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

Annual Report 2007

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DA Organisation

The West Surrey DA is the local representative body of the CTC and has 1,179 CTC members allocated by post code within its boundary (1179 in 2006).  The DA organises weekly morning or all-day rides (on road) suitable for different abilities ranging from the fit and experienced cyclist to those seeking light exercise and an opportunity to explore Surrey’s scenic lanes and byways.

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

        Rico Signore
Peter Callaghan
Jeffrey Banks
Tim Bar
Bob McLeod
Chris Jeggo
Geoffrey Smith
Rides Secretary
(resigned 8 March 2007)

Additional valuable services are provided by Geoff Smith (magazine editor), Phil Hamilton (magazine and runs lists distribution), David Jupe (DA website manager), Chris Jeggo (DA history author), Keith Chesterton (Guildford Cycle Forum), Peter Clint (DA representative on Right to Ride), Roley Masset (auditor of accounts 2005/06).

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 2006/07, these positions were held by George Alesbury, Roy Banks, Harold Coleman, Chris Jeggo and Clive Richardson.

Some of the principal activities in 2007 :-

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 offering excursions for faster riders into Sussex, Hampshire, Isle of Wight, Berkshire and Oxfordshire.  After a serious accident suffered by Clive at the beginning of the year there was a collective sigh of relief to see him return to cycling 6 months later.  Geoff Smith and others in the group were, fortunately, able to steip in as seasoned leaders whilst Clive recuperated.
    Paul Harris/
Anke Blackburn
  Woking Wayfarers take half-day Sunday trips out of Woking catering for those preferring a more leisurely pace whilst still reaching the regular coffee stops.  Paul has largely taken over from Anke whilst she has been unwell and his competence and reliability have been much appreciated.
    Rico Signore   Midweek Wayfarers and Sunday Intermediates often attract the largest group of riders (and, possibly, the largest spread of abilities) with all-day Wednesday rides and Sunday morning rides.  Curiously, numbers for these rides have fluctuated this year between 6 and 30 on Wednesdays and between 2 and 12 on Sundays.  Due to the discipline instilled by Rico many riders have the routes around Guildford and Woking etched in their memory and were able to struggle along in Rico’s prolonged absence at the beginning of the year (first, after his hip operation and second, after colliding with a post not marked on his map).
    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.  Typically, a range of up to 10 people join in for Peter’s half-day and full-day rides.
    Liz Palethorpe   Farnham Wayfarers run increasingly popular rides on the 2nd Sunday in the month and summer rides on the 4th Sunday in the month.  Midweek rides take place on the first Wednesday of the month.  Numbers are steadily growing for these rides with a regular attendance of 10 to 14 riders on the Sunday and mid-week outings.
    Chris Jeggo   All-Day Sunday Group meets at specified venues on published dates around the West Surrey area with a pub lunch on the day’s menu.

West Surrey DA annual award of trophies

The Benstead Challenge Cup, awarded for all-round attendance, support and riding performance at DA events for 2006/2007, goes to Clive Richardson.

The events that contribute to the Benstead Challenge Trophy are as follows:-

Event Date
2007 2006 diff
Scorathon   No organiser 21 n/a
Bicycle Icycle (previously
Surrey Hills Saunter 60+km)
7th March 15 (very,
very wet)
19 -4
50 mile Reliability 22nd April 42 42 0
Stonehenge/Danebury/Elstead 20th May 34 / 20 / 39 4 / 7 / 10
(DA-only figures)
Tour of the Hills / Greensand 19th Aug 187 / 10 202 / 23 -15 / -13
30 & 50 mile (new this year)
75 & 100 mile Reliability
9th Sep 3 / 8
3 / 3
3 & 6
0 / -3
Rough Stuff Events   No organiser 12 n/a
Tricyclathon 23rd Sep 5 14 -9

We are indebted once again to the organisers of the above, in order:-  Mark Waters, Phil Hamilton, Mark again, Tim Bar, Rico Signore and Don Jones.  Marshals and other helpers are too numerous to mention but truly appreciated.

Overall, entries for events were down this year.  On the plus side, volunteers to assist with events increased.  There were, for example, 20 volunteer marshals on the Tour of the Hills.  This latter event is one of the most important of its kind in the South-East of England and is a huge credit to its organiser, Tim Bar.  Out of all those who provided Tim with welcome support, Pauline McLeod and Elizabeth Callaghan are particularly remembered for their mammoth contribution to the catering needs of over 200 people on the day and the cheerful mood they maintained from the early morning until the final sweepings in the afternoon.  Many thanks to both of them.  All events are hoped to be in the programme again next year.

The further annual awards of the West Surrey DA Trophies for 2006/2007 are as follows:-
(NB.  The Bert Bartholomew Trophy has reverted to its original event, ie, the 100 mile reliability ride that was introduced in 2005/06.
Unfortunately, whilst Rico Signore was convalescing from his accident earlier in the year, the midweek attendance lists were not consistently maintained and, hence, there is insufficient data to enable an award for the George Alesbury Trophy.)

Benstead Challenge Cup Clive Richardson
Junior Benstead Cup - (18-) Not awarded
Ladies Benstead Shield Roberta Shore
Bernard Howell Trophy - Veterans Benstead Cup (55+) Chris Jeggo
Keith Parfitt Memorial Cup - Organisers and Marshals Mark Waters
Bill Inder Trophy - Sunday Attendance Clive Richardson
George Alesbury Tankard - Midweek Wayfarers Attendance Not awarded as data unreliable
The Bert Bartholomew Trophy - Oldest DA rider in 100 mile event Geoff Smith (senior)
The Wooden Crank - awarded for biggest blunder Rico Signore

Campaigning:    Right to Ride

Peter Clint reports that this year began with mass redundancies within Surrey C.C., which included those involved with cycling and transport matters.  Now they have realised they culled staff too severely, and are recruiting!  This has led to new contacts having to be cultivated.

What has been achieved this year?

Very little - despite the possibility of Woking being considered for “Cycling Development Town Status” by the European Union.

The Centrium Cycle lanes both East and West are largely completed, which is a great improvement;  however due to the developer’s failure to adhere to the planning permission granted, the East route still awaits completion.  A Councillor has recently agreed to seek to have an “Enforcement Order” served upon the developers.  One has to ask, why has this action not been taken much earlier by Council Officials?

The planned cycle path between Byfleet and West Byfleet to be built by the developers of the Broadwater Estate and eagerly awaited for the past three years has not materialised.  Now we learn a contract for this is to be signed shortly - this year, next year?  We cannot be certain.  In the meantime the developer develops his land, yet this cycle path was to have been a condition of the original contract.  Why, we may ask, was this not included as part of the main contract in the beginning?

An on-road cycle lane on the up-hill section of the road from St. John‘s to Woking was agreed to and authorised by Woking B.C. eighteen months ago, only to be ignored by the highway contractors when resurfacing the road - despite representations no action has been taken!

The debacle over the construction of a central reservation along Woodham Lane, now acknowledged by the Council as being disastrous because of the increased danger created for cyclists, is likely to take a very long time to remedy, since the decision lies somewhere between Woking B.C. and Surrey C.C., as well as a reluctance amongst those who authorised the scheme, to admit they were wrong!

I continue to press for more cycle parking at Woking Station.  Sadly, despite it being apparent that current facilities are inadequate, both South West Trains and Woking B.C. are unwilling or unable to make more space available.

The provision of a through route for cyclists through Woking Town Centre, rather than to it, is still the focus of our attention, however, the actions of some Councillors, who appear anti-cycling, are making this difficult.

There are at least twelve further major issues under discussion with Woking B.C., and I can only hope next year’s report will be an improvement on this.

Should any of you have cycling issues which you would like to raise, please let me have these in writing, and I will do my best to have these put to the appropriate authority.

Friends we all miss

Cycling with the West Surrey DA can sometimes seem like a casual arrangement.

Many of us look at the weather when we roll out of bed on a Wednesday or a Sunday morning and maybe study the day’s route or our domestic and work duties before deciding whether to clamber on to our bicycle.

One thing we are assured of and, perhaps, have taken for granted is that, if we make for the meeting point, someone will have taken the trouble to organise our enjoyment and will be there to greet us.  These “organisers” are the backbone of any social community as, indeed, they are in our West Surrey DA community.

But what of those people who merely turn up to join in the rides or who are quick to raise their hand when a helping hand is required?  (Someone famously said “...they also serve who stand and wait”).  These people are the stuff of our West Surrey community and we all need our periodic nourishment and stimulation from their welcoming warmth, their friendship and their company.  It comes as no surprise (but without adding any comfort) that from time to time members of any community are wrenched from it leaving those behind with a sense of loss and an unfillable space.  Many of us will long continue to remember Ian McGregor, Marion Thompson and George Alesbury, each of whom contributed in their many ways to the West Surrey DA and all of whom passed away in 2007.

J Banks
24 October 2007

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