Central London CTC blog

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Archive for April 2010

Spring, Glorious Spring in the Loire

Posted on Wednesday 28 April 2010 by Sarah Glazer Khedouri

What are the ingredients of a perfect cycling trip? A week of sunny days when your rain jacket lies unused in your panniers, congenial mates, trees bursting with pink and white as far as the eye can see, chateaux of course, and hearty regional cooking you’ll never forget. We had them all on our Loire Valley trip April 10-17.

Our group of 11, ranging in age from 11 to 70, started out with memorable coq au vin in the medieval town centre of Orleans, an auspicious start for a believer in the motto “Ride to eat; eat to ride.”

Chateau de Chambord

Chateau de Chambord

Our first full day of cycling took us to the magnificent Chateau of Chambord, the largest castle in the Loire, which we approached, as bicycles are wont to do, from a quiet back entrance like conquering heroes. There at a café in the sun I had my first tarte tatin of the trip, apples caramelised just perfectly. (Tarte tatin, was born in the Loire region after a lady inn-keeper left apples, butter and sugar cooking in a pan too long, then rescued the dish by covering it with a layer of pastry dough and sticking it in the oven.) more »

Easter 2010

Posted on Friday 16 April 2010 by John Aizlewood

Follow this link for the Easter Tour 2010 album

Paul and John rode out meeting at Jordans YH on Monday night. Paul’s new SPD shoes squeaked making any surprise attack from behind impossible. We crossed the Chilterns to Oxford with its dreaming spires and Inspector Morse’s pubs, then over the Cotswolds to Stratford on Avon. The weather was cold with head winds and occasional hail showers, so that we had to thaw out at Chipping Norton before ordering lunch. Then into the Midlands, passing through the centre of England at Meriden. We stopped at the cyclists war memorial there.

As we moved north we went back in the seasons, with only lambs, Daffodils and Primroses as evidence of Spring, but two meal deals were down to £7. It was raining as we arrived at National Forest YH. David and Angela, Nina, Lawrence, and Frank joined us in the Cricketers that evening and the start of the tour next day.  David was given a handicap by carring both panniers: one for him and one for her. more »

Decision time for CTC

Posted on Sunday 11 April 2010 by Nick Bloom

Those of you who studiously read your copy of ‘Cycle’ should be aware that there is a motion of major importance at the CTC AGM, viz. the Charity Debate. Council is very keen that CTC should become a charity, in part to secure government funding for campaigning. But, if you carefully study the detail, this will not necessarily be in the interests of members and Member Groups (such as Central London). There has been long and tedious debate on the CTC forum, but now the two elected Councillors for London, Greg Price and Helen Vecht, have come out against the proposal. Their reasons are detailed at http://forum.ctc.org.uk/viewtopic.php?f=38&t=35643

Whatever your decision, please do use your vote. If you no longer have the proxy form, it can be found at :


Easter Monday: Past, Present and Future

Posted on Tuesday 6 April 2010 by Martin Hayman

Nick’s invitational ride takes place at a variety of seasons. This time it was a chilly grey Easter Monday morning.

Six met in the vastness of St Pancras Station for the unusually far-flung trip to Romney Marsh. The train accelerates across a newly-created landscape of concrete flyover, contoured turf, and smoked-glass office complex, like a naïf preview of the future. Soon you are flying along the Essex bank with the Thames Estuary to your right; then the tunnel swallows you up and you emerge moments later on the Kent bank, soon to vault over the Medway.

Ashford International, equally grandiose, feels out of place in the banality of the surrounding town. We head south for the coast, into brightening skies and a freshening breeze, quickly leaving behind the gravitational pull of the future. We traverse a small country of fields, woods and villages: these rural eastward reaches of Kent entirely lack the manicured plushness of the more-familiar western end of the county. Soon after Ruckinge, we ride down off this upland on to the broad expanse of Romney Marsh, pan-flat to the Strait of Dover beyond. more »

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