Climate emergency

Cycling UK is plugging: “COP26: Cycling fights climate change”. It is up to all of us to reduce our carbon emissions as much as possible. It really is serious. We have to act now. Waiting for national and international politicians to do much more than generate hot air is an option we should reject.

At the recent CUK AGM, Resolution 8 – “Cycling UK shall seek where possible to enable and encourage those participating in events and activities that it organises or supports, to travel sustainably to and from these events and activities (e.g. by cycling or by using public or shared transport), by encouraging event and activity organisers where possible to provide information on how to travel sustainably to and from these events and activities in any promotional material or joining instruction” – was passed by a 96.6% majority (1678 votes for, 59 against).

I am disturbed by the number of our rides which start at remote car parks. We appear to be undermining CUK’s green stance. In priority order we should travel to ride starts and events by:

  1. cycling there,
  2. cycling there from a nearby train station,
  3. car-sharing,
  4. singly occupied car only in extreme circumstances.

Our meeting points should be chosen accordingly. For example, I have never started a ride from Puttenham Common/Cutt Mill. Too far to ride from home, trains no real help, and I refuse to drive my car in order to go for a bike ride. I am going out for a ride, not a drive.

We should think about our public image.



Harold Coleman 1931-2021

You can read here how Harold encountered the West Surrey CTC ‘Thursday Nighters’ in a pub in 1971 and soon afterwards joined the CTC. He became a mainstay of W Surrey District Association (DA) for nearly forty years, starting as secretary from 1972 to 1978, CTC Centenary Year, during which he organised the successful Home Counties DAs Rally in Godalming, something that previous DA Committees would have considered over-ambitious. In 1978 he became a CTC National Councillor, serving until 1984 (when he organised another successful Home Counties Rally in Godalming), remaining on the DA Committee during this period. At various later times he was also Chairman (4 years), President (5 years) and Vice-President (more than 20 years).

These facts, however, do not convey Harold’s overwhelming enthusiasm for all things cycling, and his knack of sweeping others along with him. Humour was an important item in his tool-chest, used to good effect when he edited the DA Newsletter for a couple of years, and later in DA Magazine contributions and speeches at annual dinners and other social events, plus all the usual banter on clubruns and cross-toasting at dinners. He was always enthusiastic about the Benstead Cup competition, competing, and highly placed, in many years, but a little disappointed to win it only once (but he was up against the likes of Russ Mantle and Clive Richardson). A competent event organiser, he was co-originator of our Tour of the Hills, which he organised several times.

Harold was good with his hands and machinery and took a pride in maintaining his stable of high quality clubman’s bicycles. He hand-made a collection of wire models of important machines in the evolution of the bicycle, plus the Thursday Nighters attendance trophy – a cycle leaning against a beer barrel. His Wooden Crank trophy is an accurate 2x model of a Campagnolo Super Record LH crank.

His interest in cycling history also manifested itself in a couple of slide shows he gave at the DA clubroom, which was started by Keith Parfitt and wholeheartedly supported by Harold. His shots of cycle tours and club life showed that he was right up there with the best photographers in the DA.

Amidst all this Harold found time to do some racing with, and contribute greatly to, the Charlotteville CC, as President, event organiser, archivist, etc. Take a look at their website.

Harold was good company and a good friend. He will continue to be sorely missed; sadly, the real Harold has been missed since dementia cruelly took him away from us about a decade ago. Our thoughts go out to his widow, Kath (his third wife and the widow of Keith Parfitt), and his son John.

WSCC Annual dinner postponement

Back in May we announced that we hoped to organise the club’s annual dinner at The Princess Royal in Farnham on Saturday 23 October 2021.  Due to the ongoing uncertainty around the Covid risks associated with large indoor gatherings, we have decided not to go ahead with this date, but hope to re-schedule some time in the spring of 2022.  Please wait for further announcements on this.

Harold Coleman

Kath Coleman just phoned me to tell me the sad news that her husband Harold died peacefully in her company yesterday morning in his nursing home at the age of 90. Harold was full of enthusiasm, for cycling and for West Surrey CTC (secretary, mover and shaker, etc). He has been missed ever since he became incapacitated by dementia a few years ago. Our thoughts go out to Kath and Harold’s son John. More to follow in due course.