"The West Surrey Cyclist" - April - June 1991
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Thanks to all those who have contributed to this issue, it is much appreciated. As an incentive the classified ads are free to anyone who sends in an article. Keep them coming! If anyone has ideas about the magazine please tell me.
New members are important to the vitality of our D.A. if you have any thoughts on how to encourage them, these would be most welcome.
Leading rides can be fun and interesting, you can try new routes, without getting lost ! Its nice to help out now and again, giving the regular leaders a rest. So why not try leading the leaders, if you would like to arrange this just ask them. You need not be upfront alone if you are unsure about part of a route just ask for some help.
Happy reading !
|General||Mr. Roger Philo||Tel. 0483 233381|
|Hardriders||Mr. Russ Mantle||Tel. 0252 28275|
|Intermediates||Mr. Roger Philo||Tel. 0483 233381|
|Guildford Wayfarers||Mr. David Whittle, 30 Sycamore Road, Guildford||Tel. 0483 576067|
There will be a Ladies Weekend in the New Forest on the 8th / 9th June. B&B on Saturday night at Lymington is £14 plus evening meal. The train fare will cost approx £16. Contact Sue Hamilton on 0483 772008, if any ladies are interested.
Marshalls are required for the '50' on 14th April. Please contact Roger if you are able to help.
The D.A. is holding a Sponsored Ride for the Woodland Trust in aid of Durfold Wood ne Dunsfold. Most of the ride will be off road, and will be held on 12th May. Sponsorship forms are available from Keith. (Editor will try and arrange some to be distributed with magazine ).
Dreams, such as ours to retire "as soon as possible" and still be young enough to enjoy ourselves doing what we like and doing it when we wanted to and not being governed by the clock and how many days holiday we had to come, do come true.
Well, after 30 years service with my Company my retirement commenced in January, 1989 and we always hoped that Philip would retire 5 years earlier than normal and he would be "out" October, 1990. Our plans came to fruition with an added bonus, and what a bonus! In June Philip's Company announced it would be closing down the Woking Division at the end of September and there would be redundancies. Were we hearing correctly? This was just too good to be true! Philip was first in the queue the next morning - "Me please, please, Sir". Yes, certainly, please have some redundancy money to go with your pension - whooppee!!!
We had booked our annual 3 week sojourn to France earlier in the year to start on 22nd August and return 11th September. So Philip suggested, "How about making me redundant on 12th September then I won't have to come back to work ever again!" To cut a long story short they said "Yes" and off we went for 6 glorious weeks.
We packed "Wendy" (that's our caravan because its known as my Wendy House) put the tandem atop the car and off to Dover and across to our beloved France. We have been holidaying in France for well over 30 years now and we never tire of it. We stayed overnight at a site near Courtenay and then on down to the Perigord area. The previous year we had met some Dutch people and they recommended a caravan site to us - and we were not disappointed - it was beautiful. Got ourselves settled in and then after a day's rest off we went on "Petal" - you've guessed it - that's our tandem.
To say the area was undulating might be classed as an understatement. It was like riding backwards and forwards over the North Downs. Up and down Coombe Bottom, along to Whitedown (up and down again), along to Newlands Corner, yes, up and down again and so on; bit of an exaggeration but you all know what I mean, "Harry!". The countryside was an absolute picture but we did get a little tired of the continuous climbing so one day we headed for the River l'Isle and after about 8 miles of what I called "undulates" we reached the river. One side carried a main Route Nationale but on the other side was the most marvellous "petite rue" running alongside the river through vineyards and orchards. Wonderful, and this road was FLAT! What did we do? We belted like mad for about 8 miles, back again, and back once more before we started for home. We had a lovely time clocking up a super average speed for the day, made a change to the "undulates".
This area is noted for its food and wine and I don't think we need tell you that we had excess baggage (actually on us) when we returned home! Market day was Wednesday so off we would go across the "undulates" and drop down into Montpon, our nearest town. The market was always full of locals selling their produce and every Wednesday we struggled back to Wendy up the Col du Chaudeau (that is what we christened the last two "mountains" we had to climb to get back to the site) with panniers brimming full of succulent vegetables, wine, honey and all things nice. We never learned but always bought too much to carry back "home" without too much huffing and puffing. You may have noticed that we have bought new "king-size" panniers ready for our 1991 trip!
Because of the glorious summer weather Europe enjoyed last year the grapes ripened earlier than usual and we were fortunate to be out pottering about on "Petal" when we came across several people actually picking grapes. We have never been in France at "the cut time" so this was a new experience. Nowadays, of course, for the first picking a large machine is driven through each lane of the vineyard and the large bunches of grapes are sucked off the vines. After this process the remaining grapes are picked by hand. We stopped and spoke to the folks and discovered that they were the farmer and his family. We took some photographs and we were invited to return to the "Maison" at 12 noon and partake of some of last year's vintage. Well, entente cordiale and all that; we couldn't risk upsetting them by refusing such an offer, could we? The vineyard was "Le Jolie Bois" and their wines had won many awards at the Bergerac tastings in 1989 - they were superb - I'll say "they" because we tasted about five in all and not just little slurps - glassfuls. Unfortunately we had to cycle "home" - we made it without being breathalysed but we spent a very quiet, hazy afternoon! We returned later in the week in the car and bought some bottles to bring home to England.
During the holiday many of our daily cycling jaunts took us through delightful villages and the roads were empty because Chaudeau and the larger town of Montpon are off the tourist tracks. The tandem always caused a stir and yes, the locals shout out (in French) "she's not pedalling at the back" the same as they do here! Mind you, it sounds better in French. We often stopped for a Relais Routiers 35-40 FF (£3-£4) lunch and often wished we hadn't when it came to cycling back "home" after a three or four-course lunch with as much wine as you can drink. The cost of eating out in the villages was incredible because although the food was fairly basic it was beautifully cooked and all fresh produce.
But more next time about our eating out (and slurping) experiences in Bergerac and Montpon and at the Auberge du Ferme.
Kitty and Philip Stickley
On the Thursday I caught a slow train to Guildford where I could change platforms by the subway, rather than by steps at Woking, and caught the next train to Portsmouth Harbour. I dozed on the way down, and at one point woke up and noticed that someone had cleared the snow off some playing fields ; then I realised that there wasn't any snow . The sun was shining, the sky was blue and it was a fantastic day for a "channel" crossing.
On arrival at Ryde I once more negotiated the hazardous pier and then headed straight to a cafe for lunch !
I then had a marvellous afternoons' ride to Shanklin where I was booked in for three nights. I have never stayed anywhere that is so reasonably priced, so friendly, and comfortable, with more delicious home cooking than I could manage. I kept having to say "no" to 'seconds' - tragic !
On Friday at breakfast time, it was raining, so with the bike safely stored in the garage I headed for the esplanade to catch a double decker bus to Bembridge. I sat upstairs on the front seat and thoroughly enjoyed re-living one of my childhood pleasures ! I visited Bembridge Church and then scrounged a cup of coffee off the Vicar, who used to be Curate at Horsell, before heading for the coastal path back to Shanklin - or so I thought at that point !
I got hopelessly lost at one point, but logic said that a coastal path must follow the coast, so I ended up on the beach with high tide due in another twenty minutes ! I hurried towards the lifeboat station from where I could get onto the cliff top path.
On top of Culver Down the mist was too thick for me to see Sandown so in the end I walked two sides of a triangle trying to find my way down. Lunch at last ! I had now walked 5 miles and it was only 1pm, so I decided to carry on to Ventnor which was another 6 miles. It was a wonderful walk that I thoroughly enjoyed. I had the path more or less, to myself and there was plenty of space , peace, and time to think.
I had forty minutes to spare in Ventnor before my bus back to Shanklin, so naturally I "fell" into a tea room for a glass of milk, 3 cups of tea and a piece of fruit cake. Then back to my hotel for a red hot bath and some more home cooking. Somehow I managed to stay awake until my son David arrived.
On Saturday, with the bike still safely tucked in the garage, Dave and I set off in the car to "do" the Isle of Wight. We stopped in a car park above St Catherines and climbed a hill to admire the view all around. It was another brilliantly sunny day, with very few people about and just the sounds of the sea and country to listen to. We ended up in Yarmouth for lunch where we had the main meal in one cafe and crossed the road to another for gateaux and drinks ! We just sat there, giggling !
After another tour in the afternoon we returned to Shanklin in time for another meal - You're right, we did spend a lot of time eating !
On Sunday the sun was shining and the sky was blue so I thought I'd better ask for my bike!! David drove a long way round to Carisbrooke and I took the shortest route on my bike. We met for lunch then Dave headed for Bembridge and Fishbourne to catch his ferry and I cycled to Yarmouth to catch mine, I later discovered that I had missed Chris Jeggo and family by just 45 minutes!
I arrived at the Ferry Point House Hotel and "booked in" in time to watch Liverpool play Everton - football of course!
The next day I packed my panniers with the intention of cycling to Brockenhurst to catch the train back to Woking. However that was not to be. Because of the recent bomb scares there were no trains so I claimed a refund on my ticket and there I was stranded with no train, no map to take me beyond Lyndhurst and not much money. After the initial panic I headed for a coffee shop which also sold maps. So feeling a little better I cycled on to Lyndhurst where I managed to raise some cash from Barclays Bank by using my recently aquired Euro Visa card - was I relieved ?
I pedalled on to Mottisfont for lunch only to find that the P.O. cafe was closed until March 2nd. Deciding that that was too long a wait I found a pub further up the road - about another three miles - at Houghton. I asked for orange juice and lemonade. There was no orange juice so lemonade had to do. I then asked for soup and was told "sorry I haven't any." The cheese sandwich was available but there were no salt and vinegar crisps and no coffee. I eventually enjoyed a cheese, ready salted crisps and lettuce sandwich and two glasses of lemonade at 60p a glass !!! However the publican very kindly phoned Winchester Station and was told that some trains were running. He didn't charge me for the phone call !
After about forty minutes wait at Winchester a Basingstoke and Woking train arrived so I leapt aboard. I headed straight for the Buffet ..... of course, and then used my Visa card to phone my husband. What a useful card ! It was great fun telling Harry that I was on the Train.
On arrival at Woking Station the platform was on the opposite side to the one at Winchester and the Guards' van door was locked. I rushed to a sliding door and refused to take my finger off the "open" button until an irate porter came along and unlocked the door.
I eventually arrived home at about 5.15pm - a fantastic adventurous few days. By the way Monday was brilliantly sunny as well !
Editors' note: I'am happy to recieve hand writen scripts. I enjoyed very much reading the former article as I typed it up.
Printing date = the first week of the third month covered by the previous issues runs list .
Friends of the Earth, 26-28 Underwood Street, London. N1 7JQ Tel. 071 490 1555. Ride details 0714904734
Greenpeace sell Cycling shorts for £15. Mine came in handy last year. Greenpeace is peacefully campaigning to save our world from destruction. The health of the Seas, rainforests, rivers, air and land is vital to all of us.
Greenpeace, Canonbury Villas, London N1 2BR
RECOMMENDATIONS ( Do you have any services you could recommend ? )
Before going on tour I went to buy food from Natures Store ! I
can thoroughly recommend the whole food store in the inside section of
Woking Market. A nice selection of bars, nuts and other nibbles which
together with the apple sweatened soya milk( keeps well on a long hot journey)
help to nourish one. The
Delux musselli from here is yumee !!! Nice selection of Whole Earth 100% fruit jams ( some are organic ).
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Web page by Chris Jeggo. Last revised: 27 February 2006.