Author Topic: Offa's Dyke 600 25-26 June 2016  (Read 5321 times)

Re: Offa's Dyke 600 25-26 June 2016
« Reply #25 on: June 27, 2016, 05:22:48 pm »
As others have commented - a memorable ride. The route was beautiful even if the weather wasn't. I'm not saying that the weather was bad it was just very changeable.

I was more than 10% slower than last time on the southern loop. This meant that I was one of the many who packed at Upton Magna as I didn't have enough time in hand to get a good sleep before the northern loop.

Thanks to Heather for your company on and off throughout the ride

Re: Offa's Dyke 600 25-26 June 2016
« Reply #26 on: June 28, 2016, 11:16:20 am »
Well that was an excellent ride. It was my first 600km, having only ridden a 200km in the past, I thought id set myself a challenge. My friend who I rode with only started cycling this year, and had only ridden 70miles before, so fair play!

My knees playing up a bit now, but that's to be expected - its not put me off wanting to complete a 1000km.

Congratulations to all the others who completed this - I don't know how you can do a ride like this by yourself? You must get to some lonely placed in your mind.....At least I had some conversation with my mate along the way. Our way of coping with hill after hill was to laugh uncontrollably on the hills, to the point were we were nearly falling off!


CountrySickness

  • mostly puzzled
Re: Offa's Dyke 600 25-26 June 2016
« Reply #27 on: June 28, 2016, 09:38:16 pm »
Well that was an excellent ride. It was my first 600km, having only ridden a 200km in the past, I thought id set myself a challenge. My friend who I rode with only started cycling this year, and had only ridden 70miles before, so fair play!

My knees playing up a bit now, but that's to be expected - its not put me off wanting to complete a 1000km.

Congratulations to all the others who completed this - I don't know how you can do a ride like this by yourself? You must get to some lonely placed in your mind.....At least I had some conversation with my mate along the way. Our way of coping with hill after hill was to laugh uncontrollably on the hills, to the point were we were nearly falling off!

Chapeau to you both  :thumbsup: Not only the above, but you both gave Neil and I a good tow all the way up the Golden Valley to Dorstone when we were flagging a bit.  The lonely audaxer is often sectioned for laughing at the hills all alone you know.

Re: Offa's Dyke 600 25-26 June 2016
« Reply #28 on: June 28, 2016, 10:05:21 pm »
Firstly, thanks to John and all his helpers! The bacon sandwiches were a real treat and the chap who pointed me in the direction of Drover's Cycles in Hay-on-Wye was very useful. My front derailleur broke just outside Hay. I can't say it functioned brilliantly when matched up with my 10 speed Campagnolo groupset, but the 9 Speed Shimano Sora front derailleur fitted at Drover's did get me back to Upton Magna! So thank you very much to them too, as it wasn't easy to get the two systems working together.

As this was my first crack at the distance, I was always going to be up against it and so scratching after 10km on day 2 was a pretty good result.  With the time losses from the repair (1h10m) plus an overly slow control in Chepstow (40m), I didn't really have time for any more than 10 minutes' nap in a field at 3am and 20 minutes in my own tent. With my achilles tendons both burning up, I got through Shrewsbury before giving up, as I was going too slowly to meet the time at the Horseshoe Pass.

Lessons learned: pack some lower gears than 34/26; Campagnolo can be difficult to find; Alpkit saddlebags might be worth revisting (much easier to find stuff in the Carradice though: does weight or faffing slow you down more?) and pick a flatter 600 next time. My aerobars sould be on soon as well  :thumbsup:

Thanks to everyone I spoke to for the good company and keeping me motivated. Did any of the Leicestershire people finish?

Re: Offa's Dyke 600 25-26 June 2016
« Reply #29 on: June 29, 2016, 05:44:57 pm »
Many thanks to John & co for organising this, it delivered everything I could have wanted and more! Also, very grateful for all the company at the controls. I've written a short report about it : http://audaxclubhackney.co.uk/offas-dyke-2016/
“That slope may look insignificant, but it's going to be my destiny" - Fitzcarraldo

U.N.Dulates

  • aka John Hamilton
Re: Offa's Dyke 600 25-26 June 2016
« Reply #30 on: June 29, 2016, 09:10:23 pm »
Good write up Ivan.

Still recovering and catching up on my sleep, but well done to those that made it round. Final stats were:

600k: 29 entries, 22 starters, 9 finishers  :o
300k: 12 entries, 10 starters, 10 finishers
200k: 25 entries, 15 starters, 15 finishers (2 not validated as they hadn't collected their PoP)

A few heavy showers caught most riders on Saturday around the Gospel Pass & Wye Valley area. Sunday started fine and dry but the rain arrived about 2pm and stuck with it for the rest of the day until about 9pm (by which time just about everyone was back).

Bikey Mikey collected the lanterne rouge award, although he wasn't really trying hard enough - this was the first time of running this event that I've not had to wait until the last 5 minutes for everyone to get back (and manotea holds the record at 10 seconds to spare).

DNF rate was high even for this event - as has been mentioned it's just too easy to bail when you;re back at HQ. Especially when it's a tough ride. That was the reason I haven't run it since 2011, and the disappointing entry and number of finishers hasn't really changed my mind. It's a lot of work and a long haul for little reward, so whilst it's gratifying to see the feedback from those that did make it I'm not encouraged to put it on again in its current form.

As I was saying to vistaed in the small hours of Sunday morning the route would probably work better and more naturally suit itself to a 500k, chopping out the trip back to Upton Magna on Saturday night in favour of heading straight up to the northern section.

Big thanks to Luke, Paul, Joolz, Julie and Ed for coming out to help at various points of the weekend.

Re: Offa's Dyke 600 25-26 June 2016
« Reply #31 on: June 30, 2016, 11:44:19 am »
As a former organiser of a 600 I know just how much work the organisation is (harder than riding), and how disheartening a small number of finishers is. As a non-finisher of this event I would ask you not to be disheartened: I really enjoyed it despite not finishing and the only fault with it is that it is too civilised: having your own tent to sleep in after 370k is far too pleasant and there really isn't the same impetus to carry on that you have after a night in a bus shelter/hedge/hall full of noisy smelly cyclists.

If you want to reduce the workload a bit, the southern loop is a brilliant 300k (or could be made up to a 400k without difficulty), and could be run quite happily on its own. Perhaps leave the 600k to PBP years, when the fields should be larger and there is a bit more incentive to finish.

U.N.Dulates

  • aka John Hamilton
Re: Offa's Dyke 600 25-26 June 2016
« Reply #32 on: June 30, 2016, 09:02:24 pm »
Thanks Rod. Agree, it's too civilised and far too easy to pack. Being a tough event that makes the temptation to pack far too easy. I'd much prefer to do a 600 that doesn't require returning to HQ half way round, but this route was designed around that concept (and needs the extra km that diverting back to Shrewsbury gives as Chepstow - Prestatyn is rather short of 300k).

Feedback over all the editions has tended to favour the southern loop over the northern one, so the shortened 300 (double century) definitely worked as an event (and is now available as a perm). I almost put a 400 version on instead of the 300 so I've already got a ready made route for that (which should be available as a perm too shortly). But I still reckon that the full event would suit a 500k more - how popular a non standard distance would be is another question.

The last edition was in a PBP year, as a qualifier, and the number of entries and finishers was much the same as this year. This has a reputation as a hard ride (can't imagine why ;D) so when finishing is at stake riders just go for something easier.

vistaed

  • Real name: James
    • Everyday stories
Re: Offa's Dyke 600 25-26 June 2016
« Reply #33 on: July 01, 2016, 06:43:53 pm »
I for one don't tend to ride events for the collection of standard points (2,3,4,6 etc). I ride events because of the route the distance is a challenge and/or adventurous. I'd happily ride a 500km, but maybe not in a PBP year.
after hardship comes ease -
 www.strava.com/athletes/188220

mattc

  • n.b. have grown beard since photo taken
    • Didcot Audaxes
Re: Offa's Dyke 600 25-26 June 2016
« Reply #34 on: July 01, 2016, 07:04:30 pm »
I think this "return to base" busines has Pros AND Cons.

I would choose a tough 600 with this sort of bail-out option over one without. I've never done such  a 600, but the MC1k ws quite similar, and I kept on getting out the door on that one.

The convenience of drop-bags/car/own-tent or whatever is attractive. It seems to be much easier to organise than a sleep-stop at a remote location (i now have direct experience of the latter!). I don't think an organiser should be discouraged by a low finisher figure - more important is how many riders had a good weekend.

If I lived 60-100 miles further north, I would definitely ride this 600 ahead of the welsh-ish rides that start further south.

Would I ride a 500k version? Quite likely. I'd prefer a tough 500 to a tough 600/400, but I might need a 6 for an SR, so that could be the fly in the ointment.

Good news about the perm - I'd like to do  a Chepstow 300, and it might fit into my autumn-biased 2016.

Has never ridden RAAM
---------
No.11  Because of the great host of those who dislike the least appearance of "swank " when they travel the roads and lanes. - From Kuklos' 39 Articles