Author Topic: This is not a tour. Welsh rides in the spirit of Mike Hall - 2/3rd June 2018.  (Read 35425 times)

wilkyboy

  • "nick" by any other name
    • 16-inch wheels
Re: This is not a tour. Welsh rides in the spirit of Mike Hall - 2/3rd June 2018.
« Reply #150 on: February 20, 2018, 12:41:44 pm »
It is interesting in the way that the planning to sleep wild seems so much more realistic than the actual practice of it. But, if one does intend to carry out such a plan, I would highly recommend a bivvy to crawl into than a tent set-up. A bivvy can go just about anywhere and is low enough not to be obtrusive whereas a tent takes some ground preparation and is more visible.

And only weighs about 500g for a bivvy bag + liner.  I doubt we'll see low temps, otherwise it's another 700g for a sleeping bag, or more likely just push-on to keep warm.
RRTY #7 done.  Need something else to do ... ah, welcome #8 8)

Phixie

  • No gears and all the ideas
Re: This is not a tour. Welsh rides in the spirit of Mike Hall - 2/3rd June 2018.
« Reply #151 on: February 20, 2018, 05:11:39 pm »
Quote from: chillmoister link=topic=104706.msg2257459#msg2257459 dte=1518696721
no, but someone once said 'weather guaranteed'  ;)

I'd love to meet the guy that originally promoted his audax with that   slogan.

I first saw it from Duncan Peet who was organising the Daylight in 2001.  He didn't specify which one.  He did, however warn riders in the notes sent with the route that descending Glencoe could be "fun" and if it was a nice day they would have to pedal downhill.
At the end of the day, when all's said and done, there's usually a lot more said than done.

Re: This is not a tour. Welsh rides in the spirit of Mike Hall - 2/3rd June 2018.
« Reply #152 on: February 21, 2018, 03:41:04 pm »

The final climb looks to be a firm-grass/gravel track and even if it needs to be walked it won't add on more than 15-20 minutes over riding it.  I reckon Graham's dropped the start-point too early, I think it's surfaced for another 2km or so after that, to beyond the farm about halfway up the hillside.


You're right.  in fact, the climb is tarmac surfaced almost all the way to the top (to about 126.8k on Graham's 400 route plot).  It's a great climb, fabulously scenic, long and tough but never too steep.  The gravel section beyond is, in my view, marginally more challenging than the section around Claerwen.  There's some "loose" gravel sections on the gradual descent after the forestry, with a centre strip of grass which are a bit tricky (plus more stunning views) and a bouldery section just before rejoining the tarmac.  I rode it a couple of years ago with my wife on our road bikes with 28mm tyres.  With a bit of care and a couple of "moments" on the trickier bits, I managed to avoid any walking.  My wife was sensibly more cautious and walked a few hundred metres.  I waited no more than 5 minutes for her to catch me up.  A bit more tyre volume would obviously help but is not essential.

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: This is not a tour. Welsh rides in the spirit of Mike Hall - 2/3rd June 2018.
« Reply #153 on: February 22, 2018, 10:19:33 pm »
I'm also on the 400 BP and also intend breaking the ride up with an overnight camp, maybe 250 Km on day 1 with a leisurely 150 Km on day 2.  I have never bivvied before, but quite fancy it for this adventure, as I feel it is more in keeping with the ethos of the event.  My main concern is actually finding somewhere that I could actually do this that is practical in terms of privacy and relative comfort, and not get to the stage where I'm riding in the dark and not being able to find anywhere.

Any pointers in this respect.

It is a law universally accepted that you will cycle past a bivvy spot that seems ok, but perhaps not the best, but not find anything anywhere near as good as the one you cycled past, and end up bivviing in a slightly sub optimal location down the road because you've hit your limit and just have to stop. Upon resuming your ride in the morning, you'll find 500m down the road the most perfect bivvi location you could imagine... Thus is the law of bivviing...

I've bivvi'd with a number of different bivvi bags in varying conditions in various countries. I had to learn best practice the hard way... with practice... And aside from a nocturnal encounter with a wild boar in Spain, not had any major issues when bivviing. These days I prefer to sleep outside in a bivvi bag to a tent. Laying there watching the stars go by as I drift off is just an amazing experience. I highly recommend it.

Thus, Other than the above, the rules of bivvying are simple:

1) don't breathe into the bivvi bag.

2) don't breathe into the bivvi bag, technically this is the same as point 1, but it's so important it's worth mentioning twice. There are some bivvi bags that are sufficiently breathable that you can breathe inside them, but they are few and far between and cost the gdp of a small developing nation.

3) Insulation from the ground is really important, don't skimp on your sleep matt

4) Whilst the bivvi bag is wind proof, this just means that the wind won't go straight through to your skin and chill you that way, it doesn't stop the bag from getting cooled by the wind blowing on the outside increasing heat loss. Pick a spot out the wind if you can.

5) Even if you relieve yourself before crawling into the bivvi bag, the laws of the universe mean that even if you're dehydrated, the moment you've crawled into the bivvi bag the first time of the night, you'll need to pee about 5 minutes later and have to go through getting out and in to the bivvi bag all over again, accept this, it's not worth the fight. This is even more so if you have a thick down bag, with a liner inside it as well...

6) It's supposed to be fun, no really it is...

7) Check your shoes for slugs before putting them on (you only ever make this mistake once...), if you have enough space, putting your shoes in a plastic bag in the foot of your sleeping bag keeps them warm and keeps the slugs out.

Hope this helps.

J
--
Beer, bikes, and backpacking
http://b.42q.eu/

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: This is not a tour. Welsh rides in the spirit of Mike Hall - 2/3rd June 2018.
« Reply #154 on: February 22, 2018, 10:26:34 pm »
My main concern is actually finding somewhere that I could actually do this .......

The beauty of planning to bivvy is that you don't need to do any planning. You just kip when you feel like it, rather than having to reach a particular location.

Do you have a particular bivvy you have found to be the best for wild camping?

I have three bivvi bags I've used in various conditions. The British Army Goretex bivvi bag, the Alpkit Hunka XL, and the AMK SOL Escape Bivvi.

The Army Goretex bag is cheap, breathes better than the other 2, and is the nicest to sleep in. But it weighs almost twice the Alpkit, and it's twice the volume when packed.

The Alpkit is a nice balance of breathability, weight, and comfort. For the price, it's hard to do better.

The AMK SOL is a bit of a disappointment. In theory the reflective material means you can use a lighter bag inside, and in warmer weather forego the insulation inside all together. However I've yet to find conditions that works in, it doesn't breathe as well as I'd like, and it's quite a snug fit. (I wrote a full review on my blog, link in sig). That said, this is the bag I intend to take on the Race round the Netherlands, it packs down smaller than the other 2 bags, and for the conditions, I'm hoping it's good enough.

Be advised that condensation inside the bag is quite likely and this makes it better to pair the bivvi bag with a synthetic rather than down sleeping bag.

My current plan is to carry a "Lightweight Emergency Survival Bivvy" - on the idea I don't intend to use it, as will be cycling straight through, but it will be a useful backup plan.

http://www.backpackinglight.co.uk/practical/VE104.html


I think this was mentioned somewhere on these forums.

I wouldn't. That bag is designed for emergency use when the brown stuff has hit the fan. It's not going to be comfortable to use long term, you will get loads of condensation on it, which will soak what every you've got inside it. The Escape bivvi by the same company (AMK SOL Escape Bivvi to give it the full title), Is discussed above. It's a bit more expensive than the one you link to, and slightly heavier and bulkier, but it's a better compromise between the bag you link to and a full blown bag like the army goretex bag or the alpkit.

Hth

J
--
Beer, bikes, and backpacking
http://b.42q.eu/

mattc

  • n.b. have grown beard since photo taken
    • Didcot Audaxes
Re: This is not a tour. Welsh rides in the spirit of Mike Hall - 2/3rd June 2018.
« Reply #155 on: February 23, 2018, 10:13:59 am »
... and  buy The Book of the Bivvy[Cicerone]. Lots of good advice, and a very dry sense of wit

(which I trust to influence the overnight weather - d'ya see what I did there??)
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

Smeth

  • less Grimpeur than Whimpeur...
Re: This is not a tour. Welsh rides in the spirit of Mike Hall - 2/3rd June 2018.
« Reply #156 on: February 23, 2018, 10:40:51 am »
One add to all the good bivvy advice. I have bivvied twice when it's been p*****g down. I have the kit to do it but in practice getting into everything with a lot of stuff wet is a nightmare. Search (street view etc) for a few places. Sadly it usually means civilisation.. bus shelters, supermarket or liesure centre porches, verandahs, garage or motor dealer roof structures etc. I have bivvied dry on a beach in Skye but in the wet I would exchange that splendour for Waitrose porch in Broadford 10 miles away. Early hours, nobody's around depending on circs.

Sent from my SM-J510FN using Tapatalk


Quick question.

Would the 300km BREVET POPULAIRE (THE SLOW 300) on the Saturday count towards RRTY?

Thanks

(Undefinitive but 99% sure): No.

RRTY = Randonneur Round The Year.

"Perms (and DIYs) of at least 200km completed at Randonneur pace can be included and you can start in any month, but miss a month and you have to start all over again."

Populaire pace (no matter how long it is) is not sufficient for the award.
"Yes please" said Squirrel "biscuits are our favourite things."

TOBY

  • hello
I've only ridden 200kms in 2018, will this be a problem when riding the 400?

I rode further on the Mersey Roads 24 in 2016 than I had in the whole of the 6 and a bit months running up to it.

I'm sure you'll be fine.
"Yes please" said Squirrel "biscuits are our favourite things."

You've ridden a 200 km this year? You're doing better than me!

simonp

  • Omnomnomnipotent.
Arse.

LittleWheelsandBig

  • Whimsy Rider
BPs never count for RRtY.
Wheel meet again, don't know where, don't know when...

simonp

  • Omnomnomnipotent.
So now I need to decide if 34/30 is low enough.

I think I'll be going 44/16  ;)
“That slope may look insignificant, but it's going to be my destiny" - Fitzcarraldo

Smeth

  • less Grimpeur than Whimpeur...
29/32 and I'll be spending a long time in it

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If I ride my Specialized Roubaix it will have a compact 50/34 and a 10 speed 11-32 cassette.

If I ride my early 80's Raleigh Europa it has a TA Cylcotouriste 44/27 chainset and an 8 speed 11-28 cassette plus the added bonus of 35mm chunky tyres. 


The 600k and the 400k Populaire events are just about fully subscribed. With this in mind and the fact that the 400k BR has been closed for a while now. We will now be formally closing these entry to these rides on April 14th.

Please be aware that it will still be possible to enter a 300k or 200k or 100k on the Saturday and a 200k or 100k on the Sunday.

That way you will still be able to ride either 500k, 400k, 300k, 200k and get a night's rest on Saturday.
where you have a concentration of power in a few hands, all too frequently men with the mentality of gangsters get control. History has proven that. Power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely.

telstarbox

  • Loving the lanes
That's excellent news. Well done to the organisers for taking a punt on some "different" rides.
2019 🏅 R1000 and B1000

Tried a bit of mountain biking for the first time this weekend, to get some off-road experience.

Not sure 34/32 is going to cut it after that experience. It is seriously hard work getting up 20% climbs when gravel and lose rocks cause your wheel to slip and slide, and that was with a 32/46 low gear and huge tyres!

Tried a bit of mountain biking for the first time this weekend, to get some off-road experience.

Not sure 34/32 is going to cut it after that experience. It is seriously hard work getting up 20% climbs when gravel and lose rocks cause your wheel to slip and slide, and that was with a 32/46 low gear and huge tyres!

I am not being flippant and speak from experience on long rides on fixed; sometimes you can just walk up a climb.

Mind you I am doing the BP so there's no rush!

28 x 34 for me should do it; Riding what I have lying around: Tripster with 2 x 10sp MTB chainset 28/40, 10sp bar end shifters and a 9sp XT rear changer, though I've yet to try it out properly...

A

wilkyboy

  • "nick" by any other name
    • 16-inch wheels
Tried a bit of mountain biking for the first time this weekend, to get some off-road experience.

Not sure 34/32 is going to cut it after that experience. It is seriously hard work getting up 20% climbs when gravel and lose rocks cause your wheel to slip and slide, and that was with a 32/46 low gear and huge tyres!

I am not being flippant and speak from experience on long rides on fixed; sometimes you can just walk up a climb.

Al's correct, it's not worth worrying about, just walk it if you have to — worry about the Kamikaze sheep, not the climbing.  And there's only one significant uphill on gravel, which is about 1-2km of steep-ish stuff IIRC (NCN82 on the 400), so about 15 minutes on the ol' 24-inch if you felt you needed to. 
RRTY #7 done.  Need something else to do ... ah, welcome #8 8)

mattc

  • n.b. have grown beard since photo taken
    • Didcot Audaxes
Far more frustrating is downhill loose/lumpy stuff (if you are on the wrong tyres).
I shall post an audacious picture one day.

You end up walking (quite slowly!) when you want to be doing 30mph+ => average speed plummets.

I haven't yet read of any such secteurs on this event, so fingers crossed  :thumbsup:
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

wilkyboy

  • "nick" by any other name
    • 16-inch wheels
Far more frustrating is downhill loose/lumpy stuff (if you are on the wrong tyres).
I shall post an audacious picture one day.

You end up walking (quite slowly!) when you want to be doing 30mph+ => average speed plummets.

I haven't yet read of any such secteurs on this event, so fingers crossed  :thumbsup:

None that I can think of on the 400A — they all seem to be uphill or flat, although the route may have changed since I last checked, as it wasn't then finalised.
RRTY #7 done.  Need something else to do ... ah, welcome #8 8)