The Velosolo Club

Commuting, Day rides, Audax, Incidents, etc.
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sussex cyclist
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The Velosolo Club

Post by sussex cyclist »

Riding with others can be great fun, but for the most part I'm a loner: just me and my music, and of course all the other traffic. Though by necessity I've gotten used to those motorised road hogs (takes one to know one), sometimes it's nice to have the tarmac to yourself. Which is why I often go out in the middle of the night.

Last night's outing wasn't typical. When there's the promise of rain, I usually give it a miss – who wants to be repairing a puncture at 3am? But when you've gotta ride, you've gotta ride.

It wasn't a long one. Just enough to stretch my legs, take in the cool night air, and let ideas come what may. Velosolo Club* rides are only ever long enough to get the job done.

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The view isn't, for the most part, scintillating. It's of course nicer when the moon is out. Although I have a great newish light – a Ravemen – I'm not terribly fond of the readout showing time remaining. This is useful information to be sure, but I don't require a constant glowing update.

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That's the Heathfield high street. It's a nice little market town that I don't visit very often these days thanks to Covid and home delivery. Being immunosuppressed can make you a bit of a homebody. Cycling has saved me.

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The Langster is one of my designated night riders, as I can keep a light bracket permanently affixed to the handlebars. Don't like stuff cluttering up my bars!

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To do the Cuckoo Trail or not? Not, attractive as the lack of congestion was at that hour. Unfortunately it was starting to rain, if only lightly. Here are a few pics I took earlier.

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Halt! Who goes there?

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Press my nose. Or not. It's your choice.

On the way home I considered stopping by Bateman's. This is where local hero Rudyard Kipling spent the second half of his life with the sometimes fearsome Carrie. (She wasn't that scary). Feeling a little tired now, god knows why, I gave that a miss too. Once again from the archives:

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Haunted or what

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Out of hours call

My parents gave me a copy of If when I left home on my 18th birthday. Who knew that one day I'd live within easy cycling distance of Mr If and The Committee of Ways and Means. There's now a statue of the not very PC author on Burwash high street. It's a favourite spot for a spot of tea.

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Mind you don't spill that, mate

In the middle of the night he is truly spooky. Every time I visit I almost expect him to strike up a conversation. "Sorry, I've never read you other than that poem," I'd have to shamefully admit

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to those eyes glowering beneath those bushy eyebrows.

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Good night Rud.

Further reading:
Carpe noctem! The joy of cycling through the night
Hello darkness, my old FNRttC
Killing the iPod Zombie Myth (that would've been my headline, at any rate)


*We're not affailiated with the CTC, alas. Or a proper club. Even so, maybe you're a member and didn't even realise it.
millimole
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Re: The Velosolo Club

Post by millimole »

Splendid write up of a good ride.

I've been a signed up member (without realising) for many a long year, and although I no longer ride with the Nocturnal Section I do have very fond memories of their forays.

Perhaps we won't meet on the road somewhere.
Leicester; Riding my Hetchins since 1971; Day rides on my Dawes; Going to the shops on a Decathlon Hoprider
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Paradiddle
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Re: The Velosolo Club

Post by Paradiddle »

Night riding seems like something I've got to try as an unknowing member of the Velosolo club. I've enjoyed early morning rides and seeing the city wake up, but a 3am ride must be something else.
Jdsk
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Re: The Velosolo Club

Post by Jdsk »

Kipling was an enthusiastic cyclist.

Jonathan
mumbojumbo
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Re: The Velosolo Club

Post by mumbojumbo »

And a decent cook.
richardfm
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Re: The Velosolo Club

Post by richardfm »

mumbojumbo wrote: 6 Feb 2022, 7:28pm And a decent cook.
I hear he made exceedingly good cakes
Richard M
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sussex cyclist
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Re: The Velosolo Club

Post by sussex cyclist »

Good to see other members of the club here.

Here's a nice piece about night riding. The author goes offroad, whereas I never venture into the woods when it's too dark to see the Blair Witch. After all, there are perfectly good roads. At least when they've been resurfaced.

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This is known as thread cross-pollination

Of course, the club doesn't just ride during unsociable hours. Next up: daytrip.
tatanab
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Re: The Velosolo Club

Post by tatanab »

I quite like riding into the dawn with the moon sitting on hills to one side and mist rising from fields on the other. Winter time this means leaving home a bit before 6 o'clock.
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sussex cyclist
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Re: The Velosolo Club

Post by sussex cyclist »

tatanab wrote: 7 Feb 2022, 7:57am I quite like riding into the dawn with the moon sitting on hills to one side and mist rising from fields on the other.
Pics or it didn't happen. (For avoidance of doubt, that's a joke. The words alone paint a lovely image.)

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On yesterday's ride I passed Lancelot and Sir Ted, along with their riders, who remained nameless. I'd chased them up a hill (not really, they had too much of a head start) to ask if the horses preferred going uphill or downhill. Which is one way to start a conversation.

I didn't actually get an answer to that, unless a laugh counts, but did learn that they don't like electric cars. Cyclists apparently don't bother them. A bit of warning helps. The couple on electric bikes that I'd be running into up the road would give them plenty of notice, decked in hi vis as they were; as part of my extensive research for this post I've confirmed that horses can see yellow.

Further along I met the servant of the servant of the holy lotus fruit,

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aka Clive. I interrupted him

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The constant gardener

long enough to learn that he's a monk. "How long have you been a monk?" I asked after a few moments of brainfreeze. 50 years! What kind of monk? The kind that opts for a Sanskrit name, the translation of which he kindly provided.

We had a nice enough socially distanced chat, then I went on my way and he on his.

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Slowtwitch
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Re: The Velosolo Club

Post by Slowtwitch »

The Langster is a smashing choice for this kind of stealth cycling. Lightweight and nimble, I'm heartily sorry I sold mine :shock:
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sussex cyclist
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Re: The Velosolo Club

Post by sussex cyclist »

Almost sold mine too! Don't remember why.

I hadn't thought of it as stealth cycling – I usually announce myself when taking pictures of people – but that has a nice ring to it. The only thing I don't like about my Langster is its paint job and embellishments: rusty brown with skull decals (it's one of the old ones) and name tag on the top tube. For true stealth I have my Litespeed, whose identity is only betrayed by the rear dropouts.

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L-plate
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Re: The Velosolo Club

Post by sussex cyclist »

Sometimes members of the club have tough decisions to make. For example, I'm up and reasonably alert, so am contemplating going out. It's 36 degrees Fahrenheit (the only degrees I recognise), so ice wouldn't be a worry. The sky is clear and the stars beckon. Rain is forecast for most of the upcoming day. Ride or no ride?

Update:
Have put the kettle on for a hot water bottle and wouldn't want to waste it. Here's a photo ride report I made earlier.

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First stop on this nocturnal tour: the station

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Bit of a wait for the first train

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"Can you tell me who won the Eurovision Song Contest in 1980? It would assist me greatly in the preparation of my post."
"Julian Assange." "Really?"

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Handy changing booth for Bikeman

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The level crossing salute

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As if.

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How did you know?

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Must... resist... adding Beatles

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Green light district

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Pitches sold separately

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What goes around

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Click to see stripes in action (no, his name isn't Stripes)

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Penthouse with excellent transport links

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Pity they removed their digital sign

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Requires a healthy bank balance

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Parked outside the Green Man's estate

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My hands on the brake levers cast shadows that look like a giant pair of hands about to grab me. It’s freaky. I couldn’t get a picture of that, so here’s this.

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F is For sale

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It's not just £££ dear country, it's deer country

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For King and Country
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The village shop's opening hours are good, but not that good

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What could this intriguing key possibly open?

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I shall report myself to Mumsnet

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Cycle Doctors surgery

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This is a view I get a lot

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Goodnight lune
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sussex cyclist
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Re: The Velosolo Club

Post by sussex cyclist »

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Ah, my favourite signs.

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Followed by my least favourite sign. Fortunately reports were exaggerated.

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Just what I was looking for: a segue. I've not run into any ducks on the road, so here's a badger instead.

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You try getting a decent shot in the middle of the night cycling uphill with one hand.

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More creatures great

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(this one's a cheat, I didn't actually see him on a ride, but outside my window at home)

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and small.

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Let's end this on a horsey note.

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Don't worry, I won't bite.

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I hope you return the favour.

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Until we meet again.

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Dayglo
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Re: The Velosolo Club

Post by Dayglo »

The horse seems to approve of the Langster!
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Re: The Velosolo Club

Post by sussex cyclist »

I do think of the Langster (in the OP, not my last post) as my horsey bike, simply because of its colour. Though there’s this

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