Heathfield 200 this Sunday?

Discussion in 'UK and Europe' started by MartinM, Mar 29, 2006.

  1. MSeries wrote:

    > I really, really enjoyed this ride. Come and do it with us in 2006.


    I was going to do it, but plumped for the Kernow and Southwest. This will be
    my first 600 and my decision was based on the fact that I'll know at least
    some of the roads. Perhaps I'll ride it next year for PBP.
     


  2. MSeries

    MSeries Guest

    Simon Bennett wrote:
    > MSeries wrote:
    >
    > > I really, really enjoyed this ride. Come and do it with us in 2006.

    >
    > I was going to do it, but plumped for the Kernow and Southwest. This will be
    > my first 600 and my decision was based on the fact that I'll know at least
    > some of the roads. Perhaps I'll ride it next year for PBP.


    I'll probably do it in 2007 too but I am thinking about qualifying for
    PBP as early as possible by doing a southern one first.
     
  3. MartinM

    MartinM Guest

    Simon Bennett wrote:
    > MSeries wrote:
    >
    > > I really, really enjoyed this ride. Come and do it with us in 2006.

    >
    > I was going to do it, but plumped for the Kernow and Southwest. This will be
    > my first 600 and my decision was based on the fact that I'll know at least
    > some of the roads. Perhaps I'll ride it next year for PBP.


    I like the sound of the 3 coasts; the draw of Blackpool on the second
    day is a good anti-pack factor; I'll even treat myself to a go on the
    Big One ;-) 5300m is quite a lot (my only 600 was 3500). Hopefully
    there will be a later one as insurance; I don't intend to ride more
    than one 600, 400's are probably better PBP practice IMHO.
    The two clubmates who challenged me to an SR in 2003 both packed on the
    Kernow, and the Denmead.
     
  4. MSeries

    MSeries Guest

    MartinM wrote:
    > Simon Bennett wrote:
    >> MSeries wrote:
    >>
    >>> I really, really enjoyed this ride. Come and do it with us in 2006.

    >> I was going to do it, but plumped for the Kernow and Southwest. This will be
    >> my first 600 and my decision was based on the fact that I'll know at least
    >> some of the roads. Perhaps I'll ride it next year for PBP.

    >
    > I like the sound of the 3 coasts; the draw of Blackpool on the second
    > day is a good anti-pack factor; I'll even treat myself to a go on the
    > Big One ;-) 5300m is quite a lot (my only 600 was 3500). Hopefully
    > there will be a later one as insurance; I don't intend to ride more
    > than one 600, 400's are probably better PBP practice IMHO.
    > The two clubmates who challenged me to an SR in 2003 both packed on the
    > Kernow, and the Denmead.
    >


    Not sure but I believe the later ones are too late for PBP qualification.
     
  5. MartinM

    MartinM Guest

    > > Simon Bennett wrote:

    > >> I was going to do it, but plumped for the Kernow and Southwest.


    What happened to the BC? (it is the week after T-E)

    > Not sure but I believe the later ones are too late for PBP qualification.


    end of June IIRC for a 600; but they will probably move them all
    forward next year; hardly a good selling point for a ride if it's a
    non-qualifier in PBP year
     
  6. MSeries wrote:
    > MartinM wrote:
    >
    >> ..... Quite like the idea of the 3 coasts 600, how hard is that?

    >
    > I didn't find it hard last year. It was my first 600 and I was

    <big snip>

    You Audaxers don't half like long threads. Is there a minimum and maximum
    speed you have to post at, too?

    --
    Ambrose
     
  7. MartinM

    MartinM Guest

    Ambrose Nankivell wrote:
    > MSeries wrote:
    > > MartinM wrote:
    > >
    > >> ..... Quite like the idea of the 3 coasts 600, how hard is that?

    > >
    > > I didn't find it hard last year. It was my first 600 and I was

    > <big snip>
    >
    > You Audaxers don't half like long threads. Is there a minimum and maximum
    > speed you have to post at, too?


    wait 'til next year ;-)
    yes it probably is annoying having zillions of emails about obscure
    rides appearing on your newsreader,
    Perhaps we should go and clog this up instead....
    http://bikereader.com/forum/index.php?PHPSESSID=798fd49ada0f0fa7d97be24d8e2ac95a&board=96.0
     
  8. MartinM wrote:
    >>> Simon Bennett wrote:

    >
    >>>> I was going to do it, but plumped for the Kernow and Southwest.

    >
    > What happened to the BC? (it is the week after T-E)


    Family get-together (/and/ it's the week after T-E).
     
  9. MartinM

    MartinM Guest

    Simon Bennett wrote:
    > MartinM wrote:
    > >>> Simon Bennett wrote:

    > >
    > >>>> I was going to do it, but plumped for the Kernow and Southwest.

    > >
    > > What happened to the BC? (it is the week after T-E)

    >
    > Family get-together (/and/ it's the week after T-E).


    Shame, the BC looks much nicer; in another life one day maybe I'll do
    it.

    I've just got completely soaked on the ride up to work from Victoria; I
    am soooooo glad I'm not on The Dean
     
  10. MartinM wrote:
    > Ambrose Nankivell wrote:
    >> MSeries wrote:
    >>> MartinM wrote:
    >>>
    >>>> ..... Quite like the idea of the 3 coasts 600, how hard is that?
    >>>
    >>> I didn't find it hard last year. It was my first 600 and I was

    >> <big snip>
    >>
    >> You Audaxers don't half like long threads. Is there a minimum and
    >> maximum speed you have to post at, too?

    >
    > wait 'til next year ;-)
    > yes it probably is annoying having zillions of emails about obscure
    > rides appearing on your newsreader,
    > Perhaps we should go and clog this up instead....
    > http://bikereader.com/forum/index.php?PHPSESSID=798fd49ada0f0fa7d97be24d8e2ac95a&board=96.0


    No, it's not at all annoying, it's interesting.

    It does make me feel rather pathetic, though.
    --
    Ambrose
     
  11. MartinM

    MartinM Guest

    Ambrose Nankivell wrote:

    > No, it's not at all annoying, it's interesting.
    >
    > It does make me feel rather pathetic, though.


    have a go at it; you may surprise yourself ;-)

    warning, it's addictive!
     
  12. davek

    davek Guest

    MartinM wrote:
    > I am soooooo glad I'm not on The Dean


    But you missed a fantastic ride!

    OK, so we went through a fairly heavy shower on the first leg out of
    Oxford, and had one or two more showers throughout the day (including a
    brief spell of hail), but for the most part it was a beautifully sunny
    day. And as well as the mostly fine weather, Nik very kindly laid on a
    stiff westerly breeze for us, which meant riding into the wind for the
    first 150km but having it right behind us all the way home, including
    over the Severn Bridge.

    It was a fairly tough ride overall. Not what yer hardcore AUK veterans
    would call tough, but certainly tougher than anything else /I/ have ever
    done.

    The first two stages (Oxford-Stow 50km, Stow-Newent 50km) were gently
    rolling, with a couple of modest climbs. Dave Larrington shirked the
    official route out of Winchcombe (~65km) and took a longer, flatter
    route of his own devising, but the climb really wasn't that bad, just a
    bit of a slog that seemed to go on for longer than was strictly
    necessary. Or humane. I discovered Larrington's subterfuge when he
    suddenly materialised in front of me over the other side of the hill,
    despite me having overtaken him a few kms before Winchcombe. It seems I
    missed his post about the flat way round. I shall be suggesting Nik puts
    an info control in Cleeve Hill for next year's ride. That'll learn him!
    I mean, he may not have cheated exactly, but shirking the hills is
    hardly in the spirit of the thing, is it?

    The next leg (100-150km) was through the Forest of Dean to Chepstow.
    This part was the highlight of the ride for me, combining wonderful
    scenery and glorious sunshine. After the forest part of the stage there
    was a fairly nasty section (Bream-St Briavels) of about 10km of
    relentless uphill grind, but the pay-off was a long, fast descent into
    Chepstow.

    The leg from Chepstow to Malmesbury (150-200km) was gently rolling for
    the most part, with one almost-vertical bit of road up to the Somerset
    monument. I had passed Dave Kahn just before this point - he was by the
    roadside fixing his /third/ p*nct*re of the day, but he overtook me
    again as I was taking a breather at the foot of the climb. We met again
    in Malmesbury, me arriving first after he had got lost. Having eaten
    nothing but cereal bars and fruit all day, I was desperately craving
    Real Food by this point so stopped for a sit-down meal in the Whole Hog
    (all the cafes were closed so it had to be the pub... shame). This put
    me somewhat behind schedule, but I had time in hand overall so it was
    well worth it, especially as (a) the food was pretty good (bubble and
    squeak with bacon and a poached egg) and (b) the BEER was even better (I
    thought it would be safe to treat myself to a half of Archers. Mmmm!)

    I left Malmesbury shortly before 7pm, still in daylight, but it wasn't
    long before I had to switch the lights on, and I hit the foot of
    Marlborough Downs just as it was getting too dark to read the
    routesheet. Probably just as well, as I might have thought twice about
    carrying on if I could have /seen/ the gradient of the roads ahead. I'm
    convinced this section of the route would be worth a several of AAA
    points as a standalone 50k.

    By the time I grovelled into the next control, Membury services (250k),
    I was even further behind schedule, with no hope of being back in Oxford
    by my original target time of midnight, so after a quick cup of foul
    coffee I decided to get a move on. Stopping very long at the services
    would have been pretty depressing anyway, besides which it was pretty
    chilly by then so it wouldn't have been wise to hang around too long.

    Thanks to a combination of (a) the tailwind, (b) the scent of the finish
    line, and (c) relatively gentle terrain, I covered the final 50k in
    pretty good time, comfortably keeping my speed up to 25kmh+ for large
    chunks at a time. Unfortunately, on the way into Oxford itself, just 3k
    from the finish, I missed a turning and got completely lost, ending up
    on the direct opposite side of town to where I was supposed to be. To
    make matters worse, it then started to rain again, quite heavily.

    I bumped into Dave Kahn again in the town centre - he had already
    "checked in" at the final control and was on his way home. After
    standing around chatting in the freezing rain for a couple of minutes, I
    thought I had better get this ride over with so pressed on to the finish
    line - my official finish time, according to the receipt from the petrol
    station, being 1.37am, a full 22 hours since I had left home the
    previous morning.

    But despite being thoroughly soaked and half-frozen, I actually felt
    pretty damn good. I may well have been the last finisher by a
    comfortable margin, but I'd had a fantastic day out on my bike, and you
    can't argue with that.

    The only downer came right at the end, as I was leaving the petrol
    station. I hit a rut I hadn't seen and moments later felt the rear tyre
    deflate rapidly. Bugger. So I walked the final 200 metres back to the
    car park. I just chucked the bike in the car, changed into some dry
    clothes and got myself a few hours kip before setting off back home at
    first light this morning. Haven't checked the damage yet - I just hope I
    haven't done anything nasty to my new rim. :-(

    Amazingly I feel pretty fit today - tired for sure, but not as sore and
    tender as I have felt at the end of some rides. I mean, I can still walk
    without discomfort, which is not bad going. But I am very much looking
    forward to a long and deep sleep in my own bed tonight...

    d.
     
  13. davek

    davek Guest

    Ambrose Nankivell wrote:
    > It does make me feel rather pathetic, though.


    Give it a try. Like Martin says, it's addictive. I did have a couple of
    moments on yesterday's 300 of wondering what the bloody hell I was doing
    this for, and I even had a few second thoughts about my plans for
    attempting a 400 and a 600 later this year.

    But today, all that has gone away and I can only remember the good bits
    of yesterday's ride. As for the 600 - bring it on!

    d.
     
  14. MartinM wrote:
    > Ambrose Nankivell wrote:
    >
    >> No, it's not at all annoying, it's interesting.
    >>
    >> It does make me feel rather pathetic, though.

    >
    > have a go at it; you may surprise yourself ;-)
    >
    > warning, it's addictive!


    I think I need health or wealth problems sorted out before spend too much
    time out on two wheels: the body-saddle interface isn't working too well, to
    put it delicately. Fistula, to put it technically.

    --
    Ambrose
     
  15. MartinM

    MartinM Guest

    The first of El Supremo's legendary and ridiculuously cheap events; 104
    entries today apparently. I started with the early bunch for a very
    benign 48k loop down to Pevensey along the levels frequented by the
    Southdowns Randonee. Back at Heathfield Dave's catering emporium was in
    full swing as most of the 100k and 160k riders were departing. I had a
    large sampling of his cuisine before the second leg. This was a blat
    down to The Wheel where we did Willingdon Lane of Mad Jack notoriety;
    actually a lot easier today.
    Soon we were on a fast wind assisted B road to Rye and before long were
    pelting along to Lydd with a 50mph tailwind; highlight of the day,
    especially seeing Fairlight Beacon also of MJF fame from a very safe
    distance. At Dungeness we had to ride into the same for a couple of k.
    A trainload of light railway punters had just arrived so I got a stamp
    and forewent the glow-in-the-dark tea (thanks to the adjacent nukular
    power station) and caught up one of my Denmead ride mates for the very
    leg to World of Water. WoW is a garden/aquatic centre with an attached
    genuine greasy spoon, where I had tea and a Big biscuit. From there it
    was lumpy to say the least and the several furrows did little to tame
    the wind. Two more infos and then it was just the long drag (and
    occasional grunt) back up to Heathfield, where I arrived in under 10
    hrs for the first time in quite a few years.

    Nice ride; shame about the wind; looking forward to the 300 in 3 weeks.
     
  16. MartinM

    MartinM Guest

    nice report; well done. I was never going to do it as the Severn Across
    is very similar and actually much more convenient for me; and also
    today is Mum's 70th birthday which we were going to celebrate yesterday
    (except she's buggered off to Malta which has saved a lot of work)

    BTW did anyone see any of the Richard Phipps clones? one was on control
    duty at Heathfield today.
     
  17. In article <[email protected]>, davek
    ([email protected]) wrote:
    > MartinM wrote:
    > > I am soooooo glad I'm not on The Dean

    >
    > But you missed a fantastic ride!


    [Triff ride report snipped]

    Herewith my take:

    05:45 and there is the threat of rain in the air as Dave Kahn takes me
    to task for talking up the ride. I don't care. What I /do/ care about
    is the new combination of SPDs and Shimano sandals. Either my right foot
    is half as wide again as my left, or the right SPanDal is narrower than
    it orter be, or something. Either way, my right foot was well on its
    way to descent into a state of total numbness in the short ride from the
    centre of Oxford out to the start. This was /not/ looking good.

    We hadn't gone far up the road when a brief but ferocious downpour
    served to dampen spirits a bit, but it soon blew over and we pressed on
    to the first control at Stow-on-the-Wold. A nice run, without too many
    lumpy bits. Though on one of the minor lumps, I caught up with three
    lads, all using trainers and platform pedals. One of them appeared to
    be suffering already, after about 30 km. I mentally wished them good
    luck, pressed on to Stow, swigged down a bottle of water, made my
    excuses and left, accompanied by davek.

    For a bit. Dave's bike started making odd noises, perforce requiring a
    stop to investigate, while I pressed on. Most of the next 20 km was
    typical Cotswold BLEAN, which is to say lumps and downhills which you
    can't take advantage of because of:

    o tight corners, and
    o opaque hedges, and
    o Skog(tm)

    Dave caught up and pushed on ahead while I waited for the descent into
    Winchcombe. 74 km/h and mad triker hooting, before unleashing my secret
    weapon, which went like this:

    o in Winchcombe, R @ T
    o 1st L North Street
    o In Gretton, L SP Gotherington
    o In Gotherington, L The Lawns
    o L @ T
    o R @ T

    This rejoins the advertised route. 2.7 km longer, removes the need for
    that climb out of Winchcombe. Any attempts to put an info control at
    the top of that hill ill be met by:

    o Ultimate Force, or
    o an attack of the sulks

    I spotted davek in the mirror just as I emerged back onto the route, but
    as the next 30-odd km were mostly flat and into the brisk wind, he
    disappeared from view until the Newent control. About 8 km short of
    which was spotted a familiar sight: Dave Kahn, who I hadn't seen since
    his usual rocket-assisted departure from the start, fixing a flat.

    I didn't hang around in Newent either, as the next section through the
    Forest of Dean, was promised to be lumpy, and so it proved.
    Particularly dispiriting was the drag through Bream, which just seemed
    to go on for ever. However, the sun had come out and it was promising
    to turn into a nice day. Although I /had/ been advised to make the most
    of it by a bloke in Newent as "they" were expecting heavy rain later.
    While it contained some evil scenery, this leg also contained some nice
    "scenery" and towards the end, a fantastic view over the Severn estuary
    before the final mad plunge down into Chepstow. Spoiled a bit by the
    rough surface, but hey...

    A refilling of bottles and consumption of Scotch egg later, Mr Kahn
    swept past us and headed for the main Tesco store, instead of hanging
    out with us riff-raff at the petrol station. "Don't forget the
    shortcut!" said Phixer Phil Chadwick, as we prepared to move off. This
    is a cunning move, involving turning off the drag out of Chepstow and
    through Bulwark, before rejoining the route just before the Severn
    bridge.

    <URL:http://tinyurl.com/qk97m>

    However, you have to be quick through here, or in a big bunch, as
    otherwise you may be eaten by chavs. Natch I got ahead of the fixer
    brigade and had to do an extra lap of the place before spotting someone
    honking up the hill to the bridge.

    The bridge itself was far less fraught than I had imagined, and soon we
    were into some undulating bits of the BRITONS' England. Up towards
    Thornbury was bad. Up towards Hawkesbury was worse, especially as a
    brief but violent rainstorm came in. I was happy to be sheltered by the
    trees at this point, though the fixer brigade later reported hiding for
    a while until it blew over, which was how I found myself in their midst
    on the run into Malmesbury, reached at 17:15.

    I got a little Bewildered on the way out of Malmesbury, finding myself
    on the route of the Poor Student instead and muttering "where the f*ck
    is Wootton Bassett?" Before adding a few more unnecessary km to the
    distance travelled. The run towards Wootton Bassett is made doubly
    depressing by the facts that:

    o you know you have to climb the Ridgeway soon, and
    o you can see a bloody great ridge off to the right, and
    o you know that said ridge isn't the Ridgeway

    After grovelling over said ridge, after Broad Town, there was a quick
    drop back to ground level before launching the assault on the Ridgeway
    proper. Natch at this point it started to rain. And by the time I'd
    reached the top and started blasting down the other side towards
    Marlborough, the rain was interspersed with hail. If there are two
    things worse than country music, as the poet said, one of them is
    cycling through a hailstorm at 70 km/h with no glasses, no gloves and no
    socks. Thus it was that a shivering Mr. Larrington missed the turning,
    with attendant info control, in Marlborough. If there /was/ a signpost
    to Ramsbury, I totally failed to see it. Cool rainbow action on the way
    over the hills, though.

    A brief sock-and-glove stop in Axford. If anyone is wondering why I had
    odd socks on, so was I. The gloves were made doubly necessary by the
    rear gear cable exhibiting suspicious political tendencies and poking me
    in the palm with a broken strand of wire. Note to self: replace before
    Invicta 300.

    The depressing thing about Membury services is that one can see that
    radio mast, adorned with red lights, from several counties away and,
    moreover, if one can only see the top couple of lights, it's because
    there's a hill between you and it. A Martin of Willesden, on fixed,
    came past on the way up. Curious, as he'd left Malmesbury /before/ me.
    There seemed to be a lot of this going on - riders who had dropped me on
    climbs appearing out of the gathering gloom to pass me on another one.
    Finally the summit level was attained, and a good thing too, as the
    flatteries in my head torch were working about as well as geriatric
    glow-worms.

    At the petrol station Phixer Phil, on home territory, was attempting to
    advise those going all the way back to Oxford of a means of avoiding the
    second long drag over the Ridgeway after Lambourn, but I decided that at
    this stage of affairs, it was better to stick to the advertised route.
    It was about quarter to nine as I started the brilliant descent into
    Lambourn tempered by the wish not to explode the Lightspin with
    sustained V > 60 km/h behaviour; zig-zag through the village -
    mercifully horse-free at this time of night - and head out into the
    country. This climb of the ridge Was way easier than I'd expected. A
    brief little-ring-and-gasp moment, before it settled into a gentle drag.
    And a brief WTF moment before I worked out that the white blur which had
    just shot across my field of vision was a hunting owl. And another one,
    until I worked out that the terrible howling noises coming from a
    roadside copse were probably due to frisky foxes.

    Another long straight descent, though I knew from the Marlborough
    Connection that there was a corner somewhere. Ah, here it is. What I
    couldn't tell from my vantage point was that 3/4 of the road was
    flooded. Squelch, ugh! Scream down to the last info at Stanford-in-
    the-Vale before a lovely flat and wind-assisted 30 km run into the
    finish in 17:04. Nothing broke or fell off, except possibly the toes of
    my right foot. At least, that was what it felt like, though on getting
    back to Dr Larrington's place and gingerly removing my soggy socks, I
    did seem still to have a full complement.

    Anyway, kudos to Nik Windle for a triffic route and to Dr Larrington for
    the loan of her house. No dead badgers and 321.3 km for the day - I was
    tempted to ride round the block a couple of times to make it 200 miles,
    but not *that* tempted...

    PS: Glad to notice both Daves have posted in here since the finish, as I
    was getting a bit concerned after not being overtaken by either of you.

    --
    Dave Larrington - <http://www.legslarry.beerdrinkers.co.uk/>
    np: "Lord Of Light", Hawkwind
     
  18. MartinM

    MartinM Guest

    what about the Bunny Girls?
     
  19. dkahn400

    dkahn400 Guest

    MartinM wrote:
    > what about the Bunny Girls?


    Sadly absent this year. That is to say, I didn't see any. :-(

    --
    Dave...
     
  20. In article <[email protected]>,
    dkahn400 ([email protected]) wrote:
    > MartinM wrote:
    > > what about the Bunny Girls?

    >
    > Sadly absent this year. That is to say, I didn't see any. :-(


    Nor I. I got a mighty cheer from some of the Good Burghers of Lambourn
    and another from some post-pub types on the way back into Oxfod, but
    bunny-girls sadly absent. I shall be having Words with Nik about this
    ;-)

    --
    Dave Larrington - <http://www.legslarry.beerdrinkers.co.uk/>
    It is not possible to call a complex number from a phone box.
     
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