ruin our enjoyable day with an unpleasant ride along the A3100, we took the scenic route, leaving Farncombe on Furze Road, then Stakescorner Lane past Loseley Park, and down Sandy Lane to ride an unavoidable stretch of the A3100 which we soon left for a sharp climb up Mount Pleasant then a footpath and Guildford Park Road which brought us to the back entrance of the station.

Many thanks to Terry for back marking and several who marked corners, without whom the group may have become quite widely dispersed throughout these unfamiliar parts of Surrey.

17.8 miles to Lunch, 11.4 to Tea, 3.8 to Guildford Station, over 1700 feet elevation gain

~ Tim

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

A Group 16 August: Guildford - Grayswood (Haslemere)

Well, despite derailments and other disruption at Waterloo, a decent crowd showed up at Guildford for coffee outdoors - the first time that's been possible in about a month.  We left fashionably late, allowing just enough time for John Bassett to join the group of 15.   The warm-up hill out of Guildford was The Mount, leading us to a stretch of off-road, which was pretty dry.  Things went downhill from there, past Watts Gallery to Puttenham where we turned south west towards Elstead and Tilford, where the Bs were due to lunch at the Barley Mow.   Someone, who shall be nameless, suggested that we drop in and eat the B group's pre-ordered lunches, but we told him that even riding from London to Edinburgh wouldn't excuse him for such a sin.   

We were making good time, or so I thought (wrongly, as it turned out), so we did a little additional loop round Frensham and Spreakley, quite pretty, before heading past Frensham Pond and up hill towards Churt.  In fact, a little extra up hill as I took a wrong turning.  On the plus side, a little extra down hill as we corrected my mistake.    A nice ride along (and up) Whitmore Vale took us to Grayshott, where some people were thinking hopefully of lunch, being as it was well past 1pm, and Grayshott sounds a bit like Grayswood - but no, still another six miles to go, I cheerfully informed them, and they, less cheerfully, weren't sure if I was joking.  Skirting Hindhead we descended a rather exciting "access only" lane to arrive at Haslemere, where David J had to leave us, and it was a short hop to The Wheatsheaf at Grayswood, where they were almost as pleased to see us as we them.

Food was served promptly and consumed eagerly, (sitting outside!!) and we were on our way.   27 miles and two hours to lunch, but only ten miles to the Boathouse at Farncombe, passing through more quiet lanes and a bit of Godalming.  The proprietor at Farncombe was rather grumpy, as he thought we'd told him we were arriving at 3pm.  It didn't help things when I said we hadn't booked at all, but the combined charm of the A group won him over and he forgave us, serving us big pots of tea and cake, outside watching the boats come and go.   I reckon about half of the group had ridden to Guildford and were riding home - it would have been an 80+ mile ride for them.

Nice to ride on less-familiar routes, mostly quiet roads with quite a few lanes through woods or along scenic valleys.  Thank you to Geoff for the photos, to Mike B for back marking, and also to those who marked corners - it makes a big difference to everyone's enjoyment.  The route was devised by my brother Peter, who knows the area better than me, so you can blame him for the bits you didn't like.   

A Group 16th August

Train assist to Guildford today, and Simon led us out to the South West.  Pretty lanes and pretty hilly to a good lunch at The Wheatsheaf, Grayswood.  Tea at Farncombe Boathouse and back to our various trains.

A good ride on a sunnier day than forecast.


Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Mike's contribution to the Birthday Rides

It was great to see so many from the MWW & C&M although I do not have a full list of names but it did include Shirley and Collin officiating with the signing on and CTC club shirt sales. Overall I think it was a good week, despite some heavy rain. I have no doubt Jeff T will be looking for a write -up from some one, any volunteers? Regrettably I was not able to get a good group shot as rides were very diverse!
I did manage some good buildings photo's which I will reserve for our annual competition but meanwhile hear is my offering for today.
Photo 1 is Peter Southworth from South Bucks, with bike prepared for the Tour of Britain next month. Second is my usual self looking very happy with a charming maid from pub lunch dressed in very fetching Pajamas!

Rail disruption for travel to Guildford

It looks as if the extra disruption caused by today's derailment will continue into tomorrow, so please leave a bit of extra time for your journey if coming on a route out of Waterloo.   It looks as if some trains are cancelled but most are running, perhaps a bit delayed.

Both A and B groups will leave a bit later than planned, but we must leave by 11:15, so if you will be later than this, be prepared to make your own way to lunch.    Good luck!

B Group - tomorrow's ride from Guildford

See Simon's note below about parking our bikes at the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre.

We will be riding about 18 miles to lunch at The Barley Mow in Tilford. Mixed terrain with some climbing and some off-road paths. If the paths are wet we will need to take great care, ride slowly and keep well away from each others wheels.

The pub wants us to pre-order. I have just sent an email to all B Group riders (apologies if I have left you out) with the menu and a request to let me know this evening what you want to eat.

menu page 1
menu page 2
They haven't advised what will be on the 'Specials' menu for tomorrow and suggest that if you can't make a a choice from this menu, see the Specials board when we arrive.

Please let me know what you would like as soon as possible this evening. Sorry about the rush.

The afternoon ride is shortish, again with some off-road stretches, including some sand (horrible), but in general there is no need to come out with your knobbly-tyred mountain bike; most of the day will be on very nice tarmacadam. After Tea in Farncombe, not the Boathouse, we have the option of riding down to the busy A3100 or else taking a scenic route to avoid as much of it as possible on the way back to Guildford Station.

~ Tim

A group 16 Aug: Guildford <-> Haslemere

We are starting from Guildford this Wednesday, giving us the chance to sample some rarely-visited lanes.   We will be heading down to Haslemere, via a few carefully-chosen lumps and bumps.  24 miles to lunch at The Wheatsheaf Inn at Grayswood, just after Haslemere.  Then it's a short hop to tea at Farncombe boathouse, from where it's just a few miles back to Guildford - but of course I expect most of you will want to ride home, won't you?

PS Elevenses is at the Yvonne Arnaud theatre in Guildford.   You will find they've installed a security gate which prevents us taking our bikes round the back, but at my request they have agreed to open it for us on Wednesday - so if you're there first, please do ask and hopefully they will let us put our bikes round there.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Sunshine on the Birthday Rides

Wayfarers enjoying some sunshine at the birthday rides!

10th August, Stow and Lower Slaughter:

11th August, a hilly day with the ascent of Dover Hill in the morning and Snowshill in the afternoon totalling 563 metres of ascent.  The ride was subtitled "off the edge" as there were also some wonderful downhills.

The summit of Dover's Hill
Coming into Chipping Campden
~ Steph

And a couple of photos from Tony Hooker:

A Winged Wheel spotted in Burton on the Water

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Ride to Ray Dare’s Funeral on Monday 14 August.

I have received the following note from Brian Powney, Kingston Phoenix President.

“Herewith the plan for the Phoenix and friends ride on Monday 14th August for Ray Dare’s funeral.

We will meet at the usual club run meet point, Horton Country Park, KT19 8PL for 9.30am.
Depending on numbers, groups will leave every 5 to 10 minutes and ride steady, mostly through the lanes to Ripley.  We may not ride as one large group, for road safety reasons.

Anyone who knows a route from Horton to Ripley, please be prepared to be a ride leader. 
No cafés are booked in Ripley, there are two and other alternatives for food.

We will leave at 12 lunchtime for the ride to Randalls Park, Leatherhead, KT22 0AG. 
Aim to be at Randalls Park for 12.45pm.  Park bikes along the hedge by the car park.
We will then stand, suitably spaced along the road from the minor roundabout, just inside Randalls Park gates, down to the Crematorium. “ 

I intend to be at Horton Country Park at 9.30 for the ride.

Please note and reply if appropriate to the blog post immediately below this one, which deals with the wake to be held after the funeral.

RIP Ray Dare,

Update regarding Ray Dare's funeral on Monday 14th

From Steve Hillier at KPRC:

"Hello fellow cyclists

Please read this email carefully as it is not our intention to cause any upset. It relates to attendance at Ray Dare's funeral and wake, and is being sent to everyone in the Phoenix and those who have confirmed their attendance at the funeral or funeral and wake.

Due to Ray’s longevity and achievements as we all know he was a popular cyclist and this will be seen by the numbers present at his funeral.

In short we have far exceeded the number that Leatherhead Golf Club can cater for and accommodate at the wake.  The funeral service at Randalls Park is not restricted.

Therefore, upon the instructions of the family and with the agreement of the Phoenix, we respectfully make the following request.

If you have not personally known Beryl Dare for a good number of years, will you please consider not attending the wake at Leatherhead Golf Club.

Just along the road from the Golf Club, heading north, is The Star Public House (Kingston Rd, Leatherhead KT22 0DP).  You can have food and drink there, although the club has not made any arrangements with the pub at this time.

If you wish to visit Beryl at the Golf Club, after spending some time at The Star, you would be welcome to visit later in the afternoon.

Could you please reply to this email and advise whether you are going to the wake or are prepared to go to The Star, or neither.

Thank you in advance for your understanding at this difficult time."

Please note that for the purpose of this correspondence with Steve the email address is:

Wednesday, August 09, 2017

B Group - 9th August

It was a very unpromising, damp start with the threat of worse to come, but a dozen or so hardy Wayfarers still gathered at Weybridge for elevenses.   Most sensibly opted to return straight home from there, but Vic, Brian Bent and I decided to brave the elements and save the honour of the B’s!  The planned destination, Farnborough North, was shelved, but will be revived next month.  We set off instead for The Sun (sic) at Windlesham, an old favourite where the food is simple but good, the portions generous, and the prices reasonable.  From home to Windlesham and back for me was only 27 miles in total so it can’t have been a very long ride to the pub, but it did seem an interminable trudge dodging giant puddles under dripping trees.  After lunch the three of us headed our separate ways home little realising as we set off that the heaviest of the rain was yet to come!

~ Dave
The crowd at Elevenses
A smaller crowd at Lunch

A Ride, Weybridge 9th August.

Rain stopped play!
Eleven Wayfarers turned-up at a rain-sodden Weybridge, with the more hardy Bs outnumbering the As. With a worsening forecast for heavy rain all day I took soundings, and reluctantly (honest!) decided to call-off the ride to Dorney. Even a part ride was discounted, particularly as my planned route used some quite busy roads on the way to Dorney via Ascot and Firfield, which would have been very testing in these conditions.
Thanks for those who braved the conditions getting to Elevenes and for the apologies received - not all weather related. All is not lost: my intended route can be re-used when I lead from Fairoaks Airport on 20th September, and by then we'll be basking in an Indian Summer!

Streat Bostal

The other day, I rode up Streat Bostal.  It's one of a number of the 'Bostal' routes up the North side of the South Downs,  and one I've been meaning to ride for a long time.

It's a handy little route - it's directly parallel to Ditching Beacon (or Ditching Bostal, to give it its proper name), and can bring you to the same place.  As you'll see from the little loop in the picture, it's very much shorter than the Ditching climb.  So it's steeper, then.  Yes.  But it's surfaced, and it's a bridleway, so there are no cars.  In fact there was no-one there at all when I rode it.

At the top, you can either take the bridleway down towards Brighton, or join the road at the top of Ditchling by going along the South Downs Way.  That's what I did - very scenic.

Worth remembering if you're on a ride which involves climbing Ditching Beacon - it's very much nicer.