Author Topic: London Oxford Didcot Quinaton: Steam Ride Event - 9th March 2014  (Read 10628 times)

mattc

  • n.b. have grown beard since photo taken
    • Didcot Audaxes
Re: London Oxford Didcot Quinaton: Steam Ride Event - 9th March 2014
« Reply #50 on: March 09, 2014, 08:00:40 pm »
...<snip>...
 Now for the turbo..
Treat yourself - have an evening off!
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: London Oxford Didcot Quinaton: Steam Ride Event - 9th March 2014
« Reply #51 on: March 09, 2014, 09:05:47 pm »
My elapsed time was only a few minutes off what I was scheduled to do today so no 'making up the hours' indoors tonight. *does small clenched fist YEEES*

Re: London Oxford Didcot Quinaton: Steam Ride Event - 9th March 2014
« Reply #52 on: March 09, 2014, 09:11:56 pm »
Finished the 200km ride at 6.40pm. Awesome start and finish location and a great ride out to Quainton, couldn't pick a better route I think. The roads to Oxford and beyond through Didcot and Wallingford to Chinnor are very familiar to me so I didn't really use the route sheet. I got taken out by a motorist on The Plain in Oxford, she pulled out of Iffley Road without giving way despite looking straight at me. No damage to me or bike thankfully. I got the finger and F*CK YOU shouted at me through the passenger window for my trouble.

Personally I wouldn't bother with the bit through the Abbey Gardens at Abingdon and just go down the Vineyard and through the town, lots of families out enjoying the sunshine in the park and the path is quite rough. I went down Peep-o-Day lane and had lunch at home. The track at Didcot is still as bad as ever, another email to the local authority required I think, if any others could email Oxfordshire Highways that would be great, more than one voice might get something done!

I must admit the route sheet got a bit random at High Wycombe, it seemed to miss some junctions, repeat instructions and got road names wrong etc. Managed to find our way eventually. The bit about crossing the roads before the park was very confusing, found the route more by luck than judgement! It was also a bit random after Burnham Beeches, I went wrong a few times looking for traffic lights that didn't exist and taking 2E at roundabouts when it should have been 1E!

I'm not sure why we went to Southall, the Uxbridge/Hillingdon(?) Road in the dusk wasn't very pleasant and went on forever. Luckily I latched onto a local who led me through to the control and back to Ruislip.

Thanks to the organisers, I thoroughly enjoyed it and look forward to riding it again :)

Cheers

John

iddu

  • Are we there yet?
Re: London Oxford Didcot Quinaton: Steam Ride Event - 9th March 2014
« Reply #53 on: March 09, 2014, 10:38:44 pm »
:
I must admit the route sheet got a bit random at High Wycombe, it seemed to miss some junctions, repeat instructions and got road names wrong etc. Managed to find our way eventually. The bit about crossing the roads before the park was very confusing, found the route more by luck than judgement! It was also a bit random after Burnham Beeches, I went wrong a few times looking for traffic lights that didn't exist and taking 2E at roundabouts when it should have been 1E!


Well, I did say "Instructionally challenging..." ;) The day before isn't really the time to be proofing routesheets / advising issues,  thobut...

It'll all be better next time around ;D
I'd offer you some moral support - but I have questionable morals.

Re: London Oxford Didcot Quinaton: Steam Ride Event - 9th March 2014
« Reply #54 on: March 10, 2014, 08:53:25 am »
Sorry I know this is not the thread for the 100Km.  But spot on event.  :thumbsup:

citoyen

  • Cat 6 Racer
Re: London Oxford Didcot Quinaton: Steam Ride Event - 9th March 2014
« Reply #55 on: March 10, 2014, 11:18:45 am »
A truly mixed bag of a ride.

First off, what a day for it. Amazing weather from start to finish. Even at 7.30am, it was cool but not too chilly. Loved seeing the swans gliding through the mist on Ruislip Lido first thing.

As has been said already, the first leg to Quainton, 55km of delightful gently rolling countryside, is sublime. Especially the bits through Eythrope and Waddesdon Parks. I spotted my first red kite of the day in Eythrope Park - well, heard the characteristic shrieking first, then looked up and saw it hovering about ten metres above me. Beautiful. Then saw a couple more swooping around each other in Waddesdon Park. Excellent spread at the first control at Quainton Memorial Hall. Had a cup of tea and a splendid slice of Victoria sponge cake. And the couple stamping cards were really entering into the spirit of the train theme, which made me smile.

The next section to Oxford was a bit more exposed, so the southerly wind was a slight nuisance, but it was equally pleasant terrain. Only the run in to St Aldate's was less than ideal - not just for the traffic but for the appalling road surface. Though I did enjoy drafting a coach at 25mph for a couple of miles.

Having missed/misheard the announcement at the start, I was expecting to find iddu outside Starbucks, but he wasn't there. Someone suggested there was another Starbucks nearby, so we looked for that but it proved a wild goose chase. So after trying three different cash machines and failing to get a receipt from any of them, I opted for a coffee from Pret. All that faffing about meant the Head Of The River was well and truly open by then, so I might has well have gone straight there... where, apparently, I discovered later, I would have found iddu. (Note to self for next time: there's also a Tesco across the road from the pub.)

I felt it was still too early for lunch, so rather than waste any more time, I pressed on to Didcot. Encountered a few navigational conundrums in Abingdon - partly caused by the fact that the gpx track conflicted with the routesheet, having been altered to use the diversion avoiding Peep-O-Day Lane. But I was soon back on track.

The last few miles down to Didcot are a bit dull, and the station itself is grim. Thanks to Phil D for manfully sitting in the blazing heat stamping cards with a bunch of skateboarding yoofs for company. I stopped briefly to scoff my packed lunch of cheese sandwiches and bananas, and refill my water bottles, before getting back on the road.

Can't say I especially enjoyed the "Homage to the Strade Bianche" section of cyclepath on my 23C tyres, but at least it wasn't too long, and hard to see how it could have been avoided with the bridge being closed. After there down to Wallingford was more pleasant rolling countryside. Almost missed the Wallingford turn because the signpost was pointing the wrong way, but fortunately there were two riders just behind me who alerted me just before I started climbing a short but steep hill... Went slightly off route again in Wallingford itself, possibly because the road layout appears to have altered since the routesheet was written, though it seems I could have just continued following the main route through the centre rather than the official "back route". After that, I decided to rely purely on the gps track, which seemed to be fairly reliable and easy to follow.

The section after Wallingford was red kite city - in the space of a few miles, I think I counted about 20 of them, including a group of at least six sitting in/hovering around a cluster of trees.

Got caught by a few other riders on the road up to Chinnor, and found myself sitting on the front of a train belting along with the tailwind at >20mph. Then I let someone else have a go on the front for a bit - a chap in an SWRC jersey on fixed who I'd been crossing paths with throughout the day (anyone here?), before a group of three who I'd also been passed by a couple of times earlier in the ride, took over and promptly dropped us all...

Also encountered some truly terrible driving on this section, with several impatient idiots making dangerous overtaking manoeuvres rather than wait a few more seconds until it was safe. And one motorcyclist inexplicably gave us the finger as he passed, which made me laugh.

Almost rode straight by the Chinnor control - a couple in a campervan by the side of the road just before the turning for Chinnor Hill... Decided not to take on the weight of refilled bottles at this point, with the climbing ahead, so stopped only briefly before pressing on. We'd seen Bledlow Ridge looming Ventoux-like* in the distance for a few miles, and Mr SWRC had enquired "Is it steep?" Hmmm, well, let's just say I'm glad I wasn't the one doing it on fixed.

More nice rolling countryside after that, then High Wycombe... Coming out the other side of town, I realised the gps track wanted me to be on the other side of the dual carriageway to go through the park, so I made a cheeky manoeuvre at the traffic lights to switch across, and realised that I had two riders following me, so I thought I'd better warn them I had no idea where I was going! The bit along the shared path through the park was slow going thanks to the number of dog walkers letting their dogs run loose, or people just generally blocking the whole path and reacting like you were taking some kind of liberty for wanting to come through. Ho hum. This was one of the few points where I almost wished it had been a cold, rainy day - would have been far fewer people out.

Back on the roads and then the short but tasty climb of Windsor Hill - complete with the added ignominy of the official Willesden CC photographer at the top to capture our suffering - followed soon after by the charmingly picturesque section through Burnham Beeches.

Stopped briefly to take on more water at the Co-Op in Iver, where the chap serving me commented on my Vetements Z jersey. I spared him a lecture on cycling history and just thanked him.

And then the run into West London and the interminable slog down the Uxbridge Road, where every single bloody set of traffic lights contrived to be red for me.

The inestimable Mel K blasted through as I sat at one red light, commenting "You're too good", and then soon after paid for his haste by missing the turning for the Southall info control. I tried to call after him but he was away down the road before he heard me. I caught up with him a few km from the finish, sitting in a bus shelter repairing a puncture. Still smiling, of course.

Got to the finish a few minutes before 6pm, having spent 8hrs 39mins riding, so slightly longer riding time than on the KVR last week, but slightly quicker overall. Would have been quicker on both counts without the numerous red lights, shared paths and minor diversions, but I'm happy with that performance.

Didn't much fancy the Water's Edge, which seemed to be packed with people who'd been enjoying a day out at Ruislip Lido, so was soon on my way home, which took flipping ages due to congestion on the M25. But a thoroughly splendid day out, with the high points of the ride outweighing the negatives. All I would say, Tim, is next time, please drop the Southall bit. I don't care if some pedant thinks Ruislip isn't Londony enough. There are more important things to worry about.


*slight exaggeration

citoyen

  • Cat 6 Racer
Re: London Oxford Didcot Quinaton: Steam Ride Event - 9th March 2014
« Reply #56 on: March 10, 2014, 11:26:37 am »
I got taken out by a motorist on The Plain in Oxford, she pulled out of Iffley Road without giving way despite looking straight at me. No damage to me or bike thankfully. I got the finger and F*CK YOU shouted at me through the passenger window for my trouble.

FFS. Glad to hear you're unscathed.

Jonah

  • Audax Club Hackney
Re: London Oxford Didcot Quinaton: Steam Ride Event - 9th March 2014
« Reply #57 on: March 10, 2014, 05:04:27 pm »
Thanks for a top day out RideHard.  Gadget, Patty and I enjoyed it greatly.

Come on 'ackney! :D

iddu

  • Are we there yet?
Re: London Oxford Didcot Quinaton: Steam Ride Event - 9th March 2014
« Reply #58 on: March 10, 2014, 05:55:55 pm »
[citoyen]All that faffing about meant the Head Of The River was well and truly open by then...[/citoyen]

But still rubbish; spectacularly slow at serving (unless Jonah was onna 27-course banquet) - over 60 mins delay for some people outside.

Suggest somewhere different next time.
I'd offer you some moral support - but I have questionable morals.

contango

  • NB have not grown beard since photo was taken
  • The Fat And The Furious
Re: London Oxford Didcot Quinaton: Steam Ride Event - 9th March 2014
« Reply #59 on: March 10, 2014, 06:13:06 pm »
Also encountered some truly terrible driving on this section, with several impatient idiots making dangerous overtaking manoeuvres rather than wait a few more seconds until it was safe. And one motorcyclist inexplicably gave us the finger as he passed, which made me laugh.

On the Quainton 100, at the bottom of the first decent descent with the traffic lights, some knucklehead decided he just had to burn rubber to pass the cyclists. He couldn't, and ended up with cyclists in front of him and behind him. Then as soon as he was across the bridge he pulled into a parking area. I wonder why people feel the need to overtake when they're only going 100 yards further up the road.

On the return leg someone shouted something at me as they drove past the other way. I have no idea what the guy shouted but from the look on his face I assume it wasn't a compliment on my physique (I know very well I have the body of a god*). I wonder how inadequate someone has to feel in themselves to think that shouting at strangers going the other way serves any purpose at all.

*specifically, Buddha.
Always carry a small flask of whisky in case of snakebite. And, furthermore, always carry a small snake.

HK

Re: London Oxford Didcot Quinaton: Steam Ride Event - 9th March 2014
« Reply #60 on: March 10, 2014, 06:56:39 pm »
Photos from the LOL 200km event on http://www.flickr.com/photos/swift_swallow/sets/72157642145572744/

Great weather with brilliant controllers - every check point with a person stamping your card - how often do you get that?  Added bonus, a whistle with every brevet card.  Great cake at Quainton from the local volees there; think that control is definitely around for many years to come.  HK

Re: London Oxford Didcot Quinaton: Steam Ride Event - 9th March 2014
« Reply #61 on: March 11, 2014, 12:30:23 am »
Was having a chat at the end with LittleWheelsAndBig (?) I mentioned I may have a picture of him from the Bryan Chapman 2013 if he was the same guy in the Brooks jersey

well here it is, should have a higher res version somewhere... EDIT: Yup here it is

http://i.imgur.com/HrrfwFz.jpg?1


LittleWheelsandBig

  • Whimsy Rider
Re: London Oxford Didcot Quinaton: Steam Ride Event - 9th March 2014
« Reply #62 on: March 11, 2014, 05:47:03 am »
I'm obviously not following the model's mantra of 'Stomach in, chest out!'

Actually, probably not me as I don't recognise that bike. Good shot though.
Wheel meet again, don't know where, don't know when...

Pete Mas

  • Don't Worry 'bout a thing...
Re: London Oxford Didcot Quinaton: Steam Ride Event - 9th March 2014
« Reply #63 on: March 11, 2014, 12:28:27 pm »
This was a grand early season day out on the bike in lovely weather, despite a headwind being a pain at times.

The ride had character (good theme, interesting places visited, not to mention the hats, and the free whistles, etc, making it stand out from the average audax ride. Thanks due to Tim and all his team of organisers, controllers and volunteers. Brilliant cake stop, and so nice not to need to ask for receipts anywhere. It was brave to take us to the centre of Oxford - and to Southall near the end, and I'm not sure we liked that at the time - maybe better to add extra loops in the countryside, as others have suggested. The delicious wafts from Curry Houses in Southall certainly were torture to cycle past, being so peckish at the time.

Good to see some new faces, along with the regulars. I hope they all made it round Ok and will soon become addicted, and back for more rides.
''It is better to travel hopefully than to arrive."

R.L.Stevenson

Re: London Oxford Didcot Quinaton: Steam Ride Event - 9th March 2014
« Reply #64 on: March 11, 2014, 05:14:17 pm »
I agree with just about all the comments above (I certainly wont feel cheated if the next edition bypasses High Wycombe). And if we must go to Southall can we finish there in a curry house. As Pete says above it was torture not being able to stop there and eat.

These are mere gripes though and I welcome any rides that start and finish fairly locally and will certainly look out for more of the Hackney AC rides.

Chapeau to the Fat Controller and all of his crew!

citoyen

  • Cat 6 Racer
Re: London Oxford Didcot Quinaton: Steam Ride Event - 9th March 2014
« Reply #65 on: March 11, 2014, 05:33:23 pm »
Ah yes, the fragrant aromas of Southall... if it had been further from the finish, I might have been tempted to stop...

chap in an SWRC jersey on fixed

Just realised this must be Parky who posted upthread... Hello Parky, hope you enjoyed the climbs!

I've also realised that it was LWaB and HK who I followed down a steep descent early in the ride - LWaB displaying some impressive souplesse. Although our ways parted shortly after when HK suffered a puncture...

Anyway, good to match up some faces to forum names, albeit after the event.

More pics here:
http://www.christianlewisphotography.co.uk/sports-steamride-2014

Re: London Oxford Didcot Quinaton: Steam Ride Event - 9th March 2014
« Reply #66 on: March 12, 2014, 01:38:49 am »
Actually, probably not me as I don't recognise that bike. Good shot though.

Dammit! OK, take two...



Some more photos I took at the Lido throughout the day are HERE

LittleWheelsandBig

  • Whimsy Rider
Re: London Oxford Didcot Quinaton: Steam Ride Event - 9th March 2014
« Reply #67 on: March 12, 2014, 08:06:56 am »
That looks a lot more like me, though I see that you've made good use of the 'older and fatter' filter.
Wheel meet again, don't know where, don't know when...

Re: London Oxford Didcot Quinaton: Steam Ride Event - 9th March 2014
« Reply #68 on: March 12, 2014, 09:45:24 am »
:')

Re: London Oxford Didcot Quinaton: Steam Ride Event - 9th March 2014
« Reply #69 on: March 16, 2014, 09:24:31 am »
Great day out.  Thanks to Tim and team of volunteers. 

This group seemed to have a lot of fun.  Hope to see them again on the road.


As usual, blog and photo links are below.
MyBlog
MyPhotos

RideHard

  • The London Grimpeur
  • ACH Organiser
    • Steam Rides & Chiltern Grimpeurs
Re: London Oxford Didcot Quinaton: Steam Ride Event - 9th March 2014
« Reply #70 on: March 17, 2014, 10:17:08 am »
Back on the roads and then the short but tasty climb of Windsor Hill - complete with the added ignominy of the official Willesden CC Steamride photographer at the top to capture our suffering - followed soon after by the charmingly picturesque section through Burnham Beeches.
All I would say, Tim, is next time, please drop the Southall bit. I don't care if some pedant thinks Ruislip isn't Londony enough. There are more important things to worry about.

Something special planned for the LOL next year..
Moving the Southall Railway Centre (http://sollesse.wix.com/steamride#!about/cjg9) info control www.gwrpg.co.uk to Leighton Buzzard www.buzzrail.co.uk,  to see more of the Chilterns :)
https://www.facebook.com/groups/407447882722214/

Fair dinkum, more details on www.steamride.co.uk Blog pages..
http://sollesse.wix.com/steamride#!blog/c20k2

Still time to buy some prints from the ride...
http://www.christianlewisphotography.co.uk/sports-steamride-2014  :)
ACH SR: Dean 300; Steam Ride LOL 200; Quainton Express 100; University Challenge 600; London Circuit 400; C2C; Hadrian's Wall; Chiltern Pub Crawl

Re: London Oxford Didcot Quinaton: Steam Ride Event - 9th March 2014
« Reply #71 on: March 17, 2014, 10:33:58 am »
Something special planned for the LOL next year..
https://www.facebook.com/groups/407447882722214/

Any chance of enabling Facebook refuseniks to read it?

citoyen

  • Cat 6 Racer
Re: London Oxford Didcot Quinaton: Steam Ride Event - 9th March 2014
« Reply #72 on: March 17, 2014, 10:53:59 am »
Something special planned for the LOL next year..
https://www.facebook.com/groups/407447882722214/

Looking forward to it already!


contango

  • NB have not grown beard since photo was taken
  • The Fat And The Furious
Re: London Oxford Didcot Quinaton: Steam Ride Event - 9th March 2014
« Reply #73 on: March 17, 2014, 12:14:30 pm »
Something special planned for the LOL next year..
https://www.facebook.com/groups/407447882722214/

Any chance of enabling Facebook refuseniks to read it?

Yes, please!

I'm another who doesn't want to give Mr Zuckerberg the equivalent of a webcam following me everywhere I go.
Always carry a small flask of whisky in case of snakebite. And, furthermore, always carry a small snake.

mattc

  • n.b. have grown beard since photo taken
    • Didcot Audaxes
Re: London Oxford Didcot Quinaton: Steam Ride Event - 9th March 2014
« Reply #74 on: March 17, 2014, 06:30:07 pm »
Something special planned for the LOL next year..
https://www.facebook.com/groups/407447882722214/

Any chance of enabling Facebook refuseniks to read it?

Yes, please!

I'm another who doesn't want to give Mr Zuckerberg the equivalent of a webcam following me everywhere I go.
Facebook links to a proper website:
http://sollesse.wix.com/steamride

The bit that has loaded so far looks very pretty!
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