This weekend saw the Brompton club do a tweed themed ride to celebrate a couple of members 40th birthdays (though, neither of them eventually made the ride, unfortunately). I'm not sure where the tweed part came in but it was an amusing addition to the ride!
I've a tweed jacket, but I ended up wearing a retro merino wool jersey that I'd got from Stolen Goat. Tweed is ok, but as we edge towards summer, I think I'd have been far far to warm. I rarely wear the jacket even in the winter!
The ride started at the London Eye but I had to get to Kings Cross and pick up my new ride…
I purchased a Pashley parabike from Phoenix Cycles on the Friday and had kept it overnight at work. I was looking forward to giving it a good ride in "anger" (though, anger isn't the ride word as I don't think you could ever be angry on it)! I'd done 11Km back from Battersea but this would be 40Km on an untested bike (and, importantly, an untested Brooks saddle)!
I didn't need to worry - the bike was great!
Jenny and Sam managed to snap a few pictures of me on it.
The (Eventful) Ride
The ride was a 40Km ride from the London Eye out towards Richmond, where we had a table booked at Steins.
David led the way and off we started - and initially ran into issues! Heading up Whitehall the traffic was packed and me and John got stuck and separated from the rest of the group. They were waiting for us in Trafalgar Square, but we did have to ring them to see where they'd got to.
We then headed around Trafalgar Square with the intention of heading up the Mall, but found it closed. It seems that this was for the VE day celebrations concert on Horse Guards parade (judging by the TV on Sunday) which meant that we had to make a detour down Pall Mall. This wasn't all bad - I stopped to get a quick snap at the RAF Bomber Command Memorial.
Heading into Hyde Park, we then found that the park itself was mainly closed for a weekend of triathalon! Following around the park, we ended up heading down past the Science Museum and Imperial College London and found that this road was closed as well! We managed to get around this on pavement and finally managed to get on.
A quick stop at Phoenix Cycles for Andrew to get his wheels looked at and we then headed on, away from the traffic on the cyclepath along the Thames.
Everything was uneventful until we reached Fulham. Unfortunately, Brian took a tumble over a root induced crack in the pavement. He landed quite hard and we ended up staying with him for a bit. It wasn't until later that we found out that he's fractured his wrist. He let us carry on and Annie stayed with him until the ambulance arrived to take him to the hospital. All the best Brian and hopefully you'll be back on the Brompton soon!
Carrying on, we went past Syon house and then carried on into Richmond for the end of the ride.
We crossed the river on a footbridge and carried onto the town. We ended up at Steins for Bratwurst and Bier (or in my case, Currywurst mit Bratkartoffeln)
After the meal, I headed back to Clapham and then to Kings Cross. The pace on the ride back was quicker - with various riders dropping off along the route between Richmond and Wimbledon. I meet Eileen at Clapham and we cycled back to Kings Cross, via Phoenix so the Brompton could be picked up. Stopping briefly for an ice cream in Battersea Park, we headed back and found a helicopter landing at the London Heliport.
Overall, it was a cracking ride and the new bike was extremely comfortable and the ride was an amusing ride and we certainly drew some looks from some of the tourists in London. Thanks to David for organising and leading the route and thanks to all that turned up.