“The West Surrey Cyclist” - October - December 2002

Previous magazine . Next magazine

Contents:

Front cover - very similar to previous issue
Inner front cover - West Surrey CTC District Association Officers - same as in previous issue
Editorial front matter - as in previous issue
Riding Around - with the Editor
Coming Up:  For (and Against?) Cycle Helmets
50-Miles Reliability Ride 2002 - A Postscript - by Hamish Smith
Overheard on a Ride
‘Pedaleurs de Charme’ - Swiss Rollers 2003
Roy to the Rescue - by Edwina Roberts
The Late John Widley
The Late Phil Hampton - by Paul Holmes
Why Can’t I Catch Them - by Phil Hamilton
Organisers - Please Take Note
Tour of the Hills and Tour of the Greensand Hills - report by Tom Hargreaves
Rag, Tag and Bobtail - by Peter Clint
A Plea From Our Archivist
Get the Magazine Delivered for £3 a Year
For sale
Europe End to End - Brussels to Stockholm - by Dennis Clarke
Dates for Your Diary
Committee Nomination Form
Outer back cover - advertisement - Carradice

Selected items transcribed from the original printed copy:


RIDING AROUND......

with the Editor

THEY talk about carefree cycling but increasing numbers of us realise there is no such thing any more.  Injuries have dogged many of West Surrey DA’s regular riders recently and the subject of injuries and their causes has attained almost top status in our coffee-stop conversations - well, after the weather and the state of the nation, of course.

Of those known to me, Jim Cheatham has fared worst of late, having swapped his bike for crutches for weeks on end following a particularly nasty collision involving a car.  A few weeks later, committee member Peter Clint went down, breaking fingers and injuring his collar bone having hit a kerb.  Then treasurer Phil Hamilton injured his pelvis and elbow coming off while transferring from the road to a cycleway near the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre.

Regular riders with the DA are folk who like to keep active, so the injuiries and recovering from them cause huge frustrations.  In my own case I am, as I write, undergoing a second series of physiotherapy sessions after a car hit me in June last year.  The wheels of justice may grind slowly but the car driver has now been sentenced for careless driving.  Yet my consultant wants to see me yet again in September to “provide a follow-up medical report”.  When will it all end?

One of our concerned riders commented to me:  “I really cannot believe what is happening to us with these injuries.”  Anyway, better luck and a speedy return to good health to us all.


MOTORISED traffic is increasing at alarming rates here in West Surrey, as it is practically everywhere else.  Do we just have to accept it?  Should the Government do something about it?  What can anyone do?

If these questions have a note of desperation about them then that only reflects how I feel.  Here is one suggestion for you to ponder....

The said increase in traffic brings with it a rise in conflict and potential conflict between drivers and other road users, usually with cyclists coming off worse.  I have mentioned before how, in the Netherlands, car drivers involved in collisions with cyclists and pedestrians are automatically considered to be at fault - with the onus on them to prove otherwise.

Now I read there is a European Union proposal to extend that law throughout the EU.  I should imagine there would be a tremendous obstacle to overcome with that in the UK on the basis of innocent until proved guilty, but what a sensible move this would be.  It could even lead to more cycling here as people discover they have more legal protection than they do at present and motorists are “forced” to become more wary and considerate of riders.  What do you think?  Write to me with your views.

It is heartening to read the views of Kevin Clinton, Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents’ head of road safety.  He is quoted in Cycling Plus as saying:  “In accidents involving adult cyclists it is the driver that is more often at fault.  When you get your driving licence you are agreeing that you bring with it more responsibility for safety.”

From our point of view it is also essential that we emphasise that membership of the CTC brings with it automatic third-party insurance.  All cyclists should have this and that is reason enough for joining.


SO-CALLED slower groups of our riders are referred to variously as the “seniors”, “wobblers”, “oldies”, even “the old crocks”.  On my recent bike tour in the Czech Republic a Czech rider with us came up with “the chickens” to describe those who took an easier route option when available.

Now “chicken” to us has connotations of being scared.  This was unknown to our Czech friend and I have to say I grew to rather like his description of our “more relaxed” riders, finding it somewhat endearing.  I am proud to report I joined the chickens myself on a couple of occasions and thoroughly enjoyed the laid-back ambience of the group, combining swimming and picnics with the easy-paced riding.

But perhaps you have other suitable descriptive words for the slower groups?  Let me know.  Meanwhile, “chickens” is fine with me even though chickens don’t swim.


COMING UP:  For (and against?) cycle helmets

REGULAR midweek and Sunday DA rider and committee member Peter Clint believes he was saved from serious head injury because he was wearing a cycle helmet when he collided with a kerb on a club run in August.  As a result, he has written a piece on the necessity, as he sees it, of wearing a helmet at all times when riding.

This will be included in a future issue.  All readers who have opinions, anecdotes or personal experiences involving helmet usage are asked to write them down and send them to the Editor, Geoff Smith, for possible inclusion with Peter’s piece.  Details are on page three under “Contributions Welcome”.


50-MILES RELIABILITY RIDE 2002 - A postscript

By Hamish Smith (Bristol CTC)

THIRTY reliability rides with the DA - is this a record (see previous issue of the mag)?  No it isn’t, not by a long way.

In common with many CTC old-timers I still possess the remains of a collection of countless reliability ride certificates, 100 miles and 50 miles, accumulated during 50 years of club cycling.  However, as an expatriate member of the DA I am not strictly qualified to be a contender.

But I would nominate Eric Parr as the only possible living record holder.  He was riding 50- and 100-mile events with the West Surrey CTC long before I joined in 1954.

As for unearthing the documentary evidence - now there’s a real challenge.


OVERHEARD ON A RIDE

“The trouble with October is that it begins on the 1st and ends on the 31st.”


“pedaleurs de charme”
SWISS ROLLERS 2003
Starting and finishing in Woking
Saturday June 28th - Wednesday July 9th 2003

FOLLOWING the highly successful 2001:  A Swiss Odyssey holiday (see Bob McLeod’s account in the October-December 2001 magazine) it is proposed to stay with the formula to explore two new regions, Lake Constance (Bodensee) in the north-east and the Engadine alpine valley.

As before, the attractions will be plenty for walkers and for those who wish to limit their cycling.

We will travel with our bikes by luxury coach, spending the first and final nights in France, then five nights in Buriet/Thal in the north-eastern corner of Switzerland near the borders with Austria and Germany.  Liechtenstein is close by so it is possible to cycle in four countries in one day.  The lovely undulating countryside with quaint villages, lush meadows and cool forests has all the ingredients for leisurely or challenging rides, and there are numerous excursions by train, lake boat or on foot.

The destination for four nights in Engadine is the village of Lavin at 1,432 metres, a high alpine valley in the Romansh-speaking part of Switzerland.  There is a chance there to go on one of Europe’s most spectacular railway journeys, taking the Bernina Express from a world of glaciers to Mediterranean-type climate and countryside far down in the valley - with adhesion traction only.

The coach will be available throughout the holiday and all breakfasts and dinners will be provided at the hotels, specially chosen by our Swiss club rider Rico Signore, who will be our guide.  Undoubtedly we will have some wine tastings and special social activities.

At this point we need to know of your interest as soon as possible.  The tour will be limited to 30 persons.  The final price will be advised when we know how many are in our party.  Contact Geoff Smith (details on page three).


ROY TO THE RESCUE

by Edwina Roberts

WHEN the CTC tour to Scandinavia I had long planned for was cancelled just a few days before sailing, my disappointment was profound.  However, my spirits lifted when I remembered that Roy Banks had organised a five-day tour based at Hartington, Derbyshire, which overlapped the time I would have been in Denmark.  By a happy coincidence I saw Richard and was invited to join the group at a meeting where they were finalising arrangements.  They welcomed me as the sixth member, which was wonderful at such short notice (I think it was because they knew I like a pint at lunchtimes).  Roy thought that he could squeeze me and a fourth bike into his car.  Richard and Alan were to carry their bikes and everyone’s luggage in Richard’s car.

We set off the following Sunday morning and met at the recently re-furbished and very impressive 17th century Hartington Hall YH.  After booking in, we retired to the Devonshire Arms for lunch.  Later, despite lowering clouds, Roy led our first toughening-up ride out to Winster, a picturesque old lead-mining village at the bottom of the steepest, narrowest and most winding hill I have ever cycled down.  We eased our aching hands round mugs of coffee before setting off in horizontal rain, up and down the muddy lanes back to Hartington.  The weather perked up later and we spent a very civilised evening driving to the Druid Inn, Birchover, famed for its haute cuisine, to enjoy a delicious dinner in pleasant surroundings.

Monday, May 27th dawned bright and shining, but Cliff appeared, wandering around looking rather worried.  He had lost the key to his bicycle lock.  The next sighting of him revealed a blunt hacksaw clutched in his fist and a determined look on his face.  Soon he was free to join us on the ride up the hill to the Tissington Trail, where we headed south at a leisurely pace on a very good surface, enjoying the lovely views and pausing for the odd photo-shoot.  We left the trail at Thorpe and stopped at the superb Izaak Walton Hotel for some posh coffee and yummy chunks of shortbread.  This stood us in good stead for the awkward trail we eventually had to negotiate along the famously beautiful Dovedale.  Roy had hoped to cycle along the path to the stepping stones where we would carry our bikes across the the river and continue on our way.  However, the river was running fast and high over some of the stones and following the rather touching sight of our leader testing the way, balancing like a dancer sans shoes and bike, it was decided that we would be unlikely to succeed in our attempts to cross without slipping into the freezing water.  Consequently we all had to struggle with our bikes across the bridge and along a stony, muddy, uneven path.  That wasn’t the end of the assault course, but we made it eventually.  (Thanks to Peter and a charming young hiker for carrying my bike when I was having great difficulty coping).

We lunched well at The George in Alstonefield, and had an interesting mooch round the Art Studio of an excellent watercolourist, Jean Goodman, before cycling on our way down into the Manifold valley.  After enjoying sunshine for much of the day, a heavy shower kept our heads down for the last three miles back to Hartington.  Thank goodness for the large drying room at the hostel.  Later, we took advantage of their dining facilities - very tasty and filling.  The wine was good too.

Tuesday turned out to be sludge day.  It began dry and cloudy but the weather deteriorated as we turned south-east on to the High Peak Trail.  The surface was crushed black cinders and wasn’t too good for our road bikes especially when heavy rain turned it into a cement-like sludge which gummed up the wheels of both Richard and Peter.  However, we battled on enjoying the outstanding views at various intervals until we arrived 1000 feet above sea level at Middleton Top station, where we had coffee and looked at the winding-engine house.  This was used from 1829 to 1963 for hauling or lowering wagons up or down the incline (1 in 8) to and from the the High Peak Junction by the Cromford Canal.

We continued in pouring rain, mainly walking down the stepped incline, to the junction.  There we paused to de-sludge the bikes and tour the museum which was in the interesting old workshop.  It was still pouring as we made our way to Matlock Bath, desperate for sustenance.  We stopped at the first pub we saw, which was appropriately named The Fishpond, and dripped our way thankfully inside.  Later we visited The Peak District Mining Museum and then set off in driving rain along the flooded A6 towards our base, where we arrived safely despite Alan’s brake lever coming adrift (downhill!) on the way.  That evening the sun shone and we wined and dined in excellent spirits at the The Royal Oak in Sparklow.

Next morning we peered through the windows at more rain.  So after a bit of bike maintenance we resorted to some sight-seeing by car.  First to Arbor Low, a neolithic stone circle and burial mound.  As we made our way back through muddy fields to the cars, Roy showed his mettle again by leaping around to frighten away some rather large and frisky bullocks who wanted some sport.  Later we visited the pretty town of Bakewell for some shopping, by which time, perversely, the sun was shining.  After lunch we beetled back to get our bikes for an afternoon sweat up some nearby hills.  In the evening we returned to the Druid Inn for another delicious dinner.

Our last morning dawned cloudy but dryish.  When I met with the others I learned that Roy had discovered Cliff’s missing and now useless key in the loo!  We packed and set off for a short ride before loading the cars and travelling homewards.


THE LATE JOHN WIDLEY

JOHN, whose death was reported in a previous issue, was known in racing and touring circles as “Little John” but he was a giant on the bike when in his prime.  Early on in his racing days he joined the 29th Wheelers and achieved a 1-5 for 25 miles.  During this racing period he also toured extensively.

At the end of his racing days he became a BCF Commissaire for road racing.  He also acted as time-keeper for the Weybridge Wheelers.  He was always willing to help with marshalling at many open events.

John joined the CTC West Surrey DA where he became a regular rider.  He also enjoyed riding in Audax events in Boulogne, where he made many friends.


THE LATE PHIL HAMPTON

By Paul Holmes

We will all have been saddened to hear of the recent death of Phil Hampton, one of cycling’s traditional eccentrics.  His devotion to the pastime of cycling was unequalled, for he truly lived his hobby.  Always easily distinguished by the dubious quality of his bikes, he refused to spend any money on them, or indeed on anything else, including himself.  He lived on very little, mainly the interest on a modest capital sum, and while he worked hardly at all, at the same time he never claimed state benefits.  In a real sense he did try to opt out of conventional society, and often appeared a rather monkish figure.

A cheerful individual, he never seemed depressed by his circumstances, and was lively, spirited company.  I had numerous long chats with him on such interesting topics as cone diameters and spoke lengths.  He was also a rare devotee of fixed wheel, and could pedal surprisingly low ratios, relying on twiddling smoothly rather than strength.

It is typical that Phil should have died on his bike, though the circumstances were clearly tragic.  A keen Audax rider, he was well known for riding both to and from events, even very long ones.  This attitude to mileage was typical of his commitment to the pastime, and this eccentric character will certainly be missed.


WHY CAN’T I CATCH THEM?

Phil Hamilton

HAVE YOU ever wondered why, having stopped for a brief moment (e.g. to remove a jacket or fix a rattle), it is so difficult to rejoin the group you were quite happily riding with?  It could be a lack of fitness, but it’s more likely to be down to the mathematics of the situation!

Imagine you are with a group riding at a steady 14 mph, when you need to stop.  Having signalled your intent, let us presume that the group slows, to 12 mph, so as not to leave you too far behind.

In only 2½ minutes you will be half a mile behind the pack.  No great distance, but remember the group is still moving whilst you are trying to catch up, and at 14 mph your speed differential of only 2 mph will mean 15 minutes riding before you can shout “All up”.

During that time, in which you will travel 3½ miles, you will not have the benefit of being part of the bunch, sheltered from the wind and with conversation to take your mind off the riding.  Instead, you will suffer all the vagaries of the elements and the physically debilitating, negative thoughts of how unfit you are and wondering if you’ve missed a turning.

So next time you stop and the group goes on, don’t forget that it could be a while before you rejoin them - no matter how fit you are, and always let someone know you are stopping so they won’t lose you by turning without leaving a back marker.


ORGANISERS - PLEASE TAKE NOTE

ORGANISERS are asked to advise appropriate members of the committee as early as possible of their events so that they can be slotted into the overall West Surrey DA activities plan - and given some publicity in the magazine and runs lists.

The names and numbers are on page two.


TOUR of the HILLS &
TOUR of the GREENSAND HILLS

By Tom Hargreaves

SUNDAY 18 August saw a total of 136 riders take on the challenge of the Tour of the Hills and a further 26 enjoy the less arduous Tour of the Greensand Hills.  One will have to go back many years in the DA records to exceed a total of 162 riders out on a day.

The shorter ride was well received.  It meanders around the hills from Shere to Thorncombe Street and then to Leith Hill and back by way of Winterfold Hill and Peaslake.  There is enough climbing to satisfy most, and one is rewarded by some of the best views in the county.  It is an ideal ride for those who only want to go out for perhaps half a day - or as a family run ride.  The route will be run again next year, and others from the area are encouraged to join in.

The Tour of the Hills has become a regular fixture in the calendar of the racing lads from south London.  The stripped-down racing frames now out-number the traditional Audax machines.  Some of the riders certainly whip round the course.  In the early stages the first arrive at the controls just as they are opening, and thus have been pushing an average speed of 30 km/hr.  This event is not designed to be a race, but with a mass start of over a hundred cyclists the lanes of Surrey can get quite congested and may be intimidating for other road users.  The potential for accidents is something that we should be wary of for future years.

The Tour of the Hills could not be run without the assistance of many DA members to marshal, feed and administer the throngs.  Thanks are due to;  Chris Boggon, Jim Cheatham, Phil Hamilton, Paul Holmes, Chris Jeggo, Doug Johnson, Don Jones, Richard Phipps, Roger Philo, Clive Richardson, Geoff Smith (Junior), Trevor Strudwick, Derek Tanner and Mark Waters.


Rag, Tag & Bobtail

Have you ever seen them?  Those Guys and Girls on bikes, cycling the Surrey roads, heads down as they take on a strong south-west wind.  You must have seen them as they enter various garden centres for refreshment or a pub for lunch.

What a colourful group they make dressed in their sartorial best!  The blue wind sheeter providing a superb contrast to the yellow sweater worn by another.  As for the white sweat-shirt set against the New Zealand flag;  well, you would immediately recognise these people as being well travelled.  Then there is the racing club shirt, clearly an active group cleverly disguised behind a range of multi-coloured shirts, with the odd pair of khaki shorts to lend character.  Yes, like me, at first you thought they were club cyclists, then it was obvious, they were a group of cycle acrobats unsuccessfully seeking work!

But think again, perhaps you do recognise them.  Yes - of course, they are the cyclists of the West Surrey D.A.

Last spring I took a short holiday in the Ahr Valley approximately 120 Kms south of Koln in Germany.  This is a lovely area on the edge of the Eiffel, with the Ahr River running through a long steep-sided and spectacular valley, and with the hills rising to some 1,300 metres one has the impression of entering a mini-Switzerland, even the houses being constructed on a Swiss Chalet style.

This is an area of Germany popular with cyclists and cycle clubs, for with a number of valleys entering the Ahr, this provides a large number of both challenging and easy routes all passing through picturesque scenery.  Even better, there are relatively few cars.

It was whilst I was enjoying the countryside and sampling excellent beer that I noticed the varying groups of cyclists passing along the road, each looking very professional in their differing club shirts.

My initial thought was they must be far better than the West Surrey D.A., however at second glance I realised they nearly all represented groups of the equivalent skills and ages as ourselves.  Their appearance nevertheless left me with the feeling that these were clubs with whom I would have been proud to ride.

Now only quite recently I was out cycling with the North Hampshire C.T.C. and to my delight found the majority kitted out in suitable club shirts, long and short sleeved.

It would appear we too could get ourselves suitably equipped for approximately £30 per shirt.  To achieve this, however, we must have firm orders, and before I take this any further, I need to know how many of you may be interested in joining me in improving the presentation of the West Surrey D.A.  If there is sufficient interest, we can then begin to investigate design possibilities and precise cost.

Please contact me either by letter or by phone if you are interested in casting off our Rag, Tag and Bobtail image.

Peter CLINT

Clock Cottage,
Cavendish Road,
Weybridge,
Surrey.
KT13 OJW
Telephone:-  01932 - 848573


A PLEA FROM OUR ARCHIVIST

ANYONE possessing old records of West Surrey DA, including personal photo albums or momentos for which they no longer have any use, is asked to consider whether they may be suitable for preservation in our archives.

Keith Chesterton, our archivist and committee member, will sort through your material and decide on what may be worth preserving.  He will then present the completed collection to the Surrey Local History Archive Centre at Woking.

Although anything will be willingly checked and sifted by Keith, he is particularly interested in getting his hands on the minutes books for the old Woking Section of the DA for 1949 to 1952 and from 1955 to 1961.

Contact Keith on 01483 563392.


EUROPE END TO END - BRUSSELS TO STOCKHOLM

by Dennis Clarke

BRUSSELS is the capital city of Belgium and likes to think of itself as the capital of Europe.  So it had been the appropriate halfway point to break off between the second and third legs of my four-stage trans-European trip.  It also had the convenience of being only 2hrs 40mins from London via the Eurostar link.

It may have been the mid-point time-wise but it fell somewhat short of half distance.  The first two stages had taken me across Spain from Tarifa to Bilbao and then from Bilbao across France to Brussels, a total distance of 1,590 miles.  I had already cycled from the southernmost tip of Europe to a city which most people would consider to be in northern Europe, but there was still a long way to go before I got to the true north;  the North Cape of Norway was still some 2,300 miles away.  The halfway point of the trip was going to be somewhere near the Germany - Denmark border.  Scandinavia stretches a long way north from the pretty towns of southern Jutland to the tundra and ice-fields of Lapland.

However, I still had to traverse the Low Countries and northern Germany before reaching Scandinavia, so on a May Saturday in 1999 I collected my bike from the Eurostar terminal in Brussels and set off across Flanders towards the Dutch border.  After 55 miles on cycle tracks with a following wind I arrived in Kasterlee where I found a friendly little hotel backing on to a forest.  The next day took me over the border into Holland - superb cycle tracks, well signposted, and whole families of Sunday cyclists enjoying the spring sunshine.  What a cycle-friendly country it is!  The following day I encountered hundreds of children cycling home from school.  Sixty percent of journeys to and from school in Holland are by bicycle - we have a lot of catching up to do in this respect.  However, a word of advice if you are cycling in Northern Europe or Scandinavia;  fit a bell so that you can warn other cyclists (often cycling two abreast on the cycle paths) when you wish to overtake - so much more civilised than having to shout at them.

Two days were sufficient to cover the 155 miles across Holland into north Germany.  The wind was from the west and the sun still shining, which enabled me to make good progress through flattish landscape along quiet country roads and cycle tracks to the Hanseatic town of Bremen.  Then on to the river Elbe which I crossed by ferry just to the west of Hamburg.

Northern Germany had never struck me as having touring potential but there is a delightful area of small picturesque lakes and forests in undulating country between Kiel and Lübeck which is well worth a visit.  I took a short detour and spent some time walking around the lakeside town of Eutin, decided I’d like to spend the night there, but couldn’t find a hotel room;  there was a jazz festival on.  I cycled on for a few miles and found a room in a very pleasant pub-like place in Schönwalde before heading next day to the rather dreary ferry terminal at Fehnmarn from where it was a short ferry trip to the Danish island of Lolland.

There was a cold north wind rattling the roadside motel sign when I got up next morning at Guldborg, my first stop-over in Denmark.  Tempting as it was to accept the manager’s invitation to have another coffee and stay by the warm stove in the bar, I donned gloves and thermals and set off on a cold and uncomfortable slog up through the island of Sjælland passing to the west of Copenhagen where there seemed to be a dearth of hotels.  The taxi driver I consulted in Ballerup directed me to the Lautrup Park Hotel in the middle of a modern industrial estate where I was too cold and tired to negotiate a reduction in the £90 room charge.  However that did include a substantial buffet breakfast.

Northern Europe does score over southern Europe when it comes to breakfast.  It seems to get better the further north you go.  Instead of the cup of coffee and pastry of southern Europe one is greeted in the morning by a breakfast buffet groaning under the weight of fruits, yoghurts, cereals, breads, cheeses, eggs and cold meats.  Just the thing to fuel up a cyclist for a long day in the saddle.

Thus fortified, I set off from Ballerup on Sunday morning under blue skies and enjoyed a delightful ride up the coast road north from Copenhagen to Helsingør (Shakespeare’s Elsinore in Hamlet) from where it was a short 20-minute ferry trip across the Øresund to Helsingborg in Sweden.  Today you can do the trip from Denmark to Sweden by cycling across the recently opened Øresund Bridge which links Copenhagen and Malmö.

Sweden is a big country, twice the area of Britain.  It is relatively sparsely populated with nine million people compared with our sixty million, and it is estimated to have ninety thousand lakes which means one lake for every one hundred people.  And almost everyone speaks very good English, to such an extent that, after a day or two, you forsake the courtesy of asking whether a person speaks English before addressing them;  you just assume that they can.  Sweden is also excellent cycling country.  There is not tremendous variety in the scenery - a lot of pine forest and all those lakes - but you’ll find quiet, well surfaced roads, courteous motorists and cycle-friendly people.

My first night in Sweden was a very pleasant experience.  It was early evening when I saw the road sign with a bed motif on it and an arrow pointing off to the left.  I cycled down through the small village of Eket with no sign of a hotel anywhere, turned around and came back for another look and noticed a vandrarhem sign on the fence in front of a large farmhouse on the road by which I came in.  A vandrarhem is the Swedish equivalent of a youth hostel.  The door was open but no-one was about.  However, I decided to stay, settled into the nicely furnished twin-bedded room and had a hot shower.  Then at 9.30 a couple who lived in the other end of the farm building returned from a day out, the wife introduced herself as the warden and went through the formalities of checking me in and collecting the 100 kronor (about £7) overnight fee.  Yes, for less than one tenth of the price of the previous night’s hotel, I had a delightfully peaceful first night in rural Sweden.  If this was typical of Swedish hostels I decided that I would use them at every opportunity.  I did and was never disappointed.

Next morning I lingered over breakfast before leaving Eket and heading north-east following the line of the E4 road which was going to be the most practical route to Stockholm.  For long stretches there is motorway parallel to the old road which consequently is traffic-free.  Two days under cloudless blue skies took me 180 miles to Gränna on the eastern shore of Lake Vättern where the hostel was made up of lakeside cabins.

Breakfast next morning was porridge, strawberry yoghurt, rolls, marmalade and coffee, taken in the lakeside restaurant and shared with twenty-four schoolchildren and three teachers on a field trip.  Glorious weather (the previous week it had been snowing), a following wind and good legs took me 103 miles to another delightful lakeside hostel at Stafsjö run by two brothers who told me about a French couple who had recently been there and who were spending a year and a half walking from Paris to the North Cape, taking in a Nordic winter en route.  It made my trip seem rather tame by comparison.


DATES FOR YOUR DIARY

SUNDAY NOVEMBER 17th - Annual general meeting and annual lunch, Litten Tree, Woking.  Please make every effort to attend to hear how we have fared during the past year and come up with some ideas for the future.  The meeting starts at 11 am.  Tea/coffee and biscuits will be served from 10.30 am.  Nominations for committee membership should be made on the form in this issue of the mag and any motions for discussion at the AGM should be passed to the Secretary, Derek Tanner (or a committee member) by November 3rd.

Lunch, at £13.00, including coffee afterwards, will be served at 1 pm.  Reserve your place(s) with a cheque payable to West Surrey CTC to Peter Clint, Clock Cottage, Cavendish Road, Weybridge KT13 OJW, stating whether you require the vegetarian option.

As the annual awards will presented at the lunch, would all holders of DA trophies please return them to Tom Hargreaves as soon as possible.

SATURDAY OCTOBER 12th - Real ale train social evening.  Ride on the Mid-Hants Watercress Line’s Real Ale Train, leaving Alton station at 7.30pm.  The train makes two round trips to Alresford during which real ales are available at £2 per pint.  Hot food is available and the buffet car will also be selling wine, soft drinks and snacks.  The 6.46pm train from Woking will connect at Alton and the real ale train will itself connect with the 10.33 from Alton back up the line.  The price is £7 and cheques should be sent to Charles Green, 65 Lower Weybourne Lane, Farnham GU9 9HW.  Please enclose a sae.  Alternatively give Charles the cash if you see him on a ride.  North Hants CTC DA have a ride starting and finishing at nearby Medstead at 10am on the same day.  Contact Ray and Diana (01420 85354).

SATURDAY DECEMBER 7th - Combined ride No.2 with North Hants CTC Alton group starting at Alton Community Centre car park at 10.30 with a lunch stop at Puttenham.


. Previous magazine . . Index to magazines . . Next magazine . . W. Surrey DA History & Archives home page .

Web page by Chris Jeggo.  Last revised:  9 October 2009.      Valid HTML 4.01 Transitional