Solo night ride

Commuting, Day rides, Audax, Incidents, etc.
BE1
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Re: Solo night ride

Postby BE1 » 1 Sep 2014, 10:32pm

The forecasts suggest it will be quite mild on Thursday night :)

By way of extra clothes for the temperature forecast I usually take a thin merino base layer, a light wind jacket or a waterproof depending on the forecast and Silk inner gloves and a buff or skull cap.

If wet a dry pair of gloves and socks in a plastic bag either boost morale at the halfway stop or make the journey home more bearable

fluffybunnyuk
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Re: Solo night ride

Postby fluffybunnyuk » 3 Sep 2014, 4:37am

I do south london to Brighton, and back night rides quite a bit to keep my cycling legs in. If id have known sooner Id have offered to tag along. It wouldnt be quite so solo then I guess.
Good luck with it. Theres nothing like that crisp air smell and feel, and the silence as your pedalling along to your own imagination :D

LondonBikeCommuter
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Re: Solo night ride

Postby LondonBikeCommuter » 4 Sep 2014, 5:53pm

Had the worst day in quite some time today. Anyway all now seems in order and I'm just doing a few last minute checks and making doubly sure that all the electronics are fully charged and ready to go. Tanking myself up on caffeine and a bit of pasta. Definitely going to stop at Gatwick for a coffee I'm assuming that it's fairly obvious to find the 24hr coffee?

Well here goes, thanks for all the advice and as the saying goes..... I may be some time! ;)
Last edited by Graham on 6 Sep 2014, 2:19pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: swear edit

LondonBikeCommuter
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Re: Solo night ride

Postby LondonBikeCommuter » 4 Sep 2014, 5:54pm

Oops sorry fluffybunnyuk definitely next time!

LondonBikeCommuter
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Re: Solo night ride

Postby LondonBikeCommuter » 5 Sep 2014, 6:44am

Made it! :-)

No thanks to Garmin though :-(

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feefee8
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Re: Solo night ride

Postby feefee8 » 5 Sep 2014, 7:56am

Well done!! And what did the garmin do?

BE1
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Re: Solo night ride

Postby BE1 » 5 Sep 2014, 9:33am

Great , full report please...after you have had a good sleep of course :)

LondonBikeCommuter
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Re: Solo night ride

Postby LondonBikeCommuter » 5 Sep 2014, 5:44pm

Yup, will do. With it being a Friday night am staying in Brighton this evening. Reason, food and beer but will do a write up when I get back tomorrow. Feefee8 wrong question... more tomorrow!

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feefee8
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Re: Solo night ride

Postby feefee8 » 5 Sep 2014, 8:30pm

Ah! Enjoy the beer :)

LondonBikeCommuter
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Re: Solo night ride

Postby LondonBikeCommuter » 6 Sep 2014, 7:19pm

feefee8 wrote:Ah! Enjoy the beer :)


;) the beer was good, the food not so.

Anyway, a report of sorts on my first night ride London to Brighton.

Decided that Trafalgar Square was as central a point as any in London to start my trip so although my GPS route started from Hyde Park Corner I actually started at Trafalgar Square and rode via HPC. First issue I had was with my recently superseded Garmin Edge810 Cycle GPS. I'd put my route into Garmin Connect and then transferred it to the 810. No matter what I did the 810 REFUSED (resets etc) to be budged from its assertion that I was in fact on Ballam High Road despite the map view CLEARLY showing the Environ of Trafalgar Square and central London. Shrugged off my misgivings, thinking what the hell its only 6 miles so headed toward HPC. Lovely warm evening pretty much perfect for cycling despite a substantial amount of traffic especially constitutional Hill and around to Victoria which was a car park.

Got to the point where Garmin had originally thought I was i.e Ballam High road and all of a sudden I started to get direction pointers!. Despite having been in London for about 15 years I have almost no knowledge of South London but have to say the cycle down towards Mitcham Common via Tooting was pretty decent with fast and pretty open roads.

I mention Mitcham Common because this is where the first "error" happened . I'll give the 810 the benefit of the doubt and say I missed the turn but as the night wore on I suspect it WAS at fault. At the roundabout with the A207 and A236 I went down the wrong one (A236) and ended up at Purley Way (A23) before I realised that "this isn't right!" The 810 was no help in getting me back on course so I used Google Maps on my phone to plot a route back on course via Beddington Lane. Unfortunately I had a visitation from the PF :( The lane was lined with light industrial units and all the crud they leave on the road. Only good thing was it happened opposite a petrol station so I had plenty of light to mend things and a man to give me some paper to wipe my hands with. Managed to pick the route up again on the A237. All was well until Cousldon when it happen again it sent me straight on when I should have turned right. Realised there was a problem when it routed me down the A23. Google Maps again showed I was off route :( Worked out I could nip up Hollymeoak Road and get back on course. I only mention the road because it was vertical! even Mr Wiggin's would have frowned. Started to look further ahead on my route and noted that I needed to stay on this road till the M25. The 810 was constantly trying to divert me off to God knows where. I ignored it. Was rather hoping that the 810 would guide me through Reigate but nope it just had me going in circles. Ended up using road signs for Gatwick. This meant that I missed the turn the other side of Reigate (Lonesome Lane). Thought again about using my phone to get back on route but the battery was draining fast and it was meant to be used in an emergency. Was going to pick the route back up at Gatwick after my planned rest stop. Stayed on the A213 till Gatwick but with all the faffing around with the route etc I was a bit behind schedule and the thought of wandering around looking for a cafe seemed a bit silly so carried on. Did stop at a 24hr garage to get something to drink but the prices were jaw dropping, even the server seemed a bit embarrassed. Stayed on the A23 till it got to the M23 and thought that this isn't what I came to do.... cycle on big main roads so used the 810 to plot me a route to Brighton. It rather sensibly took me down the B2114, B2110 and then Coors lane which was a long long fast decent along a small windy country lane every so often you'd get a bit of fog and the bike light would bounce back at you meaning you couldn't see anything..... rather exhilarating . Ended up on the A281 with the 810 taking me up Saddlescombe Road but I knew there was a service station nearby on the A23 and I desperately needed a drink so diverted to the A23. Paid £1.29 for 1.5ltr of Evian.... bliss. Thought I'd take NCR 20 into Brighton but the story of the night I just couldn't find the route. Went round and round in circles trying to find the blue signs but ended up giving up and taking the 3 lane A23 in pure frustration. Pretty much the best bit of cycling all night.... stayed on the very left of the white line in top gear down hill with all the drivers passing me in the far overtaking lane. This was at 5am so little traffic wouldn't do this in a month of Sundays normally. Obviously was concerned but it did keep me awake all the way in to Brighton and the pier.

All round it was a great experience but would have much preferred to have done it in a group with people that knew the route. I took much longer than I was expecting and with all the diversions I added another 8 miles to the official route. Wore a merino wool vest and thinish fleece cardigan with padded cycle shorts and was warm enough through out. The Garmin Edge810 started on 93% battery and finished on 12% but no doubt was doing a lot of re-calculations..... have been universally disappointed with this unit over multiple trips. Was particularly happy with the Exposure lights good forward visibility when there wasn't any street lights and when I heard a car at my rear almost instantaneously the cars lights would go to full beam and I'd get a wide overtake no doubt the blaze is pretty noticeable. Ate one energy bar and one caffeine gel. Was intending on doing a short YouTube video but despite the Virb being fully charged the day before it has an incredible habit of turning itself on in your bag so as to get 4 hours footage of nothing then a flat battery when you need it :(

Best cycling experiences : fast down hill descents in dark on country lanes
Worst cycling experience : Sodding Garmin!
Best non-cycling experience : Sitting on Brighton Pier knackered trying to stay awake with strong coffee in one hand and croissant in the other

BTW to pass on a tip if your in Brighton and need something decent to eat there's a great vegetarian Indian eat all you want called Bombay Aloo on Ship Street that gets my thumbs up.

LondonBikeCommuter
Posts: 238
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Location: Swindon

Re: Solo night ride

Postby LondonBikeCommuter » 6 Sep 2014, 7:36pm

feefee8 wrote:Ah! Enjoy the beer :)


;) the beer was good, the food not so.

Anyway, a report of sorts on my first night ride London to Brighton.

Image

Decided that Trafalgar Square was as central a point as any in London to start my trip so although my GPS route started from Hyde Park Corner I actually started at Trafalgar Square and rode via HPC. First issue I had was with my recently superseded Garmin Edge810 Cycle GPS. I'd put my route into Garmin Connect and then transferred it to the 810. No matter what I did the 810 REFUSED (resets etc) to be budged from its assertion that I was in fact on Ballam High Road despite the map view CLEARLY showing the Environ of Trafalgar Square and central London. Shrugged off my misgivings, thinking what the hell its only 6 miles so headed toward HPC. Lovely warm evening pretty much perfect for cycling despite a substantial amount of traffic especially constitutional Hill and around to Victoria which was a car park.

Got to the point where Garmin had originally thought I was i.e Ballam High road and all of a sudden I started to get direction pointers!. Despite having been in London for about 15 years I have almost no knowledge of South London but have to say the cycle down towards Mitcham Common via Tooting was pretty decent with fast and pretty open roads.

I mention Mitcham Common because this is where the first "error" happened . I'll give the 810 the benefit of the doubt and say I missed the turn but as the night wore on I suspect it WAS at fault. At the roundabout with the A207 and A236 I went down the wrong one (A236) and ended up at Purley Way (A23) before I realised that "this isn't right!" The 810 was no help in getting me back on course so I used Google Maps on my phone to plot a route back on course via Beddington Lane. Unfortunately I had a visitation from the PF :( The lane was lined with light industrial units and all the crud they leave on the road. Only good thing was it happened opposite a petrol station so I had plenty of light to mend things and a man to give me some paper to wipe my hands with. Managed to pick the route up again on the A237. All was well until Cousldon when it happen again it sent me straight on when I should have turned right. Realised there was a problem when it routed me down the A23. Google Maps again showed I was off route :( Worked out I could nip up Hollymeoak Road and get back on course. I only mention the road because it was vertical! even Mr Wiggin's would have frowned. Started to look further ahead on my route and noted that I needed to stay on this road till the M25. The 810 was constantly trying to divert me off to God knows where. I ignored it. Was rather hoping that the 810 would guide me through Reigate but nope it just had me going in circles. Ended up using road signs for Gatwick. This meant that I missed the turn the other side of Reigate (Lonesome Lane). Thought again about using my phone to get back on route but the battery was draining fast and it was meant to be used in an emergency. Was going to pick the route back up at Gatwick after my planned rest stop. Stayed on the A213 till Gatwick but with all the faffing around with the route etc I was a bit behind schedule and the thought of wandering around looking for a cafe seemed a bit silly so carried on. Did stop at a 24hr garage to get something to drink but the prices were jaw dropping, even the server seemed a bit embarrassed. Stayed on the A23 till it got to the M23 and thought that this isn't what I came to do.... cycle on big main roads so used the 810 to plot me a route to Brighton. It rather sensibly took me down the B2114, B2110 and then Coors lane which was a long long fast decent along a small windy country lane every so often you'd get a bit of fog and the bike light would bounce back at you meaning you couldn't see anything..... rather exhilarating . Ended up on the A281 with the 810 taking me up Saddlescombe Road but I knew there was a service station nearby on the A23 and I desperately needed a drink so diverted to the A23. Paid £1.29 for 1.5ltr of Evian.... bliss. Thought I'd take NCR 20 into Brighton but the story of the night I just couldn't find the route. Went round and round in circles trying to find the blue signs but ended up giving up and taking the 3 lane A23 in pure frustration. Pretty much the best bit of cycling all night.... stayed on the very left of the white line in top gear down hill with all the drivers passing me in the far overtaking lane. This was at 5am so little traffic wouldn't do this in a month of Sundays normally. Obviously was concerned but it did keep me awake all the way in to Brighton and the pier.

All round it was a great experience but would have much preferred to have done it in a group with people that knew the route. I took much longer than I was expecting and with all the diversions I added another 8 miles to the official route. Wore a merino wool vest and thinish fleece cardigan with padded cycle shorts and was warm enough through out. The Garmin Edge810 started on 93% battery and finished on 12% but no doubt was doing a lot of re-calculations..... have been universally disappointed with this unit over multiple trips. Was particularly happy with the Exposure lights good forward visibility when there wasn't any street lights and when I heard a car at my rear almost instantaneously the cars lights would go to full beam and I'd get a wide overtake no doubt the blaze is pretty noticeable. Ate one energy bar and one caffeine gel. Was intending on doing a short YouTube video but despite the Virb being fully charged the day before it has an incredible habit of turning itself on in your bag so as to get 4 hours footage of nothing then a flat battery when you need it :(

Best cycling experiences : fast down hill descents in dark on country lanes
Worst cycling experience : Sodding Garmin!
Best non-cycling experience : Sitting on Brighton Pier knackered trying to stay awake with strong coffee in one hand and croissant in the other

BTW to pass on a tip if your in Brighton and need something decent to eat there's a great vegetarian Indian eat all you want called Bombay Aloo on Ship Street that gets my thumbs up.

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661-Pete
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Re: Solo night ride

Postby 661-Pete » 6 Sep 2014, 8:11pm

Well, the first observation on all that has surely got to be - well done and respect, LBC, for getting through in spite of it all! :)

The second thought has to be, ditch the Garmin.

It is a shame that, although I plotted out one possible route for the southern section of your ride, I didn't provide you with any alternatives, even though I'd offered to do so. I'm sure there would have been one that fitted your needs without hassle. Sorry about that!

Why do I say, dump the satnav? Well, I had an amusing, if extremely annoying experience in Glasgow several months ago. This is nothing to do with cycling: it was a business trip, and I was in a car with two colleagues. As the front-seat passenger, I was asked to mind the satnav, which was the driver's own: an app loaded onto his smartphone. I couldn't cope with it: it kept on telling us to make a U-turn and start again. Each time I touched it, it changed its mind. None of us had local knowledge of Glasgow. In the end, after a bit of a row with my colleagues, I turned the wretched thing off and said, let's just follow road signs. After some arguing, we eventually got to our intended destination (a school somewhere in the suburbs) an hour late. End of story.

Which explains why I'll never be acquiring or using one of these miserable creations, myself.

Sorry, I shouldn't be ranting and voicing my prejudices on someone else's thread! :oops:

LBC, if you fancy doing the ride again (and you seem to have got the 'bug'), let me know. I won't accompany you, because I'm too old for that sort of ride myself, but I hope I can advise!
Suppose that this room is a lift. The support breaks and down we go with ever-increasing velocity.
Let us pass the time by performing physical experiments...
--- Arthur Eddington (creator of the Eddington Number).

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661-Pete
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Re: Solo night ride

Postby 661-Pete » 6 Sep 2014, 8:18pm

LondonBikeCommuter wrote:despite the Virb being fully charged the day before it has an incredible habit of turning itself on in your bag so as to get 4 hours footage of nothing then a flat battery when you need it :(
I don't know the Virb, but my Contour Roam has a sliding lock on the 'start/stop record' switch, to stop it from being pressed accidentally. Very useful!
Suppose that this room is a lift. The support breaks and down we go with ever-increasing velocity.
Let us pass the time by performing physical experiments...
--- Arthur Eddington (creator of the Eddington Number).

BE1
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Joined: 22 May 2009, 10:56pm

Re: Solo night ride

Postby BE1 » 6 Sep 2014, 9:16pm

Glad that the Garmin didn't stop you having an adventure :)

fluffybunnyuk
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Re: Solo night ride

Postby fluffybunnyuk » 7 Sep 2014, 3:42am

Great tale. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it!!!
Wow thats an...interesting route :D I need to get off my lazy backside, and catch some of that end of summer crisp night air before it turns too cold.

Usually i come over the ridge at Oxted, down tandridge lane to Lingfield, down newchapel road to turners hill.
Down the Ardingley Road to Haywards Heath. Down to Wivelsfield, common lane, and that classic the ditchfield beacon :D
Usually I stop here for a snack. Thats my excuse anyway!!! Then on to Brighton beach. All back roads. I dream of cycling down the A23 but I dont trust the traffic.
EDIT: and then back again because I dont like paying for train travel...