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Ride reports, maps, pictures, announcements and other news …

Archive for August 2009

A Brush through Kent

Posted on Monday 24 August 2009 by Nick Bloom

With Angela Dale ordered off her bike by her osteopath, Paul Foster was persuaded to lead an off-the-cuff ride through Kent from Bromley South. We were a fateful 13 for the day, mostly 3* regulars, a couple from the 2*’s giving us a try. The 3* riders are more at home north of the river, but this is home turf for Paul, so in capable hands. And a glorious day it was to be – probably the best Sunday of the year.

Paul’s route was roughly along the Pilgrims Way, but many of us recognised parts of it from The Ride of The Falling Leaves,and Richard knew much of it from the Dulwich Paragon rides. We were promised six significant climbs, and there was no doubt about some of them. Where the Chilterns are short and sharp, and can mainly be crashed up out the saddle, these were longer, best taken spinning firmly but steadily, then a chance to savour the views from the ridge. more »

Day of the Tea Rooms

Posted on Monday 17 August 2009 by Thomas James

Some have said that CTC stands for “Café To Café”, others that it stands for “Coffee, Tea and Cakes”. Nick Bloom led the the three star riders on 16 August on an attempt to find out.

Cyclists with jazz band

Cyclists with jazz band

First cup – Fourteen met at the Big Chef, East Finchley for the first cup of the day.

Second cup – Off at 0900 for a steady ride along the A1000, then on smaller roads into Hertfordshire. Before long it was time for elevenses at Notcutts Garden Centre, well stocked with plants, small animals, tea and cakes.

Third cup – Back into the saddle on more Herts lanes with a detour to the edge of Luton Airport before our next stop, Emily’s Tea Shop at Whitwell. It’s a favourite with local cyclists, with stables alongside the dining.

Fourth cup – Turning back south and more of the countryside, now in the sunshine, before reaching our fourth tea venue, Panshanger Airfield. The tea accompaniment of jazz, dancing (we watched but didn’t take part), veteran cars and aircraft acrobatics was particularly impressive. Apparently they don’t do this every day.

Tea- filled cyclists

Tea-filled cyclists at rest

Fifth cup – Between stops the group, high on caffeine, tannin and hot water, kept up a brisk pace and were back at East Finchley before 1630. Big Chef closes at teatime strangely, but the nearby Chorak patisserie provided a last stop for some of us before the ride home.

The group had successfully completed its mission to combine a 100km three star ride with the full refreshment agenda.

Map of the route here.

Richmond Park Team Trial

Posted on Saturday 15 August 2009 by Bob Davis

Sunday 9th August saw the first of the Richmond Park pilot Time Trials run by London Dynamo on closed roads in the Park before it opened in the morning – first rider off at 06.00  and last at 07.00. Those of you who have the odd spin round the park will know it as a desirable little circuit with a few hilly bits, and it is all the more desirable with no cars. (Quite a few people use it after dark in the winter – you can get in when the gates are shut unless there is a deer cull.) The idea is for it to be like the Blenheim Palace TT which some in Central London CTC have sampled.

I set off from home at 05.00, passing clubbers going IN to Harlesden clubs. I never knew I could get up at 04.30. more »

The High Weald

Posted on Monday 10 August 2009 by Thomas James

A forecast of sunshine on 2 August brought a record number of riders out for the season.  Even though I had taken the leader’s prerogative and made the rendezvous London Bridge for a change, this not deterred and thirty-one keen cyclists, both regulars and newcomers, awaited our day out in Sussex.

We left Haywards Heath to the north east and, after a few practice hills, took a larger climb across the Ashdown Forest and then down to the Medway Valley.
more »

Sussex by the Sea

Posted on Monday 10 August 2009 by Richard Philpott

Arriving in Brighton at the end of John Snuggs' Sussex ride on Sunday (photo by Thomas James).

Arriving in Brighton at the end of John Snuggs' Sussex ride on Sunday (photo by Thomas James).

Map of the ride here.

Marseille Le Velo: Liberation, up to a point

Posted on Thursday 6 August 2009 by Martin Hayman

On previous visits to Marseille we had noticed people skimming by on the grey system-rental bikes offered by the municipality. This year we decided to join them.

It’s easy to find a ‘Le Velo’ rental station. They cluster thickly around the Vieux-Port and the Bourse area where most tourists stay. They vary in capacity but most have half-a-dozen or more bike docks. Each station has a mini-tower to house the rental screen and a city map with rental locations. The obverse of the tower is given over to advertising, the principal revenue stream for the system’s operator, JC Decaux.

The first task is to release a bike, using the station’s touch-screen and card-reader. Problem: any screen facing the brilliant Mediterranean sun is illegible, even when shaded by a newspaper. We walked on to another, facing away from the light. To business. Instructions (in French only) prompt a two-part process, the first to buy a buy a long-term or short-term (7-day) subscription, the second to select and release a bike. more »

High and Low

Posted on Monday 3 August 2009 by Keith Butcher

Eleven people showed on a perfect day,  a not too stressful number,  allowing the leader to perfect his talent for leading from the back or middle of the ride,  I argued there is no point trying to out pace Bob Davis or Martin Hayman. We found some steep hills with plenty of chevrons in the morning, finding lunch at The Reformation at Gallowstree Common, a welcoming and friendly pub in a grimly named village. more »

Benson Unhurried

Posted on Monday 3 August 2009 by Thomas James

Seven met at Paddington on 26 July for the one star version of the Benson day out; a mixture of new riders, those returning after a break and some two star regulars;  one man and six women.

The day started with a brief ride over Cholsey Hill to elevenses at the Old Post Office on the main Square at Wallingford. Then over the river, some light climbing up Rabbit Hill, down through the picture-postcard village of Ewelme and back to the river at Benson.  The cafe was already full of cyclists but these were other groups; it seems to be a very popular cycling hang-out.  However, we were soon joined (in numerical order) by the two, three and four star rides from Central London. more »

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