Saturday, December 28, 2019

Pete Mitchell's Memorial Bench

Jake has reminded me that Pete Mitchell's memorial bench has now been made and installed in Horton Country Park where he loved to ride. It's by Pond/Four Acre Wood on the main track.

I went there this afternoon from the normal Phoenix meeting place; it’s a good location and the track is well surfaced and not too muddy. See photo.

Thursday, December 26, 2019

How far did you go in 2019?

Annual Mileages 2019

Dear All,

As I said last year and as I now repeat almost verbatim, (yawn), old hands will know that, at this time of year, we request members to submit their mileage record for the past 12 months: that is, from 1st Jan to 31 Dec 2019. We keep an annual running total on the MWW blog under the tab 'mileage'. Perhaps you have never noticed it.

It is of personal, though sometimes perhaps sobering interest, to see one's annual and cumulative mileage and it is of value to the Group to be able to report how many miles our members have ridden.

Please therefore take the trouble to remind yourself to take note of your annual mileage for 2019 before the witching hour of 23.59.59 on 31 December and then to send it to me by whatever communication method you feel most comfortable with. Apologies to W. Churchill for ending that sentence with a preposition, up with which he would not put. Pigeon post or snail mail welcome.


Otherwise, a grubby piece of paper will suffice, if identifiable.

For the male and female member (those are at present still the only categories that we recognise), who clocks up the greatest annual mileage, your achievement will be recognised at our annual lunch. There will also be recognition for the member who has cycled more miles in 2019 than any other member, and for the greatest personal increase in mileage over the previous year.

Please note that entries will only be eligible for a prize from members who are regular riders with at least one section of the club.

I look forward to receiving your mileage, however modest. It is most unlikely to be less than mine. Make the most of every opportunity to tuck in those extra few miles. You may be closer to that target than you realised.

Seasons greetings to all,


Tuesday, December 24, 2019

News from the Hotel de la Plage, Dieppe

Many Sou'Westers stay at the Hotel de la Plage during the Dieppe Raid cycling weekend in June.

I was sorry to read this news from the manager Isabelle, via the Dieppe Raid Facebook page:

The following message was sent to me by Andy Bebbington ...
"Isabelle and Luc are departing Hotel de la Plage in the new year, having sold it to new owners who run the Reims hotel in Paris." 
The website states the following ... 
"This moment has come for us after 17 years ...
Rich in joys, emotions and fabulous encounters, to pass the relay ...
The new bosses are there and already hold the Reims Hotel in Paris.
The whole team stays in place: Sandrine and Larissa at the reception during the day, and Julien at night; Stephanie, Elodie, Seddika and Josiane at the room service.
Transmission and transition being unavoidable for all of us, we will have the pleasure of staying at your service until the new year.
See you soon and thank you!
Luc and Isabelle"

Sunday, December 22, 2019

KPRC aquatic adventures

Two photos taken yesterday morning by Tony Hooker

Footbridge over the River Mole at Stoke d'Abernon

Saturday, December 21, 2019

Friday, December 20, 2019

A Group ride - 18th December

We left Walton in sunshine, headed west and crossed the bridge before turning and going towards Hampton, through Bushy Park which was beautiful but also tricky with all the dog walkers.

We used some back streets to get to Teddington Lock where we walked across the footbridge in a leisurely manner, lots of ‘chatter’. We entered Richmond Park via the pedestrian gate at Ham, the vehicle gates would normally be open but today there were road works.

Choosing to go through the middle of the park and onto Roehampton Gate, using Priory Lane we managed to all get across the two level crossing points near the Vine Road Recreation Ground without being held up, a miracle. Then it was Barnes and across Hammersmith Bridge, now closed to traffic, and into the pub.

The William Morris has recently been refurbished, so as with all Weatherspoon’s, worth a visit.

After lunch, we took a scenic route along the river, sometimes towpath, towards Kew, where traffic was surprisingly light, along Brentford High Street and eventually into the third park, Syon.

Taking back roads through Twickenham, and then the Kingston Road, we crossed the river at Kingston before we opted to have afternoon tea in The Local Hero café. Riders had peeled off at various points after lunch, so there were seven of us at tea.

A huge thanks to those that held gates open for us and other park users, marked corners to keep the ride moving along, and enable a tricky ride to run smoothly, also to David J for back marking.

Wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Looking forward to riding with you all in 2020!

Ride safe


Thursday, December 19, 2019

Happy Christmas

To all Wayfarers a Very Happy Christmas and New Year.

Let's hope next years rides are as successful as last years, I look forward to meeting you all again in 2020.
Let's hope we don't have to walk to much next year


CTC Gazette 1904

I've been lucky enough to find a bound volume of the CTC Gazette for 1904.  There's a lot to enjoy over the Christmas period, but, skimming it this morning, I find that it depicts a world that is rapidly changing, compared with the CTC Gazettes of 1901, which I already have.

Firstly, there is some concern that the CTC discounts at hotels, part of the Winged Wheel arrangements, were becoming harder to obtain.  So, if you find a cast-iron Winged Wheel on a pub or hotel, it is a fair guess that it is earlier than 1904.  The system was clearly in decline by then.

Secondly, the debate about CTC 'Danger' and 'Caution' signs continued.  It was nearing its conclusion, as, by the middle of the year, specifications for the first road-signs, to be erected by local authorities, were published.  A number of members took the view that there was no need for the CTC signs any longer, as a safety bicycle with front and rear brakes could get down anything, and there was diminishing support for the erection of signs by the Club.

Here are the new road signs - they were erected under the Motor Car Act of 1903, which took effect in January 1904.  Some are still around, often combined with sign-posts.

There were still adventurous tours - Iceland, for example, and the Galibier, from the North, some eight years before the Tour de France first crossed it; and there were hints and tips on cycle-camping.

But the big news was the internal combustion engine.  There were many articles on motorised cycles, which one contributor felt were much superior on the long, straight roads of France.

And there was a report from the Paris Automobile Show of the year, apparently attended by great crowds.  The well-heeled cyclist was obviously interested in a motorised cycle, tricycle or perhaps a car.

A golden era of cycling was drawing to a close.


Wednesday, December 18, 2019

B Group - 18th January, the map

Many Happy Returns to our illustrious and hard working Chairman Dave Vine who very kindly provided us all with morning tea.

Dave Ward's route from Walton to Staines and back to Walton
~ Tim

'B' Ride - Weds 18 December 2019

About 20 of us set from Walton in pleasant sunshine for the last 'B' ride of 2019.   We followed the Thames to Weybridge, then took the cycle route to Chertsey Bridge, making a small detour there because my intended route was under water!   Then it was on to Charlton and Ashford via 'The Splash', a picturesque old ford, at Shepperton.   We took the back streets of Ashford to HMP Bronzefield, where we shimmied over the railway footbridge to pick up the footpath across Shortfield Common, a route into Staines which seemed new to most of the group.    Team effort helped us efficiently negotiate the two kissing gates which interposed themselves!  I tried to dodge traffic congestion in Staines by taking a route round Knowle Green, but we still eventually ended up stuck in a jam for a short while until we could find a way round it.

Even so, we got to The George just after 12.00 pm.    Early enough, I had thought, to bag some good tables together, but, alas it was not to be, for Wetherspoons were already doing a very brisk lunch trade even at that early hour, and, although we all found seats fairly easily in the end, we were dispersed in small groups all over the pub.   Tony Hopkins, still recovering from his recent, nasty accident joined us.  Best wishes for a speedy recovery, Tony!

After a convivial (and competitively priced!) lunch, we set off home just before 1.30 pm.   Some took the direct route via Laleham, but a dozen or so joined me for a slightly longer trip back to Walton via Pooley Green, Thorpe, Chertsey (including Willow Path), and Shepperton Lock.   Hopefully no purists minded too much that we crossed Chertsey Bridge in the same direction on both the outward and inward parts of this figure of eight route!

We arrived at the Riverhouse Barn well before 3.00 pm, leaving an hour or so for a quick cup of tea and a ride home more or less in daylight for most, all thanks to the earlier December start time, which, I feel, has been a most welcome innovation.

Many thanks to Tim for back-marking, to the many corner markers, and to everyone else for your company. 

Happy Christmas and best wishes for the New Year, and don't get forget that if you get cycling withdrawal symptoms (I forbear from calling it 'cold turkey'!), you're more than welcome to join the Cheam & Morden group for their rides, or just the lunch or elevenses stops, on Sundays 22 and 29 December, and Wednesday 1 and Sunday 5 January - it seems a long, long wait until the next Wayfarers' rides on Wednesday 8 January!

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

C group ride tomorrow

Planning to find our way from coffee at Walton to lunch in Kingston at the Wych Elm pub.  I haven't checked the weather, hope we shall have a following wind...☺

Monday, December 16, 2019

A Group ride - Wednesday 18th

The Three Parks Ride

We shall be heading away from Walton on Wednesday’s ride, passing through Bushy and Richmond Parks to lunch at the William Morris Pub, Hammersmith.

After lunch, we somewhat follow the river along towards Kew, onto Brentford and into Syon Park.

Afternoon tea at the Five Bridges, Hampton Court 

Urban riding, mainly flat, some riding on track, some on tarmac, and some on busy roads so we will need to leave ‘gaps’.

Remember to bring your bike lock, we’re in London, just before Christmas!

Look forward to seeing you all.


'B' Group Ride - Weds 18 Dec 2019

Wednesday's 'B' ride from Walton will take us to The George (aka Wetherspoons) at Staines by a somewhat quirky route!     Nothing unsurfaced, but plenty of surfaced paths (shared or otherwise), and no mud as such, but some leaf sludge here and there.   No hills to speak of, but one (rideable) footbridge, and a couple of kissing gates (mistletoe not provided)!   About 25 miles from elevenses back to tea at Walton or Shepperton as preferred. 

Sunday, December 15, 2019

Coast to Coast - Getting Reading Done

The next stage of my Coast to Coast adventure was Carshalton to Reading.  I hadn't really been looking forward to it, as there are a lot of suburbs and not too many good bits.  Many of the roads are well known to the Wayfarers, and, like me, many of us don't much like them.

Anyway, I woke quite early this morning, and spent a few minutes reading the papers, before I slowly realised that the bright moonlight streaming through the window represented an opportunity.  Even in the suburbs, there weren't going to be too many people around at half past six on a December Sunday morning.

So, shortly afterwards, I was wheeling my Cannondale through the gate, on the road for Reading.  Its powerful headlight lit up the pot-holes, and the many Christmas lights along the way made a dreary route quite cheerful.  The miles passed quickly, Kingston Bridge, Walton Bridge, Tite Hill and by the time I got to Windsor Great Park the sun was nicely up.

After Dave's comment on my last post I changed the route slightly to take in The Castle, at Hurst, which has a Winged Wheel.  It's a nice pub - Jeff Tollerman and I went there, years ago.  Unfortunately it doesn't do breakfast.  A pity, as I was a bit peckish by this time.

As I was taking my photo a knowledgeable chap passing by told me that the Wheel was a Fire Mark, and that they were quite rare ...

The River Loddon interrupted my route shortly after.  It had burst its banks with the recent rains, and my planned route was impassable.  

My Garmin - an Edge 830 - did a fair job of recovery, routing me around the obstacle, mainly on cycle paths.  Cycle paths they were, but crummy ones, on pavements with lots of obstacles, and I was pleased when I re-joined my original route.  This gave me a very satisfactory entry into Reading, along the Kennet and Avon Canal and through the very jolly Christmas Market.  Ten minutes at the station to buy a ticket and a bacon sandwich, then the Great Western Railway brought me home via its pretty North Downs route.

A note on e-bike performance.  This is a pretty flat route.  I rode at normal A-Group pace, and most of the time the motor had little to do.  Arriving at Reading station, 50 miles on the clock, the battery had 80% capacity remaining, so you could go a very long way, if you wanted to.

Reading, done.


Saturday, December 14, 2019

Invitation to enter the 2019 Photo Competition

Further to the great popularity of our photo competitions since we went digital we invite you to take part again this year.

Please submit your photos before the end of January.

Please use this method for sending photos to us:

Visit this website: "Competition Dropbox" and follow the instructions to choose and deliver your photos.

N.B. When using this website to post photos to the Dropbox it is not necessary to sign up to, or log into Dropbox even if you are invited to do so.

Once you have selected one or several photos fill in your name and email address then click 'Upload'.
Send an email to me, Tim, to provide information about each photo:
  •          the photographic category
  •          the photo filename (e.g. P1040276.jpg)
  •          a caption which we will inscribe on your photo
The rules and categories are simple. The full 'Competition Rules' document is available under the 'Information Hub' heading on our website.

Competition Period: Photos taken during the 2019 calendar year.

Your photos must all illustrate a connection to cycling by depicting a bicycle for example, or some obvious cycling association.

You may submit two photos in each category:

        6.1. Male      one or more male cyclists
        6.2. Female    one or more female cyclists
        6.3. Action    cyclist(s) in action
        6.4. Scenery   scenery or landscape
        6.5. Building  buildings, architecture
        6.6. Humorous  funny or amusing
        6.7. Group     any mix of male and female cyclists

Note that the award for a winning photograph in each category will be given to the photographer who took the picture, not to the model(s).

This method for submitting photos should work with any device (PC, Apple, iPad, iPhone, Tablet or Android phone) but if it doesn't work for you, please let me know so that we can address the problem. It does depend on you being able to locate the folder where your photos are stored. It doesn't require you to install the DropBox app.

~ Tim

Friday, December 13, 2019

A group pre-election ride, 11th December

A very bright and crisp sunny morning tempted out a larger-than-usual group for a December ride, all possibly looking for something, anything to take minds away from the last volumes of pre-election bulls...  spin.
And so, 20 riders departed Claygate soon after 10.30. With limited escape routes out of the village, we headed for the Milbourne Lane option, and after an unavoidable dash along Copsem Lane, under the A3 and up the A244, we turned into the relative quiet of Sandy Lane. Then Knipp Hill, Water Lane and the path across The Tilt brought us out into more familiar roads through Ockham and Ripley and on to Old Woking via Tannery Lane.
Skirting around the south side of Woking itself via Kingfield and Wych Hill, we headed through Hook Heath and down Gorse Hill, then looped round via Fox Corner into Pirbright, Brookwood and arriving at our lunch stop at The Garibaldi in Knaphill at around 12.40pm.

Whilst out doing a couple of recon rides, I was unpleasantly surprised by how hard it had been to find a lunch venue at this time of year that didn't want to serve a full Xmas lunch, didn't want a deposit up front, and didn't want food orders several days (or in one case, a week in advance, even for sandwiches!!).

So, The Garibaldi ended up as a bit of an unknown and risky option, but I shouldn't have worried, and we were warmly welcomed, all food options were served in good time and we were ready to depart by 1.45. Apart from a very brief shower early on around the back of Cobham, the only rain of the day that we saw very conveniently arrived whilst we were having lunch, and we set off again on roads that were wet but at least it was not actually raining.

A quicker shorter route back, this time avoiding Woking town centre by the northern route took us from Knaphill via Horsell and Philpot Lane and then back onto much more commonly ridden roads past Fairoaks and on to Addlestone, Weybridge and arriving for tea in Walton pretty much bang on 3pm.

The earlier start time seems to work very well from my perspective, and allowed us to stop for tea and still giving all a chance of being home before dark, ready to contemplate how to deploy their vote.

24 miles from 11's to lunch, and then 13 miles from lunch to tea, with about 1100 feet of climbing in total....and managing to avoid virtually all of the forecast rain.

The usual thanks to all who came along, and all those who contributed by marking corners, and to Janice for back-marking.

Thursday, December 12, 2019

Have you lost your water bottle?


One smoky coloured Water Bottle with black screw top and red spout left at Claygate Day Centre, 11 December.

If the owner wishes to claim it please telephone John Bellamy on 0208-395-0981.

John B

B Group - 11th December, to Christmas Lunch (map and photos)

"Bridge on the River Mole"

Thanks to Françoise for this photo
What did Father Christmas suffer from when he got stuck in a chimney?
(Nearly all of us had the same joke which was a massive disappointment.)
Mrs Claus supervising the table manners
Peter's indirect route from Claygate to The Angel
(Apparently he had steeped his Garmin in Brandy overnight!)

Thanks to Pam for all her hard work to organize our excellent Christmas Lunch and thanks to Peter for getting us there.

~ Tim

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

A group ride from Claygate, 11th December

Looking for a reason to take your mind off of the bluster, bluff and buffoonery of our politicians?..... then come join this week's A group ride, which will head off from Claygate in a south-westerly direction, ending up 23 miles later for lunch at The Garibaldi pub in Knaphill. I have been asked to take orders for lunch, and there is a menu on the web-site.

Bizarrely, the usual choices for lunch (sandwiches, jacket potatoes) are not on the main menu, so see below.

I suspect the chips at 50p may be a popular option !!!

After lunch, it is 14 miles to tea at the Riverhouse Barn in Walton-on-Thames.

The ride is mainly flat with a few lumps but no major climbs along the way....about 1000 feet of climbing from 11's to tea. The weather looks dry but cold, so layer up, and be ready for a prompt start at 10.30am.

Early starts

Just to put a slightly different perspective on this..... I went out for a morning spin on the Kedron Brook Bikeway this morning. Saw a club run out at 6.15 and another 15 minutes later. Well it is summer in Brisbane and by 1030 it will be over 30C.

Monday, December 09, 2019

Christmas lunch - further advice from Pam

Anybody making their own way to The Angel for the B Group lunch should aim to arrive at 12.30, to mix and mingle, as our lunch will be served at 1 o'clock.

See you all tomorrow

Cheers, Pam :) :)
B Group - 11th December

Choices, choices!!

It's either a direct 2.4 miles from Claygate to our Christmas Lunch at The Angel, Giggs Hill Green, Thames Ditton (navigating yourself) or 14 miles with me. If you follow me, we will explore parts of Walton on Thames you may not know existed including some off-road - conditions permitting.

Since we are likely to be a big group, please split into groups of 6 to 8 and also since its mostly suburban there will be plenty of opportunities for corner marking.

Don't forget the 1030 start!

Peter T

More on Whiteley Village....

There was lively discussion recently when, on one of Neil C's rides, he attempted to shepherd his reluctant fold through Whiteley Village, a place not in the past known to encourage visits by groups of cyclists! 

One of the entrances to the village now sports a large banner advertising a new Lantern Cafe within.  The cafe, it says, is open to all, seven days a week - for more see

Saturday, December 07, 2019

Train Assisted CTC Ride 8 May 1955

I’m sure some of you have seen this film before, but I hadn’t, and it’s worth watching. A lot has changed as you will see, but not pubs for lunch, punctures and the bonk.