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Archive for the ‘Two star rides’ Category

A day fit for a Queen!

Posted on Sunday 2 April 2017 by Sabina Carchesio

I’m always nervous when its my turn to lead a ride. You want people to enjoy the route you’ve selected and for the weather to be good.  Today we had glorious sunshine; the first day I got my ‘legs out’.  I’m not a huge fan of spending an hour on the train which makes leading from Richmond a great spot. Twelve met in the morning and we started out by heading to Richmond Park and picked up two more at Kingston Gate.  We ambled through the side streets to Kingston and then braced the busy road just before Hampton Court.  We veered towards Sunbury, Shepperton, Chertsey, Virginia Water and then turned into Great Windsor Park for a calm respite away from traffic.  With Heathrow, M4, M25, the reservoirs, and the Thames there are only so many roads available that make the ride out to Windsor a scenic journey.  We entered the Deer Park and stopped for a photo in front of the Royal Mile.  Due to the sunshine, you could easily see Windsor Castle in the distance (and Slough unfortunately!).  The morning’s ride was longer and by this time we were peckish so we headed for the exit gate to get on the main road.  Someone shouted turn around, its the Queen and by golly there she was sitting in the front passenger seat of the LandRover behind me.  I stopped and gave her a royal wave but she blanked me. Oh well.  In 15 years, this is only the second time I’ve seen her but this time I was very close.  What a five second thrill!

In Windsor Great Park

We had lunch in Eton and then headed towards Datchet, Wraysbury back into Shepperton and the home stretch through Teddington Lock, Ham and then Richmond.  In total just shy of 80km and we were back at the train station for 15.30. I must thank Colin for volunteering to be back marker and Sarah Khedhouri for lending me her bike. For some strange reason, I always have a bike catastrophe just before I have to lead a ride. Is someone trying to tell me something?   Anyway, we kept great pace and it was so wonderful to see old friends and new faces.

Topless in Herts on David’s Wiggle

Posted on Wednesday 4 November 2015 by Sue Dorey

Sarah K chose a great day for her 2 star ride from Harpenden. The 1st of November saw the highest  November temperature ever recorded in the UK (22.4C in mid Wales),  and north Hertfordshire got a good share of the sunshine (although in London we had to get out our foghorns on the way to St Pancras for the train). The stripping off started soon into the ride, with Tibor taking it furthest, getting down to just his cycling shorts. Unfortunately nobody had their camera phone ready to capture the moment, but think Aidan Turner scything in Poldark.

And it wasn’t just the weather setting records. As l rode up a mile-long hill outside Harpenden, puffing and heaving in bottom gear, I could hear David behind me, delivering a discourse to Ian on licensing regulations, which lasted from the foot of the hill to the top, without pausing for breath. And his gears are a lot higher than mine!

More records were set at lunchtime. more »

Ride from Midgham

Posted on Friday 14 August 2015 by Scott Fletcher

Fourteen riders enjoyed the warmest day in weeks with a day of roaming the Berkshire Downs west of Reading. The climb up from the Kennet valley at Woolhampton was punctuated by a brief repair station at the top of the hill, where a cycle shop’s adjustment of the front derailleur had to be undone, then it was off to Kate Middleton country around Bucklebury. Passing a ‘Retro Fair’ near the A34, the group finished the morning with the firm-but-fair hillclimb from Hampstead Norreys to the gloriously sunny garden of the Bell at Aldworth. An extended lunch break featured a visit to the worn but evocative medieval tombs in the village church, then a short run up the lane into the downs to take in the view where the paving ended.

The afternoon’s downhill glide took us to Aldermaston Wharf for tea and scones by the Kennet and Avon Canal, which we then proceeded to navigate in the direction of Reading in order to spread the riders over more trains. Reading station is now up to fifteen platforms and feels much grander than it once did.

Pictures here.

Blue Thursdays Oyster Card Cult

Posted on Saturday 27 June 2015 by Nick Bloom

DSC00376Inevitably and inexorably there is an element of Central London CTC who find themselves somewhat less employed, with a freedom to roam (at least after 9.30 on weekdays). We can now follow a new cult, a new leader. On alternate Thursdays Felix will beckon us to Shenfield or Broxbourne, thence out on the lanes of Herts and Essex.
The inaugural event saw six of us, regulars from past times. Felix, in Mk 1 club jersey, brandished an out of date OS map (an early navigation device with integral power supply). One singlespeed, one fixed, one six speed block. Just one helmet. No-one was training. A traditional CTC ride. As stated, brisk 2* pace / easy 3* pace should others be tempted, as we hope they are.
Coffee at Megarrys in Blackmore, lunch at the Pig & Whistle in Chignal Smealy, up to High Easter, through quiet lanes and basking fields. As ever, the school run brought the only impolite drivers of the day. Back to London ahead of the evening rush.

Pictures from Ashdown Forest ride – 9.11.2014

Posted on Sunday 16 November 2014 by David Kurtz

A few pictures from Simon Hatersley’s “No GPX File!” ride over the Ashdown Forest.

West Kent Hard Riders at the front nr. Cackle Street

West Kent Hard Riders at the front nr. Cackle Street


near Nutley Windmill

Top of Ashdown Forest nr Hartfield

Top of Ashdown Forest nr Hartfield

Floods in Herts

Posted on Monday 3 February 2014 by Bob Davis

Your leader has been a bit out of action since late September 2013, and this was one of my first rides (apart from Regents and Richmond Parks) since then.

I think we are settling into the new meeting place for those who prefer going up Finchley Road rather than getting over to the Barracuda: the top of Barnet Hill for the final out of London to Hertford meet up. There’s a bog standard café just opposite Barnet Church for use while waiting and we all meet up round the corner (do make sure it is well round the corner – a cyclist was killed at the bend in the road just after the church, so best to be out of the traffic a little further up). With me we had a grand total of 14: Damian, Keith and Naomi, Jon, Martin H, Paul Foster, Jim Higson, Helene, newbie Denisa, Mariel, Nick Bloom, Michael Sheerin, and Kristina.

The theme was a “new way out” – which it was for most – Brookmans Park to North Mymms and then Welham Green, which allows you to go past Hatfield House on a route to the west of the main Essendon road until Essendon.

After which we hit the first flood on the Essendon-Hertford road here – as you know “Road Closed” can mean “Cyclists Welcome”!


Photo by Michael

Photo by Mariel

more »

Suburban wild country

Posted on Monday 19 November 2012 by Marion Houghton

In glorious sunshine, 15 of us set out from West Ewell in deepest suburbia.  Most were on MTBs but a few brought their hardy touring bikes and Michael’s small wheeled belt-drive bike also made an appearance.

After a couple of minor navigational lapses somewhere improbably leafy near Tolworth, we were soon bowling along the easy flat paths in Horton Country Park amid beautiful late autumn foliage and blue skies.  Across Ashtead Common and the railway line and on past the City of London Freemen’s School in its fine country setting and then after a mile on road we darted up Stane Street, a Roman road, to take us to the pub at Headley spot-on 12 noon.  Once the menus were rustled up, we were fed and watered reasonably quickly and on our way again.

After lunch things got a little more ‘technical’ due mainly to the mud which took its toll on those with close fitting mudguards. more »

Through the lanes of Kent

Posted on Sunday 28 October 2012 by Scott Fletcher

The icy gusts of Saturday gave way to cycle-friendly weather for the first ride day after the time change, with moments of sunshine and temperatures up to 8C.  Twelve riders set out along the River Medway for an anticlockwise circuit through Kent and Sussex lanes.  A number of promising-looking pubs were passed near Tonbridge at unfeasibly early hours; an interesting study might be made of how rides might be led past such spots as the Hopbine at Petteridge or The Man of Kent near East Peckham at lunchtime.  Slow going and a few navigational errors found us only as far as Goudhurst at midday.

Rather than push on to the intended Ticehurst, we elected to lunch where we stood, which turned out to be The Vine, a rambling inn at the village crossroads. Drawn by the chalkboard’s promise of a ‘locally made rabbit stew’ special, the ride leader enticed the group into the ultimate nightmare of the keen Sunday cyclist, A PUB THAT HAD RUN OUT OF REAL ALES. more »

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