G-BUG – new Guildford cycling campaign

G-Bug posterDo you want to join G-Bug – a new Guildford Cycling campaign?

G-BUG is a new cyclists’ user group in Guildford and the aim is to galvanise the support of as many cyclists as possible to improve cycling facilities in the town

Meeting March 2nd at Guildford Borough Council offices. If you would like to attend please advise Doug Clare (07836 528723) so they have an idea of numbers.

G-BUG agenda

Forty Years Ago

In 1976 there was no newsletter, no magazine, no website, only the Runs List to record our weekly doings.  I have added a couple of Runs Lists from 1976 to the online archive, at:

There was also ‘News from our District Reporters’ in the CTC magazine ‘Cycletouring’.  The online archive also includes such West Surrey news from 1974 onwards, and I have just extended the coverage up to 1982 (previously 1980) so that the first few editions of our Audax rides ‘Stonehenge and Back’ and ‘Tour of the Hills’ are now included.

Prudential Ride London – Surrey100 2016 for Woking & Sam Beare Hospices

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We have received the following letter from Woking & Sam Beare Hospices who have charity places available for the Prudential Ride London this year:

We would love for your fellow cyclists to support their local Hospices in this world class festival of cycling and make their miles go even further by fundraising for WSBHospices.

As you know the Prudential Ride London-Surrey 100 takes place on Sunday 31st July, with 25,000 thousand cyclists embarking on the 100 mile ride, passing London’s iconic landmarks, through the rolling Surrey Hills and even Sam Beare Hospice.

In order to secure a WSBHospice charity place the suggested sponsorship is £600, which goes towards the vital services we offer to patients and their families living with a life limiting illness in Surrey. To apply, please visit our website www.wsbhospices.co.uk/ridelondon. By being a part of ‘Team WSB’ you will receive full fundraising advice and guidance and a WSB branded cycling jersey.

Lucky or unlucky in the ballot, riding for #TeamWSB will make a big difference to our patients who we care for in the local area. In addition to the annual running costs of £8.8million, the Hospices also need to raise £3.4million as part of their New Build Appeal. This is for the new Woking Hospice being built in Goldsworth Park, and development of Sam Beare Hospice in Weybridge.

All of their 20 in-patient beds will be located at the new Woking Hospice site, along with a new, much expanded Day Hospice. Sam Beare Hospice will be converted into a truly state-of-the-art Wellbeing Centre, offering a huge range of therapy treatments to many more local people. Together, these two new homes will help provide a much-improved, flexible model of hospice care, enabling the Hospices to better support each individual patient and their needs, both now and for generations to come.

Therefore, I would be very grateful if you could please pass on this message to your fellow club members who are keen to secure a place in this event for Woking & Sam Beare Hospices. If you have any questions, please feel free to get in touch.

Kind regards,


Melissa Stock

Events Fundraising Executive

Woking & Sam Beare Hospices

The Bicycle Icycle

Icycle 2016 (Medium)

Civilised start time for Goldalming and the promise(?) of croissant is an added bonus. Even the weather forecast had improved so no excuses – the ride is on. A warm welcome from Mark accompanied by tea and biscuits is forthcoming on arrival and some new faces – we are going to be joined by two Fleet cyclists. The regulars slowly arrive but it does take some serious prodding to get the second cuppa and to make the croissant appear requires feats of which I am barely capable at that time of Sunday morning – but I am rewarded for my efforts. Then the prodding is the other way – you lot should get going. Yes Mr Chairman – anything you say!

It should be noted that Clive is remodelling himself – he was early! Yup, I will repeat that just in case you missed it. Clive was early. Even Bob’s wife commented on it and she just came for the croissants (wise woman). Then Clive was telling our new friends that the Alderbrook Road climb was the easiest on the route. Not in my books it isn’t, it’s one of the worst. And when we got back he suggested that the two who hadn’t cycled with us had arrived back way before us. No chance – we went at a reasonable lick and only one solo cyclist overtook us and he didn’t like it when I caught up with him and overtook him on Leith Hill Road.

Who says lightening doesn’t strike twice? When we reached Rooks Hill, Steve of Fleet Cycles reported that his freehub was seriously playing up and he was very concerned. The pawls weren’t engaging properly. So he bailed out and headed for his car and home. Ann had the same problem the week before and had to bail out and get the train home from Farnham. Surrey roads taking their toll on our wheels? My front wheel bearings are beginning to make ominous noises. Anyone know if Mavic sealed hubs can be serviced easily?

The rest of the outbound journey was uneventful though bad memories at the top of Leith Hill – took it very carefully. At the control point the thought did occur to me that I should take a photograph of the notice board – actually that’s what a pair of walkers was doing – and then I would not need to go there again. But that would defeat the whole thing. The return leg was going very well too and Clive’s puncture on Thorncombe Street was amenable to a few pumpings up to get us back rather than an inner tube change. Mare Lane is a tough one – need serious gears for that one. The Sturmey Archer was not quite up that challenge but you must have amazing knees Paul to cope as well as you did.

4 hours and 5 mins after setting out we rang the doorbell only to be told we were early! Tea please and more biscuits. Only this year we did not demolish the whole tin. In fact we were almost in danger of sitting down and watching the whole of the England-Italy match in Rome in the 6 Nations. (Personally I find watching England too painful but I hear that they did very well this time).

For those of you who decided not to come because of the weather – you missed a really good ride and the weather was very kind to us. It was sunny and almost warm. It did cool down in the last hour and threaten rain but it held off and I was able to get home and wash the bike down and it still hadn’t rained.

The ride is through some of the loveliest parts of the Surrey Hills and along some roads with wonderful views which we don’t do at any other time but some of those roads do have some of the worst surfaces. But it could be glorious in summer. Mark says he is looking to extend the route to 100km. Yes please, let’s do in the summer and you will also have to find a new name for it. (Bicycle popsicle? No? Well that’s the other part of the challenge – a new name for a summer version.)

Now, if only the ride came with a complementary bike wash at the end as I still have the chain and cassette to do but my hands were so cold.

Wiggle to buy ChainReactionCycles

On Thursday last week the retail trade press was reporting that Wiggle had made an offer to buy ChainReactionCycles.  On Friday the deal was reported as done.  Wiggle is owned by Bridgepoint Capital (if memory serves me right) – a private equity company. Wiggle has a stated objected of becoming a £1bn revenue business – currently about £170-£180m revenue.  ChainReactionCycles is family owned and has a slightly smaller revenue – about £150m.

Wiggle has voluntarily referred the deal to the Competition & Markets Authority (used to be called the Competition Commission) but they do not believe the CMA will object as very significant proportions of both their revenues come from overseas.  Apparently the CMA will review the deal but the usual rule of thumb is that the CMA would block the deal or would require significant divestitures if the combined market share was in excess of 20-25% on the grounds of a reduction in competition.  Although the market size for the bicycle & bicycle kit market is very hard to come by (and presumably the swim and triathlon markets ditto) I cannot see the CMA do anything other that give the deal a green light.  Halfords is thought to have a 25% market share of the bike market.

The process is expected to take 5 months before the deal can be closed.

Personally I think it would be a great shame if they did merge as these two are the most competitive in the marketplace.  This will leave Amazon – which has massively increased its cycling ranges of late – as a key competitor (and its not often in my line of business that we talk of Amazon in that way – usually it is the aggressor.  Most of the other websites I use have relatively limited ranges.  I will be watching this deal very closely.