Kidical Mass ride 24th September

Cycling Needs You on Sunday morning, 24thSeptember for a Child Friendly Kidical Mass ride for safer cycling and to influence Surrey County Council’s Local Cycling & Walking Infrastructure Plans.

Meet: at 09:15 for a 10am start to lead cyclists in from the Park & Rides to arrive at G-LIVE green by 10.45 for an 11am mass ride.

Watch video at we expected 30, got over 300.

24th Sept Kidical Mass Ride happens to be on Guildford’s Car Free Day, but GBC are not providing extra (or any) Park & Ride buses or allowing cycling.  Can’t make that up!

Cyclists plan to mitigate GBC’s lack of transport by leading rides from all four of Guildford’s Park & Rides cycling to the lawn by G-LIVE for the Kidical Mass Ride start.  G-LIVE are supportive, making toilets etc available.

Park & Ride routes are under 3 miles and on , the main mass event is 2.5 miles.

G-BUG will have a stand at Car Free Day and invite you and other cycle clubs to join in and help Surrey County Council develop the Guildford Borough Local Cycling & Walking Infrastructure Plan by saying and marking up what you think is needed. LCWIP team has accepted everything we suggested, so say what you want and enjoy the day, but do not fund the car parks.

Bring cycle locks to use GBC’s manned cycle park in Allen House Court and explore the Car Free Day market stalls, no details yet, but expect food and fun.

Club Colours would be excellent; however, we are asking Marshals to wear high vis vests for the P&R and Mass Ride. I can loan.

Spond 24th September, Sign up.

Kind Regards

Pat Daffarn

Tour of the Hills August 2023 Report

The 41st edition of TOTH took place on Sunday 6 August. The day was a huge success, thanks to the superb response from club members who volunteered as checkpoint marshals and in the hall and kitchen. The weather leading up to the event was a concern, but after a horribly wet Saturday it was mainly fair when it mattered and around 20 degrees – ideal conditions for the task of climbing 2,200 metres across a 115km course.  


Entries were almost double the 2022 level. We had almost 150 web entries for TOTH and a further 6 on the day. After a few withdrawals and no-shows, this translated to around 130 starting the ride and 110 actually completing the course. The first rider back in the hall was Steve Winder from Epsom CC, who completed the course in just over 4 hours 30 mins, but all finishers got back within the maximum time allowed.

A good number of riders from local clubs (Dorking, Horsham, Charlotteville, Redhill, Cranleigh, Bella Velo, Ditton) were represented, plus several from much further afield including a group from New Forest CC. One rider dealt with the absence of good public transport options by setting his alarm for 4am and cycling to the start from Bishop Stortford! Pat Daffarn, Nicola Hounsham, Mark Slater, Matt Carolan, Don Gray, Ian Wilson and Paul Taylor all flew the flag for WSCC. Thankfully, no serious incidents or accidents were reported, though one episode of bad driving did result in an unplanned dismount and some road rash that was mopped up by helpers back in the village hall.

One big difference from previous years was the large numbers (29 in all) who signed up for the Greensand ride (“TOTH-lite”), a 50km route that takes in a more manageable 700m of ascent. Chris Jeggo led a WSCC group on the Greensand, and Kevin Hawken organised a large group from Woking CC. We’ll aim to build on this success next year. 

About 30% of TOTH entrants were Audax UK and 10% were CUK members. The TOTH entry price was set at £11 (£16 for on the day entries) and the Greensand entry price was just £3. Looking at the prices charged for other Audax events, and considering how much we provide in terms of food, drinks and marshalling support, there is probably scope to increase all of these prices in 2024.

Unsurprisingly, the cost of buying in the food and drink for this cast of hundreds was well up on last year, but the very healthy entry numbers meant that the club stands to gain a good return on our investment. We rely on TOTH for the vast majority of the club’s annual income, so a successful event will help to fund WSCC activities such as first aid training – good news for all of us.

Event Publicity and Sales

We publicised the event through:

  • The Audax magazine and web site;
  • Emails sent to a wide selection of British Cycling affiliated clubs; 
  • Posters in various bike shops and cafés (and a couple on outdoor bike racks);
  • TOTH business cards that we distributed to cyclists at cafés etc; and
  • Increased use of Facebook and Instagram for getting the TOTH poster out there.

Some market research done in the hall on the day of the event suggested that all the above had some effect – we just need to keep expanding these efforts.


We had a really wonderful response from club members to take on the many jobs required to get the event moving – a team of 25 or so all played a part and, as in prior years, the response was so good we even had the luxury of a reserve list.

Jill once again managed the catering this year and did a fantastic job.  With shifts from the volunteers in the kitchen (Amira, Alison W, Caroline, Helen, Phil, Jo, Heidi and Jessica) everything fell into place and we delivered the now-customary high standard of nutrition with a smile – much appreciated by the riders.

Neil McIntyre coordinated the marshalling effort, with help from Brendan, Roy, Jeremy, Sue, Hans, Penny, Ian P, Peter, Ian A, Liz, David, Clive and Chris on the 6 checkpoint desks, and Maggi volunteered once more for first checkpoint duties on Dunley Hill.  Many riders back in the hall commented on the cheery good luck messages they received, along with bananas and jelly baby supplies, from our volunteers.  

Back in the hall I also received valuable support in checking the riders in and out from Chris (who also took charge of on the day entries as well as the Greensand riders), Pete H, Keith, Neil and others.

Bike theft!

I’m very sorry to report that three bikes were stolen from a locked, car-mounted bike rack which was parked in the village hall carpark after the event. We’ll certainly be taking steps next year to be more vigilant on security after this shocking incident.

Rider feedback

On a happier note, yet again we had fantastic positive feedback from the riders. With its legendary refreshment options (and some challenging hills), but mostly due to the infectious good spirits of WSCC volunteers, TOTH really does seem to have a profile that sets it apart from other Audax rides, and it offers an experience a cut above the average commercial sportive (at a fraction of the price). Here’s a selection of the comments:

I just want to say a huge thank you to you and all of the WSCC team for laying on a brilliant audax today. I can honestly say that it was the best organised audax that I have done so far. The route, the facilities and food at Shere, and all of the controls were superb, and all of the volunteers were so friendly and helpful. I appreciate how much work goes into such a well organised event. 

See you again next year!

Thanks for the organisation. Top notch across the board.

Thank you again Derek – terrific ride, with wonderful volunteers!

Just a quick note to thank you and your extensive band of helpers for putting on the Audax yesterday.  A nice event, even if challenging.  Please pass on thanks to all the helpers. 

What a great event! Thank you to all involved who made the day so enjoyable.

Thanks for a very well organised event. Good set up in Shere and great to ride some of the Surrey Hills I’ve not ridden before. We appreciated the cheerful check-pointers with their ample supply of jelly babies, water topups and encouragement. 

Definitely one to do again next year.

A quick note to thank you for a wonderful ride today, definitely by far the best organised AUK ride of the calendar I have come across!

Thank you to all the volunteers – and amazing nutrition support!

Next year?

The committee is already thinking about how to build on the 2023 experience for the 42nd edition of TOTH, and we also intend to bring back the Elstead Audax rides (aiming for an event day of Sunday 16 June 2024) that have an even longer pedigree with WSCC. 

To make the most of both events, we intend to create an events sub-committee that can will plan the TOTH and Elstead rides together, and share the load of organising these events. We’ll be recruiting for the events committee soon, so watch out!

Meanwhile, Shere Village Hall has been booked for TOTH 2024 on Sunday 11 August 2024, so please SAVE THE DATE and stand by to do it all again!


Russ Mantle funeral

Click image to view Order of Service


Local WSCC members wearing club colours were led to the funeral by Keith Stainer filling the benches, Edwin Hargraves and some others travelled much further.  A fitting send off to our friend and club member.

Tour of the Hills – Your Club Needs YOU!

It’s now just a little over 2 months before the Tour of the Hills (TOTH) which takes place on Sunday 6 August, at Shere Village Hall. Entries have started to come in, and so far seem to be doing better than last year, though it is very early days. As this is the club’s main event of the year, and our principal income source, it’s important for all of us that the event goes well. 

Entry for TOTH is via the Audax website at:

There are two main ways you can help:

  • Volunteering for one of the roles on the day
  • Assisting with publicity for the event

Please take a moment to read on and consider how you can help the club make the event a success.

Volunteers – Your club needs you!

TOTH cannot function without a small army of volunteers in the hall, and out on the course. Each year, we have had a fantastic response from club members who have taken on these roles, and our volunteers have also had a great time in the process.

Checkpoint Marshals

There are 6 separate checkpoints around the course, and we need marshals at each one of these. Their job is to check the riders in and out, stamping their Audax cards and – most importantly – handing out jelly babies, water top-ups and encouragement. 

This year we are also looking for someone to coordinate the marshals, so a volunteer for this task would be much appreciated. We have a well-drilled system for the checkpoint stations (and all the necessary equipment) so the requirements for this job are already well set out. And John Murdoch, who has taken on this role for a number of years, has kindly offered to mentor and advise the new recruit.

Catering and in-hall support

Jill Ridyard is once again masterminding the catering in the village hall on the day, and will need some help both with preparing the food and drink in advance, and serving on the day. The catering is one of the main attractions of the event, and Jill will once again be managing the helpers by recruiting two shifts (morning and afternoon) to ease the burden on anyone who steps forward.

There are also a few other jobs in the hall itself, including a volunteer to deal with on-the-day entries and checking in riders when they return to the hall at the end of the ride.

Please let me or Jill know if you would be available to assist on any of the above roles.


We have already sent out emails to last year’s entrants and around 30 cycle clubs throughout the South-East to let them know details of the event, and the Audax magazine and website also provide valuable publicity. But these mailshots can be rather hit-and-miss, and it would be really helpful if club members could use their own contacts and local knowledge to ensure that we bring TOTH to the attention of potential entrants. 

For WSCC members who ride with other clubs and cycle groups, a personal recommendation can speak far louder than an unsolicited email. So please feel free to sell TOTH to your cycle contacts in other clubs, and/or publicise the event on social media.

We have produced a stock of TOTH business cards and posters and we now need to work on how to get these in front of our target audience. 

For the posters, the idea is to have these displayed in cycle-friendly environments such as the cafés and bike shops where we know that cyclists congregate in increasing numbers at this time of year. If you have ideas about good locations, please let me know so that we can get these into the field. For example, the cyclist’s “caravan” coffee/cake outlet at Tanhouse farm in Newdigate already has a large A4 TOTH poster pinned to it just where riders queue for their drinks. 

The business cards can also be left at the same locations, and can also be handed to likely-looking groups of cyclists we encounter at coffee stops or out on the road. We know for sure that this has been an effective way to encourage entrants. 

If you would like some TOTH business cards, and/or a printed poster, please let me know and I will endeavour to get them to you.

Thanks, in anticipation of your support!