CYCLISTS' TOURING CLUB

WEST SURREY DISTRICT ASSOCIATION

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ANNUAL REPORT 1998 / 99

The 1999 weather has been considerably better than that of 1998 and there have been many excellent rides both on Wednesdays and Sundays throughout the season.  The late season 'Indian Summer' has been an added bonus.  Below you will read the reports which give the picture of the level of support for the different D.A. groups and events.  From them, together with the verbal reports provided by Runs Leaders and Event Organisers during the year, we must base our decisions for the future activities of the D.A.  Times are constantly changing and so the preferences and needs of the D.A. members will inevitably change with them.  We have to decide which activities should be kept just as they are, which need change and, possibly, which should be scrapped.  Our Audax events were again popular and attracted good numbers of entries with riders coming from far afield.  In organising these events we are 'Putting something back into the sport', as the old saying goes.  Conversely, some of our D.A. events were poorly supported.

Some of our events require a great deal of organising and effort on the day, others require far less.  Some have received but poor support yet are thoroughly enjoyed by those who take part in them and to scrap them would probably mean losing them forever:  it is much harder to start something than to keep something going - maybe they can be revitalised by change?  Our intake of new 'D.A. Active' members is small (in spite of the letter and Runs List sent to all non-active members of the D.A. - see below), but we do have some and they may have some new ideas - if so, let's hear from them.  The Committee have worked hard and deserve your thanks.  They also need your thoughts and ideas in order to ensure that the D.A. provides the activities that you, its members, want.

Next year the West Surrey D.A. hosts the Southern Counties Rally - 'The Millennium Rally'.  The Committee have put in a considerable amount of work in finding the site, ascertaining the services required, deciding on the entertainment, planning both on- and off-road routes etc. etc.  Help from D.A. members will be essential to ensure the success of the rally and the enjoyment of all - both those attending and those running it.  The rally will be held at Merrist Wood College, Worplesdon, on 26th - 29th May 2000.

This year we will once again be holding a D.A. Dinner.  This has been arranged for Saturday 4th December at the YMCA in Guildford.  Only your support can make it a success - PLEASE DO COME.

Just before Easter 1999 the D.A. Committee mailed a letter to all 'non-active' members of the D.A., some 750 people, identified from the CTC list of members.  In addition we also sent a current Runs List and asked four questions to which recipients were invited to respond.  The questions were:

Would they like to help with the Millennium Rally?
Would their children be interested in joining a junior group?
Would they like to help organise a junior group?
Would they like to subscribe to the magazine?

Off the 750 members written to, we received 30 replies, which included 2 who expressed an interest in the Millennium Rally and 3 who wanted a copy of the magazine.  The remaining replies were really 'Thank You' letters.  It is not possible to say definitively how many new riders were inspired to turn out as a result of the letter alone:  it was somewhere between 2 and 5 who put in an appearance.  We believe that at the most 1 or 2 of those continue to ride with us occasionally.

D.A. COMMITTEE:

The Committee met on eight occasions and consisted of Peter Callaghan [Chairman] (8), Don Jones [Secretary] (8), Roy Banks (6), Chas. Benzing [Treasurer] (7), Ken Bolingbroke (4), Harold Coleman [President] (8), Rory Fenner (7), Peter Norris [Magazine Editor] (6), Roger Philo [Runs Secretary] (5), Rico Signore (7), and Trevor Strudwick [Membership Secretary] (8).  Attendances in ().  In Addition, four Millennium Rally Project Management Meetings were held.  These meetings were chaired by Trevor Strudwick [Millennium Rally Co-ordinator].

RIDING GROUPS:

Hardriders.  Reported by Clive Richardson.

We have had a successful year and with the introduction of car assistance to Salisbury, Winchester and the New Forest it has been possible to extend the rides into unfamiliar territory including parts of Wiltshire and Somerset.  This has enabled us to get greater variation in our rides.  The annual train and catamaran trip to the Isle of Wight was most successful.  We stopped for crumpets on a barge in Bembridge, climbed the steepest hill on the island near Ventnor (this is just possible on a 67" fixed wheel!) and had a swim in the sea in Lycra shorts.  'Pantani' provided the red coat entertainment at the end of Ryde Pier by waving the group off as we sailed away to Portsmouth Harbour (see Paul Holmes in West Surrey Magazine).  The last ride of the summer was into Sussex where we were to be seen walking down the aisle in Lancing College Chapel to the strains of a professional organ recital.  As we turned to look at the organ balcony our breath was taken away by the sunlight shining through the stained glass rose window.  Thank you Don for this excellent day out.  In the future we intend to visit more places of interest on our rides.  Perhaps, in the Millennium Year, we should take up the invitation from Svotka (an ex-Hardrider) to visit the Czech Republic to ride the 'Iron Dragon' which appears to be similar to an Audax ride and covers 160 km through Czech's second highest mountain range to finish on the highest point at 1492 m.

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 Sunday rides and elder flower juice.  The group would like to extend an invitation to all West Surrey members who would like to extend themselves a little to come and join the Hardriders who, at last, have decided to discipline themselves to riding at a moderate pace especially when newcomers have joined the group.  We want to attract more cyclists out on our regular Sunday rides but realise that we must not live up to our name by giving everybody a hard time.

Intermediates.  Reported by Bill Mann.

The Intermediate Group ran a full programme of runs emanating in most directions from the Guildford/Woking axis, reaching Fingest in the north, Shoreham Airport in the south, Kingsclere in the west and Outwood in the east.  Whilst the handful of new faces have been unanimous in their praise of the routes provided, including one train-assisted ride, support has generally been poor.  The criticisms levelled at the group over the speed of some of the rides and the fact that on occasions the lunch or tea stop has not been reached indicate that an overhaul of the aims of the group and the listing of the details of routes is due for revision.

Midweek Wayfarers.  Reported by the Troika.

The "Midweek Wobblers" have had a very successful and enjoyable year.  A total of 60 members joined our rides, with the highest attendance at 26 and the lowest at 7, an average of 17 members per ride, roughly equivalent to last year.

The decision to print just the coffee stop in the runs lists and leave it to the riders to decide during coffee break on the lunchtime destination depending on weather, daylight hours, number and ability of riders etc., has proved popular and successful.  In practice the participants usually split into three groups:  a B-Group riding at a leisurely pace to a not too distant lunchtime pub, an A-Group riding a longer route (slightly too fast for some) and some returning home straight after coffee.  The 13 train-assisted rides proved very popular allowing more scope to explore further afield and to ride on lesser known or completely new territory.  Destinations in Hampshire seem to be favourites, as the roads are much quieter (better maintained) than in Surrey.

One of the year's highlights was a very enjoyable three-day visit to the Isle of Wight in June which attracted 17 members.  We hope to have another extended trip next year to a venue yet to be decided.  The annual excursion to the New Forest was abandoned as the proposed date coincided with the eclipse on 11th August and many feared overcrowded and congested trains and roads.

The general affability, good cheer and helpfulness amongst the Midweekers makes the Troika's task very easy and enjoyable and we hope to continue along the same lines for another year.

Guildford and Godalming Wayfarers.  [No report had been received by the time this document went for duplication].

Woking Wayfarers.  [No report had been received by the time this document went for duplication].

Away Rides.  Reported by Roger Philo.

A number of our members have ridden a range of AUK events this year.  Congratulations are due to D.A. riders Chris Avery, Ian Draper, Roland Masset, Roger Philo and Richard Phipps whose Audax activities enabled them to qualify for and successfully complete the 1200km Paris-Brest-Paris ride in August.  The D.A. is also delighted to hear that Chris Avery has won the AUK Points Championship.

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 32, 3 of whom were not from the West Surrey D.A.  This year we once again had an alternative start at the CTC headquarters in addition to the traditional start from Pyrford Common.  The two rides followed entirely different routes for the first half but converged at Kirdford from where the usual route was followed to the finish at Holmbury St. Mary.  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.

2000 Hectometres to Hampshire, South Downs Sesquicentury and Selham Century Audax Rides and 50km non-Audax Ride [16th May].  Organised by Roger Philo and Trevor Strudwick.  Marshals:  Ken Bolingbroke, James Callaghan, Bill Mann, Harry Statham, Peter Norris.

These rides started from the Glebelands School Sports Centre, Cranleigh, which was the anticipated venue for the forthcoming 'Millennium Rally' in which these rides will form part of the cycling programme.  On a dry but overcast day the turnout for the Audax rides was rather lower than expected but this might be explained by a number of potential riders choosing to ride a PBP qualifying ride rather than our rides.  For the 2000 Hectometres ride, 20 (including 6 from West Surrey) of the original 30 entrants started and 19 completed the ride.  24 riders (10 from West Surrey) started and all completed the Sesquicentury ride.  4 riders completed the Selham Century ride and 2 West Surrey riders were the only entrants and finishers in the 50km ride.  Next year these rides will form part of the 'Millennium Rally' and will start from Merrist Wood College, Worplesdon on 28 May.

Surrey Scorathon [6th June].  Organised by Keith Chesterton

16 people took part in the 1st Scorathon which was centred on the Sports Pavilion at Dunsfold.  Competitors were given clues to 30 places to visit within 8 miles of the start.  If all places were visited the total distance needed to be covered was about 37 miles.  Nobody managed to visit all, although Tom Hargreaves, the eventual winner of the event, got very close with 29 visited.  The event was graced by good weather and all who took part said that they had enjoyed it.

Stonehenge 200km and Danebury 150km Audax Rides [27th June].  Organised by Peter Callaghan.  Marshals:  Ken Bolingbroke, Bill Mann, Paddy Shea, Harry Statham and Roy Banks.

Unfortunately the weather broke with tradition and was rather damp during the morning but dried up after lunch so that the riders had pleasant riding conditions for the later stages of the events.  There were 56 entries for the Stonehenge 200 of whom 41 started (8 West Surrey) and 38 (5 West Surrey) completed the ride.  The Danebury 150 attracted 31 entries of whom 30 started and 29 completed the route (16 West Surrey started and finished).  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 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 [27th June].  On the same day as the Stonehenge ride 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 had also been organised.  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 9 completed 25 miles.  All riders were from West Surrey.

Rough Stuff 50 & 60km Rides [18th July].  Organised by Trevor Strudwick.  Marshals:  Ken Bolingbroke, Rory Fenner, Bill Mann, Clive Richardson and Harry Statham.

A total of 32 riders set off from Newlands Corner on a warm and sunny day.  17 started and 14 finished the 60km ride and 13 started and 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 Ian Callaghan (West Surrey) in 3 hours 40 minutes whilst the first to complete the 50km route took just 2 minutes longer.  Many of the riders were not interested in record breaking and took their time and enjoyed a leisurely ride in the countryside:  some of the more senior riders were even seen refuelling at the Thurlow Arms.  Among these was the President who appeared on a new mountain bike complete with sprung seat post!

Tour of the Hills 100km Audax Ride [16th August].  Organised by Harold Coleman.  Marshals:  Roy Banks, Liz Callaghan, Peter Callaghan, John Chitty, Bill Mann, Peter Norris, Clive Richardson, Paddy Shea, Marguerite and Harry Statham, Pat, Kirsty and Trevor Strudwick.

A fine sunny morning saw 117 of the 133 entries setting off from the new H.Q. in Shere Village Hall.  95 riders finished (13 West Surrey) within the maximum time of 7 hrs 12 min.  Unusual for this event in recent years was that the slower riders experienced a little rain towards the end of the route.  My sincere thanks to all those who helped at the 'Start' and 'Finish' and around the course - without your help there can be no event.  This is an event that requires a lot of work before the day, on the day and after the day but it is very popular and earns the D.A. much praise from riders.

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

Once again the turnout for these two events was rather disappointing with only 4 riders (all from West Surrey) starting the 100 mile event and 6 riders (4 from West Surrey) tackling the 75 mile ride.  The oldest rider to complete the 100 mile ride was Don Jones who wins the Bert Bartholomew 100 mile Memorial Trophy.  The weather was almost perfect for cycling until late afternoon when the slower riders were hit by a cloud-burst which dampened their enthusiasm just two miles from the finish.

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

This year the Tricyclathon was centred on Beacon Hill rather than Oakhanger as in the past.  A dry but mostly overcast day provided good conditions for this event.  There were 7 entries (6 from West Surrey and Jack Eason from Hertfordshire D.A.).  Winner of the hillclimb was again Paul Holmes in 3min. 53sec. followed by Clive Richardson and then Don Jones.  The pace judging winner was the rider with the smallest time difference between his clockwise and anti-clockwise rides round a road circuit.  The winner was Cliff Boarer (14 seconds difference on a 17 minute time), Ken Bolingbroke was 2nd with 16 seconds difference and Don Jones 3rd with 36 seconds difference.  The freewheeling was won by Clive Richardson, with Don Jones 2nd and Ken Bolingbroke 3rd.  Overall equal first were Clive Richardson and Don Jones with Cliff Boarer and Ken Bolingbroke equal 3rd.

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 has had good support again from advertisers.  As well as longstanding regulars, Clock House Tea Rooms, Goal Farm, Frensham Garden Centre and Camberley Discount Cycles - Ramblers Rest, Manor Farm and Bob Jackson Cycles have joined us.  The flow of contributions to the magazine in the way of articles etc. has been steady and the Editor has never been hard up for material thanks to DA members who send in their offerings.  Harold Coleman has over the past two years written a very informative and, need I say, entertaining President's Page.  Richard Ellis has become a regular contributor with his touring articles and Paul Holmes has often put pen to paper.  Bob McLeod wrote a great account of his tour in America.  Many other members of the DA have also enthusiastically contributed and the magazine has been well received by all those who have read it.  Subscriptions to the magazine presently stand at 15 per cent of the membership.  Following the DA's mailshot earlier in the year we gained a few more subscribers.

As I am unable to continue as Editor of the magazine due to other demands on my time a new Editor will have to be found.  It is hoped that nominations will be received in time for the AGM in November.

SOCIAL EVENTS

DA Dinner and Prize Giving.  30 Members and friends attended the Annual Dinner at the YMCA, Guildford on 28th November 1998.  The food and service were excellent and everyone enjoyed themselves.  Members were especially pleased to welcome Kath Parfitt who presented the awards.

Midweek Wayfarers Christmas Lunch.  34 members enjoyed a convivial lunch in the company of the President at the Red Lion, Horsell on December 9th.  Many of the group rode out to coffee at the Savill Garden and by the time they had ridden back to Horsell they had worked up a sufficient hunger and thirst to do justice to the excellent lunch and accompanying liquid refreshment.


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