Velosolo Club

Discussion in 'Cycling Clubs' started by anothersam, 28 Oct 2013.

  1. Pencil? The pen is mightier than the sourde, although your wish May Fall on deaf ears as all members should be upstanding and not stoop, solo. I quite like the idea of a Club with 'gritte integrity.
     
  2. OP
    OP
    anothersam

    anothersam SMIDSMe

    Location:
    Far East Sussex
    Well, bank holidays are out, the roads are too crowded with other club runs, we like our space. Weekends are out too, my wife likes having me around for some reason. Weekdays are also problematical. Other than that 2015 is looking like a particularly good year.
     
  3. Rafferty

    Rafferty Senior Member

    Location:
    Essex
    Great news, put me down as a 'possible'.
     
  4. OP
    OP
    anothersam

    anothersam SMIDSMe

    Location:
    Far East Sussex
    Went on a club run yesterday as a head cold was brewing. "I'll be fine," I sneezed to my wife. Just 14 miles, up to the pyramid and back. That would be the Great Pyramid of Brightling. Sits in a church yard, its builder now eternally retired from a life of follies.

    insidebrightlingpyramid.jpg

    It was windy, so I took the straight-barred rock steady Litespeed, which although long since toppled from its position at the pinnacle of my small stable, often still surprises me by the joy it is capable of bringing to a ride.

    Passed a couple almost identically dressed and hunched over in effort against the elements. He was only slightly ahead, performing the slipstreaming labour of love.

    When I got home it was snowing cherry blossoms.
     

    Attached Files:

    Mad Doug Biker and theclaud like this.
  5. raleighnut

    raleighnut Guru

    Location:
    On 3 Wheels
    I seem to have been an involuntary member of long standing, try to notify me of the next club ride and I'll do my best not to remember it. Ride Free :cycle:
     
    Mad Doug Biker likes this.
  6. Mad Doug Biker

    Mad Doug Biker Bikeoholics Anonymous

    Location:
    Craggy Island
    Me too. If you can arrange a club run when I am having route canal work or something at the Dentist, that would be most appreciated, thanks!

    P.S. I also talk to my bikes generally, but mainly when the scenery and weather is nice (My Felt was bought from a guy in London, so I extol the virtues of the Scottish landscape to it!), or if I am taking them to somewhere they have never been before!
     
    Last edited: 5 May 2015
  7. OP
    OP
    anothersam

    anothersam SMIDSMe

    Location:
    Far East Sussex
    isitsafe.jpg
     
  8. OP
    OP
    anothersam

    anothersam SMIDSMe

    Location:
    Far East Sussex
    The Velosolo Club conducted a joint operation with the Bridges & Beers brigade yesterday.

    The train ride up from the VCHQ in East Sussex was uneventful. Accompanied by the Club vice president, we alighted from Waterloo station and into the middle of a selfie safari.

    dinoselfie.jpg
    note the pint-sized Darth Vader, who clearly wasn't thinking safety
    dino.jpg

    Having only one bike between us, we were forced to take another train to Hampton Court, which those who watched Wolf Hall will recall was seized by Henry after Wolsey proved too slyly likeable.

    jimjams.jpg

    Hampton Court station came with its own jester, shown here interrogating a jackdaw.

    jackdaw.jpg

    After meeting some of the B&B cast, the Club treasurer fled to Oxford Street to navigate the treacherous women's floor at John Lewis and buy a skirt.

    The ride promised and delivered bridges. Being largely unfamiliar with the far southwestern reaches of London (who knew the Thames went past Westminster Bridge?), I was grateful to have a guide who knew the lay of the land, which we occasionally doubled back on as an aid to imprinting it in our collective memory.

    By the time we arrived at our first pub in Wandsworth, after traversing more riverside than has evidently been mapped, sometimes on paths not quite fit for an entourage but thankfully cleared of velociraptors if not humble pilgrims without bikes, I was hungry if not thirsty. Sitting next to Richard Gere, who had also come along on the ride, I watched with quiet horror his unfinished chips being taken from the table before I had time to cadge some, having only budgeted for a thrifty Subway sandwich procured the day before.

    A bit further along we observed a helicopter whirling itself into the sky. Probably someone with a Brompton showing off.

    Speaking of which, quite often when we hit smooth tarmac I adopted Club practice of Look mum no hands. This is difficult to pull off in a group ride without looking like a d**k. Let the record show this is my version of a Snoopy dance, and is in no way meant to demoralise those who don't enjoy good caster steering. It also soothes my occasionally troublesome back.

    turtle.jpg
    random earthworks turtle pic

    Not long after hitting London proper (no offence to those who live in the sticks) our critical mass landed at the second and final pub. As I am lock averse – an unwritten Club rule is you should never lock a bike you aren't prepared to lose – this presented a dilemma: enter in a spirit of camaraderie, or sit outside and watch the bikes, only missing a leash to complete the picture?

    dogwaiting.jpg

    I chose to share the ride organiser's hefty lock (with thanks to others for volunteering) and join the gruppo, which was eventually forced inside thanks to the practicing campanologists of Southwark Cathedral. (Or a recording, I'm no campy expert. Shame I couldn't find the actual Monty Python clip.) That I fled shortly afterwards owes nothing to the company, and everything to my pubphobia, which usually only manifests itself when inside an establishment. This is a combination of mild claustrophobia and a dislike of pub accoustics, which inevitably have me wanting to turn up my nonexistant hearing aid.

    Back in deepest middle eastest Sussex the Club physician met me at the station with the car in case I wanted a lift, took one look at my still full bidon, and shook her head at my dreadful hydration routine. Alcohol is even more dehydrating, I wanted to tell her. Then I raced her home, given a head start as she got caught at the level crossing. I don't run on water: I run on good mojo.
     
    Last edited: 15 Jun 2015
  9. OP
    OP
    anothersam

    anothersam SMIDSMe

    Location:
    Far East Sussex
    When the FNRttC was up and running to its best destination of Brighton, it was usually my practice to turn around at Ditchling Beacon (the top, of course) and go home, that so-called London by the sea never actually being of much interest. Thus it has finally occurred to me that it isn't obligatory to finish the Dun Run at Dunwich, which is an intriguing place what with being the location of Atlantis and all, but one I've been to many times over the years; and it's far less interesting when you have to turn around and get on the same train as 10,000 (wild guess) other cyclists.

    Prompted by StuAff's now rescheduled Nur Nud, and inspired by the Dalston Dynamo manifesto ("Because Suffolk is a f**king long way away"), I have decided to tailor the event to suit my own needs, which include the occasional outing with hundreds of thousands of other cyclists, a good night ride, and London miles. I'm also partial to the chaotic critical mess at the start and that lovely dippy feeling of getting frequently lost.

    All of which is to announce the next major Velosolo Club outing: the Half Dun. The plan is to celebrate Independence Day

    MrPitt.jpg

    by launching my little ship along with the great armada from the Pub On The Park, ride out approximately half way, then turn around as if unable to resist the allure of the mother ship after all and retrace the route, forsaking the tail lights' red glare to be half blinded by the night's offering of candlepower.

    To fully enjoy the experience this will necesitate shooting off with the early ejectulators well before 9pm. Upon arrival back at Hackney I may pass Dalstoneers asleep underneath bus stop benches and doubtless be passed by the speedier Dun Runners.

    delaware.jpg

    Consider this notice served that the one way system in effect that night along the route will be suffering contraflow disruption in addition to other traffic which hasn't gotten the memo.
     
    Last edited: 19 Jun 2015
  10. OP
    OP
    anothersam

    anothersam SMIDSMe

    Location:
    Far East Sussex
    Have been doing night rides, limbering up for my upcoming Half Dun ↑. Being an inzzzomniac helps.

    An inzzzzzomniac, which can be spelt with as many Zs as you please, is someone who doesn't sleep as much as alive people normally do, but does sleep on occasion; and is also known to enter a zombie state an hour or two before surrendering to the id-encrusted hypothalamus. Inzzzzzzomniacs can also look frightening if you catch them in this in-between state.

    Of course you can't go full zombie on these affairs, for your own safety and that of others. Sometime between now and the 4th I'll have to manage to get a really good day's sleep.

    ZAE.jpg
     
    raleighnut likes this.
  11. OP
    OP
    anothersam

    anothersam SMIDSMe

    Location:
    Far East Sussex
    finished2.jpg

    There are some things you do thinking Why? Others, Why not? My ride was both.

    It was a fantastic experience but a very poor showing for a Velosolo Club member. I didn't ride alone for any significant stretch. I also completely failed to fulfill my mission statement, which was to go out half way, then turn around and ride back to London, thereby avoiding giving money to a train company uninterested in cyclists (why couldn't they add a few cattle cars for bikes? We have the technology.) Call what I did instead a Double Half Dun: I rode all the way to Dunwich thinking Why not? then all the way back, thinking Why? Or would've done if I had any coherent thoughts besides Pedal. Keep Up. Consume energy to keep pedalling. DON'T FALL ASLEEP.

    That last one was very important. As an inzzzzzzomniac, I had known how important it was to get proper rest before going one way, let alone the round trip. If wishes were horses, beggars would ride. In my dreams, if I stayed asleep long enough to have any...


    This now continues at road.cc. Because as Samuel Johnson wrote, No man but a blockhead ever wrote, except for money. Old Sam never had to contend with the lures of a forum.
     
    Last edited: 8 Jul 2015
    Pat "5mph", User482, srw and 6 others like this.
  12. TinyMyNewt

    TinyMyNewt An execrable pun

    Location:
    South coast, UK
    :smile:





    sorry
     
  13. OP
    OP
    anothersam

    anothersam SMIDSMe

    Location:
    Far East Sussex
    Cheers TMN. btw I'm not so averse to smileys as my rep makes me out to be.

    itburns.jpg

    Other than a very short ride to see if a mechanical issue still needed sorting (it did), I haven't been on the bike since Sunday. I did, however, clean it today (yesterday now), which involved scaring Mr Rabbit from his observation perch just off the patio.

    VC members aren't sticklers for a clean bike. Who's going to notice? The problem is, we do, sometimes. Every so often I'm forced to untangle the damn hose and spray it down for its own good. This after replacing the chain and cog and retiring the old ones gracefully as befits a job well done, most recently in the trenches.

    I may go out in a bit. Though it's 1.20am and my bed should really be calling my name, the sun, it burns, and the night, like all nights, is made for a little spinning and a lot of freewheeling.




    Went out. Not long, but god it felt good.
     
    Last edited: 10 Jul 2015
  14. OP
    OP
    anothersam

    anothersam SMIDSMe

    Location:
    Far East Sussex
    Another VC joint operation gone awry; there was far too much conversation to allow for much in the way of introspection or karaoke.

    It began with Southeastern Trains dropping me at London Bridge rather than the more convenient Charing Cross, which necesitated a race across town and picking my way through barriers for another race to make it to Hyde Park Corner in time. The Queen sent her finest over to see us off, then we were.

    guards.jpg

    The ride was about ghost signs, those fading hoardings of paint which pallidly dot the urban landscape like so

    brymay.jpg

    I was also intrigued by the Arab Cargo Company Ltd. What sort of cargo is Arab cargo? Is it their version of Genco? (More & better pics of the signs starting here.)

    Spent a great deal of time cyclechatting with a very nice man on a very nice looking recumbent. I say he's nice because he offered to let me ride it sometime, after first sensibly determining that I have ridden 'bents before and wasn't likely to come a cropper on any of his.

    For a long while I will shamefully admit I didn't pay much attention to the ghost signs on offer, as it felt so nice just cruising (often lost - not the ride leader, me) through London and getting lost in talk. At one point my eye spied crepe fluttering in the breeze, which marked a graveyard.

    plaque.jpg

    stillbones.jpg

    barry70.jpg

    RIP Barry Mason.

    We also passed "the most used street in movies set in London," according to Ross, whose quote I have surely mangled. Apparently this is where Hugh Grant got into that fight with Colin Firth in that movie about a nice young woman's diary.

    hugh.jpg


    View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6gxOffgz6VI

    @1.18 do you suppose that's what Liz Hurley wanted to do? And what's the doc from Star Trek DS9 doing there, sucking a lollipop? (On watching it again I realised he's smoking a cigarette. Why did I think that was a sweet? Oral fixation, anyone?)

    We passed an old sunken road kept under lock and key to dissuade chuggers:

    bars.jpg

    Seeing as LMNH was on the agenda, throughout the ride I did my best to keep hands from handlebars throughout the ride..
    I'm always especially pleased when I can manage a corner without falling off, which would necessitate paying off any nearby handycamers to avoid ending up on Youtube.

    At the foodstop there was a seat going spare across from one of my favourite actors, Bill Nighy. He didn't quite reach Richard Gere levels of looking like a forummer (see also previous link), but I'm almost sure it was Bill if I squinted and put a bit of cotton in my ears. Splendid bloke; along with Martin Freeman, the only way to watch all the way through Love Actually without topping yourself. The subject of marmosets came up.

    About three hours into lunch I determined it was time to dash back to my wife, which was fortunate as not longer after I got home she took ill. (She's a bit better now.)

    That doesn't seem like a satisfying ending to this ride report. Bill, give us a laugh:


    View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c2mVtSyRcA8&spf
     
    Last edited: 14 Jul 2015
  15. OP
    OP
    anothersam

    anothersam SMIDSMe

    Location:
    Far East Sussex
    Club run cut short yesterday. Puncture. Filthy bike. Wimp.

    I had just passed a woman I know from the road, a fellow cyclist in this land of so few except weekenders, walking down the hill I was honking up. At the summit I realised the air was abandoning my rear tyre. Only two miles home, so decided to turn around and walk it in preference to getting my hands and probably clothes dirty. Nice day for it.

    Slow leak turns out to be not so slow after all. “Wait!” I want to yell to the woman now a few hundred meters ahead of me. I know approximately where she lives, hope she’ll allow my bike shelter in her garage while I hoof it back for the car. Shoulder my steed (a cowboy carrying his lame horse to the ranch?) and make an ungainly run for it. Catch her just as she’s approaching her front door.

    Out of breath request follows. Quickly accepted. I half jog half walk home. Drive back, have a nice chat with Valerie, it turns out her name is. Has never owned a car lo these 70 (wild guess) years on earth. Make a mental note to slip a thank you card under her door later.

    As I cross the street to my nearby car to load the bike in, I can sense that the people who apparently usually park there, having just arrived home, are radiating disapproval at the effrontery of the invasion of ‘their' space. I apologise and say I’ll be gone in a tick. Forgiveness is not forthcoming. Ah well. + Friend - enemy = nil for the day?
     
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