Sunday Rides 11th November 2018

From time to time people respond to this email. Some positive, some not so much. One chap took huge offence at one of my less successful attempts to be witty, announced that I was a racist and flounced out of the club. Another didn’t like a less than polite football chant I repeated and (probably with some justification) took me to task. Somewhere there may have been a lesson about being careful not to cause offence and maybe being less prone to taking offence, though it was mostly lost on me.

Last week was a bit more positive and I had quite a few people respond verbally or on email to the stuff I wrote about taking time out from cycling occasionally. There seems to be a common theme at this time of year. It’s really hard to get motivated. I find it the same every year, when the nights draw in and the roads are strewn with wet leaves, it’s just so different from riding in short sleeves in the warm sunshine. This year it’s doubly difficult because we had such a cracking summer. So what do we do to stay in shape and to maintain the enjoyment we get from riding?

I was reminded this week that I joined Penge because, having spent a winter training solo for some insane cycling challenge in the spring, I couldn’t face doing it solo the following winter, so I found the club. It definitely helps to do it in a group – but even then, it’s hard to do as many miles or to get out when it’s cold and wet. Another solution is to enter a number of bonkers events next year to shock yourself back in the saddle. That’ll be Tour of Flanders and Hell of the Ashdown then.

Another answer that has worked for many of us over the last 2 years is Turbobeat. You are booked in and committed, (and despite the Facebook banter from the back of bus), most people show up. You have a reasonably sociable evening cycling with your buddies, but you’re inside, warm and dry.

As luck would have it, we have another block of sessions starting on 21st November – so use the link below to sign up.

However, you still need to keep the habit of getting out on a Sunday because a) You’ll miss it if you don’t b) The longer you leave it, the harder it is when you do come back. So, see you Sunday.

Have a great weekend,

James Hanscomb

Rides Schedule

Remember to sign up to the ride of your choice

Sign up before 5pm on the Saturday night before the ride on Sunday. Please cancel if you cannot make the ride having signed up. If a ride fills up, either find another that suits your ability, or go onto a waiting list.

Really keen to get a leader for Short 1. Anyone prepared to lead Short 4?

Ride Name Leader Distance and Speed Departure time
Long 4 Gareth Wall 55 miles @ 17mph 07.45am
Long 3 James Hanscomb 55 miles @ 15mph 07.50am
Long 2 Andy Williams 55 miles @ 13mph 08.00am
Long 1 N/A 50 miles @ 11mph 08.00am
Short 4 TBC 35 miles @ 16mph 07.45am
Short 3 Simon Wilkins 35 miles @ 13mph 07.50am
Short 2 Ben Millard 35 miles @ 12mph 08.00am
Short 1 TBC 35 miles @ 11mph 08.10am
Steady  Brenda Scothern 25 miles @ 10mph 08.15am

Remember – rides are available to book from the Sunday evening the week before so book early if you can.

Turbobeat – 21st November to 19th December

Sessions are held at the Lodge in Crystal Palace Park on Wednesday evenings from 7.30 to 8.30pm. Your own bike, a towel, a drink and some determination is all you need.

Sign up to these TurboBeat sessions

Lights and Mudguards

Always worth having mudguards on your bike at this time of year. Not just to keep your own backside dry, but to save the face of the poor sod wheel-sucking behind you. Winnie has some great clip-on guards that work on almost any bike.

Also, have some lights. Even if it’s clear in Penge, it can get misty or even dark up on the N. Downs. While I am on the nag – please let’s remember our manners and roadsense. We’ve had a few complaints recently and I’d much rather we didn’t.

3rd party liability insurance

You will have seen Graham’s note about 3rd party liability insurance. We make it a condition of joining the club, but it’s really hard for us to police, so we need riders to take responsibility for keeping it up to date. We’ll look at how to make this easier in RiderHQ because it’s easy to forget when your membership renews.

Why do we insist on it? 3rd party liability insurance costs almost nothing, and if you don’t have it you are liable for any damage you cause when you are on your bike – to people or property. The easiest solution is to join British Cycling as this gets you basic 3rd party cover.

Chances are, you’ve already done this but just forgotten to update your details on Rider HQ – so please do that ASAP.

Penge CC Christmas Party – Friday 7th December

Don’t forget to RSVP on RiderHQ to reserve your place that has fast become the ‘not-to-be-missed’ Christmas party. Once again there will be singing and already my heart is beating faster at the prospect.Keep an eye out for award nominations which will be with you shortly. More keenly anticipated than the Oscars, more prestigious than the Nobel prizes and more highly coveted than a Blue Peter badge.

Social Media moderation

You really couldn’t make up the comedy of errors that exposed our complete inability to avoid a social media tempest this week. Not for the first time, it turned out to be much ado about nothing. We don’t have a policy and I hate policies. Personally, all I am guided by when I post something is to ask what my mother would think of it and, if I find something not to my liking, I quickly turn the page.

Maybe we need a bit more than that and James McMillan, who is much wiser than I on these (and many other) things, has volunteered to look at this and come up with a policy that is more as you like it. Hopefully all’s well that ends well and we can look back on this sorry winter’s tale.

Strava Leaderboard


A distinctly female hue to the leaderboard this week. Niki rightly gets so much credit for the incredible riding she does, but who else has done more than Rachel Lynn this year? Kate Vergette perhaps? All 3 complete legends and a massive inspiration. Well done guys for stopping it being a clean sweep for the ladies.

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