flipping weather



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David Martin

Guest
Geraint Jones wrote:
> "Adam Lea" <[email protected]> wrote:
> | It's because today I decided to use the bike instead of the car to do the
> | ten mile round trip to get the weeks food shopping.
> |
> | I was impressed at how much capacity my panniers had.
>
> I remember when I used to be able to do the Big Shop with just the two
> rear panniers. After all, how often do you buy more than 72l of stuff
> in one go? But that was when I was a carefree flat-dwelling batchelor.
> How things change (mutter)! As the volume crept up I got warier and
> warier, and started carrying a 60l pair of front bags (or rather, a
> 60l pair of bags which I foolishly carry on the front) which often came
> back from the market empty. I was starting to worry about what I would
> have to do when I got close to filling all four bags, but presumably by
> then the child trailer will be empty, and at the present rate of growth
> that should carry everything until I need someone else to pedal the
> hearse for me.


With Worf I can carry up to eight curver boxes (plastic crates) which
each take the equivalent of several supermarket carriers. That easily
does for me, and having squashables in rigid plastic boxes makes
handling and loading/unloading easier. Long items just get laid on the
top. And for freezables, one of the boxes can easily be replaced by a
standard cool box.

...d
 
R

Roos Eisma

Guest
[email protected]lid (Geraint Jones) writes:

>I remember when I used to be able to do the Big Shop with just the two
>rear panniers. After all, how often do you buy more than 72l of stuff
>in one go? But that was when I was a carefree flat-dwelling batchelor.


I read that as "catfree", imaging that you now carry voluminous loads of
cat litter and food....

Roos
 
M

MartinM

Guest
Tony Raven wrote:
> Dave Larrington wrote:
> >
> > Next question: apart from meeting MartinM in El Supremo mode, why do
> > They send us on a detour to Highbrook when staying on the B2028 through
> > Ardingly seems to be both shorter AND less Scenic? Do the natives of
> > Ardingly eat cyclists or something?
> >

>
> Its curious how detours on long distance rides become frustrating like
> that but when you think about it, it shouldn't make a difference. You
> are deliberately setting out to ride lots of miles so whether they are
> built into a detour or an extension at the end really doesn't matter.
> If you want a shorter distance its a shorter ride you need ;-)


Just met and supplied tea to Dave and Dave, both in good spirits
despite being prevailed on all day; stopped raining now, but the BBC
shows a cloud with 2 raindrops over Kent for much of tomorrow. Fingers
crossed, you can do it ;-) everyone think positive and sunny thoughts.
Watch this space.....
 
D

Dave Larrington

Guest
In article <1146950922.828948.11079[email protected]>,
MartinM ([email protected]) wrote:

> Just met and supplied tea to Dave and Dave, both in good spirits
> despite being prevailed on all day; stopped raining now, but the BBC
> shows a cloud with 2 raindrops over Kent for much of tomorrow. Fingers
> crossed, you can do it ;-) everyone think positive and sunny thoughts.
> Watch this space.....


As it turned out we didn't have too much in the way of Weather. I put
my waterproof jacket on somewhere near Herstmonceux, and by the time I
reached Lewes the rain had stopped. A little light drizzle on the
overnight stage, though the size of some of the puddles encountered
around Seasalter indicated that the faster bods must have had rather
more in the way of Wet.

More RR when I assemble the necessary tuits.

--
Dave Larrington - <http://www.legslarry.beerdrinkers.co.uk/>
They came for Eamonn Holmes; I think I'm right in saying that I
applauded.
 
D

davek

Guest
Dave Larrington wrote:
> I put
> my waterproof jacket on somewhere near Herstmonceux, and by the time I
> reached Lewes the rain had stopped.


I didn't put my waterproof on even then - the rain was light, and it
wasn't so cold, so no harm in getting a little damp. Managed to avoid
the rain completely for the rest of the ride, and even got some sun
towards the end. Got soaked on my way in to work this morning, though.

Dave, Martin said you were under the impression that I was "miles ahead
of you" when I finally caught up with him, but I was well behind by
then. I presume you overtook me at Lewes - I spent somewhat longer
hanging around in the Tesco car park than intended.

In fact, I spent a lot of time motionless. According to my computer, I
was moving for only 19 of the 26 hours it took me to complete the
course. I know that's not accurate, since my computer was
under-recording by a significant margin (it also claims I rode only
396km, rather than the 420+ most others registered, even with the
several extra miles I added by going off-route at Ticehurst, and again
shortly before the finish). I spotted the computer problem when on the
descent (read: plummet) out of Goudhurst - it was showing my speed as
only 26km/h and I just /know/ I was going faster than that. It turned
out the sensor had gone out of alignment, so didn't take long to fix.

I can account for about three hours of the stoppage time with rest
stops, including a welcome cuppa around Highbrook (thanks Martin!). The
rest was largely due to incidental enforced stops en route, including
two p+nct+res. <gnashes teeth>

Part of why I spent so much time not going forward was due to acquiring
a riding companion within 50km from the start, despite not really
wanting one. One stop was to sort out his lighting. The bracket for his
front lamp had snapped, so we improvised a fix by attaching it to the
bottom of his bar bag with cable ties. That took up a good half an hour
of faffing about. The fix left the light hanging loose, so it swung
about a lot - fine at the time, since it was early in the ride and
still broad daylight, but it became a nuisance when the light was
actually needed. Riding down dark country lanes alongside was like
being subjected to a strobe. It completely killed my night vision,
which got a bit hairy at times on the descents.

I eventually left him behind at Sittingbourne (~280km) when he wanted
to get some sleep and I wanted to press on - I was on good form at the
time and didn't want to lose any momentum. I felt mean leaving him
behind, but it was a bit of a relief as I always feel much happier
riding alone - I have often had problems on rides by trying to keep up
with others, and you might think slowing down for others wouldn't be so
bad, but I may well have ended the ride out of time if I had waited on
this occasion.

I had lost my new friend once earlier, shortly before we hit the A26,
about 10km into the second 200 - not deliberately, but I had left him
behind on a descent and was flying at the time so didn't want to ease
up. However, on the way out of Maidstone I got the first of my two
p+nct+res, so was forced to stop. He caught up with me just as I was
refitting the wheel...

The second p+nct+re came at around 370km. The first was fixed in the
dark, and I couldn't find what had caused it. When fixing the second, I
found a piece of flint embedded in the tyre. Subsequent inspection of
the inner tubes reveals the hole to be in pretty much the same place on
each, so I suspect the same cause for both p+nct+res. Bugger.

A little light drizzle on the
> overnight stage, though the size of some of the puddles encountered
> around Seasalter indicated that the faster bods must have had rather
> more in the way of Wet.


According to the missus, it was torrential all day and much of the
night around Whitstable way. This would be one of those occasions when
I am glad to be a slowcoach.

Also, by not reaching the end until just after 2pm Sunday (with about
40minutes to spare before timing out) the last few hours were spent
riding in glorious spring sunshine. I also got the chance to enjoy a
pint in the garden of the Little Brown Jug while waiting for my train
home, but then some kind of rally turned up en masse - a bunch of
/twits/ in TVRs - which kind of spoiled the atmosphere. And then the
sun disappeared, too.

> More RR when I assemble the necessary tuits.


To save you the effort, here's the important detail:
Two dead badgers, spotted within 1km of each other, not long after
leaving the first control at Peasmarsh (80km). One on the right hand
side of the road, the other on the left.

I could write a /really/ long report if I had the energy, as there's
plenty to write about, but the above will have to do for now. I feel
like I could sleep for a week. Suffice to say that MartinM was utterly
wrong in his assessment (read: severe underestimate) of how much
Scenery there would be after Highbrook...

d.
 
D

davek

Guest
MartinM wrote:
> perhaps the weather will vindicate my choice of that ride too;


Fortunately, I avoided most of the rain, and in fact the route turned
out to be not as bad as feared either - the only bit I really didn't
like was the stretch on the A22 en route to Lewes, but that was as much
to do with the road surface and the weather as the traffic. Even going
through Maidstone wasn't as bad as anticipated.

d.
 
D

dkahn400

Guest
davek wrote:

> I eventually left him behind at Sittingbourne (~280km) when he wanted
> to get some sleep and I wanted to press on - I was on good form at the
> time and didn't want to lose any momentum. I felt mean leaving him
> behind, but it was a bit of a relief as I always feel much happier
> riding alone - I have often had problems on rides by trying to keep up
> with others, and you might think slowing down for others wouldn't be so
> bad, but I may well have ended the ride out of time if I had waited on
> this occasion.


Stopping to help another rider with mechanical problems is one thing,
but putting in an extra sleep break just so he won't feel excluded is
above and beyond the call of duty IMHO. Trebly so if you happen to find
the company irritating. Sticking your pump through his wheel may be
considered unsporting, but pushing on when he'd rather have a nap is
well within the bounds of acceptable behaviour, as is simply riding
away. After all, if he can't hold your wheel you're not really well
matched for a long ride.

Well done for getting round. I'm still without a 400 this year after my
mishap on Severn Across last weekend. Did Taste of the Test 200
yesterday. An enjoyable ride with no major incidents. I faded a bit in
the last 50 km but got round in 8.5 hours by hanging grimly onto Chris
Rutter's wheel for the last 30 km or so.

--
Dave...
 
D

Dave Larrington

Guest
Back from the first 400 of the year, and am being told about it in No
Uncertain Voice by bits of me that Heineken daren't mention. Herewith
some STULL:

The major topic of discussion at the start was the weather forecast. I
chose to ignore it, on the Michael Fish Principle and instead spent the
time eating biscuits and debating whether to wear my gilet or not.

I didn't.

Off we go zoom zoom and everything is Jim, or even Bob, Dandy until we
reached the foot of Ide Hill, atop which some uncaring soul had chosen
to place an Info Control after what The Mgt said was 6 km and I reckoned
was 7.5. Such discrepancies were not uncommon throughout the ride, and
I'm sure I didn't imagine Maidstone moving 13 km to the east while we
were grovelling up Hollingbourne and White Hills.

But anyway.

For a while after that we were following the latter stages of the
Invicta 300's route, but soon went into uncharted territory. And very
nearly into the front of the bin wagon ascending a 14% hill down which I
was proceeding at Grin Factor 9. Across some gently rolling territory
to the first control at Peasmarsh, where feasting on ham rolls and
coffee was the order of the day.

davek had left not long after I arrived at Peasmarsh, but I caught him,
soon after spotting a dead badger (which elicited such a cry of pleasure
that it caused alarm and consternation among the group I was sometimes
with), while helping a Foreign-sounding gentleman re-affix his front
light to his bicycle with zip-ties, rubber bands and what appeared to be
a bootlace. "Silly fellow", I thought, before one of my DLumotec Topals
fell victim yet again to the Amazing B&M Cheesemetal. This means /Wa/.
Appropriately, it was rescued from the gutter by Dave's erstwhile
companion.

With the delay caused by recovering the errant light and a further one
to don my waterproof when the rain escalated from "annoying" to "very
annoying indeed", I lost track of Dave on the main road section to
Lewes, and he was notably absent at Tesco's filling station. I assumed
he'd been and gone - it only occurred to me much later that he could
have been snacking on roast guinea fowl and a fine claret in the main
store rather than slumming it on a damp forecourt with the pork-pie-and-
a-pint-of-milk brigade.

The run from Lewes out to the info control at Westmeston was enlivened,
if that's the correct word for a Near Deth Experience, when Mr. A.
Twatinafocus decided to pass me approaching a blind crest. It is
interesting to watch ABS working from the vantage point of a low
recumbent, FSVO "interesting". Two other riders were not so lucky -
their tame numpty deciding to drive into them in order to avoid bending
his motorcar. No serious damage to life and limb, but two dead bikes.
The ******* did a runner, but his number was taken, and the /La/ will be
summoned.

By the time I reached the Highbrook area, it was getting dark, but
finally there could be seen a red blinking light attached to the aerial
of MartinM's motorcar, and soon there was a Great Consumption of hot tea
and Kit-Kat. Thus fortified, I was able to knock off the remaining
distance back to Chiddingstone Causeway with considerable despatch,
although the lack of Scenery on that part of the route probably helped.

Back at HQ there was a leisurely rearrangement of clothing (off with
waterproof, on with arm-warmers and gilet), refilling of bottles, oiling
of squeaky cleats and consumption of Rob Bullyment's turbo pasta, washed
down with a can of BEER I had stashed in the motorcar. Then off again
into the damp and darkness.

Forewarned about the answer to the info control in Under River, we were
able to zoom through at speed, and take in the A227 / Higham Lane
section for the second time on the ride. The latter is downhill,
lightly twisty and well surfaced, and can be taken at an insanely high
speed by a recumbent trike; thus it was that the rest of the group
didn't catch up until I was on the outskirts of Maidstone. This was a
Good Thing, as it allowed safety in numbers passing through the town
centre - at two on a Sunday morning, who though THAT one up? - though as
it seemed a Real Rain had come and washed the chavs off the street.

I lost them soon afterwards, though. "Do you know Hollingbourne Hill?"
someone asked. "I've come DOWN it" I replied, nervously. Then, as one,
they disappeared into the gloom. I made up a bit on the descent into
Sittigbourne, though, for hot SOUP and a ham roll. The next section is
getting over-familiar - the stretch along the A2 to Faversham, then the
Goodneston - Graveney - Seasalter run parallel to the coast. In
Seasalter, careful preparation (thanks, Dave!) paid off, and I was able
to detour along Seasalter Lane rather than messing around with info
controls. Seasalter Lane was mostly under water, and contained a very
odd thing: a Fiat Punto. Nothing very odd about THAT, you might think,
but this one:

o had clearly gone head-on with some force into a solid object
o had no suitable solid object anywhere in sight
o had the driver's door open, but no-one inside, and
o had its engine still running

Shortly after this I encountered a drunk pushing a broken bicycle.
There's clearly some very strange people in that part of the world. My
former companions caught up shortly afterwards, and were Confused at how
it was I had managed to overtake them. There was Muttering. It was
somewhere around here too, that I was chased by a Wolf. OK, it /may/
have been a dog, but it sounded:

o fierce, and
o hungry

My sprint would not have disgraced Super Mario. Soon came the ruler-
straight downhill into Chilham. Not steep enough to lead to speed
records, but enough to drop the uprights like radioactive rocks. Heh
heh heh!

With various members of the gang being visited at various points by the
P+nct+r+ Fairy, we somehow managed to reconvene at the info in Wye. The
question being to identify the Local Worthy whose name appears of the
bench next to the Pubbe. "Nice people round here", said one. "It
wouldn't have lasted that long in Sittingbourne." "In Pompey it'd have
been burned after two days" retorted a mud-covered troglodyte later
identified as Mark Hummerstone. There is a limit, however, to the
number of times one say "Percy Kemsley" without being understood, so we
soon set off to assault White Hill.

Which sucked.

As did the stretch on the A20. It was light by now, but the Thoughless
Motor-ists were clearly still asleep. One muppet came close to removing
my earlobe attempting to fit 'twixt Trice and "Keep Left" bollard, a
problem neatly circumvented by Mr. A. Twatinacorsa, passing as he did to
the RIGHT of the bollard. I was getting dozy by this stage, so pulled
off into a bus stop and closed my eyes for about ten minutes. Not into
the bus shelter and out of the wind, though, as that would have seen me
flat out for the next four hours.

Thence back to Hollingbourne and the control at Maidstone services. The
Mgt had been advised that the slip road from the A20 to the services was
technically part of the M20, so we were obliged instead to descend a
steep and Skog(tm)-infested lane before somehow manhandling self+machine
along a steep, wet and slippery footpath into the services. Having
managed this - just - I rebelled on the way out and, full of Scotch egg,
pork pie and coke, went down the proto-motorway with an air of studied
nonchalance, spotting as I did two of our loose bunch coming in via the
same route.

The next section was one of those get-the-miles-in-somehow ones, down to
an info in Ticehurst. The section after THAT was back-to-base-as-quick-
as-possible. The difference being negligible. Both were full of long
and 'orrible 'ills, leading to nervous glances at the watch, as I was
determined to get back in under 24 hours. Peace of mind not helped by
going off-route at the third-to-last junction. But... I made it with
about 15-20 minutes in hand, and happily there was another can of BEER
stashed in the motorcar for just such an eventuality.

Stats:

Distance: 405.8 km
Average speed: 17.1 km/h
Time: 23:44 or thereabouts
Pork pies: 3 (1 standard size, two snack)
Dead badgers: 2 (though I only saw the one)
P+nct+r+s: 0 (for me - Mark Hummerstone had three, including one about
two miles from the end)

Major kudos to MartinM for the tea stop. Not thanks and bollocks to
whoever caused them to close the M25 at junction 2 on the way home :-(

--
Dave Larrington - <http://www.legslarry.beerdrinkers.co.uk/>
Dead journalists make excellent objets d'art.
 
D

davek

Guest
dkahn400 wrote:
> Trebly so if you happen to find
> the company irritating.


I'm saying nothing.

I did feel a bit sorry for him at the end, though. He still hadn't
reached the finish when I got on the train at 3.30, so either he had
abandoned or he was on course to finish over an hour out of time.

I was feeling a bit anxious about time myself towards the end of the
ride, as the cutoff seemed to be approaching much faster than the
finish line, and I would have been absolutely gutted to have ridden all
that way and not got the official seal of approval - a personal sense
of satisfaction at completing a long ride is one thing, but it doesn't
beat seeing your own name in the record books.

Getting that second p+nct+re just 30km from the end did not ameliorate
the mood one jot.

d.
 
M

MartinM

Guest
davek wrote:
> dkahn400 wrote:
> > Trebly so if you happen to find
> > the company irritating.

>
> I'm saying nothing.


IMO any company is a Good Thing on a 400; having done 3 with and 2
without. I don't deliberately set out to find a ride-mate, it's usually
someone I'm still riding with 1 hr from the start. Glad you all made
it, and much Rispek ;-).
It was a great honour to see almost all the field come through one of
my local lanes; and I think you did indeed double the weekly traffic
that night.

assuming it goes to Winchester next year count me in...
 
D

dkahn400

Guest
Dave Larrington wrote:

> Distance: 405.8 km
> Average speed: 17.1 km/h
> Time: 23:44 or thereabouts
> Pork pies: 3 (1 standard size, two snack)
> Dead badgers: 2 (though I only saw the one)


Excellent ride report, and an impressive time from what sounds to have
been a difficult ride with a significant number of riders out of time.
Intersesting to note that the Golden Rule applies equally to
tricyclists as to bicyclists. :-(

> P+nct+r+s: 0 (for me - Mark Hummerstone had three, including one about
> two miles from the end)


Ha! I'm yet to puncture on my new tyres, having forsworn
UltraHamsterSkins forever. Unless you count the recently exploding
front wheel of course. It seems the p*nct*r* fairy still has it in for
me. If she can't get through the tyre casing she simply removes a
section of rim.

--
Dave...