Central London CTC blog

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Archive for February 2009

A bad day for badgers

Posted on Monday 16 February 2009 by Paul Foster

Turned up at Waterloo ready for John’s Basingstoke ride. Regis, Kate, Jon, Richard and I spotted John, clearly not his usual self. Feeling poorly, he yielded to the voices of common sense and returned home to bed.  I (was) volunteered to lead, and not knowing Basingstoke from Basildon, decided to take the gang on an arbitrary wander through the suburbs to places scenic and nice. We kept close as a group and navigated the traffic lights with our usual skill – I didn’t have clip out until Crystal Palace. more »

Steward of the Chiltern Hundreds (Not)

Posted on Monday 16 February 2009 by Martin Hayman

Resolved to improve my form this year, I hit on the Chiltern Classics. Riding the series would, I figured, give me a good platform for summer fitness. It all got off to a late start however.

The first of the six 100-km events, which run on consecutive Sundays, was the Harp RC’s promotion on 25 January. This is stated by the organiser to be ‘particularly demanding’ and is known in folklore as the Harp Hilly 100. Apparently, back in the day when men were men, and boys and girls were men too, the course was Imperial. One dreads to think of the toll exacted on the riders, so early in the season, by 100 miles sawing back and forth over the toughest climbs the Chilterns have to offer. The event starts at the Hemel Hempstead CC’s base, which makes driving the preferred means of getting there. Entry on the line was a tenner — a pretty tall price. And on Saturday night, the weather forecast was atrocious. Awakening to a steady downpour at 6 am, I felt no shame in pulling the duvet over my head. more »

Caught out!

Posted on Thursday 12 February 2009 by Nick Bloom

The Millionaires Club had good intentions – a quick half day spin in the Chilterns, back to work for the afternoon.  But it was not to be. Our regular 10.06 from Finchley Rd did not appear, so we were on a late start. At Chorleywood, the temperature was decidedly lower than in town, and it was clear there would still be some ice around, especially if there was run-off in the lanes. 

We headed up the climb to the A road, only to find the road blocked. Now a few road signs have never swayed us in the past. We pressed on, to find a brand new ford. Or more precisely, a Ford in a ford. On chatting with a passing local cyclist, it appears possible that works for the much-needed new golf course have caused problems for drainage in the fields.

Ho hum. Having been given more warnings of ice in the lanes we retired home. We’ll just have to find an excuse to bunk off next week.


Hell of the Ashdown

Posted on Thursday 5 February 2009 by Stephen Taylor

If you’re going to put “Hell” in the name of a bike ride then you’re probably not planning on making it a picnic.  And so it was for the Hell of the Ashdown sportive at the beginning of February

This was the first time I had done the event and in the past it used to be a rawer reliablility ride with minimal facilities.  Now it is a full blown sportive with timing chips and photographers on the roadside capturing the event.  However the terrain and, on this occasion, the weather combined to make it a uniquely hard experience.  And the photographers were usually halfway up a steep climb ready to record my pain. more »

The Country Estates of West London

Posted on Monday 2 February 2009 by Charles Harvey

I have been on some labyrinthine rides in my time and, indeed, led some but this one took some beating. Probably only Colin Wing, our ride leader, and Tom Bogdanowicz, who was recording copious route notes on his mobile phone, really know where we went. We met at Richmond Station. more »

Chiltern Lanes

Posted on Monday 2 February 2009 by Aidan Cusack

David had completed his 40km warm up ride by cycling out from London while the rest of us, Richard, Paul, Alex, Derek and Aidan all met up as planned at Beaconsfield station.  We set off with a cold and blistering wind biting our heels as we headed North West towards Holmer Green. A red kite was spotted circling overhead on the outskirt of the village as we continued on to Little Missenden. After a brief spell on the A413 it was a climb up the narrow Hyde Lane to Hyde End. more »

Through the suburbs to Surrey.

Posted on Monday 2 February 2009 by Paul Foster

I awoke to bitter cold. A grey sky looked at me severely, as I shivered to the rendezvous at Euston, secretly hoping that only 1 or 2 would pitch up, and a few coffees could be sunk in a warm café close at hand without the need to cycle anything other than a token amount. No such luck – in no time we had 9, keen and eager, apart from the mildly reluctant leader. A puncture delayed Rory promised to show in 5 minutes. 5 Naomi Campbell minutes later Rory hove into view, much to the relief of the party. more »

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