Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Notice about B Group ride on Wednesday 1st

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



Monday, October 30, 2017

Christmas lunches for A and B groups

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

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

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

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

This is your menu:

~ Tim

Orders for Club kit

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

Orders for new Sou'Westers garments

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

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

~ Tim

Thursday, October 26, 2017

A Group 25 October: Teddington - Eton - Shepperton

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

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

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

Easy Riders - 25th October

Seven of us (Don Clarke, Lynda, Bernard P, Frank, John Bellamy, Brian Bent and I) dodged through footpaths and between the NPL buildings to enter Bushy Park at Coleshill Road.   We then did a bit of a round tour in the glorious autumn sunshine finally emerging at Hampton Wick.   Brian 'peeled off' here before the rest of us  got 'all shaken up' on the cattle grid after entering Home Park!   After riding alongside the Long Water, we shimmied across the golf course to emerge on the Barge Walk by yet another gate!  After crossing the river and nearing our lunch destination in Thames Ditton, Ye Olde Swan, John suggested a delightful detour along Church Walk. Then the Value Menu at the pub was done full justice as we looked out over the river, Ray Wren having joined us.   After lunch there was a parting of the ways.  Many thanks to all for an enjoyable, leisurely ride, but most of all to the weather!

Dave W

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

B Group - 25th October

When we did the recce for today’s ride we were happy with the route but after being blown about by a lot of vigorous and gusty wind on Saturday we decided that the weather needed considerable revision. So the inevitable consequence of this effort was that the sun shone very brightly, the wind was absent, and a large number turned up at the Elleray Hall. Apart from 2 or 3 guests from the Easy Riders, a cycling friend of Tony Hopkins and Simon, Michiko rode with us today. And Terry’s son in law Paul who we only ever see in school holidays was with us too.

About 24 of us took off through the NPL and funnelled through the gate into Bushy Park. Whereupon we encountered a string of ponies and their passengers riding along the path we had intended to take, pure Thelwell. Having just passed the Park Lane Stables this should not have come as such a big surprise. I took advice about an alternative path and we were finally on our way.

We zigzagged through Hampton and into Lower Hampton Road, heading for Walton Bridge, but took a scenic deviation down Felix Lane to emerge off Penny Lane onto the bridge approach. Then Walton Lane, Weybridge, Addlestone, up the hill after Row Town, to enjoy an interminable wait to get through the roundabout and its roadworks to cross Woodham Lane.

Once through West Byfleet life got easier and sensing that we might be running a bit late we cranked up the pace a bit through Pyrford to Ripley to arrive at The Half Moon at 13:15. Parking was much more complicated than usual. The little courtyard behind the pub wasn’t able to accommodate many of the bikes and the driveway was strangely cluttered with several posh Audi cars. But we managed to avoid scratching any of them and went indoors to find Vic already halfway through his Tuna Mayo sarnie and food for the rest of us being delivered before we sat down. After about 15 minutes of chaos we were all sipping our beverages and tucking into our food. Pre-ordering can be a bit of a pain but in this little pub it would have been impossible for the staff and frustrating for us if we hadn’t emailed all the orders through in advance. The pub has a nice atmosphere with busy and attentive staff. The sun was streaming in through the windows and the room full of talkative cyclists munching away.

Paul had a technical issue which required a visit to a bike shop so he departed with Terry for Cobham as soon as they had eaten. The rest of us took off at 14:20 for a fairly obvious route to Cobham, Rose Lane, Guileshill Lane, Ockham through to Pointers Green. But to add a little scenic interest we took a right on Chilbrook Road through to Downside and through the farm road to the hump backed bridge across the Mole to the Cemetery at Upper Cobham Tilt. It was plain sailing after that via Fairmile Lane to the A307 which took us through to afternoon tea at Giro in Esher. We had some apprehension about fitting so many of us in there but several sat outside in the sun and all was good.

Thanks especially to Tony Hooker who had a request to be back-marker sprung on him out of the blue, his job being made a lot more complicated than it should have been by the leader not giving him a route map or a cue sheet. I believe strongly in briefing the back marker well so that he or she can follow the route in the event of being delayed by someone with a puncture or other issue. I had been thinking about the food orders and forgot to do anything about instructions for a back marker which, with such a big group, was unfortunate.

We had a great day and marvelled at being able to pluck a real summer’s day out of this autumn season. Thank you everyone for your great capacity to enjoy yourselves.

~ Tim

Coffee and Tea at Giro
Some decided to brave the elements
Teddington - Ripley (18.3 miles) - Esher (10.3 miles)

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Golden Beeches weekend

Golden /Beeches 20/22 Oct

With storm Brian on the way it was with trepidation that I set off for Gt Kingshill, I met 5 friends Friday lunchtime at Ealing for the 30 mile cycle ride stopping at Chalfont St Peter and Winchmore hill for coffee and cake. I setup camp in the hall, I was not the only one doing so even though the pictures does look like I’m Billy no mates.

Brian has described the rides well although I only did the Saturday ride as we cycled home on a longer route on Sunday morning. The wind on Saturday was ferocious at times but none the less a pleasant ride.

It’s the 5th year I have ventured to the Chilterns for this event, this year numbers were down and at this point in time it’s doubtful it will continue next year.  If it does survive for next year I highly recommend making the effort to try it. The location rotates on a 3 yearly basis and the routes always vary.


A brace of Brian's to Brill

That's me and my namesake the storm! I've been intending to follow Tony's encouragement to join the South Bucks CTC's Golden Beeches weekend for a while but other things have usually got in the way. This year the weekend was clear and the start point at Great Kingshill was only two miles from my brother-in-law's house so no need to camp in the village hall.

On Saturday we headed north past Chequers and broadly north west through Cuddington in rolling country where we were glad of the hedges to protect us from the wind. Then a steady climb to Brill at 600 feet where the old rhyme "At Brill on the hill, the wind blows shrill" was very apt. It is also as upmarket as Surrey with two pubs that have become pricey restaurants so we made do with coffee and headed into the wind west and south to Waterperry Gardens. After lunch the wind was our friend though we had the only heavy shower of the day. Six miles of mostly tarmacked Phoenix trail along the old railway from Thame took us to Princes Risborough before climbing back over the Chilterns to our start.

On Sunday we headed north west until out of the Chilterns and the east to Stoke Mandeville and Tring before heading back across the hills to Great Missenden.

These were two interesting rides through lovely countryside with very little traffic.  53 miles on Saturday and 43 on Sunday at a good B group pace - about 12mph with an early finish on Sunday to allow participants to get home. Those who want the meals organised in the hall are well fed. I would certainly do it again and by car it would be possible to join either of rides as a day trip.

Easy Riders - note for tomorrow's ride

Tomorrow's Easy Riders' ride will be via little-used (by us!) routes in Bushy Park and Home Park to lunch at Ye Olde Swan at Thames Ditton.

All welcome!

David Ward

Monday, October 23, 2017

B Group ride - 25th October

We will have a flat ride, with very little off-road, from Teddington to The Half Moon in Ripley, about 18.5 miles. Tea will probably be in Esher, at Giro.

This is a small pub and we will need to order our food in advance. So please take a look at this three page menu...


... and send me a message to tell me what you'd like to order. Unfortunately there is no Soup-of-the-Day or Baked Spuds on their menu but they do have a good range of Pizzas.

After lunch we will have a 10 mile ride to Giro in Esher for afternoon tea.

We may not need them but remember to bring your lights.

~ Tim

A group ride 25 October

It will be an Autumn-themed ride from Teddington, heading to The Waterman's Arms at Eton for lunch.   For those who don't like hills, the route to lunch will be pretty flat.   For those who don't like off-road, the afternoon ride will be all on-road.  So, something to please everyone...   19 miles to lunch: tea at Shepperton.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

A petition for a cycle link

For the benefit of people who don't look at our "South West London CTC" Facebook page Pam has drawn our attention to a petition at


This is to support a project to upgrade the A3046 between Woking and Chobham to provide a high quality safe link for cyclists and walkers. This three mile route is very much within the territory covered by Wayfarers and C&M.

~ Tim

Friday, October 20, 2017

A Group ride 17th October….Addlestone - Tongham - Walton-on-Thames

The omens did not look good as we arrived for 11’s at Addlestone, as everyone had ridden there through persistent drizzle, and the forecast was for more of the same for most of the rest of the day. So much for weather forecasters accuracy as we never saw another drop of rain for the duration of the ride once we had departed 11’s !!

Leaving Addlestone we proceeded along Stone Hill towards Chobham before turning off towards Fairoaks and then took the path along the side of the airport and across Horsell Common towards Woking, dropping down to pick up the Basingstoke Canal path just outside the town centre. We followed this through to Pirbright Bridge and then back onto the road, taking in Gole Road, Gapemouth Road and Mychett Place Road into Ash Vale and then down towards Ash itself.

A short diversion via the Blackwater Valley Path took us into Tongham and delivered us to lunch at The White Hart a few minutes after 1pm. Lunch took longer to arrive than we would have liked but proved to be worth the wait….decent sandwiches, chips and a pint of beer for well under £10.

The return journey was by a faster route through Ash Green, Pirbright Road, Fox Corner and Berry Lane before taking in the climb up Gorse Hill to Hook Heath. A quick whizz around the edge of Woking and Sheerwater before picking up the canal path again, depriving us of the delights on offer in New Haw and Addlestone, returning to the road just outside Weybridge, then a short ride through to tea at Walton.

41 miles, from 11’s to tea. Many thanks to Simon for back-marking, all those who marked corners on the way, and to our resident photographer Geoff !!

Thursday, October 19, 2017

A Ride Beside the Sea

I'm quite a fan of the French long-distance Raids, and have done a number of them.  They're simple in concept but hard to do, and are usually good fun and very satisfying.

Here's one that has just dropped through my letterbox.  It will be held next Summer, from 8 June to 13 June, and it's 1136km in 110 hours, which is roughly par for the course at about 200kms per day.  You get a 'brevet' card that you get stamped at the control points, there is a recommended route, but you're free to work out your own.  The fun thing about this Raid, which goes from Brittany to Spain, is that all of the control points are at lighthouses.  Hard to miss.

Looking at the route, one problem is immediately apparent - the start is at 2200, so the first stage is a night one.  That will leave you good and tired for the next one ...

I'm interested, and will take a closer look at it, but full details and entry are available at  

There's a limit of 200 riders, so it might sell out, but not that quickly, I expect.


Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Easy Riders - 18th October

Walton on Thames D C - Scilly Isles, The Marquis of Granby
I was fortunate to not have any rain but found it much colder than the forecast. I arrived at the Day Centre to await my troops and in came 3 hardy riders who had got a bit wet first thing but were quite dry now.
Sue, Frank and Bernard B. followed by Ron & Doreen.  After putting the world to rights we left for lunch making for the bridge to go down and under to Cowie Sale but met Liz on the way up going home.  We continued turning right into Portman Road to Weybridge roundabout, straight over into Church Lane turning left at top then right into Princes Road, Oatlands Avenue into Burwood Park then Hersham to Lammas Lane continuing into Esher Park Estate and Littleworth Road straight on into the common at the bottom bringing us out to the Scilly Isles where we enjoyed our lunch.  Sue couldn’t believe how much we had travelled on private quiet roads and the common which was very dry.
Thank you troops for making the day go well


B Group - 18th October


Not a surprise to have fewer riders than of late out today for maybe others read the weather forecast as I did.  As I am local to Addlestone, I did not have to leave home until the rain had stopped, and surprisingly, it stayed dry for the rest of the day!

Our route to lunch took us through Homewood Park which is adjacent to St. Peters hospital, Chertsey, then around Chobham, skirting Windlesham via several leafy lanes with plenty of conkers which could so easily throw one off their steed!  We approached Ascot High Street via South Ascot, up that pesky gradient!!!

Our lunch at The Stag public house was a little marred; first of all there was no soup (a disaster for some), then they had no IPA (a disaster for others), also......the barman could not get the till to accept the special deal i.e. a sandwich plus an alcoholic drink for £2. I don't know what happened where the deal was £1 for a soft drink?  To cap it all one meal was very, very late and no refund or ? offered!!  Nevertheless, the food was very good, well presented and tasty :)

Our return was through Windsor Great Park, from Watersplash Lane to Bishopsgate and hardly another person did we see, but I did spy a lonely stag very near the road.  See posting on blog re closure of certain roads in the park 28/29 Oct due to a form of cycle racing.
Tea was taken at Squires, Upper Halliford, albeit we had planned to use the bakers in Shepperton but we sort of over whelmed them with our number but in fact, only seven of us stopped at Squires. Maybe seven would have been too many?

Tim punctured coming out of the Park and never caught up with us due to his mobile being non-active!!! Andy stayed back with Tim and they had their afternoon refreshment in Walton.

My thanks to Tim for his photos and route, already on the blog, and for being back marker. Also thank you all corner markers. Great job :) :)

My thanks to all for joining me, 

Pam :) :)

At The Stag, Ascot
Good thing Ed hasn't got access to the internet!
Addlestone - Ascot - Shepperton

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Riders/Leaders take note

Café Mocha in Shepperton has closed, I rode past it on Sunday and it is completely empty.

Also this was seen in Windsor Gt Park


A Group ride 18 Oct

This week’s A group ride will be a mainly flat one, albeit with some undulations along the way….nothing to match the climbs of the last 2 weeks though!! 21 leisurely miles to lunch at The White Hart in Tongham, and then 21 fast miles back to tea, probably at Walton. A couple short off-road sections, nothing too long or tough, plus a section of tow-path which is a very good paved surface.

~ Dave B

B Group - note for tomorrow's ride

Pam will be leading us from Addlestone to The Stag in Ascot for Lunch. She describes the route as "the same as before" so it will be a good ride, not that most of us will remember the details of the route from last time she led to this pub.

~ Tim

Monday, October 16, 2017

FreeWheel Competition.

Courtesy Vic White.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Free Wheel Competition Wed 11 Oct. 17

No need to add to the adulation and the splendid help and organisation already explained on the "B"blog.
Suffice to say and the winner is: Men's Down Hill

Ladies Down Hill
And the winner is yet again though not last year:

and the runners up:

A Group Ride Report 11 October

A blustery day for the Freewheel competition saw a baker’s dozen A riders leave Dorking. Welcome back to Mike Morley, recovered sufficiently from his injuries to ride with us again.

At the top of Roothill it was cold and started to rain, but no matter, the wind was definitely from behind, and we are told the wet road reduces rolling resistance. Mark as a several times winner had generously stepped aside from the competition and handled the pushing off. Simon was safety marshal, and Terry, armed with mysteriously coloured sticks was the referee. Congratulations to Mike and Steve from our group as winner and runner-up. Pam and Steph swept the board for the ladies. We finished with a quick prize giving, with Ed’s meticulously hand wrought original artwork for prizes, before hurriedly leaving in increasing rain to lunch.

Our group lunched at the Plough at Leigh. I had hoped for a quick lunch, but as the rain and wind increased I was persuaded to agree that there was no hurry. We were joined by Hans who had come independently in trying weather.  

After lunch the ride consisted of a few miles to Ockley, straight into the wind, followed by a wind-assisted climb up Leith Hill and Whitedown, the latter mercifully traffic free due to the continuing water works; long may they continue. Generously the peloton agreed to an off-road track to the nearest tea stop at Polesden Lacey, where some described the track as “not as bad as they expected”.

I had reccied this route last week in sunny weather, when I could admire the autumn tints, and enjoy the views on a clear day from the tops of the climbs. But it’s autumn now so we must take the weather as it comes.

Thanks to Mark and Simon for back marking, and to the whole group for staying with the ride in far from ideal circumstances.

28miles Dorking to tea, 2028ft climbing, average temp 13deg, 11.25mph ave moving speed, 15mph headwind, 1,300 calories.

11 October - Freewheel Competion

After elevenses at Dorking, A and B groups made their separate ways to Roothill. Simon volunteered to be  bend marshal and Mark volunteered to be despatcher. Both very important jobs. Thanks.

Terry set off first and was pleased to equal his Personal Best achieved two days ago when practising checking. Pam almost equalled that distance but soon about half a dozen had gone further, but not by much. Unfortunately later competitors had to contend with two large tractors with even larger trailers travelling in the opposite direction, followed by two cars ! Precipitation held off until all had finished but made the prize givng at Brockham green a little damp. Lady runner-up and inner tube winner was Steph whilst Pam won another of Ed’s marvellous wood carvings. Similarly Steve Duffin ran up and won a tube, Mike Reynell also won one of Ed’s carvings.

The As then headed off for lunch, the Bs adjourned across the road to The Royal Oak where good lunches were speedily served. After lunch several Bs headed direct for home but Ann, Steph, John A, Tony Hooker and Terry  had a short, mostly dry ride round the lanes passing a heavily laden but just out of reach sloe tree. We went our separate ways at Denbie’s roundabout, Tony and Terry having a cuppa first.

Thanks all for supporting this fun, low mileage event.


Sunday, October 08, 2017

A Group Ride 11 October

As Simon explains in the post below, Dorking in October means it’s time for the Freewheel Competition. First stop Roothill, with a couple of mini climbs to get the tyres up to optimal freewheeling temperature. Lunch at the Plough at Leigh (http://www.theploughleigh.co.uk) to cool them down again.

After lunch we will continue the freewheeling theme to explore a few of the best descents in Surrey. Weather permitting one will be on a gravel track; nothing technical. If like Simon you are bringing your special descending bike, please remember that after lunch it will also need to cope with 2000ft of climbing, and the gravel track. Tea at Polesden Lacey.