Join my Chilterns Gravel Grinder ride on Sunday 7 May 2017

Sheep on trail.

Spring lambs on the bridleway near Tring in April.

Chilterns Gravel Grinder. Sunday 7 May 2017. A 50km route along bridleways, byways, flint roads and woodland trails through the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. A bumpy ride suitable for cyclocross, gravel, adventure, and mountain bikes. Lunch at the cafe in the woods or at a pub. Meet London Euston station at 08.35 to catch 08.55 train to Berkhamsted, arrive 09.25. Map of the ride. (The route is based on the Cycle Chilterns MTB route.)

A ride for Central London Cyclists Touring Club, part of Cycling UK. See list of rides.

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Sunday 25 September – morning cycle ride including gravel roads

On Sunday 25 September 2016 I’ll be leading a morning cycle ride out through north London to Broxbourne Woods.

A brisk 77k out and back through north London to quiet lanes and dry off-road trails in south Hertfordshire. Includes 25k of gravel roads, bridleways, and byways. Suitable for cyclocross/gravel/adventure bikes and road bikes with tyres at least 28mm wide. Brief coffee stop. Back by about 13.30.

Meet 08.00 outside Tufnell Park tube station for 08.15 depart. Route here:

The ride is with the Central London CTC (a local group of Cycling UK) who organise regular rides from central London.

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For six or more similarly-sized drafting cyclists, the position enjoying the largest drag reduction is the one-but-last position

Cyclists in a paceline.According to a 2013 paper a following rider can give a leading rider a drag advantage.

Drafting is riding close behind each other to reduce aerodynamic drag. New simulations and measurements for drafting cyclists show that also the leading cyclist experiences a drag reduction, up to 3.1%. For six or more similarly-sized drafting cyclists, the position enjoying the largest drag reduction is the one-but-last position.

So now you know which position to hog in a paceline.

Surprises in cycling aerodynamics.

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Camden says there were only 15 rough sleepers in the borough on a “typical night” in autumn 2015

Camden Council has told the government that there were only 15 rough sleepers on a “typical night” in the whole of the borough during the autumn of 2015, much fewer than the statistics published by the Greater London Authority which state that there were at least 58 people living on the streets of Camden.

Camden didn’t bother to go out and count rough sleepers but did an estimate instead. Continue reading

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On the old route of Paris-Brest-Paris in Javron-les-Chapelles

A sign above a garage door on the main street through Javron-les-Chapelles in the Mayenne department in north-west France shows the distance to Paris and Brest. This was the route of the Paris-Brest-Paris cycle randonneur event which used to run along the N12 main road.

Road sign showing distance to paris and Brest.

Sign erected by the Touring Club de France for the Paris Brest Paris randonneur on the N12 road along the main street in Javron-les-Chappelles in Mayenne. The sign shows the distance from Paris as 227 km and to Brest as 373 km. It also shows the distance from Pre-en-Pail as 11 km and distance to Mayenne as 26 km. Photo: Linus Rees, 10 July 2015.

The 1,200km race — later an Audax event — started in 1891 and ran along the main N12 road. Continue reading

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Watching stage 7 of the Tour de France 2015 at Lassay-les-Chateaux

Stage 7 of the Tour de France 2015 started at Livarot and finished at Fougeres and passed through Lassay-les-Chateaux, quite close to where I was staying for a couple of weeks.

Road signs warning of road closure.

Roads along the route are closed for several hours to allow the stage to pass.

I’ve seen many cycle races in France and Belgium as well as in the UK but I’d never actually witnessed a stage of the Tour de France in France. So this would be an opportunity to see Le Tour as it swept through a small town in the middle of northwest France. Continue reading

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Rough sleeping in Fitzrovia, Camden, Westminster, and London

Most people would have noticed over the last 12 months a dramatic increase in the number of people sleeping rough in London. In my neighbourhood I’ve noticed a significant increase. This is a subject that I will be writing about in Fitzrovia News for our forthcoming print edition out in June. Fitzrovia News has now published this story here.

Below are my notes and initial thoughts on this story and some analysis of the statistics on rough sleeping in London.  Continue reading

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