Thursday, November 30, 2017

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

B Group - 29th November, photos and maps

Outside The Rocket
Tim Gibbons is back at last, with Theresa, Pam (laughing!), Gill, Mike, and Tony the Leader
We get all sorts of people in B Group

Detailed street map on A-Z showing the Marc Bolan Memorial

29 Nov, A group ride to Harrow on the hill

These pictures make it look much warmer than it actually was! 19 intrepid souls set off from Kingston, out through Richmond Park, Sheen, Kew bridge, Ealing, Perivale to Harrow on the hill (yes there is quite a climb at the end but the view is worth it). After a good feed at the White Horse we came back via Northolt, then a long stretch of the Grand Union Canal to Southall, Osterley Park (2nd pic) and back to Pembroke Lodge in Richmond park for tea. Thanks to Hans for the route and Geoff for backmarking (a much harder job than leading!). 

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

B ride 29/11/17

A very cold day but 23 left the Bradbury centre to wend their way to Putney, but not by the shortest route. Kingston bridge, Bushey park and Teddington to Twickenham, where the easy riders  took and early Brunch in the Barney Arms, and over Richmond bridge and a gentle climb up Richmond hill and into the park. I took a change in the root as it was a cold day left the park via Sheen gate(but no one wanted to use the loos!). Then by many back roads and a brief stop to view the Marc Bolan memorial at Barnes. Onto past the Wetlands centre and towpath to lunch at the Rocket Putney and the welcoming warmth. With 23 riders we could not all sit together but all were seated and fed except for 2 who headed  home for lunch.

All stood in the chill while Tim did his David Baily bit, the photo must be blurred as we all shivering! Off along the Lower Richmond road and back roads upto the South Circular and across into the off road of Putney Park lane to Putney heath, Roehampton, Danebury Avenue and into Richmond park. At this point we were loosing rider as some people were now heading for home, through the park and exiting at Ham gate and across Teddington lock. The group decision not to stop for tea meant at this point I could head for the warmth of the computer screen to write this report.

A short ride on a very cold day with a good crowd, thank you to all who corner marked and to Tim for being back marker.


A group ride 29 November

Starting from Kingston Bradbury Centre (KT1 2RA), the ride will be a semi-urban and fairly flat route to Harrow on the Hill (i.e a complete contrast to last week’s ride!). We will head north (into the breeze) passing through Richmond park, Barnes and the enchanting sights of West Ealing to the White Horse in Harrow on the Hill for lunch (
After lunch we will follow a long section of the grand union canal (towpath surface is fine for road bikes) before cutting through Osterley Park and returning to Hampton Court for tea.

Monday, November 27, 2017

B ride Wednesday the 29th

We will be heading Northeast to the Rocket (Wetherspoons) Putney, there will be a little bit of off road.

We will also pass the Marc Bolan Memorial at Barnes. Tea is planned for 5 on the Bridge at Hampton court. Or at a suitable establishment decided by the throng.


Sunday, November 26, 2017

A W Cycles Colliers Wood: Closing

Wayfarers may wish to know....(copied from Facebook,...)

A W Cycles (Walklings) of Abbey Parade, Merton High Street is shortly closing down. The business, originally under the name of Dales Cycles, was established before 1900. Alfred Walkling bought the business in about 1910 and retired in 1954, and sold out to the present owners father, whose son Ted Foster has run the shop since, assisted by Richard Smith. This must be one of the longest continuously running shops in the area.

Pictured are Ted and Richard in the time-warp workshop at the back of the shop. Also pictured is the Walkling trophy - awarded to the long defunct Merton Wheelers Cycle Club's  clubman of the year at their annual dinner. The trophy is made out of a small slab of marble , and expertly cut - did the maker work at the local John Knox's funeral directors as a stone carver?  (sorry about the workshop picture quality?)

(PK addition: Local legend has it that Richard started as a Saturday boy while a kiddlet, and is still there long after retirement age...

Don't know what they are doing with the workshop contents, but must be worth a rummage for anyone with Heritage bikes....)


Friday, November 24, 2017

A Group ride Nov 22nd - map

Lovely day, lovely ride with Hans on Wednesday.    For those of you who want hard facts, there were a total of a lot of miles and a lot of climbing.

Box Hill Open

Brian it seems that your men in SUITS did their job on Wednesday as the drainage works by Thames Water is now complete with smooth tarmac and very flush man hole cover!

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

A Group ride, up hill and down dale from Leatherhead.

A large group of riders left Leatherhead eagerly anticipating the day ahead. By lunch at Shere we had climbed Box Hill, Leith Hill (Coldharbour) and Holmbury Hill. A fast descent to Peaslake and onto Shere was some reward. Lunch, for such a large group was served up in good time and refreshed we assaulted Newlands and raced down towards the turn off for Hungry Hill and onto Chobham and eventually tea at Esther. Well done to all nineteen riders who stuck to the task. My thanks to everyone who marked the corners and kept the ride moving along at a good pace. Thanks to Dave B for coming on my ride recce the day before and for back marking today.
A little over 40 miles from elevenses to tea and an average speed of 13.23mph. Oh and the small matter of 1191m of climbing. Well done to all! 

PS for those of you involved in the cushion debate at lunch time, when I got home guess what? Two new cushions.

B Group - 22nd November

Twelve riders decided they would brave the forecast of winds and left ‘elevenses’ in Leatherhead and very soon we climbed up the Guildford Road towards Bockets Farm. On towards Polesdon Lacey where we took Chapel Lane and were again climbing, this time up Bagden Hill before the steep decent down Chapel Lane, up to 20%, which some enjoyed more than others.

Whilst going along the cycle track towards Dorking we saw the A Group going in the same direction but on the other side of the road. Along to Brockham and then to lunch at the Plough in Leigh, where we arrived at about 12:40.
At the pub, we were made most welcome, tables had been set aside for us and our orders were soon served.

We departed the pub and made our way towards the Dorking area via the Punch Bowl Lane, crossed the Reigate Road, through Pixham and then up to the top of Box Hill via the zig-zags. We paused at the top to re-group and also to congratulate one of our party, Theresa, as it was the first time she had climbed that particular hill.

As it was just after 3:00 pm, riders started to peel off and make their way home, whereas the remaining riders made their way over Headley and towards Epsom.

Due to darkness starting to come, a decision was made to have afternoon tea at the Old Moat Café, opposite Horton Park, rather than at the Golf club.

Five enjoyed tea and cake, where we again congratulated Theresa on her achievement, then we called time on a really good day, turned on our lights and made our way to our various homes.

Thanks to those that marked corners that enabled the ride to keep moving along, and also to Jennie for back marking.

Ride safe.


Very reserved for the normally flamboyant Jacksons
A rare sighting of a very splendid set (a matching pair) of proper British knobbly knees

At the Plough in Leigh, anticipating Box Hill
Leatherhead - Leigh - The Old Moat Café

Just in case you missed me !

Unfortunately I missed a great ride today.  I punctured coming over Ashtead Common and after trying Bike beans (they are good at cake and coffee and rides but there is never a mechanic on site) walked into Leatherhead and bought a new tyre for the
rear.  Deciding to make the best of a glorious day I ascended Ranmore via the Denbies bridleway.  Lovely route...only a teeny section of pebbles and great views from the top.  I then descended White Down and returned to Dorking by Route 22.  Note : I did ascend Box Hill but was up there at 2 so I think too early.  Had a sausage sandwich and bought some delicious pear orange and ginger chutney and left at 2.30 for home.  Did catch Christina for a quick wave as she went down Ruxley Lane.   See you all next week.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

A Group ride from Leatherhead

A few climbs (quite a few ) to challenge the ‘winter’ legs  as Wednesday’s ride from Leatherhead will be heading out over Box Hill (the wrong way), up over Leith Hill/Holmbury and Newlands Corner with a few down hills to compensate. Lunch will be at the White Horse in Shere and tea at Esher. A shade over 42 miles.

Monday, November 20, 2017

B Group ride, Wednesday 22nd November

We shall be eventually heading south from Leatherhead on Wednesday’s ride, lunch at the Plough, Church Road, Leigh with afternoon tea at Horton Park Golf Club, Epsom.

There are a couple of climbs in the morning, after lunch we shall climb Box Hill.

At present the route is mainly on road with a section of track, but if we have more rain I may change that to be all on tarmac.

Look forward to seeing you all.

David J

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Fat Tyres

For the last few years I have been trying out various sorts of fatter tyres, and have been increasingly pleased with what I've found.  I started with 30mm Schwalbe Marathon Racers for Paris Roubaix in 2014, and these worked very well.  Even for Paris Roubaix 30mm was pretty big in those days, and various disasters were forecast which didn't happen.  I changed to Schwalbe S-One 30mm for the Tour of Flanders in 2016, tubeless by now, and they were excellent. 

Testing the limits a bit, I used 40mm G-One gravel tyres, Schwalbe again, for the club Freewheel Competition in 2016.  They rolled better than anything else.  In the Spring of this year I rode the Hilly 50 on Compass 38mm tyres and came in third on the road.  And I'm an old man.  In July, I did the Dartmoor Ghost on Compass 44mm.  Perfect for the job - I did a good time.

So far so good.  But where is the limit for these things?  Would an infinitely large tyre be infinitely better?

Intuitively, the answer would seem to be no, and by experimentation I can confirm this.

The old Dawes tandem in the picture has 54mm tyres fitted.  It rolls much better with them, is very smooth, and the roads of Surrey appear to have been miraculously re-surfaced.  But, the Hill of Truth, Root Hill, reveals that a limit has been reached.  Tandems normally roll well, and this one does, but it wouldn't have won the Freewheel Competition.  It does very well, and I shan't be taking the tyres off, but it hasn't shown the performance gain that the smaller sizes have.

So, what have we learned?  Nowadays, everyone knows that fatter tyres are better.  The pros have started to use them, with 25mm or even 28mm being pretty common.  Their limits are set by the width of their brakes.  Discs will solve that problem and I think there will be more to come.

My suggestion would be that 30mm is where the benefits really start to show themselves.  If your bike will take them, fit tyres of at least this size.  The benefits generally seem to be a little greater between 30mm and 40mm.  Tyres larger than this give greater smoothness and much better capability on poor roads or tracks, but performance is starting to edge off again.

As a given, the tyres need to be light and of high quality.  Wall flexibility is particularly important.  They need to be run at low pressures - 40 psi does most things, you can go lower with fatter tyres.  If the tyres are tubeless - and most of them are - so much the better.

If you change to good quality tubeless tyres in the mid-30mm range your bike will roll better, be more comfortable on rough surfaces, grip better and suffer fewer punctures.


Friday, November 17, 2017

B Group 15th November 2017 - Post Script

B Group - 15th November - some more photos

~ Tim

B Group 15th November - Windlesham

A dank and murky morning didn’t deter 21 riders from starting out from Weybridge, our numbers bolstered by two Theresa’s, one a previous B grouper, the other on their first ride with us!   We set out via Cox’s Lock, Liberty Lane and Rowtown then climbed towards Foxhills.  Pam punctured here and she and Tim took the direct route to lunch after effecting repairs, while the main group (less one who also left us at this point) continued via Gracious Pond, Chobham and Pennypot Lane to West End, then taking the back lanes towards Lightwater before turning for Windlesham.  The Sun did us proud as usual.  They already had a group booking so service was slightly slower than is usual here, but we were still away for home shortly after 2.00pm, and the general verdict on choice, quality, and value for money at the pub was very good!   

Emerging from the cosy bar the gloom only seemed to have worsened, so I slightly commuted the planned return route to take us via Valley End, Gracious Pond (again!) to Foxhills and Chertsey level crossing.  Here we were just caught by the barriers and became involuntary ‘anoraks’ for some minutes as we waited for a very long goods train to pass!  It was plain sailing then to Addlestonemoor, Weybridge and Walton, where we arrived just before 3.30 pm for tea.   The group was somewhat depleted by then, many having peeled off to make their separate ways home and dodge the premature twilight.   All in all a miserable day weather-wise, but lifted by a cheery bunch of riders and the brilliant displays of autumn leaves along the route!  Many thanks to Tony Hooker for excellent back-marking out and back, and to corner-markers too numerous to name, but who all did multiple stints,  but most especially Gill!

Thursday, November 16, 2017

A Group to Godalming 15th November

It seemed the weather gods were with us today, no rain just overcast, a good temperature for a ride.

A group of 19 of us set out in Autumnal weather via Heath Road and Brooklands. Our first mechanical came as we were entering Parvis Road and our first loss of the back of the group that had stopped to help fix the problem, (Oh dear).

We were all together by West Byfleet then off down Pyrford Road to the village, then on to Send Marsh. The Portsmouth Road and Clandon Road led us up to Epsom Road and off towards Guildford.

Tangier Road, One Tree Hill and Half Penny Lane to Chilworth, then off to Wonersh, Chinthurst Lane cutting left on Tannery Lane. A quick right then left took us on to Foxburrow Hill Road and our final drag up to Munstead Heath Road, then at last a fast decent down into Godalming and The Star pub in Church Street.

We had pre booked our lunch, and on arrival the staff started to bring out the food to the back room that had been set  for us. We were all served before the last one of us had ordered and paid for our food and beer.
Excellent service by the staff, after their trepidation with regards to getting everything available for our arrival.

A quick up hill on Deanery Road, the last hill of the day, then dropping down to the main road to Guildford, up Castle Road to run parallel with the High Street, back on to the Epsom Road and then left into Clandon Road and down to tea (pudding) at Pinnocks. Not a long distance from lunch for this time of year, dark setting in as we left Ripley.

Thanks to Ged for back marking and all those corner markers who made the ride go so well. Look forward to meeting you all again next week.


Wednesday, November 15, 2017

"A" Ride 15 Nov 2017

Hi all this should really be a comment and not a full blown selfi Blog but here goes.
As you all know I have been in the wars lately and this week has been very eventful with many hospital visits. Yesterday evening however I visited the home of Alex & Sue to review the new KPRC Strip. En-rout I passed by Ed Sharps to pick up a current Sou'Wester and much to my surprise read Jeff's account of recent casualties.
I could not make Wheybridge today 11's as I had an Ultrasound on my Liver and right Kidney at Epsom Hosp. at 10am. It was very thorough  and I await the results!
Monday however was more dramatic. As many of you will know for some time I have been suffering from arthritis in the left knee. Two years ago I was referred to a consultant who said that he could not recommend a knew knee because of the large number of miles I do per year, saying that it would wear out in a short time and a further replacement would be difficult!?
On Monday I was encouraged by another surgeon, French to go ahead as my left knee had deteriorated in the last 12 months. So I am inclined to go ahead! Does anyone have any experience of replacement knees for cyclists and how successful have they been?

On a more positive footnote I did not go to Ripley for tea but  called in to see Beryl Dare on the way home. I had a lovely cup of tea and Rock Cake with her. She looked really well with a sparkle in her eye and has clearly come to terms with the sad passing away of Ray. She told me that her neighbours are really helping her out with keeping the garden tidy and helping with the shopping. They have also put a memorial Bird Bath opposite the house by the duck pond. Unfortunately I did not have my camera with me!
Marian her daughter in law was with her and was to stay the night. They had been shopping and out for lunch. We reminisced about how all the family missed Ray, he was so popular with all the grand children.

Ok Folks sorry to bore you but for me today that was a hard ride and to top it all my (Jeff Tolerman) Chinese lantern front light ran out of battery power as I was coming up Hurst Road into Walton on the Hill. Pitch black and I was completely disorientated! What's new you say!

Easy Riders - 15th November

Weybridge D C - The Angel, Thames Ditton
On an overcast but dry day eight left the Weybridge D.C. for lunch at The Angel, the 2 Bernards, Helen (who did the David Bailey bit after lunch) standing on the top of the steps!! Maureen, Frank, Don Elms, & John Bellamy. We rode through the car park and into the alley from Church Lane, then left and right to Princes Road to Oatlands Avenue through Burwood Park, Lammas Lane and into Esher Estate continued to Claygate left then over the railway and first right into Manor Road. Straight over the A3 to Hinchley Wood  and on to Angel Road.  A table was set for us right in front of a roaring fire. Food soon came and was very good and reasonable .
Thanks every one and thanks to John for being T.E.C.


A Group 15th November

Mucky roads to start with for Geoff's ride today, but it cleared later.  A good lunch at The Star, Godalming, and back to Ripley for tea.

The map's not quite right, as I peeled off at Merrow.  I stopped the clock at Squires so the distance should be about right.


Monday, November 13, 2017

A Group ride 15th November

The ride to lunch in Godalming by the looks of the weather forecast it will be dry, not like the last time I lead to there.
Lunch will be at The Star in Church Street, there is parking in the rear garden accessed via the front door and through what appears to be a secret door in front of you as you enter.

They have asked if we will pre order lunch, I will bring copies of the menu but you can look online to check out possibilities.

The route out of Weybridge will take us over parts of the last two weeks ride as far as Pyrford and Send Marsh, then steady uphill from there.

The tea stop will depend on time, either Squires in West Horsley or Pinnocks in Ripley.

Don't forget to check your lights.

I look forward to seeing you on Wednesday.


Musette Cycle Cafe Dorking

A new addition to the cycle cafe genre which a leader might like to try. By the traffic lights at the junction of West/South/High Streets it initially looks as if there is nowhere to park a bike. However I put my head in while in Dorking last week and there are about 6 stands in the front window and apparently another 8 out at the back. So manageable for the As but a full B group would be a challenge. They also stay open until 5 - not an issue at this time of the year but worth knowing.

B Group 15th November

Our ride on Wednesday will be to that old favourite The Sun at Windlesham ( 

The Sun already have quite a large group booked at the same time but have very kindly agreed, after some initial reluctance, to accommodate us as well, as SWLDA are old clients!   The ride from 11's to lunch and back to tea at Walton-on-Thames is about 25 miles and is a hillier one than you might expect with about 300 metres of climbing (ie just over one Leith Hill's worth in all), if Strava is to be believed!  Two footbridges are to be negotiated en route, one rideable but the other with shallow, sloping steps which requires bike carrying.  I aim to back to tea well before sunset (16.13) but advise provision of lights just in case!  David (W)

Thursday, November 09, 2017

Attendance sheets / Elevenses lists

Following the AGM yesterday the 2017 sheet in the Rides List is up to date with Walton replacing Shepperton. I have also added the draft 2018 sheet.

A Group 8th November

Following a late finish of the AGM, I made a hasty start without realising that we had left Simon, David V and Neil behind. Apologies to them for the oversight, but they found their own way to the pub and were already settled in before we arrived.
We set out via Weybridge station and the cycle track through to the old Brooklands race track. Here we stopped a moment to admire Concorde (See pictures in Mikes post), then on towards Byfleet with a small detour to ride along a stretch of the old banked race track.
From Byfleet we continued via a track to Wisley and Pyrford Lock, and from there a short run to the Saddlers Arms at Send Marsh where we were well provided for.
After lunch we took a fairly direct route via Ripley, Hungry Hill and Bookham to Leatherhead for tea as mentioned by Mark, Annie's was closed so those who wanted a tea stop went back to Amici's.
Thanks to all for corner marking and good company, and especially to Geoff for the photo and Ged for backmarking for the day.

The A group fed and watered and ready to go

Wednesday, November 08, 2017


"A" group Concorde to Lunch

Just goes to show how little knowledge I have of Brooklands. Pity Concorde was hiding behind a tower of yellow steel but just about managed to take a picture as if she was taking off in front of me!
Not sure what the other aircraft might be but someone said VC10?
A good route Keith as Mark has already said.

Computer playing up will post pictures separately

Arthur Jessop Trophy

Tony you beat me to it but I think this is also a good photo. No doubt Shirley will have some good ones too. See also SWLDABlog.

B Group - 8th November, after the AGM

It is always a short ride to lunch after the AGM and I had chosen the Old Plough at Stoke D'Abernon, which was about 5 miles from Hersham.  A group of 14 sat down to lunch, though we did start with one or two more.  Our route was out to West End, Esher, and up to the Portsmouth Road, which we followed to Fairmile Lane.  The next turn was into Leigh Hill Road with a nice downhill run to the Tilt and so to the pub, arriving about 1.00 p.m.

It was pretty much full house at the pub but a long table had been put aside for us.  We were looked after beautifully.  Orders for drinks and then meals were taken at the table, bottles of water and glasses were provided as a matter of course and at the end we were able to settle up individually at the bar.  All very satisfactory.

With various people doing their own thing after lunch, the group had dropped down to 8 for the next part of the ride.  Going back to Fairmile Lane, we went straight ahead at the mini roundabout on to Water Lane, then turned up Knipp Hil and into Sandy Lane.  Crossing the busy Copsem Lane we took the dead end lane at Gunter's Mead.  It was at this point that the call of 'puncture' was heard from Christina.  Manfully, Tony Hopkins came to the rescue and fixed it despite one or two problems - this was your spare bike wasn't it, Christina?  Otherwise a new one might be recommended or a different spare inner!  Setting off again, along what used to be a semi off-road link with a gate across it but which is now beautifully surfaced though still with the gate, we joined Fairoak Lane and cut down on the off-road path which took us into Claygate and so to Long Ditton Squires for tea.  Here the 6 of us who had stopped were joined by Brian who had been doing his own thing, and Grant on the way back from A Group, wanting to give Pam his money for the Christmas Lunch.  Lights were definitely needed for the final lap home.

Thanks everyone for your company, to Terry & Pam for back-marking and to those who marked corners.

Gill Finlay

Sou'Westers Logo Garment printing

Printing of the Sou'Westers logo is available in 2 sizes of 3 inch and 8 inch. Printing colours are either Blue or Yellow and will print on most fabrics. Costs are £5.00 per garment, approx.

Please email me if you are interested.

Please note this is totally separate from the Wayfarers top that Pam supplies.

Blue on Yellow


Arthur Jessop Trophy

This years trophy was awarded to Colin Quemby and very well deserved.

The Arthur Jessop Trophy: For Outstanding Achievement