"The West Surrey Cyclist" - October - December 1994
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Thinking time approaches i.e. the AGM, nomination forms etc are included in the Mag. The News & Notes contains details of the Annual Dinner. AGM 6th Nov, Dinner 26th Nov. See Also The Secretarys' Notes. Christmas at Kens on Christmas Day, and by request the Woking Wayfarers will be having a Boxing Day ride (however due to the tradition of a ride every Sunday, and the unlikehood of success in lobbying the Government to move Christmas Day, the Sunday ride will just be to from Woking to Ken's).
Due to an overload condition, I asked for help, so many thanks to Roger Philo for typing up Harry's and Phils' articles, and the graphs and attendance figures. Thanks also to Keith Parfitt for his help in liasing with the advertisers, and the usual excellent printing arranged by Chris Jeggo. Thanks also to all those who have contributed articles.
On to France, and Tom Vernon's tour BBC1 Fridays has been very interesting,
and funny ("Don"t mention the cheese !"). The BBC's French Challenge
information line is 0800 280 000. For fun what are the following.....
Ou est Le Tour........
Contre la montre......
And if your in Germany.....
And can you guess the language ....?
buna dimineata good morning
la revedere goodbye
noi sîntem vegetarian we are vegetarian
Answers in the next issue. Have fun
|PRESIDENT||George Alesbury||0932 843285|
|SECRETARY||Harry Statham||0483 763289|
|TREASURER||Keith Parfitt||0483 60776|
|RUNS SECRETARY||Roger Philo||0483 233381|
|OTHER MEMBERS||Ken Bolingbroke
|HARDRIDERS||Roger Philo||0483 233381|
|INTERMEDIATES||Bob Crosby||0483 722337|
|MOUNTAIN BIKE rides||Geoff Taylor||0483 488052|
|Southern WAYFARERS||David & Claudia
Chris & Helen
Keith & Kath
|Woking WAYFARERS||David Nightingale||0483 725674|
|Mid-Week WAYFARERS||Marguerite Statham||0483 763289|
|MAGAZINE||David Nightingale||0483 725674|
D.A. Dinner. November 26th at the YMCA in Guildford. This year there will be a photographic competion with two catergories; 1) Tour en Angleterre 2) The most unposed cycling picture. Photos to me please by Sun. Nov. 20th. There will be two bottles to be won plus a 'booby prize' so send all your pictures in.
Help will be required with the organizing of the National C T C Dinner on February 25th 1995 at the YMCA in Guildford.
If you have a D A Trophy will you please return it to me by Sunday October 23rd.
The Ladies are planning another weekend away in May. How about someone organising a mixed weekend? Marguerite is willing to plan the rides but doesn't want to book the accomodation etc.
We still need someone to run an event next year. If you feel that you can help then please let Roger Philo know as soon as possible.
Woking Cycle Rights Network Committee is on the way, Ideas to Harry. The first meeting in September hosted by Roy Benson.
The North Yorkshire District Association and Ryedale District Council invite you to the 1995 CTC Birthday Rides to be held in Ryedale, North Yorkshire. 5th to 12th August. "The varied terrain and traffic free roads combine to make an ideal environment for cycling" - Peter Longbottom Olympic Cyclist & Ryedale Resident.
Market Research.......The committee would be interested to know peoples views on holding a Christmas tea on December 11th at Wheelers Rest ??????? Thank you.
ANNUAL DINNER 26th November YMCA Guildford, arrive 7.00pm for 7.30 start. Tickets are £13.50.
The Bear on OS187 147 601 At Oxshott.
The New Inn, Stratfield Saye Tel. 0734 332255
OS186 682 617
The meal consisted of a large plate piled high with pork pieces accompanied by a bowl of mustard and lumps of bread. This was all that was served, there were no vegetables. We were faced with a dilemma. Gill and me are vegetarians. Not wishing to offend our host who was being very kind to us, I forced myself to eat the pork, while Gill managed to get away with eating only the bread. The mustard sauce was delicious and the wine superb but I must confess that the pork did not go down too well. Unfortunately later on in the evening as we retired to our tent, I brought it all back up again.
After the meal our host then plied us with his beloved Romanian wine. (It was one of the best wines that Romania had produced and he had obtained it on the black market as most of it is exported to America) We conversed all night long by drawing pictures and using sign language. He even had traditional music put on and we had rather a funny dance session. He told us what it was like living under Ceausescu's regime and gave us some idea how it must have been during the time leading up to the revolution. He said that now he can live more optimistically and that things can only get better.
Finding food to satisfy two hungry cyclists in Romania was not an easy task. We could not afford to be too fussy and had to make do with whatever we could lay our hands on. (so long as it was not meat) Most of the food shops had sparse stock on their shelves. Many shops were filled with rows of dusty jarred fruit or beans in tomatoe sauce. The labels on these jars usually dated back so far as to make one wonder if they were still fit for human consumption. Bread was not too hard to obtain, but when buying it from country stores we always found it to be stale. A good source of food for us was from roadside stalls where local people would sell their home grown vegetables. Fortunately before entering Romania from Hungary, we stocked up with loads of pasta which was found to be worth it's weight in gold. We could not find pasta anywhere in Romania.
Many of the campsites marked on our 1:800 000 scaled Kummerly and Frey Bern map had either closed down or did not exist. We cycled day by day, not really sure where we would end up each night. The only hotels that we found were in touristy areas and these hotels were not of a very good standard. The reception we recieved was not very inviting. The hotel managers more or less insisted on being paid in American dollars, practically refusing to take Romanian currency! We preferred to use camping grounds or else camp wild. The majority of campgrounds that we stayed at did not actually provide for tents but had small hut type chalets which were very cheap to stay in and more comfortable than a tent. The toilet facilities at all campgrounds were poor, with bad plumbing and not very good hygiene.
About 12 miles West of the capital city of Bucurest, at a place named Chitila, we had the great fortune of being invited to stay in the home of a Romanian family. We ended up staying with them for 11 days. During our stay we rode into the Capital for sightseeing and to make arrangements for a flight to China. The hospitality of this family of four (father, mother, and two daughters) was incredible. The mother spent much of her time cooking for our benefit. We were waited upon three times a day despite our protests.
The time we spent with this lovely family gave us insight into the life of a reasonably well off family in Romania. By our standards they would have been classed as hard up. Their two storey brick house was in need of maintenance but they were not in a position to be able to afford work on the house. Food and clothes came first. The father was lucky to have work at a nearby factory. He worked hard to provide for the family and supported his two daughters at university. One of the daughters spoke some English and so through her we communicated quite well.
The only form of leisure that the father had was his home made still from which he produced his potent vodka. He was very proud of his vodka and had an endless supply. He was always drinking it, even at breakfast! The still would be shared by him and his neighbour who had turns at making a brew.
The family had a large vegetable garden with several different vegetables growing. A dozen or so chickens kept them supplied with eggs and there were even two very large pigs kept out back next to the outside loo. Their house had no hot running water and very little in the way of plumbing. To wash they used an outside shower made from a 5 gallon drum perched upon the roof with a pipe running down and a sprinkler nozzle attached to the end of it. The drum was painted black so as to absorb heat from the sun.
When it came time for us to leave Romania, we felt sad at leaving this family. In the short time that we had stayed with them they really made us feel at home.
Miles cycled in Romania - 527
Peter & Gill Norris
Next stop Castleisland (near Killarney) to M's brother Peter, wife Mary and daughters, one of Mary's teas (no need to eat again) and out to one of the locals (there are 24 in town) to chat and listen to a live one man band. We were due to meet the tour group in Galway on Saturday evening at the cellar bar of one of the large hotels in the square (I've forgotten its name). The Italy game was on TV and the whole place was jumping, meeting postponed to later. Meanwhile M had met a man who was on the End to End with her last year, and was now on our tour with his wife, who started touring last November, and was enjoying the roving. After the meeting, which was chaotic, we all followed the tour leader's van to the evening meal restaurant and then on to our digs in Gratton Park, everyone at two or three houses at the end of a cul-de-sac opposite a green, our digs had 24 bikes in the back garden. After the meal we walked back on a drizzly evening, I had quite a job finding our digs. Next morning the end of the cul-de-sac and green with path around it made immediate organisational sense as everyone hiring adjusted one another's bikes and us with cars had somewhere to leave them for a week.
First day - Sunday: Bikes in van - bodies in bus, busy dual carriageway out of city, untethered cow on roundabout chewing the cud, that's Ireland. Pedal start in Cong (of film Quiet Man fame) to Westport alongside Lough Mask with the Partry mountains on our left.
Monday: Destination Leenane beyond the Delphi valley, "most scenic day of the tour" they said. Morning clear and the Americans climbed Craogh Patrick against a strong wind. Lunch in Louisburgh, wind up and raining, 8 of us pedalled it up the Mweeirea mountains against the southerly wind, my very low gear enabled me to just keep going, some were blown right off the road.
Tuesday: Leenane - Roundstone. Lunch at Ballinahinch Castle, quite a spot. I didn't see much of M as she generally cycled the long way round but we managed to meet at mealtimes.
Wednesday: Rest day, and a visit by bus to Clifden which was busier than I remembered it. Back to Roundstone pm for a look around this very pleasant harboured village, a good choice of rest day by the Irish Cycling Safaris.
Thursday: Roundstone - Carraroe. A coral beach here, first I've seen, amazing marine botanical evolution.
Friday: A boat trip to Aran on the flyer with our bikes and instructions to be back an hour early because Jack's army were playing again that evening and the boatmen were changing the schedule. Aran is very touristy and no doubt being spoiled by us visitors. Coach back to Galway digs and out for our final meal together.
Connemara is darkly wild and rugged with huge vistas of hills and water, the sound of running water everywhere, but somehow, on this trip, I missed our trees and not seeing around the corners.
Most who have ridden with a group rapidly learn that the warning indicates that there is a car, or other motorised vehicle, approaching the group from the rear - and the natural assumption is that it will wish to overtake the group as quickly as possible. What no one has so far been able to tell me is exactly what I, as a member of the group, am supposed to do in response to this warning. The problem here stems from the many different scenarios which might occur, and the need to react to each on its merits rather than by strict rule.
For instance, a group of 8 cyclists, riding 2 abreast, along a lane which is little wider than a car, will not assist the would be overtaker by forming a single file - he will still not be able to overtake safely and will probably become frustrated by his inability to do so. Conversely, he could become equally annoyed by the group which apparently ignores his presence by taking no visible action to hasten his passage, even if, as a consolidated group, the pace may have been raised and a decision made (by the leader) to stop at the next suitable passing point. There is no way in which the driver can be made aware of this intention.
On a slightly wider lane the file of cyclists may not be safely overtaken because the overtaker cannot see the head of the file, let alone a reasonable distance beyond. In this case the file could split into shorter groups, of between 2 and 4 cycles each, separated by about 2 car lengths each, to allow a single overtaker to progress safely round the pack in easy stages. (Gaps such as this can only be generated by leaders accelerating, followers slowing or a combination of both. Which is it to be; do circumstances alter cases; how is the message passed between the riders?).
On a still wider road, on which the car could safely pass cyclists riding 2 abreast perhaps the group could split into pairs or 4's, opening sufficient gaps to allow overtaking of each smaller group safely, with suitable mid-point "refuges" to allow for the passage of oncoming vehicles. Again the decision as to how the gaps will be generated and communication of that decision are problematic.
Progressing further, wide roads may require no more action than an increased awareness that the group is about to be overtaken by a faster vehicle.
In these four "road width" examples, for which I offer my own suggestions on possible actions rather than a comprehensively researched course of action to be taken, it is perhaps necessary to recognise that the lead rider (not necessarily the leader of the ride!) has a responsibility to warn (backwards) of the state of the road ahead. For example, if he/she can clearly see it would be safe for the group to be overtaken then the correct (per Highway Code) signal may be given. (The Highway Code rightly places the onus for safety during the overtaking manoeuvre on the overtaker, but it is wise to "warn off" the would be overtaker if you would feel threatened by such an action. I find a low right arm with the palm backwards effective in most instances.)
Clearly there is much more to this Group riding than one might first think, and having ridden with the CTC and Tandem Club, I am convinced, from observation and discussion, that I am not alone in believing that we could do it better. As with many aspects of life education is of paramount importance and I believe that some guidelines should be written down, not least for passing to new members of our groups - although all group riders could probably benefit from a set of "rules for riding".
In the interests of safety such "rules" should be universal, universally adopted and brought to the attention of drivers as well as cyclists. You will see from the above that I have some ideas (not necessarily correct) but I have not been riding long enough to have picked up all the "conventions" I seek. Do you have any ideas as to what a set of guidelines should contain, whether they should be written, how their generation should be handled and their use promoted? Whilst I am not looking for work I would happily collate any suggestions for consideration by a higher authority.
Phil Hamilton 2/9/94
My starting point is to try to plan a ride which I believe Sue and I will enjoy, at our pace and with stops to suit our needs (mine for food and Sue's for "bottom rest" ..... we're so compatible perhaps we should ride together!). That said one must recognise the likely needs of the group as a whole, considering such things as a dislike of roughstuff or children's need to "run around", and possibly the strictures put on you by advertising outside your control, such as a runs list which states a start time and ride length. Beyond that it is difficult to plan for all eventualities - mechanical problems don't always happen and I find it impossible to plan alternative routes to account for the weather. So, I make my assumptions, plan the route and then attempt to modify it as the "disasters" occur - like one ride for which I planned an "early" start and coffee stop, but which the rain dictated coffee at home before the off, and a shortened ride straight to the lunch stop when the weather had eased. The afternoon was fine and we were able to follow the planned route.
Having chosen the general direction the ride is to take, likely stops can be considered, remembering that the distance to be ridden does not necessarily have to be the actual distance between stops (as anyone who has ridden with David N. can confirm!). So it was that we were recently able to visit the "Saddlers Halt" in Chobham (highly recommended), only 4 miles distant from our Woking starting point, for coffee, having ridden a gentle if somewhat meandering 11 miles .... via Hook Heath, West Hill, Brookwood Cemetery, Pirbright, Dawney Hill, Brookwood, Bisley Camp, Miles Green, Bisley, West End and Penny Pot, the whole including less than a mile of "A" road.
Following the detail planning on the maps I find it necessary to ride the route (not necessarily as a single ride, but always in the correct direction). Firstly this checks that the route is passable; for instance study of OS 186 for the road between Bisley and Knaphill areas at SU 961596 does not indicate that there is a 500 metre section of road allowing traffic flow in a westerly direction only! A bit embarrassing if you first come across that "No Entry" at the head of a cycling group in full flight (and a possible reason for riding the route in the reverse direction as the alternatives are not so pleasant).
Next it gives an indication of any possible problem junctions etc. For instance, "crossing" the A322 between Bisley and Lucas Green, at SU949599, is difficult on a solo because the view of traffic from the right is severely restricted by the bend in the main road. A group of solos could find the junction traumatic and I would not suggest it as a preferred route for a tandem group. Much better to use the alternative of turning right onto the A322 at SU949596 and then left, towards Lucas Green, at SU949600. A short detour but worth the peace of mind.
Thirdly it allows me to check out rights and facilities .... which may be useful on the actual run. This will include a chat with any tearoom, pub, Stately Home, Garden Centre or whatever, I may intend to visit. Some like to be warned of impending invasion and I like to make reservations wherever possible. Such places will often suggest a "window of opportunity" during which it is advisable to arrive (or a time after which seating will be limited!).
Lastly it allows me to check out the ride severity. My "little wheely thing" allows me to accurately measure the distance on the OS, but my mapcraft isn't yet good enough to recognise any but the severest of hills (lockgates ... but is it up or down?) - and it is often the not so severe and long climb that is the real killer. Suitable locations for regrouping stops can be noted and small alterations to the route to either by-pass the killers or reduce mileage slightly may be necessary to achieve the ride I wish to lead.
With the route finally planned all that remains is to check it out close to the event date in case it needs changing, eg to avoid roadworks or the now sodden bridle path, last minute checks on the booked halts, and off we go for the real thing.
I find the planning rewarding as leading is easier if you know where you're going and that the "rest-stops" will be there when you need them. In the long winter evenings why not plan a route and, as the weather permits, ride its sections. Come the spring you could have a route to offer the Club and so ease the load on our regular leaders. You may even enjoy it so much that you join their ranks and, like them, have so much local knowledge that the need for the detail planning I currently find necessary disappears.
Give it a try .... now where are those maps?
Phil Hamilton 3/9/94
MORE MILES !! MORE SUN !!
Looking forward to seeing you,
Carol and Marguerite
RSVP by 6th October please.
1. President George Alesbury called the meeting to order and read the notice convening the meeting. There were 33 members present.
2. George Alesbury was proposed as Chairman for the meeting by Keith Parfitt and seconded by Chris Jeggo. There being no other nomination George Alesbury took the chair.
3. Apologies for absence were received from David Nightingale and Geoff Taylor.
4. Minutes of the 1992 AGM had been distributed to those present. These were accepted nem. con.
5. Matters arising from the minutes.
Chris Jeggo asked if there had been any further discussion on the Groups becoming Sections. George Alesbury said that the committee had discussed the matter and decided to keep the Groups as they are.
Chris Jeggo also wanted to know if all the Groups had had their meeting to choose their leader for the following year.
6. Copies of the Annual Report had also been distributed to those present.
Matters Arising from the report
Keith Parfitt thanked Kath Parfitt for typing the report, which was seconded by Harry Statham.
The Chairman thanked everyone who had organised the successful Home Counties Rally. Chris Juden then thanked everyone who had helped. Chris also indicated that he thought that the D.A. might like to organise an A.I.T. Rally sometime in the not too distant future.
The Chairman congratulated the Bill Inder Trophy (Attendance Cup) winners. 1st Marguerite Statham, 2nd David Pinkess, 3rd Helen Pinkess and Sue Heywood.
Many "old" members had attended the lunch in memory of Bill Inder and the event had been very successful.
The Chairman congratulated the D.A.T.C. team on becoming the winners for the third time in succession. Team Members were: Roger Philo, Helen Pinkess, Chris Avery, Phil Hampton, Andrew Milner, Ian Parker.
Thursday Nighters ..... After much discussion it was decided to award the trophy. Chris Jeggo was the winner.
The Annual Report was then accepted nem. con.
7. Copies of the Annual Accounts were then distributed to those present. The Treasurer apologised for not having been able to get the accounts audited before the A.G.M.
Matters arising from the accounts
Chris Avery asked the Treasurer if he was aware of the recent situation with regard to tax on Building Society interest.
The Home Counties Rally had had a turnover of approximately £3000 and had made a profit for the D.A. of £600.
Roger Philo said that we needed to find an Auditor for the 1993/4 accounts.
Chris Jeggo proposed, John Widley seconded, that the accounts be adopted subject to a satisfactory audit: passed nem. con.
8. Election of Officers and Committee
a) President: George Alesbury was proposed by Chris Jeggo and seconded by David Pinkess and elected unopposed.
b) Secretary: Harry Statham was proposed by Les Houlton, seconded by David Nightingale and elected unopposed.
c) Treasurer: Keith Parfitt was proposed by Roger Philo, seconded by George Upton and elected unopposed.
d) Runs Secretary: Roger Philo was proposed by Ian Parker, seconded by Helen Pinkess and elected unopposed.
e) Committee: Roy Banks was proposed by Marguerite Statham and seconded by Alan Holbrook; Jeremy Dowling was proposed by Bob Crosby and seconded by Ian Parker; Joan Robinson was proposed by Marguerite Statham and seconded by Harry Statham; Bob Crosby was proposed by Marguerite Statham and seconded by David Pinkess; Rory Fenner was proposed by Keith Parfitt and seconded by Kath Parfitt; Ken Bolingbroke was proposed by Keith Parfitt and seconded by Kath Parfitt. All the above were elected unopposed.
9. Election of other positions
a) Vice-President. Les Warner to be asked if he would like to continue for another year. Proposed by Keith Parfitt and seconded by Harry Statham.
b) Auditor. Nobody volunteered; everyone asked to try and think of someone.
c) Librarian: Chris Juden proposed that we change this title to the Archivist. Keith Parfitt to carry on. Keith was asked to produce a list of what is held in the Archives. Gillian Smith is willing to return the D.A. photo albums for any special occasion like the D.A. dinner and maybe be asked to leave them with the Archivist sometime in the future.
d) Magazine Editor: Chris Juden to ask Helen Juden if she would like the job; David Nightingale to carry on in the meantime. David Nightingale was thanked for his work as Editor over the last three years.
A Vote of thanks was made to the outgoing Treasurer and Committee, proposed by Harold Coleman and seconded by Chris Jeggo.
1) Each Member to notify one footpath, little used by pedestrians,
in his/her locality and to suggest demarkation by a GREEN stripe on horizontal
and vertical plane of the kerbstone.
Proposed by Harry Statham and seconded by Keith Parfitt.
After some discussion it was suggested that Harry should expand on his proposal and put an article in the next D.A. Magazine asking people to look into footpaths that link main roads rather than those that run alongside main roads.
2) We propose that the SUNDAY ATTENDANCE CUP be awarded to the
person who has accrued the most points for INTERNAL SUNDAY rides only.
Proposed by David Pinkess and seconded by Marguerite Statham.
David said that the Attendance Competion was originally intended for internal rides only. Roger Philo wished to add (no more than) one away fixture a month per group. Other people felt that someone manning a CTC/DA publicity stand at somewhere like the County show in Guildford also deserved attendance points. After a lengthy discussion the majority vote was in favour of one away ride a month per group and the publicity stand so long as they were put on the runs list in addition to the normal club runs. The final decision was left to the committee.
Bob Crosby said that he would like to organise a charity ride. George Alesbury thought this to be a good idea and asked Bob to look into the matter.
David Pinkess asked the committee to look into the Benstead Cup Competion rules and revise any if necessary as there had been a dispute at this years Hillclimb and Freewheel.
John Widley complained that when the Intermediates French trip had been put in the DA Magazine it was already fully booked. Bob Crosby who had organised the trip said that he had not asked for it to be put in the magazine.
Keith Parfitt said that he would like to organize a 50 mile Birthday Ride with a DA tea which Vanessa at Wheelers Rest was willing to do.
Rory Fenner invited all members to join him for the eclipse of the moon on Monday 29th November at 4.20am to 6.50am on Pewley Downs.
Keith Parfitt then thanked the Ladies for organising the teas.
There being no other business the meeting closed at 16.03.
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