Central London CTC blog

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Archive for July 2010

Dunwich Revisited

Posted on Sunday 25 July 2010 by Martin Hayman

Dunwich Dynamo, the midsummer overnight jaunt from Hackney to the Suffolk coast, has been extensively blogged, including in these pages. So it is at Jon ‘Routemaster’ McColl’s request that I write this, a posting of record rather than the customary extravagant whimsy.

Jon’s circular to the usual suspects prompted a mere 5 to show at London Fields, 2 of whom, Keith (injury) and our secretary Stephen (‘otherwise engaged’) were the send-off committee, leaving only Naomi, Jon and me to ride the course. We set out at 8 sharp and Jon’s familiar escape from East London route got us clear of the enormous crowd of riders, on a warm but overcast evening.

The long drag through Epping Forest saw Suffolk-bound riders lined out as far as the eye could see. For the most part car drivers left us alone, though the we did note a Lamborghini driver nailing it. But that’s Saturday night out in Epping for you. more »

East Sussex Summer

Posted on Sunday 25 July 2010 by Thomas James

I had tried to lead this ride before, in the winter, but torrential downpour had deterred all but three riders and forced an early finish.  A summer Sunday (18 July) finally brought compensation.

Eighteen riders were ready at Tunbridge Wells to head out through the High Weald for a morning of climbs and descents though wooded hills.  By lunchtime I had only lost two of the group (we arranged to meet them again at tea) and we took a break at the Blackboys Inn in the village of that name.

Then a cycle through the town of Uckfield and a long but gentle climb on a quieter route to the top of the Ashdown Forest. As ever there, we found spectacular views of heathland and the surrounding countryside, today in bright sunshine, slightly marred by the many drivers who see the 40mph  limit clearly marked as there only for decoration. more »

Cycling in Italy: the real deal

Posted on Tuesday 13 July 2010 by Martin Hayman

My guide and coach turned up at my hotel at 6 on the dot as I wheeled out the bike he had prepared for me. Setting off together was the first time I had mounted the bike and, indeed, the first time it had ever been ridden. It was the first time I had cycled in Italy, and the first time I had ridden a full-on carbon race bike, the same model Focus as Milram campaigns. I had my own Look pedals, and the 3T front end – forks, bar and stem – was instantly familiar. The bike was dauntingly light, and it picked up the pace remarkably. This was all to the good, as my guide wasn’t hanging about.

Already the commercial traffic was building up. The province of Bergamo is a thriving commercial region and, because it’s so hot in the middle of the day, people start work early. To the north, the Lombardy mountains, our destination, were still wreathed in mist after overnight rain, but on the plain the temperature was already in the mid-20s. As soon as we crossed over the Milan–Venice autostrada the road tilted up, alongside the Torrente Imagna. Traffic was streaming down, but was agreeably light in our direction. The shaggy foothills of the Alps closed in around, hanging over the valley road. Inevitably, we soon turned off the valley floor to engage one of the minor roads, snaking up the mountain to Berbenno. more »

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