Saturday, November 30, 2019

Coast to Coast

To keep myself entertained through the winter and into the spring, I have devised a little project.  The plan is to ride from Coast to Coast in a series of fairly short stages, cunningly designed to be reasonably traffic free and, importantly, to start and finish near a station. This means that I can pick an odd stage on a suitable day, do it, and scuttle home.

So far, I've done two stages, of nine eight, and it's going very nicely.  The start point is Foreness Point, near Margate, and the finish will be Whitesand Bay, near St Davids.  The first stage took me to the Dog and Bear, Lenham, a good pub with a CTC Winged Wheel, and I enjoyed a very good lunch of local pigeon before hopping back on the train.

The second stage is Lenham to home, and, again, a very good day out.  Bits of the Pilgrims Way, but all of the wet stretches missed.  The lanes were still pretty mucky, but a very enjoyable ride.  

The stages are:

Margate to Lenham
Lenham to Carshalton

429 miles all told, between 50 and 60 miles a day.

I'm using e-bikes for the trip, and they're working very well.  Lenham to Carshalton, 59 miles and 3700 ft of ascent left me with 55% of the battery of my Cannondale, so I don't think that range is going to be an issue.  Further west, as spring comes along, I'll probably double up on the stages and will carry a bit of luggage.  Not much, of course, as I'll only ride on sunny days...  Perfect touring, really - at least, I hope so.

I'll let you know how I get on.


Thursday, November 28, 2019

Easy Riders - 27th November

There was guarded enthusiasm for leaving Kingston because of the uncertain weather but eventually we set off over Kingston Bridge and then into Bushy Park. We made for the Teddington Gate then through the town centre and over the lock into Ham in the direction of Richmond Gate. At this point it started to rain so we abandoned the plan to go through the park to a pub in Sheen and decided to go to the Wych Elm in Kingston where five of us had lunch. This was by some way the shortest ride this year but nobody seemed enthused to go further afield. At least we all got home before darkness fell.


Ed Sharp and Pat Matthews at Elevenses (Photo by Dave Ward)

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

B Group - 27th November

Pam's mini bike ride!!

That's the way I felt when I decided on this particular route after cycling to Wimbledon some weeks ago to meet the beautiful few weeks old Lilly ( Liz B's grand daughter)!!  It hadn't been raining buckets at that time but as I don't know the area that well - I decided to take a chance and - go for it !!

I counted 22 brave cyclists - more than I expected when one reads a forecast of mostly rain all day: maybe the morning sun  encouraged folks to get on their bikes!!   We started off along the towpath to Teddington Lock where we turned into Lock Road...then the rain started so we stopped to don necessary waterproofs prior to entering Richmond Park. It was a nice ride through the park, not as many cyclists as I have seen before but walkers and deer we did see.

Our route was via Pen Ponds to Roehampton Gate.  Out of the gate, right into Danebury Road, across the lights, right turn at end of one way system then left onto the Heath.   This is where I was concerned re the surface - well -  I think it could have been worse - not sure what others thought!! Thankfully nobody went a cropper!!  Our one incident was Tim getting a puncture, nearer to Wimbledon, and unfortunately the repair had it's own incident which resulted in Pat picking him up and Grant missing lunch as after helping Tim he continued home.  Not surprising for they must have been drenched.

Our lunch venue was The Hand in Hand pub, Crooked Billet Road.  We had our own area, the staff were very friendly and efficient and the food was quickly served - and delicious!   Plus, the manager expressly made room for our bikes to be parked in the seating area at the front of the pub.

I learnt that a lot of our group live within easy reach of Wimbledon so several folks went  their own way home after lunch.... after our group photo had been taken - with thanks to Francoise, albeit, a passer by kindly took the photo to include Francoise.

Those who remained, must have been a dozen or so, left with me for tea at the cafĂ© within the cycle shop Cycle Exchange, opposite Sainsbury's, Kingston.    Our route took us to Wimbledon Village, along Parkside then the off road cycle route back to Roehampton Gate. I MUST thank several riders for giving me 'the wink and nod' to which direction to take, more than once!!

One or two peeled off before Kingston and the rest of us enjoyed chats and tea etc. My half hour stop turned into a one hour stop so a cycle ride home mostly in the dark for Gill and myself!

I truly am grateful to back marker Tim and then Peter Tiller who took over after lunch.   All corner markers and helpers and all who joined me on a winters day.


Pam :) 

Thanks to Françoise for this group photo at The Hand in Hand
Thanks to Sue, Stephen and Steph for Strava data
Still a few leaves left on the Autumn trees (Wimbledon Common)
~ Tim

A group ride report, 27 November, Kingston to Harrow on the Hill

The “view” from the top of Horsenden Hill. On a good day, apparently you can see six counties from here!

Outside the Castle Inn waiting for John :)

14 of us left Kingston in glorious sunshine, but expecting heavy rain, which duly arrived at around noon on the way through Ealing. There was no whingeing from this hard-core group (well, I didn’t hear any) and we arrived at the Castle Inn bang on time at 1:02. It was nice to see a couple of riders from the B group with us, and TonyH was first up the hill into Harrow!
After lunch there was a very enjoyable 4 miles or so along the side of the grand union canal, through flocks of swans, geese and even a heron which was almost close enough to touch. All went well until we reached Richmond, where the Thames was so high we were cycling in water almost up to our hubs. This forced us to backtrack and find a different (busier) route into Richmond Park where we split up and headed for home as it was almost dark. A very enjoyable ride, many thanks to Hans and Brian for back marking and to Simon for the suggestion regarding Horsenden Hill (and the photo).

Mike Morley - Update

I had a chat with Mike on the 'phone this afternoon. He is at Epsom Hospital in Buckley Ward, which is on the fourth floor. He is still having tests/scans, the outcome of which will determine the future course of his treatment, whether transfer or discharge home in a week's time. He sounded reasonably buoyant though naturally concerned about future treatment options.

He now seems ready enough to welcome visitors. He said that visiting hours are 8am to 8pm, though the hospital website says 2.30pm to 8.00pm - probably best to check before visiting. The 'phone number I have is 01372 735256.

P.S. Latest news is that Mike is expecting to be discharged home Friday P.M.


Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Advice to B Group for 27th November

Basically it's towpath, Richmond Park, Putney Heath to Wimbledon for lunch in the Hand in Hand pub.  It's a short ride but will now be muddy in places. So much rain!!  Return to Kingston on a different route which also includes Richmond Park.


M4 smart motorway bridge closures

The closing of bridges across the M4 whilst it is ‘updated’ to become a smart motorway.  It may be helpful to know that there is an email helpline where you can ask about the latest status of the works.  The email address is


A group ride from Kingston, 27 November

This will be a re-run of a popular previous ride from about 3 years ago (thanks to Hans for the original route). We will head north from Kingston to Harrow-on-the-hill (yes it really is on a hill!). It's a mainly urban route (obviously) but there are also lots of scenic traffic-free sections through parks and along the Grand Union Canal and the Thames on the way back. If there is time we will pause briefly at Horsenden Hill (this involves a short foot-climb if you want to get to the top - thanks to Simon for the suggestion). We will have lunch at the Castle pub in Harrow and they have asked us to pre-order if possible so I will try to take orders at the start in Kingston. (you can find the menu here).

Saturday, November 23, 2019

Mike Morley

I have heard from Mike that, a couple of evenings ago, following some alarming symptoms caused it seems by internal bleeding, he has been admitted to St Helier Hospital, where his condition is being monitored. Should symptoms recur he will be transferred to Kings College Hospital. I understand that some surgery might be required.

Mike has asked that well-wishers should not visit at present, in view of the possibility of transfer to another hospital unit.

I'm sure that Mike will keep us informed. In the meantime, we send him every best wish for a speedy recovery.

Jeff T

Friday, November 22, 2019

Easy Riders - 20th November

Our original thought was to go to the Woodman pub in Lower Ashtead but on arriving at Leatherhead we found out that at lunch time the pub would be crawling with cyclists so a quick change of plan was required. We started out taking the one-way road to the train station and followed the track to come out on Kingston Road from where we took the road to Lower Ashtead along Barnett Wood Lane. The second turning on the left after the flyover took us into Caen Wood Road from where we meandered along to Green Lane to the pedestrian railway crossing and into Links and Woodfield Roads. Considering that the M25, A243 and railway are in such close proximity it's extraordinary how quiet these roads are. We then took our usual route across Ashtead Common to Stamford Green and eight of us parked our bikes at the Jolly Coopers for lunch. Tea for three of us was at Ewell Court.


Wednesday, November 20, 2019

A Group ride from Leatherhead, 20th November

Our route today skirted Holmbury Hill, along Holmbury Hill Road. Often it's ridden in the opposite direction - but either way it can provide views over the Weald, towards the South Downs. Today the atmosphere was clear, enabling some stupendous long views, albeit fleetingly from the saddle.

What I recently discovered was that an ancient Iron Age Hill Fort sits atop the Hill - at 261m above sea level, not much lower than Leith Hill (294m). It's walkable from the road and mountain bike aficionados probably bomb up there, but views-out are comparable to Leith Hill - (visited after lunch), or Box Hill. Not that our ancestors were bothered with nice views - strategic position was everything. Want to know more?

Further along Holmbury Hill Road we passed the entrance to what was originally a Victorian mansion, set in extensive landscaped grounds, but now has a sign board, UCL, MSSL. I've often wondered what went-on in there? Well, for time-travellers amongst you, it's the Mullard Space Science Laboratory, the UK's largest university space research group. (Mullard was an early manufacturer of radio valves, who started-out in the 1920's around the corner from where I live in Southfields). Now MSSL develops cutting-edge hardware for multi-national space missions - orbiting around the Earth, Mars, Venus and Saturn.

Strange world! Less than 500metres apart is evidence of life before Christ, juxtaposed with a site making machines looking for life - that will take up to 4 years to reach Saturn, 1.2 billion kilometres away! Check it out.

Back to cycling. Brian recently extolled the virtues of the recently resurfaced - and 'transformed' Lyefield Lane, off Ockley Road. It was our intended route to Walliswood. Well, unbeknown to us, SCC were still putting the finishing touches to the road. Road Closed. CCTV in operation. There was no choice -  turn around and back-track, rather than getting road bikes dirty along untried horse tracks!

Thirteen sat down for lunch at the Scarlett Arms - after a shortened route, and only a few minutes later than planned.
And there was still time to pose for the traditional 'outside the pub' photo.
 Afterwards it was a quick thrash up Leith Hill, through Coldharbour, (and another photo-opportunity) to tea at Pilgrim Cycles, Westhumble. (Well, at least eight made it to tea, the rest aiming to get home in daylight).

32 miles from elevenses to tea, and 2,500 ft of climbing, made for a very enjoyable late Autumn ride.

Many thanks - as usual, to Mike B for back-marking, and for due diligence from everyone on the corners and gapping.

 Geoff. G and Steve D - hope you're back with the As soon - there's plenty of time to get some rides in before the end of the year.

B Group - 20th November

Due to the high turnout of B cyclists (28 in total) our Sou'wester editor Paul volunteered to lead half the ride to the lunch destination via a different route to mine.

I led the B1 ride to the Woodman Pub in Woodmasterne via Headley, Tadworth, Kingswood and Chipstead.

En  route through Tadworth we carried out a slight detour led by our Historian Peter Beyer who pointed out various places where in WW1 the British army had an encampment which accommodated thousand of troops, before their embarkation to France via Tattenham Corner Railway Station.

We arrived at the Woodman at 12.30pm luckily ahead of the other group so there was not too much pressure on the kitchen facilities. The service and meals were excellent.

After the photo shoot both groups merged and we made our way to the tea stop in Long Ditton; the ride by then had whittled down to 8 riders.

It was nice to welcome three new riders who joined our group, Brenda Breen, Wendy Davidson and Stuart Cameron.

Thanks to Paul for leading the B2 ride, John Austin, Tim Gibbons and John Brooks for back marking and all the markers and finally thanks to Peter for all his photos and interesting talk.

Lucky with the weather again.

22 miles in total.

Regards, Tony

Pete's photos:

It was impossible to muster the whole crowd!

The photos show the Tadworth camp in 1916, where the troops were stationed prior to being sent by train from the Tattenham Corner railway station to the western front.

Key to the map:

Red/Pink                      Paul James' morning route
Blueberry/Mauve         Tony Hooker's morning route
Sea green/Turquoise   Shared afternoon route

Thanks to Sue Foster and Christina for sharing their tracks for Tony's route

~ Tim

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

B Group ride advice

Lunch at The Woodman in  Woodmansterne about 12mlles, tea at Squires in Long Ditton, home in time for ‘The Repair Shop’ on BBC1. 

Regards, Tony

A Group Ride from Leatherhead, 20th November.

We'll be heading for the Scarlett Arms, Walliswood, for lunch, and Pilgrim Cycles for tea,

Modest, on road (22miles) to lunch, and just over half that to tea, will hopefully get you home before dusk. A few climbs. Wrap-up!

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Ramblings from the depths of Surrey

Those of you who have been in the club for over 5 years may remember Lyefield Lane which links the Ockley - Ewhurst road with Lower Breache road and Ewhurst Green. Sadly it fell into disrepair and it's appalling surface drove us away to use North Breache lane instead. But, it has now received the SCC renovation treatment and is transformed.

Meanwhile the parts of Weare Street that weren't resurfaced a few years ago seem to to have deteriorated considerably in the rain of the past month especially at the southern end towards the bridge.

Capel church had a coffee morning yesterday and I was handed a flyer with the 2020 tea dates. I've posted it on the C&M blog.

Saturday, November 16, 2019


Part of Southwest London CTC (CUK) is the Sunday section known as Cheam and Morden. All Wayfarers are most welcome to attend any or all of these rides, they are at around B rides pace and the same format.

I hope to see some of you out on Sundays.


Friday, November 15, 2019

An invitation

Tony Hooker is taking part in this study for Kings College London and thought it might be of interest to any healthy specimens in the club:

That email link is

Possible idea to commemorate 40th anniversary

Following on from the information I gave at the AGM, here is the name of the company that I looked at regarding having a woven/embroidered or pin badge to mark the anniversary next March,
The website contains examples of their products and the variety of shapes they can produce, I was hoping to bring a couple to the meeting so that we could look at the quality of cloth badges. I will get to Leatherhead next week with the samples I have added below.

If this idea is acceptable the next step is to design a badge, maybe what we could do is anyone who wishes to have a go they could possibly be presented for discussion at our 11s starts, I could gather the ideas in and present them on this site, please if anyone else has an alternative idea mention it to members of the committee.
Check out our archives for the page discussing the start of the Wayfarers group.

For those that may need some ideas regarding designing a badge here are some web sites to check out.
Clip art cycle
Clip art vector cyclists
Clip art cyclist logo
Cycle club logo designs

Geoff Gregory

Thursday, November 14, 2019

AGM, 13th November

Many thanks to all the 54 people who attended the AGM, including our guest Gjoril Berg who is the Volunteer Development Officer at Cycling UK, working alongside Julie Rand.

The meeting was enjoyable and a great opportunity to reflect on our busy year. It was also a most successful meeting for the committee all of whom managed to fend off the ferocious attempts to dislodge them from their offices. Even the Secretary, who might have been a push-over, was able to cling on to his job, at least until the next assault on his position for which he is permanently alert. (Britain needs lerts, remember that one?)

One of the best bits was Ged's speech to commend Brian as a most deserving recipient of the Arthur Jessop trophy, for his many years of service to the club as Wayfarers Rides Secretary and Committee Rep. And most recently he has distinguished himself by organizing the big dinner which follows the Dieppe Raid, enjoyed by a very large number of riders from all over the country and beyond.

Dave presented the trophy to Brian which made him very happy:

Well done Brian (photo by Simon)
That point in the service when the congregation is about to doze off
Thank you one and all for coming and for your many contributions to an enjoyable meeting.

~ Tim

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

13 Nov - A Group Ride After AGM

It was about 12.30 before we got away from Hersham so a direct-ish route to lunch was required. We headed west towards Whiteley Village but due to tales of over-zealous security we passed the entrance and turned left at the roundabout onto Seven Hills Road. Soon we turned left again onto Convent Lane - a road new to many, me included! This brought us to Cobham and familiar territory.

Plough Lane was surprisingly dry considering the rain recently, so progress was swift through to Ockham and Ripley and The Jovial Sailor for lunch.

The pub has had new owners and a refurbishment this year and was surprisingly busy for a Wednesday. But fourteen of us were seated together at a big table and served promptly. It was barely an hour before we were ready for the obligatory photo outside. Mark risked life and limb in the middle of the Portsmouth Road for this -

From here we headed south-east on the lanes to Sussex Farm where we took the concrete track across the fields to Jury Farm. The sun was shining, there was plenty of wildlife and it was a pleasure to get away from the traffic.

After skirting West Horsley we headed north through Effingham Junction and Cobham to tea at Giro in Esher.

Thanks to Ged for back-marking, and to all who joined me for a good ride on a great autumn day.

(After lunch I was experiencing some pulsing from the front brake under braking which didn't feel quite right. I stopped just after Cobham to investigate but couldn't see anything obviously wrong. It got worse on the way home so when there I put the bike on the workstand for a better look. The rim was bulging on one side with a two inch long split on the braking surface. Looks like I was lucky to make it home. That's the first rim I've ever worn out - and it had only done 18,000 miles!)

Ken Williams

A new boat at Mortlake Anglian & Alpha Boat Club  named after the late Wayfarer,


Tuesday, November 12, 2019

13 November - A Ride

After the AGM we will be going to The Jovial Sailor in Ripley.

The exact route will depend on what time we leave Hersham, but I aim to get you to lunch for one o'clock.

The afternoon tea location will be decided by a show of hands - so much quicker and more decisive than a referendum. (Sorry Geoff, but Pinnocks will probably not be an option as it is less than a mile from lunch.)

Going to the AGM - Road Closure

If you approach Hersham from the Molesey direction, you will come across several signs some distance in advance telling you the road is closed ahead and to divert right.   The road (Molesey Road) is indeed closed in both directions at the Barley Mow roundabout (just before Hersham village) because of emergency roadworks, but the footway is still open on the east side so you will have no problem if arriving by bike (do dismount, obviously).   Traffic on other through routes in the area has been much worse than usual because of this closure!

Monday, November 11, 2019

Wednesday the 13th – AGM - B's lunch

We will beheading to Thames Ditton and Ye Olde Swan pub for ye olde lunch. It will be a short ride as AGM proceedings dictate the time we have to cycle. Afternoon tea will be by referendum.


2018/2019 Annual Report - a sneak preview

Despite the committee's best efforts to keep a lid on all our secrets a copy of the Annual Report has been leaked and slid out under the radar and has popped up in our Information Hub which is accessible via a link from our front page.

Spys tell me that the report can be found hidden in 'Reports and Minutes'\'Annual Reports'.

We regret the leak but the truth is that it probably would be a good idea to read it before the AGM this Wednesday. Otherwise we will have to have a fifteen minute silence while everyone catches up. It is a great summary of our year's activities, a very good read thanks to eleven people who have written contributions for it.

As if that isn't exciting enough you can also read a draft copy of the minutes from last year's AGM: 'Information Hub'\'Reports and Minutes'\'AGM Minutes'. 

~ Tim

Friday, November 08, 2019

Easy Riders - 6th November

Fonda's Fellas and Fillies (Easy Riders) left Cobham with the main aim for the day - lunch at Ye Olde Swan at Thames Ditton. We rode through some of Cobham's back roads and tracks to emerge on Fairmile Lane which took us out to Portsmouth Road. We turned off left through West End and, at the roundabout at the bottom of Lammas Lane, went straight over into Riverside Drive. There is a narrow gate which has to be walked through and an uphill ride to The Green at Esher but this way avoids the traffic up Lammas Lane.

From the top we skirted Sandown Park and into Ember Lane, then across Hampton Court Way into Thames Ditton where, unfortunately, Helen Tovey's bike had a front puncture. This had been most unexpected as both tyre and tube had only recently been fitted.

While the main group carried onto lunch Helen and I walked round to Andrew Manning's cycle shop Cyclelink at the end of Thames Ditton High Street for the puncture to be mended. Thirteen of us sat down for an enjoyable lunch but fortunately at two tables. Tea was at Patisserie Valerie, Kingston.


Thursday, November 07, 2019

Bi-Focal Cycling Glasses

A few years ago, Ged put me on to 'Dual' cycling bi-focals.  They were available from Wiggle in the range of strengths that you usually get for reading glasses, and I have had several pairs that have served me well.  They make it easy to read the Garmin, are handy if you need to fiddle with your bike at the roadside, and are useful to read the menu in pubs.

Anyway, my most recent pair is reaching the end of its life, and they're no longer available from Wiggle, so I had a look around for an alternative.

Amazon came up with these, £10.99 a pair, and they look fine.  They're available in clear, yellow or smoked lenses.  Time will tell if they're up to the job.


B Group 6th November

Eventually, by the time everyone had been rounded up, 26 of us left Cobham including new rider Sue Foster and Martin Gandy who joined us from the Easy Riders. A gentle ride through Ockham and along Spring Reach brought us to Lollesworth Lane in West Horsley. Here we took the track through Lollesworth Wood where four deer watched this strange sight for some time before disappearing into the trees. At Place Farm we turned left onto the A246 for a short stretch to Chalk Lane. Green Dene was a delight is all its autumn colours but here disaster struck for Sue when a jammed chain bent her derailleur and then the hanger broke.

After a longish wait ( no mobile signal) Terry and Pam led the main group down Staple Lane to lunch at the Saddlers Arms in Send Marsh. I went back to find Sue about to make a long walk to Horsley station. Tim, Tony Hooker, Bob and I then rode to lunch to arrive while the others were still being served.

The pub did well in spite of the numbers and we were finished by about 2.15. A large contingent then left with Terry to head to Cobham and points beyond while fourteen of us continued to Walton. A couple of delays meant that seven of us arrived at the Riverhouse Barn at 3.45 to find that they had put everything away and were closed. However they quickly changed their minds and served us with a smile so all was well. The message to leaders is that now they nominally close at 4pm it would be worth phoning them if you think you will arrive after 3.30.

My thanks particularly to Terry and Pam for their contribution, Tim for back marking and the map, Peter Tiller and all the others who marked corners. The photo was taken after the Cobham group had left so only includes those going on to Walton.

Wednesday, November 06, 2019

A Group 6th November to Reigate

20 riders set off from Cobham with a dry and sunny, albeit cold start. Yasmin left us at Dorking which left 19 for lunch. We made good time in the fine weather and stopped off at Reigate Heath windmill for a tour organised by Pete Beyer. Amazingly this is the only windmill in the world which is a consecrated church. It is used as a chapel once a month in what is a beautiful location.
We then rode to the Skimmington Castle pub. NOT the Skimmington Arms as I wrote in my last blog. Slapped wrist and sit on the naughty step. For the record lunch was served very slowly. We arrived at 12.45pm and Francis didn't get her soup and roll until 1.30pm. Nevertheless we left at 1.50pm, but the sun left us too. At the Old Moat Garden Centre 7 riders enjoyed tea and cake. Thanks go to Pete Beyer for letting us in on the Windmill's secret and to Dave Vine valiantly back marking.

Tuesday, November 05, 2019

Notice of Annual General Meeting

CTC South West London will hold its AGM at 11:00 am, after Elevenses, on Wednesday 13th November.

Please be on time.

The venue is the same as last year, just a short walk from the Queens Road exit from the Day Centre.

All Saints Hall
All Saints Roman Catholic Church
13 Queens Road
KT12 5LU

The hall is located at the back of the premises. There are two halls with a shared entrance. Our meeting is in the Small Hall.

There are no bike racks but there is plenty of space to park bikes against the buildings near the hall entrance. Please bring your bikes to the hall rather than leave them at the Day Centre.

There are normally plenty of spaces on the premises in front of the church for anyone arriving by motor vehicle, with access from Queens Road.

Hon. Secretary

A Group Ride 6th November

I plan to take us back to the Skimmington Arms in Reigate for lunch, riding from Cobham via Effingham , Ranmore Common, through Dorking to Leigh and then Reigate. After lunch we will travel through Reigate, back towards Banstead and then on to Epsom for Tea at The Old Moat garden Centre. The distance to lunch is 18 miles and 1272ft of ascent. To Epsom will be 16 miles and 1045ft of ascent. I did a recce on Sunday and found the road surfaces good, but there are a lot of leaves and branches at junctions which make traction slippery. I am going to ride gingerly and carefully, as I don't want to end up in a hedge like last week! Weather looks cold, but dry, with light cloud. The autumnal scenery is particularly pretty at the moment, so it should be very enjoyable. I would like to start promptly at 11am please, to get to the pub at 12.30am, aiming to arrive at the tea stop at 3.15pm or before.

Monday, November 04, 2019