Sunday 7 April 2024

Cobblemonster 2024 on a Brompton Electric

Today was the Cobblemonster, an event that used to be called the London Classic. I think that my first one of these was back in 2013. Wow! Travelling down from North London was going to be just under 10 miles and I tried very hard not to stop and take photos as I wanted to get there for around 09:00. 

I did arrive a little after 09:00 and took a few photos of Herne Hill Velodrome. When I loaded up my route on my Wahoo, I was still left wondering how this place has survived the developers?

The route was a little different this time round, starting and ending at the Velodrome. Last year it was Brixton Cycles. As I set off I did feel that there were less participants than in previous years. I could be wrong of course but it did feel like that. 

Cycling in London is obviously something I do regularly. The trouble with this is the ever abundant things to take a photo of and use a background for ones Brompton!

This time round I took my Brompton Electric. The plan was to not to turn the battery on at all until the last few miles when the larger hills would feature. This worked rather well. 

There are lots of cobbled street still in London - a feature of the Cobblemonster -  but a few have been tarmaced over. Unless there is a preservation order, I would imagine that the cost of maintenance, health and safety etc.., would fall into play. Some were maintained well and looked wonderful. Others had potholes that people could probably descend into wearing boiler suits and head torch!

At Charterhouse Square I had to stop - as I always seem to to do - to take a photo of Florin Court. This was Whitehaven Mansions where Poirot lived in the definitive television version. 

'The Cottage' at 3 Hayne Street is another location I always stop at. It is a glimpse of what 19th Century properties might have looked like there. It was scheduled for demolition due to Crossrail but it has survived, for now. You can even see its left side from the platform of Barbican tube station. 

London was quiet which was a surprise as it was a lovely day on the weather front. A half marathon was taking place and at one point I cycled almost parallel with the many people taking part. They looked wonderful and I was pleased the conditions were good for them. 

When I reached Wapping, I headed towards the many little alleyways, leading directly to the Thames and the foreshore. Last year I had my Brompton sitting on the shingle beach. This time the Thames was high, with waves lapping the wall and steps down. 

At Rotherhithe I could not resist a photo of Dr Salter's cat and the lovely views of the city in the distance. Further on a Bascule Bridge looked great in its new coat of paint. 

At St Nicholas Church in Deptford I stopped mainly to get another photo of the skull and crossbones on top of the entrance gates. Nothing to do with pirates but fun all the same.

I stopped at this sign pretty much to look where I was on my phone. When I looked up I saw that it gave the distances to Greenwich, Lewisham and Catford. I have to confess to not really wanting to go to any of these locations and had a moment of longing for north London!

I must admit to tackling all cobbles rather gingerly and slowing right down. I think that this was me being rather precious about the motor on the front wheel. 

It was only at Canonbie Road that I turned the battery on for the first time. It still felt wrong to pass a couple of lycra-clad, carbon bike, sunglasses, roadie types but with the power on to setting 2 I did so with ease. Those feelings of ungentlemanly conduct disappeared. Upon reaching the top of Canonbie Road, taking a photo and see them still grinding their pedals I was rather triumphant. It was only with the greatest self-control that I did not shout out a famous Terry Thomas quip telling them that they were 'an absolute shower!' I really do think that I am going to have to name this Brompton, Terry Thomas!

The view from Canonbie Road as you cycle down from the top

I arrived back at the Velodrome sometime after 13:30 - I think. I took my lap but when taking a few photos and video I moved down the incline to safety before going back up again. 

The Brompton Electric is proving to be a rather good friend and it does look after my knee rather well. My knee does seem rather good at the moment. I cycled 53 miles today in total and only used the battery and motor for 7 of them. (I hope that Mrs Orange doesn't read that, otherwise I'll be in trouble). It really is wonderful to know that all that power is there at the touch of a button. 

I do hope that the Cobblemonster returns next year but if it didn't, I think I would just use this route and cycle it at roughly the same time in April. 

Until next time, stay safe out there people!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for leaving a comment.