FNRttC Friday Night Ride: London to Whitstable - 9th August

StuAff

Silencing his legs regularly
Location
Portsmouth
Cake baking is in full swing at Trickedem TowersView attachment 479344 View attachment 479345
Ah, bread pudding. Correct answer. As long as there's some left when the tail end gets there!
 

LucretiaMyReflection

Active Member
Location
The Flatlands
The wind helped me bag 5th on the Race to Breakfast segment :becool:
Higher position thwarted by bus, red light and idiot driver pulling out in front of me.
 

mmmmartin

Random geezer
If was great, a truly great bunch of people to spend the journey with. Good humour abounded, patience, efficiency, it was lovely to be there. The weather wasn't that bad, it was heavy showers so we'd have no rain then 10 minutes of heavy rain then nothing for an hour or more - and it was never cold and we never had a head wind. Visitation count: seven or eight, but I each time texted the front team and suggested they was of the speed but keep moving so the front of the ride was largely unaffected. Nick is a wizard with an injured inner tube. Superb fresh rolls by Tim. Sunshine at the Waterfront. Yup, this was a far better ride than I expected after reading the weather forecast, and the electrical failures across southern England and the train network and the wind prediction.
 

robjh

Legendary Member
The wind helped me bag 5th on the Race to Breakfast segment :becool:
Higher position thwarted by bus, red light and idiot driver pulling out in front of me.
I thought I was in top position until the start of Whitstable High Street when in a frenetic black blur passing my right shoulder @rb58 overtook me and launched himself straight towards a column of oncoming cars, a skill he attributed to his years of London commuting.
 

Nick Saddlesore

Über Member
Location
London
Well, the ride to Whitstable was fairly straightforward - a bit of rain, but not much, a bit of wind, but not much. Expected punctures because of surface water and debris. I was pleased I'd packed my VAR38 levers to deal with tight tyres - I don't usually use levers at all. And it took me a couple of deflations to guess that the problem with one bike (Daisy) was antique rim tape - a couple of wraps of LX tape sorted that.

Then to return. I convinced @CharlieB that I had a cunning plan to get to home - 11.27 to VIC, change at Faversham for High Speed to St P. So we changed at Faversham. Then we stopped at Teynham, as there was a tree on the line at Newington. After a while we managed to get to Sittingbourne. After an even longer while, waiting for the presumably 3 woodcutters, we set off again, but then were told the train would go no further than Gillingham. Where we had a nice little break on the platform whilst they tried to think of other reasons to delay us. Finally got to London at about 5 p.m.
 

StuAff

Silencing his legs regularly
Location
Portsmouth
Well, as a first ride as leader for Kim, that was a baptism of fire (baptism of wind and rain would be more appropriate given the weather!) but she came through with flying colours. Pink legwarmers about the same shade as a maglia rosa, fittingly…

After last time's fail in the post-work sprint challenge, more usual result on Friday night. Usual 9.30 finish gave me the usual seven and a half minutes, but I rolled up to the northbound platform at the airport station just as the train pulled in, which was nice. Got to Waterloo & met up with @mmmmartin @robjh and (pleased to meet you) @LucretiaMyReflection. Appeared not to be raining at this stage. Appearances were deceptive. Having made our way round to the NT, it was drizzling, so the trousers came on & stayed on for the duration. Never that wet, thankfully, but wet enough to want the protection. Turnout a bit lower than the seventy or so registered, but still a healthy fifty or so.

For the second Whitstable run in a row, I was all-up man, this time with Martin, Nick, and most of the time, Greg. On this night as that, there was a navigational error- not by us, this time (I'll come back to that). Again, we were rather busier than we would have liked- somewhat inevitable, rain hides all the grot that causes punctures- and again, some of the waymarkers were a bit slow to get going after the call of 'all-up', sometimes I needed two or three calls. Certainly wasn't whispering either, despite Greg's suggestions I was a bit quiet (these Australians and their sledging :smile: ). Never mind…

We left a few minutes late, tsk tsk. At first, all went fairly well, but then there was a bit of a waymarking fail (Tabard Street/Law Street junction, I think from a look at the GPX tracks for this run and April's). Martin reckoned it was someone not being clearly visible to oncoming riders rather than leaving their post. In any case, this meant the back of the ride ending up on the Old Kent Road, definitely off route and definitely not cyclist-friendly. A bit of impromptu rerouting got us back on track. Martin doubled back to collect the waymarkers inadvertently left behind, while the rest of us got on back on course. The tail end were then required to help out with our first deflation, Geoff having helpfully stopped at a bus stop on Jamaica Road. My tyres had a lucky escape on Lower Road when I went over a broken bottle, and somehow none took both one or both tyres out. Phew! By the time we got to the regroup at Greenwich, and were rejoined by Martin and those lost-and-found waymarkers, we were a good half hour behind usual schedule. On to the usual Plumstead comfort break stop/regroup, where many resorted to carrying their bikes over the rather large quantities of glass.

Through to Dartford, and as ever, regroups were short for us at the back (not a complaint, it comes with the job), though there was a certain amount of faffage on the Fast Track bus lane. Alice and her lovely old Saracen frame, the aforementioned Daisy, with its not-so-lovely bolted on rear wheel, suffered the first of multiple deflations- on the back, of course. Thank you, Mr Local Bike Shop in Brixton, for doing that to the frame and taking the quick release off, very helpful. Hopefully the fine folk at Brixton Cycles will sort it out for her. Charlie had a puncture on the east side of Greenhithe, where he was also helped out by a passing chap on a rather nice Giant. Charlie's new Mavic wheels were rather tight to get tyres on, but Nick and his VAR levers got the job done.

Alice picked the perfect place and time for her next puncture, almost. The final turn before Strood. Another few minutes and we could have sorted it at the church…ho hum. And then, at last, to the church. By this stage, most of the ride had been there a while. Which meant that my stop was a bit rushed. Only time for getting two rolls, a bit of lemon drizzle, two pieces of the bread pudding, and a bit of victoria sponge, in my face, then. Fewer leftovers for Tim, at least.

By the time we left the church, first light was visible. A few riders left us here for an early train home. Soon we were into the rural(ish) bit of the ride. More punctures, a bit of faffage, and by the time we got to Sainsbury's in Faversham (second comfort stop option) we were already past eight o'clock. In readiness for the breakfast sprint, I relinquished the all-up job (thanks Kim and Martin), and once we hit that last turn I attempted to burn the last of those halfway calories. A good turn of speed in places, but traffic and the wind where it wasn't favourable did for any hopes of beating my PR on the 6.7 mile Strava segment ('race for breakfast'). Unlike Greg, who sped past me, right from the back of the ride, and clocked the fastest time this year, and eighth fastest overall. :bravo:Chapeau.

On to the Waterfront, where I delivered cake courtesy of Tim and Angela to the staff- much appreciated- before demolishing the large breakfast. And then, an epic train journey. On account of the wind, the one-an-hour high speed service into St Pancras was suspended, so the one-an-hour service into Victoria, which was still running, it was. Oh dear. As ever, quite a few of us were aiming for the same train as me, unfortunately some of them didn't know how to get to the northbound side, so ended up lugging their bikes over the footbridge. Whoops. The 10.27 service was already running a few minutes late by the time it got in, as Network Rail had imposed a 50 mph speed restriction. The conductor decided to blame us cyclists for a further delay (balderdash). And then, we got some additional stops to boot. Helpful. Rammed, slower running and increasingly late…by the time we got to Victoria we were over half an hour later than scheduled. A fellow rider described it as the journey from hell....not even slightly. Over to Waterloo, in time for the one o'clock service, and hence home and the usual nap.

Dear weather: enough already with this wind and rain on Friday ride nights, OK? Ta.

Great job Kim, and thanks everyone. Kings Lynn next…
 

BromyG

Über Member
Location
Deepest Essex
Well, as a first ride as leader for Kim, that was a baptism of fire (baptism of wind and rain would be more appropriate given the weather!) but she came through with flying colours. Pink legwarmers about the same shade as a maglia rosa, fittingly…

After last time's fail in the post-work sprint challenge, more usual result on Friday night. Usual 9.30 finish gave me the usual seven and a half minutes, but I rolled up to the northbound platform at the airport station just as the train pulled in, which was nice. Got to Waterloo & met up with @mmmmartin @robjh and (pleased to meet you) @LucretiaMyReflection. Appeared not to be raining at this stage. Appearances were deceptive. Having made our way round to the NT, it was drizzling, so the trousers came on & stayed on for the duration. Never that wet, thankfully, but wet enough to want the protection. Turnout a bit lower than the seventy or so registered, but still a healthy fifty or so.

For the second Whitstable run in a row, I was all-up man, this time with Martin, Nick, and most of the time, Greg. On this night as that, there was a navigational error- not by us, this time (I'll come back to that). Again, we were rather busier than we would have liked- somewhat inevitable, rain hides all the grot that causes punctures- and again, some of the waymarkers were a bit slow to get going after the call of 'all-up', sometimes I needed two or three calls. Certainly wasn't whispering either, despite Greg's suggestions I was a bit quiet (these Australians and their sledging :smile: ). Never mind…

We left a few minutes late, tsk tsk. At first, all went fairly well, but then there was a bit of a waymarking fail (Tabard Street/Law Street junction, I think from a look at the GPX tracks for this run and April's). Martin reckoned it was someone not being clearly visible to oncoming riders rather than leaving their post. In any case, this meant the back of the ride ending up on the Old Kent Road, definitely off route and definitely not cyclist-friendly. A bit of impromptu rerouting got us back on track. Martin doubled back to collect the waymarkers inadvertently left behind, while the rest of us got on back on course. The tail end were then required to help out with our first deflation, Geoff having helpfully stopped at a bus stop on Jamaica Road. My tyres had a lucky escape on Lower Road when I went over a broken bottle, and somehow none took both one or both tyres out. Phew! By the time we got to the regroup at Greenwich, and were rejoined by Martin and those lost-and-found waymarkers, we were a good half hour behind usual schedule. On to the usual Plumstead comfort break stop/regroup, where many resorted to carrying their bikes over the rather large quantities of glass.

Through to Dartford, and as ever, regroups were short for us at the back (not a complaint, it comes with the job), though there was a certain amount of faffage on the Fast Track bus lane. Alice and her lovely old Saracen frame, the aforementioned Daisy, with its not-so-lovely bolted on rear wheel, suffered the first of multiple deflations- on the back, of course. Thank you, Mr Local Bike Shop in Brixton, for doing that to the frame and taking the quick release off, very helpful. Hopefully the fine folk at Brixton Cycles will sort it out for her. Charlie had a puncture on the east side of Greenhithe, where he was also helped out by a passing chap on a rather nice Giant. Charlie's new Mavic wheels were rather tight to get tyres on, but Nick and his VAR levers got the job done.

Alice picked the perfect place and time for her next puncture, almost. The final turn before Strood. Another few minutes and we could have sorted it at the church…ho hum. And then, at last, to the church. By this stage, most of the ride had been there a while. Which meant that my stop was a bit rushed. Only time for getting two rolls, a bit of lemon drizzle, two pieces of the bread pudding, and a bit of victoria sponge, in my face, then. Fewer leftovers for Tim, at least.

By the time we left the church, first light was visible. A few riders left us here for an early train home. Soon we were into the rural(ish) bit of the ride. More punctures, a bit of faffage, and by the time we got to Sainsbury's in Faversham (second comfort stop option) we were already past eight o'clock. In readiness for the breakfast sprint, I relinquished the all-up job (thanks Kim and Martin), and once we hit that last turn I attempted to burn the last of those halfway calories. A good turn of speed in places, but traffic and the wind where it wasn't favourable did for any hopes of beating my PR on the 6.7 mile Strava segment ('race for breakfast'). Unlike Greg, who sped past me, right from the back of the ride, and clocked the fastest time this year, and eighth fastest overall. :bravo:Chapeau.

On to the Waterfront, where I delivered cake courtesy of Tim and Angela to the staff- much appreciated- before demolishing the large breakfast. And then, an epic train journey. On account of the wind, the one-an-hour high speed service into St Pancras was suspended, so the one-an-hour service into Victoria, which was still running, it was. Oh dear. As ever, quite a few of us were aiming for the same train as me, unfortunately some of them didn't know how to get to the northbound side, so ended up lugging their bikes over the footbridge. Whoops. The 10.27 service was already running a few minutes late by the time it got in, as Network Rail had imposed a 50 mph speed restriction. The conductor decided to blame us cyclists for a further delay (balderdash). And then, we got some additional stops to boot. Helpful. Rammed, slower running and increasingly late…by the time we got to Victoria we were over half an hour later than scheduled. A fellow rider described it as the journey from hell....not even slightly. Over to Waterloo, in time for the one o'clock service, and hence home and the usual nap.

Dear weather: enough already with this wind and rain on Friday ride nights, OK? Ta.

Great job Kim, and thanks everyone. Kings Lynn next…
Nice write up Stu. You did a valiant job at the back of the ride seeing us right through the wet & windy night to Faversham. Had a good run at the 'race to breakfast' too, but fell foul of stationary traffic in Whitstable which scuppered any progress on that segment! New PBs on the shorter ones though. Took the train to Gravesend aiming for the Tilbury ferry, but fortunately found out it wasn't running when changing trains at Rochester! Ended up having to go through to Stratford International and the football crowds at West Ham, before the final (delayed) train home. Good to meet many new faces and thanks to all for another good night out!
 
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