"The West Surrey Cyclist" - Issue 14 - Spring 1989
|Previous magazine . Next magazine|
|March brings breezez, loud and shrill,
To stir the dancing daffodil.
Well the March winds have certainly blown this year, especially in south eastern Spain where Chris and I were touring with Ann and Bern Daws at the beginning of the month. I was literally blown off the road (a penalty of being a lightweight cyclist) but luckily there were no precipitous drops around at the time! As I write we seem to be experiencing unseasonably early 'April' showers and other parts of the country have had snowfalls. This is presumably the price we have to pay for a very mild and dry winter. Is the weather becoming topsy turvy as the popular media would have us believe, or is this an aberration of the normal variability of climate and weather systems? I think it's the latter, but it's fortuitously timed to make people take notice, at last, of the potential threats to the ecosystem of some products and practices of our age. Concerned individuals and groups have warned about the dangers of CFCs and the greenhouse effect for more than a decade, but only now are we seeing western governments hosting global conferences in an attempt to put the genie back in the can.
Ian's thought provoking story in this issue alludes to future changes in April temperatures. Don't dismiss his suggestion as just entertaining writing; I'm sure he wants us all to consider how to respond. As touring cyclists we know the rural environment better than most of our urban fellows; shouldn't we point out to them the changes and trends which we see? If we want our grandchildren to enjoy the countryside which we take for granted, shouldn't we be at the forefront of environmental protection today? You can start by supporting our charity ride for the Surrey Wildlife Trust during National Wildflower Week. The Petal Power Ride is on 21 May and details are in the magazine. But don't leave it at that.
|President||Mr Bill Inder, 33 High Street, Horsell, Woking Tel. Woking 72074|
|Chairman||Mr Chris Jeggo, 45 Waverley Drive, Chertsey Tel. Chertsey 565765|
|Secretary||Mr Keith Parfitt, 24 Elmside, Onslow Village, Guildford Tel. Guildford 60776|
|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|
|Events||Mr Ian Parker, 30 Bishops Way, Egham TW20 8EW Tel. Staines 62246|
|Publicity||Mr David Whittle, 30 Sycamore Road, Guildford Tel. Guildford 576067|
|Hardriders||Russ Mantle (see above)|
|Intermediates||Mr Roger Philo, Hunters Moon, Cumberland Avenue, Guildford GU2 6YH Tel. Worplesdon 233381|
|Woking Wayfarers||Mrs Marguerite Statham, Springwood, Morton Road, Horsell, Woking GU21 4TN Tel. Woking 63289|
|Guildford Wayfarers||David Whittle (see above)|
|Councillor||Keith Parfitt (see above)|
|Librarian||Keith Parfitt (see above)|
|Magazine||Mrs Helen Juden, 7 Llanaway Close, Godalming GU7 3ED Tel. Godalming 25794|
There will be meetings of the Hard Riders Section at lunchtime on 23 April (at the end of the '50') and during the run on 14 May to discuss and arrange runs and leaders for the period July - September and any other relevant business.
West Surrey CTC Lunch, Sunday 7 May 1989 at The Paddocks, Gambles Lane,
Ripley, 12.30 pm.
MENU: Melon, Fruit Cocktail, Pate, Fruit Juice
Trifle, Cheesecake, Fruit Salad, Apple Pie,
Cheese and Biscuits
Tickets £8 from Marguerite (Woking 63289). Bring your own drink, glasses provided.
Woking Wayfarers: please could more people offer to help with
the morning only rides? See runs list for the dates, then contact
WOKING WAYFARERS - EASTER SUNDAY 26 MARCH - MORNING ONLY RIDE - NO ALL DAY RIDE
Originally an enthusiastic rider with the Charlotteville C.C. in the 1920's, Stan. Underwood - who was also a C.T.C. member - later began to support the C.T.C's Woking Section but, although never a regular on their Sunday rides, he always took a keen interest and usually came along to the West Surrey's social gatherings.
As his interest in the racing scene declined, Stan started to turn out with our Thursday Nighters and, of recent years, was one of its most regular attenders.
Some twenty years ago his wife's health began to fail and, with little family support, Stan had to shoulder increasing burdens and for the last seventeen of those years his wife was helpless.
Latterly the strain began to tell and Stan found it impossible to cycle more than a few miles and finally his doctor ordered him into hospital for a heart by-pass operation. He was transferred from St.Peters, Chertsey, to St.Georges hospital in Tooting but was found to be too weak to stand such an operation and attempts to build him up were of no avail. Worry about his wife's transfer to a nursing home also depressed him and, after a valiant fight, he died on 30th January, aged 82.
Those of us who knew him and had to watch his gradual decline have nothing but admiration for the way he battled on against all the odds and we deplore the sad loss of a most likeable friend.
The funeral took place at Woking Crematorium on 6th February and was attended by ten of his closest West Surrey colleagues and by several of his former Charlotteville pals as well as a chapel filled to over-flowing by many friends from the social club and the church in his home parish of St. Johns.
The following article was first published in the BP house magazine 'BP Shield' 1988/5 and is reproduced here by kind permission of the Editor. It was selected for us by Roy Banks.
you attend a 'Preparing for Retirement' course, one thing they tell you
to do is take plenty of exercise. Even before I went on the BP course,
however, I had already decided to indulge in fairly frantic activity during
my declining years. My children expressed unanimous approval, because
they didn't want to see their father progress from a relaxed non-golfing
gentleman of medium build into a shapeless retired dollop.
I reflected on the athletic options open to me, and decided that among the modes of activity worth deleting from the list were squash, gaelic football and break dancing. Jogging was also out, partly because nine out of ten doctors say it does more harm than good, and partly because one out of two Achilles' tendons would say the same thing if only it could talk.
Swimming was out, too. In order to become cold, wet and miserable I have to drive to the pool, find somewhere to park, pay good money, get undressed, put my clothes in a small wire basket and walk barefoot along miles of tiled corridors. I have never found this experience enjoyable, and anyway when I take off my spectacles I can't see where the water is.
That left cycling. I had been a keen long-distance cyclist in the days of my youth, and gave up only when motorcycles and cars became more attractive. I now felt sure that, despite the passage of time, my dormant cycling muscles would be able to answer the call to service. Beyond doubt there would be a preliminary period of aches and pains, but I was willing to endure all that in the quest for fitness and fresh air. The first thing to do was get a brand-new bicycle.
The man in the bicycle shop had just the right machine for me - a drop-handlebar job with twelve speeds, painted red. In my younger days I had done the Highlands of Scotland on only three, painted black, but now as a mature citizen I felt that a bit of pampering was not out of place. I was about to tell the salesman that I used to pack sixty miles into each day for a whole fortnight when he handed me a free booklet explaining how to ride a bicycle, change gears and perform routine maintenance. It was a well-written publication.
After purchasing the bicycle I bought a saddlebag, a puncture-repair kit and a pump.
it struck me that what my wheel-nuts needed was not just a spanner but
a good chromium-plated ring-spanner. A check of the front spindle
revealed 14mm nuts, and I was about to stop off at a spanner shop when
an inner voice told me to look at the rears. (Well, I didn't get
where I am by taking everything for granted.) Sure enough, they were
15mm. The only ring-spanner I could find with a 14mm hole at one
end and a 15 at the other was long enough to unscrew the fly-wheel of a
battleship, and it weighed almost as much as the bike itself. I had
to go back and get a bigger saddlebag.
On my first trip I managed to do five miles without crippling myself. Over the subsequent days I built up the mileage progressively and there were remarkably few aches and creaks. Within a month I had become so fit that I developed the habit of pointing to my right thigh and saying to friends: 'Feel that'. Very few availed themselves of the opportunity, however, and some of them even recoiled against the nearest wall.
Most of my cycling is done in the country lanes around where I live, and I always select hilly routes so that my pulses can enjoy a good race, which after all is the object of the exercise. Being out there with the skylarks aloft and your lungs full of pure air is a wonderful feeling.
Early mornings are best, because that is when the roads are clearest. During the last few months of my time in Britannic House I used to do half an hour of countryside every morning before catching the train to work. One result of so much invigorating exercise and fresh air was that I walked to the station with a jaunty spring in my step. Another was that on at least three occasions I fell asleep at the office just before lunch time.
On a bicycle you soon appreciate how many delightful noises and smells you miss if you do all your gallivanting in a saloon car - ducks quacking in a farmyard as you pass by, coffee roasting in a village shop, the wind sighing through the trees of a spinney. And after a time you find yourself reflecting on all the deliciously negative features - no exhaust pipe contributing to atmospheric pollution, no road-fund tax or insurance to pay, no risk of running out of petrol, and no parking problems.
There was one thing that the little booklet didn't say much about. Modem motorists. A few of them are intelligent, but most are homicidal maniacs with tunnel vision and a warped sense of humour. They love to come up behind you while you are skirting a puddle, then time their overtaking manoeuvre to perfection so that they drop a front wheel in the deepest water at the wettest moment. They also pull over in front of you, bang their brakes on, turn left and leave you to execute a swallow-dive into the ditch.
When they are moving, motorists delight in seeing how close they can get without actually clipping the end of your handlebars. When stationary, they delay opening their doors until you are alongside. The relationship between cyclists and car-drivers is broadly the same as that between pheasants and titled landowners.
on the road you encounter a great deal of junk, and it comes in three versions.
Type A flutters unceasingly from car windows, in the form of cigarette
packets and toffee wrappers. Type B comprises mattresses, perambulators
and refrigerators; these, being surplus to domestic requirements,
are ferried into the countryside under cover of darkness by people who
regard hedges and ditches as a god-given civic amenity compound.
And Type C is what you might call involuntary junk - the bumpers, silencers,
hub-caps, nuts, bolts and washers that fall off cars which have been improperly
assembled in the factory or inadequately maintained ever after.
During my rural rides I come across lots of little rusty bolts, but I also find quite a few of the long shiny ones that hold important things in place underneath cars. It makes you realise that motorists must be a pretty dim lot if they can lose components like that without noticing the difference. I mean, if something that big dropped off a bicycle, the rider would know immediately.
One of the charms of owning a drop-handlebar twelve-speed job is the
friendly waves you get from the other professional cyclists. You can tell
The keen cyclists are so nice that I'm sure they'd stop and take care of me if I were to fall off and fracture my skull. Motorists, on the other hand, would drive by with their heads in the clouds. My only reservation about dedicated cyclists is that they always look at the name painted on my down-tube in a way that implies I should have bought something more expensive. They also take careful note of my green pullover, grey flannels, cycle clips and Marks & Spencer's training shoes with velcro buckles.
As I approach the end of my first year of re-cycling I am seriously thinking of buying a uniform. I may even get a more expensive down-tube. First, however, I shall write to the publishers of the little booklet with a few suggestions for their next edition.
|Dear Editor,||15 January|
I really do hate struggling up hills, on my own, in the pitch dark. Please could somebody 'hold my hand'?
Perhaps all club members could become more aware of who is left after tea and, if necessary, slow down and escort ladies most of the way home.
By the time this letter gets published the lighter evenings will be with us so I'll send a reminder as next winter approaches!
|Dear Editor, (again!)||10 February|
Since I showed my first letter to a few of the guilty parties, plus others, I have been escorted up numerous dark hills by Ian Parker. Many thanks Ian. I also know that Roger Philo has escorted a lady most of the way home to Guildford, after dark.
Perhaps we should have a trophy for the 'Escort of the Year'? Joking apart, escorting ladies up dark hills and along country lanes really is something to be considered in this day and age.
In response to a certain letter that appears in this magazine, please may I just say that I apologise if I have inadvertently left anyone behind as we struggled up yet another hill, but if I went any slower I would go backwards!
|MARCH||24-27||Easter with Gillian & Hamish|
|APRIL||16||Woking Cyclathon in aid of Leukaemia Research 10.30-4 p.m.|
|23||50 mile Reliability Ride|
|MAY||7||'Mayday' lunch at the Paddocks -12.30 p.rn. Tickets £8 from Marguerite (only 40)|
|15-20||Settle to Carlisle|
|21||Petal power sponsored ride in aid of Surrey Wildlife Trust|
|26-29||Home Counties Rally - Brockham Green|
|25||Stonehenge 200 and CTC Open Day|
|9||Swimming at Mike & Jenny Harlows (provisional)|
|23||Club Social 50 mile ride|
|AUGUST||5-12||Birthday rides, Monmouth|
|13||Tour of the Hills|
|17||100 mile reliability ride|
|23 SAT||Church Urban Fund Sponsored ride (contact Marguerite)|
|OCT||8||Tricyclathon (Freewheel, hill climb, speedjudging)|
has been and will be many a time that I say a quiet thank-you, not to anyone
specifically, but because I am grateful that I am able to lead a normal
life without physical or mental handicap and so can enjoy my greatest loves,
cycling and the countryside. There are a few counties that I am particularly
fond of but my heart always longs to be in Surrey. It may be one
on the most densly populated, least spectacular and not the quietest, but
it does have a charm: there is always something to see around the
next bend, always another nook or cranny to be discovered and another sight
to enchant. But this may not always be so. With ever increasing pressure
on our dwindling countryside for new housing, factories, shops and roads,
the work and vigilance of bodies like The Surrey Wildlife Trust are to
be applauded and assisted if we wish to continue enjoying our green and
pleasant land. So I hope that many of our members will get on their
bikes to support our Charity Ride on 21 May, to show through their efforts
that they care about their environment.
|The full 'Petal Power Ride' route is about 50 miles and starts from Shalford Meadows at 9 am on Sunday 21 May. There are optional short-cuts indicated on the route sheet allowing you to customise a shorter ride so that you can spend time visiting the Nature Reserves on the way. Guides will be attendance at some of the reserves and some refreshmants will be available. The Woking Wayfarers group plans to join the main ride for about 20 miles, stopping for coffee and lunch on the way and visiting reserves: their start is at Victoria Arch Woking at 8 am.|
Sponsor forms, registration and route maps from Ian Parker.
"David Pinkess outlined some changes to the '50' that he and Helen would like to see in order to make it more of a tourist event and less the 2¾ hour dash it has become for some entrants. The changes suggested were:
When I mentioned to Robert Shiels, during a Sunday ride, that there was to be a new route for the '50' this year he commented that other DAs change the route of their Reliability Rides every year, as being able to follow a route sheet and read a map was part of being a reliable rider. He also said that the familiarity with the route of many of those riding our '50' in previous years allowed them to treat it like a time trial. Well, that's what Helen, David, Robert and the Committee think about the '50'. Why not ride this year's and tell the organisers or members of the committee what you think about it. With a possible 5 hours riding time plus an hour for lunch it shouldn't be too difficult a ride.
|Starting time:||Riders aiming at 3½ hours||9.15 am|
|Riders aiming at 4, 4½ or 5 hours||10.00 am|
Route: (Figures in brackets are approximate distances covered from the start)
Leave west on lane past church.
Left at T junction.
Left at T junction and over Tunnel Hill.
Left on to Mytchett Lake Road.
Left on to A321.
Right after 150 yards sp Farnborough.
Right at T junction and over level crossing.
Left at triangular-about on to Queens Avenue.
Continue for 2.2 miles to traffic lights on A323 where turn right
|Straight on at roundabout and continue past Tweseldown racecourse.||(10 miles.)|
|Straight over at crossroads||(20 miles.)|
|Turn left on to B3006 and continue to Selborne.||(25 miles.)|
|CONTROL:||3½ hour riders turn into car park signposted just after Selbourne Arms.|
|4, 4½, or 5 hour riders stop at pub.|
|Straight across at crossroads||(30 miles)|
|After 300 yards turn right.||(40 miles)|
|Continue to finish at Pirbright Green.||(50 miles)|
Learn how to get your bike ready for summer, and keep it that way. Apply to Adult Education Centre, Sydenham Road, Guildford GUl JRX, Tel 60978. Oh, and remember to bring your bike !
After about another two days as a 'houseperson' Harry was complaining about being too busy and threatening to go back to work!
On 16th December Harry bought a bike and I mended the Hoover!
Harry has been out on his bike almost every day and is now on an 8 mile circuit and is beginning to enjoy it! We are even threatening a visit to the Isle of Wight.
Watch out for this new Wayfarer ...... Marguerite Statham ..... 10th Feb '89
. Previous magazine . . Index to magazines . . Next magazine . . W. Surrey DA History & Archives home page .
Web page by Chris Jeggo. Last revised: 12 March 2005.