South West London DA: Sou' Wester Archive
Sou'Wester July/August 2004

Summer is the time for touring and we include two reports of trips to 'foreign' countries. As this is written, Bike Week is imminent with many different activities on offer, some repeats and several new and the Mystery Word Hunt will take place on 11th July. On a less positive note, the 100/150 km Audax rides on 6th June did not happen due to a lack of support and the future of this event will be discussed at the next DA committee meeting.

Lynda, Helga and Norman in Scotland by Lynda Barrow
We travelled on Thameslink to Kings Cross. Things were going well on the GNER train to Edinburgh until just before Berwick-upon-Tweed when it was announced passengers would be transferred to coaches. How were we going to manage with our bikes? Two hours were added to the journey but we were able to cycle the four miles to our B&B where a delicious meal of fresh salmon and vegetables was served.
The next day was cloudy and we rode to the cycle paths around Leith Harbour then on to the Forth Bridge. I clocked the length of the bridge - 1.7 miles. This was quite amazing. Both Helga and I were very impressed. After a meal of spaghetti bolognese it was getting dark but we had to go onto the busy main route to Edinburgh. This was very scary - Helga and I were having kittens and Norman was having a litter!! We kept to the inside lane - bollards protecting us from the heavy vehicles. There was no lighting except car headlights and our own front lights. Eventually, we arrived back after our adventurous day - 44 miles.
On the Friday, we caught a train to Dundee. On the way to our next stop - Blairgowrie - we had lunch at an Osprey Centre Country Park called Piperdee and watched a cctv transmission of an osprey family. I had a local speciality of jacket potato with Arbroath smokie (the traditional method). Back on the road, a few lumps, (Helga thought they were more than that!) we arrived in Blairgowrie, a pretty village, and the sun shone. The garden of our B&B was very unusual with a windmill/rockery, putting green and croquet lawn. The interesting house had many chimes, a cuckoo clock, and an array of wooden elephants. Our charming hostess offered fresh food and vegetables each evening and Scottish breakfast.
On the Saturday we passed a 'Best kept wee village' called Spittalfield. Our ride was 20 miles to Dunkeld and return only 12 miles! The Sunday, we met a CTC leader, Pat Harrow, who was marshalling an Audax ride and took us up to Glen Isla and Loch. The scenery was beautiful - even in the rain! We passed many golf courses on our travels. We left Blairgowrie for Dundee then spent the next day around Edinburgh. We all had a very enjoyable holiday, very good food and accommodation and cycled nearly 200 miles of different territory. Next trip - France!

Norman organises another successful holiday by Brian Starey
Eleven Wayfarers made their ways as in 2003 to the quiet village of Nesles (pronounced Nell - as Gill was to learn). This was the start of a five day self-catering holiday in two excellent adjoining gites with the benefit of a share with two resident cats first adopted as kittens by the group last September. This year there were no horses however.
It had been hoped that Boulogne would have re-opened as a ferry port but programme delay meant that once again the main party had to catch very early local trains to rendezvous with the 8am Charing Cross to Dover train for a swift Seacat crossing and then ride 35 odd miles from Calais, arriving mid-afternoon at Nesles where the motoring party greeted them. In the four days of leisurely riding, although the weather was colder than expected, rainwear was never necessary. We enjoyed excellent long lunches in Desvres, Montrueil-sur-Mer and Wimereux and highlights included Mont Lambert and Beussent Chocolate Factory. Everyone enjoyed the holiday and returned home very grateful to Norman for putting the trip together for us and hoping that something similar will be arranged for 2005.

Founder member and Secretary David Aylett is pleased to see that a number of Beginners have been seen regularly riding with and in some cases leading rides for other Sections. (Point for discussion? To my mind these 'graduate' riders should no longer be described as Beginners! Do we need a new Section title to describe those riding on the longer rides on a Saturday? Ed).

Midweek Wayfarers
We welcome Pam Jones, whose company we enjoyed for the first time on the A ride to Eton, and also Nev Dable who recently joined our rides. Secretary Brian Starey would like you to let him know if you will definitely be on the Hindhead Hostel ride on 28th and 29th July and he needs the payment please - £21.20 for two nights.

Cheam and Morden
Steve Gordon invites members to the Beer Festival during 18th to 20th June. The Festival takes place at the Three Moles PH at Selham, near Petworth. A camping site is available at nearby Grafham. Contact Steve for details.
Section members will be camping at the CTC Birthday Rides in the Peak District. It's still possible to join in. Call Steve or to book, Della McGavin at CTC HQ. See 'What's On' in Cycle.

News of people
Bob Lees has sent news of his life out in Florida USA. "At 17th May the Springtime overnight temp. is in the mid 60's and mid 80's in daytime." The sunshine is to be seen in the photograph of Bob and Lin's luxurious new home which can be received as an e-mail attachment from Brian Starey. Brian can supply the full report on request but we have regrettably to pass on the news from Bob that "in addition to watching 60 minutes of the Giro daily on TV, my riding has reduced to cycling Saturday mornings with the intermediate group of about 10 - 16 riders averaging 15 mph. The little bit of speed I gained last year has gone. Still great fun. I'm lucky to have such a great local club." Bob will be pleased if you can call on him when you are next in Florida.
Jack Dowson returned home on 1st June following a successful double bypass operation on his heart carried out at St. George's Hospital, Tooting. His wife tells us that "Jack has no problems, he is taking things easy and is looking forward to getting back on his bike. So many friends have phoned and sent cards with good wishes. It's wonderful news".

Heard on Our Rides
Following outstanding success in their Cycling Proficiency tests, pupils at All Saints School, Carshalton cheekily asked their instructor, "Clive were you in Carshalton High Street yesterday?" "Yes" said the Instructor. And "were you on your yellow bicycle?" "Yes" said the Instructor. "Well we saw you and you didn't make a signal when you turned". After giving an excuse for this omission the humbled Instructor asked that the three accusers should not write to the Guardian newspaper. "But we will", said the girls gleefully, "because we've got a photo of you" and held up the evidence - perfect MMS screen pics on their mobile phones!

DA Events
The Mystery Word Hunt will take place on Sunday 11th July. It will offer a range of three route distances to suit all - from the experienced DATC rider over a 50 miles route, to the Section riders looking for an interesting ride through 20 miles of Surrey lanes, to the family wanting to enjoy an afternoon of gentle fun riding together five miles around Brockham Village. Register for the start at 10.30am from Brockham Church for the longer rides or after 1pm for the family event. An absorbing day of not too demanding exercise for the legs and for the brain, for an entry fee of only £2. After the event there will be more to enjoy. The Victorian Fair on the Green and relaxation over afternoon tea to be served by the ladies of Brockham from the Church Hall. Don't miss this day of pleasure! Amy Robinson has produced an eye catching poster. She can e-mail it to you or request a printed copy to display in your local bike shop.

Wandle Valley Festival: Join the weekend of celebration of the River Wandle on 12th and 13th June. The invitation to 'Explore & Enjoy South London's River' is contained in a leaflet obtainable from outlets in Wandsworth, Merton, Sutton and Croydon areas. It contains a full programme of cycling, walking and historic heritage activities. For families or adults looking for an interesting, gentle outing, Sutton Cycling Club for young people will lead a ride of only seven miles along the Wandle Trail on Saturday 12th June. Meet 9:45 for 10am prompt start from the source at Waddon Ponds in Mill Lane off Purley Way. Goes to Carshalton for elevenses where the families will be greeted by the Mayor of Sutton. The riders will travel along the Wandle Trail to arrive at their destination at Morden Hall Park at 12:15pm where they will join cyclists and walkers who have travelled from Wandsworth and Merton. For details go to

More cycle maps
Surrey County Council have now published the Surrey Cycle Guides. Similar to the TfL maps of London, eight maps cover the whole county and into London. In addition, the third edition of the Surrey Cycleway Guide has been printed. Copies should be available in libraries, cycle shops and tourist information centres or direct from the County on 08456 009 009, email