Tuesday 31 December 2013

The end of a legendary year....

1 year
12 months
365 days
8760 hours
525,600 minutes
31,536,00 seconds

For BumbleB & me it has been the best year we have ever had.

Physically we have both changed and everyone has noticed.

Bumble B has been evolving this year.

When I first got Bumble B 4 yrs ago, I was thinking I would only be commuting to work and maybe the odd London event ride like SkyRide etc when they happened. But being co founder of the London Brompton Club I found I was doing more than just commuting & small London based events.

Bumble B has had several major upgrades this year. Converting from 3 gears to 6 gears with the Brompton BWR 6 Speed hub & Shimano PD-M540 pedals being the biggest.  

I am now starting to eat hills and even renamed Box Hill to Cardboard Box Hill.

These upgrades have made my cycling more efficient because in 2014 I will be doing even more bigger & longer rides.

2013 TOTAL MILEAGE:  3,789.28 miles

So as 2013 comes to a close, 2014 looks to be even bigger and better for the Legend.

We have only one thing to say.......

BRING IT !!!!!

Sunday 29 December 2013

Exploring East London with the Legend

Monitoring twitter I found out there was a ride around my local area. Seeing that I didn't know of any other rides happening I headed off to my local library which was the meeting point.

Outside Walthamstow Library
Got there about 10:20 & not long after another 2 riders turned up. I posted on twitter I was at the library & not long after found out the ride had already started and arranged to catch up.

Caught up not to far down the River Lea at Pistachios in Markfields Park, had a quick tea/coffee and we headed off. 

Pistachios, Markfields Park
Being down the River Lea along the pathways was a bit muddy after the weather we have been having the last week so the going was a bit slippy. 

VERY nasty bridge

Shadow of a legend

Went though a few different places & quiet routes and ended up near Alexander Palace. I remembered being here for the Nightrider earlier this year.

Alexander Palace

Alexander Palace Station
After Alexander Palace we took what is a very popular muddy path towards Finsbury Park. Been here once before on one of the iBikeLDN Rides.

I especially like the view at the top of Muswell Hill looking east towards my neck of the woods as it where. If you look closely you can see the brown haze of the pollution that hangs over the city.

The view from Muswell Hill

BBB heading towards the sun light.

The view from Muswell Hill
Continuing on we heading down The Parkland Walk.  

The Parkland Walk is a 4.5-mile (7.2 km) linear green walkway, in the London Boroughs of Haringey and Islington, which follows the course of the railway line which used to run between Finsbury Park through Stroud Green, Crouch End, Highgate and Muswell Hill to Alexandra Palace.

History of the Parkland Walk

The existing old train platforms
We finally ended up at Finsbury Park Cafe for a well earned coffee break. By this time BBB had caught a lot of mud from the paths and would be needing a damn good hosing down when back at the HiVE.
Finsbury Park Cafe
We took a much quicker route back to Walthamstow Library as the sun was starting to dip & the temperature was starting to drop pretty quickly now.

Crossing the River Lea
Well that was the last ride of the year from the Waltham Forest Cycling Campaign. Looking forward to many more rides and exploring my local area more in 2014.

Garmin Data of the ride 

Thursday 26 December 2013

LBC Boxing Day Brompton Bimble

Recovering from Christmas is always a tough one. But having said that I had a great Christmas and didn't over indulge myself. I know all this cycling stuff is having a really bad effect on me. :P

With it being a Bank Holiday the transport system was having alot of closures so took me a little while longer to get to the meeting point of Richmond Costa Coffee.

There was about 10 of us all together on this ride and a few faces I haven't seen in awhile as aswell as a few new ones. "Welcome to the FOLD!"

BBB by the River Thames

Andy L telling us about a local landmark

On our way we stopped off at Syon House.
Syon House

Bumble B with Syon House in the background

LBC Group shot @ Syon House
WE did have a couple of non Brompton riders with us but wanted to stay out of the shot :( Bromptoneers don't bite, we just convert you to the ways of the fold ;)

Always big smiles on a LBC Ride
Continuing on we past though what looked like a working dock. All manner of boats in different states of repair.

We came across this wonderful artwork just off the river.

BBB & Metal Artwork

Close up fish details

BBB with new friend Clare U & her new P type
Couldn't find any information on this artwork but if I do I will update it.

I always love riding along the river, there is always something different and interesting to see along the river. Even if there isn't an event going on the weather makes for interesting and different photography opportunities.

We had a little stop off at Starbucks.

Now this was alittle detour to a graveyard & to the grave of the eccentric Richard Burton.

Stone Tent Tomb of Sir Richard Burton & his wife, Isabel

Amazing Details
The Sir Richard Francis Burton Project for more information on the man's life & his tomb.

After the tomb we started to head back to Richmond Station so ofcourse we headed back though Richmond Park. It's a real pity is so far away from me as I would like to go training there more often.

View of the Thames River over Terrace Field
There is a famous road called Nightingale Lane. This has been the training hill for many of the hardcore members of the LBC. For the irst time actually rode up this hill. I always thought that when BBB was a 3 speed I wouldn't even attempt it but now BBB was 6 speed I had to at the very least attempt it.

The first part of the hill wasn't to bad it was what I was expecting and I was going up pretty good in 1st gear with good cadence & breathing, but then turning the corner for the final 300 yards or so it got MEAN. It surprised me how steep it got and I had to put a foot down to catch my breathe. BIG mistake as starting off on the VERY STEEP gradient was near impossible but some how I did manage to get going again and finish this badboy of a hill.

Definitely going to be doing this hill on a regular basis so help me gauge how well I'm doing in fitness and my hill climbing. Maybe find some similar ones closer to home as its a bit of a trek for me to come all the way to Richmond.

After Nightingale Lane it was a short ride to Richmond Station. Because it was bank holiday alot of the overground & underground train lines where having works done so I have to take replacement bus to a working part of the underground system and then home. I always love taking shots of BBB on the train platform. It's like the perfect way to explore the city without to much hassle.

BBB patiently waiting...
Another great ride with the LBC as always, thank you to the ride leads, Andy L & David P & everyone who came along. Hope to see alot more fellow Bromptoneers in 2014, its going to be even more legendary than 2013, trust me on this.

As always my ride data is available for viewing and study :P

Wednesday 25 December 2013

Happy Holidays Everyone

Merry Christmas / Happy Holidays how ever you celebrate it.

Monday 23 December 2013

LBC: Sights, Lights & Street Signature Ride

I woke up Saturday morning hearing something tapping on my window. I didn't know what it was but at 04:00hrs I didn't really care & just rolled over.

04:20 I heard tapping again. 

I went to the window sleepy eyed & yawning. Opened the curtains and at first my brain could process that my eyes where seeing. 

Rain was lashing at my window as the wind howled. 

I was worried. 

Tonight was the LBC Sight, Lights & Street Signature Ride.
The weather reports said it would unsettled weather though out the day.
Boy they had that so wrong.

I actually worked out that it was the London Brompton Clubs 2nd birthday. So it was kind of fitting to be doing the signature part of the ride later on which our navigational Jedi Master David P had worked out later that night.

Stepping out of Oxford Circus station I was hoping that the weather was gong to be good for this ride, I had packed everything I needed incase things did turn for the worse just incase.

I was meeting my partner in crime OrangeBrompton & my co-founder of the London Brompton Club MickB at Piccadilly Circus.

Oxford Circus
While I was powering down Regent Street towards Piccadilly Circus I noticed that BBB chain was slipping abit. I knew that it was soon to change his chain and rear cogs but this was the first time it was actually slipping ALOT to the point where BBB was almost becoming un-rideable.Seeing that this ride wasn't a big long hilly ride I continued and just made a mental note to get replacement chain and cogs as soon as I could & not to put too much power though BumbleB.

Managed to get to Piccadilly Circus and waiting for Orange & MickB to arrive so we could head off to The Lord Cyde Pub just on the southside of the river where a good friend of Mark W let us use the pub as a staging area to begin our ride. We have been to this pub last year on a similar ride and it was very kind of them to let us use it again.

The London Eye, River Thames & Big Ben

@ The Lord Clyde

Having met up with everyone and saying hellos to a couple of the regular drinkers in the pub we started to head out into the London night.

Unfortunately Mark W (King of the Hills) couldn't be with us on this ride as he was working the next day but took the time to see us off.

Off into the darkness. We went to a few of our favourite night time spots along the river.

Near the river
David P with Tower Bridge behind

Tower Bridge

Millennium Bridge

Christmas Tree outside St. Pauls

Hand of God

Next to the Tate Modern

We headed off down towards Oxford Circus and someone spotted this great looking light archways. We had to stop off and get some photos, I decided to use my iPhone 5C's video function for the first time and see if I could get some video of riding though the arches

We passed Convert Garden where we found this cool looking inflated ball thing with London landmarks made from Lego inside
Covent Garden
Carnaby Street

Carnaby Street

Big Robin on Carnaby Street

Carnaby Street

Piccadilly Circus
What I did find funny was that in certain places in London there is what can only be described open urinal. I've seen these a few times in central London and it was a shock to my cycling partner in crime to see. I couldn't help my giggle the whole time at the look of shock on his face.

Not long after this we started to loose a few riders as it was pretty late. The few hardcore of us where going to do the second part of the ride which David P had carefully planned out. We was going to spell out the letters LBC and track it using our GPS's so later on when you viewed the data you would actually see the letters LBC.

A pretty cool ending to the ride seeing that its the London Brompton Club's 2nd Anniversary.

This took us a little while and was abit of a hard slog but we finished it not long after sunrise.

We all headed back to Kings Cross where we looked for something to eat and found this place for breakfast. Interesting concept of having a full English breakfast in a little pot.

FULL English breakfast in a pot
Another good ride, actually it was 2 rides in 1. It was great seeing everyone as always and huge kudos for David P for the Jedi Master like navigation. If you look below at my Garmin data you can see the LBC letters we mapped out. Pretty cool eh

LBC: Sights, Lights & Street Signature Ride 1/2

LBC: Sights, Light & Street Signature Ride Part 2/2