Author Topic: Fenland Friends 600km 25/06/2022  (Read 4470 times)

the straggler

  • ACME Award Recipient & ROTY 2021
Re: Fenland Friends 600km 25/06/2022
« Reply #50 on: 27 June, 2022, 07:23:54 pm »
That is interesting stats Phil.

I am a bit surprised with the 2019 Capital of East Anglia figures higher than LEL 2017?
Only recall the strong sidewind near Ely....then again I did happen to be riding behind a club mate and others.

BTW, I do have a poor memory in remembering challenging rides or routes/roads.
CCS - Setting the Standards

Re: Fenland Friends 600km 25/06/2022
« Reply #51 on: 27 June, 2022, 07:30:21 pm »
I rode my Brompton into the headwind on LEL 17 between Spalding and St Ives when out photographing returning riders.  I think we all forget just how fatigued riders (we) get by day 4/5 of LEL.  I was overtaking riders on my Brompton, not because I’m a strong rider, purely I was fresh, and they somewhat less so.

Re: Fenland Friends 600km 25/06/2022
« Reply #52 on: 27 June, 2022, 07:33:41 pm »
Oh and I’ve now compared LEL 13 and LEL 17 winds.

LEL 13 and LEL 17 both had 20 mph tailwinds on day 1.  But LEL 17 had the stronger headwind when returning. But LEL 13 was much hotter.  So there you go, the real actual weather station data speaks, not faulty memory.

Let’s hope it’s not strong headwinds both ways this year!

Re: Fenland Friends 600km 25/06/2022
« Reply #53 on: 27 June, 2022, 09:08:26 pm »
Few things before I ramble on -sorry but it's the first long ride for 7 years, so there is a kind of yearning to confesionally blabber on a bit.

Once again, thanks to Dave for the Garmin, and I'm sorry you and Judith was unable to get round in time. [Thought about a fairing for that trike, it might help over a long duration...maybe a little, but enough to make a difference? Just a thought.]
And felsteadrider, you're not supposed to embarrass me in public lol, But yes, I was going the wrong way. Thanks for turning me round!! The feeling at this point is called this: embarrassment.
That's some mileage too. Well out of my leisurely league. I was too late for cake though [probably not down for any in the first place :-)]

And thanks to Phil for his honesty in returning a lost buff to it's very happy owner.

And last but not least...many thanks to Tom and Team for the work that goes into it all.

Well, what a ride it was.
Game of two halves Brian, game of two halves.

First half....up to Goole.

Never have I had such prolonged and uninterrupted joy from riding my homemade recumbent.
We had roaring tail wind, we got beautiful sunshine, anything growing out of the ground was swaying back and forth with ease, the vision was good, there were wind turbines, there were canals, good roads and good company. What's not to like?
Throughout Friday, I was in two minds whether I was up for the ride, but boy, when I was out there, I was so, so grateful I'd decided to turn out. It was just so brilliant.

And I met the tandem couple outside Aldi in Chatteris. Say....nice bike. Some interesting aero modifications had been made to it. They were flying. And first back I understand [emphasizing this is not a race, of course].

But....all good things must come to an end.
And then the darkness came. In more ways than one for me.

Second Half.....back to Dunmow

I'd bought a couple of rubble bags taped together as a ground sheet and a thin cotton sleeping bag.
Outside Lincoln - time for a couple of hours shut eye. Didn't work. I forgot the ear plugs and sleeping onto of old roots in a field is not conducive to sleep. So I drowsed for a couple of hours listening to the sound of trucks pass by. Note to self - use an Audax hotel in future.

So off to Boston at about 3.30am...

There were two reasons why the wheels started coming adrift.

1. My homemade recumbent. It should have been in the smelting pot years ago and not on a 600km audax ride with me sitting on it.

Met a guy in Wittingsall.....looking down at my bike, he turned to me and said,

"I thought you'd retired that one?"
"Sorry mate, I don't seem to remember you"
"Alan. We met on a Mark Rigby ride!
"Oh right yeah, sorry, didn't recognize you"
"I remember you saying this was the last ride for this bike"
"Did I? Right. I should have remembered that then!"

This might conflate with Arabella's visual observation that my bike had rather a lot of dust on it.
Guess it would it it's been hanging from the ceiling in my flat for the last 7 years.
[Good performance Arabella]

I rode the Flatlands in 2019, largely with Stuart Denison of Bikefix, and he made the observation of how lopsided I looked when I was riding, and how the bike was leaning over to one side. Turned out, this was largely down to the seat not holding it's centre line very well, and the seats stays bending incrementally over each kilometer. That's why it had been retired. Shame I hadn't remembered.

So now I'm riding a bike where the axis of the bottom bracket is quite a few degrees off the horizonal, with no way of adjusting it on the fly. It was ridiculous.

Morale of the story - buy or build a better bike.

2. The GPS tracks. To be clear from the outset- I am grateful, very grateful for tippers_kiwi for providing these, but borrowing Dave's Etrex on the day, I had no time to preferentially adjust them. For me personally, I have a hard time following GPS tracks that are written directly onto of the road, it makes then very difficult to read sometimes, especially in bright conditions, so I went astray quite a few times.
Morale of the story - check your GPS more than a few hours before you're due to leave home. Buy a new one.

It all started to go a bit weird on the way to Boston.

I was trying to get round this almost virtually impassable road closure when chap called Martin [sorry didn't his surname] who came along asking,
"where are you going, it's this way"
"oh right, I thought this was the road closure that Tom was talking about"

Thank you Martin. It's embarrassing.

Then after Boston I found myself on the A16 before Crowland. Oh no!....what the hell am I doing here? Looking the Etrex, I see there's a junction just a bit further up. Ok cool, I'll be back on route soon. Wrong. On arriving it's an overpass. Damn. Now what? Balls. So I attempted to haul the bike up the embankment and up onto the road above. That was scary - very carefully hauling this sack of spuds up a smooth concrete incline, hanging onto this wooden fence as I went. Crazy. Ok so great, along the overpass and back onto the route. And that's where I meet felstedrider going in the opposite direction!  Err...right ok. I had this odd notion that because I'd gone wrong I needed to retrace a bit then I'd be back on the route.
Ok....let's leave it there. Now that was REALLY embarrassing.

So that's two people have to thank for keeping on track.

The third came when I found myself going towards Braintree after Ridgewell for at least a mile. Hang on this ain't right. So back we go to Ridgewell, but now I've lost a sense of direction. Along comes another cyclist [not on the FF].
"Hello mate which way to Gt Dunmow, is it down there?"
"'s not down there, it's that way"
"hey thanks"

That was only just a little embarrassing.

I must have come off the bike at least 20 times, 6 times while in motion, wandering a little too close and going over onto the grass verge,
and countless other times when I either braked, came to a standstill or tried to set off from a stationary position. I just couldn't keep my balance and seemed helpless in the prevention of falling over. What on earth was wrong with me? Answer: complete exhaustion. A touch of the LaRingTones!

On one such amusing occasion, the bikes front wheel hit a dodgy bit of tarmac too close the the edge of curb side and I went careering over and tumbled into a kind of shallow ditch. After 10secs or so lying there, pulling up along side stopped a white car, and just visible to me as I peered up over the grass verge, descended very slowly the passenger window, and a rather attractive young woman asked:

"are you ok?"
"Yeah, I'm fine, I'm fine, just a bit tired, but thanks for stopping and asking
"Are you SURE you're ok"?
"Yes, really, honestly I'm fine!
They waited a bit longer, and she looking down at me not entirely convinced I didn't need some help, with her driver echoing her concerns, "Are you really sure"?
"Honestly, I'm ok, really, and again...thanks for stopping
And then, almost rather reluctantly, off they went.

Tumbles happen so quickly, but it started to dawn  on me that, although lying in the ditch, legs in the air, with recumbent on top of me, I did actually feel rather relaxed. "What if I was to relax even more?", Instinctive thing to do after about 500km, right, chill out a bit? So I did, just working through the muscles on my back and legs, and feeling the sense of relaxation come over me, looking uo at the clouds move through the sky, the warmth on my face, it really was extremely very peaceful. In fact it was lovely. And there was a part of me, that just wanted this sensation to continue. Don't we endlessly go in search of being comfortable in life? Then, as the novelty started to wain, it dawned on me - shit, I don't think I can get up! All muscular strength had kind of deserted me, and it felt like I might even get stuck here.....but eventually, very slowly, inch by inch, I got myself back out of there and onto the road. It took a while though.

Well....what a state to get into. Very dodgy and it started to get a bit scary towards the end to the point where I shouldn't have been on the road really. I felt my head falling sideways into sleep, I was seeing double and began 'seeing things' Ah yes....been here before. But somehow a kind of stubborn, dogged, and most likely a kind of defensive refusal to lay down arms started to override all notion of common sense being present. There as just enough time in hand, but sanity and a grip on proper functioning senses was deteriorating fast. Having an attitude is one thing but there comes a point where the body will do what it needs to do to shut down and psychological overriding ceases.

I've never felt so physiologically disturbed after a ride.

There were only two possible explanations: extreme emotional fatigue and accumulated tiredness over the past 6 months due to the rather unwelcome reappearance of unconscious material, or....I was being haunted by The Mayor of Mortagne. It was most likely the second option I think. Maybe the man himself was lurking in the woodlands, flying as some kind of mysterious spirit type thing after Goole casting spells as karmic revenge for lifting 50 euros from his wallet as he's [unbeknown to him at the time] on the verge of going into a French hospital on PBP 2007!!  This was definitely a Mortagnian experience. And I escaped its clutches. But only by the skin of my teeth.

And Red Lodge. Kind of a weird place. Sort of reminds of a purpose built film set for something like a gory horror film or the like.
Only to return a year later and it's all been dismantled.

Anyway sorry for all the rambling nonsense. Doesn't happen very often.

Gotta larf.
When's the next one?

Garry Broad

John Stonebridge

  • Has never ridden Ower the Edge
Re: Fenland Friends 600km 25/06/2022
« Reply #54 on: 27 June, 2022, 09:30:01 pm »
Briliant Garry ^  ;D ;D

Re: Fenland Friends 600km 25/06/2022
« Reply #55 on: 27 June, 2022, 10:26:22 pm »
Red Lodge?  Sounds like you fell into a Lynchian dystopia of interdimensional demons feeding on garmonbozia (which audax produces in bushels) and were lucky to escape.
Through the angel rain, through the dust and the gasoline, through the cruelty of strangers, to the neon dream

Re: Fenland Friends 600km 25/06/2022
« Reply #56 on: 28 June, 2022, 08:23:36 am »
Good to see you get back, Garry.   We did spend a night drinking in Dieppe after the 2007 PBP.   Memories of that are probably pretty hazy as well.

The super tandem was piloted by Ian To who I raced against in the 2019 National 24hr (Mersey Roads).   He had a couple of cracks at the end to end but bailed on both.   I chatted to them briefly when they passed me after Gainsborough.   I'm wondering if they are going to attempt some records on it.   Might drop a friend with inside knowledge a line.

Re: Fenland Friends 600km 25/06/2022
« Reply #57 on: 28 June, 2022, 12:58:33 pm »

Did the lady on the Brompton make it? I passed her on my way into Goole but didn't see her afterwards at all. I know she had a hotel planned in Lincoln, so I presume she bounced the Clews control to get back there at a decent time.

I'm told Charlotte on the Brompton scratched at 513km. Her longest ride to date on the Brompton.

Thanks to Tom and every one involved in the organising and every one who rode with me.

2 days later and I'm still describing it as 'my first 600' not 'I'm never doing that again' So that has to be a good sign right ?

Old Enough to know better, young enough not to care.
Facebook, the toilet wall of the modern generation


  • Fueled by cake since 1957
Re: Fenland Friends 600km 25/06/2022
« Reply #58 on: 28 June, 2022, 06:13:38 pm »
I'm told Charlotte on the Brompton scratched at 513km. Her longest ride to date on the Brompton.

Thanks to Tom and every one involved in the organising and every one who rode with me.

2 days later and I'm still describing it as 'my first 600' not 'I'm never doing that again' So that has to be a good sign right ?


Yes, Brompton-Lady Charlotte passed within a few miles of her home and decided to bail out. The Straggler's peloton made it with minutes to spare - nicely timed. Others arriving shortly before had seen then around Red Lodge and thought they might not make it. Some notable firsts and other achievements already mentioned, so many congratulations to all.  :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: