Author Topic: Velosolo Club


« Reply #30 on: August 08, 2019 »
Having lately posted of the joys of night riding, quite by accident I have discovered the pleasures of dawn.

You’d think this would have happened naturally, for example as the expected reward of a Friday night ride to the coast, but it hasn’t; the dawn, to me at least, has been strangely indistinguishable from the darkness that has crept away from it. But actually starting in the glow of a new day? That’s something I haven’t done on purpose.

Is this how my eyes see things before my brain turns them around?

I simply worked a bit later one night, missing my usual 3 to 5 slot. That's all. Revelation ensued.

The beauty of riding at daybreak, in addition to the obvious beauty – imagine being paced by a deer running through a meadow in a new morning's mist, which sounds impossibly twee until you've experienced it – is that the roads are still quiet, and I can go a bit faster if I so please (caution taking the lead in the dark).

Plus fewer zombies.


The End is nigh
« Reply #31 on: August 19, 2019 »
The club had every intention of being subsumed by a Spooky Sunday London Ride for the day, but it was not to be. Two ghosts in – Lillie Langtry is said to haunt the Cadogan Hotel in search of who knows what, possibly the witty Wilde or yet another sugar daddy – I took refuge under a water torture tree on the edge of Hyde Park rather than soak up the unexpected deluge...

The morning began with a game of bride-spotting near St. Paul's Cathedral.

The tart cards add verisimilitude

I used to live a few minutes walk away from the wobbly bridge, and was reminded how peaceful the City can be out of office hours. Naturally I tuned out the quiet straight away. Urban cycling wants a soundtrack.

Regent Street wasn't quite as I remembered it.

Turf's up

Arrived at Speakers' Corner with George Thorogood's Bad to the Bone ringing in my ears. The money-changers may have been home observing the Sabbath, perhaps practicing squeezing through the eye of that needle serving as their purported gateway to heaven, but the big guy's emissary had shown up for work:

"When you’re riding your bike you’re going to say Yahweh!" he told me after I lent him an ear and headed off, not before catching sight of

another likely suspect.

Ross the ride organiser had suggested a visit to the comfort station in the park if necessary, but I rebel at paying (they should be paying me!), so used the facilities next door,

which required a near crawl and presented me with

what any children reading this should be informed is an inner tube patch wrapper.

The start was held up by a regiment of horse whisperers.

The feel good move of the year is whatever you were too busy being comforted with to actually watch

I made a mental note to get a picture of Ross’s jazzy jersey at some point. As that point was not to arrive, here’s one I’ve shamelessly lifted:

The first stop in the tour was a ghost in a ghost, a somewhat insubstantial sighting in a disused tube station. Next came the Cadogan, where Mr. Woilde enjoyed room service until the perverse law came calling, and The Jersey Lillie got the ultimate meal deal.

Agreed: life is far too important a thing to ever talk seriously about

Peacock tease

Room service in more or less enlightened times (viewer discretion advised)

The rain, which had lightly tattooed us at the Royal Artillery Memorial (the club took refuge under Wellington Arch),

Honi soit qui mal y pense = Shame on him who thinks evil. Does that include naughty tweets?

then came down in earnest. Staying put under nature's lightning rod, I watched the rest of them depart, feeling guilty for not having told our leader I was dropping out, but it was a decision made very quickly as he dived back in. Why get wet telling him something he’s going to figure out for himself anyway? Or so I told my conscience.

I don't know what species of tree it was, but it sure as hell wasn't waterproof. After a long while I said to myself and any squirrels who were listening ʞɔnℲ this, can’t trust nature, need something man-made.

I made a dash for the portico of what turned out to be the embassy of Kuwait. Unsure of their human rights record, specifically as regards loiterers, I then opted for the nearby Franco-British Society, before settling myself under sturdy looking construction across the street.

A cyclist came by riding on two flat tyres. His chain jammed, so he grabbed it with his bare hands, put it back on track, and continued completely unflustered.

A fellow traveller?

The rain finally abated. Though this little slice of Knightsbridge offered the choice of Ishbilia Authentic Lebanese Cuisine, an Iraqi version of same, and Italian, I took my lunch just off the Regent Street greening. I can resist everything but temptation.

Several museums followed.

They called it a draw

She was touched her twin had remembered her birthday

Yo, play some Jethro Tull (this caption brought to you by Breaking Bad)

He doesn't want you till you're done

Either perspective hadn't been invented yet, or those were titbits before the next fast

What they mean when they say there's no there there

Brother can you spare an oh brother

Where's Yahweh when you need him

I also caught a protest across from that other museum

I tawt I taw a puddy tat

Unintentional irony

Different protest, but throw in lunch and he’ll add a theatrical flourish to yours, too

pondered truthfulness, compassion, and forbearance at Trafalgar Square

considered if the music was really as bad as that monk seemed to think it was

waited in vain for Mr Shadow to shift from over the Kuwaiti flag

snapped a selfie

kept out of range of the ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal Pikachu of Pokémon


Power to the people

and gazed up in wonder at what may be Yoda's ride out of here, if the Nat'l Gallery ever get their way

The End is nigh



Nice to see you
« Reply #32 on: February 05, 2020 »
Yesterday I struck up a conversation with a couple of bystanders on my regular ride up to the pyramid. One of them recognised me, which isn’t surprising, as I’ve been going past his house for many years. "I like your bike," he said. I was then obliged to tell him about my cherished collection of tubes

click to be a frame builder
made not far away by the boys from Enigma. "Is it fixed?" he asked, bumping him into a different category of bystander. No, it's the antidote to fixed.

We chatted about hills, pondered if electric bikes are cheating (our little jury ruled that it’s not),

Verdict: not cheating

and parted no longer complete strangers, which was the point. I’m sure a great many motorists aren’t best pleased to see a cyclist in front of them on the lanes. It’s good to put a face to the obstacle.

I nodded hello to the alpacas a little farther along,

"Nice to see you, to see you nice"

gave the impressionable youth walking home from school an unhelmeted, earphone-wearing role model, broke the speed limit down a short reduced speed stretch of the A21 (where nobody goes 20mph, not even cyclists), waved to Peter, rolling along in his powered wheelchair, and arrived home buzzing with my own electricity generated from another club run.