CENTRAL LONDON CTC

Central London CTC blog

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

The Man Who Wasn’t There

Posted on Thursday 6 April 2017 by Martin Hayman

It was Nick Bloom who introduced me to the delights of the Chilterns and beyond, into Oxfordshire, where some of England’s most picturesque villages are to be discovered.

When I first joined CTC I accompanied Nick and our American friend Rory Rhodes on several traditional and well-honed Audax rides here and elsewhere, and one year, to my surprise, placed mid-table in the AUK Tourist Competition (I did not know I was entered into it by default). In fact the first blog report I posted here was the Muswell Hills 200k event, which I found hard pounding.

Events moved on and in recent seasons I have preferred shorter, faster days out with the 4* gang. But this last winter illness prevented me from riding at all. My first return to a ride of any distance was at Nick’s invitation on the traditional Amersham—Waterperry out-and-back.

Nick, Linus, and I bunked off midweek from Marylebone station and enjoyed a glorious day of spring sunshine, more »

The day we met a Dame

Posted on Monday 3 April 2017 by John Silvertown

What a wonderful ride with an average speed of 14km/h! Watch out two star here we come!

Tonbridge is where we cut our teeth this week. Some off-road through woods but mostly on-road. Pleasant views. Plenty of slopes and some hills. 40km, with 570m of climbing in total. A short visit to the Chiding Stone followed by a surprise tea at Cafe 1809 where we were served by no less a personage than Dame Kelly Holmes who was a real inspiration. Thank you Lisa and Roy for a great day out.

 

 

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.

Last Sunday’s group riding skills session …

Posted on Wednesday 8 March 2017 by Stephen Taylor

Unfortunately the weather was against us for our first one and two star group riding skills session last Sunday so we decided to postpone it for the moment. Thank you for everyone who signed up to attend. We will run another session in the near future and we will keep all those who expressed an interest informed. It may take a different format so watch this space.
In the meantime you may be interested in learning a little bit more about what we would have covered. We produced a handout which covers guidance on riding in a group and how to deal with other road users such as drivers, pedestrians and horse riders – you can read it here.

Personalised club frame decals

Posted on Wednesday 22 February 2017 by Richard Philpott

Now available – personalised frame decals including your own name and the CLCTC club logo …

The text is available in a wide variety of fonts, and can be in white or black to suit darker or lighter frame colours.

To order, go to Flandria Bikes and select your chosen font. On the next page, in the “Country Flag” dropdown scroll down to the “Clubs” section at the bottom and choose “Central London CTC”. Prices start at £8 for four decals (ie, enough for two bikes if you put a decal on each side).

 

Group Training Rides

Posted on Saturday 18 February 2017 by Richard Philpott

Riding with Central London CTC is a friendly and sociable activity. As you cycle along you can get to chat with old and  new friends. However, there are some things you can do to help make your cycling safer as well as fun, especially on today’s busier roads.

We are planning to run two group training sessions in March. The sessions will include practical advice on how to ride next to your fellow cyclists safely, looking out for and dealing with hazards on the road, and interacting with other road users. Experienced riders are urged to attend, as they can help in passing their knowledge on the less experienced riders.

There will be two sessions; for the one and two star riders on 5th March, and for the three and four star riders on the 19th March. Both sessions will start at 09.00, meeting at the Garden Cafe on the Inner Circle of Regents Park. Each session will last approximately an hour.

The trainer is Stephen Taylor, who for many years helped to organise and lead the Little Green Rides and who has also ridden with the 3/4* riders.

Places will be limited to approximately ten per session – if you would like to attend, please email Stephen in advance at sltaylor001@yahoo.co.uk.

Central London CTC Committee

Memories of Graham Watson

Posted on Tuesday 31 January 2017 by Richard Philpott

Graham Watson, a founder member of our club, recently passed away after an accident at his home in New Zealand.

John Aizlewood’s memories of Graham:

“Graham was a founder member of the Camden Section when it was formed through the Central London Clubroom in 1978, and was soon leading rides. He had come to London with the Royal Bank of Scotland, and his organising skills were valuable in the early days, taking the committee posts of Treasurer 1981-83 and then Secretary 1984-88. In the latter role he developed the section and managed the (then) controversial name change to Central London. He was always most welcoming to new riders, and patient with novices, and there was often “tea at leaders” in South Croydon.

A YHA volunteer warden, he was a keen supporter/organiser of weekends and tours as they developed in the early days. Folk evenings at Tanners Hatch YH were one of his particular favourites. He was also a keen supporter of the CND. On the DA committee as the editor of the Pedaller, he regularly contributed articles on the section activities, and photos to the section album, which now form a valuable record. A notable achievement was the first recipient (jointly with Dave Everitt) of the “Velocipede” award for leading a ride which only managed three miles before lunch.

He met his wife Fiona through the section, and left us in 1989 to marry her in New Zealand: we gave him a Campagnolo cork screw as a present for the cyclist who has everything. Mysteriously he appeared on the next rides list, but sensibly declined to fly back to lead it!

A quiet gentleman who was good company on rides, and remembered for his commitment to cycling, friends, and principles.”

 

 

 

 

 

Michael Belcher’s memories of Graham:

“I came to cycle touring rather late. I was nearer forty than thirty when I came out on a club ride in the early eighties. It was a whole new world to me and Graham appeared to be at the centre of it. He actively welcomed new comers and sought out new recruits. Helen Dutton who later succeeded Graham as club secretary told me she came out on her first club ride as a result of him striking up a conversation with her on public transport that ended with him giving her a rides programme.

Soon I was enjoying Sunday rides in south east England and going further afield on weekend YH tours organised by Graham. In retrospect (and confirmed by photographs) many of these rides involved us carrying our bikes down muddy tracks. Despite this Graham and his bike always seemed immaculate.

The enjoyment of this combination of fresh air, exercise and companionship together with visiting new places has stayed with me because I’m still doing it. I think it’s true to say that Graham helped develop a template that has been followed ever since. If it changed my life then I’m sure that there are many others who have the same reasons to be grateful to him.”

 

 Any longstanding members of the Club who remember Graham and wish to get in touch with Fiona may do so at fionahwatson@gmail.com.

Charlie’s and Emily’s

Posted on Tuesday 31 January 2017 by Charles Harvey

The plan for the ride was to “Learn that CTC stands for Café to Café or, alternatively, Coffee, Tea and Cakes. Your chance to visit two well-known cyclists’ refreshment stops, Charlie’s in Wheathampstead and Emily’s in Whitwell.” It seemed that it would be a straight forward ride to lead. But then I had not reckoned with the railways …

I wrote in an earlier blog that “I sometimes suspect that Network Rail has a specialist unit that monitors the CTC rides list and then plans engineering work to disrupt it.” These dark suspicions were strengthened by my experience with today’s ride. On Thursday night, I checked the National Rail Enquiries website for train times to St Albans and discovered that no train times on Sunday were listed. Having checked the Thameslink website well in advance re: planned engineering work, I was rather surprised so I checked it again. The only engineering work listed was at the other end of the line between Three Bridges and Brighton. I could relax.

Then on Friday I got an email from Anna more »

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