The April ride coincided with Easter, and as this meant engineering work on the railways, the location was switched from Tring to Milton Keynes. Even after the move, the engineering works mad e for awkward travel by rail, and Paul Evans and myself, who travelled from the Midlands, had to de-train at Northampton and take a coach from there to Milton Keynes. I was travelling down without a bike, as I was due to collect a new Moulton fx8 at the event, which made my return journey complicated - the combination of a coach and Virgin is not Moulton friendly, so I planned to return via Bicester North and the much more cycle (and human) friendly Chiltern line.
Due no doubt to the Easter holiday, and the travelling problems, the turnout for the ride was a bit lower than usual, though still respectable, with 9 riders, including 3 on conventional large-wheeled non-folders. Bromptons and SPs made up the majority of the folders, but Mike Smithson and his Trek were welcome newcomers in the folding department. We were sorry that Lorna Wray was not well, and unable to join us for the ride.
Organiser Phil Way had kindly chosen a modified route which took us out towards Bicester, to make my journey back easier. For those who don't know the area, there is some excellent riding around Milton Keynes, and of course the redways make it possible to avoid roads. For part of the ride we used cycle route 51 as well. Hills were both few and minor (at least after my visit to the Long Mynd last Saturday!). A ride of around 15 miles (I am told - I was unusually computer-less on my new bike) brought us to the lunch stop at Granborough. After lunch I left the others to make my way to Bicester North - a route I had never travelled before. With trains only every hour from there to Birmingham on the Chiltern line, it was worth riding hard (by my terms) to try to reach Bicester North in time of the 15:42 - something which in the event I achieved rather comfortably with over 10 minutes to spare, despite taking a longer route around Stratton Audley than I had intended.
The weather forecast had not been especially good, and when Paul and I left Birmingham, there had been a drizzle, but the weather remained reasonable for the ride.
Many thanks to all who attended, and of course especially Phil for organising the ride.
PS: The new fx8 performed well, but is now of the road briefly while I make a few modifications - expect further reports on the Folding Society web pages soon.
Copyright (C)2004 Ferrets Anonymous
Last updated: 11 April 2004