West Surrey District Association (DA)
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The West Surrey DA is the local representing body of the CTC and has 1,179 CTC members allocated by post code within its boundary (944 in 2005). 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:-
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 (Guildford Cycle Forum) 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 2006, these positions are held by George Alesbury, Roy Banks, Harold Coleman, Chris Jeggo and Clive Richardson.
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 supports in considerable measure as a Ride Leader when Rico is unable to attend.)|
|Peter Fennemore||Guildford and Godalming Wayfarers run half-day fortnightly Sunday rides at a leisurely pace from Farncombe or Guildford Library and some occasional all-day rides.|
|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 the DA area on various published Sundays with pub lunch on the day’s menu.|
Anke Blackburn says about half a dozen faithful souls of her group (Woking Wayfarers) meet regularly on Sunday mornings. She adds:- “A Sunday morning outing is just that; it lasts only a few hours. We cycle to coffee stops familiar to our members whilst trying to vary the routes as much as we can. Sometimes it is possible to add interest by looking at something specific. For example, during the year we visited two private gardens under the National Gardens Scheme and went to Wisley Gardens on two occasions (not much mileage, but just right in the hot weather). We also visited a barn complex at Wanborough and had an interesting time learning about the history of that area. Our group attracts quite a few young ladies as new starters though their enthusiasm is often short-lived. Perhaps this is down to an absence of enough young men in our group.”
Liz Palethorpe leads the Farnham riders and had a very successful year with an average of 16 cyclists attending her Sunday outings and around 8 on her Wednesday rides. Her groups have built up substantially in their popularity though she claims not to know why. She says “ I don’t know whether it is our beautiful countryside of Surrey, Hampshire and West Sussex or the chance make-up of rides groups that have attracted several new cyclists”.
Chris Jeggo who leads the All-Day Sunday group writes:- “The group has enjoyed at least two rides every month, a few of them car- or train-assisted to places such as Pangbourne, the New Forest, the Isle of Wight and the remoter parts of Hampshire. There has been a long weekend away in the Peak District, and members have also joined Derek and Anne Tanner’s weekend trips to Alfriston in Sussex and Llandovery for the Welsh Festival of Cycling. The group now has its own web-page at:-
which is updated every week or two so that regulars and others can keep abreast of the latest news”.
Peter Fennemore leads the Guildford & Godalming Group which has attracted 31 different riders during the year providing an average of around 6 persons on each ride. Peter’s is another example of an increase in the popularity over recent years of local cycle outings. The rides are a mix of half and some full day outings. Peter alternates his group starts between Guildford Library, Godalming and Waverley Borough Council car park. The rides are a mix of on-road and some off-road tracks. Distances are typically 20-25 miles for a half day and around 40 miles for the full day’s effort at an average speed of 10 to 12 miles per hour.
Rico Signore leads the Sunday Morning Intermediates with an average of 7.5 attendances for the year from a pool of over 35 riders. His Midweek Wayfarers section has a total of over 70 riders and an average attendance on a Wednesday of over 17, making this section still the most popular.
The Sunday Riders section has suffered the loss of its leader Clive Richardson due to a very severe accident in June this year. Geoff Smith (jnr) has continued with great competence to lead the section in Clive’s absence. Clive is hoping to be back in the new year.
The Benstead Cup, awarded for all-round attendance, support and riding performance at DA events for 2005/2006, goes to Chris Jeggo.
The further annual awards of the West Surrey DA Trophies for 2005/2006 are as follows:-
|Benstead Challenge Cup||Chris Jeggo|
|Junior Benstead Cup - (under 18’s)||Amy Juden|
|Ladies Benstead Shield||Roberta Shore|
|Bernard Howell Trophy - Veterans Benstead Cup (55 years+)||Chris Jeggo|
|Keith Parfitt Memorial Cup - Organisers and Marshals||Mark Waters|
|Bill Inder Trophy - Sunday Attendance||Chris Jeggo|
|George Alesbury Tankard - Midweek Wayfarers Attendance||Ian McGregor|
|The Bert Bartholomew Trophy - Oldest DA rider in 50 mile event||Ron Richardson|
|The Wooden Crank - awarded for biggest blunder||TBD|
The events included in the Benstead Cup challenge are:-
|Surrey Hills Saunter 60+km||5th March||21||19||-2|
|50 mile Reliability||23rd April||41||42||+1|
|75 & 100 mile Reliability||10th Sept||revived this year||3 & 6||n/a|
|Stonehenge/Danebury/Elstead||21st May||45 / 45||22 / 27 / 24|
|Rough Stuff Event||16th July||12||12||0|
|Tour of the Hills / Greensand||20th August||150 / 20||202 / 23||+52 / +3|
The year “kicked off” as usual with the Scorathon organized by Keith Chesterton. Twenty-one riders set off from East Horsley with matchless confidence and optimism towards a route that took them to Send and then back over to Ranmore via Bookham. The cunningly laid trail of clues proved too much for many but this only served to heighten admiration for those few who completed the route and (almost) also answered all the clues.
The 50 mile Reliability continues as many people’s annual measure of whether they remain the man or woman they once were. There is a kind of unwritten, irresistible challenge about this event that cannot be ducked. However, there is a definite advantage in knowing the route before you start or of finding and clinging on to somebody who does.
The 75 and 100 Mile Reliability was revived this year after some painstaking and time-consuming route preparation by Rico Signore aided by Ian McGregor. The number of entrants will no doubt rise as more people become aware of this event.
The Rough Stuff event once again attracted the support of its devotees but, sadly, Derek Tanner has announced that he is not planning to organize this event in 2007.
The West Surrey DA flagship event, the Tour of the Hills, was again most effectively organised by Tim Bar. The increase in entrants shown in the above table shows how popular this event has become. Many participants travel in for the day from outside the county borders. There were 12 marshals out on the course and a bevy of well practised hands in charge of catering, viz. Marion and Bill Thompson, Elizabeth Callaghan, Barbara Cheatham, Debbie Hollebon-Smith and the indefatigable Pauline McLeod.
The Stonehenge/Danebury/Elstead rides this year had to contend with persistent rain but this did not deter 84 cyclists turning up for the starts. Better conditions would no doubt have enticed out the full complement of entries. The day as a whole, however, is established as the DA’s most popular event after the Tour of the Hills. Congratulations are due to Mark Waters for his customary smooth organizing. Mark has not had the best of luck with the weather this year. His Surrey Hills Saunter had to contend with the cold but this did not prevent 19 game riders turning up for an enjoyable half-day out. Mark deservedly wins the Keith Parfitt Memorial Trophy for organizing events.
The Tricyclathon, organised by Don Jones, rounds off the season with a social / competitive event. This event does what it says on the tin; it’s all fun for anyone who wants to have a go. Don’s intelligent handicap system levels the playing field for all cycling abilities. As more people get to know what this event is about the number of participants grows.
Peter Clint reports that the cycle forums established to exchange views between cyclists and the County Council under the banner of Right2Ride have been temporarily suspended for most of the year. Such meetings as did take place were directed towards engaging the Council in:
Notwithstanding the fewer meetings with Surrey Council this year there are a number of areas where our Right2Ride representatives have engaged in constructive discussion both with the Council and with other authorities concerned with the highways.
Peter’s full report is now available on the DA website or copies are available through Jeff Banks.
Keith Chesterton reports a number of improvements gained through Guildford Council on cycle paths and byways. These include new cycle paths, signing and improved surfaces.
It is worth noting that Guildford Council are asking for more volunteers for the Guildford Cycle Forum. DA members in the Guildford area please note. Not every local council freely invites direct consultation with cycle users in its community.
Keith’s full report of these improvements and activities can been seen on the DA website and copies are available through Jeff Banks.
In Retrospect: This Annual Report is composed from notes offered by many of the people actively involved in the events and activities mentioned. It continues to serve as a reminder that the West Surrey DA is alive and well and despite some local authority cynicism towards two-wheeled transport it provides some evidence of an increase in take-up of cycling as a leisure pursuit.
18 October 2006
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Web page by Chris Jeggo. Last revised: 18 September 2009.