"The West Surrey Cyclist" - Issue 1 - Summer/Autumn 1985
I and my faithful helpers (wife, committee et al) hope to produce an edition every quarter year. Our ability to do this depends upon the enthusiasm of DA members writing for the magazine. It is your magazine please write for it. This edition contains no letters but I would encourage all DA members to put their views on paper so that future editions will have a healthy correspondence section.
I look forward to seeing the articles, views etc. that members will supply for future editions. Happy cycling and writing.
|President:||Mr. Bill Inder||Woking 72074|
|Runs Secretary:||Mr. Russ Mantle||Aldershot 28275|
|Councillor:||Mr. Keith Parfitt||Guildford 60776|
|Magazine:||Mr. Robert Shiels||Camberley 61770|
|Social Secretary:||Mrs Gillian Smith||Woking 61294|
|DA Secretary:||Dr Chris Jeggo||Chertsey 65765|
|Planning:||Dr Helen Juden||33 Acacia Rd., Guildford|
After all I was the leader, and though my (and Helen's) slip (we were riding the tandem) was most spectacular of all, involving copious quantites of mud, a certain amount of blood but thankfully no mechanical damage, it was a rather good run if I say so myself.
In case you should wish to visit the spot, the grid reference is 943344 SW of Chiddingfold on the Killinghurst lane. I advise extreme caution at the point where the lane bends right with an adverse camber and is covered with slimy mud from an adjacent gateway. Despite shouting mud! and slowing to what seemed a sensible speed the front wheel slid out, I checked it, both wheels slid again, and over we went in the brown gooey stuff. According to contemporary reports we closely resembled a couple of mud wrestlers. But nice clean presentable Clive opened negotiations at a nearby house where we were made very welcome and shown a recent photograph of a car with its front wheels halfway up a tree at the same spot! Having removed mud from our wounds, which fortunately were minor, we continued to Midhurst, only noticing then that Steve was also muddied, but less so, having suffered a similar fate while avoiding the toppling tandem!
Sunday 9th June was not a good day for tandems. Descending Bexley Hill we came upon Dave Butler wheeling his, with only one wheel that is, while Helen Gill carried a slightly mangled rear wheel.
The forecast showers intercepted us shortly before the objective but we spent a very enjoyable couple of hours dodging in and out of reconstructed ancient buildings at the Weald and Downland Museum. Interiors were viewed during showers, exteriors during increasingly sunny intervals. Fortuitously our visit coincided with a shire horse event which provided added interest.
The by now constant sunshine encouraged a foray into unknown roughstuff over the Downs, from near Chilgrove (837155) to Didling (834183) via Linch Down and part of the South Downs Way. A good track that was firm underfoot (where too steep to ride) despite recent rain, led upwards through young forestry, with various wild flowers among the flanking grassy banks, including the Butterfly Orchid.
From the top of the Down we were able to enjoy sweeping views in several directions - over the Sussex Weald and also to the Isle of Wight - one advantage of a good shower of rain being its clarifying effect on our otherwise dusty atmosphere!
The South Downs Way was easily rideable here, not being over-used by horses, but the same could not be said for the steep descent to Didling. I believe that only Jeff rode all the way down, while valorous Hamish and Bert both slipped on the greasy chalk (retiring slightly scathed) and the rest of us thought discretion the better part, particularly in view of earlier incidents!
Jeff now turned for Southampton and the rest of us enjoyed sunshine and a helpful wind to tea at Haslemere. Clive and Tony however, having missed both opportunities to injure themselves and obviously feeling left out, were able to contribute three punctures to our catalogue of mishaps; which gave the rest of us respite from our hasty attempts to reach tea before the other sections' gannets ate it all!
We needn't have worried, Doreen's catering as always proved more than equal to our appetites, and the damage to our outsides was soon forgotten as our insides became replenished.
David fell in love with the tandem immediately and couldn't wait to take it for a ride. He had never ridden one before. I had previously had the pleasure of stoking Bill Inder's lovely tandem - a ride I will always treasure.
Anyway, we rode the tandem from Tadley to Hook, joined the Tandem Club at Kath Blackman's and caught the train from Hook to Brookwood. Christened the tandem all the way home with heavy rain. Managed to ride it successfully. The following afternoon we decided on our maiden voyage. The Open Day at C.T.C. H.Q. would make a good destination and negotiating Guildford's traffic would be a fair trial of steering and stoking abilities.
Managed to get as far as Guildford. Didn't realise David was such a wriggler - his lack of balance nearly made me bottle out of tandeming forever. Almost argued at one set of traffic lights (what's new) and while stopping at the pedestrian lights at the Friary a bus decided to stop crookedly by brushing its rear wheel off my pedal. Didn't touch David. Well folks, that was nearly It. After a talking to from my steersman (he was cross cos he hadn't thrown me completely under the bus - better luck next time, dear). I got on the tandem and with gritted determination and several extra grey hairs we managed to arrive safely at Godalming.
The C.T.C. H.Q. Open Day was great. Met loads of nice people. Only the Juden's and us were from the local D.A. There were loads of people from all the surrounding D.A.'s and everyone inquiring after friends in the West Surrey D.A.
Left C.T.C. H.Q. about 4.00 p.m. and rode without further mishap to Farnham (B3001) and back to Woking via Aldershot. Had fun experimenting with ways of starting, stopping, steering, braking and finding the gears on the new machine.
Alas the rain decided to rechristen our tandem and again Brookwood saw a very wet Claud Butler and two nutters for the second time in 24 hours. But it was great fun apart from the bus!
Dangerous things, these bicycles!
A CONCERNED correspondent dealt with what we might now consider to be an obvious necessity:
"Sir, - In view of the recent representations by Watch Committees and other public bodies in favour of compulsory rear lights on cycles, may I be permitted to recapitulate briefly the opinions of cyclists themselves on this subject?
"Cyclists have the strongest objection to being compelled by law to carry red rear lights, the following being their principal reasons for this attitude:
1. It is impossible in many circumstances to keep a lamp alight at the back of a bicycle, or to know whether it is alight or not. With the best intentions, therefore, cyclists would constantly find themselves in the police court, charged with offences committed undesignedly.
2. It is the duty of every cyclist or driver of a road vehicle to carry a light adequate for the purposes of illuminating his course. When such lights are used, red lights on other vehicles are superfluous.
3. A well-recognised principle of road usage is that the onus of avoiding accidents between overtaker and overtaken rests upon the former (e.g. the cyclist must avoid running down pedestrians when overtaking them, and the motorist must go round cyclists and not over them).
"If the use of rear lamps were enforced by law, a cyclist riding along at night would never be able to secure compensation by a motor vehicle, because the driver would always be able to exonerate himself by saying that the cyclist's rear lamp was out - as it certainly would be after the accident, and in the absence of direct independent evidence to the contrary the cyclist would be accounted guilty of 'contributory negligence.
4. Cyclists are fully convinced that their personal safety and the question of rear lights are not related. An enormously larger proportion of accidents occur in daylight than in darkness; and even if cyclists were in danger at night they would look to the law to protect them, not to penalise them. To make 'being in danger' a criminal offence would be a travesty of law and order.
5. The pedestrian has no light and enjoys the right to walk in the road.
"Faster moving travellers, therefore, must light up sufficiently to see an unilluminated pedestrian. Their light will reveal a cycle which is more conspicuous by reason of its own headlight and glistening fittings, and is overtaken more slowly.
6. Red lights, as such, do not illuminate the interval between themselves and the beholder.
"They are deceptive because their distance cannot be accurately estimated.
"A dispassionate investigation of the circumstances in which cyclists have been run down at night will show that excessive speed on the part of the overtaking vehicle is the prime cause of such accidents.
We do not believe in a new way of riding a bicycle, as since ever many people utilize this means without asking to themselves exasperated performances, but only the "pleasure" of a healthy and relaxing ride.
We think instead that this name, chosen by Campagnolo to identify the two "less racing" versions of Victory and Triomphe, underlines the new interest of the Vicenza's Company also in the cycling branches not strictly agonistic.
The versions "leisure" are distinguished by a wider gear capacity (long cage plate, large front changer and chainrings up to 35 teeth) which allows a better comfort of utilization also on distances having variable planimetry.
We asked to the managing of Campagnolo if to this "leisure" proposal will follow other applicable solutions and we think that the discretion we have noticed can be interpreted as the confirmation that other novelties are being studied in this sector.
- O -
Oh! I wish I'd looked after me wheels.
They used to be bright shining steel.
Now they're covered in rust,
And squeak fit to bust.
Oh! I wish I'd looked after me wheels.
Apologies to Pam Ayres.
- O -
The first step was to get the 20 back to my firm's workshop in Ripley, this was carried out by using a modern 100 hp 4 wd tractor to tow it in, a hazardous job as the brakes on the 20 didn't work at all.
The firm's lorry driver said he could get the tractor home for me but first, I again took advantage of the firm by using their high pressure steam cleaner in a bid to remove nearly 40 years of oil and grime.
With the tractor at home it was a case of removing the rear wings which I returned to work to plate and weld as these had rusted badly. The bonnet was removed and stripped down panels were welded and plated and missing parts made and fitted.
Both rear brakes were pulled apart, these having been running in oil due to the rear half shaft seals being non existent. New leather seals were obtained and fitted. The oil on the brake linings was burnt out. The gearbox and hydraulics appeared to be in good working order so these were left.
The next major job was to split the tractor in half behind the engine to replace the rear crankshaft oil seal which had been leaking. On splitting, the clutch operating levers were found to be worn out, luckily I managed to purchase just the levers so avoiding a large bill for a new clutch. Replacing the crankshaft seal was not simple as the engine sump had to be removed and also the rear crankshaft bearing cap before a new seal could be inserted.
I next removed the cylinder head for cleaning and in a bid to reseal the pushrod tubes (which hasn't been satisfactory to date). Basically the engine appeared to be little worn but just in need of a good service.
Other items which were repaired or serviced included, the ignition system (as this is a petrol engine) carb, air cleaner, fuel tank, steering, wheels, exhaust and the electrics generally.
It was now a process of rebuilding the tractor. All parts which were awkward to get out were painted first. The whole tractor was rubbed down and rust treated. Two layers of base paint was brushed on before applying two coats of grey. A final coat of grey was sprayed on.
The tractor now runs fine although now it has been run, many minor points need attention. I have purchased a plough and street reciprocating knife mower for it. The cost of restoration to date is £120; and is now worth somewhere in the region of £700 - £900. I don't know how many hours my father and I put into restoring the TE20 but in the end it was really worth it.
. Index to magazines . . Next magazine . . W. Surrey DA History & Archives home page .
Web page by Chris Jeggo. Last revised: 10 March 2016.