"The West Surrey Cyclist" - July - September 1997
|Previous magazine . Next magazine|
The '50 Mile Reliability Ride' was yet again run on a fine bright day. Thirty one riders started and finished the course, though the last man in did cause some concern, as it was feared that he was lost somewhere in the Surrey lanes. He had driven all the way over from Southend, where, as he pointed out, his scope for cycling was limited - by the sea. Moral - cyclists should never retire to the seaside. Looking ahead, I wonder if next year, we could also have a starting point in the Guildford/Godalming area possibly linking with the existing route at Shere? Worth some consideration I think. A last thought on the day - in spite of a wonderful Spring with so many plants far advanced, the bluebells were far fewer than last year, when they were in profusion - can any intelligent person tell me why?
'Three Cheers for Triple Chainsets' - at a 'Cycle Jumble' run by the Charlottevile CC last year I bought a Shimano triple chainset; I hadn't meant to, I was looking for a pair of TA or Stronglight cranks. Whilst looking, I picked up this triple set priced at £20; not intending to buy it. The dealer told me that it had been used and that the middle ring was damaged and would need replacing. In view of which he offered it to me for £15. After some indecision, much to the annoyance of my friend Roly Masset - for he wanted it, I purchased it. Upon getting home, I wiped the small film of black grease from the teeth to find that the whole thing was like new and the 'damaged' teeth on the middle ring were, in fact, specially shaped to assist in shifting the chain from one ring to another! The following weekend the 'triple' was fitted to my Raleigh Team Replica. I was an instant convert, the set of ratios available on the middle 38 tooth ring were just right for average riding, whilst the 46 tooth outer ring and 28 tooth inner ring provided ratios to cover the conditions when a range of high or low gears were needed.
I was so pleased that my Hetchins and my 'workhorse' (nicely lugged frame of unknown origin) are now fitted with 'triples'. If you have a TA or Stronglight chainset you can obtain extra inner rings and sets of 'triple' bolts to hold them all together. The 'fixed' cup in the bottom bracket may have to be moved out further in order to get clearance between the smallest ring and the right hand chainstay, and to obtain correct chain alignment. This can be done by unscrewing the 'fixed' cup (left hand thread) and putting one or two packing washers behind the outer shoulder thereby restricting the amount it screws into the bottom bracket. Use the washers intended for fitting behind freewheel blocks when they need to be moved out a little - they are the perfect fit - not everyone knows that! Just as a matter of interest, you can screw a 'fixed' bottom bracket cup into the back of a freewheel - it is hardly surprising that not many people know that because it is a totally useless piece of information. Chris Avery please note!
Lastly it is nice to see more DA riders now warning their fellow riders of hazards on the roads, such as potholes, parked cars and vehicles approaching from ahead and from behind. It makes for very much safer riding when in a group and is just common sense.
Ride as an individual or as part of a team to raise funds for Make A Wish Foundation UK. (charity reg no: 295672) Granting wishes for children with life threatening illnesses.
The Ride: Wish Pedlars set out from the car park of Toshiba UK LTD, Admiralty Way, Camberley and follow a clearly marked and marshalled route through the Hampshire countryside to finish at Castle Fields, Southsea.
Refreshments will be on sale at the start and along the 54 mile route. Take a break at the official half way stop at the Selborne Arms. First Aid and Mechanics vans will be patrolling the route and for anyone who runs out of steam broom wagons will get you to the finish.
Start Times; 8.15, 8.45, 9.15, 9.45, 10.15.
For ENTRY FORMS please phone - 01276 24127.
Peter Norris, Editor
There was a view over a busy intersection down below. I observed activity on the streets all through the night. Across from us, parked under a shop awning a pedicab driver slept, his legs dangling out of his carriage. Other pedicabs rolled by frequently. I spotted several westerners throughout the night, one a girl on a bicycle. As daylight began to glow locals turned out in track suits, jogging and there were many cyclists, some dressed in racing gear. It seems that there is a keep fit craze in Surakarta.
This morning we left Surakarta continuing east to climb over Mt Lawu. At the foothills of Mt Lawu we were intrigued by the numbers of cyclists coming the other way. They were predominantly mountain bikes. There were some real classy bikes amongst this lot. When we stopped to buy water at the village of Karangpandan, a group of bikers pulled up beside us. I recognised some of the cycles, there was a Diamond Back Arrival, Trek, Ridgeback, and a Kirk. We had a photo session.
The mountain road became very steep. We must have done about 3 miles of pushing. At times we stopped every 10 metres to rest - it was that steep and our clothes were soaked in sweat. As we slowly progressed up the mountain road through various small villages, the locals came out and stared at us. They must have thought we were crazy lugging our fully rigged bikes up that hill.
We saw people loading healthy looking cabbages and carrots into sacks by the roadside in readiness for transport to market. In some villages there were ponies for hire. I was tempted.
We reached the pass at 1286 metres. There was a shack that we stopped at for some much needed fizzy drink. We were both very glad to be at the top, although a little disappointed in the cloud cover which hid the view. Across the road was a sign pointing the way by track up to the summit of Mt Lawu (3265m). A small group of people eating at the shack looked as if maybe they had tramped to the summit and back.
We abandoned our plan to cycle to Madiun, as it was only one hour till nightfall and even though it would be mostly down hill we would have had to really push it to reach the town before dark. We cycled on another mile or two and stayed the night in Sarangan. Sarangan is marked on our map as a mountain resort. There are three or four hotels here but only two are at present open. For 1500 Rupiah we have a nice room with a bathroom and foyer. No need for a fan tonight, the temperature is just about right. For dinner we found a food house around the corner. They dished up a good value Nasi Goreng.
The computers quickly clocked up the miles, before we knew it we were cycling through Madiun. This unhurried city is known for its interesting colonial architecture and decaying steam locomotives in the rail yard.
It was mostly flat from here on. A pleasant forest reserve gave us respite from the heat. The forest between Caroban and Nganjuk reminded me a little of England's New Forest. Tonight we stay in Nganjuk. Distance today; 62 miles. Max speed; 40 mph!
It became very hot again today and we were glad to be off the road and in a hotel room by noon.
On route this morning we stopped and had a bowl each of ice cream and jelly. A welcome cool down snack and very tasty.
Mount Bromo lies at the centre of the Tengger Massif, an awesome volcanic landscape and said to be one of the most impressive sights in Indonesia. The huge Tengger crater stretches 10kms across and its steep walls plunge down to a vast flat sea of lava sand.
From the crater floor emerges the smoking peak of Mt Bromo. Bromo is one of three mountains that have emerged within the ancient Tengger volcano, it is flanked by Batok (2440m) and Kursi (2581m). Further south Mt Semeru (3676m), the highest mountain in Java and the most active volcano looks down upon all others. This whole area has been incorporated as the Bromo-Tengger-Semeru National Park.
We stay tonight in Probolingo. They reckon that the finest Mangos in Java are grown here.
After settling in we accepted an offer of an hour's sailing in an outrigger. These outrigger sail boats are amazingly simple and efficient. They can cruise at a fair rate of knots. During the hour we sailed out a ways from shore, anchored, swam a little in the crystal clear water and viewed the incredible fish life and the coral by looking through glass bottom boxes hung out over the side of the boat. The colourful intricate world of the coral reef was truly terrific. We thought this boat trip was well worth the £1.30 we paid.
Pilgrim (my bike) had a puncture today.
Wanborough on the northern side of the A31 Hog's Back contains one of the smallest churches in Surrey. It was built by the monks of Waverley Abbey.
Wanborough Manor was built between 15th and 17th centuries on the site of pre-Norman manor and was used during the second World War to train secret agents.
|Puttenham||OS Landranger Map||186-930478|
This quarter you could win an Acor Mini Tool Kit.
|It contains||2, 2.5, 3, 4, 5 & 6mm Allen keys.
Flat and Phillips screwdrivers.
8, 9 & 10mm socket wrenches.
Valued at £9.35.
Just answer the easy question below and send your entry to
WEST SURREY CYCLIST
13 Heathcote RD
QUESTION; On 18th May 1997 how many people entered the South Downs Sesquicentury 150km bike ride?
|Monday 10th June|
Rides for youngsters were just one of the many activities to which Keith was devoted; giving his time and energies so generously. His interests (crusades?) ranged from cycling to cats, from nature conservancy to local politics, in fact anything which he considered a good cause got his support. We all, as human beings, have faults, Keith's was that he could not say 'No' to any good cause. Twenty five years ago I was pleading with him not to get involved with so many things and not to take on so many responsibilities. He said that he wouldn't but, of course, he did - he just could not refuse a request for assistance. If help was needed Keith was there.
My memories of Keith include three-up tandem sprints - when we all nearly fell off through laughing, touring in Ireland, committee meetings, pints in country pubs, annual dinners, disagreements - which we always put behind us, the DA stand at town shows - so many memories which I will always keep.
I have written for myself but I think that my words may also speak for Keith's many friends in the West Surrey DA who, like me, will mourn his untimely passing.
It was a blessing that our flight was delayed anyhow because as it happened we turned up late for check in due to trouble with our transport. It was panic for a while, but thanks to my father and mother-in-law whom we pulled out of bed at 5am we eventually got there. Sean Yates who was seated behind us on the plane said that he too had to arrive in a panic at the airport when his taxi did not turn up.
At Palma airport it was a major hassle trying to get out of the terminal. The building was simply too small to cope with the influx of visitors and we were packed in like sardines. There was a new terminal in the process of being built. It looked very modern and I am sure it will make transit in and out of the island a much more pleasant experience.
Clive Richardson, Geoff Smith, Bob Hannington and me boarded the coach which was to take us to the far north of the island to Port de Pollensa. Our bikes were transported separate from us on a lorry.
Port de Pollensa is sited on the northern fringe of the Badia de Pollensa, a sheltered bay. At the peak of the tourist season (July-August) the beach is the focus of attention. The soft white sand stretches south east towards Alcudia. A run of apartment buildings and hotels line the edge of the town and the main road to Alcudia runs close to the seashore. Overall the place is very appealing, especially at this time of the year (mid March) when the town is only just starting to wake up for the early tourists.
We were staying at the Pollensa Park Hotel in twin rooms. I shared with Geoff (sorry that I snored mate) and Clive shared with Bob. Meals were on a half board basis and served buffet style. There were a couple of bike rooms on the lower ground floor which were kept locked with the keys available at reception.
I think at one stage there were about ninety cyclists attending the training camp, some stayed for two weeks, others for one. I felt sorry for one poor chap who arrived. The first time out on his bike he only cycled a few yards down the road, fell off and wrecked his knee and elbow. That was the end of his training camp.
The official camp mechanic was a jolly bloke named Bill Cheadle. He was usually to be found hanging around the bike sheds whenever there was any activity and was only too pleased to help anyone in need.
After we had arrived, settled in and assembled our bikes, we still had time for a short ride before the camp meeting at 6pm. We nominated Bob as the leader for he is the veteran of many a training camp in Majorca and knows his way around. He led us on a round trip of 27 miles out to a place named Campanet and back. This was my first taste of Majorca and I liked what I saw.
At our first camp meeting we were introduced to the organisers. The company running the camp was "Ideal Travel". The Ideal staff were Gordan Neale and Dave Cook. The coaches for the holiday were Pete Mathews, Ken Cowdell and very special guest Sean Yates.
A runs list had been produced for the duration of the two weeks. There were basically three groups; the fast group (and I mean really fast) who rode about 150km or more; group two who rode a bit slower and not as far and group three for those who just wanted to loosen the legs a little. Sean Yates led the fast group most of the time. He did lead the odd slower run so as to give as many people as possible the chance to ride with him. I must admit that I am a great fan of Sean's and I was thrilled to ride alongside him. He is a very friendly chap and rather modest too.
Throughout the whole two weeks it only rained for about three hours. The West Surrey team embarked on some great cycling, all having their turn setting the pace at the front of the pack. The four of us did not ride with the same group every day but most of the time we were on the same run together.
During the two weeks we rode to Lloseta, Colonia de San Perre, Can Picafort, Ratjada, the bike shop at Binnisalem, monastery of San Salvador, Lluc Monastery, La Calobra, Cura Monastery and a couple of other destinations. There were two rest days, some people went out cycling, others lounged by the hotel pool.
I enjoyed all of the runs but the one that comes to mind most is the run out to Felanitx and then the climb up to the monastery of San Salvador.
From Port de Pollensa we followed the coast road through Alcudia to Can Picafort then inland south through Santa Margalida to Petra. Petra is the birthplace of Junipero Serra, an 18th century Franciscan monk who played an important role in the settlement of North America.
At Felanitx we dropped off some riders who did not want to tackle the hard climb up to the monastery. They settled in at a cafe in the town and were to wait for us to pick them up on the way back. Felanitx is the main town of the south eastern corner of the island. It is an industrious place, producing wine, ceramics and pearls.
I shall never forget the climb up to San Salvador. There was a group of about 12. Bob's son, Jim, who lives and works on the island, had come up from Palma to join us for the weekend. He is a very fast and strong bloke on a bike and he was the first one to attack on the climb. I went with him. We got a good gap and started pulling away from the others. I didn't want to go away so early but I had no choice. I wasn't going to risk Jim getting away on me. We paced each other for a while and then noticing that Ken Cowdell was coming after us (he was one of the camp coaches) I began to worry and started urging Jim on. Jim started to die so I had to attack on my own. It was really painful but I was slowly inreasing the gap from Ken. Looking back down the climb from one of the hairpins I noticed Geoff Smith moving up the field. Everyone who knows Geoff knows that he is an incredible climber. It was not long and he was up beside me and we were working together.
From another hairpin bend I could see Sean Yates ascending like an express train. Geoff and I looked at each other, would we make it to the top before Yates catches us. Geoff and me both love a challenge and we surged upward with about 500 metres to go. 200 metres from the top Sean Yates came cruising past us (he was in the large chainring!) as if there was no hill! A few seconds afterward Geoff sprinted for the line and I struggled over for third.
Two weeks seemed to fly by very quickly. The four of us managed to clock up around about 800 miles. Actually I think Geoff managed 900 miles.
Unfortunately there was a lot of illness which plagued the camp. Sean was the first to become ill. He was actually very sick for a couple of days and had to ease off on the cycling. Gordan Neale ended up in hospital on a drip. The doctors said that he had gastro something or other. Clive was ill for a couple of days and spent one day in bed. There were many others who became ill for a period.
It was a thrilling trip for me. A real experience cycling in amongst the pack at thrilling speeds.
As this was a training camp, it was not possible to get the full benefit of the scenery at the speeds that we were cycling. The next time I travel to Majorca I will have my touring bike.
The West Surrey team with Sean Yates at Can Picafort, Majorca.
L to R: Geoff Smith, Peter Norris, Bob Hannington, Sean Yates, Clive Richardson.
West Surrey CTC would like to thank those who advertise in our magazine for their support.
My thanks to those who have contributed to this quarter's magazine. Please could we have some more contributors. I want to hear from all you members out there, even a letter would do!
On 18th May for the South Downs Sesquicentury 150km BP there were 35 starters from 41 entrants. The Selham Century 100km BP had 12 starters and 12 finishers. The Frensham 50km (not Audax) also had 12 starters and 12 finishers.
A big thank you to all those who gave up their time to help with organising and marshalling of the above events.
|20th July||-||Downslink Roughstuff 60km BP
Downslink Roughstuff 50km BP
|-||Starts at Barn Cafe,
|Organiser - Trevor Strudwick PH 01483 272387|
17th August - Tour of the Surrey Hills 100km BP. Starts at Barn Cafe, Newlands Corner. Organiser - Harold Coleman, PH 01252 546635
|7th September||-||100 mile and 75 mile reliability rides.|
|Starts Pirbright Village Hall.|
|Organiser - Ken Bolingbroke, PH 01483 728247|
|5th October||-||Tricyclathon: Hillclimb, Freewheeling, Pacejudging.|
|Organiser - Roger Philo, PH 01483 233381|
Thank you for doing the magazine. I know it is a wonderful way of keeping in touch. I do enjoy it. Due to a motorcycle fall, I was told to rest my left knee which became very swollen. It now looks like I shall be able to get about again very soon so look forward to seeing you all again.
Thanks for your letter Paddy. We wondered where you had got to. Glad to hear that you will be back on your bicycle again soon. You win this issue's free tube giveaway. Let me know what size you would like.
It is an old Hobbs of Barbican "Special Model", made in Dagenham in, I am told, the late 1950's.
It was designed for racing on a fixed gear, though because of its vintage it still has mudguard eyes and generous clearances. When I first got it, in 1979, there were no cable guides for a rear brake, since it was made for competition use. Not being happy with only one brake for general riding, I got Mercian's to braze on cable guides. The rear drop outs are road, not track, so it is ideal with mudguards. A very comfortable bike to ride, compared to others that I have tried, this is probably due to the fairly long wheelbase and the shape of the forks.
The frame has just been enamelled by Roberts in black - love it or hate it! - who also did a "cut and shut" job on the bottom bracket, which was very worn after years of hard use. I eventually managed to get the right transfers, after much searching, from Henry Lloyd Cycles up north, who specialise in old lettering. They can produce transfers for almost any make, they claim.
The equipment is definitely unfashionable, but works well - apart from the saddle, that is, a new B17 Champion Special that is not at all keen to be broken in. Hubs are Excelto 36 by 40, something similar being needed to fit the 110mm rear ends. Rims are Super Champion, which follow a brief spell on Alesa 9017s which wore out in about 6000 miles. I have a spare pair of Super Champions in the roof but don't expect to need them until about 2010! The best gear for fixed wheel I find to be about 66", which I currently get by running a 49 chain ring on a 20 sprocket.
The brakes are Weinmann 730 sidepulls which, I have to admit, work far better with modern Shimano Ultegra brake levers. These have far more leverage than the old types. You just have to adjust the brakes more often.
Lighting is courtesy of a Baby Lucifer, which doesn't slip in the wet, backed up by LED's front and rear.
So there you are, "Paul's Bike", not a showstopper but a comfortable bike that handles nicely, and is reliable too. I have 3 other solos and a tandem, but the Hobbs wins every time.
. Previous magazine . . Index to magazines . . Next magazine . . W. Surrey DA History & Archives home page .
Web page by Chris Jeggo. Last revised: 27 October 2006.