Stragglists Blog

Posted 10/2/2018           

Hi Stragglists,

It all began as a sort of unfair school football match where one team massively outnumbers the other. Mrs C wasn’t cycling last Sunday so when I arrived at the Angel and suggested that I take group two, everyone except one wanted to be in group two. My prospective ‘team’ had all cottoned on to my continuing sedate mode of cycling in recent times and I think they wanted a piece of it. So the one player against the rest of the world was Mike. Dave, having sympathy or fancying a more eyeballs-out ride, volunteered to go with the poor love and we all pushed off. All this lasted for about three miles when we ground to a halt along Sandy Lane to regroup a very strung out dozen riders. Decisions were made, smaller groups were formed and Crispin appeared from nowhere. By the time we reached Cobham things changed again when Steph asked if she could ride with the big boys and, as if by magic, we were now three groups with four in each. Perfect; and it stayed perfect for the rest of the ride and we even managed to secure a large table inside a bursting Pinnock’s.
Congratulation and Commiserations 
The results of the Ridelondon ballot are being sent out now so congratulations to those who have been given a place and commiserations to the many who, once again, have not been so lucky. As in previous years, Sue will be compiling a list of those who got in so that closer to the time, when the information is available, she can put together a list of start times and start pens for those taking part. So please drop her an email to tell her that you are in.

                 Basking in the suntrap that is Peaslake's village square

A solitary cyclist no more as Mrs C is welcomed into the peloton for the journey home

Hi Stragglists,
The one thing you don’t want to hear when dragging yourself up the dirtiest, pot-holiest and, above all, the narrowest section of Holmbury Road that takes you up and onto Radnor Road into Peaslake is the plaintive call from a woman gently revving a vehicle behind you. When crawling up a steep and difficult hill everything, especially sights and sounds, become more acute than ever for me so that’s why I thought the call from the motorised lady sounded not only plaintive but slightly downhearted. I suppose she had reason. After all, she was following a bunch of cyclists travelling at 5mph whilst burning out her car’s clutch. What she said was, “I’m going to come past.” To which Andrew behind me replied very firmly with, “You’ll have to wait”, a sentiment I couldn’t help but agree with, considering we were on a road that was barely wide enough for a car so throwing a bike into the mix was only going to end in tears. I spotted a driveway a few yards ahead so made for that so that we could slow and let her pass. And that was when she announced from the open window of her car that she was going to stop. What? It was my turn to vocalise my inner thoughts. “Come on, for Christ’s sake!” I was almost track standing by now but then, thankfully, a huge black Range Rovery Chelsea tractor thing went past. Composure was reinstated to concentrate on the rest of the grind up and eventually to the descent into Peaslake.
We also picked up a solo Stragglist in the form of Mrs C. who wanted to test a knee that had been giving her some problems. She set off alone but all seemed to be working very well for her and the rest of the peloton who did a great job as the route had over 800 meters of climbing.  
TT Time
Last week Mirella attended a time trial workshop and found it very interesting. What was especially informative was that a prospective competitor doesn’t have to be a member of a club that is affiliated to Cycling Time Trials to take part in an event. In fact first timers are positively encouraged to give a time trial a go. Hounslow District Wheelers have a few local events and to enter one of their events you just need to send an email to the organisers. 

No More Cold Feet 
Sue spotted this product and thought if you suffer from freezing feet at this time of the year, you might have found your saviour.
A New Sportive
Suddenly out of the shadows steps a new event that is a 100-mile sportive on closed roads, starting at Goodwood in Sussex towards the end of September. It's called Velo South and could be an antidote to the nuttier aspects of Ridelondon. It should be a lumpier one too and all you have to do at the moment is to preregister free. I haven't included the link as a test email with the link included didn't make it into my inbox. Just Google Velo South.  
Sunday’s Ride
I did promise (or threaten) to make last Sunday’s ride a hilly one with the excuse of keeping everyone warm in the sunny but cold temperature. This Friday is sunny and Saturday is going to be sunny too but Sunday is set to be a cloudy one with likely rain in the afternoon. There’s also a Straggler organised running event on Sunday so our peloton will be stripped down somewhat as some regulars will be marshalling the event. Sue will be riding and we are going to Tan House Farm in Newdigate. It’s a very familiar route so I haven’t included a link to the route. It’s also wind dependent as to whether we go via Headley or Tadworth but if you would like it to upload to your Garmin, contact me and I’ll send it to you.
Hope to see you on Sunday.
Happy cycling,

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