Thursday, February 28, 2019

B Group - 27th February

For those who can remember, the ride in the same week last year was a spectacular non-event, as all of the SW London rides were cancelled, the temperature was -4 degrees, snow was predicted and arrived the following day. What a difference a year makes!

This year in blazing sunshine and temperatures rising to 18 degrees, the B Group headed to East Sheen.  Along the way we explored the minor roads of Shepperton and Lower Sunbury before exiting left and taking a bridleway up to Hampton. We then proceeded to Bushy Park, navigating the kissing gates along the way before cycling along the Lower Teddington Road to Teddington lock, where disaster struck; I got a puncture! So after some consideration, Tim took most of the group onto the Pig and Whistle at East Sheen for lunch. I followed on with John, Grant and Arwyn to keep me company. The pub served us quickly with some excellent food and we were on our way in just over an hour.

On leaving the pub, we re-entered Richmond Park and climbed up the hill to Richmond Gate where we left  the park and proceeded down the hill towards Ham, turning off right down River Lane and left along the towpath to Kingston Bridge. We crossed the bridge and followed the Thames towpath along past Hampton Court Place, over the Bridge and turned right for tea at the Five at the  Bridge café at Hampton Court, which we all found so good it was difficult to leave. Thank you for your help and understanding on my first lead ride.

Ray Youlden

A Group 27th ... February?? Walton-Dorney-Halliford

Ice creams in February?  The day started like February with a frost, but ended more like June.  Wonderful.  Plenty of takers for a ride in the sunshine at Walton: it was good to see Dave Bartholomew back mobile again after breaking his pelvis.  We have missed you Dave - hope to see you on your bike just as soon as you can.

We got away promptly, and then it was quick-slow-quick-quick-slow as we sped to Chertsey (our second crossing of the Thames), up to Lyne and Trumps Green, then slow around Virginia Water, avoiding dog-walkers and buggies galore - the lake looking gorgeous in the sunshine.  Bursting out of the park at Blacknest Gate we went an unorthodox route to The Drift and Fifield before another slow-ish bit across the river at Dorney, arriving just before 1pm at The Pineapple.  By this time it was summer weather and we sat outside, where we were fed promptly and generously.  A longer linger was tempting but so was a bike ride ... we headed back via Dorney Lake, a couple of cattle grids just to wake up the derriere and then via Eton and Datchet to Old Windsor.
24 miles under our belt, and now this...

Per ardua ad astra
I advertised a mindfulness-themed ride but kept it pretty low-key, in line with my level of knowledge on the subject.  There was a test coming up:  would mind over matter obscure the small matter of Crimp Hill?   We all made it to the top, but I think most of us noticed there was a hill.   It was a nice day so we went to the Air Force Memorial and most went up the tower to enjoy the views of the, er, air.  Then it was down another monument, this time Sustrans' flagship NCN4 route London to Wales, the cycling equivalent of the M4, which descends a steep hill, off road, with a short section made up seemingly of half-bricks and rubble.  Easy enough to negotiate going down, but it would be awful going up, especially when wet and muddy.  A bit of tarmac would surely be justified?
The RAF Memorial Squadron?
Our fifth crossing of the Thames was at Staines and we celebrated with tea at Squires at Halliford.   Some of us had ice cream.   In February.   Ridiculous, but memorable.

Thank you to Brian for back-marking, to Janice for the photos, and to all the corner markers, who allowed us to complete 43 miles fairly promptly and without losing anyone.   Thanks also to Geoff, for not wearing his Kaftan.

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Rays Ride to Sheen

Crossing Teddington lock Foot bridge.

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

B Group - advice for ride

Wednesday’s B ride from Walton will take us across the river to Shepperton, on through lower Sunbury, Hampton and Bushy Park. We then go along the north side of the Thames to Teddington lock where we cross the Thames and enter Richmond Park and on to East Sheen.

The afternoon will be along the Thames towpath until Kingston bridge where we cross the Thames and go to Hampton Court for tea. There is a rough section of towpath near Ham but it should not be a problem as it is dry and is taken easy.

Ray Youlden

Saturday, February 23, 2019

A Group 27 Feb

It has occurred to me during an idle moment that cycling is a great exercise in mindfulness, as well as the physical side of it.   So Wednesday's ride will pretend to be a Mindfulness Ride.  You can enjoy the sights and sounds of spring, luxuriate in the smells of the open countryside, taste the envy as you cycle past impossibly expensive houses, feel the potholes, and those new improved speed bumps in Eton, and marvel at the complete absence of hills!   (There will be a few hills, of course, but if the mindfulness is working well, you might not notice them.)   We will cycle to The Pineapple, Dorney, itself a sensory experience, and if we can still ride after our lunch, we will return to Halliford for a very light tea.   Chanting or mind-altering drugs are not required.

Companion to the CTC Road Book

I've been lucky enough to find a copy of the 'Companion to the CTC British Road Book', published in 1898, and I am very pleased with it.  The series of CTC Publications at the time was the 'Handbook', published annually, which covered hotels, some maps, and useful cycling information;  the 'Road Books', which cover the mainland in four volumes and Ireland in two more, and this volume, the only one I have ever seen.

This is a very good find - the Road Books cover, in very great detail, the roads; the surface, the hills, dangerous corners and so on.  They are a fine body of work, and historically interesting, but the 'Companion' is a much nicer thing.

The 'Companion' describes the rides, with notes on the places you will pass through, views, local history and much more.  The area covered is the same as the Road Book, so this volume, the first, covers Southern England.  It is well written, and includes a number of illustrations.  It also confirms, for me, what I had learned from other writings of the period.  The most common tour for club men and women of the time would be quite short, a day or two, with luggage being sent ahead.  The right hotels were important for lunch, tea and overnight stops, and riders were happy to use trains to pass uninteresting or unsuitable sections of their ride.  Distances ridden, however, could be quite large, given the poor road surfaces and sturdy but unsophisticated cycles.  A hundred miles in a day was not uncommon, and the 'Handbook' counsels that, just because you can ride a hundred miles in a day, you don't have to - stopping to take in the view or a place of interest is quite all right.

As I say, I haven't seen a 'Companion' before, so I don't know if the series was ever completed.  The CTC of the day was well organised, so I would expect that it was.  I'll keep an eye out for the others - this one is a very good read.


Post Script:

This edition is annotated 'Entered at Stationers' Hall'.  There is a record of it in the British Library catalogue, and in the Library of Congress.  There is also an entry in the catalogue of the Modern Records Centre, Warwick University.  However, no further editions are listed.  So 'Volume 1' may well be the only volume.

B Group - please preorder your lunch for Wednesday

Following our Chairman's appeal at the AGM for new leaders, Ray Youlden has expressed enthusiasm to lead B Group. He will therefore be leading the ride from Walton which would otherwise have been mine. He has planned a route and we have done the recce. We will dine at the Pig and Whistle in Sheen. Please see these two pages from the menu and let Ray know by email what you'd like for lunch:

If you prefer you can see the menu on their website.

Please respond by Monday night at the latest as Ray needs to pass the orders to the pub on Tuesday.

~ Tim and Ray

Friday, February 22, 2019

Hilly 50K

Our very own Hilly 50K is on Saturday the 2nd of March

 Full Details.

Thursday, February 21, 2019

A Group 20 Feb: Redhill - Horley - Denbies

You don’t often hear ride leaders boasting about their route but I’m going to: it was a gorgeous route out towards Kent – quiet lanes and great views in the spring-like weather. It wasn’t my route though. On Tuesday evening I was looking forward to Neil’s ride, and then he phoned me: “<Cough> Hello Simon...”  He was unwell and doubtful he could lead the ride, would I lead it?

Neil did join us and led the first mile or two out of Redhill but then retired the back of the peloton, and after we climbed Tilburstow Hill (via a little-known metalled track he’d found), he decided to skip the rest of the morning’s ride.  Lunch was at Horley, a stone’s throw south of Redhill, but first we went way out East to Merle Common, near Oxted.  We were bowling along in the sunshine, until we turned south towards Lingfield, when I realised that Neil had made a schoolboy error in planning the route.  He had included quite a long section of riding into the wind – and there was quite a fresh breeze blowing, from the south-west.  With 20 miles in my legs already to get to Redhill, the extra 27 to get to lunch was a struggle.  I kept looking behind me and the other 14 riders were all right behind me, chatting away as if they were having a lovely easy ride. It wasn’t even that hilly.

Neil was waiting for us at Horley and we were soon (too soon) fed and watered and ready to go. It was only a short hop back to Denbies, via Leigh, Root Hill, Tilehurst Lane and Punchbowl Lane.  Neil started as leader but the peloton soon spat him out and sent him to the back.  I was next, and suffered the same fate, so Janice took over and led us the remaining distance to tea.  A lovely day out. 40 miles from elevenses to tea with a meagre 1100 feet of ascent, but 78 miles in total for me – another notch on the Eddington bedpost.  Thank you to Janice for getting us back to tea, to Geoff for back marking and for the photo, and especially thanks to Neil for the route, but not for being poorly.   I hope you are well soon, as I feel I may be coming down with something, and I’m due to lead next week...



B Group - 20th February

Pete Beyer led a very challenging hilly ride today from Redhill to lunch at the Wellhouse, Mugswell, and then onto tea at Headley. By all accounts the ride from North Cheam to Redhill was very scenic, picturesque and pleasant. 15 riders set off from Elevenses at 11.10am past Redhill station on the left and at the island we turned left to start our first climb of the day up Redstone Hill only to turn sharp right down Redstone Hollow losing all the height we had gained and then we climbed again past the Cemetery. Some delay here due to Ann Bath shipping her chain which took some sorting out. We then ploughed on down Clay Lane heading for Outwood. Having gone over the M23 and seen all the road works and hold ups we were pleased to be superior to our motoring friends down below. Having reached Coopers Hill Road, route of the annual BHF southbound London to Brighton Jamboree Pete decided to cut out the route via Outwood past the windmill and head North up another long hill, Nuttfield and on reaching the A25 we turned right back over the M23 to take next left and then proceeded this time over the M25 via Sandy Lane and White Hill Lane to then turn left down Spring Bottom and along Rockshaw Rd. Back over the M23 to the junction of Gatton Bottom where we then did a right and then a left up another steep lane bypassing Fanny's Farm up to Chipstead High Street, and then to the Wellhouse. Despite being previously well booked in advance by Pete, due to some kitchen staff problems it took some 1¼ hrs to get served and in the end Tony cancelled his Coronation Chicken got his money back and as we were leaving they presented it wrapped in Tin Foil ( legs and head sticking out) for a free evening meal.

Onwards then to the A217 and then New Road to Walton on the Hill, my home but Pete persuaded me to go for cake at the fairly new refurbished Headley Tea Rooms which we approached via Hurst Lane and past the old forge and next to the Cock Inn Car Park (KT18 6LD). Excellent cake but again despite being booked they ran out of the most popular. The hot apple cake with clotted cream was delicious, the choice of most but two were disappointed.

We all applauded Pete for his excellent ride and I suspect we out gunned the “A” group in terms of elevation gained, it was like being crucified more than once in one day.

~ Mike Morley

Photo by Pete B.
Thanks to Steph for the data used to create this map

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

A Ride - 20 February from Redhill

For all of you who love long, hard, hilly rides with lunch at a Michelin starred eatery ..... prepare to be disappointed.

Less than 40 miles to tea in Dorking.
Tilburstow the only hill of note and that taken from the south on a private road.
Lunch after about 26 miles in the Wetherspoons in Horley.

Train stations at the start, lunch, the end and many places on the route.

(I'm not in the best of health and will probably arrive in Redhill by train. If I slow too much, Simon has generously agreed to take over leading.)

P.S. There are plenty of opportunities to ride a few more hills before Redhill or after Dorking!

Monday, February 18, 2019

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Dieppe reminder

Could I remind anyone who hasn't already booked for Dieppe to ensure that you enter your club as Souwesters. That way you get counted with the rest of us.

I have seen Caroline's list for the meal and advised those who need to correct their entry. If there is anyone not going to the meal who didn't put Souwesters could you please advise Caroline so she can correct the entry. Thanks.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

A Group Ride 13th Feb, Effingham to Rusper then Destination Bikes

The beautiful, almost Spring-like weather brought a large turnout and around 18 of us set off to tackle the many hills on a roundabout route to Rusper. I was certainly glad I'd had a granola slice at the Vineries as the climb up Critten Lane, Hoe Lane, Radnor Road and finally to Rusper burnt a few calories and I think we were all ready for our lunch by the time we arrived at the Star Inn, about 1.15.

There was a short delay receiving our meals but the food was good when it arrived and we were ready to leave again by 2.15. At this point there was much enthusiasm for the group photo and several photographers sprang into action.

From Rusper we had the wind behind us and only half as many hills so we flew along and soon arrived at Destination Bikes where, with huge enthusiasm, we had great coffee and also finished off the cake. At that point, the ride was 40 miles and 3,159ft elevation since leaving Effingham.

Thank you to the corner markers, with a special mention to Jenny for taking the one we all try to avoid (the last one before the lunch stop) and Steve who was going for a PR. Thanks also to Pete for volunteering to be backstop.

It was a wonderful feeling arriving home in daylight after a lovely sunny day spent cycling with friends in the Surrey Hills. What more can one ask for?

A Group 13th February

Janice led us on the first ride of Spring today.  A bit of sunshine, a bit of warmth and a tailwind home.  A token of the season to come.  

Over the hills to Rowhurst; Rusper for lunch and tea at Box hill.

A good day out, an enjoyable ride and home in the light.


B's to the Harrow at Charlton

Just crossed the lock at West Byfleet. 

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Fame at last!

We normally discourage posting advertisements on our blog, but I hope you will forgive me for posting this one, as I recognised some of the people in the picture.   And it's by a famous local artist and Wayfarer, Brian Bent.  You can view the original (which is very similar) on Facebook.

Another picture which I took earlier

Warm weather training.

Jurgon Klopp preparing for the Hilly 50 - leading the warm-weather training in Marbella!

Monday, February 11, 2019

A Group Ride 13 February

We'll be leaving Effingham Vineries for a ride through the Surrey hills going up some of the same hills we went up last week, up some we went down and down some we went up. In other words, we're covering remarkably similar ground by complete coincidence.

We'll be heading up Critten Lane, down Whitedown to Abinger Hammer and heading into Peaslake via Hoe Lane, going up the down and down the up compared to the hilly 50 route. Turning left into Radnor Road, such a pleasant descent last week, to Ewhurst Green, Rowhook, Warnham and finally arriving at The Star in Rusper for lunch. 23 miles and 2,098 ft climbing to build up an appetite.

After lunch we'll aim for tea at Destination bikes just after the top of Box Hill which will make the totals for the day 40 miles and 3,159ft of climbing.

Saturday, February 09, 2019

A Rolls Bike

Now theres a thought for that old bike you have rusting away.

B group ride Wednesday the 13th

We will try and leave prompt at 11.00 and will be heading North to the  Harrow pub at Charlton for lunch, about 19 miles.

Afternoon tea will be at Arthurs on Twickenham Green.

((and not hilly :-) well maybe a few lttle ones)


Friday, February 08, 2019

The Annual Lunch

Forty-three people have already signed up with Simon for our Annual Lunch on 6th March. For those of you who wonder whether it will be worth coming, here is the menu, in some ways even better than last year. Our hostess Rosa-Lina has most kindly agreed to provide our three course lunch for the same price as last year, £15.

Take a look at this:

Yum yum
So please contact Simon to confirm that you are coming and pay (or arrange to pay) your £15 to him.

If you have already signed up please email me to tell me what choices you have made for your starter and main course. For dessert we will choose from a big selection on the trolley, after our main course.

Remember to mention any allergies or dietary requirements you have.

~ Tim

Tri-Vets 2019

As you may have noticed in Cycleclips, CTC has begun to advertise this year's Tri-Vets.  The Wayfarers will be organising one of the events, starting at 0800 on the 19th June in Brockham Cricket Pavilion.

Arrangements will be much the same as last time, with three rides being offered:

50 Kms, a normal Wednesday Ride;

100 Kms, an Audax-Style challenge; and,

100 miles, the CTC Tri-Vets, with a badge available for those that complete the course in 12 hours.

The routes will be substantially the same as 2016, with one important difference to the 100 mile ride. In response to rider feedback the loops will be taken in the opposite order to last time, so that the longer loop is completed before lunch.

Here's the map of the 100 mile route, for information.

More detail on the routes can be found at:

More info to come by and by, but make a note in your diary, as it's sure to be a great day out.

Mark & Simon

Brian Bent making progress

Just had a call from Brian to say thank you for the 'Get well' card which included some quite witty comments apparently. So well done Gill for having the good idea to buy and circulate a card for him.

He said that his hands are still quite swollen but have improved a bit, but that it is still difficult to do some things like doing up buttons etc. He has been told (advised) that he may be out of action for a few weeks.

He has seen Ged's photos on the C&M blog and was reflecting that it was probably a good thing that he wasn't out riding that day.

~ Tim

Shine a Light

We're getting longer days - and less need for lights, but if you've ever had problems with Exposure lights, my recent experience may help.

I dropped my big front light whilst on the A ride on 2nd January, causing damage making it unworkable. Although the light was nearly ten year's old, on the off-chance I contacted Exposure to see what they could do.

I was so pleased with the service they provided I gave them a plug on the CTC blog, below. The moral - invest in good gear and keep the receipt!

Thursday, February 07, 2019

Pete B's pic 6th Feb

B group at the Stepping Stones, West Humble

A Group Ride - 6th February from Cobham

Over 2,000 ft of ascent on the ride - and probably 3,000 ft in total all day for many, was just the tonic for dusting-off the cobwebs of a couple of week's inactivity caused by the ice and snow: indoor turbo-trainers and spinning classes are a poor substitute for grinding-up the Surrey hills!

Dave Vine's meticulously planned ride took us up Critten Lane to Ranmore; Abinger Lane up to the Common; the steep Pitland St. on the way to Peaslake; and finally the lovely Combe Lane to whet our appetites for lunch.

17 As left Cobham in Spring-like conditions ready for Dave's hills, with all evidence of snow banished. After 21 miles we were at the Bull's Head, West Clandon, soon after 1.00pm - 2 more riders than anticipated, and joined by Geoff G. just as we arrived.

Ready to leave the Bulls Head - for a level afternoon's ride. (photo Geoff.G)
Unfortunately Geoffrey punctured shortly after departing, leaving corner-marker Janice in the cold at the corner of the A247 and Tithebarns Lane. (The rest of the peloton waited at the concrete farm-track near Send Prison).
Waiting for the puncture-repair crew.

Riders gradually peeled-off as we approached Effingham, on the way to Downside, and after the track from Downside to Stoke D'Abernon, leaving 7 to cycle along Fairmile and tea at Cafe Giro, Esher.

Thanks to Dave. V for providing the route - to celebrate the absence of snow and ice, and to Simon for formatting the .gpx files so that they worked seamlessly in my Garmin - apart from a little wobble at Peaslake. Brian performed as an excellent back marker, and corner markers kept the pace up.

We hope you're not too disappointed at missing the hills Dave, but to make-up for it Janice has promised a challenging re-run next week!

Thanks for your company on an enjoyable birthday ride.

Can you help ?

Yesterday Lynda Barrow mislaid her yellow gloves at Cobham, probably outside (fortunately Ray had a spare pair). If you picked them up by mistake/know of their whereabouts please contact Lynda on   02086442013 or07746585511.

Wednesday, February 06, 2019

B Group ride - 6th February

What a difference a week and 10 degrees make!!  Gone were the icy conditions of last Wednesday and it felt as if Spring had arrived, especially when the sun broke through the rather threatening dark clouds later in the morning and we saw snowdrops by the roadside along Green Dene!  It was a group of 16 riders who set out from Cobham along a straightforward route through Downside to East Horsley where we joined the Epsom Road & turned left, heading for Green Dene, known for being the start of a couple of climbs.  Today, we took the left turn, up the challenging hill on Crocknorth Road, challenging enough for only a handful of people to arrive at the top without having had to put foot to ground!  A packet of jelly babies was circulated to celebrate the summit and there was appreciative talk of an extremely considerate postman in his van who had been tolerant of the wobbling pack trying to keep going or to get back on their bikes.  With everyone suitably revived after the climb, we set off to enjoy (I hope) the undulations where the speed from downhill almost carried one to the top of the next rise along Ranmore Common Road.  The sun was shining by now and the final steep descent to Chapel Lane soon had us arriving at the pub, the Stepping Stones, West Humble, for lunch.  An area big enough for 20 riders had been set aside for us and a very jovial young man called Andrew happily took our orders & even took the obligatory group photo organised by Pete Beyer.

We set off again at 2.00 p.m. along the familiar route to Leatherhead and across to Stoke D'Abernon where 10 of us stopped for teas & coffees at Squires before heading home.  Thanks to Carolyn for back-marking and to the occasional corner markers when these were needed.  With a bit of luck, this taster of Spring will continue next week.

~ Gill Finlay

Muddy Lane (runs north from near Wisley Church )

This came to me yesterday so it is today Wed at 10 in Woking in case anyone is interested.
Muddy Lane
The public enquiry for Muddy Lane resumes tomorrow. It is being held at the Woking Borough Council Civic Offices, Gloucester Square, Woking, GU21 6YL starting at 10:00am. Depending on how many people wish to speak and any new issues that arise, the session may last for one or for two days.

All members of the public are entitled to speak at a public enquiry (that's the whole purpose of them). If you have used Muddy Lane at any time in the past and would like to speak then please come along tomorrow. 

If you are interested in the proceedings but don't want to speak you can also attend and listen to what happens. The more people that attend the enquiry the more it shows public support for the change of status, so if you want to show support then I would encourage you to come along.

For sure there will be some discussion tomorrow about no-entry signs, the height of the bridge under the motorway, and possibly other new challenges might be submitted at the last minute as happened last time. It will not be dull.

Tuesday, February 05, 2019

Details for B Group ride tomorrow

The B Group ride for 6th February will be heading to the Stepping Stones pub at West Humble. The planned route involves one challenging climb (worth it when you get to the top) with the reward of a long downhill later on.  Hopefully the weather won't be challenging as well this week.

~ Gill

Monday, February 04, 2019

A Group Ride Update

Unfortunately Dave Vine is now unable to lead the ride from Cobham on Wednesday due to unforeseen circumstances.

I have agreed to lead the ride at short notice.

If possible Dave will make available his .gpx file of his intended route for me to follow. If this is not possible I will endeavour to create a new route, keeping the same lunch and tea venues.

Either way I will not be able to carry out a recce for the ride so a bit more on-the-road patience may be needed.

I will keep you informed should there be any further changes to these circumstances.


Sunday, February 03, 2019

A Group Ride 6 Feb from Cobham

Wednesday’s weather looks warmish but possibly wettish. Too early to call spring, but I thought we might do a couple of hills to celebrate the absence of snow and ice. Lunch at the Bulls Head @ West Clandon . Tea @ Café Giro in Esher, or Costa opposite if you are feeling skint. Exact route and any off road will depend on conditions which I will check Tuesday.

Saturday, February 02, 2019

Les Johnston - still cycling

Many of you will remember Les as a keen rider with the Wayfarers for many years.  A few years ago he was diagnosed with dementia and is now unable to come out with us.   However as you can see he is not going to let something like that stop him cycling!    The videos were sent by Les's wife Barbara.

Friday, February 01, 2019

Wayfarers Contact List - any updates?

I will shortly be publishing an updated Contact List for the Wayfarers. 

If your details, or those of your emergency contact, have changed since the last edition, please email me with the changes.

2018 Photo competition

Please note that the competition is now closed to new entries.

Thank you to the 20 people who have submitted photos.

~ Tim