West Surrey District Association (DA)
of the Cyclists’ Touring Club (CTC)

Secretary’s Report 2005

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DA Organisation

The West Surrey DA is the local representing body of the CTC and has 944 CTC members allocated by post code within its boundary (1097 in 2004).  The DA organises weekly runs via separate groups which cater for all abilities offering (mainly) on-road morning and day rides taking best advantage of Surrey’s rural highways and byways.

The DA affairs are managed by an elected committee currently comprising the following persons:-

        Rico Signore
Peter Callaghan
Jeffrey Banks
Tim Bar
Bob McLeod
Geoffrey Smith
Derek Tanner
        President
Chairman
Secretary
Treasurer
Runs Secretary
Magazine Editor
 

Additional valuable services are provided by Phil Hamilton (magazine and runs lists distribution), David Jupe (DA website manager), Chris Jeggo (DA history author), Keith Chesterton (DA Archivist) and Peter Clint (DA representative on campaign bodies such as Right to Ride).

Annually, the members elect individuals to the honorary position of Vice President in recognition of their long support and services to the interests of the DA.  In 2005, these positions are held by George Alesbury, Harold Coleman, Chris Jeggo and Clive Richardson.

Some of the principal activities in 2005

Rides Groups:  Cycle rides are organised every Wednesday and Sunday.  These operate from different venues in an effort to accommodate cyclists living in different areas of West Surrey although the largest organised group operates from Woking and comprises different sections covering all ages and cycling abilities.

The DA continues to be indebted to the organising, dedication, constancy and rides leadership of:-

    Clive Richardson   Sunday Riders providing two-wheeled excursions for some of our more competent riders into Sussex, Hampshire, Isle of Wight, Berkshire and Oxfordshire.
    Anke Blackburn   Woking Wayfarers make half-day Sunday trips at a leisurely pace to morning coffee whilst still achieving respectable distances.
    Rico Signore   Wednesday Midweek Wayfarers and Sunday Intermediates attracting the largest numbers of regular riders (and newly inducted members) to a wide variety of all-day Wednesday rides and Sunday morning rides.  (Ian McGregor has given support in considerable measure as a Ride Leader in 2005 whilst Rico was indisposed after his hip operation at the beginning of the year.)
    Peter Fennemore   Guildford and Godalming Wayfarers run half-day fortnightly Sunday rides at a leisurely pace from either CTC HQ, Farncombe or Guildford Library.
    Liz Palethorpe   Farnham CRN meet at Farnham Maltings on specified Wednesdays and Sundays and cycle to a pub lunch at a moderate pace.
    Chris Jeggo   All-Day Sunday group meets at specified venues around Woking on various published Sundays with pub lunch on the day’s menu.

Rides

Thanks are due to Anke Blackburn who has taken over from John Ostrom to lead the Woking Wayfarers on Sundays and a group on Wednesdays.  Anke prefers to leave the decision of where to have coffee on the Sunday rides to be made on the day.  She is thus able to assess the weather conditions and the abilities of her group before deciding how far to go.

Chris Jeggo’s “All day Sunday rides” which he started this year have been a great success.  He has obviously found a niche and formed a group of enthusiastic riders.

Ian McGregor must also be mentioned for stepping into the breach to lead the Midweek Wayfarers’ rides whilst Rico was indisposed after his hip operation at the beginning of the year.  Thanks are also due to those other stalwarts whose names appear regularly as ride leaders each quarter.

Last, but not least, our thanks to Jean Tedder for diligently collecting the weekly list of riders for general records and Benstead Cup calculations.

Ride Leaders Total rides 2005
Sunday Riders Clive Richardson and Geoff Smith >250 rides
All day Sunday Chris Jeggo >120 rides
Intermediates Rico Signore >250 rides
Woking Wayfarers Anke Blackburn  
Farnham CRN Liz Palethorpe >200 rides
Guildford and Godalming Peter Fennemore  
Midweek Wayfarers Rico Signore >1000 rides

Events and Awards

The DA organised seven rides events this year that counted towards the Benstead Cup / AUDAX / DATC Events 2005.  There were 119 entries from the DA this year compared to 83 last year which suggests that our organisers are doing a grand job.

Event Date
Riders
West Surrey Others Total
Surrey Hills Saunter 60+km 6th March 16 5 21
50 mile Reliability 24th April 40 1 41
Route finding & Treasure hunt 15th May 16 6 22
Stonehenge / Danebury 22nd May 9 / 11 36 / 34 45 / 45
Rough Stuff 24th July 9 3 12
Tour of the Hills / Greensand 21st August 6 / 5 144 / 15 150 / 20
Tricyclathon 25th Sept. 7   7

The Surrey Hills Saunter.  Mark Waters thought it a shame that the summer Tour of the Greensand Hills is overshadowed by the Tour of the Hills.  However, much of the Greensands route was effectively used in this early season Audax warm-up starting at the CTC HQ.  Despite global warming some of the hills were a little icy, although the treacherous conditions may have added some spice to the event.  (The Phil Hampton memorial ride organised by North Hants DA had been abandoned largely due to the icy conditions.)

Tom Hargreaves’ observation in his 2003 report remains true today :-  “The long-running early season Reliability Ride continues to be the most popular event for riders within the district.  The route from either Woking or Godalming finishes at lunchtime in a pub in Holmbury St Mary, which may explain the event’s appeal.”  However, some people still fail to find the finish.

Keith Chesterton’s “route finding / treasure hunt” (Scoreathon) event this year reversed the recent decline in numbers.  This is an event that is ideally suited to all levels of rider.  The area around Elstead is an ideal location and coffee at Seale Craft Centre was a bonus for some.

Mark Waters has plans to offer, as yet unnamed, events of 100k and possibly even 50k to run in parallel with the very successful Stonehenge 200k / Danebury 150k to encourage even more of us to get out with the DA and make better use of the Elstead Village hall.

Attendance at the Rough Stuff (off road) event did well considering the dreadful conditions.  Even one of our “younger” riders abandoned due to the rain.

The West Surrey DA flagship event, the Tour of the Hills, was most effectively organised by Tim Bar.  For the second year running the event was significantly over-subscribed.  Some of those who had, unfortunately, to be turned away were able to be diverted on to the Greensands event.  The large numbers required for marshalling rather limits the number of entries from our own DA but there are, nonetheless, discussions in hand to increase the number of permitted entrants in 2006.

The Tricyclathon, organised by Don Jones, rounds off the season with a social / competitive event.  Rumours about the extremes of the physical challenges involved had obviously travelled around as an ambulance team from Frimley arrived at the start of proceedings.

This section would be incomplete without mentioning the Derek Tanner audio-video show at which 40 people experienced the delights of cycling up the Danube, down the Loire and around the CTC tour of the Vias Verdes in Spain.  The show was rounded off with visits to the mountains and underwater reefs of South East Asia, which proved topically interesting following the (then) recent tsunami disaster in the area.  Our congratulations go to Derek not only for the jewel of an evening that he conjured but for the lesser known fact that proceeds of £105.00 were donated by him to CTC Cyclists’ Defence Fund (£60.00) and the RNLI (£45.00).

Visit to the Twinning Towns in Germany - June 2005.  Rico Signore and Geoff Smith combined to organise a holiday in Germany (via Bouillon in Belgium) that will sit for a long time in the memory of those lucky enough to have been on it.  Ask any of the 40 or so participants about their fondest memories and you will receive a different reply.  This will reflect the variety of opportunities to do or see something interesting on every day of the tour.  Even the most lethargic of tourists would have found themselves lured on every day into a “must-do” distraction.  The evenings were strictly for hedonists.

The Benstead Cup, awarded for all-round attendance, support and riding performance at DA events for 2004/2005, goes to Clive Richardson.

Other members also qualified for awards as follows:-

Benstead awards:-  
Runner up - Benstead Cup Chris Jeggo
Ladies Benstead Shield Anne Tanner
Bernard Howell Trophy - (Highest Placed Veteran) Chris Jeggo
Keith Parfitt Memorial Cup (New this year for organizing and marshalling Benstead Cup events) Mark Waters
Bill Inder Sunday Attendance Clive Richardson
George Alesbury Tankard - (Midweek Wayfarers Attendance) Jean Tedder
The Bert Bartholomew Trophy (Oldest DA rider in 50 mile Reliability Ride Roy Banks

NB.  Medals are duly awarded to the 1st, 2nd and 3rd placings in the Benstead Cup as follows:-

Veteran Club Medal 1st Chris Jeggo
Veteran Club Medal 2nd Don Jones
Veteran Club Medal 3rd Ian McGregor
Club Medal 1st Clive Richardson
Club Medal 2nd Geoff Smith (jnr)
Club Medal 3rd Anne Tanner

Campaigning

Peter Clint continues to put a significant amount of his time into local issues and is an eloquent and audible voice working on behalf of the local urban cyclist.  He describes 2005 as a year of hopes and disappointments.  The objective at the outset was for the authorities to complete the establishing of twelve cycle routes into Woking.  It was not to be.  After the general election, funds were re-directed by central government to motor projects.

Peter continues:-  Our hopes now rest with the proposed cycleway along Heathside Crescent and Oriental Road, with finance being promised by Surrey County Council and developer funds.  Ultimately it will be the views of Woking Councillors which will decide its fate.

Cycle parking at Woking Station has also occupied much of Peter’s time and he has joined in lobbying central and local government as well as South West Trains.  The latest news is that there might be some small improvement in the offing.

On a county level, Peter reports that consultation has been on-going concerning the plans to be put forward as part of the Local Transport Plan 2 to cover the years 2006 to 2010.

Additionally, Peter has been attending Cycle Forum meetings not only in Woking but also in Runnymede and Elmbridge, the purpose of which has been to glean best practice and encourage cross-county access for cyclists.

Magazine Distribution

Phil Hamilton manages the distribution of the DA’s quarterly magazine.  Following a concerted effort to persuade people to subscribe to the magazine, subscriptions have risen from 70 to 101 in the last year.  A change in local library policy means that the magazine is no longer available in local libraries but reference copies continue to be sent to nine local shops and the Tourist Information Centres in Woking and Guildford.  Phil also delivers to 13 tea-rooms to warn of an impending invasion (particularly on Wednesdays).  Record keeping has been further simplified by having one person responsible for initial receipt of subscriptions and distribution.

Magazine

The DA has been blessed for a sixth year with the services of Geoff Smith in the production of “The West Surrey Cyclist”.  Geoff writes, edits, attends to printing and tirelessly pursues stories, information and witty asides from shy contributors.

The magazine is the DA’s window-piece and Geoff continues to encourage riders to subscribe £3.00 for the postal delivery of their copy.  This policy has paid dividends resulting in the rise in regular sales as mentioned above.

The Rides List is now enclosed within the magazine and is also available on the website.  Additional copies are printed for rides leaders for use only for newcomers and potential recruits.

In Retrospect

This Annual Report is composed from notes offered by many of the people actively involved in the events and activities mentioned.  Whilst it is ostensibly a Secretary’s report, it serves as a reminder to the latter individual (given that he spent a considerable time staring at a blank sheet before any ink was spilled) that the West Surrey DA is alive and well despite some gloomy conversations in the year bemoaning the demise of the “old days” and the erroneous view that numbers are in decline.  For the first time in the secretary’s five or six years’ experience the Club this year has suffered the embarrassment of not knowing what to do with too many people that have shown up to share an outing with their fellow riders.

I hear it said from time to time that any one of the numerous jobs around the Club can be carried out without losing any leisure time.  That might be so.  But my observation is that nobody in this DA should be under any illusion that the continuing pleasure, week in and week out, of cycling with a group of like-minded people is the result of anybody working without having contributed a significant amount of their time, energy, and a liking for their fellow members.  Long may this remain the case.

 
Jeffrey Banks
Club Secretary
27 September 2005


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