Central London CTC blog

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

Archive for June 2012

Dreaming Spires 2: The Prequel

Posted on Wednesday 27 June 2012 by Martin Hayman

None of the usual suspects much fancied the schlep over to Chelmsford for the Audax posted in the calendar. In light of the drab weather forecast, the counter-proposal, hatched over Saturday breakfast at Café Italia Uno, was modest indeed: off from Highgate for a trundle up to Hertford.

At Barnet Church at 09.00, the prospect was dreich. The expected Atlantic front (again!) had brought 100% low grey cloud cover scudding in and the stiff cool breeze had a trace of imminent drizzle in it. The 20-minute wait for the Highgate party to arrive was time enough for bare knees to get chilly. Four arrived together to join Phil and me, with a late-rising Damian hustling to make the RV moments later.

The upside of the gloomy conditions more »

The Giant of Provence – 25 years later

Posted on Saturday 16 June 2012 by John Aizlewood

Pat and Mike Strauss had helped start our group, so when in 1988 they led their first CTC camping tour to France, it attracted five from Central London including Richard Philpott, Roy Watson, and myself. We enjoyed Provence, but the highlight was the opportunity to climb a Tour de France favourite – Mont Ventoux.

Richard Philpott in Gorges de la Nesque in ’88

There are three different starting points for the climb to the summit at 1912m from either Bédoin, Malaucene, or Sault. We left from Malaucene with some sections 1 in 8 over the 21km to the summit, then enjoyed the almost continuous 26 km descent to Sault, and returned through the spectacular Gorges de la Nesque. The other highlight was Roy’s exploding rear wheel; fortunately when it was parked.

more »

Two-star soaking on Jubilee Wet Weekend

Posted on Tuesday 5 June 2012 by Sue Dorey

Simon Binning’s two-star ride from Harlow on Sunday 3rd June:  75km, 100mm of rain (well, it felt like it).

It couldn’t have been a sharper contrast from the previous weekend: splendid sunshine for Christine’s weekend Cambridge tour, dismal downpours for our ride from Harlow. Steve didn’t need his factor 50, though Kerry could have done with it on Christine’s ride, she was wearing a sleeveless top in the blazing sun, and her shoulders got burnt. She’d refused Michael’s offer to apply sun cream to her back, possibly because his hands were covered in oil after his fruitless attempts to repair two broken spokes.

He’d replaced the spokes during the week, and seven of us braved the weather for a 75km spin out from Harlow to the Black Horse at White Roding, with the additional benefit, for the republicans amongst us, including me, of escaping the royal fawn-fest.(Steve’s wife had sent him out for the day so she could enjoy TV coverage of the Thames pageant, unspoiled by his anti-monarchist sentiments). Simon gave us such a lovely route round pretty country lanes, everyone commented on how attractive it was, despite the rain. I think the pub is new to our section, I do recommend it. The staff are pleasant and efficient, the food is tasty and reasonably priced, and although they like to keep their vegetarian options secret from the customers, (the veggie dishes aren’t listed on the menu), they will tell you what’s available if you ask.

After lunch we continued to tea at the open air café in Hatfield Forest, where we encountered a lone Morris dancer gazing wetly into his beer, a soggy symbol of the Jubilee Weekend Wetting. Paul had unwisely dressed according to the calendar, rather than the temperature, and complained about his chilly extremities, until, emulating Kelvin on a previous ride, we all told him to Man Up . Derek, more stoical, kept quiet about his frozen fingers, aware that his choice of fingerless mitts over full length gloves could open him to Mockery and Ridicule from his better-clad companions.

The company was great, even if the weather was rubbish, and the glass is always half-full: nobody got sunburnt.

Calendars, Cookies and the Highway Code

Posted on Monday 4 June 2012 by Richard Philpott

I generally make it a rule not to write here about changes to this website, but there are three recent developments that I think justify a brief post to bring them to our regular riders’ attention.


For some time now our rides and walks (including all last-minute updates) have been published to four public Google Calendars, but knowledge about them has only been been spread by word of mouth among a few tech-savvy regulars. The recent rapid rise in the use of smartphones has made the calendars useful to a much wider ranger of people, so I have finally written up detailed instructions on a new page on the website.


There has been widespread media coverage (for example, here) about the new data privacy laws that came into force last month, so I’m sure you’ll be glad to hear that we have taken steps to ensure that we are fully compliant! You can read more about our “cookie policy” here.

Highway Code
As numbers on our rides (especially the 2* rides) have increased recently, we have expanded and reinforced the guidance we offer new riders on our essentials page, and it would probably be useful for our regular riders to take a look too!

Questions and feedback about any of these items, or indeed any other aspect of the website, are always welcome!
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