Monday, April 26, 2010

Sunday April 25th

Sunday April 25

The thump of rain on window pane greeted me as I awoke but it was light drizzle as I start off. Four made the 14 mile journey to Runnymede where we were made to fight for our places by a coachload of LOLs. Here I discarded my waterproof for the day and eventually nine stalked me into Datchet, Eton and Dorney. Roughstuff, namely NCNs 4 and 52, got us past the Olympic rowing facility, across the Thames to Fifield and onto the Drift road. The lane past the still boarded up Royal Oak in Shurlock Row rattled a few teeth but soon Hurst had been bypassed and we were heading towards the ford. Only Dave and Don fancied a spot of paedalavium; the rest cutting across a field of horses to Lands End. Back we went on the "North" route via Billingbear, Moss End and Nuptown and into the Great Park at Cranbourne gate. A pot of tea for six at the Village Shop and in the sun was our reward. Around 70 miles door to door.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Sunday, 18 April

Westerham - Leigh - Shoreham

Blue sky, sunshine and volcanic ash. Is this the start of global warming? I should really dig the garden. A little bleary after the night before, I hesitated. Oh, blow! You can at least make it to Westerham and say 'hello', if they have not already left. So I did. A steady ride to Bletchingley and then beside the Sunday, snorting motorcars on the A 25 to the challenging glare of Churchill on the green at Westerham. The C&M were still in residence - a small but perfectly-formed group of: Bob, Paul, Richard and Simon. Steve, I was informed, had had to beat a lame retreat with a loose crank-arm and no big hex key. Must be infectious. We hoped he made it safely. The rest, on the point of departure, insist I join them.

From then on it must be up, and so it was. Chart Lane for starters, then Ide Hill. As a reward, Richard treated us to the Catford Hill Climb, mercifully in reverse. We passed the twitchers at Bough Beech Reservoir and then followed Penshurst Road (B2027) all the way to the Fleur de Lis (sic) at Leigh. This was something of a surprise to Simon, who had expected a gentle jaunt to the Surrey, not the kentish Leigh. Fortunate it was for us that he already had 120 miles in his legs after a ride to the coast and back on Saturday, after the Horton training ride.

Our lunch-time venue had perforce been changed from the Bat & Ball (now closed) to the Fleur de Lis - food sound and inexpensive. We sunned ourselves and dined outside, while Simon looked longingly at the sign which said: "Station: 250 yards".
After lunch we headed North past Hildenborough to Underriver, where Richard introduced us to the seductive contours of Carter's Hill - not to be faced on the big chainring with a frugally-toothed cassette. Thereafter, it was Seal, Otford, Twitton and a rescheduled and unhurried tea-stop at the engaging time-warp of Shoreham Aircraft Museum. After tea and cake and still in sunshine, it was homeward bound via Chelsfield, High Elms, Jackass Lane to W. Wickham, with each breaking away for his own route home at Croydon.
Our thanks to internet-free Richard for a most enjoyable ride, on what may have been our warmest Sunday of the year. The mileage tally for me was 70, though more I'm sure for the others who came from Cobham and N. Cheam.


Saturday, April 17, 2010

Sunday, 11 April

West Horsley - Cranleigh - Denbies

Keith reports that 6 joined him from North Cheam for the ride to 11's at West Horsley, viz: Andrew, Ed, Janice, John G, Matt Schultz and Paul D. A multitude were in attendance at the garden centre: Bob, Dan, Dave W, Don, Graham H, Irene, Jake, John M, Pam, Ray, Steve and Terry.

His report on the ride, succinct as a haiku:

Not much to report about the ride; it was a fine day for cycling and The Park Hatch provided the usual good lunchtime fare.

We decided that to return via Abinger for tea was not an appealing option, so everyone was in agreement to return via Forest Green, Ockley, Holmwood and on to Denbies for tea. (Dan opted to go up Tanhurst Lane to Dorking via Coldharbour.)


Friday, April 16, 2010

More Easter Tour 2010

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Easter Tour I.o.W 2010

Some pictures of this years Easter Tour. With thanks to Ann & Steve for organisation and to Pete for orgainising the rides.
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Thursday, April 08, 2010

March 28th

Leader Ed.
Keith & I met at North Cheam for 11s at Shere, met Irene, Pam, Graham, Terry, Bob, Dave, Don, Ron.
Irene & Pam, Ron, Bob, went home the rest went to lunch at Wetherspoons Godalming.
Terry and I went to West Horsley garden centre for tea.
Weather fine no rain 55miles
From Ed.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Easter Tour

Many thanks to Steve & Ann for a memorable (for all the best reasons) Easter Tour to the Isle of Wight. The hotel was perfect it even had Eurosport TV for The classic Tour of Flanders cycle race live!
Good food, warm rooms and wood burning stove plus a wonderful breakfast spread.
Lisa and i had a super ride there and back in quiet traffic free lanes stopping at Emsworth going down and Liphook on the way back, with a tail wind all the way back and only very little rain on the way down and saturday afternoon.
From Pete & Lisa

Monday, April 05, 2010

Sunday 4 April

Burnham Beeches - Hedgerley - Sunbury

As always, Sunday starts with parting the curtains and looking heavenwards. Today the view was not good. Steady rain from leaden, lowering clouds. The Met Office promised better. Sluggish preparations and out to the stable. Waterproofs on, undo the mooring and set sail for the the Thames at Kingston Bridge. Late start + unfriendly NW headwind = late arrival - an 11 minute penalty not to be overcome.

While I did not know the way to Burnham Beeches, I followed the virtual route that I imagined the peloton would take to Staines. At Runnymede a forced stop to consult OS Landranger 175 to plan a route. Soon it was terra incognita through historic Slough towards Stoke Poges, Farnham Royal and Farnham Common to Burnham Beeches. Great my delight to find a turf-roofed refreshment hut and a gaggle of C&Mers refuelling in tepid sunshine. The teasing group who had denied me a comforting back wheel were: Bob, Captain Dave, Ed, John G, Simon Thunderthighs and Stephanie. Ed, I must say, was looking very smart and stylish in a new black and scarlet goretex top and lusso longs.

After some much needed recovery time, Dave led us on a circuitous route to our relatively nearby lunchtime venue of the White Horse, Hedgerley. The pub was buzzing, attractive and friendly, with Sunday snacks and sandwiches and an amazing range of beers - a beer festival no less. I opted for Long Daze, to be followed by Long Knights. We sat outside and chatted about the forthcoming vote (CTC of course, not Whitehall), though the blood soon began to cool. The weather-vane atop the pub was not a cock but a folorn-looking gelding, swinging in the chill northwesterly.

Lunch over, there was no way out but up. Then via Fulmer, Pinewood, Poyle and Ashford. We stopped for a nostalgic photo outside Ed's alma mater, though the school's name had changed. It is now called Thomas Knyvett College, a newly formed Foundation School under the Howard Partnership Trust and federated with Howard of Effingham School.
Soon we were thames-side again at Shepperton Lock - the tea hut locked. A speedy decision was made to head instead for Lower Sunbury and the Walled Garden. Dave peeled off for Walton while the rest reclined awhile in Sunbury, before heading home in the late afternoon sunshine, legs well stretched by a bracing day in Bucks. Congrats to all and thanks to leader Dave.
After the watery start, the cloud had lifted, waterproofs been shed and the day ended with a modest touch of Sun Protection Factor 1. The mileage for the day from start to finish had been just over 85 miles.


Friday, April 02, 2010

Message from our CTC Councillors for Greater London

Dear All

Below is a message from Greg Price and Helen Vecht, our CTC Councillors for Greater London. In it they give their views on the proposal to turn the CTC into a Charitable Trust. They state their own reasons for rejecting the proposal and recommend that members vote against the 3 motions numbered 8, 9 and 10 on the voting form which comes with the current issue of Cycle Magazine.

Please make sure that you use your vote. You will not have another chance.

As they are Councillors who oppose this proposal, the CTC has not extended to them the opportunity to have their views circulated from CTC HQ through centrally held membership lists. Councillors who support the proposal have been given this opportunity. This posting is made partly to redress that imbalance.


A message from your CTC Councillors for London

Hello everyone

Over the next few days, the April-May copy of Cycle will be dropping on to your doormat. Along with the magazine will be the agenda for CTC’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) on 15 May, together with a proxy voting form. It is the AGM, and certain motions before that meeting, that we are writing to you about.

At the AGM on 15 May, Council will be asking members to agree to changes in the status of the CTC – these changes will have significant and far reaching implications for the membership and for the future of the organisation. Council wants members to authorise it to change the Club, the organisation that has existed as a membership company for over 130 years, into a charity and to merge it with the CTC Trust.

You may have noticed over the few months that there have been a lot of positive messages put out about the proposals – for example the new issue of Cycle which accompanies the AGM agenda and proxy voting paper has a pro-change article on pages 6 and 7, and subtle (and some less subtle) hints have been appearing in the weekly CTC email newsletter. There has been a ‘hard sell’ going on and, although a previous issue of Cycle had an opposing view eloquently put by Simon Legg (a former Councillor), those who may oppose the proposals have been denied full access to the resources being deployed by Council and National Office to persuade you to vote in favour.

For Council’s decision to put these proposals to the membership was not unanimous, and as more information about the possible implications for members and member groups has emerged, a number Councillors have become uneasy about the direction Council and National Office are trying to take the Club in. We are two of these Councillors and, despite a number of unfortunate attacks on the personal integrity of those councillors and former councillors who do not support the proposals, we have made our views known publicly as we believe that is what you, the members, would want.

We oppose the proposals being put forward by Council as we are of the firm opinion that they are not in the best interests of the members, the member groups or the Club. Making the CTC a charity will not restore control of the Club and the trust to members – indeed it will have the opposite effect.

Under charity law, Councillors (who would also be trustees) would have to put the wider public interest and the interests of the organisations before the concerns of members or member groups. No amount of spin or fine words from those supporting these proposals can change this simple fact. And the members of other organisations, such as the Youth Hostelling Association, have found to their cost that the lure of supposed tax breaks doesn’t make up for losing control of your club.

There is also the issue of Club and Trust finances. These are far from transparent but it is clear that the Club is pumping in large amounts of members’ money to ensure that the Trust is able to balance its books - £453,051 in the last financial year alone. This is addition to the £407,000 paid by the Club for services provided to it by the Trust.

Council and National Office have assured the membership that the finances are in fine fettle, and they have made much about offering a meeting on the accounts to those with concerns. But we have to report that this meeting was far from successful. National Office and Council were not able to adequately explain the finances and the figures they were putting forward as supporting the proposal to change the Club to a charity did not stand up to scrutiny. These are not just our views – but those of an expert accountant who was at that meeting.

Council has tried to suggest that those who are opposing the changes are doing so for nefarious reasons. This is not the case. Those who have concerns over the proposals (us included) simply believe that there is a better way forward for CTC and that, with proper governance and clearer accountability, the present structure can be made to work properly and in the best interests of members.

We would urge all members to consider the proposals very carefully. Look at all the information that is available and take care to look behind the spins and rhetoric. You might also find it useful to look at the discussions on the CTC’s forums ( or the information available on the Save the CTC web-site (

Please bear in mind that the changes being proposed by Council – if agreed and enacted – will be irreversible. You are being asked to take a step that will not only affect you and your family, but future generations of CTC members.

Our personal recommendation to members is that they should vote against Motions 8, 9 and 10 at this year’s AGM.

But whatever you do, and whichever way you decide to vote, please ensure that you do vote in this AGM. If you are unable to attend the AGM itself in Loughborough on 15 May, please use your proxy vote. If you haven’t received a form you can ask for one from National Office.

This is your club and your chance to have a say in its future! Please make sure you vote.

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us. Greg’s e-mail is and his telephone number is 07986 217852 . Helen’s e-mail is

Kind regards

Greg Price and Helen Vecht

CTC Councillors for Greater London