A Hard Day in January

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  • Clubman, whats a'happening?

  • I've now got a full complement for this ride and we are going this Wednesday, if the weather holds.

    I'm sorry if people feel they've been overlooked, but I have sent a lot of messages about this ride and not had much response from them. Possibly I didn't use the messaging system correctly - always a risk when you mix old blokes and computers.

    Because there has been a fair amount of interest in this I'd like to organise a similar run on a Sunday in the near future. I'd pick a more sensible destination than Petersfield, one which could be reached without so much main road riding, and so would be open to a larger group.

    I'll post again on this as soon as I've recovered from Wednesday.

  • What's the plan for wednesday? I've got the day off and was planning just to ride around London trying to get used to it, but this sounds much better, meeting point and time?

  • I'm sorry if people feel they've been overlooked, but I have sent a lot of messages about this ride and not had much response from them. Possibly I didn't use the messaging system correctly - always a risk when you mix old blokes and computers.

    I got your message and I am sorry for not calling - you definitely have used the system correctly. However, most rides on here are organised anarchically without any formalities or "signing up". People just post time and place of where to meet and people turn up - or not. (like this: http://www.londonfgss.com/thread15291.ht­ml)

    I guess we just aren't used your proper organisation.

  • Just got home from the Hard Day in January. Route turned out to be longer than advertised, at just under 110 miles. It was a long, cold day. We set off from Hampton around 8.30 and stopped to pick up the others in Egham, then rode almost non-stop the whole way to Petersfield. The only mechanical was a snapped spoke, but luckily we had a spare wheel.

    The weather was cold, but not too windy on the way out. A few of the lanes had ice and other slippy spots, but nothing too serious. On the last 10 miles into Petersfield the wind began to pick up, but gave us a pleasant tailwind the whole way home. It was dark for the last 10 miles, and quite cold, but we made it back!

    Certainly the longest ride I've done on a fixed gear, and I take my hat off to clubman and the others for keeping in a tight bunch over the full distance. If I'm anything like them when I get to their age I'll be very happy indeed!

  • Thanks for the ride report, Matt :)

  • The only mechanical was a snapped spoke, but luckily we had a spare wheel.

    I keep 2 in my saddle bag for long rides.

  • You had a spare wheel?! I call Support Car! ;)

  • "January is a month of Mondays"

  • "January is a month of Mondays"

    Amen to that, sistah... Sounds brutal to a pussy like me but great work!

  • Clubman or 'Retro Man' was inspired to get this anniversary ride on the road by notes in his 1959 diary.I had not ridden a 'fixed' on a journey like this for 50 years. We four who completed it had a thoroughly satisfying time. Freezing when we set out, there was a frisson of risk attached, but no falls and the sun shone brightly all day.The long climbs up to the Devils Punchbowl /Hindhead from Elstead on the way out and Rake on the return needed greater effort than a geared bike but the joy of riding such simple silent bikes more than made up for it.
    Got any more interesting entries in you diary Clubman ?

  • Pictures, Report to follow

  • Pictures, I will only attempt two jpegs per post. Report to follow.


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  • Where's yer mudguards, Matt? Was that part of your ploy to suck wheels all day if it had been raining ;)

  • Good effort guys looks excellent!

  • Note on first two pictures.
    It may not show in these photos, but Matt certainly did more work at the front than I did.
    Second picture is Elstead bridge on the return.

    Two pictures with this post

    1. Illy looks happy.
    2. Will it fit? Clubman is so retro that all his back wheels still retain the ancient british four and a quarter inch spacing, but PH's frame was set much wider to take a derailleur block. It worked ok with not a great deal of force.
      Rather to some peoples surprise, the quick release rear hub held the wheel perfectly on fixed, even though it was given quite a severe test with a strong rider and hilly roads.

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  • Last two pictures for now.

    1. The old A 3 from Liphook to Petersfield is now by passed by the new road and is (sometimes) empty.
    2. Clubman takes shelter.

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  • illy always looks happy.

    I just did my own 'Hard Day in Jan'. What a contrast to the Tweed ride. Urgh..

  • Ride Report.

    First, who was there. I will stick to the convention of keeping to forum user names - my senior club mate has just adopted Old Git, the other I'll refer to as P.H.
    As I said originally, I intended to invite two forum members to make up a group of six with three clubmates and myself. On the morning one of the forum invitees failed to get up and therefore shall remain nameless. One of my clubmates had also pulled out so that left us with four riders, which made an efficient and manageable little group.

    The Ride.

    Apart from a cold start and a little ice on the back roads before the Hog's Back we had a near perfect day, with a rising south west wind to help us home. By mid day the sun was actually making us feel warm - in my case hot, because I was wearing too many layers. I think this made at least a small contribution to the bad patch I suffered in the afternoon between Liphook and Seale. In his report Illy very tactfully refrains from mentioning that I did not manage to keep in the tight bunch over the whole distance.
    To be realistic this period of weakness was only to be expected; my two clubmates are, unlike me, both classy riders with impressive palmares. P.H. will almost certainly have some victories to add to his tally this season, and I expect the Old Git will get results in the Vets category. Illy is obviously on the upward curve of his racing career; he rode strongly all day and although he said he was tired at the end I can't say it was noticeable. I expect to see his name high up on result lists soon. I must admit being a bit miffed that, using exactly the same gear as myself, Old Git, who is half a decade my senior and says he has not ridden fixed on the road for half a century, could drop me going downhill as well as up.
    Just a couple of points from the other posts above. Hippy, yes we had a car with us. Having a photographer was essential if there is to be any hope of media interest in this story, and no one could have done the photography from a bike. Illy, in his report, uses the phrase "at their age" implying the Hounslow riders were all of a similar age, so just to put the record straight, although Old Git and I are both over sixty, P.H. at forty four is a generation younger.
    The route was not just longer than in 1959, but also harder because the section from the Hog's Back to Hindhead was on hilly lanes which were tougher than the now unuseable A3. On the other hand the weather was better, and whereas on the first trip we rode in complete darkness from Guildford, this time the daylight just about lasted to P.H.'s house at Egham.

    Now to think about that Hard Day in February.

  • I wondered how you got the photos of everyone.. thought maybe you just took it in turns with the camera. Good stuff!

    As for Feb: Hell of the Ashdown? :)

  • Excellent ride report, clubman. Seeing those photos brings back the memories nicely; I like the matching club kit. It was actually a really good day for cycling, wasn't it?

    Old Git, who is half a decade my senior and says he has not ridden fixed on the road for half a century, could drop me going downhill as well as up.

    I too noticed that the Old Git had a very quick cadence on the downhills and I'm sure he'd do well at a roller racing event.

    Always up for another ride with you boys, and I'd like to do your road race so I'll see how I feel when it comes around.

  • Just a footnote. I thought the original diary entry might be of interest. To translate my horrible childish hand:

    Made it to Petersfield. There was almost a snowstorm just before Petersfield. Got dreadful bonk before 3 Frogs.

    By 'bonk' I mean exhaustion. The Three Frogs was a cafe just south of Ripley on the old A3, used as a tea stop on the way home.

    The Jpeg with the photo of the diary won't load at the moment - I'll try later

  • I think I can see what I was doing wrong, here it is.


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  • i love that old diary!

    i missed this the first time around, but it's a really nice read. i'm impressed that you made it at age 13 too. sounds like a really good ride.

  • A Hard Day – 2010

    Those who came on last year’s Hard Day agree they ‘enjoyed’ it so much they want to have an encore.
    
    The 2010 version will not go to Petersfield, and we will choose a more riding friendly objective which can be reached with a minimum of main road work. This means we will not need to restrict ourselves to such a small group.
    
    Our aim is to have a one off midweek ride for fixed gear machines. Estimated distance 80+ miles round trip from Staines with at least one café stop. If the wind is favourable (i.e. not from the South East) we’ll go North West over the Chilterns into the Vale of Oxford (we will have a contingency plan for other directions). The provisional date is 20th January.
    
    The group should be the same as last year, plus anyone else who wants to come. Please make contact if you intend joining us.
    
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A Hard Day in January

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