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Tuesday, 31 March 2015
Stevenage Start of Summertime Special 115 km


On Sunday past I cycled out from Stevenage on an (as it turned out) ironically named Start of Summertime Special.  As you can see in the video it didn’t feel like summertime, and I didn’t even want to get out of bed when I heard the rain pounding on my window.  Still, when I arrived at the parking the rain was holding back. I discovered my front brakes weren’t working and borrowed someone’s pliers to fix them. I met the Mayor of Stevenage, the very charming Sherma Batson:

She then gave us the “go” and we headed off, less than enthusiastically.  It seems that for the first 58 km or so I had the wind at my back (it didn’t feel like it though). Coming back I discovered that I was cycling into 75 kph gusts of wind, which slowed me down considerably.  At the arrivĂ©e another finisher told me proudly that his mate had hailed a taxi at some point.  Talking of hail, besides for the wind I endured rain and hail showers.  I also passed through the hamlet of Ugley, and the village of Nasty. Both were appropriately named for the day.  At the end of the day it was good to complete the ride and I brought my cycling tally for the year to over 1000 km.

An honest description of an English church:

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An honestly named English village:

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So in summary the ride was incredibly boring. It felt boring and grey on the way out, and on the way back the only thing keeping my mind occupied was how hard I would have to peddle on the downhill stretches in order to move my bicycle forwards.

Posted by bigblue on 31/03/2015 at 10:04 PM
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Wednesday, 25 March 2015
Antigone

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So amazing to be in the same room as the amazing Juliette Binoche (again) this evening and see her perform in this play. 

Posted by bigblue on 25/03/2015 at 10:41 PM
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Tuesday, 24 March 2015
Oxted from the Woldingham Viewpoint

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The view I saw of Oxted at dusk this evening, after a brief rain shower. 

Posted by bigblue on 24/03/2015 at 07:27 PM
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Sunday, 22 March 2015
LS59YFU - Following the leader (the leader, the leader ...)


This is not the worst tailgating that I saw during my ride today, but it shows the consequences of tailgating when the unexpected occurs and how it puts other road users at risk. I had to unclip my shoes from my pedals and simultaneously brake in order to avoid either going into the back of this chap, or falling over.

Posted by bigblue on 22/03/2015 at 10:10 PM
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Saturday, 21 March 2015
The Kennet Valley 100

A couple of weeks ago I did this circular 100 km ride from Grazeley near Reading out to Hungerford and back and quite enjoyed it. You can see more details about the ride here.  The weather was brilliant (albeit windy) as you can probably see from the video, and I completed the ride in 4 hours 49 minutes (plus stopping time).  I actually cycled a little further than the official route because I was worried about my cycle computer showing less than 100 km travelled.

Posted by bigblue on 21/03/2015 at 03:37 PM
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Thursday, 19 March 2015
GX63XOL - Driver expects cyclist to move out the way?


Another day, and I encounter another incompetent Oxted driver.  I wish I knew what she was thinking, particularly when she wagged her finger at me.

Posted by bigblue on 19/03/2015 at 07:44 AM
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Wednesday, 18 March 2015
Every breath you take

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Involves inhaling this toxic soup which has descended over Oxted (and the South East of England. Birkett attributes the deaths of 106 people in Surrey this year to human-made air pollution (as at the time of writing this). The figure is based on average deaths attributed to this over the course of a year but one presumes there are peaks at times of dangerously high toxins, as we are experiencing now. This is the third episode in 2015 so far where we have experienced dangerously high particle air pollution.

Posted by bigblue on 18/03/2015 at 08:06 PM
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Tuesday, 17 March 2015
Happy St Patrick’s Day

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It was interesting to see the Hari Krishna float at the St Patrick’s Day parade in London on Sunday. Along with the Columbians  and all the other nationalities. 

Posted by bigblue on 17/03/2015 at 08:19 AM
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