Author Topic: Cambrian Series Permanents  (Read 58672 times)

Re: Cambrian Series Permanents
« Reply #250 on: September 20, 2014, 10:43:25 pm »
I had another trip round the Cambrian 1A today.  This time heading Llan'dod - Beulah -Tregaron -Rhayader -Llan'dod (aka up the staircase of the devil himself).  This was a last minute decision following on from Bank Holiday weekend.  I had driven the other half up the Devil’s Staircase just to show him the road, and the beauty of Mid Wales, as our plans for three days of mountainbiking in South Wales were a bit scuppered by a nasty virus.  At the time (sat in the car) he was not convinced at all of it being difficult and couldn’t understand what all the fuss was about…….

So, making the most of the likely last chance to do the ride in decent weather of 2014, we set out from Llan'dod at a smidge before 11 am.  As we were finding our way out of town following my obligatory cash-point start, we spot an Audax UK shirt up ahead.  Turned out to be SR Steve *waves.  Small world, these audaxing lanes of ours. 

Soon enough we were on the rollercoaster B road to Beulah and I was glad to be getting it out of the way early in the ride.  The other half doesn't mind main roads, and he was very well behaved sitting behind me rather than rushing off to the top of each crest and watching as I slogged up after.  A quick stop at Beulah for a bottle of Coke and then we headed through the magical Lord of the Rings style lanes to the bottom of the Staircase. 

I just wanted to clear it without stopping so set a steady pace once over the cattle grid whilst watching the other half disappear at a rate of knots into the distance.  Contrary to popular belief, I’d say the first steep stretch and two switchbacks is the easiest bit.  It was the kicks after that really had me blowing.  I had to cross over the road at one point to a small layby to let a car past, which then promptly stalled. I wasn’t planning on stopping though, so got back on my side of the road and kept stomping upwards listening to the car trying to restart.  Eventually he got it going before deciding to just overtake anyway.  It was close – me, with a nasty looking drainage ditch to one side and the car to the other without much breathing space.  Still, apart from that excitement, it was all plain’ish’ sailing to the top and I did manage to clear it with a big thumbs up to the other half at top.  Such a small thing for a stronger rider, but for me it was on my ‘big things to do’ list and it’s great to have ticked it off.  Even the other half admitted he may have had to work a little.....  ;)

After the well-surfaced rollercoaster to Tregaron, we stopped for good food and great coffee in Café Hafren.  It’s one of my favourite audax stops now, mainly because they do soya milk lattes.  In the middle of Wales! Who’d have thunk it? 



Some motorbikers were in the Café who had overtaken us on the mountain road.  “you didn’t ride up that 25%’er did you”.  It was great to be able to say “yes” Ha! 

We hit a surprising headwind coming out of Tregaron and I got my head down and led us over to the Elan Valley despite an offer from the other half to share the work.  “you can’t” I said.  “I’m not allowed a tow from a non-official participant”….”but I am going to get you officially signed up so next time you can do all the bluddy work and it won’t even be cheating”  :P

The remainder of the ride to Rhayader is a beautiful stretch of scenic lanes, streams, mining history, woodlands and grazing. I just love the lane through the forest which eventually heads to Cwmystwyth, it’s amazing how these small roads are just perched right on the edge of such large steep sided drops.  We watched a farmer herd his animals with sheepdogs in spectacular fashion.  He was stood on the Rhayader mountain road with the dogs were barely visible in the distance, so far away they were, but responding to his every whistle and call. The normal Westerlies were somewhat missing, but the gradual climb to the very top above Rhayader was still a nice steady spin despite a missing tailwind, followed by the cracking descent into town. 

We were both feeling it by then, it’s a tough ol’ 100 km really (2.25 AAAs) but I was determined to show the other half my favourite lane after controlling at Rhayader.  It runs parallel to the A44 but adds a fair amount of climbing.  Such a nice little lane, moss growing in the middle, great views, and numerous kites flying above due to the neighbouring feeding station. 



We braved another stretch on the A44, thankfully interspersed peacefully with a short loop round a residential road, followed by the bliss of lanes and quiet B roads back to Llandrindod. We rolled into town little after 5 pm all smiles after a great day in the hills  :thumbsup:
Does not play well with others

Re: Cambrian Series Permanents
« Reply #251 on: September 21, 2014, 09:28:08 pm »
I planned to ride the Cambrian yesterday, sandwiched between two overnight DIY 200s within the time allowance of a 600. It was quite an ambitious project, but I did a similar thing this time last year by ECEing the Dave's Dales Tour Plus 200 to a 600, so hoped I could get away with it.

I rode down to Llandrindod Wells on a DIY 200 starting from near home at 10pm on Friday using a route sheet from a previous Dinner Dart with controls at Tamworth, Rugeley and Bridgnorth. The first 121km were great as I was flying along quiet roads on a mild dry  night. The last 80km were quite tough as it was raining and I was getting sleepy and had a few aches and pains that were slowing me on the climbs. I slept for an hour or so in a bus shelter before Craven Arms and arrived at about 9:45am.

After a nice veggie breakfast at the Portland House Tea Rooms, I decided that I had only got 200km left in my legs rather than the two 200s that I had planned. If I rode only the Cambrian 200 it would have meant finishing at around 11pm, way too late for any trains so I would have had to find accommodation and then get a train the next day. Also, my wife had arranged a family meal out and matinee theatre trip for today that I had only found out about on Friday evening. That's why I reluctantly decided to take the more sensible and cheaper option of just riding the DIY 200 home instead.

After an ATM start it was a nice surprise to see Rabbit and her other half as they were setting out on the Cambrian 1A at the same time.

After the initial lumpy section to Craven Arms, I was feeling peckish, and found the Icon's Café at the "Land of Lost Content" national museum of British  popular culture tucked away on a side street. This pleasant stop for cheese and beans on toast and a pot of tea in interesting surroundings was the only sit down meal of my ride home. I bought a meal deal from a Tesco express in Bridgnorth, but put it in my bag for later. The opportunity to eat it arose when it started raining as I went under the M54 near Wolverhampton. Then it was waterproof on into the freshening headwind until the rain stopped on Cannock Chase and I could swap it for my reflective gilet. After two more garage stops, I arrived home shortly before 11pm, so I was able to have a full nights sleep and enjoy the family lunch and theatre trip today.

I was a bit miffed about missing the Cambrian 2A, as the route looks great and it was the last ride I needed for a SR Cymru, but at least, subject to validation, the 4 points for the DIYs should top my points up to 100 for the year.


CrazyEnglishTriathlete

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Re: Cambrian Series Permanents
« Reply #252 on: September 28, 2014, 12:08:44 pm »
Thanks for all the write ups.  Have had a happy half hour checking brevet cards and those marvellous receipts from little parts of Wales where the time zone is completely different from the rest of the world.

This is the last weekend of the season so please get any remaining cards to me ASAP so I can them validated for this years pints  O:-)

I keep thinking about a Cambrian Series SR.  One way to do it would be to base yourself in one place for a week (such as Bala, Llanidloes, Knighton) and do the 200, 300, 400, and 600 in a week.   I suppose the best way to do it would be the first week of October so you'd be the first SR of the new season.   :smug: :hand:
Eddington Numbers 125 (imperial), 168 (metric) 518 (furlongs)  111 (nautical miles)

Aunt Maud

  • Le Flâneur.
Re: Cambrian Series Permanents
« Reply #253 on: September 30, 2014, 11:42:59 am »
The Cambrian Series SR sounds like a good bit of fun to me.

CrazyEnglishTriathlete

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Re: Cambrian Series Permanents
« Reply #254 on: October 09, 2014, 01:36:26 pm »
I'll have to see how I get a medal designed.

On a separate note, I sat down at lunch today to think about my PBP season.  I've this hankering to do a hyper-randonneur and PBP years are likely to be my best shot.  It will take some serious brownie point earning from Mrs CET, but there's a possibility that I will aim for the 8A in the last weekend of July as a PBP warm-up.  If I do it is likely to be ultrabasic - no accommodation planned, park the car in Llanidloes and kip in the car halfway round.

Or I might go by train to somewhere en route and have a midday start, continuous push until the next evening and then do as Swiss Hat did and stay in a pub the second night.  Based on experience of the 4C (434km) I reckon I could get to about 600km by 8pm on the second night, which would allow a full nights sleep in a proper bed and 12 hours to do the last 200km the next day.

As there are one or two others who have the 8A on their agenda who might be interested and this tends to be a long term plan item, thought I would share..
Eddington Numbers 125 (imperial), 168 (metric) 518 (furlongs)  111 (nautical miles)

Re: Cambrian Series Permanents
« Reply #255 on: October 10, 2014, 08:05:29 pm »
Yes might be interested, although I`d kip in our VW @ Llani  ;D Have selected some PBP qualifiers but apart from that and PBP general aim woudl be to get 100 AAA points---no more of the 50 x 100 challenge too!!!--so 8A would help towards AAA :thumbsup:
....after the `tarte de pommes`, and  fortified by a couple of shots of limoncellos,  I flew up the Col de Bavella whilst thunderstorms rolled around the peaks above

Re: Cambrian Series Permanents
« Reply #256 on: October 12, 2014, 09:33:16 pm »
6A done  :thumbsup:

This weekend with aunt maud.

Write up to follow

Crickey o Riley it was TOUGH  :o
Does not play well with others

Re: Cambrian Series Permanents
« Reply #257 on: October 13, 2014, 06:57:15 am »
6A done  :thumbsup:

This weekend with aunt maud.

Write up to follow

Crickey o Riley it was TOUGH  :o

well done  :thumbsup: :thumbsup:---great achievement---look fwd to extensive illustrated write up.

Amazing to do such a ride with such reduced light hours (and frosty, fog??) too
....after the `tarte de pommes`, and  fortified by a couple of shots of limoncellos,  I flew up the Col de Bavella whilst thunderstorms rolled around the peaks above

Re: Cambrian Series Permanents
« Reply #258 on: October 13, 2014, 08:02:01 am »
6A done  :thumbsup:

This weekend with aunt maud.

Write up to follow

Crickey o Riley it was TOUGH  :o

 :thumbsup:
600s are tough enough as it is at this time of year, let alone tough 600s.

Re: Cambrian Series Permanents
« Reply #259 on: October 13, 2014, 01:07:35 pm »
6A done  :thumbsup:

 :)  :)  :)

and looking forward to the write up!

CrazyEnglishTriathlete

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Re: Cambrian Series Permanents
« Reply #260 on: October 13, 2014, 01:49:35 pm »
6A done  :thumbsup:

This weekend with aunt maud.

Write up to follow

Crickey o Riley it was TOUGH  :o

 :thumbsup:
Eddington Numbers 125 (imperial), 168 (metric) 518 (furlongs)  111 (nautical miles)

Re: Cambrian Series Permanents
« Reply #261 on: October 14, 2014, 01:04:36 am »
At the end of August, Aunt Maud mentioned the potential for an October 11/12th trip round the 6A.  I didn’t jump at the chance; whilst struggling from a virus, too much work and lack of motivation it seemed like a stupid idea….but the seed was planted.

Next thing I know I am buying various lightweight bivi kit and was mentally committed to the ride.  Or possibly should have been mentally committed full stop. My first ever experience of bike&bivi on [calsberg]probably the hardest 600 permanent[/calsberg] the Cambrian 6A.

This was the kit and clothing…


All packed up….


We started with a cash point control from Monmouth at 4:30 am to follow the figure of 8 route heading first to Rhayader.  It was dark, cold and foggy, but contrary to my initial fears, a quick 5 day taper had left my legs in ok shape and I was feeling ready for the challenges ahead. 

The climb to the gospel pass was timed perfectly to coincide with dawn and we were met by a glorious cloud invert over the Wye Valley below.  We took time to appreciate it and grab a few photos before dropping into the fog of the valleys.  It was a theme repeated several times through the weekend, trudging to the tops of the steep climbs before plunging into cold heavy air settled in valley pockets. 





The weather was variable on the Saturday and we got soaked on the way to Rhayader as the route trundled for a little while up the A470.  I was surprised at how little climbing we had encountered at that point, and had a feeling we would pay for it later.  There are no sections of flat on the Cambrians that aren’t paid for in climbing karma elsewhere.  However, we had made good time to Rhayader so stopped for food before heading to Bala via Llanidloes and the infamous Bwlch-y-Gros



The true nature of the ride began to show with endlessly undulating roads and we stopped for a bite to eat at the side of a lane before tackling the Bwlch.  I was low on water, but figured, once over the top, it was a roll down to Bala.  I already had a game plan in mind for the Bwlch -  to do as much as comfortable with the heavily laden bike, but nothing more, as I knew that a few minutes pushing too hard could potentially destroy the legs for the rest of the ride, especially with the weight of the camping kit.  I surprised myself and got to the crash barrier before it began to hurt and I chose to stop.  I was dreaming of endless glasses of water.  Or a kind hearted camper van owner parked on the top.  I was so dehydrated I almost filled up the bideon from the mountain stream, but decided the e coli risk was probably not worth it.   With a little pushing and more pedalling I finally got to the top to find luck was smiling on me, in the form of Vistaed (OTP) and a riding friend, both carrying Bivi kit and out for a social weekend.  Vistaed kindly provided me with a generous amount of water to  keep me going until Bala whilst commenting along the lines “if anyone else is mad enough to be up here this weekend it’s you”.  We chatted whilst waiting for Aunt Maud, who’s choice of race gears were starting to hurt somewhat.  The toil was beginning to take its toll and we were only 170 km in.

A Spar fuelled break at Bala and we were ready for the short stretch over to Llanfyllin.  Short in distance it may be, but short in time it was not.  The climbs kept coming.  But so did the views, and this was my favourite stretch of the ride. 



Aunt Maud was in need of some proper food on arriving at the town, especially as it began to dawn how little distance we had covered in the hours we had been out.  This was no surprise to me; after the summer’s introduction to the series my predications for the ride were at least 36 hours without sleep/stop time...  We stopped for a break at the chippy before setting off on the long road to the Tregaron at 330 km.  The relentless climbing didn’t stop and it began to dawn that we would need to refill food and water before Tregaron as it would be likely that nothing would remain open by the time we arrived.  The route passed back through Llanidloes on the figure of 8 and the convenience store provided warmth, a floor to sit on and coffee to help fight the dozies.  After some gorgeous moorland lanes out of Llanidloes we were on decent B Roads via Devils Bridge to Tregaron, and it was a real blessing. I was struggling with fighting sleep and being able to roll freely rather than descend precariously on narrow leaf, mud and gravel covered lanes helped it feel like progress and the kilometres ticked off…299, 300, halfway!

I had borrowed the other half’s Hope R8 battery with a smaller head unit with the plan that the battery would well outlast the potential total 16 hours night riding. It did not and started to warn low battery at 3 am on the Saturday.  Luckily, through hard experience, I always have a good second helmet light and enough batteries to run it as a main light if my bar light fails.

Tregaron had one option for control, a Natwest cash point.  Everything was shut, but luckily we were self sufficient in food and water and we kept chugging along with the hope of reaching our proposed bivi point at Newcastle Emlyn – 380 kms in.  However the dozies took hold and we started looking for potential bunk down sights through Lampter and the following villages.  There was nothing.  We needed a little shelter, being cold and damp with low autumnal temperatures.  The need for safe sleep began to become an overriding concern.  Eventually we found the open campsite shower block and snuck in, to hunker down for an hour or so. It was even clean and heated, we were blessed with good luck.  Never has lying on ceramic tiles next to a man’s toilet felt so good.  The Thermarest matt is a stunning piece of kit, possibly one of the best things I have purchased in recent years.  The OMM bag also did me proud, although it was hardly a fair test in a such a sheltered environment.  I didn’t even need a bivi bag.  I was flat out in seconds and forgot to set an alarm, but woke at 5 am with a start, and we were back on the road before anyone was awake. 

The road to Fishguard was quiet for the majority of the distance, and it was, as always, an overwhelming pleasure to see the sea.  The climb out of the harbour was, as always, cruel and savage!  So was the complete lack of open cafes.  Another cash point control.  I asked some council workers if there was anywhere serving coffee and we were pointed to a garage a short distance off route.  Bad instant coffee.  Luckily Aunt Maud, being experienced at this camping marlarky, came up trumps with some single serving filter coffee and the lovely lady in the garage let us use the hot water for free.  I even got to use my new fold up ultralight camping cup.  Glee!



After Fishguard I started to get problems with my left ankle.  The Achilles was getting swollen and was very painful every time I stood up.  On the steep lanes, there is no choice other than to get out of the saddle so it was ‘rock and hard place’ time.  There wasn’t a huge amount left in my quads for seated spinning, but stomping uphill (normally my strongest point in times of tiredness) I knew was causing more and more damage.  The lanes were gorgeous, isolated, quaint and where I wanted to be riding, but on reaching Llandeilo at 500 km I knew I was in trouble.  So was Aunt Maud as the race gearing was taking a massive toll on the hill climbs.  Ignoring the temptation of a train, knowing there was only a normal training ride back, we made the decision to follow the horrific A40.  It added only around 12 km, but made it possible to finish in time and minimise any further damage to my ankle.  I was a bit gutted, it felt wrong and not in the true spirit of a Cambrian ride. It was, however, perfectly acceptable under audax regulations and so we got our heads down and tried to blot out the traffic.  Just to make sure we retained some audaciousness, the weather gave us an easterly head wind instead of the normal westerly tail wind and the pace was dragging.  Aunt Maud is much stronger than I on the flats, and I stronger on the climbs, so we struggled to stay together.  Sense of humour went awol for a while.  It was ok until Brecon, but the single carriageway stretch from Brecon to Abergavenny is a horrid piece of road I swore I wouldn’t ride again after the 2A.  At Abergavenny there was another choice, head straight over to Rockfield the direct (true) route with the 16% climbs, or the duel track to Monmouth.  Well, there wasn’t really a choice.  I couldn’t walk properly without significant pain, or stomp on the pedals, so it was flat or nothing.  Thank goodness for the wide hard shoulder ‘sheltering’ us from the 90 mph vehicles.  Until the Monmouth tunnel which was without a hard shoulder and quite frankly, the most dangerous bit of road riding I have ever done.  Just. Got. To. Get. Back. Alive.

I was a bit dazed on arriving at Monmouth.  We controlled at the same cash points used the day before, yet so much had changed in that time, and so many things experienced.  It was a brutal ride, although my climbing muscles were good for it, my ankle paid a price.  I was just glad to finish in time so I’d never have to do it again….



…of course I am going to do it again, when I am even fitter and I have the ankle problem sorted.  So I can follow the true route home.   :thumbsup:

Recommendations from the weekend for anyone planning the 6A:
1)   Plan a good bivi stop if doing the ride outside of the summer.  Preferably have a bunkhouse or something lined up.  Difficult though as it is out of season this time of year and nothing is open.
2)   Have appropriate gearing for endless savage climbs.
3)   Make sure you have enough kit, back up light and food to be fully self sufficient through the long night stages as the small Welsh towns have very few long hour facilities.
4)   Hope luck is on your side, it certainly was on ours!
5)     Don't underestimate the power of home-dried toothpaste  :thumbsup:
Does not play well with others

Re: Cambrian Series Permanents
« Reply #262 on: October 14, 2014, 07:39:56 am »
Good stuff rabbit. :thumbsup:

If you fancy a change from Wales, then the Wessex SR and K&SW 600 would be your thing. Not to mention Pendle 600.

Re: Cambrian Series Permanents
« Reply #263 on: October 14, 2014, 07:47:19 am »
Great write up & pics---and just one word AUDACIOUS :thumbsup:

Hope your ankle heals up and doesn`t deter you from TG recommendations too  ;D
....after the `tarte de pommes`, and  fortified by a couple of shots of limoncellos,  I flew up the Col de Bavella whilst thunderstorms rolled around the peaks above

Re: Cambrian Series Permanents
« Reply #264 on: October 14, 2014, 07:59:10 am »
Chapeau Rabbit  ;D

BCM will seem a lot easier after completeing the 6A.

Aunt Maud

  • Le Flâneur.
Re: Cambrian Series Permanents
« Reply #265 on: October 14, 2014, 08:00:57 am »
Well that was an interesting weekend out trying to catch Rabbit, might get some easier gears next time.

I thought the choice of bivvi spot was 5*, I even had a lovely hot shower. We saw a big Barn Owl close up too, which I thought was fantastic.

I was just thinking that the last time we rode together Rabbit, it was me that got the nasty bruise.

Anyway the moral of Rabbits tail is: If you can't think of a stupid idea yourself, just ask Aunt Maud.


Reg.T

  • "You don't have to go fast; you just have to go."
Re: Cambrian Series Permanents
« Reply #266 on: October 14, 2014, 11:05:37 am »
Chapeau both.  8)
And "Ouch" Rabbit  - hope the heel recovers quickly
Just turn me loose let me straddle my old saddle
Underneath the western skies

CrazyEnglishTriathlete

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Re: Cambrian Series Permanents
« Reply #267 on: October 14, 2014, 11:39:54 am »
Great write up.   :thumbsup:

AFAIK that is the sixth and seventh riders to complete the 6A and the first lady rider to do so.

None of the other five were slouches either.

I must do the 8A
I must do the 8A
I must do the 8A....
Eddington Numbers 125 (imperial), 168 (metric) 518 (furlongs)  111 (nautical miles)

vistaed

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Re: Cambrian Series Permanents
« Reply #268 on: October 14, 2014, 10:52:36 pm »
Glad to have helped you out with a splash of water. My friend just kept saying "their mad" I tried to defend you but then realised that many people on hear are in fact mad, myself included. Great writeup, makes me want to head out to ride it myself.
after hardship comes ease -
 www.strava.com/athletes/188220

Aunt Maud

  • Le Flâneur.
Re: Cambrian Series Permanents
« Reply #269 on: October 15, 2014, 11:27:26 am »
New Cambrian Permanent Series Machine Ordered.

After the severe pasting dished out to oneself by the 6A and the humiliation of never being able to catch the Rabbit, I've come to the conclusion that a new mount with gears of the granny type is the only way forward.

So by the magic of the digital age, I'm now slightly poorer in sponsdoolics but have an extra and much needed N.

Which goes like so: http://www.specialized.com/gb/gb/bikes/archive/2014/tricross/tricross-elite-disc#press-and-reviews

Sporting; discs, 34x30 granny gear and muddy mounts.......just the ticket methinks.

Bring on the 4B.

Re: Cambrian Series Permanents
« Reply #270 on: October 15, 2014, 12:51:20 pm »
Good call  ;D maybe consider change alloy fork for a carbon one >>> more comfy ??

The hills will seem SOOOO easy now (I use 34 x 32 btw)

enjoy, happy Cambrianing 2015  :thumbsup:
....after the `tarte de pommes`, and  fortified by a couple of shots of limoncellos,  I flew up the Col de Bavella whilst thunderstorms rolled around the peaks above

Aunt Maud

  • Le Flâneur.
Re: Cambrian Series Permanents
« Reply #271 on: October 15, 2014, 12:58:27 pm »
I nearly threw a valve on some of those slopes on the 6A 39x26 was not the way to go. :face palm:

I might have to change the 32mm tyres, but I'll give them a go on one of the 2's first.

Re: Cambrian Series Permanents
« Reply #272 on: October 15, 2014, 01:19:59 pm »
Thanks all  :)

Ankle is on the mend.  Had some ultrasound off an osteopath friend yesterday and that should hurry things along a little. He was pleased to find no inflammation in the attachment point of the tendon (the bit that tends to snap) so it's just repetitive strain.  I have instructions for one legged calf strengthening exercises once it's fully fixed to prevent it in future.

Hoping to be fixed in time to do another Cambrian 200 for my November RRTY

Glad to have helped you out with a splash of water. My friend just kept saying "their mad" I tried to defend you but then realised that many people on hear are in fact mad, myself included. Great writeup, makes me want to head out to ride it myself.

Yup, when in association with people on here stuff like this seems perfectly normal behaviour.  Then I speak to normal people and they are very much like "you did what now???  :o :o

I think you'd enjoy the 6A a lot  :thumbsup:

New Cambrian Permanent Series Machine Ordered.

After the severe pasting dished out to oneself by the 6A and the humiliation of never being able to catch the Rabbit, I've come to the conclusion that a new mount with gears of the granny type is the only way forward.

So by the magic of the digital age, I'm now slightly poorer in sponsdoolics but have an extra and much needed N.

Which goes like so: http://www.specialized.com/gb/gb/bikes/archive/2014/tricross/tricross-elite-disc#press-and-reviews

Sporting; discs, 34x30 granny gear and muddy mounts.......just the ticket methinks.

Bring on the 4B.

LOL hardly a humiliation.  There aren't many people who could get up half the climbs you did with that kind of gearing....especially over and over and over and over again.  I certainly wouldn't.  I couldn't even cope on 'The Dean' with race gears!

But any excuse for an N+1 eh? ;)

4B in the spring sounds good to me.

I'd love a go at the 8A but fitting it in with everything else next year may be a challenge.....
Does not play well with others

Aunt Maud

  • Le Flâneur.
Re: Cambrian Series Permanents
« Reply #273 on: October 15, 2014, 01:31:35 pm »

Hoping to be fixed in time to do another Cambrian 200 for my November RRTY


Really, that's interesting, I had a cunning plan for November the 8th.

This time there'll be NO Shank's Pony.

CrazyEnglishTriathlete

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Re: Cambrian Series Permanents
« Reply #274 on: October 15, 2014, 03:08:00 pm »
I have been an advocate of triple chain rings for a long time.  A 30 x most commercial cassettes makes a lot of sense for sustained 10%+ climbing, especially the likes of Bwlch-y-Groes after several hundred kilometres.

Interestingly enough, when Zizag and I went to the Alps ended up climbing most of those in about 30 x 23.  Neither of us are known to dawdle on the climbs.  Most of the time it was difficult for us to benchmark our speed but on Alpe d'Huez we were sailing past most of the punters who were struggling on (for them) overgeared compact chainsets.  It's not just having a very low gear that helps, but having a choice of very low gears.

I'm summoning up courage to talk to Mrs CET about next year, but likelihood is last week of July for the 8A.  That gives me 4 weeks to recover for PBP and also fits in with family holidays.  I'm interested in Rabbit's ultra-light bivi approach as that would be good on the 8A, I could then do it by train using Caersws as an additional control/start/finish point and not have to worry about a drive home.
Eddington Numbers 125 (imperial), 168 (metric) 518 (furlongs)  111 (nautical miles)