Tuesday 30 September 2014

Buzzing the Cotswolds with the LBC

Woke up feeling excited that I was going on yet another London Brompton Ride but this time we was heading northwards to the Cotswolds where we, the legend and I haven't been before.

I was dreading and excited about this ride cause it offered me something I hated but 2 things I loved.

Hills, cupcakes & brownies.

Made arrangements with Samantha S to meet up with James H who was driving to Charlbury Station from Kings Cross.

3 Brompton's & riders ready to go

When I was looking at the GPS profile that Dina & Rob had provided on their many recce rides I made the mistake of looking its profile. When looking at the profile you could see this ride was going to be a hilly and demanding one.

We arrived in plenty of time at Charlbury Station where everyone arrived by various means.

The first surprise, well for me was that Dina had made cupcakes for the ride and even a couple of extra special ones.

LBC is now fuelled by cupcakes
Legendary BBB cupcake
We wasn't expecting it at all,  well I was expecting cupcakes but a cupcake designed just for us. I decided to save mine till the end of the ride as a reward to myself.

The gathering of Bromptons
With everyone gathered and Rob & Dina giving a brief outline of the coming ride we set off from the station carpark in a classic LBC peloton. No matter how many times I go on a group ride, riding with other Bromptons there is something extra special. All basically the same bike but unique to each rider, even the bikes have personalities.

As soon as we exited the carpark we hit the first big hill, according to strava a "Category 4 Climb" according to strava.

Categories are determined by a number of factors (Strava)
  • have a gradient of at least 3%; and
  • achieve a score of 8,000 or higher (so 1km at 8%; 1.5km at 6%; 2km at 4% etc).
If the minimum criteria are met, climbs are classified according to the following points scale:
  • 8,000  or greater: Category 4
  • 16,000 or greater: Category 3
  • 32,000 or greater: Category 2
  • 64,000 or greater: Category 1
  • 80,000 or greater: Hors Cat├ęgorie
No matter how you look at it, its still going up dreaded hills on a Brompton but then the fun bit was going down the other side.

The trick is getting into the right gear from the very beginning of the hill, you may feel that your in the wrong gear as your "spinning" to fast but when the hill does hit your spinning will slow down as the incline takes hold and you will slow down but your cadence will be good. My normal cadence is around the 90's which I can keep going forever if need be.

I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it felt, I know I've been improving somewhat over the last few months but it always surprises me.

Me & Samantha getting to the top

With everyone hitting this hill and getting nicely warmed up we all stopped at the top started to strip off as it was turning out to be a very nice warm day.

Everyone stripping down
Banana's the fuel of cycling
The hills where coming thick and fast but this time I wasn't really bothered by them as much as I used to be. Yeah I rode up them slow but I RODE up them.

This time I decided to also take my InfraRed converted camera seeing we was gogint o be out in the countryside.


Onwards we go but after a couple of miles someone had a puncture at the back of the pack, we pulled over and waited knowing it would be fixed in no time.

 Only one puncture on this ride but it was all under control with seasoned Bromptoneers.

We came across a lovely little spot and decided to take a group shot not to far from where we was going to have lunch.

LBC group shot
There is always something really interesting to see on our rides.

A kindred spirit


The lunch stop (Church Hill Lodge, Bluewater Lodges) was about 10miles from the end of the ride and a lovely place it was too.

Mmmm yummy chicken breasts #lbclub #food #cyclefuel
Chicken Breasts with Tomato sauce & new potatoes
Lovely little lunch so I topped it off with dessert.

Mmm lemon tart and ice cream #food #cyclefuel #sweets
Lemon tart with Vanilla Ice Cream
Not long after leaving our lunch stop we turned a corner and found this great sign in stone.

PAD: 27th September 2014

Another short hold and another photo opportunity and things are starting to get a little silly.

As always Jenny enjoying herself

They go 2 by 2
and finally down to the towards the station.

After a good ride I was looking forward to my prize, The BBB cupcake and yummy it was too

The BumbleB cupcake by Dina. And yummy it was too. #lbclub #bromptonbicycle #food #caketime

Another good ride with the LBC, thanks to Dina & Rob for organizing and the yummy cupcakes & for everyone that had a chance to come along. I got a feeling cupcakes should be the main stay of future LBC rides ;)

Garmin Data of the ride: LBC Ride: Bromptons go wild in the Cotswolds

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