35 mile Reliability Ride

A few riders undertook the 35 mile Reliability Ride on Sunday (9.4.2017), and with the sun shining, took off from Godalming to the Village Shop, Kirdford via Plaistow.  Unfortunately I slipped on my stairs at home and twisted my knee on Friday so decided to drive out and meet the group as they went by and to beat them to a coffee at Kirdford.

Peter Fennemore

Plaistow, Angela leads from the front.

A thumbs up so all’s going well.

Preparing to leave Kirdford for the journey back to Godalming.

Yellow is the colour……

With the sun and the wind at their backs it’s a return to Godalming via Dunsfold.

Geoff Smith

It is with great sadness that I have to advise members that Geoff Smith passed away recently.  Geoff was a true stalwart of the Club, being a tireless editor of the magazine, and an enthusiast in all that he did – whether that was  cycling, swimming, or indeed anything else to which he turned his hand.  He was very much his own man, and after he moved down to Devon we missed his cheerful presence on our rides, and now we shall miss him even more.

A personal recollection from Rico Signore is attached, together with some wonderful photographs of Geoff

John Murdoch


Rico Signore writes:

I was very sorry to hear of the death of my good friend Geoff Smith. Having heard of his illness (leukemia) I spoke to him on the phone not that long ago and he seemed very cheerful and upbeat. So it came as quite a shock to hear he had died.

Most of our members remember him as the very capable editor of our West Surrey CTC magazine, a post which he held for several years, until he moved to the Exmouth area.

Together we organised three trips abroad which, luckily, were very successful and are apparently fondly remembered by those who took part, many of whom were Geoffs friends who attended his cycling weekends:

– June 2001 to Switzerland to Morat/Murten – Meiringen – Andermatt
– June/July 2003: Buriet (Lake Constance) – Lavin (Engadine Valley)
– 04 to 15 June 2005: Twinning trip to Rastatt And Freiburg (Woking & Guildford)

This was our most ambitious and daring trip, by chartering the Bike Express double-decker coach and trailer for the bikes – 3 nights in Bouillon (Belgian Ardennes), 4 nights in Rastatt (Woking) and 4 nights in Freiburg (Guildford). We had over 40 participants – not all cyclists, some were members of the Twinning Associations.

Returning from this last trip Geoff and I were asked: “Where are we going next year?” We just looked at each other, shook our heads and declared that we were lucky enough to have organised three successful trips  – so anybody else was welcome to carry on – which sadly never happened.

Geoff’s other great passion was of course “Jazz”. He was lucky enough, as a young journalist, to be granted an interview with Duke Ellington and became one of the great admirers of this Giant of Jazz.

These are just some of my personal and fond memories I have of Geoff.

Our thoughts are of course with Debbie and Geoff’s family at this very sad time.
Christine & Rico Signore, Jeff Banks, Bob & Pauline Mcleod, John Murdoch and all members of CTC West Surrey.

SADR Ride on 26 March 2017

This was a right old ‘suffer-fest’ for me: I mean, 89 miles and it’s still only March, not to mention only my third ride of the year! Paddy and Chris – sorry no photos – sensibly headed home after coffee, but that would still have been about 60 miles. Good to see Dane at coffee too, which was at a café in Alresford. We – that is Clive, Dave, Keith and yours truly then headed south east to cross the South Downs bound for lunch at Rowlands Castle.

Clive deserves a medal for ensuring that the journey home – he peeled off at Liphook of course – was as flat as it could be, and to Dave and Keith for their excellent company; if it wasn’t for them I think I’d still be lying in a ditch somewhere along the way. There’s no doubt it was a lovely ride, and we enjoyed lovely weather too, as the pics below show.

Apologies as usual that they’re not in the order they were taken – it’s a strange quirk of this website that they load up randomly. The band of folk dressed up like they’re on their way to a fight were found in the Meon Valley. The final picture is of my heroes, Dave and Keith. Hope you made it OK back to Guildford – you must have easily topped the ton: well done, guys!

The route may be found on Strava here: https://www.strava.com/activities/915649606  It was 89.1 miles in length and total ascent was 4,333ft.

The Bicycle Icycle 2017

West Surrey’s first event of the year took place on 19 March in mild, cloudy conditions. The roads were dry for a change and the turnout was excellent – 18 people, including two guests. The riders were:

Angela Byrne, Marion and Nick Davison, Julian Allen, Chris Boggon, Clive Richardson, Chris Jeggo, Peter Hackman, Martin and Heidi Vinson, Bob McLeod, Chris Juden, Matt Carolan, Dave King, Paul Taylor and Mark Waters. Chris Wright (Alton CTC) and Andrew Grundy (East Surrey CTC) were guest riders.

The Bicycle Icycle, which as mentioned above did not live up to its name thankfully, is a lumpy ride – 3,535ft of climbing in 42.5 miles. For those who rode the Phil Hampton Memorial Ride the previous day, it must have been especially challenging: hero of the day must surely be young Bobby McLeod who rode both in fine style; a couple of others found it all too much and did the sensible thing by retiring gracefully.

The route, for anyone wanting to ride it, just for the hell of it, may be found in GPX form on the Events page of our website – follow the instructions to download. You’ll not be disappointed by the quality of the ride – it really is fabulous from start to finish.

Here then are some photos taken on the ride, starting with several taken at the start.

The route starts by heading south out of Godalming to Thorncombe Street and then continues south to wind back past Gate Street Barn to cross the A281 just south of Bramley.

Turning quickly off the 281 on the Cranleigh road, the route makes straight for the Surrey Hills and climbs the nearest one it can find – Winterfold. And it’s no doddle!

Peaslake is reached after 14 miles, and there’s a shop here which sells the most delicious homemade cheese straws. Normally we stop but not this time – there were a few hundred mountain bikers around and some felt disinclined to queue, so on we continued up the appallingly steep Radnor Road and so past Holmbury Hill to cross the B2126 at Holmbury St Mary.

The next climb takes one towards Leith Hill and is surprisingly gentle – once the initial lumps are negotiated (and these aren’t gentle at all). The final section of this ascent takes one past the turning that we’ll be going down, once the Info Control answer is obtained at the Rhodedendron Woods car park; getting to it involves a steep descent followed by the re-ascent of the steep descent. Many lesser mortals have been tempted to wait at the turning for their pals and then bribe them for the answer. None of us had the temerity to do this today – not with the organiser keeping an eagle eye on proceedings!

Here are some of us at the Info Control point:

Once back at the turning, we make the turn and head for Friday Street and its pretty lake.

And then it’s just a question of heading back westwards without anything overly strenuous to contend with, other than perhaps Hoe Lane. Here are Clive and Pat climbing the lane:

We continue west along Pursers Lane and Hook Lane; in the old days, we then used to descend to Shere for refreshments, but this doesn’t seem to happen much these days, because it adds another climb. Instead we stay high and continue through Little London, Albury Heath, Brook and Farley Green to eventually reach the flatlands of Shamley Green at 31.5 miles – another village shop passed by – followed by Wonersh. Here are some photos of this section:

After Wonersh, we continue over the A281 at Bramley and up Snowdenham Lane to Thorncombe Street once again, this time traversing it east to west, to ride past David Shepherd’s (old?) house on the Hascombe Road. There are two more hills remaining, the first being the killer Mare Lane which reaches the near vertical right at the top. Below are a couple of shots of afforementioned lane.

The descent down the other side is well deserved, but then comes the final short but steep climb on Salt Lane before the fast descent towards Milford Station and the last short section along the A3001 and up Hawthorn Ridge to finish at Quarry Hill. Phew, all over for another year apart from making lots of tea for everyone.

Owing to the lack of refreshment stops, the fastest chaps got round in 3 hours 39 minutes. Well done, them, and all who rode the event, including those who rolled in well over an hour later having enjoyed lots of refreshment stops – sensible people!

Look out for an extended version of the ride in the autumn.

Woking Midweek Wayfarers Ride ~ 15 March 2017

After a spate of bad weather Wednesdays, here at last was some real spring weather. Spring flowers, sunshine and warmth! Our 55 mile ride (2,300ft of climbing), planned and led by Bob(by), took us from Pirbright to Farnborough – Church Crookham (coffee) – Odiham – Froyle – Binstead – Churt (lunch) – Tilford (ice creams!) – Runfold and back to Pirbright.

Here are a few shots from the ride.

Lunch was taken in the garden of the Crossways pub in Churt and the next photo gives an indication as to the state of the weather!

And to finish, a couple of group shots from the ride:

And finally, the ice cream team – not entirely sure why yours truly is enshrouded in a haze…

Thanks, Bob, for a really excellent ride and route!