535 miles

Sun Nov 1st Woke up this morning to find it pouring with rain! I contacted Tony Standing and he actually went up to Gordon’s. No-one turned up for the club run so I cancelled the dinner bookings. It remained very wet and cold all day.

Mon Nov 2nd 10 miles Up to the club. Made our final arrangements for the Cleeve Hill trip.

Wed Nov 4th 4 miles Round to Alan Stratman’s in the evening to give a farewell party to Len Chapman who is going into the RAF on Friday.

Sat Nov 7th – Sun 8th The Annual Hard-riders Weekend to Cleeve Hill

Sat Nov 7th 96 miles Left at about 9.40 a.m. up the Oxford road, having elevenses at High Wycombe. Dinner was taken at Oxford and then we had various ‘teas’. The pace was hard and it rained in the Cotswolds. We arrived at Cleeve Hill youth hostel at about 6.00 p.m., Alan Stratman following on at 7.30. In the evening we went for a drink at a local pub with a skittle alley. Had some fun with our fireworks and then retired early.

Sun Nov 8th 97 miles We did not leave Cheltenham until about 11.00 a.m. because we spent time watching the Glorious Gloucesters in a parade. I took four photographs. We had both elevenses and dinner only about 10 miles from Cheltenham, and so had 80 odd miles more to do! In the pouring rain we rode into Oxford for a snack and then on to Reading (50 miles in all) for tea. Home the usual way. A very hard run indeed, perhaps because I am not in training.

Mon Nov 9th 10 miles Club night; took dinner bookings for Sunday’s run. I beat Brian at darts.

Fri Nov 13th 9 miles Went up to Tom Simpson’s house to brew some beer – and then down to the Northwood Hills hotel to consume some! [Our brewing was at least eventful. One batch developed a blockage in the air lock and exploded in the middle of the night. When Tom came down into the kitchen, beer was running all down the walls!].

Sat Nov 14th 12 miles Up to Northwood Hills several times and bought some long cycling socks. I had a postcard from Harlow saying that dinners were now 6/- so I promptly cancelled them. They must have gone ‘up-market’!

Sun Nov 15th 62 miles Had a very pleasant day pottering around the lanes. Elevenses were at Stacey’s, Chalfont St Giles, lunch in Amersham, and tea in Chesham. We managed to do some ‘rough-stuff’ [off-road] and had a few burn-ups. Alan Stratman [he with the high testosterone titre] waited behind to take home one of the café girls!

Mon Nov 16th 10 miles Up to the club; took dinner and tea bookings for next Sunday’s run to Box Hill.

Wed Nov 18th 4 miles I met Gordon Prangley in Eastcote and he told me that my new Ephgrave frame was in the shop, so I rode up to see it. He wants to keep in on display for a week; it really is super.

Thurs Nov 19th 12 miles Held a committee meeting at Colin Turner’s house. I bashed over there in about 20 minutes and felt very unfit – lack of training, and a cold coming on. We discussed the club dinner, awards etc.

Sat Nov 21st 8 miles I did usual things in the morning and then met the boys at 2.00 p.m. to go to the Cycle Show at Earl’s Court. The show was rather disappointing. We had a meal and then proceeded to the Albert Hall for the BBAR ‘concert’. It was great fun, but a little rowdy at times. Saw all the champions and got home by midnight.

Sun Nov 22nd 80 miles Met the club at Northwood Hills and then left at about 9.30 a.m. down through Hillingdon and Feltham to Betty’s Kitchen café at Walton for elevenses. We then continued on through Esher to Leatherhead for dinner at the Old Forge, and thence to the top of Box Hill. We then went across country (in more senses than one!) to Bookham and Ottershaw to Cobham for tea at the Old King’s Head, and then home via Staines, Iver and Ickenham. A very nice day.

Mon Nov 23rd 10 miles Another evening up at the club rooms. We are now in the ‘big’ room at the Grange and have a billiard table. I took dinner bookings for Sunday’s run to Hitchin.

Sat Nov 28th 15 miles After doing the usual things in the morning I went up to the post office in Pinner about my (temporary) job delivering Christmas mail. I then paid Gordon the rest of the money for my dynamo. Met Len Chapman (home from basic training with the RAF) and the club at the Northwood Hills for pint in the evening.

Sun Nov 29th 86 miles Left at about 9.30 a.m. on the club run, out through Watford, Garston and St Albans to Sandridge and Wheathampstead for elevenses at the Lea café. We then pottered on through a series of very muddy lanes to Luton and thence to Hitchin, where we found a café and a nice pub. After dinner we continued down the A 1 to Welwyn and then turned off to Ayot St Lawrence. Ian Major came off on the same hill I came off on two years ago and he buckled his front wheel. We then pushed on to Wheathampstead, coming straight home through St Albans and Watford because the fog was beginning to thicken.

Mon Nov 30th 10 miles Club night. I played snooker, but lost to Roy Turner. Paid up for the club dinner and finally settled with the post office today for my Christmas job.