Posted by Alan on January 23, 2011
This year sees the 50th anniversary of Manchester RAG’s Bogle. Since getting involved with Manchester RAG as a student and running their 2006 beer festival, Bogle has been one of those events on the calendar. I’ve helped a few times as a marshal, driver, co-ordinator and in 2009 I tried walking. Sadly that time I neglected to do any training so after 29 miles, at the 5th checkpoint I gave in.
This time I am training… alongside one of my team mates for this year, Richard.
Angry skies above St Stephen's Tower
So the basic premise was this – we walk from our flat to Cask, Pimlico. (You seriously thought beer wouldn’t be involved somewhere right?). This took us across Walthamstow marshes, through the back of Hackney, right through Smithfield Market onto the Embankment finally widing through the back streets behind the Catholic Cathedral to the pub.
The protesters were apparently not evicted on Friday as decreed by the media...
Cask is a fantastic little pub, serving a wide selection of food and ales. Sadly for us we had essentially booked in for a (well-deserved and required!) pitstop for some food. And 2 half pints each. (It would be rude not to!)
Cask, Pimlico formerly Pimlico Tram
From here we headed south of the water to the places where Taxi’s infamously don’t go. Through Vauxhall, across to Elephant and Castle finally reaching the Draft House at Tower Bridge just as the sun had set. Cue more beer! Just the one pint though as after c. 17 miles we were both pretty tired. The calorific value of beer is probably helpful, but I am sure the alcohol isn’t!
Sadly recording all of the journey was a leap too far for my Nokia (it’s almost 2 years old now) – Sports tracker made it almost to E&C with us – it’s stats are below.
|Statistics – recorded by Nokia Sports Tracker…
|Distance recorded by GPS
Bogle is the first weekend in March so much more training required if I am to get around the full 55 miles. Of course, sponsorship information will appear in due course… 🙂
Posted in Charity starts at home, Travelling around | Tagged: bogle, Bogle 2011, C913, Cask, Charity, Clerkenwell, Dalston, Draft House, Hackney, London, Manchester RAG, Pimlico, pub, Tower Bridge, Walking, Walthamstow, westminster | 2 Comments »
Posted by Alan on October 3, 2010
Spotted in the Pembury Tavern, Hackney. It was the barmaids! She seemed slightly freaked out that I was taking a photograph…
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: bike, Cycling, Hackney, London, One less car, pub | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Alan on September 11, 2010
I am angry.
Pretty livid in fact, when really I should be calm and happy. Moments ago I got back from a short break in Sheringham on the North Norfolk coast where we went cycling. (Naturally the netbook and some milk were the first things unpacked – priorities!) It was lovely. I should be happy. But I am not.
First off, in Norwich I encountered my first anti-cyclist rage. Sworn at by a motorist because I happened to cross her path – she happened to be indicating to turn left into the ‘no entry’ street we were in and as she appeared to be slowing I figured I should get out of the way. Never quite sure about these motorists and if they will obey the rules. This got me an earful of abuse. Never mind, get to the station onto the London train all would be fine.
Sadly the last leg of the journey on the Chingford train up to the ‘stow was utter hell. We got on as soon as it was announced and tried our best not to be in the way, as much as you can with two adult sized bikes and fully laden pannier bags. As the train filled up, people piled in and managed to find seats around where we had our bikes. It didn’t help much that 2 families with huge prams also chose our section of the train to travel in – but we all managed to fit in.
By the time we got to Clapton, a couple with the man leading pipe up “she’s got to pass” and then proceed to argue about the fact that we are in the way. I protest that there is nowhere for me to go in a polite way but that still gets me called an arsehole and when the bloke decides to do the ‘gentlemanly thing’ and lift his significant other’s bag around my front wheel (which coincidently was twisted in such away not to block the gangway allowing people to walk past – but sadly, not enough space for wheely shopping bags) he deliberately swings it towards me in attempt to hit me. He missed me but felt the need to shout arsehole again much to the disgust of the families around me.
Next at St James’ St, a more mature (probably in their 60s) couple get on. I move my wheel round to allow them into the next bay of seats which are free. When they sit down, I overhear “tut, tut, bicycles – shouldn’t be allowed”. Luckily my better self did not rise to the bait. I noticed they were carrying Christian bookshop bags. Am I misled in believing that religious dogma usually carries with it understanding and tolerance?
Sure, the local trains around here are not designed for bikes. They don’t have spaces – that I’ve noticed in the few times I have used them before I wanted to take my bike places. It’s best guess when you get on as to whether that carriage might fill up. But come on people of London, is it really so hard to walk up one carriage if you see a compartment with bikes and prams in it? Surely that would be easier than just cramming on because you know door is where the exit is at your stop…
Posted in Issues, Rant, Transport Rant | Tagged: bike, Chingford, Clapton, cycle rack, cycles, Cycling, Hackney, idiots, intolerance, London, londoners, Norfolk, Norwich, rage, train, Walthamstow, wankers | 6 Comments »
Posted by Alan on February 24, 2010
Almost another month goes by without me spilling diatribe onto here. Just what is wrong with me? Well, as per usual I just got busy and forgot. Lame eh?
So heading backwards… last Friday saw me at Manchester Academy 1 to see Hot Chip. Not a bad gig, the band took a bit of warming up but after a couple of old numbers mid-set got into their groove. Loved the fact that I bumped into ‘old’ uni-mates, nice to have a home 🙂
Hot Chip - Manchester Academy I
Hot Chip in pink
Academy I has changed a bit since uni…but not loads. I really should do more gigs…
Spotify nerds click:
* * *
Saturday week ago, Henry and Alice were in town so we figured we should check out some of the bars in the Shoreditch triangle. Not quite enough to consititute a real pub crawl, but:
The Reliance - Old St
Nice little pub, selection of ales and ciders. Not too expensive for the trendy part of town!
Bricklayers Arms - Charlotte Road
Without a hat, scarf or haircut we looked a bit out of place. OK ale though and decent jukebox at least!
Spread Eagle - Kingsland Road
No ale but interesting enough inside…
Then we took in some food at The Diner, back towards Old St again.
Finally we finished up in the Pembury Tavern, Hackney for a game of bar billiards.
Bar Billiards - Pembury Tavern
The Pembury is well worth a visit if you are in the area. Quite an unusual pub – huge, has a young clientele but sells only real ale, real cider and real lager (I think the closest lager was from Germany!).
Much of the rest of the time has been taken up working or thinking about BCS stuff.
It’ll be Easter before I know it.
Posted in Culture | Tagged: C913, camra, Hackney, hot chip, London, manchester, music, n96, Old St, photos, Shoreditch | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Alan on December 22, 2009
A friend of mine always says that ‘happy people don’t keep diaries’ and given the utter deafening silence here that could be true. More likely is that busy people have Outlook to manage their diaries for them and thus never notice the gaps…!
As ever, December descended into the mental abyss of Christmas do’s, beer festivals, rounding off with a couple of quiet weeks at work as people start to disappear on their jollies.
Pigs Ear 2009 (ELAC CAMRA/Hackney Beer Festival) was a great success. More people through the door than ever before and some excellent beer on hand. Even got a few of the grads from work out for an excellent night at the foreign bar. As a pigs ear worker, I got stuck in helping run the games including the awesome roll the barrel:
Mind the rolling barrel...
Needless to say, I was bloody awful, despite all the practice I had to drum up a crowd!
Action shot of the happy punters...
I finally bought a proper camera but haven’t had time to use it in anger yet. I guess one more thing to plan in for the new year.
Not much to do now but pack for xmas. I have half a kilo of excellent bacon, some rather special cheese and a bottle of Orkney Dark Island Special Reserve to bring North. Mmmmm…
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: 2009, beer, C913, camra, December, Diaries, ELAC, Food, games, Hackney | Leave a Comment »