"The West Surrey Cyclist" - Summer 1990
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Hello once more . Well here you are my third edition and once more you will find a change in this magazine. After a little discussion in the committee, its been decided to revert too the original layout for the mag. So this is what you've got. Also the lot of you out there are going too have to decide if you want a magazine or not, because if in the future, you do not supply me with article's to go into the magazine, you're get a very thin magazine indeed. I get sent, and see a few other D.A. mags and they don't seem to have a problem getting article's for there mags and if it wasn't for the few stalwarts in the club who supply me with articles this mag would have ceased a long time ago. So come on get your pens and paper out and get writing ; you can even use crayons if you like.
NEWS AND NOTES
Many thanks to all of you who took part- or sponsored someone- in a sponsored ride in aid of David's lightweight wheelchair. The D.A. raised around £450 so together with other monies donated we now have approx. £850. Marguerite and Harry.
Roger is away for 4 Sundays in August so please volunteer to lead an intermediate ride. Tell Marguerite or phone Roger on Worplesdon 233381
In June Bill Stickley and George Porter (and others) went to the Isle of Wight for a week with Doreen Leheup.
The Map Reading competition takes place on Sunday 15th July starting at 1 p.m. at Pirbright Village Hall. 8 Marshalls are needed so phone Roger on Worplesdon 233381 NOW ... or tell Marguerite.
Marc Smith (Gillian's son) marries Fiona on Saturday June 23rd. Congratulations and best wishes to both and good luck in your new home in Wales.
The New Forest Week is from July 21st - 29th. Details from Brian Brodhurst, 25, Chatfield Lodge, Newport, Isle of Wight. Tel: 0983 526774.
Sun. 22nd July - easy rough stuff in the New Forest. Phone Marguerite on 0483 763289.
Amy Juden is progressing well after a hip operation earlier in the year. Thank you Chris for helping with the Stonehenge 200 and Helen for providing the tea.
Aug. 5th - Woking Wayfarers breakfast ride. Start Woking Market (VAW) 5 a.m. Possibly ride on to the coast and train assisted home. Everyone welcome. Details from Marguerite.
If you're not riding in the Tour of the Hills on Sun. Aug. 19th, please help by marshalling. Say "Yes" when asked or phone Ian on 0784 462246.
Recently Marguerite and Harry were sitting in the Little Chef at West Meon having travelled there by car and who should go cycling past but David Nightingale - a "morning only" Wayfarer!
Aug. 24th - 27th - a rough and smooth weekend on the Isle of Wight. Phone Marguerite NOW - only 4 places available. Another one could take place in Sept. or Oct. Let me know, now, if you're interested.
Gerry Hulbert has bought a new bike....
Sept. 9th C.T.C. open day.
Sept. 16th 100 mile reliability ride starting and finishing at Pirbright. Max. time allowed is 10 hours. Details from Ian.
The Greenings weekend on Oct 6th/7th has been rearranged for Sept. 29th/30th. Phone Chris or Ann on 04867-2193 or tell Marguerite now if you are interested.
The D.A. has a photo album. If anyone would like to see it, or add to it, please contact Bill Inder 0483 772074.
About half a dozen "Thursday Nighters" regularly meet at a Pub. Why don't you study the runs list and join them one week?
Next year's dates! Contact Marguerite 0483 763289.
May 4th-6th Rough weekend on the Isle of Wight with Rita Groves at Combley Farm. Only 10 places available.
June 8th/9th Ladies Weekend probably in West Wight. Max. 12.
Has anyone been anywhere apart from the Isle of Wight? Let us know or write an article for the next magazine.
Don't forget to lead an Intermediate ride in August...
At 8.45 one Sunday morning a Wayfarer left Woking to ride via Guildford to Godalming at a steady 9 mph. At the same time a Hardrider set out from Liphook, 21 miles away, to ride via Godalming to Guildford. He was using this ride for training and was careful to keep his speed steady on the Audax UK maximum of 18 mph.
Just before 8.45 an athletic fly had got bored with investigating the aromas around Woking Marketplace and had settled on the Wayfarer's handlebar. As the machine started moving the fly took to the air and buzzed off towards Liphook, following the road because its cross-country navigation was of "Wooden Crank Award" standard. The fly's speed was 27 mph and there was no wind that day.
Somewhere around Milford the fly landed on the Hardrider's handlebar, but stayed there for no time at all, because it realised it might literally drown in perspiration, and set off to retrace its route.
Not a million miles from Guildford it met the Wayfarer gliding majestically along and touched down on the handlebar, but only for an instant. The speed-crazed animal (No, stupid, I mean the fly, not the Wayfarer!) took off towards the south-west-ish again.
Now insects have an infinite capacity for repetitive activity, and the fly kept zig-zagging between the two cyclists in this fashion, with ever-decreasing journey "legs" and ever more frequent reversals of direction, until the two cyclists met and stopped to discuss gear ratios.
At this point the fly got squashed on the visor of a passing motor-cyclist. I am afraid I am unable to say whether this was due to dizziness or an ill-advised and over-ambitious craving for speed. This was a great pity because the fly had carefully totted up the distance it had flown, and now we shall never know how far that was, or can you work it out?
Answer on last page
RECENT WEST SURREY D.A OUTINGS.....
April - Train assisted ride to Petersfield (Midweek Wayfarers)
Woking Bikeathon (Woking Wayfarers and the Veterans Club)
May - Guildford to Worthing and back ending with a Sausage Supper
for 25 at the Paddocks (Hard Riders, Intermediates and Woking Wayfarers)
Train assisted ride to Brockenhurst for a visit to Beaulieu (Midweek Wayfarers)
Easter - St. Lo Cider Meet (2)
Visit to Gillian and Hamish (5)
May 4th-7th - Several members went on the Home Counties Rally based
at Overton, and
6 went on a Rough weekend on the Isle of Wight (fantastic)
SOME OTHER EVENTS RIDDEN BY HARD RIDERS AND INTERMEDIATES
Sussex 50Km; West London Rough Stuff; Dorset Coast 200Km; the Norfolk heat of the B.C.T.C.; Northants and Milton Keynes Tourist Trial; S.W. London 100Km; Essex 50Km; S.Yorks and N.Lincs 200Km; S.Staffordshire 100Km; Tour of the Cotswolds 200Km; S.Bucks 300Km; Swaledale and Wensleydale 400Km.
Congratulations to all who have taken part. If anyone else would like to join in the challenge, phone Roger 0483 233381.
EASTER IN NORMANDY, 12th-16th April '90.
On Thursday 12th April I met my son-in-law Bentley Cook at Woking Station and caught the 6.32am train to Portsmouth Harbour.
We boarded the P.& O. ferry "Pride of Winchester" to Cherbourg arriving at 15.30pm French time. Then came a long uphill ride out of the port followed by an easy run to Valognes where we spent the night at the Hotel de L'Agriculture.
Good Friday dawned dull and cold as we set off for Pont L'Abec and, after a stop for elevenses, there was heavy rain all the way to St.Lo.
I enjoyed the quiet traffic-free roads with well marked routes in colour for the various rides each day. We visited Coutances and its cathedral, also Granville and the ponds of St.Pierre.
There were a few hills but all rideable and with pleasant scenery.
The organisation and catering for approximately nine hundred cyclists all dining together was first class. A super six course gastronomic dinner on Sunday evening, with litres of wine, cider and Calvados, ended a happy holiday in the fresh air.
In spite of the cool, windy weather and the cold I had before leaving home ( which became worse ) I can recommend the Cider Meet, St.Lo for next Easter.
A WET AND MISTY WEEKEND
Having read so much about the Isle of Wight from Marguerite Statham, who obviously enjoys going there, I decided to try it for myself.
I managed to persuade my husband to come with me and we set off early on the Saturday morning to catch the train to Brockenhurst. We then cycled some rough stuff to Lymington where we found a cyclists' haven - a cafe with really large, fresh, cookies. We then caught the ferry to Yarmouth where we had lunch.
We followed tracks and minor roads through Freshwater, Middleton and Alum Bay until we reached the top of the downs above the Needles. The wind was howling, the rain lashing sideways, and it was so misty that we couldn't even see the Needles. However, we persevered, humped our bikes over a stile and rode along the Tennyson Trail for a while until I decided that it really wasn't much fun and suggested that we went back on the roads to our destination of Freshwater bay.
On arriving at the hotel, I rang the door bell and stepped inside. The proprietor appeared and snapped "take them off on the doorstep". No "good afternoon" or, "nice to see you"! I was sorry we'd pre-booked. We parked the bikes round the side, covered them with a large sheet of polythene and went back round the front to strip on the doorstep. Just because we were a little wet!
The accommodation was adequate, if cold, but the food was excellent.
On Sunday the rain had ceased but it was still very misty. We tried to visit the quaint thatched church but the door was locked, so we bought some supplies from the shop opposite instead. We cycled and walked up over the golf course - yes, they were playing golf in the mist! - and along the Tennyson Trail. The leaflet said 'some of the best views on the island' but we couldn't see anything until about noon and then began to realise what we had missed. The scenery was fantastic - really must go again on a clear day.
We sailed down into Shorwell where we had an excellent lunch before meandering around the lanes through Little Atherfield, Yafford, Brighstone and Mottistone. At Brook we found an ice-cream van in the car park that also did cups of tea which we thankfully drank as we looked at the 'mountain' we had to climb to get back to our hotel.
On Monday the sun was shining and it was a beautiful day but alas we had a boat and a train to catch. We rough stuffed it back to Yarmouth and then kept the pressure on to Brockenhurst and arrived at the station with about four minutes to spare, only to find that the train was running about 12 minutes late!
In spite of the atrocious weather on Saturday and the mist on Sunday, I can see why Marguerite enjoys the island so much. The roads are quiet and the tracks deserted. It's so peaceful I must ask about going on the Ladies weekend!
I did go on the Ladies weekend and had a most enjoyable time. M.H-G.
Cyclists who believe that there are no hills worth mentioning in South
East England are invited to test their knees on WEST SURREY CTC's annual
' TOUR OF THE HILLS ' , an event that has proved popular over the last
seven years . 106 kms in 5 hours min or 7 hours max may sound like
a doddle , but when it involves over 5300ft of climbing , not many of our
special gold event medals get awarded . In any case with such magnificent
scenery in the North Downs and the Leith Hill range, why not take your
time , enjoy the scenery and aim for the silver event medal and/or AUDAX
GRIMPEUR medal by completing the course within the maximum time.
|START||: From 10.00 am , Sunday 19th August|
|FROM||: Car park at Newlands Corner|
|MEET AT||: At Newlands Corner from 9.30am to 10.00am|
|EVENT ORGANISER||: Ian Parker 30 Bishops Way Egham TW20 8 EW Tele. (0784) 462246|
|ENTRY FEE||: £1.50|
As leader of the Woking Wayfarers I would like to re-assure everyone that our aim is to have a good social day out together happily riding at the speed of the slowest person.
On the day that Ian joined us (see article in the last magazine) I really thought that I was the slowest person, especially up the hills, so I appologise to Ian if I walked too fast!
As for "reluctantly" joining Ian outside the Pub, that was because we didn't want to move. We would have happily stayed where we were all afternoon!
I do hope that Ian will ride with us again in the near future.
Marguerite A. Statham
Guess who stepped backwards into the Juden's fish pond? Three year old Matthew said "I hope you didn't step on a tadpole!"
Please could you reassure Matthew that Roger feels sure that the tadpole would have moved out of the way!
Yours, with wet feet,
I wanted a break from work so decided to visit my mother in Yorkshire and take my "new" bike with me. I had just had mountain bike handles and gears fitted on my Evans.
The journey to Skipton was easy with the ride across London less horrendous than crossing Guildford. In Skipton I headed straight for a bike shop and bought some mini toe clips, something that I had never tried before, to see if they really are an advantage.
I cycled up the road to Grassington passing close to Hetton where my mother was born and through Cracoe where my father was born and where, as children, we went every year for our summer holiday. The first seven miles were spoilt by the constant flow of wagons going to the local quarry - 29 passed me. However the last couple of miles made up for it as I enjoyed the tranquillity of cycling through Linton which once appeared on Playschool!
I arrived at my mother's at about 4.15 p.m. She'd had the kettle on since 2 o'clock so we had a cup of tea! It started raining so I went out to put my bike in the garage and discovered a flat front tyre! I later changed the tube, mended two punctures and fitted the toe clips. I then had to break the news to my mother that I was leaving the next day for a mini tour of the Dales! She took it well!
Between the hailstone showers on Friday morning I phoned Stainforth for a B&B for two nights and ended up in Stockhill house in a large room with a choice of four beds. I wonder who slept in the bed I chose!
I left Mum after coffee. She phoned her friend four miles away to say that I would be calling in in about 10-15 minutes. 40 minutes later I arrived in Hetton to deliver the package and thought about turning back. 70 mph gales had been forecast and for once the weather men seemed to have got it right. However, I am not one who gives in easily, so I continued to Kirkby Malham where I stopped for lunch and a visit to the medieval church. I then walked for most of the afternoon as the hills were so steep and the wind so strong. The country was superb and gave me a great sense of freedom. Its the kind of place I'd like to take all my friends to show them how wonderful it is.
Two hours or so later I had covered about 5 miles and arrived in the Settle cafe for tea and a toasted tea cake - what else? The last 3 miles to Stainforth were relatively easy. Jane Elston greeted me like a long lost friend and asked me if I would like a cuppa and a hot bath - what luxuries.
I then went to see my cousin to ask him if he would like to join me for a meal in the Craven Heifer. He not only joined me but insisted on paying as well.
After an early breakfast on Saturday I arrived at Settle station in time to catch the 9.20 a.m. train to Appleby. The train was packed but I eventually managed to find one seat next to the window. I couldn't believe my luck. I once again loved the scenery and this time I knew when I was crossing the Ribblehead viaduct.
I had 10 minutes in Appleby to cross the bridge and catch the train back to Dent. I hadn't realised that Dent is the highest station in England until I stepped off the train and was hit by the 80 mph gales which incidentally had changed direction during the night so once again I was riding into the wind.
Roger was right when he said the station was on top of a steep hill. It really is an isolated spot.
I headed west and cycled the four miles into Dent village which is well worth a visit. Its completely unspoilt and has cobbled, narrow roads through the actual village which consists of approximately 4 shops, 2 pubs and a church.
After an early lunch I cycled round to take a photo of the Dent viaduct. About a mile further on was another viaduct and as I rounded the corner I saw about 20 parked cars and people standing around with cameras so I asked the obvious question "is there a train due?" "Yes, a steam train, in about 10 minutes" So, of course, I had to wait and now have a photo of a steam train going over the viaduct. It really was quite exciting.
I continued on, totally enthralled by the countryside. The wind only blew me off the road about 3 times - it really was vicious - and then around the corner I caught sight of the Ribblehead viaduct. What an impressive sight built in the middle of nowhere. The wind was so strong at this point that I had difficulty holding the camera still so I hope the photos are okay.
Thankfully I then turned south which took a little of the pressure of the south westerly winds away. In places I was able to bomb along until I reached Horton where the first house on the left is a tea room so guess what? I got back to my cousins in Stainforth at about 4.45 p.m. Thankful to get out of the wind but what a wonderful day. I felt much more confident in the strong wind with my new handles and 'thumb control' gears and think that perhaps toeclips do help although it sometimes takes me ages to flick the pedals and get my trainers in!
Tomorrow I head for my favourite ride along the Pen-y-Ghent road.
The next day dawned and I hardly dared "test" the weather, but I needn't have worried, God was looking after me. It wasn't raining and although I would have a cross wind for the first part of my ride it would be behind me for the last 15 miles.
I always have a wonderful feeling of being on top of the world on the Pen-y-Ghent road. Its very high up, surrounded by open land with hills in the distance and no fences or walls at the side of the road. It has to be ridden to be fully appreciated.
I stopped for coffee in Arncliffe before arriving back in Grassington in time for lunch. I put the bike in the garage and there it stayed until the day I left. I'd had some wonderful rides but could have done without the gales. I shall return in October.
I got called over the loudspeaker on the Intercity 125 from Leeds to Kings Cross and had to go and see the Senior Conductor. He tried to accuse me of not pre-booking and not having a label on my bike. Thankfully I had done both so on production of my ticket and showing him that my label was on the other side of my handlebars he almost apologised. So beware fellow travellers ....!
ISLE OF WIGHT LADIES WEEKEND - May 19/20th
(or Seven Cyclists in search of a Cream Tea)
It was during coffee at Binstead on Saturday morning that Marguerite said it. "Sue, I wonder if you would like to write the article on this weekend for the magazine - showing a newcomers angle maybe?" I was just mid-bite of a delicious buttered scone and was feeling in holiday mood, so I found myself saying "yes, okay." Little did I know how much strain it would put on the old grey-matter, which hasn't put together much more than the odd letter since school days! After that, I was frequently to be seen scribbling in my notebook in an effort to get down every gory little detail. Well, here goes! Sorry if I've got anything wrong folks!
On the Saturday morning Marian, Joan and I arrived on Woking Station and cycles were loaded safely into the guard's van of the 7.57 train by Phil. (I'm glad he was there as I was feeling more than a trifle nervous of this all-new experience!) At Guildford we met up with Marguerite, Adrienne, Helen and Jenny. More humping of bikes into the train, this time assisted by Harry - off we went bound for Portsmouth, wey hey! There we managed to catch an earlier ferry (9.30) than previously anticipated. It amazed me how one minute we were cycling along the road and the next we were gazing at the sea through the windows of the passenger lounge. It all happened so quickly and efficiently. The crossing aboard the St. Cecelia took about 35 minutes.
Disembarking was also very efficient though once on the road we were held up a bit by the queues of traffic and the fact that Marian's chain came off. Marguerite did a swift "stick job" on it and emerged unmarked. (Must learn how to do that!) We then set off to cycle approximately 1.8 miles to our coffee stop, feeling superior to those stuck in their cars with the windows tightly shut! We almost made it to Binstead when Joan developed a squeak - sorry, her panniers did - 'cos it stopped when she removed them! After a bit of tweaking of brake blocks (or something) we pedalled on to the Shire Horse Centre at Binstead. Whilst we enjoyed our coffee we were entertained by children having riding lessons in the Indoor School, which was behind a glass partition alongside the cafe. Before we left we had a look round the souvenir shop and also saw some beautiful Shires pulling carts. We all leaped for our cameras of course!
Then Marguerite said "Enough of this enjoyment - now for some serious cycling!" And she meant it! Oh! the hills - but oh! the VIEWS - fantastic. It was all worth our efforts. Later on we had a deviation in our route as everyone except Jenny and Joan turned into Landscape Road at the top of the hill above Newport. We paused to look back, only to see them both whizzing past the end of the road heading for the town centre! Marguerite charged after them, but it was no good - they were long gone. So off we went down the long, long hill into Newport - Wheeee!!! The traffic wasn't too bad really and if nothing else, it made us appreciate the solitude elsewhere. Marguerite remarked during the weekend, that as she passed one field, she could actually hear the cows pulling up the grass!
In due course, we arrived at our lunch stop - "The Hare & Hounds" Arreton. We had some delicious food and feeling refreshed (?) we then cycled on through lovely countryside to Newchurch, which has a sneaky 1 in 6 hill up into the village!! Helen was the only one who stayed on - well done Helen! We stopped in the village to regain our breath - and take more photos of course. Suddenly there was Marguerite riding my tricycle! Then of course everyone had a go (we have photos to prove it). There was a flat piece of ground in front of the Church which was ideal, although judging by the antics some of our party would dispute the lack of gradient! We had a lot of laughs, then cycled on in hot sunshine to Shanklin, arriving about 4.00 p.m.
At the Cliftonville Hotel we were warmly welcomed by Mrs. Brown, the owner, and after securing our bikes and looking at our rooms, we went to explore. Adrienne, Joan and Helen made for the shops to purchase some wine for our evening meal and Marguerite, Marian, Jenny and I headed towards the sea front and found a lovely tea place with a patio, overlooking the water - very pleasant.
I should say at this point that we had decided that after the very filling lunch and the thought of dinner at the early time of 6.00 p.m. we would forego our cream tea and save that pleasure till the next day. It was a hard decision, but we steeled ourselves and soldiered on!
Our evening meal was very tasty and well presented, and afterwards we went out for another walk. Marguerite even went on the beach! We watched the surfers, then walked up through some gardens and into the old part of Shanklin, which has thatched buildings. By then it was getting very chilly and some of us who wished we had put on thicker jackets, arrived back at the hotel picked through! (In fact, don't tell anybody, but one of us went to bed wearing two T shirts and a nightie to warm up!).
I woke up quite early on Sunday morning but stayed put as Jenny in the bunk under me and Marian in the bed were still fast asleep. (We tossed for the bed and I lost!) It was actually very comfortable on the top bunk, but the only way I could get up there was one foot on the chest of drawers and a push from Marian! Jumping down to the floor in the middle of the night to visit the loo was an experience too. I did think of doing a "geronimo" onto the double bed to save my fall but decided it wasn't very friendly!
Breakfast was another very tasty meal. The eggs were cooked to a turn and the fried bread .......!!! Talk around the table was a little to do with Marguerite and Joan's forthcoming Yorkshire holiday (that'll be another story!) and a LOT to do with finding somewhere to have a CREAM TEA that afternoon!
We left our hotel (after another photographic session) at about 10.15 and pushed our bikes (no cycling) along the cliff path for about a mile, in hot sunshine. There were quite a few walkers about. One elderly lady was heard to remark to her friend, after Helen had overtaken them, pushing her bike, that she thought cyclists were supposed to have bells these days by law! Strange lady.
We then cycled through Lake, which is on the outskirts of Sandown. It was all very pretty, but Brading Down (and up!) was even better. Joan, Adrienne and Marian noticed a wayside plant stall and came away with greenery sprouting from bar-bags and panniers etc. It was rather hilly over the Downs and by the time we reached Brading Village we were all well and truly ready for coffee (or was it too early for a cream tea?). Unfortunately, everywhere was shut and we had to settle for our own soft drinks and cereal bars. We set off again - well after Marguerite had put my chain on for the second time (how embarrassing!)
Lunch was at the "White Hart Inn" Havenstreet, where we ate sandwiches/Ploughmans in the garden. In fact, we got the impression that we lowered the tone inside the pub anyway. The table top had a steep gradient (that's not all that had around there either!) and Marian's apple pie with lashings of cream almost descended to the ground but was saved by Marguerite in the nick of time. Phew!
Then we cycled on IN VERY SERIOUS SEARCH OF A CREAM TEA. By now, some of us were beginning to show withdrawal symptoms. Marguerite remembered a little teashop near the beach in the Wootton area, which was also in the right direction for Fishbourne. We pressed on, doing a bit of "rough stuff" en route - even heard the cuckoo! (I haven't heard one for years). On reflection I think he was passing comment because, of course, the shop didn't do cream teas! We consoled ourselves with a cuppa, some of us had enormous ice-creams, and Marguerite sat in some chocolate! (well that was her story!) She retired to the loo to wash it off and had to spend the rest of the day sporting a damp patch. (Marguerite - REALLY!!)
Time was getting short now and we set off for the 4.00 Ferry from Fishbourne, arriving with five minutes to spare. This time we sat on the top deck and enjoyed watching all the sailing boats and "battleships" on the way. What a lovely weekend it had been. In all we had cycled 40 miles through beautiful countryside, in perfect weather and had escaped with nothing more than a chain off - or had we? On returning to her bike Joan found she had a puncture! After disembarking, Joan tried pumping up the tyre but to no avail, and had to push it to the station, which thankfully was quite near. She and Marguerite mended the puncture in the guard's van before the train left at 5.20, heading back to Guildford/Woking.
I'm sure I speak for all of us when I say that we had a super time. For me, it couldn't have been better. Thankyou Marguerite for organising it all - it was fantastic!
Sue (the tricycle) Hamilton
P.S. Others please note - we did not turn on our colour T.V. once!
ANOTHER ISLE OF WIGHT TALE
MAY-DAY BANK HOLIDAY WAS SOON UPON ME AND I ROSE EARLY ON THE SATURDAY IN ANTICIPATION OF OUR ROUGH-STUFF WEEKEND ON THE ISLE OF WIGHT. AFTER FLYING AROUND LIKE A LOONY I ARRIVED AT WOKING STATION BEFORE ANYONE ELSE , BUT I WAS SOON JOINED BY THE OTHER MEMBERS OF THE GROUP , MARGUERITE , HARRY , PHIL , CHRIS AND COLIN. AS WE STOOD ON THE PLATFORM AWAITING THE ARRIVAL OF THE WESSEX EXPRESS TOO BROCKENHURST I ENQUIRED OF MARGUERITE WETHER B.R. WAS AWARE OF OUR GROUP TRAVELLING , TO BE ASSURED THAT YES THEY WERE AND THAT THE TRAIN WE WERE WAITING TO CATCH WAS A 10 COACHER AND THAT THERE WOULD BE ROOM FOR OUR BIKES. I WATCHED THE TRAIN APPROACHING AND HAD SERIOUS DOUBTS ABOUT THIS LAST STATEMENT AS IT LOOKED TO ME AS IF THERE WAS ONLY 5 COACHES . I WAS RIGHT, I DID THINK ABOUT RUNNING UP TO THE DRIVERS COMPARTMENT TO INFORM HIM THAT HIS TRAIN HAD LOST HALF ITS CARRIAGES, BUT THOUGHT WELL HE MUST KNOW ! ANYWAY HARRY'S AND COLIN'S TELECOM AND GPO EXPERIANCE CAME IN HANDY AND WE GOT THE BIKES INTO THE GAURDS VAN , EVEN THOUGH THE TRAINS DEPARTURE TIME MUST HAVE BEEN A FEW MINUTES LATE , AND IF YOU TRAVEL ON ONE OF THE WESSEX EXPRESSES AND THE GUARD SAYS YOU CAN'T GET ON WITH YOR BIKE BECAUSE HE'S ALREADY GOT MORE THAN 6 BIKES IN THE COMPARTMENT , QUOTE OUR TRIP ON THAT TRAIN WHEN THERE WERE 14 BIKES.
AFTER A PLEASANT TRIP DOWN WE WERE SOON AT BROCKENHURST AND DEPARTING FOR LYMINGTON. AFTER HALF A MILE MARGUERITES PRIEVIOUS RECCES CAME TO THE FORE WHEN WE SWUNG OF THE ROAD ONTO OUR FIRST TRACK. WE FOLLOWED THE TRACK FOR ABOUT TWO MILES THROUGH SOME PLEASANT WOODLAND AND REJOINED THE ROADS A COUPLE OF MILES OUT OFF LYMINGTON. AFTER A QUICK C.& T.C. STOP AT LYMINGTON WE ARRIVED AT THE FERRY TERMINAL AND AFTER A SHORT WAIT WHEELED OUR BIKES ONTO THE FERRY. AFTER 5 MINUTES THE FERRY DEPARTED AND WE WERE FINALLY ON OUR WAY TOO THE ISLE OF WIGHT . AFTER A SHORT TRIP ACROSS ON THE FERRY WE DISEMBARKED AT YARMOUTH. WE HAD A QUICK DISCUSSION IN THE CAR PARK ABOUT OUR ROUTE AND THEN WE DEPARTED FOR FRESHWATER BAY ALONG A DISUSED RAILWAY TRACK , WHICH WAS REALLY EASY RIDING . AFTER FOLLOWING THE TRACK FOR A FEW MILES WE CAME INTO FRESHWATER BAY AND SET ABOUT LOOKING AT THE MENU ON DISPLAY OUTSIDE 'THE ALBION HOTEL' TOO SEE IF WE COULD GET LUNCH THERE. AFTER DECIDING THAT IT WASN'T TOO EXPENSIVE (TYPICAL CYCLE TOURISTS) WE PUSHED THE BIKES ONTO THERE PATIO OVERLOOKING THE BAY AND QUICKLY ORDERED SOME SUBSTINENCE , BUT AS IT WAS A SUCH A GLORIOUS DAY I THINK WE ALL ORDERED OUR DRINKS FIRST . FOLLOWING A REALLY PLEASANT LUNCH BREAK WE RELUCTANTLY GOT MOBILE AGAIN AND HEADED UP ONTO THE DOWNS THAT RUN ALONG THE SOUTHERN SIDE OF THE ISLAND. AS WE NEARED THE TOP OF THE HILL , BEFORE WE TURNED ON TOO THE BRIDLEWAY ACROSS THE GOLF COURSE , HARRY COMMENTED THAT THE LAST TIME MARGUERITE AND HE WERE UP HERE , THEY COULDN'T SEE MORE THAN 50 FOOT IN FRONT OF THEM BECAUSE OFF A SEA MIST AND THAT THERE WERE STILL GOLFERS OUT PLAYING A ROUND( WHO SAYS CYCLISTS ARE MAD ). THIS TIME THOUGH WE WERE BLESSED WITH GOOD VISIBILITY AND HAD A WONDERFUL VEIW OVER THE DOWNS. WE HEADED ALONG THE DOWNS TOWARDS OUR DESTINATION , THE FASTER RIDERS IN THE GROUP HAVING TO WAIT AT TIMES FOR THE PLODDERS. AS WE DREW LEVEL BUT SOUTH OF NEWPORT ONE OF MY PANNIER SUPPORTS BROKE AND AFTER A QUICK DISCUSSION WITH MY COLLEAGUES , I LEFT THEM AND HEADED INTO NEWPORT TOO SEE IF I COULD GET A REPLACEMENT WHILE THEY HEADED OF ON THE PREPLANNED ROUTE . FOLLOWING A FRIUTLESS SEARCH THROUGH NEWPORT I HEADED OF TOO JOIN THE OTHERS AT OUR B & B . I GOT TOO THE FARM WE WERE GOING TO STAY AT TO FIND THE OTHERS HADN'T ARRIVED AND SO CYCLED BACK UP THE TRACK TO WAIT FOR THEM . AFTER ABOUT 30 MINUTES I WAS JOINED BY THE OTHERS AND WE WENT ON DOWN TOO THE FARMHOUSE TO RECIEVE A FRIENDLY WELCOME AND A MOST WELCOME CUP OF TEA , AND OUR HOST MADE THE MISTAKE OF PUTTING OUT SOME BISCUITS INCLUDING FRUIT JASPERS . I DON'T THINK SHE WASN'T QUITE PREPARED FOR THE SPEED WITH WHICH THEY DISAPPEARED. AFTER FRESHING OURSELVES UP WE PUT ON OUR GLAD RAGS AND DEPARTED FOR THE PUB WHICH MARGUERITE AND HARRY HAD RECCED FOR OUR EVENING MEAL . MARGUERITE EVEN SUGGESTED WE COULD GET THE LANDLORD TO COME DOWN FOR US AS THE PROVIDED A MINIBUS SERVICE TO THEIR CLIENTEL ; BUT WE DECLINED THIS AND HAD A PLEASANT WALK UP TOO THE PUB TO STIMULATE OUR APPETITES! AFTER A GOOD EVENING MEAL IN PLEASANT SURROUNDINGS AND COMPANY ; ALTHOUGH THE LANDLORD SOON EARNED OUR AWARD FOR THE GLOOMIEST PERSON IN THE PLACE; WE DEPARTED FOR A WELL EARNED SLEEP ALTHOUGH THE OLDER MEMBERS OF THE GROUP LEFT BEFORE THE ALCHOLICS . WE AWOKE NEXT MORNING TOO ANOTHER GLORIOUS DAY AND OVER BREAKFAST WE DISCUSSED OUR ROUTE'S FOR THE DAY . IT HAD BEEN DECIDED BEFORE HAND THAT THE GROUP WOULD HAVE SEPARATE RIDES ON THE SUNDAY TOO ACCOMODATE THE TWO LEVELS OF ABILITY PRESENT ; MARGUERITE, HARRY AND PHIL FORMING ONE GROUP , COLIN ,CHRIS AND MYSELF IN THE OTHER. WE SAID OUR CHEERIO'S FOR THE DAY AND SET OFF. AFTER A QUICK TRIP DOWN THE LANE WE ARRIVED AT THE ROAD WE HAD TOO FOLLOW FOR A WHILE , TO SEE OTHER CYCLISTS WIZZING PAST . SUNDAY 6TH MAY WAS OF COURSE THE DAY FOR 'THE ISLAND RANDONNEUR ' . WE PEDALLED OFF DOWN THE ROAD ;WITH CHRIS SUGGESTING WE FOLLOW THE OTHER RIDERS AND PRETEND WE WERE PART OF THE RANDONNEUR ,TOO GET THE REFRESHMENTS PROVIDED FOR THEM ; TOWARDS BRADING. CHRIS AND COLIN TAKING GREAT DELIGHT IN RACING THE OTHER CYCLISTS . UNFORTUNATLEY WE TOOK A WRONG TURNING SOMEWHERE AND ENDED UP NEAR TO RYDE . WE DECIDED TO FOLLOW THE COAST PATH MAKING OUR WAY SOUTH TOWARDS BEMBRIDGE WHERE WE WERE PLANNING TO HAVE ELEVENSES. WE ALSO RODE ALONG A BEACH FOR A SHORT WAY GIVING ME THE OPPOTUNITY TO TRY OUT MY NEW GORETEX BOOTS AS I RODE IN OUT OF THE SEA. WE WERE SOON IN BEMBRIDGE WHICH WAS QUITE DISAPPOINTING REALLY AS IT HAD BEEN SUCH A PLEASANT TRIP THUS FAR. AFTER OUR COFFEE I PERSUAIDED COLIN AND CHRIS TOO HEAD DOWN TOWARDS VENTNOR VIA SANDOWN AND SHANKLIN SO AS I COULD TRY AND FIND A CASH TILL . WE ENTERED SANDOWN ALONG THE SEAFRONT AND AS IT WAS LUNCHTIME BY NOW ,CHRIS SUGGESTED THAT WE SHOULD VISIT THE NEXT PUB ( CHRIS I'M SURE BORDERS ON ALCHOLISM ). THIS THOUGH WAS A MISTAKE AS THE FIRST PUB WE CAME TOO KEPT US WAITING FOR ABOUT FIFTEEN MINUTES FOR SERVICE. WE DID GET SERVED EVENTUALLY AND AS WE SUPPED OUR BEER OUTSIDE IN THE SUNSHINE WE DECIDED TOO HEAD DIRECT FOR VENTOR AND LOCATE ANOTHER PUB THERE . WE HEADED OUT OF SANDOWN AND SOON CAUGHT UP A GROUP OF RACING CYCLIST ,WAITING AT TRAFFIC LIGHTS,OUT ON A TIME TRIAL . WELL CHRIS AND COLIN COULDN'T RESIST THE CHALLENGE AND HAD TOO HAVE A GO AT RACING THESE CYCLISTS . I THINK THE CYCLISTS WERE LUCKY THAT A HILL CAME ALONG AND SLOWED CHRIS AND COLIN DOWN AS I'M NOT SURE WHAT THE OUTCOME WOULD HAVE BEEN . WE ARRIVED IN VENTNOR IN TIME TO HAVE A COUPLE OF JARS AT A PUB ON THE HILLSIDE OVERLOOKING THE BEACH , AND CHRIS AND COLIN DECIDED THEY WEREN'T GOING TO LEAVE VENTNOR BEFORE HAVING A QUICK DIP IN THE BRINEY. I LEFT THEM AT THIS STAGE TO HAVE A QUICK TRIP AROUND THE TOWN TO SEE IF A COULD FIND A CASH TILL ( I COULDN'T FIND ONE IN SANDOWN OR SHANKLIN ) WHICH WAS A MISTAKE BECAUSE CHRIS DID A BIKE HANDLING DEMONSTRATION AT THE BEACH WHICH COLIN INFORM'S ME WAS A JOY TO BEHOLD. EVIDENTLY AS THEY SPED DOWN THE HILL TO THE BEACH CHRIS DECIDED TO LEAP OFF THE PROM ONTO THE BEACH , BUT UNFORTUNATELY FOR CHRIS HIS FRONT WHEEL BURIED ITSELF INTO THE LOOSE SHINGLE AND STOPPED ANY FURTHER FORWARD MOTION , OF THE BIKE , HIS BODY THOUGH NOT BEING AWARE ABOUT THE LAWS OF PHYSICS CARRIED ON , RIGHT OVER THE TOP OF THE HANDLE BARS TO THE DELIGHT OFF A GROUP OF SCHOOL CHILDREN. AFTER A SHORT DIP IN THE BRINEY ( WHICH I'M TOLD WAS FREEZING) CHRIS THEN DECIDED HE WAS GOING TO HAVE A QUICK DIP IN THE KIDS PADDLING POOL ,JUST BEHIND THE BEACH TO WASH THE SALT OFF . COLIN OF COURSE JOINED HIM AND THE PAIR HAD A QUICK SWIM AROUND THE ISLAND ( THERE BEING A REPLICA I.O.W. IN THE PADDLING POOL ) , AND I'M TOLD COLIN HAD A RUN IN HERE WITH SOME KIDS AND GOT SEEN OFF BY THEM. AFTER THIS BRIEF INTERLUDE AT VENTNOR WE RESUMED OUR JOURNEY AND HEADED ALONG THE COASTAL PATH FOR ABOUT TWO MILES THEN TURNED INLAND TOWARDS THE BECKONING HILLS . WE SPENT WHAT I THOUGHT WAS AN AGE , BUT WHAT WAS IN REALITY A SHORT TIME , CLIMBING TO THE TOP OFF THE DOWNS ,TO A GLORIOUS VISTA OVER THE SURROUNDING COUNTRYSIDE . THE JOURNEY BACK TO THE B & B WAS PRETTY RUN OF THE MILL RIDING APART FROM A COUPLE OF THRILLING DOWNHILL STRETCHES AND ONE PARTICULARY HARD CLIMB , WHICH EVEN COLIN HAD TO PUSH HIS BIKE UP , I'M NOT GOING TO MENTION THAT CHRIS DIDN'T , IT'LL GO TOO HIS HEAD. WE ARRIVED BACK AT THE B & B TOO FIND THE OTHERS ALREADY THERE HAVING TEA. AFTER FRESHENING OURSELVES UP WE ADJOURNED TO THE PUB FOR OUR DINNER AND TO SWOP STORIES. PHIL RECOUNTING HOW AT A FARM A FEW MILES FROM WHERE WE WERE STAYING , MARGUERITE HAD PERSUADED HIM TO ENQUIRE ABOUT HOW MUCH THEY CHARGED FOR B & B , IN RESPONSE TO THE SIGN THEY HAD UP , ONLY TO GET THE GROUP INVITED IN FOR DRINKS AND HOW MARGUERITE HAD PERSUADED HIM AND HARRY TOO CHECK OUT THE NATIONAL TRUST WINDMILL IN BRADING TO SEE IF IT WAS WORTH VISITING . AFTER A REALLY NICE EVENING MEAL WE ALL LEFT FOR OUR BEDS AND I DON'T THINK ANY OF US HAD ANY TROUBLE SLEEPING THAT NIGHT.
THE FOLLOWING MORNING WE LEFT THE GUEST HOUSE , THANKING OUR HOST FOR SUCH SPLENDID ACCOMODATION ( WILL HAVE NO HESITATION RECOMMENDING HER TO ANYONE ELSE) . WE FOLLOWED VARIOUS TRACKS TOO WEST COWES WHERE WE HAD ELVENSES , THEN CROSSED TO EAST COWES WHERE WE WERE FORTUNATE ENOUGH TO SEE A TALL SHIP OUT IN THE SOLENT . WE CYCLED ON FOR A FEW MILES TO THE NEXT PUB WHERE WE HAD LUNCH . AT THIS POINT WE DISCUSSED ROUTES BACK TO YARMOUTH AND MARGUERITE SUGGESTED THAT WE , CHRIS COLIN AND MYSELF , TRAVEL BACK ALONG THE ROUTE I HAD SUGGESTED EARLIER WHILST HARRY PHIL AND HER TRAVELLED BACK A MORE DIRECT ROUTE .MIND YOU CHRIS AND COLIN STILL HADN'T HAD ENOUGH AT THIS POINT, AS THEY DECIDED THEY WERE GOING TOO RACE A CAR AND HORSEBOX AWAY FROM A SET OF TRAFFIC LIGHTS AND SO PROMPTLY MISSED THE TURNING WE SHOULD HAVE TAKEN . WE ENDED UP GOING THE MOST DIRECT ROUTE, AS BY THE TIME I CAUGHT THEM WE WERE ALMOST IN YARMOUTH. WE REFORMED AS A GROUP SHORTLY AFTERWARDS AND CAUGHT OUR FERRY BACK TOO THE MAINLAND BRINGING TO CONCLUSION A GLORIOUS WEEKEND SPENT IN CONVIVIAL COMPANY ON THE ISLE OF WIGHT. THANKYOU MARGUERITE FOR ALL THE WORK YOU PUT INTO ARRANGING THE WEEKEND .
Answer to Brain Twister
21 miles. This problem was once put to a very famous theoretical physicist, who gave the correct answer without hesitation.
"Ha, ha:!" said the questioner, "Did you know that some people try to solve that problem by summing an infinite series?"
"Oh!" replied the physicist, "Is there another way?"
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Web page by Chris Jeggo. Last revised: 4 February 2006.