FNRttC Friday Night Ride to the Coast - London to Brighton - 13th September

ianrauk

Tattooed Beat Messiah
All this talk about Turner's Hill and Ditchling's reminded me of just how much I miss hooning down Lonesome Lane at Silly o'clock.

You've got a fantastic night for it: enjoy!
Also...how about the one, me and you descending from Brighton in stair rods rain..:eek: ^_^
 

hatler

Guru
This ride will be the culmination of a 13 year plan. Mini's first appearance on a London - Brighton FNRttC was shortly before the end of July 2006 (we sneaked in at Ditchling), and after that he has always wanted to do the whole thing.
Mission accomplished.

Big turnout (approx 80). Completely cloud-free night with a full moon. No rain forecast, mild and a very gentle tail breeze probably helped the numbers.

What happened ?
I think there was one puncture which was fixed by Titus at Clapham Common. I heard no other reports of punctures.

A pedal fell off (it was already looking pretty crooked). Turns out the pedals had been mounted in the wrong cranks. Adam to the rescue.

The Edifice was as wonderfully edificial as ever.

It was colder in the dips than forecast. (Someone recorded (I think) 4C in one of the dips.)

There was one stunning stretch where the full moon was dipping towards the horizon to our right and the sky to the left was becoming an ever richer and more vibrant hue of deep red.

Sun rose behind a clump of trees whilst we were on Slugwash Lane (and this caused a mild delay to the ride as about half of us stopped to coo in amazement and take piccies).

The route was the classic FNRttC Brighton route. Even though we start from the South Bank now we crossed to the north of the river on Westminster Bridge and then stuck to the Embankment until we got to Chelsea Bridge where we then slavishly followed the original route.

The waymarking was faultless (though I understand that on occasion Charlie's call for volunteers fell on, if not deaf, then partially hearing ears).

Thomas (Tomas ?) was notable in the number of junctions he marked, and it was a delight to see mini-hatler taking his turns too.

At the bottom of Portnalls Adam put his knowledge to use to shorten the reach of a first-timer's brake levers. (This was a colleague of mine who had hired the bike for the weekend and it really hadn't been fitted to her at all beyond it having the right saddle height.)

Tim D was left behind at the start to collect a couple of late-runners and they finally caught up with us at the bottom of Portnalls.

Southern trains had a bit of a 'mare so Adam caught us at Clapham Common and we didn't see poor Shadow until we were going up Ditchling and he was tearing down.

Sam managed two ascents of both Portnalls and (I think) Ditchling. What is he, some sort of masochist ?

DItchling was its usual ugly self, and there were no issues with the road closure. Unusually though, waiting around at the top wasn't the customary brutally wind-chilling freezer. The sun was out, its rays could be felt and the wind was negligible.

Lonesome Lane has deteriorated somewhat from its perfect state of 12 years ago. There's a rut down the middle that goes on for what seems like miles, and if you get stuck in that it's hard to get out.

Lanes Slugwash, Hundred Acre and Streat were about as close to cycling nirvana as it's possible to get. Quiet, smooth, surrounded by nature at its most stunning and beautiful, and ripe blackberries. What more could we ask ?

All in all a blast. My four colleagues loved it (though one would rather have a different sized bike next time) and mini made it all the way through with only the one dozy patch. He's no slouch is he ?

You might have noticed that my account is mildly random, and that will be because following our departure from the 'spoons at the Marina the trains were up the swanny, and by the time the two of us got home we hardly had enough time to spin round and head for the new White Hart Lane to watch the Spurs game. As we walked back through the door at 7pm mini went straight to bed. I've managed to shovel a random plate of food down my throat and am now heading for bed myself.

Sleep well all.
 

StuAff

Silencing his legs regularly
Location
Portsmouth
A smidge under 150 miles, not including the ride home from Cosham station, on the clock. I was planning to complete the Pompey-London-Brighton triangle but I'm pretty sure the early morning chill did for my energy levels (I was eating and drinking enough), I lacked my usual pace and I ended up walking up Ditchling for the first time since my first ascent in 2009 (fluffed a gear change, came to a grinding halt, decided walking would be easier). Then having a nano-nap at the summit. Trains were more SNAFU than usual- first westbound train disappeared from the screens with two minutes to go (no platform number ever appeared), so the 11.33 Southampton-bound service it was. A good day & night, nonetheless…
More to follow after one of these things known as a night's sleep…
 
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robjh

Legendary Member
That was another superb Fridays ride. That moon in the cloudless sky that accompanied us all the way to dawn. And dawn - the red eastern sky, the sunrise. Climbing Ditchling - always good - in the bright clear light of morning, the shimmering blue sea at Brighton. As well as old classics like the Portnalls Road drag, and Reigate Hill at 3 am (though rather too many cars in our way for my liking).

I had a good, brisk SMRbtLondon, with Alice and Patrick as far as Horley where we stopped for lunch at an excellent Portuguese café, and after that on my own as we each continued at our own pace. I must be getting better at this overnight riding/tiredness thing, as I still felt full of vim and energy all the way to King's Cross, with time for a short family visit in Croydon on the way. I had 15 minutes' dozing in the train and walked through the door at 7.30pm. Was anyone later home than that?

Thanks to Adrian + TEC crew for running the ride, and to all for your company and good cheer.

Just two photos - the regroup at Turners Hill, with a hint of dawn in the distance, and arrival at Ditchling summit.
20190914 FNRttC Brighton ride (12).jpg
20190914 FNRttC Brighton ride (24) Ditchling Beacon.jpg

(more photos over on the Fb group page)
 

StuAff

Silencing his legs regularly
Location
Portsmouth
Well....
As my earlier thoughts will indicate, a tinge of regret at not riding back- conditions would have been perfect, even one of those tailwind thingies- but only a tinge. It would have been nice to avoid all usage of trains on this one for the second time in a row, and (thanks to northbound travel issues) I'd have bagged my second imperial 200. But, given the fatigue I was clearly feeling in the early morning, that would not have been sensible. OK, even less sensible. Ho hum.

Back to Friday afternoon. In anticipation of another attempt at drawing A Very Large Triangular GPS Track, I'd naturally taken the day off, and had a quiet morning with nothing much doing apart from a trip to the supermarket for a sandwich for later & checking the bike over. Set off just after two, on the usual route north. Vaguely headwindy, and unsurprisingly my pace was a little lower than normal, rolling average steadfastly refusing to get to 12 mph, let alone above, but nearly there…Anyway, stopped at Petersfield Tesco for a call of nature & a bag of doughnuts, then on to Haslemere- just about 2 3/4 hours there, so only a little slower than usual- before Guildford, the A3 bike path (I actually saw another bike on it! And it was all neat and tidy! Wow!), and then Ripley, where I paused for the sandwich at about 6.45. In view of my frequent fails to successfully navigate the Kingston upon Thames one-way system, I had a GPX track set up for the next stretch. Which took an age to load, and then didn't. Twice. Bah! I gave up on that, onward just after seven.

Through Ockham and on to the A307, and then Kingston. Oh dear. I ended up going over the footbridge to Teddington, then NE to Sheen, and finally to Putney and Wandsworth. Should have been nice and straightforward from there, but I stuffed up a roundabout on the A3 I've done many times before, and ended up turning south for a bit, which added yet more miles. Crossed the river again on Wandsworth Bridge, before finally through Chelsea, back over Westminster Bridge, and on to Belvedere Road at just about 10pm. 85 miles or so, so about six or seven miles more than had I taken all the right roads in the right order. Pizza Express for refuelling, and then to the NT…

A splendid turn-out awaited. 80 had registered, 72 made it to the NT. Three, including @Shadow, were marooned by major issues on Southern services (trespasser on the line at Balham, apparently). Nigel joined us at Ditchling though, chapeau! @Flying Dodo was delayed by those same problems but managed to find a working service into Clapham Junction & met us on the Common. Two more newcomers were running late, @Trickedem waited for them and they finally joined us on Portnalls Road. Adrian had decided to take, for the most part, the 'classic' FNR Brighton route- so, back over Westminster Bridge, along Millbank to Chelsea Bridge, then south to Clapham Common, where we gained one rider- Adam- and lost another. Apparently, the ride was too slow for him. Not entirely sure what he expected…he would have been a handy waymarker by the sounds of it.

Portnalls Road was the usual grind, and Reigate Hill the usual thrill. With it being off-menu in the past few years, not sure if I had ridden the Litespeed down it before [EDIT: Yes, my memory failed, Shoreham May 2016] but it was a reasurringly stable descender. Not entirely sure what speed I reached- checking the Garmin at the regroup showed a maximum of 30.4 mph (er, no), Garmin Connect data can't make its mind up (top speed shown Im Possible, maximum in lap data too slow), and Strava reckons 39.8 mph- that seems more plausible.

On to the Edifice, in my case as part of an advance party led by Tim, and a splendid spread awaited us as always. With the benefit of hindsight, I should have donned some additional layers there. Turners Hill, as ever, was a nice little workout. By the time dawn rose though, I was definitely feeling more fatigue than usual (and certainly more fatigued than on last year's installment). Should have put those layers on, but it was a bit late now. Ditchling should have gone better, though I certainly wasn't slow. For a walker. And I've never felt the need to nod off at the summit before. As usual, the drop into Brighton was punctuated by far too many red lights. Wetherspoons breakfast also the usual, then back out of the lovely concrete Marina to the station. Station is doing a more than usual impression of something by H. Bosch. Epic queues for ticket machines and seemingly every service delayed or cancelled. Ordinarily, I have two rail options for getting home (acts of replacement bus permitting)- one to Fratton, per hour, and one service to Southampton that stops at Cosham per hour. Despite aforementioned epic queue, I should have been able to make the next train to Havant (the lines into Portsmouth were closed all weekend) at 11.08. Train is showing as on time, but no platform number is given. 1105, the listing disappears from the board. Some minutes later, it reappears, marked as delayed. Disappears again, never to reappear. Fortunately, the next Southampton service was on time (almost) and just paid an excess fare to get to Cosham rather than Havant. Back just after one, and then the land of nod for a couple of hours.

Thanks everyone. Shoreham? Surely…

Edit: Scores on the doors for Pompey-London-Brighton (including the run to the station). 149.61 miles in 13:19 moving, 20:41 elapsed. Average speed of 11.2 mph, 7,266ft of climbing.
 
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ianrauk

Tattooed Beat Messiah
Well....
As my earlier thoughts will indicate, a tinge of regret at not riding back- conditions would have been perfect, even one of those tailwind thingies- but only a tinge. It would have been nice to avoid all usage of trains on this one for the second time in a row, and (thanks to northbound travel issues) I'd have bagged my second imperial 200. But, given the fatigue I was clearly feeling in the early morning, that would not have been sensible. OK, even less sensible. Ho hum.

Back to Friday afternoon. In anticipation of another attempt at drawing A Very Large Triangular GPS Track, I'd naturally taken the day off, and had a quiet morning with nothing much doing apart from a trip to the supermarket for a sandwich for later & checking the bike over. Set off just after two, on the usual route north. Vaguely headwindy, and unsurprisingly my pace was a little lower than normal, rolling average steadfastly refusing to get to 12 mph, let alone above, but nearly there…Anyway, stopped at Petersfield Tesco for a call of nature & a bag of doughnuts, then on to Haslemere- just about 2 3/4 hours there, so only a little slower than usual- before Guildford, the A3 bike path (I actually saw another bike on it! And it was all neat and tidy! Wow!), and then Ripley, where I paused for the sandwich at about 6.45. In view of my frequent fails to successfully navigate the Kingston upon Thames one-way system, I had a GPX track set up for the next stretch. Which took an age to load, and then didn't. Twice. Bah! I gave up on that, onward just after seven.

Through Ockham and on to the A307, and then Kingston. Oh dear. I ended up going over the footbridge to Teddington, then NE to Sheen, and finally to Putney and Wandsworth. Should have been nice and straightforward from there, but I stuffed up a roundabout on the A3 I've done many times before, and ended up turning south for a bit, which added yet more miles. Crossed the river again on Wandsworth Bridge, before finally through Chelsea, back over Westminster Bridge, and on to Belvedere Road at just about 10pm. 85 miles or so, so about six or seven miles more than had I taken all the right roads in the right order. Pizza Express for refuelling, and then to the NT…

A splendid turn-out awaited. 80 had registered, 72 made it to the NT. Three, including @Shadow, were marooned by major issues on Southern services (trespasser on the line at Balham, apparently). Nigel joined us at Ditchling though, chapeau! @Flying Dodo was delayed by those same problems but managed to find a working service into Clapham Junction & met us on the Common. Two more newcomers were running late, @Trickedem waited for them and they finally joined us on Portnalls Road. Adrian had decided to take, for the most part, the 'classic' FNR Brighton route- so, back over Westminster Bridge, along Millbank to Chelsea Bridge, then south to Clapham Common, where we gained one rider- Adam- and lost another. Apparently, the ride was too slow for him. Not entirely sure what he expected…he would have been a handy waymarker by the sounds of it.

Portnalls Road was the usual grind, and Reigate Hill the usual thrill. With it being off-menu in the past few years, not sure if I had ridden the Litespeed down it before, but was a reasurringly stable descender. Not entirely sure what speed I reached- checking the Garmin at the regroup showed a maximum of 30.4 mph (er, no), Garmin Connect data can't make its mind up (top speed shown Im Possible, maximum in lap data too slow), and Strava reckons 39.8 mph- that seems more plausible.

On to the Edifice, in my case as part of an advance party led by Tim, and a splendid spread awaited us as always. With the benefit of hindsight, I should have donned some additional layers there. Turners Hill, as ever, was a nice little workout. By the time dawn rose though, I was definitely feeling more fatigue than usual (and certainly more fatigued than on last year's installment). Should have put those layers on, but it was a bit late now. Ditchling should have gone better, though I certainly wasn't slow. For a walker. And I've never felt the need to nod off at the summit before. As usual, the drop into Brighton was punctuated by far too many red lights. Wetherspoons breakfast also the usual, then back out of the lovely concrete Marina to the station. Station is doing a more than usual impression of something by H. Bosch. Epic queues for ticket machines and seemingly every service delayed or cancelled. Ordinarily, I have two rail options for getting home (acts of replacement bus permitting)- one to Fratton, per hour, and one to service to Southampton that stops at Cosham per hour. Despite aforementioned epic queue, I should have been able to make the next train to Havant (the lines into Portsmouth were closed all weekend) at 11.08. Train is showing as on time, but no platform number is given. 1105, the listing disappears from the board. Some minutes later, it reappears, marked as delayed. Disappears again, never to reappear. Fortunately, the next Southampton service was on time (almost) and just paid an excess fare to get to Cosham rather than Havant. Back just after one, and then the land of nod for a couple of hours.

Thanks everyone. Shoreham? Surely…

Edit: Scores on the doors for Pompey-London-Brighton (including the run to the station). 149.61 miles in 13:19 moving, 20:41 elapsed. Average speed of 11.2 mph, 7,266ft of climbing.
Great distance that Stu. Well done.
 

hatler

Guru
Word from the world of work is that they all loved it and are keen to do another ride, quite possibly Shoreham next month. The rider with the hire bike is seriously considering buying a bike to make the ride a more pleasurable experience.

Thanks are clearly due to all those involved making this such a fun ride, and for its running so seamlessly, you know who you are.
 
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mmmmartin

Random geezer
The rider with the hire bike is seriously considering buying a bike to make the ride a more pleasurable experience.
So, @hatler - your chum might want to start here when looking for starter bike - restored to good condition and cheap. I have one, it does what it needs to do there are more expensive ways of buying a bike, but not necessarily a better bike.
 

hatler

Guru
So, @hatler - your chum might want to start here when looking for starter bike - restored to good condition and cheap. I have one, it does what it needs to do there are more expensive ways of buying a bike, but not necessarily a better bike.
Oooo. Neat. I wasn't aware of them. Thank you. I will certainly pass this link to her. I've already offered my services with regard bike selection.
 
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