Meanwhile...

Ephemera and whimsy
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Joan
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Re: Meanwhile...

Post by Joan » 2 weeks ago

@Iris, you don't need my advice, but still:

Catch a bus (or 4). Train in a pinch.
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Re: Meanwhile...

Post by Iris » 2 weeks ago

Unfortunately there aren't many trains or buses running overnight, and my stoker isn't very good at riding the tandem without me.
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Re: Meanwhile...

Post by Regulator » 2 weeks ago

Iris wrote:
2 weeks ago
Unfortunately there aren't many trains or buses running overnight, and my stoker isn't very good at riding the tandem without me.
Good news is there is only one real hill between Cambridge and King’s Lynn, the weather forecast is favourable and you should have a tail wind.

Bad news... you end up in King’s Lynn.
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Re: Meanwhile...

Post by Iris » 2 weeks ago

The hill in Ely isn't a hill.
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Re: Meanwhile...

Post by Regulator » 2 weeks ago

Iris wrote:
2 weeks ago
The hill in Ely isn't a hill.
I was thinking more of Haddenham (if you're taking the west of Ely route along the Drain via Witcham and Welney Fen).
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Re: Meanwhile...

Post by Iris » 2 weeks ago

The height above sea level of Haddenham, Cambs, is less than the vertical height climbed on our usual flat bike route...

When you live on top of the Chilterns, nothing in Cambridgeshire or Norfolk counts as a hill.

In any case, ride leader is Nick Saddlesore, who likes hills even less than I do. He's promised Ely will be the highest point, and total climbing of only 340m. Which is about what I'd see in my typical 20-odd mile extended flat route from home.
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Re: Meanwhile...

Post by Iris » 2 weeks ago

Iris wrote:
2 weeks ago

What could possible go wrong?
Apart from misspelling "possibly", the cable for the rear mech could get damaged during the journey over and need replacing, the connector for the front mech could come loose during the ride, and the eccentric bottom bracket could work its way loose necessitating an urgent repair under the only street light for 5 miles.
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Re: Meanwhile...

Post by The Real Ravenhurst » 2 weeks ago

Iris wrote:
2 weeks ago
Apart from misspelling "possibly", the cable for the rear mech could get damaged during the journey over and need replacing, the connector for the front mech could come loose during the ride, and the eccentric bottom bracket could work its way loose necessitating an urgent repair under the only street light for 5 miles.
:o Other than that, how'd it go?
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Re: Meanwhile...

Post by Iris » 2 weeks ago

The Real Ravenhurst wrote:
2 weeks ago
:o Other than that, how'd it go?
We are just contributing to Tim Martin's already extensive collection of country-killing money.

A decent ride, which would have been even more decent with a bit more fitness. And, ironically, a hill or two to allow a bit of coasting.
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Re: Meanwhile...

Post by Iris » 2 weeks ago

The Real Ravenhurst wrote:
2 weeks ago
:o Other than that, how'd it go?
IMG_20190901_060749504_resize_45.jpg
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Re: Meanwhile...

Post by Joan » 2 weeks ago

Did a car drive into your hotel? 🤯
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Re: Meanwhile...

Post by Regulator » 2 weeks ago

Iris wrote:
2 weeks ago
IMG_20190901_060749504_resize_45.jpg
Is that the one by Cambridge station?
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Re: Meanwhile...

Post by Regulator » 2 weeks ago

Joan wrote:
2 weeks ago
Did a car drive into your hotel? 🤯
Express check in, innit....
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Re: Meanwhile...

Post by Iris » 2 weeks ago

Regulator wrote:
2 weeks ago
Is that the one by Cambridge station?
Joan wrote:
2 weeks ago
Did a car drive into your hotel? 🤯

Yes, and yes. Probably an attempt at express checkout, sadly.
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Re: Meanwhile...

Post by Iris » 2 weeks ago

Now home, thankfully!

We'd hatched a cunning plan for the weekend - my best beloved would drive over to Cambridge on Friday afternoon and check in to the Travelodge, I'd join her by train, we'd put the bike together, have a leisurely evening resting, ride out to Kings Lynn, back to Cambridge for a snooze, she'd come back by train on the Saturday (Sunday morning being the first sung service after a summer break) and I'd have a restful night in the Travelodge before driving back. With the car she was able to take her solo bike in case I felt so ragged after the week at work that I didn't feel able to ride.

Somehow the rear mech gear cable became jammed inside the shifter, so there was a lot of frustration trying to unjam it. Eventually it came free, and it became obvious that it needed to be fully extracted and couldn't just be reseated. Trying to thread a frayed Bowden cable through a small hole is an exercise in futility, so we put out a call for assistance, and fortunately the genersou Rob H offered a replacement, and to turn up early to the station so that we could refit it. Which turned out to be a much easier exercise than I'd feared.

Apart from the mechanicals already noted (which were again very easy to fix - I must be learning something about bikes) the ride was pretty uneventful - and as reported elsewhere @adrian as TEC had a very quiet ride on the bike-fixing front. Wetherspoons breakfast duly consumed we caught up with the usual suspects and, after seeing how many riders had already gone to the station decided to accept the very kind offer of a pint rather than head straight off. A fresh cask of Hobgoblin probably helped in that decision...

But one pint was plenty, and so we wandered across Kings Lynn past a one-man pro-EU demo (lots of police on hand) and with the connivance of the station staff loaded the tandem on the train (lots of pissed-up groups of young people on their way into Cambridge) and got back to the hotel.

And so after a very late lunch of a scotch egg and a bottle of low-alcohol Erdinger and an early dinner of a very good pizza from the shipping container just outside I was flaked out by 9pm.

Which meant that when the fire alarm went off around 4am I was reasonably well-rested - unlike most of the other hotel guests, who were variously hungover, still drunk or completely spaced out. That was a half-hour break, and I must have fallen asleep again when I was woken up by the alarm again, to be met when I got downstairs by a car in reception, swiftly followed by two fire engines and two ambulances. The ambulances didn't stay long, while the fire crew cleared up what remained of the glass doors before being called off to a fire. At some stage an unmarked police car drove off, presumably conveying a person to the station for full and frank discussions.

Piecing together events from overheard gossip and what the hotel staff were saying, a hotel guest had become abusive and set off the fire alarm - he'd probably been drinking all day. He'd been chucked out, had driven off in his car, "borrowed" his brothers car, driven back to the hotel and rammed it into reception. As I came down for breakfast his room and the corridor outside was being guarded by a cop ("I have a nasty feeling I've been asked to guard some poo"), so I suspect there was some damage there as well.

It wasn't the actions of someone entirely of sound mind. And I've seen cars in hotel receptions before, but normally extremely expensive ones in very upmarket hotels as a marketing exercise.
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