Tuesday, July 31, 2018

B Group Ride, 1st August, from Cobham

A not very original route to The Royal Oak at Wood Street Village - however we will be doing some of my route through Guildford from a few weeks ago but this time in reverse. Tea will be in Addlestone at the Garden Centre. The will be some off-road.

David’s Ride London

Just to say thanks to all those Wayfarers that I haven’t seen to say thank you for the sponsorship for the Ride 100 on Sunday. The charity, the Spinal Injury Association were overjoyed with the amount we raised, over £1000.00, as am I, it all goes to a very worthy cause.

Jennie and I were very pleased with the ride, terrible weather with the rain and the winds but Jennie and I cycled the whole thing together.

We went up the three climbs which loads of others didn't, so we heard, due to accidents, there were far too many ambulances on that course! Also, I've never seen so many people have punctures, hundreds!

I really enjoyed cycling back into London on traffic free roads through parts I knew from childhood, coming out was OK but East London is not the most scenic of areas

Here is a photo of Jennie and me at the finish.

David Jackson

A Group Ride, 1st August, from Cobham

We'll be following familiar routes to lunch at The Scarlett Arms, Walliswood, and tea at the new Coffee Active in Ashstead.
A bit of rough-stuff over Great Bookham and Ranmore Commons - your gravel bike would come in handy - but almost 100% rideable for others.
For those Prudential Ride Londoners left disappointed missing out Leith Hill and/or Box Hill, don't worry, I've included a nice climb, in the sunshine, to make-up for your disappointment.

Monday, July 30, 2018

Prudential 100 2018

Well Ged I tried to look at the split times on your link and somehow it would not let me in? Something about clicking on + which I could not find. Any way I would be interested if you could copy and paste to me.
Meanwhile I found it very hard in the wet and what became very cold with all the holdups. Most of all I was appalled as like last year the feed stations had run out of food. I commented to a young helper at 1.30pm Newlands corner and his reply was that he had been there since 7am.
I have never seen so many riders with punctures, Continental Tyres must have been doing a roaring trade, hundreds of inner tubes were left lying in the verges. Thankfully I did not have a puncture.
The best part of the weekend was the signing on on Saturday. I watched the T de F TT on the big screen at EXEL to be led to believe that Froome won only to find out later he lost by 2 ? secs that stage of the TDF.
I listened to pep talks by Martin Johnson and Denise Lewis who both rode on Sunday, Denise doing the 49 mile. See photos below with me in my St. Raphael's top but last years number on my helmet.
Maybe I was fortunate I did Leith Hill, probably one of the last. Perhaps because of my enforced training on Marks Gravel ride I found Leith Hill less of a challenge than normal perhaps because I was on my own at my own pace, 3.2mph. At Box Hill got diverted strait to Leatherhead. That was also appalling, we did not move for over half an hour shivering in the cold and wet. When I eventually got into the HUB again no food left. I was so disappointing not to do Box Hill as I was really up for it.
Will I do it again for a 6th year, not unless I can get an 8am start which should be possible. Apart from Ged I saw no one en-route or cheering but I did chat to lots of lovely lady participants that kept me going, so good to be among young, fit & like minded people.

Prudential Ride London 2018

Congratulations to the Wayfarers who rode the Prudential Ride London (PRL) on Sunday - and thanks to those who came out to cheer us on our way. (I don't know how long you had stood on corner of Wimbledon Hill, Geoff, but it was nice to recognise a familiar face, and a smile of encouragement before facing the last climb of the day!).

After weeks of glorious sunshine, and now in weather conditions reminiscent of the deluge of 2014, Wayfarers made their way out of the Olympic Park, and on towards a very wet Surrey. Early starters Dave, Janice and Mike probably had the least trouble navigating the course and made very good progress. Later starters had to contend with a number of blockages caused by incidents, sometimes waiting for paramedics to attend casualties. As a consequence the route was altered in a number of locations, including at Abinger Hammer, and at Pasture Wood Road, (after Holmbury Saint Mary), cutting-out Leith Hill, and for later riders at Burford Bridge, cutting-out Box Hill. It will be interesting to hear about Wayfarers differing experiences of alternative routes!

Thankfully, looking at the PRL web Rider Favourites, all made it to the finish line safely. To those who raised money for various charities, well done.

For those interested in times and splits, here's a breakdown. Apologies if I've missed anybody.


Easy Riders - 25 July

Almost the hottest day so far this year and fifteen hardy souls (including two from the 'B's') joined me for elevenses at Coffee Active, the successor to Bike Beans.  The cafe was very slightly overwhelmed by the influx of so many Easy Riders in quick succession, but quickly recovered!  Service was efficient and friendly and quality and choice good, but it was reckoned by some that prices may have slightly increased.   Overall, a good verdict!   We left Ashtead by Otways Lane then crept round the back of Leatherhead via Copthorne and Cleve Roads to reach the shade of River Lane.  Then it was the back roads of Fetcham to Bookham Common, Little Bookham and lunch at The Plough, Effingham.   For once most deemed the garden of the pub too hot and we sheltered indoors!   The route to tea at Long Ditton featured quite a lot of bone dry (for once), shady tracks - Bookham Common, Downside to Stoke d'Abernon, Oxshott Woods, and New Road, no less!   Thanks to all for your company, to John Bellamy for back-marking, and to various corner markers.

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Prudential Ride London

Go Wayfarers!

Have a great day



....has just reopened. Unfortunately THEY DO NOT HAVE ANY CAKE, at the moment they only seem to cater for people who want meals. They have had other cyclists visit who pointed out this grave error and are going to rectify it. Opening hours 9am - 9pm 7 day week.

Wednesday the 25th July

Another gloriously hot day and a 15 mile cycle for me to get there. Sunny day but too hot for some? I didn't know what to expect in terms of numbers. Well the group slowly started to form as members arrived.

Off through Datchet to Dorney and and the edge of Maidehead then up the short climb to Taplow where Liz and Gill headed South for a shorter ride. Through Burham and skirting the Beeches and the edge of Hedsor to the Hope and Champion in the M40 services (no it's not on the M40). They have a lovely outside area over looking a small lake with loads of outside seating. We decided to eat in the cool inside.

Service was quick but their gas supply to the beer pumps was not working, so no beer! Only bottled.

I had planned the route through some very minor country lanes which meant lots of shade but a few steep climbs. Skirting Hedgerly we headed for Fulmer and down past Pinewood studios, Iver and onto tea at Richings Park Golf club, numbers by now had dwindled as not all wanted to stop for tea. It was hard to leave the comfort of the golf club and head back into the heat.

I lead the remaining group back to Colnbrook where we split and all headed for home. A nice if somewhat hot day on the bike.


Friday, July 27, 2018

Down Again

In the current hot weather I've been waking early, and the other morning I took advantage of the (relative) cool of the day for a ride. Train from East Croydon, breakfast at one of Brighton's many pleasant cafes, then up past the race-course on to the Downs.

The riding is spectacular, and the conditions make it easy.  I mainly followed the South Downs Way, following the ridge with views of Sussex to one side and the sea to the other.  Each bit of ridge drops you down to a valley, so there's a fair bit of climbing.

No problem at first, but more trying as the temperature rose.  Coffee stop at Alfriston, where I was too early for the Smugglers Inn, but the ladies at the nearby cafe were solicitous of a lone cyclist on a hot day, bringing me cold drinks, filling my bottle and sternly warning me to keep hydrated.

Climbing Windover Hill was very hot indeed.  No breeze at all, and the path passed through some chalky hollows that reflected the sun.  My gps showed 38c, and may well have been right.  Time to go home.

Over the top to Eastbourne, next train in five minutes, welcome air-conditioning and home for lunch.  

The Summer of 2018.


Lunch at the top

Always good to get the big hill in before lunch and this is difficult to beat. 75 mile round trip from my Mum's house. Fortunately not as hot as Surrey yesterday .

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Prudential Ride 2018


               Good luck to all the Wayfarers taking part in this years ride, stay safe.


A Group 25th July

We rode from Dorking to Staplefield, via Lambs Green Faygate and Hammer Ponds, on a very hot day. 14 of us set out but unfortunately we lost Mike Morley when he stopped for an unannounced comfort break which was not noticed by our back marker, we made good progress on an uneventful ride to arrive at The Jolly Tanners by 1 o'clock. A good selection of beers and food were available here, but it took a long time to take all of our orders, so we did not get away till about 2:40pm. However, everyone seemed to be happy to have an extended lunch break on such a hot day. After lunch some made their own way back, the remainder of us returned heading East towards Turners Hill then heading North via Copthorne and Smallfield to Redhill Aerodrome. The cafe was just closing when we arrived, but they kindly agreed to serve us. After a welcome break, it was straight back via Merstham, Fanny's Farm and Banstead. Welcome to Pete Beyer for what I think was his first Wayfarers ride.
Thanks to all corner markers and Janice for back marking duties.

 Thanks to Janice you can see a relive video of our ride on the following link


Finally, good luck to all who are riding the Prudential ride London this year.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Youth hostel trip photos

                                          T9 no 30120 at Swanage station
                                                    New Forest ponies
                                                     Winchester b and b                                                                             


Prudential Ride London - 29th July.

At least 11 Wayfarers have signed-up to ride the Prudential Ride London on 29th July: there may be others, but the following are listed on the Prudential Ride London app. You can use the app (iPhone or Android) to enter the riders as your favourites. Enter name, and find their Ride number. Then you can follow their real time progress around the 100 mile course.

So far, the start time for the following riders are known:-

Name                                              Start Time
John Austin                                        -
Dave Bartholomew                             -
Christina Berkley                               8.12
Janice Dawes                                     6.56
Hans Formella                                    -
Dave Jackson                                     8.00
Jennie Jackson                                   7.12
Ged Lawrenson                                 8.52
Mike Morley                                     8.54
Mike Reynell                                      -
Dave Vine                                         8.44

Please add your name & start time if you want to be tracked!

Friends and family can also track progress via the Prudential Ride London tracking page.

Come out and give us a cheer.

Have a great ride!

Youth Hostel trip

On very warm Friday 20th July Pam, Tim, Vic and Terry met for an early lunch at JDW Woking before catching a train to Parkstone. At Sandbanks we met disgruntled Dave (Ward) who had cycled most of the way only to have a saucy seagull steal his piece  of carrot cake. A quick trip on the chain ferry and we arrived at Studland. After about a seven mile ride we reached Swanage to have a late 3s at the railway station and watch, smell and hear T9 4-4-0 30120 bring a train into the station. We then headed UP to the Youth Hostel (I'm sure the hill wasn't as steep when I rode it sixty-five years ago on fixed). The Hostel has recently been refurbished, is spotless and the meals, wine and beer most acceptable.

Saturday (again warm) we decided to follow a route suggested to Terry by the local Tourist Office. This took us directly to picturesque Corfe Castle. The Purbecks are a series  of reasonable undulations with an occasional larger one thrown in. We soon found one of those - but very often you get a wonderful view, frequently of the sea. We continued, fortunately the Army weren't using the firing ranges so we reached the planned 11s stop at Wool. A slight route change was made to use even less busy roads through Worgret. Wareham was reached in good time for lunch. Streets were closed to non-cyclists for the annual Town Day. The afternoon route took us through Stoborough to Corfe Castle via further undulations, a leisurely ice cream stop then back to Swanage. About forty-five miles - quite enough in that temperature. Most of our ride was on Cycle Routes which are quite well signposted.

Vic chose to 'do his own thing ' whilst Tim led the way on Sunday - to Corfe Castle via Langton Matravers and Kingston then up the big hill from yesterday. Descending we saw Lulworth Castle in the distance before passing Lulworth camp (tanks at the gate) to West Lulworth before turning off for Winfrith Newburgh (glimpses of former nuclear power station). Having got a local's recommendation we had a very nice lunch at East Knighton. After passing through Wool a splendid route via Stoborough to Corfe Castle for 3s then a different route to Swanage - we found a shop selling twenty-four different flavours of ice cream/sorbet. Bliss! Again about forty-five miles, again quite enough.

Dave had to get home promptly on Monday and caught a train. Using a different route to the chain ferry we passed the railway 'works', coaling plant etc, very photogenic. On finding Cycle Route 2 we found it was not available to cyclists during July and August ! While Tim was finding an alternative a couple of local cyclists volunteered to  help - to start with they took us home for  11s. They then led us to our original route - so kind and helpful. We were able to keep off main roads and had lunch at Bransgore then after stopping to admire New Forest ponies passed through Burley before joining the A35 to Lyndhurst. Fortunately there is a very good cycle track between Lyndhurst and Ashurst but from there to Totton and northwards we were very adjacent to a busy dual carriageway/motorway. At Hursley we rejoined country lanes to Winchester and soon found our b and b. This was a wonderful old building run by excellent hosts Dotty and Nick. Another very warm day, about fifty-eight miles.

Vic volunteered to lead us from Winchester to Farnham - he knows a very quiet route.11s were at New Alresford railway station, in time to see a train depart and by the time we finished another had arrived. Wonderful. This route was exceedingly quiet, we saw far more livestock than vehicles. Vic incorporated a few diversions, including good views of the River Itchen and Field Marshal Montgomery's home. Lunch was at JDW at Alton, before pressing on to the outskirts of Alton where we again took to the lanes. We had to briefly use the A31, but soon turned off to 3s at The Maltings, Farnham, after which we went our separate ways. Fifty plus miles on another very warm day.

Thanks everyone for your company and efforts in unusually hot conditions.


PS The couple who helped us out near Bournemouth were Tony and Kathy Lane and they are prepared to help out cyclists in the area, they use: https://www.warmshowers.org/

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Easy Riders - 25 July

The planned destination for our ride from Ashtead is The Plough, Orestan Lane, Effingham (about six miles ride from elevenses).   The route before and after lunch is mainly on quieter roads and tracks. The planned tea stop is Squires at Long Ditton.

The route has quite a bit of shade but it is going to be a hot day so I am keeping everything under review!

Dave (W)

Monday, July 23, 2018

A Group 25th July

We will be riding from Dorking to The Jolly Tanners at Staplefield for lunch, with afternoon tea stop at Redhill Aerodrome.
I have been asked to pre-order lunches, please see following link for a copy of the menu.
I will have printed copies to take your orders at elevenses.


Saturday, July 21, 2018

B's Wednesday the 25th July

Train assisted ride with 11's at Nibble's cafe, Datchet station. We will leave at 11.00am as usual.

We will be heading North to Beaconsfield for lunch at the Hope & Champion, a Wetherspons pub.

No off road (but a short section on a gravel path) but there will be some hills. Afternoon tea will be decided on the day. Around 35 miles Datchet to Datchet.

Please do make sure you have a full water bottle!


Grovel Friday 20 July 2018

Excuse me Mark for making some observations on your suggestion of a welcome and anticipated scenic short-cut to Arundel. I managed to find the path, starting at an old bridge over the Arun. See pic.1. I made it along dry grass to the first kissing gate which was a challenge. The next field I could not believe it was water logged full of cow dung and my cycling shoes almost departed my foot more that once by being sucked into the mud! The next challenge was a bridge with a bar across it which I had a struggle to lift my Cube over being now in a more depleted state. See pic.2. the way forward seemed to be through Jungle see pic.3. Then to cap it all the roots appeared see pic.5. Then there was a series of elevated wooden tracks with a hand rail on one side but very tricky to ride on an MTB with wide bars. Furthermore the gaps between the planks were too dangerous for narrow road wheels but OK for MTB slicks. See Pic.4. These were ideal for walkers but very tricky for cyclists.
The challenge then continued as I carried on towards Arundel. The path was completely root infested and I found it impossible to stay mounted fearing a fall and further damage to my right hip complete with 3 long screws. I have to say Mark I must congratulate you for riding this path but I would caution others to be very wary before trying. You definitely in my mind need nobly wide tyres at a softer pressure.

Gravel Friday 20 July 18

Thanks to Mark for a fantastic ride though I suffered more than one death, out of breath and overweight. I do not know how Ken Day did it on his road bike but he did. Those Borstals were horrific and I nearly chickened out!
In my case I made it a two day trip staying in the YHA Thrs. night. this gave me the chance to go to a concert in St Pauls Church for a Venice night out. It was very interesting with a senior entry of £5 with a glass of wine. Picture 1 below shows one of the artists.
The Gravel ride overall I did not enjoy but maybe that was the ending along the Arun to Arundel. Today I feel that I did achieve something and would like to thank my fellow Borstalers for being so patient in waiting for me as I delayed their arrival at the Moon by probably an hour! Normally mean and tight Morley decided that it was the least I could do to try and compensate with a complimentary drink. Picture 2 includes Mark before we set off from Devil's Dyke.
One of my aims of this ride was to go to an ordination at Arundel Cathederal, my first. The ceremony almost two hours was almost a Crucifixion for me as I arrived just in time all sweaty and dusty. Picture 3 refers. It was compensated however afterwards, by a splendid celebration in the Barons' Hall courtesy of Their Graces, the Duke and Duchess of Norfolk in Arundel Castle with canopies and wine. Pic 4.
In conclusion I have to thank Mark for his suggestion that I take a short cut along the banks of the Arun from Storrington. I found this one of the most challenging rides of my life. Sure in my younger days I may have found it a cape walk on my MTB but as it turned out it was a root infested walk. At the risk of boring everyone I will post more pics on sep blog.

Friday, July 20, 2018

Gravel Friday

Today, we learned a new word.  Bostal.  A bostal is a short, steep hill from the agricultural land at the bottom of the South Downs to the agricultural land at the top.  Some are surfaced,  and some are not.  The road up Ditching Beacon is a bostal, for example. Bostals played a big part in today's ride.

We met at Bystanders Cafe in Brighton, as arranged, and some took advantage of the ample breakfasts on offer.  A good plan, as it was a fair pull to lunch.  We left the cafe just before eleven, rode up out of town and up again along the long drag that leads to Devils Dyke.  A brief pause here for photography, then off along the trackway on the crest of the Downs.

Bostal Boys
Good riding for several miles, rolling country with varying surfaces, but nothing difficult.  Cresting a rise, we encountered heavy traffic - a very large tractor.  The farmer waved.  Then it was time for the first bostal, which took us down to Upper Beeding.  Unsurfaced, it needed a bit of care for a safe descent, but no problems and we were soon rolling through the pretty village past Bramber Castle.  Up towards Steyning, then left on to Steyning Bostal.  This gets an entry in Simon Warren's '100 Greatest Climbs ' book, and he gives it 5/10.   Scores varied from our group by the time we had done two 17% pitches, but, at least, it was surfaced.

We were now back on the top and rolled along nicely to the Chanctonbury Ring, with Leith Hill just visible in one direction and the sea in the other.  Mike M was blowing a bit at this point, so we agreed that having descended the next bostal, Washington Bostal, he would take the road to the pub while the rest of us went up one more bostal, and then back down another.  This worked swimmingly, and, having got to the pub first, Mike generously bought beer for all of us.

A good lunch, eaten in the Secret Garden, then it was Ten Green Bottles on the way home.  Mike M waved us goodbye from the pub, as he was going on to Arundel to meet friends; Steve turned off at Barns Green to take the Downs Link to Lancing, also to meet friends; Mike R and Ray left at Horsham heading for Gatwick and their cars, and Ken and I parted company at Rusper, making our separate ways home.

A good ride for a dry summer,  plenty of entertainment, good views and good company.  Thank you all.


Wednesday, July 18, 2018

A ride 18th July

Here are some of us at Cranleigh. Thanks to everyone for a lovely day out and especially the corner markers and Brian for back marking.

B Group - 18th July


The Vineries - Mayford - Walton-on-Thames

We may have lost certain bike parking places but it didn't seem to make a problem!  It was good being able to sit outside in the sun with our morning coffees and teas.   To continue.....nineteen B riders left The Vineries for lunch at the Mayford Arms.  When I planned my route, I had been up Green Dene three times on various club rides, hence I chose to go in the opposite direction!   BUT....Before I continue I must welcome Dave Ferrett to our group.  It was Dave's first ride with the Wayfarers yesterday and we hope to see much more of him.

Down past Effingham Junction station to turn left into Forest Road, then right at the T.  East Lane, Ripley Lane, Hungry Hill and then Tithebarns Lane towards Send.  Woodhill and Potters Lane to Old Woking following the A247 to join up with a very good cycle path along side the A320 to Mayford, arriving approximately 12.45.

As the food was all pre-ordered we expected to sit down with a short wait before it arrived.  It didn't happen!!  The food was extremely good, but, we were still waiting for orders an hour later!   Sunshine and good company took the sting out of the waiting.

Upon leaving the pub two members took off for Woking station whilst the rest of us headed for St. John's to pick up the Basingstoke canal.  As we 'per chance' rode the Basingstoke and took tea at the same place as I had reccied last week,  I was going to change my return route but the general consensus was to carry out plan A - which we did!! The canal to Woodham/New Haw, Addlestone, Weybridge to the Walton River Barn for tea.

At the scene of the crime, standing on the hard shoulder
This was not such a good plan for Liz B for whilst the group stopped to say goodbye to Terry, Dave and Liz N at the Byfleet exit, we noticed three people missing.  We waited, and we waited.  Brian very kindly cycled back to find out if there was any thing wrong; I phoned Liz, Tim and Vic but no replies!   Then a text from Tim.  Brian returned and said they were on their way - thankfully.   Well!!!!  Liz  and bike had been in the canal!!   A cyclist going towards Liz, swerved to avoid a 'parked' bike, rode into Liz who landed up in the canal!   The best bit is that Liz appeared to be unharmed or fazed by the incident.  I do hope you are still feeling as good Liz :) :)

Soooo, at The Barn we were served several large pots of tea to share, each paying for a cuppa with only one or two sampling the cakes.  As usual, we left in dribs and drabs, going in various directions home.

Inspecting Liz to confirm that she hadn't entirely dried out
Whew, what a day!   Thank you Liz and Tim for back marking and all those who cornered.  Photos and route courtesy of Tim, but the one of us all watching Liz dry out was taken by me!

Thank you all for your company - happy cycling Pam :) :) 

More photos HERE

A Group 18th July

Today, Steve gave us a proper ride on a proper Summer's day.  Pleasant roads, shady tracks, a good lunch and ice-creams at Pilgrims.



Pam's ride to the Mayford arms.

Great food.....eventually.

Monday, July 16, 2018

Gravel Friday - Trip Notes

The forecast is good for Friday, so here are the arrangements.  

Elevenses will be at the Bystander Cafe, 1 Terminus Road, Brighton BN1 3PD.  It's just on the right as you come out of the station.  It's covered with scaffolding at the moment, but the sign is just about visible.

We'll ride along the edge of the Downs to Storrington, lunch at the Moon, then quiet lanes to Horsham and familiar lanes from there.  

Here's the route, the gravel is mostly in good condition and the riding is easy, with great views all along the ridge.  There are two tricky descents, which you can walk if you don't fancy them, and one climb from Simon Warren's '100 Greatest Cycling Climbs' - Steyning Bostal, 5/10.  

Get some while it's hot!


Friday, July 13, 2018

Bike parking at Effingham

Good news:  the Vineries have a new outdoor eating area.
Bad news: it's where we used to park our bikes. 

There is space for a few bikes round the back of the cafe building, as before, but we have been asked PLEASE don't block the access for servers with trays to get to the new outdoor area.   The best place to park bikes is at the end of the car park nearest the cafe (not the display area for the garden furniture shop).   Please pass the message around.   Thank you.

B Group - 11th July

Claygate is a starting venue that offers the chance of numerous opportunities for our rides, I decided to head off in a north westerly direction.  20 of us left the elevenses meeting point and we passed through Esher, Cobham, Ockley and on to Ripley. Here we turned right and made our way along the country roads, Papercourt Lane and Tannery Lane to Send. Again, turning right, we made our way to the outskirts of Woking by way of Old Woking and on to the Cricketers pub at Horsell Birch, arriving at 12:50.

The pub knew we were coming, however unfortunately they didn’t get the lunch orders right and this resulted in one of us having to wait so long for their food to arrive that he decided to forgo eating it, rather snacking on chips, at least he didn’t have to pay for anything! Unfortunate as I say as in the past the pub has served us well.

We left the pub, took Brewery Road and went down the path onto the Basingstoke Canal. Along the very familiar track, leaving it at Scotland Bridge Road. Through Addlestone and onto Weybridge, here Pam kindly showed me a safer, better route along to Walton, well known by the B group riders.
Again, unfortunately, Jennie suffered a double puncture just short of our tea stop, the Theatre, but was able to push the bike to the car park, we had tea and cake and then replaced the inner tubes.       

A very enjoyable ride, good company and great weather.

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