Opportunity to enter the London Nightrider event

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The Jigsaw Trust is proposing to enter 10 riders for the London Nightrider event taking place on 4/5 June, with options of 100km or 60km routes.

The Jigsaw School is based Cranleigh and is independent day school for children and young people with an autism spectrum disorder.

Taking in over 50 of London’s famous landmarks, Nightrider™ London is a truly unique way to explore the capital. While London sleeps, 2500 cyclists will raise more than £1 million in one night for hundreds of charities. Highlights include Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, Tower Bridge, Canary Wharf, Piccadilly Circus, Trafalgar Square, Royal Opera House and the London Eye. Full support, back up and regular break stops are provided throughout the night and a well-earned breakfast and medal at the finish.

There will be one start point in 2016 which will be Lee Valley VeloPark. You will be able to choose from a 100km or 60km route. Both routes are circular and you will finish back at Lee Valley VeloPark.

Places are filling up so if you would like to participate and would like more details please contact:

Yvette Copping  ()

Community & Events Fundraiser

Jigsaw Trust, Jigsaw School, Jigsaw+, Café on the Park

Direct Line: 01483 279674

 

 

 

Snowdrops in Mud

And so it came to pass that he who hates the cold – your scribe no less – found on waking that it was not cold; plus he needed to ride because he hadn’t since those heady, warm pre-Xmas days (how memories of rain soaked rides fade!); plus, the ride began at Godalming Station – oh joy!

Present at Godalming were Clive, Nick, Martin and Heidi, and Chris B.

It wasn’t much of a day for photographs, but it turned out to be a great day for chatting – well I thought so anyway – so there was plenty of that. It must have been a good day for hills too, although Clive was somewhat co-erced into climbing the dreaded Bexley Hill, because there was no one present who wasn’t up for it – there definitely must have been something in the air today. By gum, what a grovel, but, oh, what sweet satisfaction on reaching the top! Coffee at Café Verdi never tasted better. To say Paul and Don looked better too would not be true, but it was good to meet up with them in Midhurst anyway!

We headed east to round Petworth by the south, then headed northwards via Little Bognor to climb Bedham Common (well done, Paul, on your fixie!) and so reach Wisborough Green for lunch at Luigi’s Old Mill Café.

The ride home took the usual lanes, with nothing of note to report about the ride generally other than the fact that Clive succeeded in getting a few suckers to muddy their feet in search of snowdrops. Yes, they were there in force and looked… well, just as snowdrops usually look: very nice, but perhaps not quite compensation enough for getting our shoes all covered in *&%$. A lovely day however – great route, great company and n’eer a shiver in sight.

For full details of the route: https://www.strava.com/activities/477501131

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MAD – Sunday not all day 17th Jan

It was cold and slushy dawn but the thermometer was above freezing. A flurry of texts but no indication that the ride was cancelled. Wet slush on the road but should be less once I get on to the Epsom Road. I can always turn back if it really is madness. Can’t dawdle though as I have wasted too much time being indecisive. I make my exit saying, “I might be back very soon.”

First to Guildford Station and it is grey and threatening looking, not really the best day for a ride. Finally a fellow rider, Chris, appears. “How are you?” he asks. “Mad,” is my reply. He agrees. He had to walk down the hill from his house. And then Clive appears, not as instantly recognisable as he used to be since taking up wearing a helmet. He had a slow journey over Hindhead. Impressed he made it.

Chris is for a very short ride – preferably straight to a local coffee shop and then home. It was snowing when he left home and settling. With Newdigate as our designated coffee stop I had no desire to go over Leith Hill and also favoured a short ride. Going round the hill and then back to Rudgwick was not particularly attractive either. Out came the map and at least 5 more minutes of discussion before we finally decided to head out towards Rudgwick and take a snow check en route – no hills and reasonably main roads. Notcutts Garden Centre or somewhere in Cranleigh all potential bail out sites.

It was wet but luckily few cars and most reasonably well behaved. Shalford, Wonersh, Shamley Green, Cranleigh – we bravely cycled on in line and in silence. The odd glance back to see that we were all together.  Just after Notcutts an impressive piece of parking by someone – in the ditch!  Ellen’s Green, Cox Green and into Rudgwick but Lynwick Street looked most uninviting so we carried on down to Watts Corner and the A281 so that we could approach the Milk Churn from the south. I hope it is open!

We turned in and saw the lights on. Excellent time for a coffee/tea stop, 10:30. Tea all around and a good selection of cakes, more hot water if you need it. We stayed and chatted for a good long time – long enough for a small shower of sleet to come and go. Teapots were refilled and drained so it must be time to go. We split immediately, Clive and Chris turning right, me left. Most of the slush had melted but a lot of water still on the roads. It was a quick ride home – arriving just in time for lunch at 1pm – a really good time for lunch according to my stomach and plenty of time to wash down and dry the Luxo-cruiser. Even time to write a blog or two.

 

The Seductive Power of N+1

His name is Gustav – it says so on the frame – and he rode into my life without so much as a by-your-leave and in spite of, or may be because of, his history. I wasn’t looking for a new bike. I was just seduced.

But let me start at the beginning. I was preparing the Luxo-cruiser for the following day’s ride. The chain needed to be changed and I had the rear wheel out and the cassette disassembled for a complete clean. I had noticed that the brake pads were wearing down a while back and now they urgently needed replacing –  before the following day’s ride. A trip was required to my local bike shop, Horsley Cycles.   John, the owner, fixed me up with two news sets and he asked if I wanted him to put them on. As it was late in the afternoon and he is so fast at these small jobs (and extraordinarily reasonably priced) I said yes. I asked if he had a good Christmas and how were the Orbea’s doing. Fatal. I went over to where they were amongst the eclectic mix of bikes all over his shop. And there was Gustav – the most handsome Dutch style, sit up and beg bike in almost Bugatti Blue and with the most retro good looks that you have ever set your eyes on.

My wife has always wanted a sit up and beg bike and I can see the appeal of just pootling down the shops on one, so I took Gustav out of the rack. He was made in Latvia by Erenpreiss (never heard of them – but there is a website and an impressive range of city bikes). The sheer elegance of the mudguards made my heart miss a beat. They are a simple arc around the circumference of the wheel, no shaping around the rim of the tyres – just so elegant; 3 Speed Sturmey-Archer hub gear with coaster brake (back pedal to brake); a kick stand (Paul and Dane respectively would be proud of me); a chain guard with the logo beautifully cut out. John could see I was interested so he told me the history. Somewhere John Lewis Department Stores came into it but that bit did not make a huge amount of sense; allegedly it was bought there but I am not convinced that John Lewis has stocked them.  Anyway, Gustav was seized by a debt collector to cover a bad debt and the debt collector had asked John to try and sell it. He  only needed to make modest percentage of the list price and John wanted to make a bit on top – net, net Gustav was a steal at the heavily discounted price despite a few very minor scuffs. I don’t think he has ever been ridden. We agreed that I would come back and have a trial ride around the station carpark when it was light and dry.

I had to go the village during the week so I snuck in and had another look. Talked to John about swapping to a 5 speed hub gear and went back home to research a bit more. By the following Saturday the turmoil in my mind was too much – I took my wife down to have a look and prepared the younger offspring that a new bike might enter into my life. I haven’t ridden a coaster brake since the summer before university and the wheel base is noticeably longer than the Luxo-cruiser’s. John put on the requisite pedals and the ride convinced me – no need to swap the hub gear and if I have read the specs right not worth the effort or expense – and great fun to ride.  As my wife pointed out, he needed a bell.  John had just the right one, a large ding-dong one which was duly attached. And so Gustav entered my life.

I don’t really know that I am going to ride him that much – the village is hardly a bike ride away. I wonder if he can make Guildford and back. But you know how it is – you don’t make perfectly rational decisions when being seduced. And then there is all the additional money you are going to spend – he needed some retro looking lights – bought and attached. The leather handle bar grips would look so good and a small Carradice saddle bag. Oh yes, it is a love affair but it is such fun going down to the shops to buy a bottle of milk – you have a hand free for carrying things. I can just see myself pootling along with an open umbrella when it is drizzling. He certainly turns heads – he turned mine!