The Bugle | Blast 431

Friday 27th March 2020
Centre of  the Storm Edition



"The spread of coronavirus in London appears to be a few weeks ahead of other parts of the UK" - Boris Johnston: Coronavirus Infector General


Rock on with Capt'n Mark. A Facebook video of how to exercise and keep the cycling fitness ready for better days.

For the technically minded with their brains in gear Mark says: The workout is .5 mins in 50/23 5mins in 50/21 5mins in 50/19 5 mins in 50/17.The revs should be about 100 at the start down to about 70.You then do 5 mins back in 50/23 before 5 2minute intervals in 50/17/19 with 1 min rest in between in 50/ then go back into 50/23 for 3 minutes & then do 3 45 second sprints in the same gear at 120 rpm.You have a minute rest Inbetween in the same gear.You can then warm down in the 50/23 for 3 to 4 minutes.This workout takes about 52 minutes.

TomTom wote in to say: 

RGT Cycling, the new innovative virtual cycling platform, has today announced that it is making all of its Premium features available for free to all indoor cyclists, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

To find out how - go here:



Meanwhile for those like myself, wanting some more relaxed exercise - now is a good time to clear away the winter grime ... (and do share your photos of 'cycling at home').

What a beautiful sunny week it has been. Oh to be riding those great country lanes. Now forbidden as any exercise outside the home has to be 'short'. Hence, many club members who are lucky to have gardens may be spending a lot more time there.

To help you  please welcome the Bugle's first Gardening Correspondent and her first words of advice:



If you have a garden you will already be finding out that with the mild wet winter that we have had those pesky slugs and snails are starting to come out of hibernation and making a nuisance of themselves.

Please DO NOT use slug pellets, they are poisonous and will ruin the wild life, ie bugs, beetles etc in your garden. We really need all those little blighters.  You can put down beer traps,  dig an old mug or two into the ground around plants that are precious to you, fill them with half water half cheap beer but not up to the top or they will climb out,  and hey presto slug and snail party time.  Mind you if you have foxes around you might find tipsey foxes in the garden too.  You can go out at night and pick the blighters up into a glass jar and take them for a ride somewhere and dump them off.  It'll be a long walk home for them.  A friend of mine told me years ago do not throw them over your neighbour's garden because they'll find their way back.   One can also use copper strips around pots, raised beds etc., which will give the beasties a little electric shock.   Personally I put nematodes on my garden where it matters.  All young seedlings, in my experience, need protection up to a point.  Nematodes are a type of minute worm which you buy live in a clay based mix, all you do is dilute it in water and spray on the area you want to protect,  this is effective for around six weeks.  They are absorbed by the slugs and snails and will kill them.  They do need a week of two to breed once you have sprayed them but then work wonderfully well.  They are not harmful to other wild life. 

There are four main types of slugs, the grey ones which eat absolutely anything, and as I understand it will reproduce three time yearly,   The black garden slug  which absolutely loves beans and bores holes into your spuds, you tell them by their orange under side.  The keeled slug, which is also black but has an orange line down it's back .  Now this is the one that causes the most problems because it lives underground and eats all the roots.  Hence you put a lovely little plant in with nice strong network of roots and after a couple of days it has curled up and died. Nasty things these, they have had quite a few swear words aimed at them over the years by me.  Then there is the plain black one which grows to about 8 inches long,  now this one does the least damage of all and you can just leave it to its own divises. One good thing, if there is such a thing with slugs, is that if you get lots of slug slime trails it means the little slugs stay small because they bigger ones eat all the food and the little ones don't get a look in.  So the answer is DON'T collect them at night because you will only encourage the little ones to grow as you've got rid of their rivals for food and they can then grow into lovely big juicy ones. YUK.

So to end,  try not to dig the soil too much because you upset the structure of it.  Plant tender plants when they have been put out during the day and brought back in at night for around a week because it makes the plants stronger .  Do not feed them till they are established . because that gives them time to grow stronger roots,  the little tender roots are the ones our lovely slugs and snails love.  Accept that you will loose some of your plants and you and the slugs will be happy.



Tina and daughter are probably too worked out and anxious to be smiling right now. Plus there is Belinda working in hospital and Claire at a GP practice with half the staff off. There must be more of you out there.

We clapped last night for you all. Perhaps at our next prize giving we should have a Club Campaign Medal for all those that served if only to give us the chance to clap again for all the selfless care that kept this country going a this testing time.



As ever in the UK the government's words are unclear. You can exercise on a bicycle once a day but to keep it 'short'

That rules out Brighton'n'back.  Is Leith Hill too far, what about Farthing Down?

The answer in Italy or Spain is clear. You can't. In France you can cycle as long as you go no more than 1km from your home, be out no more than one hour and do so only once a day. You must have your “justification” paper - signed, dated and with the time you have left home - to show if stopped by the police or gendarmes.

The fines for ignoring these rules are €135 for the first offence, rising to €1,500 for repeat offenders.

These countries are taking the crisis more seriously than us. Yet we are only a week or two behind them. 



Quelle suprise!. The number of potholes repaired in England and Wales has fallen by a fifth in the past 12 months amid a decline in road maintenance budgets. Local authorities filled 1.5m potholes in the 2019-20 financial year compared with 1.9m during the previous 12 months.

Meanwhile the reduction to only essential traffic has given one council the opportunity to do a particular piece of pedestrian crossing maintainence. 

That's right - there isn't four young men crossing less than 2m apart risking a £30 fine ;-)



None from the Anerley - and most other clubs. But some live in hope - or delusion. The BBC reports the Tour de France may still be on. I wouldn't book your Eurostar yet:



Time not spent working or commuting. Time on your hands. Not a bookworm - then try the famous TED Talks. TomTom has suggested this collection. They are mostly why cycling is better than driving. But we know that. Or last night did you see in your street neighbours you haven't seenn before - people that one may be able to persuade.

From a safe distance of course! Here is's collection:

Happy - whatever!