Saturday 30 November 2013

Another LBC Thames Bridges Ride

Last night was the LBC London Thames Bridges Ride.

Not a huge ride by my now high standards but a damn good one all the same cause I was with my LBC gang.

Just as I was existing Waterloo Bridge on my way to The London Eye I was stopped by what appeared to be a photographer. This isn't anything new to me and BumbleB as I am always being asked about my Brompton Bumble B. The photographer was asking if I was attending the Critical Mass ride which was starting near the South Bank & asked if he could take our photograph. Being the legends that we are ofcourse me and BBB agreed & he proceeded to take a couple of snaps. I managed to hand him one of my cards before we went out separate ways.

While I was walking out of the station I caught sight of another Brompton being rolled out of the station but I didn't recognise the Brompton or rider.

Got to the meeting point underneath the iconic London Eye.

Greeted by big smiles but some faces I haven't seen in a good long while as well as regulars & even some new ones. That's the thing about the LBC rides there are always new faces as we have international members who pop over.

Met up with everyone and got that HUGE big smile from Chris B & finally met Dion F a fellow blogger (Cape Town Brompton)who has a great taste in having a yellow Brompton called "Doris"

Dion F

Chris B giving me the eye
Once everyone was garthered together we headed off with David P guiding the way. As always a sight of so many Bromptons heading off together is always a great sight and we always attract attention from the public as we roll by.

Building looks like a HiVE

Millennium Bridge & St. Pauls

Chris B & her beaming smile

Even though it was a little cold and breeze on near the river we just kept on going.

St.Pauls ahead
Passing so many London icons you can never get bored of seeing London at all times of day or night. I especially enjoy London at night as with the lighting it really comes alive for me. Now that Christmas is just around the corner.

Houses of Parliament & Big Ben
 I have to say out of all the bridges we went across I liked Albert Bridge the best with is lighting. Almost like a Walt Disney like lighting.
Albert Bridge
 At the half way point we stopped off for a break and some hot food and drink.

With the temperature dropping a little more we pushed on to do the rest of the bridges. The traffic had died down alot by this time and we was basically going out of London more so alot less traffic to play with.

After this point we started to loose a few folks as we where coming past near to where they lived etc

We powered on & finally got to Richmond Station and quiet a few of us decided instead of riding back to London the quick way we jump on trains etc to get back.

While sitting on the overground train my cycling partner in crime spotted that my rear tire looked a little odd. Turned out that abit of the tire was pulling away from the wall as you can see in the photo below. I got an old front tire I can replace it with so not a biggie.

Seems I'm really am cycling a hell of alot and not breaking things but wearing things out. I have to say I'm kinda proud of that fact and will continue to look after BBB as he is looking after me.

Tuesday 26 November 2013

The Ultimate Cycle Jersey

Anne M spotted on her internet travels something that was just SCREAMING Legend, well BumbleB. It was illustration of cycle wear, but it was so awesome that I fell in love with it. It was perfect for us.

On further investigation I found the manufacture SprintDesign based in Australia. I few emails later I decided that I NEEDED this cycling jersey. I told them about them about the Legend and David was more than willing to help us out.

Passed experiences have told me that my legendary physic isn't quiet in line with other athletes. I asked for samples so I could test out the sizes as different manufacturers in cyclewear.
Good thing as I found out, I would need bigger sizes.

After a few weeks finally they arrived......

Long Sleeve
Short Sleeve
Great details
I love the cutting details, making sure the Bee cartoon is in the right places on the shoulders

I had to get fully kitted out for the full effect.

Pretty damn good eh?

Thank you very much SprintDesign & especially David for making sure I'd get the right size first time round. They have many other designs to choose from on their site and I can highly recommend them. Only thing I would say is make sure you get the sizing right.

Sunday 24 November 2013

LBC Ride: (Cardboard) Box Hill Loop 2

Last night we headed to Box Hill again with the hardcore of the LBC. Managed to get to the meeting point of Kew Gardens ready to head to (Cardboard) Box Hill & back.

Met up with my fellow LBC rides, the true hardcore of David P, Anne M & ofcourse Mr.O. The weather had cleared up from its attempt at drizzle earlier in the evening. No wind but on the chilly side.

We began heading off into the darkness at a pretty high pace. I need to go at a higher pace to increase my fitness level for all the huge rides I have in store for me in 2014. I also noticed that when we stopped at some traffic lights I realised fully that we was all sporting SPD pedals. Anne had recently converted to them and this would be her first big ride in them.  

But something was off. 

I couldn't really put my finger on it but I didn't feel right.

I had a lot of thoughts of heading back to the car & writing this ride off before I got too far. We started to get out of busy London. We stopped for a little break. I checked BBB and in the dim street lights I could see my hub gear chain looking too loose. Sure enough BBB was running on 4 gears & not his normal 6. David P & Mr. O helped me sort out this simple problem & we was back at full strength.
I guess when I took BBB's rear wheel for cleaning & servicing I didn't tighten the tiny locking bolt properly on the gear chain to the hub. This has happened before when I have taken off the rear wheel and cleaned it thoroughly.

Good thing I noticed as not soon after we started again we started to hit a few inclines. 

I started to feel slightly better with encouragement from the others. Commenting on my brave entry into the 2 day MITIE London Revolution Sportive 2014 I kinda had a little sinking feeling.

"What the hell had I done?!"

"185 miles and I was currently haven trouble with just over 50 miles right now?"

Pushed those thoughts aside and tried to focus on my cadence and breathing.

Soon we was entering into what is called "The BADLANDS"

This is a little cut thought we use to on the way to Epsom. It's infact a bridle path & with the recent weather we have been having over the last week it was, can we say a little muddy. Ok this is an UNDERSTATEMENT of BIBLICAL proportions. Not just the mud but also the main users of this bridle path left us some natural "LANDMINES".

Soon we was passing though Epsom town centre. We spotted  some Christmas lights & a tree in the town square so we decided to have a little stop off for photographs.

While we was there we where approached by some merry young party goers. Once again seeing my cycling partner recoil is always fun but these guys where fun and actually wanted to have some photos taken with us & ofcourse the bikes. After saying our goodbyes and hoping our new friends a good time we headed back into the darkness on the way to Box Hill. 
This time though I didn't speed past the entrance to the bottom of Box Hill. As the others went off at their own pace which is always faster than mine when going up hill, I put my head down and once again focused on my cadence and breathing.

Box Hill wasn't as busy as last time, I suspect the cold had kept most of the people closer to home so we basically had the whole of Box Hill to ourselves. With my CREE headlight shinning the way ahead of me & BBB we continues onwards. I did stop a couple of times, I see to find it a little hard to keep my breathing right. After a few deep breaths I was good to go again, I only did this twice on the ascent to the sumit of Box Hill.

We finally made it to 'Smith & Western' - a western themed pub/restaurant at the top and for our weel earned meal. Once again this place is lively full of western items dotted about with lots of families enjoying themselves.

Our waitresses remembered our little gang from the last time we was there took our orders for food. This is the point where I revealed the new "Bumble Bee" cycling jersey. Ann M commented on how good it looked and I have to say it felt damn good riding with it on even though it was under another cycling jacket cause it was a little nippy out.

I had to try out one of the bigger desserts on the menu, below was NOT the biggest by along shot but I I felt I couldn't handle the huge one that I have see not tonight. I still had to get back to Kew Gardens yet.

After this HUGE dessert we headed off back to Kew Gardens. Thankfully it was most down hill from now on. The temperature had dropped slightly again so we headed back with purpose and made pretty good time back to the parked cars.

It was an enjoyable ride as always with my LBC gang and with so few of us it was a much faster pace which I did find a little difficult to keep up with. I got a lot of training to do not just physically but also mentally.

I shall be working on this as 2014 is going to me even bigger.

Thursday 21 November 2013

MITIE London Revolution Sportive 2014

As I type this entry the  realisation of what I have done is slowly but surely sinking in.

I had almost forgotten that 2013 is nearly over and 2014 is fast on its heels.

2013 has been a LEGENDARY for me and Bumble B to say the least.

I continue OUR promise in doing as many cycling events as possible.

We heard about this MITIE ride originally from David P & I first thought it was too much, 185 miles over 2 days taking in the sights in and around London.

We won't be on our own though a few are doing either the whole thing or just 1 of the days.

In 2013 thousands of cyclists took up the challenge of the MITIE London Revolution making it the largest multi-day sportive in the UK. Riders of all shapes and sizes conquered the iconic 185-mile loop around the capital with hundreds staying with us for the sell out camp and party at halfway.
Tick off Olympic sites, iconic London landmarks and scenic back-roads in one fantastic weekend.

Sounds like fun eh?

As my friend Julie said on my facebook "Do both why do half the job when u can do it all lol xx u know me"

Also my cycling partner in crime told me to "FGS man up!"

I tend to listen to them, they have never steered me wrong

Wednesday 20 November 2013

PowerGen Mobile Battery Pack

Trying to think of all the "Life support systems" I have while on rides I almost forgot about the most important one. My cycling buddy Mr. OrangeBrompton, has just updated his USB charging unit. I've had my  USB charger since August 2012 and its never far away from me even when not on my cycling adventures.

PowerGen Mobile Battery Pack Duo-Power has a convenient dual USB port design for charging two device simultaneously.

- Fully Charged by 1A Adapter: 9-10hrs
- Fully Charged 10w Adapter (Not included): 5-6Hrs
- Life Cycle > 500 Times
- Input: DC 5V / 1500mA
- Output1 : DC 5.3V / 2000mA and DC5.3v / 600mA
- Dimension: 3.75x 2.4x 0.7 inches


- 5 Connectors ( 2xMicro USB, 1xNokia DC 2.0, 1xMini USB, and 1xPSP)
- Two Extension cables
- (Lightning Cable NOT included)

Compatible with:
Apple iPhone 5, 5s, 4s, 4, 3Gs, 3G, 2G / iPod Touch / iPad 1 2 3 4 [OEM CABLE REQUIRED]
HTC One X V S / Sensation XE XL / Thunderbolt / EVO 3D..
Samsung Galaxy S4 S3 S2 Note / Epic 4G / Galaxy Nexus. [NOT Compatible with Galaxy Tab series or Asus Transformer]
Blackberry Curve / Storm / Tour / Style / Bold / Torch ..
Motorola Atrix / Bionic / Droid Razr, X , X2, 2 , 3, 4 / triumph .
Nokia N900 / N8 / N97 /Lumia 800 920 900 .
LG Optimus,2x,V,S /Quantum.
Google Nexus One / Nexus S . Nexus 4, 7, 10.
Sony Sony xperia z / X10 / X8 / Arc / Neo / Play / Mini..
Google Nexus 4, Nexus 7, Nexus 10

Flashlight & 2x USB ports
Charges anything that can connect to the USB port and even a higher rated port especially for iPhones etc.

Takes about 5hrs for it to charge & can charge my iPhone 3GS about 3 times.

Friday 15 November 2013

Met Terra MTB Helmet

I've had this helmet for a little while now and I'm loving it, much lighter than my BERN & much better airflow for when summer comes and the temperatures go on the rise.

My new summer time helmet which will be customised as soon as I can my finalise my design.

Mysterious Box

First thing I'm going to do is rip the blue MET logo off and put on a black design of my own.
  • Removable Visor
  • In-molded Shell construction
  • Safe-T Twist 2 fitting system
  • Washable anti allergenic pads
  • Weight: 250 grams
Side view
On the rear I will most definitely attach a back up flashing rear light
Rear view
Again the logo will be removed and my own put in place
Front view
The internal pads are small and very easy to clean, just can get lost in the washing machine.

All in all I'm very happy with this helmet just have to think up a design to put on it, hell I may even just leave it as it is.

Wednesday 13 November 2013

#space4cycling Bow roundabout protest

We have just returned from the Flash #space4cycling ride in near Bow. That brings it to 4 cyclists in just 8 days being killed on the roads of London.

Like many other people I'm wondering what the hell is going on. 


2010: 10 deaths, 4 involving HGVs
2011: 16 deaths, 12 HGV
2012: 14 deaths, 5 HGV
2013 so far: 12 deaths, 8 HGV
Source: TfL

Rest in Peace



Me & my candle

I'm quoting a little from a speech I've heard yrs ago & editing to suit.

We must be kind to one another.
Because each voice enriches us and ennobles us,
And each voice lost diminishes us.


Monday 11 November 2013

Cycle clothing, BumbleB style

My good friend Andy L from the London Brompton Club spotted something on his internet travels.

For some reason he thought of me when he saw it, can't figure out why. HONEST

As soon as I saw it, I was ordering it,

and now its here......

*WARNING* The following photos are of a GRAPHIC nature. *WARNING*

Bring it!
Funzee & the Legend

It fits perfectly but I don't think I could actually ride in it though, its VERY snugly and warm for winter nights in front of the fire with a cup of hot choco. So a ride would be probably be impossible. Maybe a thinner summer version?

Special thanks to Andy L & ofcourse Funzee

Sunday 10 November 2013

LBC: Reading to Richmond in the rain

While getting to my local station a guy asked me if my saddle bag got in the way of the fold. I was just at the barrier so I just showed him the Carradice Barley saddle bag & folded showing him it didn't get in the way. If anything cause it so big, makes it heavy with supplies :D

I always like travelling on the tube as I always catch people looking in our direction as BumbleB sits beside me. I know they are all wondering "Thats the legend, I wonder where they are off to today!"

Met up with the gang was a little late as David & Anne P, Mr O, Jenny & others already boarded the train. Lucky I was looking for them as the first train on the platform was out of service & had to fast walk it down the platform. Said my hellos and hugs, the rest of our little gang boarded and we was off. 

iPhone 5C

iPhone 5C

30 odd minutes later we arrived at Reading station.

The gathering at Reading Station
Our leader for this ride was Bob H who we have ridden with a few times in the past mostly the big long rides.
Just before we was about to set off the heavens opened and it started to rain, this would set the scene for most of the ride but we all had known it would rain so a few extra minutes spent putting on waterproofs. This would be the first time I would wear my full on waterproofs in my Altura Night Vision Jacket, Altura Night Vision over-trousers & my latest addition the Crane overshoes.

There is something about seeing a gang Bromptons & their steeds gathering in one place. You could feel everyone walking past looking and wondering

We was going at a decent pace, not to fast not to slow, well with the rain you couldn't really go that fast anyway.

Word got to us that someone had a puncture and where sheltering under the railway bridge we just past.

We returned to the railway bridge to shelter from the rain, while waiting for the puncture be repaired.

Me being, well me

All fit and ready to go we headed off again. The rain was pretty constant the whole time, no heavy but fine.

Few more miles down the road we heard of ANOTHER puncture. Yup another one. The lead group took shelter where we could.

BBB under a bus shelter
With the latest puncture all repaired we continued onwards into the rain.

As we stopped off near Ascot Race Course at a Costa Coffee that was giving out free Christmas cake examples. We pretty much finished off the huge tray the girl had. Some tastey cakes to, will have to make sure I "sample" more in future.

Not long after this part of the group took a different direction but lucky that those in the other group knew where we was heading to and we joined up again before we headed though Windsor Great Park.

Just before a nice hill
Heading out of Windsor Great Park we made a little detour. This would be the first time I've had a big ride before heading to the world famous "Monkey's Forehead"

Last time I was here I tackled the MEGA Breakfast which actually beat me.

I learnt from that HARSH lesson I decided I wouldn't tackle the MEGA Breakfast.
This was our main stopping point we still had about 20 odd miles to go but we where basically on the home stretch.
I was hungry but didn't know what to order, in the end I got a 3 Sausages, mash in a bowl made of Yorkshire Pudding & ofcourse a Hot Chocolate.

Don't judge >:P
 I wasn't going to have a dessert but I handled the sausages so well I thought I'd tackle a Treacle Pudding.

mmmmm Treacle Pudding
OMG it was sooooooo yummy. I had to resist ordering another one as we still had a good distance to go.

Just as we was thinking of heading to Richmond Station our finish point there was ANOTHER puncture to be repaired. I didn't mind as I was still drying my wet gloves on the very hot radiator I had found in the pub.

At this point I took off my overshoes as I thought the rain had finished.

We was heading down along the pathways heading to the Thames river. Even though it had stopped raining there where ALOT of puddles & muddy paths. The first puddle I hit my feet got wet for the first time.

We was going to go though this field as a short cut but the gate was locked and plus it looked pretty muddy in any case.

I recognized this lock along the Thames and knew we wasn't to fair from Richmond Station. Some decided to go to a pub for a well earned rest and drink but me and BumbleB where just a little dirty and wet.

Another good ride with my Brompton buddies, some new faces & regulars. Big thanks for Bob for leading this ride. As always even though it was raining its the company that makes these rides awesome.

Having got home I got to work on BumbleB, he was pretty dirty to say the least. I was going to take a picture but I sensed that BumbleB didn't want a photo in his condition. Took him out into the back yard and hosed him down pretty good, also washed my muddy overshoes, over trousers & cycling shoes.

Can't wait for the next ride which is (Cardboard) Box Hill Revenge Ride in a couple of weeks. I'm looking forward to this to see if my first conquering of (Cardboard) Box Hill was a fluke or not.