Author Topic: West Highland 1000km. Thu 31 May 2018  (Read 35851 times)

Redlight

  • Enjoying life in the slow lane
Re: West Highland 1000km. Thu 31 May 2018
« Reply #275 on: June 04, 2018, 10:11:39 am »
Congratulations to the organisers and to everyone who completed this - it sounds like an epic and enviable ride. Citoyen - I'm looking forward to hearing your account next time we're on the gentle roads of Kent together.

It's sad, though, that there were so many non-starters, given that the event had reached its capacity some time back and there may well have been many others who would have liked to have ridden.  The organisers have obviously put in a tremendous amount of planning and hard work to mount the event and I can't help feeling a tad disappointed on their behalf.
Why should anybody steal a watch when they can steal a bicycle?

whosatthewheel

Re: West Highland 1000km. Thu 31 May 2018
« Reply #276 on: June 04, 2018, 10:23:20 am »
It's sad, though, that there were so many non-starters, given that the event had reached its capacity some time back and there may well have been many others who would have liked to have ridden.  The organisers have obviously put in a tremendous amount of planning and hard work to mount the event and I can't help feeling a tad disappointed on their behalf.

I think there is a case for having a two step system to enter these long events... pay a non refundable deposit upfront that gives enough to the organiser to put up the event (basically everything minus food, cards, validations and last minute costs), then pay the balance 3-4 weeks before the event. Balances unpaid open up new spaces for late entries

Fidgetbuzz

  • L sp MOON. 1st R sp MARS . At X SO sp STARS
Re: West Highland 1000km. Thu 31 May 2018
« Reply #277 on: June 04, 2018, 10:27:45 am »
Not dissimilar to the way that LEL works .. pay in full up front ... but admit to being a non starter a couple of months before the event .. and you get most of your entry fee back .. and your place can go to a reserve list person..   OK we actually take 10% extra entries at the beginning so there is no reserve list.. so slightly different .. but this goes a long way to making sure that you have the actual number of riders that you want.
I was an accountant until I discovered Audax !!

Bairn Again

Re: West Highland 1000km. Thu 31 May 2018
« Reply #278 on: June 04, 2018, 10:40:56 am »
It's sad, though, that there were so many non-starters, given that the event had reached its capacity some time back and there may well have been many others who would have liked to have ridden.  The organisers have obviously put in a tremendous amount of planning and hard work to mount the event and I can't help feeling a tad disappointed on their behalf.

I think there is a case for having a two step system to enter these long events... pay a non refundable deposit upfront that gives enough to the organiser to put up the event (basically everything minus food, cards, validations and last minute costs), then pay the balance 3-4 weeks before the event. Balances unpaid open up new spaces for late entries

DNS riders are a fact of life, only those that don't properly notify in advance are a hassle as it means I've forked out for a brevet card and possibly food unnecessarily.   

Other DNS-ers I see as a good way to spend more per head on those who do participate. 

A higher entry fee would perhaps have been a better idea.   

A deposit system with two stage payment and a second bite at entries nearer the event isn't appealing to me as an organiser.  It sounds like <lots> more work.

Im not sure that we could have coped with a field much beyond about 75 anyway.

Edit - the other thing I noticed is that I didn't see anybody using the hard copy route sheet.  maybe some folk had one in their bag as backup but I didn't see anybody using it as primary means of navigation.           



CrazyEnglishTriathlete

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Re: West Highland 1000km. Thu 31 May 2018
« Reply #279 on: June 04, 2018, 10:55:42 am »
I’ve not had the best run at long hard events over the last couple of years and so approached this with some trepidation, especially as I’d booked a hostel in Glencoe, taking the distance to sleep stop up to 520km. However, having checked that I could arrive after reception closed, I stopped worrying and decided to let things happen as they will. 

Lasagne and chips at Wetherspoons set me up nicely and I stayed with the front group until Braco where I found myself in a team of three for the night section.  Some trouble with dozies near Dalmally. The air was thick with midges.  At one point weren’t sure whether the mist above a lochan was moisture or a cloud of wee beasties. Stopping for the info was perilous as there wasn’t time to get to a brevet card before the swarms descended.   We were too early for coffee at Tesco in Lochgilphead but there was a little shop in the next village which gave a much needed caffeine boost.  We got to Tarbert just before the cafe opened and had a full breakfast. Much needed for the roller-coaster from Clonaig to Campbelltown.  I got dropped at the roadworks and missed Chris and Steve in Campbelltown for cake and a toastie.  The thought of 200km still to go weighed heavily even though I was in good time. 

Much neede tailwind pushed me back towards Tarbert.  I caught up with Chris and Steve at a petrol station for another coffee, still struggling with lack of sleep. Hat got me into a good rhythm up the hills and, still thinking about the distance to go pushed on, thinking we’d meet up in Lochgilphead as I often take a bit longer at controls. But the route split from the outbound before that and I found myself in another cafe just as a couple of faster riders were about to leave. 

My lack of prep for the ride showed on the next section, which is mentally assessed as not difficult.  The hills were long and with more false summits than Trump and Kim Yong Un could manage. It was hot and I stopped for an ice cream in Kilmartin.  I was surprised to arrive in Oban at 5:45pm and know that I could get to Glencoe before reception closed.
Eddington Numbers 125 (imperial), 175 (metric) 529 (furlongs)  112 (nautical miles)

Re: West Highland 1000km. Thu 31 May 2018
« Reply #280 on: June 04, 2018, 11:02:54 am »
Edit - the other thing I noticed is that I didn't see anybody using the hard copy route sheet.  maybe some folk had one in their bag as backup but I didn't see anybody using it as primary means of navigation.         
[/quote]

I did! However on most of the route there wasn't a lot of navigation to be done. There was a R at T when it should have been L at T at one point, but it was an obvious mistake and I can't imagine anyone went the wrong way. The only other issue was coming through Alloa near the end where I lost track of the instructions - though this may have been 1000k brain rather than any fault in them.

whosatthewheel

Re: West Highland 1000km. Thu 31 May 2018
« Reply #281 on: June 04, 2018, 11:03:04 am »

Edit - the other thing I noticed is that I didn't see anybody using the hard copy route sheet.  maybe some folk had one in their bag as backup but I didn't see anybody using it as primary means of navigation.         

I haven't seen anybody using route sheets in ages... last time was on the cover of Arrivee (134 I think...)  ;D

Re: West Highland 1000km. Thu 31 May 2018
« Reply #282 on: June 04, 2018, 11:08:53 am »
For those interested here's a rough breakdown of the events finances

In : Entry fees : £1784

Out (in descending order)

Monty's bar : £825 (a thirsty and hungry lot......:D) though I think I now qualify for platinum membership.   
Oban accommodation : £290 (we booked late and got ripped off, though we did need somewhere central to make the 4 hr shifts bearable)
Van hire and parking : £205
Food : £195
Comrie Hall hire : £68
Validation : £51
Brevet cards : £32
Postage : £25

I think that leaves about £100 that Im sure would have been spent on other stuff eg treating Martin to his lunch on Saturday, buying cable ties etc etc.

G





An interesting breakdown. It would be interesting to compare it with similar rides, especially the DNS's. Perhaps there's a role for the central organisation in insuring the event when everyone turns up.

CrazyEnglishTriathlete

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Re: West Highland 1000km. Thu 31 May 2018
« Reply #283 on: June 04, 2018, 11:21:54 am »
Glencoe looked after us wonderfully. There were just two of us staying because we wanted to make an early start they left breakfast out for us specially and left the bike shed key where we could get it without disturbing them.  It was so warm I was down to shorts within an hour.  The hills around Kinlochleven caught me out; I naively assumed that the road around the loch would do just that rather than climbing halfway up a couple of mountains.  So I ended up on the third ferry of the day. 

Te next bit was so good that I can’t find words to describe it.  Brilliant roads in brilliant scenery with fantastic weather and no midges.  I felt like I was on holiday, just riding around.  The bakery in Acharacle, which given it was an info control I wasn’t expecting was excellent.  I met Dai who was tucking into a cooked breakfast having slept in the waiting room for the Corran Ferry. Leaving, the scenery got even better.  The sea mist blowing in and wreathibg the mountains gave an aura of majestic mystery.  Then the wind blew me back through Glenfinnan.

I decided to avoid the A82 through Fort William and take the road  through Ardgour.  It probably cost me 20 minutes but it was well worth it.  I felt hungry and had a great all day breakfast in Oinich.  I used large sections of the cycle path back to Oban to stay out of the traffic and the headwind.  Ominous clouds built up over the hills but it stayed dry.  I was back about 4:30pm and so in good time for a push across to the Crianlarich Youth Hostel. 

It started raining but nothing too unpleasant.  Hearing the tales of other riders I’m glad I didn’t set off early on Sunday and do this in the dark.  It all went well until I started to bonk on the false flat after the climb out of Dalmally but I made Crianlarich at 8:20 and had done time to chill with a Heather Ale whilst cooking the pizza I’d bought from reception.  There were three other riders staying but they arrived later, just as I was putting my head down to sleep.
Eddington Numbers 125 (imperial), 175 (metric) 529 (furlongs)  112 (nautical miles)

citoyen

  • Occasionally rides a bike
Re: West Highland 1000km. Thu 31 May 2018
« Reply #284 on: June 04, 2018, 11:28:15 am »
Quote
Edit - the other thing I noticed is that I didn't see anybody using the hard copy route sheet.  maybe some folk had one in their bag as backup but I didn't see anybody using it as primary means of navigation.         

I did! However on most of the route there wasn't a lot of navigation to be done. There was a R at T when it should have been L at T at one point, but it was an obvious mistake and I can't imagine anyone went the wrong way. The only other issue was coming through Alloa near the end where I lost track of the instructions - though this may have been 1000k brain rather than any fault in them.

I used GPS as primary navigation but had a printout of the routesheet as backup. It found it valuable to have both towards the end, through Alloa and approaching the bridge, where the combination of the written instructions and the trail on my GPS screen helped make sense of the road layout I could see in front of me. Fatigue was definitely affecting my navigational skills by this point.

On the other hand, for large chunks of the ride, I didn't need either.
"The future's all yours, you lousy bicycles."

CrazyEnglishTriathlete

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Re: West Highland 1000km. Thu 31 May 2018
« Reply #285 on: June 04, 2018, 11:38:18 am »
My plan was to leave Crianlarich at 6am but I woke at 4 and couldn’t get back to sleep so I left at 5. I felt stiff and sore but decided the best policy was to push on to Perth   I had a really good run, passing several riders who had slept rough or left Oban in the small hours. Perth was a bit of a desert but the BP garage had a cafe and I ate a sandwich and pork pies glad that the man at the till asked me where I was going and not where I’d been. 

The road over to Dunning was a delight, the rich farmland a contrast to the highland scenery of the preceding days. My legs continued to defy stiffness andsaddle soreness. Aided by another tailwind, I stormed to Dunblane and ended up in a cyclists cafe in Bridge of Allan, where riders from two separate clubs ignored them his scrofulous cyclist who wolfed down a full breakfast in ten minutes and hobbled crabwise back to his dirty yellow steed for the last leg. 

The traffic around Alloa was heavy and I was glad to make the quieter lanes and cycle paths to Culross.  I stopped on the Forth Road Bridge to take a photograph of my weary Roberts with the iconic rail bridge in the background.  This will be it’s last main event as my primary machine after 16 years of service.  Then it was battle with cycle paths and a bit of light rain to finish just before 2:30 and the group of 5.   Wasn’t expecting the free drinks and buffet and it was about 8pm before I headed for the hotel.  With so many riders staying Sunday night it was a great way to finish the event, whereas so often everyone disappears quite quickly leaving just a few biscuit crumbs in their wake. 

Congratulations Graeme and team for an excellent event. It was blessed by good weather but gave us the opportunity to explore some genuinely remote and special areas. I’ll be taking about this one for years to come. Well done!
Eddington Numbers 125 (imperial), 175 (metric) 529 (furlongs)  112 (nautical miles)

CrazyEnglishTriathlete

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Re: West Highland 1000km. Thu 31 May 2018
« Reply #286 on: June 04, 2018, 12:50:23 pm »
I used the route sheet as backup navigation and also before stages just to get my head around distances.  But I did toe one rider to the finish whose GPS had got spooked going past Rosyth (mine also did something weird there too) so I would not want to do away with them if there wasn’t a route sheet I’d probably create a backup as electronic devices do occasionally fail.

On the DNS situation thank you for funding my beers 
Eddington Numbers 125 (imperial), 175 (metric) 529 (furlongs)  112 (nautical miles)

Re: West Highland 1000km. Thu 31 May 2018
« Reply #287 on: June 04, 2018, 02:08:37 pm »
I used the route sheet as backup navigation and also before stages just to get my head around distances.  But I did toe one rider to the finish whose GPS had got spooked going past Rosyth (mine also did something weird there too) so I would not want to do away with them if there wasn’t a route sheet I’d probably create a backup as electronic devices do occasionally fail.

On the DNS situation thank you for funding my beers

That was me - and I didn't have a GPS at all! This may be rather Luddite, but I don't do enough Audaxes to feel I can justify getting one, and outside Audax I really don't need it. Though I do carry a smartphone and Google maps for emergencies.

Actually the only place I would find a GPS useful is where a course takes you through cycle paths, like going into Edinburgh. So I was quite happy to latch onto CET's wheel at that point.

Re: West Highland 1000km. Thu 31 May 2018
« Reply #288 on: June 04, 2018, 07:41:43 pm »
I use route sheets as a backup. 
I also mark any significant (to me) climbs in yellow and potential food stops in blue. 
Controls in dark green and infos in light green.
I use photographic paper which is waterproof.

By the way this was my first 1000km an din a word it was EPIC.

Re: West Highland 1000km. Thu 31 May 2018
« Reply #289 on: June 04, 2018, 08:48:44 pm »
First 1000 completed here too.

Epic and awesome are two words that regularly get over-used, but i think you'll all agree that this event was both.

How lucky were we with the weather?  While the rest of the country was facing downpours of biblical proportions, we had wall-to-wall sunshine.  This did of course encourage the little biting beasties to appear en masse, but a combination of Smidge and Skin So Soft seemed to do the trick, just remember to cover all bare skin - Just ask Andy



Anyway, i'm not much of a writer, so i'll leave the reports to others, but i'd like to say a big thanks to all involved, from Comrie to Monty's via the white van in Ochavulin Industrial Estate, you all made it possible for me to get round.

Also thanks to fellow Audax Ecossians / Scottish Borders Randonneurs / ERC, Michael and Neil who helped me through the low points.
And lets not forget the famous 5 of VC167, you know who you are ;)


 
@CorbieLinnRider

Re: West Highland 1000km. Thu 31 May 2018
« Reply #290 on: June 04, 2018, 09:57:44 pm »
Just for my records does anybody have a sensible elevation gain for the ride, my sat nav only gives 4000m

citoyen

  • Occasionally rides a bike
Re: West Highland 1000km. Thu 31 May 2018
« Reply #291 on: June 04, 2018, 10:08:46 pm »
Just for my records does anybody have a sensible elevation gain for the ride, my sat nav only gives 4000m

Your satnav is taking the piss!

ETA: I got 9,366m
"The future's all yours, you lousy bicycles."

Re: West Highland 1000km. Thu 31 May 2018
« Reply #292 on: June 04, 2018, 10:14:38 pm »
Just for my records does anybody have a sensible elevation gain for the ride, my sat nav only gives 4000m

Garmin Etrex (with barometer) gave me about 9,500m. RWGPS for the recorded tracks gives just under 10,000.

Feanor

  • It's mostly downhill from here.
Re: West Highland 1000km. Thu 31 May 2018
« Reply #293 on: June 04, 2018, 11:02:23 pm »
Elevations recorded by GPS vary wildly, as do elevations calculated by route-planning websites.
Some GPS units have barometric altitude, and some don't.
Some websites will replace non-barometric with DEM-modeled data, some won't.

There's no 'correct' answer, as it depends on how long you running-average over as well as what the source of elevation data is.
A long 'flat' route can show zero elevation, or a whole bunch if it includes every one meter up / one meter down it *thinks*it saw.

The AUK AAA standard is to count contour-crossing on an OS map.
Go knock yourself out with that for 1000k...

I did notice the AAA had been adjusted for this ride, and it may be that the AAA man has used contour-counting software to do exactly this, I don't know.

FWIW, my edge 800 gave me 7561, and I consider that number to be as worthless as any other.

Phil W

Re: West Highland 1000km. Thu 31 May 2018
« Reply #294 on: June 04, 2018, 11:15:28 pm »
A fast run to Comrie on the Thu night. My GPS was recording a 26.5km/h average at that point. The pace then moderated to something more sustainable for myself.  I visited my planned bivvy spots for the return on Sat night. These were the unlocked railway waiting rooms at Crainlarich, Tyndrum, and Dalmally. I discovered Crainlarich freshly psinted and that it had an excellent heater within. I decided on an hours sleep after having the heater on for 15 mins. This put me behind the field or certainly on my own for reat of the night.

I decided on the way to Oban on Fri night that I would ride through the second night to another potential bivvy spot I had identified. I knew that if I visited my bag drop at the Van my resolve would crack and i would end up using the YHA booking I had. So I went to the Wetherspoons (open till 1am) had a good nosh and doze, then carried on.

During Friday night I lost both my phone and one of my full finger neoprene gloves. I was glad I had decided to take a £14.99 PAYG phone for emergencies. No tears over the loss of an expensive phone. After numerous hills in the dark. Easier in a way. I found my bivvy spot a covered picnic shelter. One of the first ferry crossings and away.  Lovely circuit out west on quiet roads and even saw a train on the Harry Potter line. Had a second sleep in another open shelter I had researched.  Only 500m down an unsigned track off the route. Stopped at Acharacle plus  NT place for a feed. Spent most of the time taking photos or silly grinning selfies as I rode along. Does sublime cover it?  South and then at option decuded to go down north shore and caught ferry back on return. Nice quiet run and excellent option.

Back in Oban, ice cream, 15 mins and away again. Stopped at hotel on left in Loch Awe.  Had a good feed and a bitter shandy. Then had 30 min doze on comfy sofa. Stopped at pub on left after Green Welly shop in
Tyndrum. Then carried on another 5 miles to Crainlarich and my railway waiting room bivvy spot.

Left Crainlarich   a bit after 3:00am which was a mistake passing through Comrie 45 mins before the first shop opened. An extra hours sleep would have been better.  Passed through Crieff and onto Perth. Saw Tescos but thought Sunday opening and went straight past (duh it is Scotland), saw garage on right but wanted cafe food. Another mistake, centre was pretty much dead. Asked at a few hotels if serving breakfast to non resudents (no). In desperation took photo of bike in front of a Perth gardens sign, when leaving up hill, and carried on.

Rear tubeless was losing pressure slowly and needed pumping up about every 100km once the rims impacted on potholes.  Eventually got more frequent and put a tube in just before a 11% descent on a spray gravelled road to Dunning. Discovered rim tape was not seated properly in one place hence unexplained pressure loss.

Bought a hot steak pie, all day breakfast, ice cream, and mango juice here. After 100km from Crainlarich on a bag of Frazzles and half a bag of wine gums I was hungry.  Had a good stop here and met a few other riders.

Onto Dunblane which came up 30km sooner than I was thinking so a pleasant surprise. Ham and Cheese toastie with pot of green tea. Couple of other riders in here who left before I did. My saddlebag must have been 4 times the size of theirs. Then the final run to Culross (very pretty), met some more riders along here, over the old Forth bridge (brilliant) and on into Edinburgh. Wondered if going right way when cycle track went left saying 8 miles but gps track said straight on. Surprised how much greenery there was between the Forth Bridge and the finish. Once one cycle tracks I knew it was not far. In final run to finish a motorcyclist accekerated right across my path as I cycled down main road about 1km out. He had to brake as did I. What a tool. Onwards to Montys. Free beer and a mixed platter of meats and cheeses and bread, olives. Very moorish and very nice.

Followed tram tracks back to Waverley and on to hotel.  Shower, fresh non cycling clothes and flat shoes with no socks. Lovely.  Straight back out, in case fell asleep, tram back to Haymarket. Then trying to find a local to relocate bar. Not paying attention when I left earlier. Several more pints and nibbles and drunken conversations later. Then I left to return to my hotel about 9:50pm for a long sleep. 10am train home today.

Bloody excellent long weekend. Great route, scenery, event, vo,unteers and organiser.

Edited to add. I had not been wearing gloves during the day. When I lost a full finger one. I got my fingerless gloves out for the night. I thought I had two right hand gloves with me. So wore one upside down to fit the left hand, padding on top. It was not till Sat when stopped at a feed stop that I realised it was inside out and was indeed a left hand glove. Sometimes when you think your brain is working just fine...




Phil W

Re: West Highland 1000km. Thu 31 May 2018
« Reply #295 on: June 04, 2018, 11:35:32 pm »
Quote
Edit - the other thing I noticed is that I didn't see anybody using the hard copy route sheet.  maybe some folk had one in their bag as backup but I didn't see anybody using it as primary means of navigation.         

I did! However on most of the route there wasn't a lot of navigation to be done. There was a R at T when it should have been L at T at one point, but it was an obvious mistake and I can't imagine anyone went the wrong way. The only other issue was coming through Alloa near the end where I lost track of the instructions - though this may have been 1000k brain rather than any fault in them.

I used GPS as primary navigation but had a printout of the routesheet as backup. It found it valuable to have both towards the end, through Alloa and approaching the bridge, where the combination of the written instructions and the trail on my GPS screen helped make sense of the road layout I could see in front of me. Fatigue was definitely affecting my navigational skills by this point.

On the other hand, for large chunks of the ride, I didn't need either.

Had route sheet in jersey pocket and mostly consulted it during tricky bits back into Edinburgh. Like do I really follow this cycle track up the side of the M90? Most of time I could just follow the signs and  once on a road that was it for a very long way just checking road signs as I went.

Re: West Highland 1000km. Thu 31 May 2018
« Reply #296 on: June 05, 2018, 12:50:48 pm »
Just like to add my heartfelt thanks to Graeme, Sonya, Martin et al, for a wonderful event (of which I made a particularly poor stab !) but nonetheless was memorable for the camaraderie, good spirits and (in Monty's case) good "spirits".
Thoroughly enjoyed myself, and the opportunity to visit parts of the country I've not been to in some years was much appreciated.
Talking of "spirits", there's a spirit amongst Audax events, which begins with the organiser, but is also apparent "on the road", and  reaches us all (fast or slow) as part of a community with the right approach to life,....rain or shine !
Alistair (pieeater) Dulwich Paragon

CrazyEnglishTriathlete

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Re: West Highland 1000km. Thu 31 May 2018
« Reply #297 on: June 05, 2018, 07:53:51 pm »
I should have added - Monty's bar - highly recommended.  They know their beers.  Apart from the ones on tap they had some extraordinarily good and different bottled beers and it was only concern about abusing a free bar that allowed me to walk and pedal away.  If there is such a thing as a platinum loyalty card all of me except my liver would be highly tempted to earn it.
Eddington Numbers 125 (imperial), 175 (metric) 529 (furlongs)  112 (nautical miles)

Bairn Again

Re: West Highland 1000km. Thu 31 May 2018
« Reply #298 on: June 05, 2018, 10:01:27 pm »
Ive also had some emails and the most effusive feedback has been about Monty's Bar as the finish venue (with an honourable mention to the transit van as runner up). 

Id rather imagined that folk would slump head first into their 2nd shandy but Im glad that was wrong as it was great that folk hung about (or got changed and came back).

Until about 18 months ago it was a pretty unremarkable boozer (known as Carters previously) but is now rather excellent.

Worth a visit when in west Edinburgh (Mrs , particularly enjoys the low alcohol Grapefruit Wheat beer).

It was the result of painstaking research  O:-)

 



Lee Killestein

Re: West Highland 1000km. Thu 31 May 2018
« Reply #299 on: June 06, 2018, 11:54:41 am »
As this was my first 1000km ride, in fact, the longest ride I'd ever attempted, I was uncertain how things would go. I'm pleased to say it was a complete success! Bivvying amongst a biblical plague of midges on Friday night was...interesting...didn't get too much sleep. The second leg out and back to Oban provided the perfect antidote to what I thought was a hard slog through midge-ville on the first leg. Gorgeous scenery, bright sunshine and a cooling rain shower in the afternoon!  8)

Many thanks to Graeme and his team for organising an event that will stay in my memories for a long time to come.