"The West Surrey Cyclist" - January - March 1995
|Previous magazine . Next magazine|
|Where is the tour||Ou est Le Tour|
|Time trial||Contra la montre|
|Bunched road race||En ligne|
|A Puncture||eine Reifenpanne|
|The tyre pressure||der Reifendruk|
Tyre blowout (break in the tyre wall), use a piece of leather or old tyre, on the inside to prevent the inner tube bulging out.
No oil, see if you can obtain some, vegetable oil might get you home. (In jest, after removing the salt from peanuts, crush a few, they are quite oily and could lubricate your bearings if you were desperate !!!!)
Does anyone have any other useful ideas ???? Tell Ed!
Have fun Ed
|President||George Alesbury||01932 843285|
|Secretary||Harry Statham||01483 763289|
|Treasurer||Keith Parfitt||01483 60776|
|Runs Secretary||Roger Philo||01483 233381|
|Other Members||Roy Banks
|Magazine Editor||David Nightingale||01483 725674|
|Archivist||Keith Parfitt||01483 60776|
|Hardriders||Roger Philo||01483 233381|
|Intermediates||Bob Crosby||01483 722337|
|Cranleigh Villages CTC||Keith & Kath||01483 60776|
|Farnham CTC||Anne Neale
|David & Claudia
Chris & Helen
|Woking & District Wayfarers||David Nightingale||01483 725674|
|Mid-week Wayfarers||Marguerite Statham||01483 763289|
|Junior Cyclists||Claire||01483 765578|
THE SOUTH EAST CYCLING FORUM (Information from Keith Parfitt)
This newly formed group has now appointed Mark Adams as its Cycling Development Officer.
Surrey County Council organised eleven road safety forums between March 22nd and June 14th '94. The forums were aiming to 1) review the casualty reduction plan for each district 2) consider what casualty reductions have been achieved in the previous 12 months 3) seek public comment, suggestions and participation.
I now realise how little I know about cycling and I would like to thank everyone who has helped me through my year as Secretary. I do feel that the DA has had a good and successful year and is poised for an even better one in 1994/5.
WEST SURREY DA SECRETARY 1993/4
NATIONAL CTC DINNER at Guildford YMCA on February 25th 1995
May CTC AGM at Guildford
June 10-18 National Bike Week
July 8-9 CTC National 400km, Wessex
August 5-12 CTC Birthday Rides, Malton, N. Yorkshire
MID-WEEK WAYFARERS HOLIDAYS
********* DA JERSEY *** DA JERSEY *** DA JERSEY *********
ORDER YOUR DA JERSEY NOW FOR EASTER
|Long Sleeve||High or Low Collar||£ 20.00|
|Short Sleeve||High or Low Collar||£ 17.00|
|Long Sleeve||Track top, full length zip||£ 20.00|
Orders and Money before 29th January 1995
TO MARGUERITE STATHAM TEL. 0483 763289
********* DA JERSEY *** DA JERSEY *** DA JERSEY *********
On behalf of those members who ride with me, I would also like to thank our unofficial club mechanic Harry Statham. Whenever anyone punctures or has mechanical trouble, he immediately takes over, sorts out the problem and off we go again.
Last but not least, David Nightingale, our Sunday morning runs leader. He does a great job, - well done both of you.
Les Houlton. 27.10.94
Anke Blackburn, 17, The Grove, Woking.
On November 9 my husband, a retired railwayman, and I had the opportunity to join the "Eurostar" train on one of its preliminary runs from Waterloo through the Channel tunnel to Paris.
On arrival at Waterloo the scene is very similar to a departure lounge at Heathrow. The luggage is screened and one is searched by security personell. In this departure lounge under the actual platform, passengers have to wait until the train is ready for boarding. On this morning, it departed about half an hour late due to "technical problems"; nobody seemed particularly surprised about that. But once we were on our way, everything was fine. The carriages are modern, clean and comfortable, the seating is arranged like in an aeroplane, not to everybody's liking. From some seats you cannot look out of the window. There is ample luggage storage space, although no facilities for bicycles, what I could see of it. Perhaps it is different on the car shuttle trains from Folkestone to Calais, but I do not know. And, shall I mention it, the toilets were unbelievably clean and gleaming, mirrors everywhere.
The ride on this new "Eurostar" train is very smooth and comfortable, although on the traditional track, with power taken from the third rail, the speed is the same as what it has always been. But eventually we reached the tunnel, and things were really beginning to happen. I am told that from thereon the train picks up its power from overhead wires, and that fact improves its performance threefold. Travelling through the tunnel takes about 20 minutes. There is really nothing remarkable about that part of the trip, the feeling, at least in my case, was no different from what I had experienced in any other tunnel I have travelled through. Having reached the plains of Northern France, the difference of this latest train transport really shows. Although inside you do not feel any different, from the speed at which the posts fly past you can see how fast the train runs, and within another hour and a half the Gare du Nord in Paris is reached; the journey takes three hours altogether.
It had been raining in London, and it was raining in Paris, so what should we do? Only four hours time to ourselves, we wanted to see as much as possible, and not spend the time in a cafe, we had brought food and a flask of tea! So off we went, every serious sight-seeing in Paris should start from the Place de la Concorde, a travel guide had informed us. With next to no knowledge of the French language, finding your way around the Metro is tricky, but we managed. Place de la Concorde was found, from there we walked up the Avenue des Champs Elysees, it rained and rained. At the far end of the Champs Elysees there is the Arc de Triomphe, huge, wet and windswept, not many tourists were to be seen on that day.
Then we found our way to the Eiffel Tower, another "Must" when in Paris. Its top was shrouded in cloud, oh, wasn't it wet, certainly not worth going up.
By then we had to consider the time, and there was just enough left to catch a train to see Notre Dame. One walk around that huge cathedral, I would have liked to stay much longer, and then it was time to go back. But where was the nearest Metro-station? Our paper map was soggy and crumpled by then, the Metro stations were not very prominently marked, and our glasses were full of rain drops. A race against time began, we could not find a station! Outside many of the stations it simply says "Metro" or "RER", but the name of the place is not given. We had to ask people, but that was not much good because we could not catch their replies, only from, let's call it "hand signals" did we understand which way to go. And it rained all the time, there was so much traffic, we already saw ourselves stranded in Paris. Eventually, however, we found the right station, caught the right train, arrived at the Gare du Nord, could not find the entrance, finished up in some underground car park, it rained, to reach the train you have to pass the check-in again, it is a long way round, via an overhead bridge you reach the platform. But the train was still there. Great relief! Around us there were several people missing on the journey back, I wonder whether they met with a similar fate as we did.
This was my first ever visit to Paris, and I would very much like to go again, given more time and brighter weather.
The journey back was uneventful, soon after departure it was dark outside. I only noticed travelling through the tunnel because there was a different noise, and we were back in London on time. Good luck to "Eurostar", in my opinion it opens up a new age of travel to the continent.
In October this year, after commissioning trials of the Folkestone - Calais shuttle but before licences for a full public service had been granted, Eurotunnel ran a so called "Overture Service" for its shareholders. Unlike the planned public service, which will be turn up and drive on, the Overture Service was for reserved places on specific shuttle departures and was on weekdays only. As this service, like the full public service, is cars only (no bicycles or foot passengers until March 1995 at the earliest) it wasn't of direct use to me. Fortunately, fellow Eurotunnel enthusiast and shareholder (and car owner), Heidi Powell was also keen to try the service. So on 24th September, the day the application forms arrived, we worked out which days we could travel on and sent off the form. On 4th October I got a phone call from Eurotunnel saying I had been allocated an outward trip with a check-in time of 9:24 on 6th October and a return trip with a check-in of 15:24 the same day and that I should receive the tickets the tomorrow.
The tickets did arrive, and as the next day was Wednesday, we asked on the Midweek Wayfarers ride if anyone else would like to come with us. Only Paul was interested, but phoned late in the afternoon to say he couldn't come. So Heidi picked me up at about 7am on Thursday and we set off for the Folkestone terminal. I put my Airframe 2000 folding bicycle in the boot of the car, but this was a token gesture as there obviously wasn't going to be time to ride anywhere in France. At the moment access to the terminal is only from the M20, which is presumably why no bicycles or foot passengers are being carried.
On arrival at the terminal, paying the £30 administration charge by credit card was relatively quick and as we were early we went to look at the terminal building. Eurotunnel apparently weren't keen on providing duty free shopping but considered that, as long as the ferries did, they must also. So there is a duty free shop in the terminal building. We didn't buy anything but Heidi checked the prices to see how they compared with the duty free prices charged by the airline for which she works. She also spotted a display with Riesling spelled incorrectly. There was then an announcement over the public address system asking us to return to our cars and drive to the shuttle loading area. Visiting the Gents toilets on the way out I noticed that they have facilities for changing babies nappies, a feature which met with Heidi's approval. The holding area prior to loading is just an expanse of tarmac marked into lanes, the only facilities in sight were a small trailer serving tea and coffee. Hopefully the loading process will be much faster when the service is running properly, but the 25 minute wait did give us an opportunity to take some photos, including one of me riding the folding bicycle. First bicycle passenger through the tunnel? Probably not, this was the 3rd or 4th day of the Overture service.
Driving down the ramp to the loading area we noticed that Le Shuttle trains are functional rather than elegant. Loading is from one end of the train so one drives through until asked to stop by the train crew. The loading areas at each end of the train are apparently where cycles will be carried when they are carried, so cyclists should be last on and first off. When the cars have been loaded the fire proof doors are brought down between the compartments. These are supposed to contain any fire for the 30 minutes it would take to get the shuttle train out of the tunnel. To guarantee the doors will continue to do this it is obviously important to ensure that there is no possibility of the cars hitting them, if, for example, the train stopped suddenly. On our outward trip this was achieved by raising two metal posts from a box structure just in front of the doors. The boxes were of a width such that the car wheels pass either side of them and of a height to give one concern about the car exhaust, especially if the car were heavily loaded. In front of each car is a dot matrix display used to tell passengers what's going on. The messages are in English, French and German and before the train set off the English read "leaving soon", Heidi translated the German as "leaving in a few minutes", but the French said "départ imminent", which definitely sounds more urgent.
The fire doors have smaller double doors to each side so that it is possible to walk through the train, but having been up the stairs to see that the upper deck looks exactly the same as the lower deck there didn't seem much point in confirming that all compartments are identical. The trip time between the train setting off from the Folkestone terminal and stopping at the Calais terminal was 35 minutes. As the inside of the shuttle trains are lighted and the tunnel isn't, there is nothing much to see once in the tunnel, and the trip is, as intended, not at all exciting. Remaining in the car seems the sensible choice and there is supposed to be an FM radio service provided in the tunnel, although this was not, despite announcements to the contrary, working when we went through.
Getting off once the train had stopped at the Calais terminal only took a few minutes and we were soon on the autoroute headed for Calais. The map in an article from the Times on shopping in Calais was adequate for me to navigate us to the centre of Calais and we parked in front of the Town Hall. This was staging a 50th anniversary of the Liberation exhibition, so we went in for a brief look. From the photos on display it seemed Calais was flattened in the process of being liberated. Outside the Town Hall is a statue commemorating a much older battle, a seige by the English. Edward I, I think.
The next stop I wanted to make was at the Tourist Information Office to get a better map, which we did. We then went to the cathedral, which seemed permanently closed and wasn't very interesting from the outside, and on to a cafe for coffee. A quick look at the old citadel, now a sports stadium, and then to the important business, finding a patisserie with cakes Heidi wanted. We actually bought some bread, a pain feuillété aux raisins and another cake I've forgotten the name of.
It was now about 1 pm and time to head for the Mammouth hypermarket, but first I took the bike out of the car boot for a photo of me riding it. At the hypermarket there is also a small Sainsburys wine shop, which sells the same wines as the supermarkets here only cheaper. So I bought some Romanian Pinot Noir at £1.35 a bottle instead of twice that price at Burpham. I did also buy some bottles of French wine in the Mammoth section. Heidi bought wine, cheese, bread, and cakes. As our return check in time was 15:24 it was now about time to head back to the terminal. The area between the hypermarket and the terminal isn't very scenic, so we didn't find anywhere better to eat the picnic Heidi had brought than in the car at the terminal area.
As we were early we were first on to the shuttle train, which meant driving the whole length of the train before departure. Here we found Eurotunnel were trying another, simpler, solution to the problem of ensuring the fire doors weren't hit by cars. This was a rather crude looking construction of wood and metal rods that resembled a wheelclamp, which one of the train crew placed under our front nearside wheel. The return journey was as exciting as the outward trip, not at all exciting, and took the same time.
Assuming the loading is speeded up for the full service, the tunnel should be quicker than the ferry, but it's probably never going to be cheaper. As cyclists are notoriously mean and Calais probably isn't the place you would want to start a tour from, the Folkstone Calais shuttle through the tunnel may only be of interest to those like me who prefer to avoid ferries. The Eurostar service from Waterloo (see Anke's article in this issue) sounds more promising, although that isn't carrying bikes yet either.
Roger Philo 25/11/94
|1||CLlVE RICHARDSON||95.1||50||50||50||50||200||200||138.9||434.0||Silver||1st overall|
|2||DAVID PINKESS||100.0||50||50||50||M10||50||50||250||200||83.3||10||393.3||Silver||2nd overall|
|3||HELEN PINKESS||98.8||50||50||50||M10||50||50||250||200||77.8||10||386.5||Silver||1st Lady|
|4||ERIC PARR||64.2||50||50||50||50||50||250||200||55.6||319.8||Silver||1st Vet|
|7||GILL NORRIS||86.4||50||50||50||M10||50||200||200||10||296.4||Bronze||2nd Lady|
|9||HAROLD COLEMAN||70.4||50||50||100||100||116.7||287.0||Bronze||2nd vet|
The next item on the Agenda was the Annual Accounts. Written figures were not available for distribution to members. The Treasurer apologised for the delay, explaining that some officers had submitted their accounts late, and then the Auditor had gone through the figures very thoroughly. He went through the accounts verbally, the bottom line being that there was a deficit on the year of £7. DA assets remain very healthy at over £2000. The meeting agreed that the Committee would finally approve the accounts, and that the figures would be published in the magazine.
Elections came next; the results appear elsewhere in this magazine. The members of the retiring Committee were thanked for all their hard work during the past year, with David Nightingale being particularly mentioned for his good work as magazine editor over many years.
After the names of the riding group leaders for 1994-95 had been announced, the meeting proceeded to consider the propositions.
Proposition 1: That the word "Southern" be eliminated from the Sunday Wayfarers and that town names be used instead. The present groups would then become the "Guildford & Godalming Wayfarers" and the "Cranleigh Wayfarers". Proposed by Marguerite Statham and seconded by David Nightingale.
After some discussion, during which Chris Juden recommended that the titles contain an explicit reference to cycling, the following group names were agreed: Cranleigh Villages CTC, Guildford & Godalming CTC, and Woking and District Wayfarers.
Proposition 2: That the requirement for full-length mudguards on bikes for DA Benstead Cup events be dropped. Proposed by Roger Philo and seconded by Ian Parker.
Roger presented a few examples showing how the trend was away from insistence on mudguards in Audax events. After a short discussion, a vote was taken, the motion being defeated.
Proposition 3.1: That the Sunday Attendance Competition be abolished. Proposed by Chris Jeggo and seconded by Joan Robinson.
The gist of Chris' argument was that the competition perennially generated more heat than light, and that the matter occupied too high a proportion of the pages in the magazine. The motion was defeated after a short discussion.
Proposition 3.2: That points in the Sunday Attendance Competition be awarded for participation in rides and events organised by W. Surrey DA only. Proposed by Chris Jeggo and seconded by David Pinkess.
Chris said that he did not wish to present any arguments in favour of the proposal, which was essentially the same as one which had been debated fully at the previous AGM. Unfortunately, last year's AGM had not voted on the issue and settled the matter, thus allowing the argument to rumble on in the magazine. He proposed that a vote be taken immediately. This was agreed, and the motion was carried.
Proposition 3.3: That points in the Sunday Attendance Competition be awarded on the following basis: 1 point for riding from the start of a run to the coffee stop, 1 point for riding from coffee to lunch, and 1 point for riding from lunch to tea. Proposed by Chris Jeggo and seconded by David Pinkess.
After a short discussion the motion was defeated, on the grounds that the present system was simpler administratively.
Proposition 4: That the finish of the 50-mile Reliability Ride be within 2 miles of the start. Proposed by Chris Jeggo and seconded by Marguerite Statham.
Chris stated that his son had ridden the '50' this year, found the total mileage for the day too much, and did not want to ride it again. Also, people coming from outside the DA for a DATC event expected the start and finish to be closer together than the 14 miles from Holmbury St. Mary to Pyrford Common. He thought that Roger Philo's route of a few years ago was excellent, and was amazed that it had been used only once. Harold Coleman said that there were several factors which had to be taken into account when designing a route, and that he would not wish the DA to be hamstrung by such a definite limitation. On a vote, the motion was defeated.
Under Any Other Business, it was agreed that there should be a trophy for the first veteran (over 50) in the Benstead Cup Competition. There was some discussion of the best time for the AGM - the present 2 p.m. was agreed to be a reasonable compromise. Harold Coleman asked if we could try to restore previous good standards of riding discipline, particularly warning following riders of what was happening ahead, and not obstructing the carriageway when the group stopped.
The Woking Wayfarers (led by David Nightingale) have averaged ten riders, and have seen a steady flow of new members. The numbers of Cranleigh Wayfarers (led, monthly, by Keith Parfitt) increased in June, and in August the local newspaper invited residents to 'Join the Tour de Cranleigh'. Publicity has been one important factor in attracting riders to the Guildford and Godalming Wayfarers (led by Chris and Helen Juden and David and Claudia Whittle), with visits to places of interest being another, resulting in an average attendance of 11. Their National Bike Week ride attracted an exceptional 34! Most riders stay out all day, covering 30 - 40 miles at an easy pace.
The Intermediates (led by Bob Crosby) have had a good year, with an average attendance of ten, and members taking the first four places in the Sunday attendance competition. Ken Bolingbroke led an excellent and unusual ride to the London Docklands area. He also organised the DA 75 and 100 mile rides and the Tricyclathon, provided a photographic display at 'Wheelers Rest', and gave a slide show at a coffee evening.
The Hardriders (led by Roger Philo) averaged 8.6 riders during the winter, but this dropped to 5.5 during the 'season' when members were travelling away to Audax rides, DATC events, or touring. Their rides have ranged from Brighton to Wendover, and Limpsfield Chart to Littlehampton.
Claire Bright has taken the Juniors, aged 11 to 16, for one or two Saturday morning rides per month, covering 15 to 20 miles using both on- and off-road routes. Geoff Taylor has led a few (sometimes very muddy!) enjoyable mountain bike rides.
The Midweek Wayfarers (led by Marguerite Statham) have averaged 13 people riding out to lunch each Wednesday. One run was to South Harting to see the Tour en Angleterre. The Attendance Trophy was won by Roy Richardson with 48 points, followed by Harry Statham (46), Marguerite Statham (45), Colin Francksen (45) and George Alesbury (44).
There have been two Thursday evening rides per month in the Woking area, with an average attendance of 5, and the Attendance Trophy being won by Chris Jeggo with 21 points. Members ride individually to the chosen pub. On the other hand, in the Godalming area, the members meet at CTC HQ and ride through the lanes for 20 to 30 miles before stopping to quench their thirsts. These rides (led by Martin Taplin) started at Easter and continued into October.
Congratulations to Clive Richardson for winning the Benstead Cup with 434 points. David Pinkess came second with 393 while Eric Parr was first Veteran with 320 and Matthew Juden was first Junior with 57 points. Helen Pinkess won the Ladies' Benstead Shield with 387 points and Gill Norris came second with 296. Benstead Cup events comprised: 50 miles, 150 km, Stonehenge and Back 200 km, Roughstuff, Tour of the Hills 100 km, 75/100 miles, and Tricyclathon.
The identity of the winner of the Wooden Crank will remain a mystery until the Annual Dinner on 26th November.
In the CTC's District Associations Tourist Competition, as at 31st August, W. Surrey DA members occupied 2nd, 4th, 6th, 9th and 10th places, and we were lying first in the team competition.
On the social side, coffee evenings have been held monthly during the winter, and the traditional mince pie run on Christmas morning was to Bob and Isobel Crosby's. Ken and Maurice's Christmas concert was so well attended that Michael Jeggo hardly had room to operate the slide of his trombone. The Annual Dinner at Guildford YMCA was enjoyed by 50 people.
Twelve DA ladies enjoyed a weekend in the Cotswolds, ten DA members attended the Home Counties Rally, and six went to the York Rally. Three Juniors rode the Woking Bikeathon.
The magazine, 'The West Surrey Cyclist', has continued to be produced quarterly by David Nightingale. Articles, short or long, are always wanted. Keith Parfitt has ably publicised the DA by producing posters, maintaining noticeboards at 'Wheelers Rest' and the Barn Cafe, sending information to the local newspapers, and manning a stand at various external events.
The Cyclists' Rights Network has an active group in Farnham which has campaigned successfully for a cycle route around the town centre, has manned stands at Farnham events, organised regular Sunday rides, and run events during National Bike Week. Guildford and Godalming also have active CRN groups, and one was formed in Woking this September. DA members have represented cyclists at Road Safety Forums organised by Surrey County Council.
The official DA Annual Report was prepared by the DA Secretary and includes a compilation of brief reports by officers, riding group leaders, and others. It runs to 5½ pages and contains more detail than this résumé. If you missed the AGM and would like a copy of the full report, the DA Secretary will be delighted to provide one.
MORETON HOUSE GUEST HOUSE, HIGH STREET, MORETON-IN-MARSH, GLOUCESTERSHIRE. MAP REF. 151 205324 WE SHALL BE VISITING BROADWAY AND STRATFORD-ON-AVON.
Moreton House G.H. has 2 twin rooms, several doubles and 6 singles. The approximate cost for B&B and Dinner is £26 I need a deposit of £5 by March 5th 1995 Maximum number 12
OCTOBER TUES. 10th-FRI. 13th
MAYFIELD HOUSE HOTEL AND RESTAURANT, CRUDWELL, NR. MALMESBURY, WILTSHIRE. MAP REF. 173 957929 WE SHALL BE VISITING WESTONBIRT ARBORETUM.
Mayfield House has 8 twin rooms and 3 singles. All rooms are en-suite with TV and kettle! The total cost per person is approximately £89 for B&B and Evening Meal. Please let me know if you are interested as I need some indication of numbers.
MARGUERITE STATHAM 0483 763289
|R. Richardson||48||H. Powell||5|
|H. Statham||46||J. Dowling||5|
|M. Statham||45||C. Taylor||4|
|C. Francksen||45||A. Aubin||2|
|G. Alesbury||44||R. Blackburn||2|
|L. Houlton||36||H. Pinkess||2|
|K. Bolingbroke||33||B. Wellings||2|
|K. Travis||33||P. Wraight||2|
|J. Ostrom||32||C. Whittle||2|
|A. Blackburn||31||P. Brown||1|
|R. Philo||31||D. Brooke-Jone||1|
|E. Parr||30||B. Crosby||1|
|B. Bartholomew||29||B. Cook||1|
|B. Page||26||W. Cook||1|
|D. Pinkess||25||H. Coleman||1|
|M. Jones||25||H. Shiels||1|
|J. Widley||20||R. Shiels||1|
|G. Porter||18||C. Greening||1|
|R. Banks||15||D. Garrick||1|
|R. Powell||9||R. Huxtable||1|
|P. Shea||8||H. Juden||1|
|L. Cummins||6||Joan Ostrom||1|
TOTAL NUMBER 44
HIGHEST NO. 20 LOWEST NO. 7
AVERAGE 13 EACH WEEK
On the morning of Saturday June 25th, Chris picked me up just after 7.00 and we headed off for Saffron Walden Youth Hostel and a 10.00 am start. There were about 30 starters from Saffron Walden, but I got dropped very quickly by the main bunch because I'd fitted a new saddle before the event and failed to tighten the fixing bolt sufficiently, so I had to stop after half a mile to do so. The first stage was through Essex to Burnham-on-Crouch. The rain just after the start was the only poor weather on the whole ride. The scenery was moderately interesting, at least compared to some that came later, and the route sheet mostly clear, apart from some confusing instructions in Braintree. I still don't know if I used the intended route at this point. Needing a control from 12.30 to 15.38, Noel had chosen to use a garage which shut for lunch between 13.00 and 14.00 and I arrived at 13.10. Fortunately Noel had also provided an information control as an alternative so I can now tell you that Burnham's twin town is L'Aguillon sur Mer. This was 75km in 3h 10m and with nowhere obvious to stop in Burnham I headed back to Saffron Walden and a vegetable curry at the hostel. Arrived 16.35, 150km in 6h 35m. Chris had arrived considerably earlier but had a split tyre just as he was setting off on the 3rd leg. Fortunately he had a spare in the car but the problem delayed him and we set off together again. The route to the next control, a transport cafe at Red Lodge, was interesting, ie hilly in places, and we arrived there at 17:10, 194km in 9h 10m.
The next section was a long one, 103km across the Fens to the youth hostel at Thurlby. I hit a very bad patch about halfway on this stage, as we got to Warboys, which is just north east from Huntingdon. I was feeling sick, which usually means I haven't been drinking enough, but also means I don't feel like drinking anything. I did manage some soya milk, although as my brain wasn't functioning too well Chris had to get the water I needed to dilute it, from a Spar shop I think. After I'd rested for about 20 minutes we continued, but I still wasn't feeling too good and Chris had to use a lot of persuasion to get me to ride the last few miles to Thurlby after I'd stopped again in Market Deeping. We finally arrived at the hostel at Thurlby at 00:57 Sunday, 297km in 14h 57m.
We stopped here for about 4 hours eating first, then trying to get some sleep in a crowded, hot and not very quiet dormitory, then eating again (breakfast). On the next stage we headed north through Borne, and Horbling, to Heckington where there was an information control designed to insure we were using the lanes and not the main road to get to Lincoln. On the next stretch we passed some of the Fishlake starters heading south, including organiser Noel Simpson. The Lincoln control was at an all night garage and we arrived at 08:10 Sunday, 366km in 22h 10m.
On our way out of Lincoln I was feeling sleepy as well as sick and told Chris to carry on without me. I then stopped and laid down on a bench partway up a hill on the route out of Lincoln. I think I got more sleep here than at the hostel and after an hour I was feeling much better so I continued. A slight navigational error took me on a busy road into Gainsborough and the correct route on an even busier road out again. The instructions after this confused me. I knew where the next control, the village hall at Fishlake was, because I'd been there in May on my unsuccessful attempt at the Dales 400. I couldn't see how the instructions on the route sheet got you there. As Chris had already discovered by this time, they didn't. There was a missing left turn instruction actually in Fishlake. This didn't cause me any problems because I knew where I was at that point, but it probably accounts for Chris still being at the Fishlake control when I arrived. He was very pleased to see me as he had suspected that I'd packed in Lincoln and the effort he put in to persuading me to carry on to Thurlby on the Saturday evening had been wasted. Arrived Fishlake 12:36 Sunday, 439km in 26h 36m.
As Chris was just leaving Fishlake as I arrived he did not wait for me, but I caught him again at the next control, a tea shop in Stamford Bridge and we rode together from then on. I arrived at Stamford Bridge at 16:20 Sunday, 497km in 30h 20m. The scenery then got more interesting (hilly) as we made our way west and then north on lanes to the next control, the services at Scotch Corner. We arrived at 21:30 Sunday, 588km in 35h 30m. Our options for getting some sleep on Sunday night were, take a room at the motel at Scotch Corner, continue to Leeming Bar and its motel or continue back to Fishlake. Fishlake was another 139km and the sleeping accommodation wasn't all that wonderful anyway and we were ready to leave Scotch Corner at 22.30 which was too early to stop. So we rode the 20km to Leeming Bar, a pleasant night ride through the lanes and took a room in the motel. Enquiring about somewhere safe to leave the bikes, we were told there wasn't anywhere so would we mind taking them into the room. Ok we said, and didn't add that that was what we wanted to do with them anyway. A bath, about 4 hours sleep and breakfast and we were on our way again at 5.00.
We reached the Knaresborough control, another all night garage, at 7.15 Monday, 654km in 45h 15m. The route from Leeming Bar to Fishlake was the same as for the Dales 400 so the sketchy instructions in Wetherby didn't cause us any problems. On through Tadcaster to Selby. The road between Selby and Snaith isn't very interesting, I'd ridden it a few times before and I was feeling stronger than on the first two days so I pushed up the pace on this stretch. To the point that Chris had to ask me to slow down a little, which is most unusual. We reached Fishlake at 11.05 Monday, 727km in 49h 5m. Here we met Graham Moult, who had started from Fishlake and had finished a few hours earlier. Even allowing for the fact that he hadn't stopped to sleep that's an impressive speed for the distance. At this point Chris and I were the last of the Saffron Walden starters on the road, the two riders who had been behind us had packed with dynamo trouble just after Fishlake on the way up. So when Graham asked if he could ride with us as far as the station in Thorne we said yes, if we can keep up with you.
At Fishlake I changed into the spare set of clothes I'd left there on the way up. This turned out to be a mistake in one respect as the socks weren't as comfortable and my feet were so painful by the time we got to Gainsborough that I had to stop and change back into the original pair of socks. South of Gainsborough Chris showed me the route I should have taken on the way up, and it was definitely quieter and more pleasant. In Lincoln we made a small navigational error and ended up going round some of an inner ring road, which was very busy, to get to the control. This was the same all night garage as on the way up and we arrived at 16.10 Monday, 800km in 54h 10m. The weather was very warm and we reacted to this in different ways, Chris stayed in the air-conditioned shop and I sat outside in the shade of a tree.
Mostly what I remember about the next stage is that I was starting to have knee problems. Fortunately Chris was carrying some ibuprofen tablets and I took two which helped a lot. We arrived at Thurlby at 20.19 Monday, 869km in 58h 19m. After eating and having about two hours sleep we set off again. We had found the stage from Red Lodge to Thurlby across the Fens so enthralling on the way up that we decided to do the return trip in the dark in order to avoid getting too excited. Unfortunately, on the road to Thorney Chris reached into a back pocket for a cereal bar and dislodged the small flashing LED light clipped to his Sam Browne. That is it would have been flashing if it had been switched on, which, for my benefit, as I was riding behind him, it wasn't. If it had been switched on it have been easy to find in the dark on a grass verge, but as it wasn't it wasn't and we didn't find it. We reached the control at Red Lodge at 5.38 Tuesday, 972km in 67h 38m.
I managed about 10 minutes dozing in the early morning sun outside the cafe before we set off on the last stage, through Newmarket and Linton to Saffron Walden. This section was considerably more interesting that the previous one, and towards the finish signs had been put up telling us how far we still had to go. We finally arrived at Saffron Walden at 8.53 Tuesday, 1016km in 70h 53m, although the trip measurement on my Avocet showed only 16km. At the finish Chris said to me "Could you ride another 200km in the next 19 hours", I replied "Yes" and he said "So you can do PBP"
The route headed south from Grayswood via Lodsworth to Selham, then west through South Ambersham and around Heyshott to the A286 south of Midhurst. Then came one of four short stretches of A road, to Singleton, where it was left up the hill to a trailer in a car park selling tea and coffee, very welcome after the climb, and then on and round Goodwood racecourse. Half a mile of A285 and then lanes again through Eartham and Slindon to the A29, where it was up to the roundabout and then down in to Amberley. Here we turned left and looped round through Rackham, Greatham and Coldwaltham to Petworth. Curiously, the route sheet did not mention the cafes in Petworth, although it did mention Russets Tearoom in Kirdford, some 4 miles further on. As this was only 18 miles from the finish I would not have stopped, but I had put Russets down as a tea stop for the first time on the new runs list and thought I should check it first. Its a hard life being a group leader! After coffee and toast (they had run out of teacakes), it was on through Loxwood, Alfold and Dunsfold to Chiddingfold and finally back to Grayswood.
The meal at the finish was included in the entry fee and was turkey or mixed bean stew followed by a choice of pudding (I had apple and blackberry pie), and of course large amounts of tea or coffee. For once I agreed exactly with the organisers' estimate of the total distance, at least I did when I realised the event was claimed to be 109km and not the 112km shown on the earlier publicity. It was an excellent route and I think the route sheet was clear, although I may not be the best person to judge that as I knew most of the route anyway. Don't miss this event next year, even if it is the day after the DA Annual Dinner again.
The Hull CTC is well in evidence, with a display on their entry into cycle-polo, and other exhibits. There is a television display showing a cycle ride, and a audio/visual (slide) show relating to a cycle ride through the former Yugoslavia. Some of the static displays are memorable, one gives statistics of cycle usage, and tells of the early conflicts between motorists (often overtaken) and cyclists. The Victorians, fond of organising sports had club rides on Saturdays, this meant that most working class people (who worked on Saturday) were excluded by this and the cost of a bicycle, hence it was mainly a middle class preserve (Sunday being reserved for church!). The ladies battle to win acceptability is also covered, pointing out that, ladies from the upperclasses upon taking up the sport gave it a respectability for others to follow!
Going downstairs into the Garage, hanging from the ceiling are yet more bicycles. Against one wall is a bicycle fitted with a 32cc twostroke powered rear wheel assembly. Next too it is a clip on version, providing a third motorised wheel, its use is shown in a photograph. From the garage you can enter the cycle repair shop, here the tools etc are displayed in situe, together with a video of a frame. Yes a frame's history is shown from its handbuilt manufacture, bicycle assembly and subsequent use by a local timetrialist for whom it was built.
The museum has many other exhibits relating to rail (including a rare
wooden bogie, used to haul timber), tram, horse drawn coach, doubledecker
bus and much more. The museum has a cafeteria, and is being expanded for
more exhibits. It is open
Mon - Sat 10 am -5 pm
Sun 1.30 - 4.30 pm
ADMISSION IS FREE
It is located in the High Street near to the Wilberforce Museum (also free) and is easily reached from the main shopping centre. Telephone enquiries to 0482 (Hull) 593902
Well worth a visit.
. Previous magazine . . Index to magazines . . Next magazine . . W. Surrey DA History & Archives home page .
Web page by Chris Jeggo. Last revised: 13 September 2006.