Author Topic: WessexSR2017  (Read 20455 times)

Jonah

  • Audax Club Hackney
Re: WessexSR2017
« Reply #250 on: May 28, 2018, 08:58:52 am »
Thank you very much to Shawn once again and thank you also to each and every rider who joined the thunderous Brimstone Pioneers.  My best Brimmerz to date!

J X

j_a_m_e_s_

  • Prisoner 17091
Re: WessexSR2017
« Reply #251 on: May 28, 2018, 09:32:58 am »
There's not much of me that isn't a bit sore this morning, as I wander around in somewhat of a sleep deprived state.

I shall have to concede that rocking up to Poole at 2330 the night before and cycling around for a few hours trying to find somewhere to "urban camp" was probably not the best prep, and was almost certainly the main reason for my overnight problems. Its a shame Bob and his flying gate never made it, because without his company overnight, and his chocolate coated coffee beans over the Somerset levels and then on to Priddy, I would have probably died packed.

I didn't though and that enabled me to become an exponent of precision audax controlling. Priddy with 1minute to spare, Malmesbury with 5minutes. I then procededto put in a proper shift to Mells though and had 20 to spare! The marathon plus tyre choice paid dividends, as even 1 visit could have proved very very costly.

I'll process the ride over the next couple of days, I'm sure, but for now I am just sore! I do need to address saddle issues I'm having - I suspect if I can sort that, I'll be a bit less sore all over.
Just gotta ride the Hardboiled Perm now.

All in all, another wonderful weekend from Shawn. Thankyou for this series of rides. They truly are painful wonderful.
Rule 77

WyOwyvern

  • Trolling along on the crest . . . . . .
Re: WessexSR2017
« Reply #252 on: May 28, 2018, 06:34:35 pm »
Bob masterfully managed arrivée at 03:30. He intends to render his tale fit for randonneur consumption and regale his bike buddies soon.

Looking forward to reading it.  :)

Thank you all for turning out and playing the game to your best ability and being such pleasant people on your return.   8)

The controllers must have wondered if I had got the date wrong or similar with the gap between estimated and real time of arrival grew wider as the ride went on. My thanks for their patience and for their solid work organising themselves to give the best chance to your successful brevet.  :)

Wishing all 'Good riding' on the path you have chosen for the rest of the season :thumbsup:

Re: WessexSR2017
« Reply #253 on: May 28, 2018, 06:54:32 pm »
Bob masterfully managed arrivée at 03:30.

That's great news! Well done Bob, masterly indeed.

Looking forward to reading it.  :)

Yes!!

Jonah

  • Audax Club Hackney
Re: WessexSR2017
« Reply #254 on: May 28, 2018, 09:43:04 pm »
Good effort Bob!

j_a_m_e_s_

  • Prisoner 17091
Re: WessexSR2017
« Reply #255 on: May 29, 2018, 08:03:20 am »
A shining example of seeing things through to the end.
Absolute hero.
Well done my friend, well done.
Rule 77

Re: WessexSR2017
« Reply #256 on: May 29, 2018, 01:02:26 pm »
Well done to Bob for seeing it through. Thanks to Shawn and all the helpers for putting on a great weekend, I reckon the Wessex SR patch is the toughest one to earn..........just need to stitch it on the Barley now!!

Smeth

  • less Grimpeur than Whimpeur...
Re: WessexSR2017
« Reply #257 on: May 29, 2018, 02:24:52 pm »


I reckon the Wessex SR patch is the toughest one to earn..........just need to stitch it on the Barley now!!

And three of you on Unicog. Extra kudos Shaun.

Sent from my SM-J510FN using Tapatalk


Re: WessexSR2017
« Reply #258 on: May 30, 2018, 10:40:05 pm »
...and what another epic ride that was. A huge thank you to Shawn, Tony and the other helpers for putting on such a great event. Although out of time for second year running I feel that I've come back with a fresh set of learnings and a better gist of this whole Wessexness to ensure that next time I will nail it. I will write up everything properly when I grab a moment but just want to call out James my cycling companion for a good third of the ride - well done getting around after so little sleep on a fixed - also great to meet Andrew and Smeth once again and meet Kevin who also plans Mile Failte (still some spaces maybe? - https://www.mf1200.com/rouleurs.html ).

Re: WessexSR2017
« Reply #259 on: June 01, 2018, 11:37:21 pm »
The first 200km to Beaminster was largely spent as a group ride and we made good time. The early light rain cleared behind us and the sun came out. At Mere it was nice to meet tonyh again (he was the first person I met at the Annual Reunion at Llandrindrod Wells last winter and kindly verified my completion of the Dinner Darts ride.

The multifruit smoothie and glass of milk sorted me out at Beaminster (with the heat I really didn’t feel like anything solid) and I was shortly on the tail of a rider on a fixie who turned out to be j_a_m_e_s_. We joined forced (at that point my phone GPS app was still working and he was reading from the route sheet so I took the lead on the navigation). As we approached Sidmouth we had our first taste of a heavy stormy downpour. It lasted just long enough to get us soaked but we were kept warm climbing the hills (both on and off the bikes) and by Exmouth were only damp rather than wet. Here we caught the tail end of a group including andyp as they were just leaving the control. We stayed but briefly and then set out into the night section.

By now I’d switched to lights (my phone had died shortly after the storm) and it was j_a_m_e_s_ who took the lead on the navigation which he managed despite a badly cracked screen. Last year I remember feeling particularly sleepy on this section, but this year I wasn’t feeling quite so drowsy (although we both partook of the legendry chocolate-covered coffee beans). I’m pretty certain that we had accompanying storms lightening our way as we threaded through the never-ending woodland on very quiet lanes. Eventually we descended into Taunton Dene where once again we caught the tail end of a few riders rousing themselves from sleep and setting off on the next leg. j_a_m_e_s_ let me sleep a little longer than planned (my phone, being dead, I had no alarm), but we both felt much refreshed and, once again with the help of the magic beans, a petrol forecourt security system and, in j_a_m_e_s_’s case a 5-minute nap in a bus shelter we reached the foot of Priddy Hill with a tight margin and a long haul to the village hall control. We made cut off by the skin of our teeth and were warmly welcomed with breakfast and a short chance to recuperate before we emerged into a rainy morning. The rain turned torrential and the roads became rivers with mini-lakes spanning them before we reached the foot of the climb that would take us over the lane passed the Dyrham control.

At that control j_a_m_e_s_ got a second wind and surged on ahead up the lane (he was anxious to make cut-off time) and so I waved him on and switched to riding solo and via route sheet. Well actually I know this road well as it is on my well-used route between Oxford and Bristol for my annual pilgrimage to the Bespoked Bike Show – where I first saw a Flying Gate and placed an order with Trevor and Liz. And so I followed the road swiftly on to the Summer Café (a few of our flock passing in the other direction just before I reached Malmesbury) and just in time by minutes (once again – I was living dangerously). The effort had made me ravishing and so I had a soup and a pasty as well as a large pot of tea.
 
I noticed that the next control was after Bathford and vaguely remembered parts of Bath from the previous edition. I knew a route to Bath without my needing to routesheet it and so sped off back down the lanes and rejoined that ancient Fosse Way which led me nicely to a very large pothole and the bottom of a precarious descent (the road was strewn with gravel and mud as well as water and potholes and I could see why the official route did not go this way). The impact was bone-shattering and the ensuing puncture took the best part of 20 minutes to repair. Still, I was in glorious sunshine and had a nice bridge-wall  to work beside while the 4x4’s scrunched their way furiously up the four hills which led away from the crossroads I’d faltered at.  Back on the saddle and down towards Bath and a quick left and across a large roundabout and up a hill and I rejoined the route and it all came back to me how far the hill went through the woods that led to the top of the hill. All was well I thought until I went off route somewhere around the Hardington turn off (later I retraced and found the sign hidden in the thick hedge). Just before the drop into Mells I noted a bump on my front tyre. I stopped and inspected (expecting it to be little more than a lump of gravel stuck with tarmac). Back at me looked an angry bulging rubbery wart. It’s eye glistened menacingly back at my alarmed look. Oh dear, I thought, I hope that makes it back to Poole. Needless to say I took my descents a little more cautiously after that unsettling discovery. By the time I reached Mells I was overtime.

I was feeling fine but was clearly confused as I took another wrong turn and ended up asking some locals the way to Nunney. They sent me in the direction of the A361 which I went up one way and then back down the other (seemed to be popular with time-trialists) but eventually stumbled around some lanes passed Chanty and then miraculously found Nunney! At Witham Friary I stopped at the tempting pub for a pint of lemonade and a mars bar, but not the sense to check directions. I was on the right road it turned out (some time later) but had doubted myself and turned back. It was a fine late afternoon now and dusk was descending upon Shaftesbury when I clambered up to the town centre.
It took me a while to decipher the light swirling instructions in the streetlight, but did locate the lane which I remembered with such delight (for it seemed so ancient and almost tunnelled into the landscape). I took at steady and minded the bumps as best I could. When I found it a little too steep I dismounted and walked. But the dangerously close yelping dogs (surely no one could be up to any good so late down this darkened lane) soon had me back in the saddle and heading towards the main road which I saw emerging ahead when suddenly a loud and despondent hiss announced the moment I’d been half-expecting and dreading. I perched the bike at the side of the road and inspected the sidewall hole. It wasn’t too big and with a tyre boot (which I’d carried for years but never had to use) and some black tape I got it firmly into place. Now the inner. I’d used my good first innertube earlier in the day. I had one innertube left and it had already been patched. Was this my lucky night? I pumped furiously but could get nothing but half-a-stressball of softness out of it. O dear. Maybe time for some dried fruit and a think. I swallow a mouthful and adjust my headtorch. A car passes by slowly on the other side of the road and draws to a halt. The suspect has been located, sir. Stay well clear and don’t approach under any circumstances. And that’s an order. Is that clear? I turn back to the deflating tyre and remember the sealant I’d always carried but never used. It was a few years old and French. Would it be up to the job? I shook the cannister (as if it hadn’t been shaken enough) and tighten the connector. A slow but steady white foam nudges into the sorry tube and lifts the rim off the damp road. I squeeze it all in as a large blob of white foam makes its escape. A quick disconnect of the cannister. A hasty valve retighten. Silence. I hear the car disappear down the road. The tyre is firm. I attach the dust-cap and pack up all the bits and stuff back into the bag. Yes, the tyre still holds.

And now on to my next disastrous move. I see no sign for Fontmell Magma. Maybe snapped-off (I saw a few of those today)? Or buried deep in the hedge. I still turn right and go down the road. But I come across the quiet windows of Compton Abbas and my brain goes all peculiar again. What if it is back up the road? What if I came out the old lane at the wrong place and the Compton is back aways? In the dead of night it all made so much sense. I backtracked up the road and passed the lane again. I travelled back even further and down a hill (that’s a tempting bus stop and oh my, was that a phone box?) Maybe I need to stop and sleep until morning? I pedal on. My brain making bad connection with poor data. I’m nearly back at Shaftesbury when I have to concede that there is no Fontmell Magma along this direction. Okay. Stop. Think. Try harder. The roads are nice and quiet now and I could even follow main roads back without worrying about traffic. It won’t be like that in the morning. And besides, I’m not even sleepy. I’m buzzing to get back to Poole. I get back on the Flying Gate and backtrack – was that the white foam still there? And of course Fontmell Magma was where it had always been, and I had the route again.

At this point last year the storm had broken. Tonight the moon was out and it was clear and bright and full above the treetops. That hill emerged and I recalled that it hadn’t been a year-long nightmare after all, but it had been a real hill leading as straight as an arrow through really thick woods like a scene from a Steven King horror. But at least tonight the water didn’t run over my shoes as I walked up the hill. Then the many and weird Tarrants and that phonebox that doubled as a respite from the storm the year before. I was now well on the way I knew, and it wasn’t long before I was at the outskirts of Poole desperately looking for the town centre. I wandered around for sometime before I spotted the big crane near the station that had been looming over the skyline all the time. It was passed 3.00 and as I put the bike in the back of the car a sudden tiredness descended on me. Brimstone had found me wanting for a second year running. But I vowed once again that I would be back.

Re: WessexSR2017
« Reply #260 on: June 02, 2018, 01:05:14 pm »
 :)  :)  :)

Well worthy of featuring in the series which appeared on Porridge Oats boxes in the 1960s:

"Epics of Courage and Endurance".

j_a_m_e_s_

  • Prisoner 17091
Re: WessexSR2017
« Reply #261 on: July 15, 2018, 07:16:27 pm »
Sitting on the train, pretty broken right now. Pending validation of today's Hardboiled Perm, I should be a member of the club.
Now I appreciate conditions were a little different from the calendar this year, but I would argue that I got wetter through perspiration than any else did through precipitation. It went from being realy quite cold (cold enough for me to stuff newspaper up my top as I didn't take any warm gear), to so hot the tarmac was melting and I now have road encrusted studded Marathon Plus tyres.
I ran 63" again, and I'm almost certain I'm going to lift it up a bit as I spend too much time in the saddle.

Cheers Shawn, for another great day out.

Rule 77

Re: WessexSR2017
« Reply #262 on: July 16, 2018, 08:47:12 am »
Well done !

There's not really an easy time of year to do that ride ...

j_a_m_e_s_

  • Prisoner 17091
Re: WessexSR2017
« Reply #263 on: July 16, 2018, 10:40:41 am »
Well done !

There's not really an easy time of year to do that ride ...

Absolutely.

I lucked out yesterday really though. Defferently prefer the heat to the wet.
Rule 77

Re: WessexSR2017
« Reply #264 on: July 16, 2018, 09:38:32 pm »
Welcome aboard the Real Audax Club Hackney Ludderz

OUT

Jonah

  • Audax Club Hackney
Re: WessexSR2017
« Reply #265 on: July 16, 2018, 09:42:57 pm »
Hey Luddite
Word from The Moose is that you got your first Green Badge!
Good effort!
Jx

j_a_m_e_s_

  • Prisoner 17091
Re: WessexSR2017
« Reply #266 on: July 16, 2018, 10:19:55 pm »
Can't wait to sew it on the ol' 58. She got a fresh waxing in preparation.


tDefinition of Luddite

: one of a group of late 20th or early 21st century English randonneurs eschewing laborsaving freewheels as a protest; broadly
: one who is opposed to especially technological change The Luddite argues that deraileurs destroys jobs.
: a randonneur who can be seen, whether alone or hanging off of the back of a small peleton, cycling about Wessex at all hours and in all weathers, in persuit of a certain green badge.
Rule 77

Re: WessexSR2017
« Reply #267 on: July 17, 2018, 11:48:28 am »
Well done James on achieving the toughest SR series known to man!!  Nothing wrong with being a Luddite, I reckon most of us fixed riders fall within your listed parameters  ;D

Jonah

  • Audax Club Hackney
Re: WessexSR2017
« Reply #268 on: July 17, 2018, 10:40:25 pm »
The Tollpuddle Martyrs rode fixed