Sunday 28 June 2015

Turtle Headed Coffin Dodgers.

"I can only carry two bikes on this train," quoth the chirpy guard on the Brockenhurst to Lymington Train. We looked at our five bikes plus the one belonging to the chap who'd got there first and pondered.
"Where would you like us to put the other four?"
"On the roof mate." he winked.
We smiled sweetly and moved down to where the first guy was loading his bike, he seemed to know the routine.

So there we were, with six bikes crammed into a space made for two on a two-carriage train one of which was for the exclusive use of First Class passengers.
First Class passengers from Brock to Lymington? Ooo those'll be the ones with weekend homes and huge yachts in the marinas then. 

Then along came our cheery Guard,
"Honest, I'm only licensed to carry two bikes, anyway why aren't you lot cycling to Lymington? Its only five miles. Bunch of coffin dodgers with these turtles on your heads!"

Charming, yes it is correct that two of our party use their senior citizen rail cards, but that means three of us don't, although two more of us will qualify in the next couple of months. 

" You should see it on a Sunday, whole families turn up, Mum, Dad, two Kids on bikes another in a trailer. They gets quite stroppy when I tell them I'm only licensed for two bikes. "

We got off wondering how long it would take for South West Trains to convert their empty First Class carriage into a guards van. 

No such problem on the Yarmouth Ferry. 

"Do Not Lock Your Bikes to any Part of The Ship!"

Oh O.K.

We climbed to the mess deck for coffee then headed out on deck to enjoy the early morning sunshine. Paul B and Pete then appeared with toast and marmalade.
 I looked at my brunch bar then back at their toast.
Serious error of judgement there I think.

Coffin Dodgers Away-Day. Paul B, John, Paul T, Me and Pete.

Off the ferry and onwards towards The Needles then up onto Tennyson Down.

After paying our respects to Alfred Lord, and watching a fly-past by a Hurricane and a couple of Spitfires it was down hill all the way to Freshwater Bay. 

Has to be one of the best downhill rides ever. What a blast!
We were so excited after the downhill we had to stop and have some coffee and cake.
We needed the energy for the grind back up the other side through the golf course.

Looking back from the Golf Course to Tennyson Down and that long downhill. 

The lady golfers were playing a game of slice the cyclist,


For every up there has to be a down.  

and for every down....................

Getting a bit knackered by this stage. 

But excellent views to be enjoyed before........

another downhill. 
There was a final amazing steep downhill to Carisbrook where we repaired to The Waverley Hotel for an excellent lunch washed down with lashings of Ginger Beer.  

Then onwards to West Cowes and the Chain Ferry over to East Cowes to catch  the Southampton Ferry. 

Pedestrians and cyclists go free on the Chain Ferry, how progressive.

Due to a minor navigational error by some of the party who are in total denial about the incident we just missed the 4.30 ferry and had to wait an hour. 

So of course we headed for the nearest cafe and had a cup of tea.

The Empress of Ecoli heading out to empty her holding tanks.  

Once back in Southampton we sped across town to the station like a bunch of adolescent BMX'ers to catch the train back to Brock.  

There was a train coming in to platform 3 so we hoisted our bikes on our shoulders and legged it over the footbridge in excited anticipation only to be thwarted by the lady guard, who would allow only three bikes on her train, and was already full. 
She at least kept her comments about our age and attire to herself.

The next train was due in ten minutes so we shouldered our bikes again and legged it back over to platform 4, ready to take the train by force if necessary. 

Plenty of spaces this time but we were told the train was splitting, but which end was stopping at Brock? No one knew no one seemed to care, a mild flurry of panic and swopping carriages and we were sorted. 

Back to Brock to pick up the cars. 

An excellent day out;

Two Trains
Three Ferries. 
Second Breakfast
Morning Coffee  
Afternoon Tea
Fantastic Weather 
Beautiful Scenery
28.2 miles cycled
2, 616 feet of elevation climbed. 

which of course means 2,616 feet of downhill.
Yee Ha!

Put your shades on and look tough. Idiots.

Thanks to John for all the photos, 

Friday 12 June 2015

Bufflehead @ Beale

And about time too you might say, I've been so busy multi tasking I haven't had time to post.
There's been a trip to the Norfolk Broads with Katie, a trip to Scotland to see family, then a re run of our Lechlade to Beale Park Raid.
Amongst the many interesting things at Beale this year was this Bufflehead Sailing Canoe built by Jamie Clay.

She's quite high tec, there's lots of Kevlar and Carbon in her and although that batwing/sprit rig harks back to the golden age of Canoe Sailing it is thoroughly modern in the way it's put together.  Here are a few more photos.