Sunday, 14 September 2014

The legend meets the Tour of Britain

Yesterday BBB & I went to Brighton. This was to be a recce small ride with just 4 of us. Anne M & David P & my cycling partner OrangeBrompton. But at the last moment OrangeBrompton had something come up so couldn't attend.

The weather promised to be good but for some odd reason I still packed my waterproofs. It was clear as soon as I got to Victoria Station to catch the train to Brighton it would be a perfect cycling day & we may even catch a glimpse of the "Tour of Britain" which was finishing in Brighton later on in the day.
LBC: Brighton to Beachy Head Recce
Legend is ready
I was expecting the train to be busy but it was pretty empty all the way though. I was guessing the train back would be busy with the Tour Of Britain finishing there so had mentally prepared myself for that.

Once I settled BBB down for the train ride I got a msg from Anne & David had boarded the train  after a couple of stops but further down.

Finally we arrived at Brighton station where I spotted Anne & David, had out usual hellos and hugs and seeing we was all here we set of for our little ride in Brighton.

LBC: Brighton to Beachy Head Recce
The Legend, Bobo & HotLips are prepared
First off we headed off to the UnderCliffs where we have been many a time on a Brighton ride.

At low tide
Instead of going our normal route around Brighton we went east so we could meet up with the Tour of Britain at the top of a hill, atleast there the tour would be slower and me and BBB would get our first look at professional rides in action.

LBC: Brighton to Beachy Head Recce
Port of Newhaven
Then before we left civilisation as David put it we stopped off for some proper fish 'n' chips with mushy peas.

LBC: Brighton to Beachy Head Recce
Cod 'n' Chips with Mushy Peas yum

Now it was time for some proper hills after lunch which I will admit is still hellish for me. But now with the 44T chainring isn't so bad for me and BBB. As David and Anne motored off into the distance I started my slow climb up I think I got about a 1/3 of the way but my gearing had bottomed out for me, well I couldn't keep it going so I had to walk up the rest of the way. I was actually getting cheered on but a few people there where camped out by the side of the road waiting for the Tour of Britain to pass by. I always get a good energy boost when that happens.

HUGE  Eastdean hill
Thank god we hadn't gone all the way to Beachy Head as planned cause there was a couple of BIG hills which was actually on the Tour the Britain Route.

We got to the top of a major hill where quiet alot of people had gathered to watch the riders come past. At this point the riders would have just finished a major hill so would be tired and about slower so we got a chance for some good photos.

After the tour had passed we went to see how close we could get to the cliffs from the top by going though Crowlink right by where we was. It was across a field which had LOTS of sheep grazing.

Seeing 3 Bromptons had the sheep looking at us, probably wondering what the hell are these crazy humans up to now.


Well there was ALOT of sheep and with ALOT of sheep there was ALOT of sheep poo. It was pretty hard to cycle around it and find actual grass so it was near impossible not to hit it. I've never been so focused in my life when riding but was something new I can tell ya.

Looking towards the future...
After the excitement of the tour it was time to head back. Thankfully David P cut out some of the really rough bits we came though aswell as any more big hills.It was much quicker heading back to Brighton as alot of the traffic had died down as well. Just one quick stop for ice cream outside of Brighton and we got to see the finish of the race on a big screen.

LBC: Brighton to Beachy Head Recce

By the time we got back into Brighton everything was just about packed up and gone and you would have never have known there was a big cycling event had taken place.

LBC: Brighton to Beachy Head Recce

With plenty of time top spare we had alittle drink at our fav coffee place "Milk, No Sugar"

LBC: Brighton to Beachy Head Recce
Good day cycling with good friends
All in all a good day of cycling, alittle disappointed that I walked up the really big hill but I did alittle of it. I always see an improvement on my hill climbing so I'm relatively happy with that.

Thanks again for Ann M & David P for having me along and waiting for me at the top of the big hills.

See you all on the next ride,

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

The Legend does #LondonBikeathon 2014

I felt pretty good after the 50 miles of the LBC Windsor ride and now it was time for the London Bikeathon which was another 52 miles. So in a way I have done the magical 100 mile stone.

Anyway this charity ride was for leukaemia and lymphoma research. A very worthy cause. I  only found out afterwards that an aunt had lymphoma many yrs ago but has fully recovered.

Having met my partner in crime Mr. Orange at Holborn Station we headed around the corner to the official start at Corum's Field for 08:00.

A pretty impressive sight seeing so many riders all wearing the same red T shirt. I have to say I did feel a little odd wearing red instead of my trademark yellow but its for a good cause.

As everyone started to gather for the 08:00 start time, there was a safety talk to everyone to make sure they did obey the rules of the road and not jump red lights, no ride on the pavement etc...

There was a few times I saw cyclist going though red lights which always ticks me off as I always catch up to them when I have have waited for the lights to change, come on its not a race its a charity ride.

Cycling Safety Talk

We are at the start. Let's rock #londonbikeathon #bromptonbicycle #bee #legendary
Lets get ready to rumbleeeee...

I managed to keep up with my cycling partner for about 20 miles or so but the pace was high and having done the big ride the previous day my legs where a little shot. While we was cycling along the Thames River we some how missed out on a pitstop which I could have done with as I was starting to run low on water. As the ride was going though Richmond Park I knew there is a few points there to get water and something to eat.

There was a cross roads in Richmond Park where there was no signs so normally that means go straight ahead but my Garmin had other ideas. I had remembered to load up the route and it was telling me to go left. I tried to tell the other riders that was with me but they just kept going straight. Don't think I ever saw them again, they may well still be out there, lost and alone....

I finally got to Ham House which was the half way point where I welcomed a couple of bananas, some chocolate and lots of water. I decided to chill out a little here and enjoy the atmosphere of all the riders coming and going.

 We made it to the half way point. #londonbikeathon #bromptonbicycle #urban

While I was there some of the Cyclious gang turned up which was a great surprise as I thought they where well ahead of me so I joined them for the final leg back to Corum's Field

Stag in Richmond Park

Didn't really have time to take many photographs on the final half as I wanted to get this thing done and dusted. Good thing with the little gang I was with is that the pace was a good one and I felt strong the whole time.

We made it WOOP WOOP

Job done. Was a good ride for a damn good cause. #londonbikeathon #bromptonbicycle #legendary
Job Done!

I was worried that after doing a big ride the previous day that I wouldn't have been able to do it. But I did. I have to say that my legs felt pretty damn good, I was thinking after all this riding that I would be taking the underground back to the HiVE but as I started to head to the station my legs felt good so I decided to ride all the way back home. 

Having got home I checked my Garmin data and saw that my average speed was 12.0mph which I have to say was a nice surprise especially after a big ride the day before. 

It just goes to show that I'm improving slowly but surely. So over the course of the weekend I did do the Century (100 miles) My goal one day is to do "Century" in a single ride, which will be pretty soon by the looks of it.

LBC: Windsor to Tower Bridge River Crossings

So today was another awesome LBC Ride. This time we was to cycle in from Windsor to Tower Hill. A good 50ish easy miles.
I was excited and marked the start of a pretty intensive weekend of cycling for me and the legend.

With BBB all cleaned up the night before we heading to Windsor by train.

The train was stopping at a few stops along the way and I noticed ALOT of parents with kids getting on, I was wondering why then it dawned on me. Legoland Windsor and it was coming to the end of the summer holidays.

Me and BBB arrived at Windsor Station the end of the line as as always as we got off the train I could hear people saying Bumble B when they saw the legend and I. I do get a warm fuzzy feeling when I know we have put a smile on the kid's and parent's faces as they went to LegoLand.

I got the end of the platform and ofcourse my cycling partner in crime was already there waiting. Orange was waiting for me and our usual greets and handshakes. Cause I was pretty early I made sure I fueled up abit before the others arrived which they in turn did. A few new faces as well as the core LBC members David P & Ann M arrived intime for the start of the ride.

I soon learned that this was going to be one new member, Luka's first big ride other than commuting on a 3 speed Brompton. She did pick abit of a big one to start of with but we always look after everyone on a ride.

Once everyone arrived and was ready our club navigation wizard, David P lead the way.

Interesting route
 The ride was a pretty good pace and found it well with in my reach. I always noticed in the country lanes that car drivers are ALOT more patient with cyclists and would make sure it was a good spot to over take us without any issues. VERY big contrast to the drivers in London who are always in a rush.

David P follows the legend
As always David P takes us on all kinds of weird and wonderful places, this ride had a little of everything, on and off road riding.

Slowly but surely familiar sites of London started to come into view & so did the bridges.

I do love cycling along the Thames, there is something welcoming about it that just makes me feel all fuzzy inside.

Smiling Ann M & Mr. Orange

BBB taking in the view

On the other side of Walton Bridge we had a little lunch break, last time we was here the bridge was still under construction.

Now we was on the home straight and as we passing Hampton Court Palace we had to take a few photos with all our Bromptons. One of these days I really should go into Hampton Court Palace with my dSLR or my InfraRed dSLR.
5MC being a little silly :D

BBB stealing a kiss from Hotlips
Onward board again....

As always there is something going on in London, we pasted these super heroines along the Thames. Got to love London for its quirkiness :)

Heroines on patrol

While passing a field we saw these cows, I'm not exactly sure what to make of them. They looked like they have been painted as the front and back is black while there is white band around there tummy. Must be a special breed of cow. Never seen them before that for sure.

Black cows with White middles, weird

Footbridge apart of the railway bridge

Pushing on to the end of the ride we passed this great looking vintage car, looked like it had just been made. If you look closely at the dash you can see a sat nav, this made me giggle to myself.

Many thanks to David P for leading this ride and for everyone else for joining us. Old and new faces as always and a pleasure to ride with you all.

Now this weekend wasn't over just yet as tomorrow I would be doing the 52 mile "Bikeathon" charity ride for  leukaemia and lymphoma research.

This would be the first time I have done 2 biggish rides back to back like this but after today I felt pretty good and ready for tomorrow's Bikeathon.

Ride Data: LBC: Windsor to Tower Bridge River Crossings Ride