CENTRAL LONDON CTC

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Archive for October 2011

The White Cliffs of Dover

Posted on Wednesday 26 October 2011 by Thomas James

Sixteen riders met a St Pancras for the 38 minute ride to Ashford on 23 October. We quickly escaped Ashford and sped through the Stour Valley towards the hills.

Our time in the North Downs started with a run along the old Pilgrim’s Way, undulating below the southern escarpment. Then a turn to cycle across the grain of the hills, up to the viewpoint at Farthing Common, then another down and up, then a long fast but gentle downhill to the edge of Dover.

We crossed the town to the seafront midway between the docks and for lunch in the bar of the Dover Marina Hotel. We were able to eat outside in the autumn sunshine with views of the castle, the sea, the ferries, the coast of France and, as promised, the White Cliffs.

Lunch done, we took a long climb back to the top of the Downs and the escarpment first above the sea, then above Folkestone, then above the Channel Tunnel railway yards.

We descended to the seafront at Hythe, where one of the group had gone ahead for a swim, and onto Romney Marsh for a flat section. The leader took a very near miss from a motorist who had thought it much better to risk injury to himself and others rather than undergo the ordeal of a minute’s delay to his journey.

Unharmed, we took a last climb over the Greensand ridge and a fast return to Ashford along the Roman Road. We were back in London by 1800. It was 95 km – map of the ride here.

Bob’s Big Day Out

Posted on Saturday 22 October 2011 by Bob Davis

I’ve done Audaxes and a charity ride, but never a full blown sportive complete with electronic chips, feed stops and large entry fee. Most of them are too far way for a same day train journey, and look a bit over-organised, so I hadn’t done one. Until this October, when I noted that the Cycling Weekly sportive was based close to Dorking station, and fancied a bit of a challenge to end an otherwise fairly unremarkable season.

Also, I don’t like being made to wear a lid. Since Martin has had his say a few weeks ago, my turn for a bit of politics: the CTC line is not just about personal freedom, but about the dubious evidence and the diversionary effect on addressing the causes of crashes. If you want to see more look at www.cyclehelmets.org – it will give an answer to any convictions you may have that a helmet has saved your life/brain cells, among other scientific information. more »

Mid Sussex Hilly Audax 15.10.11

Posted on Wednesday 19 October 2011 by Charlie Keep

I was distinctly uncommitted. I had not made a plan to meet anyone, nor booked a train ticket. I had not even set my alarm. If I happened to wake up at 5.30 I’d do the ride, if not I would sleep on as others audaxed away their Saturday. This meant that effectively I had left it in the hands (or more accurately paws) of the cat. 5.10, “miaow, miaow”, Ziggy requests an early breakfast, and before I know what my name is I’m up and off into the dark. As I ride through Old Street clubbers shiver their way home in the autumn chill. I cross London Bridge as a hint of royal blue comes through the blackness off the clear night sky and the gherkin looms over the dozy river. more »

Sunday morning go for a ride …

Posted on Monday 10 October 2011 by John Aizlewood

‘It was twenty years ago today, Sgt. Pepper taught the band to play’

When the Beatles released their Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album, those of us who were twenty then also remember another song

‘When I’m Sixty-four.”

Back then it seemed

‘Many years from now”

Paul met us at Welwyn North to lead a ride celebrating his safe arrival at this age. The day promised to be fine, sunny and hot as we were enjoying an Indian summer. Thirty riders assembled at the station and Eleanor and Susie joined us for the group photo.

The group photo.

more »

The Ride of the Falling Leaves: summer’s last hurrah

Posted on Monday 3 October 2011 by Martin Hayman

The Ride of the Falling Leaves has a reputation for terrible weather, and last year’s edition was a scary slitherfest. This year, the contrast could not be greater. A record-breaking week of perfect sunshine and temperatures in the high 20s continued into the Sunday of the event.

Bone-dry roads and unbroken sunshine meant summer kit: our squad of five were all on their best bikes, in short sleeves, and with not so much as a rain jacket between us.

We were among a large crowd at event HQ, Herne Hill velodrome, where we spotted among the many Dulwich Paragon jerseys of the promoting club our old friend and former clubmate Richard Ireland, looking bronzed, indeed seared, from a sojourn on the bike in Spain, and doubtless in good form having completed the end-to-end earlier this year.

In ideal conditions such as these, no doubt their crack riders would be intent on setting personal bests, and perhaps indeed breaking the course record. Nothing so ambitious was on our minds, though as always with sportives, there would be no dawdling, especially as we were enjoying the company of Raph, Damian’s French pal and a fearless descender. more »

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