"The West Surrey Cyclist" - Issue 9 - New Year 1988
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Happy New Year! There wasn't enough copy to bring out the magazine before Christmas as I had hoped, so we have a New Year issue instead. Many thanks to all who have contributed and thanks to Denis Gray whose work has been held over. There's nothing else in reserve so please resolve to write for the mag in 1988; how about a few reports of clubruns?
I wasn't able to be at the AGM but it must have been an interesting meeting because it has generated some 'Letters to the Editor' and two concern the suggestion that the Club should have geographically based riding groups. The first writer is a relative newcomer and seems alarmed to hear that the club which he has just got to know is proposing to change. Don't worry! However much people believe new groups to be a 'good thing' they just won't happen unless there is ample latent support. The second writer says that he's seen it all before and no committee can bring about new groups by force of will. Agreed, but neither should inertia be the dominant mood. A good committee will, like a good gardener, plant the germ of an idea and do all that it can to nurture it. Providing opportunity, encouragement and support will give the right conditions for interest at the 'grass roots' to flourish. First let's tell all the members that any idea they have will be welcomed, not rebuffed because it isn't the way 'we' do things. If anyone comes forward let's offer assistance and support, and then stand back to let them thrive if they can.
Next copy date: 10 March
|President:||Mr Bill Inder, 33 High Street, Horsell, Woking Tel. Woking 72074|
|Chairman:||Mr Chris Juden, 7 Llanaway Close, Godalming, GU7 3ED Tel. Godalming 25794|
|Secretary:||Mrs Marguerite Statham, Springwood, Morton Road, Horsell, Woking GU21 4TN Tel. Woking 63289|
|Treasurer:||Mr Mike Harlow, Fox Hollow, Sutton Place, Abinger Hammer, Dorking RH5 6RL Tel. Dorking 731218|
|Runs Secretary:||Mr Russ Mantle, 68 Haig Road, Aldershot GU12 4PR Tel. Aldershot 28275|
|Social Secretary||Mrs Ann Greening, 19 Ferndale Road, Horsell, Woking GU21 4AJ Tel. Woking 62875|
|Events:||Mr Roy Banks, 21 Sundon Crescent, Virginia Water Tel. Wentworth 2676|
|Publicity:||Mr David Whittle, 30 Sycamore Road, Guildford Tel. Guildford 576067|
|Membership:||Mr David Pinkess, 17 Hawkswell Walk, Goldsworth Park, Woking Tel. Woking 24093|
|Councillor:||Mr Keith Parfitt, 24 Elmside, Onslow Village, Guildford Tel. Guildford 60776|
|Intermediate Group:||Mr Roger Philo, Hunters Moon, Cumberland Avenue, Guildford GU2 6YH Tel. Guildford 233381|
|General Group:||Russ Mantle (see above)|
|Wayfarers Group:||Bill Inder (see above)|
|Magazine Editor:||Mrs Helen Juden, 7 Llanaway Close, Godalming, GU7 3ED Tel. Godalming 25794|
On the day of the DA's Christmas tea at Addlestone, it was with a deep sense of shock that members learned of the sudden death of an old and respected friend. Basil Vowler was leading the Intermediate ride from Ripley to Carshalton on Sunday 13 December when, soon after a coffee stop in Epsom, he collapsed and died. Those with him, helped by passers by, tried resuscitation methods and called for an ambulance. The vehicle was quickly on the scene but it was already too late. Basil first joined the CTC in 1935 and over the years he lent his wholehearted support to the DA - from competitive events to social occasions. The funeral on 21 December was attended by a number of older members together with his family and a great number of friends. Though Basil was not a great mixer, carrying out much of his riding alone, he was a loyal DA member, liked by all who knew him and he will be sadly missed. His other love was swimming and he kept up both activities to the last.
We all share the sorrow with his wife Joan and all his family. Thanks to the generosity of members at the Christmas tea, a beautiful floral tribute was sent in the name of the West Surrey CTC.
A soggy wet campsite, darkness coupled with a broken torch, and strong winds that threatened to blow the tent away as we tried to put it up, made an almost ideal start to the weekend: but at least the baby was not crying.
The first ride of the weekend started at 2 pm on Saturday. It had been drizzling all morning but started to dry up as the ride was due to start. As if by magic people and tandems began to appear from tents, caravans and off the tops of cars. The improving weather enticing everyone to join in the rides, over 150 tandems and solos set off in small groups. When it was obvious to the Gods that everyone had left they suddenly opened the heavens and let the rain pour down. The sudden torrential rain ensured that everyone was wet before they could get their waterproofs on. There was, of course, not a bit of shelter in sight. So it was that 300 wet and miserable tandemists turned up for tea. After the generous portions of tea and cakes we started riding in the improving weather. On the way back we visited Castle Combe which has a very interesting church with a very old clock which was made by the village blacksmith. The clock had no hands or dial, it just rang the hours on the church bells.
The Sunday brought better weather and there were over 200 tandems and other machines on the different rides. In our group was the most amazing family cycling machine: it was a triplet with a child seat on the back and a sidecar for the dog! It was an incredible sight, mother, father, two children and the dog cycling along. The dog seemed to have an enjoyable time as he rode in a sort of chariot and whenever they came to a hill the dog would jump off and run up to wait at the top for the rest of the family - they might have been slow up the hill but they made up for it going down!
We did not know where we were riding, not that anyone else seemed to either, everybody just followed the tandem in front. There was no chance of getting lost with 200 tandems riding a circular route. If you got dropped by one group you would be caught up by the next. All the rides returned to Sheldon Manor for lunch, where the Tandem Club had a stand along wlth the CTC and Swallow Cycles who had some very interesting machines with very impressive paint work and price tags.
After lunch we rode with a different group who happened to be starting when we were. They were obviously a faster group but we managed to keep up. All the groups met again for tea where the organisers had done a splendid job supplying cakes and tea in cyclists' portions at cyclists' prices. At tea we again met many interesting people including the owners of a tandem the same as ours - it was the first time either of us had seen the same make.
After tea we rode with another group. As we neared the campsite we began to regret that the weekend was coming to an end. It had started off wet and miserable but as the weather improved and we began to get to know a few people it had turned into a most enjoyable weekend and we will definately go again.
At the AGM I tried to put over a point of view that I, as a West Surrey rider, thought was a matter of concern for the DA. Now either I did not explain my point of view clearly, as I got the impression that some people did not understand, or maybe some people did not want to understand.
My point of view is as follows. I started to ride with the club back in February 87 and I did so because, even though I like to ride alone at times, I also (like most other people) like the company of others sometimes. So seeing as I had always enjoyed reading the DA news section in the CTC magazine, I thought I would go out and ride with my local DA section and see what this club riding was all about. After a couple of rides I was hooked, I had become an avid club rider. What I enjoy about riding with the club is the people and the feeling of being part of a group. The last statement is the whole point of my arguement and the very essence of club riding, being part of a group. But I feel that if we have to form other groups within the club, to cut down the distance involved in getting to some of the starting points, so as to be able to attract new members, I wonder where it will all end. Maybe in a year's time we will have seven or eight groups within the club, but will we have more riders out with these groups or will we have just spread the riders we have now between these groups? I hope it will be the former; I would hate the club losing its identity.
I M Parker
Hamish and I would like to express our sincere thanks to all our friends in the DA for the 'Farewell' card and gifts presented to us at the AGM.
Anyone wishing to visit us in North Avon is guaranteed a warm welcome and an excellent network of traffic-free lanes!
We will, of course, continue to support DA activities from time to time.
Be seeing you! Gillian and 'Hame'
At the recent AGM at Addlestone a statement was made that the DA committee represented all CTC members in the DA area, and I must contest this point.
Suppose, at a general election, about 80% of those qualified to cast a vote omitted to exercise their rights and gave the polling booths a miss. Would the elected body then be in a position to claim that they represented all the voters? Of course not. Their needs and aims are not known. Then how can our committee be said to represent all the 800 or so CTC members in West Surrey? We, in our turn, are unaware of the reasons for such people joining the club and they do not make their requirements known to us. Maybe we should try to provide activities for the missing 800, but to claim that we represent them is patently incorrect. So perhaps the whole argument only depends on a choice of words!
Another topic raised at the meeting was the need for the creation of sections in areas apart from Woking and Guildford. I agree that this is a desirable objective but experience from previous efforts in this direction convince me that the only sensible answer is that those pressing for the setting up of a section must live in, or close to, the chosen centre and must be prepared to plan and lead rides until such time as those roles can be shared among a growing number of people. In recent years a Guildford member tried such a scheme for Byfleet but he had no contact with members in that area. He could not be expected to commute from Guildford to Byfleet in order to lead rides on a regular basis and the idea faded out. (To some extent the Byfleet area is now catered for by the rides from New Haw.) Similar efforts have been made in Cranleigh and Frimley but with no lasting results. In my view success is only likely to come from the initiative of enthusiasts on the spot.
The text is identical to that of 1987 except that the sentence about entry fees has been deleted. Also ...
1987 Winners of the Benstead cups: Men - Clive Richardson; Ladies - Helen Gill.
West Kent DA Slide Show 12 March 1988
YH Weekend to Blackboys 20 March 1988
West Surrey CTC clubroom is held every fourth Wednesday, 7.30 pm,
at Guildford Rowing Club, Shalford Road, Guildford (near Jolly Farmer PH
on the A28l.
End to End 25 June - 10 July 1988
Home Counties Rally 29 April - 2 May 1988
(Cycling in China, Cycling in the Peak, and Yorkshire Dales Cycleway
not transcribed at present.)
ANOTHER RIDE IN THE BLACK FOREST
Remember the hot summer of '76? Well the morning of 2nd June was cold and dull as Lynette and I pedalled away from "The Lion" in Buchholz, a village about 8 miles NE of Freiburg. This was the last cycling day of a tour of Germany, and I had planned a Black Forest circuit almost entirely on those roads edged in green on the Michelin maps, the scenic routes.
The first leg took us up the valley of the Glotter, but as we rode higher, the clouds came lower, and after we left the villages behind, the only scenery visible consisted of the nearer trees. It was nearly eleven o'clock, and drizzling, when we reached the more level uplands at the attractive village of St. Peter, so, without a word needing to be spoken, we hurried into the inn for Kaffee und Kuchen. The Kuchen in this case was Black Forest Gateau, the real thing, not mass-produced freezer fare, and the helpings were as generous as the waistlines of the other customers.
Fortified, and heavier, we were suitably prepared for the freewheel down the next little valley. Towards the bottom the weather improved, so we stopped at a village supermarket to buy a few things for our usual picnic lunch. Shortly afterwards we reached the main road from Freiburg to Titisee and turned on to it to ride up our next picturesque valley. After a few miles, you've guessed it, it started to rain again, so when we came to a wayside inn advertising lunch in the last village for many miles, we did not hesitate to leave our picnic in our saddlebags. When we emerged some time later, well fortified, and heavier still, we wondered whether we had overdone our preparation for the next climb, twice as long as the morning's.
I had seen Höllental before, when the air was clear and the sky was blue, and knew it was impressive. This day it impressed just as vividly, but so differently. Under a leaden sky the wet rocks were black, and those wisps threading the tree-tops - they must have been sulphurous smoke. In olden days, fire-breathing monsters used to emerge from that cave-like aperture not far from the road. Hell Valley revealed the origin of its name, except that we would have liked it to be warmer.
At the top of the pass we turned left on to a lane which took us higher still, to over 1000m. After a few miles, under thick cloud and through occasional mist, we started to descend and were pleased to find a wayside inn. Threeses were overdue. The Kuchen this time was bilberry, thick wedges groaning under a mountain of whipped cream. We soon put it out of its misery, and warmed our hands on the coffee cups while our clothes dried out a little.
Our route was now mainly downhill, through St. Märgen to St. Peter, whence we retraced our outward route back to base. From the delightfully twisting road between the "twin" villages we could see that the weather was clearing from the west, and sure enough, by the time we reached Buchholz, it was fine again.
To be fair to the area, on previous days a typical scene had been a golden carpet of dandelions stretching from the forest edge down to a substantial farm house beside a sparkling stream, with a backdrop of mountains and blue sky, but this day we found out why the Forest is called Black. Oh, and by the way, the modern subterranean monsters are powered by electricity or diesel.
Members of the Intermediate Group have decided to participate in the DA Tourist Competition in 1988. This means that they will often be away riding events organised by other DAs. Contact Roger Philo if you would like to take part with them on Guildford 233381.
A programme of family rides will soon be available; contact the Whittles (Guildford 576067) or Judens (Godalming 25794)
Club Jersies and Badges
If you would like a Club Jersey please let me know and send the money by Sunday 7 February 1988.
|Long sleeves, no lettering||£14.00|
|Long sleeves, with West Surrey CTC on the back||£17.60|
|Short sleeves, no lettering||£13.00|
|Short sleeves, with West Surrey CTC on the back||£16.60|
Home Counties District Associations Conference
Would anyone like to go to this meeting in London on Saturday 16 January from 10 am to 1 pm? If so, please phone Marguerite on Woking 63289.
Sunday 30 August arrived and my nephew and I arrived at Woking station ready to start our mini-tour of South Devon. Now I should have realised that we were going to encounter some problems when our train pulled into another platform than the one we had been told it would arrive at. Still, I had to laugh as we lugged our bikes across the bridge and my nephew reminded me about BR's proud boast 'we're getting there'. After a pleasant trip we arrived at Exeter to find that we had an hour and a quarter to wait for the connection to the station we had planned to start our tour from. So we decided to start the tour from Exeter as we thought we could probably cycle the 18 miles quicker than waiting and catching the train. Off we went - in the wrong direction. Having sorted out our direction everything went fine until we were within three miles of our first night's stop when, as we were struggling uphill, my rear gear cable snapped. We eventually arrived at the campsite around midnight, having walked the last three miles because I had forgotten to pack the spare cables. We certainly slept soundly that night!
We awoke next morning to one of those rare sunny summer days. After scratching my head for a few minutes I decided to use my rear brake cable to fix my gears. Luckily I've got cantilever brakes which are very efficient and I gambled that I could get by with just the front brake until we could get a replacement cable. As we set off I thought that surely nothing else could go wrong: how wrong you can be! We had been going for about an hour and were riding up a hill out of Tavistock when my nephew stopped. I wasn't going to stop on the hill and carried on to the top. I sat at the top and looked back down the hill to see my nephew pushing his bike up. When he got to me he said that his chain had decided to have a rest and had climbed off the freewheel. Could I get the chain out of the wheel? We fixed that and carried on.
After about another three miles I was following my nephew so I got a grandstand view of what happened next. His rear mech decided to emulate his chain and climbed into the wheel. Now this didn't do his rear mech any good and it snapped. As we sat at the roadside, me scolding my nephew for being so careless, I had to chuckle. After I had fixed his bike, by taking some links out of the chain to shorten it, we consulted the maps and changed our route to bring us to our next night's stop within easy reach of Plymouth, so we could get a new rear mech early next day. As we set off again I thought surely that was it for the day, but no, we had to get the almost obligatory puncture (no prizes for guessing on who's bike). Anyway, that was a minor thing to fix. Still, that was it for the day (and the remainder of our holiday) and as we sat down that evening to our meal we had a good laugh as we recalled the day's events.
|First||Joan Robinson||Atmospheric seascape from the beach at St Malo.|
|Second||Robert Shiels||A view of the Trough of Bowland.|
|First||David Whittle||A difficult but successful night time fairground shot entitled 'Carousel'|
|Second||Robert Shiels||Posh Picnic: captured the humour of this unusual Tandem Club event.|
As we lay on the beach enjoying the Italian sun and the Mediterranean we decided that the next day we should start cycling. The two previous days we had spent visiting Venice and we were enjoying a rest day before setting off towards the Dolomites.
The next morning we rose early, had a quick breakfast, loaded the camping gear on the bikes and then we were on our way. We cycled through the built up area of Lido di Jesolo but after 15 miles we began to leave the tourists behind and get into pleasant countryside. We rode along small lanes, through sleepy villages, making our way across the plain towards the mountains.
We had not been able to get a good map which showed campsites before we left and planned to get one on route. It was late afternoon by the time we had bought a suitable map and there were no campsites shown in the area. We cycled on, deciding that we would find somewhere to put our tent up. We stopped at a house in the middle of nowhere to get water and ask if they knew of anywhere to camp. I spoke no Italian and they spoke no English, but then we tried German and were able to communicate. The man said we could camp on the other side of the road; he showed us the spot he had in mind. It had one problem to my eyes - the fact that it was the garden of the house opposite. I asked about this and was told that it did not matter as the owners were on holiday! By this time there were about ten members of the family deciding where we were to camp. After alot of arm waving discussion they decided we should sleep in the garage, and before we knew it they were arranging things. They brought a table and chairs out for us, then the man asked if we had any wine. I showed him our bottle and he showed us thumbs down. He disappeared off into the house and reappeared carrying a bottle of wine and some glasses. A little later the mother came with plates and large bowls of salad for us.
We spent the evening enjoying a game of football with the kids and finishing the very good wine. Later the eldest daughter arrived who could speak English, she said that we could sleep in their spare room and not in the garage as there were big mice. She showed us with her hands that the big mice were several inches long. So we had a very pleasant night's sleep followed by breakfast. On returning to our bicycles we found that a big melon which we had left out had been half eaten by the big mice! After saying good-bye we cycled off towards the Dolomites which we could see in the distance.
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Web page by Chris Jeggo. Last revised 12 March 2005.