Central London CTC blog

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Archive for January 2014

We Followed the Bear …

Posted on Monday 27 January 2014 by Sue Dorey

… and got soaked! The weather forecast proved depressingly accurate for our one star ride today. It started raining as we left Broxbourne, and by time we reached the Merry Fiddler in Fiddlers Hamlet, Pat was soaked to the skin, her two rain jackets having turned out to be let-the-rain-in-jackets. My “waterproof” socks proved anything but, and the less said about Simon’s all-weather gloves the better. So the only dry member of the group was Baby Bear, who led the ride from the comfort of Simon’s back pocket, rather than his customary position on the handlebars, refusing to emerge until he smelled the real ale in the bar. But our pub lunch was good, and we checked out the cycle route back into Cheshunt, which we found to be well surfaced and worth another visit. Only 37km, any further would have been masochistic. We let Pat off the 50p ride contribution, she deserved it for fortitude in the face of Extreme Wetness. And looking on the bright side, we were better off than the villagers of the Somerset Levels, at least we and our bikes didn’t have to be ferried down flooded roads by boat.(though I wouldn’t have minded a lift at times).

Roll on Summer!


Posted on Tuesday 14 January 2014 by Charles Harvey

This ride with an espionage theme was a joint ride with Spokes, the cycling group for S.W. Herts. Two years ago we got 17 on this ride on a Sunday and last year we had eight on a Saturday. This time, on a Sunday, we had six. Are they trying to tell me something? Perhaps I should give this particular ride a rest. Of the six riders, two were from Spokes, three from the CTC and one was a member of both.

The CTC riders arrived on two separate trains, the result of engineering work on the line which meant that stopping trains started from Kilburn High Road. We met up with the Spokes riders at the Junction Café close to Watford Junction station. There had been frost overnight and there was still some ice on the roads so we had to be careful as we left Watford. The ride went up through Whippendell Wood to Chandlers Cross and then to Belsize and Flaunden. All the time we were climbing gradually to the top of this part of the Chilterns. more »

Super Softies Ride to Thame

Posted on Monday 6 January 2014 by Charles Harvey

The ride is the easiest run by Central London CTC, 25km, almost all flat and traffic free. Given the grim weather forecast I wouldn’t have been surprised if nobody had turned up for this ride. But in the event four cyclists got out of the train at Princes Risborough. We set off and soon hit our first problem. The road past Horsenden was flooded. To show willing I cycled down it. I didn’t put my feet down but the splashing got my feet wet anyway. My companions declined to follow me so we retraced our route and instead took a route via Saunderton and Bledlow to reach the Phoenix Trail. We passed the Lions at Bledlow which may be familiar to some readers as it features in Midsomer Murders.

The Phoenix Trail is a former railway line that closed in 1963 and is now a Sustrans route going direct to Thame. Once on the old line it was an easy ride to Thame. We had an early lunch and then the plan was to ride round the town and visit the museum. To my annoyance, I discovered that the museum was closed during January and February though no mention of this closure was on their website and it had been open in January last year. We began a tour of the town
visiting places connected with W.B. Yeats, John Hampden and Robin Gibb but then it began to rain.

We decided to head home and returned to the Phoenix Trail via Towersey, familiar to two of us as the site of a major folk festival in August. In the event the rain was not as bad as expected so we needn’t have been in such a rush to get back. We got back to Princes Risborough in time to catch the 14.58 train back to London.

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