Safeguarding Code of Conduct

On rare occasions we may get vulnerable adults or younger cyclists joining our rides. Under these circumstances it’s important for ride leaders to be aware of the precautions to be taken, and to ensure an awkward situation does not occur. Cycling UK has a number of useful safeguarding guides – see here. If you anticipate leading a ride that may include vulnerable adults or children, please read in particular the Safeguarding Code of Conduct.

The Guidelines and Advice to Ride Leaders on our WSCC website have been updated accordingly.


Russ Mantle Rides 1 Million Miles

Russ Mantle

An incredible journey began in 1951 when Russell (known as Russ) Mantle was given a Hercules upright bike by his father.  Some 68 years later on Nov 7th, 2019 Russ recorded his millionth mile by bicycle, a truly staggering achievement unlikely to be repeated very often. 

Russ will be 83 this December. A true cycling legend who over a lifetime has an impressive record as a racer, time-triallist and cycle tourer. His achievement of 1 million miles is equivalent to riding 40 times around the earth or riding nearly 15,000 miles every year for 68 years!

Russ is a long-standing member of West Surrey CTC.  For nearly twenty years, from 1970 to 1989 he led the ‘hard’ riders for West Surrey CTC and has a collection of attendance notebooks kept of every West Surrey ride he led during this period. 

Recognition of Russ’s amazing achievement came in many guises – coverage on national news channels, articles in national daily papers, video clips etc. Here is a link to Cycling UK which includes a short video celebrating the millionth mile with West Surrey Cycling Club members and others. 

click here to see video

Back in 2016, West Surrey Cycling Member Paul Gillingham wrote a wonderful article about Russ and his cycling achievements. This article was published in the April-June 2016 addition of the West Surrey Cycling magazine (see page 17). 

Russ Mantle completes 1 million miles


Grade 3 ride cancelled – Wednesday 4th December


Unfortunately I’ve had to cancel today’s Grade 3 ride due to icy road conditions. I went out early to check parts of the route this morning and there are substantial patches of ice – some in unexpected lower reaches of the ride. It was a clearer night than forecast and much colder (-4 degrees). The ice might lift in the course of the day but we can’t take a chance.


Road Works, how to find them before your ride

An excellent autumn ride encountered 2 sets of road works on 13/11/2019.

Pete had surveyed the route a day before and adjusted for conditions.  Last week and the first set of roadworks this week the workers let us through.

But the second set of workers was adamant that we could not pass, and thus an unacceptable diversion and delay. covers all WSCC ride areas,  explore the “delays and blocks” on top left, search for roads on top right.   Zoom and time functions covers areas and future periods.

In most cases where we find road blocks, we ask “could we walk through when there is a safer opportunity” and get let through. The railway code is the exception, and we just have to accept that.

Pat Daffarn

Cycling Mirrors

About Cycling Mirrors

Pat Daffarn put a “flea in my ear” at the Russ Mantle 1,000,000 celebration last Thursday. He complimented the Committee on its first aid initiatives, then said “but are we doing enough to prevent accidents in the first place!”, He reminded me of the importance of mirrors, and I recall writing a piece on this back in August 2017. I thought it worthwhile updating and re-publishing the blog.

Phil Hamilton and Bob McLeod introduced me to the Take-a-Look cycling mirror (made by Bike Peddler USA) about 4 years ago and like my helmet, I wouldn’t now ride without it.

Generally bike mirrors fit into five categories:

Frame mounted (e.g. Bike Eye), Handlebar (Cat Eye) , Helmet (EVT Safe Zone), Eye Glasses (Take-a-Look), and Wrist mounted (Rear Viz). Handlebar mirrors are the most popular with a tremendous range of styles to fit all bikes. Prices have generally come down over the last three years and now range from £10 to £15 depending on local supply or imported. The Take-a-Look is readily available from Amazon and costs £13 (incl postage from USA).

The Arguments for and against mirrors:

It’s a subject that generates some passion amongst cyclists. I was concerned at first that the Take-a-Look mirror was close to my right eye and might cause a serious injury if I came off. However this risk seems very low when viewed against the advantages. Another argument against mirrors is the need briefly to take your eyes off the road. Of course, as drivers, we do this all the time. With eye glass mirrors a glance behind requires only the slightest turn of the head. On the other hand a frame mounted mirror requires you to look down and this might take time to get used to.

The criticism against some frame and handlebar mounted mirrors is that they suffer from vibration. One great advantage we have is that so much cycling and equipment experience is close to hand. So if you are thinking of buying a mirror chat to John Child (frame), Pat Daffarn (handlebar), and Rob Clarke, Peter Hackman, Bob and myself (Take-a-Look) for advice. There’s a good review of the pros and cons of different types of mirrors here.

The biggest risk with mirrors  is that we might rely too much on them – especially when turning right. There’s no substitute for a life saving look over the shoulder.

In summary, if you don’t already have a mirror, think about treating yourself to one at Xmas. And if you are a regular ride leader or back marker, being able to see what’s going on behind makes a huge difference.

Safe cycling!