Author Topic: what can I expect on the route of the Bryan Chapman?  (Read 2240 times)

cyclinggeezer

  • Cyclinggeezer
what can I expect on the route of the Bryan Chapman?
« on: November 18, 2017, 10:38:15 am »
Having a secured a place on the BC 600 for 2018 now starting to think about preparation and being ready for the challenge.

could I pick the brains of those who have done it before and find out in particular what are the climbs like? Long and steady like Yad Moss or short and sharp?

How cold might it get as you get towards Snowdonia?

Are there good places to stock up with food and drink en route between controls?

Any particular tips on training for the climbs?


Would it be a good idea to change the cassette to even lower gears on my compact? Presently running 11-32 but could go 11-36.

Hints and tips appreciated



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fboab

  • It's a fecking serious business, riding a bike
Re: what can I expect on the route of the Bryan Chapman?
« Reply #1 on: November 18, 2017, 10:40:54 am »
Traffic.

I've only done this ride once, and that's my abiding memory.
Saturday: close passes from tour buses
Sunday: motorbikes

O, and unless you're a fast girl, don't expect a bed at the YHA. Book somewhere else if you want to be sure of a bed.
TSS is not Total Sex Score, Chris!

Re: what can I expect on the route of the Bryan Chapman?
« Reply #2 on: November 18, 2017, 10:55:37 am »
As a full value rider my return southwards through Snowdonia was well after midnight, with my Garmin showing a fairly consistent  -2 degrees.
R10000 x 1   RRtY x 4    SR x 6    HYPER x 1    LEJOG x 1    E = 111

vorsprung

  • Opposites Attract
    • Audaxing
Re: what can I expect on the route of the Bryan Chapman?
« Reply #3 on: November 18, 2017, 01:11:02 pm »
Having a secured a place on the BC 600 for 2018 now starting to think about preparation and being ready for the challenge.

could I pick the brains of those who have done it before and find out in particular what are the climbs like? Long and steady like Yad Moss or short and sharp?

How cold might it get as you get towards Snowdonia?

Are there good places to stock up with food and drink en route between controls?

Any particular tips on training for the climbs?


Would it be a good idea to change the cassette to even lower gears on my compact? Presently running 11-32 but could go 11-36.

Hints and tips appreciated



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Long and steady except for the lane to the Kings YHA just outside Dollegethu.  And the occasional bonus bump here and there

Rarely cold but sometimes a bit rainy and windy.  The coldest bit is coming back from Menai to Kings.  I just put all my clothes on and it's fine. The conditions are quite unpredictable, you need to be able to cope with all eventualities

There are loads of places during the kind of hours that shops are open as the route goes through various small towns.  Outside of these hours, there is not very much.   On the A road sections, there are occasional garages that are open early Sunday morning.  The controls are very good and provided you have a flapjack or two in the pocket should be ok

Training?  I never did.  If you haven't done a 600 before then do a 400 first and a 300 before that and a 200 before that

Cassette just depends on your legs.  I will be using either a 30-40-50 x 12-30 or a 50-34 x 11-32 but this information is no good to you :)

I have done the event 9 times.  Although the current Richie route is different to previous ones I have ridden, it's similar
Audaxing Blog follow @vorsprungbike on

Re: what can I expect on the route of the Bryan Chapman?
« Reply #4 on: November 18, 2017, 01:21:47 pm »
I rode it (my first 600s) in 2016 and this year (2016 ride report is here). It's great!

The climbs are nearly all well-graded, except perhaps for the rollercoaster road heading towards Staylittle which has some stretches touching 15% - but there's not much of this. Oh, and the infamous climb up to Kings :demon:

In 2016 it was well below freezing overnight. If the skies are going to be clear prepare for this. Also during the night sections there are not convenient places to stop and stock up - and choices are sparse into the next day (remember this is North Wales on a Sunday morning). But the controls are superb and well-spaced, and have things to take with you.

Training for climbs - there's nothing like doing actual climbs but failing that riding into the wind or using a trainer can help. I'm based in Cambridgeshire and the climbs were fairly tough, but the scenery makes it worth it ...

Re: what can I expect on the route of the Bryan Chapman?
« Reply #5 on: November 18, 2017, 02:00:00 pm »
SHEEP!  ;D

Re: what can I expect on the route of the Bryan Chapman?
« Reply #6 on: November 18, 2017, 04:19:03 pm »
The only tip you need is to get in your granny ring BEFORE turning left to the youth hostel!

Re: what can I expect on the route of the Bryan Chapman?
« Reply #7 on: November 18, 2017, 05:58:09 pm »
All the climbs are worth it for the views at the top and the descents

Re: what can I expect on the route of the Bryan Chapman?
« Reply #8 on: November 18, 2017, 06:34:36 pm »
The climbs are nearly all well-graded, except perhaps for the rollercoaster road heading towards Staylittle which has some stretches touching 15% - but there's not much of this.
- and it can be avoided by following the NCN route through Hafren Forest.  A few extra km but a delightfully quiet road and fabulous views across the lake near the top.  Osprey nest viewpoint too, if you are into such things.

And a few km further on, do take it easy at the start of the descent towards Machynlleth. A couple of folks were caught out last year by bends/sidewinds/speedwobbles, resulting in AIUI at least one broken collarbone.

If you are full-valuer like me, the bed situation at Kings usually starts to ease off a bit by around 4 am - and your bunk will have been pre-warmed for you  ;D

Re: what can I expect on the route of the Bryan Chapman?
« Reply #9 on: November 18, 2017, 06:34:46 pm »
Pretty easy all the way to Llanidloes, then long climbs to Staylittle. Descent to Mach, then one long steady climb up and over to Dolgellau. Then Kings. Then quite benign until Penrhyndeudraeth  where you've got more steady climbs including Pen y Pass.

Pretty gentle from Llanberis to Menai and indeed all the way back to Kings although you have a long long drag over Trawsfynned.

The next day, with tired legs, the first climb up and over and down to Dinas Mawddy goes on forever. From there it is benign until Newtown. Then a long climb to Dolfor. Pretty easy from then on with the odd bump or two.

Apart from the official controls the one place that always saves my life is the Spar in Carno on the way to Newtown.

Re: what can I expect on the route of the Bryan Chapman?
« Reply #10 on: November 18, 2017, 09:19:30 pm »
What are the climbs like? Long and steady like Yad Moss or short and sharp?
How cold might it get as you get towards Snowdonia?
Are there good places to stock up with food and drink en route between controls?
Any particular tips on training for the climbs?
Would it be a good idea to change the cassette to even lower gears on my compact? Presently running 11-32 but could go 11-36.
Hints and tips appreciated
https://ridewithgps.com/routes/17001454
Climbs: Mostly long and steady (like Yad Moss coming back). There are 5 single chevron short climbs coming out of Llanidloes towards Staylittle and the abrupt double chevron climb up the road to King's YH (west of Dolgellau, at 202km and 373km) but only 200m.
Food and drink: Route goes through lots of towns besides those which are nominated as controls (see my RwGPS link). Only leg where you would not find much is Menai back to Kings (82km) which I suspect you'd be doing 9pm - 2am. But the team at Menai provide excellent fare (and some to take onwards) and you can look forward to eating at King's too.
Gearing: With your setup I wouldn't change my cassette. I used the same for both BCM 17 and LEL. Now Mille Pennines on the other hand . . . (cassette and chainwheel substitution).
Sleep: If you are a rider who needs decent sleep then consider booking somewhere between Penrhyndeudraeth and Beddgelert (A4085). Check in there on the way up (~250km, 15 minutes and a cup of tea) and collapse there after visiting Menai (efficiently, with the door code/key; 330km, midnight+). Leaves you 40 odd km to do at dawn (5am) over to Kings, have breakfast and get away by 8 at the latest (225km from Kings to do in 14 hours). I did this last year (stopping from 10pm till 5am) and there were a fair few with a similar plan (though I suspect rather less sleep). There are beds at King's but demand outstrips supply and the hours are rationed. You could alternately book somewhere in Dolgellau. I considered https://www.facebook.com/hybbunkhousedolgellau/ earlier this year.
Ephemera: Sunset 2103 Sat, Moonrise (nearly full but very annoyingly) 0500, Sunrise 0521 (all Beddgelert), Sunset 2054 (Usk).
If you decide to get back to Kings at whatever time, I recommend you take trouble to do so in company for the dark hours.

Re: what can I expect on the route of the Bryan Chapman?
« Reply #11 on: November 18, 2017, 09:58:20 pm »
NCN route through Hafren Forest - would recommend used it last year

Re: what can I expect on the route of the Bryan Chapman?
« Reply #12 on: November 18, 2017, 11:51:32 pm »
+1 on Hafren. It's sublime

Kim

  • An appetite for the epic, but no real stamina
Re: what can I expect on the route of the Bryan Chapman?
« Reply #13 on: November 19, 2017, 12:04:05 am »
Yes, lovely bit of road that.  Even when it's pish.
Watching the TV without subtitles is like riding up a hill without using the gears :)

Bianchi Boy

  • Cycling is my doctor
  • Ride ride ride
    • Reading Cycling Club
Re: what can I expect on the route of the Bryan Chapman?
« Reply #14 on: November 19, 2017, 03:28:17 pm »
Coming back to the theme of training. Just ride as consistently as you can manage between now and the BCM. There is no special preparation required for the hills, just make sure you ride quite a lot frequently. But most of all enjoy what you are doing. It is a bike ride and there to be enjoyed not endured.

BB   
SRx11 - in 11 years

Re: what can I expect on the route of the Bryan Chapman?
« Reply #15 on: November 19, 2017, 04:27:55 pm »
Is this the diversion through the Hefren forest you guys are talking about?

https://www.strava.com/routes/11216212

Seems to add roughly 7-8 km over sticking to the B road

Re: what can I expect on the route of the Bryan Chapman?
« Reply #16 on: November 19, 2017, 04:50:30 pm »
Yes, but you can take the road that hugs the lake a little closer. It's shorter

Re: what can I expect on the route of the Bryan Chapman?
« Reply #17 on: November 19, 2017, 04:56:01 pm »
Yes, but you can take the road that hugs the lake a little closer. It's shorter

I have noticed that, but it seems to add 100 mt of climbing, as well as 3-4 km.


Re: what can I expect on the route of the Bryan Chapman?
« Reply #18 on: November 19, 2017, 05:07:43 pm »
I usually take the longer route. It also adds climbing but it doesn't actually feel like it because it's rolling.

Its the route I always take on the return leg of the Cambrian 200.

cyclinggeezer

  • Cyclinggeezer
Re: what can I expect on the route of the Bryan Chapman?
« Reply #19 on: November 19, 2017, 05:17:32 pm »
Coming back to the theme of training. Just ride as consistently as you can manage between now and the BCM. There is no special preparation required for the hills, just make sure you ride quite a lot frequently. But most of all enjoy what you are doing. It is a bike ride and there to be enjoyed not endured.

BB

Thanks for the tip on training. Living in the middle of Lincs its  an issue to find hills which means either going down to Leicestershire and Rutland for the short sharp ones there, or the Lincolnshire Wolds which can be similar in nature. None have the long drags I think typically you find on the BC. Since LEL I have kept up the effort and now 3000km above my previous PB yearly distance so should have over 15,000km by end of December. Yad Moss was no problem on LEL and sprinting home up the Essex hills too. The concern is Wales is different and how to be prepared.


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Kim

  • An appetite for the epic, but no real stamina
Re: what can I expect on the route of the Bryan Chapman?
« Reply #20 on: November 19, 2017, 05:20:12 pm »
The main difference with cycling in Wales, other than it being prettier, is that the risk of traditional Welsh weather is somewhat higher than the rest of the UK.
Watching the TV without subtitles is like riding up a hill without using the gears :)

cyclinggeezer

  • Cyclinggeezer
Re: what can I expect on the route of the Bryan Chapman?
« Reply #21 on: November 19, 2017, 05:21:03 pm »
What are the climbs like? Long and steady like Yad Moss or short and sharp?
How cold might it get as you get towards Snowdonia?
Are there good places to stock up with food and drink en route between controls?
Any particular tips on training for the climbs?
Would it be a good idea to change the cassette to even lower gears on my compact? Presently running 11-32 but could go 11-36.
Hints and tips appreciated
https://ridewithgps.com/routes/17001454
Climbs: Mostly long and steady (like Yad Moss coming back). There are 5 single chevron short climbs coming out of Llanidloes towards Staylittle and the abrupt double chevron climb up the road to King's YH (west of Dolgellau, at 202km and 373km) but only 200m.
Food and drink: Route goes through lots of towns besides those which are nominated as controls (see my RwGPS link). Only leg where you would not find much is Menai back to Kings (82km) which I suspect you'd be doing 9pm - 2am. But the team at Menai provide excellent fare (and some to take onwards) and you can look forward to eating at King's too.
Gearing: With your setup I wouldn't change my cassette. I used the same for both BCM 17 and LEL. Now Mille Pennines on the other hand . . . (cassette and chainwheel substitution).
Sleep: If you are a rider who needs decent sleep then consider booking somewhere between Penrhyndeudraeth and Beddgelert (A4085). Check in there on the way up (~250km, 15 minutes and a cup of tea) and collapse there after visiting Menai (efficiently, with the door code/key; 330km, midnight+). Leaves you 40 odd km to do at dawn (5am) over to Kings, have breakfast and get away by 8 at the latest (225km from Kings to do in 14 hours). I did this last year (stopping from 10pm till 5am) and there were a fair few with a similar plan (though I suspect rather less sleep). There are beds at King's but demand outstrips supply and the hours are rationed. You could alternately book somewhere in Dolgellau. I considered https://www.facebook.com/hybbunkhousedolgellau/ earlier this year.
Ephemera: Sunset 2103 Sat, Moonrise (nearly full but very annoyingly) 0500, Sunrise 0521 (all Beddgelert), Sunset 2054 (Usk).
If you decide to get back to Kings at whatever time, I recommend you take trouble to do so in company for the dark hours.

Thanks thats really helpful.With the bag drops are they at the half way point?

I did think a 36 on the back was over kill when I have coped well for years witha 32




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cyclinggeezer

  • Cyclinggeezer
Re: what can I expect on the route of the Bryan Chapman?
« Reply #22 on: November 19, 2017, 05:23:24 pm »
The main difference with cycling in Wales, other than it being prettier, is that the risk of traditional Welsh weather is somewhat higher than the rest of the UK.


Yes I was thinking that today. Used to drier conditions on the east coast and was thinking neoprene over shoes and good coat necessary. Nothing worse than cold wet feet. Oh well more to haul across Wales!


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Re: what can I expect on the route of the Bryan Chapman?
« Reply #23 on: November 19, 2017, 09:34:16 pm »
Last year bag drops were not promised but materialised late on (for a small fee; thank you RT). If there are bag drops in 2018 (I would plan for none and consider it a bonus) they go to Kings, so two bites of the cherry (202 and 373km - ideal). This May, the weather was benign. I did use the bag drop, but mostly for 'in case' stuff like overboots, warmer gloves, spare top and socks; and a sheet sleeping bag. In the event (with faith in the forecast which was a few evening hours of wet but not cold cold) I merely accessed the bag for some 'on the bike' food replenishment.
Make sure any drop bag is easily recognised - not too bad in the afternoon (so once accessed, put it in a specific spot in the room, and remember(!)) because in the early hours, unless you're in the faster half of the field, several riders will already be trying to crash out in that room so the less disturbance the better.

Re: what can I expect on the route of the Bryan Chapman?
« Reply #24 on: November 20, 2017, 08:31:23 am »
The cold on the night section. I think I had 5 layers on and still managed to achieve the 3rd coldest I've ever been.

The hills are just hills. Not a problem - unless of course you really don't like hills...
Those wonderful norks are never far from my thoughts, oh yeah!