Wednesday, August 29, 2018

B Group - 29th August

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

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

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

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

Gill Finlay

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

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

The new Stephen with Ian and Steph

Robin Johnson RIP

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


Double chocolate and zucchini cake

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

Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread

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


Robin Johnson has died

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

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

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

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

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



Richard Murphy

Monday, August 27, 2018

A group ride 29 August (picnic day at Brockham)

Important notes!

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

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

Thursday, August 23, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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


B Group - 22nd August

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

~ Tim

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

"B" group from Caterham

Me I feel like a fool and in fact I am. I had intended to join the "A" group to follow the speedy Janice but when I got to Caterham I could not extract my shoe from the pedal. Lots of people helped and I am so grateful. Thanks to our ex SouWester editor Jeff Tollerman I invested in a splendid pair of leather shoes from Spar Cycles. They have been a complete nightmare!
Net result was that I had to take out the lace completely, leave the shoe clipped into my pedal and hobble around bare foot. I hope that Tim our leader has some suitable photo's to show.

Anyway to lighten up our lives here are a few photos of my adventures on the CTC Birthday Rides in Sropshire last week.
The first photo is a replication of the Poppies from the Tower in London. In this case they show the cascade of porcelain Poppies (£25. each) cascading down from the Kiln in Stoke on Trent.
The second photo shows some exhibits from the RAF  museum at Cos-ford a magnificent display.
The third is me fooling around with some models I found hanging on a washing line at Norbury Canal Junction.

Peter Mathison the organiser of the CTC Birthday for the last 7 years has said that he can continue no longer due to health reasons. So unless someone comes along to organise 2019 there will be no Birthday Rides. May I set a challenge! I did try to organise the Birthday Rides in 2011 but the committee rejected the idea. I would like the committee to invite me and Collin Quemby to to the next SWA meeting to see if we can work something out. I would suggest that we get Kent involved and base it in Canterbury.

Here are my photos.

Finally I spoke to Sandra Peter Mathison's wife at home this evening and was much surprised to hear that Peter was already home. We all wish him well in his recovery!

A group ride 22 August

We had a good paced ride with a few ups and downs from Caterham to the lunch stop at Edenbridge.  Most notably, the descent into Westerham was long and fast and we were in Kent by about 11.45 as the peloton were in fine fettle.

Lunch was at The Old Eden and whilst the food was good we were astonished to find that as a party of more than six we were charged a 'discretionary" 17.5% service charge. This was reduced to 12.5% as a gesture of goodwill but nevertheless means that we are unlikely to use this as a lunch stop again.

After lunch, the good pace continued with notably fewer hills bar perhaps the climb up to Outwood.

We then turned into Lonesome Lane despite the 'road closed' signs as I'd had no problem using it on my reccie. Unfortunately, one of the workmen objected strongly to our passing through on the grounds of health and safety and the large deep hole that had been dug. We got through but I probably won't go that way again for a while!

It didn't take long until we reached The Reading Room cafe in Brockham where we had a very hospitable welcome and some excellent and much appreciated cakes.

In total the ride was 48 miles with an elevation gain of 2,615ft. The video can be viewed on:

Thanks to Geoff for back marking and to the corner markers who kept the ride flowing.


A Group 22nd August

Janice gave us an excellent ride today, in full accord with the Kelly Doctrine:  'A few hills before lunch, and few hills after'.  Good food, good company and a temperature of 19ยบ, which some felt was getting a little cool ...

27 miles to lunch at Edenbridge and 21 more to tea at Brockham,  at a cracking pace.

A grand day out.


Some C Group summer season photos...

Tea and ice creams at Pistachio's near Kingston Bridge 27th  June.  Liz (far left) lead us here from Walton via lunch at the Goat at Shepperton.  It was a wonderful sunny hot day, but we were warned not to sit under the inviting shade of the trees due to the risks of oak processionary moth! 
Getting ready to leave after lunch... David Ward (below) lead a delightfully low traffic/traffic free route round Fetcham and Bookham in July.

Waiting to take the group photo!

We were delighted to welcome Bernard (far left), returning after a long break following surgery to repair his Achilles tendon. John B (second right) lead us from Cobham to the Bell at Fetcham.  This was the second time this season we enjoyed the shady benefits of their lovely terrace for lunch, and was well worth the return.  

Sunday, August 19, 2018

A group 22 Aug - Warning and details

The warning - Caterham is a fair trek for most and usually there is little to eat of any substance so I recommend that you bring your own more substantial snack as it will be 27 miles and 1731ft elevation to lunch where we'll arrive 1.15ish (assuming a good pace and no punctures). Also, we'll need to leave by 11 sharp.

The ride - from Caterham we'll be heading the long way round to Edenbridge taking some little used pretty and quiet country roads. There are a few hills but no substantial climbs as I've cut out Toys and Ide Hills. Lunch will be at The Old Eden which has a selection of sandwiches and hot meals. As I have to phone through the order it would be helpful if you could please google the menu so you have an idea what you'd like to order. I will however bring a printed menu on the day.

After lunch we'll be heading for an easier 21 miles and 930ft elevation to The Reading Rooms cafe in Brockham. The cafe closes at 4.30 but the owner is happy if we're there whilst she tidies and closes up around us.

Unfortunately I've yet to work out how to publish the gpx file for the final route but if you'd like an idea of what we'll be doing here's the Garmin reference for my final reccie. It has 2 or 3 wrong turnings (corrected by turning round within 10 metres or so) and ends by turning right into Betchworth where I was hoping the garden centre has a cafe. It doesn't! The ride will instead ignore the final right turn and continue onto Brockham.

Looking forward to seeing you on Wednesday.


Saturday, August 18, 2018

Around the World in 774 Days

Rummaging in a second-hand bookshop recently, I was able to make an addition to my little library of Victorian and Edwardian cycling books.  I bought, at very modest cost, an original copy of 'Round the World On A Wheel', by J Foster Fraser.

In July of 1896, Fraser, then 28 years old, set off with two friends to ride around the world on their Rover Safety Bicycles.  It was a good time to do it, as there were no cars and a Briton abroad was worthy of guarded respect.  They clearly had the means to fund the trip; there was no sponsorship and they could afford good accommodation when it was available.  They also endured some pretty terrible accommodation, as might be expected.

There's not much about the bikes - they look, from the very few pictures, to be absolutely standard Rovers of the day; here's a contemporary advertisement from the CTC Road Book:

The absence of cars meant, in general, an absence of metalled roads, and some of the riding sounds truly awful, but there were also long periods of good riding where they averaged around 100 miles per day.

The bikes were periodically serviced using parts that were sent out to pre-arranged points on the trip.  It is not clear how this was done, or who did it.  Except for punctures they seem to have had few problems, though the spares used were extensive, and may have included a replacement bike.  None of this appeared to concern the adventurers.  As the picture below shows, the bikes show considerable similarity to today's 'Gravel Bikes', apart from the complete absence of gears or brakes.

To summarise the trip, I cannot do better than the author himself:

'We took this trip around the world on bicycles because we were more or less conceited, liked to be talked about, and see our names in the newspapers.  We didn't go into training.  We took things easy.  We jogged through Europe, had sundry experiences in Asia, and survived the criticisms of our country from the Americans.  For two years we bicycled strange lands, and came home a great disappointment to our friends.  We were not haggard or worn, or tottering in our gait.  We had never been scalped, or had hooks through our spines; never been tortured, or had our eyes gouged; never been rescued after living for a fortnight on our shoes.  And we had never killed a man.  It was evident that we were not real travellers.'

Fraser was knighted in 1917, I do not know why, but I surmise that it may have been connected with his travels in Russia in the two preceding years.

If you're interested, Kindle or facsimile copies of the book are available from Amazon.  I found it a good read.


Thursday, August 16, 2018

Wayfarers Picnic Wed 29 Aug - advance warning

We will be holding the Wayfarers Picnic again at the end of August - here's a quick reminder of what happens:

  • There will be A, B and Easy Riders rides as normal, all leaving from elevenses at Leatherhead
  • Each group will do their own thing and (hopefully) converge on Brockham Cricket Pavilion for a picnic lunch, before departing on their afternoon rides
  • Tea, coffee, and squash will be provided, but you have to bring your own picnic (or buy something at Leatherhead)
  • Transport is available from elevenses for your hampers, champers, or Sainsburys Meal Deals.
  • The weather is almost certain to be glorious, but bring some waterproofs just in case.
  • All welcome: you can drive to lunch if you like.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

A group 15th August to Paley Street

18 riders were sufficiently intrigued by Geoff's write-up of his advance ride of my route, (thank you for your feedback and kind words Geoff!!) to accompany me on the ride proper today. They may well have been having second thoughts when, within a few minutes of leaving 11's we turned off the main road and headed up through Woodlands mobile home park, and via some off road tracks and meadow through the back of St George's College, headed on to Mead Lane into Chertsey. Crossing the bridge and turning sharp left to follow the river road towards Staines, our progress was halted by an untimely puncture suffered by Ken. After some problems and a number of different inner tubes, the problem was fixed and off we headed following the NC4 cycle route, hugging the river all the way to Staines. From here we followed well known roads through Wraysbury and Sunnymeads on to Datchet , where we picked up the main road into Windsor....but not for long.! A detour along the edge of Datchet golf course took us on to the path across the river and then right through the middle of Eton College grounds. Onwards through Eton, we once again picked up the NC4, which popped us out into Eton Dorney rowing centre, and from there across the river again into Bray and then on to Ockwells Park, White Waltham and finally arriving at The Bridge House in Paley Street.

The benefits of pre-ordering food was very quickly evident as everyone's lunch was pretty much produced on demand as we ordered drinks and paid up...a system that some other lunch venues might want to think about considering some of the very lengthy waits (and wrong or disappearing orders we have had recently).

A swift ride back via Nuptown, Warfield and Winkfield Row enabled us to cut across the centre of Ascot race course and then head down towards Blacknest Gate and a trip around the edge of Virginia Water. Exiting the park, we soon ticked off Virginia Water village and then via Lyne Crossing into Chertsey, on to Shepperton and finally tea at the Riverhouse Barn in Walton, where 14 of the original 19 took advantage of the tea and cakes on offer.

25 miles from 11's to lunch, and then 21 miles on to tea, on a warm, pleasant and occasionally sunny day...actually far more conducive to cycling than some of the recent temperatures. Thanks to all who came along, especially those who marked corners and to Mike Barrett for back-marking...sorry we lost you right at the end Mike !!

B Group - 15th August - Some more photos

Maps, the OS version:

It was 'All Go' this afternoon at the Great Cockcrow Railway in Lyne:

~ Tim

'B' Group - 15 August

Twelve of us set off from Weybridge and took a standard sort of route to Windlesham, then climbed through the deserted back roads of Lightwater to emerge halfway up Red Road.   From there it was a pleasant downhill run through the quiet and winding outskirts of Camberley, followed by another climb on a busy road before we reached our lunch stop.   After our meal at Wetherspoons we set off through another maze of mainly quiet backroads, crossing the M3 on a footbridge, to reach the Deepcut area.  It was then a straightforward ride to our tea stop at Great Cockcrow Railway, and onwards to Walton Bridge.  Many thanks to Tim for back-marking and to the many corner markers.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

A Group Wednesday ride, Roads and Trails

I am unable to attend on Wednesday so asked Dave if I could have a copy of the route (why!!) Anyway off I set nice road then I followed the first turn off, interesting track so phoned Dave, I'm in the right place?

Lots of nice roads to follow and then lots of interesting trails, good work Dave yet again you found some interesting ways to travel over

                                         There is something missing from this picture

If you have as good weather as I had today you are in for a treat.
Good riding for tomorrow.


Monday, August 13, 2018

A group ride, Weds 15th August

This weeks ride will make one of our occasional excursions west, aiming for lunch at the Bridge House in Paley Street....the link to their web-site is below. They have asked us to pre-order lunch and I will be taking orders at 11's in Weybridge on Wednesday morning.

The ride will be 25 flat miles to lunch, taking in some tow-path, cycle track and a bit of golf course, all very easily manageable on a road bike, and then after lunch 23 fast miles back to tea at either Shepperton or Walton, depending on the time and the weather.

'B' Group Ride - 15 August 2018

The lunch stop for the 'B' Group ride from Weybridge will be at The Claude Duvall (Wetherspoons) at Camberley.    Tea will be at Great Cockcrow Railway, Lyne (if this is unfamiliar territory don't worry as I will continue the ride after tea to Walton Bridge).   There are a few hills and stiff climbs to address as well as two footbridges, one of which is rideable, the other of which requires bikes to be carried or wheeled).   The round trip from elevenses to Walton Bridge is about 35 miles.

Thursday, August 09, 2018

A Group 8th August

Sandwiched between the heatwave and today's rain we had the perfect day yesterday to explore some lovely lanes in a part of Surrey and West Sussex we rarely visit. Seventeen of us gathered to turn out of the Yvonne Arnaud when latecomers Neil and Alan made a last minute dash to appear from our left along the A281. It was good to see Dave Ferrett join us having taken his first few rides with the Bs. Once clear of the main road after Shalford we made a tour of the worst surfaced roads in Surrey taking in Unstead Lane, Tuesley Lane and then Water Lane at Enton. After Wormley conditions improved and from Brook we climbed to via Boundless Farm and the old A3 bridleway to the top of Gibbet Hill. The old Sailor's Stone is always a good resting place for its views of the old A3 alignment and the Devil's Punchbowl.
From here a long descent through Hindhead and Bramshott to Hammer Vale and then a short sharp climb to Linchmere. Then it really was almost all downhill to a very good lunch at the Red Lion in Fernhurst.
 Some early concerns about timing were misplaced in spite of the pub only have one bar staff old enough to serve alcohol to nineteen thirsty cyclists! After a little consultation on Alistair's gears and the statutory gathering outside the pub we were on our way home. Our path past the cable laying on the (closed) lane from the pub was eased by the workmen with a smile. From Lickfold back the increasing breeze was at our backs and so we made light work of the run through Chiddingfold and Hambledon back to tea. A few had already headed for home
but thirteen ( I think) stopped to enjoy the Boat House at Farncombe. Many thanks to Simon for back marking and I'm told providing motivational assistance to those at the back of the peleton. Also to Janice for the photos and the Relive file attached below and all those corner markers who gave us a free flowing ride.

B Group - 8th August

After the searing heat of the previous two days the weather was dry, warm and very pleasant.

15 of us left Guildford, climbing up to the top of the Mount, via an easier route thanks to Vic, to the top of Down Lane. We passed through Compton, to the side of Godalming, then along to Busbridge, Hascombe and Loxhill.  Then left and onto Cranleigh where we arrived outside the pub, the Richard Onslow at 12.50pm. We had pre-ordered food so it arrived soon after we sat down outside in the courtyard.

To our surprise whilst we were there, who should arrive but Steph, who having been delayed in getting to ‘elevenses’ had cycled on her own to catch up with us, thus we were sixteen!

Some decided to make their own way back from lunch whilst those remaining followed the Downs Link track to Ellen’s Green. Then familiar lanes, using Weare Street on to Capel, Newdigate and onto Brockham.

Ten of us had tea and lovely cake at the newly opened Reading Room in Brockham, somewhere that can be recommended.

Well done to everyone that joined us, as it was a challenging ride.

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

Thank you for your company, a great day!

See you all on my next ride.


Morning ride
Afternoon ride