"The West Surrey Cyclist" - January - March 1993

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Contents:

Front cover - very similar to Issue 1
Editorial - by David Nightingale
Presidents Notes - by George Alesbury
Intermediates in the Forest
Intermediate News - by Marguerite Statham
My First 600 - by Ian Parker
The Road to the Isles - by Ian Parker
To Ireland by Bike - by Marguerite & Harry Statham
Benstead Cup Result 1992
Events January - March 93 (the Runs List)
District Associations' Tourist Competition - by Roger Philo
Lothians DA Treasure Hunt - by Roger Philo
A page of 'Notes of a Nomad' by Frank Urry - copied from the March 1933 'C.T.C. Gazette'
The Club Run - by Ian Parker
Letter to the Editor - anon.
Surrey the Evergreen - by Bill Inder - copied from the June-July 1967 'Cycletouring' + a suggestion to repeat it in memory of Bill.
'Away' DATC and Other Events
Home Counties Rally 1993 (Farncombe) - request for helpers

Selected items transcribed from the original printed copy:


Editorial

This issue has an extreem space shortage.  The D.A. Committee page will be entered next issue, please contact a ride leader if you have any questions, thanks, sorry for any inconvenience.  Mag available on subscription, Ed, Tel 0483 725674.

NEWS AND NOTES........

The christmas dinner was a success, all went well.  38 attended at the 11.50 leaving time there were still 12 people there.  It will be repeated the same time next year.

On behalf of the DA the committee would like to thank Gillian and Hamish Smith for a donation of £120, which was the proceeds of the sale of a bicycle and some books etc, belonging to the late Bill Inder.  The Committee would welcome sugestions for an appropriate use for this money.

CONGRATULATIONS TO CHRIS AVERY AND THE TEAM.

INTERMEDIATES NOW ONLY WAIT 5 MINUTES.

DA cycling Jersey long or short sleeve versions.  Marguerite Statham will be putting in an order in, on the 17th Jan.  Let MS know if you would like one.  Tel 0483 763289.  Long sleeve £17, short sleeve less!

MID-WEEK WAYFARERS TOUR.......In June  Tues 8th to Thurs 10th.
Details later but we shall meet at the town end of RYDE Pier on the Tuesday an cycle to Shanklin for two nights.  On the Wednesday I shall be leading a coastal path walk.  Others are free to cycle if you wish.  On the thursday we shall return to Ryde via a different route and go home at about 6pm (or earlier) £5 deposit now please.  Marguerite on 0483 763289.

Daily Telegraph Sat 14th Nov 1992, Birthdays:  Bernard Hinault 5 times winner of the Tour de France, 38.

LADIES  LADIES  LADIES

Ladies weekend MAY, Sat 15th and Sun 16th.  Cost £15.25 B&B plus £8.50 - £10 for set evening meal.  Accomadation at DALE FARM GUEST HOUSE, MANOR ROAD, APPLEMORE, DIBDEN, SOUTHAMPTON, SO4 5TJ.  Tel. 0703 849632.  O/S map 196 392078.  Details to follow but the main objective of the weekend is to visit EXBURY GARDENS so we shall probably spend all Sunday morning there - including lunch.  On the Saturday we shall meet at either TOTON or BROCKENHURST Station so its up to you to get there on time!  I shall be going on the Thurs or Fri.  If you wish to book any extra nights please phone Mrs Archdeacom at Dale Farm Guest House.  Bye the way, I haven't forgotten the compulsory cream tea!  Only 11 places left so phone me now and then send me a £5 deposit, please.  Marguerite 0483 763289.

Thank you to the 'Sunday Group' for my presentation at the AGM.  It was very much appreciated.  David Nightingale.

Happy New Year to all from Ed.



 

Presidents Notes

27-11-92

1)  To those of you who came to the AGM, my thanks for confirming me as your President for the coming year.  An honour much appreciated.  However, I would like to make it clear that it is not my desire or intention to carry on indefinately, believing as I do that a younger person would better serve the DA in future years.  Also, although the office automatically makes me an ex-officio member of the committee, it would not be my wish to act in more than an advisory capacity.  Therefore, the lack of response to my request in the previous issue of the magazine, for more committee volunteers means that we have to manage with a committee of just four people.  Not enough to cover all the tasks which will arise during the year.  We require at least eight members to cover everything and a few volunteers would be appreciated, especially at the time of preparation for the Home Counties Rally.  If you wish to belong to a happy and efficient DA then come along and help to make it happen.  It's never too late to be co-opted onto the committee, where you would find the work can be very rewarding.

2)  With reference to the future arrangements for operating the individual riding groups within the DA, there would appear to be no insurmountable problems in providing the freedom of action requested by several people at the AGM, as the present Group structure of Hardriders, Intermediate, Wayfarers North (Woking), and Wayfarers South (Guildford) would seem to form a satisfactory basis on which to build and develop into the future.  For a start the committee will examine the situation along the following lines at the next meeting on the 11th Dec 92.

a)  It is unlikely to be necessary to go to the length of breaking up the DA into seperate Sections.

b)  Roger Philo will be asked to circulate early a list of proposed venues for elevenses and teas covering the next three month period.

c)  Each Group Leader will then produce a preferred Runs List, taking advantage where possible of the proposed tea venues in order that contact between groups may be maintained as and when convenient so that members be given the opportunity to meet rides in other Groups as frequently as possible.  Obviously the committee will need to keep an eye on the total programme to ensure a reasonable balance of runs is maintained across the DA but, providing a certain amount of good will and common sense is exercised, there should be no trouble and the Group Leaders rarely asked to make changes before the Runs Lists are printed.

3)  A very Happy and Prosperous New Year to my friends in the DA.  May you all get what you wish for most and continue in good health to enjoy the pleasures of cycling throughout 1993.

George Alesbury


Intermediates in the Forest

After their wet breakfast ride the Intermediates were very relieved to alight from the train at Brockenhurst in brilliant sunshine on October 4th.  We'd made an early start so we were cycling through the New Forest shortly after 9.30am.  There was very little traffic about and everything was very peaceful and quiet with ponies, cows and donkeys grazing at the side of the road.  We had coffee in a Hotel in Sway, the Ladies will remember it well, before moving on with David up front.  "This way", he said so we turned right at a T-junction then on round a left hand bend, round another left hand bend.  "This way", again as we turned left at a cross-roads.  I started grinning as we went around another left hand bend.  Jeremy and Roy joined in the giggles, then Helen and finally David had realised that we had successfully gone round a square!  David plonked the map holder onto Helen's bike, gave her the map and went to the back of the group!!  We still tease him about it.

Helen led us on to the Woolpack at Sopley for Lunch and the Forest Tea House in Burley for threes'is, before taking us back to Brockenhurst where we asked the driver of the train if he could wait while we loaded our bikes - talk about perfect (??) timing.

We had a lovely day and thank David and Helen.  The one disappointment was that only five people went - how about YOU joining us next year?

Marguerite  4/10/92


Intermediate News

The Int's had a meeting on Sunday 22nd Nov and I was elected as Leader for the next year.  My main aim is to "delegate" so watch out!!!

We have two modest train assisted rides during the next three months just to add a touch of variety in the worst months of the year.  Keep cycling when you can because you will need to be fairly fit in April, May and June when we have all sorts of "wild" ideas in the pipeline like a trip to France (sorry fully booked!);  car assisted ride;  train assisted ride;  50mile reliability ride;  Home Counties Rally;  Stonehenge 200 ride or marshall;  breakfast and coast ride on JUNE 27th;  a weekend away etc.  Any more ideas to me as soon as possible please.

We also have some informal coffee evenings, around Woking in addition to the Club meetings at Guildford.  Please come along to both, WW's;  W'S;  H's;  I's;  MW's;  and any other group welcome.  Let us know what social events you would like us to plan.  Pub and skittles is already being looked into, so is a trip to the Theatre?

Do come and join us on our Sunday rides.  Whether it is for coffee, or all day, we shall be pleased to see you.  Don't forget coffee and mince pies on Christmas Day from 10.30 am to 12 noon at David and Helen's, 17, Hawkswell Walk, Goldsworth Park.  Everyone welcome.  Our aim is to enjoy ourselves so bring a smile.  See you soon.

Marguerite    0483 763289

Dear Ed,  It is no longer safe for a lady to ride on her own in the dark in case she gets a puncture and has to walk.  So please could I remind all you gallant chaps to make sure that you escort all ladies as close to home as possible.  Many thanks.

Marguerite A. Statham


My First 600

For some obscure reason, I think it had something to do with gaining my Super Randonneur badge, (this being a badge awarded to Audax UK members who complete a 200, 300, 400 and 600 km events in the same year) Friday 26th of June found Chris, Roger and yours truly driving up to Doncaster, ready to do battle over the weekend on an event called 'Bernies Long Flat One' (no rude ideas or comments please).  A 600 km Audax event.  We arrived pretty late not having left my place until about 9pm, so as Chris and Roger disappeared into the MENCAP center, which was serving as event H.Q. over the weekend, I quickly engaged sleep mode on a karrimat in the back of the van.  I managed to get about four hours sleep but Roger as I was to discover later only managed a couple of hours and Chris, well his exploits in the sleep deprevation stakes are quite well known and shouldn't even warrant a mention.

Next morning we were up around five, frantically preparing for the six a.m. start.  As is often the case the time flew past and we hurriedly finished last minute things and joined the other 30 or so riders for the off.  We set off and I shouted a quick cheerio to Chris as he had made his desire to do a quick time apparent and I knew he would soon leave Roger and I behind.  Roger and I soon settled into a steady pace and was soon joined by another cyclist.  As we left Doncaster behind a tandem effortlessly passed us, so we took the opportunity of a tow and slipped in behind the couple, who were quite willing to forge the pace for our little group.  The kilometres slipped effortlessly past and after an hour and forty minutes we pulled into the first control at 40kms.  We took the decision to have a bite of breakfast here and after what seemed an age I tucked into bacon, egg, mushrooms and tomatoes, a couple of slices of bread and a cuppa, whilst Roger tucked into beans on toast.  After about forty minutes we set off again, hotly pursued by the tandem.  They quickly overhauled us, so we did what any self-respecting Randonneur does and jumped onto there back wheel, happy to be towed along again.  We soon swept up a further couple of riders and then another, swelling our little group to seven.  We were happily bowling along when we were checked by a secret control.  The tandem couple took an opportunity of a breather at this point so Roger, myself and one of the other riders thanked them for the tow and bade them farewell and set of again.  Roger and I were pushing the pace at this time, trying to get as much mileage done before the night was on us but our companion was not happy with the pace, so he bade us farewell and soon dropped off from us.  We pushed on, and were soon pulling into the next control at 106kms, it being around 11am by now.  We restocked on food and drink and set of again.  By this time the sun was well and truly up in the sky so we stopped to take a layer of, and I even bared my legs to the world.

We pressed on passing an endless succesion of power stations, fascinating places these, they draw your eyes from miles away.  We were bowling along quite well at this stage and was soon pulling into the next control at 170kms, it being 1.30pm by now.  We lunched at this point and suitably refreshed we set off on the next leg.  We pulled into the next control at 240kms at 5.45 pm, feeling a little bit tired by now.  We again had something to eat and drink here and I popped into the filling station next door to buy some goodies to sustain me through the coming night, we stopped here for about 45 minutes and then set off on the final leg back to the MENCAP center in Doncaster, the route being and in and out from there, in the shape of a three leaved clover if you can imagine.  We arrived back in Doncaster a few minutes before 9pm, pleased with our progress so far.  We had decided on the way in, that after having something to eat and drink, we would try to get forty winks before setting of on the next stage.  We found somewhere to rest and I soon dozed of, but Roger was not so lucky.

We left the center a little after 11pm heading south into the night.  Tiredness was making itself felt by now and it took us nearly four and a half hours to complete that leg, arriving at the control around 4am, we had now covered 376kms.  Again we spent about 45 minutes at this control before heading back north to Doncaster.  We didn't have to do much map reading on this return leg as it was just simply a reversal of the previous leg, but tiredness was now seriously affecting us, Roger more so than me.  I had gone through a bad patch just before dawn, which had lasted about an hour and a half, but now daylight was again with us I was beginning to pick up.  Roger though was feeling quite tired now and so we found a couple of bus shelters (the long distance cyclist friend) and had stopped for a short time in each so as Roger could catch a few zzzz's, although I enjoyed the short respites myself.  We arrived back in Doncaster just after 9am, 456kms completed.  We walked in to find a smiling and jovial Chris (swine), having completed his 600kms about half an hour before we arrived, completing his 600 kms in about 26 hours twenty minutes.  (Apologies if this is wrong - Chris)

We again attempted to eat something, myself finding rice pudding the easiest thing to push down my throat whilst Roger tucked into, well I think he had some beans on toast.  We dragged ourselves away from the comfy chairs and set off on the final stage's.  We went up through Selby to York,  I dont remember much about this leg as I think both Roger and I were on autopilot at this stage.  We arrived at the control in York around 1pm, now having 520kms completed.  After having our brevets stamped we set of on the penultimate leg to Knottingley.  On route we eagerly kept our eyes open for somewhere to get a cuppa and when a couple of riders came past us, I put on a sprint to catch them up to find out if they could give us any ideas.  As luck would have it they were locals (not in the event) and they gave me a couple of ideas.  I bade them farewell and dropped back to join Roger with the good news.  We found the first place they had suggested quite easily, it was a village hall with the local W.I. dishing up an assortment of goodies.  We had a refreshing drink and bite to eat and then continued on our journey.  We arrived in Knottingley past the coal mine, chemical works and the power station, to arrive at the control at 3.36pm with 556kms under our belts, only 34kms still to do.  We had plenty of time in hand still so we had a short break setting of on the last leg at 4.05pm.  We did not rush on this last leg and leisurely made our way back towards Doncaster, content in the knowledge that we were nearly finished.  We arrived back at the MENCAP center at 5.20pm, 35hrs 20mins after starting the event, 604kms under our belts.

We had a rest before setting of back home, quietly reflecting on the ride, happily recalling moments from during the ride.  I must admit that Roger and I were extremely tired and did actually doze on route whilst Chris did the driving.  But I for one, (and although I cannot speak for Roger or Chris I'm sure they would agree), was elated at having completed my first 600, especially after having abandoned on the only other time I had attempted a 600.

Having already completed a 300km and a 200km event, now all I had to complete for my Super Randonneur badge was a 400 km event, which I was to attempt at the National 400 during July being held for the first time in Scotland, which if I was successful would have a special meaning for me as it was in Scotland the previous year that I had abandoned my first attempt at a long distance event, that I mentioned above.

Ian


The Road to the Isles (Part 4)

I awoke next morning to the sun shining from a cloudless sky, with a slight breeze from the west.  After breakfast I packed what I would need for the day in one of my panniers and set of to explore the surrounding area.  I didn't have a set itinerary for the day.  I'd decided I would go wherever the roads took me.  I cycled east along the Spey Valley in the direction of Boat Of Garten, passing a wine shop specialising in whiskies, after looking in the window for a few minutes and being amazed at the vast amount of whiskies on display, I decided it would be prudent to come back here later in the day and maybe purchase a bottle or two.  I set of again and was soon passing the Rothiemurcus estate; quite well known in the mountain bike scene; and then saw a sign pointing to the RSPB reserve at Loch Garten; the home of the Ospreys; a visit seemed to be in order, so of I went.  After about an hours cycling I reached the reserve and spent about an hour there watching the Ospreys.  I didn't need my binoculars here because the RSPB have set up a closed circuit TV system to keep an eye on the birds and to give the public a better view of the birds; they've also thoughtfully supplied various telescopes and binoculars set on tripods and chained to the viewing hide for the public to use; all in all quite a slick presentation, it was nice to see the birds though.  As I said I spent about an hour at this part of the reserve but decided I would go back a short way and have a stroll through the surrounding forest, firstly to see if I could see a couple of birds to tick of my list and secondly I just felt a walk would be different.  So I found somewhere to chain the bike and strolled around the forest for about an hour and a half.  I saw the two birds I had wanted to see (for you ornithologists, they were the Scottish Crossbill and the Crested Tit) and headed back to the bike.  It was about midday by now, so I set of to find somewhere to have lunch, after about half an hour as I rounded a bend, there in front of me was another Loch, so I found somewhere near its shore and set the kettle on for a brew.  As I sat under the tree eating my rolls and having my brew one of the Ospreys flew over, carrying a fish in its talons, obviously heading back to its nest back at the reserve.  I didn't do much else that day apart from cycle around through the lanes, and got back to the previously mentioned wine shop about half four and spent around half hour here, tasting a few whiskies and eventually purchasing a few bottles, not for me though you have to realise!  I got back to the hostel just after five and spent the next couple of hours doing some washing and having a meal.  After my dinner, I took a walk into Aviemore and had a couple of drinks at one of the inns and then wandered back to the hostel, I certainly slept well that night.

The following day I awoke to another fine day and decided I would head south out of Aviemore and visit the other RSPB reserve in the area, Insh Marshes.  I was soon at the reserve, worth the visit but not as exciting as the previous days.  I had a quick word with the warden at this reserve, all during the time I had been in Scotland I had longed to see a Golden Eagle, he suggested I head up Glen Feshie and walk up Carn Ban Mor, one of the Cairngorms.  He said I might see one up there, but if not I was certain to see a couple of other birds I needed for my list.  So of I went and soon turned of the B road I was on, up Glen Feshie.  What a lovely ride it was, it went for about four miles, the main Cairngorms on my left, and some smaller hills on my right, there was a river running through the trees on my right with meadows flanking it and heather covered slopes running into the mountains on my left.  I eventually run out of road, so locked my bike to a post supporting the deer fence and walked up the mountain.  I didn't get to the top because the time was getting on and I had dallied to much on my way up, looking at the scenery.  I didn't see my eagle but I did see Ptarmigan and Dotterel.  I wandered back to the bike and looked at my watch, surprised to see that it was nearly six, time had seemed to fly that day.  I had a leisurely ride back to hostel, arriving about seven.

Day three saw again the sun shining.  I left the hostel, it being Thursday and I had to be back at Inverness that night, ready to catch the early morning train on Friday.  I had decided the previous night that I would visit the battlefield at Culloden, which was on route back to Inverness.  After about three hours riding through the lanes, I arrived at the battlefield.  After finding somewhere to lock the bike, I visited the visitor centre to find out a little about the battlefield and its history.  I then spent about an hour wandering around, and sitting in the sun just taking in the views, south to the Cairngorms and north looking out over the Moray Firth.  I could have sat there for hours.  But I decided I better get moving, so I wandered back to the visitor centre and had a quick cuppa before setting off back into Inverness.

I arrived at the hostel a little after six pm having covered a total of 525 miles for the twelve days.  I had visited 5 of The Outer Hebrides islands and The Isle of Skye, travelled through parts of The Highlands, seen numerous new birds to add to my list, been blessed with marvellous weather and met some very nice people.  All in all a holiday to be remembered.  The effort in getting there had been worth it and the trip has certainly cemented my love of the region.

Ian

P.S.  A few of us are making provincially plans to visit the region late May, early June 1993.  If your interested in joining us, give me a call (0784 462246)


To Ireland by Bike

On Wednesday 14th October we caught the 7.20am train from Woking to Waterloo, cycled across London in the "rush hour" and boarded the 9.05am from Euston to Holyhead.  This train was almost empty but BR had double booked one of our seats so Harry had an American Lady sitting on his knee!

The boat trip was smooth and at Dun Laoghaire the Lady in the tourist office found us a suitable B&B where both the water taps had red tops with H on them.  We really felt that we had arrived in Ireland.  The next morning Harry had to replace a broken front changer cable.

Harry then writes:-  I've ridden from Waterloo to Euston and Dun Laoghaire to Dublin and the traffic is much more considerate than Guildford.  The leader has only been lost once and that was because the scale of our map did not include all the odd roads out of Kildare (we came train assisted from Dublin to Kildare).  I insisted on a right turn out of Kildare (home of the Currah Racecourse) on the basis that the water shown on the map could now be dried up - it hasn't rained yet and we've been here two days!  My first error took us down a long, long lane that came out on the N7 Limerick road so we just had to battle with the 'heavies' the 12 miles to Port Laise.  I was very weary having covered 45.53 miles fully loaded.  The manager of the Regent Hotel invited us to bring our bikes through the front door and put them in the ballroom.  He was very efficient.  Marguerite was very hungry that evening and ate all the 'left over' chips.

Todays lessons have been that one is never too late for a train in Ireland.  We waited 15 minutes on the Kildare train while they changed the engine.  A lady opposite said to her companion "that Limerick train is late leaving", as a train left from the next platform.  That was the one we originally wanted but we were too late!!!

Also if you go cycling in Ireland get yourself some decent O/S 0.5" maps (from CTC HQ).  Don't try and work off the Michelin road maps.

M now continues:-  We had a very comfortable night last night and left the Hotel in plenty of time to catch the train to Tralee.  We found Tralee very busy with too many cars and people, so had a quick cafe lunch, bought another O/S map and headed for Castleisland where my brother and his family live.  We arrived at about 4pm and didn't stop chatting until midnight!

H continues:-  On Saturday M's brother took us out for a family ride to Farranfare Airport where we watched the (one of the day?) Air Lingus Dublin Shuttle smooth into the sky.

On Sunday we left Pete and his family at Castleisland and, sustained by Mary's cooking, climbed 1000ft north over the Stacks Mountains to Listowel for lunch.

I walked a lot, and so did M once she realised I might get stuck in a BOG beside the road.  After lunch we carried on to TARBERT where we caught the car ferry that crosses the river Shannon to Killimer.  Here we were welcomed to "County Clare".  After a quick cup of coffee we cycled on the five miles to Kilrush.

We'd been on numerous byeways today.  Very quiet roads used by lots of cows going for milking so I've been busy washing the slurry off Phil's panniers that I borrowed!

It's now Monday morning and I've more or less had it.  M is up before me today - the first unscheduled time in our lives - there was no cup of tea for her today.  Part of the reason for my tiredness was a dog barking for his freedom all night.  The great majority of dogs in Ireland appear to be out and about communicating with one another (and cyclists!) and have a lot of street cred.  We did see a cat that had misjudged the traffic but no dogs.  I once had my shoe felt by an Irish Collies teeth and he in turn felt my shoe!  On passing the isolated farms and bungalows part of the joy (?) is the welcome each cyclist receives from the canine occupants.

I had a pint and a sandwich at CRANNY.  We have discovered that if a place is named on a sign post it usually has a shop and most shops are cafe's and dispense the black stuff.  Feeling better - me that is (this leader does not flag) - we pressed on to ENNIS (rhymes with 'you know what') which is the county town of Clare.  It's a nice old town where we managed to find an excellent meal before collapsing into bed in a very comfortable 'private' B&B.  Our bikes were put in a shed "guarded" by two fluffy chickens called shiners.

It's Tuesday today and we've had it cold and clear with clouds and sun all day, although there has been a head wind with the going firm.  We kept to country lanes - some secondary roads have grass down the middle.  We are heading for KINVARA on the south side of Galway Bay.  I might get to see the sun go down on it yet as the 'old groaner' (Bing Crosby) used to say.  KINVARA is a friendly little bobbing seaside village with nowhere near so many boats on the water, at anchor, as say Chichester!  (My little joke, there were only two!)

Today was an exception but a reminder that on our tour you should always carry some food as our midday shop stocked bread and cakes, but no pork pies and no Guinness!!  My guess is that there are pockets of the countryside where the population is very sparse that fortification against the tide of humanity is not required!  Tonight we've stopped in KILCEAN which is about 10 miles short of Galway.  I've been getting further and further behind and as I'm in charge of the socialising side of the tour I have chosen this B&B.  The host is a seller of electric bits and a TV repairer;  his wife runs the B&B;  his son has a video shop and his daughter a hair salon all under the same roof.

A lot of place names start with 'Kil'.  I haven't been able to find out the gaelic meaning but suspect it's 'hig point' or 'wet point' or just maybe a place where meat was taken by early settlers?  Maybe you know?

Earlier on we had a cup of tea in a nearby bar where there were two old Irishmen.  The only one I could understand had spent his early days on construction in London.

On Wednesday we arrived in Galway and booked two nights B&B in the only house left in a street of shops in the old part of the town.  It's a narrow three storey stone built house and we're on the second floor!  It's very comfortable but street noises carry on until midnight.  There is much music in the streets here, sometimes from overhead tannoy systems and mostly Irish jingles.  It's the same in the bars and restaurants.

During the tour I've found two pocket shirts handy as there are so many items to carry like tickets, money, pen, glasses, plastic money keys etc.  (By the way English money is not welcome and English cheques cannot be used anywhere - however VISA can be used.)

M. Continues:-  On the Wednesday afternoon we went for a walk around Galway City and saw most of the shops and crossed two or three canal bridges before we found the cathedral.  It is built on the site of an old jail and there is a cross in the car park which indicates the exact spot of the old gallows.

On Thursday we had an early breakfast and were at the information office at 9.15 am waiting for our coach tour of Connemara.  My Mother had said "you must go to Connemara", so we thought that a bus would make much easier work of the mountains!  We travelled on the coastal road for a while before stopping at Staunton's Sweater and Souvenir (and coffee) shop in Spiddal.  After that we saw many features left by the early settlers like numerous stone walls around very small fields and the remains of tiny houses with only one door and one very small window.  We also stopped to take a picture of an immaculately kept house which is over 300 years old.  We then motored on across the Inagh Valley which seperates the Twelve Bens and Maam Turk Mountains and on to Kylemore Abbey where we stopped for lunch.  The Abbey is now a girls school - some boarders - and is run by Benedictine Nuns.  The large stone built impressive building is nestled right up against a mountain with a lake in front, surrounded by more mountains.  Beautiful on a good day but really desolate and bleak most of the time I imagine.

Then past more mountains, lakes and peat bogs, we drove around the grounds of Ashford Castle which costs anything from £175 - £375 for a room (only) for one night.  There was an EEC flag flying in the grounds and we were not surprised to hear that President Reagan had stayed there.

We then stopped in CONE for tea and were told that the whole village had been used in the filming of "The Quiet Man".  We arrived back in Galway at about 5pm.  Mother was right - Connemara had been well worth a visit and it has given us an appetite for more - maybe even with the bikes!  No pedal miles today - bliss.  The slurry on Phil's panniers is congealing nicely!!  Better buy him a pressy!  We arrived in Dublin at about 2.15pm and I said that I wanted to cycle down O'Connel Street (Dublin's Regent Street!).

After negotiating our way through Dublin, cycling into Guildford, from now on will almost be a pleasure.

Friday night was our "celebration" night as we had achieved all we'd set out to do, so we were once again 'en-suite' with TV and phone with a window overlooking Dun Laoghaire Harbour.  The next morning we had to empty our pockets of Irish money, plus £5 English, to pay for the luxury.  It was well worth it.

At 9am on Saturday morning we were sailing for Holyhead where we had lunch before catching the through train to Euston and so home.

Marguerite and Harry Statham     October 1992.


Benstead Cup Result 1992

(Transcriber's note:  this page had photocopied badly and the first few scores were barely readable.)
 
1 Chris Avery ? 376 ? 44 John Harper 50.00
2 David Pinkess ? 351 ? 45 Harold Coleman 50.00
3 Roger Philo ? 338 ? 46 Russel Smith 50.00
4 Helen Pinkess 308.08 47 James Harper 50.00
5 Paul Brown 306.44 48 Barry Annis 50.00
6 Simon Jones 299.38 49 Dave Johnson 50.00
7 Ian Parker 274.39 50 Ron Stearn 50.00
8 Geoff Smith 250.91 51 Rupert Chase 50.00
9 Phil Hampton 241.19 52 Mike Hughes 50.00
10 Jeremy Dowling 237.93 53 Colin West 50.00
11 Marguerite Statham 205.45 54 Robert Page 50.00
12 Alan Holbrook 179.51 55 George Upton 50.00
13 Richard Body 166.67 56 George Porter 48.48
14 Ken Bolingbroke 153.33 57 Chris Greening 42.42
15 Rory Fenner 146.28 58 Chris Jeggo 40.91
16 Keith Parfitt 135.16 59 Roger Huxtable 40.91
17 Roy Richardson 130.00 60 Alan Darling 37.88
18 Paul Holmes 129.83 61 J. Ames 37.88
19 Clive Richardson 127.27 62 Ghislaine Hamilton 34.85
20 Nick Higgin 124.24 63 John Widley 33.33
21 Bert Bartholomew 122.73 64 M. Tunelty 30.30
22 Roy Banks 110.61 65 J. Rushmer 30.30
23 Geoff Taylor 103.94 66 Bob Hannington 30.30
24 Roly Masset 100.00 67 Fiona Davies 30.30
25 Sue Heywood 81.82 68 Helen Juden 24.24
26 David Nightingale 80.30 69 Amy Juden 23.64
27 Les Houlton 78.79 70 Ann Greening 21.21
28 Colin Harris 74.24 71 Kath Parfitt 20.00
29 Carol Taylor 71.21 72 Tracy Mordey 18.18
30 J. Davies 71.21 73 Dave Whittle 18.18
31 Phil Hamilton 68.18 74 Timothy Cassell 18.18
32 Geoff Davies 67.58 75 Jan Kelly 17.58
33 Harry Statham 66.06 76 T. Davies 12.12
34 Paddy Shea 65.15 77 Matthew Juden 12.12
35 Sue Hamilton 65.15 78 Barry Anderson 10.00
36 Chris Juden 64.55 79 Mandy Daunt 10.00
37 Gill Muir 62.12 80 Kate Brett 10.00
38 Bob Crosby 61.52 81 Jo Garrick 10.00
39 David Garrick 60.00 82 W. Parrott 9.09
40 Isobel Crosby 58.48 83 J. Williams 7.58
41 John Cordery 54.55 84 R. Harper 7.58
42 D. Wrathall 50.00 85 Claudia Whittle 3.03
43 Doreen Lindsey 50.00 86 Joan Robinson 1.52


District Associations' Tourist Competition

Readers of Dec-Jan DA News or our DA's Annual Report may have noticed that West Surrey won the District Associations' Tourist Competition (DATC) team event again this year.  Our star rider was once again Chris Avery, who won the individual prize, with the maximum possible score of 110, reversing last year's result by pushing Kim Suffolk into second place.

The DATC is open to all CTC members and all riders in eligible events will be regarded as entered in the DATC.  The list of eligible events appears in DA News or can be obtained in early March from CTC HQ or the DATC co-ordinator.  The scoring system is not entirely straightforward and in outline works like this.  Events are divided into 6 categories:  (a) 30 - 79 miles/ 50 & 100km;  (b) 80 - 119 miles/ 150km;  (c) 120 - 179 miles/ 200km;  (d) 180 miles and over/ 300, 400km and over;  (e) Map readings, Sports Days, National Tourist Event etc (our Tricyclathon falls in this category);  (f) Rough Stuff standard rides.  For non-competitive events (categories a - d and f) 10 points are given for each successfully completed event with a deduction of 2 points for each duplicated event (so a second 50 mile ride would score 8 and a third 6, further events in the same category also score 6).  In competitive events (category e) 12 points are awarded for a place in the top 10%, 11 for top 10 - 20%, 10 for top 20 - 30%, and 9 for any other placing, with a deduction of 1 point for each repeat event.  In all categories an extra 1 point is given for riding "away" events, ie events not organised by your own DA, only 5 of your own DA's events can count towards your total, and only your 10 highest scoring events count.

The DATC was intended to encourage CTC members to ride events organised by other DAs.  Some think it has been too successful at this, reducing the numbers of people riding their own DA's normal Sunday rides and adding to motor traffic as people drive about the country to take part in away events.  My view on the second point is that charity events, Audax rides and the trend to mountain biking contribute a lot more to increased traffic than DATC events and on the first that this may be true, but it is not a fair comment in the case of our DA, as 4 of our DATC team of 6 were also in the top 10 of our Sunday attendance competition.

This year's team intend to try and ensure that West Surrey win the team Trophy for a third year and hope to encourage more of our DA's riders to enter DATC events, including some away events.  This raises a question.  One view is that riders on away DATC events are riding for the DA and should be given points in our Sunday attendance competition for these rides.  An opposing view is that the attendance competition is about riding in our DA rides, not those of other DAs.  I take a middle view.  I see no reason why our programme of rides should not include rides outside our DA area such as train or car assisted rides or weekend tours.  If these are listed on our runs list then those riding them should score points in our attendance competition.  That some of these rides may be DATC events organised by other DAs is irrelevant.  For the Hardriders I propose to list one such away ride a month.  The team will in fact be doing more away rides than this but I hope to be able to list in this magazine the other away events we plan to ride.  We would like others to join us, if only as insurance against injuries to team members.  This year Phil Hampton broke his collar bone on a ride in September but fortunately recovered quickly and was able to ride Southampton DA's roughstuff event and our own Tricyclathon, finishing with 102 points in the DATC.

The team prize goes to the DA with the highest aggregate score for 6 of its riders.  This score is the total for each DA's 6 highest placed riders at the end of the season, so the team members do not have to be specified at any stage.  It is relatively easy to score 101, for example 2 away rides in categories a, b and c, one away ride in categories d and f and 2 bottom 70% placings in away category e events.  Most of our Intermediate and Hardriders groups should have little trouble with the category a, b and c events.  The shortest category d events are 300km rides, Southampton DA's Wiltshire Cycleway 300 is one of the closer and easier 300km events.  The 300 from Doncaster is flatter but starts at midnight so you may find yourself falling asleep on the bike, I did.  The Southampton 300 starts at 06.00 so slower riders like me need a lighting system that allows them to ride the lanes between Salisbury and Romsey in the dark with some confidence.  Longer events in category d will almost certainly involve missing a nights sleep with an overnight ride, although many of these events offer places to sleep if you have time to use them.  To those who do not like roughstuff I recommend Southampton DA's Two Counties Tracks for their category f event.  Only half is off road and most of that is not too difficult, although it can be very muddy in places.  Category e contains a wide variety of competitive events:  map reading competitions, treasure hunts, composite events with various combinations of hillclimb, freewheeling, pacejudging, obstacle course, slow bicycle ride etc, and tourist trials.  Only if you want to be in the DATC top 10 placings do you have to be any good at these events, otherwise just competing in 1 or 2 will suffice.

In 1992 I completed 23 DATC events (just beaten by Chris Avery's 24) but the 10 which actually counted towards my final score of 105 were, selecting the shortest where there is a choice:  (a) Cornwall 100km, West Kent 50 mile;  (b) Lincoln 150km, Birthday Rides 150km;  (c) Marlow 200km, Birthday Rides 200km;  (d) Cheltenham 300km;  (e) Cornwall 60km roughstuff;  (f) East Kent map reading, West London map reading.  These 10 amount to about 850 miles cycled.

The DATC does not start until March but we plan to do some pre-season warm up events.  These are:  Sat 20th Feb. Cotswold Corker, 100km hilly ride;  Sat 27th February Malvern Hills 200km from Chepstow.  We also plan to do 3 events in March which may be DATC events but we will not know this until Feb March DA News appears.  These are:  Sat 6th March, Lincoln 150km;  Sat 20th March Cheltenham 200km;  Sunday 28th March 200/135/50 km rides from Marlow.  If you would like to join us for any of these events, please contact me for further details.

I hope to be able to find the time and enthusiasm to report in this magazine how our DA's riders get on in the 1993 competition, assuming the editor is willing to print more articles like the one about the Lothians DA treasure hunt.

Roger Philo


Lothians DA Treasure Hunt

As Simon, Chris and I were returning from the West London DA map reading competition I suggested that if we really wanted to maximise our chances of scoring more points in the DATC we should go up to Scotland for the Lothians DA treasure hunt.  The response was distinctly unenthusiastic and I was not entirely serious about the idea myself.  A few days later I found out that British Rail were doing London - Edinburgh Super Apex returns for £29.  At that price a round trip of about 900 miles for one event didn't seem so silly.  I phoned for details and found that as well as the hillclimb/freewheeling event on the day after the treasure hunt there was also a party in the evening.  So I booked my Super Apex return and cycle reservations.  By the time I got the entry form for the event, which was for teams of two, I knew that Kim Suffolk was also intending to enter and was also without a partner.  Under other circumstances I would have been happy to partner Kim, if only because he is very good at this sort of event and I would have stood a better chance of winning.  However, at that time Kim and Chris Avery had very close total DATC scores and I didn't want to be the other half of a team that might give Kim victory over Chris.  I explained in a letter to the organiser, Jim Brown, that I would like him to try and find me a partner but I would have a conflict of interest if partnered with Kim.

I had booked on the 06.00 from Kings Cross on Friday, returning on the 19.00 on Monday.  On Thursday I went in to the Travel Centre at Guildford to check that there was still a train at about 04.00 to Waterloo.  The answer was yes, at 03.52, and no I wouldn't have any trouble taking a bike on it.  So I got up at 02.00 on Friday morning, left the house about an hour later and got to Guildford station at 03.25, to find an announcement on the monitors that the 03.53 would be a bus to Woking station.  BR's rules for taking bikes on trains are complex and variable but on one point they have been consistent, they don't take bikes on connecting bus services.  Still, I had about 20 minutes start on the bus so I had no difficulty getting to Woking station before it did.  The reason for the bus link was of course engineering work between Guildford and Woking, but why hadn't the Travel Centre told me about it the day before?  Even Central London has relatively little traffic at 5 in the morning, so no trouble cycling from Waterloo to Kings Cross and plenty of time to get the bike on the train and find my seat.

The train got in to Edinburgh on time, just after 11.00.  Navigating out of Edinburgh was tricky because the map I had bought for the Treasure Hunt only showed the extreme west of the city, so I ended up leaving on the main road to Glasgow until I got to where my map started.  Not much fun.  The rest of the ride to Linlithgow was very pleasant, although cold and occasionally wet.  All the B&Bs listed at the Tourist Information Centre were full, so I went to see Jim Brown for his list of B&Bs.  Two phone calls and I found a vacancy at a farm a mile or so outside Linlithgow.

Saturday started bright and dry and probably not cold by local standards and stayed that way.  The Treasure Hunt started at Linlithgow Cross and Jim had found me a partner, his wife Aileen.  I was a little confused at the start of the competition, mainly because the rules explaining how it worked were sitting on my doormat when I got home on Tuesday.  However, Aileen knew what she was doing and solved the first location clue OVERLOOKING A DAMP HOLLOW, HAS LOST ITS ROOF, very quickly.  It was Linlithgow Palace, only about 100 yards away.  The reasoning behind this clue eluded me until Jim explained later the meaning of the name Linlithgow.  Now I had thought Linlithgow Loch quite a scenic spot so the Brythonic speakers who had named it "lake in the damp hollow" must have been a fairly practically minded lot.  Incidentally, Linlithgow Loch is therefore another bilingual pleonasm like River Avon, of which there is also one not far from Linlithgow.

At the Palace the first task was to find a letter on a piece of card after being given a clue to its location.  Aileen found this after two or three minutes.  The next location clue was SWEET ROCKS OUT OF TOWN, WATCH THIS.  I had been studying the map the evening before so I got this one fairly quickly, Beecraigs.  The system was that when you thought you had solved the clue, you told the marshal, who didn't let you set off until you got the right place.  Jim said later that this approach needed a lot of marshals but meant you didn't lose anybody.  Well, that was the theory.  In fact, when Aileen and I got to the spot marked Beecraigs on the map, after a steep climb out of Linlithgow and a shorter descent, there was nobody there.  I suggested at this point that the final part of the clue, WATCH THIS, perhaps meant we were supposed to be at the Beecraigs Visitor Centre.  So it was back up the hill to the carpark of the Visitor Centre, which was where the next pair of marshals were.  Fortunately the delay was not important as only the time taken to solve the destination clues affected the score, not how long you took to cycle there.  I did suggest, tongue in cheek, to Aileen that we complain to the organiser about being misled by the marshal at the Palace.  She said she had better complain directly as the marshal in question was her mother.  Another hidden letter clue which took us two minutes to find, then a destination clue to the kennels at Threemiletown which we got almost immediately.

At Threemiletown Aileen found the letter clue in about two minutes and I tried to mislead one of the other teams searching for the letter by running back to the marshal from the wrong place.  Unfortunately the next destination clue BILL CLINTON'S HOME TOWN, THE BIG ONE defeated both of us.  At the end of the allowed 5 minutes we were given the maximum 5 penalty points and told the answer:  Hopetoun House.  Then I remembered that Bill Clinton came from a town called Hope.

The clue for the letter at Hopetoun House was THESE ARE NOT HILLS.  Aileen went to investigate the speedhumps while I looked at signs with arrows, as in 1 in 5 to 1 in 7 on Landranger maps.  Unfortunately there were a lot of signs with arrows and it took me 2 minutes to find the right one.  We collected another maximum 5 penalty points on the destination clue FALLING APPLES HERE which was Newton.  I nearly skidded off the bike on the way out of the Hopetoun House grounds trying to disguise the direction in which I was leaving from an incoming pair.

At Newton the letter clue LONG WAIT IN LITTLE HUT sent Aileen up the road to one bus shelter and me across the road to another.  Aileen found the letter quickly and the destination clue FLAMING PIGS did not delay us long either.  At Swineburn the letter clue was better hidden but Aileen found it eventually.  The next destination clue WELL-BRED PEOPLE HERE we solved very quickly as Aileen had already incorrectly guessed at Mannerston as an answer to an earlier clue.

It was now about 12.30 and Aileen was starting to work out where lunch could be and concluding that it must be at the Hamlet tearooms in Blackness.  So at Mannerston I solved the letter clue POST BY POST very quickly having caught sight of a postbox through the bushes after setting off in the wrong direction and had worked out what the destination clue DARK PROMONTORY was going to be before I saw it.

Lunch saw all 9 teams and the marshals in the Hamlet tea rooms together, which slowed the service down a bit.  As we were finishing lunch Jim produced his "Scavenger List", 20 items we were supposed to collect before we got to the finish.  Some were easy, eg something published in Southampton, others were a matter of luck as to what you were carrying and I had a rail ticket and a Welsh sovereign (the £1 coin with the leeks on it) and Aileen supplied pictures of Edinburgh Castle and Robert Burns on Scottish bank notes.  The only item which defeated us was HE SAILED IN 1492 - HAVE YOU ANY OF HIS TUBING.  A check on the bikes at the finish revealed no Columbus tubing at all, although one enterprising competitor was given the point for a leaflet on Columbus tubing which she had collected from a bike shop on the afternoon route.

After lunch it was round the corner to look for another letter clue.  We were supposed to make a note of each letter and solve them as an anagram at the finish.  At this stage I was wondering if this would be Tucson, Arizona but the next letter clue, a Y, destroyed this theory.  Aileen solved the next destination clue despite my unhelpfully pointing out that FORMER RED LEADER was not necessarily Neil Kinnock, so it was off to Kinneil House.  Here we found the letter with a piece of teamwork.  Aileen was looking around the gateposts, where I had already looked, when I saw the card on the other side of a post she was looking at, which was too far away for me to read.  I didn't work out what the clue for that letter, ? OF THE ESTABLISHMENT, meant until about 10 minutes after we had ridden away towards our next destination, the steam railway at Bo'ness.

Here the letter clue BO DEREK'S NUMBER was easy, the letter was on the back of a 10 mile an hour limit sign, and the clue for Carriden, which I don't remember, didn't take long either.  At Carriden Aileen found the letter inside a minute, as had most other teams, and it was more team work as we grappled with LOTS OF THESE IN THE TUC, BARGES ON IT, OLD THINGS KEPT HERE.  I worked out Union Canal and Aileen knew there was a museum on the canal in Linlithgow.  At the museum the clue was 1837, which I thought might be the year the canal opened until I saw a barge called Victoria and realised it referred to the year of Victoria's accession to the throne.  The final destination clue was to 50 Highfield Crescent which Aileen solved before I saw it, well, she does live there.

So back to the finish, tea, and the clue for the anagram, FORGET OZ THIS IS OUR TWIN TOWN.  This meant, cross out the O and Z in the list of letters we had collected, and solve the remaining anagram.  To some of this magazine's readers the answer will call to mind pain, suffering and achievement.  I didn't ride Paris - Brest - Paris last year but Jim had pointed out in the info for this year's National 400, which I did ride, that Linlithgow was an appropriate choice of starting place as it was twinned with Guyancourt, the Paris end of PBP.  So the name Guyancourt leapt off the page at me as soon as I had crossed out the O and Z.  The overall result was slightly disappointing, 3rd with 39 points, 4 behind Kim Suffolk and Bob Corner.  If only I had remembered where Bill Clinton came from.  On the other hand Aileen would have found it embarrassing to win a contest set by Jim.

I phoned Chris on my way back to the B&B to tell him what we both thought was the bad news.  It later transpired we were wrong.  Peter Jackson applies the rule about 12 points for a top 10% result with mathematical exactitude, 1st out of 9 is calculated as 1/9 or 11.1%, so Kim only got 11 points for winning.

After a bath and a change of clothing it was back into Linlithgow to buy a bottle of wine before going to Jim and Aileen's party.  Jim has an enormous collection of 60's singles, all genuine vinyl, none on CDs.  The party was fairly quiet, until some of Jim's friends arrived at about 11.30, by which time I was getting sleepy, not having entirely recovered from Thursday nights 2 hours sleep.  Still, it did give me a chance to talk to some of the other competitors in the Treasure Hunt, who I had only seen briefly as we chased around during the day.

Sunday was cold and occasionally wet, and as I had expected, I did very badly in both the hillclimb and freewheeling.  I also admit to a malicious comment as Kim was counting the number of entrants arriving, when he concluded there were enough, I said "Now all you've got to do is win". He actually came 4th.

Aileen had suggested I ride a (well-surfaced) track round Loch Katrine on Monday, but this looked a bit energetic for a short winter's day so I settled for a loop south towards Lanark, east towards Peebles and back into Edinburgh for the train home.  The train was 32 minutes late getting into Edinburgh, and after stopping in Newcastle for the police to remove a couple of drunks, it was still 32 minutes late at Kings Cross.  So instead of 42 minutes to get off the train and across Central London to Waterloo for the last train to Woking, I had 10.  This proved not quite enough so I cycled back to Guildford.  I had never really appreciated before that the built-up area around London, and its street lights, extends to within 3 miles of my home, to Mayford Green in fact.  I didn't really want an urban night ride in the rain, but I can't complain under the Passenger's Charter, the train was less than an hour late, and BR would not consider my original plan a connection anyway, the timetable says to allow an hour to get between London mainline terminals.

If Jim runs the Treasure Hunt again next year I shall do it if time and finances allow.  Its fun and an event I could win.  Anybody else who likes 35 mile long crossword puzzles care to join me?

Roger Philo


The Club Run

Sunday 22nd November dawned overcast and raining.  Blast I thought, just what I need, why does it always seem to rain on the weekends?  Anyway I wasn't going to let a bit of rain stop me going out on my bike.  So seen as I had a works van outside my place I decided I would get ready, drive down to Chris's place at Guildford and if the rain had eased of, join Chris in a quick run over to the start point at CTC H.Q.

By the time I got to Chris's sure enough the rain had eased of, but I couldn't be bothered to ride to the start and so presuaded Chris to accept a lift in the van to the start (mind you he didn't need a lot of presuading).

We set off and in the fifteen minute run over to the start passed Roger and Simon,  so at least there would be four of us at the start.  We turned into the car park at CTC headquarters to be greeted by Colin, five.  After a few more minutes Clive turned up and a few minutes after him Russ turned up, seven of us now.  We stood talking for a few more minutes and then got ready to go, and as we were about to set off Phil turned up, eight of us now.  A good turn out considering the weather, and it was really nice to have Colin and Russ with us.  We set off, towards Godalming town centre.  We skirted the centre and turned left towards Hascombe.  The climb out of Godalming wasn't to bad and we soon passed Winkworth Aboretum, just after here, as we were about to speed of downhill to Hascombe I got a puncture.  Roger who was behind me stopped with me which was fortunate as I had forgotten my pump.  Anyway I soon repaired the puncture and got ready to set of again, Roger departed a few minutes before Phil ; who had come back after realising Roger and I wasn't behind him when he had got to the bottom of the hill ; and I.  We soon caught Roger though and pressed on to Dunsfold and the others, who had been joined by Geoff, swelling our ranks to nine.  Russ had pressed on, as he wasn't his normal fast self ; something to do with all the extra weight in his left leg ; and he decided he needed a bit of an edge over the rest of us.  We continued, passing through Alford, then Loxwood eventually arriving at Adversane around 11.00 a.m.  After coffee Colin and Simon departed for home and roast dinner's, or so they said?  The rest of us set off, realising that we probarbly wouldn't reach our intended lunch stop in time, so we put Plan B into action, deciding we would have lunch at Steyning.  We made good time, even with the strengthing headwind, Russ admirably keeping up with the rest of us.  We went through Ashington and arrived in Steyning around 12.30 p.m.  We took the unprecedented step of not having lunch in a pub, but in the local bakery, which also doubles for quite a good cafe, I can throughly recommend it although one of our group thought it was a little bit expensive!  After about 75 minutes we made a move and ventured back out into the big wide world.  We set of heading north towards Ashurst, even getting a little assistance from the wind.  We soon arrived in Ashurst and turned left to see Russ, who had set of from lunch a couple of minutes before us, coming towards us, having missed the left turn and not realising until he had gone about a half of a mile past.  Russ soon rejoined us and we continued on through Dial Post, Barns Green and were soon entering Broadbridge Heath, being down to six people at this point as Russ had gone on again and as we approached a roundabout with yours truly at the rear, Roger who was leading went straight on.  I thought he had gone the wrong way and turned left up the A281.  I continued on towards the tea place anticipating rejoining the others somewhere on route or failing that meeting them at tea.  As I cycled on, a nasty thought came into my mind, what was I going to do if I punctured again, I didn't have my pump did I.  Oh well what the heck I thought press on regardless and trust in good luck.  I carried on and came to a junction just out of Ellens Green, better check my map I thought, make sure I'm going in the right direction.  Bugger, not only had I forgotten my pump, I'd brought out the wrong map as well, typical (I here you say Chris), so I pressed on in the direction I thought I should go and went completely wrong and ended up in Cranleigh.  So I cut my losses and headed for Godalming.  I got back to my van about half past four, 105 kms on my computer.  A good day, and with the added bonus of being in the company of some good friends.

Ian

P.S. Roger and the rest of the group got to tea about


Dear Editor

Its not often I write a letter to the letters page of the mag., because quite frankly I don't think anyone reads them anyway.  But I'm writing this anyway.

The A.G.M. has come and gone for another year and again I get the impression that we wasted our time again.  Did we achieve anything?  Apart from more binkering and snide remarks.  I think not!

Now this letter is not aimed at anyone in particular.  I haven't an axe to grind.  But if you the readers are not happy with the club or the way it is run, you should do something about it.  After all you could have volunteered your services in running the club, then you would have no one to blame apart from yourself.

So come on all of you out there, stop this eternal moaning and set about repairing the cracks.

Anon

I'm deliberately not putting my name to this letter because I know if I did, someone would think I was having a go at them and that is not what I set out to do.


SURREY the Evergreen

Bill Inder

Ask any 'foreigner' from 100 miles away what he knows of Surrey, and Guildford High Street, the Hogs Back, Hindhead, Box and Leith hills will probably figure in the answer.

They're all well-known and that's the trouble.  Today they're too well-known, and unless you revel in masses of people, cars, empty ice-cream tubs and discarded bottles, they will quite likely disappoint.

But given an 'off-peak' time - before the crowds arrive or after they have left - these are all delightful spots that have changed little over the years, thanks in most cases to the efforts of the National Trust.

A more complete picture of Surrey would tell of the castles at Guildford and Farnham, of the wonders of Kew and Wisley Gardens and of the history behind Runnymede and the Pilgrims Way, as well as describing fine country mansions such as Albury and Loseley.

Even without all these things, Surrey is to me ever fascinating.

Much of its charm lies in its great variety of scenery, coupled with a wealth of commons and heathlands breeding pine and heather, bracken and gorse.  Because of these, much of the landscape never completely takes on the stark barrenness of wintertime which strikes one in some less fortunate counties.

Apart from a few miles of the Thames, the only waterways of note are the meandering Wey and the slightly more turbulent Mole cutting their way northwards through the chalk hills to join Father Thames, appropriately enough, at Weybridge and Molesey.

There are no vast expanses of windswept moorland;  no featureless plains.  In fact, the emphasis is on change and variety.

From the Thames meadowlands of Chertsey and Runnymede in the north, the scene gives way to heaths and commons leading to the east/west ridge of the North Downs and to a string of little villages nestling on the southern side.  Gems like Brockham Green, with Box Hill as its dramatic backcloth, and a dozen more of equal charm scattered along the Tillingbourne valley and in the shadow of the Hogs Back.

Further south are the uplands of Leith, Holmbury, and Pitch hills, the ponds and commons of Frensham and Hindhead, and finally the farming 'fold' country stretching away to the Sussex border.

Several good, though over-busy, main roads radiate from London - but there is also an amazing network of the lesser roads beloved of the present-day cyclist searching for peace and quiet.

I rate myself lucky to live on the fringe of Horsell Common near Woking, and from my home I can plan rides that keep me in the 'pine belt' for most of the day. Even in the depths of winter it is 'Surrey the evergreen' enriched with the warm browns of last year's bracken.

Let's try such a run in the west of the county, along some of the lesser-known ways.
 

Map shows the area covered by the author's route - a radius of 10 miles from CTC Headquarters in Godalming.

Bartholomew's ½" Sheet 9.
 

Across Horsell common, narrow twisting lanes lead to Bisley church.  Go over the well-known rifle ranges, across the Basingstoke canal, up onto Pirbright common and along the tracks of the Fox hills to Ash - commons and pines nearly all the way.

Having crossed the Hogs Back from Tongham to Seale (there are two convenient cafes on the ridge for elevenses), several ways present themselves for getting to the top-knot of pines crowning Crooksbury hill.

A swoop down can lead either to Elstead or Tilford, each with a picturesque old bridge over the Wey.  In earlier times this was a flourishing sheep-rearing area, supporting the wool and clothing trade in nearby Godalming.  The Golden Fleece and the Woolpack at Elstead survive as reminders of that era.
 

In spite of insidious development and weekend popularity, many parts of Surrey have changed little over the years since these pictures were drawn by the late Frank Patterson.

 

There is a choice of roads and tracks over Hankley or Tilford commons, all leading to a vast coniferous region stretching from Frensham ponds past the Devil's Jumps to Hindhead and beyond.

A favourite detour of mine when in this area is to indulge in a little 'roughstuff' and take the narrow lane leading south at Pitch Place, near Thursley, and turn left past Ridgeway Farm (now a private house, but in the '30s a very popular tea-place for cyclists where everything bar the tea-leaves was home produced).

From the farm, unless a smashed wheel is the objective, it's a walking job.  A steep boulder-strewn gully leads down to a babbling stream (a tributary of the Wey rising in the Devil's Punchbowl) and a narrow plank bridge points the way to a corresponding rocky track climbing under an arch of trees.

At the first farm building, the left path goes up even more steeply to join a narrow metalled road.  Turn left on to this, and in fifty yards another secluded track to the right, rough but rideable, runs up almost parallel with the A3.

At a fork we must decide whether to bear left to the main road or to keep ahead towards Hindhead youth hostel and the Devil's Punchbowl.  If it's lunch time there are several cafes at Hindhead, or the Dairy down at nearby Shottermill serves a good meal.

Now it depends which route was chosen at the forked track.  But if we find ourselves at Shottermill, I suggest we cheat a little by going to Camelsdale and crossing just over the Sussex border on the Midhurst road.

Turning left and taking the track up past Valewood House, we clamber laboriously on to Blackdown Hill - at 918 feet the highest point in Sussex.

From the peace and quiet of this roadless hilltop, a magnificent unforgettable panorama opens out over the Weald, bounded by the long line of the South Downs from Mount Harry at Lewes, past Chanctonbury to Butser hill.

On a fine spring day this is indeed a rewarding climb with every shade of green imaginable, from the dark pine to the most delicate tints of the newborn foliage.

Sandy tracks northwards bring us to the nearest road for the run down to Lythe hill and along a delightful little lane past West End to Witley.  (Had we taken the left track before Hindhead and crossed the A3, an exhilarating sweep down into Brook would also have led on to Witley.)  A little map-reading will get us through Hambledon and on to Hydon Heath, a National Trust highspot that I've frequently had all to myself.

Go east towards Hascombe, then left, and at Winkworth Farm (the sunken courtyard here is worth a pause) turn right.  A little further along the undulating lane, a pleasant half-hour or so off the bikes can be spent in another National Trust property, Winkworth Arboretum - 95 acres of rare flowering trees and shrubs on a steep hillside overlooking a lake.

Back on the bikes, we follow the course of the stream and the string of little lakes past Thorncombe Street to Bramley and Wonersh.

Now there is a further choice of routes:  a strenuous climb to Madgehole and Pitch hill with its wind-sighing conifers, a ride across the sandy tracks of Blackheath, or a middle course leading up past the remains of a Roman station on Farley Heath.  Whichever the choice, we shall be back among pines - with yew, holly, and birch thrown in for good measure.

A descent along sandy sunken lanes into the lovely little Tillingbourne valley brings us to picturesque villages with a wide range of architecture, and a fair choice of tea-places.

From the Shere bypass, a lane up Combe Bottom climbs steeply on to Netley Heath, whilst another goes from near Abinger Hammer over White Downs.

My own route from Netley, often under a canopy of twinkling stars, is down the long descent to East Clandon.  On to Send Marsh, and alongside the Wey again close to the ruined Newark priory and the recently burnt-out mill at Pyrford, I return once more to Horsell common.

Taking in Blackdown, that's a round trip of about 65-70 miles, with a good deal of foot-slogging or slow riding - all within a 10-mile radius of the CTC Headquarters at Godalming.

Even so, most of the better-known gems haven't been touched - in fact, there's not a town on the route.  But if appetites have been whetted to seek out unusual ways and some readers have been inspired to experiment, they will be on the way to discovering the natural beauty of Surrey.

We in West Surrey count ourselves fortunate to live in such fine all-the-year-round cycling country.  Our rides frequently take us into Bucks, Berks, Hants, Sussex and occasionally Kent but were we compelled to confine our riding to Surrey, truly it would be no hardship.
 

Paddy Shea has suggested, and quite a few members have agreed, that the above route could form the basis of an enjoyable ride to commemorate Bill.  Let Paddy (Woking 763361) know what you think.


"Away" DATC and Other Events

Some of the Hardriders group plan to do some away events which will not be on our runs list.  If you are interested in any of these events please contact Roger Philo (0483 233381) for further details.
 
Saturday February 20th Cotswold Corker.  100km hilly ride from Bishop's Cleeve.
Saturday February 27th Malvern Hills / Elgar route.  200km ride from Chepstow.
Saturday March 6th 200/150/100km rides from Lincoln.
Saturday March 13th CTC National Dinner, Swanley, Kent.  A free ticket to this is almost the only material reward for being part of the winning DATC team.
Saturday March 20th Cheltenham Flyer.  200km ride from Bishop's Cleeve.
Sunday March 28th 200/135/50km rides from Marlow.
Friday 18th June York Arrow.  24 hour ride approx 400km to York Rally.  For teams of up to 5, of whom at least 3 should finish.  We hope to work out a route starting from CTC HQ.


Home Counties Rally 1993

West Surrey DA are hosting the 1993 Home Counties Rally at Broadwater School Farncombe on the May Bank Holiday weekend (Fri 30th April - Mon 3rd May).  The organising sub-committee need volunteers to help with the following:

Putting up and removing direction arrows to sign the route of the rides - motorcyclist and passenger, or possibly tandem pair for shorter routes.

Laying out campsite on Friday afternoon.

Assisting with reception of participants on Friday afternoon and evening and Saturday morning.

Assisting with tea and refreshmements throughout weekend.  Cake bakers.

Ride leaders, preferably in DA jerseys, and particularly for the off-road rides.  Saturday, Sunday and Monday.

Marshals for Audax event on Sunday.

If you would like to help with any of these please contact a member of the subcommittee:  Keith Parfitt (0483 60776);  Dave Whittle (0483 576067);  Helen & Chris Juden (0483 425794);  Roger Philo (0483 233381).


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Web page by Chris Jeggo.  Last revised:  31 March 2006.