CYCLISTS' TOURING CLUB

WEST SURREY DISTRICT ASSOCIATION

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ANNUAL REPORT 1997 / 98

The 1998 weather has been widely criticised and yet there seems to be no shortage of well tanned limbs and faces within the D.A.  Possibly they are the result of holidays abroad but we have enjoyed many fine Sundays and none of our events has been rained on.  Our Audax events were again popular and attracted good numbers of entries with riders coming from far afield.  In organising these events we are behaving like a racing club running 'Open' events (i.e. open to members of other clubs), we are 'Putting something back into the sport', as the old saying goes.  Conversely, some of our D.A. events were poorly supported and yet, come the end of the year, enthusiasm for the D.A. was gratifyingly evidenced by the number of members submitting 'Proposal forms' for places on the D.A. committee.  This is a most welcome sign, as the 'West Surrey' has accepted the responsibility of organising the 'Southern Counties Rally' in the year 2000.  Help will be needed from everyone to ensure that the rally is not just good, but something really special.  It was decided by the members at last year's A.G.M. (just before we had an excellent luncheon!) that this year we should again have a D.A. Dinner.  This has been arranged for Saturday 28th November at the YMCA in Guildford.  Only your support can make it a success - PLEASE DO COME.  The 'togetherness', which was always a feature of the D.A. in past years, was due a great deal to the meeting at 'Tea' of the different riding groups.  Such arrangements are rarely practical nowadays as they usually involved a church hall and the willingness of the local ladies to provide the tea.  Fortunately, our excellent magazine keeps us all in touch, for which our sincere thanks go to its editor, Peter Norris.

D.A. COMMITTEE:

The Committee met on six occasions and consisted of Harold Coleman [Chairman] (6), Rory Fenner [Secretary] (6), Chas. Benzing [Treasurer] (5), Ken Bolingbroke (5), Peter Callaghan [Vice Chairman] (5), Peter Norris (5), Roger Philo (5), Rico Signore (3), and Trevor Strudwick (6).  Attendances in ().

RIDING GROUPS:

Hardriders.  Reported by Clive Richardson.

We have had a successful year with everybody in the group wishing to lead our Sunday rides, giving everybody the opportunity to add new route ideas and destinations.  One ride we all enjoyed was through the quiet Sussex lanes to West Itchenor on a fine sunny day in August, stopping for lunch and refreshments at a pub in Dell Quay overlooking the Chichester Channel.  We then cycled to West Itchenor through picturesque tracks and lanes alongside the Channel, giving a continental appearance, then on to a ferry boat to Bosham.  After disembarking we cycled alongside the Bosham Channel with the sounds of seagulls and the bracing smell of the sea.  We then witnessed a stranded car caught by the high tide with the owner frantically baling out water from the interior of his car with the bonnet and boot open to dry out, which added to the afternoon's entertainment.  We continued on our way home through Rowlands Castle and the delightful route through Ditcham Park School near Buriton finishing for tea on "Col de out Look"!!  On the 13th September we had a very successful trip to the Isle of Wight, train-assisted to Portsmouth Harbour then across The Solent to Ryde on a catamaran.  We enjoyed the quiet picturesque lanes through villages with thatched cottages, Victorian architecture and extensive views of the landscape, farmlands, cliffs and sea.  We hope to make this an annual event or, maybe, a weekend break during 1999.

I wish to extend my thanks to members of the group for their help and warm hospitality into their homes after a season of excellent rides and would like to extend an invitation from the Hardriders to all West Surrey members who would like to extend themselves a little to come and join us.

Intermediates.  Reported by Ken Bolingbroke.

Many thanks to Trevor and the other people who have led rides this year.  I have not really been fit lately and have not been out as much as in previous years.  As a consequence, I have decided that I do not wish to continue as leader of the group in the coming year.  I am grateful for the support that you have given me and have tried to make the runs as varied as possible with good pubs and cafés for the stops.

Bill Mann led a good run to St. Mary Bourne which was well attended but was a little longer than usual.  My own run to Burnham Beeches was somewhat shorter but unfortunately only two riders turned up.  I always like the café at Burnham Beeches where we had lunch on this occasion because you can sit outside under the trees and meet other cyclists for it is very popular stop for cycling groups.  I feel that we could be better supported than we are but, at times, the speed of the group is too fast so that those who like to ride at a steady pace may feel uncomfortable and would be happier to take a few more minutes over the ride.

Midweek Wayfarers.  Reported by Les Houlton.

We had a most enjoyable year with 67 members having ridden with us.  This is slightly down on last year's figure.  The highest attendance was 35 at our Christmas lunch at Chobham.  The lowest was 9 on May 27th.  The average was 16, the same as last year.  We had 10 train-assisted rides this year, the most successful, although poorly supported, was to Brockenhurst in July.

Two members of the 'Troika' resigned but Les Houlton continued, ably assisted by Rico Signore.  Many thanks to all those who have led rides or helped in any way.  At last we have a good compatible group, long may it continue!

The George Alesbury Tankard was won by George Alesbury for the third year.

Cranleigh and Villages Wayfarers.  Reported by Trevor Strudwick.

Sadly I have to say this is a very short report because, unfortunately, our planned rides for the last year have not all attracted the numbers I would have liked to have seen.  In fact, only two rides, 26th April and 17th May, had any riders apart from myself and these were friends and members of my family.  It is rather demoralising to turn up at the start, month after month, and find nobody there!  Advertising has been tried on notice boards in and around the Cranleigh area but, sadly, to no avail.  I can only assume that the people of Cranleigh and surrounding area are happy to cycle on their own.

Well, I am sorry to say that after three or four years of trying to get this group going, it looks as if we are 'flogging a dead horse' for want of a better expression.  What can be done about it I do not know, and sadly it looks as if it is time to call it a day.

Guildford and Godalming Wayfarers.  Reported by Hilary Stephenson.

Anyone taking a pleasant Sunday stroll through the Surrey countryside might well have glimpsed a contented band of cyclists progressing at a leisurely pace along one of the many lanes and bridleways criss-crossing the county.  The group organised rides on a fortnightly basis throughout the year, heading for all four points of the compass.  Rides in a southerly direction tended to predominate, but we did make the odd sortie northwards, covering 30-40 miles in a day with relaxing coffee, lunch and tea stops at a variety of venues.

Some rides delivered unexpected surprises, such as coming across the newly-opened Ramblers' Rest at Colekitchen Farm one bright spring morning.  Other surprises were less welcome, however, such as the cancelled cream tea at Marguerite's special stop in Walderton.  One rider had a rather nasty spill on a patch of black ice in early February, necessitating major dental repair work for the princely sum of £1800!  It is perhaps worth pointing out that the NHS does not automatically foot the bill and that not all personal accident insurance policies cover dental treatment - something to check when renewing or taking out a policy.

Numbers participating in the rides have sadly fallen over the last couple of years.  The best-attended ride in early August attracted twelve cyclists, but numbers were as low as two or three on several occasions.  The average number of cyclists per ride was 6.59!  Dwindling numbers can be attributed partially to old stalwarts leaving the area, yet we have not succeeded in attracting many new regular riders, despite numerous enquiries and a 40-strong mailing list.  Maybe a concerted recruitment campaign next spring could help to swell our ranks.  One undoubted strength of the group is the existence of a hard core of willing leaders.  This means that usually nobody needs to lead more than one ride per quarter, thus ensuring a minimum individual commitment and a maximum range of routes.  All in all, there have been some very enjoyable rides, providing healthy exercise, delightful routes and scintillating company!

Woking Wayfarers.  Reported by David Nightingale.

We have had an excellent year, thanks to all the people who ride with us.  A special thank-you to Les Houlton and Harry Statham who do a splendid job of assisting the leader.  We have had an average of 14.63 riders per ride and have seen the return of some riders and welcomed some new riders.  We have discovered a new old road and revisited a few that we had almost forgotten about - well the leader had a few memory problems remembering how to get to one of them.  Please talk to the leader if you have any ideas or suggestions.  Thanks to you all.  Happy cycling!

Away Rides.  Reported by Roger Philo.

The DA's riders have been slightly less active in the DATC than in previous years and at the time of writing the highest placed were Philip Hampton and Richard Phipps at =11th with the team in 4th place.  DA riders Chris Avery, Roger Philo and Richard Phipps were to be seen on Audax rides all over the country and Roly Masset was spotted on the 600km from Doncaster, completing his Super Randonneur series.

BENSTEAD CUP EVENTS

50 Mile Reliability Ride [20th April].  Organised by Rory Fenner.  Marshals:  Ken Bolingbroke, Neil and Pat Strudwick.

Once again our start of the season 50 Mile Reliability Ride was blest with fine weather.  There was an entry of 28, 3 of whom were not from West Surrey.  Of the starters, 4 did not finish.  A major change in the arrangements this year was the introduction of an alternative start at the CTC headquarters in addition to the traditional start from Pyrford Common.  The two routes converged at Kirdford from where the usual route was followed to the finish at Holmbury St. Mary.  The alternative start provided an attractive ride to Kirdford and will be used again next year.  All the riders were very appreciative of the refreshment stop between Kirdford and Wisborough Green organised by Pat and Neil Strudwick and, of course, welcomed the sight of the pub at Holmbury St. Mary where calories, water and electrolytes were replenished with gusto.

South Downs Sesquicentury and Selham Century Audax Rides and The Frensham 50 [31st May].  Organised by Roger Philo.  Marshals:  Ken Bolingbroke, Harry Statham, Peter Norris.

These events again enjoyed fair weather.  The Sesquicentury had 63 entries and 55 starters (12 West Surrey), 52 of whom finished.  The youngest finisher was James Callaghan.  The Selham Century uses the same route out to Midhurst as the Sesquicentury and the same route back from Selham, but cuts directly between these two without crossing the South Downs.  This event had 17 entries (all started) and 15 finishers (8 West Surrey).  West Surrey also accounted for the 2 DNFs;  one did not complete the route and one started late and did not complete by the required time.  The Frensham 50 had a disappointing entry of 2 riders, both West Surrey;  both finished.

Stonehenge 200km and Danebury 150km Audax Rides [28th June].  Organised by Peter Callaghan.  Marshals:  Ken Bolingbroke, Bill Mann, Paddy Shea and Harry Statham.

Although the weather was somewhat overcast, it was a dry day and pleasant for riding.  There were 56 entries for the Stonehenge 200 of whom 52 started (12 West Surrey) and 50 completed the ride.  The Danebury 150 attracted only 25 entries of whom 21 started (10 West Surrey) and completed the route.  The riders followed a common route from Elstead to Whitchurch where Bill and Harry manned the control and provided food and drink for the riders - thank you both.  Thanks to the sterling efforts of Pat Strudwick and Liz Callaghan we were able to provide food and drink throughout the day at Elstead which was much appreciated by the riders and contributed greatly to the success of the day.

Clover Leaf Rides [28th June].  On the same day as the Stonehenge ride Peter Callaghan organised a series of 'Clover Leaf' rides based on four 25-mile circular routes that could be linked to give rides of 25 miles to 100 miles.  Although all routes passed through Elstead it was possible to start and finish the ride(s) at Woking, Haslemere or the CTC HQ.  1 rider completed 50 miles and 12 completed 25 miles.  All riders were from West Surrey.

Rough Stuff 50 & 60km Rides [19th July].  Organised by Trevor Strudwick.  Marshals:  Ken Bolingbroke, Rory Fenner, Bill Mann and Clive Richardson.

This year's rides started from the main car park on Newlands Corner as the proprietor of the Barn Café had refused to allow us to use the café facilities.  Conditions were ideal for the two rides with the weather being warm and sunny.  There was a total entry of 41 for the two rides of whom 18 started and 14 finished the 60km ride and 18 started and all finished the 50km ride.  4 West Surrey riders completed the 60km ride and 9 from West Surrey completed the 50km ride.  First back on the 60km route was Stephen Brown from Maidenhead in 4 hours 22 minutes;  first West Surrey riders back were Phil Hampton and Geoff Smith in 5 hours 17 minutes followed closely in 5 hours 20 minutes by James Callaghan who, at 13 years of age, had run the last 5.5km having suffered a chain breakage at the top of Hackhurst Downs.  The 50 km ride was easier than the 60 km ride with much less 'off-road' and this gave the more senior West Surrey riders time for a leisurely refuelling stop at the Thurlow Arms.  The first riders back in the 50km ride were Katherine and Andrew Leigh from Whitchurch in 3 hours 44 minutes.  The first West Surrey riders back were Jane and Bentley Cook and Bill Thompson in 3 hours 52 minutes.

Tour of the Hills 100km Audax Ride [16th August].  Organised by Harold Coleman.  Marshals:  Liz Callaghan, Peter Callaghan, Keith Chesterton, Bill Mann, David Pinkess, Clive Richardson, Paddy Shea, Harry Statham, Trevor Strudwick.

A fine sunny day saw 103 of the 113 entries setting off from Newlands Corner.  93 riders finished (11 West Surrey) within the maximum time of 7 hrs 12 min., of whom 24, including 4 West Surrey riders, Geoff Smith, Stephen Pack, John Pugh and Tom Hargreaves, were within 5 hrs.  The outstanding D.A. ride was by Rico Signore who covered the 65 miles with 6000ft of climbing in 5hr 45 min. just 8 months after a hip replacement.  The only junior to complete the route was James Callaghan who, at the age of 13 yr., achieved an excellent time of 5hr 12 min.  My thanks to all those who helped at the 'Start' and 'Finish' and around the course - without your help there can be no event.  Unfortunately, because of the anti-cyclist attitude of the proprietors of the Barn Café the Tour of the Hills will not be starting on Newlands Corner in the future.  Shere Village Hall has been booked as event H.Q. for 1999.

100 mile and 75 mile Reliability Rides [6th September].  Organised by Ken Bolingbroke.  Marshal:  Rory Fenner.

The turnout for these events was rather disappointing this year with only 7 riders (6 from West Surrey) starting the 100 mile event and 1 rider tackling the 75 mile ride.  Clive Richardson and Geoff Smith completed the 100 in 6 hrs 38 min.  The oldest rider to complete the 100 mile ride was Harold Coleman who wins the Bert Bartholomew 100 mile Memorial Trophy.  As with the 50 mile ride in April, the 75 and 100 mile rides were also favoured with almost perfect cycling weather.

Tricyclathon [4th October].  Organised by Roger Philo.  Marshals & Timekeepers:  Peter Norris and Don Jones.

A dry but mostly overcast day provided good conditions for this event.  The entry comprised Mike Batchelor, Kim Suffolk and Mark Beauchamp (1st, 2nd and 5th respectively in the DATC individual placings at 3/10/98), Jack Eason of Hertfordshire DA, 7 West Surrey riders, and one non-CTC member.  Winner of the hillclimb was Paul Holmes again (riding fixed of course), but James Callaghan was 2nd by only 11 seconds and was 55 seconds faster than last year.  Kim Suffolk was 3rd.  The pacejudging was the smallest time difference for both ways round a circuit of about 6 miles.  The winner was Paul Holmes (5 seconds difference on a 19 minute time), Jack Eason was 2nd with 6 seconds difference and Clive Richardson 3rd with 7 seconds difference.  The wooden spoon went to Mark Beauchamp who got lost on the first circuit and obviously failed to simulate getting lost on the second circuit, for which he recorded a time nearly 6 minutes faster.  The freewheeling was won by Clive Richardson, with Kim Suffolk 2nd and Mark Beauchamp 3rd.  Overall equal first were Kim Suffolk and Clive Richardson with Paul Holmes 3rd.  First junior was James Callaghan.

AWARDS

Benstead Cup    CLIVE RICHARDSON;      Runner up  PETER CALLAGHAN

Ladies Benstead Shield    JANE COOK

Junior Benstead Cup    JAMES CALLAGHAN

Bernard Howell Trophy - Highest Placed Veteran    PETER CALLAGHAN

Bill Inder Trophy - Sunday Attendance Competition    CLIVE RICHARDSON

Junior Attendance Cup    JAMES CALLAGHAN

George Alesbury Tankard - Midweek Wayfarers Attendance Competition    GEORGE ALESBURY

The Bert Bartholomew 100 mile Memorial Trophy    HAROLD COLEMAN

The Keith Parfitt Memorial Trophy    JAMES CALLAGHAN

D.A. Badges

Gold JAMES CALLAGHAN;  PETER CALLAGHAN;  HAROLD COLMAN;  PHILIP HAMPTON;  DON JONES;  CLIVE RICHARDSON;  TREVOR STRUDWICK
Silver KEN BOLINGBROKE;  GEOFF SMITH
Bronze  KEITH CHESTERTON;  RORY FENNER;  HARRY STATHAM;  JOHN PUGH.

PUBLICITY

The DA has displayed colour posters and runs lists in cycle shops and cafés around the district.

MAGAZINE.  Report from the Editor, Peter Norris

The West Surrey Cyclist Magazine currently has a circulation of just over 100.  Of this number 15 are subscribers.  11 are distributed to libraries in the area.  1 each is given to those businesses who advertise in the magazine (Clockhouse Tearooms, Goal Farm, Frensham Garden Centre).  The remaining magazines are distributed amongst group leaders who then pass them on to West Surrey Cyclists.  The 50 pence charge for the magazine and revenue from advertisers helps to cover production expenses.

Over the past year more DA members have begun to contribute articles and letters which has helped to make the magazine a good read.  The Editor hopes that this trend continues and that more West Surrey cyclists will put pen to paper and contribute.

We are on the verge of having to consider increasing production of the magazine to meet demand.  However, there are costs involved and more advertisers are being sought to help offset these.

SOCIAL EVENTS

DA Luncheon and Prize Giving.  35 Members and friends attended a Luncheon following the AGM at the Manor Hotel, Newlands Corner, Guildford on 9th November 1997.  The food and service were excellent and everyone enjoyed themselves.  The Toast to the West Surrey District Association was proposed by Martyn Roach.  Harold Coleman replied on behalf of the DA.  The presentation of Awards by Chris Jeggo was accompanied by the usual good hearted banter.

Midweek Wayfarers Christmas Lunch.  35 members enjoyed a convivial lunch in the company of the President at the Four Horseshoes, Chobham on December 17th.  Despite the wet snow that fell during the morning, a good number of riders rode out to coffee at the Savill Garden before retreating back to the warmth of the Four Horseshoes for the well earned lunch and accompanying liquid refreshment.


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