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Archive for November 2009

Hertfordshire tracks and flooded lanes

Posted on Sunday 29 November 2009 by Richard Philpott

A few photos to capture the flavour of today’s damp but cheerful two-star ride by Paul Lohr:

Map of the ride here.

One star ride – Sunday 29th November

Posted on Sunday 29 November 2009 by Alison Ewington

Well it was supposed to be a one-star ride but I think we could only claim half a star. The weather was not kind – we even had hail before starting out. But nothing daunted, one hardy rider (Maria) set off from distant Chiswick and made it to Welwyn Garden City. With support from Barnet Cyclists (part of the London Cycling Campaign) we made a group of five.

Plan A was trip to the museum at Ware but the prospect of soaking up more and more rain didn’t really appeal so Plan B was a slightly shorter ride to Hertford for lunch. Much of the ride was along an old railway line so we were sheltered by trees, a bit, but we certainly went through enough puddles to give our wheels a decent wash. In all about 25km, it wouldn’t win us any prizes but we went out regardless and did enjoy ourselves in a funny sort of way. Better out than in as they say!

North Kent and the Hoo Peninsula

Posted on Wednesday 18 November 2009 by Thomas James

The experts take over

Derek and David examine wheel

On a pre-ride of the route I realised that I had chosen one of the most wind swept places in south-east England. Awoken by a storm the night before, I imagined that this would be a ride for the hard-core only, but as ride leader duty called.  I need have had no concerns as the day (15 November) was clear, sunny and virtually windless and sixteen riders were ready for the experience.

Early Breakdown

We managed 2km from Longfield station when I provided the first amusement of the day with a puncture. It was an unusual one and much savoured by the puncture connoisseurs in the group (“I’ve never seen one like that before”); the metal in the beading had split and broken through the tyre wall . Fortunately our new club secretary was able to demonstrate the roadside repair skills that his office requires and I was soon back on the road on a slightly bulging wheel.

Morning in the Downs

The storm had left much in the way of leaves and a few branches on the road, but no serious problems other than some sizable puddles, which as leader I had to try first, and we were able to thread our way though the North Kent lanes with some sunshine and little traffic to disturb us. more »

South Chilterns Lunchtime Challenge

Posted on Monday 16 November 2009 by Martin Hayman

Rory’s début ride lead looked like it would be zapped by the weather. ‘The worst storm of the year’ piled in on Saturday afternoon, tearing bits off trees and sending scaffolding crashing to the ground. Shortly before my alarm went on Sunday morning, rain was still falling heavily. But by the time I got out of the door, there was a perfect calm and the sky was clear blue and cloudless.

Five of us entrained in the grubby end of Paddington, heading for Twyford: Rory, Stephen, Keith, Bob, and I. At our destination, a cheery newcomer, Tim, joined us. One could see Bob sceptically eyeing up Tim’s brown Dawes Galaxy with its baroque Brooks saddle and heavy Schwalbe tyres.

In the event the equipment was well chosen. more »

Round Beds

Posted on Sunday 8 November 2009 by Stephen Taylor

The day didn’t start promisingly.  The weather looked dull and there was a chance there might not be any trains.  First Capital Connect were having trouble finding drivers to cover their shifts today but luckily this seemed to be confined to their services from Kings Cross.  We were next door at St Pancras where the problems seemed to be less severe.  In any event we managed to catch a East Midlands Trains train.

This got the five of us (myself, Keith, Charlie, Rory and 3 star virgin, Terry) out to Bedford and on the road in record time. more »

Herts and home

Posted on Monday 2 November 2009 by Bob Davis

The weather forecast was quite definite. It was to be the end of any Indian summer – autumn with a vengeance. At least the morning would have heavy rain and high winds, if not the whole day.

But I resolved to fulfil my duty by at least turning up to see if there were any takers at Kings Cross. The ride over had only a few sprinklings of light rain, which could mean that the forecasters were wrong. Or that the promised rain would come a bit later and persist throughout the day.

As soon as I got to Kings Cross the threatened downpour started in earnest. Oh dear. And nobody turned up. Oh dear again. I wasn’t going to turn back home (too late to get more sleep) and what would I do without a bike ride of some sort? Best to at least get out into Hertfordshire and see what might happen.

Then at Finsbury Park Jon McColl entrained and the vital ingredient of companionship was present. We resolved to go to Knebworth, have a cup of tea and see what was happening weatherwise. more »

Slow Cycling in Wonderful Copenhagen

Posted on Sunday 1 November 2009 by Martin Hayman

Copenhagen is one of the world’s best cities for cycling. It is ideally engineered for bike riding, with broad bikeways laid alongside almost every road in the city centre. Bike use is a planned, integral part of the transport network, not a retrofit.

It’s the obvious way for the tourist to explore the city and that’s what my wife and I did when we paid a visit to ‘the salty old queen of the sea’. We were able to rent bikes at our city-centre hotel and and got a useful briefing from the desk clerk. In Denmark, a cycle is not legally a vehicle, and obeys different rules. In particular, this means no left turns at traffic lights on main thoroughfares: you must pull off to the right and wait for the lights to change in your favour. You must give way to pedestrians at the many zebra crossings, and also have lights after dark. more »

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