Author Topic: PBP terrain  (Read 6355 times)

PBP terrain
« on: September 26, 2017, 02:27:38 pm »
For those who have ridden PBP, in your opinion which AUK ride 300km+ most closely resembles the terrain of PBP (thinking first of gradients and then m/km ascent)? Thanks.

Re: PBP terrain
« Reply #1 on: September 26, 2017, 02:45:52 pm »
For those who have ridden PBP, in your opinion which AUK ride 300km+ most closely resembles the terrain of PBP (thinking first of gradients and then m/km ascent)? Thanks.

As noted by a PBP ancien, A Rough Diamond has similar rolling characteristic and spacing between controls. Also like PBP there are plenty of places between controls to pitstop.
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.

Re: PBP terrain
« Reply #2 on: September 26, 2017, 03:39:40 pm »
I don't think there is any part of the country which mimics the long gradual ascents and descents of the PBP. Most of the long events in this country are harder!

In my opinion the closest would be the Heart of England 300. But don't ride this merely as preparation for PBP: it's an excellent ride in its own right.

Re: PBP terrain
« Reply #3 on: September 26, 2017, 03:53:29 pm »
Plains 300.

You have to ride through the night as it starts at 2300!

Also, good rolling terrain down that Wales area.

If you want 300+ then what part of the 1200km ride do you wish to resemble as the PBP changes in nature anyway depending where you are.

Other than something in pan flat earth land over in the east, then pretty much any audax, other than the high AAA events could be said to resemble parts of PBP.  And I would not dismiss the flat events in the east as they are invariably accompanied by winds that are an excellent trading vehicle for PBP.

Re: PBP terrain
« Reply #4 on: September 26, 2017, 04:22:42 pm »
PBP not next year, surely

Re: PBP terrain
« Reply #5 on: September 26, 2017, 04:51:18 pm »
PBP is in 2018. My experience in long distance rides is that as long as you are a seasoned rider and ride long frequently  that is all the practice you will need for PBP, LEL, or any other long ride. Time in the saddle is the most important requirement.

You might have a course that exactly mirrors the PBP, but on the day of the ride; cold, wet, tired, hungry, wind, crowd conditions with the mental stress of finishing thrown in, will all decide if you finish or not.

Re: PBP terrain
« Reply #6 on: September 26, 2017, 04:58:48 pm »

Re: PBP terrain
« Reply #7 on: September 26, 2017, 05:04:04 pm »
As noted by a PBP ancien, A Rough Diamond has similar rolling characteristic and spacing between controls. Also like PBP there are plenty of places between controls to pitstop.

There's certainly a similarity between the Rough Diamond and PBP in that the Roadster suffered crank-related problems on both of them!

In my opinion the closest would be the Heart of England 300. But don't ride this merely as preparation for PBP: it's an excellent ride in its own right.

You're right about the Heart of England being an excellent ride; it's one of my favourites. But I think it's a *lot* flatter than PBP. Apart from a couple of climbs early on, of course.

Me, I'd suggest the Brevet Cymru is closest to PBP. Sheila Simpson's Northwest 600 was another PBP-clone; hilly-ish and it started at 10pm. A pity it's no longer run.
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Re: PBP terrain
« Reply #8 on: September 26, 2017, 05:15:27 pm »
If you do the hilly ones (for me in the SE I mean The Dean, the Shark, Oasts and Coasts, those kinds of rides then BCM) then you have good enough hillage. However you could probably mimic the PBP hills best by doing 5-10 minute intervals :-) I think the thing to get your head around is the late afternoon start - it's pretty close to a certainty that you will  be riding through one night and most of the second before you get a decent (ie 2 hour) sleep. Sleep and food and phaffage and the general chaos are the issues on PBP not the hills so much. Having said that I will be doing a lot more hills in early 2019 to prepare!

Re: PBP terrain
« Reply #9 on: September 26, 2017, 05:27:38 pm »
Thanks for the replies so far. I perhaps should have explained my motive for asking, which is that I rode PBP in 2015 on gears but am contemplating 2019 on fixed. I have done a few audaxes on fixed but nothing that comes close to the long relatively gradual ascents/descents of PBP, and I was hoping to find a suitable ride in 2018 to halp decide whether it was (for me) feasible, and in what gear.

I agree the Heart of England is an excellent ride, and I have ridden it fixed, but general terrain is, I feel, easier than on PBP. From memory, I reckon the BCM might not be too far off (ignoring the new bit between LLanidloes and Machynlleth).

BTW, I recently came across this website http://www.trackreport.net/ which allows you to see gradients in gpx tracks with a more accurate representation (if you select 'very fine') than sites like RWGPS, which possibly helps with comparisons.

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Re: PBP terrain
« Reply #10 on: September 26, 2017, 07:10:19 pm »
As you've ridden Heart of England on fixed then you've got some idea about what you're letting yourself in for by doing longer rides on fixed.

I would suggest doing a SR on fixed in 2018 and seeing how you get on with that, but wouldn't worry if your rides are representative of PBP because if you can get around a SR on fixed you're in a good position to give PBP a crack on fixed. For reference in 2015 I rode the following on fixed in the build up to PBP:

  • Willy Warmer 200
  • Asparagus & Strawberries 400
  • Great Escape 200
  • Windsor Chester Windsor 600
  • Edmunds Folk Sally Forth & Paddle 200
  • Rural South 300

As you've already ridden PBP you'll have an idea of the route and so you'll know there's nothing worryingly steep, which is the biggest issue on fixed. The worst part, IMO, is getting dropped by groups on the descents off the rollers during the first few hundred kilometres. There was a Kiwi (BrokeButt) who's longest ride on fixed prior to PBP 2015 was something like 200 km and he got rode in under 70 hours.
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Re: PBP terrain
« Reply #11 on: September 26, 2017, 08:44:37 pm »

Re: PBP terrain
« Reply #12 on: September 26, 2017, 08:49:27 pm »
When Graeme asked the question, I told him that the A167 from Newcastle to Darlo is pretty similar - generally gentle climbing, generally for a few miles.

It's probably steeper than most of PBP, though (especially the climb out of the Wear), and I can't think of any audaxes that use it since Aidan's changed the route of the Border Raid. Maybe he'll resurrect the Kirkley Gallop for PBP qualification, which came back up that way, and also went out around similar terrain to the east of Durham.

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Re: PBP terrain
« Reply #13 on: September 26, 2017, 09:50:48 pm »
Not sure I can help.  My 600s for PBP qualification have been the likes of BCM, Brimstone, and Kernow & SW, so PBP has always felt reasonably flat in comparison.
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Re: PBP terrain
« Reply #14 on: September 26, 2017, 09:56:31 pm »

Re: PBP terrain
« Reply #15 on: September 26, 2017, 11:31:35 pm »
The difference between riding a long ride on gears and a long ride on fixed won't be found by doing a 300km ride on fixed.

If you're used to riding events on fixed then you're used to putting in the same power requirements but at a much lower cadence. You'll be used to not freewheeling on the downhills. That's the easy bit with relatively fresh legs.

The trickier bit comes on day 3 or 4 when you wish you could freewheel on the long, seemingly endless, 3-4% descents, but you can't. And you can't mimic that with a single ride of 600km or less.

There was never anything on PBP (or LEL in 2009) that I couldn't grind my way up on a 67" gear (and I'm not particularly athletic). On the few rides I've done on both gears and fixed I only generally walked the same climbs that I walked when I had gears (anything more than 12%).

The best plan I'd suggest is just start riding all events (except silly grimpeurs) on fixed.

BCM, The Dean, London-Wales-London, etc. All great rides for fixed. Do the Elenith (or whatever it is called now, Yr Elenydd?, doesn't seem to be running next year so find the route and arrange a group DIY of it) and enjoy walking the 18%+ stretches (including the 25% bit).
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Re: PBP terrain
« Reply #16 on: September 27, 2017, 06:28:08 am »
Deano up thread mentioned my 600. IMO a very  good fixed wheel 600 is 'The New Border Raid ' from Newcastle upon Tyne in June '18. As the org. I test rode the route recently,  only my second ever fixed 600 and I  really enjoyed it. Most gradients are PBPish but the scenery is much better! Also a  suitable ride for those with gears..of course this sounds like a promotion..

Re: PBP terrain
« Reply #17 on: September 27, 2017, 09:36:42 am »
The best plan I'd suggest is just start riding all events (except silly grimpeurs) on fixed.

Wilkyboy did PBP (2015) and LEL (2013) on Brompton and LEL (2017) on fixed.  His secret (I think!) was to ride all events on the steed he planned to ride.

Sound advice from Greenbank, particularly the day 3/4 scenario as if you think a 600 is bad enough on a whatever, then wait until ....................!

Get thee on fixed if you wish to do a big fixed events!

Re: PBP terrain
« Reply #18 on: September 27, 2017, 09:52:50 am »
The best plan I'd suggest is just start riding all events (except silly grimpeurs) on fixed.

Good advice.  I'd suggest throwing in the odd silly grimpeur just for fun too.  :thumbsup:

Before LEL '09 I did a full AAA SR on fixed - I figured that the harder I made the 'qualifying' rides the easier that LEL would be.
My qualifiers for PBP '11 were all completed on gears - after the 600 I realised that I'd much rather be riding fixed - so I did a 4.5AAA 300 on fixed 3 weeks before PBP then rode PBP on 72".  The only really hard bit I remember was a climb on the last stage about an hour from the finish (but that felt a bit easier because I'd just passed Greenbank :P )

Re: PBP terrain
« Reply #19 on: September 27, 2017, 10:18:54 am »
The only really hard bit I remember was a climb on the last stage about an hour from the finish (but that felt a bit easier because I'd just passed Greenbank :P )

https://youtu.be/GqqK42aYVMQ?t=100

(At ~1:40 if the video doesn't automatically start there... you in the Audax Cymru top followed by me in the yacf cap, it was the Forêt de Rambouillet IIRC.)
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Re: PBP terrain
« Reply #20 on: September 27, 2017, 11:53:34 am »
The best plan I'd suggest is just start riding all events (except silly grimpeurs) on fixed.

Wilkyboy did PBP (2015) and LEL (2013) on Brompton and LEL (2017) on fixed.  His secret (I think!) was to ride all events on the steed he planned to ride.

Yes, it certainly helped to do that.  I'll be sticking with fixed for the next couple of years, as I plan to ride PBP on fixed in 2019.  Anyway, riding fixed is just so much fun ;)

Quote
Sound advice from Greenbank, particularly the day 3/4 scenario as if you think a 600 is bad enough on a whatever, then wait until ....................!

Towards the end of LEL this year a few of us raced up the Essex hills to arrivée to find out what was left in the tank after 1350km of riding — the only way to find out is to ride 1350km and then attack!  It was great fun and quite unexpectedly different to what feels left at the ends of shorter rides  :)  It was still probably tragically slow, though ... We don't often ride such long rides, so it's rare that we get the opportunity to find out.
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Re: PBP terrain
« Reply #21 on: September 27, 2017, 12:16:22 pm »
The only really hard bit I remember was a climb on the last stage about an hour from the finish (but that felt a bit easier because I'd just passed Greenbank :P )

https://youtu.be/GqqK42aYVMQ?t=100

(At ~1:40 if the video doesn't automatically start there... you in the Audax Cymru top followed by me in the yacf cap, it was the Forêt de Rambouillet IIRC.)

 :thumbsup:  I thought it was thereabouts.  If the 2015 route is the same as 2011 then it was probably the climb out of Gambaiseuil.

Re: PBP terrain
« Reply #22 on: September 27, 2017, 02:49:50 pm »
The only really hard bit I remember was a climb on the last stage about an hour from the finish (but that felt a bit easier because I'd just passed Greenbank :P )
I recall that climb, I thought to myself - "time to use the granny ring", not because it was particularly steep, but until then the thing hadn't been used.
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.

Re: PBP terrain
« Reply #23 on: September 27, 2017, 02:59:00 pm »
For those who have ridden PBP, in your opinion which AUK ride 300km+ most closely resembles the terrain of PBP (thinking first of gradients and then m/km ascent)? Thanks.

I would have thought any rides that have 1%-1.5% average climbing would do.

We qualified exclusively on flat rides last time, and found PBP really hilly. Most folks who eat up 1%+ rides found it "easy". That said, if you start in the Sunday afternoon 90 hour group, and don't handle sleep dep that well, you'll always find PBP difficult, and for me, that was a principle difference between PBP and LEL; in that I was never short on sleep on LEL, but was from the outset, on PBP.

Re: PBP terrain
« Reply #24 on: September 29, 2017, 02:01:13 pm »
I ran an Audax called the Rutland Weekend for 3 years. It ran from Baldock to Bottesford and back. It is pretty similar to PBP but without the clapping crowds. You could do it as a DIY Here is a link to the GPX - which may not quite match the actual route of the event. https://ridewithgps.com/routes/4622632

Marcus JB wrote a very nice ride description for its 2013 running, which I didn't pay him for.
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