The Bugle | Blast 302

Friday 22nd September 2017



“Cycle touring isn’t about the bike, and the route is only a background to a group of disparate people who use it as an excuse to build a tight bonhomie for a few days and a memory for life.” – SDG



Around the World ... in 79 days!

Scottish Mark Beaumont this week arrived back in Paris beating his previous record of 193 days and the existing record of 123 days by New Zealander Andrew Nicholson. He undershot his planned 'Jules Verne' 80 day target by cycling an amazing average of 240 miles in around 16 hours a day. Mark only slept for five hours each night consuming 9000 calories a day.

Read more and watch him on video here:



Six bikes - including a recumbent - hanging in a French TER carriage. You just get on and pop the front wheel on the hanger. Same when you get off.

Contrast with the few trains in the UK with any provision. Difficult to secure safely, derailleurs get bent as they are crushed behind other bikes and it is chaos to untangle yours from behind others if you get off at an intermediate station. Because the French system has the bikes vertical they take less floor-space and do not block the aisle for other passengers. In Denmark they have added flip up seats to be used if there is no bike - but with instructions to give up your seat to a bike and a fine if you don't!

Why not here? Are you listening Southern, SouthEastern, London Overground, Virgin ... ???


Three of us joined five other friends for an informal cycle tour of Northern France. Or rather a battle against a continuous gale with an occasional drenching for day after day. But it was fun wasn't it TomTom & Jeremy? Well apart from finding Fawlty Towers is alive and well in Rouen. Read more here:


This is Frank on August 24 being attended by Kent Air Ambulance after his high speed encounter with a sturdy hedge. He was hospitalised for a week but is now home, getting stronger, walking the dog, swimming gently and hopes to be back on a bike by year end.

I have put the incident as seen by Frank and witness on the website here:

Frank writes: 

Dear Mark H, Mark B, Barrie, Belinda and John E

I had hoped by now to have invited you all round including Dave G to Chez Kippin to thank you personally for your splendid efforts and support calling the emergency services and extracting me from the woody hedge so that the ambulance paramedics could tend to me at the side of the road.

Thank you Belinda for your on the spot expertise and for letting Julie know what had happened so that she could ring the hospital and  visit me by taxi in case she could not drive back.....  Julie drove down each day as well as take Denzel for his walks and I was discharged a week later on the Thursday.

Thank you Mark B and Barrie subsequently driving to Bough Beech to pick up my Wilier Triestina from the local Bough Beech chap, Mark Beardon, for over night safe keeping and then taking it round to Dave G's house thence to 11AC. Thanks for retrieving from the hedge my mobile and glasses.

1st Lesson learnt the hard way I must follow the leader at all times unless given permission to ride ahead!



Only one this week:

Tuesday Ride 19th September: Des does the hills slowly to Coolings Garden Centre with a new recruit:



Saturday Ride 23rd September: 10:00 Shurguard/501 Brighton Road: Pete S leads out to a tea stop at the Red Rum cafe Lingfield via Sanderstead and Limpsfield. Return via Smallfield, Horley and Redhill with a pub stop at The Wellhouse, Mugswell. 48 miles not too hilly.

Sunday Ride 24th September: 9:00 Shurguard/501 Brighton Road: Tom leads to Porcupine Pantry, Penshurst followed by The Plough, Lingfield

Tuesday Ride 26th September: 
'A' Ride [12mph] 09:30 Shurguard/501 Brighton Road: Tom V to Chiddingstone
'B' Ride [10mph] 10:00 Shurguard/501 Brighton Road: Peter R to Chiddingstone

Thursday Ride: 28th September: 10:00 Shurguard/501 Brighton Road: Mark H leads somewhere.



You couldn't miss the news this week that 'no front brake' Charlie Alliston was given 18 months in a young offenders detention centre for crashing into and killing a pedestrian crossing Old Street, London. You probably agree he deserved it.

What you may have missed is the other awful cases that came to court on the same day where the driver only received a ban or a fine. Oh and if you as a cyclist get killed by a driver - there is only 1 in 10 chance they will be accompanying Charlie to jail. That's if they are charged. Chris Boardman is still waiting after a year to charges to be laid against the killing of his cycling mother:

Yet despite that this was an exceptional case whereas 400 pedestrians are mowed down every year by motorists - the PM has taken time out from sorting Brexit - to order a fast track review of whether to legislate special law to cover this case despite the likelihood we won't see another like this any time soon. Despite the fact he was successfully prosecuted under the existing law. Plus the government has been dragging its feet for THREE YEARS on reforming the careless and dangerous driving laws for drivers.

Is this because the AA, RAC, SMMT, Oil companies can lobby harder than the CTC?

There is one law for cyclists and ... no let's make that two!