Sunday, 27 March 2016

RIDE REPORTS: 2016 SOUTHEND Spring Classic

The forecast may have put a few people off beforehand but in the end it was only drizzle and only for the first few hours. The reward for those that came? Breakfast with a view:

© SandySnake 2016. Used with kind permission.

© IanMac62 2016. Used with kind permission.

© SteveF63 2016. Used with kind permission.

The very best ride reports come from the people who do the rides and take the time to share their thoughts afterwards.

Five of our members have shared their experiences and photos online. Make a nice cuppa and sit back and enoy at:

  • TopCat1:  Photo slideshow and videos!

These words from Martin (who many of you will know as "One of the Little Helpers") from his vantage point as "All Upper" in the TEC Team:

things that matter:
  • glorious finish with a run downhill then flat along the seafront to a decked terrace with a view over the beach as the tide came in
  • excellent route, much better than the recce was, although the exit from The Great Wen was sometimes painfully slow because of traffic jams at 1am
  • Peroni beer is actually quite nice after breakfast, albeit filthy foreign fizzy muck
  • Beach cafe has great loos, very clean and the deck terrace allows you to bask in the sunshine - recommended
  • grub served quickly, nice espresso coffee
  • it didn't rain as much as we feared it would, mostly light drizzle in the first half then none in the second half - and it was quite warm-ish I thought.
  • there was a tailwind all night
things that don't matter:

  • front Brompton puncture at London Bridge, (underneath the railway so we were dry and there was streetlight visibility), then a rear Brompton somewhere in Essex in daylight and not raining - assisted by a phone call and a selfless return dash by three competent mechanics. Also a visitation to a veteran of the tricycle racing scene so we just stood around and chatted while he fixed it in two minutes. And one shortly after the halfway stop, which was a good chance to stand around and gossip for a while.
Generally waymarking and TEC teams worked very well - particular thanks to the 5milecyclist who seemed to do an ordinate amount - then again it is excellent interval training because waymarking allows you a rest followed by intensive effort as you get back to the front. It's a favourite among the faster riders (of whom I am not one!)

All in all, after breakfast I was thinking that gentlemen in England now a-bed shall think themselves accursed they were not here. It was a great ride. Roll on Whitstable next month.

And finally, this from Steve F of Essex (a FNRttC First Timer) beautifully sums up everything that we are and aspire to be. Welcome, Steve -- and Thank You!

May I add my thanks to all who organised the ride, to the leader, the waymarkers and of course the TEC/s... and finally to all those who actually did the ride, it was my first one (actually first night ride and group ride) and I thoroughly enjoyed it... It was great to be with a group of people who clearly love their cycling, the damp didn't dampen my spirits, nor that of the people I saw... thanks one and all.