Monday, 2 November 2015

St. Crispin's Day Night Ride 2015

Last weekend the legend and I did our second St. Crispin's Day Nigjt ride, this ride was 100 mile loop on St. Crispin's Day when the clocks went back 1 hr signalling the end of British Summer.

This event last year was our first "Century Mile Ride"  we had ever done and had great memories of it. As soon as we found out it was open for registration for 2015 we of course entered without question, In matter of fact we entered twice by accident we was THAT excited about it.

A quick email to the head "Minion" Rob and everything was sorted but at the same time we also had the honor of being made"Brompton Minion" by Rob and asked me to get as many London Brompton Club members to attend this ride. When entering this ride each rider gets a cycling cap & bottle of wine/juice. We of the London Brompton Club would be getting a specially designed limited edition version of the caps which was an added bonus for our members.

On the day of the ride I had to change BBB's rear tire as I noticed the sidewall of my Schwalbe Marathon Plus tire was looking abit odd. A possible sidewall failure which we have had a few times in the past, so better to change it out now than wait for it to fail on the out on the road especially on a 100 miler.

Sidewall Failure
Bumble B was prepped, cleaned and ready to go. We was meeting a few of the LBC clan at Wellington Arch at Hyde Park Corner, Geoff guided a small group of London Brompton Club members to the start at Chiswick Boathouse

Getting to Chiswick Boat House in good time we all signed in, got our passports & cycling caps

On the stroke on midnight we all set off. This would be a the first cold ride I've been on for quiet a awhile but I made sure I layered up properly and never felt the cold at all other than the exposed areas of my face. The route was taking us though central London showing us a few sights before we headed out west towards the first cake stop at Halliford Mere Lakes and Pavilion.

Coming up to the 30 mile mark I wasn't feeling so great. I felt very drained and hardly any power in my legs. I was really needing to get to the cake stop pretty badly so I could have something hot to drink and rest a little.

Once again it was a little hard to spot the entrance and I heard a few riders missed it completely. Lucky I remembered from last year the entrance and called out to the rest of the LBC that I was with that we nearly passed it.

Stamped Passport
Hot chocolate and a few slices of lemon cake & I felt a whole lot better. I guess I was "bonking" slightly as to why I felt so bad earlier plus it was pretty cold night even though I had layered up properly..

Our little group left the cake stop but we went the wrong way. We was supposed to go anti-clockwise on the loop that would take us to the Twyford to pick up the wine/juice & have hot food.

We had gone to far to turn around and go the right way so we just continued as it was the same distance anyway. Thankfully James & Simon where great at navigating our way to Twyford which was a welcome sight.

Got into the hall and was greeted with the smell or hot food and drink. But first things first I had to sign in and get my little "passport" stamped. I was greeted by a few of the LBC members who had gone ahead. Big smiles and greetings exchanged. Then I knew I had done the big chunk of the ride and it was just a mere 44 miles back to the end. After wolfing own a great  chicken stew which I remembered from last year and tasted just as good if not better.

Passport stamped
Our little LBC gang left the warmth of Twyford Scout HQ & back into the darkness.

It was time to eat up the miles and get this ride finished with. With the darkness & cold finally giving way to the light & warmth of sunrise we could all feel the energy returning.

The 30 odd miles to the the Halliford Mere Lakes and Pavilion for the final cake stop and refill. I charged up my Garmin Edge 800 making sure I didn't stop it to make sure I didn't loose any data like I did last year at this time. Didn't stay too long this time as we wanted to really get the ride finished with as tiredness for me was starting to catch up with me again. It's been a long time since I've done a long ride and I knew my fitness level wasn't as good as it should be.

Another Hot Chocolate, a few biscuits, water refill and a quick photo. Kind of missed the view when we first got here

Daylight at Halliford Mere Lakes
On the way to the finishing line we passed though Bushy Park right next to Hampton Court Palace, We stopped for a little photo with the gang.

We was coming up to the 100 miles and felt good seeing it on the Garmin. Just a couple of miles later we was done, my 2nd century ride in 2015 & my 3rd one ever.

Finally done our 2nd St. Crispin's Day Night ride.

The London Brompton Club
 It was a great ride and good to see all the St. Crispin's Day Minions again.

Who's a lucky boy? ;)

St. Crispin's Day Night Ride 2015: DONE
After a few photos had to tackle the most important thing the bacon roll and lovely cuppa tea.

As always here is my cycle data, this time COMPLETE :D

Just before leaving I noticed you could purchase one of the St. Crispin's Day cycling jerseys & for £5 you couldn't go wrong. Luckily I managed to get one in my size which I wouldn't be surprised was the last one.

It's not as thick as my Bumble B winter cycling jersey, especially along the arms but then again I think this cycling jersey is more for autumn than full on winter.

Bee Cycling Cap
Want to thank everyone that attended the ride, cheered us on and everyone at the pit stops along the way and organizers of the ride. I especially love the custom Bee cycling cap Rob sourced for me as well as a few Brompton specific caps for the rest of the London Brompton Club.

till the next ride, bee safe.....

Sunday, 4 October 2015

#30DaysofBiking Slideshow

30 Days of Biking was a pledge to ride your bike every day in April and share your adventures online! Seeing I missed the April one I decided to try and do it for September as it also had 30 days.

I would put a little spin on it though and also take a photograph of BumbleB each day as well as riding everyday.

Here is the slide show of the photographs I took each day. Enjoy...

till the next ride, bee safe.....

Friday, 18 September 2015

Annual Sheffield Ride 2015

Once again it was time for the awesome annual Sheffield Brompton Ride with the Edinburgh Bicycle Cooperative. I always look forward to travelling up north for the northern chapter of the London Brompton Club

Checking on the weather and it seemed it would be pretty much dry for the most part with maybe a light shower at the start of the ride. This time I was going by train a lot less hassle & less expensive than driving.

Arranged to get the same train as Jenny. I was running a little late and didn't get to see Jenny til she had already got on the train.

The train wasn't all that busy or packed so we managed to get a good parking space for our B's

2 hours later we had arrived at Sheffield Railway Station.

We joined the many Bromptons waiting at the main entrance to Sheffield station and it was an awesome sight. So many Bromptons and their riders all ready for a great Northern LBC ride.

Alan Knott outlined the main points of the ride as well as safety advise for everyone. I have to say that Alan is a wealth of knowledge on the area knowing just about everything about the history of Sheffield.

Everyone got a nice little goody bag from the my good buddy Alan Knott from Edinburgh Bicycle Cooperative which I was abit surprised as mine contained a yellow Brompton saddle and matching yellow Brompton grips :D
It wasn't long before we was off on the road, it was raining alittle but nothing we couldn't handle.
As always cycling though Sheffield is great fun with the walkways and history all around us.

You can't help but smile when riding your Brompton with a whole bunch of great people. Seriously nothing comes close to that feeling. :)

Smiling even with the rain :D

Well with this being Sheffield there was a couple of hills, namely Jerkin Road, which was by all reports a 33% gradient & a part of Stage 2 of the Tour de France 2014. It was painful and I walked most of it but saying that there was a few people in cars that where cheering us on as we went which was nice. 

One of these days I'm going to kill these big hills without putting my foot down.

Jerkin Road 33% gradient

Here comes Ian Joustra
Ian Joustra making it look very easy, well so would you if you had a "granny" gear like his. Very small front chain ring makes hill killing easy.

Ian Joustra making it look easy 
Finally at the top of Jerkin Road, we could look back at the view and well worth it  too.

What a view
Onwards and down which is always a good bit, atleast that was the only major hill we had so everything else would be easy peasy lemon squeezy.  

Making sure everyone is still together and everyone is happy.

Graham trying to keep up
This is the point where is starts to get abit muddy. Alittle bit of of roading and mud never stops a Brompton. I don't think my cycling partner Mr.Orange would have liked this bit as it was pretty bad in places.

Thankfully the mud gave way to nice smooth tarmac towards our goal of Chapel Town Station

We all managed to get on the train pretty easily as we spread out along the platform. I have to say the other passengers we're all well amazed at so many Brompton's getting on (about 20 by my count). 

As always a few people asked questions and where we had been etc. People still can believe the Brompton can be ridden so far thinking that the wheels are way to small.

Colorful "Day Ranger" ticket
After getting off the train at Penistone we headed towards Wortley Hall for a well earned luncheon.

I didn't know we would be heading into the darkness.... it was scary.....

With lots of natural horse landmines to get around ;D

Started to brighten up a little as we approached Wortley Hall.

A quick group shot as we had arrived just on time for our table, actually we had a whole room to ourselves.

We left our Bromptons in a nice enclosed courtyard and made our way to the bar first for a few drinks and then went to our own private room (Fire Brigade Union Room) for luncheon.

I guess you can't mistake my place
We had already ordered our meals a couple of weeks in advance so  they knew we was coming. Food arrived quickly and I have to say it was extremely good food. Another great piece of organisation by our ride leaders.

Meat pie, chips & mushy peas
After we had eaten Mick Nott our very own historian on everything Sheffield took a few on a little tour of this great house and talked about all the history surrounding it. He's very passionate about this house as it was for bought in the 1950's for the trade union, labour and co-operative movement. It was in a semi-derelict condition and the workers of South Yorkshire and surrounding areas carried out most of the repairs and restoration voluntarily and managed to restore the original features including the painted ceilings, ornamental friezes and wood carvings.

Room being prepared for a Wedding reception
It was time to head Elsecar to catch out tram back to Sheffield but not before we had a little stop at this great little post office in Wentworth. This is no ordinary post office, in this office you can get all your childhood sweets & ice cream. I was tempted and I was actually looking forward to a nice dessert but when the time came I didn't feel like it myself. A few of the others had a few sweets and ice creams and commented on how good it was. Next time I promise to honor my tummy with a deliciously sweet treat.

Post Office / Sweet Shop

Thankfully the ride back was mostly down hill and I'm glad of that as I was still pretty full from luncheon at Wortley Hall.

We pasted Wentworth Woodhouse on our way to Elsecar Station for the train back to Sheffield Mainline Station.

Wentworth Woodhouse

What a dirty boy

A quick stop off at Elsecar Heritage, the site of the works and a coal mine owned by the Fitzwilliams

Old Coal Mine
We arrived at Elsecar Station in plenty of time to catch our train back to Sheffield and we said a few goodbyes to some of the local Sheffield Brompton riders as they caught the train heading in the opposite direction.

Short train ride later we had arrived back at Sheffield Station. After saying our goodbyes, we headed to our platform to catch our trains back to London. 

It was a good ride and I enjoyed it as I always do when I ride with my good buddies in Sheffield and especially catching up with my good buddy Alan & massive thank you for the little goodie bag with a few surprises.

If your more up North of the UK and unable to join the London Brompton Club rides here in London on a regular basis you can join the Brompton Club North the LBC's Northern Chapter for rides that maybe closer to you.

London Underground
As always my ride data...

Part 1 of the Sheffield Ride

Part 2 of the Sheffield Ride

Big thanks again to Brompton Bicycles & Edinburgh Bicycle Cooperative

till the next ride, bee safe.....