Monday, February 27, 2012

Sunday, 26 February 2012

Crystal Palace - Old St - Stratford - Clapham
Leader Andy (the Knowledge) relaxing at LMNH and planning the next tea stop
before visiting the olympic stadium

Art or Artifice
- The
At first I thought that this was a giant concrete mixer. Then Neil told me that it is an 'art installation', the misshapen progeny of an alliance between Anish Kapoor and an engineer called Cecil Balmond/Arup. I hereby name it: The Euro. It looks like a fairground ride that has been hit by a tsunami. Cost:£19m of which £16m has been provided by a steel magnate and £3m by the Olympic Delivery Authority. A fitting reminder perhaps of Olympian profligacy and philistinism. It will be owned and operated by the Olympic Park Legacy Company, who will charge the public to visit the observation platform. To find out more, follow this link which I have called a poke in the eye. Read all about it and add a comment to say what you think.


Sunday 26th February 2012

Café St.Germain,Crystal Palace Parade.

That'll be an apricot danish :-)
Look Mum No Hands

A repeat of the ride in Summer 2011,the route is virtually unchanged.
A nice cross section of bicycles today,Daniel on his fixed,Neil on his Moulton and myself on my Gazelle.
Our total at 11's was 16 so wisely,we split into two adjoining cafés at Crystal Palace but service was brisk and easy on the pocket (cappuccino £1.75).
Daniel left us to head home,the remainder enjoyed a sunny ride north using as many cyclepaths as possible.The large group was briefly separated when Jeff stopped to take a picture of one of his son's ex property in Southwark Bridge Road.
We arrived at "Look Mum No Hands"café/bike shop to find a photo shoot in session.
I was about to move on "sans" refreshment as inside there was no room either.But the crew over heard us talking and swiftly replaced the tables & chairs.
Graham & Jeff found themselves as subjects in another impromptu shoot as the photographer took a liking to their matching "FNRTTC" jerseys.
Simon Legg's concept is so well established now that you just need type "friday night r" into google and the rest is filled in for you.
If you wanna take the plunge into the dark with a bunch of insomniacs riding bikes see the website :
Graham's plan of going north to ride east along the Regents Canal seemed a good idea but the plethora of Londoners enjoying the peace & tranquilty made the riding difficult with scarcely enough room for a couple to walk side by side and us to wobble pass safely.
Victoria Park was the respite leading to a confusing junction of canals that caused us to take a wrong turning.We were trying to get onto The Greenway,the pedestrian/cycle route to the Olympic Park viewing area.
In reality,the only venues that are easily seen are the Olympic Stadium & the Aquatic Centre,the others being too far away or hidden by infastructure.
As far as I could tell,the sculpture/helter skelter type thingy was virtually complete since our last visit in July 2011,but with extensive landscaping still to be started.
In the City,at the junction of Upper Thames Street and Southwark Bridge we waited at red to turn left whilst to our right was a Terravision Stansted coach,the same company that caused the death of a cyclist 3 weeks ago.
As you turn onto Southwark Bridge you see a "white bike" memorial - Sebastian Lukomski,died here in 2004:
We were separated again shortly before arriving at Clapham Common for tea............hoping you all got home safely.

Sunday, 19 February 2012

A bit more of the same from a slightly different angle + the Westerham posse

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Sunday 19th February 2012

Top of Puddledock Lane
Front wheel puncture for Jeff
As news of an impending drought is on the horizon,Bough Beech reservoir in Kent looks worryingly low right now.

Just approaching Woldingham school

The Chiding Stone

The freeze, and the short spell of cold weather this winter, is over. After the mild but
overcast days a cold front had brought out the sun and a fine day for some February pedalling.

Our route to Westerham took us through the site of the old Croydon Airport – where now we
cross the A23 can you imagine Hercule Poirot stepping onto to an Imperial Airways Handley Page airliner to the continent to solve a crime that had eluded the police? Past south Croydon we pedalled up Croham Valley Road, dismounted to walk to Edgecoombe Road, and left behind suburbia as we headed along Featherbed Lane. Pedalling up Beddlestead Lane it sometimes
feels as if the highest point will never be reached but eventually the wireless station appears and cliché can be forgiven here because it is downhill all the way to elevenses.

The February sun was warm as we rode past Chartwell. Ramblers and horse riders encouraged us that we were nearing the top as we pedalled up Puddledock to see the splendid view. Bough Beech reservoir is need of some rain – which we will certainly hear more about in the coming
days – and, compared to usual numbers, today the twitchers too were somewhat a rarity.

Following lunch at the Castle Inn at Chiddingstone we took a short excursion to see the stone after which the village is named and then continued through the pretty Wealden
countryside. The telephone boxes designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott were painted red to stand out and, in the long downward sweep from Markbeech to Edenbridge, a freshly painted one does
just that. We rode on to Oxted for tea and then, across Woldingham in the dusk, made our way home.

It was a fine day’s cycling – sunny and not cold and the opportunity in February to leave London’s urban sprawl and experience some great countryside.
From Mike

Sunday, February 12, 2012

12 February, 2012

North Cheam - Walton on the Hill - and Rusper (for some)

The recce for the planned ride showed some roads ice-free and some impassable. By far the worst section was Chipstead Lane on the way home - 1½ miles of ice. On Sunday morning falling snow was crunchy underfoot. A conference call with North Cheam revealed Andy as the lone rider. With the ride on the brink of total cancellation, Daniel appeared and a meet was agreed at the Grey Dove Café, opposite an ice-covered Mere Pond in Walton on the Hill. Lengthy discussion over tea and coffee, bread pudding and bacon sandwiches failed to arouse any enthusiasm for more ice.

A message was received from Terry to say that Rusper Golf Course was closed. We really should have realised that a snow covered golf course would not attract many drivers or cyclists. Terry withdrew to Tanhurst Farm for warmth and human company. About to depart, he was joined by Graham. That was it. Terry and Graham fell back to Henfold and then home. Those stuck in Walton stayed stuck in Walton. Determined to have a ride, the Walton posse made a sprint to - Walton and the warmth of the Chequers. Discussion continued until late afternoon, when a reluctant decision was made to abandon the log fire and head for home before dark.

A gold star is awarded to the daring duo that made it to the snow plains of Rusper; a pyrite star goes to the trio stuck at the top of the North Downs.

We impatiently await the Great Thaw.


Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Photo Comp - deadline 29 February

If you have been thinking of submitting one or more photos for the annual photo competition (qualifying period 1st October 2010 to 30 September 2011), you still have time. The deadline for receipt of entries is 29 February. Entries should be sent to your Section Secretary well before that date. Here is a link to the different photo categories and competition rules.
This link gives details of all DA competition rules.

Good luck and happy shooting.


Sunday, February 05, 2012

A few more snapshots of the gathering at Horto Park Golf Club today.

Sunday 5th February 2012

On the road since 7.30am................allegedly :-)

Pete & Jake.........whatever happened to really short shorts? ;-)
Thanks to Simon for bringing back memories of happy days :-)
The top table.

Snow is not welcome on a Sunday........or a Saturday night come to that.But our locality got several cm which meant only the hardy would enter out on two wheels.
I arrived at Ashtead Garden Centre to find the gate firmy shut.Ten minutes later the NC posse appeared (a solitary Steve),then Pete B,followed by Jake.After a phone call,Pete F showed up all riding from home,alone on MTB's.
It was approaching 11am so with no sign of life inside the gates,we(on Pete B's recommendation) pedalled the short distance to Café 1 in Epsom Town Centre.
Here we were to spend the next hour or so increasing our caffeine intake.Terry joined us too making our tally up to six.
Good place this.........serves hot milk with the coffee,so thoughtful on a bitterly cold day.
For the first time,non-cyclists were in the majority at the annual lunch.According to my figures, just 12 cycled out of 45 attendees.
Thanks to Horton Park Golf Club for their excellent meal and hospitality & Steve for his faultless planning...........even down the printed slips to remind you what you had ordered.

Friday, February 03, 2012

Cities fit for cycling

Please support The Times newspaper in their efforts to bring about improvements for cyclists.

Read about it and add your name here:



Sad postscript..........the first cyclist to die in London this year was crushed by a Stansted coach this afternoon.

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Sunday 29th January 2012

A little more detail...

Winter had definitely arrived - overcast, temperature hovering above zero all day. The route was to keep us guessing all day. In Thames Ditton we disentangled two Kingston Wheelers who'd inadvertently joined us. After Imber Court and Island Farm Road we went between the reservoirs to Walton. Passing under the bridge(s) and beside the contstruction site, we continued to Weybridge then Addlestone via Poets Corner. With tea at 60p, the Golden Cafe was packed and the cold ensured our stay was long. Eventually we were turfed out (politely). Stonehill and Sandpit Hall Roads were further snakes but after Chobham we took the familiar past Bisley to The Cricketers at Pirbright. We hadn't booked but no problem (only four other customers).

After an hour or so, the last of the food had been served and eaten and we were away to Fox Corner, Mayford and Old Woking. The next wriggle took us down Potters Lane to Send Hill and back to Tannery Lane. After Ripley we caught up with Paul and pere who'd been audaxing. Eleven for tea at Stoke D'Abernon. Just over 50 miles