Avatar for JamieF


Member since Aug 2014 • Last active Jul 2018
  • 49 conversations


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  • in Campagne
    Avatar for JamieF

    It's a bit complicated this week, so read carefully! Our annual road race is coming up in 2 weeks' time and various newer members of the club are either racing in it for the first time or will be in the convoy or marshalling the event...SO...there will be a club run tomorrow (Sunday 17th June) which will head up to the road race circuit and do a loop of it so that everyone is familiar with it. Not everyone will be doing this, so keep reading if you don't want to go that far.

    We might have enough people for a separate B group (possibly led by James M) and C group (possibly led by Karl B) riding up to the road race circuit. This is the route:

    We have used this twice before to recce the circuit for the 2016 and 2017 races (which both got cancelled, but that's another story). It goes up via High Beach, but not via Mott Street, so if you're joining these groups you need to be at High Beach by 9:30am. The B/C groups should reach Thaxted between 11:00 and 11:30 where I will join them (I'm coming back from injury and can't ride far yet, so will be driving up) and Radwinter by 11:20-12:00 to start one lap of the road race circuit. Once that loop is completed, it's off to Saffron Walden to visit the Bicicletta Velo Cafe: https://www.biciclettavelo.com/menu They serve coffee and cakes and also hot food, but normally stop serving the latter at 1pm. We are likely to arrive between 12:45 and 13:30, so possibly too late for hot food, but I have contacted them to ask if they can keep serving for a little bit longer.

    After the cafe there are two possibilities. Some will be getting the train home from the nearby 'Audley End' station (which is in a village called Wendens Ambo a couple of miles west of Saffron Walden). There are two trains an hour back to Tottenham Hale / Liverpool Street taking approx 45-60 mins. The ticket price is about £12 but we did manage to get group discounts in the past. Others are riding back again via a more direct route:


    So that's about 64 miles if you get the train or 104 miles if you ride back again.

    Meanwhile, not everyone is up for such a long ride. Alex should be leading a B-ish group of riders who will shadow the above ride as far as Takeley and then branch off and start heading home again for a total ride of 65 miles:


    Last, but not least, if none of these take your fancy there should be the usual Social ride led by John who will announce his route on the day. They will be going via High Beach as usual and having a second pick up there at 9:45 (i.e. later than the faster groups).


    If you are new to the club and intending to join us for the first time, have a read of the FAQs: http://leavalleycc.co.uk/club-rides/

    We welcome people to come and join us to see what the club is all about, but we do ask people to become members of the club after their third ride with us. See you tomorrow.

  • in Campagne
    Avatar for JamieF

    Karl has been working on totally revamping the club's website and as part of this he has diligently copied across all of the tumblr blogs I wrote from 2013-2017. The idea is that we will host all of them there in the future.
    Instead of just reporting on our latest races and club runs (which can get a bit repetitive after a while!), I've been intending to add some different features to the blogs. I'm hoping to be able to interview some of the people who have been in the club for decades to find out about how the club has developed and also their own cycling stories through the years.
    I'm out of action with an injury so I've had a lot of time on my hands recently. I couldn't interview anyone, so I decided to kickstart these retrospective features by telling my own story of how I first got into cycling as a teenager (before completely abandoning the sport for many years). This is the result:

  • in Campagne
    Avatar for JamieF

    I was hoping to get started on these shortly, but unfortunately I've torn a calf muscle and will be off the bike for at least a month and then only building back up gradually, so I don't think these rides are likely to start until June now.

  • in Campagne
    Avatar for JamieF

    The winners of our first event of the season on Sunday 11th March were:
    Stuart Travis Men’s Solo TT
    Jess Atkinson Women’s Solo TT
    Callum Biggs + Alfie Salmon 2Up TTT

    Full results in the attachment below

  • in Campagne
    Avatar for JamieF

    I'm looking to do some rides further afield this year, to explore some roads I haven't been on before, but still close enough that it could be done as a reasonable day trip. I bought a book called 'Lost Lanes' (https://www.amazon.co.uk/Lost-Lanes-Glor­ious-Southern-South-East/dp/0957157312 ) for inspiration. It's got 30-odd routes around the south-east of England, but is more geared up for people going at a leisurely pace and not necessarily on a lightweight road bike: many of the rides are under 30 miles long and feature off-road sections. Also, the rides tend to start and finish at railway stations, but I think it's probably easier and cheaper to drive (as otherwise you'd have to ride to/from Paddington or Waterloo or wherever before and after the train journeys to/from the actual ride). So I've used the some of the rides in the book as a starting point, but re-routed and elongated them and often chosen a more suitable starting point. The idea is that all of them should be less than a two-hour drive away.

    These are the routes I've got:
    Kent/Sussex - 55 miles to/from Shadoxhurst (near Ashford), 1 hr 20 min drive down the M20, mostly flat, heading through Romney marshes, to the coast in the shingle wilderness of Dungeness, and passing through Rye. You could get a very fast train from Stratford to Ashford, but it's pricey. https://www.strava.com/routes/12125522

    West Sussex South Downs - 53 miles to/from Blackdown (near Haslemere), heaths, woods, hills, probably covering some of the route of the Velo South event (I haven't actually checked) the route fiendishly finishes with a climb to the highest point in Sussex. You could get a train to Haslemere from Waterloo / 1 hour 30 min drive down the A3 https://www.strava.com/routes/12125751

    Hampshire - 40 miles to/from Easton (near Winchester), similar to the ride above but further west, 1 hr 40 mins down the M3 or train to Winchester from Waterloo. https://www.strava.com/routes/12125860

    Thames Valley / The Chilterns - 48 miles to/from Stokenchurch (near High Wycombe), about 1 hr 10 mins up the M40 or train to HW from Marylebone. A ride of two very different parts: one hilly and the other flat. https://www.strava.com/routes/12130354

    The Cotswolds - 64 miles to/from Combe (middle of nowhere beyond Oxford, quite near Blenheim). Nearly 2 hours' drive up the M40 / train from Paddington to Hanborough. A bit of a trek this one, but taking in loads of the famous places in the Cotswolds such as Burford, Lower Slaughter, Bourton-on-the-Water. Quite a bit of climbing. https://www.strava.com/routes/12131523

    Herts / Chilterns - 47 miles to from Watton-at-Stone (near Hertford / Welwyn Garden City). This is the closest one, just 45 mins' drive up the A10 or a short train journey from Finsbury Park to Knebworth (or from Tottenham Hale to Hertford East). Gets quite hilly in places. https://www.strava.com/routes/12131733

    Suffolk - 68 miles to/from Grundisburgh (beyond Ipswich). About 1 hr 40 min drive up the A12 or get the train from Liverpool Street to Ipswich. A long ride, but fairly flat, taking in the Suffolk countryside and then heading to the coast at Dunwich and Aldeburgh. https://www.strava.com/routes/12132818

    I won't be doing any of these until the weather gets better, but hopefully will do approx one a month from April through to September. I'm happy to do them solo, but if there's interest in doing a B/C group pace club ride with various people driving, I'd be up for that.

  • in Campagne
    Avatar for JamieF

    Roland and (currently) 5 others are planning to do a 100-miler tomorrow, heading out to the Blue Egg cafe (near Great Bardfield), having a coffee, and zooming back home again. The idea is to have a pace of 18-19mph, leaving as close to 9am as possible, and hopefully back again around 3:00-3:30pm. Because they've got a long way to go they WON'T be going via High Beach. There is no second pick up, but if it's awkward for you to get to the town hall you could wait en route at either The Castle (be there by 9:05) or somewhere on the Epping New Road. Here is the route: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/26760853

    I'm going to try to follow them as far as Hatfield Broad Oak, though with my winter level of fitness and on my heavy winter bike, this may prove to be a short-lived attempt. I'm not doing 100 miles, but I've got a route that follows the above for the first 23 miles, then turns round to go home via Hatfield Heath (where there is a cafe or shops). I would expect to be aiming for 17mph overall, though given the circumstances, this might mean 18 on the way out and 16 on the way back. As I am copying their route for the outbound leg, I also won't be going via High Beach. I don't expect to be riding solo (but who knows?!) so should be leading some kind of ill-defined breakaway B/C group. My route: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/26777835

    I suspect there will also be another C group who may well be calling through High Beach and a Social Group as well, but don't have details. If you're doing either of these, please comment below or on Facebook.

    Club Run FAQs: https://leavalleycc.tumblr.com/post/1585­61646193/lea-valley-cc-club-runs-faqs

    Edit: Karl says he'll take a C-group via High Beach, using this route: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/26778042

    (which is different, but also stops at Hatfield Heath so there's a chance we would meet up)