"The West Surrey Cyclist" - April - June 1993

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Front cover - very similar to Issue 1
DA Committee 1992/1993
Editorial - by David Nightingale
Presidents Notes - by George Alesbury
News, Notes and Gossip
Attendance Scores - October to February
For sale - Cadenceolo
The Cotswold Corker - by Roger Philo
Selsey Sesquicentury 150km BP - details and entry form
Clubroom Questionnaire
Clubroom - programme for 4th April
DA Accounts - notice
Thursday Nights (Ottershaw) - notice
Night Riding - by Chris Jeggo
Events April - June 93 (the Runs List)
Cycling to the Great Wall - by Peter Norris
Home Counties Rally - Godalming - official information and entry form
Harry the Wayfarer
Dunlop advertisement from 'The C.T.C. Gazette', May 1933

Selected items transcribed from the original printed copy:

West Surrey District Association Committee 1992/1993

PRESIDENT George Alesbury  Tel. 0932 843285
SECRETARY Keith Parfitt, 24, Elmside, Onslow Village, Guildford.  Tel. 0483 60776
TREASURER Roger Philo, Hunters Moon, Cumberland Avenue, Guildford GU2 6YH.  Tel. 0483 233381
Other members Marguerite Statham, Rory Fenner, Ken Bolingbroke

HARDRIDERS Roger Philo Tel. 0483 233381
INTERMEDIATES Marguerite Statham Tel. 0483 763289
SOUTHERN WAYFARERS Keith Parfitt Tel. 0483 60776
WOKING WAYFARERS David Nightingale Tel. 0483 725674
MID-WEEK WAYFARERS George Alesbury Tel. 0932 843285
FARNHAM Anne Neale Tel. 0252 716818
STAINES, CHERTSEY, EGHAM Nick & Terry Boorman Tel. 0784 450088
JUNIOR CYCLISTS Sally Tel. 0483 503743

Chris Jeggo

Tel. 0932 565765
Tel. 0483 420148

MAGAZINE 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.



Appologies for any delays, errors etc, Ed's neurons have been pre-occupied with a little educational matter!  Cyclic Adenosine monophosphate (cAMP), rather than cycling around many places, looking at phages, rather than typing pages!

Did you know calcium ions turn your muscles on, all those thick and thin filaments made from bundles of proteins, oh! no stop .........phew!

Well did you know why moles turned to living underground?
NO!  Once upon a time long ago when man used stone, the moles lived above ground.  One day they saw great mole hills upon the horizon, Silbury Hill is realy the work of the mole God!  The little moles were so frightened that with all their might they dug them selves underground.  A brave little mole poked her (or him archealogists and mole historians are still disputing this point), head above ground.  All around were tiny mounds of earth where they had dug their holes, these mounds were minature versions of the great mound.  Then she went below again, "look, juicy worms everywhere, we have been rewarded for making all those little mounds", she exclaimed.  "Yes", said one of the wise moles, "you're right, we must make lots of mounds in praise, an we will be rewarded with, juicy worms."  This is why moles dig holes and make mounds, its because they missinterpreted mans mounds.  So you see it is our fault, so next time don't blame the mole for digging his/her hole.

That was a short interlude by the Mole Appreciation Society (MAS).

Well it is April, Happy reading,  Ed

Ed would appreciate any untyped articles etc in April for the next issue if possibe.  Thank you.  Typed articles etc by End of april as next runs list print is scheduled for start of June.  Ed would like some help in persuading potential advertisers to place an ad, if you can help please contact Ed, 0483 725674.  Thank you.

0932 565765
0483 420148


Presidents Notes

2nd March 1993

1.  The better weather will soon be with us and hopefully, attendance on runs will increase.  Please make an effort to allot as much time as you can to assisting with the Home Counties Rally, where your help will be most appreciated by Helen and Chris, who are organising the event.  We must all strive to make this a success for the D.A. and ensure that our guests return home with pleasant memories of their stay in the West Surrey area.

2.  The organisation of riding groups within the DA appears to be settling down again and things are fairly quiet except where a few members of the Woking Contingent have complained to me that no runs are provided for those wishing to stay out all day.  David Nightingale provides an excellent programme of most enjoyable morning only runs, but nobody appears to be willing to pick up those members wishing to stay out after elevenses and take on the responsibility of leading for the rest of the day to the lunch venue and possibly linking up for tea with the Intermediate Group.  Have we any volunteers?  Perhaps a closer link up with the Guildford Wayfarers could be arranged.  It was practice at one time to provide starting points at both Woking and Guildford, meeting up for elevenses and then staying together until after tea.  This would still appear to be a viable alternative for all day rides and could be arranged if volunteers would come forward to lead from both centres and to prepare a joint programme which did not cut across anything currently arranged for morning only runs.  These are providing a much appreciated service for those who wish to return home for lunch.  Talk to your committee members if you wish things to change.  Progress will be made only if members are prepared to put some effort into making it happen.

3.  The wet weather experienced during Febuary prompted me to get out the tools and modify my cycles by providing pressure greasing points at the main load carrying bearings, such that emulsified lubricant and debris can be easily ejected at regular intervals, or after any particularly wet ride.  Not a difficult task, which can be accomplished in part or whole as the mood takes you.

Firstly it is necessary to have access to a motor car grease gun, or something similar, and to modify it by exchanging the standard clip-on grease adaptor for a fine tipped hardened conical adaptor, with a 1mm (max) outlet orifice.  Also a tin of Castrol LM grease or some similar low temperature motor car wheel bearing grease is required.

Tackle the pedals first by removing the end caps and drilling a 1.5mm (1/16") dia hole through the centre.  Remove all sharp edges and burrs and smooth the outer edges of the hole with a 45 degree countersinking cutter.  Replace the caps, place the conical end of the greaser firmly into the hole and pump until grease escapes from the crank end of the pedal, the plastic or rubber seal may be blown out.  If this should occur, press it back into place before using the cycle.  Remember, grease guns of this type can provide a pressure of around 5000 P.S.I, if you push hard enough, so take care.

Now the wheel hubs.  (Note:-  no action is required if hubs already have small holes through the barrel or end plates)  Using the same drill as that used for the pedals, carefully drill through one side of the hub barrel on the lateral centre line.  I have never removed the bearings before doing this on aluminium hubs so take care not to push the drill in such that it damages the surface of the spindle.  Also put some grease on the drill tip, just before it breaks through, to pick up as much loose swarf as possible.  (Note the bearings must be removed if the hub barrel is made of steel).  Smooth the outer edge of the hole with the CSK cutter as before and force in grease until it exudes from both ends.  Cover the exposed hole with a piece cut from a suitable plastic tube, 10mm long.  Saw through one side of the tube parallel with the axis, clean it up with a file and spring it over the hub barrel to cover the hole.

Now the bottom bracket bearing which must be stripped down first, then drill a 2mm (3/32") dia hole through the barrel portion on the lateral centre line of the frame at an angle, approximately midway between the blend in radius of the down tube and chain stay lugs.  Remove swarf and burrs, smooth outer edge with CSK cutter and clean up ready for re-assembly of bearings.  Obtain a plastic bottle with a parallel portion not less than 35mm (1  5/16") dia and 2 inches long.  Cut out a portion 1.85 inches long for Stronglite bottom bracket assemblies.  This will provide a slight nip at each end of tube when bearing is adjusted.  Make sure ends are square and smooth.  Drill a 5mm (1/4") dia hole through one side midway between ends.  Place tube into bottom bracket.  It should be a reasonably snug fit.  If it is very loose it is not suitable.  If too tight, cut longitudinally through centre of hole, removing small strips of plastic until it is a good fit in bracket with ends butting.  Line up hole in plastic tube with hole in barrel position and screw in a self tapping screw, just long enough to protrude some 2 to 4mm through the plastic tube.  Re-assemble the bearings and complete adjustment.  Remove self tapping screw from hole and pump in grease until it exudes from both sides of bearings.  Replace screw and complete assembly.

Unless particularly wet conditions are encountered, the bearings should require no further attention for twelve months or so, but a blow through, through all bearings with the grease gun just before going away on tour or after a very wet spell of weather would be good practice.  Best of luck.  I believe the results are well worth the effort involved.

George Alesbury

News, Notes and Gossip!

LADIES WEEKEND IN THE NEW FOREST with a visit to Exbury Gardens.  May 15th / 16th, Only 2 places left - book now with a £5 deposit to Marguerite   0483 763289

MID-WEEK WAYFARERS' visit to the ISLE OF WIGHT.  June 8th, 9th, 10th.  Staying two nights in Shanklin.  Cycling or coastal path walking available on the 9th.  Only 4 places left.  Book now with a £5 deposit to Marguerite   0483 763289

A luncheon to mark our appreciation and give thanks for the lifetime of effort put in by Bill Inder as a founder member of our DA in West Surrey and for all the work he put in to maintain its well being over subsequent years, will be held on May 9th at the Old Cartlodge, Dunley Hill Farm.  A limited number of tickets are still available.  Please contact George Alesbury   0932 843285

Secretary will be issueing a news letter re activites of the committee.  Unfortunatly he did not have time to do this for the mag.

Keith and Roger are suggesting getting a runs list ready for events starting on June 13th - National Bike Week rides and Stonehenge 200k.  July to September runslist is basically to be compiled earlier.

In case you have not heard 30th April - 3rd May HOME COUNTIES RALLY, contact Helen Juden, 7 Llanaway Close, Godalming, Surrey, GU7 3ED.  Send SAE for booking form and more details.

Gossip ...................

Bev went to Holloway College (University of London), at Englefield Green!!!!!!

Classified Ads..............

For Sale

Chromatically tuned Melodocycle units, available in octave sets, ideal for families and other cycling groups.  To keep your cycle group in harmony together, be seen and heard.  Universal fitting on any make of bicycle.  Low friction and high compliance ensure no loss of performance.

Fro edatials ocntact, f                 on          04       7

The Cotswold Corker

Saturday February 20th 4.30am.  BEEP...BEEP...BEEP.  Wha..?  Oh its the Cotswold Corker today and Chris is picking me up at 6.00.  Just about ready when Chris arrives so we load my bike and bags onto and into the car and head for Simon's.  He's all ready to go as well, seems to be getting better at getting up early for these rides.  A short discussion - M4 or M40?  I suggest M40 as we went that way for the Cheltenham Flyer last year and had no problems.  Not so this time.  I spot the A40 Stokenchurch exit which we don't want, some conversation follows, deeply engrossing and I can't remember a thing about it, and we are passing the Bicester exit.  Er, Chris have you got a map handy?  The map doesn't show this part of the M40 but we leave at the next exit and find our way back to the A40 at Kidlington.  This unscheduled diversion has probably taken 20 - 30 minutes so it is just about 9.00 when we arrive at the start of the ride at Bishops Cleeve.  See some familiar faces but no time to stop and talk as we collect our brevet cards, get the bikes ready and visit the loos.  Eventually start 15 minutes late.

After 1km we find the first hill, about 200 metres of climb in 1.5km with some 1 in 4 in the middle.  Chris and I walk some of the 1 in 4, Simon is fitter and rides all the way.  I reckon our navigational error on the M40 was a blessing in disguise, ascending this hill with the main bunch would have been a nightmare, worse than Ditchling Beacon on the London to Brighton.  A long sweeping descent on the old A46 into Winchcombe.  Simon and Chris out freewheel me, as I expected, but I meet them coming back up the high street because they have missed the turning.  Another 200 metres of ascent but spread over a slightly longer distance and we reach the secret control at Guiting Power.  The weather is cold but bright and there are splendid views after the struggles uphill.  I'm still trying to decide if ITV's adaptation of The Adventure of The Sussex Vampire was actually filmed in a Cotswold village, it didn't look like Sussex to me.

On departure from the Guiting Power control, Chris chases after a Moulton rider who hasn't seen the control and didn't hear us all shouting at him and catches him at the next junction.  We continue up and down another 2 or 3 gentler hills (well gentler than the first two anyway) and arrive at the first control at the Little Chef at Northleach.  Chris is encouraged by the fact that we have passed quite a few riders by now.  I suggest there is nothing encouraging about there being people with even more unrealistic expectations than ours of finishing inside the time allowed.  He also reckons that since the pair of wheels I finished building on Thursday has survived the stress of a 1 in 4 on the first outing I must be getting good at building wheels.  (He is not entirely correct about this, by the end of the ride, the front wheel, although still spinning freely, is decidedly out of true.)

We exchange greetings with Phil Hampton, one of the familiar faces we didn't have time to talk to at the start, get our cards stamped and decide to press on without stopping for a drink.  On the next descent Chris and Simon are ahead of me as usual as I pass a left turn and wonder if we should have taken it.  Chris and Simon stop further down the hill with the same thought and we decide we should have taken the left turn.  Back on the route, we are now behind a small group containing Brian Wood and Tony Barker, more of the familiar faces from the start.  They have ridden this before and made the same mistake we just did the first time.

We are now in an irregular stream of riders and I'm not looking at the route sheet much, just following everybody else.  Fortunately there are people who know the way and we arrive at the Frampton Mansell information control, another call box number to collect.  Down one steep hill, up another and we are at the Bear Inn, Bisley, the next control.  We decide to stop for food and drink here and Chris notices while waiting for his soup to arrive that the minimum and maximum speeds are 10 and 20 km/hr not 15 and 30 km/hr.  So we could take until about 8pm to finish but we all want to be back home by then.

On leaving the pub there seem to be fewer riders on the road than before, perhaps most didn't stop at the pub as long as we did.  (No, Chris is off the booze at the moment, it was the wait for the soup.)  More wonderful views from more hills, though none as ferocious as the first and we reach the third control at Whittington.  Another 16km to go according to the route sheet.  More delightful lanes then back up Cleeve Hill from the northwest on the old A46.  I'm tiring by this stage but Chris and Simon wait for me at the top of the hill.  Then it's back down the 1 in 4 we went up in the morning.  Finding that both brakes fully applied weren't actually stopping the bike I pull off into an entrance at the side of the road and walk down some of the 1 in 4 I walked up in the morning.  Simon and Chris are waiting for me at the bottom and we ride the last few hundred metres together to the village hall and tea.  Its a few minutes after 4pm, just over 7 hours from the official start time, just under 7 hours from our actual start time.  Not too bad for a very hilly ride in mid-February.

Talking to Phil at the finish we find he stayed the night at Stow-on-the-Wold YH because Cleeve Hill hostel was closed and cycled over before the start.  He says he plans to return there tonight.  After three cups of tea we thank Sean Graff, the organiser of the event, and cycle the short distance back to the car.  I can now make a rough correction for atmospheric pressure change during the day to calculate that we have climbed a total of 2012 metres.  Another 88 metres and the event would qualify for another half Audax Altitude Award point.  We load up and set off, deciding to return via Swindon and the M4.  On the road to Cirencester we pass Phil.  I think this is a strange route to use from Bishops Cleeve to Stow-on-the-Wold and find out on Sunday this is because he actually cycled home to Farnborough, arriving there about midnight.

Chris, Phil and I all made it to the start of the Hardriders run the next day (Simon was competing in a time trial), but Chris and I were definitely slower than usual, and Phil, with considerably more justification, was also obviously feeling the effects of Saturday's ride, he hadn't switched back to the fixed wheel bike he has been using on our Sunday rides for the last few months.  As a result of my lack of energy, a stiff headwind, and my decision to use a devious route round Windsor and Eton, we didn't reach our coffee stop at Burnham Beeches until 11:40.  I decided at this point that I wasn't going to go on to the stated lunch place at Great Missenden but would join the Intermediates for lunch at White Waltham.  Only Maurice, who had joined us especially for the ride to Great Missenden wanted to continue, but not on his own.  My apologies to Maurice for this, he can try again with the ride on 30th May.  So it was back to White Waltham for lunch and Savill Gardens for tea, only 44 miles between start and tea at an average speed of about 12 mph, not at all what the runs list says the Hardriders do.  Strangely this was the only Sunday for months when everyone in the group stayed out all day.  Do we need a new name for our not so hard riders group?

Roger Philo

West Surrey CTC / Audax UK:  150 km Brevet Populaire

Selsey Sesquicentury  2nd May 1993

START  Broadwater School, Farncombe  (SU 984 456)  08.30 - 09.00

( ... - followed by rules, regulations and entry form.)

Cyclists' Touring Club - West Surrey District Association

Clubroom Questionnaire

The clubroom at Guildford Rowing Club (GRC) has been opening its doors to members, friends and families every 4 weeks for nearly 13 years.  Its future is now in doubt because of falling support and a lack of ideas from members, particularly in the last 12 months.  Hence this questionnaire.
Some more information before you give your answers:
1)  the 1991-92 committee decided not to take a decision on the future of the clubroom until June 1993
2)  the bar takings play an important role in determining the rent, so falling attendances may mean an increase in rent.

Please answer as many questions as you feel able to

1.  Do you enjoy the clubnights?  YES/ NO/ DON'T KNOW

2.  Do you wish the clubroom to continue?  YES/ NO/ DON'T KNOW

3.  If YES, are you prepared to attend?  YES/ NO/ DON'T KNOW

4.  How many times have you been to the club room in the last 12 months?  ____

5.  Would YOU prefer another venue?  YES/ NO/ DON'T KNOW

6.  If YES please suggest a new location.  _______________________

7.  How important would the following be (1 = not important, 5 = very important)
  Secure cycle parking  ___   Easy access by public transport  ___
  Car parking  ___   Access by roads with street lights  ___

8.  How often should the clubnight be held?  __________________

9.  On which day of the week would you prefer the clubnight to be?  __________

10.  What would you like the start and finish times to be?  _____________

Before answering please bear in mind;  how early will the organiser and helpers have to start?  what about members and friends who are not able to come along very early?,  how far will guest speakers have to travel?

11.  We pay comparatively little for the present club room and are also able to use it on 4 Saturday evenings a year without charge.  Would you be prepared to pay more than the current 50p (35p for under 18s) to attend a club room?  YES/ NO/ DON'T KNOW

12.  Alcoholic and soft drinks are available at the GRC.  Would you like the choice extended to tea and coffee?  YES/ NO/ DON'T KNOW

13.  Would you be prepared to be included on a rota to provide refreshments during the evening?  YES/ NO/ DON'T KNOW

14.  Would you be prepared to assist in the setting up of equipment, arranging of chairs etc before the meeting?  YES/ NO/ DON'T KNOW

15.  Would you be prepared to help produce an Annual Clubnight Programme and also help organise some of the events?  YES/ NO/ DON'T KNOW

16.  Would you be prepared to take responsibility for securing the building and for administrative duties?  YES/ NO/ DON'T KNOW

If you have answered yes to any of the last 4 questions please give your name  ______________________

Clubroom   Saturday 4th April   UK - NZ

You've read the book now see the movie, or, more accurately, you've read the magazine article, now come and see the slideshow.  Peter Norris and Gill Warren will be showing slides of their cycling trip from the UK to New Zealand at the Clubroom at Guildford Rowing Club on Saturday 4th April.  Doors open 7.00pm, show starts at 7.30pm.

DA Accounts For 1991-92

The DA Accounts for the year 1/10/91 - 30/9/92 have now been audited.  As the audited accounts do not differ in any respect from the unaudited accounts presented to the AGM last November I do not propose to ask the Editor to print them here.  As the last issue demonstrated, he has much more interesting material with which to fill the magazine.  Any member of the DA who wishes to inspect the audited accounts should contact me.

Roger Philo
(Hon. Treasurer, West Surrey District Association)

Thursday Nights (Ottershaw)

Spring is here.  The clocks have changed and the evenings are lighter.  Thursday Night rides are back on the Runs List, once a month to begin with, on the 2nd Thursday, but the frequency could be increased if enough people are interested.  The meeting place is a little closer to Woking, at 'The Otter' (Harvester), and a little later, at 7.45, so as to make it easier to get there.  Come and relax at the end of the day with a ride and a chat over a drink in a selected pub.

Just for the record, last year's attendances (first three places) were:  Chris Jeggo 17, Jeremy Dowling 6, Chris Avery 4 (out of 21 runs).

Chris Jeggo

Night Riding

Like most people, I prefer cycling in daylight, but I do enjoy the occasional night ride.  A good headlamp is essential.  There are battery lamps with a high output, but ordinary ones are hopelessly inadequate.  I prefer a dynamo and use a halogen headlamp, which makes the most of the 3W it receives.  A peaked cap is useful to shade your eyes should an oncoming driver fail to dip his headlamps.

The first occasion on which I rode through the the night was the 1980 Brevet Cymru.  This 400km Audax ride takes place in early May, and in those days the route was from the Severn Bridge up the Wye Valley to Monmouth, then via the A40 to Llanddewi Velfrey (about halfway between Carmarthen and Haverfordwest) returning by much the same route.  The A40 was then quite quiet west of Abergavenny, most of the through traffic crossing South Wales by way of the M4.

The outward leg went just fine.  The sun shone, the bike ran well, and the controls were at cafes.  I reached the turn, a restaurant, in good time, and rewarded myself with a pint before taking my time over a substantial meal to stoke up for the return journey through the night.  Having allowed some time for digestion, I felt well rested when I set off.

The restaurant was on top of a hill.  By the time I reached the bottom I was worried.  I was frozen, and wearing all my spare clothes.  A few level miles warmed me up a bit, but there were still many hours of darkness ahead.  Daytime temperatures in early May are comfortable, but at night in the depths of those Welsh valleys under clear skies, the mercury can plummet to around zero.  I wished I had known in advance.

After a while I found myself in the company of two experienced riders from Glamorgan.  We chatted for a while, and then one said, "Would you like some tea?".  We were in the middle of nowhere, in the middle of the night, and neither of them had any luggage worth mentioning.  "Which one of us is dreaming?", I wondered.  Well, just ahead, in a lay-by, were their wives, in a big Volvo, with the kettle on.  All we had to do was sink into a comfortable seat, out of the wind, and consume tea and biscuits.

You can bet that I stayed with them for the rest of the ride.  We did not make fast time, stopping every hour or two, but the soup and roll, coffee and cake, etc, made all the difference.

A couple of years later I rode the event again, better prepared from the experience of several long Audax rides.  One thing I had learned is that you should expect to go through a bad patch, and this time I really did.  The event was still being run by the original organiser, the late Bill Brown of Cardiff, in his minimalist fashion.  In other words he was trying to run most of the controls himself, using his ancient minibus.

By the time I reached Llandovery control on the return leg, Bill had already left for Abergavenny, so as to be there in time for the fast boys.  My meal at the turn (just like two years before) was by then a distant memory, and I had been looking forward to a hot drink and a rest.  I had to make do with what I had with me, a couple of sandwiches, which were not what I fancied, and some water, by now very cold.  As for resting, the longer I hung about, the colder I became, so I started off.  Now Llandovery is the point at which the A40 climbs out of the Tywi valley, which it has followed all the way from Carmarthen.  It's a pleasant road, following a side valley, with moderate gradients, but that night it felt like a wall.  I crawled up in bottom gear.  In the circumstances it was better to keep going, however slowly, than to stop and get cold.

The next control was near Brecon, well organised by the Brecon Wheelers.  After plenty to eat and drink in the warmth of a caravan, I was ready for the next stage, and reached Abergavenny in due course.

Here I caught up with Bill, who had driven many miles without passing an open filling station.  Abergavenny, not long after dawn on a Sunday morning, was closed, and he was wondering whether he could make it to the Raglan services on the A449(T).

He couldn't!  He was waiting at the roadside a few miles short.  He had with him a rider who had abandoned the event near the start because of a bottom bracket failure.  I dozed in the minibus while this rider borrowed my bike to fetch petrol.  The remainder of the event passed without incident.

I have several good memories of bunch rides in the depths of the night, when surprisingly rapid progress can be made.  Main roads are ideal, because other traffic is almost non-existent, route-finding is greatly simplified, surfaces are generally better, and gradients and curves easier.  The camaraderie in such groups is something which must be experienced directly to be appreciated fully, for it is at a different level from that of daytime rides.  Maybe it results from a sub-conscious awareness of the greater need for mutual support and encouragement.

Since I have been a member, West Surrey DA has organised a few night rides, of which two stand out in my memory.  The first was to the annual Cyclists' Memorial Service at Meriden.  We left at 1 a.m. in order to arrive before 11 a.m., and the ride there went smoothly.  However, it rained all the way back - nearly 100 miles - so we awarded ourselves certificates in the shape of webbed feet.

The second was well organised by Dave Butler in 1984.  His parents laid on hot drinks and cakes half way, and bacon and eggs etc. at the Hayling Island destination.  Since the weather on the coast was chilly and grey, we skipped the bathing.  Some took a train home to catch up on some sleep, but those who rode home were rewarded with sunshine all the way after crossing the Downs.  The good thing about such a ride is that you can go beyond your normal day ride range.  The interest of riding in unfamiliar places makes up for the lack of sleep.

Of course, you don't have to lose sleep in order to enjoy night riding.  My final memory is of returning home via Combe Bottom in the middle of a weekday evening, when there was no traffic about.  It must have been before 1987, because there were more trees than there are now, and I think it was autumn.  Certainly the branches were bare, and the moon was full.  Part-way up, the whirr of the dynamo started to annoy me.  I switched it off and started to walk, as silently as I could so that I could listen to the myriad small noises all around me, something one rarely has time for.  Then, looking up, I saw the silhouette of an owl gliding noiselessly across the narrow strip of sky between the arching trees.  It was one of those moments one never forgets.

Chris Jeggo

GU16 6LD
PH 0252 835051

Cycling to the Great Wall


Peter Norris

If there is a heaven for cyclists then maybe it is in the city of Peking, China.

Rush hour in the heart of the city is when the cycleways are almost solid with cyclists.  Most of these cycleways are the width of an average english road.

The atmosphere for us was electric as we pedalled in amongst the masses.

A good loud bell and a sturdy prop-stand are two very essential items to have on a bicycle when in China.  The sound of ringing bells is far more common in the cities than the blast of a car horn and when you wish to park your cycle in one of the numerous cycle parks, it is looked upon as rather strange if your bike is not equipped with a prop-stand.

After a day of sightseeing in and around Peking, we found our air conditioned hotel room to be a haven from the relentless heat and humidity outside.  To be able to hide ourselves in a quiet room after the hustle and bustle of the city, was at times a most welcome relief.

We allowed four days in Peking to visit the main attractions and to enable our bodies to acclimatize.  Then we set off for "The Great Wall" near Badaling.  We left most of our luggage in storage at the hotel and carried only handlebar bags and one rear pannier each.  Our Claud Butler cycles attracted many glances from the Chinese people as we sifted our way through the streets of Peking, in search for the road to Chang Ping.  Using a tourist map containing bus routes within the city, a compass, and with the aid of local residents pointing the way, we did manage to stumble upon the right road.  We were not absolutely sure that it was the correct road until we had actually reached Chang Ping.

During our journey it was not uncommon to come across broken down lorries or buses parked haphazardly in the middle of the road.  Other road users had to negotiate these obstacles by driving around them.

On one occasion a driver was actually lying underneath his lorry with his legs poking out at the traffic.  He was nonchalantly in the process of pulling the drive shaft out for repair!  We could not fathom why he had not bothered to get his lorry pushed or towed to the side of the road first.

A mile or so before reaching a large cyclists' roundabout near Chang Ping, we pulled over and refreshed ourselves with cool flavoured drinks from an old Chinese woman who had a make shift stall by the roadside.  Her warm wrinkled smile gave way to a concerned expression when we got across to her that we were cycling to The Great Wall at Badaling.  She expressed to us through sign language that the sun was very hot and the way to Badaling very hilly.  She was saying that it would not be wise to attempt cycling there.  As a noisy bus motored by, blowing a cloud of black fumes in it's wake, she pointed at it with gesticulation, implying that we should travel to Badaling in one of these.

We were rather perplexed by all this and began to wonder if perhaps we had taken on too much.  According to our maps there was only another 25 miles or so to cycle.  Although most of this would be up hill, we were fairly confident that we could handle the distance okay, so long as we took care to drink frequently in order to keep dehydration at bay.

We topped up all six of our water bottles, and thanking her, waved goodbye as we cycled onwards.

Within every mile on both sides of the highway, we passed canvas shacks where piles of enticing watermelon lay stacked.  The proprietors of these watermelon stalls live and work amongst their melons, seemingly content with their lot in life.

We stopped at one of these watermelon stalls and went through the usual bartering process in order to obtain a melon that was just the right size to fit on the rear rack of my bicycle.  It was jolly heavy for it's size and I certainly noticed the difference to my touring load.  This melon was worth it's weight in gold however, for when we did eventually stop to eat it, we found it to be the most delicious watermelon that we had ever tasted.

Negotiating the large cyclists' roundabout near Chang Ping, we actually lapped it three times before guessing which route to take.  From there on the hills began.  Our clothes became drenched in sweat as we pedalled up into the misty ranges.  The higher we climbed, the more haunting the mountains became.  Covered in stubby green foliage, the distant summits were trying to hide amongst the mist, but were given away by their faint silhouette against the horizon.

We searched as we cycled for a glimpse of The Great Wall.  Bend after bend it eluded us.  The road was fairly quiet except for the odd bus going up or coming down.  Doubt began to set in after a while.  Were we on the correct road to Badaling?

In theory so long as we were heading north, we must stumble upon it sooner or later.

After what seemed an eternity, it appeared at last on the horizon not far from us;  The Wall.  It was real.  Not a picture on a postcard or a television screen, but a real vision, and it was fantastic!

This famed monument running across the vast land of northern China, from the Bohai Sea in the East to the Jiayuguan Pass in Gansu, began its' origins in 221 BC.

It was during this period that the mighty war lord Quin Shihuang united China into an empire.  One of his first acts was to send out General Meng Tian with a huge army to pacify the raiders from the North.

Millions of soldiers, skilled masons and peasants toiled in unison to construct The Great Wall in an effort to deter the plundering raiders.

All to no avail however, for these enemies of China still managed to breach and swarm over the fortifications to harass those that had built it.

We stopped and straddled our bicycles, staring in awe at this mighty spectacle rolling over the mountain tops.  That sight will always be firmly etched in our minds.

After visiting the wall we turned our bicycles around and headed back South, pedalling almost 2000 miles through China into Hong Kong.

This trip was only one segment of a journey of over 10,000 miles through 15 countries.

Cycles and equipment:

Claud Butler Oracle, 21 indexed geared, 501 frame with drop handlebars.  Gears consisted of a 13-28 rear cassette on freehub. (Shimano) Front chainrings (not Bio pace) of 24 - 38 - 48 giving us a gear range of 22.1 - 95.9 inches.

Panniers:  Agu Quorum 535 fronts and 550 On the rear with built in rain and mud covers. (These stretch over covers are good also for keeping prying hands out of panniers.)  Karrimor handlebar bag.

Tyres:  26x1.75 dual purpose on the rear.  26x1.50 slick on front.

Claud Butler Cape Wrath, 531 frame.  Equipped same as above except for Karrimor Mountain panniers on rear (which convert into rucksacks) and Avenir front panniers on front.

These cycles proved to be a good formula for our trek which included every kind of terrain that one could imagine.

© Peter Norris 1993


Home Counties Rally

Godalming 30th April- 3rd May 1993


The 1993 Home Counties Rally will be based in Godalming, Surrey, home of the CTC.  This part of Surrey is well outside the Greater London sprawl, with a good network of county lanes to keep the touring cyclist away from heavy traffic, and numerous villages with pubs and cafes.

Surprising Surrey has a higher proportion of woodland than any other English county, and the Waverley district around Godalming must be just about the leafiest part.  At the beginning of May the woods will be bright with new growth above and many still carpeted with bluebells below.  There are also large tracts of untamed heathland - home to rare plants and species of dragonfly.

From a cyclist's point of view the area is interestingly hilly.  You cannot ride far on the lanes without ascending one of the chalky or sandy eminences that punctuate the landscape.  Fortunately these generally reward the effort with a far reaching prospect over the tops of all those trees - which may otherwise restrict the view somewhat!

A little further afield, the South and Hampshire Downs give more open and rolling country, and even the seaside will be reached by long distance riders.

We plan three days of varied rides and social activities.  For the first time at a CTC rally there will be daily 'X-rides' especially for mountain bikers, derived from our detailed knowledge of the excellent local rough-stuff.  These are in addition to quiet lane routes designed to appeal to families and easy riders (C-rides), plus middle (B) and longer distance (A) rides including a 150km Audax event to the coast and back.

On each day all four rides take the same direction:  Saturday is West, Sunday South and Monday East.  Indeed the A, B and C rides share outward and return routes, cutting across from one to the other at various distances from 'home'.  So if your heart says A-ride at breakfast, but your legs are crying B-ride before lunch, you can obey their call without spending half the day on your own!  Even the X-ride is cunningly integrated.  Since it crosses the road routes at intervals you can easily short-cut or mix tar and trail in proportions to suit your taste and ability.

The rides are all slightly shorter on the first day, to leave time for a visit to CTC HQ on your return and energy for the evening's Barn Dance, and on the last day for those who have to pack and go home.  The longest ride is on Sunday, after which you can nod off in the slide show!

For a brief summary of the highlights of each ride (bearing in mind that most of what is seen on the C-ride is also on the first and last parts of the B ride, and likewise the A-ride) see the rally programme.  We've given each ride a title, in addition to the letter denoting its type, followed by its approximate mileage and OS map numbers (Landranger for A, B & C, Pathfinder for X) that may be useful - but which we hope you will not need.

As usual, members of the host club will act as runs leaders, leaving the centre at the specified start-times and guiding groups of participants along each ride.  Alternatively, the rides can be self-led using the comprehensive route instructions supplied to all registered participants.  We also plan to waymark the shorter road rides to make navigation even easier.  In this way we hope to please most of the people most of the time, whether you prefer a clubrun in company or to explore at your own pace!  And when you return to the centre a cycle mechanic will attend to any need for spares and repairs.

Evening dinner will be available if pre-booked.  This will be a four course hot meal served in the school with optional vegetarian dishes and children's portions.  A cooked breakfast can also be booked.  (Provision of all meals depends upon a minimum number - book early, book lots!)  Light refreshments will be provided at other times.

Evening events comprise a barn-dance, slide show and cycle bazaar.  There will be an additional quiet area with light refreshments for tea and chat.  This year these events are inclusive with the registration fee.  Other activities in the programme are an open day at CTC HQ and a farewell afternoon tea.

The rally is centred on Broadwater School, grid ref. SU 983456 on OS Landranger map 186.  This is on the north eastern outskirts of Godalming in parkland near the A3100 Godalming to Guildford road.  This venue is accessible by bike and rail (including tandems) using the frequent Waterloo-Portsmouth service and alighting at Farncombe station - only ½ mile from the centre.  Other services stop at Guildford station about 3 miles away.  Main road communications are also good, with the A3 about 3 miles west of the centre.  Adjacent to the school campus is Broadwater Park with lake, children's playground, swimming pool and squash courts.

The campsite in the school grounds will have excellent facilities including secure cycle storage.  There is ample room for tents and hard-standing for a limited number of caravans/camper vans.  Please book early for the latter.  A list of other accommodation is available on request.

We hope you find this package attractive and that you will book without delay.  Please note the following:

1.  Bookings should be made only on the attached form (or a copy), using one form per family or group.  Every person must register, but nominate one person per booking for correspondence.

2.  Please return booking form with cheque made payable to West Surrey CTC and a stamped addressed envelope to:

Helen Juden
7 Llanaway Close
3.  Please make your booking as soon as possible.  Bookings for meals will close on the 31st of March.  Registration and campsite bookings only may be accepted after that date at the organiser's discretion.

4.  A copy of the the relevant part of the form is provided on the back of the programme, so you can make and keep a record of what you have booked and paid for.
17.00 Site opens:  clubroom available for tea and chat.
08.00 Breakfast
09.00 Watercress Downs  A  76mls  OS 185,186:  Over the rolling Hampshire Downs to New Alresford's watercress beds and steam railway.  Back via Hinton Ampner & Filmore hill.
09.10 Heaths and Hammer Ponds  X  26mls  OS 1225,1245:  Puttenham common, Cutmill & Frensham ponds, The Flashes, Devil's Jumps & Kettlebury Hill are highlights of this delightfully varied ride.
09.20 Selborne Saunter  B  48mls  OS 186:  Via Binsted and the Worldhams, to the parish on the edge of the downs where Gilbert White pioneered the study of natural history.  Return via Kingsley & Churt.
09.30 Frensham Pond  C  28mls  OS 186:  Through Puttenham, Seale & Tilford to the sandy shores of Frensham Little Pond, back via Elstead & Hurtmore.
11.00 CTC Headquarters:  office and shop open-day - 17.00.
11.30 Frensham Pond  C  Brisk run around this 28ml route for late arrivals.
18.00 Dinner
19.00 Bicycle Bazaar - recycle your cycle!
20.00 Barn Dance by Phideauz Phancie with licensed bar - 24.00.
08.00 Breakfast
Selsey Sesquicentury  A  94mls  OS 186,197:  150km Audax ride over the  South Downs to Selsey Bill.
09.10 Heights of SW Surrey  X  37/49mls  OS 1225,1226,1245,1246:  Downs Link south, then along the sandstone escarpment to Hindhead with optional extension to Blackdown.  Across the clay vale (yeugh!) and back over Hydon's Ball.
09.20 Rother Vale  B  70mls  OS 186,197:  Meandering lanes cross meandering streams to the foot of the Downs, returning over Woolbeding Common and in the shadow of Blackdown.
09.30 The Fold Villages  C  33/44mls  OS 186:  On the Downs Link to path to delightful Dunsfold, Burningfold & Durfold (extension towards Lickfold).
15.00 All rides converge on Chiddingfold for tea - 17.00.
18.00 Dinner
20.00 Slide Show  Almeria Sun and Snow:  Experience winter in the Spanish Sierras with Chris Juden and David Whittle.
08.00 Breakfast
09.00 Tour of the Hills  A  54mls  OS 186,187:  Get as high as you can in SE England on Leith Hill - and lots of others.
09.10 Ups & Downs  X  26mls  OS 1225,1226:  Onto the Hogs Back and along the N Downs Way, returning via the Surrey Hills.
09.20 Tour of the Humps  B  42mls  OS 186,187:  Over the N Downs for coffee and back over nearly as many of the Surrey Hills as the A-ride.
09.30 Tour of the Valleys  B  26mls  OS 186,187:  Following the Tilling Bourne to Shere, returning via Shamley Green and Winkworth Arboretum.
15.00 Farewell Afternoon Tea at Broadwater
17.00 Site closes

( ... - followed by Booking Record form and Booking Form.)





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