Author Topic: Back to the Smoke 2018  (Read 5305 times)

Re: Back to the Smoke 2018
« Reply #25 on: March 08, 2019, 11:53:38 am »
Useful to know. I'll make sure I get to Paddington in plenty of time...

If you did the bike booking during the purchase you'll be fine - the bike reservation tickets will come out of the machine alongside your travel tickets. I only got in trouble because I did my bike booking over the phone.

But yeah, making sure you have extra time to get the bike loaded properly isn't a bad idea.

citoyen

  • Cat 6 Racer
Re: Back to the Smoke 2018
« Reply #26 on: March 08, 2019, 11:56:58 am »
If you did the bike booking during the purchase you'll be fine - the bike reservation tickets will come out of the machine alongside your travel tickets. I only got in trouble because I did my bike booking over the phone.

I bought the ticket from thetrainline.com then phoned GWR to make the bike reservation separately. I foresee problems...

I didn't realise until too late that GWR let you book bike spaces online at the same time as booking your ticket*, or I would have bought the ticket directly from them.


*other operators don't, so I assumed...

Re: Back to the Smoke 2018
« Reply #27 on: March 08, 2019, 12:09:13 pm »
Are people planning on stopping en route or riding through the night? I'll bring my bivvy bag as I might need a kip on the way, but I'll probably aim to avoid stopping if I can help it.

There is a bird hide at a Tring should you find yourself flagging towards the end.  Depends how late you are running. 

As for phone booking for bike reservations. You should still get a reservation number out of that, that you can put into a ticket machine to get your bike reservation tickets out of.

Re: Back to the Smoke 2018
« Reply #28 on: March 08, 2019, 12:47:02 pm »
If you did the bike booking during the purchase you'll be fine - the bike reservation tickets will come out of the machine alongside your travel tickets. I only got in trouble because I did my bike booking over the phone.

I bought the ticket from thetrainline.com then phoned GWR to make the bike reservation separately. I foresee problems...

I didn't realise until too late that GWR let you book bike spaces online at the same time as booking your ticket*, or I would have bought the ticket directly from them.


*other operators don't, so I assumed...

Don't worry, the GWR bike reservation system is broken.

I don't use Paddington, but no-one ever checks bike reservations elsewhere for this very reason. You may get some jobsworth there, but I think it's unlikely.

It's difficult to find the bike spaces on the new trains, so for your information:

On five carriage trains, one compartment in the second and one in the fourth carriage.

Ten carriage trains are two five-carriage units coupled together, so as above.

Nine carriage trains have compartments in the B, F, J (two compartments) and K carriages.

Each compartment is supposed to hold two bikes, but it's difficult to get the second one in (pretty much impossible if you use the recommended hook). Compartments are at the end of the carriage nearer the centre of the train. They double at luggage space, so sometimes you have to throw a few suitcases out.

Some trains have bike symbols by the doors to show where these compartments are. However GWR are as confused by the layouts of these trains as everyone else, so they aren't always in the right place.

There are a few of the old trans still running. If you are lucky you will get one of these.

Re: Back to the Smoke 2018
« Reply #29 on: March 08, 2019, 12:55:03 pm »
As for phone booking for bike reservations. You should still get a reservation number out of that, that you can put into a ticket machine to get your bike reservation tickets out of.

Most companies do, but last year GWR gave me a reference number that was emphatically not a ToD pickup code.

I don't use Paddington, but no-one ever checks bike reservations elsewhere for this very reason. You may get some jobsworth there, but I think it's unlikely.

I was ambushed at the ticket gates last year with minutes to spare, so this is terrible advice!

(I've had multiple encounters with terrible jobsworths at Paddington - it seems to be a mecca for miserable gits)

Quote
There are a few of the old trans still running. If you are lucky you will get one of these.

By May there will be none (at least running to Paddington).

citoyen

  • Cat 6 Racer
Re: Back to the Smoke 2018
« Reply #30 on: March 08, 2019, 01:22:12 pm »
Oh well, the office is near Paddington so maybe I’ll call in there on my lunch break and sort it out ahead of the day.

Re: Back to the Smoke 2018
« Reply #31 on: March 08, 2019, 02:20:45 pm »
Well I am booked. 9am at Reading to 11.06 in Exeter. I couldn't book from maidenhead as cycles not bootable on the maidenhead to reading trains. I guess I can either ride to reading or take any of the frequent local trains without a booking.

I've had the tickets posted to me for piece of mind that I have them.

I nearly called the whole thing off as the confirmation page before paying made no mention of the bike booking.
   Eddington  87 miles

Re: Back to the Smoke 2018
« Reply #32 on: March 08, 2019, 03:53:54 pm »
Check-riding it last year and stopping frequently to write notes, I still finished in a 21hrs.  It's a pretty benign route (unless you bollox it up by allowing RWGPS to reroute you along all the main roads as someone did).

The route has changed a little around Watford, to avoid some busy dual-carriageway.  I have yet to check the new section, but the gps file won't be far out.

Re: Back to the Smoke 2018
« Reply #33 on: May 14, 2019, 12:11:07 pm »
Have I missed an email on this ride? Or do I just download the files from the website?
   Eddington  87 miles

Re: Back to the Smoke 2018
« Reply #34 on: May 14, 2019, 01:34:44 pm »
Have I missed an email on this ride? Or do I just download the files from the website?

Email will be end of this week.  Files unlikely to change in the meantime.

Re: Back to the Smoke 2018
« Reply #35 on: May 14, 2019, 01:56:42 pm »
Thanks.
   Eddington  87 miles

Re: Back to the Smoke 2018
« Reply #36 on: May 17, 2019, 10:41:53 am »
Email sent to all entrants (check your spam box if you haven't seen it).

Entry is still open at the moment, but I'll probably close it at 50.

citoyen

  • Cat 6 Racer
Re: Back to the Smoke 2018
« Reply #37 on: May 17, 2019, 01:11:48 pm »
Had to DNS the Invicta 400 last week due to matters not related to cycling. Putting my chances of being able to do this one at about 70% currently. Will let you know if I have to pull out.

Re: Back to the Smoke 2018
« Reply #38 on: May 20, 2019, 09:26:41 pm »
I have a friend who's hoping to do this but can't find a bike space from London for Saturday morning. If anyone has one spare please let me know.

LittleWheelsandBig

  • Whimsy Rider
Re: Back to the Smoke 2018
« Reply #39 on: May 20, 2019, 10:40:29 pm »
We ended up with Friday trains and accommodation for this reason alone.
Wheel meet again, don't know where, don't know when...

Re: Back to the Smoke 2018
« Reply #40 on: May 24, 2019, 01:52:48 pm »
Going via my house makes the Buckingham to marylebone leg only 10km longer and home is conveniently halfway.

On that basis would people consider sleeping at home rather than pushing through, especially as I could be arriving at marylebone before the trains start otherwise.

Get home shower sleep change leave overnight bag behind and finish at my convenience. As it's a postal finish it's not like I will keep someone waiting for me.
   Eddington  87 miles

Re: Back to the Smoke 2018
« Reply #41 on: May 24, 2019, 02:02:54 pm »
The Edgware Road is a car park after, say, 9 am, and I found it very hard to squeeze through stationary traffic. If you can finish before the traffic starts, you're much better off.

(For anyone finishing after traffic starts, I'd recommend heading east of the M1 and coming in through Elstree, Highgate and Regent's Park, or thereabouts)

Re: Back to the Smoke 2018
« Reply #42 on: May 24, 2019, 03:28:20 pm »
See you all at the start at midday tomorrow. Just (50m?) north of the station main entrance.
Sunset: 21:07, sunrise 04:56
https://app.photoephemeris.com/?ll=51.816650,-0.814580&dt=20190526000700%2B0100&z=12&spn=0.07,0.30&center=51.8167,-0.8146
Nice, if gentle, tailwind for the second half.

Re: Back to the Smoke 2018
« Reply #43 on: May 24, 2019, 04:27:53 pm »
The Edgware Road is a car park after, say, 9 am, and I found it very hard to squeeze through stationary traffic. If you can finish before the traffic starts, you're much better off.

(For anyone finishing after traffic starts, I'd recommend heading east of the M1 and coming in through Elstree, Highgate and Regent's Park, or thereabouts)
If I went home I wouldn't use the edgware road. Either uxbridge to Shepherd's Bush or the longer but much more pleasant Staines Richmond putney route.
   Eddington  87 miles

Re: Back to the Smoke 2018
« Reply #44 on: May 25, 2019, 09:07:35 am »
On the train to Exeter. Bike on no problem. Unfortunately my seat at opposite end of train from bike storage.

Nicely joined up!

Dont know why people couldn't get a bike booking when I got on there were no other bikes.
   Eddington  87 miles

LittleWheelsandBig

  • Whimsy Rider
Re: Back to the Smoke 2018
« Reply #45 on: May 25, 2019, 09:47:46 am »
There were 6 bikes on last night's train with space for 2 and I was the only one with a bike reservation as far as I could see...
Wheel meet again, don't know where, don't know when...

Re: Back to the Smoke 2018
« Reply #46 on: May 25, 2019, 02:52:52 pm »
About 32 started at noon, including some that others might refer to as "audaxing gods".  :facepalm:
Bit warm - all set for a lovely afternoon and night time ride.

LittleWheelsandBig

  • Whimsy Rider
Re: Back to the Smoke 2018
« Reply #47 on: May 25, 2019, 07:44:35 pm »
I've picked up a Santini cap on the road. Returned to the lost and found department (the organiser) while we were both riding the event.
Wheel meet again, don't know where, don't know when...

Re: Back to the Smoke 2018
« Reply #48 on: May 26, 2019, 01:37:38 pm »
Got to marylebone to find nothing open. Cash machine receipt very unhelpful in not including address.
   Eddington  87 miles

vorsprung

  • Opposites Attract
    • Audaxing
Re: Back to the Smoke 2018
« Reply #49 on: May 26, 2019, 03:32:08 pm »
About 32 started at noon, including some that others might refer to as "audaxing gods".  :facepalm:
Bit warm - all set for a lovely afternoon and night time ride.

We saw most of the field coming the other way over the Mendips.
None of them looked god like :)
Audaxing Blog follow @vorsprungbike on