“The West Surrey Cyclist” - April - June 2011

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Contents:

Cover photo - Olympic Road Race 1948
Inner front cover - Welcome
CTC West Surrey 2011 - same list of committee members etc. as in previous issue
Editorial front matter - same as in previous issue
Presidents’s Address - by Bill Thompson
Tour of the Hills - Marshals Please! - by Don Gray
Appeal for Archive Material
Paris by Lunchtime - by Brian Ross
The Danube Delta - by Derek Tanner
Riding Around - with Geoff Smith
Cereal Bars - by Claire Hooper
National Standard Cycle Training - by Phil Hamilton
Cycle Jumbles
The Olympics - 1948 and 2012 - by Claire Hooper
Cycle Computers in Hot Weather - by Dane Maslen
Summer Navigator - by Arthur Twiggs
Dates for Your Diary

Selected items transcribed from the original printed copy:


Olympic Road Race 1948
Cover photo - Olympic Road Race 1948, Windsor Great Park


WELCOME

Recently Radio 4 aired a series of those little 15-minute programmes they do so well, this time about cycling.  As I have to work for a living I only caught snatches of a couple, but that included a history of the Clarion cycling club.  I was amused to hear that the Clarion members thought that the CTC was only for the rich and professional classes, ‘all accountants and solicitors’ and put it about that CTC stood for the Collar and Tie Club!

Still on the subject of history, as more details emerge of the 2012 Olympics cycling events - the velodrome (or The Pringle to its friends) being the first finished building, the road racing events passing through Surrey - I surfed the ’net to find out more about the previous London Olympics, in 1948.  The last remaining structure from those games, curiously, is the Herne Hill Velodrome.  More about the Olympics inside...


PRESIDENT’S ADDRESS

By Bill Thompson

WELL how did I get this job?  Frankly I don’t know.  When any appointments are required at any sort of meeting I manage to be seated behind someone of ample proportions.  Now that is normally difficult at meetings where slender cyclists are present but even someone of my near midget configuration can get spotted at a CTC gathering.

I joined the CTC in the mid ’forties mainly for insurance and the then excellent CTC GAZETTE.  As I was already a club member I never joined up with the local DA.  CTC groups were often looked down on as most of the clubs did some racing, time trials of course.  In these events the riders were dressed all in black and started at dawn.  For the normal club run knee length corduroy shorts and knee length stockings were de rigeur topped with heavy weight continental shawl neck sweaters.  I wore a pair of very smart two tone shoes with a large external tongue to provide some rain protection.  We did a lot of hostelling in those wartime days, I was below call-up age so enjoyed the traffic free roads on my Cyclo three speed BSA Gold Band special.  I continued my cycling when I was conscripted into the RAF and was a member of the Yatesbury Club and we were able to be transported to various time trial starts.

On leaving the RAF my subsequent career took me mainly overseas so it wasn’t until the 1970s that I got back into cycling with the Veteran Cycling Club (Old Men on Old Bikes) this kept me busy at weekends.

I then rejoined the CTC in about 1993 when I had retired at 65 and joined the west Surrey DA.  I was struck by how old some of them were!  The Great George Aylesbury was then the President, succeeded by Harold Coleman, then Les Houghton, followed by Roy Banks and then Chris Jeggo, others such as Rico, Ken, Bob are still around - great guys all.

Enough of this drivel, riders are often interested in VCC dates.  Ripley Jumbles are scheduled for May 21, July 9, Sept 17, Windsor Park June 26 (Victorian/Edwardian Machines with riders in Period Dress, quite a spectacle) and Herne Hill, hopefully resurfaced June 19.


THE TOUR OF THE HILLS SUNDAY 21 AUGUST 2011 - MARSHALS PLEASE!!!

By Don Gray

I’D appreciate offers to help with the marshalling and catering for this year’s Tour of the Hills as soon as possible.  If, like last year, there is a possible shortage of volunteers, especially for the catering, the committee would like to know by their next meeting in May so that they can consider alternative solutions.

2011 will be the third year that I’ve been involved in organising the Tour and I’ve noticed that the same group of marshals offer their service each year.  I’d like to give as many as possible of this stalwart group the day off in 2011!

I’m asking for a new band of volunteers to assist in marshalling for the TotH on August 21 2011.  Could you help?  There are eight checkpoints which should each be manned by two marshals, with some also being able to assist at the start and finish either before or after their checkpoint opening times.

We’ll also need three volunteers to cater for the hungry riders before, during and after the ride.  All the catering takes place in Shere Village Hall, which has a well-equipped kitchen, and I can organise the ‘cash and carry’ buying of the grub.

The TotH is West Surrey’s flagship event and has been running on various routes among the Surrey Hills for many years.  Even with the rise in the number of sportive rides, the TotH attracts around one hundred and thirty entries, testimony to the event’s continuing popularity.  The entry fee of £6.50 also compares very favourably with sportives, which can cost five times as much!

The Tour offers the rider an opportunity to enjoy the very best the Surrey Hills can offer.  Yes, it is a challenging ride, with around 2300m of ascent in 115k but finishers of the event often comment on the wonderful scenery and rarely complain about the climbing (although I have heard comments suggesting the inclusion of Barhatch Lane as the last climb is somewhat sadistic!).

In order to ensure that the Tour covers as much of this spectacular area as possible the route is pretty complex and requires many checkpoints to ensure that riders can have their ‘proof of passage’ recorded as is required by Audax UK, under whose regulations the ride is organised.  Each checkpoint needs to be manned by two marshals during the time the checkpoint is open and, without their welcome assistance the TotH is unable to run.  The stamping of the brevet cards is not an onerous task and volunteers will meet (and hopefully offer much needed encouragement to!) riders of many abilities, tackling one of the tougher rides in the South.

Please contact me if you require further information.  Many thanks in anticipation, Don Gray (01483 810028, dggray7@hotmail.com).


APPEAL FOR ARCHIVE MATERIALS

Passed on by the Editor

I have received an appeal from the West Surrey archivist, Chris Jeggo.

In the midst of his marathon mission to sort out all the archive materials that he possesses, he has found gaps in the collection!  He needs your help - now is the time to recycle your cycling paperwork, all those bits and pieces you’ve kept because they’re souvenirs, trophies or so useful you’ll definitely need them again one day.  He would like them all!

So if any of you has any rides lists, fliers, route sheets in general, routes of special rides such as the Elstead Rides or event handouts, please get in touch with Chris.  It may be rubbish to you but it’s precious to him.

You can contact Chris on 01483 870218 or see the website at http://homepage.ntlworld.com/chris.jeggo/wsdahist/archives.html


 

Deadline for next issue:  June 1st.  Get your cycling stories in to the editor now:  claire_hooper2003@yahoo.co.uk

 

PARIS BY LUNCHTIME

By Brian Ross

TRAVELLING in France by train with a tandem is plainly a minority sport, even for readers of this magazine.  However, the lessons we learnt last August may be useful for all tourers.  Before describing our experience of travelling from Calais to Reims and Nancy to Le Havre, how did we get to Calais?

Guildford to Waterloo was the usual fight at 10.30 on a weekday, but walking to Waterloo East up the escalator was no problem.  The half-hourly Folkstone/Dover train is anarchy and has no specific facilities for bikes.  By contrast, the Shuttle is fun.  The pick-up is at the Holiday Inn, Cheriton.  Norman, arriving promptly at 3.15 pm, put the bike onto the trailer for the 90 minute journey.  He knows both terminals and the best route by bike from the Calais drop-off point to the centre of town.

Calais to Paris by TGV requires bike bags, so our route was:

Calais Ville → Boulogne Ville (35 minutes, 20 minutes to change)

Boulogne → Paris Nord (2 hours 35 minutes, 1¼ hours to change)

Walk to Paris Est (10 minutes at most, leaving time for a quick lunch)

Paris Est → Epernay (1¼ hours, 15 minutes to change)

Epernay → Reims (25 minutes)

Staff at the Calais booking office were helpful, although later we found we could have taken a TGV from Paris Est to the station 5 miles from Reims.

Most stations in France have steep steps between platforms.  We found it easier to remove panniers before attempting stairs or bike ramps.  For the local train, we rolled to the carriage without dismantling or removing anything.  The Intercity from Boulogne (stage 2) had 3 steps up to a bike compartment via a corridor, only possible without panniers and a with normal-length bicycle.  The TER out of Paris Est (stage 4) had room for two bikes vertically (but no hooks) inside three carriages.  (Take bungees or Velcro fasteners.)  The sign outside these carriages indicated bikes in bags, but train staff were not bothered.  For the final stage into Reims, the train had at least a dozen bike hooks in one of its carriages.

We hadn’t planned to return home from Nancy, but a tooth infection cut short our holiday.  The woman in Nancy station booking office was delightfully helpful.  Would it be possible to get to Le Havre on a Sunday?  Which route would we prefer?  We could take the 10.15 TGV to Paris, have 3 hours to cycle across the city and the connection would arrive in Le Havre by 7 pm.  No problem booking two spaces for the bike, but there were only 1st class seats left.  We opted for cycling to Lorraine TGV station to catch the 6 pm TGV direct to Le Havre, a 4¾ hour journey, allowing time for a gentle 30 mile sightseeing cycle along the Moselle and a 3 hour lunch.  A number of the TGV stations are in rural locations (Lorraine is half way between Nancy and Metz) but accessible by bike or local bus.  All seats and bike slots on TGVs must be pre-booked, so we had automatically been allocated seats in the compartment that held bikes.  As with some UK trains, you fold four seats up to make room for bikes.  Unlike the UK, nobody will be sitting there.  Also, unlike the UK, TGVs stop at stations for at least 4 minutes, plenty of time to load and unload.  Intercity trains are even more leisurely – most passengers would not gather their luggage before the train had stopped.

Many, but not all, TGVs carry bikes.  However, you will usually need to bag them to travel from Paris to Provence.  Alternatively, try the Paris → Lyon → Grenoble TGV, connecting with the Dijon → Lyon → Marseille → Narbonne TGV.

Next time we would probably sail to Caen or Le Havre for the centre or east of France, or to St Malo for the Loire, Bordeaux or Toulouse.

Historically, French railways regarded bicycles as luggage that might or might not travel on the same train as you.  We were surprised at how straightforward it was to travel with your bike in France.  It’s not as cheap as Ryanair, but immensely more civilised.  It turns out that most areas in Europe are accessible by train with your bike.  You can check many possibilities on the Deutsche-Bahn website or “DB Navigator” for iphone, both of which have the facility to show only services carrying bikes.  Unfortunately, it is pessimistic about which TGVs accept bikes.  Incidentally, not only is this German website the best for the French railway system, but it covers most of Europe, including the UK.

Note:  only try this with a tandem that folds or has S&S couplings.


THE DANUBE DELTA

By Derek Tanner

Four years after our first attempt at cycling the length of the Danube our third visit completes the final 1000 mile stretch from Budapest to the Black Sea.

THE plane was late as we landed at Budapest.  The information desk at the airport told us that cycles were not allowed on the road into town, but gave us a map that did not reach as far as the airport.  It was raining and getting dark but fortunately the bus allowed us to put the bikes on board.  All was well, until it stopped at the terminus.  Still outside the range of our map, we were directed towards the metro into town.  Ticket in hand we were refused entry with our bikes.  Befriended by two young locals, they took us to the railway station and helped us onto the train into town.  We eventually arrived at our pre-booked accommodation not much before midnight.  The next day was spent sightseeing including an afternoon cruise on the Danube.  Anne won second prize in the on-board draw.  We kept the DVD and gave away the tickets to the theatre.

Stocked with maps and emergency food rations we were ready for the “Danube Euro Cycle Route”, clearing the town and suburbs via a path that sometimes follows the river bank and sometimes meanders through disused factory units until the river is crossed alongside the motorway bridge.  From here we took the option to follow the off road path along the top of the dyke, arriving for an overnight stop, after 50km, at the riverside town of Rackeve.  The excellent TI in town directed us to the hotels and restaurants.

Next morning we were soon following a traffic free route with a brisk wind behind us, giving ample time to detour via the preserved village overlooking the river at Dunafoldvar.  All too soon the quiet roads gave way to a new dual carriageway with cycle restrictions, with the last 10km into Paks spoiling the earlier serenity of the day.

The interior of the Catholic Church in Paks is a “must see” visit and being Sunday we crept in and out quickly before morning mass.  A short sprint back up the main road soon brought us to the ferry and across into fields of sweet corn and dead sunflowers which then gave way to paprika as we entered Kalocsa.  Finding a smart hotel on the main street we had the rest of the day for visiting the Cathedral, the Paprika museum and finally the Scheffner museum of early C20th opto-mechanical objects d’art.  The evening meal in the local restaurant was superb.

Next day the plan was a 60 km day trip to Hajos - the largest collection of wine cellars in Europe.  To our surprise on arriving each was no bigger than a large garden shed with one or two men on the roadside cleaning barrels and fermentation equipment.  Up the road the vines were being hand-picked and loaded onto small carts.

An overnight thunderstorm meant a damp start next morning to our next ferry crossing at Gerdon where we met a German cycling couple who had pitched their tent near the riverbank.  Lunch was at the prosperous town of Szekszard, once on the bank of the river, but recent meanderings have moved the river some distance away.  The resulting landscape then gave us a die straight and dead flat road eastwards.  After 10km at the first kink in the road, we turned right to duck under the barrier into the Donau Drau National Park to head south for 17km on a perfectly manicured traffic free path, where we soon lost count of the number of eagles whirling overhead.  Another 8km of fairly busy road then brought us over another river bridge where after an enjoyable day’s ride of 80km we soon found a room advertised in a roadside private house for the night, just outside the town of Baja.

We cleared the cobbled town centre, just as the bustle in the market was starting next morning.  Soon we were skirting the south side of the national park, first on tarmac, which then gave way to a final 30km off-road haul, the effort of which was compensated by the surrounding scenery and wildlife.  While waiting for the ferry into Mohacs, we took lunch.  Less than 500m from the ferry we found a room in an apartment complex that advertised itself as “cycle friendly”.  Armed with a bunch of 5 keys, all needed to get in and out, we were confident that the bikes were secure and took a day off to visit the town of Pecs by bus.  It claims to be the most beautiful city in Hungary and the second largest walled city (after Krakow).  We were soon experts on its rich history dating from the 2nd Century AD, through Roman, Turkish and independent rule.  (The cathedral - one of Hungary’s biggest, once served as Mosque and the new Turkish Mosque, in the town centre, is now the parish church.)  Returning on the bus, we could see signs prohibiting cycles from roads outside towns during commuting hours.  It was late in the morning before the signposted cycle route from town poured us onto the main road for the final 7km ride to the Croatian border at Udvar.  The border police made an event of studying our passports before letting us through.  Soon we were climbing the ridge of the plateau that defined the border, while alongside the road signs warned us of minefields.  After a sharp descent back to the river at Batina we skirted around the “Naturpark Kopacki rit” on quiet roads until Bilje, where the sight of traffic on the main road, that we now needed to join, forced us after 75km into a bar and decided to call it a day.  We easily found a room for the night in a small accommodation complex where the owner convinced us to backtrack the next day into the park for a closer look and visit the visitors centre and festival being held that weekend.  There were flocks of herons, ducks and geese flying around in formation and Anne spent some time herding frogs from the path of the odd passing car.

It was Saturday but the traffic back on the main road was verging on the impossible.  Fortunately much earlier than our guide book suggested, a cycle path appeared to take us across the bridge at the old fortified town of Osijek, before turning east through the industrial suburbs back to the Danube at Vukovar.  We had covered 75km for the second day in a row.  This area was the centre of fighting in the 1990’s Serbo-Croatian conflict and many buildings are still standing in a half demolished state, while new buildings are being built between them.  Clearly, the river front close to the town centre had been developed to attract passengers from the tourist boats on the Danube.  The German tour bus outside the 3 star hotel meant that we were turned away and the Pensione on the outskirts was also full.  As we returned to try our luck at the remaining 4 star hotel, Anne was eyeing up some of the bombed out buildings as a possible overnight venue.

(to be continued...)


RIDING AROUND

With roving reporter Geoff Smith

I AM much into anniversaries at present, the half century of The Sunday Telegraph being one.  I well remember buying its first issue and so devoured its coverage of its own past 50 years.

But it was something in the February 6th news pages which truly excited me.  It was on the newly fashionable phenomenon of bobbies on bikes.  Most police forces are now at it and have produced advice manuals to help their lads and lasses get their legs over in a fit and proper manner.

The paper had commendably obtained several of these tomes and they collectively amount to literally hundreds of pages encouraging use of lip balm, sun cream, three-second hand signals (“one elephant, two elephants, three elephants”), and consideration of what is suitable cycling clothing.

The choicest bits include avoiding keys in pockets, using underwear with a “padded crotch”, and encouraging conducting investigations on whether wearing shorts would fit in with a force’s “corporate image”.  Humberside officers have to consider a five-page risk assessment on airborne particles and insects.  Essex police are banned from chasing suspects unless they (presumably the police) have been on an advanced cycling course.  Gwent law-enforcing wheelers must not go off road due to health and safety and must dismount at least every hour and walk for at least five minutes.  West Midlands bobbies are advised to adopt a “neutral pedal position” and are told in capital letters:  “DO NOT PUT YOUR FEET DOWN TO SLOW DOWN YOUR CYCLE.”

In its main comment column, the paper editorialises about its first 50 years.  The only other editorial is about this excellent expose.  It is headed Police caution and brands as idiots the senior managers who think it is a sensible use of police resources to advise poor cops to “bring your cycle to a halt using your brakes” before dismounting.

It concludes:  No wonder the police don’t have time to catch criminals any more:  they’re too busy reading the manual.”


CEREAL BARS

By Claire Hooper

AT this time of year you use up energy quickly, so a good supply of portable carbohydrates is needed (that’s my excuse anyway).  According to Cycling Weekly homemade bars contain twice as much carbs as the shop variety, so here’s an easy recipe to keep you going.

125g/5 oz margarine
125g/5 oz natural yogurt
250g/10 oz rolled oats
125g/5 oz soft brown sugar
190g/7.5 oz of dried fruits, nuts and seeds  (suggested:  dried apricots, walnuts, poppy
        seeds, sunflower seeds, mixed dried fruit, quartered glace cherries, dates)
1 greased baking tray, about 12 inches by 8.

  1. Heat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas mark 4.
  2. Chop any of the dried fruit mix that needs chopping.
  3. Place all dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl with the natural yogurt.
  4. Melt the margarine in a saucepan over a low heat, leave to cool for a few minutes then add it to the mixing bowl.
  5. Mix all the ingredients together thoroughly.
  6. Turn out the mixture into the baking tray and press it down well.
  7. Cook for 20 minutes in the middle of the oven until golden brown.
  8. When cooked, cut it into pieces but leave in the tin until cold.

This will keep for at least a week in an airtight tin, or you can freeze it.  Just wrap pieces in foil before taking them on a bike ride.

 

WEST SURREY CTC GROUP CYCLING SHIRTS are available from Peter Clint, phone 01932 340564.  Short sleeve, short zip, three pockets at back, sizes 7, 8, 10, 11, 13.

 


NATIONAL STANDARD CYCLE TRAINING

By Phil Hamilton

THE National Standard of Cycle Training, which some of you may know as ‘BikeAbility’ or the modern equivalent of ‘Cycling Proficiency’, is delivered in three “phases”.

Level 1 training covers basic riding skills, such as starting, steering and stopping, using an ‘off the road’ hard surfaced area and includes bike checking and adjustment.

Level 2 training builds on the Level 1 skills and introduces the trainee to on-road situations, such as passing parked vehicles, turning into and out of junctions, and interaction with other road users.

Level 3 introduces more complex road situations, including traffic lights, multilane junctions and roundabouts.  Route planning and specific areas of concern raised by the trainee can also be addressed, in what is often a “one to one” session specifically tailored to the trainee’s requirements.

The emphasis throughout is on safe, assertive cycling with a high level of awareness of, and good communication with, other road users.

Many believe that this training is only for children (because it is often delivered as part of the school day), but many adults have never learnt to ride a bike and many who have learnt lack the confidence to ride on our traffic congested roads.

I recently undertook a course of instruction to become a Trainer, where I was not only taught how to teach others, but was forced to consider the safety of my own riding techniques.  Whilst correcting my own faults, I became convinced that most of us would benefit from having someone else giving us advice on the way we ride and that this training should be available to all age groups.

Having achieved my Provisional Accreditation as a Trainer, I am now able to deliver this training, and seek people to train in the coming months (when it will hopefully be a little warmer) so that I can gain experience and be professionally assessed to gain my Full Accreditation.

I am able to deliver Level 1 training to a group (say 6 people) but for safety reasons Level 2 training will be limited to 2 people per session.  Level 3 training may be to one or two people.  Sessions will typically last 2 hours, and for many trainees Levels 1 & 2 will be seamlessly joined.

If you, or someone you know, would like to consider training please get in touch with me on 01483 772008 or at phcycle@talktalk.net


CYCLE JUMBLES

22nd April VELO CLUB DE Londres
with Good Friday bike festival
Herne Hill Velodrome, Burbage Road, London SE24 9HP
Wally Happy 01252 621164
7th May 10 am - 1 pm:  Farnham, Surrey Cycle Jumble
For Frimley Park Hospital Heart2Heart Appeal
Sea Cadets Centre, Lower Weybourne Lane, Farnham GU9 9LG
Wally Happy 01252 621164
14th May VELO CLUB DE Londres
Herne Hill Velodrome, Burbage Road, London SE24 9HP
Wally Happy 01252 621164
21st May 2011, 10 am - ?:  Ripley Bike Jumble
Ripley Village Hall, Portsmouth Road, Ripley
John Lattimore 01932 247614
Early warning:
9th July 2011:  Charlotteville CC - Ripley Bike Jumble
Ripley Village Hall, Portsmouth Road, Ripley
Les Bowerman 01483 224876

THE OLYMPICS - 1948 and 2012

By Claire Hooper

AS you must all know by now, the Olympic Cycling road race in 2012 will be passing very close to Woking and other towns in Surrey.  With this in mind, I have been finding out about the road race in the 1948 Olympics.

The race took place in Windsor Great Park:  17 laps of a relatively flat 11.45 km course.  The event had not originally been intended for Windsor, but for Richmond Park in Surrey.  However, a (presumably fairly new) law prohibited any activity there at more than 20 miles per hour, so the event moved to Windsor.  The race started in torrential rain, which limited the number of spectators as you can see from the picture on this magazine’s cover.  The biggest problem was the loose gravel roads, which caused over 100 punctures.  The Windsor Great Park course included the aptly named Breakheart Hill, which did just that after 17 laps and 190 kilometres!

It was difficult to pick a favourite as international racing had been suspended in the war.  The 1947 World Championships had been won by Sweden’s Harry Snell, who raced at Windsor, but only managed 18th place.  On the second lap of the race, three riders, Nils Johansson, Gerrit Voorting and Henk Faanhof, dropped the peloton.  Johansson punctured on the 9th lap and was caught by the pack.  On the 12th lap, nine riders caught the leading pair.  After two punctures and a crash, a group of eight riders contested the final lap.  On the last lap, shortly before the top of Breakheart Hill, a short climb of only 25 metres elevation, José Beyaert of France won after attacking in the last kilometre.  Britain’s best was Bob Maitland, who came sixth.

The Duke of Edinburgh followed the men’s race in a royal limo and presented the medals.  Is it possible that he will hand them out in 2012?

Passing swiftly on to 2012, the men’s and women’s races both begin on The Mall in front of Buckingham Palace.  From there they will ride to the City of Westminster before crossing the Thames at Putney and heading to the Surrey Hills.

A figure-of-eight course will stretch into Reigate and Banstead borough, passing through or near Walton upon Thames, Weybridge, Byfleet, West Horsley, Gomshall, Dorking, Leatherhead, Oxshott, Esher, and East and West Molesey.  Box Hill (9 laps of a 15.5km circuit for the men and 2 for the women) could launch breakaway attempts.  The peloton will then return to London via Richmond Park, crossing Putney Bridge before a final race towards The Mall.  The men will cover 265km, while the women will race over 140km.

Olympic Road Race Route

A test run for the 2012 London Games cycle races will be held on Sunday, August 14, using this route.


CYCLE COMPUTERS IN HOT WEATHER

By Dane Maslen

When I bought my folding bike, I equipped it with a wireless cycle computer.  For a few years all seemed well, though as I was only doing about 300km on it a year, there wasn’t much opportunity for problems to manifest themselves.  Then in 2008 I did some substantial distances while visiting a friend in France (c.f. my article in the Oct-Dec 2010 issue) and noticed that the cycle computer was behaving erratically, sometimes stopping completely, sometimes missing wheel revolutions (easily spotted by a sudden brief drop in the displayed speed).

Having assumed that the batteries had been going flat, I replaced them prior to my 2009 visit to the Dordogne, but the erratic behaviour occurred again.  This time, however, I noticed that there was a pattern to it.  First thing in the morning all was well, but as the day heated up, so the cycle computer’s performance deteriorated.  Thanks to the ‘mileposts’ (what is the correct term for a kilometric ‘milepost’?) on many of the roads, I could monitor how much the cycle computer was in error:  in fairly warm conditions it was under-recording distance by a few percent, but this rose to 20-30% in direct sunlight in hot conditions.

For my 2010 visit I fitted the folder with a corded cycle computer – one I had bought for my hybrid bike but which had proved unsuitable – but kept the wireless one attached so that I could compare their performance.  Initially the weather was somewhat cooler than the previous year, but by early afternoon it was often warm enough for the wireless one to under-record by a few percent while the corded one worked perfectly.

Eventually the weather turned hotter.  One day I left the bike parked in direct sunlight while I stopped to take a photo.  When I resumed cycling, the corded cycle computer failed to record any wheel revolution, so I stopped in the shade a few minutes.  Thereafter the cycle computer briefly registered my motion, albeit somewhat erratically, before giving up completely.

It was my expectation that all would be well again the following morning, but I was wrong.  In fact the corded cycle computer recorded not a single wheel revolution for the remainder of the holiday.  I would have believed something in its circuits had been fried, were it not for the fact that once I got home and took it off the bike, it started working again.

I refuse to believe that all cycle computers become unreliable in hot weather, especially as an internet search revealed absolutely no reports of problems similar to mine.  Have I just been unlucky with my choice of models (both Cat-eyes)?  Was the problem with the corded model nothing to do with the heat?  If so, why did it suddenly manifest itself after the bike had been parked in direct sunlight?  Are other cyclists overlooking similar problems in the belief that misalignment of the magnet and sensor is causing any failure to record wheel revolutions?

I might find the answers to some of these questions next summer.  I’ve discovered that one can take undismantled bikes on the trains from Paris to Limoges.  That would leave me about 100km to cycle to my friend’s house, so I’m intending to take my hybrid next year.  Its cycle computer, also a Cat-eye, has been working reliably for several years.  If it gives any trouble in the heat, I’ll be confident that there’s a common problem.


SUMMER NAVIGATOR

By Arthur Twiggs

I’m planning to re-introduce an event similar to the Scoreathon, called the Summer Navigator to distance it from the events that Keith Chesterton organised for several years, which I thoroughly enjoyed;  and to reflect the fact that the emphasis will be more on route planning.  The first one will be on Sunday 19th June, to provide something between the May and July reliability rides, and will start from the Warren Pond car park (912458) near Puttenham Common.  This is the one up the hill a bit to the North East of the pond because it has more car parking space.  The start time will be between 10 and 11 am with duration of about 4 hours as before.  Some use may be made of established cycle trails such as the Christmas Pie trail and Sustrans route 22, although no sections will require the use of a mountain bike.  I will try to accommodate any feedback beforehand.


DATES FOR YOUR DIARY

APRIL 3rd:  Bicycle Icycle, 70 km, start 9.30 Godalming (Mark Waters 01483-414307 or 07732-520819).

APRIL 10th:  50 mile reliability ride, start 8am to 9am from Pyrford Common car park or Meadrow car park, Godalming (Roger Philo 01483 233381)

MAY 15th:  Stonehenge 200 (207km), Danebury 150 (150km), start 8am onwards from Elstead Youth Centre, (Nick Davison 01428 642013, Peter Hackman 01483 573633, Bob MacLeod 01252 835321)

JUNE 19th  Summer Navigator, duration about 4 hours, Warren Pond car park (912458) near Puttenham Common, 10am-11am start (Arthur Twiggs 01252 89187).

JULY 17th:  100 mile and 75 mile rides (option of a led ride or use route sheets).  Pirbright Hall car park, 8.00am start.  £2 (Roger Philo 01483 233381)

AUGUST 21st:  Tour of the Hills 115 km, start 10.00am, Tour of the Greensand Hills 52km, start 10.30am, Shere Village Hall (Don Gray 01483 810028)

SEPTEMBER 18th:  Freewheeling and pace judging competitions, Seale Craft Centre 10.45am (finish by 12.30pm) (Dane Maslen 01483 721856)

To find details of all these events go to: http://www.westsurreyctcda.org.uk/ and click on DA Events.

 

Deadline for next issue:  June 1st.  Get your cycling stories in to the editor now:  claire_hooper2003@yahoo.co.uk

 

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