Author Topic: Friday Night Ride to the Smoke - 11th June  (Read 3619 times)

Re: Friday Night Ride to the Smoke - 11th June
« Reply #25 on: June 04, 2010, 01:46:38 pm »
I've booked myself onto the 22.21 from Paddington - see you in just over a week's time!

Re: Friday Night Ride to the Smoke - 11th June
« Reply #26 on: June 07, 2010, 02:29:59 pm »
I'm afraid I shall have to do this ride on a sensible bicycle.

I'd better correct the above: I've found a suitable alternative silly bike for this ride.  Looking forward to it.

Re: Friday Night Ride to the Smoke - 11th June
« Reply #27 on: June 08, 2010, 06:44:28 pm »
Mrs Z has had a stunning idea.  Petrol stations normally have reasonable coffee machines, and there is a 24-hour Shell adjacent to Tesco.
Never tell me the odds.

Adam

  • It'll soon be summer
    • Charity ride Durness to Dover 18-25th June 2011
Re: Friday Night Ride to the Smoke - 11th June
« Reply #28 on: June 09, 2010, 07:00:40 pm »
Unfortunately, I'm no longer 100% certain I'll be able to do this.  I've been feeling a bit "iffy" today, and rather exhausted, and my tongue is furrier than a hairy polar bear.  So I may have got a bug.

I'll see how I am on Friday.
“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving.” -Albert Einstein

Re: Friday Night Ride to the Smoke - 11th June
« Reply #29 on: June 09, 2010, 07:08:12 pm »
Nice easy ride this time though - if you remember Fab Foodie's clipless moment of March 2009, we're going to carry on straight down that road (a 5 mile downhill) to join the A40 at West Wycombe, stop at Tesco for whatever they sell that looks appetising and doesn't need cooking, then round to Beaconsfield to rejoin the original route.  No Smalldean Lane, no Cryers Hill.

Weather looks pretty good atm - drying up at teatime, not too cold, clear and with a reasonable chance of a tailwind.

Route (from Oxford station to Paddington station) is here: Gmaps Pedometer

The most reliable way to get it onto GPS is probably to use GMaptoGPX, reduce the number of points using GPSBabel and then load it as an off-road route.
Never tell me the odds.

Re: Friday Night Ride to the Smoke - 11th June
« Reply #30 on: June 10, 2010, 08:33:59 pm »
At the moment I think there are five of us (PaulR, Andrij, mattc, topcat1 from CC and me), which is good for the cafe.  Any more?  Up to 10 shouldn't cause any problems with breakfast.

Mr. Met Office has it dry, 10 deg C with a tailwind.  Mr Metcheck concurs.  It will chuck it down tomorrow morning, which should get all the slime off the roads.
Never tell me the odds.

mattc

  • n.b. have grown beard since photo taken
    • Didcot Audaxes
Re: Friday Night Ride to the Smoke - 11th June
« Reply #31 on: June 10, 2010, 10:07:09 pm »
10-4 that, good buddy.

Left the train tickets a tad late (which has cost me a couple of quid, never mind). First train to Oxford with bike space (but not any more ) is the 0821!
Has never ridden RAAM
---------
No.11  Because of the great host of those who dislike the least appearance of "swank " when they travel the roads and lanes. - From Kuklos' 39 Articles

Re: Friday Night Ride to the Smoke - 11th June
« Reply #32 on: June 10, 2010, 10:09:47 pm »
I didn't actually book a bike space back, having never had trouble before.  If the worst comes to the worst I'll get the next train - they never check the seat reservation anyway.
Never tell me the odds.

Adam

  • It'll soon be summer
    • Charity ride Durness to Dover 18-25th June 2011
Re: Friday Night Ride to the Smoke - 11th June
« Reply #33 on: June 11, 2010, 10:40:47 am »
Sadly, I won't be up for this.  As I'd have to do 45 miles to get to Oxford, with my general lack of energy at the moment, I just don't feel up to doing 100 miles overall unfortunately.

It is a very nice route though, and especially for Andrij, the road out of Chalfont St Peter, up the hill and then over the M25, is the one you would have been on last Saturday, so you can hold your head high and claim a bit more of the M25 route.

Have fun everyone.

“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving.” -Albert Einstein

Charlotte

  • Dissolute libertine
  • Here's to ol' D.H. Lawrence...
    • charlottebarnes.co.uk
Re: Friday Night Ride to the Smoke - 11th June
« Reply #34 on: June 11, 2010, 10:44:39 am »
Despite Roger's nudges and the fact that I would really liked to have done this, I'm going to be attending something else tonight or I would have come along.  I really need to give my new tourer a decent night time test prior to the Dun Run and this would have been ideal.
Commercial, Editorial and PR Photographer - www.charlottebarnes.co.uk

Re: Friday Night Ride to the Smoke - 11th June
« Reply #35 on: June 11, 2010, 08:12:09 pm »
All fettled and ready to rumble.
Never tell me the odds.

Re: Friday Night Ride to the Smoke - 11th June
« Reply #36 on: June 11, 2010, 08:13:55 pm »
Have a good ride, all  :)

Re: Friday Night Ride to the Smoke - 11th June
« Reply #37 on: June 12, 2010, 12:34:20 am »
Well they're off!
Departed on the stroke of Midnight.  Mattc rolled into the station at about 11.58 (chancer).

Was heading into town to pick-up eldest daughter from drunken party so made a brief detour to the station.  Nice night for it.
Next time maybe...

Bon Voyage  ;D

Re: Friday Night Ride to the Smoke - 11th June
« Reply #38 on: June 12, 2010, 09:52:31 am »
We fancied the drunken party of 17-year olds, but FF made us ride, the big meanie.

I promised deer and rabbits.  We got those, but also Teh Killer Badger of Bledlow Ridge and a fox cub.  Mattc tried out the Harefield bus shelter, people were buying crates of Stella in Tesco at 3am and we did a victory lap of Hyde Park.

We never found the fabled Whoop-Ass Lane, although we'll keep trying.

Someone esle can do a proper ride report - I'm going to bed  :)
Never tell me the odds.

Re: Friday Night Ride to the Smoke - 11th June
« Reply #39 on: June 12, 2010, 01:04:11 pm »
I shall have a go at describing this ride later - my brain is not really up to the job right now.  However, I must thank Roger, Dave and Matt for their excellent company on what was in many ways a top ride (even the bit where I rode into a brambly hedge was bearable).  I must also share a couople of photographs of riders contemplating the strange glow that appeared in the sky as we crossed the M25.



I am also going to find out what those birds were...

EDIT: They were hobbies, several of them apparently hunting insects over the gravel pits.

Re: Friday Night Ride to the Smoke - 11th June
« Reply #40 on: June 12, 2010, 03:37:12 pm »
This is what was going on at Shepherd's Bush, it seems.  There were a LOT of police and some black youths shouting at each other, and in theory the road was closed to Holland Park roundabout, but they hadn't done a very good job of it.

Oh, and it's the Grand Union Canal at Coppermill Lock, complete with kayak training poles.  Slalom UK - Places to Train
Never tell me the odds.

Re: Friday Night Ride to the Smoke - 11th June
« Reply #41 on: June 13, 2010, 08:39:20 pm »
Longer ride report before I forget it all:

Nightmare getting to Oxford due to delayed trains and sitting around at D*dc*t in the cold for half an hour due to a missed connection.  Not a great start, but Oxford station (a great meeting place even if I say so myself) was warm, everyone who said they'd be there turned up and so did Fab Foodie, whom I took a while to recognise without his helmet!

We got out of Oxford very quickly, Paul apparently on some sort of mission to get to London before dawn.  He did complain about not having seen any dreaming spires; maybe I'll tweak the route next time to include a circuit of the city centre first, but dreaming spires == pissed students so it's swings and roundabouts.

The climb out of Horspath didn't split the group much but the descent into Wheatley did - that right turn is sneaky.  There follows about ten miles of almost dead-flat lanes with no traffic at all where you can get into some sort of rhythm - in this case, a pretty fast one of 17-18mph.  We stopped at one of the usual places (near Worminghall) for a pee and the stars, as usual on a FNRttS, were amazing.  Then across the water meadows (lots of cute little hump-backed bridges and the sound of watery stuff) to the A418 and into Thame.

Thame, as usual, was as throbbing as a small town gets at 1.30 on a Saturday, with a very heavy police presence.  Cheery waves from a few drunks, no-one passed out on the pavement this time.  Back onto the Roman road for Chinnor, and Paul started making like Eddy Merckx again with me trailing behind and mattc and topcat1 further back.  You can't get lost in this bit though.  Chinnor Hill was as evil as ever, especially with a bottom gear of 52", but I did establish that the creaking I noticed in March last year is merely the saddle and not the frame or BB.  A big split opened up here (it's almost exactly the same height and gradient as Ditchling Beacon), Topcat1 missed the big sign for "High Wycombe" and it took a couple of mobile phone calls to retrieve him.  Hooting owls in the dark, the Milky Way overhead.

It's almost all downhill from here to London on the new route.  Speeding through Bledlow Ridge at about 20mph, a badger made a suicidal break for my front wheel, making everyone jump.   Onto uncharted roads, a really steep and twisty descent to West Wycombe in the dark.  Then a few miles of the A40 (very quiet) before chucking-out time at High Wycombe.  The chavs were friendlier than usual with their catcalls and "whooooooos" out of Corsa back windows.  After a seeming eternity we reached Tesco at Loudwater and mattc sat in the hot airflow from the door curtain warming his feet while we ate and drank an audaxers' diet of sausage rolls, Frijj and cheap chocolate  :thumbsup:  People were coming in very unsuitably dressed and buying crates of beer - and this was 3am!

Out into the (for June) chill and there is another mile or so of A40 with a gentle climb to warm up.  Then we turned off to skirt around Beaconsfield, which is a pleasant road but with a giant dip in it which I wasn't anticipating.  Into town, past the noisy Royal Mail depot and then into Ledborough Lane and onto the really special part of the ride.

Welders Lane is where the millionaires (including Ozzy Osbourne) live, and we chased a fox cub through the forest between all the electric gates and illuminated keypads.   At Chalfont St. Peter there was a circus on the village green.  Despite warnings about the deep gravel, Paul still crashed into the hedge on West Hyde Lane :D.  There's a marvellous view just after you cross the M25; a sort of Rubicon for this ride.  Then we went down to the canal, topcat1 and I chased rabbits while Paul and mattc looked at badgers and birds, and we all marvelled at the boiling water and the slalom course by the Coy Carp pub.

Up the hill to Harefield (and the first TfL bus stop sign) and we hung around for a bit to try out the bus shelter and feed leftover sausage rolls to the ducks.  A few miles of open countryside again, with a deer trying again to succeed where the killer badger had failed, and we did a quick diversion to check out a roadside shrine to some departed boy racer which chocolatebike and I had noticed last year.  Still being immaculately maintained.

Then it was the urban roads of Ruislip, Greenford, Ealing and a HUGE cheap breakfast in Acton.

Afterwards we snuck through a closed road at Holland Park roundabout, where a mini-riot was in progress, and then mattc and I did a lap of Hyde Park with a quick diversion to look at the Albert Hall, which mattc pronounced not as good as in the photos.  Then the train home.

Marvellous.

Next one's on 20th August.
Never tell me the odds.

Re: Friday Night Ride to the Smoke - 11th June
« Reply #42 on: June 13, 2010, 10:16:26 pm »
I'll really try to get onto the next ride- the RZ report brought back lots of lovely memories of the first time I did this (with only RZ for company  :o  ;D ).
Apart from struggling with, seemingly, a pasta baby in my stomach and, truthfully, cycling faster than I can really sustain, that first FNRttS had those magic qualities of wildlife, quiet roads, astonishing and unexpected views, wisps of mist and the night-time life that we (I) miss most of the time. The tail wind helped a lot as well  ;) .

Great report Roger  :thumbsup:


Re: Friday Night Ride to the Smoke - 11th June
« Reply #43 on: June 14, 2010, 10:10:42 am »
I reckon I'll be available for 20 August, so please count me in!

And consultation with my employer's resident birder leads me to reconsider my diagnosis of hobbies: he tells me that hobbies are unlikely to have been out hunting in numbers at that time of night and says that they were almost certainly nightjars.  Which is kind of cool, as I've never seen them in this country before.