Sunday 30 September 2012

LBC Ride: Richmond to Oxford Ride 29th September 2012

Dawn on the day of our lord, 29th day of the month of September on the year 2012 on planet earth. Who knew on this shinny blue ball floating in the darkness of space circling around a not to special small star in the small Milkyway Galaxy that a group of Brompton riders would be attempting something so EPIC.

They said it couldn't be done, SHOULDN'T be done.....

We are Brompton riders, when we hear those words, we unfold our bikes and ride into the fire!!!!

Opening my eyes with a grin on my face as I knew today was the day of the EPIC ride. This would be the longest ever ride I've been on. The last longest ride was the Marathon at the BWC2012 back in August which was around 26miles, this is goign to be over 60 (yes you saw SIX ZERO miles)

The legend is ready to go on an EPIC ride.
Having got everything ready the night before all I had to do was pack everything in the mighty "O Bag"
As I have read on Mr.O's blog regarding fuelling up properly before a big ride, I made sure I had a big bowl of Porridge & Toast. Also the night before I had been drinking as much water as possible to.
With everything packed I headed off to Richmond via the tube. As always while travelling with "The Legend" I get quiet a few looks from fellow passengers which always makes me smile.

Finally arrived at the starting point of Richmond Station and spotted a whole group of Bromptons at the small coffee shop which was being invaded >:) When me and Bumble B rolled up a big cheer went up as "The Legend had arrived...!" greeted with big smiles and lots of hellos from everyone, some I have ridden with before and some new folks as well. 11 of us where starting off from this point and we where heading to a crazy place called "The Monkey's Forehead" which I have later learned that the local students call it something completely different ;)

As everyone was starting too line up for some pictures I made a discovery. I forgotten the most basic rule of photography, making sure the battery is fully charged. Yes my battery was fully charged but STILL charging at home where I left it. I couldn't believe I had left the battery at home but took the camera with me. So camera and no battery. I couldn't even buy a battery as when you buy a battery they are NEVER fully charged. Anyways I wasn't the only person with a camera so they took a good few which will be posted to the LBC facebook group in due time. I did have my iPhone but I don't like using that too often as the battery life on my 3GS isn't all that great anymore and I should upgrade it at some point.

Anyways after the photos we began to make a move to another meeting point about 17.5 miles away where we where going to pick up a couple more riders.

This was the first major hill we went up & a damn good pub at the end called, wait for it "The Monkey's Forehead"

Yup you heard right. I later found out that the students call it something slighty different and I'm pretty sure you can imagine what ;). If it wasn't for the promise of a damn good breakfast for silly money I wouldn't have bothered as the pub is on the top of a BIG hill. Because alot of the students come to this pub the prices are pretty damn good for London & its pretty popular. I had a light breakfast seeing I already had a decent breakfast from home. Even the light breakfast was pretty good.

At the Monkey's Forehead

LBC: Richomnd to Oxford Ride 2012
The Monkey's Forehead

After making sure we was all fuelled up we head off to Oxford, as you do. :P

After getting out of the city & cycling our little butts off we made it to some nice open country type roads. The pace was good but sometimes a little high which is good for me as then I will do better in my cycling and getting fitter at the same time. We made sure at most of the points where we turn that we waited to make sure everyone was together so no one got lost anywhere along the way. I have to say along alot of the smaller country lane type roads the traffic was pretty good in passing our little group. I think only a couple of times we had irritated drivers driving past us too fast or too close but then there is always a few. When we did have people passing us on the road, be it fellow roadie cyclist, car drivers even van drivers, we all got a big smile and a wave. Which reminds me next time we do a big ride type thing to maybe have a little notice on our bikes that tells people about the club and what the day of riding is. Maybe hanging from the back of our saddles

Something along the lines of :
London Brompton Club Ride: 
Richmond to Oxford 
29th September 2012.

I did have the idea in my head but I didn't have time to really get it together, next time.

Anyways back to the ride itself, at about 28miles we stopped off in front of this house that had a bush of berries in front of it and a few riders had a little nibble. On wards again and roughly about half way there (32 miles) we came to our half way point of a little pub called The Bell Inn. After Lunch we headed off to continue on to Oxford, we was then told that a pretty evil monster of a hill was coming and at about the 42mile mark we hit it. This hill or should i say MOUNTAIN was pretty bad to go up and it was about 4miles long on winding roads so you never actually saw the top. You looked ahead and think the top is just around the next bend only to find that it continues on. Some of it I walked but even then I tried to make sure I kept up a good walking pace and focused on breathing to get up there. Our group of riders had been splitting up into almost 2 groups, the fast strong legged riders and the normal humans >:P I was caught in between so going up this hill I was on my own for the most part just me and The Legend. When I got to the summit I was greeted by the cheers and crazy waving of the riders that had gone ahead and waiting for everyone else. With this I was given a burst of energy knowing the end  was in sight and I jumped on Bumble B and cycled up the last 200 yards or so. They don't call it Pishill for nothing :D

After waiting for everyone to catch up & having a little break, we then continued to the fun part. The down hill. Now when I saw the sign saying 10% grade I thought pfft I'm gonna just let The Legend run and see what speed I would get up to and didn't touch the brakes >:D
I topped out at 40.6mph according to my Cateye Wireless cycle comp & the Edge 800 was about 39.9mph.

Now it was the final leg (20 miles) heading into Oxford, we could feel the sun starting to dip and now the temp was starting to drop so we all pushed on to our goal, Oxford. We all got a little worried at one point as we where waiting for a couple of others to catch up and 1 quick call and everything was fine just basically running on empty. At about 55miles I must have tuned off the timer (accidently) on the gps as it didn't log the route properly but it was basically the only road into Oxford.

Finally we made it into Oxford and we was then trying to find some land makr to take a photo of all who made it the whole way as proof we made it. I think we got a photo outside a Oxford University. We then decided what was going to be our next move, we descided that the best thing would be to find the train station and get tickets and timetable so we can see how long we could stay before our trains. A couple of us went straight away as they needed to get home, I stayed as I wanted to get some food as I was pretty hungry. We rode back a short way and the manager of the Giraffe Restaurant, Oxford allowed us to have out bikes folded up inside nice and safe. Big thanks to the manage for allowing us in especially on a busy Saturday night. Have to say the food was great I had a good meal which was only let down by the TINY bakewell tart and custard.  Well cant have everything I guess.

At this point my cycling buddy handed out our medals for making it the whole way and there was also certificates for the Events Manager (Mick B) and our chief navigator. A job well done but all

London Brompton Club: Richmond to Oxford Ride Medal
It was a good ride, my biggest to date and I wouldn't mind doing something similar next yr.
I'm very glad I did it.

LBC: Richmond to Oxford Ride 2012

LBC: Ricmond to Oxford Ride 2012

PAD: 29th September 2012

Looking forward to the next ride now :) below is the my gps log of the whole ride for the techie people out there.


Friday 28 September 2012

The night before The LBC Ride: Richmond to Oxford Ride 2012

Well after coming home from work this afternoon and riding in abit of rain I had to clean up Bumble B abit. I was going to jump on the bus but I thought better of it as I would have got home faster anyways with it being a Friday and all.

The Legend is all cleaned up and abit of oil here and there. Everything else is on charge and ready for the off.

I even have my breakfast of Porridge & toast all on standby ready to go in the morning too not that I'll get that much sleep anyway, I'm BUZZING!!!! >:D

The Legend once again is ready....
Current Contents of O Bag
  • Afew cereal bars & bag of dried fruit & nuts
  • Couple of small bottles of water (in addition to the 2 cycle bottles)
  • 3 inner tubes, puncture repair kit & spanner
  • First Aid kit (mostly plasters) & sewing kit
  • Backup rear lights and headlamp
  • Cool shades
  • Backup yellow poncho
  • New HiVis waterproof jacket
  • Extra T shirt
  • Camera 
  • External battery pack to charge phone
Thats all I can think of to take with me, don't want to load myself up too much. I guess I should start winding down to make sure I can get up in the morning to get to the starting point in time.

Me excited?

narrrrrrr I'm BUZZZING!!!!!!! >:P

Thursday 27 September 2012

Prep for LBC Ride: Richmond to Oxford Ride

Dear friends, me and fellow Brompton riders will be entering 60+ miles of wild open countryside exist between Richmond & Oxford.
What mysterious encounters, magical beings & evil monsters will come across our path no one knows. All we can say dear friends is that we have prepared for everything and anything that could happen but life is never that simple.

Am I mentally prepared?
Probably not

Am I physically prepared?

Am I scared?

But I'm not doing this alone. A whole gang of Brompton riders will be on this ride, current count is 11 (maybe more) but still a good turn out. We are not rushing this one as I'm guessing for a most of us it will be the first time we have ever done a big long ride of this type.

Tomorrow after work I'm going to be spending some quality time with "The Legend", getting him cleaned up, oiled and ready for the big day.

Will be packing the O bag with some things that would need to be with me for a long ride but I'll probably forget something I'll need.

Short list of things I'll be taking with me (probably get things added to it as time draws near)
  • Puncture repair kit, 3 spare inner tubes & spanner
  • 2 Water bottles
  • Sandwiches & Oat type heath bars
  • Back up Ponchos
  • Camera
Hopefully I wont be needing much more as I want to travel light and not have too much to worry about. Last thing I want to do is bring something and not have a use it.

Monday 24 September 2012

LBC Ride Prep: Richmond Park to Oxford Ride (or as much as we you can manage) on 29th Sept

Well as time draws closer to the 29th, It's starting to dawn on me what exactly I've got myself into. The longest ever ride I've done was the Brompton Marathon Ride at the Brompton World Championships a few months ago.
That was 26miles and VERY hilly. I didn't really know how long it was till I was half way though and by that time it was way too late to turn back, so I had to just keep on pumping those legs. My cycling buddy Mr.O was and still is ALOT fitter than me and by all accounts finished about a full 1 hr ahead of me. I only just about got back in time for the main Brompton World Championship Race, lucky there were a few delays which enabled me to get changed and recover slightly.

The Richmond to Oxford Ride is  roughly +60miles O.o Yeah I know what the hell was I thinking. Anyways I'm not doing it alone as atleast 11+ members of the LBC group are going as well as my good cycling buddy Mr.O. With a wide range of different riders we will be going at the slowest rider's pace & just enjoying the ride itself and the company.

Already starting to think on what I will be packing for the event but wont be packing TOO much stuff, a few snacks, ALOTS of water, camera. Been thinking about what kind of coat/waterproof in case the weather has other ideas and riding home today from work I remembered that I got a half decent work rain coat thing that I could use. It's not fully waterproof but I've ridden many times back from work when it has rained and the coat has kept me no drier than probably a proper waterproof cycle jacket. Plus its light and I can get it to fold up pretty small when I really need to.

As always I will be taking photos of the day and maybe a little video too. Been checking on the weather and it appears to be raining most of the time til Fri & Sat where at the moment it promises to be "Partly Cloudy" between the 16C to 17C mark.

Must make sure I get my eating and sleeping patterns under control as I don't wanna me tired before I do the ride either. So 3 proper meals per day, I always kinda skip breakfast ( i know its the worse one to miss) but going to make a serious effort to get everything  under control and also going to see about joining that 24hr gym I spotted near me thats going to be opening next month for £10.99 (no contract). Training for BWC2013 is already on my mind after my VERY poor showing at BWC2012

Saturday 22 September 2012

First Impressions: Garmin Edge 800

After having the Garmin Edge 200 Cycle computer for about a month and even taking it on holiday with me to the USA (without Bumble B) I found that I wanted more. The only next step would be to get the Garmin Edge 800 cycle computer as it's Garmin's current top of the line cycle computer. I liked the idea of turn by turn navigation even though it can replace the good ole paper map & asking the locals to where things are. I guess I like to see the moving map of where things are as sometimes when driving I put the satnav on just to see the names of roads etc past by.

Today was going to be a training ride with my partner in crime Mr.O but the night before it was raining pretty hard and we thought today would be the same. How wrong was we eh? Well I had a few things to do and with the weather turning out nice I thought I'd give the Garmin Edge 800 abit of a work out as well as myself.

I thought I would keep my old Velco cycle computer on Bumble B with the Garmin Edge 800 as I did with the review for the Garmin Edge 200 to see if there was any more difference between them.

Cateye Velo, Garmin Edge 200 & Garmin Edge 800
As you can see the Edge 800 is much larger than its little brother but then again it does a hell of alot more.

I haven't really had enough time to really play with the Edge 800 as this is the first time I've been able to ride with it. I found that I could use the same mounting clip as the Edge 200 so I didn't have to change anything on Bumble B. I've only just scratched the surface of what the Edge 800 can do and its going to be fun doing it. I know a few of the members of the London Brompton Club have one so maybe in future we will be swapping hints and tips on how to get the best out of our little gadgets.

Garmin Edge 800 mounted on Bumble B
I just luv cycling around and watching the map move about as I ride, even with the tom tom in the car I do the same thing :D

Todays cycle log from the Edge 800

Hacked my Garmin Edge 800 already >:D
Ended up going along Hackney Canals so took a few pics

PAD: 22nd September 2012


Monday 3 September 2012

Traveling with The Legend....

Over the last few hrs I have been looking though as many Brompton blogs about travelling overseas with a Brompton Bike.

I'm going on holiday for the first time in MANY yrs and was seriously thinking about taking Bumble B. It's abit late for me to take him (I leave on 5th) and I personally don't like to rush into things without doing some major research into the subject.

From what I've read there are 2 bags I could use for taking The legend overseas.

Brompton B Bag (£130)

Clapton Box Bike Hard Travel Box/Case(£190)

Note: The Brompton bikes are 27cm wide, they will fit in this case if you remove the seat post and 1 side of the padded liner in the Hard Travel Box/Case

I will be looking into these more closely for my next major holidays which will probably be 2013. I don't normally go anywhere when I got holidays but having a Brompton bicycle kinda gets you thinking on a totally different level when it comes to travelling. 

I'm just toying with the idea of taking Bumble B with me when I do go overseas as I haven't done alot of travelling for many yrs and I'm thinking that I should get out there and see this wonderful planet abit more.
It's a hell of alot better than sitting at home on my holidays getting depressed as I have done in the past cause I haven't gone anywhere.

The thing about getting a Brompton Bicycle is that you automatically go out into the world alot more and meet new people everyday. You end up making lots of friends and cycling further every single day.

I think in the future I will be slowly but surely travelling further as my fitness level increases and attend more rides with the London Brompton Club & any other rides I hear about that I could get to.


Review: Folding Fantasy by Lauren Peppiatt

This is going to be something a little different to what I have done in the past.

When I was at Brompton World Championships 2012 @ Blenheim Palace on 19th August 2012 there where quiet a few people exhibiting things all around. Mostly bike related stuff, bikes, clothing etc but also artist works to.
I heard about one of the members of the London Brompton Club who had a daughter that was abit artist and had did a Brompton Bicycle print which had to be seen to be believed. So with that in mind I went in search of the tent which housed wonderful piece of artwork. Looking though quiet abit of cycling related art works done my Lauren ofcourse "Folding Fantasy" caught my eye instantly.

At the time it never occurred to me to buy the print. I guess I was abit overwhelmed by the whole BWC 2012 experience to think clearly. I put the word out about remembering the print and was hoping to buy a print to hang in my new home with it bare walls.
So as Lauren put it she heard though the Brompton grapevine that I was looking for some artwork for a bare wall. >:D I was quiet willing to pay for the print but Lauren told me she'd settle for a blog post about the print >:)

"Folding Fantasy" by Lauren Peppiatt 2012
Made up from Brompton Bicycle parts (Limited Edition only 100 prints)
By Lauren Peppiatt 2012

By Lauren Peppiatt 2012

By Lauren Peppiatt 2012

As you can see from the photographs above how much details are in this print and was told it took her quite awhile to complete and it shows true dedication to her craft. The whole print is made up of parts that are on a Brompton Bicycle as well as the whole image making up a Brompton Bicycle too.
I'm very happy with this print for some reason I thought it was smaller but its the perfect size for hanging on a wall of a Brompton bicycle mad person like yours truly (measures 30cm x 42cm and is printed on beautiful heavy 300gsm matte art board). Now I just have to get a really nice frame and find some place awesome to show it off just right. Got an idea on frame so watch this space...;)

Link to purchase this print here (Only 100 Prints)

Lauren's facebook page here.

Please take the time have a look at her work, there maybe something that catches your eye :)