"The West Surrey Cyclist" - July - September 1998
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THE CYCLISTS TOURING CLUB IS A NATIONAL ORGANISATION MADE UP OF DISTRICT ASSOCIATIONS OF WHICH THE WEST SURREY DA IS ONE. MEMBERSHIP DETAILS CAN BE OBTAINED FROM THE - CTC, COTTERELL HOUSE, 69 MEADROW, GODALMING, SURREY, GU7 3HS. TELEPHONE 01483 417217.
THE OPINIONS AND COMMENTS CONTAINED IN THIS MAGAZINE ARE THE OPINIONS AND COMMENTS OF THE INDIVIDUAL CONTRIBUTORS AND DO NOT NECESSARILY REFLECT THE VIEWS OF THE WEST SURREY DA.
CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE MAGAZINE
ANY CONTRIBUTIONS (articles, poems, sketches, tips, product reviews, jokes etc) ANYTHING CYCLING - PLEASE FORWARD TO:
WEST SURREY CYCLIST MAGAZINE
13 HEATHCOTE RD
TELEPHONE 01252 338504
FAX 01252 837511
DEADLINE FOR NEXT ISSUE: SEPTEMBER 1ST 1998
A BIG THANKYOU TO THOSE WHO HAVE CONTRIBUTED TO THIS ISSUE OF THE MAG. IF YOUR CONTRIBUTION HAS NOT BEEN INCLUDED IN THIS ISSUE IT MAY BE GIVEN PRIORITY FOR THE NEXT ONE.
I am certainly no misogynist - I like the ladies far too much for that - but I am beginning to get a bit neurotic over lady drivers. Until recently I have always defended them and maintained that there was no logical reason to claim that they were any less able than their male counterparts. Two years ago, 31st December 1996 to be precise, I was knocked off my bike by a lady at a roundabout at Church Crookham. Since then every close encounter which I have experienced with a motor vehicle has involved a lady driver. These have included being cut into the kerb on bends, being driven straight at, backed-out in front of (out of drive ways), squeezed into the kerb on straight roads, the life frightened out of me by the shriek of skidding tyres right behind me - a would-be over-taker who, at the last moment, decided against a head-on collision with an on-coming car and returned to my side of the road, and finally, today, at the same roundabout in Church Crookham, a young lady who started to pull out in front of me, stopped when I shouted at her, looked at me and then - pulled out!!! I braked hard and swerved to the right. The dear young lady drove straight past the front of me - her car would have hit my front wheel if it had not been turned hard to the right.
What I want to know is:-
P.S. I have just been cut into the kerb on a bend again by - you guessed it - a lady driver !!!!!!! FOR SALE - Curly Hetchins, Bates, Claud Butler, Holdsworth, Moulton, Pritchard, Claud Butler USWB tandem, masses of spares, including wheels, tyres, gears, blocks, chains, chainsets, pedals, brakes, saddles, bars, extensions, seat pillars, cables, mudguards, lamps, hundreds of tools, wheel-truing jig, bike stand etc, etc, etc - well I'm thinking about it.
FRAME - 22" Reynolds butted tubes, stays and forks.
COLOUR - Black
WHEELS - 27", Rigida alloy rims 36 hole on Sachs Maillard hubs.
TYRES - Michelin 27 x 1 Bib sport.
CRANKSET - Stronglight 80 52 - 42 teeth.
FRONT DERAILEUR - Benelux Cyclo.
BRAKES - GB Coureur calipers, GB super hood levers.
SADDLE - Vetta (Italy)
PEDALS - Shimano.
MUDGUARDS - Champion Du Monde.
JOHN SAYS HE USES IT NOW FOR CYCLING TO WORK ON. THE EDITOR HAS HAD THE PLEASURE OF CYCLING ON THIS MACHINE AND FINDS IT A GREAT JOY TO RIDE.
Yesterday, after a year of indecision, I finally ordered a new bicycle, a Thorn Audax, from St John Street Cycles. So perhaps this is an appropriate time to tell you about the bike it will (partially) replace. It is a Revel Elite bought from Madison Cycles/Freewheel in 1982 for about £350. Apart from occasional rides on the mountain bike or the Moulton few of you will have seen me ride anything else and I estimate that I have ridden it about 75000 miles. I can't now recall the original specification exactly but:
|Frame Reynolds 531; size 21"
Chainset Stronglight 26 - 38 - 50
Front and rear changers: Sachs Huret
|Levers: Suntour ratchet
Wheels 27" 36 spoke
Brakes: Weinmann sidepull
Over the years I have changed the components and had braze-ons added to the frame for Blackburn Custom Lo-Riders, four point fixing rear carrier and cantilever brakes. The gear mechs have been changed first to Suntour and then to Shimano, the levers to Shimano indexed and now to Shimano indexed bar end. The original rat-trap pedals were replaced with Shimano PD-10 platform pedals about 10 years ago but these are now reaching the end of their life. Sadly PD-10 pedals haven't been available for nearly 10 years, the nearest equivalent now seems to involve buying SPD pedals and then inserts to turn them into platform pedals.
You may still see me riding the Revel, probably in winter, but first the frame needs repainting and I do have a problem with the bottom bracket threads which are worn, or more accurately, corroded.
All this damage was caused by constant everyday use plus playing Basketball, Badminton and Tennis as well as a few off-road "walks" along the Basingstoke Canal towpath and in the New Forest.
Time for a new wheelchair we all thought. Once again I asked you all to help with the cost which was in the region of £1200.
David then thought that he would like the SPORTSTER, which is a quick release cycle that clips on to most models of rigid wheelchairs. It's easy to attach, has a 24" wheel and Shimano 21 gears. David would then have a new wheelchair AND a tricycle.
In April I cycled round the Woking Bikeathon 100 mile route, with the organisers' "permission", and raised about £300. One Friday in June some friends and I held a Bring & Buy stall at Horsell Church's coffee morning and we raised a further £125. We have also been given a donation of £100 by some people who were unable to go away on holiday.
Later in the year David went to the Motability Roadshow, which is held annually at Crowthorne. Here he was able to try out the SPORTSTER and he said that it was really uncomfortable and hard to push. He then spotted a Ken Rogers Tricycle with Mountain Bike tyres. He tried it out and bought it for around £300. He has adapted it to keep his feet, which have no feeling, in position and has also found a way of carrying his crutches. He has used it to cycle from Goldsworth Park, where he now lives, to Sheerwater where he works. David uses the Canal towpath most of the way thus making his 3 mile journey more pleasant.
At the moment, David is training for a sponsored ride in aid of the Centre for Living which is a centre for young disabled adults at the White Lodge Centre at Chertsey. The ride is on May 24th and is using the Towpath from the Canal Centre at Mytchett to Sheerwater before turning onto the roads to a house in Pyrford for tea. The total distance is approximately 15 miles.
The wheelchair, which, as cyclists, you will understand, has become an "old friend". It has been resurrected for the time being. After running for several months on one front wheel David has now bought a new wheel. Harry has re-built the large rear wheels and the bungee has been replaced with a piece of rope!
£300 of the money I raised was spent on the tricycle. The remaining money, £282 is sitting in its own Interest-accumulating account ready to be used as and when David is ready to part with his "old friend".
If anyone would like their money returned as it wasn't spent on a wheelchair please let me know. If anyone has any complaints about what I did and how your money was used, please complain to ME as I was the one raising the money.
Finally, but most importantly, I would like to thank all of you who supported me so generously.
Marguerite Statham May '98
Recycled rubber is used in some of their tyres and they claim to be the most enviromentally friendly tyre company in the world.
Natural rubber, harvested from plantations in Asia is also used. Rubber is prone to damage from ultra-violet rays and ozone exposure in its pure form and so is mixed with other compounds to prevent its deterioration. Carbon black acts as a filler, giving the tread its strength and stiffness. Certain waxes are added to protect against atmospheric oxygen. Without these additives an average tyre would crack and perish at a rapid rate.
Rubber hardness is measured on a scale ranging from 10A (very soft) to 90A (very hard). The hardness of Continental tyres ranges from 55A to 65A or thereabouts. Continental tyres have a good reputation for their long life if they are looked after. "Top Touring" tyres have had distances of over 10,000 miles reported.
The casing is the body of the tyre to which the tread and bead are attached. Most manufacturers use either cotton, nylon or kevlar as casing material. Continental use Polyamide almost exclusively in their tyre casings. Polyamide is a type of nylon which is chemically engineered for strength and durability. It is twice as strong as cotton, lighter and more supple than kevlar.
Continental give an option of bead material on some of their tyres. The most common is steel which is the cheapest. The disadvantage with steel is its weight. The other option of course is more expensive but lighter and foldable. That is Kevlar.
According to The Department Of Enviroment, Transport And The Regions, the fastest mode of door to door transport in inner London is cycling.
Short journeys of about 2 miles take 18 minutes by bike, 33 minutes by car, 31 minutes by tube and 38 minutes by bus.
A 5 mile trip takes 34 minutes by bike, 45 by tube and 64 by bus.
Roy Banks was there when I turned up at 9.05 am, a few minutes later we were joined by Peter and James Callaghan. Just getting ready for the off and Bill Mann rolls up so that makes five.
Through the Hatches, Cove, Pyestock cycleway, Norris Hill Road, Crookham Village, Dogmersfield, Winchfield Hurst, Odiham Common to The George Pub in Odiham. The George now has a nice new cafe right next door. It is named "Nextdoor the George" and is actually affiliated in some way to the pub. Coffee from £1.00. Toasted tea cakes £1.25. Three Charlotteville Cycling Club lads arrived just as we were about to leave.
The leg to Axford was of course much more scenic, via Greywell, Up Nately, Mapledurwell. A few miles south of Mapledurwell we came across Eric Parr near Tunworth. He had been retracing a route that he had ridden two weeks previous in search of a pannier that had fallen off his rear rack. He gave up looking and joined us on our route to Axford. (That makes six.)
Through Weston Corbett, Nashes Green, Herriard, Ellisfield, Lower Common to arrive at The Crown pub at Axford around about 12.30. Some had toasted sandwiches, some had jacket potatoes and Bill went for the curry and rice. (I made a mental note not to get on Bill's back wheel on the way home.)
So it was we cycled from Axford through Lasham beneath the glittering gliders as they circled their thermals. On passing Lasham Garden Centre, we noticed construction taking place at the garden centre. It looks like an expansion; as long as they keep their tea shop open that is all that matters.
Golden Pot then Lower Froyle and left up that infamous hill. Young James takes "the mountain time trial" approach while Peter and me take the "steady she goes" approach and the others tackle it at a sensible pace.
Once gathered at Well, Peter suggests that instead of cycling the traffic congested roads of Farnham, that we bypass and go through Farnham Park. From Well it was a delightful pedal along the ridge through Dippenhall, then left before hitting the main road through Farnham and after a couple of dismounts along some short footways, into Farnham Park which was very pleasant.
We all left Badshot Lea Garden Centre bound for home at approx. 3.45pm.
From the start to tea 52 miles.
Good weather. Good company. Good cycling.
Starting and finishing at Wellington Country Park, the new circular route takes in 45 miles of pretty country lanes including the villages of Rotherwick, Newnham, Old Basing, Lasham, Bentley, Crondall and Crookham. The ride is aimed at all cyclists from the novice to the seasoned.
ENTRY FORMS can be obtained from Make-A-Wish Foundation UK. Just phone 01276 24127 and on receipt of your entry fee of £10.00, your Wish Pedlars Pack will be sent to you, giving full details.
Members started gathering from 2.30pm onwards and were able to buy tea etc and munch fruit cake and biscuits while chatting to each other. At 4pm Harry ushered us into the main hall and introduced everyone to Alan Craske who had ridden LE JOG (as he called it) in 1993. Alan had travelled down from Birmingham to show us his slides and to tell us about some of the easy parts, some of the more challenging sections and some of the amusing times. Alan also told us a little about the Castle Bromwich Hall Gardens (the Charity that he supports) which are being restored. Alan cuts the hedge that forms the maze.
After the Show Marguerite thanked Alan for coming to talk to us. She presented Alan with a cheque for £40 for the Castle Bromwich Hall Gardens. After this there were a few questions from 'the floor' before people dispersed. Some members had been so filled with enthusiasm to do the ride themselves that they went and quizzed Alan more fully.
It wasn't exciting, it wasn't dramatic, it wasn't 'over the top'. It was just a very pleasant afternoon and I thank Alan and all 46 of you for coming.
The Hall cost £65. We gave Alan's charity £40. We collected £100.50 ... don't ask me how ... so Harry and I were just £4.50 out of pocket. We have asked the Committee for a contribution ..............
Marguerite Statham (May '98)
The Burford Bridge Hotel on the banks of the River Mole at the foot of Box Hill was once known in the 19th century as the Hare and Hounds. It was there in 1805 that Admiral Nelson said his farewells to Lady Hamilton before the Battle of Trafalgar. Keats is said to have completed his second volume of poems "Endymion" there in 1818.
A new mountain bike speed record was set at the end of March. Christian Taillefer, a professional for Peugeot, clocked a speed of 212.139 km/h at Vars in France's Hautes Alpes.
The old record was 210.896 km/h set by Eric Barone in March 1997.
The Eyre Highway across the Nullarbor Plain was named after John Edward Eyre, an indefatigable 19th century Briton. He made the first overland trek from Adelaide to the South West of Western Australia, 2500 km (1500 miles). It took him more than a year. He may have found it faster if he had used a mountain bike.
Nullarbor in Latin means "treeless", an indication that the plain does not contain much water. The Aborigines who have an incredible spiritual link with the land are aware that there is water there if you know where to look for it. John Edward Eyre must have known where to find it in order to have survived what in those days must have been a courageous endeavour.
In comparison, the journey today is relatively easy. There are now settlements along the way. Places where one can stop for cool water, shade, food and even accommodation. The way is well tarmacked now and a standard touring bicycle with a fit person riding it can journey across without too much suffering, so long as they are well prepared.
I start my cycle ride from the Nullarbor Roadhouse in South Australia, having been dropped off there by my Perth flat-mate, Mike. Mike and I had driven from Perth to Brisbane to visit the International Expo 88. We part company here at Nullarbor and he continues his drive back to Perth. He helped me unload my cycle from the roof rack and came into my motel room for a cuppa before leaving. Mike thought I was a looney wanting to cycle across the desolate Eyre Highway. He wished me luck all the same and promised to leave a couple of tinnies in the fridge at Fraser Range Station which is the stop before Norseman.
Excerpts from my diary follow .........
My straining eyes searched the shimmering horizon for indication of a roadside water tank. According to my information there should be one within the next couple of kilometres. Sometimes I thought I saw one and on drawing nearer realised in despair that it was my imagination. Then at last a small solitary tank only visible as I almost cycle past it. No bigger than a 44 gallon drum, hiding behind a bit of scrub. What a bonza sight for sore eyes. I could very easily have missed it.
Oh the joy of it all. I poured out all of my putrid bore water and refilled with this lovely tasting, cool heavenly tank water. (I carried 7½ litres.) I drank from the tank until I almost burst, then I filled my hat a few times and poured it over my head for good measure. After a short nap I cycled on and eventually arrived at Border Village. It was 8.30 pm. The first thing I did was purchase a large Coke and an ice block.
I camped there for the night in my new one-man bivvy tent. This strange-looking tent consists of a small igloo-like dome only big enough to prop yourself up on one elbow, with a water resistant sock adjoined. The idea was that one inserted oneself and his sleeping bag into this sock. (Although this tent was very compact and light, I often wished for something more substantial. I decided to get rid of it after becoming soaked to the skin whilst cycle camping in Wales!)
This morning a 10 km ride took me to Eucla where I have a $15.00 cabin for the night. I have just arrived back from a trek to the old telegraph station ruins in amongst the sand dunes a couple of kilometres south of the roadhouse. It is great down there, the dunes are as white as snow. When amongst them it is like being in the middle of a desert. The breeze has the effect of sandpaper against your skin as it picks up sand granules from the crests of the dunes. There are the ruins of the station, taken over by the changing sand currents. The ruins contain eroded mud and stone walls, with the original wood-burning stove still sitting in its place. There is also a porcelain toilet bowl sitting suspiciously out in the open, neatly connected to an underground sewer pipe. The bowl is full of sand. An interesting place to say the least.
Pilgrim (my bicycle) has performed well so far. He is a little beauty, nothing flash, just a cheap old bike I picked up from a secondhand shop on the outskirts of Perth. Steel chromed 21 inch wheels, friction gears, cottered cranks etc. He is rather aptly branded, Aussie Tourer.
Many passing motorists have encouraged me along the highway, waving and honking horns. It is a good feeling when they do that.
I thought I was a little mad cycling across the Nullarbor but yesterday, just as the sun had almost met the horizon, I looked up from my handlebars and guess what I saw ....! An Asian bloke coming towards me on bloomin roller skates! "Gidday mate," I cried as he skated on past. He turned, gave me a wave and a smile and kept on rolling.
TO BE CONTINUED NEXT ISSUE.
Lucky you Graham. An 8oz bottle of Slime Tube Sealant and a rear LED lamp are yours!
WHAT YOU HAVE TO DO: Derive as many words as you can from the word "DERAILLEUR". List them and send your entry to,
THE EDITORCLOSING DATE FOR ENTRIES --- SEPT 1ST 1998.
WEST SURREY CYCLIST
13 HEATHCOTE RD
FAX 01252 837511
Doctors at St George's Medical School, London, say that traffic pollution may trigger thousands of heart attacks a year. One in fifty heart attacks treated at London hospitals were strongly linked to air pollutants, mainly from vehicle exhausts. Countrywide, this means up to 6000 heart attacks a year could be caused by air pollution.
We wandered about Heathrow like lost sheep as one tends to do, generally misdirected by the mass of people walking towards one. We finally booked into AER LINGUS flight, Airbus 321 to Dublin where we would transfer to Sligo. The flight was uneventful, tho' sardine-like. I personally would rather fly Tiger Moth. We had an hour's wait at Dublin for the Fokker 50 commuter turboprop to Sligo. This wait is to encompass delays (A. on your flight and B. on the Sligo/Dublin shuttle) and was a pleasant interlude.
Sligo's small and friendly airport was but a few steps from the plane and a taxi soon delivered us to the Loft Bar and Restaurant opposite the bus station where we would meet our tour rep. The young man behind the bar soon took charge of our luggage and put it in a back room (could have been a bomb for all he knew) and we settled to drink and meet obvious strangers that entered and looked around. It transpired that our rep. (a national Ireland 'B' cyclist) was struggling with traffic up from Galway and his previous tour that had ended that morning. After a meal we were eventually taken to our B&B for the night. I felt sorry for 3 senior riders who had ridden from the ferry and Dublin over two days. They must have needed a shower long before they were able to get one. Anyway that was Saturday 16th May.
Sunday morning was a coach transfer from Sligo to KILLIBEGS where we met our bikes, Raleigh Pioneers. We set them up for the 20 miles to GLENCOLUBKILLE, on the coast, in the afternoon. The riding is a bit of a haze for me and my gammy leg. I did a fair bit of walking but enjoyed the downhill. Fortunately there were 4 Americans on the tour; 2 of each gender. One enjoyed the wayside stops; he was a lecturer from Pennsylvania Academy, of Irish descent, over to seek out his roots and quite partial to the black stuff. We tended to lag behind the others.
Monday: GLENCOLUMKILL to DUNGLOE via MAGHERA beach. A superb run down under cloudless (unusual) skies. For me, the best view of the tour. 42 miles.
Tuesday: DUNGLOE to DUNFANAGHY. 41 miles via lunch at GLENVEACH National Park. I got a lift out onto the heights (3 miles uphill) and enjoyed a sunbathe waiting for the others.
Wednesday was a rest day in Dunfanaghy. We had a lovely Hotel. Ireland is old and new in the space of a few yards and a welcome from both. So far not a drop of rain on my head. In the afternoon Marguerite went for a walk with Alan and Gerald and I dragged my leg around the streets and took my "medicine". Only hours before the Referendum and I found the old boys in the pub were tending to vote "Yes".
Thursday: DUNFANAGHY to RATHMELTON, 38 miles. A tough day. I got picked up by the sag wagon as I couldn't walk the hills. Splendid Irish music later on. It really is a treat to hear live music unelectrified.
Friday: Coach to GARRISON (in ULSTER) for coffee and photographs on this historic day before cycling to Sligo via Loch Melville and Loch Gill. We had an accident on this road. One of the American women, at the behest of the other one, kicked her fender (mudguard) because it was binding. Her foot caught in the spokes and she "came a cropper". Not too much damage, fortunately, just grazings on her face. I made it all the way today. Sligo was full of people in the evening as it was carnival time with much Irish music in the pubs.
Saturday. Plane home at 14.00 hours. Home by 18.30. A good week and NO rain!
HARRY STATHAM MAY 1998
In between these diversions, we chatted to a lot of people wanting to know where to go to cycle with their children away from traffic, some thinking about cycling to work, old-time cyclists, prospective new cyclists and a few considering coming out on CTC rides. We gave a lot of information. One extra we could have done with was a list of local places where people could ride away from traffic - and some local rides - could the West Surrey DA produce one?
We kept the flag of cycling flying, hopefully made a few members - and enjoyed ourselves. Perhaps we could get other volunteers next year - you get free entry to the show!
I am also informed that the Agency has completed a cycle way on the part of the A3 across the M25, but I have not yet checked what this means. (Info from Highways Agency to BKC May 26th.)
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