Most memorable ride?

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Most memorable ride?

Postby peetee » 12 Oct 2017, 12:33am

For me it was short and sweet.
Autumn 1984 On the A31 Road between Winchester and Alresford. 9.15 pm - 9.35pm.
Full moon and a clear night on a rural dual carriageway with next to no passing vehicles. Absolutely incredible visibility where usually a pathetic Wonderlight gave meagre vision. I took every opportunity available to switch off my headlight to get the full effect on a deserted road. Moonlight creates quite exceptional 3D definition in the landscape that does not exist in daylight. You can almost count the leaves on trees and trace fissures in the tarmac road surface and overlying features in the countryside are sharply defined.
You really must do it at least once.

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Re: Most memorable ride?

Postby brynpoeth » 12 Oct 2017, 9:24am

I had some good rides in the downs around New Alresford too

The best was the longest, 250 km alone round Eryri, up and over Bwlch Llanberis to Petes Eats for tea and beans, back over Bwlch Llanberis and the Migneint to Bala for more beans and tea, then a loop through Coed-y-Brenin

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Last edited by brynpoeth on 12 Oct 2017, 8:00pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Most memorable ride?

Postby Audax67 » 12 Oct 2017, 11:11am

A 400k out of Belfort in 2007 where I got left by the pack at traffic lights, partner didn't know and went on, then had a minor mechanical and lost them too. The route sheet was crappy and I didn't know the area, so got lost, partner didn't know the way either and got lost independently; but about an hour later he appeared in my mirror and we reckoned we were finally on the right road. Reached 1st control about half an hour after the pack had left, had a quick bite then buggered off into the night.

The weather forecast gave 12°C overnight for Pontarlier, not far off the route, so we had lightish springtime kit with us. 2.45 am found us at the 245 km control, at Saint-Antoine in the southern tail of the Jura. It was 4°C and we had on every stitch of clobber we could muster, including a couple of newspapers each. In lieu of a stamp we photographed each other beside the town sign - "faces of agony".

The route took us through La Cluse et Mijoux. The temperature had risen a bit under the street-lights on Saint-Antoine, but it had dropped back again since. The Château de Joux is close by: it's where they imprisoned Toussaint L'Ouverture after the slaves' uprising in Haiti, leaving him in an unheated cell until he died of pneumonia* in 1803. I would have loved to stop but with hypothermia in mind we went on. Fortunately we started climbing, which warmed us; but as we slowly rose to 1000 metres we went into fog. I was run into by a roe deer, which bounced off and staggered away. I didn't fall over, but partner laughed so much he nearly did. We went over the top and down through the fog at about 50 kph, adding wind-chill to the damp and cold: I fully expected my fingertips to have turned black - they had lost all feeling and felt hard when I pressed them.

We rode down into La Chaux des Fonds at around 7 am and headed straight for the station to warm up. The café there opened at 7.30 so we hung around, then gorged on pastries and coffee. Another climb thereafter and a great belt round a sort of corniche, then we were down into the plain again and heading back to Belfort. We got there with about 3 hours to spare.

I'd call that memorable.

* to put things in perspective in these latter Brexit days, Robert Emmet was hanged, drawn and quartered in the same year.
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Re: Most memorable ride?

Postby robing » 12 Oct 2017, 3:38pm

Probably my first lap of the Isle of Wight, back in 2010. It was the furthest I had cycled in a day then. Have done it several times since!

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Re: Most memorable ride?

Postby gbnz » 12 Oct 2017, 5:12pm

The last and next ride! That said, the following sticks in the mind;

Heading out of Turin and back over to France, I'm fairly sure via the D1006 heading over Col Du Mont Cenis. The road had been washed out for some time, judging by the signs, leaf litter and occasional wild boar sleeping on the road (Nb. though a washed out bridge doesn't stop the cyclist, on a fantastic, empty, alpine road). Middle of August, blazing temperatures, solid black alpine thunderclouds. So on passing a shuttered up summer cottage, I dived onto the verandah and taking account the torrential rain, the closed road, superb views and chance of having an easy night, set up camp with the stove, Judt's History of post war Europe and sleeping bag set out (May even have opened a bottle of wine!). Peace and quiet!

Until somehow, the owner returns, dashes around to the verandah to escape the rain and I'm confronted by a terrified, isolated, middle aged man in a wheelchair, who's found a "tramp" on his verandah :oops:. I departed fairly rapidly (I'll never know if the dogs set on my tent the next morning, while wild camping further up the road were related to the above incident!)

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Re: Most memorable ride?

Postby Bonefishblues » 12 Oct 2017, 5:27pm

A touring leg between Skye, camping near Broadford, and Gairloch many years ago. The stretch next to Maree was especially memorable, with a breeze behind me and the tyres singing.

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Re: Most memorable ride?

Postby The utility cyclist » 13 Oct 2017, 5:33pm

The 3rd day into my first tour in 1990 to Northern France.

Had arrived that day relatively early at the hotel (a ridiculously opulent chateau on the outskirts of Avranches) as I'd cracked out the 50 miles or so in fairly short order. so unloaded the bags, filled the bottles and decided to cycle to Mont Saint-Michel.
The sun was out, it had dropped by about 10C so 'only' 23/24C, the road was absolutely smooth as could be and flat as a pancake with a very slight breeze maybe only a couple of mph behind, it was just amazing riding and then i came across and ended up tagging onto a local cycle group for a few miles at pretty high speeds (well into the mid 20s)
it was so exhilarating, fast speeds, almost effortless, gorgeous weather, no hassle from any vehicles and turned off toward the mount cycling across the causeway, had a bimble around and past the huge melee of people and cars and then cycled back to the hotel (so ended up an 85 mile day :lol: ).

That stretch from the hotel right up until the turn off for MSM will live with me forever, it was a truly beautiful moment of cycling perfection :D

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Re: Most memorable ride?

Postby rmurphy195 » 13 Oct 2017, 6:00pm

I'm struggling to decide which of these two -

The first is, as a teenager setting out from my home near Castle Bromwich as a teenager to cycle to my aunt's house - in Hayes, Middlesex. No maps, I just followed the main A41 through Stonebridge, Kenilworth, Banbury, Aynho and so on to around Aylesbury to pick up the road (A413?) to Uxbridge and followed my nose from there. 10 speed Raleigh, saddlebag with a change of clothes and some sarnies. This was about 1967, you couldn't this way do it now. And if you could, I couldn't - I set out about 8:00 am, arrived a little after 4:30, the thermometer in the back garden was showing 70 degrees!

The second - after taking up cycling again in my 40's I did the Birmingham - Oxford ride, about 68 miles then (from the NEC). The sense of achievement was immense - the more so because we had torrential rain at about the 1/2 way mark! And the camaraderie of all those riders - wow :D Brass band to accompany the tea and cakes from the WI in Hook Norton, with water dripping off my cape into the top of a tuba while I was in the queue! I'll never forget the hospitality shown by my wife's uncle (now sadly deceased) - while I was having a hot bath he got out a bottle of whisky and gave me a good glassful so my wife had to drive back to Birmingham! Then I found out it was one of his Vintage stock ... (I did that one 10 times over the next 11 years, missing one out. By then the numbers had dropped from 5 or 6 thousand to about 500, so it simply wasn't fun any more).
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Re: Most memorable ride?

Postby landsurfer » 13 Oct 2017, 6:21pm

It was Easter.
3 friends from RAF Leuchars.
We caught the train from Leuchars to Inverness.
Arriving at 7 in the evening we cycled 12 miles in the dark to our campsite, put up our shared tent and settled in for this night.
Up and off before dawn the next morning for the ride to Ullapool. Camped at the side of the road for the night, a pub may have been involved.
The next day we rode to Kylestrome, missed the ferry, and the next, and the next. Invited by the landlord to take part in the pool comp that night and offered the use of a dry and warm out building to sleep in for the night.
Setting off the next morning we rode as far as Keoldale where we camped by a stream and waited for the weather to improve to use the ferry to get to Cape Wrath. Local farmer took pity on us ..... we were riding in the snow .... and his brother took us over in his boat. We rode to Cape Wrath took some pictures and went back to the boat. And another night camping in the snow.
The next day, Durness to Tongue and south to Altnahara, the snow gates where closed and herds of deer running across the road in the blizzard was the highlight of the day.
We set up camp in the lee of a wall at Loch Naver and sat out the storm for 2 days.
Mostly playing cards, Hunt the "Lady" ... being the main, and digging out the tent every 3 - 4 hours.
A long day from Loch Naver via Crask Inn (big hot dinner!) to Inverness and asleep on the train back to Leuchars.
The time in pubs .... drink in moderation.
Riding through blizzards and camping and coping in the snow ... all members of RAF Leuchars MRT.
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Re: Most memorable ride?

Postby NATURAL ANKLING » 13 Oct 2017, 9:46pm

I always say that the good rides you can count on one hand, a very personal thing that sticks in your memory.

One - A balls out race on the way home from work in my youth which only lasted five miles, nylon shirt and jeans on a summers day.
In them days I never left the saddle apart from crossing the road out of the car park at work.
That day I didn't but my opponent could not stay in the saddle, he used to hold the record in 78-9 Haytor hill climb, in fairness the race was mainly flat :)

Two - Cycling on my own from Torquay to Minehead and back cruising at 16 mph until I had a flat near to home, with a double back and a few miles short of 170 in a shade over half a day on the old Raleigh :)

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Re: Most memorable ride?

Postby uppadine » 15 Oct 2017, 10:37pm

Last May, 67 or so miles from Iona round the west coast of Mull to Tobermory, utterly lovely weather and stunning scenery which changes frequently, golden eagles above.

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Re: Most memorable ride?

Postby axel_knutt » 16 Oct 2017, 12:23am

My last tour in 2011.

1400 miles from Essex > Peak district > South Pennines > Dales > Lakes > North Pennines > Scottish border > N. Pennines > Dales > S. Pennines > Peaks > Home.
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