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.
  • Fill-in Thursday ride for May 16 -  South Essex  
    9.55 ex Fenchurch St to Rainham Essex  [West Ham 10.04 Barking 10.09
    Could  push back 30 mins if asked.  Return ex-Upminster [probably] or Harold Wood.

  • Hi Felix
    Would like to join you. Happy with the train times
    Rich
  • Ordinarily, I would love to join you but I’m on the Welsh Tour. 

  • I am away on CLCTC tours or otherwise engaged on the following Thursdays in May -- 2, 9, 16.  You will have a faster ride without me.  Enjoy. 
  • Following on from Colin’s comment I’m afraid that the next Thursday ride that I can lead is 4th July which I would propose is from Upminster to Hanningfield Reservoir. Would anyone be interested?
  • I should be ok for this ride , thanks Richard.
    incidentally, It’s unlikely I’ll join the ride tomorrow as I’m prepping up for Wales 
  • There's currently no ride on Thursday 6th June.  I'd be willing to lead a shorter ride, with hills, probably from Coulsdon South.  Anyone interested?  I'd need some leader guidance.
  • I'll be back home on Sunday so will contact you then by email to see if I can help you sort out the ride.
  • Hi Simon. Thanks for volunteering to lead a ride. Unfortunately I’m away that week but I hope the ride goes well
  • Train is St Pancras 0945, London Bridge 0959 , East Croydon 1014, Coulsdon South 1022; from Victoria any train to East Croydon and change there. Distance not more than 50km; mostly minor roads, some hills.
  • Thanks @Simon. There may be a problem with that train -- official TL policy is that you can take bikes "on trains travelling towards London that are timed to arrive at or pass through any central London station between 07:00 and 10:00" . You may get away with it at St Pancras, but Christine and I have on a past occasion been prevented from going down to the TL platforms there before 10.00. 

    I'll put the ride onto the website now, but to be safe I'll just list the London Bridge departure. If anyone wants try getting on at St Pancras or Blackfriars, it'll be at their own risk :-)

  • If I read the linked [post #10 below] diagram, it would seem that trains ARRIVING in the central zone B before 10am, [which includes London Bridge]  seem to be against the rules   ^^^ 
    https://www.railforums.co.uk/threads/thameslink-cycle-policy-is-kentish-town-a-central-london-station.117124/
    I was unaware of that, and I'm sure I had broken Blackfriars protocol before.
    I see you @richard have removed the altenative Blackfriars/Elephant starts   from my next ride, May 23, based on the above which is no problem.
  • London Bridge is also served by Southern and South Eastern - are the Thameslink platforms/barriers thereto exclusively served by Thameslink trains?   Otherwise, how could barrier staff stop you entering a shared platform?
  • Simon said:
    But National Rail Enquiries says that train takes non-folding bikes from St Pancras
    The NRE indications of cycling policy are a bit simplistic and can't be relied on -- I think their data model can't cope with bikes being allowed for just part of a train's journey. The full TL cycling policy is more authoritative -- that's what I quoted from above, 
  • edited on Tue 4 Jun at 15:47
    I'm contemplating another Away Day - Thursday July 18, Amersham to Oxford, Lunch at Thame.
    70km. One broken road (and the Phoenix Trail). One nasty descent. One nasty hill. 
    Meet Marylebone 09.00 for 09.27 to Amersham, arr.10.02 (Oyster / Freedom Zone)
    Train back to Marylebone. We would probably make the 15.43(£3.55/£5.40), but to allow for delays and a post-ride drink, maybe 16.11 or 16.38 (£7.90/£12.00). Journey back takes just over 1 hour. All fares Advance with/without Senior Card. No cycle reservation required.
    Interested? Thoughts on return time?
  • nickb said:
     All fares Advance with Network card or Groupsaver. 

    In pedant mode (as always!) you don't get a reduction on Advance fares with a Network card, nor can you use Groupsave (and in any case there's a £13 minimum fare with Network card on weekdays). You do get the reduction with a Senior card, which is presumably what you are quoting. 
  • Fares on original post duly updated.
  • Sounds like fun, I’m definitely interested - not too concerned about getting back to the Smoke too early but I appreciate some may need to - I’ll go with the flow. 

  • Sounds good. I’ll be there. Like Mick I’m happy to stay for a pint (or 2!) so will also go with the flow
  • https://ridewithgps.com/routes/30175820
    Lets go for the 16.11 train home for now.
  • edited on Wed 5 Jun at 10:11
    We still have a gap on 13th June. I propose leading a ride from Amersham (some hills unavoidable,but I promise it won't be too extreme!). Probably lunch at the Village Swan in Ivinghoe Aston  Greyhound in Aldbury (tbc). 

    Any takers for that?
  • Richard said:
    We still have a gap on 13th June. I propose leading a ride from Amersham (some hills unavoidable,but I promise it won't be too extreme!). Probably lunch at the Village Swan in Ivinghoe Aston (tbc). 

    Any takers for that?
    I get into Harwich at 06.30, but GA wont let me into London till after the rush hour, so will have to give it a miss.
  • Richard said:
    We still have a gap on 13th June. I propose leading a ride from Amersham (some hills unavoidable,but I promise it won't be too extreme!). Probably lunch at the  Greyhound in Aldbury (tbc). 
    OK, this is now on the website (map to follow).

    Richard P.
  • Thanks Richard P, hope to join you.
  • I’ll be there. Thanks
  • This Thursday we'll be leaving Coulsdon South by the "rear" exit. The "downside" platform.  So anyone going straight there, don't wait on the ticket office side.
  • Why has the rides list discontinued the term Blue Thursday Oyster Card Cult? Surely we don't fear the reaper?
  • Simon said:
    This Thursday we'll be leaving Coulsdon South by the "rear" exit. The "downside" platform.  So anyone going straight there, don't wait on the ticket office side.
    Well I won't be out anyway, but the rides listing says tomorrow's ride starts from Barking, not Coulsdon ...
  • Advance warning:
    Thursday July 18th, London to Oxford
    If you're coming, buy an Advance ticket for the return
    16.56 from  Oxford, arr. Marylebone 18.26 £7. No cycle reservation required.
    All details in the ride list.
  • Booked. £4.60 with senior railcard!
  • Thanks for the reminder! I’ve just got mine too!
    hope to see you tomorrow 
  • I've added two more rides to the Thursday list - 
    August 1st from Slough, led by Colin
    September 19th. Cheshunt to Cambridge led by me or Richard Drew.

    We'still need some other leaders for the following dates:
    August 29th
    October 3rd
    October 31st
  • Thursday ride on 1 August.  I have amended the description on the website.  Same 9.42 train from Paddington but now a circular ride of about 60k from West Drayton, which is in the Freedom Pass/Oyster zone.  Train arrives 10.05.  I will reccy the ride on Monday in the hope my mapping is OK.  Keep an eye on the website!  Ride will be at my pace, so not brisk.
  • Ride this Thursday, 1 August, will have some off road on good surfaces including alongside canals and a river.  OK for narrow tyres.
  • Do I need gears or is this a flat one? 
    Link to RwGPS  or .gpx appreciated (Richard's away, so probably can't get a map on the website)
  • Hi Nick

    Flat in the morning but a few hills in the afternoon that will need gears.  I have sent you the gpx.
  • Heads up for another distant destination:
    19th September, Cheshunt to Cambridge. 
    Allowing time for mechanicals & refreshment, suggested return train 16.51, £8 advance
  • Sounds great Nick, I’ll be there, thanks 
  • Or £5.30 with a Senior Railcard!! All booked. Looking forward to it
  • I have purchased a ticket from Cambridge on the 16.51 on 19 September. I was told that trains have only four bike spaces that can be reserved and that these had all been reserved on trains on that day from 4.00pm to 7.00pm. Station staff may allow more than four bikes. 
  • I’ve not made a bike reservation as assumed that not needed one!!?
  • Sorry, didn't spot that, & Richard P isn't checking up on me from Bulgaria.
    AFAIK, the only restrictions are on Greater Anglia Intercity trains, which  this is not. But it's up to the train staff on the day, do we'll just have to hope they're sympathetic.
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