Monday 4 March 2024

Nonsuch 1pm Long ride to Brockham, 2nd March


From Steve Wiltshire

First Ride Lead Since Titanium Job  

Nigel was unavailable, due to MG club duties and Paul had run off to Dorset to avoid it, so I had the offer of leading the 1.00 long ride, to a destination of my choice. How could I resist! 

Weather forecast showed soggy in the morning but OK in the afternoon and, contrary to how it usually goes, it stopped raining as I left home.  

I got to the Mansion in plenty of time (12.59) to an empty everything, cafe seating, bike racks and courtyard. Early shower I thought but two minutes later Karl, John, Stuart and Lorraine turned up almost simultaneously. Had they been hiding in the bushes hoping no leader would come? 

How about Brockham, I offered (although between you and me, the “How about” was greyed out in my head). Fortunately everyone said yes, although Lorraine was unsure of her fitness and off we set through the small lakes and minor quagmires of the path out of Nonsuch. 

The first thigh challenge was going to be Longdown Lane, up towards the racecourse but Lorraine decided her fitness wasn’t up to it, despite all Nigel’s recent support and encouragement and U-turned at the College traffic lights to return to the park and catch Diane’s short ride. 

So, we who were now four scaled the mountain and headed towards the next ride highlight, Pebble Hill descent. For some reason I’d been calling it Gravel Hill but Stuart was kind to me and said it’s been there for a long time and probably has worn down over the years. We went “Wheeeee” using the gravity drive and on to Betchworth, I like that bit because it suddenly feels like you’re in the countryside. 

Coffee at the welcoming Reading Room. An interesting range of chat topics, from Headwinds to some I felt I needed my “Don’t get me started” T-shirt for. 

It was spitting a little as we left and the distant sky was British Summer Grey. Karl suggested waiting a bit but I assured him it wasn’t going to rain and I was right, if you don’t count the minor monsoon for 2km on the A25. 

Standard route back from Pixham and we split into two twos to avoid Mudsuch. 

Very enjoyable ride, thanks everyone. 

Saturday 2 March 2024

Nonsuch Short Ride to World of Golf and St John the Baptist Old Malden

Just four of us out on the short ride, perhaps the heavy rain in the morning had encouraged other folks to find other things to do today. Lorraine, Sharon, Colin and myself waited until a little after 2pm, and then decided it was time to start moving. There were a few light showers on the way and the most beautiful rainbow. 

Having negotiated the building works, Tesco car park and the sub-way under the A3, we emerged at World of Golf where we refreshed ourselves in Costa. It was even more refreshing when the waitress decided to prop the door open "to let the air circulate"! 

Don't look behind!

After the obligatory photo with a somewhat obscured pterodactyl, we didn't cycle into Beverley Brook (it looked very much like a path from a distance) and carried on back over the A3 and into Malden Manor via back streets and alley ways. We skipped the muddy stretch by the Hogsmill to come another way to the church of St John the Baptist, about which I have recently been educated. Sadly it was closed today so we couldn't take a look at the stained glass window but we did stop to admire the outside of the building. 

Entrance to St John's

Then back home through Auriol and Stoneleigh into Cheam Park, I was very happy to have Colin cycle through the large puddles ahead of me as he confidently declared the centre of the road to be free of potholes. 

A circular route with not much traffic to worry about, and 12 miles. Thanks to Colin for back-marking and assisting with finding the alleyways.

Saturday 17 February 2024

Desolation Row; Beddington Park 1-o-clockers, 17 February

It was a dull grey day in South London and only the usual suspects turned up at the Pavilion Cafe in Beddington Park.  Maggie came along to test ride her back injury, take a photo and return home and it was my first ride for a bit as I was recovering from the it-might-as-well-be-Covid virus.

We decided upon a modest ride to M.E.D, at Merton Abbey Mills, where we had not been for a while.

The leader's sock at half mast as we pass Beddington Cricket Club. Photo by Maggie

It was a bit of an urban jungle kind of ride.  These are hard times for a lot of people  and we travelled through places where it is showing.  The new, broad, tarmacked cycle lane on Beddington Lane takes you smoothly enough from the burnt-out motorcycle in Beddington Park to the broken glass alleys of the Industrial Estate where, in this corner of this year's London Borough of Culture, you certainly would not feel comfortable walking on your own even in the daytime, and felt none too comfortable cycling in the day.  

Neither is Mitcham Common a Richmond Park, and there I unwittingly rode through spilt paint and left a trail of broken white lines on the road.  The back streets around Mitcham Eastfields seemed more litter-strewn and desolate than I remembered them.  But hey, the rain held off and the traffic was light and the beauty parlours were not filled with sailors and the road surfaces were better than some in the better-off boroughs we cycle through on other days and once we had staggered our way over the big junction at Colliers Wood we found a more comfortable world with MED stacked with tasty, if pricey, pastries.

We were going to go back over St Helier but Roger was pessimistic about numerous road closures so we used the Wandle Trail and there Ken cheered us up a bit with a detour to see the crocuses emerging from hibernation in Ravensbury Park.

Crocks and crocuses in Ravensbury Park

At least we all got out and had a bit of a ride and the company as ever was welcome and the length and pace were ideal for convalescence.

Thursday 8 February 2024

Here, there and everywhere; Nonsuch Park 1-o-clockers Saturday 3 February

The rides list had us going to Boxhill and/or Walton on the Hill and as each would involve a similar amount of climbing, a bit above the norm for Beginners, we settled for Box Hill as the easier route to lead.  It was a dry day, a bit breezy but as good cycling weather as you are going to get at this time of year, and there were eleven of us.

Then there were the dissenters, who did not want to go up the zigzags, so we went for a compromise; tea at Ryka's and those that wanted could go home over the zigzags, those that didn't could go home through Leatherhead.

Trouble was, we were all so pleased to see Steve back with the group after a long convalescence that not everybody listened.

Nigel led us and we made Ryka's at a fair lick, for Beginners, and in good order but those who had not been party to the compromise (or perhaps did not like the look of the long queue of motorcyclists at the counter) wanted to go straight up the hill while they were still warmed up, which is fair enough.

So effectively the togetherness ended at Ryka's,

Steve led four up the hill for tea while Nigel and I stayed downhill where the six of us had tea in the wall-less marquee they have erected.

After tea I stuck to the original plan and went home solo over Box Hill, Walton and Banstead.  I expected to meet Steve's group because I had not lingered over my beverage, but instead I had the chance to wave to Julie and Linda, who had climbed the hill and were looking for National Trust refreshment.  Home I went only to discover when comparing notes on Strava that Steve's group had gone to Destination Bike instead of the NT.  Steve said I whizzed past, but that must have been someone else!

Everybody got home via their several routes, and since Steve' group had the presence of mind to take a photo, I felt I ought to do a write-up.  

Friday 2 February 2024

Competition deadlines

For the photo competition please submit your photos by midnight this Sunday, 4th February. This will give the judges time to deliberate and reach their verdicts in time for the engraver to do his work before our prize-giving on 6th March.

See this link to the invitation for the rules and instructions on how to upload photos.

For the mileages league table please send me your 2023 mileage score by midnight on Sunday, 4th February. I will happily update the table with any scores sent to me after Sunday but you won't be considered as a contender for any of the shiny trophies.

For anyone who won a trophy or two last year please let me know if you will be bringing it/them to Cobham for me on Wednesday. Thank you to several people who have delivered theirs already.

Thank you

~ Tim C


Thursday 1 February 2024

Invitation to the 2024 Annual Lunch

CTC SWL Annual Lunch and Prizegiving

6th March 2024 at 12:30 for lunch at 1 p.m.

We are delighted to tell you that Jennie has booked the Ristorante Sorrento (379 Ewell Road, Tolworth, KT6 7DE) for our annual lunch.

This has proved to be a most popular venue for the occasion since our first visit in 2018 and we are pleased to be able to hold the event there again.

The set price for a three-course lunch will be £19.00, as it was last year (and the year before 😋). This includes a service charge, but does not include any drinks, coffee or tea. This is the menu:

(click to enlarge)


Please book by placing your order, and pay in advance by 15th February.

We expect the occasion will be attended by over 60 members, as it has been in recent years.

Please send an email message to Tim Court with your order for (i) a starter and (ii) a main meal. The waiters will take your orders for dessert after the main course on the day.

The preferred method of payment (£19.00) is via your online banking facility, but we can also accept cash or a cheque. For online payment please ask Tim for our bank details if you don’t already have them.

If you wish to pay cash please give the correct amount to one of the Membership Representatives, Patrick Watmough (A), Christina Berkley (B), Helen Tovey (C).

Any food allergies or Vegan requirements must be notified to Tim so that these details can be noted and passed to the restaurant staff.

All ride leaders please note that your teams should be delivered to the restaurant by 12.30 p.m. so that everyone will have time to buy drinks, chat, and browse the photography exhibition, and settle down ready to confirm orders with the waiting staff.

Thank you

Tim C

Tuesday 23 January 2024

2024 £2 subscriptions due

Thanks to those who have already paid our annual subscription of £2 for 2024.

For those who have not paid, please note it is due now. You can pay online direct (please contact Richard Bailey at, or in person to Nigel Taylor, Colin Quemby or Paul James.  

By being an active Cycling UK member and paying the Sou’Westers £2 annual fee, you can join CTC South West London Wayfarers and Beginners rides.

It would also be of great help if you could use your Cycling UK membership number as reference if you pay direct, or if you could give that number when you pay by cash.

Please remember too that for Third Party Insurance purposes we all need to be members of Cycling UK, of which CTC South West London is a 'Member Group'.

PS. Also remember that, as Wayfarers in paying a subscription, you are also confirming that you are happy for your contact details to be published on the Wayfarers Contact List, unless you have asked for them not to be included. You can remove or change your details at any time by contacting me.