Author Topic: Velosolo Club  (Read 8381 times)

sam

  • SMIDSY
Velosolo Club
« on: 05 May, 2023, 09:30:37 pm »
This is for those of us who, barring a blue moon, only ride alone.*

Today's ride was humbling. I was going up a steep hill, not expecting company, when a woman who looked to be about the same size as Charles's late mum swept by me. She must have clocked my wide eyed horror, because she cheerily said "Don't worry, it's electric!" I have a feeling this is something she feels the need to offer on a regular basis to MAMILs.

Having confirmed that her bike was indeed electric (nobody likes to be patronised), I then tried to use her as a pacemaker,† but either she was too fast or I was too slow. So I lost my KOM status for the day.‡

There were signs and portents of the coming ceremonial assumption of temporal powers of our new lizard king.





The Brightling pyramid remains shrouded in mourning for QEII. Surely bad luck.



This is an entry for Sunday's soapbox derby. A similar event was held in 2016 to celebrate the queen's 90th, the royals being avid soap boxers, enjoying it second only to Ascot. The sharp-eyed will note that it's on beer kegs. Building flying machines, even if they're never meant to get off the ground, is thirsty work.

Local celeb Roger Daltrey



will be judging a homemade crown contest. Having just been informed of this by my own consort, it's too late for me to craft one from the helmet I bought as a prop for Halloween. Maybe next time.



* Having checked the rarity of a blue moon, I realise it's not terribly rare. I already knew that it's not blue.

† On a serious note, I do keep this in mind.

‡ Strava isn't actually a club I belong to. I didn't have to say that down here. Just wanted to use a diesis.

sam

  • SMIDSY
Coronation street
« Reply #1 on: 06 May, 2023, 03:35:05 pm »
Club run into town this morning to gauge coronation fever. I hoped to miss the rain, but just in case, hauled out the Langster, which hasn't seen tarmac since December when my Sabbath arrived and I decided to ride that and only that in an intensive course to overlay new muscle memory over old.



Yes, cobwebs. An insult to a perfectly decent bike that deserves better than foul weather service.

First stop was this guy,



guarding the entrance of a nearby estate. It was necessary for thematic reasons. Also I had to adjust the seatpost.

And so to town.



The Green Man's bike, obvs.



My wife's optician. I quickly decided to judge the window displays. The winner will be announced at the end.



A little too on the nose.



Let 'em eat cake.



I expected great things from the charity shop sector of the economy.



If only.



Ah, mem'ries



I thought the palace had bought all those up and had them pulverised.



This looks like a good spread. Let's get closer.



Now that's what I call a one-two punch.



Three.



Just leaving this here as a setup for…




Do I really have to go through his dating history? (Goes through dating history.)



Sensible or swinging? You choose.



Another optician. But what's this inside?



Surely a security risk if they fall into the wrong hands.



If that doesn't sell some filler, I don't know what will.



Frankly I found caped Charles to be a little scary.

OK, time for the winner:



This is just amazing.

(click to show/hide)



Zoom in please.



That'll be Andrew.



I can almost see Jim Royle sitting there.



That was nice of them, but I had other plans. That gouge in the doorjamb where I banged my bike isn't going to polyfilla itself.

sam

  • SMIDSY
Derby Day
« Reply #2 on: 07 May, 2023, 07:02:01 pm »
Normally a good sign:



Went for my usual ride today but had somehow managed to forget there was going to be a soapbox derby in the way.



Hope I'm not too late.


Oh, behave!

I wasn't certain if I'd be allowed through, and walked my bike up to the marshall. He said sure, I just needed to cycle up the hill, as there were contestants waiting to come down. I would like to report that the crowd cheered my ascent, and so shall. (Actually, someone did exclaim that I was riding a fixed gear. No need to correct him.)





You must've seen that coming.



Senior royalty. Their ride is behind the plane, considerably tarted up since my OP.



A toast to all our good fortune. Behind them, the pilot is getting into his cockpit.



And away it goes! I thought that looked familiar.



Simon & Will, btw.





There's a metaphor about royalty here, if only I could think of it.



Bit of a jam on the way back up to do it all over again. There are worse ways to spend an afternoon.


sam

  • SMIDSY
Re: Velosolo Club
« Reply #3 on: 09 May, 2023, 09:37:04 am »
I didn't stick around long enough to find out who won. I hope it was this guy.



Parked next to the pub yesterday, whilst a cleanup squad dealt with the last of the hay.


(click to show/hide)

Here's a flag that can't come down fast enough:



Yeah, should've thought that one through.

What this post needs now is a bike pic.



I sometimes daydream about buying this eyesore and opening a bike shop. Sounds like a fabulous way to lose money, doesn't it. Perhaps I should think small and just do repairs out of my shed, like this gentleman.



Unfortunately I have no experience working on gears,[1][2][3] which will limit my clientele.




1. Or disc brakes
2. Or wheels
3. But I'm told I'm pretty good at bar tape

Re: Velosolo Club
« Reply #4 on: 09 May, 2023, 10:01:41 am »
Am I the only person who sees mostly yards and yards of SPACE in this thread?

sam

  • SMIDSY
Re: Velosolo Club
« Reply #5 on: 09 May, 2023, 10:07:43 am »
Am I the only person who sees mostly yards and yards of SPACE in this thread?

Interesting. I assume you can see pictures that people post on other threads?

Out of curiosity, can you see the pictures in this archived version?

Re: Velosolo Club
« Reply #6 on: 09 May, 2023, 11:24:12 am »
It does vary with other people's, too, Sam.  but I can certainly see the archived ones, unfortunately!  It may be something to do with the fact that I'm on the works machine, I don't know.

sam

  • SMIDSY
Re: Velosolo Club
« Reply #7 on: 09 May, 2023, 11:46:17 am »
I'm stumped, sorry. I can only suggest that you rearrange your life to work from home, specifically so you can access image heavy posts of mine in future.

Meanwhile, here's some more white space for you, sadly.


alt text: mirrors inside mirrors

Re: Velosolo Club
« Reply #8 on: 09 May, 2023, 11:52:19 am »
Sadly, the works machine is at home with me.  I have given my employers ample encouragement and opportunity to take it back but they seem to be determined to cling to the "spy in every room" model of industrial relations!  COVID, I'm looking at you!

sam

  • SMIDSY
Re: Velosolo Club
« Reply #9 on: 09 May, 2023, 01:25:56 pm »
I use lots of pictures so I don't have to write, which is dreadful work, as Harry knows so well.

Inspired by you, I shall now attempt a post without a single image.

Why ride alone?

Because my bike is essentially an extension of my office. I ride to think.

[image: Don Draper at work]

Specifically, I pedal to generate ideas. While I could do this home alone

[image: Macaulay Culkin]

on a turbo, I wouldn't also have the opportunity to freewheel, because it'd be kind of silly just sitting on a turbo.

Riding with other people is hard!
- It's polite to converse. I'm not a great conversationalist, requiring advance notice for winning repartee.
- I like to ride no-handed as often as possible, which has to be annoying to watch.
- It's a bit like dancing: I just feel like I'm going to be stepping on their toes.

[image: cycling over someone's foot]

Finally there's COVID, though it must be said that I'd prefer an airborne pathogen hadn't come along to put its stamp of approval (or disapproval, from its point of view) on my preference for solitude.

[image: Captain Kirk examining tribbles with enlarged virus photoshopped in]

This is more an issue with big group rides, which is the reason I haven't been doing the FNRttC, where even hardcore velosoloists are allowed.

[image: Simon's bandaged knee, which is going back a few years]

[final image: "Look mum no pics!"]

Re: Velosolo Club
« Reply #10 on: 09 May, 2023, 01:53:37 pm »
 ;D

sam

  • SMIDSY
Re: Velosolo Club
« Reply #11 on: 11 May, 2023, 10:34:47 pm »
This morning's ride



looks worse than it was. As did this



which at least had the effect of slowing cars down.

Along the way I met Tom and Molly.



Tom didn't really want his picture taken, but Molly was OK with it.



We chatted about what a lovely part of the world this is, but his heart is clearly in Montana, because it came up in conversation more often than it usually does. (Montana count until now: 0. Tom's not from there, it just takes his fancy.)

That's a good enough segue to my Independence Day ride.



Here's one of the follies now:



Better bring your binoculars.



Visited the alpacas, but didn't bother with a picture because they were too far away and digital zoom sucks, as you've just seen. A previous encounter:



Also passed a guy taking his rubbish to the bin, just as I was muttering something about Hannibal Lecter's memory palace into my voice recorder. "Silence of the lambs," he almost certainly heard me say as I was passing by, which will do wonders for my reputation.

Thought I'd head over to Bodiam, which was closed at this hour, but then it's always closed to those of us who would prefer not to pay to get in.



That deserves a better picture.



Stopped by the WWII pillbox



then left before a citizen's arrest could be made. Granted, there were only dog walkers on the perimeter, none so impertinent to our glorious National Trust as to enter the grounds without a ticket. "Gosh, I'm sorry. But we don't have castles back in Montana!" I'd have said if I was nabbed, putting on my best American accent. For the record, I'm not from the Treasure State.



The entire ride was scored by my iPod Shuffle, as usual. This is what it fed me, no cheating and adding jazz or classical music:

Can't Come Quickly Enough, Scissor Sisters - Losing My Religion, R.E.M. - Fuck All The Perfect People, Chip Taylor & The New Ukranians (I prefer the video for part II) - Enjoy Yourself, It's Later Than You Think, Jools Holland - Sail On, Sailor, The Beach Boys - Lights, Journey (thanks, didn't need them) - High Summer, Van Morrison (not even close) - I Will Survive, Gloria Gaynor (as I was passing the pyramid) - Tired Of Toein' The Line, Rocky Burnette - Perpetuum Mobile, Penguin Cafe Orchestra - Silent Sigh, Badly Drawn Boy - Long Time Ago, Concrete Blonde - A Night Like This, Caro Emerald - Badlands, Bruce Springsteen - Torn, Natalie Imbruglia - I Owe All To You, Tanita Tikaram - Dustland, The Killers ("Cinderella don't you go to sleep, it's such a bitter form of refuge") - Hurt, Johnny Cash - Lovely Daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay, Bill Withers - What Can I Do, The Corrs - Life Is Long, David Byrne & Brian Eno - Substitute, Clout - Let Your Love Flow, The Bellamy Brothers - Grey in L.A., Loudon Wainwright III - Viva La Vida, Coldplay - Mad World, Gary Jules - Wings, Birdy - Time Of Times, Badly Drawn Boy (again??? one of those has to go) - Selfies, Nina Nesbitt


alt text: there's grey in them thar hills

- Howling At Nothing, Nathanial Rateliff & The Night Sweats (played x2), We Are Young, Fun. Photographic evidence to the contrary. And finally, Divisionary (Do The Right Thing), Ages and Ages. ALL the time?

sam

  • SMIDSY
Re: Velosolo Club
« Reply #12 on: 13 May, 2023, 07:28:02 pm »


This has always intrigued me.

- Built from the top down and ran out of money?
- Former lair of a Bond villain, with crocodiles underneath?
- Only bought the air rights, because they were cheaper?
- The ultimate fix for rising damp?

Re: Velosolo Club
« Reply #13 on: 14 May, 2023, 08:17:55 pm »


This has always intrigued me.

- Built from the top down and ran out of money?
- Former lair of a Bond villain, with crocodiles underneath?
- Only bought the air rights, because they were cheaper?
- The ultimate fix for rising damp?

My first thought was for storing crops out of reach of rodents

sam

  • SMIDSY
Re: Velosolo Club
« Reply #14 on: 15 May, 2023, 09:37:22 am »
Makes more sense than a crocodile pit, though I'd think only the poor climbers would be deterred.

Another interesting structure I go by, or rather, under:



Gypsum mine conveyor belt. Attracts ramblers, too.

Killer hill btw.

Re: Velosolo Club
« Reply #15 on: 15 May, 2023, 10:04:04 am »


This has always intrigued me.

- Built from the top down and ran out of money?
- Former lair of a Bond villain, with crocodiles underneath?
- Only bought the air rights, because they were cheaper?
- The ultimate fix for rising damp?


Subsidence?

sam

  • SMIDSY
Re: Velosolo Club
« Reply #16 on: 16 May, 2023, 09:00:59 pm »
It's good to listen to the bike every once in a while, so earphones off at the start of today's ride. Drivetrain is a little noisy - old chainring? Otherwise it was kind of nice, birds twittering & whatnot, until I got to the first big hill, at which point I was just listening to myself breath. While this is a reassuring sound, it was enough to get me to turn the music back on.

You ever seen a ghost? no
But you have heard of them


Also managed to be a bad influence on a bunch of schoolkids taking a bike safety course. Look ma, no hands or helmet!

ElyDave

  • Royal and Ancient Polar Bear Society member 263583
Re: Velosolo Club
« Reply #17 on: 23 May, 2023, 04:50:50 pm »
That's a good track, gets played regularly in my car (never music on the bike, too many f@ckw!t drivers around here. 

His Bobness still hasn't learnt to sing though!
“Procrastination is the thief of time, collar him.” –Charles Dickens

sam

  • SMIDSY
Re: Velosolo Club
« Reply #18 on: 24 May, 2023, 07:10:58 am »
I'm an outlier and quite like his voice, the older and more gravelly the better.

As someone put it, "Bob Dylan is the master of the colloquial and the conversational… Everybody you know can do Dylan — it’s not that difficult."



I'll admit I don't tend to like his live versions, he just seems to rush through everything.

ElyDave

  • Royal and Ancient Polar Bear Society member 263583
Re: Velosolo Club
« Reply #19 on: 24 May, 2023, 08:59:52 am »
He has definitely improved with age, and that album gets played a lot more than the early live album I've got.
“Procrastination is the thief of time, collar him.” –Charles Dickens

sam

  • SMIDSY
Re: Velosolo Club
« Reply #20 on: 24 May, 2023, 09:39:19 am »
My first long tour was pedalled in concert with Dylan and Tanita Tikaram. I don't remember if I used tapes or minidiscs, but whichever, they took up a lot of room as far as I was concerned, so I didn't pack many. As a result, I got to know both of them quite well indeed over the course of a thousand miles or so. A few dales heard my yodelling, a few otherwise quiet lochs, my heartfelt desire for no mechanicals.

sam

  • SMIDSY
Re: Velosolo Club
« Reply #21 on: 25 May, 2023, 11:41:41 pm »
You don't have to be a singlespeeder to be a Velosolo Club member, but I can't pretend it doesn't burnish your credentials.

Today a chainring arrived from Hub Jub


My kickback overfloweth

to replace the old one I installed when the frame arrived last year. I may run through the combinations anyway, which of course I did initially, because although I'm almost certain my current gear ratio is the one I'm stuck with (not that I'm complaining)(maybe I am a little), it's fun to play with cogs and chains.



What's that on the other side of the whiteboard?



Just a little painting I did in my spare time. Derivative, I'm told.

sam

  • SMIDSY
Re: Velosolo Club
« Reply #22 on: 02 June, 2023, 09:21:53 am »
A woman approached me yesterday as I was stopped by the side of the lane. I had a feeling it was going to be a lecture of some sort, but rather than turning up my ipod, I politely hit pause.


"You shouldn't nick stock images either, young man."

She wanted to tell me that I'd scared her half to death recently whilst driving, as she nearly didn't see me in the dappled sunlight down another shady lane. I heard her out, though as her description of the event unfolded it became clear that it wasn't in fact me who'd been happily spared. There was no shouting or harsh words, but I could tell she was a bit disappointed that I didn't offer to change my drab attire.

sam

  • SMIDSY
Re: Velosolo Club
« Reply #23 on: 03 June, 2023, 09:20:29 pm »
Went to bed last night promising my wife I wouldn't get up at 3 in the morning (she worries how little sleep I get). Awoke a little after 2, so a little over 2 hours sleep. The moon was beckoning – I had to hit the road. It was lovely and cool out, with the wind not too bad for a change.

First I had to effect yet another emergency repair of my shorts. No patience for needle and thread at this hour, so a couple of safety pins would have to do.


Next stop: gaffer tape

The twin would be making this morning's ride. This is the spare Sabbath Aspire I bought in case the first comes to grief. It doesn't get out as much as its slightly older brother because there's no need for it to, and for some reason it doesn't care to be ridden no handed (which predilection I've covered at that link, so no need to go on about it here).

I decided early on to hit Alpine Hill. An OS map wouldn't recognise that name, as it's my own private one for the steepest climb hereabouts. I don't do it that often because the way there is a bit traffic-strewn during the day, and I really don't like to run into cars on the hill itself as it's too narrow for comfort: once stopped, it's impossible to get restarted.

When last we met I had to get off and walk about 3/4 of the way up, so it's been on my mind to rectify that. I blame the fact that I was still getting used to a new bike, and my state of fitness that particular day – no exaggeration, I remember feeling close to passing out.

Rather than attempt it straight away I headed into town, always up for that desolate 28 Days Later ambience.


Rage-inducing house prices

On the way back out again I annoyed the milk man.


You press are vultures

Then I nervously confronted the hill, Nathanial Rateliff & The Night Sweats sweetening the effort.



Up, up, up... then up some more. The record changed to Howling At Nothing.



The false plateau arrived, though the worst of the hill was indeed conquered. Call the rest of the way up a warmdown.

It felt marvelous.

That task completed, all that remained was to go back down again and wait for the coughing to cease and desist.


Exercise-induced asthma sucks

I stopped by Rudyard Kipling's old gaff Bateman's,


Less hair. Well spotted.

passed what appeared to be the scene of a horrible milk-based accident,


Looks like someone needed to be breathalysed

then visited the war monument in the village, which is lit on the anniversary of every death.





Thus endeth the ride.


<sigh>

(click to show/hide)

sam

  • SMIDSY
Re: Velosolo Club
« Reply #24 on: 06 June, 2023, 07:33:24 pm »
A few random shots from this morning's club run.


Horses for courses


(click to show/hide)



We broke down and got National Trust membership. (Wanted to feel a bit normal whilst still being in Covidy times, as far as we're concerned.) I was fully prepared to show it to a steward, if such was about at 4.30 in the morning.