Wednesday, October 30, 2019

A Group 30 October - Weybridge-West Clandon-Cobham

Ironwork fence at East Clandon (Photos: Dave B)
Leaves crunching under tyres, bonfire smoke in the nostrils, warm sun and cold air: a great day for an Autumn ride.   Lots of bright-eyed and bushy-tailed people at Weybridge eager for a ride, including 18 in the A group who set off up the hill and down past the Brooklands Concorde to West Byfleet.

We could have gone through Muddy Lane again, but I thought it might be a bit, well, muddy, so we stuck to the road: Pyrford, Ripley, Hungry Hill and we were quickly up to East Clandon, and also up to temperature.  It seemed a lot warmer than the 11 degrees forecast.   Here we had a detour down the Old Epsom Road to look at the ironwork fence, made out of old tools, horseshoes and so on.

Only a couple of miles to the pub now, but we weren't going that way.   Two gratuitous hills were added, with a detour via Shere and Albury Heath.  A large contingent were off like greyhounds up Staple Lane, enjoying a swift, dry descent down Combe Lane to Shere, where Patrick and David W chanced their luck in riding through the ford.   Over the small undulation of Albury Heath and back down to start the ascent of Newlands Corner, rather less enthusiastically this time, maybe more like - labradors?  Then it really was downhill all the way to West Clandon and the Bull's Head, where good food was enjoyed by all.

Happy doggies

Somebody's eaten all the cake!
Mark and Dave left us after lunch (Mark looking for a more hilly route home), and the sweet sixteen remaining departed in the wrong direction, west towards Merrow, then Burpham (pardon me, it was the food) before a short section of the A3 cycle track to before turning onto Potter's Lane, which led us to Send, Ockham and to the Medicine Garden at Cobham, arriving just after 3pm for tea and cakes.   As we were sitting enjoying our tea a lady with pushchair arrived and announced loudly "Look, there's only one [cake] left!"  Very thoughtful of us, I reckon.   We chatted perhaps a bit too long and with sunset at 16:40 I guess many would have needed lights for the last few miles home from tea.

Thanks to - everyone! for your company, AND for splitting into groups and letting the traffic pass safely.   Thanks also to all the corner markers, and to Mike B for back marking:  he was impressed and commented on our excellent gapping.   Top marks.  Just 33 miles and 1663 ft ascent from elevenses to tea.

B Group - 30th October (photo and map)

At Ye Olde Windsor Castle

~ Tim

Wednesday 30th October

Brooklands memories

On a sunny but coolish day twenty two of us headed for Weybridge station car park, thence via the cycle track to Brooklands, passing through the fourth arch of Hennibique/Seven Arch bridge. Cars were rushing along the Mercedes Benz flooded test track (formerly known as the runway. I clearly remember seeing the first Vickers Vanguard take off on 20th January, 1959 and the first Vickers VC10 on 29th June 1962).Stopping briefly at the Concorde model we then headed for West Byfleet, thankfully there is a shared pavement alongside Parvis Road. Past Pyrford Lock and the end of (still inaccessible) Muddy Lane to the footbridge over the A3, we soon passed the end of Wisley airfield where the above named aircraft did their test flying. Our destination was Ye Olde Windsor Castle at Little Bookham, reached via Effingham Junction and the Lower Road. There is plenty of room at YOWC both indoors and out, the food was good, quickly served and reasonably priced.

Having had a hill-less morning I rectified that by leading up Chapel Lane and down Bagdon to the A24 cycle track which we used to Leatherhead, then via Garlands Road and Ottways Lane to Coffee Active at Ashtead.

Thanks to corner markers various and back marker Tim and to all for making it a pleasant day out .


Monday, October 28, 2019

Bike Parking at Weybridge - 30th October.

Just a reminder - and for those not at Weybridge last time, that you are requested not to leave your bikes on the access ramp to the entrance to the Centre.

Adequate, convenient and secure bike parking is available at the rear of the Centre. (Access is via the park gates - advertising Weybridge Children's Centre, behind the Centre, off Churchfield Road).

Sunday, October 27, 2019

A Group ride 30 October

We're going to a nice 16th Century inn, popular with the B group but I can't remember the A group ever visiting: the Bull's Head at West Clandon.  It's an easy, very short ride there.  Too easy, so I've added a couple of bonus hills, which add 8 miles to take the total to (only) 20.  And then just 13 to tea at Cobham, so you might get home in the light - but bring lights just in case.

And remember, Pam will be taking your Christmas lunch orders at Weybridge.

31 October - Trustee Elections - Deadline Approaches

Four days left to vote.

 You have four days left to vote for up to three trustees to influence the future direction of the CTC (now known as CUK). Put Brexit to one side - this is about the future direction of our Club. You have received your voting paper with the candidates' names and supporting statements, for election to the CUK Board of Trustees. This year at least the CUK Nominations Committee has not sought blatantly to promote its favoured candidates. Read their statements, make your mind up and decide. It takes three minutes online.

To vote or not to vote? That is the question.

I have. Have you? 


Saturday, October 26, 2019

B group lunch on Wednesday 30th October....

....will be at Ye Olde Windsor Castle at Bookham. Please select from the menu on :

and let me know your choice. I will ring YOWC shortly after 1100.

There will be a little not too exciting off-road before lunch and the choice of a hill just after lunch. Don't forget your lights - though I doubt if you'll need them.


Friday, October 25, 2019

Orders for Club kit

Pam has received all the kit which she has ordered from Gear Club.

She will be at Elevenses at Weybridge with everyone's orders this coming Wednesday, 30th October. 

If you won't be coming to Elevenses on Wednesday please let Pam know so that she won't have to lug your new kit around all day and take it home in the evening. She will be able to suggest an alternative arrangement.

~ Tim

Christmas Dinners: a Mega-important announcement

Christmas Dinners, December 2019

I haven't got a hard copy of the Xmas menu for the Angel Inn yet.  So please look at their web site and the Xmas Party Menu pops up straight away:

Click on the menu to see an enlarged version in previous years...write your menu choice, your full name and group on the front of an envelope and seal it with your payment inside!!

The Xmas lunch dates are shown on next month's Sou'wester and also noted online in the Rides List:

December 4th - A's lunch (Ride from Cobham RBL)

December 11th - B's lunch (Ride from Claygate DC)

I plan to be out each Wednesday to collect your envelopes up to 27th November...

Cheers Pam

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Easy Riders - 23rd October

As Teddington is the northernmost meeting point it seems right that we should go north and so we followed the Thames up to Isleworth and had an early lunch at the London Apprentice. From there we went through Syon Park, along to Kew Bridge then took the Thames Path to Mortlake where, instead of taking the usual traffic ridden route through East Sheen, we carried on to Barnes, taking some back roads to come out at Upper Richmond Road. 

Instead of going straight ahead along Priory Road we turned right then left along Hertford Road to join the back tracks to Roehampton Gate. It was a bit early to stop for tea when we got there so we went our various ways at Robin Hood Gate. From there Frank Carter, who lives in Wimbledon, took me along a track parallel to Roehampton Vale on the West side, then through a tunnel onto Wimbledon Common where we went our separate ways home.

I was having a chat with the manager of Pitfield Cycles in New Malden and it transpired that he felt fortunate that his mother had a big barn on her property in which he could store his 1920 - 1980 bicycles. How many? Two hundred and sixty. Beat that!

John B

B Group - 23rd October

Although Colin and the leader hadn’t noticed, the long-trouser season is back with us, after what has seemed like quite a brief summer. But despite a slight prospect of rain and warnings of muddy tracks and slippery tree routes, not to mention the prospect of dining at a ‘gastro pub’, 23 riders embarked on our B Group ride.

We set out across Bushy Park and crossed the Hampton Court Bridge and Portsmouth Road into Littleworth Common for our first encounter with a fairly squiffy but rideable path through the trees. And soon we were roller-coastering through the forest in Arbrook and Esher Commons, then skirting around Fairmile Common, dodging the cemetery at Upper Cobham Tilt, and bounding over the River Mole (via the conveniently located bridge).

Fast forward through to Horsley where I had intended to ride along the path through Lollesworth Wood, alongside the railway line. However, as we had all gone to the trouble of pre-ordering our lunches and I could see that we were on track to arrive late (around 1:30), I decided that we should head straight on down Forest Road to The Duke of Wellington and get on with eating our lunches.

That was a good idea; the food there is very good, very much as they claim on their website, “good quality, fresh, honest food”. Sian and the team looked after us very well and I’d happily go there again, with or without entourage. I have no recollection of going to this pub since John Gould took us there in November 2011 and again in November 2012 so this visit was quite overdue.



We headed north after lunch and turned into Lynx Hill for the scenic path . At this point the intention was to follow, in reverse, the route of Dave Ward's June ride through to Orestan Lane and thence to Great Bookham but the leader made a navigational blunder, taking the muddy track known as Dirtham Lane rather than continuing along the muddy track known as the Old London Road. Once back on the right path we cycled through Fetcham and took River Lane across the two small bridges to Randall’s Park and, once beyond the M25, we rode up the Leatherhead Road and onto the lovely path along the top of Ashtead Common. Thence to The Old Moat garden centre for tea, coffee and cake; We arrived there at 15:50, just in time to catch them before they stopped taking orders.

A lovely autumnal ride; everybody managed the technical bits (slippery paths) very well, and we more or less escaped getting wet.

Thanks to Peter Tiller for back-marking and to numerous people who marked corners and generally kept an eye on proceedings. Thanks to Steph and Pam for several photos.Thank you all for coming on this mini-adventure, our last ride before the great going back of the clocks.

~ Tim

Pam's photo

A group ride to Dorney 23 Oct

We had a nice, flat, fast ride out to Dorney with no punctures or other nasties. Six riders chose Tite Hill over the delights of Cooper’s Hill Lane, but we all reconvened at the top with no problems. The Pineapple pub produced a superb selection of soup, sandwiches and chips (I had pie & mash which was also very good). Here is an interesting fact from DaveF: The Pineapple Pub is so named because the first ever pineapple grown in the UK was grown at Dorney Court, just down the road.
Many thanks to TrevorC for backmarking and Simon for taking the picture.

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Tri-Vets badges and bars have arrived

After some delays due to problems with suppliers, I now have all the Tri-Vets badges and bars that were ordered.   I'll bring them and distribute them tomorrow at Teddington.

Monday, October 21, 2019

A group ride 23 Oct 2019

Starting at Teddington (Elleray Hall) this will be a flat ride heading north-west through Shepperton, Staines, Egham, Old Windsor, Eton, and Dorney. 24 miles to lunch at the famous Pineapple Pub with its "Amazing Sandwich Menu". There are a few off-road sections, including a short but very steep climb up Cooper's Hill Lane just after Egham (this is an official cycle route and is just about rideable on a road bike but you may prefer to get off and walk it, especially the gnarly top section). After lunch we will do another 22 miles returning via Fifield, Cranbourne, Woodside, Cheapside, Virginia Water to tea at the Mocha café in Shepperton (or Squires in Upper Halliford if the group prefer). Total 46 miles and total ascent just 1,100ft (very flat). If anyone would like the GPX file just send an email to

Advice and Menu for B Group ride on 23rd

There will be many stretches of off-road riding, some of it on quite undulating terrain. Therefore please take great care and ride slowly, especially if there has been any rain before the ride. Keep well away from each other's wheels, a) to reduce the likelihood of an accident, and b) to avoid getting a face full of muddy spray.

Sometimes slippery tree roots can seem to spring out of the mud at short notice particularly when it is dark under the canopy of the trees. Keep an eye out for them as we ride through the commons, starting with Littleworth.

We will be dining at the Duke of Wellington in East Horsley and to facilitate efficient delivery of our food the management have asked that we pre-order. This is a gastro-pub which is reflected in the quality (but also the price) of the food, but I hope that everyone will find something suitable. On the recce I spoiled myself by finishing with a 'mini-pud of the day' which comes with a cup of coffee or tea.

Visit this website to see their lunch menu. It includes an option to download the PDF version of the menu if you wish.

Confirm your choice(s) to me by text (07767 385 596) or email (

Our Tea stop will be at the Old Moat Garden Centre Café. The afternoon ride is quite short so we should roll in for tea well before 4p.m.

See you at the Elleray Hall. Outlook for Wednesday: mainly cloudy, gentle southerly breezes, not much likelihood of rain, temperatures still in double figures.

~ Tim

Saturday, October 19, 2019

Easy Riders - 16th October

We set out from Leatherhead with our new friends who had recently returned from Australia, Wendy Davidson and Stuart Cameron, and made our way along the A24 through the Mole Gap to the Watermill at Dorking for lunch. We thought it too risky to take a more roundabout route with so many wet leaves on the hills. From there we divided into two groups with one led by Helen Tovey up through Westhumble, along Crabtree Lane and up a steep track to Norbury Park and down to the associated farm. The other group took the safer option by retracing our route to Leatherhead and Ashtead for tea at Coffee Active where both groups met up again.

John B

Thursday, October 17, 2019

B Group - 16th October, Freewheel Competition

Only ten optimistic B riders took a chance with the weather and made their way to the lovely church centre of St Martin’s in Dorking. The weather had been very damp and there was a chance that we would get wet before we had even arrived in Dorking. 

We set off for the short ride to our annual free wheel competition through some side streets to the south of Dorking High Street. This included an uphill recce of the actual downhill route, although this did us no favours as no B riders were prize winners on Brockham Green half an hour later.

We then put in a few more miles to develop an appetite for our lunch back in Brockham. Later on we cycled to Ashtead where we had the pleasant surprise of joining the Easy Riders for afternoon tea in the bike café.

Well done and thank you for the riders who took a chance with the weather, which was well rewarded as it was actually sunny when we left to make our various ways home.

Thank you Tim G for back marking the three sections of the day’s ride.

John A

Thanks to Pete for the above photos.

A few extra miles from Brockham, after the competition, (anticlockwise)

Some theories about how to go further ...

Contemplating a plunge into the abyss
Discussing tactics

What if the wheels lock when I stop pedalling?

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

2019 Free wheel competition - results

A dampish early morning probably deterred a few people but 11 o'clock at Dorking was fine and it stayed that way (at least for the Bs) all day. As I implied in my blog, this year's hill was Root, last visited a couple of years ago.

At the hill Simon volunteered to act as lookout at the bend shortly after the start (thanks) and I talked Dave Fixie (freewheely today) Cullen into being pusher-off of competitors (more thanks). I set off first and thanks to Simon's warning braked slightly due to an oncoming car. Had I not done so I would have cleared the little bridge and stopped who knows where ?  During my descent I saw two walkers travelling in the opposite direction, they looked quizzically at me, crouched down, freewheeling and travelling fairly slowly. I told them they would see several more - 'It's a competition'.

Soon after I had marked my finishing point Mike Reynell sailed by and stopped some distance further on. Whilst I was returning to see how the ladies were faring (thanks Jennie for checking), Dave Bartholomew sailed past and stopped less than a bike's length short of Mike. Jennie was the furthest travelled lady with Janice running up.

We then adjourned to Brockham green where Tim presented the awards. As usual, Ed produced two beautiful carvings for the winners but had a cold so didn't come on the ride. Thanks, Ed, get better soon. The runners up each received a tube.


A ride and freewheel competition 16th October

Most of us arrived in Dorking in the rain but large slabs of bread pudding cheered us up and added ballast for the competition ahead. For those looking for a lighter alternative, the entrance to the church hall had the above delightful display of knitted cakes, sandwiches, teapot etc.

14 A group left Dorking for the start of the top secret freewheel competition. Much surprise all round to find ourselves at the top of Roothill Lane.

Mike Reynell managed to take 1st prize by less than a bike length in front of Dave Bartholomew. In the ladies competition there was less of a nail biting finish as Jennie Jackson was way ahead of the competition, with myself in second place.

The awards ceremony took place in Brockham and beautiful trophy’s which had been carved by Ed were given to the winners and inner tubes to the runners up.

The rain had stopped and the forecast was now hopeful so A group headed the 10 miles to The Star at Rusper where lunch was quickly served. There was some debate about whether to head straight back North but as the weather was fine 10 headed off on the planned route to Horsham and then back via Wimlands Hill, past The Frog and Nightgown and towards Lambs Green. Heavy rain started within minutes of us leaving Rusper and Keith having earlier suffered an exploding tyre decided to head for home. It dried up after an hour or so and indeed some roads after Lambs Green were totally dry. 

We stopped at Denbies before heading home in glorious sunshine which emphasised the beautiful autumn colours. 

37 miles and 1,900ft elevation from Dorking to Denbies. Thank you to Mike Barrett for back marking despite being on his ebike and to all corner markers. 

It's worth mentioning that our mileage paled into insignificance when compared to Dave Ward's as during the ride he (quietly) turned over 300,000 miles since 1987. What an amazing note-worthy achievement, very well done Dave!

Monday, October 14, 2019

2019 Free wheel competition

These suggestions were made a few years ago, they may be of interest to the more recently-joined Wayfarers.

In ideal conditions of no wind (but tail wind would obviously help), the smaller personal frontal area the better, less wind resistance means you travel quicker and consequently further.

So – any forward-facing hemispherical protuberances eg caused by consumption of vast quantities of alcoholic beverages could create a disturbance to the airflow around you, thus affecting your distance travelled so either get rid of them or, probably easier, try and smoothly blend them in.

Owners of a large proboscis should keep ‘eyes front’ – unless there is a side wind, in which case try to turn the head 90 o (to reduce area exposed to the wind).

Any follicly challenged person could take advantage of the situation by a light application of Cherry Blossom (or similar) light tan polish.

Conversely, anyone with excessive facial follicles should seriously consider appearing clean shaven for the event (and hopefully remaining so) – if an award winner proof of identity will be required.

Polish (or, at least, clean), front forks and head tube.

Ensure the lever of qd wheels is horizontal.

On the day – head down, tyre pressures up, one eye looking for pot-holes, one eye looking for tractors, one eye analysing the road ahead and selecting the optimum route, think thin (unless it’s a tailwind), cranks horizontal – and – good luck.
The above may be the root cause(s) of downhill problems.

See you at the bottom of the hill.


Sunday, October 13, 2019

A ride to secret location Weds 16 Oct

A group will be leaving Dorking headed for £@&##*^ (my lips are sealed)  and the freewheel competition. Fortunately, as I’m leading I’ve been told the location but all I can say is that it involves a hill.

As we’ll have done very few miles in the morning (and at least some of those will be downhill) we’ll be adding a few extra after the competition by heading off for a 10 mile circuitous and secret route to The Star in Rusper. If the weather is reasonably ok we’ll head for Denbies after lunch via  Horsham and 22 miles of mostly pleasant lanes. The clocks won’t have gone back yet so we’ll have plenty of daylight.

If the weather is as currently forecast we’ll have the option to head back north straight after lunch.

Saturday, October 12, 2019

Urgent Leak Enquiry Demanded

 We shall dig you out

I trust that 'The Committee' will urgently be convening a 'Leak Enquiry' to uncover the mole who has so flagrantly dishonoured the trust placed in him/her/they by revealing the location of our highly prized event. Downing Street - yes.  CTCSWL - no!


Friday, October 11, 2019

Exclusive: BBC reveals top-secret location of Wayfarers Freewheel Competition

The freewheeling Tomasz Shafernaker
Normally a highly-classified secret, the location of this Wednesday's Freewheel Competition was accidentally disclosed by Tomasz Shafernaker on BBC1 this evening.

Mr Terry Lowe, competition director, said "this is highly irregular.  The location details are only shared with a small number of vital ride leaders."   He added that a full investigation is in progress.   Possible sanctions could be as serious as disqualification from the competition.

Wednesday the 16th - Dorking

This week is the annual freewheel competition. Details on the day.


Thursday, October 10, 2019

A Group Ride Report - 9 October

A Group Ride Report - 9 October

19 of us gathered at Addlestone, and with thanks to those who abandoned their place in the coffee/cake queue, managed to be on the road by 11.10.

The objective was to visit Burnham Beeches to take in some autumn colour, and lunch at the Royal Standard at Wooburn Common. This pub we last visited back in 2013 under Frank Cubis’ leadership, which is a surprise given the friendly welcome and speedy service, not to mention their range of 10 real ales.

Given the distance involved, and the recent weather, this ride was always going to be a gamble with the rain gods, but today we were lucky, seeing no rain and frequent bursts of sunshine.

Pausing in Burnham
Thanks to efficient corner marking and no punctures we made lunch in 2 ¼ hours, and due to efficient pub staff we were fed and watered in an hour. With a bit of tailwind help we made the 24 miles to tea at Squires, Upper Halliford in 2 hours, in time for most to get home in daylight.

On the downside, despite reminders, we were forgetting to leave gaps in the peloton, especially on the way out to Wooburn, and I understand we were partially to blame for some very ill-advised and dangerous overtaking by motorists.  Doubtless we were also contributing to the ill-feeling towards all cyclists, which endangers us all. So remember, if you are no. 7 on the group, drop back and leave some space for cars to pull in; you will not be forgotten by the corner markers. Also do not overtake a rider who is leaving a gap unless there is a very good reason, such as getting a message to the leader.

Many thanks to Simon for back marking, to Brian and Simon for QA’ing my somewhat wayward
gpx tracks, and to Janice for photos.

48 miles Addlestone to Halliford, 13mph moving, almost no climbing.