Saturday, June 30, 2018

Seeking Guinea Pig for cycling dates

I'm looking for someone to test the instructions to add the Sou'Westers rides calendar to the calendar on your Android phone.   Once a few people have proved it's straightforward, I'll publish the instructions.   RSVP if you'd like to help.  iPhone after that.

Don Clarke

Another member who will be sorely missed:

Down to Winchester

On Wednesday, I piggy-backed on Mike's Winchester ride to do a route that I've been working on for a while - I first wrote about it in November 2016.  The plan was to start at Epsom Downs and to ride along the edge of the North Downs to Farnham, before following Simon's route to Winchester.  Due to issues with the Southern Railway I eventually started at Leatherhead, but the bit I missed I know well, so it didn't matter much.

The trackway parts are ancient, some stretches evidently a drove road, and the surface is fine at this time of the year.  Along to Guildford, up The Mount, and on to Farnham via Seale.

Hop Garden near Puttenham

Hans and I arrived at the pub at about the same time, and had a chat in the garden waiting for the others.

After lunch, I rode with Mike's group as far as New Alresford, where the party divided into those who wanted tea and those who had trains to catch.  I had a good run with the railway enthusiasts along the end of the Itchen Valley, sweeping in to Alfred's Saxon capital on a warm summer's evening.

There was just time for a beer in the sunny square by the Norman Cathedral before taking my train home with traveller's tales to tell over supper.

GPX available for anyone interested - ride it while it's hot!


Thursday, June 28, 2018

Dieppe Sou'Westers Triumph again

We won and Terry who received the Challenge Neville Chanin trophy asked me to carry it back to England, which I duly did in the magnificent brown bag I won. However when mentioning this to Tim C at Don's wake he said OH!, we normally leave it with Isabelle to keep in in a cabinet at the La Plage for safe keeping until next year. It is apparently the real thing not a replica and is kept in perpetuity. So sorry someone will have to take it all the way back in 2019 for the 47 year celebration.

Meanwhile I decided that we should at least show it on the blog and in order to do so put it along side some of my old antiques as can be seen on the picture below. I will send an email to Isabelle in case she is any way upset or alarmed. Meanwhile I will get the Trophy to Terry for safe keeping and no doubt he can share it around throughout the year so that the Brasso work is also shared.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

David Jackson - Ride London


You may or may not know that I am cycling the Prudential Ride London 100 on 29th July; I’m raising money for the Spinal Injuries Association, an organization which supported our son Matthew when he was at Stoke Mandeville Spinal Unit in 2017, as a result of him being stabbed whilst delivering pizza.

If you could, please sponsor me on the ride, no matter how much, the funds are being collected through the Virgin Money Giving web site, my just giving page is:

Thanks for all your support, it is really appreciated.

David Jackson

Dieppe Raid lunch Stop

Dieppe Raid

Well everyone I thought it was quite rude to refer to the new C&M snorers but I do sympathies with all those that needed to sleep on the ferry to Newhaven but then to ride home is incredible!
Francis dropped by this morning to pick up her bag that lightened her journey and left me with a nice bottle of red. Toni de and I had a quite difficult journey home and we missed our 16.05 ferry at Calais but P&O put us on the 17.25 @ no extra cost, well done them. What amazed me was that as we drove along the M20 the outside temperature was 27 deg.C, much warmer than it had been all weekend in Dieppe. Though I was quite deflated not to win the MTB, I was sure that my number 44 was certainly the winner, it was great to see the young wiper snapper proudly walk of with mum and the bike.
I took and number of photo's but the light was not quite right for my old Sony but never the less it was great to see Terry collect the trophy for most attendance of the Sou'Westers.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

B Group - 27th June

We are going to the White Hart at Pirbright for lunch using a significant part of the Basingstoke canal - shady in view of the continuing hot weather - leaving it at Brookwood. In the afternoon the intention is to take bridle ways and cycle paths round and through Guildford on the way to Squires GC at West Horsely.

Peter T

Waiting for the ferry home.

Monday, June 25, 2018

B Group - 20th June

We set out from Redhill with the promise / warning of an undulating ride. There was some discussion within the nine strong peloton about the leader’s interpretation of the word undulating, although if it had been seriously hilly the B riders would not have had surplus breath to discuss such matters!

After a pleasant country ride we reached our destination to find our way into the pub car park blocked by a duck with her large group of ducklings heading across our route to a nearby pond. Several cyclists abandoned their bikes and went in chase with their mob phone / camera.

After lunch we set off for a flatter ride back in the pleasant sunshine to the bike cafe in Reigate, although three of us then had little option but to ride up Reigate Hill on our way home.

Thank you to Tim G for back marking and for the eight riders who made up our group for the day.


A group ride, Wed 27th June

Given the wonderful weather forecast (lots of sun plus a gently easterly breeze to help us on our way) I am planning a one-way ride to Winchester this Wednesday. It's just over 50 miles from our start point at Walton to Winchester rail station, and it's a very flat ride with only ~1800feet of climbing.  The plan is to visit the "Bat & Ball" pub (just south-west of Farnham) for lunch, and probably somewhere in or near Winchester for tea. There are lots of train options back from Winchester to wherever you need to get home to.

Here is the "Summer Baps" menu (I'll take orders in the morning and phone them through)

...or for those with bigger appetites (and deeper pockets) here is the full menu:

UPDATE  (after the recce ride):
1. It's 2700ft of climbing, not 1800ft, sorry! There are a few hillocks towards the end of the ride.
2. Hans will lead a group homewards (Walton direction) after lunch for anybody who has commitments in the evening.
3. I've "upgraded" my route to Simon's 2015 route because Simon's is much better!

The Ferry home

3 new members of Cheam & Snorden.

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Afternoon Tea

Or the calm before the storm :-)

Welcome return

Nice to see Tony D back with the group.

Saturday morning Dieppe ride

Second group ready for the off

Friday, June 22, 2018

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Where to next

Probably a bar.

Sun at last

A very windy Berck plage

A Group Ride from Redhill, 20th June.

I hope the bureaucrats at Cycling UK haven't plans to replace the historic 'winged-wheel' plaques on 'Cyclists Welcome' hostelries with bland new logos: the one at the Fountain Inn, Cowden - our destination for lunch, is a splendid example of many found around the country exploiting our touring heritage. (Photo by Janice).

Leaving 3 As behind at Redhill, but joined with new rider Alistair - (welcome Alistair!), 18 left for the shortish 18mile ride to Cowden. A sharp climb on Philanthropic Road got the legs working, and the rest of the outward trip via Outwood, Horne, Lingfield and Dormansland was easy rolling. Furnace Lane, just before Cowden, follows lakes and the Kent Water, was full of bird-song, with our progress only slightly disrupted having to walk through unforeseen road works.

Dave (W) departed, but we were joined by Geoffrey for our pre-ordered lunches in the lovely beer garden at the Fountain Inn. (Cowden is an interesting location, where the 3 counties of Kent, Surrey, and East Sussex all meet).

Our 26mile ride to tea at Banstead was interrupted by Dave's double puncture at Chat Hill, just before the climb up Tilburstowhill. Also with Hans's rubbing disc. However this gave the opportunity for the group to recover at the viewpoint after the climb - with Mike perhaps regretting his lunchtime pint of Harvey's! (Photo by Simon).

The short off-road section between Bletchingly and Merstham picks-up SUSTANS 21, Greenwich to Gatwick route, and like most of these routes is only good in parts. However it got us over the M25/M23 junction and on our way to Gatton Bottom and the climb up Markedge Lane. Avoiding the roadworks in Hazelwood Lane we arrived in Banstead just before 5.00pm - unfortunately too late for Pistachios Cafe. However, on Frances's recommendation, 12 of us made for Cafe Italia, where we were made very welcome.

Thanks to Mike (B) - as always, for back-marking, and for all corner-markers. (The only mishap was the very last corner into Banstead High Street, where without a marker, Mike took Hans and Steve on a detour before tea).

And finally, it looks like I'm trying to strangle Janice, but as Mike (R) has captioned his photo with "Would you mind holding these for me for a minute", I would never do such a thing. Thanks Mike!

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Congratulations to Paul James

Paul may I say I feel that you have got off to a flying start with what I judge to be your first Solo. I like your style and interesting comments, keep it up. Only 3 more years to go as a minimum. Tomorrow is the longest day so may I suggest to all your readers not to start the SAD Syndrome just yet, we have the Dieppe Raid this weekend and the Birthday Rides in August so plenty to look forward to and of course the Hilly 50 on Saturday 8 Sept. Here's to a long hot summer!

A Group 20th June

Grey at first, but sunny and warm later, for Ged's ride into Kent.  The map's not quite right - I turned off at Woodmansterne, but I kept the timer running until the Oaks, so the distance should be near enough.

A good, pacy day out.


Lunch at Le Crotoy

Seafood in the Sun(at last).

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Touring is such hard work

Leffe none in the glass!

On the way to the gite

Hills and headwind.

Ray Dare - van driver sentencing and judge's comments

A good(?) article on the VTTA facebook page (you should be able to look at it without a Facebook signon.   We miss you Ray...

Here is the text, as I understand the link doesn't work for some.

Almost a year ago, 91 year old Ray Dare of the Kingston Phoenix Road Club was killed as he approached the finishing line of the Group’s 10 mile event. On 15 June, the defendant was found guilty and sentenced to 24 weeks imprisonment suspended for two years, ordered to do 200 hours of Community Service, and to undergo Restorative justice (when he speaks to the victim’s family under supervision of the police liaison officer if they wish to speak to him). He was also disqualified from driving for 18 months
The judge asked to be assured that Ray Dare’s family understood the difference between this offence and the more serious offence of causing death by dangerous driving and noted that Ray Dare’s family had written to the court saying they did not wish “two families” lives to be wrecked by the incident. The Judge praised Ray Dare’s family for taking such an attitude and said they were obviously an exceptional and very decent family although he would decide the sentence himself based on all the circumstances.
The Judge took account of the Defendant’s early plea of guilty, his genuine remorse and the fact that he was unlikely to commit any similar offence again. He had been a professional driver for many years and knew the area. The Judge stated that as a local judge with a family of cyclists, he was personally aware that the A41 was regularly used for such cycling events and they were invariably well signed and marshalled and that on the evidence that was the case on the day of the event in July 2017. Other witnesses had seen signs and marshals and the Judge said that he was “astonished” that the Defendant, when interviewed in August, said he had not seen any signs or marshals despite having driven both ways on the dual carriageway. The Defendant was seen by other drivers to pass at least one other rider just before the collision and he claimed he had seen Ray Dare ahead of him when he was close to the “rumble strip” but had failed to pull out. Other witnesses spoke of Ray Dare riding well and steadily. The point of impact was calculated by an expert as occurring approximately two metres from the edge of the carriageway. The van driven by the Defendant had struck the rider almost in the centre of the vehicle so the Defendant had not moved out to allow room to pass the cyclist. The bicycle had been trapped under the front of the vehicle which pulled off and stopped in a layby, Ray Dare was thrown up onto the windscreen and over the vehicle. Despite immediate assistance he died at the scene.

Monday, June 18, 2018

A Group - 20th June from Redhill

We'll be heading to The Fountain Inn, Cowden, for lunch, and for tea in Banstead: 45miles from elevenses to tea, with a short off-road section around Merstham, but nice and dry.

The Fountain has asked us to pre-order lunch, so I'll be round taking orders at Redhill.

Last chance to get some kilometres in your legs before Dieppe!

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Dieppe info

Sorry for the long post, but three things:
1.  Final info from Caroline Street that you may not have seen
2.  Dieppe meal registration - Can you help?
3.  50k Saturday ride

1. Dieppe Raid - Final info for 2018

This email was sent by Caroline to all but it was rejected by many mail servers such as anyone on

Hello everyone
I'm pleased to let you know that the Information Sheet, Routes and list of entrants are now all available from the news page of the website -
Riders are listed within their selected distances by club and then name. Thus, if you don't find your name in the distance you thought you had entered, you may find you entered a different distance (or entered using a different club name), so just check through the list carefully, or search for your name instead.
No further entries will be taken apart from late entries who will need to enter on the day; any late entries of this type will be excluded from the awards presentation.
With regard to the meal, sadly, after 3 years, Alex and Alan are standing down from the organisation of this part of the weekend. This year, they will be organising seating and registration of diners but will then leave. Thus, we really need a volunteer to oversee the meal once they have left. Perhaps one of the larger clubs who attend would be able to offer their assistance? Please let me know asap if you would be willing to help. Alex and Alan’s contribution to the event over the last few years has been greatly appreciated. As a few people have now dropped out from the meal, there are some places available, I have 3 people on my list who I know I need to contact as they expressed an interest on their application. Drop me an email by tomorrow evening (Friday) if you may like to be considered for a place.
Finally, I'm looking forward to seeing you all in Dieppe. Hopefully we'll have some good weather again this year.

2.  Dieppe meal registration - can you help?

We have for many years been the largest group attending the Raid, and the largest number at the meal.   In the email above, Caroline is asking for help with pre-meal signing on and it would be great if we could offer to help.  Is there anyone, or a few people who might be prepared to help with this please?

3.  50k Saturday ride

So far there is no official Saturday ride being offered, so I propose that we organise a 50k ride of our own.  I have planned (but not ridden) a 40 mile route that heads west along the coast.  (right-click and choose "Save Link As..." to download it). There is also a 50 mile option, courtesy of another Dieppe Raider, Adrian Windo.  No guarantees about coffee or lunch stops but it is Saturday so who knows, somewhere might be open.  If we meet at Hotel de la Plage at 10.30 we can organise groups by distance and speed.

Dieppe 140k Route

I've done a gpx for the 140k route.  No warranty implied or given, but you can download it from


Saturday, June 16, 2018

B ride from Redhill - Wednesday 20th

We shall cycle in a south easterly direction, following a meandering route to Lunch near East Grinstead and will then return for Tea in Reigate. About 40 miles in total, quite undulating but no classified climbs.

~ John Austin

Friday, June 15, 2018

Sussex Gravel

The other evening, Maggie had a gang of girlfriends round to supper.  I gave some thought to the best contribution that I could make to the festivities, and decided that being Out Of The House was favourite.  I'd planned a ride on the South Downs a while ago, when I rode Streat Bostal, and it looked like a good fit for a June evening.  So I drove down to Ditching Beacon, and parked the car at the top.

The route takes the South Downs Way to the top of Streat Bostal, then goes South towards Falmer, gravel all the way.  There's a good cycle bridge over the A27, then a good gravel track up to Woodingdean, where a sharp turn on to Drove Road takes you up on to the Downs again.

This is a ridge route, so good views all the way, with the Seven Sisters becoming visible after a while.  Down to the Abergavenny Arms at Rodmell, a bustling pub where I enjoyed a good supper. It's a couple of easy miles to Lewes from here, but I chose a longer way through Southease to try the Egrets Way, a new Sustrans route.  It started well, but ended abruptly at a gate after a mile or so.  A sign explained that the track from this point wasn't surfaced, 'at the request of the landowner'.  The landowner appears to be DEFRA, and the 'track' appears to be some sort of European set-aside scheme, oddly called 'Paths for Communities'.  There is no path at all, it's a field, with cows in it.  Someone at Sustrans must have rocks in their head.

I lifted the bike up on to the levee alongside the Ouse and rode along the footpath to Lewes.  It's not that great a ride, but it is passable.

Through the town, then up towards Mount Harry. This was the only slightly awkward bit of the whole ride.  There were grooves in the surface about a foot deep.  You couldn't quite ride between them, and if you rode in them your pedals caught the edge every now and then, which was a bit unsettling.  After a few hundred yards it opened out again, and the rest of the route was good chalky trackway.

I met a chap here pushing an electric mountain bike.  Something was obviously wrong, and I asked if he was OK.  He seemed very downhearted, and didn't reply.  Fair enough, I thought, and rode on.

Back at the car by dusk, and home as Maggie's guests were leaving, so everyone was happy.

A very good ride for a dry evening, just over twenty miles, and there are plenty of options to extend it for a longer day.  I used my Boardman, but the surface is all pretty good so you could ride it on anything that wasn't actually a race bike.  Recommended.


News about Robin from John Scott

Dear All,

I visited Robin yesterday in the centre in Chiswick. Previously he had been taken back to Charing X for tests and the consultant had said that his progress was satisfactory (whatever that means). He still has an open wound in the abdominal region which is taking a very long time to heal. He was asleep when I walked in to his room: I suspect that was due to depression and boredom. All the time I was there (about one hour) he kept closing eyes whilst he was speaking. Our conversation was of a general nature and he was lucid throughout. An annoying issue with him was the fact that he had ordered a wheelchair paid for out of his own finances. It had arrived the day before and was still boxed up in the corner of his room being unable to be used. He had spoken with the staff in an attempt to have it unpacked and assembled so that he would be able to visit the common room and join in with the others in the centre but so far nothing had happened. I tried to help by speaking with the staff on the main desk and had been told that there was a chance that it would be unpacked and assembled the next day (vis Today). Perhaps he should have paid for assembly as well as delivery but I do not know the terms on which it was purchased. All not very satisfactory.

He still has a number of visitors and appears to be receiving various communications from his professional institutions (IET etc) although he was talking about terminating his various memberships on the basis that life from now on will be completely different for him. Not a good prospect.

However, he was hopeful that at some point in the future he may be able to drive, boarding and alighting from the vehicle using wheelchair and other aides. I hope this would be possible for him.

That's the gist so far. He sends his best regards to all of his friends in the cycle fraternity and I conveyed yours to him.

Kind regards,

John Scott      

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Shoreham Century Ride Report

As I write this on Thursday morning it’s windy and raining. So I really appreciate what a wonderful day’s cycling we enjoyed on Wednesday. A temperature of just about 20 and a slight headwind on the outward leg kept us cool. A freshening tailwind made us feel like we were flying on the return, except on the occasional hill.

Some 21 riders left Tanhouse, a Shoreham record, and a good third of them normally B Group members which is a tribute to the lasting appeal of this quite challenging ride. It took us just over 2 ½ hours for the 30 miles to Shoreham. The only mishap was that my left crank fell off, requiring immediate action, as a result of which your “leader” was the last man in.

Lunch was at the Bridge Inn on the terrace, where some of us basked in the sun, while hardier riders chose their seating more exposed to the freshening wind. Unfortunately the pub had run out of bread for sandwiches, but most of us found a reasonable alternative. 

We were on the road before 3pm, taking a scenic diversion round Shoreham harbour to discover that most of the boats appeared not to have moved since last year. 

On previous rides the return trip has found us in low spirits, so Mark most generously offered to ride ahead to Partridge Green to buy up all the ice creams in the village store and thus revive our morale. Unfortunately the shop freezer was broken, so no ice cream this year. 

Helped by the tailwind we completed the 22 miles to Horsham just after 5pm for a tea break, in preparation for the chicken run across the busy A264 and the by now unwelcome climb of Old Holbrook up to Rusper. By now it felt as if home was in sight, so we made the run to Leatherhead by 7.20pm.

Riders had left the party at various points either to take the train or to ride straight home, so only some half dozen of us remained to celebrate with a drink in Leatherhead ‘Spoons. 71 miles from Tanhouse, 13.1mph, notably faster in the afternoon even on tired legs, 3000 calories.

Most thanks go to Geoff for such professional and patient back marking, to all who corner marked, especially Janice and Mark, and to all rider for being such a lovely bunch of people.Thanks also to Geoff and Tim for photos, Mark for maps & stats & Janice for video.

I should also mention that Angie had wanted to join us but had a prior engagement, and sends her best wishes to all.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

The Shoreham Century

Here are the Map, the Stats and a Video Fly-Though from Janice.  A great day out, good weather, and a tailwind home.  Who could ask for more?

Click on link for video:


B Group Alternative Ride

Tanhouse farm being a tad further than some of us like to venture especially when lunch is even further South, an alternative ride was conspired.

So 11 deserters met at Squires Upper Haliford and enjoyed tea/coffee in the Sun before departing Westward for lunch at the Anglers cafe, Cranbourne, only one had other chores to attend to and headed home. A few hills and 20 miles later we arrived, with only one being misplaced and arriving 10 minutes later. I only discovered the Anglers cafe a couple of weeks ago and what a great little find it is! The food ranges from sausage sandwiches to Liver and Bacon, as sampled by Vic, with plenty of homemade cakes! It's a mini Henfold only better. Lunch enjoyed again outside in the sun with lake views and the Red Kites whirling overhead.

Off heading towards another new venue for tea at the new Nauticalia cafe at Shepperton lock, through Windsor great park and another few hills and about 18 miles later we sat in the Sun again with tea/coffee and, cake for some.

A really nice day on the bike. Thank you all for your company.


B Group 13th June

From Tanhouse Farm (in lieu of unfinished Henfold - maybe next year?) I led north to Newdigate  then on to Parkgate, collecting Steph en route. Freewheeling down Norwood Hill (remember that from years ago?) we soon arrived in Charlwood (I see the Greyhound has been refurbished and changed its name to The Charlwood). Whilst passing through Ifieldwood we noted the house named The Gate - years ago it was a pub named The Gate. Following a circuitous route via Orltons and Rusper we soon arrived at The Lamb at Lambs Green. Here good food was served quite quickly. My original plan was to have lunch at The Frog and Nightgown near Faygate but when checking it out  they doubted if they could cope with our numbers in a reasonable timescale. A pity - it's a unique pub worth a visit - but - by tradition they don't serve food on Sunday lunchtimes.

Leaving Ian at The Lamb a shorter route to 3s was planned - especially since we were warned part of Partridge Lane was closed. Cyclists can normally get  through, though, can't they? That proved to be the case - one elderly bricklayer was rebuilding part of a bridge over a stream. We pressed on to Parkgate then Brockham, arriving at the new Southdown cafe well before closing time of 1600 to find they now don't open on Wednesdays ! A brief discussion, Steph and Julian decided against a tea stop, Tim one, Tim too and John joined me in visiting the newish cyclists' cafe, The Musette in Dorking, after which we went our separate ways.

A wonderful day for cycling, thanks to all for company and Tim one for tec.


B Group - 13th June (map and photo)

It should have been 3.85 miles to the pub from Tanhouse Farm but oh no, Terry had other ideas.

~ Tim

Tuesday, June 12, 2018


Van Nicholas model Yukon frame size 50cm Serial No. S1402134

Stolen on 3rd June between 12.30 and 13.30 in Kingston across the road from TK Max John Lewis side. Police and Bike Register informed.

Please contact Cliff or Maureen if you come across any information regarding this bike.

Monday, June 11, 2018

B Group 13th June

Contrary to the current SouWester programme, since Henfold has not yet re-opened, elevenses will be at Tanhouse Farm OS187 GR 199407. I have a slightly circuitous route to The Lamb at Lamb's Green for lunch with  tea at the new Southdown cafe at Brockham.


Beryl Dare and Ray's Bike & Bits

I set off on Sunday morning to join C&M at Ripley but got lost, so instead I called in to see Beryl. She was very pleased to see me and looked well and clearly coming to terms over Ray. It's almost a year now. She said that the van driver has been prosecuted for driving without due care but no reason or explanation given for what he did. He is being sentenced in the Crown Court.

Beryl would love to get rid of all Ray's bikes etc that are in the garage and bike shed. They are of course quite old and of a small size. I will post some photos below which I took on Sunday. I did explain to Beryl that price expectation should be very low and I am not sure of the best way to dispose. Anyone however is more than welcome to have a look at them and all the bits, like tyres, tubulars, lights, seat bags, pumps, MTB bar end extensions, wheels mudguards, tools, you name it Ray had it. If anyone is interested and to save Beryl being overwhelmed if she doesn't know you let me know and we can visit her. Her family in Sothampton have taken two of the better bikes.
Yesterday we disposed of lots of feed bottles from KPRC etc that were hanging in a large plastic bag.

Beryl showed me a framed picture collage which will be presented to her at Jake/Garry

BBQ on Sat 23 June while many of us will be on the Dieppe Raid.