Saturday 22 December 2012

Mad dogs and Englishmen on a Brompton In The Rain!

I saw weather warnings on the BBC news last night. There were warnings of flash floods, localised flooding and even coastal flooding. Even the Automobile Association issued their, 'tale care when driving.' Only the foolhardy would venture out in such conditions surely?

Perhaps I should briefly recount part of my childhood. Both my parents took the view that rain shouldn't stop you from doing anything. I remember vividly walking with my mum to High Street Kensington as a preschool child with an umbrella and Wellington boots and being conditioned (as my parents perhaps were) that rain was fun. In fact when I parked my car at my mum and dad's this morning, they were already making plans to head out in the rain.

In the early hours of the morning I cold hear heavy rain to the extent that it woke me up. After a couple more hours sleep I got up and dressed and got ready. The plan was to meet up with iCrazyBee at Richmond Park for a spin but unfortunately he couldn't make it. Undeterred, I stoically carried on and instead of Richmond Park I decided to head for a cycle around Hyde Park.

The rain was incredibly heavy! I worn my Altura Night Vision jacket and over trousers. Both worked really well at keeping me dry. I also had my Carradice Saddle Bag. This was amazing as it just seemed to remain dry? The material meant that the water just beaded off. No colour difference whatsoever due to the rain.

Heading down Ladbrook Grove I did wonder if stoically carrying on was the best of ideas? Soon I was in Hyde Park. Not surprisingly, there weren't many people about, less still cyclists.

Because of the weather, taking a camera or using my iPhone was out of the question. Before leaving I remembered to take my GoPro as it has a full waterproof housing and can take pretty good, wide-angle still images.

My first stop was Kensington Palace. The few people milling around were tourists (perhaps trying to get the most out of their stay in London). I chance they thought someone on a folding bike, taking pictures was typically eccentric.

Cycling further along I came to the Albert Memorial and the Royal Albert Hall. Not surprisingly things were distinctly quiet!

The GoPro produces some really interesting wide angle shots. Some people hate them but I love the huge landscapes that you can get.

I cycled along the same track that we travelled along on the Night Ride last week. Today I encountered a large group of Greylag Geese taking occupancy across my entire path. Ringing my bell was an error as it sent them into an angered frenzy. As I cycled past at least two of their number made for me and the bike. There was much noise and fluttering of wings. Going past them I thought freedom was mine until I saw one of them running and flapping wings at me. This induced me to say, 'bloody ducks!' This schoolboy error of ornithological identification can be put down to the pressure of the moment.

All in I travelled just over 10 miles in about an hour of cycling, at a very sedate pace. This gives me some confidence that the Nightrider in 2013 and its 100km length will not cause any problems. I know that on flattish ground I can travel roughly 8 miles in 30 minutes. From the Brompton Marathon I know that I can sustain a brisk pace for longer distances. I suspect I would have been able to put in an even better show for 2013 (had the BWC been at Blenheim Palace). I say this as I am a stone and half lighter now and more importantly getting fitter.

The data from the ride can be found from the link below. Interestingly, the ride started and finished at Ladbrook Grove and yet it has the end going further? Stranger still, when I log into my Garmin account it has the ride stopping at Ladbrook Grove? (Any ideas why this is folks)?

Mad Dogs and Englishmen Rain Ride Data

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