Sunday Sep 02, 2007

Looping through Windsor

Todays ride was a short one due to people having to be back. Went to Windsor via Ascot with a really nice blast through Windsor Great Park. Then to the Cafe and back via Staines and Chertsey where some of turned back to Laleham and then back north of the river to Windsor again and then home at a much faster rate.

Here is the first Run into Windsor when, at least to start there were five in the chain, by the end it was just two. Top speed was 38mph and was probably at the start going down the hill.

Turn the sound off....

Compared to last week this was a really poor choice of route, lots of nasty roads that we conspired to ride on twice. Still enjoyed it though.

67miles 17.8mph average but were back by 11:20

Sunday Aug 26, 2007

Ride to Alton

Today I took advantage of the good weather to ride to Alton on Hampshire to meet a friend who moved to Salisbury a few years ago. He cycled up we cycled down. The route was just fabulous the ride from Milford to Alton, which was the only part of the route I had not previously ridden, is really really good. Nice quiet roads through beautiful country side. The River Wey, which we crossed multiple times, is extremely picturesque around here.

We ended up doing 82 miles at 16mph.

Sunday Jul 08, 2007

A weekend of Le Tour in England

No prizes for guessing what I have done this weekend.

Saturday: Went to London with my Son and watched the prologue of the tour. The atmosphere was fantastic the crowds huge and London was just the best place to be.

Sunday: I cycled with some members of Molesey BBT with the Mordern and Cheam CTC group over to the Halfway House Pub on the tour route to see the caravan and then the tour sweep through. I took a video using my phone but it really is not worth watching. If it was you would see the group of five riders in the breakaway sweep past, at that point things looked good for the break as they had about five minutes on the peleton but it was not to be.

After all that excitement we cycled home. Ended up doing 112 miles but this was at CTC speed until we got to Woldingham then we blasted down to Croydon, Sutton, Cheam, New Malden, Kingston and home.

The Winners this weekend:

  • London – Boy did it look good. Also on a practical level the transport system coped with over 1 million visitors without any problem.

  • Ken Livingstone. The tour was a hit and he will take the credit for it being here.

  • The Tour. It's hard to see how they could generate more interest in the tour's first days.

  • British Cycling and British Cyclists. While those British riders racing did not get the wins we hoped for grass routes cycling got a huge boost this weekend.

One of the best weekends I have had for a long time.

Sunday Jun 24, 2007

BBT Ride in the rain, again!

Given that the weather forecast was for rain and it was raining when I left the house the fact that there were eight people out riding today was remarkable. We even had one new rider and one new bike (A carbon fibre Specialized Roubaix 2007, looks nice but a bit to much Shimano kit for my liking. Also what were they thinking not putting red tyres on it).

Our “leader” tried to get us to ride to Windsor but we had none of that and instead took to the hills at a blistering (for us) pace, reaching the top of Newlands Corner with my average speed over 17mph. The rain continued and as some had to be back early we looped along to Abinger Hammer and then put the Hammer down to Dorking along the main road and headed for the Cafe at Leatherhead. Those not in a rush to get home detoured up the zig zags (7minutes 53 seconds, which was way faster than I thought we would be) and then down past Headley Court and down to the Cafe.

Returned via the usual route for what ended up being a 55mile ride, average speed 16.9mph max 42.8mph.

Friday Jun 08, 2007

South Western Road Club May Cyclosportif - results

I got the results through for the South Western Road Club Cycle sportif, which is not a race but since they publish times you can see how well you did compared to others. I came in ninth, (fifth for my age group) which I find amazing:

9 05:03 Gerhard Chris E 05:03 GOLD

I've now forgotten the rain and how horrible the day was.

Sunday May 20, 2007

Helmet Cam out with BBT

My first trip out on a Sunday with my handlebar mounted video camera. Having had problems with the camera it went back twice to the shop who have finally replaced it with a new one. This one seems, so far, to work. The old ones would both power themselves off for no apparent reason failing to save what they were recording and leaving the SD card corrupt so it had to be reformatted to get back.

It does suffer from the same problem as the other cameras though, that the output is really boring. When it is approaching interesting, which is not often and only when travelling at speed, then the vibrations are terrible. So I hope to not post any showing me being cut up or pulled out on by cars.

Anyway seven of us rode over Headley then down to Newdigate, Ockley, over Leith Hill to Dorking then up over Ranmore and then to the Cafe in Leatherhead. Brilliant weather very pleasant ride.

63 miles, top speed 47mph Average 16mph

Sunday May 13, 2007

South Western Road Club May Cyclosportif

This years South Western Road Club Randonee has been renamed a Cyclosportif. I'm not sure why as this years event was practically indistinguishable from last, except that it ended in Ripley where there is hall and that it rained for the entire ride.

A group of us from Molesey BBT left together at 09:09 but almost immediately we were split up with just two of use off the front and we did not stay together for long. By the time I reached Albury I was on my own but feeling good catching riders from earlier groups. Then in Wonersh I was passed by three riders and managed to grab a wheel. This could have ended in tears as they were pushing on and just outside Godalming the rider just in front of me went down on a left hand bend. How I missed him and his bike and managed to stay upright I don't know. He and his bike were fine. It certainly did not stop them pushing along however he was more circumspect on the bends from then on.

I managed to stay with them until the halfway check near Amberley but while we were getting our cards signed the faller managed to escape of the front so there where then just three of us. However it was clear to me that I was never going to be able to stay the distance with them. Then one of them punctured and I was alone briefly before I joined up with another group. Then we passed the faller who had also punctured, there were lots of riders puncturing. I must have past at least 10, each one making me think it was only a matter of time before I joined them. I did not see them pass me but they may have when I stopped to tighten the screws that hold my water bottle cage on which had worked loose.

>By the time I reached the third checkpoint I was leading a small group and on leaving I was on my own. I wanted to be alone as I climbed Coombe Bottom so no one would know just how slow someone could go up a hill. I failed. Got caught.

Managed to ride the last few miles to Ripley as a pair and since it was down hill it did not feel quite as slow as it could have. Also the rain had eased a bit. I finished at 14:13 approximately which is a disappointing time 5 hours 2 minutes to do 90miles. I have plenty of excuses though.

Not really sure how far it was by the end as once again my speedometer stopped working for part of the ride. I measured the distance as 83 miles and have 104 for the day with an average of 18mph when I finished and 17.8mph when I got home.

I was completely soaked but overall I enjoyed it.

Sunday May 06, 2007

Bisley, Normandy and Chirstmas Pie

Seven out today for what was a strange route, out via Windlesham then down to Bisley, Normandy and Chirstmas Pie. Over the Hogs Back and on to Godalming and then round to Cranleigh where unfortunately the Cafe in the Garden Centre was closed so we pushed on to Shere for an expensive Breakfast. Next time I think we will go up Newlands to the Cafe at the top of the hill which has the double benefit of not being ridiculously expensive and also means we don't have to climb the North downs just after eating.

Then home via the usual route. I had to abandon the group before Cobham so I could get back to Esher Rugby Club for the end of season presentations, I just made it in time.

Next week is the South Western Road Club's randonee so there will be no 7am meet in Molesey and we won't be back by 12.

Ended up with 71 miles with a 16.24mph average and 42mph max.

Sunday Apr 15, 2007

Off to see the Marshall in Horsham

Once again we were off to Horsham this to meet up with one of our members who was sitting on the roundabout above the A24 marshalling a 25 mile time trial for the Redmon cycling club. Now I'm pretty much all in favour of riding a bike in any situation but I struggle to see why 200 riders wanted to be riding up and down the A264 and A24 on a Sunday morning. Yes it is quite a laugh cruising along at 25mph or more on the flat roads for a short while, and yes statistically these busy roads are not more dangerous than other roads but it certainly feels more dangerous and the risks some riders took entering the roundabout while we were, in my opinion, greater than is conducive to a long life.

Anyway we were forced to take the A24 for 2 junctions and then a short section of the A264 East which since we were on fast A roads it would have been rude not to have put the hammer down for some proper speed work. Then we returned to minor roads and a much more civilised ride back through Rusper, then a blast to Newdigate and on to Henfold lakes for some breakfast. The Sun was out the day is glorious and so trying to ride at more than 25mph was the order of the day, perhaps I can see the pull of those A roads after all.

After that it was the quick flat way home to wind up with a distance of 72 miles and an average speed of 16.9mph.

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Sunday Apr 08, 2007

Five to Henfold Lakes

Five riders out for todays ride was to Henfold lakes via Epson and Headly. When had descended Pebble coombe we caught up with a cyclist from Addlestone cycling club, who joined us in the cafe at Henfold Lakes. It turns out that Jim was 80 and was out for a short ride. Most impressed.

On the way back we detoured over Box Hill, up the Zig-Zags (8 minutes 10 seconds, very disappointing but I had an excuse, which I won't document here for reasons of good taste). Then back down and home via Leatherhead.

60 miles average speed 16.4mph, max 48mph.

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Friday Mar 30, 2007

Going Coastal

The plan to use up my remaining days of leave was to use at least one getting some good miles in on the bike. When I mentioned this to the others in Molesey BBT there were three interested. This dropped to just one on the day and only if it was not raining. The weather forecast then reduced it to just me but only after I had detoured to Epson to meet up. I decided to press on to Brighton and possibly turn round when it started raining so that worst case I would only have to ride 50 miles in the rain. (I thing this was a delusion. If it had started to rain 10 miles from Brighton I was hardly going to turn round and not get there.)

I was not complaining though as the route from Brighton from Epson takes you straight over Epson downs then over Headley heath and down Pebble Coombe. I've been descending this hill all my cycling life, firstly as to get from Sutton wear I lived as a teenager, out to the country side this is the least unpleasant way over the North Downs. Then when I bought my first speedometer for my bike, and “Avocet” that cost a fortune then and could only tell you speed, trip distance, trip time & total distance this was the hill I would do 60mph down. Well that was my plan. At around the same time the video/betamax thing was going on and video cameras were becoming available. I thought it would be very cool to video a cyclist's eye view of this.

So yesterday I got my chance at doing the video at last. For a full 60mph attempt you have to approach the hill on the main road and not by turning right as I do in the film. You also have to be doing at least 40mph when you pass the 40mph sign. (When I did this as a youth the speed limit was 60mph so since at the time I did not know speed limits don't apply to cyclists I was still o.k. I will gloss over that my aim was to get to above 60mph as youthful exuberance). You also have to believe you can take the left hand bend without breaking. Top speed is achieved just as you round the bend (hence the saying “Chris youv'e gone round the bend”). My fastest I recall was 58mph which is a testament to my trusty tourer, my legs when I was in my twenties but mostly to sheer stupidity of trying to read a tiny LCD speedometer which is vibrating about as much as this video while also trying to stay on my side of the road.

Yesterday it was a sedate 44mph as recorded by my current speedometer which automatically captures your maximum speed, a great safety feature.

From here on the camera started to play up. I'm beginning to thing that perhaps these cameras are not fit for purpose. This is the second one that fails in the same way as the first. It will power off given the slightest knock. It is as if something inside has vibrated loose as it was good for about an hour but from her on in on the ride it would power off randomly. So I have no video of the run into Brighton which a shame for me but I suspect no one else will be sorry about this.

Once I got to Brighton since the rain had not yet started so I set off straight back with the intention in stopping in the first Cafe I came to after it started raining for a cup of tea and some food. I ended up having the tea on my kitchen table as the rain never came.

Total distance : More than 105 miles @ 16.5 mph. (More than because the speedometer stopped recording for a bit on the return leg. I don't seem to be having much luck with gadgets at the moment. My laptop is currently reinstalling as well).

Total time: 7 hour. Left at 8am and arrived back at 3pm.

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Sunday Mar 25, 2007

Clocks Forward, Summer Bike out.

We went for a gentle ride to Henfold via Epson Donws, Headley & Box Hill. 8 minutes to climb the Zig Zags which is not so good. We made it to Henfold for an early breakfast @ 9:30. Need to find some more hills.

Then back via Ranmore where we met another club. One of them stopped while climbing for a clipless pedal moment. She was fine. I'm not sure it is actually possible to have a clipless pedal moment when there is no one watching.

Then over Polsden Lacy and a bit of detour via Effingham for the run back via the usual route and back early.

63.9 miles @ 16.7 mph

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Sunday Mar 11, 2007

New Cafe

Spring is springing. The weather for todays ride was spectacular so the nine riders who turned up were in for a treat. We went out via Cobham to climb Whtie down. At the top we lost one rider who turned back then after the decent lost another two, one had tickets for the England France match so had to be back early. Then we headed up through Holbury and then right to go past the Mullard Space Science Laboratory and then down one of the worst road surfaces around and onto Ewhurst Green then to Cranliegh. One rider had a slow puncture so we had to stop to add pressure until it finally gave out completely.

Then in Cranleigh we went to a new Cafe at Norcutts Garden Centre. The only problem was that it did not open until 10:30 which makes getting back by 12 a challenge that we failed to keep up to. However the Tea and food was good. Also the location does not leave use with an immediate climb after eating.

The return trip was fast. The rider who turned back at the top of White down would have kept everyone under control and without that steadying influence the return journey turned into a series of races followed by a wait for those who were dropped. Good fun but tells me that I'm not nearly fit enough. Need to work on this during the lead up to the ride to Canterbury. 60 miles had left it's mark but Canterbury will be twice that.

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Sunday Mar 04, 2007

Getting split up in the rain.

The weather forecast predicted rain at 10am and they did not let us down. At that point the group of five who had braved the morning had split into a group of three and a pair. The pair climbed to Headley from Leatherhead and down Pebble coombe to the Cafe at Henfold Lakes. The group of three, including me, had taken the bonus climb and gone down through Little Switzerland and then back up the Zig Zags before descending Pebble Coombe and heading for the Cafe. Due to some poor planning there was some waiting around at the top of Pebble Coombe as we tried to re group. Next time we should just agree to meet a the Cafe.

Then on the way home we got split again. Unfortunately I don't even know if the other three got home or where they went. I suspect a nice detour to Reigate or perhaps an attempt to climb Pebble Coombe which would get them "hard as nails" prizes. Especially in the rain.

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Sunday Feb 25, 2007

Birthday Ride

Just a short ride today due to rain so better make it hilly. Over Polseden Lacey then a quick sprint up to Ranmore and back then over to Box hill to go up the Zig Zags. Regroup at the top then over Headly Heath and down into Leatherhead to find a new Cafe, which was definitely not too expensive! Then home to wash the bike as the roads were covered in mud and water washed off the fields.

Only 44 miles.

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Sunday Feb 18, 2007

The price of breakfast.

It is not global warming that is causing our rides to be longer. It is the prices in the Lucky Duck. We were all lined up for a shortish ride to Shere, breakfast in the Lucky Duck, and home when the fact that the Lucky Duck is a bit pricy. (A pot of Tea and beans on toast cost more than £5). While it is true we are a bunch of tight fisted cyclists there is a practical reason mostly we only carry £5 each rather than a wad of cash. So we suddenly find ourselves heading for Henfold Lakes (2 cups of Tea and beans on Toast £4.20) via Ockley and about 40 miles to get there and about 20 miles to get home.

Well it is encouraging us to get the miles in which we will all need if we are going to make a good show of the London to Canterbury in July. We will have to step up the miles even more. It was a good ride, 63 miles but did not get home before 12.

Sunday Feb 04, 2007

73 miles in February!

Apparently we are doing summer mileages during the winter this year. Must be global warming. Today we went to the Devils Punch bowl which was a 73 mile run. 73 miles in February!!! An absolutely fabulous ride out through the cold clear morning. There was just the hint of ice on the road and the taste of salt in the air. Excellent breakfast at the National Trust Cafe.

The return run was interrupted by punctures and was slower due to this and some tired legs. So I was late home.

I planned to fall asleep watching Wales play Ireland in the Six Nations however this was simply not possible. I think that may have been the most enjoyable game of rugby I have ever seen as a neutral.

Sunday Jan 28, 2007

Not on top form

Hmm, eating lots in Zurich does not make you a faster rider. I spent todays ride struggling. We went to Henfold Lakes again but this time via Shere and Ewhurst. 39 miles before breakfast with two good hills. Then straight home for a total of 58 miles.

Since I was struggling everything about my bike irritated me. The genuine excuse that the freewheel is so bad that the pedals will turn if you take your feet out of the pedals. However I was also irritated by the lack of indexed gears which given that I know it does not have indexed gears and decided to ride it anyway is a bit rich.

Hopefully a week back in the saddle will put things to right.

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Sunday Jan 21, 2007

Henfold Lakes open

Six riders braved the remaining winds which while still quite strong were not dangerous to cycle Henfold Lakes via Epsom and for a change Walton on the Hill. Going via Walton meant that we got a run at the descent of Pebble Coombe which would have been brilliant had I not had to slow due to the cars insisting on sticking to the speed limit, for which they get my praise, but meant that I topped out at 44mph. I'm not sure I can get the old tourer to go much faster as the 52 x 14 top gear is just not big enough for much faster. (if my maths is right 44mph is 147rpm).

Henfold lakes was open and so breakfast was had and we returned via the hill past Polesden Lacy with only a slight delay when we had to clamber under a fallen tree that was blocking the road.

50 miles.

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Sunday Jan 14, 2007

Flat run to Maidenhead

A request for a flat ride meant we headed out to Windsor however we got there a bit to early so kept going to Maidenhead where we revisited the cafe there. Cold to start with but a really lovely day. I don't really like going out west as the roads are busy and there are no hills. The ride turned out to be longer than expected made even longer when I got home and had to give my daughter a lift to Molesey on the triplet.

62 miles with BBT making 70 with the extra trip on the triplet.

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This is the old blog of Chris Gerhard. It has mostly moved to http://chrisgerhard.wordpress.com

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