Page 1

THE WESSEX NEWSLETTER Edited independently in our three areas and published quarterly. Please contact your section or the access the club website for information on any events

DA SECRETARY Peter Loakes, Church Cottage, West Stafford, DT2 8AB (01305) 263272 BOURNEMOUTH & DISTRICT SECTION David Chesworth, 52 Newstead Road, Bournemouth BH6 3HL (01202) 432852 SALISBURY SECTION Alan Clarke, “Hill House”, Kelsey Road, Salisbury SP1 1JR (01722) 322188 WEST DORSET SECTION Mike Durham, 74 Westhill, Wyke Regis, Weymouth DT4 9NE (01305) 770140

Main Calendar Dates For 2007 Sunday 24th Mar Sunday 25th Mar

Cycle Jumble, Weymouth 50 in 4

Ken Reed Shawn Shaw

01305 772654 01202 685014

Sunday 1st Apr Sunday 1st Apr

Dorset Coastlet 100km Dorset Coast 200km (PBP)

Peter Loakes Peter Loakes

01305 263272 01305 263272

Sunday 15th Apr

Devon and Dorset Downs 300km (PBP)

Peter Loakes

01305 263272

Sunday 22nd Apr

100 in 8

Shawn Shaw

01202 685014

Saturday 28th Apr

Cycle Jumble Sale

Jim Hatton

01202 280889

Sunday 29th Apr Sunday 29th Apr Sunday 29th Apr

New Forest 50/Day Out 100km New Forest Excursion 200km New Forest 300km (PBP)

John Ward John Ward John Ward

01590 671855 01590 671855 01590 671855

W/E 8th -9th Sep

St Lo Concentration in Normandy

Norman Payne

01202 695179

Sunday 9th Sep Sunday 9th Sep

New Forest 50 and Coast 100km New Forest On & Off Shore 200km

John Ward John Ward

01590 671855 01590 671855

Sunday 16th Sep

Dorset Dirt 50km offroad

Ken Reed

01305 772654

Sunday 23rd Sep

Dorset Delight 200km

Peter Loakes

01305 263272

Sunday 7th Oct

Gridiron 100km

Terry Walsh

01202 247888


Autumn 2007 We have a really busy issue for you this time. PBP and Saint Lo reports as well as touring articles and details of new forthcoming events. Thanks to all contributors who have taken the time to put pen to paper, or as is more usual nowadays, fingers to keyboard. I look forward to lots more material ready for the Winter edition in three months time. Saint Lo was a great Riders at St Lo on Saturday Morning weekend and Norman was working his socks off to keep us all coordinated and make sure we all got there in time. I took part in two Saturday Rides and then the Evening dinner which started at 7:30 and was still going strong at half past midnight! Another 60km ride on the Sunday morning followed by one of those St Lo lunches brought about 40 winks which made me 10 minutes late for the photo call down at the centre. Something which didn’t trouble me at the time, but now I’ve seen the picture, something I regret!


Keith Matthews - Editor Cycle Ink #146

St Lo FFCT - 40 years in the making! Well Norman Payne has a lot to answer for! The largest concentration of Wessex CTC cyclists to invade Normandy for many a year. Fifty-two in total made their way in waves across the channel departing from Poole and Portsmouth. Gill and I arrived in Caen on Friday morning. The 70km to St.Lo passed quickly enough and by mid afternoon we were on site discussing with the UCT St. Lo President Loic Vaudry where to put our tent outside the entrance to the main hall and gain early access to the shower blocks.

Wessex CTC & St Lois Photocall

Following many kisses and whilst everything was being set up in the hall we set off to Carrefour for our oysters, crevettes, swordfish steaks and wine for evening tea – good to be back in France. There was an early awakening Saturday morning as the 150km Brevet riders arrived to sign in and have their breakfast before setting off. Alternative rides of 40 and 60km were available for the rest of us including young Henry (5) who was a stoker for Dads, (Michael’s) tandem. In the time honoured fashion of progress the club no longer uses arrows pasted on the road but now used spray paint as direction arrows.

Cycle Ink #146


These were perfectly adequate, though as some were to find out during the day, it did help if you were using the correct day’s map. The morning routes had a refreshment point half way round with lunch back at the main hall – as usual this was a feast and included the infamous Normandy cider, specially brewed for the 40th Anniversary. The weather was glorious on the Saturday and we were grateful for our shower after returning from the afternoon 40km. There was not much time to get back to the hall for the 6pm celebratory reception where Loic and local Mayor gave thanks to all those that had travelled to join the club to celebrate their birthday. This led into the meal at 8pm where in the tradition of previous St. Lo “concentrations” the club members acted as waiters and waitresses to the approximately 200 diners. Great to see the children helping out with activities from serving to the prix draw for the racing bike and a multitude of additional prizes. Loic took time to once again thank everyone for attending. He then brought out the personalised tea set that Wessex CTC had presented to him and the club when they visited us last year to show that it had travelled safely across Norman & Cup the channel. I was then presented with a very kind invitation for the “whole Wessex CTC” to return to Lo in 2008 for a twinning visit. Loic reminded us of his speech at the Wessex dinner on the standardisation that comes with globalisation and then being surprised by me turning up in my Kilt – which on this occasion had been left at home as it was far too heavy to drag across Normandy in the pannier bags!


Cycle Ink #146

The evening dinner was a multi coursed meal including the infamous Normandy Calvados sorbet (Trou Normande) that unfortunately young Andrew and Francesca were not able to indulge – Dad, Richard looked quite happy about this! A lovely evening with music provided by a four piece Refreshment Stop - Saturday Morning drumming band that played “Bonne Anniversaire” as Margot with the flaming inferno cake led the St. Lo club dancing and singing round the room. We were all out on another set of rides on the Sunday morning along the Vire Valley following the river and passing all the walkers who were out on their 10 mile hike that was organised for those who did not to cycle. Back in the hall for lunch, we the Speeches with the Mayor of Saint Lo Wessex CTC were presented with the cup for the club with the most numerous members attending the event - Norman you will have to bring it along to the AGM for everyone to see! That afternoon at 4pm there was a closing reception with more cake, cider and Kir. We had organised a

Cycle Ink #146


Wessex CTC photo call and then called on all the St. Lo club members to join us. This was a fitting end to a joyful weekend where it was nice to spend time with members of both clubs enjoying our common interest of cycling. Thank you to all the Wessex DA members Loic Vaudry and the mayor of Saint Lo that attended the event and in particular many thanks to Norman for orchestrating the arrangements and making sure that we were all organised.

Jimmy Walker - President WESSEX KIT The first order of kit arrived on time from Endura and has been distributed to the purchasers.

I ordered a small number of spare items most of which have been sold but I do have some left. Contact me for details if you are interested by e-mail or by telephone. I have already received a number of further orders for kit and will be placing a further order very shortly.Orders can be made by using the order form on the website and the kit should be received by the end of Nov 2007. Please note that I have been advised by Endura that a price increase will be made shortly but whether this will apply to my further order is not clear at this stage. Ralph Huckle Tel: 01202 553060 e-mail: grhuckle@ntlworld .com


Cycle Ink #146

WESSEX DA AGM 11:00 am Saturday 1st December 2007 United Reform Church, Salisbury Street, Blandford Cups of Tea available (Note: This is a change of date from 24th November) And after . . .


In the days of old, cyclists showed other cyclists what cycling was about via slide shows. This was to let those who were not there, to see what went on during their cycling adventures. In this digital age, Wessex DA is attempting to use a digital projector connected to a laptop computer and show images from CDs, memory sticks, via MS Powerpoint or whatever. After the Wessex AGM at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday November 24th 2007 in Blandford Forum, the plan is to have an image show rather than a joint cycle ride. If you have any digital images that you think would be of interest, then please supply them to Alan Clarke. They can be scanned from slides, photographs etc. but it is expected that most will come via digital cameras. Alan can do the scanning if required. They may be e-mailed to They may be sent on CD. The CD will be posted back or given back at the AGM. They may be sent on camera memory stick. They may be slides or prints sent through the post. There are no categories except that the images should be of interest to the AGM audience. Postal address for images is Hill House, Kelsey Road, SALISBURY, SP1 1JR. The quality of the projected digital images depends upon the resolution of the projector. The planned projector is not that high a resolution. If any member is willing to bring along a better digital projector to use, please contact Alan Clarke (Hill House, Kelsey Road SALISBURY, Wilts, SP1 1JR).

Cycle Ink #146


BOURNEMOUTH SECTION AGM 7:00 pm Wednesday 24th October 2007

Q: Where is this bridge in East Dorset ?


Parkstone Conservative Club, Parr Street, Parkstone

CTC Bournemouth Section Cycle Jumble Village Hall, Burley. 10:00 to 14:00 Saturday 24th November 2007 All CTC members and Everyone Welcome Contact Jim Hatton 01425 280889


Cycle Ink #146

What’s On ? Blackmore Vale Section Rides Cycle Rides arranged by Richard & Margaret Nicholl. All rides meet at the Cafe at 10:00am for coffee, departing at 10:30am. Please note that some rides are on a Saturday and some on a Sunday. Details (01963) 32840 Sun 9th SEP

MEET: CRANMORE, Steam Railway LUNCH: Radstock TEA: Cranmore

Sat 22nd SEP

MEET: CASTLE CARY, The Old Bakehouse, High Street LUNCH: Westhay TEA: Castle Cary

Sun 7th OCT Sat 20th OCT Sun 4th NOV Sat 17th NOV Sun 2nd DEC Sat 15th DEC Sun 30th DEC Sat 12th JAN Sun 27th JAN

MEET: BOLDRE in New Forest for “Gridiron” 100km ALTERNATIVE: Meet GILLINGHAM, Waitrose. MEET: SHERBORNE, Castle Garden Centre LUNCH: Montacute MEET: EAST STOUR, Udder Farm Shop LUNCH: Compton Abbas, Airfield MEET: BRUTON, Coffee House, 26 The High Street LUNCH: Frome, Sainsbury’s Supermarket MEET: SHALFORD, Crestmoor Garden, nr Wincanton Races LUNCH: Cranmore, Steam Railway MEET: GILLINGHAM, Waitrose Supermarket LUNCH: Sturminster Newton MEET: WINCANTON, Morrisons Supermarket LUNCH: Sherborne MEET: CASTLE CARY, The Old Bakehouse, High Street LUNCH: Shepton Mallet, Fish & Chips MEET: SUTTON MONTIS, Bramble & Sage, Home Farm LUNCH: Yeovil, Brimsmore Garden Centre

Informal Wayfarers Rides to Burley This ride happens every Saturday and is completely informal. There is no leader and no back up, but generally an experienced cyclist somewhere around. The route is designed for beginners but joined in by all abilities.

Start 08:45 at Pioneer Supermarket, Christchurch every Saturday

Or just make your own way to the New Forest Tea Rooms, Burley for 10:00

Cycle Ink #146


A Day on the Cheshire Cycleway

David Chesworth

Following the mad dash in the rain the previous evening from Crewe station to Malpas where I had spent my first night, the next day, and the first full day of my trip, dawned bright and sunny and proved to be the best day in fact in terms of weather and variety. Perhaps it was because I was on home ground.The route from Malpas initially goes slightly west before swinging north and once more the roads were very quiet as I headed for Tilston and Stretton, stopping at the water mill ( a tourist attraction) for a short break. The Cycleway then heads for the Peckforton Hills and I circled Larkton Hill before climbing over Harthill to Burwardsley. Nothing too strenuous, though.

The sandwich was only the appetiser, though, as I then intended to go to the Cheshire Farm shop. This is very well known as having over 30 flavours of award winning "Real Dairy" ice cream. It was only a few miles away up the road and as anticipated the complex contained a cafĂŠ and a local greengrocery selection. I'm no expert judge but the ice-cream, my fairly standard rum and raisin and also a scoop of banana,was certainly good and I spent a happy 20 minutes or so with ice-cream and a pot of tea.The lanes en route then continued quietly for a short while until Beeston Castle, a 12th century castle set high above the Cheshire plain, came to dominate the skyline. I had visited this on a number of occasions, however, and didn't wish to stop but generally it is worth a Thinking of lunch at this stage I made a short detour. slight detour to Taftenhall to buy a sandwich and seeing a small cafĂŠ I thought I might take a break there. As soon as I entered, the young lady owner told me she closed at 12 noon. I looked at my watch, 12:10. She couldn't sell me a sandwich either but Shropshire Union Canal, Cheshire directed me to a convenience store up the road. I can't say I understood the The Shropshire Union canal arrived on the economics of her business, especially on a scene at Wharton's Lock (with the Saturday lunchtime, but I wasn't too obligatory pub alongside) and the bothered and I sorted out my sandwich at Cycleway was then basically, after a few the store to which I had been directed. lanes, to follow the canal to Chester by There was a delicatessen in the store and means of a tarmac path alongside. This sandwiches were prepared with a wide was great fun watching the narrow boats choice of fillings as you waited. I going through the locks, then past the reckoned I had a good deal after all. converted former warehouses with their


Cycle Ink #146

expensive flats, (I heard somebody on the tow path describe the flats as "sexy loft accommodation”) pubs with outside seating areas alongside the canal and a narrow boat offering floating dining. It all had an active buzz in the sunshine and the canalside was very busy as you would expect on a Saturday afternoon.

going to the Eureka café at Two Mills only a fairly short detour. I reckoned though, that allowing for the extra distance and inevitable tea etc, I wouldn't have time. In addition, I would have to ride along the A540 for a while, something which did not appeal. This road is dual carriageway on both sides with a grass verge down the

Again I know Chester very well from my youth and had decided not to stop there. It is of course, a Roman city (Deva) and has a complete circuit of walls, as well as a Norman Cathedral, a number of museums, walks along the river Dee and the famous "Rows", shops on top of each other, the top row set back and accessed by a flight of stairs giving a covered walkway over the bottom row; a better version of our modern shopping mail. There are many black and white buildings, both medieval and Victorian and an excellent selection of pubs. Reading this I wonder with hindsight whether I should have stayed there a night as there is no shortage of attractions. Nevertheless, I had decided to stay with friends another 20 miles or so further on and forewent the pleasure. I'm quite sorry really. It is a must. By way of contrast the canal then pursued a more rural route and was now heading deeper into the Wirral. I cycled along quietly by myself, in the company only of the occasional ducks, until I was joined by another cyclist joining the towpath from a junction ahead. He told me he used the towpath to cycle to work every day, eight miles each way, He had lost two stone in weight at the expense of two new tyres for his bike. "Can't be bad", he said.

Lamaload Reservoir Peak District middle. It carries very fast moving traffic and although I believe it is used by Club cyclists ( I saw one) as a necessity it seems quite dangerous to me. For those interested in this café, the website is It is a well known meeting place for a number of local clubs and has been used as such since 1929.

So I crossed the road using the traffic lights, heading for Burton with its thatched We eventually parted company at cottages built in the local red sandstone. Backford and soon thereafter I reached the Charles Kingsley's poem beginning "Mary A540. At this point I had wondered about go and call the cattle home . . . Across the

Cycle Ink #146


sands of Dee" refers to the wide stretches of tidal sand which grew up over the centuries as the Dee silted up. As a result Burton lost its status as a port for Ireland. It is however, one of the most attractive villages on the Wirral. Forgetting the poetic aspects of the area, however, and coming back to the realities of life, the

in the years since I had left the Wirral. It hadn't really and I was pleased to see the shop selling "Fresh Parkgate shrimps-open today" and the shop selling "Nicholls famous ice cream�. I joined the queue and sat on the sea wall eating my second ice cream of the day and looking at the view over the marshes to North Wales. The tide comes up to the sea wall at certain times of the year but that day the River Dee could be seen only in the distance. The village is largely strung out along the river front with the shops and a couple of pubs overlooking the marshes and North Wales. It is very popular with the locals for its open expansive views and like Burton, had once been a busy port before the Dee silted up. After Parkgate I was leaving the route to go a little further north to stay with friends but it had certainly been a good day and there was going to be more to follow.

Anderton Boat Lift Harp pub (mentioned in the Good Beer Guide) is well worth a visit. There is a picnic set up on a grassy sea wall looking out over the Dee marshes. ("glorious sunsets with wild calls of wading birds"). I remember going there many years ago as a callow youth, driving my old Ford car along the rough track until I became bogged down in a pothole full of water and having to be ignominiously towed out backwards by a tractor. Happy days! Passing the Internationally renowned Botanic Gardens at Neston I rode on to Parkgate. I was stopping for a break here as I wanted to see if it had changed much

For those interested Cheshire County Council produce an indicative map to the route with a list of accommodation which is helpful. The western section goes through the quiet villages of the Cheshire Plain with the eastern section being rather more hilly and covering the County's gritstone hill country, the highest point here being 417m.The route is marked as being 176 miles but it is not a route to be covered as soon as possible There are many attractions including Tafton Hall, Jodrell Bank, watermills etc. My own favourite stop was the Anderton boat lift where I spent some two hours - a fascinating place. As regards accommodation I stayed at a pub, a small hotel and a couple of farmhouses, none of which I booked in advance, apart from the first night. It might be best to avoid the dates of the RHS flower show at Tatton Park though as accommodation in the area is booked well in advance. Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed the ride and you can't say fairer than that. D.C.


Cycle Ink #146

Heart of England Rally

Ralph Huckle

at Meriden 12th & 13th May 2007 Meriden is the proclaimed centre of England. It is a village situated between Coventry, Solihull and Birmingham. A national War Memorial 30 feet high dedicated to cyclists who had lost their lives in the Great War was erected on the Village Green in May 1921. At the opening ceremony an estimated 20,000 cyclists attended. The Green was packed as far as the eye could see, the throng overflowed on both sides of the highway, all traffic ceased, the thousands of visiting cyclists having parked their cycles in adjacent meadows. Buglers sounded the last post and a service was conducted by the reverend B.G Bourchier, who had been a most generous patron of the memorial fund. Wreaths were laid by the CTC, NCU and many DAs of the CTC. A bronze plaque was affixed to the memorial in 1963 to commemorate those cyclists who had died during WWII.

Inscription reads Every year since, a memo- “ To the lasting Memory of those Cyclists who rial service has been held died in The Great War 1914 – 1919” on the Village Green and six of us from Wessex CTC,Bournemouth Potterers (Rob & Jean Garnett, Paul & Mary Finch-Turner, Glenda & Ralph Huckle) decided to attend the 86th service on Sunday 13th May, 2007, which we had heard about from John Bennett the organiser of the event who had joined us in March for our annual cycling holiday in Mallorca.

Cycle Ink #146


On the Saturday, a choice of rides was available, the toughest of which was a 160 km audax ride in the Cotswolds. We opted for a softer day ride of 55 miles to Aston Cantlow near Stratford Upon Avon for lunch and return, stopping of course for the obligatory tea and cake at a garden centre en route. Unfortunately we lost Rob on the return route and he missed out on the tea and cakes! Rob knows the area well so managed to find his way back without too much difficulty. The ride was led by “Pinarello” Geoff of the North Birmingham CTC who was with us at our Mallorcan trip in March, 2006 and it was good to renew our friendship. On the Saturday evening, some forty of us attended a dinner at the Plough Inn in Shustoke. A presentation was made by John Bennett, on behalf of the CTC, to Ron Martin from Ashford in Kent and John Sullivan from Wareham who had attended the Memorial Service every year for the last 50 years. On the Sunday morning we attended the 86th Cyclists Memorial Service, which took place as usual on the Village Green. Afterwards we adjourned to the Village Hall for refreshments and where we were also able to renew our friendships with further Birmingham CTC members who had been with us in Mallorca in March 2006 and 2007. The weather was very wet but it failed to put a damper on a most pleasant week-end.


Orbita Tandem Mountain bike style with straight handlebars. 2 x 19.5 inch frame, 26 wheels and 21 speed index gears. Quality saddles with long seat pillars to suit taller riders. Mudguards, panniers, bottle cages, pump and computer. Complete with purpose built car roof rack carrier. Would be ideal as a starter machine.

Good condition £195.

Contact Rob Garnett 01202 690543.


Cycle Ink #146

Paris à Vélo - C’est Sympa!

David Chesworth

In July another revolution took place on the streets of Paris. This time it was the launch of Europe’s biggest bike sharing scheme.More than 10,000 “free” cycles appeared at self-service stations across the capital in a bid to transform Paris into a clean,green utopia. In 6 hours the bikes had been borrowed 22,500 times. The Mayor of Paris is the driving force behind the move and by the end of the year it is anticipated that there will be more than 20,000 bikes on the streets at 1,400 stations none of which will be more than 300m away from the next. All this is funded by street-level advertising. Paris seems to be becoming less hostile to bikes and the city now has 370km of dedicated cycle paths and bike friendly bus lanes. Signage is improving and every Sunday roads and bridges along the Seine are closed to motorised traffic and swarm with cyclists and skaters. The first half hour is free with costs rising thereafter. The system is expensive if you wish to rent a bike for a full day as it is designed for short term use and there is an annual cost and a deposit. It is reported that visitors to Paris can buy a weekly Vélib card for 5 euros or a daily card for 1 euro. As regards the bikes, don’t get too excited. Forget titanium. The bikes have a wide comfortable saddle, chain guard,basket ,bell and dynamo-powered front and rear lights. The three gear Shimano hub should apparently cope with the city’s modest slopes but (wait for it) with a bike weighing 22kg don’t try to cycle up to Montmartre! And certainly forget the Arc de Triomphe roundabout! The Mayor of Paris is certainly taking a gamble and the test will come after the summer and the return of winter weather. Nevertheless, the project is being watched very closely by Ken Livingstone who has asked Transport for London to develop a similar plan for London. Dave Holladay , the CTC’s bikes and public transport campaigner has also said we should be using such a scheme in the UK. For those who may be interested in cycling in Paris while on a short break the title to this article is the name of a cycle company which leads tours of the city and perhaps that could be a good option for an introduction. Generally, the information forming the basis of this article is from the Times Online to which I am indebted and there are plenty of blogs to read if you wish to follow the articles through.

Cycle Ink #146


FOR SALE BUY ONE GET ONE FREE ! ! 21” Touring Mercian Gents Cycle, 531 Reynolds Tubing. Black with red and white “ barbers pole “ downtube. Chrome drop outs. Q/R. wheels. 700x25mm T.A. double chainset. 42/30 Indexed gears. Cassette Dual pivot brakes, Schwable tyres, Esge mudguards, pannier rack, Brooks Saddle , Flat bars with H/Bar gear levers. Pedals/toe straps. Nice clean machine, very little use . £250. NO OFFERS. But read on. With the Mercian comes a FREE Apollo mountain Bike.! Reason for sale, too many bikes and too much ill health. Contact: Johnny Read. 01305.770277 or E Mail. ( Weymouth. )

Photo by Jennifer Goslin

St Lo Celebration Dinner


Cycle Ink #146

What role does a CTC Wessex DA ‘RtR’ Representative play at local level? The CTC's Right to Ride (RtR) network is the largest team of voluntary dedicated cycle campaigners in the UK. CTC Wessex DA RtR volunteers are dedicated local representatives, who campaign for better cycling conditions within the Wessex DA area, and support the CTC’s ‘Campaigns and Policy’ department's national agenda. Wessex DA RtR Reps specialise in one or more of the following: On-Road cycling (e.g. urban, commuter and utility cycling); Off-Road cycling (e.g. mountain biking, rights of way and recreational cycling), and public transport (i.e. the integration of bikes with trains, buses and ferries).

B3059 Stour Road, Christchurch

Our Role . . . CTC's official RtR representatives are authorised to represent the CTC to their local authorities, County Councils and other bodies. They must sign an agreement of honour to signify that they are happy with CTC policies, as set out in our Policy Handbook, and that they will operate in accordance with set standards. It is important to that the CTC is represented positively and constructively and that our policies are put across consistently and accurately by well-informed advocates. To help our RtR reps (novice and experienced alike) achieve this, we offer a regular supply of campaigning material and notices; high priority support, plus opportunities to take up training or attend our campaigning conferences each year. It is important to remember that our RtR Network is just that - i.e. a Network. Co-ordination, communication and liaison are vital, both between HQ and local RtR representatives, and between Wessex DA members at all levels, particularly. There are three levels of activity: Local Representatives They are voluntary RtR members who represent CTC in their local district/borough. Usually, these authorities do not have highway responsibilities, but it is the job of the RtR rep to look after cyclists' interests in the area both, to vet road schemes/developments and alert the Highway

Cycle Ink #146


Authority (usually the County Council) to issues that need to be addressed. Reps with 'off-road' interests will consider matters relating to local Rights of Way, countryside access and off-road networks.

County Representatives They are voluntary RtR reps who take on a co-ordinating role with local reps. They take the lead when representing CTC on county-wide issues, policies and strategies. County Reps will be especially keen to participate in consultation, for example on the Dorset’s Local Transport Plan. Most County reps start off as local reps, but for more information call email . Members who represent a Unitary Authority (i.e. those authorities that have both planning and highway responsibilities), are equivalent to County Reps within the RtR Network. Regional Representatives CTC is keen to be represented at English Regional level too and its equivalent in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. We already have a number of RtR reps who operate for us in this respect. The duties are wide ranging, covering both transport and planning issues and RtR Network internal liaison. Post-holders must be experienced campaigners with in-depth policy knowledge and the ability to present CTC in a professional manner. We would like to hear from anyone who feels that they could fulfil this role, or sign up to aspects of it, as we need to ensure that CTC is fully and effectively represented at this level. If you are thinking of joining our RtR Network, read more about it by going to, and then download an Application form, fill it in and return to CTC. For a list of gaps in the RTR network, there is a document available on the RTR site which lists the places where CTC is particularly in need of Right to Ride representation, but we welcome applications for areas where we are already represented - the existing rep may need help, or you may be able to offer new or complementary skills to the Network in the area. If you'd like a chat about it all first, please call 01483 238323. N.B. In order to apply to the Network, you must be a CTC member.

Registered CTC Wessex DA RtR Reps are: Ken Reed - Dorset County rep Tony Prickett - ournemouth Local Rep Peter Dulieu - Poole Local Rep Vicki Hinchcliffe - Blandford & North Dorset Local Rep John Vuagniaux - Christchurch Local Rep


Cycle Ink #146

My PBP Adventure To start at the end – I didn’t complete the ride but wind, rain and distance are elements any stubborn Brit can put up with and battle through. It was inexperience that caused my downfall. In my view, being a first time SR in itself is not a problem (although obviously learning to manage time at controls and finding suitable sleeping places etc comes more easily the more often you do these long rides) but being a very inexperienced rider did throw up tons of problems. Never having ridden in large groups before, just waiting for and then the actual start set me shaking. Then, for me, it was riding at night – blind on the bends; blinded by lights coming towards me; the bike developing a mind of its own – determined to go anywhere but straight ahead! I like to be in control of my actions and did not want to wobble into a peleton of riders tearing past at 15/20 mph. Anyway – back to the beginning. The ride down from Le Havre was superb – weather kind, albeit with a strong headwind. Matt Chambers kept me company to Evreux and we managed the usual coffee, cake, baguette and beer stops. At Evreux, he joined a large group of AUKs at the Campanile and I settled into Les Balladins (excellent). Next day saw 18 of us (Peter Marshall & co) heading for Saint-Quentin. Again, a lovely day and a good ride - the journey from Le Havre is some 150 miles. We enjoyed a picnic lunch (including cider) and later managed a beer stop. All very civilised! At Saint-Quentin we went to our separate “digs”–Julian Dyson kindly helping me to locate my hotel in Versailles.

Margaret Phillpotts prior to the event with me and, for this, I was very grateful. They were long days to be alone. The weather changed, was grey and overcast with heavy rain each night. The one bit of kit I packed at the very last minute was a cover which kinda covered my longflap. Was I thankful! Even the bike check the next day (Sunday) was cancelled due to the weather but we joined the masses waiting to register, my tummy churning. Met lots of AUKs encountered on brevets during the year. Everyone was very encouraging, even the officials, the look of terror obvious on my face. Then off to the (only?) restaurant open, full of cyclists and supporters, for pasta. Here I met the friendly faces of Nigel, Annemarie and baby Lauren. Monday was a long, long day. I’d secured a meal ticket for my friend so we joined the queue at 5.30pm and got in fairly quickly for a very good feed. Then from 7.30pm onwards I stood in the midst of thousands of other riders, crushed and slowly, very slowly, inching our way forward – into the tunnel and around the stadium. Had some friendly chat with some Congleton guys for a while. By 10.00pm it was drizzling and around 10.20ish we were off. I was shaking, back aching and hungry again. It was a bit like going in for an operation – not wanting to but no option.

People – people shouting, clapping, cheering “Bon voyage”, “Bravo, bravo”, “Bon route”. It was pouring with rain, 3.30am, yet men, women and children stood by the roadside – cheering. Events then become blurred. IT RAINED. I know, because I wrote in my notebook “222kms A girlfriend had offered to spend the days IT RAINED”

Cycle Ink #146


At the controls I found it hard to get over the numbers of bikes, people, stands and the distance between control tables, loos, food places etc. Couldn’t even find my way out of one control and lost my bike (temporarily) at another. It didn’t help that we were all dripping water everywhere. It was difficult not to spend at least an hour at each place. Between controls, villagers opened the tabacs and lots of coffee stalls

were set up on the roadside – often very welcome. I carried cheese, nuts, bananas, tuna sachets and rice pudding. All proved useful. By Tuesday midnight I needed sleep (I’d been awake since Monday 7.30am). Pouring with rain, I was finding it hard in the dark. I walked up the steps to a bank to shelter beneath the overhang – and the doors opened! It was warm and dry inside. Two of us settled on the marble floor wrapped in space blankets and at 2.00am when I was shaken awake I found there were 4 of us in the bank. Touch of class here. I later grabbed an hour’s sleep at a

coffee stall, almost falling off my chair, waiting for dawn to arrive. This proved to be enough to get me through another 24 hours. I arrived in Brest around 2.00pm on the Wednesday and it was, for me, an anticlimax. Sizun seemed a much nicer place to stop – although I’d missed out on the free bananas being handed out as we went through ‘cos I daren’t yet grab offerings and put them in pockets whilst also riding a bike through crowds of people (inexperience lets me down again). Back to Brest – there was such a strong cross wind on the bridge, I had to stop twice or be blown over – then lots and lots of traffic. All for ½ glass of beer. Bliss in the shower except I thought for a minute all the skin was coming off my very white, wrinkled feet! Then, for me, the reality I wouldn’t complete in time as Mary Turner told me Loudeac control closed before dawn. Utter disappointment. Like many others, I didn’t eat at Brest but returned to Sizun for a quick but good meal. We actually had some sun and, for a change, there was some interesting scenery to keep me going. Guys were sleeping in the sun on the verges but I didn’t want to waste a minute’s daylight. I arrived at Carhaix with a couple of hours in hand but with night looming. Met up with Nigel and Steve and, bless them, they insisted I ride with them


Cycle Ink #146

(Thanks, guys) but it didn’t work – I was shaking too much. Then it poured; so we parted company in a “closed” village and I later limped my way to an “open” one. Now 1.30am on Thursday morning I slept on a chair in the tabac and then on a couch in the tabac owner’s house! My mobile alarm was in the bike so I overslept but I had in any event missed Loudeac control. (It is possible I would have got to Tinteniac in time but my understanding is that miss one control and the ride’s over – unless there’s a very good reason of course. I don’t think being frightened on dark hills counts!). Thursday’s ride was brilliant. I did see other riders and plenty of support vehicles transporting ‘packed’ riders but I had space to enjoy the ride for the first time. I even saw some wildlife – a bambi, skidding on the wet road – and the cheers and “bravo”s were for me. I cried. I got a receipt at Loudeac and Tinteniac, where I had lots of fuss and attention from the tabac clientele. It dawned on me then, and only then, that without riding through the night I couldn’t ride the whole route back to Saint-Quentin (and arrive before midnight Friday that is!). I rode on though, determined to get as far as possible. Near Sens de Bretagne a young, tall, dark, handsome cyclist rode alongside. We chatted. I asked if he knew somewhere I could stay in/near Fougeres. “Oui” he said; spoke on his mobile; and took me home to his Dad (Paul Bavay) where I also met little black dog and ‘ferocious’ cat! Antoine Bavay (trike rider also) washed and dried my clothes (I had a lovely hot shower), made up a bed, cooked pasta and eggs and poured wine, pacified his girlfriend who was awaiting their arrival at home for dinner, and interrogated the Internet for train times. I still wanted to

Cycle Ink #146

ride again on Friday as far as possible but NOT POSSIBLE – only one train, and this from Vitre, that would carry bicycles. (Thank heavens it wasn’t on Friday when I was in the middle of nowhere that I’d discovered this). So, at 6.00am, after less than 4 hours sleep, Paul got up to drive me to Vitre (little black dog curled up on my lap). It was a nice day but I abandoned thoughts of riding from Chatres to pick up the route again as being insensible in the circumstances. At Le Mans the train filled to overflowing with PBPers and bikes so we were all able to swap tales on the return to Versailles. Getting the bike up the escalator was another trial in itself but the guys, particularly the Swedish, were brilliant. Arriving fairly rested at SaintQuentin meant I was able to enjoy the arrival of fellow AUKs who returned in the expected way ie on their bikes! The support of Wessex CTC friends at the end was fantastic and a really big help in overcoming disappointment. The guys from Derby Mercury just said “See you at LEL in 2009” – and they meant it! Then we (five of us) had two days to ride back to Le Havre – in super weather. Four of us had not had to ride on the Friday (3 because they’d completed quickly!) but Julian (Dyson) rode each and every day and he coped fine. We had a celebratory meal in Neubourg on Saturday night, joined by Nigel, Annemarie, Lauren, Mike Walsh and Ken Oxford. As a memento, Mike presented us each with a fleche he’d ‘found’ by the roadside. This is not a trip I’ll forget in a hurry. I still have the taste and smell of PBP with me. The entry form for LEL is on my desk.


Causeways & Ferries

Sheila Ward

Highlights of a fortnight’s tour in the Outer Hebrides, Skye and Mull This summarises a 550 mile, eleven island, nine ferry tour. We overcame the tandem-travel problem by finding out that Oban has one long-stay car park where you leave your car free for two weeks. 15-day Island Rover tickets with Caledonian Macbrayne covered our journey, the tandem going free. From Oban a five-hour ferry voyage took us to Barra at the south end of the Outer Hebrides, during which we enjoyed supper in the ship’s restaurant. There were lots of cyclists on the ferry, whom we bumped into from time to time as we all pedalled our way up the islands. Our B&B was at the other end of the island, luckily only four miles away, but no-one had warned us that on leaving the ferry we would immediately head up a steep hill to go round the east of Barra. The west road is less demanding, and the ideal place to stay is probably Castlebay where the ferry docks. Booking B&Bs ahead is vital on all the islands. We saw many travellers receiving the bad news in tourist offices that there were no beds available. Our accommodation for the whole trip was booked for us by VisitScotland for a total charge of £3, based on an itinerary we e-mailed to them and bearing in mind our price criteria (under £25 if possible), the need for somewhere to park the tandem, and evening meals within walking distance. We stayed in some excellent B&Bs, although the tandem was not always under cover. Food shops are scarce in the islands, and preplanning of lunch is essential. Getting your B&B to provide a picnic lunch would remove this worry. From Barra, we dropped south across a causeway to visit Vatersay, with stunning beaches. A highlight of Barra was the airfield on the beach, and more beautiful beaches beyond. A short ferry trip took us to Eriskay and more causeways to South Uist, Benbecula, Grimsay and North Uist. On South Uist we took a small west coast road to visit some beaches, and saw Flora MacDonald’s birthplace. The weather was so hot and sunny that the islands looked as thought they might be lying in the Med not the North Atlantic. We took the short route across Benbecula, a military area, influenced by guide books which advised avoiding the NAAFI, but took the long west coast route round North Uist, again past long white beaches and colourful ‘machair’, the local wild flower-covered turf. Arriving early on Berneray for our ferry to Harris, we explored the little island which is particularly pretty. On docking on South Harris we had to choose between more beaches


Cycle Ink #146

up the west coast road, but were very glad that we instead elected to follow the ‘Golden Road’, so named because of its high cost, which takes the same number of miles to travel a third of the distance up the east coast. It was amazingly pretty, with tiny lochs covered in water-lilies, small bays and headlands, and was like a switchback ride. But the hillocks seemed to suit the tandem and were all very short. The road from Tarbert to Stornoway on Lewes is very different, across high moorland. None of the roads on the islands go very high (under 200m), and most of the roads are quite well-graded, so that we only needed to walk for a change, rather than because of steepness. We struggled north against a gale, but felt it worthwhile next day when we had a luggage-free ride across a hard to find and quiet road to see the standing stones at Callanish and blackhouse village at Gerarrannan, both with visitor centre and café. A must in Stornoway is to eat at the restaurant overlooking the harbour at An Lanntair, the arts centre – book first and ask for a window table. Cycling back to Tarbert we caught the ferry to Skye, landing at Uig and staying at a nearby B&B. We were struck by the lushness of the vegetation after the Outer Hebrides. Next day we continued round the Trotternish peninsula to Portree, enjoying great scenery below a rather low cloud level. A luggage-free day took us across the island on a quiet road to Dunvegan, a bit of a non-event, rather like Portree which doesn’t quite make it. We saw fewer cyclists on Skye than on the Outer Hebrides. We then rode down to Armadale for the ferry to Mallaig on the mainland, followed by a day’s ride down an increasingly pretty road to Kilchoan at the end of the Ardnamurchan peninsula to catch the ferry across to Tobermory on Mull. We expected to miss the second last ferry but a final three mile swoop downhill got us to the slipway before it arrived. Tobermory has something Portree has missed. It is touristy but has an informative little museum and an excellent little arts centre with a cafe. We filled a wet morning easily there, and instead of cycling a high route to pass the island’s best beach at Calgary, took the short route to Salen for the night. Next day we enjoyed a superbly scenic road in glorious weather to Fionnphort at the west end of the Ross of Mull, arriving in plenty of time to take the ferry over to Iona for several hours. Our last day took us through Glen More, up a wellgraded road but into a strong wind, to Craignure for the ferry back to Oban. Our excellent tour was enhanced by mostly dry and sometimes very sunny weather, maybe rather unusual! We did not suffer from midges – perhaps it was too dry. For wildlife watching and a day off the bike, boat trips are available at Portree, Tobermory and Fionnphort among other ports. If you like the idea of this trip, our full itinerary is available from us at

Cycle Ink #146




Cycle Ink #146

Dates of next Meetings BOURNEMOUTH & DISTRICT CTC AGM The Conservative Club, Parr Street, Parkstone. Wednesday 24th October2007 at 19:00 Next Committee meeting for 2007 November 21st 2007 at 19:00 Dates for 2008 February 20th 2008- March 21st 2008 - August 20th 2008 October 22nd 2008 (AGM) - November 26th 2008

Contributions and Photographs The committee meeting date is the deadline for Newsletter contributions. Editorial policy is to print all contributions, with minimal editing for the purposes of layout only. Contribute by email, disk, CD-ROM, typed or handwritten. Photographs are now welcome in any form. We can scan them and they will be returned safely.

Editor: Keith Matthews: 10 Hill View Road, Ferndown, BH22 9QY TEL: (01202) 855001 Email CTC, Parklands, Railton Road, Guildford, Surrey GU2 “CycleInk” is the Newsletter of the Bournemouth & District Section, Wessex District Association of the Cyclists’ Touring Club. Published four times a year for members. Views expressed are not necessarily those of the club.

Cycle Ink #146


Cycle Ink Autumn 2007  

CTC Bournemouth Newsletter #146