"The West Surrey Cyclist" - April - June 1992
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Firstly the sad news, as I expect most of you are aware Bill Inder our President passed away recently. Some of the letters pay tribute to him and when you have read them I'm sure you will all appreciate his great role in the history of the DA. Our condolences to his family.
The other sad news is a rather incomplete runs list, which had to be issued so that the information avalible could be disseminated before the old runs list runs out.
Thank you to everyone, including ANON, for your contributions to this issue of the magazine. There is certainly plenty of reading.
The question is which political party will do the most for cyclists ??? Shall we have a poll ?? Only joking !!!
The good news is that Woking Dyeline have been very kind in sponsoring the printing of this issue, and I would like to take this opportunity to thank them.
I can personally recommend them, having in the past bought stencils, pens, pencils and more recently oil paints, paper and brushes from Woking Dyline. ( 0483 ) 740483
The deadline for the next issue is :
WEDNESDAY MAY 27TH 1992 Thank you.
|PRESIDENT||After the sad passing away of Mr Bill Inder, here's wishing a worthy successor all the best.|
|SECRETARY||Mr Keith Parfitt, 24, Elmside, Onslow Village, Guildford. Tel. 0483 60776|
|TREASURER||Mr Roger Philo, Hunters Moon, Cumberland Avenue, Guildford GU2 6YH. Tel. 0483 233381|
|Other members||Rory Fenner, Ken Bolingbroke, Jeremy Dowling|
|HARDRIDERS||Mr Roger Philo||Tel. 0483 233381|
|INTERMEDIATES||Mr Keith Parfitt||Tel. 0483 60776|
|WAYFARERS||( See above )||Tel. 0483 60776|
|WOKING WAYFARERS||Mr David Nightingale||Tel. 0483 725674|
|MID-WEEK WAYFARERS||Mr George Alesbury||Tel. 0932 843285|
MAGAZINE Mr David Nightingale, 11, Waverley Ct., Woking, Surrey. Tel. 0483 725674
CLUBROOM EVENTS Ring Keith Parfitt for details of all the goings on ! This clubroom is for everyone to enjoy whatever group you ride with.
These days, Mike and Will are stronger riders than Mum, and prefer to ride their solos, so on the Thursday morning I loaded two junior 'racers' and a full-size tandem on to the car roof-rack, and we set off for Charlbury after lunch. Once we were on the M40, noise from the back seats stopped: Mike had his nose in "Railway Modeller" and Will in "Total", a magazine for computer games freaks.
We left the M40 to the north of Oxford, and drove through several attractive villages which I remembered from riding the Marlow 200km. On arriving at Charlbury Youth Hostel we parked the car, not using it again until it was time to come home on Sunday afternoon. A supermarket visit was extended to become an exploration of the village, which is most attractive with many fine buildings dating from the days when the wool trade was a major source of wealth.
The hostel warden, Rosina, is very friendly and chatty, and joined us, and one lone walker, for the hostel supper, which was tasty. Naturally, the conversation turned to the 'For Sale' sign outside the hostel. Charlbury is one of fourteen hostels listed in the 1992 YHA Handbook as up for sale, and is currently enjoying significantly increased numbers of overnights. (Whether that is cause and effect is anybody's guess.) It seems crazy for the YHA to be disposing of an asset which is generating good revenue. Indeed, current YHA policy seems misguided to me. The management are trying to run the organisation too much like a business, and not involving the members enough in trying to solve their problems. There is a lot of goodwill there which could be tapped, but members are kept in the dark. Important issues are either ignored or merely hinted at with astounding brevity in the cosy "Triangle". Fortunately there is an independent "Save Charlbury YH" appeal in existence: I wish it success.
The Streeters arrived next morning, unloaded their bikes, and we all set off, in grey chilly weather, for our first day's ride. We had only covered three miles when disaster struck. Matthew over-reacted to a manoeuvre by Geoff in front of him, and Alethea, behind him, ran out of road. One shaken little girl had a bloody nose, a chipped tooth, a grazed knee, and worst of all, a hole in her new tracksuit trousers. What would Mummy say? "Blow that!", said Geoff, "We can easily buy you another tracksuit." With the damage patched up, finding elevenses to complete the consolation process became the priority. The next village, North Leigh, has a general stores (chocolate bars), a pub (hot drinks), and a disused windmill (not much use, but worth a quick glance).
After the children had managed to complete a game of pool without damaging the table, a few downhill miles took us to Witney, where the first pub had a blackboard outside, advertising lamb curry. "Ooh! Lamb curry!" was heard from several quarters, and immediately a question arose. Do you go into the first pub, or do you look at several and pick the one you like best? Lamb curry won the day, so we stacked and locked the bikes, trooped in, chose a table, sat down, bought the drinks, and waited for our order to be taken. Then the waitress came back. "I'm so sorry. There's no lamb curry left. Would you like to choose something else?" C'est la vie!
After looking round Witney, we set off along the Windrush valley to
Crawley, and then started climbing. Approaching the next fork, Matthew,
who was a little distance ahead, signalled right. I shouted and signalled
"Chris, are you sure this is the right road?"
"But that signpost said that Charlbury is to the right."
"Yes, but if we go that way we will get back to the hostel before it opens. Besides, that's the fast way that they send all the cars: it's not necessarily the best way for bikes."
After winding through lanes and the pleasant village of Leafield, we turned towards Wychwood and Charlbury. At the next junction we turned left.
"Chris, that signpost said Charlbury that way."
"Yes, Matthew, but this is a nicer road."
It was too. We twisted and dipped and climbed through Wychwood, the only extraneous sound being the song of birds. Another junction. Another signpost. "Chris ..." When will that child learn?
The next morning we cycled a few miles over the hills and then dropped down into the Windrush valley at Swinbrook, where we rode through the ford without mishap. A level valley road took us into Burford, where we obtained an excellent lunch at 'The Angel'. After looking round Burford we continued up the valley through Little Barrington and Great Barrington. It was all delightful. Picturesque cottages and elegant houses were presided over by stately manor houses, all in the soft honey-coloured Cotswold stone, in a tranquil setting of green meadows and willow trees beside the winding Windrush. We then had to climb out of the valley, only to drop down back into it after passing through Great Rissington on our way to Bourton-on-the-Water. An attractive town somewhat spoiled by tourism, it provided tea in a cafe where the quality had been depressed by the volume of passing trade. We were soon covering the final miles to Stow-on-the-Wold YH by way of the picture-postcard villages of Lower and Upper Slaughter and Lower Swell.
Stow YH is larger and more impersonal than Charlbury, but we were made very welcome by the relief warden in charge, who is a keen cyclist and an official in ESCA (English Schools Cycling Association). He told us all about trips to Holland, Belgium and Germany, and even pressed a copy of the 1991 ESCA Handbook upon us.
The Members' Kitchen at Stow YH is in an annex at the bottom of the garden. I sniffed as I headed that way with Will. "Somebody likes their bacon well done!", thinking the smell came from the hotel next door. Wrong! On opening the kitchen door it was just possible to discern human shapes moving about in the blue smoke pervading the room. A party of young Americans had finished burning their bacon, and were now busily engaged in tipping 'Mom's Pancake Mix' out of plastic bottles into their overheated frying pans. One of the joys of Youth Hostelling is the variety of people you meet!
Sunday morning was sunny and mild, in contrast to the preceding grey and chilly two days. Pottering through the lanes on a fairly direct route towards Charlbury led to a fine sense of well-being. This was increased by another good lunch in 'The Tite' at Chadlington. By about three o'clock we were loading up the cars, and then lingered over our goodbyes for a minute or two, reluctant to return to our everyday worlds.
I would like to express my heart felt thanks for all the kind letters and cards which I recieved following the death of my Father.
At the Crematorium it was especially touching to see so many Dads' friends helping to make the service a true celebration of his life awheel.
In Memory of Bill
Kath and I will always remember Bill when we both cycled regularly with the Wayfarers group in the 1970's. He seemed to cover many miles in a day without much effort, knew all the quiet lanes, and loved exploring rough tracks. We even managed to arrive late for tea one Sunday, despite being able to see the destination less than a mile away for at least an hour. After negotiating mud and nettles, much to the dismay of one member with a very smart tandem, we finally emerged to be thanked by some locals for opening up the path again !
Thank you Bill for these happy memories.
Kath and Keith Parfitt
Bill, our much loved and respected President, since 1955, has passed on and his Obituary will be published in the next issue of D.A. News delivered with the April / May edition of C.T.& C.
In mid 1935 it was my good fortune to be introduced to cycling with a group usually refered to as Woking C.T.C. and my first contact was made with Bill.
During that time, early in his married life, when he was unable to attend many Sunday runs, he rarely failed to come out to Gammon's corner in Chobham Road, Woking to meet new riders and accompany the ride to the second meeting place at Guildford or Chobham where he wished us well and returned to his home.
My curiosity was aroused as to who this chap was, obviously a good rider, well informed on all matters cycling, but he rode in a sports jacket, grey flannel trousers and cycle clips. This in the days of tweed knickerbockers ( Plus 4's ) and patterned stockings !
I soon learned that this was the fellow who, with two other founder members, had brought touring cycling to Woking in 1922 and by 1928 had formed the West Surrey D.A. A rider of no mean ability, who told tales of daily milages of more than 100 miles, carrying camping kit on dreadnaught cycles, with 28 x 1.5" wheels and tyres, in the early years. It also became clear that, in what appeared to my tender age of 17 years, to be his advanced years, he was capable of riding all day seemingly stopping only to refill and light his pipe. I still remember certain rides to the coast when, after spending too much time swimming and sun bathing on the beach, he would lead us back for tea at Arundel or Petersfield, then on to Guildford and Woking, setting just the correct pace, riding at the front and keeping us nicely lined up in pairs. The pain of getting myself back home to Walton on Thames, usually up the old Portsmouth Road from Guildford, on my 69" gear fixed wheel cycle is still vivid in my memory. Make no mistake, Bill was a very strong rider who could charm most of us youngsters to keep going by setting such a good example, keeping a sensible speed, which we could all manage, along routes continually interesting.
As time passed and family life took more of his time, we saw less of Bill, but on the occasional weekend he would accompany us to pass on further information from his knowledge of the countryside. Wherever we went, he seemed to have been there on some previous occasion.
Come the War, apart from a visit to his home to see a newly born Gillian, before going overseas, I did not meet with Bill again before the ending of the European conflict in 1945. From then on our meetings were infrequent, but together with other pre-war members we kept up a regular service of weekend trips, leaving most of the organising to Bill.
After becoming treasurer in 1961, my awareness of all the work which he had put in behind the scenes to maintain the DA affairs in good order, began to come clear to me and we must always appreciate this.
Over the years members have come and gone but he seemed to go on for ever, always there, always dependable, seemingly indestructable. Now he has gone from us but his memory will linger in the minds of those who rode with him and appreciate all he gave to us. He created and laid down the foundations of the DA as his gift for generations to come and it is for we who are left to pull together to ensure the opportunity for happy, friendly social cycling is for ever available in West Surrey.
Thank you Bill for everything,
There has been many times these last dark long winter months as I have browsed over a map or a guide book planning my next cycle tour, that my thoughts have drifted and I've recalled some of the happy times spent in the saddle. The bank holiday trip too the Isle of Wight , my tour in Scotland last year , my failed attempt at a 600km Audax event , completing my first 200km ride etc etc. Unfortunatelly this feeling of hapiness and contentment has not lasted long when I think of the state the club appears to have got itself into. I get the feeling that we are splintering into two factions or clubs. The general consensus that I seem to get is that we would all like to see more people out with the groups and a lot of people go too great lengths too achieve this. But will this effort go too waste , if these new members sense ; like I do; this feeling of discord within the club .
Now come on , lets get this discord sorted out, and get back to being a friendly and happy club again.
A very unhappy and disillusioned club member.
Since I wrote the letter above I have by chance discovered that some of our members are not getting ponits for the Attendance Cup. Please can one off the committee members explain this?
I thought we resolved this little matter at The A.G.M. or was I mistaken? Did I waste my time attending ? Am I wasting my time writing this letter? Am I wasting my time and energy cycling with West Surrey D.A.? Should I like some other members defect to another D.A? Is the grass greener on the other side ? Is there life on Mars?
Please , please , please can we sort this matter out?
A very, very unhappy and confused club member.
What follows is a brief resume of our wanderings during the year in
our quest to win the team competition. The lines will start with
the date of the event , then the distance , name of the event (if any)
and then the starting point. On the far right will be an accumulating
totaliser ( for you distance freaks ) . (With) this info I will
put the initials of the team members who actually stated the event , but
who in some cases didnt complete the event for one reason or another .
The distances listed will be in kilometres as that is how most of the events
were run in . I hope you will enjoy reading this article as much
as we have enjoyed competing in the DATC. Finally to the other six
members of the team , thankyou for allowing me the privilage of participating
with you , in what was to be a wonderful year.
( Initials = CA Chris Avery, CH Colin Harris, GS Geoff Smith, PH Phil Hampton, RP Roger Philo, NE Niel Evans, IP Yours truly )
|2nd||200kms 'Malvern Hills'||CA/GS/CH||Chepstow||600|
|10th||50kms||CA/CH/RP/NE/IP||Nr Heathfield East Sussex||850|
|23rd||200kms 'Tour of Exmoor'||CA/CH/GS||Minehead||1450|
|31st||150kms 'Three Counties'||CA/CH/GS/NE/RP/IP||Coulsdon||2350|
|7th||200kms 'Dorset Coast'||CA/CH/NE/RP/GS/IP||Wareham||3550|
|14th||50mls Club Comp||CA/CH/NE/GS/IP||Guildford||4550|
|21st||200kms 'Weald and Downland'||CA/CH/PH||Crockham Hill West Sussex||5150|
|27th||300kms 'Cheltenham 300'||RP ( did not complete pulled out at 230kms)||Cheltenham||5350|
|4th||400kms 'Brevet Cymru'||CA/PH||Seven Bridge||6350|
|12th||300kms 'Bernies Little Flat One'||RP/IP||Doncaster||7350|
|18th||600kms 'Seething 600'||CH||Seething Norfolk||7950|
|25th||60kms 'Green Roads of Lands End'||RP||Lands End Y.H.||8010|
|26th||100kms 'The Smugglers Trail'||RP||Lands End Y.H.||8110|
|27th||40kms Map Reading Comp||RP||Lands End Y.H.||8150|
|8th||600kms 'Byran Chapman Memorial'||CA/PH||Chepstow||9750|
|22nd||600kms 'Daylight 600'||CA/CH/GS RP/IP ( didnt complete did approx half)||Edinburgh||13150|
|6th||300kms 'Wilts Cycleway'||RP/IP||Southampton||13750|
|13th||400kms 'National 400'||RP ( didnt complete pulled out at 300km)||Lincoln||14050|
|21st||60kms Club Rough Stuff||CA/CH/RP/IP||Newlands Corner||14290|
|3-10th||200kms 'Birthday Rides'||RP||Hereford||14490|
|11th||100 kms 'Tour of the Hills'||CA/CH/PH/GS/RP||Newlands Corner||14990|
|25-29th||1200kms 'P.B.P. PARIS BREST PARIS '||CA/CH (not a DATC competition)||PARIS FRANCE|
|1st||60kms 'Dorset Dirt'||NE/IP/PH||Dorchester||15170|
|15th||100mls Club Comp||CA/GS/RP/NE/IP||Pirbright||16070|
|22nd||200kms 'Up the Downs'||CA/CH/NE/RP/IP||Gravelly Nr Reading||17070|
|29th||30kms East Kent Map Reading||CA/CH/NE/RP/IP||Faversham|
|6th||30kms 'Trycyclathon'||CA/CH/RP/IP||Nr Cranleigh||17190|
|12th||75kms 'Two Counties Tracks'||CA/PH/RP||East Wellow Nr Romsey||17340|
|13th||50kms East Kent Rough Stuff||CA/CH/GS/IP||WYE Nr Ashford Kent||17540|
|20th||100kms 'Cotswold Autumn'||CA/CH/GS/PH/IP||Charlbury Oxon||18040|
|27th||20kms East Surrey Hill Climb/Freewheel||CA/CH/GS/NE/IP||Coldharbour||18140|
That's all I hope , if I've missed anying out I apologise to those who took part.
Events Dates for the Benstead Challenge Cup Competition 1992
|APRIL||12th||50 mile reliability ride Jacobs Well Village Hall 3.5, 4, 4.5, 5 hours. ( Not for competition also a shorter ride )|
|AUGUST||16th||Tour of the Hills|
|SEPTEMBER||27th||100 mile and 75km reliability rides|
Eight hours later and I was getting of the train in Inverness. I searched out the Youth Hostel it being a bit to late to get cycling by this time. I rose early next morning eager to get on the road. After showering and breakfasting , I packed and loaded the bike, ready for the off. Stupid really as I had to wait for a half an hour to get my Y.H.A. card back from the warden. Anyway I did get my card and I was soon of. After only twenty minutes , I was leaving the town behind and entering the countryside . I joined the A862 and cycled westward alongside The Beauly Firth. As I cycled along in the sunshine , without what seemed a care in the world , my thoughts drifted I'm afraid , and I couldn't help but wonder how they were getting on in the office . But I soon banished all such thoughts and got on with admiring the scenary. After about three hours cycling I stopped to have a cuppa, not at any roadside cafe or anything but at the side of a babbling brook. with the birds twittering in the trees and the sun shining on my back ; pure joy. As I packed ready to get going again I watched a couple of cars towing caravans go by , and felt a little twitch of sadness for there occupants , encased in steel boxes missing the little things that we take for granted ; in that instance I knew why I was there on my trusty steed torturing myself climbing steep hills , cycle touring in a land with more sheep than people. I pressed on , continuing westward towards my goal for the day; Ullapool ; on the west coast . All to soon and I was entering Ullapool . As I coasted downhill into the town I spied the Stornaway ferry in the port and I wondered what the time was , as I had lost all sense of time on my journey over from Inverness . I was amazed as it was only 5pm and there was ½ an hour before the ferry was due to depart. So I did a quick pit stop to get some provsions and a ferry ticket and depated for The Hebrides 12 hours ahead of my schedule.
Three and a half hours later and I was pushing my bike up the ferry's ramp onto The Isle of Lewis. I headed out of the town , heading for an official campsite a couple of miles out of Stornaway. I found the campsite easily but not the owner , so I pitched the tent where I thought wouldn't be a problem and set about getting a brew going , having already eaten on the ferry. As I sat drinking my cuppa I studied the maps , planning my itinerary for the next day. I thought it was getting a bit chillier , and gazed around to notice a mist beginning to form , so as I was feeling a bit tired by now I thought I would get an early night and rest for the next day . Next morning I woke early again and noticed a distinct damp chilliness in the air. I poked my head out of the tent and couldn't belief my eyes , for during the night a sea mist had descended restricting vision to about fifty yards . I didn't hang about and got showered quickly , had a bite to eat and got ready to go. I still hadn't been approached for any payment for the pitch for the night and as I was feeling in a good mood I found a little plastic bag and put three pound in it and stopped at the owners house and pushed it through there letter box . I got going heading south towards the Isle of Harris . As I cycled along with my lights on , peering into the gloom , I was glad I had brought my fleece cycling top along as I needed it that morning. I didn't hang around , well I couldn't see much anyway, and I sooned covered the 25 miles to the theoretical boundary between the Isle of lewis and the Isle of Harris ; i say theoretical because if you look at a map of the area you'll notice these two islands are actually only one island , why the two names I don't know. Anyway you know when you get to this boundary because it gets distinctly hilly ; well mountanous really; you can't help but notice as this bloody great hill confronts you. You go from sea level to about 1100 feet in about a mile and a bit ; nice huh ; as you try a find a lower gear. Anyway as I was climbing another cyclist appeared from the other direction and as I gave him a cheery wave and hello , I thought , hello whats going on , as he was in shorts and a t-shirt . A hardy cyclist I thought but all was revealed a further mile up the road as I cycled out of the mist into brilliant sunshine. It wasn't long before I took my top of and I eased my pace as I could now see some of the scenary, and what scenary it was, superb. A bit like Snowdonia without the crowds. About four miles further on and I started to descend downhill towards Tarbert , the major town and ferry port for The Isle of Harris. As I came into the town I spied a cafe and decided to partake of a cuppa.
After my tea-break , I cycled on into the town found a shop and aquired a few more provisions and then cycled down to the ferry office too find out about ferry times and cost to North Uist. Although there is a direct ferry between Harris and North Uist it only runs direct two days a week and the next one was not for another two days , sod it I thought , but the man behind the counter said that I could make the journey by getting the ferry back over to Skye and then going on to North Uist, at the same cost as going direct . So I purchased a ticket for the next mornings sailing and headed out of the town . As I climbed out of the town , I came across a seat set on a grassy knoll overlooking the harbour , so I parked my bum and pulled out my maps and guide book to plan the afternoon. I read the entry in the guide for Harris and came across a chapter about St Clements Church at Rodel in the south of Harris , which is supposedly one of the architectural gems of The Hebrides , so seen as there was a Youth Hostel on route I decided I would visit the church and then come back up too the hostel afterwards.
I set of and soon left the town behind. After a few miles I left the main road and followed the unclassified road down the east coastline. I'd gone about 10miles and had just passed through a little village called Finsbay , when as I rounded a bend in the road , I came across a small river . I got off the bike and propped it up against the bridge and gazed into the peat coloured water and was amazed to see a fish , gently cruising under the bridge. After watching the fish for about five minutes I looked up and noticed a path running beside the river heading of towards the sea. I grabbed the bike and pushed it of the road onto the path. After a few yards I came across a convenient rock and propped the bike against it. I grabbed my camera and followed the path and after a few minutes as I rounded a rock outcrop I came across a flat peice of ground about 30 yards wide , covered with a grassy sward. It ran for about 50yds and ended at the waters edge, with a small drop down to a small beach of pebbles. I sat down just gazing around me at the scenary , in the distance across the sea I could plainly see the jagged peaks of The Cuillins , on Skye , to my right I could make out the shape of a mountain on North Uist. At that moment I decided I would come back to this spot and camp for the night. Later on after my visit to St Clement's at Rodel , I got back and made camp , I got out some spare guy ropes and balanced the bike upright and put out my sleeping bag to give it an airing . Whilst I had been doing this I had had the kettle on for a brew and whilst I was having a cuppa I dug out the few bits of fishing tackle I had with me and pulled my telescopic rod out from between the karrimat. Fifteen minutes later and I was beside the river trying to catch my supper. It was too easy and after only a few minutes I caught a small sea trout , too small to eat though , so I carefully unhooked it and put it back. Ten minutes later though I had my evening meal on the bank . I carried on fishing for about another half an bour , catching two more small fish . I cleaned and gutted the fish I had kept for my evening meal and then discovered it was to big to get in the pans I had with me ; but after thinking for a few minutes and not coming up with any alternative I cut it in two and fried them together. I had the fish with a couple of small tins of veg. and some bread and it was delicious. After I had eaten and washed up I went for a walk , following the coastline northwards. I took my binoculars with me in case I saw any birds (the feathered kind) on my walk. After a while I glanced at my watch , too see that it was getting on for ten p.m. , so I made my way back . I got back about ten forty five, and made myself a last drink before calling it a day. Twenty minutes later just as the sun was finally setting in the western sky , I crawled into my sleeping bag and quickly drifted into a contented sleep.
The next morning I awoke to the piping of distant seabirds and a golden sun , shining in a cloudless sky. For once I didn't rush. I had a leisurely wash and then had a simple breakfast . I took a few pictures and then bade farewell to my camp and a place that in such a small time I had grown to love , wishing all the time that I could stay for a while longer. I arrived back in Tarbert with an hour to spare for the ferry, so I disappeared into the cafe I had used the day before. After ¾hr I left the cafe and pushed my bike down to the jetty , just as the ferry appeared around the headland. Half an hour later I was on the ferry watching from the deck as the moorings were slipped and the engines gathered momentum propelling the ferry away from the jetty. As I watched Harris and Lewis recede into the distance I promised myself that I would return .
To be continued ...
So, refreshed with brews of special flavour reduced coffee (refills available on demand) and polyunsaturated cotton wool cakes we spun away down the Back of the Hog and peeled left down Thundery Hill, through Hobbit Country to the famous Tilford Oak, now sadly diminished in grandeur.
At Millbridge - ill-omened place - there is a cut-through where some pettifogging Planner has caused to be erected a NO ENTRY sign. No doubt the reader knows it well. To this day the sign forbids the weary traveller to pass on pain of frightful penalties.
The writer was lying second behind a Very Senior Member, whose identity I shall never divulge even under the most severe duress. The VSM, with that sangfroid for which he is famous launched himself past the obstacle like Jorrocks taking a high fence in pursuit of the uneatable. I followed with trepidation, disturbed by the vulgar braying of a motor horn astern, which sent a frisson through my sprockets.
A hundred metres on and we were passed by the Horn Blower in a car adorned with the blue and red side panels of the Law. He stopped. He got out. We waited, frozen on our saddles as he invited us to dismount in a tone that did not allow prevarication. Surprisingly he ignored the commanding figure of the VSM, whom he identified no doubt as a member of the squirearchy to be treated with circumspection and came in my direction with that unhurried step that speaks menace. No doubt identifying me as a member of the lumpenproletariat, a suitable object for the insertion of the official boot he fixed a cold, ungenial eye on me.
His manner was distinctly de haut en bas and mine replying perforce de bas en haut. I believe that when accosted by one of the Guardians of the Peace, and particularly when in flagrante one should adopt the "mea culpa" approach. Speak soft (an excellent thing in man as in woman), show deference and accept animadversions humbly, indeed gratefully as a penitent sinner come to judgement.
Several lacerating minutes followed while one watched with horror as the official hand strayed to the official pocket wherein lay the official notebook. At length however the great man withdrew, concious perhaps that lunchtime approached and returned to his car, uttering anathemas on miserable miscreants, who commit indictable misdemeanours on the Queen's Highway at lunchtime. I am sure the officer is a kindly man at heart, who walks his dog, spoils his children and buys his wife boxes of Milk Tray, but he left one very junior member with much deflated PSI.
The rest of the tale is anti climax. We repaired to the nearby hostelry, The Holly Bush to calm our nerves with generous potations and to endure the witticisms of those fortunate members, who saw Him before He saw them. Dear reader, should your wheels ever bring you to this doleful spot, spare a thought for those members who spent here a mauvais quart d'heure helping the police with their enquiries!
Acording to New Scientist magazine, Clive Sinclair's Zike, electric bicycle should soon be on sale. Clive Sinclair hopes to have it for sale in May, price £499.
What's the connection between STAR TREK and bicycles ? Well during the making of the origional series, the stars each had a bike to get them quickly around the large studio sets. Leonard Nimoy's was prone to dissappear !
The Making of (the TV Series) STAR TREK by Stephen E Whitfield & Gene Roddenberry Titan Books ISBN 1 85286 363 3
Imagine you were a diver deep below the sea, and you were offered a million pounds for your oxygen tank, would you take this short term gain and drown ?
As individuals we may feel anything that we do to change our life style would not make much difference. How many millions of people are thinking this ! Now if they all act there is a significant difference. Its not so hard either, support recycling schemes, buy products made from recycled materials, look at organic methods of garden pest control, collect rain and waste water for your garden ( and avoid drying out rivers ) use vegetable waste for compost, walk or cycle short journeys, use low energy light bulbs. For further information:
Friends of the Earth HOW TO BE GREEN by John Button Published by Century Hutchinson Ltd., ISBN 0 7126 3915 2
Local Group Grapevine, a news letter that brings Surrey's local environmental groups green information. Details from Sheila Roberts, Environmental Publicity Officer, Environment Unit, Planning Department, County Hall, Kingston upon Thames, KT1 2DT. 081 541 9454.
Friends of the Earth, 26-28, Underwood Street, London, N1 7JQ 071 490 1555
World Wide Fund for nature, Panda House, Weyside Park, Godalming, Surrey, GU7 1XR 0483 426 444.
The National Trust, 36, Queen Anne's Gate, London, SW1H 9AS.
LONDON TO CAMBRIDGE BIKE RIDE SUNDAY 19th JULY 1992
WWF Pedal for the Planet
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Web page by Chris Jeggo. Last revised: 10 March 2006.