South West London DA: Sou' Wester Archive
Sou'Wester May/June 2005

For elevenses, Andy Coxhill led the C&M to the London Wetland Centre at Barnes on his recent London Mystery Tour. Leaders may wish to consider copying his unusual negotiations to enable the group to get access to the Café. Andy agreed to pay the entrance fees for all, with a full refund if the group departed within the hour! Described in Brian Starey's report as a 'comic arrangement' for a lovely ride.
We reported some four years ago that the secure cycle parking (Sheffield stands and roofed cages) provided "room for all the club". Andy has now proved us right!
The centre is open from 9:30am to 6pm every day.


The Mayor and Mayoress of Epsom & Ewell and the Deputy Mayor of Sutton attended the launch of the tenth Summer season of Beginners rides on Saturday 2nd April and were joined at tea by the Chairman of Mole Valley DC.
Regional winners of the CTC's 'Volunteer of the Year' award for groups or individuals have been announced and the Section has been named for London (the only group in the list of 10). At the National Dinner on 23rd April, the Beginners will 'go forward for the National Award'. Attending the Dinner will be Lynda Barrow and Carole Dockett to collect the award, Section Secretary, David Aylett, Colin and Shirley Quemby together with Clive Oxx who will be there with pen at the ready to report for the Sou'Wester.
Before attending the AGM, Lynda is off to Scotland again with the 'Sou'Westers' Touring Group, Norman, Terry, Liz and Helga.

Cheam and Morden
The successful Easter Tour was enjoyed by 19 members including two newcomers, Pam Jones and Don Clarke. They faced the traditional cold Easter winds but without the rain, apart from a wet return on the afternoon of the final day. Vic White led out from Runnymede in good style with only one problem - he failed to locate the tea place at Aldbury. It was discovered to be only 100 yards down the road and only five miles from their destination, Ivinghoe.
En route on the second day they were treated to a talk by Ed Sharp on the 1963 Great Train Robbery. When they reached their hotel in Warwick, they were impressed by Chrystal and Keith who had ridden the 110 miles in the one day. Visits on the tour included Stratford on Avon, Warwick Castle and a pilgrimage led by Graham to visit the grave of musician/singer Nick Drake at Tamworth-in-Arden. On their return into Oxford, some used the Sustrans route.
Unusual rides recently for the C&M included the London Mystery Tour led by Andy Coxhill (see above) and the ride with the West Kent Hardriders who introduced C&M members to an exceptionally hard riding pace up Whitedowns.

Midweek Wayfarers
On 6th April, following the ride to Cobham, Secretary Brian took 50 Wayfarers signatures and goodwill messages to the bedside of Dennis Sloan at Epsom Hospital. Dennis was knocked off his bicycle when a careless driver opened his car door without first checking. Dennis fell on his head and was taken to Epsom Hospital where he was in intensive care. Brian met Dennis' wife Barbara and two of his four daughters, Janet from Cheam and Carolyn from Denver, Colorado whom Dennis had planned to visit next month.
Dennis sadly died from his injuries after publication of the paper copy of the Sou'Wester.
Bill Hammond was also injured when he was knocked off his bike. We are pleased to hear that he 'sounded upbeat on the phone' so we wish him well. Bill must be praised for the fine calligraphy he carried out for a special certificate awarded to Phil Lintott at the Barn Dance.
The description by Albert of his experiences on the 10th March as a "Debutante Leader at the age of 87 years" made very good reading and I regret that, as Editor, space limitations mean I cannot report them in full. Travelling from Addlestone to Weybridge and on to Hampton Court as a rides leader, Albert found that he had no riders following him! On the recommendation of 'a kindly gent', he was directed to The Ram pub which he found was 'most acceptable'. Perhaps it was the beer at the Ram which caused the incident when, on the return journey for tea at Shepperton, he "clobbered both arms on a green painted single bar gate". But it was a collision which brought him the pleasure of being patched up by 'the kindly girls at Shepperton Day Centre.' After treatment from a paramedic whom they called in and "after getting a buckshee cup of tea", Albert returned to his own clinic in Addlestone, "where they always welcome me as a regular with open arms". He ended his report to the Wayfarers, "See you next week... from Albert".
On the Wayfarers table at the Barn Dance was former Section Secretary Steve Bott and wife Pat as weekend guests of Terry and Sally Lowe together with Jack and Diane Dowson.

Nothing reported this month!

Peter Knottley died in January, four years after a stroke confined him to a nursing home. He lived in a flat with a fine view of Cheam and Nonsuch Parks and was frequently to be seen in our area on his Moulton bicycle. He was a lifetime cyclist, a former CTC Councillor, a YHA national official, volunteer warden, journalist and started the New Forest Camping Week. Colin and Shirley Quemby attended the funeral.
George Powney died on 22nd March. Although not active in local CTC affairs he was known to our members who ride with the Kingston Phoenix Road Club. George was proud of his rides in the war years with the famous Services cycling club, the Buckshee Wheelers.

Barn Dance
Jack and Valerie Parham were pleased to see how the people who attended the Social on the 5th March 2005 enjoyed the evening. This will be the last of the many socials Jack has organised for the DA in serving 15 years as Social Secretary. Tribute was paid by Brian Starey in his report "what fine occasions they have consistently put on for the SW London DA. Thank you Jack and Valerie for all your work.
Jen Mitchell is taking over the role of Social Secretary from next year so we can probably expect a new look to the Barn Dance, starting on Saturday 4th March 2006.

Heard On Our Rides
"There's no such thing as bad weather once you are out in it". Peter Knottley quoted by Chris Davies in Cycle.
Cry from Vic White on the Easter Tour: "Has anyone seen my shorts?" Reported by Simon Mitchell.
Matt Schutz: "Cycling Tours are really pleasant when you don't do the cycling."

DA Awards for 2004
Highest mileage: (full mileage results)
  Men Pete Mitchell 13,348 miles
  Ladies Pat Matthews 7,270 miles
Highest Attendance:  
  All Sections Pete Mitchell
  One Section Ed Sharpe
DATC Points: Derek Slann
Most Ambitious Ride: Norman Goody
Most punctures: Andy Coxhill
Photographic Winners:
  Action Jen Mitchell
  Building Simon Mitchell
  Female portrait Pete Mitchell
  Male portrait Jen Mitchell
  Humorous Shirley Quemby
  Landscape Pete Mitchell


Hilly 50 km
Simon Legg reports: "So... in no particular order:

hats off to Gary Dodd who started five minutes after the rest and finished first - leaving his trademark streak of molten tarmac as he passed us on Coldharbour;
thank you to the Norwood Paragon who went round in great style in just on two hours;
well done to the two red shirted triathletes (on a big ring up the zig-zags - why such self torture??);
thank you to my lighter and younger namesake whose rear wheel was such an inspiration on the hills (except the last);
bravo to the 'Race Against Timers' who had no reason to trust me after the previous weekend;
a big hand to the Cheam and Morden, steaming up the Zig-Zag and looking as if they were enjoying it;
well done to Paul's daughter whose recovery allowed him to slip away for the morning;
thank you to the gentleman from Guildford - Sir, I've forgotten your name;
three cheers to the chap on a Brompton wearing a 'Hendrix Lives' shirt - may your hubs continue to glow on every descent;
and thank you to the forerunner from Derby who phoned south and recommended the ride - such is the power of the Internet.

No doubt at all that the increased entry was down in large part to the Cycling Plus website. Pip pip! For myself, two minutes slower than last year in better conditions, isn't anything to cheer about, but if you don't do the work you can't expect the reward. I paid penance going out with the wild men of Epsom CC on Sunday. (Thanks to Ed Sharp who organised the event. Ed)

Publicity Secretary Amy Robinson appeals to DA members to provide photographs for use in future publicity.

DA Website
DA Secretary, Peter Barnard's recent committee minutes reported that "Thanks are due to Lisa Colombo for the new design for the website, very professional and attractive."
Thanks have also been given to Keith Robbins who set up our first website and maintained it for many years. Graham Hill of the C&M has been thanked for his assistance in recent months entering information which has included putting our Tea Place information online. Peter Mitchell is thanked for entering Rides Listings which previously Colin Quemby had scanned and put on to the site. Colin is now reviewing back issues of Sou'Wester Profiles for placing on the Website. So if you have been one of the nearly forty members we have profiled since January 1999 - you will be entering the Sou'Wester Electronic Hall of Fame in 2005.

Ambitious Ride
Norman Goody's winning entry described last year's weekend of the Dieppe Raid. This excerpt sets the scene:

To first explain to readers, the word 'raid' is a French word meaning 'rally'. The event taking place on this weekend is officially titled 'The Tour of the Three Valleys.' Riders start any time after 6.30am and the only time limit is to be back in time for the award ceremony, not the prize-giving. There are no winners or losers, just awards for achievement. They include awards for 'The Youngest Female' and 'The least Young Female', 'The Youngest Male', and 'The least Young Male'. The least young male and female receive awards for completing the Longest Distance. There are awards for children. The awards are duplicated for the French cyclists taking part. There are awards for the Teams, from the Largest and downwards to the Smallest Team.
The event is organised by the Dieppe Cycling Club and the local Sporting Committee. Route sheets are provided and days before the event, the Dieppe cyclists paint arrows on the route roads giving directions, with the distances, for all the road tours. There are six tours - a 20km off-road route for MTBs, 40km, 60km, 90km, 130km and 170km.
At the start one's card is stamped, stamped at the checkpoints and again at the finish.

This year's event takes place on 11th and 12th June when the new 'Sou'Wester' shirts should be on display (if you have not yet ordered one of these, please let Lynda Barrow have a suitable and named garment before 30th April).