Annual Dinner 2014

John Murdoch writes….

Please note that the Annual Dinner and awards presentation will now be held on  

Saturday 1 March 2014

and not 25 January as suggested as a likely date in the latest issue of the West Surrey Cyclist, although the venue remains as The Mill at Elstead.

Full details, including menu choices, time, cost, and booking arrangements will be published on the website early in the New Year.

Alternatively, send a blank e-mail to me at, with just “CTC Dinner” in the heading, and I will send those details directly to you as soon as they are available.

Meanwhile, I suggest you reserve the date now, as it promises to be an excellent evening.  As previously advised, Josie Dew has kindly agreed to join us as a guest (with her husband and baby as well!) and will present the awards, some serious and some less so.

Newark Lane ~ Road Closure

Richard Ellis has kindly brought to our attention the closure of Newark Lane, although that advice was unfortunately too late for Chris Jeggo and his group setting off from Send on Wednesday, and who had to take an alternative route.

The closure is due to last 6 months beginning on 6 January 2014, and affects routes which head out from Send or Ripley to Clandon and the Horsleys.  The main diversion would be to use the Old Woking – Send route (past the Send New inn) and up to the main roundabout on the old A3.

Depending on where the Newark Lane closure starts and finishes, it may be possible to turn left at the garage on the Send road, along Send Marsh Lane ending at the 7 stars pub on Newark Lane.  However, this could be tricky, as it is very narrow in parts and likely to be used by motorists also affected by the closure.

Ride leaders should certainly note this information, as well as members generally who head in this direction.

Newark Lane is the road on which the blue dot is situated.

Pilgrim Cycles – New Cycle Shop & Cafe at Westhumble Station

Louise Gagnon writes…


Whether it’s for a good cup of Java, a spare tube or an impromptu bike repair, Dave and his wife await you in their new and very welcoming cafe, located close to Box Hill and Polesden Lacy, at West Humble’s historical Grade II listed former station. 

  • An ideal alternative to the Polesden Lacy coffee stop  
  • Helmets, shorts, waterproofs, spare parts such as chains, cables, inner tubes, tyres and more
  • Their open fire, known to have thawed out frozen cyclists, will be kept burning through the winter Or drop in for a refreshing ice cream on a hot summer afternoon!
  • Sandwiches and tea cakes are on offer as well as home made cakes, flap jacks, cookies, fruit and crisps
  • If you plan on dropping in with a group of more than 6, please call in advance. Group bookings for lunch during the week are always welcome.


Pilgrim Cycles Ltd

The Old Booking Hall
Box Hill & Westhumble Station
Westhumble Street
Surrey  RH5 6BT

Tel 01306 886958

Pilgrims is located where the blue dot is.

Conspicuity and Lamps #3

From Chris Jeggo

I read John Murdoch’s reply with great interest, and it is very useful to have this debate.

I agree with much of what he says.  In his second paragraph he talks about “very different conclusions”.  My conclusion was that there is no point in using a normal intensity rear lamp in fog, while his was that it is sensible to use only high-intensity rear lamps in fog.  Is there any incompatibility there?  In fact, last Wednesday I noted what high-intensity lamps Louise and Nick were using with the intention of buying one myself, to supplement my existing lamp and for use only in fog.

They do dazzle, and I used that specific word, not ‘distract’ or ‘inconvenience’.  The problem with dazzle lies in the way the human eye works;  it adjusts its sensitivity to compensate for the bright object in the scene with the result that less bright objects (potholes?) become more difficult to discern.  It’s not a problem in daylight but it certainly is at night.  Fog lamps should only be used in poor visibility.  Oh, and if you are using a bright rear lamp why would you want to be anywhere else than at the back of the group, because otherwise a following rider will obscure it and annul its effectiveness.

So how bad was the visibility last Wednesday?  I estimated it to be about 100m, give or take a physicist’s margin of error, 25% say.  And of course it varied a bit from place to place.  From time to time I asked myself ‘What is the furthest object I can see?’ and ‘Roughly how far away is it?’  Now 100m is a borderline case in two senses.  Firstly, if visibility is below 100m cars MUST use headlamps;  if it is above 100m they MUST NOT use fog lamps.

Secondly, let’s try and be a bit more precise regarding John’s conclusion that if the motorist behind sees the cyclist before his lamp then it is probably too late.  According to ‘The Highway Code’ the typical stopping distance for a car travelling at 70mph is just under 100m (including the “thinking distance”), so I would substitute ‘sometimes’ for ‘probably’.

I would not call 100m visibility “extremely foggy” or “truly poor”.  I remember cycling round in my teens on foggy nights in an industrial town fuelled universally by coal.  Visibility down to 20m, 10m, less … it was difficult to pick out the kerbs sometimes.  Cyclists would catch up with motorists because they could see better, they didn’t have six feet of foggy dead space in front of them (a typical car bonnet length in those days, before the Mini).

So the extent of my disagreement with John is just the extent to which he overstated his case!

Sartorially Splendid Cyclists of the West Surrey

Wed 16 Oct 13 Ride#3~Don

Don receiving award

In response to a comment about there being no photo of Don in his lederhosen – I can assure you there is: see October 15 ride – it would seem appropriate to re-post a couple of photos for everyone’s amusement. (And I thought I was the one into self-advertising!)

Budgie Smugglers~closeup