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  1. #1
    Senior Member snafu21's Avatar
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    Hyde Park Folding Bicycle Society (UK) 2010 season

    Greetings comrades.

    The HPFBS was formed in 2008 to provide a social atmosphere for fodling bicyclists of all persuasions, meeting on the 1st Sunday of each month at 10.00 AM, at the Cafe by the Serpentine, in Hyde Park, London. The atmosphere is courteous and genial, the rides around the quieter parts of London on towpaths and back roads are gentle pootles, often interrupted by coffee, buns, or pies. On the return there is often a vigourous sprint up the Mall back into the park, occasionally pursued by the constabulary, though the HPFBS cannot condone racing on public roads.

    It's a great chance to meet other owners of peculiar bicycles, and get some fresh air. All are welcome.

    If you'd like to partake there are no membership fees, badges, forms, or regalia, (edit - Society ties are now available) but arriving with a folding bicycle by ten AM is considered an advantage, when you may find members fuelling up in the café for a departure at about 10:30.

    Recommended accesories include a means of repairing punctures, a water bottle, and a rain jacket. Bicycles should be fitted with bells to avoid your paint becoming contaminated with pedestrians.

    If arriving by car there is plenty of adjacent paid parking in the Park (£1.40 per hour) or free parking in the surrounding streets (Sundays). The Park parking tends to fill up by 12:00 in the summer though and is not cheap. I usally park in The Triangle.

    The Serpentine café is No. 3 on the map here:

    The next meet is usally announced in this thread. All are welcome.

    A phone number if you're late or lost on meeting days:

    +44 75 78 36 15 54

    Last edited by snafu21; 07-06-10 at 03:29 AM.
    - every mile of road has two miles of ditch -

  2. #2
    Lonesome No More nigelme's Avatar
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    Ah! a pertinent thread.

    If the 1st Sunday of t'Month system is to be retained then 6th June be the date. That might clash with the next General Election or Volcanic interruption! but is otherwise doable but is four weeks away and Boris Johnson may have banned bicycling in the capital by then.

  3. #3
    Senior Member snafu21's Avatar
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    Good Oh. Or you guys can make it the last Sunday in the month, which brings it forward a bit.
    Last edited by snafu21; 07-01-10 at 10:00 AM.
    - every mile of road has two miles of ditch -

  4. #4
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    I could do the 30 May, but not 6 June. Would be a good excuse to take the bubble wrap off of the fake strida that has been cowering on top of the wardrobe for over a year now, and blow up the tyres.

  5. #5
    Senior Member snafu21's Avatar
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    Seconded. 30th May. I will bring pies.
    Last edited by snafu21; 07-01-10 at 10:01 AM.
    - every mile of road has two miles of ditch -

  6. #6
    Lonesome No More nigelme's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by snafu21 View Post
    Seconded. 30th May. I will bring pies.
    Thirded! I will eat the pies.

  7. #7
    Senior Member snafu21's Avatar
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    Next meeting - Sunday 30th May, 10.00, Serpentine Café, Hyde Park London.

    Web site?

    Oh - yes of course.
    Last edited by snafu21; 05-16-10 at 11:15 AM.
    - every mile of road has two miles of ditch -

  8. #8
    Senior Member snafu21's Avatar
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    Bump

    Seemingly nominated as Nav Officer for 30th May, here's a suggestion -

    Limehouse to Little Venice


    to Limehouse by road, and then up by canal (yes, I know) to Little Venice, past Regents Park, pausing for buns with the bears, then along the canal to Ladbroke Grove, and down to Notting Hill. Anywhere in Notting Hill is remarkably packed and expensive at Sunday lunchtime, but there's plenty of choice, or sandwiches by the canal which could be more sociable. Yay! Return via Bayswater to The Park, or via the Harrow Rd past the renowned Fudges Emporium of Folding Bicycles, which will be closed. All other suggestions welcome.

    "The catalogue of modern architecture that is now the Limehouse Basin, where your ride begins, is the point at which the canal meets the Thames. Stop to gawp at the yachts in the marina and at Hawksmoor’s church (St Anne’s) before cycling northwards past Mile End Lock. On the path side you’ll see Mile End Park where you can have a freshener at the eccentric 1950s throwback pub the Palm Tree (Haverfield Road, E3 5BH). Talking of parks, the boot-shaped Victoria lies just beyond the entrance to the Hertford Union Canal (aka Duckett’s Cut). The Old Ford Lock (again) is where canal boaters traditionally changed horses but your bike doesn’t need the same care and attention so carry on straight to the Hackney Gasworks You’ve now reached the least auspicious stretch of the canal, passing through the bowels of Dalston and De Beauvoir Town, so keep your head down until you get to the City Road Basin, once the largest trading centre along Regent’s Canal. It’s now about two-thirds of its original size. Why not have a pint at the impressive Island Queen pub around the corner (87 Noel Road, N1 8HD)? Stop off at the Canal Museum if you want to learn about the history of ice cream in Britain (ignore the history of the Canal – the exhibits are on the dull side), or at Camley Street Natural Park for peace and quiet.
    Once past Camden Town, where the path briefly dodges to the south side of the canal thanks to some long-gone timber yards, you can enjoy some of the delights of London Zoo absolutely free. The wild boars and some tropical birds are usually on show from this vantage point. Skirt around Regent’s Park and then it’s on to Little Venice, where the Regent’s Canal ends and the Grand Union begins. (Here we hop off before Sainsburies on the canal, and pootle down Ladbroke Grove, into Notting Hill, ancestral home of Clan Snafu.)

    Bring a lock, if we need to leave the bikes outside anywhere. Please don't pitch my bike into the canal, this time. Mulleady, this means you. And I suggest a sandwich lunch, to avoid the bicycle-less rabble.


    snaffs
    Last edited by snafu21; 05-22-10 at 10:01 AM.
    - every mile of road has two miles of ditch -

  9. #9
    The Legitimiser Sammyboy's Avatar
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    This sounds like smashing fun, but the more I read about it, the less sure I am that it's a suitable outing given that my little fambly don't have their own folding bikes, and one of them is two.....

  10. #10
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    Very interesting route, but I'm just wondering about the Serpentine Cafe to Limehouse first leg, is it intended to bring in the HPFBS chopper and airlift the team ?

  11. #11
    jur
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    The Carnal museum sounds interesting.
    My folding bike photo essays www.dekter.net/

  12. #12
    Senior Member snafu21's Avatar
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    Indeed. all suggestions welcome It's 7 miles to Limehouse from HPFBS HQ. But we could take a short cut northward and bisect Ye Canal by another route. Regents Park area, perhaps.

    Or go the other way into Bayswater and then an attack on Gradbroke Love and Gnotting Hill, then returning via the Regents Canal toe-path and what-not.

    Many things are possible. I too, look forwards to the Carnal Museum. But I fear we may miss Hackney Gasworks.
    Last edited by snafu21; 05-25-10 at 04:29 AM.
    - every mile of road has two miles of ditch -

  13. #13
    Senior Member snafu21's Avatar
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    Ride Report 30/05/2010


    A blustery start saw members of the HPFBS cowering outside the Serpentine Bar and Kitchen ( formerly The Dell Café) in a Force 6 breeze, with whitecaps and spume crashing from the Serpentine into our coffee. First to arrive was Road Captain Nigelme followed by yours truly. Pies were taken on, and routes discussed. Two new members turned up, Mister S and Mister H, Mister H being our first Cadet member, who warmed our cold little hearts by tucking straight into the comestibles.

    Finally, Old Stalwart Diode100 arrived on a rather ritzy bike which looked like a Strida, but may have been something else entirely. I wondered if he would let me have a go of it, but as I wrecked his last bike by falling off it, I decided not to ask.

    With the pies done, and Team HPFBS ready to roll, yours truly went to unlock the bike, and found - no keys.

    Hmmm. No bike key, no car key. All were gone!

    GONE!

    A search party combed the café. Passers-by were roughly thrown to the ground and patted down. No keys appeared. Our Road Captain went to check on the car to see if ne'er do-wells were in the process of purloining it, but all was clear. Locked out of me own car I was, with me bike chained to the railings. It's not a good place to be.

    We had a pow-wow and the chaps went off to do cycling, while I - having unscrewed the rack of my Dahon to free the bike , leaving the rack chained to the bike stand, cycled off to find The Constabulary to report this vile and terrible loss with a view to claiming on my insurance when my car was stolen, my house was burgled, and worse of all, my Dahon rack (£19.95) sawn in half and tossed into the Serpentine by vandals.

    The cops were quite pleasant. "I bet the key is in your pockets" said Cop1. "No, we've all had a feel and there is nothing, Officer, and I am eighty miles from home, and my cat is locked in my house and I can't get in my car, and I am probably going to die or something."

    The cop offered to professionally search me. So, I tipped out my bike bag on the floor and stuck my arms out like the perps do in 'Hawaii Five Oh' . A quick professional pat down, my sandwich box closely scrutinised, and I was free to go. No keys. The cops would go to the café with mine detectors or something, and do a fingertip search.

    Damn. I left the cops my phone number, and pedaled off, morosely.

    I cycled back to the café and decided to crawl around the busy café on my hands and knees, starting underneath the outside table we used. It was occupied by four swarthy chaps from Italy. I explained I'd lost me keys, and one of them jumped up. He may have said "Caramba!" or something and then - he pointed to the lake: "I have seen them - in the water! he said, pointing. There they were, four feet under, glinting feebly in the poo-brown water.

    One of the Italians said I needed a long piece of wire with a hook on the end, and started taking his jacket off, as if to dive in and rescue my keys, but no wire was to be found, and swimming in the lake is forbidden. Fortunately we HPFBS Members are made of stern stuff. I went around to the shore and waded into the Serpentine, mud and duck poo squelching up through my toes past my knees, and retrieved my keys to a round of applause from the Italians.

    Emergency over, I cycled, damply, malodourously, to rejoin the group, who were menacing the park periphery looking for would-be key-purloiners to mash into a frenzied pulp. Or rather, to frenziedly mash into a pulp. Then, thus heartened, we cycled in echelon to Battersea Park via Belgravia, had a spiffing luncheon by the Thames, more pies, and possibly, some ice cream, (what happens in London, stays in London) sat in the warm sun which had displaced the Gale Force Six Northerly, and then escorted our multi-modal guests back to Victoria Station.

    Apart from the peculiar aroma coming from my lower regions in the car on the way home, it was another perfect HPFBS day in jolly old London Town.

    Thank you

    God Save the Queen.

    (pix have evaporated - investigating)
    Last edited by snafu21; 06-21-10 at 10:58 AM.
    - every mile of road has two miles of ditch -

  14. #14
    Senior Member
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    Final proof that locking folding bikes is a bad idea :-)

    Glad you had a good day. Can I be an honorary member, I go into Hyde Park 6-10 times a week, just not on weekends.

    Are the household cavalry around on a Sunday?

    hydepark..jpg
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  15. #15
    The Legitimiser Sammyboy's Avatar
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    I'm so going to try to get to one of these. I take it Mully didn't show?

  16. #16
    Eschew Obfuscation SesameCrunch's Avatar
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    Sounds like another memorable HPFS meetup. I'm sure the lost key episode was stressful at the time, but sure makes for an interesting Pootle tale, with a happy ending to boot!

    Thanks for the pictures and the write up!

  17. #17
    Senior Member snafu21's Avatar
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    You're welcome, SC. You are so far, our only USA member, although Mr S is going to be in Vancouver soon, so we may have a chapter over there. The menace is spreading.

    Samuel, Mr Mully is still awol. The Constabulary are dragging the Serpentine for his remains.
    Last edited by snafu21; 05-31-10 at 08:38 AM.
    - every mile of road has two miles of ditch -

  18. #18
    Lonesome No More nigelme's Avatar
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    The 'Bionic Downchube' - Elephant - Snafu

    dtelesue..jpg

  19. #19
    Senior Member snafu21's Avatar
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    Next Meeting reminder, Sunday 4th July, 10:00am, or by consensus. Do come! As a special treat we have a sociable 'Meet the New Members' event, where I throw my car keys into the lake, and you are invited to wade in and search for them. (No swimming)

    Congrats to latest honorary members Juan and Jonathon, on their performance at the Smithfield Nocturne races yesterday.
    Last edited by snafu21; 06-20-10 at 03:31 AM.
    - every mile of road has two miles of ditch -

  20. #20
    Senior Member Folding-Bikes's Avatar
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    You got me with the Keys trick, I shall be there

  21. #21
    Senior Member snafu21's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by _Triathlete_ View Post
    You got me with the Keys trick, I shall be there
    We will welcome you with open wallets or something.


    I think we're waiting for the committee, although we don't have one, to come up with some ride suggestions. Regent's Canal?

    For all members, associate, honourary, and full, the Society Tie, in Green/Navy is available here for £2.99 - free p+p. Variations in design , are of course, acceptable. The Society's racing colours are blue and green. If you're an abroad member, and you want one shipped, let me know.

    The Society 52" polyester tie fulfills many useful functions; chain cleaning, tow-rope, emergency fan-belt, and sweat band etc. They can even be worn to fend off evil spirits, or attractive members of the preferred gender. Clip-on versions may be preferable for the speedy, in case of contact with trees, or psyclopaths.

    tie..jpg

    I'll also bring along a military GPS unit I was 'given', if anyone wants an accurate bike computer check. I was also given a Geiger counter, if you want your Geigs counted.
    Last edited by snafu21; 06-20-10 at 09:57 AM.
    - every mile of road has two miles of ditch -

  22. #22
    Senior Member Folding-Bikes's Avatar
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    Done! best £2.99 I ever spent

  23. #23
    Senior Member snafu21's Avatar
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    You are sir, apparently a man of exquisite taste.
    - every mile of road has two miles of ditch -

  24. #24
    Senior Member Folding-Bikes's Avatar
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    I shall sport it in next years Folding Bike race too. It would be spiffing if we had a matching jacket

  25. #25
    Senior Member snafu21's Avatar
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    Indeed. I am quite thrilled at the notion of getting some matching spats.

    The HPFBS Crest is on the website, and of course, may be sported on a blazer or jacket by Full and Honourary members.

    I hope the Society can offer some race support next year. We have a bevvy of experienced racing bicyclists on the Rolls of Honour now, and I think we could biff the Oppo with a bit of paddock support and a few pies.

    How to tie a tie.
    ( I have never owned one)
    Last edited by snafu21; 06-20-10 at 06:32 AM.
    - every mile of road has two miles of ditch -

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