Tuesday, 27 December 2016

Invitation to enter the Photographic Competitions

Please see the full details of how to enter the 2016 Photo Competitions on the Wayfarers blog or click on this link which will take you there.

We'll look forward to seeing your masterpieces. If you have any queries please contact me.

~ Tim

Sunday, 13 November 2016

Award of the Arthur Jessop Shield

Congratulations to Shirley Quemby on receiving the Arthur Jessop Shield for outstanding achievement and contribution to the activities of the SWL CTC. She has been a tireless supporter and activist in promoting cycling in the Sutton area and beyond particularly in regard to Dr. Bike and the activities of the Beginners group based in Nonsuch Park, Cheam at 2pm on a Saturday afternoon. As Jeff Tollerman said it is amazing that Shirley has not been awarded this shield before and it is very fitting that her name will now follow on from last year's award to David Aylett who also championed the Beginners cause for many years.

The pictures show Chairman David Vine presenting the shield (with secretary Tim Court in the background).

~ Mike Morley

Sunday, 30 October 2016

Notice for 2016 AGM

The AGM for CTC South West London will commence at 11:00 in the Hersham Amenity Hall on Wednesday 9th November.

Signing in sheets will circulate once you are sitting down. The Agenda, Minutes of the 2015 AGM, Treasurer's Report and our Annual Report will be available for you to read.

Please be considerate about where you park your bikes.

Tim Court

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Saturday, 15th Oct - Tony's ride to the Ally Pally

Nine riders set off from Waterloo Station to Alexandra Palace. We found the new cycle route through Parliament Square to be very good. The ride took us through Hyde Park, part of the Regents Canal, Primrose Hill and Hampstead Heath, stopping for lunch at Alexandra Palace.

We returned via Finsbury Park, Parkland Walk (which follows the old railway track), through Regents Park accompanied by Will's harmonica and then back for tea in Hyde Park. The ride finished at Clapham Junction for our trains home.

Thanks to Tim G for back marking.

Approx. 30 miles. 

Thursday, 22 September 2016

Subject: Beginners all day ride, Saturday 17 Sept 2016

Liz Scrivens lead us on a lovely all day  ride into the beautiful Surrey Hills, via coffee at Effingham, on Saturday 17 September 2016. The weather was somewhat unpromising, dull and cloudy; it felt quite chilly as we set out, but then we have all become used to temperatures in the upper 20s and early 30s in recent weeks! This was the first morning of autumn, it seemed, at around 17 degrees and it didn't get really warm all day. But it was really comfortable for riding and at least there was no rain!

Our picture was taken by a kind passing hiker on the way down from Ranmoor Common. Behind us is a familiar and favourite view of Dorking from above Denbies. We enjoyed a well deserved lunch at the Stepping Stones pub shortly after, then rode home via Ashtead and Epsom Commons, cycleways through Horton and Hogsmill conservation area. Many thanks Liz for an enjoyable day out.

~ Helen Tovey

Friday, 9 September 2016

Correction to ride details

Please note that the dates originally advertised in the Rides Lists for September and October were incorrect and have now been corrected to read:

Sept 17 Ranmore Common and Box Hill with Liz Scrivens

Oct 15 Alexandra Palace with Tony Hooker (meeting at Waterloo Stn)

~ Tim Court

Thursday, 1 September 2016

Beginners’ Ride Saturday 27 August 2016

For our weekly gathering in Nonsuch Park on Saturday the short ride on offer was to Thames
Ditton, stopping at Squires’ garden centre for tea and cakes. There was no longer ride
designated, so I offered to lead one. The intention was to offer something slightly faster,
slightly hillier than usual with a shorter tea and cake break.

The weather was a little windy but dry, intermittently sunny. Four of us met at Beddington
Park, Wallington, to cycle the 9km to Nonsuch Park. There nine more members joined us,
including Nigel, who rode at the rear.

We went up the off-road foot/cycle paths to Epsom and up the hill on Wilmerhatch Lane,
through Ashtead Park, up Ottways Lane over the M25 on the footbridge. We completed a
brief circuit of Leatherhead and returned via Ottways Lane to the Cycle Bean Cafe in
Ashtead for refreshments.

Returning through Ashtead Park, we turned up Headley Road and then up the hill on Langley
Vale Road to the B290 along the top of Epsom Downs alongside the finishing straight of the
racecourse. From Tattenham Corner we went through Shawley Way (our last significant
hill), Nork Park, The Drive and Garratt’s Lane to the Pistachio Cafe at Banstead where we
parted company. Those who wanted to return to Nonsuch were led there by Nigel; the rest of
us returned to Wallington through Woodmansterne, The Oaks Park and the smallholdings.
Wallington to Wallington was 43km (28 miles) in all, taking 2 hours 34 minutes of cycling at
an average of 16.5 kmph (11mph). Total ascents added up to 950 ft. Those who started at
Nonsuch would have done about 34km (22 miles). In real time we started at ten past two and
finished at a quarter past five.

~Paul James

Monday, 22 August 2016

Riding across Wisley Airfield

  Stephanie's ride to Pyrford least Saturday encountered problems crossing the derelict Wisley airfield.
Fences and barriers of earth and old car tyres now cross the runway, though this possible to circumvent these on foot round the edges. Bikes then have to be lifted over the gates at the former entrance.
 Apparently, the planning application to "develop" part of the site with 2,000 homes and a school with access to the A3 at Ockham roundabout was rejected in April. Another plan to build a waste transfer site near the end at the Ockham Roundabout has not progressed, so this monument to a bygone age of aircraft manufacture at Byfleet remains. Bridle paths cross the site which allow transit, though these are not always rideable on bikes.
  Nevertheless, the group out last Saturday posed for this picture, taken by Stephanie.

Sunday, 21 August 2016

Stephanie's ride to Pyrford on Saturday the 20th August.

The ride was uneventful and all seemed to enjoy the route.  The 'Bermuda triangle' around Coxes Mill claimed a couple of stragglers but luckily they joined us at lunch.  They  got stuck behind at a traffic light and missed the wiggle through the fruit farm.  A cyclist called John (sorry, there are so many of them I should have asked for a second name, distinguishing feature was a grey beard )  joined us at lunch, he had seen the blog and decided to join us on his way back from a ride to Guildford.  

  Crossing Wisley airfield was interesting  as attempts are being made to restrict access. Piles of tyres have been placed at either end of the airfield and new railings affixed at the farm gate where we usually squeeze out. All obstacles were easily surmounted as we followed the tyre tracks of the many cyclists who obviously continue to use it.  I don't know if planning permission has been granted or not but the farmer is certainly making the most of his land in the meantime with bumper crops of sweetcorn surrounding the airfield on all sides.

  We were very lucky with the weather after the torrential downpour at precisely 10 o clock that meant many arrived soaked to the skin.  Not a drop more all day, though the wind was beginning to get up as we all departed for home after tea at Garsons Farm.


Monday, 15 August 2016

Ride to Pyrford this Saturday 20th August

Led by Stephanie.
Leaving Kingston Bridge (outside TKMax) at 10.00.  The route will follow the River Thames and Wey Navigation to Pyrford Lock for lunch.  Returning via Wisley and Stoke d'Abingnon for tea at Garson's Farm at Esher.  Circa. 40 mls.

Thursday, 28 July 2016

The future of this blog

  If you are reading this post, you are probably looking for information about what the Beginners Group does, including details about planned rides in more depth than you can get from the basic information on the website.  This is why I started the blog originally.
 In recent months I have found my cycling life to be taking a different path, mainly due to family commitments, and I have not been attending on the Saturday afternoon rides which are the core of the Beginners Group activities. I have continued to use the blog to advertise Intermediate rides, but now find I will be giving these up after a final ride in September.
  It therefore seems appropriate that either the blog should be handed over to someone who is a regular attender on Saturdays, and who also likes writing about cycling, or cease from the end of September.
  If you think you might be that person, contact me on fredallcard@gmail .com. You will probably need a Google account as well, though not being wise to these things I might be wrong.
Harry Cole

Monday, 11 July 2016

All day Intermediate ride to the coast on Saturday July 18th

  Tony Hooker will lead this popular annual ride. The ride starts at 9am in Nonsuch Park and after cresting the North Downs a halt will be called in Horsham for elevenses.
  Thereafter the ride will continue to the coast at Shoreham and onwards to Brighton. Return will be by rail on the infamous Southern Rail Service, or the strong can ride back.
  Nonsuch to the coast is around 48 miles and there are some rolling hills on the way, so this is one of the more challenging rides.

Thursday, 23 June 2016

Ride to Windsor Great Park on Saturday the 18th June

  After a week of thundery downpours, more than in recent years in June, 15 riders assembled under leaden skies on Kingston Bridge. Luckily the weather stayed dry all day apart from one drizzly shower near Lyne, but it could not be described as "flaming "June.
  We set off along the Portsmouth road, admiring the new cycle track on the opposite side of the road.
Unfortunately, to get on and off this when going south involves dismounting and walking over a pedestrian crossing. The lane also ends at the Kingston Borough boundary just beyond the turning to Surbiton, so we stayed on the road. This sort of problem seems to defeat traffic engineers, who are reluctant to put in a proper cyclist crossing for fear of slowing down motor traffic.
  We carried on through Molesey and along by the reservoirs to the turning down to the Thames Path by Walton Leisure Centre. This path has been resurfaced recently, and makes for a good ride into Walton by the river, which was full of the usual rowers and around 50 paddle boarders heading downstream.

  After a short stop in Walton by the bridge, we carried on through Weybridge and Addlestone to Lyne and the aforementioned drizzle, before arriving at the visitor centre at Virginia Water Lake for an early lunch stop and entertainment from a Youth Group having a sing song. Away from motor traffic of any sort, bar the occasional estate vehicle, we rode past the cascade and Leptis Magna ruins to the top of the lake and turned to skirt the Guards Polo ground to the Village, where a red kite was spotted. We
were then able to catch a distant glimpse of the Queen as she passed by in a small convoy of cars on her way to the races at Ascot, where I believe her horse won a race.
  We then descended back into the traffic at Egham and Staines before joining the Thames Path and rode to Chertsey Bridge. The plan was to ride to the cafe by Shepperton Lock down Dockett Eddy Lane, but on arrival found it closed. After a near collision on the left turn in Manygate Lane with an impatient motorist, we arrived at Squires Garden Centre cafe in Upper Halliford for the tea stop. After that we went along the River to Hampton where we cut across to the Hampton Hill entrance to Bushey Park and traversed the Park to Hampton Wick and over the Bridge to Kingston.
  Many thanks to Tony for back marking throughout. With no mechanicals or flats we did 45 miles in total at a mostly good pace.

Friday, 10 June 2016

All day Intermediate ride to Windsor Great Park on Saturday 18th June.

  Harry will lead a ride to Windsor Great Park, starting from outside TKMax by Kingston Bridge at 10am. We will ride to Weybridge and then onto Virginia Water, where we can halt for a lunch stop at the Visitor Centre. 
  Afterwards we will ride around the Park, hoping to spot some Red Kites, to the famous view of the castle and then descend to Staines and the Thames Path to Shepperton Lock, where a further break can be taken. Thereafter to Kingston via Sunbury and Bushey Park, arriving by 5pm.
  There will be some riding off road and a few hilly bits and the overall distance is about 45 miles.

Thursday, 12 May 2016

Ride to Osterley Park on 21st June. Led by Dawn Moriarty

Nonsuch 10am at café   - leaving promptly -  to the river at Kingston - Teddington Lock - over the bridge - to Twickenham
where we cycle along the river to Richmond - stopping at a café -  then Isleworth, Syon Park, Brentford,
Grand Union Canal to Osterley Park.  There is a nice café and also bring own lunch if required.
Then back to Isleworth via a different route - to Richmond - through Richmond and up the hill into Richmond Park
turning right to Kingston Gate and then left to the Ladderslide - and down through the opulent Coombs - Maldon and back to 
Richmond Park.  probably 30 miles although I haven't measured it.  Going at a happy sociable pace to suit who turns up.

Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Message from Barbara Johnston

My family would like to thank Midweek Wayfarers  and Beginners Club for all the things they have done for and looking after my Les the last few years.  Les never gets enthusiastic about anything. After our 2 week guided tour of Sicily the leader said to me I have had no feed back from Les for 2 weeks. I said what are talking  about I have had none for 50 years. Les retired when he was 62. I said to him there are these old codgers meet at North Cheam on Wednesday morning are you going to go with them. No comment back!  On the first Wednesday of his retirement I mentioned it again before I went to work. When I got home that night this non committal man was full of it. They had 11ses at Cobham and some one who was eighty paid for drinks so I was told all about that. He was saying how much he enjoyed it and how lovely the scenery  was.  Full of it.  He said to me they are not called Old Codgers they are Midweek Wayfarers.  That Thursday night he took me to Leatherhead and walked me along the river to show me the scenery. So maybe you impressed him. He is nearly 86 now and has had all this years of pleasure. 
Thank you.  The Johnstons.

Thursday, 14 April 2016

Ride this Saturday is cancelled.

  I am sorry to leave it so late, but due to an illness that is refusing to clear up, I won't be able to lead this ride.
  I will pencil it in for another occasion.

Harry Cole

Sunday, 10 April 2016

All day Intermediate ride on Saturday the 16th April.

  This ride to London's Parks will leave Nonsuch Mansion at 10am. We
will stop for a break in Vauxhall Park and then cross the river to
ride through the main Parks to Holland Park for a longer break.
  Return will be decided dependent on the weather, either Putney or Barnes.
This will be easy paced with no significant hills, around 35 miles,
and we should be back by 4pm.

Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Launch 2016 Summer season

  With good publicity and a near perfect spring afternoon, I counted 40 at Nonsuch for the send off by the Mayor and Mayoress of Epsom and Ewell.

Thursday, 31 March 2016

Launch of the 2016 summer riding season. Saturday April 2nd.

  The Mayor and Mayoress of Epsom and Ewell will attend at Nonsuch Mansion at 1.45pm to kick off this season, so please make an effort to attend and be included in the group photo as well as go on the rides afterwards.
  A good turnout will reinforce the message about cycling as a leisure activity of choice for a large minority.

Thursday, 24 March 2016

Ride to Downe Village on Saturday the 19th March.

  Nine riders turned up at Nonsuch on an overcast, cold, but thankfully almost windless day. Having been dry for several days it also meant that the lanes around Downe were largely free of gravel deposits.
  We set off via South Croydon and up to the top of Croham Valley Road, the first real climb of the day, down through Selsdon to Featherbed Lane, a long, steady climb up to the top and the Bear Inn. Along the top to the steep descent to the pretty valley at the bottom of Hesiers Hill where dozens of crows were turning over the chalky ploughed soil for their dinner, not that the next climb up Beddlestead Lane to the summit of the Downs left much energy for contemplating the scenery. A short stretch along Clarkes Lane with views over Kent before the short, but brutal, climb up Church Lane and a stop for a photo in the Churchyard.

Having promised no more climbs before lunch, I had omitted to mention a deep valley along Rag Hill and a left turn in another deep valley to Jail Lane where, in testimony to bike handling skills, no one shed a chain.
  By now a short level stretch to the Queens Head pub in Downe and a log fire was all that remained, and we arrived there after a ride of just over two hours. Service was prompt in a crowded pub and we were on our way within the hour down Jackass Lane with views over to the City and Crystal Palace.
After a longish stretch alongside Addington Road we encountered the final climb of the day up Gravel Hill where we lost David to cramp, thence a long downhill to South Croydon where several peeled off, before the scenic stretch along the Wandle by Waddon Ponds and the end of the ride in Beddington Park.
  Thanks to Tony for back marking throughout. The total distance was about 33 miles, but the climbing made it feel like a lot more. Some said they would like to do this ride again in the summer!

Thursday, 10 March 2016

All day ride on March 19th to Downe Village, Kent.

  This ride will leave from Nonsuch Park Mansion at 10am and ride via South Croydon and Selsdon to the top of the North Downs at Titsey Hill. Then via Westerham to Downe Village for a lunch stop. 
  The return will be via Shirley village to South Croydon,  Beddington Park, and Carshalton.
This will be a hilly ride to stretch those early season legs and hopefully there will be good views from the top of the North Downs. Last time we did this the tops were shrouded in low cloud so bring lights.
Some of the road surfaces in the smaller lanes are indifferent and gravelly if there is any rain, but easily rideable on a road bike.
  Total distance will be 35-40 miles and I aim to be back by 4pm.

Thursday, 3 March 2016

Fancy a challenge for 2016?

  Are you over 50 and wondering what sort of challenge on the bike you need for 2016? One possibility is to go for a distance target with a group who ride around your standard without having to go too far to the start. June 15th is the day.

Tri-ennial Veterans' rides have been organised by CTC groups since 1928, and are intended as a sociable, non-competitive day out in the Surrey countryside. We are offering three distances: 100 miles, 100km and 50km. All routes are figures of eight around the base at Brockham, with light refreshments at lunch and at the end of the ride. A CTC badge is available at a cost of £4 to riders over 50 who complete the 100 mile route in under twelve hours. All riders will receive a finisher's certificate.

The number of riders is limited to 80: please register with Simon Lambourn. The entry fee of £5 covers costs, including refreshments at the base.
  Details of how to enter, and the routes on offer are on the SWLondon DA blog. I hear that places are filling up fast, so register your interest before too late.

Monday, 22 February 2016

All day Intermediate ride on Saturday the 20th February

  Fixing a date in advance in February to have a ride is always a chancy business weatherwise. It can either be cold and sunny, or wet, cold and windy. The weather was this time overcast and with a strong westerly wind when five riders set off from Kingston, with patchy rain in the forecast for midday. By then I calculated, we should have the wind largely behind us after rounding the westerly edge of Heathrow Airport, and in the event this proved to be the case.
  It took us only an hour via Bushy Park to reach a halt at the information Centre in Bedfont Lakes Country Park. The wind was directly in the face while riding, and the path in the Park rather wet in places. We rounded the airport with jets thundering overhead on takeoff and on cue patchy light rain began as we turned east and the long straight roads to Harlington via Sipson and Cranford. I wonder how much longer this stretch will be rideable if airport expansion goes ahead, but right now a good speed can be maintained with the following wind.
  We arrived at Osterley after a ride of just over two hours and in time for the cafe to open. Not surprisingly, the park was rather deserted as it was raining more heavily with a strengthening cross wind, and was still doing so when we left an hour later to ride back via Richmond and Richmond Park to the end of the ride by the A3 at New Malden. At times I began to wonder if riding in February was really worth it, wind and rain being the ultimate turnoff. Two days later I think it probably is, as you get a good workout and soon recover when warm and dry at home.
  It was good to see Eddie riding again after a long absence, his bike and gear immaculate as usual, and thanks to Godfrey, Toni and John for being so resolutely cheerful. Total distance was 33 miles.
Here we are after lunch at Osterley in assorted rain gear.

Dream on. Views of CS5 .

  I was crossing Vauxhall Bridge last week and took this of the recently completed stretch of Superhighway from the South Bank towards Pimlico.
  If only this sort of cycle lane standard was more widespread in the suburbs, we would see many more people choosing to cycle as the default transport choice.

Saturday, 13 February 2016

All day Intermediate ride on Saturday 20th February

On the 20th February, meet outside TKMax on Kingston Bridge at 10am to
ride around Heathrow to lunch at Osterley Park.
Returning via Richmond Park.
No hills and a distance about 35 miles at an easy pace. Should be finished by about 4pm, so lights are not now essential.

Monday, 18 January 2016

Saturday ride to South London Parks.

   It was a pleasant surprise to see so many braved the cold on the 16th January. Luckily there was no wind and it was even possible to detect some warmth in the sun if you faced it and stood still. David was wearing headgear, but Anna had only a bandana. I failed to get a photo of David's headgear unfortunately.
We set off across Morden Hall Park and threaded our way through the backstreets of Mitcham  and Tooting to Tooting Common. Here the dividing line on the shared footpath has been removed with the odd sign asking people to be considerate. Apparently there used to be a lot of conflict between walkers and cyclists as each group claimed ownership of their particular lane. With this solution people are trusted to behave responsibly.
 After the common we went up Streatham Hill and down to Dulwich Park which, as usual on a Saturday, was crowded with all sorts taking exercise and thence on the long downhill stretch to Peckham Rye cafe and much needed warmth with sustenance.
 Wrenching ourselves back into the cold we rode past Nunhead Cemetery and up to Telegraph Park with great views of the city and points west, Big Ben barely visible throug the tower blocks springing up in South London. Back down quiet backstreets to Peckham Rye Lane and its cosmopolitan crowds we then crossed by the Library to the cycle path along the old canal which ran to Surrey Quays, an oasis of green between housing estates
 We turned into Burgess Park, built along the line of another canal where Mike recalled living and going to school and at the end turned of into Addington Square, another fragment of early Victorain London with its grand terraces. Next to this is an establishment called after Steptoe and Son, which is true to the TV series of the 60's and defies description.
  After negotiating a very urban stretch across four main roads we arrived at Route 3 and the pleasant stretch through Lansdowne Gardens and Larkhall Rise.
  Here the group split and the remainder went down to Battersea Park and a ride along the Thames to Wandsworth. This is a building site with both the Ram Brewery and Southside being redeveloped but behind it runs the Wandle Trail which we followed back to Morden Hall Park Cafe where the ride finished with welcome hot drinks and cake. By now the temperature was plummeting.
  I recorded 29 miles with no mechanicals or flats. Many thanks to Tony for back marking.
Photos are by David.

Saturday, 9 January 2016

All day ride on Saturday 16th.

"The all day intermediate ride on Saturday the 16th January will
depart from outside the National Trust cafe in Morden Hall Park at
1030am. We will head in an easterly direction aiming to visit as many
South London Parks as possible and returning up the Wandle Trail to
Morden Hall Park by 4pm. We will stop for a break in Peckham Rye.
This is an entirely urban ride at an easy pace with the occasional
hilly bit near the start towards Streatham. In the event of extreme
bad weather, the route may be altered."