Wednesday, March 21, 2018

London Ride 2018

Simon - our Ride Leader

21 March - Dinosaurs in London!

Today was the annual London Ride, and I decided to string together several parks to form a ride to Greenwich.   We were lucky: the Beast from the East has gone away and we had sunshine for much of the day, with a fresh breeze.   Thirty riders amassed at North Cheam, and another two joined us later.   Quite a throng for an urban ride, but thanks to our excellent corner markers, we didn't get split up and managed without too many stops to regroup.

After navigating through Sutton, we followed the Wandle Trail almost to the source of the Wandle, high in the Beddington mountains.   Croydon was swiftly dealt with, thanks to a route donated by Mark, and soon afterwards the TV transmitter of Crystal Palace came into view, reached through South Norwood Park and a stiff climb up Anerley Hill to elevenses at Cadence Performance, Crystal Palace.  I was uncertain if it was big enough to accommodate us all, but I needn't have worried: it was a Giant shop.

After elevenses we spent some time exploring Crystal Palace park:  the remnants of the buildings used in the 1851 Great Exhibition still give an idea of its grand scale:  and further down the hill, the collection of dinosaurs lurking around the ponds.  We then joined the Waterlink Way which follows the River Pool north from Penge through increasingly nice parkland (that is to say, the beginning is a narrow strip of grass beside a concrete drainage ditch - but it turns into expansive parks beside a decent enough river).  Unfamiliar places (to me) such as Sydenham, Catford and Lewisham are linked by this greenish corridor with the odd residential street and industrial area thrown in, but surprisingly, almost no busy roads.
From Lewisham, the Waterlink Way continues to Greenwich but we crossed the railway and headed up to Blackheath, a lovely open green space, with a cycle track right across it to Greenwich Park.   Approaching the observatory from the south, you are presented with an amazing panorama of London, the Royal Naval College at your feet and Docklands in front of you.    We lingered for a bit, annoying all the tourists who had come to take selfies but didn't expect to have a load of lycra louts in the view.  Then it really was downhill all the way to lunch at Wetherspoons in Greenwich.
All 30+ of us were fed, watered, and ready to go in just over an hour, and we followed Deptford Creek inland a little way (it seems to turn into the Ravensbourne River after about a mile, and then later into the River Pool) before turning west to Peckham Rye Park, Dulwich Park and Brockwell Park.    Unfortunately the BMX track was in use for a schools training session, so we couldn't try our skills on the berms and those other things they have.   From there it was berms back on saddles, for a surprisingly short distance to Clapham Common and tea by the bandstand.   Some people sat outside, proving that Spring is definitely here.

We were blessed by the weather, not too much traffic, and being able to get round at least four road or path closures.   Special thanks go to all the people who marked every corner to keep the ride moving, to Dave Vine for back marking, to Neil and Steve who stopped to help with a suspected puncture at one stage, and to Mark for route guidance and the photo.   What teamwork! About 32 miles, and 1400 ft of ascent, from Cheam to tea.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

An invitation to a celebration of the life of Makhan (Mark) Roy


Please find attached the invitation to celebrate the life of Mark Roy.

If there are any other cyclists who knew dad, please pass the invitation to them. It would be lovely to meet.

There is a RSVP to Priya just so we have an idea of numbers.

We hope to see you.

Kind regards


Click on this photo for a larger image:

Please RSVP directly to Priya, or if you see one of us tomorrow, tell Lynda or myself if you would like to attend.

Please respond as quickly as possible; due to a technical issue I have only just received this notice. We need to notify Mark's family concerning numbers asap.



Monday, March 19, 2018

London Ride 21 March - "The Park Ranger"

This Wednesday we aim to visit some of the many parks and green ways in south London.   The ride will stick to a B group pace (I've asked Tim to help ensure this), with oodles of corner markers to keep the ride flowing.  And I've invited Spring to join us ...

Leave North Cheam at 9:30 am sharp.   Elevenses at Cadence Performance, Crystal Palace, lunch at The Gate Clock, Greenwich, and tea by the bandstand on Clapham Common.  Plus an option to try the BMX track at Herne Hill, if you feel brave.   About 32 miles in total.

Safety:  Please leave gaps for motorists every six cyclists - we can be less of a nuisance to each other that way.   And in the parks, please give pedestrians a wide berth.  Perhaps we can enhance the reputation of cyclists if we all do it.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Visiting arrangements for Robin

Richard Murphy has provided this advice about visiting Robin at Charing Cross Hospital. Click the "Visiting schedule" link below to see details about the Ward and visiting times:

With several family members and many friends it would be difficult to co-ordinate visits. I think it would be OK to visit tomorrow (Sunday 18 March) as I am not aware of any other visits except possibly by a neighbour. I've set up something on an online system, Doodle Poll, which people can use to see if others are visiting.

The link is here: Visiting schedule

In Doodle Poll, I suggest that you simply enter your name and select dates that you want to visit so that others can see in the Table view.  It would be helpful if you could put what date and time you expect to visit as a comment.

[Note that it shouldn't be necessary to install Doodle or sign up for an account just to enter your name and comment on the schedule.]

If this doesn't work, please just visit when convenient - probably better to have a few too many visitors that too few. Please feel free to pass on to others who may be interested in visiting the link and guidance.

The only other thing to say is that Robin is still very depleted and has a long road to recovery. Although he enjoys conversing, he can get tired fairly quickly,

Best wishes.


(Richard Murphy)

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Bike Beans Cafe Closing Party


So it’s now been decided that the last day of Bike Beans as you know it will be Sunday 25th March . We are planning for a big weekend of fun & celebration !

So if the cafe has meant anything special to you, ( you don’t have to be into Cycling !) over the years then it would be great to see you.
We have built up some pasta stock so I can see some great offers on our delicious pasta happening all weekend...
On Sunday 25th the plan is
9am - My last Cafe ride, please join it will be gentle !
From midday - Ghent Wevelgem one day classic bike race live on the screens & pasta party ! BYOB
From 4pm - Farewell drinks & celebration ( & counselling !) in The Leg of Mutton & Cauliflower !

Friday, March 16, 2018

Robin's progress

Robin's godson Richard has written to us with this update:

I am delighted to inform you that Robin is now out of intensive care. He has made good progress over the last few days and is no longer needing the intensive life support. I think his fitness and stamina have helped enormously in his recovery.

He remains in hospital and is seriously depleted from surgery and the abdominal infection, however, he has been transferred to another ward (7th floor North) in Charing Cross Hospital.

He is conscious, able to talk, and eating a little. Robin remains ill with his underlying condition but the hope is that he will continue to recover for a good period.

Family will be visiting tomorrow (Friday) but I think it would be great if his friends and neighbours were able to visit over the next days and weeks.

As Robin has a number of networks from his interests, it would be impossible to co-ordinate all visits but it would be useful if within a network there could be some co-ordination of visits over time.

So it sounds as if he will soon (after today) be able to receive visitors, provided we don't all turn up at the same time.

~ Tim

Thursday, March 15, 2018

B Group - 14th March


The milder weather certainly encouraged more cyclists out yesterday.  I phoned our lunch stop pub The Hare and Hounds before leaving Addlestone to let them know I had twenty nine in the group - a few more than I had suggested on my reccie, but two guys used a different pub, to help out with over crowding!

With back markers and corner marshals organised, we set off via Green Lane, Homewood Park and Gracious Pond Road to Burrowhill.  Straight over cross roads to Valley End.  On the reccie we took a look at the new bridge in Woodlands Lane but today I thought that maybe it wasn't necessary so we turned directly into Rye Grove, continuing to our lunch stop.

On our way, passing near Chobham, Christina realised that she had been on this route before - it was her very first ride with the Wayfarers almost a year ago so she wondered if it was 'the thing to do' ... ride the same route the following year?!   No Christina, I keep all my written routes, I don't have a Garmin, and every now and again it is more convenient to look through them and 'take my pick' !

Which leads me to welcome yesterday's new-comer Arwyn Morgan, I/we look forward to seeing you again.  May even do the same ride again next year!!

We arrived at the pub in good time, so with bikes parked in a secure rear garden it was up to the bar to put in our orders and due to the efficiency of the staff we didn't have long to wait before our excellent meals arrived.

Leaving the pub we headed for Castle Grove, Horsell and then Woking.  Four of the group went to Woking station whilst t'others joined the canal.  Terry left us at Byfleet - we continued to Scotland Bridge Road.  From here we took the road to Addlestone, Weybridge then Walton.  It was only 3.30 at the bridge so thirteen of us made a 'big push' to the Riverhouse Barn hoping to get there in time for a cuppa and cake before it closed but turns out there are new owners of the cafe and they now close at 5pm - seven days a week!  Good to know!   Always something of interest in the Riverhouse Barn and yesterday I learnt that there was a hospital in the first and second World Wars, in Walton, especially for soldiers from New Zealand, hence New Zealand Avenue.   Gill very kindly showed me the hospital building on our way home.

Thank you corner markers - thank you back markers - thank you Tim for photos and map....and thank you all for joining me

Happy Cycling, Pam :) :)

Addlestone DC - Donkey Town - Walton-on-Thames
More photos at:

~ Tim

A Group ride from Addlestone - 14th March

One of the comments made on the ride yesterday was that it was enjoyable, as a ride leader - (but I must say often challenging, but also very satisfying) to explore new routes and take people to new places.

"I didn't know this turned out here"; "I've never been this way before"; "I must come this way again"; or even "I've no idea where we are" are often heard.

Hence when the As came across the ford at the end of Pennypot Lane, off the Bagshot Road, Castle Green, Chobham, there was much curiosity, (perhaps apart from Brian who'd been here before). It's not often you come across such quirky, and often historic, highway features. I can only recall the ford at the Tilling Bourne at Shere. This one was across the Bourne. But there are others.

(We didn't get our wheels wet, but over the years numerous drivers have been caught out here and stuck in mid-stream, including a Police car from Guildford!).

After this diversion we were on our way via Bisley (gunfire), Brookwood, Ash, up onto the Hogs Back at Tongham, and then the lovely ride from Seale to Puttenham. The Good Intent mostly got the food right, and we managed to get away before 2.30pm.

It's a steady climb up from Compton to the Hog's Back Trackway at Sunnydown, but the surface was rideable. However the steep descent into Guildford caused some riders anxious moments with delivery trucks and uncaring drivers coming up.

Nine of us made it to tea: Annies kindly staying open 'till after 4.00pm having been forewarned of our    rather ambitious schedule - especially against a strong headwind.

Many thanks for Dave. V. for back marking, and Geoff for photos.

It was also nice to see 4 lady As on the ride - making-up a quarter of the peloton from Addlestone!

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

News of Robin Johnson

Unfortunately, whilst arranging treatment for an underlying condition, he became unwell and was admitted to Charing Cross Hospital. After a few days he had urgent surgery to deal with a very serious abdominal infection. He was then transferred to the intensive care unit and kept sedated and under life support.

The update today is that Robin remains in the intensive care unit recovering but is off the main life support as his body is coping. He is conscious but very weak. I managed to have some conversation with him earlier today. He will have another challenging 24-48 hours. If this next period is OK he is likely to be moved from intensive care to another ward when general visiting may be possible.

This was received from Robins Godson.

A Group 14th March

A glimpse of Spring for Ged's ride today.  It may not last, but it was good to see it.  41.3 miles from Addlestone to Leatherhead.  Lunch at the Good Intent and tea at Annie's gave us the chance to re-visit old friends.

It feels as if the season has opened.


Tuesday, March 13, 2018

A Group - 4th April, have a try at leading

On the 4th April I will be leading a group from Cobham to East Sheen then back to Walton for tea, as always we are looking to recruit ride leaders and I would like to invite those of you who are still thinking about the position to join me in a co-leader ride.
I have tried a co-leader ride before with Mike R and think it went well, only Mike can confirm this so any doubts please talk to him.

The route is a local one taking in some slight inclines. I have already gone over the route and mapped it out using Strava, I can send this to anyone interested, don't have a Garmin etc then I can lend you mine OR give you a hard copy to follow.

Should you still feel unsure I would be willing to meet you at a time and date convenient to both of us and go over the route or part of it.
If there were a couple of you wanting to grab this opportunity then we could arrange for you to swop duties after lunch.
If you are interested either speak to me at Addlestone tomorrow or contact me by mobile on 07950 474 550 OR geoff.1946@

Geoff Gregory

B Group ride

B group will be having lunch at the Hare and Hounds, Donkey Town. No off road, just a pleasant steady ride!!. I see we may even have sun shine..
Cheers Pam.😊👍🚴

Monday, March 12, 2018

Mark Roy has died

Lynda has received the very sad news from Mark's daughter Ayesha that after a couple of days in hospital Mark has died. He was an active and greatly respected member of the club for a very long time, more recently riding with the Easy Riders on his eBike, and he will be greatly missed.

October 2017: Lynda and Mark reminiscing about the old days
~ Tim

A Group - Addlestone 14th March.

We'll be heading for the Good Intent pub, Puttenham, for lunch - 24miles, and Leatherhead for tea.

Lunch needs to be pre-ordered, so please make your choices to me at Elevenses - from Bar Menu or Full Menu.

Only off-road will be the Hogs Back Trackway into Guildford - a bit muddy on the first bit, but perfectly rideable.

Prompt start please.

Friday, March 09, 2018

New Rides Secretary - Ged Lawrenson

As first announced at the AGM, Brian Greenwood has decided to step down as Wayfarers’ Rides Secretary. He has been organising our rides programmes, venues and leaders for over 6 years. It’s a tribute to his dedication that we have never missed a ride, other than due to dire weather. In addition he has been responsible for establishing our Riders’ and Ride Leaders’ Guidelines which have helped make our cycling safer and more enjoyable. He deserves our heartfelt thanks.

Ged Lawrenson has kindly volunteered to take over from Brian after a short handover period. We wish him every success, will give him all our support, and I’m sure he will be an outstanding Rides Secretary.

Spotted this in Cycling Weekly on-line.

Thursday, March 08, 2018

How exercise in old age prevents the immune system from declining

Alpine Profile Road Book

Yesterday, I brought a copy of the CTC Alpine Profile Road Book along to the Wayfarers' Lunch, and quite a few people enjoyed looking at it.  For those of you who didn't get a chance to see it, here are a few pictures and a brief note.

The Road Book was published in 1910, towards the end of a series of CTC publications starting in the early 1890s and, effectively, ending with the First World War.  The British Isles were covered in detail, and revised several times, and there were Road Books for a number of European countries.

A particular attraction of this copy is the local association.  Although I did not buy it locally, the flyleaf is annotated 'EM and CL Rook, 32 Grove Road, Surbiton' and is dated 1935.  

I had particularly wanted to ask Keith if these people were relatives, but they are not, it is just coincidence.  The Rooks may have bought a second hand copy of the road book to plan their Alpine tour, but John Bassett raised the interesting possibility that they may have bought it new, as the guide was never revised. It may have been the best available at the time and still offered by the CTC.

It covers the Alpine chain from Geneva to Cortina, paying scant attention to the French passes now popularised by the Tour de France, not least because the railway infrastructure and road surfaces were much better around the Swiss and Austrian - or Austro-Hungarian - passes of the time.

There is no mention of bikes or gearing, but the book gives a number of helpful tips: to estimate the time to cover a kilometre, multiply the gradient by two - viz. it will take you twelve minutes per kilometre on a six percent gradient.  It also counsels caution when transporting your bike by train, as Romanians were apparently inclined to steal tools from tool-bags, and in a couple of places which it notes as particularly steep it advises paying a man to wait at the spot ready to push your bike up, so that you may walk unencumbered and enjoy the view ...

This summer, just like Michael Portillo with his Bradshaw's, Maggie and I plan to take our tandem over the Gotthard, Furka and Grimsel passes, using this book as our guide.  I think it will be fine.  For the Gotthard in particular, the road mentioned in the guide is still there.  It is now, in essence, a national monument, with a well-maintained cobbled surface, just as in 1910.  It was by by-passed by a new road in the 1930s, and by a tunnel in the 1960s, so there is little traffic now.

I'll let you know how we get on.