Cobblemonster 2022 - Retrospective
Sunday, 10th April 2022. Blue skies, blazing sunshine, and a rapidly-gathering crowd outside the BC storefront heralded the return of the Cobblemonster. The original London “urbosportive” [perhaps the only place such a term is used] had been on a three-year hiatus, and evidently this absence had done nothing to diminish the appetite of the riding community.
The Cobblemonster route was expertly devised by the Brixton CC to evoke daydreams of the Spring Classics, though admittedly this isn’t the easiest thing to accomplish. The average length of a Zone 1 secteur isn’t likely to fracture a peloton anytime soon, but the course headed swiftly from the shop, over the river and meandered around the city to knit as many of them together as possible. This naturally lends itself to following quiet streets with limited motor traffic and – as luck would have it – also links up a highlight reel of bike-friendly refreshment spots. Shout-out to the team at LMNH for keeping it together under the deluge of Cobblemonster riders!
At around halfway through the route, having taken in a tour of the East End, we briefly rejoined the throng of London traffic to cross Tower Bridge. Deptford’s Dog And Bell pub resulted in a bit of a bottleneck as plenty of folk suddenly realised how thirsty they were – and those who did stop were vindicated by what was to follow. After a swift corkscrew to take in the riverside cobbles of Ballast Quay, it was time to cash in those isotonic beverages as the route headed south on Maze Hill. Lungs and legs suitably lit, upon cresting the peak we immediately pointed straight down again. This would transpire to be something of a theme for the second half: pavé punishment substituted for gruelling gradients.
From Deptford through Ladywell towards Honor Oak, the climbs accelerated towards us and culminated in the triple threat of Canonbie Road, Eliot Bank and Wells Park Road. This closing gambit was the perfect flourish: allowing the chilled riders to spin up at their own pace, while also encouraging any aspiring combatant to totally empty themselves before arriving for a flying lap at Herne Hill.
As more and more riders crossed from the stayers to the sprinters line to end their ride, the inimitable Captain Cliff’s was fired up and ready to satisfy the growing throng of personified appetites with their traditional West Indian cuisine. Brixton CC OG Nick was on the mic ensuring that nobody would miss the upcoming raffle. A rammed table of goodies from Surly, Halo Wheels, Ortlieb and more certainly did the trick, with tickets flying out like the contents of RL Stine’s briefcase. Roll that into the participation donations andover £5000 was raised for the Evelina London Children’s Hospital. Plus, Herne Hill Velodrome’s bar had its busiest day of the year!
Chapeau everybody, see you next year!
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