Thursday, September 20, 2018

A Group ride to Chichester

An intrepid group of A riders set off South to Chichester into the teeth of the wind. We managed a good pace over Newlands and Winterfold and despite the unexpected showers we stuck to our task and managed to get to lunch before 2pm. The Stagg Inn in Balls Cross provided an excellent lunch and good beer. Fuelled up we hit the road for the last hilly leg to Chichester. Through Petworth and down through quiet lanes to Barlavington and then the climb up Ducton Hill with the wind in our faces. We took the route across the downs past Glorious Goodwood race track and then a fast downhill and a visit to the Goodwood motor race track. A swift referendum took place, go to Wittering or Wetherspoons? Not surprisingly the latter won by a landslide. We were joined at the pub by Angie Launder who had cycled over from her home on the south coast.
A good ride. 56 miles from Walton and 3,225 feet of climbing. Thanks to Mark for giving me a tow into the wind on occasions and Mike for back marking.

B Group - 19th September

Walton-on-Thames - Dorney - Shepperton Lock

B group had a sizeable turn out yesterday, 27 on the ride + John Scott who was unable to stay out all day. Pretty good considering the weather forecast.   We also had a few A riders join us, just to have a change from their normal riding speeds!!!  Well done to those riders that joined Hans ( I'm looking forward to reading about their day). A big Happy Birthday and thank you to Brian who treated us all to Morning Tea with Cake to celebrate his recent coming of age.

After collecting menu choices and phoning them through to the pub we did not get going until near 11.30. We made good progress via Walton Bridge, Chertsey Bridge, through to Thorpe where I turned off at the Rose and Crown to go down Hurst Lane.  Here we came to a halt for a huge mobile(park) home was being moved - already in the road in front of us! Never mind - patience is a virtue and it wasn't too long before it came to a halt and we were all able to get by.  A thoughtful driver??   Next it was up Prune Hill to Englefield Green.  Then through Windsor Great Park to exit at Rangers Gate where we picked up Sustrans route 4 through Windsor, past the leisure centre and up and over to join the Thames towpath out to Dorney - for lunch at The Pineapple.

Tables were reserved inside but the garden was sheltered and the sun shone so we all opted for the outside.  Food was served promptly and with a smile.  Fantastic, it really was worth pre-ordering!

We left Dorney along the Jubilee river, exiting on the approach road to Eton.  From here we continued to Datchet where Margaret (our Canadian friend) opted for the train whilst the rest of us continued to Shepperton Lock via Horton, Wraysbury and Staines.

There was a hiccup when we got to Wraysbury for Grant had punctured and our backmarker stayed behind with him.  Christina, who was cornering, phoned after some time to say Tim had not arrived - my text (which I had not looked at) told me about Grant - so Tony Hopkins kindly took the group to Shepperton whilst I waited for Christina.  After a ride through The Lammas (looking for the essential loo), we rode on to the Lock where there were still several of the group socialising over tea and cake.

A big welcome to Sarah, Guy and Tony who cycled with the B group for the first time - we look forward to having your company again 😃

My thanks to all who cornered, our back marker Tim and to Tony for leading from Wraysbury and to all who came on the ride.  Sorry I wasn't there to say goodbye to some, next time! 

Cheers Pam 😀😉

The nearest we got to a group photo

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

A Group 19th September

Hans had arranged a tailwind for today's ride, but, due to a mix-up at the Weather Centre, we got a headwind instead.  There you are, these things happen, despite the wind we were able to maintain a good pace.

A good ride and a great day out.


"B" ride today 19 Sept 2018

Dear Pam not wishing to steel your thunder but before I immerse myself in a hot bath, today was a fantastic ride and the PineApple excelled. From my point of view however it was very strenuous. 71 miles home to home and the final climb up the North Downs from Walton on Thames to Walton on the Hill some 213 m. ASL made my loins and my groins ache. Any one available for a massage please! Pam a great day out!
If I may comment it was also good to see Sarah out for what I suspect was her first "B" group ride though she has been out with the "A's". Normally a rider with KPRC she also did the Prudential 100 and so a very fit rider. It was also great to see Christina who with family was on the Birthday Rides and this was her first ride to this part of the world, so once again Pam well done!
I had intended to go to Tea at Sheperton Lock but missed you all due to a misunderstanding. In the end I had a very reasonable Large Late & Danish Pastry at the cafe next to the Co-op in Sheperton, traversing home then via Esher, Claygate, Ewell, Epsom College, Tadworth, where I saw Pete Beyers on his way home.
Can't wait to see how the "A" group got on but did they do any more miles than we, without train assist!

Tuesday, September 18, 2018


Further to Marks post, a video inside the factory.

Brompton Factory


Useful Signage

Glad they pointed it out!

Details for B Group ride tomorrow (19th)

We are having lunch at The Pineapple pub, Dorney. I shall be asking B riders their menu choice on Wednesday at elevenses. For anybody that does not know...the pub is infamous for its over sized sandwiches, many different fillings PLUS soup, salad OR fries!

A little off road but surface OK !

~ Pam

Monday, September 17, 2018

A new Wayfarers tea stop

We came across this place after an arduous and glorious day riding the NC500.  Read more here...

A Group ride to Chichester, Wed 19th.

We need to make a prompt start from Walton to ensure a reasonably early arrival at Chichester and the possibility of a short trip to the sea.
The route takes us over Newlands towards Albury, Winterfold Wood, Cranleigh, Dunsfold & Plaistow. I'm aiming for lunch at The Stag Inn at Balls Cross, approximately 35 miles so a good pace will be necessary. After lunch its up, up, up and over the South Downs to Chichester. If we arrive in good time a trip to Wittering and back would round the day off and make a pint or two in Wetherspoons well earned.
56 miles to Chichester and another 14-15 miles to Wittering and back.

PS Don't forget your lights.

GPX for the ride...

Sunday, September 16, 2018


Sunny today, and I had a good run along the edge of the North Downs.  After arriving home, I washed the bike and noticed a sizeable nail in the rear tyre.

I could have left it in, but that would have been a bit scruffy, so I pulled it out, and lost a bit of sealant - about an egg-cup full.  I'll have to top that up by and by, but the tyre hasn't deflated to any extent.  

Good when things work.


Saturday, September 15, 2018

Robin Michael Charles Johnson 1933 - 2018

The family did Robin proud with a memorable church service at St. Nicholas Chiswick close to his origins and where he was brought up. The music with cello and soprano of part of Handel's Messiah was well chosen. The church bells were also ringing in honor of a very accomplished gentleman. I had not realized that he had had such a varied life as was pointed out by his brothers/nephew.
Robin was clearly a keen cyclist and an avid tourer. His highest achievement however was in sailing  to the extent that he had been selected to represent GB for the Olympics. He became a master at that, having spent National Service in the RN. He was a life long member of the Corinthian Sailing Club, where the family laid on a splendid farewell to which we were all invited.
An excellent collage of photographs were put together and shown on a screen notably from my point of view reminding me of two memorable tours I spent with Robin, the first organised by John Scott in the Jura, the second in Sicily put together by Ian Appleton & Pam. Robin was seen to be enjoying himself immensely on both these tours often seen tucking into good food with a glass of wine. I must say that the wine flowed well at his farewell and it's a pity that he was only there in spirit, he would have enjoyed the excellent RED!

The photographs below are my contribution and I hope that Tim will post the ones taken outside the Corinthian.

Friday, September 14, 2018

A Visit to the Brompton Factory

Having enjoyed some success with our Bromptons as unlikely but effective tourers, Maggie and I took the opportunity to visit the Brompton factory.  Tours are run twice a week, and cost £25.  The tour lasts about two hours, and we both enjoyed it; we had both encountered small engineering factories of this type in our student days, and this must be one of the few still operating as a successful business in England.

The tour started with a visit to the museum, and it was gratifying to find that the third exhibit was identical with the Brompton that Maggie had ridden to the factory - I had bought it in 1991, and, despite the attentions of two generations of Gladwyns, it still goes well.

Raw materials and components entering the factory are steel tubes, castings, rims, spokes, tyres and build kits such as gears, saddles and handlebars.  Machining, brazing, painting, assembly and testing are carried out on site.  There is a pleasing mixture of manual craftsmanship, computerised machines and well-organised processes; rigorous testing is also carried out at the component, sub-assembly and finished machine levels.

Brazing the frame components is the foundation of the design; very high levels of accuracy are required and Brompton offers apprenticeships to brazers.  It takes about eighteen months for a skilled brazer to become fully proficient at producing the complex bottom bracket and main tube structure.

Automated brazing machines are used for less demanding elements of the frame structure, such as the handlebar stem and the pivot clamps, which are machined from castings on site.

Wheels are made using bought-in rims and spokes on a substantially automated machine.  There is some manual intervention, but the truing and testing are computerised.  It gives a very strong wheel.

Painting is done on-site, there are no photographs of this due to the risk of triggering the fire system, but the process is modern with the same mix of computerised automation and manual finishing for the difficult nooks and crannies.  Finished components are then brought together at the assembly line.  This was running with 14 stations for the model being built when I was there, other models may require additional steps.  A single set of actions is carried out at each build station, with the finished sub-assembly being moved on its trolley to the next station when complete.  Cycle time yesterday was 3.5 minutes - viz. a complete bike every 3.5 minutes; as you will see from the counter at the end of the line, the builders were ahead of target.  There are two lines; the factory has space for four.  49,000 bikes were built and sold last year - every one is to prior order.  80% of sales go for export.  A passing remark by our tour guide was that China has 23 cities with more than ten million inhabitants; Brompton currently has dealerships in two of them.  So there is considerable opportunity for growth there, and in other growing economies around the world.

The star of the show is the electric Brompton.  I rode one, and it goes well, but I don't think it has a place in my world - not yet, anyway!

A very enjoyable and interesting afternoon, and I thought that Brompton were generous with their time and access.  I'd recommend it, if this sort of thing interests you - there are not many other places in Britain where you can see bicycles being made.  Brompton is in Greenford, just by the Grand Union Canal, so a very congenial cycle ride from London.  


Thursday, September 13, 2018

A Group - 12 September from Fairoaks

With many regular riders away enjoying themselves, just eight (fool)hardy souls joined me at Fairoaks for a late summer trip towards Henley. My aim was to try and find some new quiet routes to replace the well trodden paths.

Left out of the aerodrome and first left gave us a calmer route to Chobham, through West End and round the south of Windlesham to Ascot. Then a new route through the houses, a bit of off-road, a quick break and on to Winkfield Row. Next Warfield, Shurlock Row, Waltham St Lawrence and Hare Hatch.

From here a quick two and a half mile blast down the A4 would have brought us to lunch. But where is the fun in that? Instead we circled Wargrave and headed for Crazies Hill before turning south through Warren Row and Knowl Hill to approach Littlewick Green across the fields.

The thirty miles we had travelled meant it was nearly half past one before we arrived at The Cricketers for a well earned lunch. As we had phoned through our orders the food was very promptly served and we were on our way again in around an hour.

Which way shall we go home?

The route back was more traditional - White Waltham, Maiden's Green, Winkfield Manor and across Ascot racecourse before a little bit more off-road and then a long wait at the level crossing in Sunningdale.

Then over Chobham Common and Gracious Pond Road before back to Addlestone for tea and wonderful cake at the Bread and Roses Café.

Fifty four miles for the day but unfortunately no map due to Garmin malfunction.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

B Group - 12th September

Eight set out from the aerodrome at 11:15. We’d had enough of the busy road through Addlestone and Ottershaw with its curiously impatient traffic so we were pleased to start out on the perimeter road which took us around the back of some sheds and into Youngstroat Lane much of which is a dirt path heading south towards Woking. We encountered a bridge across the Bourne which had a barrier at each end with notices advising that the bridge was out of action while the timbers were being replaced. The alternative was a ford which appeared to be about a foot deep so we moved the barriers, and carried on after replacing them where we had found them.

The next bit of excitement was a short stretch of the Basingstoke Canal as far as the little bridge which links the local Woking cycling trails Neptune and Triton across the canal and into Bridge Barn Lane.

From Wych Hill Lane we rode along the peaceful trail which follows the Hoe Stream followed by a dirt track across Westfield Common which put us back on NCN223 to Jacobs Well where we continued on the Clay Lane cycle path then through the Nature Reserve between the A3 and the Wey and Wey Navigation. Route 223 took us through Stoke Park. John Austin headed for home at this point in order to share grand-parental duties.

We rode up and down in the Downs, enjoying the descent of Halfpenny Lane from which it was a short run along the Dorking Road to the Percy Arms. We sat in a cosy alcove and had a good lunch. The sandwiches on their menu are of the increasingly popular formula which includes a choice of soup, salad or chips.

Six ways of saying 'cheese'
After lunch during which we had avoided a shower of rain it was a short run through Albury to he A25 then up to Newlands Corner. Vic finds this road to be rather dangerous and so having opted to ride up Combe Bottom we found him waiting for us near the top of Staple Lane. After regrouping at Newlands Corner we rode along the very tranquil Drove Road through the trees on the North Downs Way, collected Vic who had waited 11 minutes for us, and carried on through the trees to join Green Dene. After the numerous times we have cycled up Green Dene, Steph was quite overjoyed to have the pleasure of riding down it. And I think we all felt much the same.

After the bumps of Dirtham Lane we took our usual route through Great Bookham Common to Cobham where the three of us still on the ride convened at Bronte’s Café for the customary reward of coffee and cake.

At 13.6 + 14.7 miles this was quite a short one. However they were very enjoyable miles and there seemed no point to making it any longer.

Thanks to Peter Tiller who persevered with the process of copying my routes into his Garmin in order to become a most diligent back-marker. Thanks to Liz who shared the recce and helped to make some key decisions about the route and where to have lunch. Thanks to everyone for riding carefully and safely and for taking the rough with the smooth in their stride. What little rain there was was of no consequence.

~ Tim

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Wayfarers in Scotland

Four Wayfarers - Ged, Mike Barrett, Dave Bartholomew, and myself, are cycling the North Coast 500 route, starting today.  If you would like to follow our travels, have a look at our blog here

A group from Fairoaks

Tomorrow's flight will be heading northeast. Due to the uncertain forecast I have decided that Henley is a bit too optimistic and so lunch will be at The Cricketers, Littlewick Green.

Please be ready for departure at 1100 hrs. The nicest parts of the route are just before lunch and it would be a shame to have to cut them out.

Tea will probably be in Addlestone.

Monday, September 10, 2018

Hilly 50 Sat 8 Sept 2018

Well Guys & Gals, a somewhat disappointing turnout to say the least, 7 riders in all despite 16 pre-registered on what turned out to be a very pleasant day. Photo below shows our intrepid hierarchy at the finish. It was Tim & Paul's first Hilly 50 and they felt if not elated achieved & proud, well done.
Steve Duffin from MWW "A" group did a splendid ride arriving home first. Son of Paul Denis James did a very spectacular ride, starting half an hour after everyone else and arriving atop Box Hill just after Steve, having gone wrong twice while trying to find his way around the one way system in Dorking.
Thank you to Maggie James for splendid help in the signing on along with the ever reliable and evergreen Terry Lowe. Special thanks go to Dave Vine for not only riding and finishing but also for marking the corner at Log Bottom lane. Apparently that road and the whole of the course was clean and clear and much more pleasant than when we normally run it in March.
I feel deflated about the turnout, especially when there were hundreds of cyclists going up Box Hill all morning. My initial assessment is that Sept is not the time to run this event with the racing season still in full swing and so many sportive s going on.
With a kind donation of £10 given by some admirers of Tim & Paul we have so far £69 including one donation from Gavin Hughes of KPRC who said he would ride but could not make it prior to the Frank Cubis Memorial 50 TT on the Bentley course Sunday morning. If anyone feels inclined to make a donation please pass on to Mike Morley or make cheque payable to St. Raphael's Hospice.

Maggie James took a very good photo at the start which I suggest she post's herself. Meanwhile here is mine!

Sunday, September 09, 2018

Ripley Bike Jumble

Autumn Cycle Jumble at Ripley Village Hall:  9 - 12pm Saturday 15th September

Entry 9am £1...…..early birds 7am £5 !

If one should wish to sell at the Jumble - please contact John Lattimore 01932 247614

Saturday, September 08, 2018

Does anybody speak Garminese?

 Number 2 son recently visited for his brother's wedding. He brought with him his lycra and Garmin because he wanted to cycle up the real Boxhill to compare with the virtual one he was familiar with on his Zwift. When packing for his return, he went to the bike shed to recover his Garmin and very generously gave it to me.

Since then, I have been puzzling what to do with it.

At lunch on a recent C&M ride I consulted an expert to glean a few flashes of insight. Unfortunately, he only spoke Serbo-Croat or some dialect called Garminese. I am therefore groping around to find out how to use this infernal gadget, before it goes under the hammer. 

I realise that I am testing to the limit, if not abusing, the patience and indulgence of readers of the MWW blog, to seek enlightenment. So many leaders now seem to have these tablets on their handlebars.

To come to the point: is there any Samaritan out there who can enlighten one in a state of invincible ignorance, who still lives in the age of Ordinance Survey and faltering memory. Please point me in the right direction. What must I do to make this benighted artifact realise that I live in England and not America - or the stone age?


Friday, September 07, 2018

Robin’s Funeral and Celebration of his life

Richard has sent us this invitation to Robin's funeral. Note that the Commital ceremony at the crematorium which follows the church service is for family and close friends only and that we will be welcome at the venue for the wake from 4:15.


The arrangements for Robin’s funeral are below. I would be grateful if you would ensure that as many club members and wider friends are aware of the arrangements. Anyone who cannot make the funeral service will be most welcome at the reception.

It would be very helpful if you were able to provide me with an estimate - even a rough one - on Monday of those likely to attend the wake so that we can help the sailing club with the catering arrangements.

With thanks and best wishes,


Richard Murphy

Robin Johnson’s Funeral and Celebration of his life

Friday 14th September 2018

3pm: St Nicholas Church, Chiswick Mall, London W4 2PJ – Arrivals for Service at 3:15pm.

4:40pm: Mortlake Crematorium, Townmead Road, TW9 4EN - Committal  (family and close friends)

5:15pm: London Corinthians Sailing Club, Linden House, 60 Upper Mall, London, W6 9TA (N.B. the club will welcome those not attending the Committal from 4:15)

If anyone has any photographs, or notable memories of Robin reflecting his spirit, proficiencies, and/or humour please send them to me

Richard Murphy -

or Robin’s nephew

Oliver Johnson -

As Richard has requested please let me know if you intend to come to the wake so that they can plan the catering.


Thursday, September 06, 2018

B Ride to Abinger Hatch (maps and photo)

At the Abinger Hatch

OS 1:25,000 showing the Fox Way excursion - Steph's Hungry Hill Bypass:

~ Tim

Wednesday, September 05, 2018

B ride to Abinger Hatch

15 set off after lunch orders had been taken.  One of my favourite routes up Hungry Hill was varied with an off road bridleway running parallel.  Pheasants are being bred in huge enclosures in the wooded areas and those that had escaped the glorious twelth ran ahead of us in flocks looking for an escape.  Up Staple Lane, down to Shere. Rejoining the A25 through Gomshall and Abinger before turning right up Feldway Road and then Water Lane to the Abinger Hatch pub.  They have had their kitchen refurbished and would do well to rethink their "toasted bagel" fillings.  I think only one person was brave enough to take the corned beef and sauerkraut option and a couple of people had difficulty seeing anything appetising.  However it was a good location for a descent turning past the old well and down Hollow Lane.  A quick cut across the A25 and we were soon on a woodland path which led to Route 22.  A beautiful route on a warm sunny afternoon running down the valley to Westcott.  Then to Leatherhead, Fetcham and tea at Stoke D'Ab.  Thank you to all who joined me , cornered, and helped map read in the woodland to get us on R22.  And to Tim for back marking and commiserations for suffering the only injury of the day - a wasp/bee sting to the inside of his cheek.  No lasting damage as cake was enjoyed at T!

A Group to Warnham

After collecting the lunch orders and phoning in 21 of us set out, the temperature cool and only a light breeze, ideal weather.
As leader I was not aware of the travelling conditions behind me but try as the group could to leave gaps in the peloton there were still a number of drivers who took chances, thankfully no problems ensued.
As mentioned before, our outward journey covered many of the routes south to get us to Warnham.

Arriving at The Greets Inn just after 1.00 we were soon sitting down with our drinks, and it was not to long before the food started to arrive, each group of items ordered came out as a batch so it was easy to identify the owners, there were I think three orders that were not quite right, not bad for such a large group.

Setting out on the return route ( I was going to write  'leg' but I am sure there would be a comment from some wit, though they may still make a comment on the above wording)
We soon had our first problem the road was being tarmacked but after asking if we could pass we were instructed to use the pavement, much to the annoyance of another worker further along, we did get away with taking some of his tar, HeHe.

After circumnavigating Horsham we turned into Rusper Road and unfortunately Liz came off her bike and cut her knee, luckily not too badly.
We soon had our first climb up Wimblands Hill passing the Frog and Nightgown, an interesting pub worth a look in, check that they are open first.

We got that over with then through Lambs Green and up Langhurst Lane into Orltons Lane ending up in Partridge Lane.
Charlwood Lane, Russ Hill, Rectory Lane then a climb on Norwood Hill Road. (I did say flattish ride)

We soon came across the second Road Closed sign and with a quick suggestion from Neil we set off along Bunce Road and a quick down hill to Brockham and tea in the Village tea rooms, yet again a warm welcome.

A big thank you to all of you who joined me on the flattish ride, to Dave Vine for back marking and to the many corner and junction markers who made the ride go so smoothly.


Swains lane hill climb

I'm sure there are a few amongst us who would like a bash at this.


Folders to the Fens

Maggie and I have been talking about going to Ely for years.  Charming medieval city, beautiful cathedral, good restaurants; but somehow we have never managed to fit it in.  Over the last couple of days we seized what may be the last days of summer for a little tour in the Fens, and we had a great time.

We took a mid-morning train from East Croydon to Cambridge.  It takes about an hour and forty minutes, basically slow to London and fast after.  Perhaps surprisingly, we took our Bromptons, which may not be the most obvious touring choice, but they worked very well.  The luggage system is simple and robust, they are fuss-free on any train and the hotels just treated them as luggage, so no problems parking them overnight.  

For our ride we mainly stuck to NCN 11, which is a good route.  We diverted slightly a couple of times, mainly for views, and the Bromptons coped well enough with the few short gravel sections.  The surface was mostly good (better than Surrey), and the traffic light or non-existent.

Ely was exactly as our friends had said it was.  We visited the Cathedral, lodged comfortably and ate well.  One of the highlights of this part of the journey was the swarms of dragonflies as we crossed Wicken Fen.  I have never seen so many.

Next morning we set off for King's Lynn.  There was a steady North wind across the fens, so it was a much harder day.  The Brompton's gearing system gives a good range, and it can climb anything, but it's six speeds, so the gaps between the gears are large.  That's not ideal for a headwind, where you really want to vary the gearing up and down slightly as the wind changes.  We settled for a medium gear; I used 72" pretty much all the way.

Lunch at Downham Market ... Maggie had never tried Greggs before ... but we were soon fuelled and on our way again, coming in to King's Lynn mid afternoon.  We had wondered about arranging to meet Irene, but our timetable was a bit uncertain, so we'll sort something out on our next visit.

We know King's Lynn quite well; the Medieval and Hanseatic parts are quite charming, the modern town rather less so, but we had an enjoyable evening and an easy trip home this morning - three hours door to door.

We're already talking about our next trip ...


Tuesday, September 04, 2018

We'd 5th September B ride

Lunch at Abinger Hatch.  T at Stoke d'Ab Garden centre.  Some off road bridleway east of Hungry Hill.  Anyone who knows the off road round the back from Shere to Abinger please attend as I didn't have time to recce it, just saves a mile of A25.

Monday, September 03, 2018

Viva Aviva!

Hi all, I am sure many of us consider bike insurance an important part of our home insurance and after some research I am happy to recommend Aviva. What I really liked about their policy is that you don't have to list your bikes or how many bikes you have.  You only need to advise them of the value of your most expensive bike. The premium was very competitive and for those of you who use Quidco or Top Cashback you can often get an additional  £50-70 back.  .... feel free to ask me if you would like more info!  Mike

A Group ride 5th September

After much riding back and forth I have finally decided on a pub and directions, I must first say a big thank you to Ken Day and his son Paul for looking at the route and offering alternative suggestions but after careful thought I have decided that I would go with my first idea of having a flatish ride.

My route will take us over many of the roads we often travel to get south, going through Leatherhead, Brockham, Rusper and finishing at Warnham.
The route out will have one section of rough stuff on Coach Road, Betchworth Golf Club. There is that awful section  of tarmac through the trees to Rusper. On the return leg Bush Lane off of the Rusper Road leading through to Wimland Road.
There will be some fast down gradients and for me some slow up gradients.

We shall be stopping for lunch at The Greets Inn, Friday Street. As with many pubs they have asked us to pre order.
The menu can be found on their website I will have a copy of it with me but if you would have a look it may save some time.

I hope to have tea at Brockham Village Hall if not Denbies

See you all on Wednesday


A Group ride....19 September. Advance notice.

I’m intending to lead the ride on 19 September to lovely Chichester from Walton. 55+ miles over the north and South Downs. Lots of train ticket bargains e.g. £5 to Clapham after 8pm (I’ve booked mine). Plenty of time to explore the cathedral and sample a pint or two in Wetherspoons across the road. If we make good time we could add some mileage by heading out to the Witterings for a paddle in the sea. Lunch stop and route closer to the date.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

B Group - 29th August

Overnight rain which was gradually moving eastwards with fine weather behind it, was still coming down at 9.00 a.m. for some and must have deterred a few from coming out to play.  However, despite these conditions, a fair number turned up at Leatherhead Day Centre and the weather did improve.  Indeed the sun was even trying to come out as B Group set off with a total of 16 riders, including newcomer Stephen, at approx. 11.30 a.m.  We headed straight to the path alongside the Dorking Road but soon turned off to go through the farm & came out on the path again, opposite Mickleham.  Taking the Mickleham Road, we rejoined the Dorking Road, crossed over via the underpass and continued to Deepdene Station where we re-crossed and headed up to the A25 roundabout.  After yet another crossing to the cycle path on the A25, we turned due south and straight up Punchbowl Lane.  Steep climbs are usually rewarded with good downhill runs and this one took us to Blackbrook Road.  We continued south to the Red Lane turn-off and another, lesser climb!  Now came the really enjoyable bit as we travelled due east along pleasant, flat, country lanes to the Tapners Road junction.  Turning left and heading northwards, we completed the square by going westwards on to Wellhouse Road, from which a right and a left brought us out on to Middle Street with the Brockham Cricket Club just up ahead at about 12.45 p.m.

Tables and chairs had been put out in the sunshine by Simon and were already being occupied by early arrivals.  We soon joined them & brought out our BYO picnic lunches. Tea & coffee were on offer in the clubhouse, also two cakes and a quiche kindly provided by Geoff and Carolyn.  After last year's rain, this year's picnic in the sun was a great success and much enjoyed - thank you to Simon and others involved. Thank you too to Frances and Mike B for more nice cakey things.

We are also very grateful for the donation given to the club by Ted Cole in May to remember his late brother George. The fee for the hire of the Cricket Club pavillion was met from his kind gift.

The afternoon ride was very straightforward - the usual route via the Golf Course, Pixham Lane, back to Leatherhead where traffic was heavy due to the closure of Young Street (road up to Bocketts).  We quickly escaped by going across on the path to the Fetcham Road, through Fetcham, up the hill (yes, another one!) with its glorious long downhill past the Yehudi Menuhin School, through Stoke D'Abernon, turning off to go via the Fairmile to the Portsmouth Road and so to the National Trust Cafe at Claremont where eight of us stopped for tea.  Thanks to Tim for back-marking and to all who came on the ride.

Gill Finlay

Panorama of lunching Wayfarers by Simon
Munching our way through the contents of our tuck boxes

Mmmm! Don't like the look of those black clouds

The new Stephen with Ian and Steph

Robin Johnson RIP

I am so glad that both Stephanie & Ian managed to take Robin's 85th Birthday card to him last week. It is however ironic that I was scrolling through my camera photo's yesterday only to see a photo of Robin enjoying lunch with the Wayfarers in March 2017.
I feel that it is entirely appropriate to publish Robin's picture enjoying a lovely lunch, something he has not done recently for some time.
May he rest in peace!


Double chocolate and zucchini cake

Hello, I was asked about the cake that I brought to the picnic and have attached the recipe.

Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread

I did not have to cook this year as my daughter Ruth offered and who would not take up that type of offer.
Many thanks to all those that ate and enjoyed it


Robin Johnson has died

We have just received this sad news from Richard Murphy in an email which he sent yesterday but which I didn't pick up until this afternoon:

I am very sorry to tell you that Robin passed away this morning. His condition had declined fairly quickly over recent weeks. He died peacefully in Chiswick Nursing Centre.

He continued to have regular visits from family and friends and I know that he enjoyed these and that they were important to him.

I would be grateful if you would pass on this sad news to your colleagues in the cycling club.

I will let you know about the funeral arrangements once these are made.



Richard Murphy

Monday, August 27, 2018

A group ride 29 August (picnic day at Brockham)

Important notes!

1. Remember that Simon is kindly transporting all our picnics from Leatherhead (Fairfield Centre) to Brockham cricket pavilion. As the Fairfield centre is right next to Sainsbury's, I will probably arrive a bit early and get my picnic there.
2. There are some off-road sections in this ride - but nothing that can't be done quite easily on a road bike.

It's only 6 miles (direct route) from Leatherhead to Brockham, so I've planned a tortuous S-shaped route through the Surrey hills so that we don't get there ridiculously early (but still allowing plenty of time for picnicking, don't worry).  We will start uphill towards Headley then down "Little Switzerland" (aka more mundanely Headley Lane) to Mickleham. Ignoring the temptation of Box Hill we will cross underneath the A24 to Westhumble then all the way up Chapel Lane (tough climb) to Polesden Lacey. I've copied Ged's off-road route from Poleseden Lacey to Ranmore Common Road (thanks Ged!), then through Dorking and via Punchbowl Lane, Tilehurst Lane and Strood Green to Brockham. After the picnic we're heading via Pixham Lane, past Denbies, up Box Hill, through Headley and finishing via the green and pleasant land of Ashtead Common and Horton Country Park (a route Simon which showed me last week - thanks Simon!). Tea will be at Horton Park Golf Club (but note they don't serve cakes - only sandwiches I'm afraid - so maybe save a bit of your picnic for teatime!).

Thursday, August 23, 2018

B Group 22 August - Mr Morley's Nightmare (rev)

I was concerned to read of Mr Morley's embarrassment at not being able to get his shoe out of the pedal at Caterham.

To clarify the issue of the  shoe, criticised by MM, and on offer from the excellent Spa cycles.
I have used this leather shoe for commuting and leisure cycling for a quarter of a century, kept in condition by regular polishing.  I recently had to replace these shoes for no other reason than that the sole of the left shoe had worn down beyond the cleat, which made it slippery on walking on hard surfaces.  A new pair of cleats was obviously not the answer. One pair of shoes used pretty well daily for a quarter of a century. I was delighted to find the identical shoe still being made and available from Spa. How many really comfortable leather shoes used daily have you got that have lasted that long? And that you can still replace?

As for the solution to Mr Morley's problem, Shimano seems to have anticipated this in the design of their SPD pedals. No more than an alan key is needed to adjust the tightness of grip on the cleat. I know that MM has previously had difficulties with his foot coming out of the pedal. Might he now have over-tightened the adjustment screw? To be fair, however, the adjusting screw is inaccessible with the shoe in place, so brute force may be the only answer. Or did somebody maliciously use superglue? 

I do hope that he has by now been able to remove his shoe from his pedal. The problem however would seem to be with the cleat, not the shoe.

Let nobody be in any doubt about the excellence of the Exustar Stelvio touring shoe. If it is good enough for Chris Juden, it is good enough for me.


B Group - 22nd August

I wasn’t expecting a crowd but twelve came on our ride from Caterham. We were sorry to learn that the establishment might have to close down which would mean that we would lose this greatly valued Elevenses venue and the occasional opportunities to explore East Surrey and beyond which it affords us.

We would miss this place if it was no longer in our programme
We started out with an excursion up to Whyteleafe Station partly to enjoy the leafy Salmons Lane and partly to avoid riding through the Wapses Lodge (Ann Summers) Roundabout. My recce proved that Succombs Hill had too much traffic for such a nasty little climb so today we crossed the A22 after the level crossing and rode through the AS roundabout into Woldingham Lane into the greatly loved Marden Park route which took us past the Woldingham School and Convent. Just beyond the roundabout we noticed that we were missing Terry and Ian who as it turned out had got caught at the Salmons Lane level crossing and had to wait for two trains to pass.

South of the school Mike marked the sharp corner which turns left up Gangers Hill. Ian had a fall on the bend but got to his feet and walked up the really steep bit. We regrouped in the car park to regard the hazy vista to the south before a fast descent of Chalkpit Lane where unfortunately David Cullen and Ian overshot the hairpin bend and came off their bikes which left them quite shaken though fortunately not too seriously injured. We hope they will not be feeling too bruised later on.

Rather than take a more direct route to lunch we crossed the A25 to loop around through Tandridge and Broadham Green to reach our pub, The Diamond in Holland, which does appear on many maps to be a real place. By this time Ian wasn’t going too well but made it to lunch which revived him before he went back to nearby Hurst Green Station to catch a train home. The Diamond is a good local pub, small, unpretentious and friendly with nicely prepared fresh food and we’d happily go there again.

We headed south initially, turning west into Crowhurst Lane after the railway line and thus we narrowly avoided running off the southern edge of the Greater London A-Z map. Thence to Bletchingly, via the lovely Tilbusterhill Plantation route, and Merstham where I missed a turn into Warwick Lane thanks to forgetting to load my revised route into the phone I use for navigating. We joined the A23 and rode north for one of the last serious hills of the day, Harps Lane which comes out in Markedge Lane above Fanny’s Farm.

Mike having a laugh about the issues with his shoe
In Chipstead when a moronic driver towing a large caravan overtook us too closely before turning into How Lane I was too distracted to notice that we should also have turned into the lane. However, back on course, we were soon heading up the very pleasant Rectory Lane. At the Woodman PH which recently, for a brief period, was known as the “oo ma” Mike had to deal with a slow puncture. He just made it to Pistachios for Tea but had to phone his logistics department to beg for a lift home.

Despite the incidents our ride was a good one. Although not the full ‘John Austin’ it was a challenging ride all the same which left us feeling satisfied with our efforts. Massive thanks to Terry who had a request to be Back Marker sprung on him at Elevenses. And big thanks to Mike, Tony and all who marked corners, and to everyone who came out to enjoy the splendid scenery in this hilly part of Surrey.

~ Tim