"The West Surrey Cyclist" - April - June 1995

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Contents:

Front cover - very similar to Issue 1
Inner front cover - advertisement - Wyke Hurst at Normandy
Editorial - by David Nightingale
West Surrey District Association Officers  1994-95  - same as in previous issue
Advertisement - Home Counties Rally at Ringmer - East Sussex DA
A Trip to the New Forest - by Chris Jeggo
Benstead Challenge Cup Competition - 1995 rules
Unofficial DA Records - by Roger Philo
Information - compiled by David Nightingale
Notice - 50 Mile Reliability Rides
DA Events 1995
List of cafés and tearooms - compiled by Marguerite Statham and Russ Mantle
Events April - June 1995 - the Runs List
Notice - Stonehenge 200 km Randonnée
News and notes by Roger Philo
Volunteers Required - by Roger Philo
Attendance competition - by Roger Philo
Scotland Revisited - by Marguerite Statham
Letter to the Editor - Route of the '50' - by Chris Jeggo
Notice - the South Downs Sesquicentury 150 km Brevet Populaire
Advertisement - Three Counties 100 km Randonnée - Croydon CTC
Outer back cover - advertisement - Acorn Cycles

Selected items transcribed from the original printed copy:


Editorial

Sorry for being a bit late again....the wind was in the wrong direction!  Well from having not a lot to masses, thanks to all those who have contributed, and my apologies in advance for not getting the letter to the committee to write a reply, it got filed an forgotten due to other important events......

This issue contains a mass of information on the years forthcoming events.  Perhaps a chance of an article or two!  Ed would be very grateful for any stories, even short bits and pieces, and remember classified adverts are free to members.  On the subject of Adverts thanks to the two main advertisers, if you use their services please mention the Magazine as this helps them, and us.

Technical tips....if you have any please let Ed know, the grass filled tyres worked..... see the Information section.

Quizzes and conundrums..... does any one have any please let Ed know.

In recent times my printer ribbons have been squeezed dry hence the fainter print, however I have been offered a very reasonable deal on re-inking at third of the cost of a new ribbon.  (Old ribbon not re-inked this issue)  This is a much greener idea, so save your old printer & wp ribbons (even if you don't want them re-inked if passed to Ed, they will be passed on for recycling!).  Contact Ed on (see the committee page) or David on 01276 857896.

Have fun!  Ed


A TRIP TO THE NEW FOREST

Chris Jeggo

February has rarely deserved the epithet 'Fill-dike' better than this year.  The weather forecast for half-term was 'changeable', but the leave was booked, so Mike and I hoped for the best, and went.

We ate our sandwiches aboard a late morning train, and emerged on to the streets of Winchester as the rain started.  Under waterproofs we laboured up Romsey Road, which used to be the A31 before they started messing about with all the roads in the area.

Despite its recently controversial by-pass (Twyford Down), Winchester is uncomfortably busy with traffic, but this proved to be mainly local, and dropped off as we reached the edge of the built-up area.  Now right on top of the downs, we had a magnificent view, to the south-west, of the approaching clouds.  After the switch-back through Pitt it was downhill to Standon, where we took to the lanes for the rest of the day.

There was water everywhere, except, thank goodness, on the roads, which led us through Braishfield to the Test Valley near Timsbury.  Continuing along a generally south-westerly route which I have used a number of times before, we entered the New Forest at Blackhill having just crossed the busy A36.

At Bramshaw we turned south, making for our first objective, the Rufus stone.  In view of the amount of rain which had fallen during the previous few days, we were a little concerned about how easily we would get through, as the OS map showed the lane south of Brook as fording King's Garn Gutter (What a wonderful name!).  We need not have worried, however, as we found it to be easily passable.

The Rufus stone was erected in 1745 by Lord de la Warr to commemorate and mark the spot of the killing of King William II, nicknamed 'Rufus', by an arrow which had been deflected by a hunted stag's antler.  The stone itself, unfortunately, is no longer visible, having been encased in an iron casting, in order to preserve it, around the middle of the last century.  The original inscriptions, however, are reproduced on the casting.

At the 'Little Chef' nearby on the A31 the tea was down to their usual standards while the tea cakes were more burned than toasted.  Still, it allowed us to warm up and dry out a bit.

From Stoney Cross we swooped down the lane to Emery Down and on into Lyndhurst.  The tourist information office there provided some useful information, and we found B&B on Romsey Road, close to the High Street, where all the restaurants are.

The variety of eating places in a town of such size surprised me a bit.  On our two evenings there we tried the Indian and the Italian, which were both good, but there is also a Thai, a chippy, a pub ('The Fox and Hounds') and a hotel ('The Crown') where the bar menu looked attractive and reasonable.

The next day was cool but sunny, and forecast to remain so, so in the morning we did a little tour of the local forest roads.  The deer sanctuary at Bolderwood did not detain us long, for there were no deer visible.  Bolderwood and Rhinefield Ornamental Drives were pleasant, and led us to Brockenhurst for elevenses.  First, though, we had to deal with Mike's rapidly softening rear tyre.  I told him it was a result of riding through the ford too fast.  I am not sure whether he believed me.  Anyway, we can recommend the tea shop at the back of the stationer's in the main street.

Shortly afterwards we suffered another delay trying to make Mike's gears change better.  It turned out to be more than a matter of simple adjustment, so we switched the lever from 'indexed' to 'friction' and continued to Beaulieu, where we obtained a good light lunch at 'The Old Bakehouse'.

Over lunch we decided that we did not have enough time to visit both Bucklers Hard and Beaulieu.  We chose the latter, and spent about an hour in each of Beaulieu Abbey, Palace House, and the National Motor Museum.  The adult admission fee of £7.50 seemed a bit much for an afternoon, but there is more than enough there to keep one interested for a whole day, so if you want value for money, plan your visit accordingly!

The 'Wheels' exhibition was amusing in that it uses technology akin to that of a ghost train.  You sit in a two-seat car on a sort of conveyor belt, and as you leave the boarding area a safety bar moves into place in front of you.  Then, as you pass the various exhibits, the car swivels round to the appropriate side, and, in some cases, lights in the exhibit go on.  Gimmickry apart, the exhibition was not bad, and the chance to take the weight off our feet was welcome.

We were tempted to go back to 'The Old Bakehouse' for tea, but preferred to cycle back to Lyndhurst in daylight.  However, all the cafes were closed when we got there at about six o'clock.

"Let's try 'The Crown'," I said to Mike, "we'll probably pay over the odds, but a pot of tea won't break the bank."

We were shown into an oak-panelled bar, in front of a blazing log fire, and presently tea was served.  Tissues restored, I enquired the cost.  £1.40!  If only we had known that the day before.

The forecast for our third day was showers in the morning, with really foul weather turning up about mid-day.  Accordingly, we made haste for Winchester, re-tracing much of our outward route rather than the longer one originally planned.  After lunch and visits to some indoor attractions of the city, such as book shops, we relaxed on the train home.


BENSTEAD CHALLENGE CUP COMPETITION - 1995

The Benstead Challenge Cup was presented to the West Surrey D.A. in 1937 by Archibald Benstead, who was then Vice-President of the D.A.  The Committee of the time decided on a programme of varied events, designed to give all riders as fair a chance as possible of emerging as the best all-round cyclist in the D.A.  The competition has continued from then except for a break from 1940 to 1946 when members were serving in HM Forces.

The Cup is awarded annually to the West Surrey member who has accumulated the greatest number of points from the specified events.  Besides holding the Cup for one year the winner receives an engraved medal to keep, as does the runner-up.  A separate trophy, the Ladies Benstead Shield, is awarded to the highest placed lady.  The Junior Benstead Cup is awarded to the highest placed Junior (under 18 years at 30th September of the relevant year).  For each of these trophies, should no eligible rider score 100 points or more, the trophy shall not be awarded.

For 1995 the non-competitive events for which points shall be awarded are:
50 mile reliability ride, 23rd April:  150km Audax, 14th May:  200km Audax, 11th June:  60km Audax roughstuff, 23th July:  105km Audax "Tour of the Hills", 13th August:  100 or 75 mile reliability ride, 3rd September.
For each of these events completed within the required time 50 points shall be awarded up to a maximum of 200 points for 4 events completed. Riders who at the end of the season have not completed 4 events within the specified time shall in addition to 50 points for each event completed within the time be awarded 10 points for each event started but not completed, or not completed within the specified time for up to a maximum of 4 events in total for completed and uncompleted events.

For 1995 the 3 competitive events for which points shall be awarded are the hillclimb, freewheeling and pacejudging, all to be held on 8th October.  For the purposes of calculating numbers of starters these 3 events shall be considered as one event, ie anyone competing in any one of these events shall be deemed, for the purposes of the points calculation detailed below, to have started in all three.  Should the number of starters, calculated in this way be less than 4, points towards the Cup shall not be awarded.  For each of these competitive events the winner shall be awarded 50 points, with points for other placings being awarded on a percentage basis, eg if there are 20 starters the second place shall be awarded 19/20 of the points awarded to the winner ie 47.5, the third place 45 and so on down to 2.5 for the 20th place.  Non finishers shall be considered as equal last and in all cases of equally placed competitors the points awarded shall be the average (arithmetic mean) for the placings concerned, eg if 4 competitors are placed equal 3rd the points awarded shall be the average of those which would have been awarded for 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th places.

Hillclimb and freewheeling:  Riders must enter and complete whichever of these events is run second on the same machine carrying as nearly as practicable the same load as for the first of these events, such load not to exceed that reasonable for a day ride.  "As nearly as practicable" and "reasonable" will be interpreted at the organiser's discretion but implies riders will not be expected to find another lot of sandwiches for the second event if they have eaten those they were carrying on the first event and that bricks in saddlebags will not be permitted.

These events are intended for tourists on touring machines, therefore, with the exception of the 60km roughstuff ride, only riders on machines fitted with full length mudguards can gain points towards the Cup competition.  Tricycles are exempt from this rule, due to the difficulty in fitting mudguards.

In order to encourage DA members to organise or marshal events, 10 points shall be awarded for organising or marshalling any one of the 7 events listed above.

Entry fees and conditions of entry shall be as specified in the entry forms for each event.

DA badges are awarded to those completing 4 or more of the 7 events listed above.  The hillclimb, freewheeling and pacejudging shall be considered as a single event for the purpose of this calculation and completing it requires completing each of its three parts.  A gold badge shall be awarded for completing 6 events, a silver badge for completing 5 events and a bronze badge for completing 4 events.  ("Gold", "silver" and "bronze" refer approximately to the colour of these badges and not to the material of which they are made.).  Organising or marshalling one event shall count towards these badges in the same way as if the event had been successfully completed, ie a gold badge shall also be awarded for completing 5 events and marshalling or organising one event and similarly for silver and bronze.

Points towards the Benstead Cup competition shall also be awarded from the Sunday Attendance competition, with the winner of the Attendance competition being awarded 100 points and other placings being awarded points on the same percentage basis as described above for the hillclimb etc.  For this calculation only riders who have scored 10 or more points in the Sunday Attendance competition shall be considered.

Sunday Attendance Competition for the Bill Inder Trophy
As the results of this competition are required for the calculation of Benstead Cup results it is run on a yearly basis from 1st October to 30th September, ie the 1995 Benstead Cup results will contain scores from the Sunday Attendance competition run from 1st October 1994 to 30th September 1995.  Points are awarded for attendance on Sunday runs and Sunday events which appear on the DA runs lists.  For Sunday runs there is one point each for morning start, elevenses, lunch and afternoon tea.  Where adverse weather conditions, mechanical problems and other contingencies unforseen at the time of compilation of the runs list prevent groups from reaching the destinations stated on the runs list, points may still be awarded to group members for elevenses, lunch or afternoon tea at places other than those given on the runs list.  Individuals not riding with the D.A'.s organised groups may not claim points for attendance at places other than those specified on the runs list.  As some riders may find the distance ridden on the DA's Sunday rides too large if the ride to and from their homes is included, arrival at the start or departure from afternoon tea, or arrival or departure from elevenses or lunch using a motor vehicle to transport the cycle shall not prevent the award of attendance points, providing arrival or departure as appropriate is by cycle.
For Sunday events on the runs list 4 points shall be awarded for completing the event.  Organisers and marshals of D.A. events shall be awarded the same number of points in the Attendance competition as they would have received for successfully completing the event.

In the case of disputes, decision shall initially be by the organiser in the case of DA events or the relevant group leader or leaders for Sunday runs.  Riders may appeal against such decisions to the DA Committee.  In order to ensure consistency between different organisers or different group leaders the DA Committee may also rule on such matters without an appeal having been made.  In either case the decision of the DA Committee shall be final.

The above rules were approved by the DA Committee on 20th January 1995 and will be applied to the 1995 competition.  Suggestions for changes to these rules, to be applied from 1996, should be made to the Runs Secretary.  Perhaps the DA should follow the example of Audax United Kingdom and redesignate the Ladies Benstead Shield as a trophy to be awarded to the highest placed rider of the opposite sex to the winner, otherwise we may find the Benstead Cup and the Ladies Benstead Shield being awarded to the same person.


UNOFFICIAL DA RECORDS

The "cutting it fine at the finish of Audax events" record

In 1992, I finished a 300km Audax in 19h 58m (time limit 20h) and a 400km in 26h 57m (time limit 27h) so I think I had some claim to this record.

In 1994 Ian Parker beat this by finishing a 300km in 19h 59m.

19th March 1995:  Bob & Isobel Crosby gave me a lift to the start of the Marlow 200km which all three of us had entered.  Isobel wasn't feeling 100%, and in fact went down with flu type symptoms the following day, but could not switch to the shorter ride as Peter England, the organiser, had run out of brevet cards.  So we all set off on the 200km at 08:00.  At the first and second controls Bob & Isobel arrived just as I was leaving.  At the third, where an overlap of route into and out of the control means you get to see people up to an hour in front or behind you, I didn't see them.  I finished at 19:42, an hour later than I had hoped, but 5 minutes faster than I have ridden the event before.  Extrapolating from our time differences at the controls I expected to see Bob & Isobel shortly after 21:00.

An obscure point about Audax regulations.  The Marlow 200 is a Brevet AUK (RM) event and is actually 210km.  This means that if you want the Brevet de Randonneurs Mondiaux you must finish in 13h 30m, as under RM rules no extra time is allowed for the extra distance.  AUK regulations do allow extra time for extra distance so the AUK brevet time limit for the Marlow event is 14h.  However, if you want the event to count as a Paris - Brest - Paris qualifier, you need the RM brevet.

Nine o'clock came and went with no sign of Bob & Isobel.  Ten past, twenty past, twenty five past, and they still hadn't arrived.  At twenty eight minutes past I was looking at my watch continuously.  Twenty nine minutes past, still no sign.  At 21:29:48 by my watch, Bob came through the door into the hall.  Fortunately, my watch agreed with the clock Peter was using to time the finish, so Bob was given a time of 13h 30m exactly.  A new and unbeatable record.  Bob had stayed with Isobel until they reached the street lights in Marlow, about 1 km from the finish and then sprinted in.  Isobel arrived a few minutes later and will get the AUK brevet for the event, not a problem, as she is not trying to qualify for PBP (as far as I know).

Roger Philo


INFORMATION ......we want information........

Contents:
1  Carradice Panniers
2  County Cycleways
3  Grass Filled Tyres
4  Hovis National Bike Week
5  Map Library
6  Railway Policy Statement
7  Recruitment
8  Rights Network
9  Road Safety
10  Wiltshire Cycleway

1  Carradice Panniers by John Ostrom

"BROWNIE POINTS FOR CARRADICE" ....On Friday morning a few weeks ago I posted a letter asking them to quote for two widgets (R) plus postage so that I could send a cheque in advance payment.  On Monday morning the first post brought my widgets with bill enclosed.

Good on you Carradice:  may your panniers ever be laden with profit!

2  County Cycleways

Oxfordshire    Map 50p from tourist offices
Wiltshire    Free Map see below.... Ed recommends
More on this in the next issue when Ed will be compiling a list of Cycleways + Maps.  If you know of any please give me a call, thank you.

3  Grass Filled Tyres

You may remember a tip in the previous edition, that should you suffer a puncture, and exhaust your supply of inner tubes, 'to fill the tyre with grass'.  Bill Squirell reports that this works, and got him some considerable distance back home.  The minor inconvenience was due to the grass being wet, which led to some ingression of grass into parts inner tubes cannot reach.  Ed apologizes for not rembering the whole story!

4  Hovis National Bike Week

This year takes place between 10th - 18th of June.  Details of the events in each area will be available from early June.  Please ask for further information nearer the time!

5  Map Library

The West Surrey DA has a map library, this contains maps of England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland.  The Library also contains some books.  Thanks to all those people who have kindly donated.

Bartholomews Maps  1,2,4,5-8,10-20,22-24,27-29,33,34,40
OS Landranger Maps  2-5,8,29,168,170,181

Please contact Keith Parfitt for more details

6  Railway Policy Statement

CTC HQ have issued a sheet detailing policies which rail operators are urged to adopt.  Please ask if you would like more details.

7  Recruitment

The CTC is encouraging the local DAs to recruit and retain more members.  The DA that increases by the largest percentage will win 100 pounds, 50 for 2nd and 25 for 3rd.  Apparently the losses almost equal number of new recruits.  They suggest circulating information on events to more than just the regulars.  Ed gets a fair few requests for runs lists, one lady asked if there was a mailing list!  So if any one has any thoughts regarding recruitment / retention please contact the committee members listed at the front of the magazine.

8  Rights Network

This exists to promote cyclists rights, and in a recent report....more money is to be spent on cycling schemes and traffic calming.

9  Road Safety - Feedback From The 1994 Forums

Residents confirmed the need for more cycle lanes, this included designating footpaths for such use.

10  Wiltshire Cycleway

Wiltshire County Council have produced an excellent free map of their cycle routes throughout the county.  These are described in the accompanying text and are also well signposted.  Ed has tried some parts of them and enjoyed the countryside.  Please ring Ed for more information.  Or one of the Tourist Information Centres
Bath 01225 462 831 Devizes 01380 729 408
Salisbury 01722 334 956 Swindon 01793 530 328



 
CYCLISTS' TOURING CLUB


WEST SURREY DISTRICT
ASSOCIATION
SUNDAY 23rd APRIL
50 MILE RELIABILITY RIDES

Start at junction of Pyrford Common Road and
Old Woking Road O.S. 186 028592

8:00am for 5 hours
8:30am for 4½ or 4 hours
9:00am for 3½ hours

ROUTE SHEET FROM KEITH PARFITT
24 Elmside, Onslow Village, Guildford Tel. 0483 60776

OR ENTER ON THE DAY



 
CYCLISTS' TOURING CLUB
 
 

WEST SURREY DISTRICT
ASSOCIATION

EVENTS 1995
April 23rd 50 mile Reliability Ride Contact Keith - 01483 60776
May 14th 150 km Audax Ride
Bob - 01483 722337
June 11th Stonehenge 200 km Audax Ride
Roger - 01483 233381
July 23rd 60 km Rough Stuff Audax Ride
Clive - 01428 724390
Aug 13th Tour of the Hills 100 km Audax
Harold - 01252 546635
Sept 3rd 100 or 75 mile Reliability Ride
Ken - 01483 474048
Oct 8th Tricyclathon
Ken - 01483 474048
Regular Sunday and Wednesday rides contact Harry on 01483 763289



 
CYCLISTS' TOURING CLUB

 
WEST SURREY DISTRICT
ASSOCIATION
STONEHENGE 200km

RANDONNEE
(UNDER AUDAX U.K. REGULATIONS)

SUNDAY JUNE 11th
START 8:00am
ELSTEAD YOUTH CENTRE

TOTAL DISTANCE 206km
Minimum time 6 hrs 52 mins Maximum time 13 hrs 44 mins
MODIFIED ROUTE INCLUDES 1KM OF THE A303

Details from Roger Philo on 01483 233381


TEN PIN BOWLING MATCH

Keith has organised a ten pin bowling match against the residents of the Leonard Cheshire home at Hydestile.  The match will be at the Home in Hydestile, starting at 19:30 and finishing at 21:00.  The date has not been fixed yet but will be a Tuesday, either in May or 4th or 25th April.  The plan is for two matches between teams of 9 - 12, firstly between West Surrey DA and the residents, then between mixed teams of West Surrey DA and the residents.  Those dismayed by the absence of Thursday night pub meetings from the current runs list (Chris Jeggo has got tired of drinking on his own) will be pleased to know that there is a bar.  If you are interested in taking part please contact Keith (01483 60776) with your preferred dates for the match.

JUNIOR GROUP

As this group rides mostly off-road, which must be quite muddy at the moment, I was surprised to hear from Keith that the ride at the beginning of March had 4 adults and 10 juniors.  The latest issue of the Charlotteville club magazine refers to their having a large number of junior riders by recent standards.  Lets hope this trend continues.

Roger Philo


VOLUNTEERS REQUIRED

Yes, this is your Runs Secretary's annual appeal for marshals and helpers for the DA's Benstead Cup events.  If you would like to help with any of the following please contact the event organisers.
50 mile Reliability Ride  Sunday 23rd April
Organisers:  Keith Parfitt & Harold Coleman
Kings Head, Holmbury St Mary 11:30 - 12:30  (until Keith arrives with 20 mile ride group)
150km Southdowns Sesquicentury.  Sunday 14th May
Organiser  Bob Crosby
Duncton 12:00 - 14:44
200km Stonehenge 200.  Sunday 11th June
Organiser  Roger Philo
Secret control
Overton
Elstead (finish)
Details on application
9:36 - 11:12
shifts between 14:50 and 21:40
60km Roughstuff event  Sunday 24th July
Organisers  Clive Richardson & Roger Philo
Secret Control
St. Martha's Hill
Baynards
Details on application
10:30 - 11:10
11:30 - 13:15
100km Tour of the Hills event.  Sunday 14th August
Organisers:  Keith Parfitt & Harold Coleman
Secret control
Farley Green
Horseblock Hollow
Dunley Hill 1
Box Hill
Forest Green
Dunley Hill 2
Barn Cafe (Finish)
Details on application
10:36 - 11:12
10:43 - 11:46
11:24 - 12:49
11:46 - 13:33
12:32 - 15:05
13:10 - 16:21
13:31 - 17:02
100 or 75 mile reliability rides.  Sunday 4th September
Organiser  Ken Bolingbroke
Pirbright (start)
Pirbright (finish)
? (finish)
07:00 - 09:00
15:30 - 17:00
17:00 - 19:00
Tricyclathon (Hillclimb, freewheeling, pacejudging).  Sunday 9th October
Organiser  Ken Bolingbroke
Various marshals and timekeepers required.

Remember, to obtain maximum Benstead Cup points from the DA's standard rides you need to complete 4 of them AND marshal or organise at least one.  Also the rules for awarding DA medals have been changed this year so that marshalling in one event rather than riding it counts towards the DA medals

Roger Philo

A date for your diary.
    DA Annual Dinner:  Saturday 25th November 1995.  YMCA, Guildford


ATTENDANCE COMPETITION

Following comments at the AGM that the attendance competition was taking up too much of the magazine, I intended not to supply the magazine with interim scores.  However, the Editor is apparently short of copy for this issue so here is the top 40ish.  This list is not complete as I have not yet collected scores from either the Woking Wayfarers or the Guildford & Godalming Wayfarers.  The Hardriders group leader is very prompt at supplying his group's scores, at least in winter, and the Intermediates' scores are usually supplied within a week or so.  Cranleigh & Villages Wayfarers scores are also up to date.  Group abbreviations are the first letter of those shown on the front of the runs list and E designates Events (including AGM).

It looks as if David Pinkess will retain the Bill Inder trophy (but there are still 6 months to go), John Pugh is, at the moment, the highest placed newcomer (no prize for this), and Marguerite Statham would win the prize for the largest number of rides spread over the largest number of groups if there were one.  Somehow, Mark Waters and Helen Dutton of West London DA have got into our top 40

(There then follows a table (2 pages) of attendance scores for October to March.)


SCOTLAND REVISITED.........

Well this is different..  On a Sunday in October, I was at Woking Bus Station, Bay 1, at 09:15 saying "goodbye" to Harry (again!).  We headed west on the M25, south on the M1 to take us to the Scratchwood interchange.  Everybody got off.  There were about 35 coaches all going to different destinations.  Bay 30 was for me.  Off again north on the M1 then west on the M6 to Exhall interchange, fortunately this time I was to stay on the same coach.  After 5 minutes and back on the M1 we stopped at Corbey Services for lunch.  We left at 14:30.  At 16:50 we had a "pit stop" plus tea and shortbread at the Pavillion Service Station on the M6 north of Moffatt where 50 of us each had a 2.95 three course meal in 50 minutes!

Back on the bus for another 3 hours to a "pit stop" in the corner of a dark car park somewhere in Scotland.  We eventually arrived at our Dornoch Hotel at 00:45 and were told to help ourselves to tea or coffee.  When I got to the table there was no milk and no tea!  I grabbed my room key and struggled up with my luggage to the third floor only to find that I had a double bed instead of "twins" as I had booked.  So back down to reception, to complain (at one in the morning!).  We both agreed to solve the problem "in the morning!"  My friend from Edinburgh might join me for a day or two, hence the need for twin beds!

I'd been on and off the coach for 15.5 hours.  I could have gone to the south of France in the same time.  Next time I go on a coach holiday I must ask the estimated travelling time and make 10 hours the maximum.

Monday (again!) and it's lovely and warm and sunny.  I now have my superior twin bedded room and I've spent the morning sunbathing on the gloriously sandy beach, that I can see from my bedroom window, making the 15.5 hours travelling almost more acceptable.  I then went to the Cathedral cafe where I devoured tea and a bacon roll.  I wandered around various gift shops and a craft fair buying some Christmas presents, six postcards and a pathfinder map of the area.  I found a Hotel with a lovely quiet garden and ordered tea.  I spent the next hour and a half enjoying the tranquillity in the sunshine while I wrote my cards.  I found the post box only to discover that the next collection was at 12.15 "tomorrow!"  No rush here!

Tuesday and back on the bus to Straepheffer for "elevenses".  I went for a quick walk around the area and found the old station which has been converted into a childhood Museum, a woodwork shop and a tea shop which was all very pleasant.  Then back on the bus to a beauty spot over Ullapool where some of us dismounted and walked down to, and over a suspension bridge to cross a 300ft gorge.  The autumn trees were superb although the bridge was scary.  Our bus drove round and picked us up on the other side.  Lunch was in Ullapool after which some took a boat trip for an hour.  Back "on board" we continued on to Shin Falls where we watched the salmon trying to leap up.  We arrived back at our Hotel at 17.30 for dinner at 18.30 after which, for those with more stamina than me, there was entertainment in the ballroom, every evening at 21.00.  Tonight it was Scottish singing and dancing.

Wednesday and we were up early today with breakfast at 07.30 and on the coach at 08.30.  We motored up the A9, passing the Helmsdale Scottish Youth Hostel where I spent the night before the last "leg" of my End to End in '93', to Laidhay Craft Museum for coffee.  The next stop was at the Caithness Glass Centre where we watched the glass being shaped into paper weights, vases, tankards etc, before going on to our lunch stop at John O'Groats Hotel where we had tea and dinner on the End to End.  I bought various momentos in memory of my ride in '93'.  Back on the coach we went east along the road to Thurso before turning south to Helmsdale for tea.  Onward again back to Dornoch with a "photo" stop at Dunrobin Castle which is now owned by the Duchess of Sutherland.

Thursday was a beautiful sunny day like Monday.  I should have taken my shorts!  I scrounged a lift, from a lady who had hired a car at 38 pounds for the day.  She took me to Dunrobin Castle and from there I walked the two miles along the coast to Golspie where I hopped on a bus (what else...) and managed to persuade the driver to make an unofficial stop about four miles along the road!  I walked to Skelbo Castle ruins where I had a picnic lunch watching the birds on the sandbanks in Lock Fleet.  I kept looking for seals but didn't manage to see any.  On Embo where I joined the beach for the last three miles on the sand and rocks.  I met only eight other people.  I went back to the Castle Hotel, in Dornoch, for a cream tea on the balcony in the sunshine.  I wonder what Harry was doing!  I must have walked a good nine miles...could have done with a bicycle.

Friday and the first stage of the journey home.  We left Dornoch at 08.30 in the sunshine, and cruised down the A9 to Carrbridge where we stopped at a "Visitor Centre" for coffee. Back on the coach and down the A9 to Bankfoot to a "transport" type restaurant which was unable to cope (with any speed) with the four coaches that arrived one after the other.  After queuing for the loo we were back on our way heading further south for a tea stop at Gretna Green.  Here we had a quick listen to a Bagpipe player, a quick visit to the Restaurant, a quick spin around the Tartan Gift Shop and a quick visit to the loo and so back on our Shearings Coach.  Twenty minutes later we arrived at the Central Plaza Hotel in Carlisle, for our overnight stop.  I immediately headed into town and went in search of the coffee shop we'd visited on the End to End.  I eventually found it .. Mr. Jingles Coffee Shop » opposite the castle.  I also had time to visit the cathedral and fortunately for our bank balance the shops were shut.

Saturday and up with the lark again, breakfast at 07.30, and all aboard at 08.20 and on down the M6 for two hours to the Pavilion Service Station where we were allowed half an hour to queue for the Loo and queue for the tea and hopefully have time to drink it as well!  Back on the bus and later, because we had made good progress, we were allowed an hour for lunch at Corbey Service Station (again!).  Just as well as there were about six other Shearings coaches, plus a few others already there, so back to the queues.  Ten minutes further south on the M1, we stopped at the Exhall interchange where I stayed on the Coach.  One and a half hours later we stopped at the Scratchwood interchange (on the M1) and everybody got out for half an hour, then it was time to collect our suit cases and hunt for the right "feeder" coach to Woking.  One and a quarter hours later I was in Woking, an hour earlier than I'd told Harry, so I found a taxi and finally arrived home 9.25 hours after leaving Carlisle.  If you count the two days travelling together it took 18.25 hours travelling from Dornoch to Woking.

My comments on the Shearings Tour.  They are a very professional organisation that is expert at moving hundreds of people around the Country and abroad, but for me the whole thing was too big.  Every time we stopped we seemed to be surrounded by Shearings coaches and hundreds of people.  However if you have somewhere that you specifically want to go to as I did, then you really get value for money, but do take plenty of stamina with you!  Apparently, so someone said, the tour that we did in 7 days used to be a 12 day tour!!

My next planned coach tour is with a small private company .....so watch this space.

MARGUERITE STATHAM


LETTER TO THE EDITOR

Route of the '50'

According to the February/March issue of 'CTC DA News' our 50-mile Reliability Ride will start from Pyrford Common and end at Holmbury St. Mary, as it has in recent years, despite the discussion on the motion which I proposed at last November's AGM.  (That is, "That the finish of the 50-mile Reliability Ride be within two miles of the start.")  I accept that my motion was defeated and that the Committee is not bound to change anything, but I do think that they should be guided by the discussion and not just the result of the vote.  As I remember it, the meeting felt that the separation between start and finish of the 'traditional' route is too large, but in view of the assurance given that the Committee would review the matter, was not prepared to support my proposal for a 'hard' upper limit.

It is fourteen miles from Holmbury St. Mary to Pyrford Common.  Our Sunday regulars may find it easy to dismiss that as an insignificant distance to cover when the whole afternoon is available, but not everyone sees it that way.  My son Mike rode the '50' last year.  It was a cold blustery day and he tired himself out completing the course, so he was not pleased when he realised how much further he still had to go after lunch.  He saw it as having to do more than a quarter as much again.  Would our Audax stalwarts enter a 400 km event where the separation between start and finish was 28% of the distance, i.e., 112 km or 70 miles? Well, would they?

I realise that the traditional route is very popular, understandably because most of the route is excellent, as I know from personal experience of riding it many times.  However, a few years ago Roger Philo devised a new route using most of the traditional route, including all the best bits and excluding all the worst.  That, too, was an excellent route, indeed, a better route when allowance is made for the fact that the start and finish were but one or two level miles apart.  I have never been able to understand why it was used only the once.  Furthermore, it runs in the opposite direction.  Do we really want to use an identical route year in, year out?

Finally, one conspicuous feature of our DA is the lack of youngsters.  Should we continue to deter them from riding our shortest reliability ride?

Chris Jeggo


CYCLISTS' TOURING CLUB
WEST SURREY DISTRICT ASSOCIATION

THE
SOUTH DOWNS SESQUICENTURY

150km AUDAX
Brevet Populaire

SUNDAY MAY 14th 1995


STARTING at: 08:00
FROM: PIRBRIGHT VILLAGE HALL
 
ENTRY FEE £2.00
Come and join us on a ride through Elstead,
Hindhead, Haslemere, Linchmere, Midhurst,
South Harting, West Marden, Stoughton, East
Marden, Chilgrove, Singleton, East Dean,
Milford, Shackleford, Wanborough, Normandy
and Pirbright.
 

The route takes in some of the best parts of the
area while not being too hilly.


 
FURTHER DETAILS, ENTRY FORM
AND ROUTE SHEET FROM
BOB CROSBY (01483 722337)


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Web page by Chris Jeggo.  Last revised:  12 September 2006.