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Doing in the park, doing it after dark....

shoulder_of_orionshoulder_of_orion Posts: 529
edited October 2009 in Commuting chat
Calling all Richmond Park commuters.

I have decided to up my regime. My commute is roughly 120 miles per week. My goal is to do roughly 200 miles per week all in (which I have managed for the past couple of weeks).

So that's 40-50 on sunday and an additional 30-40 during the week.

I managed to sneak out of work early today and did a few laps of the park. I noticed there is no street lighting.

I went the anti way today and that twisty steep hill which is a bit of a beatch to climb (when going clock) was a bit hairy descending in the twilight with the new surface at 31mph with some nobber audi driver tailgating me.

Heavens knows what it'd be like in the winter in the dark with a bit of moisture on the road???

As the days are shortening and the clocks are about to go back, I am wondering is it madness to contemplate doing 2-4 laps twice a week in the dark?

Posts

  • _Brun__Brun_ Posts: 1,740
    Maybe gesture to the nobber Audi driver to go full beam?
  • what is the gesture to nobber audi drivers to go full beam?

    the normal gesture I use in this kind of scenario might not have the desired effect...
  • I think if your going there regularly worth getting a light with a bit of a punch, for rabbits/deer joggers etc all of whom are unlit.
  • cjcpcjcp Posts: 13,345
    SoL:

    1. Don't underestimate the draining effect of doing 200 miles a week in the Park, particularly when you're adding a lot of those miles in the Park, where it's "hillier" (northerners, no laughing please :wink: ) than the rest of the commute and the temperature is a couple of degrees lower than in town.

    2. The cull starts in November (I think), which means the Park will be locked - ped gates included - from around 8-ish. It lasts for about six weeks. There's then another cull in February.

    3. Yep, it's a bit hairy in the dark full stop (IMO) as the deer tend to wander out into the road or just dart across unexpected. I'd recommed riding in a group. I think Gavin Gilbert on here was arranging some informal groups last winter. You need some powerful lights though. If you're looking to put some more miles in, you could ride out do a couple of loops up Richmond Hill amd Nightingale Lane, go across Richmond Bridge into St Magaret's, left to Teddington and onto Hampton Wick, out to Hampton Hill, right into Teddington etc.

    4. As Rog says, you need to watch for rabbits (and other small land animals).

    5. If cars are a bit close, I usually givem them a good stare or wave them to ease back. Up to them if they don't like it.

    :)
    FCN 2-4.

    "What happens when the hammer goes down, kids?"
    "It stays down, Daddy."
    "Exactly."
  • il_principeil_principe Posts: 9,146
    Buy a Turbo Trainer. The park isn't great in the dark, especially in the winter. It's always colder and there's a risk of ice that you can't see, or smacking into a wandering deer...
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  • I managed to sneak out of work early today and did a few laps of the park...
    Thought it was you. Good to see you out on the bike again.

    I tend to avoid the park if I'm any later than 8pm in winter. Done it a couple of times after a few bevvies and it can be a lonely place. Especially when one minute you are cruising along busy, well lit approach roads, then suddenly plunged into darkness/silence for a couple of miles. Wouldn't consider doing laps in darkness particularly pleasurable.

    Where are you based?
  • spasypaddyspasypaddy Posts: 5,731
    i rode through a park in north london at 9pm last night to test my new lights out, they are powerful enough to ride unlit lanes with i decided but censored me it was creepy. dont know whether i would want to lap a park in the dark, it was really really creepy. pitch black and the only part of the park that is lit is the section in front from my lights and the section behind from my light.

    my current front light set up is
    maxx exposure joystick 2 (240lumens) with the white eye attachment (240lumens) total light 480 lumens
    and
    nite rider minewt usb version (110lumens)
  • rich_erich_e Posts: 389
    How well does that setup work spasypaddy?

    I've got a Niterider MinNewt, slightly more powerful single one.
    I was thinking of getting an Exposure Joystick for my helmet.
    As previously when I was riding trails, I was using just a maglite zip tied to my helmet and it just wasnt bright enough!
  • King Donut wrote:
    I managed to sneak out of work early today and did a few laps of the park...
    Thought it was you. Good to see you out on the bike again.
    ...
    Where are you based?

    I didn't spot you. Did I scalp you? Or were you going in the opposite direction?

    I am based in Ladywell, which is a 15 mile schlep from RP. So yesterday it was 5 mile semi-pootle from work, took about 20mins, 3 laps in just over an hour (grrr! - but did have bag and lock by way of excuse) and 45 mins home so about 40 miles in a bit over 2hrs. It was a good work-out which I enjoyed.

    I think all of the comments have convinced me not to contemplate laps in the dark. The group ride sounds good, but I don't leave work at a set time, so was thinking more of something I could do on an ad-hoc basis.

    I'm not convinced by the turbo idea neither as a) my house is very busy with children early evening and b) I'm not sure I could motivate myself to do that, it seems a bit boring, I love road riding - once you're out on the road, I find it easy to do an hour or two. Maybe I can be convinced, I wonder if you can hire them?

    I'm planning on doing L'etape next year along with a few other sportives in the build up such as the dragon ride etc. I need to build up my fitness and was reading over on the training forum that Time Trial style practice of one or two hour sessions is about the best preparation you can do in the UK. RP is perfect for that with 3 laps equating to about an hour for me and you don't stop at all and can really push yourself. I don't know anywhere else in London to do that. Would prefer somewhere a bit closer to home though.

    I went to crystal palace park the other day, but far too many peds to consider laps of that also it is so small compared to 7 mile laps of RP.

    Might have to resort to running and swimming!
  • King Donut wrote:
    I managed to sneak out of work early today and did a few laps of the park...
    Thought it was you. Good to see you out on the bike again.
    ...
    Where are you based?

    I didn't spot you. Did I scalp you? Or were you going in the opposite direction?

    I am based in Ladywell...

    Did you what me?! Not a chance sunshine :wink: We passed in opposite directions somewhere by the golf course.

    Ladywell's not exactly convenient for a mid-week training run in the park is it. I'd probably look at extending the commute a bit, but as you say you won't get the same conditions. So I'd move.
  • cjcpcjcp Posts: 13,345
    I'm planning on doing L'etape next year along with a few other sportives in the build up such as the dragon ride etc. I need to build up my fitness and was reading over on the training forum that Time Trial style practice of one or two hour sessions is about the best preparation you can do in the UK. RP is perfect for that with 3 laps equating to about an hour for me and you don't stop at all and can really push yourself. I don't know anywhere else in London to do that. Would prefer somewhere a bit closer to home though.

    I saw that too, in the Marmotte thread. 25m TTs were considered good prep.

    I'm hoping to do the Marmotte next year and was thinking about the training on the way home tonight. I'm unlikely to do TTs, so I'm planning to get some mileage in over the autumn and winter, both in RP (JG has recommended tempo rides - 6 laps in say 2 hrs in January) and in the Surrey Hills to build the stamina/endurance (a big problem for me in sportives when my training is largely the commute and some laps of the RP). Then, come the spring and hopefully some good weather, I'm going to work on the speed.

    That's the plan anyway...
    FCN 2-4.

    "What happens when the hammer goes down, kids?"
    "It stays down, Daddy."
    "Exactly."
  • cjcpcjcp Posts: 13,345
    King Donut wrote:
    Did you what me?! Not a chance sunshine :wink:

    :lol:
    FCN 2-4.

    "What happens when the hammer goes down, kids?"
    "It stays down, Daddy."
    "Exactly."
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