Author Topic: Wild Atlantic Way 2100km audax in Ireland  (Read 7410 times)


  • Full of bon courage.
    • Occasional wittering
Re: Wild Atlantic Way 2100km audax in Ireland
« Reply #25 on: 25 June, 2016, 06:12:27 pm »
Well done John!

You are right, it is only a bike ride and the homolywhatsit is less important than having an adventure and enjoying yourself (most of the time).

Well ridden and chapeau for getting it done; in or out of time doesn't really matter much.
Right! What's next?

Ooooh. That sounds like a daft idea.  I am in!

Re: Wild Atlantic Way 2100km audax in Ireland
« Reply #26 on: 26 June, 2016, 12:08:29 am »
An interesting ride. The lower time limit is what makes it possible to put on an event like this. When a control closes, it frees up the volunteers to move up the course. The presence of headland and island legs means that out-of-time rides can short-cut the course and stay within the control opening times. That's similar to the way a 24 Hour TT works. A 'Wild Atlantic Week' would be a good idea, and is what we've seen here in a 'de-facto' sense. With some riders doing the full course, within the minimum speeds, and others missing sections.

I'm still in favour of RM validation only for those who meet the minimum speed, but just starting this ride deserves a medal.

I'll be watching Top Gear tomorrow, as they're doing a piece on the Ring of Kerry, and the Dingle Peninsula, which were the best bit to film on the Mile Failte in 2014, so an interesting comparison. I've got the WAW on the to-do list, but in a car, or on a motorbike.

Re: Wild Atlantic Way 2100km audax in Ireland
« Reply #27 on: 26 June, 2016, 09:39:42 am »
The only time I visited Ireland was when my wife and I walked the 135 mile Kerry Way. Beautiful scenery. Wouldn't mind cycling some of that wonderful country.
Bikes are for riding, not cleaning!

Phil W

Re: Wild Atlantic Way 2100km audax in Ireland
« Reply #28 on: 26 June, 2016, 04:46:22 pm »
Wednesday night I shifted to chain into the spokes on the last climb. Two things happened, the chain broke and two spokes bent. The chain I fixed immediately. The spoke issue not noticed immediately translated into a shimmy on the descent with the wheel eventually buckled into the frame. I got my toolkit out but the spoke key was missing. So I rang the control to see if they could get a spoke key to me. I slept on a patch of grass wrapped in my silver blanket, with my thermal top over my head to keep the midges off. It took just over 1.5 hours before Dave turned up with a spoke key. 5 mins later I'd trued the wheel and was on my way.  This did mean I was late arriving in Lackenhaugh Control

After Lackenhaugh the neck issues appeared, initially as a burning sensation like bad sunburn. I rigged up an inner tube zip tied to my saddlebag which stretched from behind over my forehead. The only way I could manage the descents at any speed and see where I was going was to sit on the top tube with my right leg against the tube to stop any shimmy. For flat and uphills I'd lowered the saddle to raise my line of sight so I could see down the road.  This worked for a while and got me a further 148km to Letterkenny. By then it was failing and I was staring straight down again. This is where the ropes, industrial zip ties and helmet harness system was applied. This was in a pizza place where I'd told the staff I was awaiting a couple of friends to help me with a problem.  It was quite surreal as the system was rigged up, who knows what the pizza people thought. I felt like I was Frackensteins monster or a mummy or something.

This got me further down the road but i had restricted movement unable to get water bottles whilst riding. I had to stop to drink. I also could not really turn my head. Eventually this setup began to loosen, my neck began to drop as an increasingly sharp angle , the pain increased. Staring straight down at the road with just my front wheel and the road markings visible I had too very close encounters with road furniture. I decided the setup wasn't safe and no ride was worth a trauma unit. Eamon came out and tried to retighten the setup. This just put me in agonising pain with no improvement in forward vision.

In the interests of safety and the long term health of my neck, we made the call to the stop the ride. There had been tears earlier in the day as I fought on against the neck issues. This time there were none, I was content I'd done everything reasonably possible to keep going as far as I did, and that there was nothing more to do. There was now no pushback from Eamon to keep riding, we both knew the very likely and serious outcome of that course.

36 hours later cycling across Dublin to the ferry my neck once more dropped. At the time I stopped I could have spared about 4 hours sleep and still had time for the remaining km within the time limits. Dublin confirmed that that option would have done nothing other than to frustrate me.

There were many twists and turns in this ride over 7 days. I've thoroughly enjoyed this wild adventure in a thousand different ways. I'll be putting together my thoughts and impressions of this event into an article for Arrivee. So that's all for now.

Re: Wild Atlantic Way 2100km audax in Ireland
« Reply #29 on: 27 June, 2016, 06:03:54 pm »
Good write-up, Phil. I feel for you. My neck muscles went on the last morning of the Mille Cymru, and I used a fist to keep my chin up. I did a 200 diy today for rrty and resisted the urge a lot to get aero (stomach permitting) on the decents.
Bikes are for riding, not cleaning!


Re: Wild Atlantic Way 2100km audax in Ireland
« Reply #30 on: 29 June, 2016, 09:41:49 am »
Still not managed to sort this ride out in my head yet but pretty sure crashing didn't help my cause any ,fortunately I didn't bring Birgitt down when our wheels touched as I'm not sure I could have lived with ruining someone else's ride . Big thanks to jsabine for the bed in Donegal (I reeeeeeally needed that 3 hours kip) and for the company and also for pointing out that I was getting pretty iffy on the road , I knew it was all over but didn't want to admit it  :(  I did enjoy the ride though and if they run it again in 2020 I for one will definitely be signing up.


Re: Wild Atlantic Way 2100km audax in Ireland
« Reply #31 on: 29 June, 2016, 12:22:24 pm »
I knew it was all over but didn't want to admit it

I'd been very, very carefully avoiding asking that question for quite a long time, because I didn't think either of us wanted to deal with an honest answer ... or worse, with a dishonest one ...

Thanks too for your company over such a period - it helped to keep me going - and a huge chapeau for your determination in continuing after your off.

Re: Wild Atlantic Way 2100km audax in Ireland
« Reply #32 on: 29 June, 2016, 12:38:53 pm »
I asked myself if I would end up making the same film as the Mile Failte if I followed the WAW. I concluded that I probably would, but end up even more knackered. It was a lot better to leave it to a fresh pair of eyes. But it does sound like the Mile Failte footage could be of use in telling the WAW story, like this sequence about Paul.

Re: Wild Atlantic Way 2100km audax in Ireland
« Reply #33 on: 01 July, 2016, 10:17:06 am »
This was an incredible event--off the scale in terms of scenery and very well organised.  The full shaggy dog story will emerge in due course.  In the meantime, here are a few items of kit that worked particularly well for me.

Gore-Tex Active bike jacket (the new one with 'permanent beading surface'): windproof, lightweight, extremely breathable, and shrugged off everything that the Irish weather could throw at it, including a ride out to Loop Head that was like being pressure-washed on the bike.

Morgan Blue Solid chamois cream: I road-tested several arse creams before settling on this one. It's advertised as being for wet rides (as if it would rain in Ireland…) but is fine even if the sun shines. I found a single application good for a 300k day, and suffered no significant chafing in 2100k. Although this might be partly down to…

Assos Skin Repair Gel: A panic buy the day before I set off. This is stupidly expensive but seems very effective. An overnight application soothed any sore bits of the bearing surfaces.

Tubeless tyres: Hutchinson Sector 28, with Stan's Race Sealant, inflated to about 70 psi. These gave a comfy ride on Ireland's lunar road surfaces and needed no attention during the ride. They're an easy fit on Hunt rims.