cycling in Surrey, Sussex, Hampshire and beyond…..

Monthly archive for January 2016

Snowdrops in Mud

And so it came to pass that he who hates the cold – your scribe no less – found on waking that it was not cold; plus he needed to ride because he hadn’t since those heady, warm pre-Xmas days (how memories of rain soaked rides fade!); plus, the ride began at Godalming Station – oh joy! Present at Godalming were Clive, Nick, Martin and Heidi, and Chris B. It wasn’t much of a day for photographs, but it turned out to be a great day for chatting – well I thought so anyway – so there was plenty of that. It must have been a good day for hills too, although Clive was somewhat co-erced into climbing the dreaded Bexley Hill, because there was no one present who wasn’t up for it – there definitely must have been something in the air today. By gum, what a grovel, but,

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Today’s G2 ride cancelled (train-assisted, 20 Jan 16)

The ice risk is too high for the Hampshire lanes, some of which have been very wet lately.

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Ride Wednesday 20 January

The forecast for tomorrow is that it will again be very cold overnight, and although not above freezing until some time in the morning, it should be sunny. Personally, I may well bring the bike in the car to the start at Mayford (note the alternative arrangements for the grade 2’s) and then assess whether the roads appear to be free of ice and therefore safe to ride; I will cancel, amend, or delay the ride if they are not.  I will certainly be there.  If you plan to cycle to the start, please make your own assessment earlier in the morning and only do so if you consider it to be safe. John

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MAD – Sunday not all day 17th Jan

It was cold and slushy dawn but the thermometer was above freezing. A flurry of texts but no indication that the ride was cancelled. Wet slush on the road but should be less once I get on to the Epsom Road. I can always turn back if it really is madness. Can’t dawdle though as I have wasted too much time being indecisive. I make my exit saying, “I might be back very soon.” First to Guildford Station and it is grey and threatening looking, not really the best day for a ride. Finally a fellow rider, Chris, appears. “How are you?” he asks. “Mad,” is my reply. He agrees. He had to walk down the hill from his house. And then Clive appears, not as instantly recognisable as he used to be since taking up wearing a helmet. He had a slow journey over Hindhead. Impressed he made it.

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The Seductive Power of N+1

His name is Gustav – it says so on the frame – and he rode into my life without so much as a by-your-leave and in spite of, or may be because of, his history. I wasn’t looking for a new bike. I was just seduced. But let me start at the beginning. I was preparing the Luxo-cruiser for the following day’s ride. The chain needed to be changed and I had the rear wheel out and the cassette disassembled for a complete clean. I had noticed that the brake pads were wearing down a while back and now they urgently needed replacing –  before the following day’s ride. A trip was required to my local bike shop, Horsley Cycles.   John, the owner, fixed me up with two news sets and he asked if I wanted him to put them on. As it was late in the afternoon and he

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CTC SW London Hilly 50km, Saturday 5 March 2016

Mike Morley of CTC SW London has asked me to publicise this early-season warm-up event which is raising money for St. Raphael’s Hospice, North Cheam.  Entry is £5 (at least) payable on the line which will all go to St. Raphael’s. Signing on is at Ryka’s cafe car park Burford Bridge/Box Hill from 9.30am Saturday morning with prompt start at 10am. Pre-entry will be helpful. For full information look at ‘Hilly 50K’ on their home page at www.cyclingswlondon.org.uk.  This is a sporting, challenging, unsupported ride and few will complete it in under two hours. Now there’s a challenge! The event has been running for over 30 years and is a well tried route finishing at the Cafe on top of Box Hill by 2pm.

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Midweek Wayfarers Annual Lunch

The Midweek Wayfarers Annual Lunch will take place tomorrow, and is always a well attended event, which enables all ride groups to get together, as well as those who, for one reason or another, are not currently riding.  For the riders, the start will be at Ripley, followed by coffee at Polesden Lacey.  Thereafter, the separate groups will make their different ways to lunch at The King William IV at West Horsley.  In this way we should arrive at different times, which will no doubt help the pub with their catering; you can order food upon arrival, no pre-booking is required.   Non riders may wish to arrive at the pub between about 12.30 and 1.30 and enjoy a purely social occasion. The weather looks as though it should be pretty good tomorrow, although rather chilly, so wrap up warm and I hope to see you there. John

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Phil Hampton Memorial Ride, 19 March

letter from Dan Montgomerie: I would like to let you know about this year’s Phil Hampton Memorial Ride since you may have ridden this event in the past.  This will be the fourteenth consecutive year we have organised this ride to commemorate the life of Phil Hampton, who was tragically killed while cycling in 2002 This year it is on Saturday 19th March 2016, starting at 10am from Medstead Village Hall (grid reference SU659369).  As usual, all funds raised by the event will be sent to the charity The Cyclists’ Defence Fund which works to raise awareness of the law relating to cycling. There is a choice of 30 or 50 miles, and the routes are the same as last year.  There will be refreshments available at the start and finish.  Please see the attached entry form for more details, including how to enter.  Information about entering is also on

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Apartment to rent in Puerto Pollensa, Mallorca

This post has now been moved to the For Sale and Wanted section.    

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More Tales from 16 December

Bob Mcleod writes….   I’m feeling a little guilty about abandoning the group 3 ride today. It looks as though I only started riding with them so that I could enjoy last week’s excellent Christmas dinner at the Scarlet Arms. Not true. Neither was it just because Pat was leading dressed up as a reindeer. The truth is very simple. I was enticed by the offer of Apple Crumble at the Crossways Inn at Churt, plus the added inducement of being towed home, almost to my door, by that excellent leader John Murdoch. (This is not to assume that there are not equally good leaders with group 3 but so far they have never offered their rear wheel and towed me home.) As to the photo. I shot ahead, being familiar with the opportunities this ford on the road past Little Frensham offers for a sometimes dramatic picture. It can

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