300km is a very long way, Cynthia



D

davek

Guest
The thought struck me out on the road yesterday, that 300km is the kind
of distance I would consider a long way even if I was driving it in a
car. And there I was, doing it on a bike.

Admittedly, from about 180km onwards, my legs were on autopilot and I
had mentally switched off - if I had thought about it too much, I would
have had to give up. I reckon the next step up, the 400, will be a case
of just keeping that momentum for an extra few hours and I think I had
enough in reserve that I could have done that yesterday, if necessary.
But as soon as I got off the bike at the finish and sat down with a cup
of tea, my brain registered "you've finished!", and I promptly fell
asleep. (Hats off to all you 600 veterans - that would definitely be
beyond me at the moment.)

Really enjoyed the ride, though. The first bit, the night stage (3am
start), was quite funny - the route stuck to the (mostly well-lit) A2
from Rochester all the way to Faversham. Riding as a bunch we got some
amusing "wtf!" type reactions from the assorted young Chavs and
Chavettes on their way home from their night's clubbing (too bemused to
assume their normal hostile stance towards cyclists - I think they were
actually quite impressed).

It was light by the time we reached Margate (about 6.30am), but there
was an icy fog that made it very chilly indeed, and after stopping at
the first control it took a while to warm up again. But by the time I
reached Hythe (the fastest riders would have already been in Rye by that
point), the sun had come out and burned the fog away (so much for the
promised rain) and it was turning into a beautiful spring day. And so it
remained for most of the rest of the ride.

Slightly strange route - partly rural roads, partly busy main roads -
but the scenery was mostly lovely. I was particularly impressed by
Ashdown Forest, which I have never visited before. The road just seemed
to keep going up and up through the woods, appearing to level off before
turning upwards some more. Eventually you come out right at the very
highest point where you are rewarded with some truly glorious views.

After that, the route started to get a bit lumpy - the kind of roads I
hate riding on, which just undulate over small rises and dips, enough to
prevent you keeping a good rhythm but not enough to be classed as hills.

Then at about the 275km mark we hit the "sting in the tail" - Ide Hill.
Not as bad as I had been expecting, to be honest, and I got up it OK,
but still no fun at that stage of a long ride. Nice views from the top
again.

I assumed it was going to be more or less flat for the last few kms, but
I had forgotten there was that lumpy bit between Sevenoaks and Meopham,
so was faced with one final demoralising uphill slog before a long,
gentle downhill coast to the finish line.

I arrived back at the scout hut a few minutes after 8pm (just as it was
getting dark enough to need lights again), after 17 hours on the road,
exhausted but thoroughly pleased with myself. I'd like to have been a
bit quicker (partly so the organisers could pack up and go home - though
in fact there were still six other people out on the road when I
finished) but my main challenge yesterday was getting round in one
piece. I'm still a bit tired today but in surprisingly good condition -
my knees are a little tender and my achilles tendons are a bit sore too,
but no muscular problems to speak of.

Roll on the 400 in June!

d.
 
S

Simon Mason

Guest
"davek" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]
> The thought struck me out on the road yesterday, that 300km is the kind of
> distance I would consider a long way even if I was driving it in a car.
> And there I was, doing it on a bike.


Very well done Dave! Nice story.

--
Simon M.
 
M

MartinM

Guest
Well done! so you experienced the El Supremo style 300 start time; I
must say I much preferred the 0700 start for the Elenith, even though
the autopilot scenario was much the same (and my legs had long since
died). See you for a more civilised trip over the Forest in a few
weeks? (Meopham 200) and good luck with the 400, you will love it, I
did.
 
S

Simon Brooke

Guest
in message <[email protected]>, davek
('[email protected]') wrote:

> The thought struck me out on the road yesterday, that 300km is the
> kind of distance I would consider a long way even if I was driving it
> in a car. And there I was, doing it on a bike.
>
> Admittedly, from about 180km onwards, my legs were on autopilot and I
> had mentally switched off - if I had thought about it too much, I
> would have had to give up. I reckon the next step up, the 400, will be
> a case of just keeping that momentum for an extra few hours and I
> think I had enough in reserve that I could have done that yesterday,
> if necessary. But as soon as I got off the bike at the finish and sat
> down with a cup of tea, my brain registered "you've finished!", and I
> promptly fell asleep. (Hats off to all you 600 veterans - that would
> definitely be beyond me at the moment.)


Congratulations. 300 would definitely be beyond me at the moment - but
I'd like to see it as a target I might break this year.

I'd like a nice warm day, though.

I've done about sixty-five miles in two rides this weekend - forty-five
yesterday on road on the Dolan, twenty today mostly off road on the
Cannondale, and it's been bitterly cold and somewhat wet here. There
was snow on the tops yesterday, and though it had mostly melted this
morning the wind still carried the memory of it. I enjoyed both rides,
but I'd have enjoyed both a lot better in sunnier weather.

Interestingly, though, on today's ride - up in seriously wild country
above Clatteringshaws, miles from the nearest road - we passed two
other groups of cyclists, one of fifteen or so mostly elderly people,
and a group of half a dozen middle aged people with a dog riding in a
BoB Yak trailer. It may still be cold and miserable up there in the
hills but more people seem to be out on their bikes every weekend.

Oh, and the coffee and cake in the Clatteringshaws visitor centre were
_most_ welcome.

--
[email protected] (Simon Brooke) http://www.jasmine.org.uk/~simon/
;; We don't just borrow words; on occasion, English has pursued other
;; languages down alleyways to beat them unconscious and riffle their
;; pockets for new vocabulary -- James D. Nicoll
 
D

Dave Kahn

Guest
davek wrote:

> After that, the route started to get a bit lumpy - the kind of roads I
> hate riding on, which just undulate over small rises and dips, enough to
> prevent you keeping a good rhythm but not enough to be classed as hills.


I find the only way to deal with those is to attack them. Pile on the
speed downhill and carry it as far as possible up the next rise. Easier
said than done of course at the tail end of a long, tiring ride.

--
Dave...

Every time I see an adult on a bicycle, I no longer despair for the
future of the human race. - H. G. Wells
 
A

Arthur Clune

Guest
Dave Kahn <[email protected]> wrote:

: I find the only way to deal with those is to attack them. Pile on the
: speed downhill and carry it as far as possible up the next rise. Easier
: said than done of course at the tail end of a long, tiring ride.

That's not a strategy that works for 300km audaxes though. Unless you
are pro-level fit, most people can't sustain the frequent bursts of pace.

--
Arthur Clune PGP/GPG Key: http://www.clune.org/pubkey.txt
Don't get me wrong, perl is an OK operating system, but it lacks a
lightweight scripting language -- Walter Dnes
 
Z

Zog The Undeniable

Guest
davek wrote:

> The thought struck me out on the road yesterday, that 300km is the kind
> of distance I would consider a long way even if I was driving it in a
> car. And there I was, doing it on a bike.


The Dunwich Dynamo must be a walk in the park for you then ;-)
 
D

Danny Colyer

Guest
davek wrote:
> Slightly strange route - partly rural roads, partly busy main roads -
> but the scenery was mostly lovely. I was particularly impressed by
> Ashdown Forest, which I have never visited before. The road just seemed
> to keep going up and up through the woods, appearing to level off before
> turning upwards some more. Eventually you come out right at the very
> highest point where you are rewarded with some truly glorious views.


Thanks Dave, that was a good read. It sounds like a lot of the route
might have been on roads that I used to enjoy riding.

I grew up on the edge of Ashdown Forest, then returned to the area for a
few years after I graduated. The paragraph I've quoted reminds me of
one particular night ride (towing a heavily laden trailer) when the road
did just that. I wish I could remember exactly where it was. I was
following the A272 to Somerset and I think that bit was fairly close to
home. ISTR a one-way system in the village at the top of the climb that
wasn't too easy to escape from.

--
Danny Colyer (the UK company has been laughed out of my reply address)
<URL:http://www.speedy5.freeserve.co.uk/danny/>
"He who dares not offend cannot be honest." - Thomas Paine
 
M

MartinM

Guest
davek wrote:

The first bit, the night stage (3am
> start), was quite funny - the route stuck to the (mostly well-lit) A2


> from Rochester all the way to Faversham. Riding as a bunch we got

some
> amusing "wtf!" type reactions from the assorted young Chavs and
> Chavettes on their way home from their night's clubbing (too bemused

to
> assume their normal hostile stance towards cyclists - I think they

were
> actually quite impressed).


we got exactly the same in Brighton on the Gourmet 300 two years ago
(on which this ride, or at least the start time, was sort of based) was
well worth it to watch the sun rise over Beachy Head though- alas like
so many classic AUK rides it is no more ;-(
 
D

davek

Guest
Simon Brooke wrote:
> Congratulations.


Thanks (and thanks everyone else who has expressed similar)

>300 would definitely be beyond me at the moment - but
> I'd like to see it as a target I might break this year.


If you'd have asked me a year ago, I'd have said 150km was beyond me...

I'm quite keen to aim for a 600 before the year is out, but we'll see
how I get on with the 400 first - and I might want to attempt a second
400 before trying the 600. The only problem is that the latest
calendared 600 I could get to is July (there's one in August but it's
while I'm on holiday), and there's no chance I'll be ready for it by
then, so I would have to do it as a permanent. Still, it would be nice
to get a SR series this year.

> I've done about sixty-five miles in two rides this weekend - forty-five
> yesterday on road on the Dolan, twenty today mostly off road on the
> Cannondale


Don't off-road miles count at least double? ;-)

, and it's been bitterly cold and somewhat wet here. There
> was snow on the tops yesterday, and though it had mostly melted this
> morning the wind still carried the memory of it. I enjoyed both rides,
> but I'd have enjoyed both a lot better in sunnier weather.


Yeah, I think I would have felt a lot worse yesterday if the weather
hadn't turned out so pleasant, but the early morning chill was a real
nightmare. It was a mistake stopping for more than a couple of minutes
at the first control because my body temperature plummeted and I found
it very hard to get started again (something to bear in mind for future
rides).

d.
 
D

davek

Guest
MartinM wrote:
> See you for a more civilised trip over the Forest in a few
> weeks? (Meopham 200)


Haven't pitched it to the wife yet, but I'd say there was a good chance.

> and good luck with the 400, you will love it, I
> did.


cheers.

d.
 
D

davek

Guest
Dave Kahn wrote:
> I find the only way to deal with those is to attack them. Pile on the
> speed downhill and carry it as far as possible up the next rise.


Yes, that's the strategy I normally adopt on club rides, but...

>Easier
> said than done of course at the tail end of a long, tiring ride.


Exactly!

But at least I didn't get cramp on any of the climbs.

d.
 
D

davek

Guest
Zog The Undeniable wrote:
> The Dunwich Dynamo must be a walk in the park for you then ;-)


I'll have to seriously consider riding that one this year, if I can - is
there a date set for it?

<googles>

Ah, 27th July... could be awkward, but will make a note of it in the
diary. I like the sound of the dip in the sea at the end.

d.
 
D

David Martin

Guest
On 17/4/05 10:37 pm, in article [email protected], "davek"
<[email protected]> wrote:

> , and it's been bitterly cold and somewhat wet here. There
>> was snow on the tops yesterday, and though it had mostly melted this
>> morning the wind still carried the memory of it. I enjoyed both rides,
>> but I'd have enjoyed both a lot better in sunnier weather.

>
> Yeah, I think I would have felt a lot worse yesterday if the weather
> hadn't turned out so pleasant, but the early morning chill was a real
> nightmare.


I thought the weather here was bad enough. I didn't envy you guys doing the
300. I feel I could have done a century with the right group yesterday but
twice that is still beyond me.. Though it would have been different doing a
circular route rather than a 'pick a headwind, ride straight into it for 75
miles' route.

...d
 
M

MartinM

Guest
davek wrote:
> Zog The Undeniable wrote:
> > The Dunwich Dynamo must be a walk in the park for you then ;-)

>
> I'll have to seriously consider riding that one this year, if I can -

is
> there a date set for it?
>
> <googles>
>
> Ah, 27th July... could be awkward, but will make a note of it in the
> diary. I like the sound of the dip in the sea at the end.


I don't like the idea of riding far after immersing my important little
places in brine, but I'm still planning to ride it.
 
H

Helen Deborah Vecht

Guest
davek <[email protected]>typed


> Simon Brooke wrote:
> > Congratulations.


> Thanks (and thanks everyone else who has expressed similar)


> >300 would definitely be beyond me at the moment - but
> > I'd like to see it as a target I might break this year.


> If you'd have asked me a year ago, I'd have said 150km was beyond me...


> I'm quite keen to aim for a 600 before the year is out, but we'll see
> how I get on with the 400 first - and I might want to attempt a second
> 400 before trying the 600. The only problem is that the latest
> calendared 600 I could get to is July (there's one in August but it's
> while I'm on holiday), and there's no chance I'll be ready for it by
> then, so I would have to do it as a permanent. Still, it would be nice
> to get a SR series this year.


In some ways, a 600 may be easier than a 400 IMO as it seems to disturb
the body clock less. 400s can start almost any time of the day or night
and have less rest time built in, whereas with a 600 you start early one
morning, get some rest when it's dark and then keep going till the
ride's over. Go for the 600 anyway. I did two in my first full calendar
year of AUK membership.

--
Helen D. Vecht: [email protected]
Edgware.
 
J

John Hearns

Guest
On Sun, 17 Apr 2005 15:06:37 -0700, MartinM wrote:


> I don't like the idea of riding far after immersing my important
> little places in brine, but I'm still planning to ride it.

Depends where you live of course, but there is the option of
getting the coach back to London, which most people do.

http://www.southwarkcyclists.org.uk/dunwichfaqs05.htm
 
M

MartinM

Guest
John Hearns wrote:
> On Sun, 17 Apr 2005 15:06:37 -0700, MartinM wrote:
>
>
> > I don't like the idea of riding far after immersing my important
> > little places in brine, but I'm still planning to ride it.

> Depends where you live of course, but there is the option of
> getting the coach back to London, which most people do.
>
> http://www.southwarkcyclists.org.uk/dunwichfaqs05.htm


Thanks, may well do that. Cycling+ forum are organising a coach back
but I don't want to commit myself to return transport before checking
the weather forecast.
 
M

MartinM

Guest
Helen Deborah Vecht wrote:


> In some ways, a 600 may be easier than a 400 IMO as it seems to

disturb
> the body clock less. 400s can start almost any time of the day or

night
> and have less rest time built in, whereas with a 600 you start early

one
> morning, get some rest when it's dark and then keep going till the
> ride's over.


Agree totally with that; a 600 was just 2 300's with some kip in the
middle, helped psychologically by the fact that the first half was a
bit longer.400's are a different beast altogether, no point stopping in
the middle of the night when you only have 100k to do, and you have a
lot less slack. Still good fun though.