Author Topic: Llanfair 400 2023  (Read 2095 times)

Graeme

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Llanfair 400 2023
« on: 02 May, 2023, 07:40:30 pm »
Speaking to the organiser today, looks like there are 90 of us registered to start at 9am this Saturday. I'm looking forward to a busy event after a solo 300. I've done the route twice before, once was really hard and once was joyfully easy. I think the weather is going to have a significant part to play as usual.

FifeingEejit

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Re: Llanfair 400 2023
« Reply #1 on: 02 May, 2023, 08:22:53 pm »
I'm still waiting to find out if my trains are running,

Re: Llanfair 400 2023
« Reply #2 on: 02 May, 2023, 09:13:13 pm »
I'm planning to be along the route taking pics. Hoping for dry weather so i can get the drone up for a few as well. I put the best images on the Audax FB group and give free high res files in return for a couple of paragraphs i can send to Arrivee. Might see you Saturday...
Started audax with LEL & SR in 2013. Currently working on fitness and trying for a RRtY in 2024. Event organiser, Arrivée photo contributor & LEL controller

Re: Llanfair 400 2023
« Reply #3 on: 03 May, 2023, 04:10:35 pm »
Has any information been sent out that I’ve missed?

Wondering as well whether the beachfront sections are worth skipping and jumping in the road through the likes of Rhyl (particularly if the weather’s bad)?

Graeme

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Re: Llanfair 400 2023
« Reply #4 on: 03 May, 2023, 06:07:10 pm »
This was entrant email from 1st March:

Quote
Thanks for your entry to the Llanfair PG 400.  The event is now "full" but I can confirm that you are on the entry list.  I have a waiting list of people keen to get on the ride, so if you decide to pull out, please let me know.

I have updated the route sheet and GPX files at http://www.delphcyclist.info/Llanfair.html.  Even if you don't use the route sheet, please take a look at it - it contains some useful tips for the off-road bits that your GPX device might not show you.  For example, it will save you ½ km at Sutton Weaver roundabout. It also indicates the location of several 24-hour petrol stations where you will be able to find food and a hot drink through the night.

I checked the route last weekend.  The bad news is that:

* MacDonalds at Abergele still has not resumed 24-hour restaurant service.  It means that you could face a 145km ride from Holyhead to Chester Services without any facilities, so you should carry sufficient supplies to get you through the night (see route sheet for location of 24-hour petrol stations).
* the cycle path alongside the promenade in Colwyn Bay is closed, so last year's detour is again in place.

The good news is that:
* Coffee Cups cafe at the half-way point will stay open specially for us.  It's your last sit-down control before venturing into the night.
* the Menai Bridge has reopened to cyclists
* an exciting new bit of cycle path alongside the A55 at Abergwyngregyn looks as if it will be ready in time for us

We start at Poynton Methodist Church, Park Lane (near Waitrose) which will be open for teas and toilets from 8:15 for our 9:00 start.  Parking is in the long-term spaces (beyond the line of trees) otherwise you may get a fine.

We finish at Poynton Church Hall (next to the church) which will be open from 2am, with hot drinks, and airbeds with blankets until midday.  If you finish earlier than that, leave your Brevet Card in the letter box on the fence outside the church hall.

Re: Llanfair 400 2023
« Reply #5 on: 03 May, 2023, 07:56:33 pm »
Wondering as well whether the beachfront sections are worth skipping and jumping in the road through the likes of Rhyl (particularly if the weather’s bad)?
I wouldn't.  The paths are pretty quick, and a lot more scenic.  Last year even in sunny weather they weren't crowded.  The coronation is an unknown quantity though.

If you do the hilly route you bypass Rhyl anyway, and only have a few miles on the seafront.

FifeingEejit

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Re: Llanfair 400 2023
« Reply #6 on: 03 May, 2023, 09:33:56 pm »
Im sticking to the route sheet or at least my interpretation of it, currently trying to remember how I pack for a weekend away in a nelson long flap.
Car is full of fuel just in case.

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Re: Llanfair 400 2023
« Reply #7 on: 05 May, 2023, 09:09:51 pm »
Good luck to all those riding tomorrow

FifeingEejit

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Re: Llanfair 400 2023
« Reply #8 on: 05 May, 2023, 09:12:04 pm »
Got to Adlington with a delay repay claim in, already forgotten that I don't speak English...

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Graeme

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Re: Llanfair 400 2023
« Reply #9 on: 07 May, 2023, 02:04:31 pm »
What a wonderful day out on the bicycle.

Weather... cool during the day, with a tailwind, short sleeved shirt weather. Didn't overheat on the climbs westbound. Clouds were high, giving great views. As we hit the early evening the sun burst to life and gave some clear skies and warmth to the end of the day. The tailwind was turning on Ynys Môn, so by the time I was heading east I had a tailwind again. The night was warm - still short sleeved shirts. The sunset was beautiful and gave an hour's display reflected in the still waters of the sea.

We got a group together for the night shift, but mechanicals separated us. I rode the last 10km to Elton too hard and suffered on the final 50km as a result.

Thanks to Mike for providing beds so that we could get some shuteye before going home... that 60 minutes I had made all the difference. Thanks to all Mike's volunteers for being there to support us - I loved this ride.

FifeingEejit

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Re: Llanfair 400 2023
« Reply #10 on: 08 May, 2023, 04:39:02 am »
Enjoyed that, less so my lack of fitness.
I just couldn't get up some of the hills, but then damaging an already weak knee/ankle on a ride a couple of weeks ago really didn't help.

Loved the synchants pass visually but I like my descents faster!

Im not a huge fan of dual carriageway riding but I forget that England on a Sunday morning is nothing like scotland and spent much of the time wo dering why there wasn't any traffic.

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Re: Llanfair 400 2023
« Reply #11 on: 08 May, 2023, 05:12:48 pm »
Got to say I thoroughly enjoyed the ride and was well worth getting the train across from Norfolk for. Mike and helpers put on a fantastic route and were the perfect hosts and the airbed was a much required treat. I was lucky enough that Darrell on the Audax Facebook group got a drone shot of me so I wrote a "brief" ride report for him:

I left Poynton in a relatively fast group with four other riders which helped to build a time buffer and get the first few miles out of the way quite quickly, with the ride through Chester being especially pleasant due to the lack of cars.

The group thinned out considerably after the first control with just myself and Martin, who had also been in the group, leaving the petrol station together. With the exception of a few miles before the mid-way control we rode the whole route together.

Martin doubled up as a helpful guide as he knew the area a lot better than I am (I have only been to Wales twice before when I rode End-to-end in 2012 and London-Wales-London last year) meaning I have never been into Wales properly until this ride.

Coming from Norfolk and not being the lightest person means there is always an element of trepidation when I see any large spikes on the elevation profile and I knew there were a couple of instances where I'd have to make the decision as to whether or not to take the detours offered, I decided on both occasions to "take the high road" and didn't regret these decision.

The climbs were difficult by Norfolk standards but probably par for the course for the more hardcore seemingly local field of riders who are used to lumpier roads. It was also nice to have a rest take photos at the summits with some spectacular views over the coast and further inland.

After getting across to Anglesea and taking photos at the train station, we stopped at the nearby co-op for replenishment and I was tempted by the Bara Brith which after having a generous helping I just about managed to fit in my jersey pocket.

A few miles from the halfway cafe I had a puncture and after repairing that my back wheel wouldn’t spin. After a bit more investigation it turned out that the tread on my rear brake pads were non-existent and the pin holding the pads had broken and bent. Having not bought a spare set of pads I proceeded to remove the pads and pin, with some help from a tyre lever I pushed in the pistons and rode the rest of the ride using only my front brakes. Occasionally forgetting and having to remove the wheel and reset the calipers. It’s a good job the major descents were out of the way!

I caught up with Martin at the control and we proceeded to go up and down through Anglesea and back to Wales. As night fell so did my energy levels, I can remember trying to ride along the cycle bridges whilst feverishly eating the remaining Bara Brith to try and get some energy. Having taken a abstinence from caffeine, I was looking forward to my first hit in over a week to give me a boost and also had my first ever Irn Bru energy drink which was served to me by a particularly friendly and cheerful petrol station attendant (which you don’t usually see in the early hours) who, as his petrol station was slightly off route hadn’t seen any other riders and found the whole nature of the ride highly entertaining. We also spoke to a friendly paramedic there who actually realised we were on an Audax (I guess if you encounter cyclists at a petrol station at unsociable times it is probably quite obvious).

The night section was a case of keeping moving and counting down the miles to the next stop. One particularly frustrating section was leading into Flint where coffee was waiting, four miles the sign said, only to be followed by one a bit further up the road saying five miles. Things that would be a casual observation on a short group ride can be quite demotivating on longer rides.

The usual dawn chill did not seem to materialise and we rolled back into Poynton at around 7am. This gave me enough time to eat, sleep, have a freshen up, visit Waitrose and ride back to Stockport and still have two hours to spare before my train home.

Looking back I really enjoyed the ride and exploring the North Wales coast, the route used a lot of good quality cycle paths, including a newly opened section which at night was pleasure to ride knowing there would be no cars or more importantly, potholes.

The castle at Conwy was a particular highlight. As the commentary in one of the youtube videos about the ride says: “Audax cycling in Britain can be like athletic tourism. The castle in Conwy is a World heritage site in a well presented mediaeval town, you could easily spend a whole day there. Obviously we passed through in about three minutes, but we’ve been there.”

Re: Llanfair 400 2023
« Reply #12 on: 08 May, 2023, 06:58:26 pm »
Great write up. "Athletic tourism" is a great turn of phrase for Audax from Damon, who is sadly missed.

Graeme

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Re: Llanfair 400 2024
« Reply #13 on: Yesterday at 01:30:26 pm »
This year's event had seventy riders... the finisher's list is published. I did a lonesome helper ride, and then supported Mike on the day. There were at least two dozen riders doing it for the first time, as their first 400. It was nice to be at the start and encourage them - sadly I couldn't be at the end because Trinity Sunday. My experience here.

Re: Llanfair 400 2023
« Reply #14 on: Today at 09:46:50 am »
Thanks for your help on the event Graeme. My son 'enjoyed' his first 400.

Graeme

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Re: Llanfair 400 2023
« Reply #15 on: Today at 05:34:04 pm »
Thanks for your help on the event Graeme. My son 'enjoyed' his first 400.

Did he get back before midnight? You look like you have a great ride too. :)