Thursday, May 31, 2018

A Group to Hedgerley - 30 May

This week’s A group ride left Weybridge with 16 riders and the hope that Tuesday’s torrential rain stayed away. Heading north via Chertsey and the Thames-side path towards Staines, once past Staines station, we picked up a path that runs alongside the reservoir, and popped us out a few miles later in Stanwell Moor. The path is clearly used sparsely as evidenced by its bumpy surface, muddy patches and overgrown bushes, but is an interesting alternative to the busy road on the other side of the reservoir.

Taking the cycle path underneath the M25 we quickly passed through Poyle and Colnbrook and crossed the A4 and headed up through Iver and into Langley Country Park. Here we briefly stopped for a look at the film set built in the park by nearby Pinewood Studios for the filming of "The Voyage of Dr. Doolittle" staring Robert Downey Jr. It was here that we also realised that we had lost one of our riders when he stopped off for a sneaky comfort break and the peloton moved on without him…silly boy should have told someone !! (Yes, that’s you Neil !!).

If you look carefully you can see piles of beer barrels,
such was our thirst
Quick progress was made on Black Park Road up through Fulmer and around Stoke Common to bring us to the White Horse at Hedgerley a few minutes after 1pm. Lunch was quickly ordered, but took longer to arrive, but was eventually worth the wait, and allowed our errant ride colleague to catch up and still enjoy a late lunch. We were later leaving for the return journey than was ideal at 2.20pm, however, a swift route through Stoke Poges and Slough quickly allowed us to pick up the Jubilee River path and then on through Upton Court Park into Wraysbury. A straight road through Staines, Laleham and Shepperton enabled us to arrive at our tea destination the Riverhouse Barn cafe in Walton bang on 4pm.   
42 miles were covered from 11’s to tea, with very little climbing to talk of…..if you forget the short but very steep hill immediately after lunch !! A mixture of off-road tracks, tow-paths, cycle routes, parkland and some gravel broke up the odd sections of road on the way out, but the return was almost entirely on road (almost…but not quite!).

Thanks to all those came along for the adventure, all who marked corners and to Steve Lloyd for back-marking.

~ Dave Bartholomew

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

B's to Dinton Pastures

I arrived early, around 9.55, to the Nibbles cafe Datchet and in dribs and drabs 15 assembled by train or bike. We never managed to set off until 11.15 as Grant arrived late having punctured.

The Sun never raised it's head and there was a slight chill in the air but just nice for cycling. Through Windsor , Clewer, Oakley Green, Stud Green, Waltham St Lawrence and the edge of Twyford and onto Hurst and a group photo outside the Castle Inn which has a CTC plaque mounted on the wall outside, see photo. We managed a good pace and arrived at Dinton dead on 1.00pm for lunch at the Dragonfly cafe. We all sat inside and the service was excellent and we managed to leave dead on 2.00pm.

Lots of nice country lanes for our journey back to Windsor Great park, by now the temperature has risen sufficiently to remove a layer of clothing. All enjoyed the decent of Crimp hill and onto tea at Windsor farm shop. Some had already headed home once we reached Old Windsor. Most had cake! And enjoyed a chat before heading different ways home. I lead few back to Datchet to catch a train back. I headed East through back roads home. A very pleasant day on the bike and 71 miles door to door.

Thank you all for your company and to Terry for back marking.

 A good day out.

Easy Riders Weds 30 May 2018

A dull and dunk start but not actually raining, and Ed, Bernard P, Frank, Sandy, Brian, John B, Don and I set off for Brooklands via various paths and backwaters.  After pausing for a photo stop at the Concorde model which used to grace the main entrance to Heathrow we continued through Byfleet then took Muddy Lane (which was anything but).   Wet stinging nettles proved more of a difficulty than the various gates and barriers, but we were able to complete our passage without being intercepted by any local residents!  Emerging at Wisley church we were now just round the corner from The Anchor, our lunch stop.  Suitably refreshed, we crossed the canal and headed for West Byfleet, then picked up the towpath to Scotland Bridge.   We took back streets to New Haw, then bypassed Addlestone by taking the footbridge at Coxes Lock to end up at Weybridge then followed the river to Walton where we went our various ways.   By now, rather belatedly, the weather was starting to brighten up and it was becoming rather warm.  Better late than never!   Thanks all for your company and for enduring the nettles, and thanks to John B for back-marking!

CTC sign at Hurst

B's nearly at lunch.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Easy Riders - Weds 30 May 2018

Depending on the weather being reasonably dry, Wednesday's Easy Riders lunch destination will be
The Anchor at Pyrford Lock,  about five miles as the crow flies from elevenses.   Tea at Walton or Hampton Court (or even Sunbury) as preferred.    Let's hope the forecast of overnight rain clearing early to leave a largely dry day proves correct!

David W(ard)

Monday, May 28, 2018

Very Sad News - Donald Clarke

Some more very sad news I'm afraid.   Donald Clarke has been (uncharacteristically) unwell since earlier this year, although he has, very bravely, put in some appearances at recent elevenses meets.    Probably we weren't aware of quite how unwell and quite how unlike the Donald we knew he had become.  Sadly, Lena Clarke tells me he passed away at the weekend.

More details to follow.

Sunday, May 27, 2018

B's Wednesday the 30th

This is a train assisted ride starting at Nibbles cafe for 11's right outside Datchet station.. Lunch will be at Dinton Pastures country park. The ride will finish back at Datchet station and is a round trip of about 40 miles on mainly very lightly undulating countryside roads.

An easy  summer 40 miler.


A Group Ride to Horley - 23 May

With a large number of the usual suspects away in Majorca, there were just nine of us to enjoy a leisurely tour of the lanes in the sunshine.

Punchbowl Lane, Root Hill and Dawes Green were soon passed as we headed for Lonesome Lane (although increasing less lonesome as all the new houses are being built at Meath Green). After skirting Horley and Smallfield we rode past Copthorne School before joining the busier roads.

Just quick blast down the A264 before turning off for Copthorne and heading for Shipley Bridge. After a bit of deer avoidance it was on to The Jack Fairman in Horley for lunch.

After lunch we headed for Charlwood and Russ Hill before turning towards Dorking with thoughts of tea. Concern was expressed that the B's may have eaten all the cake at Denbies so we rode on to Pilgrim Cycles in Westhumble where tea was taken and their wide selection of bikes examined and discussed.

Thanks to all for a fine day out and to Pete for duties at the back.

Friday, May 25, 2018

Mallorca - Soller Septopus Plus

Nice day out for an old man - never far from a cafe. Loosely based on the Leith Hill Octopus.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

C group ride to Watermill Inn, Dorking

A gorgeous day for a leisurely ride.  Just six of us departed North Cheam shortly after 9.30, heading for coffee at Leatherhead. (Though Godfrey was spotted on his way to Dorking, having made an earlier departure). It was a bit parky setting out, overcast with a cold north wind but once we were on our way we soon warmed up, lead by Lynda through Ewell, Epsom via Ashtead Park on our well used route to the Fairfield Centre.

Lunch at the Watermill. Near table left to right Sonia, Lynda,Frank, Liz, Gillian; far table left to right Sandie, Helen, John B.
  Thanks to Don Elms for photo.

Nine set off after coffee, at around 11.30; by 12 o'clock we were the first customers to arrive at the Watermill!  The doors opened shortly after we'd all locked our bikes and chosen our tables on the lovely terrace garden, looking up towards Box Hill.  Service was good and food and drink reasonably priced for such a lovely location.

After lunch the group divided; Liz lead Frank, Sandie and Helen via Juniper Hill and Headley Road, while Lynda and the others headed back via Leatherhead along the A24.  Five of us met for tea at Chad's in Manor Green Road, Epsom.

A lovely day out.  Many thanks all for good company and fun.

Happy birthday Ron Witten


Today is Ron Witten's 85th birthday, and all his friends from SW London CTC wish him a very special day.  Ron's family hosted a lovely tea party earlier this month, bringing together family and friends to celebrate at his son's beautiful house and garden near Leigh.  A very happy occasion, with delicious home made cakes and sandwiches. Our resident artist Brian Bent produced a unique commemorative birthday card for Ron.

B Group - 23rd May

17 of us left Dorking, climbed up Punch Bowl Lane and then travelled along the lanes of Surrey through Leigh and onto the outskirts of Horley. Having maintained a good pace, we arrived in Outwood, passed the windmill and on to the pub, the Bell Inn just before one o’clock.

As the weather was so pleasant we sat in the garden enjoying the views, the sun and the good food.

A couple of the group decided to make their own way back and those remaining in the group again took to the lanes via Woodhatch, kept south of Reigate and onto Brockham. We took the track alongside Betchworth Park Golf Club, down Pixham Lane and into Denbies for tea.

A great ride and good company.

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

See you all on my next ride.


By studying the photo above, to fill in the attendance sheet, I noticed that we had a guest clamouring to be part of the B Group celebrity team. And another one peeping out from under the arm of David Cullen, aka Frank Toyo. But strangest of all, in the doorway of the pub, a cyclist in a pink jacket and white helmet who turns out to be a doppelganger of Steph.

~ Tim

A Group 23rd May

Photo Credit - Janice

Monday, May 21, 2018

Notice for B Group ride this Wednesday

Wednesday’s ride will take us to The Bell Inn, in Outwood. The route will take us up Punch Bowl Lane, through Leigh to arrive at the rustic pub for lunch, hopefully the weather will enable us to sit in the garden and admire the beautiful view. Afternoon tea will be at Denbies, the morning is more ups than downs whilst the afternoon is more downs than ups.

About 16 miles to do before lunch, 15 miles to get to tea, so please be ready to leave promptly at 11.00.

The route is mainly on road with some bits of track, but all ridable.

Look forward to seeing you all.


Thursday, May 17, 2018

Wiltshire Gravel

As I mentioned at elevenses yesterday, I was on my way to Bath to take advantage of the good weather.  I went down by train, GWR, and it worked well.  GWR require a bike reservation for all of their long-haul trains, but it can all be done on line and worked without a hitch. The bike gets a ticket, just like Switzerland.  On my train there was a purpose-built bike compartment which took six bikes, and it seemed quite well used along the route.

Up early this morning, a good breakfast then over Poultney Bridge and down Great Poultney Street, which is a pretty good start to a day's cycling.  I rode along the Kennet and Avon to Devizes, part tarmac and part gravel, all scenic.  Then I took some very pretty country lanes before climbing up to the highlands above Salisbury Plain.  Great riding up here - very dusty.

A slight perturbation in my route when this young man told me that I couldn't go the way I had meant to, as there was live firing today.  One of the tanks that were quite nearby let off a flash and a bang, to underline the point, so I changed my route a bit.

Back to the tarmac after a while, quiet lanes again until I picked up the cycleway into Salisbury.  Just missed a train, so there was time for a pint before the next one.  Hydration is very important when it's dusty.

The trains are every half hour at this time of day.  SW Trains, this time.  They insist on reservations at the London end but you can't have one at the other end; it's pot luck.  No problem for me, and helpful station staff showed me where to load the bike.

An hour and twenty minutes later I was back at Clapham Junction.  A very good little tour.


Windsor Megan & Harry

After Elleray Hall I decided to got to Windsor to thank the Windsor's for my wedding invitation but I was mistaken there must be another Morley invited! I was also quite upset to find that the Queen (who was if I recall the patron of the old CTC) had put up a very unfriendly sign at the entrance to the castle. See photo below, not even allowed to walk with the bike - crazy!?
Non the less I carried on into Windsor with still lots of frantic work going on to set up cameras etc. Tried to get myself on TV by positioning myself in front of Queen Victoria's statue but maybe the Pheasant Feather in my hat put the Royal watcher off! Lots of Japanese, Chinese, French etc chose to shoot me though, so who knows maybe I've gone Viral!
Official practice is today but there was some pre-practice as can be seen in the picture below. I have to say it was a freezing cold day hanging around despite my 65 mile round trip on MTB.


Wednesday, May 16, 2018

B Group - 16th May

We had a pleasant surprise at Elevenses with Andy and Sandra Bowskill coming to join us for a cuppa. Less than four weeks ago he had major surgery, and to rebuild his fitness Andy has been going for walks in Bushy Park and in the not too distant future he intends to start riding again, gently at first of course. It was also very nice to have Irene riding with us again. She hasn't forgotten us after all.

Twenty two of us left the Elleray Hall at 11:08 and instead of the customary prologue touring Bushy Park we headed straight down Chestnut Avenue and across the Hampton Court Bridge.

One of the themes of the day was riding on a number of unpaved tracks and roads, starting with the path through Littleworth Common. Next, after skirting around Claygate, was Common Lane, leading on to Holroyd Road to connect with New Road. There were a few squishy bits of mud to negotiate but we all arrived without mishap at Fairoak Lane which we crossed and carried on along The Avenue in Prince’s Coverts. It was only recently that I found out that there are no longer the old locked gates and that via some rather awkward kissing gates we can ride in the Coverts, through to d’Abernon Chase and out on to the Leatherhead Road.

Apparently Prince, later King Leopold I of Belgium lived on the Claremont Estate in the early 19th century and acquired this nearby common land which became known as the Prince’s Coverts. Leopold I shouldn’t be confused with his nasty son Leopold II who achieved fame for his tyranny and appalling atrocities in Africa.

We crossed the Leatherhead Road and headed straight into the trees again, this time riding on the lovely path along the top of Ashtead Common, until Woodcock Corner where we turned south to ride through Epsom Common to emerge in Ashtead. We joined Farm Lane and made for Headley before turning into Slough Lane and Lodgebottom Road where we whizzed downhill all the way to the pub.

We had pre-ordered our food and as a result the service was very efficient. The food there is pretty good and I would look forward to going again. With a bit of time slippage and Theresa getting a puncture we didn’t get to the pub until around 1:30 and allowing for a slightly later arrival of Theresa, and Ed who had gallantly helped her with her puncture, it was not until 2:40 that we got away on the afternoon ride. In anticipation of the steep climb up Ranmore Common Road a number of people made excuses, saying they would rather ride up Box Hill. John Scott had a more acceptable excuse which was that he was going to head for home so that he could go and visit Robin who is now in the Nursing Centre in Chiswick.

So a considerably diminished team zoomed up the hill, unfortunately losing Terry to a puncture. But from the entrance to Denbies the rest of us had a great ride along the top eventually to descend at speed down Crocknorth Road. Thence, via Dirtham Lane and Bookham Common we arrived at Bronte’s for coffee and cake. I still don’t know why the name is spelled like that but at least their coffee is good.

Thank you to John Austin for what was a quite complicated tour of duty as back marker, and to several people who marked corners and did a lot to keep the show rolling. It was jolly cold later in the day, but a good day out all the same, with some unfamiliar paths explored and a hilly challenge to warm us up in the afternoon.

Thanks to Steph for this photo

~ Tim

Robin Johnson further update

I hope that I am not stealing John Scott's thunder but I phoned Robin this evening to find him in good spirits. He had had 3 visitors today including John Scott. He is pleased with his new location in Chiswick.
Could not face the 34 miles to lunch with the "A" group and was put off by the predicted mud by Tim on the "B" ride. So what did I do I went to Windsor, more on that tomorrow!

A Riders to Shackleford

Was it the fear of 30+ miles to lunch or fatigue after last weeks ride to Cambridge that reduced the numbers today? Steve headed home from 11s with a nail embedded in his tyre leave eight of us to head towards lunch. A good pace meant that we arrived at the Cyder House in Shackleford at 1.15pm. A good lunch set us up for the ride home via Albury and Newlands Corner. The group decision to give Ripley a miss meant that our final destination was the excellent Giro Café in Esher. Good to see Pete out again with the As. Thanks to Dave B for back marking. 56.2 miles from 11s to tea, well done all!

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

A Group ride Wednesday 16 May

Prompt start from Teddington heading out towards Tongham and Shackleford for lunch at the Cyder House. 34 miles to lunch but shorter afternoon over Newlands corner to tea at Ripley.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Simon's Coastal Adventure - Episode 6

I'm continuing my ride along the coast again, starting tomorrow at Glasgow.  This year I'll be visiting Ayrshire and Dumfries and Galloway, in the south-west of Scotland.   Flatter than the Highlands, and said by many to be beautiful countryside.   As before I'll publish daily updates on my blog: Simon's Coastal Adventure, so if you like that sort of thing, please do join me electronically.    See you in a couple of weeks.

B Group ride next Wednesday 16th

We will be having lunch at the Stepping Stones pub. They have asked me to preorder our food so please see this two page menu and let me know what you'd like to have for lunch. Please endeavour to let me know by Monday evening. Click to enlarge:

Our morning ride will include quite a few unpaved paths, some of them quite rough in parts, and with the odd patch of mud. Please take it easy and dismount where necessary. Ride safely and maintain a safe distance from the person in front of you.

After lunch at the Stepping Stones we will carry on up Chapel Lane before heading up Ranmore Common Road to the top of the Downs. This is the only real challenge of the day. Afternoon Tea will probably be somewhere like Garsons Farm.

It would be good to get cracking as soon as possible after 11:00.


Thursday, May 10, 2018

Latest news about Robin

Please note this update from Richard who is Robin's godson:

Robin has continued to recover steadily and has now been transferred from the Charing Cross Hospital to Chiswick Nursing Centre. Although steady, his recovery is slow reflecting the seriousness of his infection and operation and his underlying condition, however, he is often in good spirits. He frequently spends two to three hours a day in a wheelchair and is active in communicating by phone, text, and email.

He is in room 2, level 3 of the Chiswick Nursing Centre, Ravenscourt Gardens, London W6 0AE. Telephone 020 8222 7800.

Please pass on this information as you think useful.

Best wishes,


Richard Murphy

The Varsity Ride

The Map

The Stats

And here's a 'fly through', Cheam to Cambridge, that Janice has prepared:

Nine of us at North Cheam, on a fine, sunny morning, tipping off into the rush hour traffic, which we were happily able to escape after a half a mile or so to take quieter routes.  To a greater or lesser extent, we were able to do this all day.

Morden Hall Park, CS7 and then the Island Cafe where another eight Wayfarers were waiting.  We were well served here, by a nice couple who seemed a bit overwhelmed by the unexpected arrival of a second group of cyclists.

At 1045 we set off, immediately into more heavy traffic, passing the Bank of England heading North towards Moorgate before escaping to CS1.

Photo:  Geoff Gregory

This was rather better, taking us smoothly enough through the suburbs, including Stamford Hill, where a number of members of the Jewish community, in traditional garb, reminded us of the diversity which is part of the fabric of London.  

At Tottenham Hale we left CS1 and turned into the Tottenham Marshes Country Park.  This is a huge and sudden change - one moment you are in the London traffic, the next you might be in the country. We took a quiet, tarmac cycleway along the River Lea, crossing locks and eventually leaving the tarmac for our own Strada Bianche, where we raised a satisfying plume of dust.  A bit of entertainment on a cobbled lock ramp, then a short loop away from the river before we took the opportunity to take a look at the Royal Small Arms Factory, in Enfield.

Photo:  Simon Lambourn

From the Napoleonic wars until the nineteen-eighties the weapons of the British Army were made here - it's flats now, and rather handsome they look.

Crossing the river again we went through Gunpowder Park, site of the former Royal Gunpowder Works.  Here we passed a disabled chap in a hand-cranked tricycle.  He waved, and the first group of Wayfarers waved back.  'Nice day for a ride'  we said.  Happily, some of those in the following group were a bit more aware, and noticed that he was waving because he had a mechanical problem with his tricycle.  His tricycle was fixed, a phone was loaned so that he could let his friends know that he would be late, and we were all on our way again.  That's better.

Lunch at the Welsh Harp, a bit of a historical cameo, but we ate well (special commendation for the sausages), and we took the opportunity to see King Harold's memorial stone.

Photo:  Simon Lambourn

The traditional picture at the Abbey (no pub, see?) and then we were back to the river.

The story of the Essex Alps was not widely believed, but they were there.  Small, but rather elegant, with more hairpin bends than Box Hill.  I've always felt that Essex has been underrated as an Alpine county.  

We began to climb a little after this, coming out of the Lea Valley and up on to the higher plains.  Once up, the country undulates, and it's possible to build and hold a good pace.  We did this, and rolled into tea at Puckeridge in very good time.  We were made very welcome, and were able to relax and refresh ourselves.  Decision time, here.  Some had purchased tickets for the 1821 train from Cambridge at an advantageous price and were keen to use them; some had purchased tickets for the 1821 train and did not care whether they used them or not, and some did not care what time they arrived in Cambridge while there was still tea to be had.

Photo:  Geoff Gregory

So we split into the 1821 group and the others, and all of us rode fast across the rolling plains towards Cambridge.  It's a splendid piece of country for a bicycle, with good roads, good views, pretty villages and little traffic.  

The last few miles is an excellent route across Trumpington Meadows and along the Granta.  The advance party was at the Mill in good time, and got their train but missed their beer, Irene and Mick were there to meet us and the rest of the group turned up soon after and made up for the beer shortfall of their clubmates.

Photo:  Simon Lambourn

You may notice that there is a chap in the corner paying close attention to a pie ...

A great ride on a great day.  We're a strong group that, once again, put on a good show in a wide variety of terrain and traffic conditions.  Special thanks to Mike for his perennially solid back marking, to everyone who acts, often unbidden, as a corner marker to keep the ride flowing, and to Simon, Geoff and Janice for photographs and videos.

It's a privilege to be part of the Wayfarers.


Wednesday, May 09, 2018

B Group - 9th May

It was a funny old day!

Riverside Refreshments

Twenty riders gathered at New Haw Day Centre which I thought was a pretty good turn out, but it was not such a surprise for the weather forecast was certainly in our favour. 

We joined the Basingstoke Canal at West Byfeet via a few 'off the beat' residential roads.  We stayed on the towpath as far as Hermitage Road to take the cycle path along Redding Way into Knaphill.  From here we were on lanes, skirting Chobham and West End  to our lunch stop at The Sun, Windlesham where we sat in the garden, eating, drinking, chatting!!  The food was good and I certainly enjoyed my Timothy Taylor ale. Good to see that Sue also enjoys a  pint!

Our return was across the new Woodlands Lane bridge to Valley End, Burrow Hill, passed the Red Lion pub into Gracious Ponds Road where we stopped just before exiting into Stonehill.  You will see the posting by Tony re the plaque that we stopped to view - which has been removed - I hope by the club that the cyclist, who's memorial it is, cycled with.

We reached Shepperton Lock in good time to enjoy tea and cakes and ice cream where nobody was in a rush to get away. 

We had the pleasure of being joined by Ken Day, who needed to be home reasonably early,  and Peter Betts, who was banned from the A ride!!!!   Great to see you looking so well Peter :) 

Thank you all so much for joining me.  Hardly a strenuous ride but turned out to be pretty apt for the weather.  It gave us a chance to admire and enjoy the scenery along the canal and lanes, so many beautiful flowers now appearing.

My thanks to all who cornered, took photos...oh yes...and attended to Tony's knee when his bike threw him whilst stationary!!   I hope it's not too sore......

Happy cycling

Pam :) :)

The blue line shows the Basingstoke Canal

B Group with the sun in front of them and The Sun behind them

Plaque to a Cyclist

Pams B group ride came back via Gracious Pond road and past Fishpool car park on Chobham common. For years there has been a plaque to a cyclist nailed high up in a tree at this spot. A few weeks ago it had fallen down and today was missing altogether. Vic has contacted Clarence Wheelers, the dead cyclists old club and they are going to replace it.

The Plaque reads:

The Ashes of Alf Whitewey were scattered here on Sunday the 5th December 1993 by members of Clarence Wheelers cycling club and their friends.

Tony.. p.s, a great ride today and great weather.