Author Topic: The Cambridge Pork Pie 200 + EXTRA + Spring Dash 100 — Sat 16 March 2019 — PBP Q  (Read 10834 times)

Do let us know if you need any more testers. Especially ones with experience of previous years' excellence.

Just seen the temperature for Saturday and a bit concerned there could be ice?

wilkyboy

  • "nick" by any other name
    • 16-inch wheels
Just seen the temperature for Saturday and a bit concerned there could be ice?

You're not the only one, I've received a few emails about this.  However, I would not be overly concerned beforehand, and I would practice caution on the ride — we are forecast quite a few warm days before the event with not much in the way of rain, so we are definitely not expecting long-term, built-up ice.  There might be the occasional icy puddle.

What I would say is this: the roads on this course tend to dry quickly and they go very light-coloured — you can see where there's water about, which is mostly field run-off from one side to the other.  There will also be a lot of gravel around, washed into the road over winter, and I suspect that's the greater risk.

At the moment the weather is forecast to be pretty much how I rode the route a couple of weeks ago — I saw just one patch of ice in the whole ride and it was really obvious (field run-off) and of very little risk when ridden with care.  I have ridden the route previously in hailstorms, which was amazing — the views were incredible with the storm blowing through.  And I’ve ridden parts of the route during a prolonged cold period and while there was ice, it was obvious everywhere and safe enough to ride past with care: the sloped/hilly nature of much of the route means that ice tends to be frozen run-off, rather than sheet ice on the flat, so it’s usually really obvious where it is and where it’s not.

I am advising riders to take damp, shaded corners with care, i.e. don’t race in at maximum lean, just in case, but the rest of the route should be low-risk, I think — that’s just my experience, not a guarantee.  Personally I would be happy to ride this route in the forecast conditions, but I would ride cautiously where I thought the risk of ice was greatest.

As always, only take the risks you are comfortable with.  You are responsible for your own ride.  Audax is a fast tour, it is not a race!
RRTY #6 done; #7 aborted and restarted.

Great, very reassuring. Thanks Nick  :thumbsup:.

ElyDave

  • Royal and Ancient Polar Bear Society member 263583
I think I'm going to have to give this one a miss this year, work not progressing as quickly as expected this year.

 Do you have a date in mind for next year yet?
“Procrastination is the thief of time, collar him.” –Charles Dickens

wilkyboy

  • "nick" by any other name
    • 16-inch wheels
Do you have a date in mind for next year yet?

Let's get this edition outta the way first, eh, Dave?!  ;)
RRTY #6 done; #7 aborted and restarted.

ElyDave

  • Royal and Ancient Polar Bear Society member 263583
Next year, this bit of work has an accelerated deadline due to Brexit, it'll all be over by 11th March.

Just sayin'
“Procrastination is the thief of time, collar him.” –Charles Dickens

wilkyboy

  • "nick" by any other name
    • 16-inch wheels
Next year, this bit of work has an accelerated deadline due to Brexit, it'll all be over by 11th March.

Just sayin'

Assuming Brexit actually happens of course  :P

At the moment I would expect we'll run it the same weekend as this year and last, but being a PBP year then it may be forced to move.
RRTY #6 done; #7 aborted and restarted.

LittleWheelsandBig

  • Whimsy Rider
Our tandem will be rolling round the 100 this Saturday.
Wheel meet again, don't know where, don't know when...

When I sent the emails out last night, the weather forecast was for a very nice day.  12 hours later and it has turned a lot cooler  ::-)  I'm not pinning anything on the forecast for a day or two yet, it could all blow through on Friday, or not arrive until Sunday, or even not at all.  Fingers crossed!

Are you sure you kept your fingers crossed? The media is today talking about a mini beast from the east. Hopefully the snow that is forecast for early in the morning and during the day in Melton Mowbray does not materialise.

bhoot

  • MemSec (ex-Mrs RRtY)
What a difference a day will make....beautiful spring morning  in London today, perfect cycling conditions.

wilkyboy

  • "nick" by any other name
    • 16-inch wheels
What a difference a day will make....beautiful spring morning  in London today, perfect cycling conditions.

Yes, I popped out to the shops and it was glorious.  Tomorrow, in contrast I think, will be "memorable"  ::-)

Interestingly, yr.no doesn't have anything major to report, and they're usually pretty good, so I'm putting it down to "a chance of" rather than "it will definitely happen" — it's just a yellow warning, not anything serious.

If there is snow on the ground in the morning, then the Busway will be interesting for the Porkers, but at least no cars around.  From St Ives then it's main roads to Sawtry, and by then other traffic should've cleared a path.  For the Dashing lot, it's fair to say that any settled snow will have been disturbed by motor vehicles long before they get there.

Of course, that's IF there's snow — we may have none at all   :thumbsup:
RRTY #6 done; #7 aborted and restarted.

wilkyboy

  • "nick" by any other name
    • 16-inch wheels
Earlier today I sent emails to all entrants regarding the weather.  Both rides are still taking place, but each individual rider must make their own decision about whether they should or should not take part.

All Pork Pie (200) riders will be welcome to switch to the Spring Dash (100) event at the start and I expect there will be quite a few who will — just turn up and tell Ben on the desk that you'd like to switch and he'll provide you with the brevet, routesheet and hopefully access to a GPX (it would be better if you sorted this out before you left home, though).

Looking at the hour-by-hour, it's looking like Rutland and Leicestershire might well be faced with some decent snow showers, whereas Cambridge will see only a flurry or two, so the 100 is looking straightforward, the 200 "adventurous".

The email for the Pork Pie riders is here, and the email for the Spring Dash riders is here.
RRTY #6 done; #7 aborted and restarted.

There is NO snow in Melton Mowbray this morning.

EDIT: It's snowing NOW (07:30)

bhoot

  • MemSec (ex-Mrs RRtY)
There is in North London, fairly miserable ride to the station this morning (but the cake will make it worthwhile)

wilkyboy

  • "nick" by any other name
    • 16-inch wheels
There is NO snow in Melton Mowbray this morning.

EDIT: It's snowing NOW (07:30)

Thanks Yanto! 

It has been snowing on and off in Cambridge, but the roads are completely clear.

About one third of the Pork Pie (200) entrants started and just under half the Spring Dash (100) entrants.  We're going to be eating leftover cake for weeks to come  :thumbsup:
RRTY #6 done; #7 aborted and restarted.

wilkyboy

  • "nick" by any other name
    • 16-inch wheels
It's blue skies and sunny in Girton right now — what's wrong with the weather today?!  ::-)
RRTY #6 done; #7 aborted and restarted.

Now you're making all us skivers feel that we've made the wrong call...

ElyDave

  • Royal and Ancient Polar Bear Society member 263583
Blue skies and windy in the fens, I was definitely feeling the sidewind in the LandRover this morning.
“Procrastination is the thief of time, collar him.” –Charles Dickens

Brilliant, beautiful 100. Loved it, even the headwind (okay, maybe a bit less that bit).

Excellent soup and cake at the finish as always.

Thanks Nick and helpers!

Nick, thanks to you and the family for today's event. A bit of type 2 fun but certainly not dangerous (no ice at all on the roads), and yes the cake was awesome

It was definitely a challenge. Snow and ice were a complete non-issue, some snow had settled on fields in some places along the route but nothing on the roads. Roads were either dry or wet with mud and water.

The cold and bitter wind were a different matter. I  slighly hampered myself by leaving my outer gloves outside when I got back from the pub on Friday night, leaving them soaking and cold on Saturday morning so I had substandard hand insulation with an ild pair. For me it was actuall a plasent fide out to Melton. Around Oundle the sun came out ant the temperature beached the 0 theshold. The extra route had a cunningly place gate on a 15% hill to add interest. I was Ok untill the Rockingham speedway stadium. Here the temperature had dropped to -3.4 and the course goes eastwood into a strong headwind. My hands were alternating between pain and numb, and gear cotrol went out of the window. I was also very slow with the average dropping to 22Kph.

Things picked up at the end but the temp continued to fall. Hospiality and catering was up to the usual standard, supperb and the hot soup was exactly what was needed to defrost. An excellent and memorable event.

wilkyboy

  • "nick" by any other name
    • 16-inch wheels
We had a fantastic day, it's always so much fun from our side, it's great to meet all the riders, and especially hearing all the stories at the end without having suffered them ourselves ;)

Everyone back and accounted for.  A few "hors délais" — "beyond time limit" — but brevets signed and returned (but not validated) in order to prove to the grandchildren that they're not dead yet :)

Definitely a tough day with that bitterly cold wind, the forecast snow in the end was just flurries and nothing serious.  Although the final two back on the Pork Pie were still out as the snow started to settle and that was a concern, they rolled in at 11pm with the news that the route had been fine.

One muddy descent on the Pork Pie was exactly where it always is, and advised in the briefing.  One short snowy patch on the Spring Dash caused a few to question the rest of the route and B-road it around (and therefore just short on distance, missed the info, and not validated, but they enjoyed the cake at the end).  But in the end it was all benign, merely a weather caution (yellow), not a warning (amber).

On reflection of both pre-ride forecast and in-ride actuality it was the correct decision to go ahead with the events.  Those who chose not to ride did so because they were not comfortable with the forecast conditions and personal risks — and most spoke of the potential for ice, rather than just the wind, and I rated the cold (temp - windchill) to be the greatest risk with the potential for hypothermia;  the ground was too warm from Friday for ice to form until late into the evening.  Many riders struggled to sort their brevets and receipts out as they finished until their fingers had warmed through and I had to remove the gloves off one!  However, it was remarkable how quickly everyone came back to life with a hot cup of tea — followed with hot soup and finished with some of Mrs WB's homemade cake  :thumbsup:

Those who did ride, many found the wind too much for their legs and abandoned safely — on the Pork Pie catching a train back from Oakham or Melton Mowbray; and several on the 100 simply riding back into Cambridge.  Roughly 20-25% one-third abandoned, so a tough day, but that underlines the audaciousness of those who went on to finish.

Lantèrne Rouge on the Pork Pie was a Cambridge rider who I've ridden the Extra in 12 hours with (and he had to wait for me on the climbs), so would normally be ahead of the bulge on the Classic, but found himself alone pushing into the wind at 15kph on the return — underlining the difficult windy conditions.

Audax is not an armchair sport, it's definitely not a fair-weather sport.  Audax is about going out on your bike to do what you said you were going to do and taking the conditions in your stride.  Everyone who rode yesterday I have the deepest respect for — you can wear the badge of starting yesterday's events with pride, as you set out to overcome difficult weather to achieve your aim.  Those who had to abandon, you still achieved far more than those who chose not to start, and you can take the experience away with you and hopefully build on it  :thumbsup:

And chapeau to everyone who finished — it was humbling to see so many of you strive so hard to achieve that solitary Pork Pie stamp in your brevet, and two points on your palmères, or the grinning mad "yeah" man stamp and no points.  It makes me wonder whether the reputation of Mrs WB's cakes at arrivée might've had something to do with it?  ;)

My personal thanks to my small team of amazing volunteers who make the reception and hospitality so good for you all — AlexB for turning up super early to sort the parking out with AlexW; BenW for running the desk all day. And my biggest thanks, as always, go to Mrs WB for running hospitality from end to end to look after all you riders so well!  Thank you Team!  :-* :thumbsup:
RRTY #6 done; #7 aborted and restarted.

wilkyboy

  • "nick" by any other name
    • 16-inch wheels
ps. For those who are interested, I had a chat over the phone, while we were setting up in the morning, with Charlie Thompson on BBC Radio Cambridgeshire about The Cambridge Pork Pie and audax in general — it was just a five-minute "things cyclists would do for a pork pie!" interest piece.  You can listen on iPlayer for a couple of weeks here, from 1h10 to 1h15 — https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p05zx5r0.
RRTY #6 done; #7 aborted and restarted.

Really tough day out there and the last 50k or so I couldn't feel my hands so changing gear was almost impossible.

Glad I did it and thanks for the tea Nick  :thumbsup: Chapeau to all that finished.