Thursday Rides (Blue Oyster)

Further to requests and demands, the Thursday Rides will be going almost weekly once the weather improves (March?)

The plan is to have an additional ride on the 1st and 3rd Thursday of each month. 
Each ride will need a leader, so we need more volunteer leaders, who must be full Cycling UK members and registered as such - details here
But you don't need to come up with a route, as I've posted some 'old faithfuls' here

The Plan:
Post the idea for a ride at least a fortnight in advance on the forum in this thread and see what response you get. Once it's definite, contact me or Richard by the preceding Friday, so that we can put it on the website. We'll deal with trains, but you should check them before the ride. Once you're committed, you take responsibility - don't just not show up, tell people or find a replacement. 
If anyone would prefer to do an occasional Wednesday, that's possible with sufficient notice. Also, if you would like to use a station slightly beyond the Oyster belt - e.g. Potters Bar or Broxbourne - that's fine. In fact almost anything is fine if others are willing.

 Those interested should bookmark this thread (the icon above the red flag)

Comments


  • Hi Richard.  Count me in for 7 March.  Regards  Colin H-P
  • Hello Richard, I’m hoping to join you on 7 March, thanks 
  • I expect I'll be there on the 7th.

    See you then.
  • I’m up for leading an Oyster Thursday ride on (Thursday) 21st March assuming anyone interested? (Train from Fenchurch to Upminster, time TBA)
  • Good for me. If possible, 10.04 from FST,  arr. UPM 10.26. This let's the North / East London lot use Overground via Barking.
  • Note that Christine's ride on 14 March will now start from Romford. This also has the advantage that we don't have rides on successive weeks from Upminster. 
  • Richard said:
    Note that Christine's ride on 14 March will now start from Romford. This also has the advantage that we don't have rides on successive weeks from Upminster. 
    Are the OAP’s allowed use their Freedom Passes on the advertised train to Romford? I understood that we could only use the slow TFL trains?
  • edited on Sun 3 Mar at 21:09
    micko said:
    Are the OAP’s allowed use their Freedom Passes on the advertised train to Romford? I understood that we could only use the slow TFL trains?
    Yes Mick -- 60+/Freedom passes are valid on Greater Anglia as far as 'arold Wood (after 09.30).  Slow TfL trains only though if you want to go all the way to Shenfield  ... (edited: I originally said Romford, which makes no sense at all -- sorry!) 
  • nickb said:
     let's 
    Sorry about the apostrophe. Blame auto-correct.
  • Hi Mick
    I’m up for the ride on the 21st
    Richard
  • OK, looks like  there's a critical mass for @micko's suggested ride on the 21st, so that's now on the website -- using the train requested by @nickb ...
  • Sorry can't be with you 21st - 1/2 term.     But sunny Datchet tomorrow - yes please!
  • OF course it's not half term,  was looking at February...I'll be out in hilly Basildon, Mick
  • Fabulosa and thanks
  • I've added the Cambridge to Kings Lynn ride to the website with ticket details. The outbound train(s) need a cycle reservation - which you can do online via the Hull Trains website - and only take 6 bikes each. Please let me know if interested.
  • I would like to go Nick
    Richard

  • Yes, count me in too, on Thursday 30 May, thanks Nick
  • I'm puzzled. Which trains to Cambridge require a bike reservation? 
  • 08.03, 08.28, 08.33 from LST. 08.33, £7, arr. 09.39 is the preferred option, others in case of numbers. National Rail app says reservations required, 6 bikes per train.
    Please, nobody book yet, date subject to confirmation.
  • Hmm. I'm fairly sure GA only require reservations on Norwich trains, but I'll check tomorrow. 
  • I've called GA. They say reservations are required, 4 spaces per train. There are spaces available on the 8.03, but not according to Hull Trains. 8.33 is almost sold out. Booking through GA takes patience, maybe best done in person at LST (if there is still a staffed booking desk).  Any better idea?
  • nickb said:
    I've called GA. They say reservations are required, 4 spaces per train. 
    That's not what their own cycling policy says, and when I tried to do the first part of the booking process (on GWR site) it says that bike reservations are not possible. 

    Alternative routes are from KGX or STP - in fact the KGX route is the fastest - but they don't have Advance Purchase tickets, so are much more expensive (about £25). 
  • This thread https://forum.cyclinguk.org/viewtopic.php?t=125927 seems to confirm that you are right and GA / National Rail are wrong. Added confusion (for me) is this re Intercity services from March 1st:
     https://www.greateranglia.co.uk/travel-information/your-journey/cycling
    Is a service between two cities an Intercity service?
    Why did I think taking a bike to Cambridge was easy?
  • edited on Mon 1 Apr at 13:35
    InterCity is a market segment, not a geographic description. :)

    The only InterCity service on the GA franchise is London - Norwich. These are currently loco-hauled with big, traditional guard's vans (well, technically they're DVT's, but that's probably too much detail ...  :) ). It's always officially been the case that you needed a reservation to use one of the six spaces on those, but in practice the guards were pretty relaxed about it, because there was so much space. But they'll soon be getting new rolling stock, with no van. I'm guessing that significance of the page you found about March 1st is that they're now enforcing the rule because of that.

    Richard P  (logged in as admin by mistake)
  • There are actually now three routes London - Cambridge (from LST, KGX and STP). The KGX route is normally the fastest (some run non-stop), though LST is close now that some of those only stop at Tottenham Hale.

    The LST trains are the ones we use on Sunday rides from Broxbourne, Sawbridgeworth, Bishops Stortford and Audley End, and the KGX trains are the ones we use to Stevenage and Baldock.

    So there shouldn't be any problem with bikes on any of the three routes (off-peak or against the peak flow). Only the LST route seems to offer the cheap advance purchase tickets though, so KGX or STP would be much more expensive (especially as it'll be too early to use a Railcard). Note that if you buy the cheap advance tickets you must travel on the booked train. 
  • edited on Mon 1 Apr at 14:06
    I think the easiest thing to say is that the ride starts from Cambridge Station at 10.00. I'm going to book myself on the 08.33, though I'll get on at Tott. Hale.  There are two other tickets available on this. Others can either get the 8.03 and wait, or the slow 8.28 and I'lI wait for them. These are all LST trains, and selling fast. KGX options for those not worried by ticket costs.
    And we'll ignore reservations.
  • Technically if you buy a £7 LST - CBG ticket it won't be valid from TOM. Academic once you're on the train though, and I suppose you can use your 60+ card to get you through the barrier at TOM.
  • I'm buying a £6 TOM (08.45) - CBG (09.39)
  • Sorry but I’m confused. What is TOM?  Nick are you getting the 08.33 or 08.45?  Have we decided not to try to make bike reservations?
    sorry if I’m being a bit slow
    Rich
  • According to the GWR website the 08.33 with Senior Railcard is £4.25
  • I'm suggesting the 08.33 from Liverpool Street (LST). I'll get on that train at Tottenham Hale (TOM) at 08.45. I'm not making a cycle reservation.
  • Cycle reservations are neither necessary nor indeed possible.
    RichardD said:
    According to the GWR website the 08.33 with Senior Railcard is £4.25
    That's odd - I thought the Snr Railcard wasn't valid in the SE during the morning peak. 
     
  • £7 is Advance ticket. Senior Railcard is not valid within London and SE (inc Cambridge) during morning peak.
    The 08.03 is £11, all prices will go up as the first lot of Advance sell out.
    There are endless variations. And Greater Anglia are more confused than Parliament. My head hurts
  • Well if the website allows a senior railcard I can’t see why I shouldn’t use it. Surely it’s the Freedom Passthats not allowed.
  • RichardD said:
    Well if the website allows a senior railcard I can’t see why I shouldn’t use it. Surely it’s the Freedom Pass that's not allowed.
    Actually I think the SR may be valid - because these are Advance tickets (which are unusual on London & SE services).
  • Just booked the 08.33 from LST for £4.60.
  • OK so GWR is cheaper than anyone else...
  • I used GWR just now and paid £4.60 for a single fare at 8.33 to Cambridge - I wasn’t able to get a bike ticket.

    incidentslly, on the train back from Chelmsford today, the guard said they’d changed the rules when I told him I didn’t have a bike reservation but let me in anyway (intercity service) I never thought to ask for a bike ticket when I bought my ticket. Great ride, thanks Nick , really loved the route, cutting across the country like that, marvellous.
  • @richardp will be along soon to explain
  • micko said:

    Incidentally, on the train back from Chelmsford today, the guard said they’d changed the rules when I told him I didn’t have a bike reservation but let me in anyway (intercity service) I never thought to ask for a bike ticket when I bought my ticket. Great ride, thanks Nick , really loved the route, cutting across the country like that, marvellous.
    Strictly speaking it's always been the case that there were only six bike spaces on the London - Norwich InterCity services, and you needed a (free) reservation to use them. However, because the DVT's (guards vans) are so large, and demand for spaces is small outside the peak, the guards have been pretty relaxed about enforcing the rules. 

    What's changed is that they'll soon be getting new rolling stock (same as the new trains on the GWR InterCity routes). These have (I think) six bike spaces, but no space to spare, so they are now enforcing the rules more strictly (or are supposed to be). You wouldn't in any case have been able to get a reservation at Chelmsford station yesterday -- they have to be made (at the very latest) before the train leaves its origin station (Norwich in this case). Plenty of non-InterCity Ipswich/Colchester trains from Chelmsford though, on which reservations are neither necessary nor possible.

    Richard. 

    PS to @nickb: I'm @richard, not @richardp ...
  • edited on Tue 9 Apr at 10:04
    Might be a bit hilly but not  "Dysfunctional" *** on Thursday, lunch probably again in Dorking.   

    ***  no mention of learning anything of one's surroundings while riding in these perfect group rides, or the chat over lunch.... [written by a cyclist in Denver Colorado]
    https://categorycafe.wordpress.com/2019/04/04/dysfunctional-cycling-club-and-why-you-should-quit/
  • edited on Wed 10 Apr at 08:13
    Richard said:
    micko said:

    Incidentally, on the train back from Chelmsford today, the guard said they’d changed the rules when I told him I didn’t have a bike reservation but let me in anyway (intercity service) I never thought to ask for a bike ticket when I bought my ticket. Great ride, thanks Nick , really loved the route, cutting across the country like that, marvellous.
    Strictly speaking it's always been the case that there were only six bike spaces on the London - Norwich InterCity services, and you needed a (free) reservation to use them. However, because the DVT's (guards vans) are so large, and demand for spaces is small outside the peak, the guards have been pretty relaxed about enforcing the rules. 

    What's changed is that they'll soon be getting new rolling stock (same as the new trains on the GWR InterCity routes). These have (I think) six bike spaces, but no space to spare, so they are now enforcing the rules more strictly (or are supposed to be). You wouldn't in any case have been able to get a reservation at Chelmsford station yesterday -- they have to be made (at the very latest) before the train leaves its origin station (Norwich in this case). Plenty of non-InterCity Ipswich/Colchester trains from Chelmsford though, on which reservations are neither necessary nor possible.

    Richard. 

    PS to @nickb: I'm @richard, not @richardp ...
    @Richard - You've pointed out a real problem here for weekend rides, too. I'm gonna start another thread on this here.
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