Tag Archives: #outsideisfree

View from the #Carradice

#Coffeeneuring 2017 – Mission Accomplished

Coffees one to three had been excellent. Mainly mochas (but that’s what the Bird likes) but we’d also fitted in some GF caik and lot of three-wheeled kilometres. Motivation was therefore high to qualify for one of these rather lovely coffeeneuring patches for the first time. Of course that would leave the BIG question; which of my Carradice bags would have the honour of having it sewn on?

#Coffeeneuring 4

Three wheels again. This time a little spot of errandonneuring in Uxbridge in Middlesex. Despite its now modern appearance, two shopping malls etc. it is very old – dating back to the Saxons and mentioned in the Doomsday book. Uxbridge has been a spot for royalty to stay, a garrison town for Cromwell and an out-of-town staging post for coaches when they were pulled by horses. Click here for more info. 

It all got a bit damp around the edges on the way out, but an enjoyable ride, especially triking down a lumpy, bumpy bridlepath (the Pyghtle) in Denham a small village on the outer limits of Uxbridge. The errandonne was to collect some yarn from the Uxbridge Wool Barons for an afghan currently being crocheted by the Bird. This was successfully accomplished and now time to bag a coffeeneur; one with a difference. We had the delightful company of a coffee plant while the Bird partook of mocha and GF chocolate brownie.

As we had the mega-Carradice for the purpose of carrying yarn, on the way home the Bird just couldn’t resist filling it up with groceries.

Round trip 52km

#Coffeeneuring 5

A complete change of riding pace as we swapped out three wheels for two little wheels that folded for the next couple of coffeeneuring rides. A kind of mini-adventure to the Origami ride (for folding bikes  ) starting from Great Malvern in Worcestershire on Saturday but we’d travel up by train on Friday.

The interweb is a wonderful thing as the Bird pre-booked hotel and trains, which in my books are all good things. The only downside was a day at the office first. As work is such a tedious place, I spent the day in the Carradice Brompton bag until it was time to collect DaisyB (our Brompton) from the cycle shed and head over to Paddington Station. It’s not a bad ride through Paddington bear country and along the Grand Union canal which drops you right by the station. As we hadn’t seen Paddington in the Portobello Road during our ride, we figured we’d check the station. Bingo, there he was, so we took the chance for a coffee with him before boarding our train.

Round trip 44km

#Coffeeneuring 6

A day a-wheel on the Origami ride promised plenty of coffeeneuring opportunities. A leisurely day out on folding bikes (usually with little wheels) where the accent is on decent coffee, honest food, real ale and good company. The Great Malvern ride didn’t disappoint.

Before morning coffee, we hauled ourselves up a rather steep incline from our hotel to chase down CS Lewis and Edward Elgar. Unbeknown to us, Malvern was the inspiration for The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe one wintery snowy night when CS Lewis had a beer with JRR Tolkien and George Sayer. So our first port of call with the Unicorn Pub where that beer was supped.  Click here for more info.

Just meters down the road, we checked in with probably Malvern’s favourite son, the composer Edward Elgar. Famed for riding the district on a Sunbeam bicycle, we acquainted Elgar with a more modern steed. Then woosh, down the hill to the railway station to meet the Origami peloton and score a cappuccino for #coffeeneuring 4 before a slow but enjoyable day a-wheel with old and new friends.

Round trip 36km

#Coffeeneuring 7

A mega-errandonnee as our closing coffeeneuring seemed kind of appropriate but there was the extra task of collecting my package residing at Pinner Post Office. The Bird handed the card to the bloke behind the counter.

Post Office postie: “Who’s Timpsie?”

Bird: “He is” pointing and putting me on the counter.

Postie: “Erm, does he have a passport?”

Bird: “No, he’s a world citizen.”

Postie: “Mmm. In that case, can he prove his address?”

Bird duly does so and my parcel appears. Result! A most wonderful wooly cycling hat from my buddy, Mr B.

A couple of other duties in Pinner and then we are a-wheel and heading for coffee and another errandonnee stop. With an off-road excursion (the Harrow area has retained a lot of its very old bridleways), we rolled up to the Wyvale Garden Centre and finally coffee plus wild bird food and spring bulbs. With panniers bulging, we pedalled off home with our 2017 #Coffeeneuring completed.

Round trip 12km

Total #Coffeeneuring kms 363

With some bonus coffee we exceeded the required 7. What’s not to like!

Looking forward to planning #Coffeeneuring 2018 as there’s places we failed to reach this time around plus machines we didn’t ride.

Advertisements

Rapha Festive 500 2014 – Numbers within Numbers

Rapha Festive 500 2014This year’s Festive 500 unintentionally acquired a theme – numbers.  Like a Russian doll within 29,000 would sit 500 and within this 8 would sit and within this 4 would sit.

The journey to the two biggest numbers, 29,000 and 500 would be accomplished by working through to number 8 which would lead to 4.  Here’s how things unfolded.

Day 1

The day started quietly with a ride to work on near deserted roads.  I was let off early as ’it twas the night before Christmas’.  With time on one hand and a bike on the other, the lanes beckoned. From Fulham I shimmied along old father Thames, then through to Syon Park.  Then there was the endless grey of Southall and Hillingdon, temporarily broken up by a short stretch along the Grand Union canal.

Finally into the lovely lanes of Buckinghamshire as twilight arrived.  Not as many houses decorated with festive lights as in Essex on the weekend, but enough to make the night bright and warm.  A small chunk of local suburbia and then I was at the door to the bikeroom.  102km

Darkness

Day 2

Christmas Day and a brilliantly sunny day waited, so time for a festive spin.  Scotti (MTB) was taken out of the bikeroom for his second Festive 500 ride.  Rack bag with inbuilt co-pilot was attached and the Garmin set in motion.  We headed for one of my favourite local loops, which contained ample skog and leaf chutney for Scotti to enjoy himself plus some super lanes.

The sunshine had brought out lots of folk walking, some of which shared season’s greetings.  The roads were as quiet as a mouse, which was rather nice.  I spotted three topless Noddy cars despite temperatures being somewhat nippy.  The count of fellow bike riders was seriously sadly no more than the Noddy cars. 72km

The Picture House, Bricket Wood

Day 3

This wasn’t just Boxing Day, but provided 62km could be ridden the number 29,000 would appear.  The day dawned cold and grey.  I dug ZoeC out of the bikeroom and off we went, with the co-pilot in winter cycling coat in the rack bag.  I zigzagged through my local lanes, pinging in and out of three counties (Middlesex, Buckinghamshire and Hertfordshire).  Unfortunately, the weather forecast was right and bang on schedule it began to rain.

The Co-pilot

A watchful eye was kept on the Garmin for 62km to turn up. This happened just at the Croxley Green prime sign.  The biggest number of the numbers within numbers had been reached.

Despite the rain, stopping for a commemorative photo was a must.  With only 12km to go until reaching home and with the 29,000 captured, the trundle home was really quite jolly despite the rain becoming heavier. 80km

year total, 29,000km

Day 4

A short errandonneuring ride with Scotti and the Gecko trailer.  Quite cold, but towing a fully loaded trailer of groceries up hill home kept me warm.  As that well known supermarket says ‘every little helps’. 14km

Eranndoneur

Day 5

The quite cold of Day 4 was blasted into old news by the super cold day of Day 5.  By 3pm the roads had defrosted enough to venture a-wheel.  Using some well-known former commuting routes, a swift two and a half hour ride was put in.  Thoughts of Pat Kenny, AUKs late great super mileater creeping out into the dark of the night to come by some illicit miles came into my head as I zoomed through the darkness.  Did normal people go out for night time bike rides I asked myself?  Answer still pending.  51km

Christmas cyclingDays 6 and 7

For these days I was back to the commute.  So just bog standard days.  However, I wasn’t to know that Day 6 would up the ante on super cold and that Day 7 would lift the bar higher.  Frost masqueraded as micro snow and some Big Apple ice dancing was performed in tandem with Scotti.  Thankfully we remained up-right.   128km

Christmas pudding for the head

Day 8

The cold of the final morning of the Festive 500 hit an all-time high, er low of -2C.  The roads were seriously quiet which translated into super icy as there weren’t enough cars to chase away the ice and frost.  Work were being kindly and I was able to leave early.  The icing on the cake was that the weather had changed its mind and had decided not to be cold.  Without hesitation I headed the long way home to enjoy the extra free time a-wheel.  Before reaching home the number 500 was past and then added to.  92km

Fulham Bridge

And the numbers as that old C&W song goes;

  • 29,000   is the number of kms that I have ridden this year
  • 500   is the number of kms that you need to ride to complete a Festive 500
  • 8 i  s the number of riding days for the Festive 500
  • 4   this is now the number of Festive 500s that I have completed

It’s been a rather splendid Rapha Festive 500.

Photos on Flickr