Author Topic: Asparagus & Strawberries 2019  (Read 1216 times)

Asparagus & Strawberries 2019
« on: May 28, 2019, 04:47:35 pm »
Hi folks.

Im on the start list for this as Im working in that London Thu/Fri this week.

A few questions (based on an assumption that I will be about 20-22 hrs all in)

- is Barton Mills the last place where we're guaranteed to be able to get indoors? 

- what is there after the 24 hr garage in Newmarket c 315km?  Will Saffron Walden definitely just be an ATM (assuming arrival about 0100)? 

- what time is the buffet likely to be open in Manningtree?

I'm in no great rush and may just pootle round just within time if it permits a more congenial ride. 




jiberjaber

  • ... Fancy Pants \o/ ...
  • ACME S&M^2
Re: Asparagus & Strawberries 2019
« Reply #1 on: May 28, 2019, 05:17:51 pm »
The team were doing the route check this weekend gone so things subject to that however from previous events:

Yes at Barton Mills, McD (or garages) are the last possible indoors place - after that it's mostly deserted ...

However there is a "Swan Service Station" potential stop at Hedingham depending on the time you go through there, from memory, there's a loo there too. (about 375km on a 24hr schedule, I think we used it around 07:30 in 2016 - Google maps shows this as open at 05:15 but you might want to call them to confirm!) https://goo.gl/maps/6zqqDgfNBh13K8UdA

Newmarket BP had a great ability to real off every sandwich they had from memory but it's usually window service, though I have been through there on a circa 20hr schedule and be able to walk in and shop. In terms of what's after there, well see above Hedingham.  Saffron W is usually an ATM in the square and scoff something stashed from earlier.

We were back too early for The Station Buffet to be open on a 20hr finish, there is a platform ticket machine which you can get POP from, I did ride up to the Lawford garage but was too early for them as well.
Regards,

Joergen

Tomsk

  • Fueled by cake since 1957
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Re: Asparagus & Strawberries 2019
« Reply #2 on: May 28, 2019, 07:34:29 pm »
 Saffron Walden is a bit of a desert at Audax o'clock - convenience stores open at 6 [one by crossroads, another in East Street heading out of town towards Radwinter on the next stage]. Tesco garage Sundays opening, not sure ... Tesco store up Radwinter Road has ATMs and covered forecourt with a seat or two. I have seen sleeping AUKs in the telephone box in the Market Place before!

:thumbsup: Swan Garage in Sible Hedingham opens early, certainly - my usual Winter Series ECE control stop - loos decent, Costa coffee machine, friendly staff - have hung about inside on very cold winter mornings no problem.

Newsagent in Bures Hamlet opens early and is another little haven.

Re: Asparagus & Strawberries 2019
« Reply #3 on: May 28, 2019, 08:38:43 pm »
I usually stoke up with food at Barton Mills and then snack all the way back.  I had a very enjoyable ride back last time (actually 4 years ago) with Phil and Dick - the Scottish tandem - after I offered to navigate for them (from the excellent routesheet).

Re: Asparagus & Strawberries 2019
« Reply #4 on: May 28, 2019, 09:07:23 pm »
Thanks all. ^

The garage at Sible Hedingham was exactly the sort of thing i was looking to hear about!

Graeme

Re: Asparagus & Strawberries 2019
« Reply #5 on: May 28, 2019, 11:42:15 pm »
I'm going to sleep at Mildenhall, things will be open when I reach Saffron Walden.

pretty soft, sleeping on a 400 but, Meh, it will make the last bit more enjoyable, and ensure I am safe to drive home when I get to Manningtree
   Eddington  81 miles  112 kms

Re: Asparagus & Strawberries 2019
« Reply #6 on: May 31, 2019, 10:56:35 am »
Looks like it will be the first event of 2019 where my leg warmers will be off - and possibly throughout. 

19 degrees overnight.   :o

Re: Asparagus & Strawberries 2019
« Reply #7 on: May 31, 2019, 11:42:16 am »
Looks like it will be the first event of 2019 where my leg warmers will be off - and possibly throughout. 

19 degrees overnight.   :o

Yeah, I'm packing really light.   Only the second ride this year where I will carry sun cream.

Re: Asparagus & Strawberries 2019
« Reply #8 on: May 31, 2019, 01:06:54 pm »
Looks like it will be the first event of 2019 where my leg warmers will be off - and possibly throughout. 

19 degrees overnight.   :o
Packing list
Tubes
Levers
Pump
Multi tool
Split link
Patches
Power pack
Toothbrush
Toothpaste
Sun cream

Reckon it all firs in a saddle pack and small top tube bag.

I'll also mention I am not sleeping in bus stops or riding through the night. Or I would pack more
   Eddington  81 miles  112 kms

Re: Asparagus & Strawberries 2019
« Reply #9 on: June 02, 2019, 03:02:04 pm »
Looks like it will be the first event of 2019 where my leg warmers will be off - and possibly throughout. 

19 degrees overnight.   :o
Packing list
Tubes
Levers
Pump
Multi tool
Split link
Patches
Power pack
Toothbrush
Toothpaste
Sun cream

Reckon it all firs in a saddle pack and small top tube bag.

I'll also mention I am not sleeping in bus stops or riding through the night. Or I would pack more

Think it was you I was riding with for a while before Wells.   Your list above doesn’t include bottles ?

Re: Asparagus & Strawberries 2019
« Reply #10 on: June 02, 2019, 04:11:32 pm »
Looks like it will be the first event of 2019 where my leg warmers will be off - and possibly throughout. 

19 degrees overnight.   :o
Packing list
Tubes
Levers
Pump
Multi tool
Split link
Patches
Power pack
Toothbrush
Toothpaste
Sun cream

Reckon it all firs in a saddle pack and small top tube bag.

I'll also mention I am not sleeping in bus stops or riding through the night. Or I would pack more

Think it was you I was riding with for a while before Wells.   Your list above doesn’t include bottles ?

That's right, its really expensive to take 1.5 kg off the weight of a bike, but leaving the bidons at home has the same weight benefit for a fraction of the cost. (buying water more frequently). My wife found my (full) bottles in the kitchen but didn't offer to drive them up to Ixford to meet me. Don't know why. If I do this ride again I may take the hotel in Manningtree for 2 nights approach, that seems to allow getting back and having somewhere to sleep before heading home, although there is still the food shortage at Manningtree at 2am and I understand that eating directly after exercise is very important.
   Eddington  81 miles  112 kms

Re: Asparagus & Strawberries 2019
« Reply #11 on: June 02, 2019, 04:19:12 pm »
I got back at 1:30 and then 5 miles back to my hotel.  I left some food in my room so showered, snacked and in bed by about 2:15.  Annoyingly I was wide awake before 7am.  I went to the finish and chatted to a few people before driving home.

I may have dropped off a few times this afternoon.

Re: Asparagus & Strawberries 2019
« Reply #12 on: June 02, 2019, 07:47:05 pm »
My fastest unnofical 400Km Audax on Saturday, 426km in 16.25 hours, started 5:30 to get to the start from Cambridge and was back home at 22:15. Good meal and 7 hours sleep, breakfast than got to the finish at 11:15, so within the last hour of succeeding. That's what I call judgement, or is it luck. There wren't many riders at the finish by the time I got there. Another Cambridger was there due to using the same approach. The extended ride home to complete the 600Km via ECE was a bit harder though. That finished at 17:00

It was really good at last to ride a long distance event in good weather, and no lighting to see with required. I did need basic lights to be seen for about an hour on Saturday though. Thanks to Grant for a pleasant event.

stefan

  • aka martin
Re: Asparagus & Strawberries 2019
« Reply #13 on: June 02, 2019, 09:04:23 pm »
Another Cambridger was there due to using the same approach. The extended ride home to complete the 600Km via ECE was a bit harder though. That finished at 17:00

It was really good at last to ride a long distance event in good weather, and no lighting to see with required. I did need basic lights to be seen for about an hour on Saturday though. Thanks to Grant for a pleasant event.

I also found it hard going on the way back to Cambridge - I didn't quite manage 7 hours of sleep either! (but I got enough - it was a good plan and nice to get the ECE in as a bonus)

A thoroughly enjoyable event, many thanks to Grant, and it was also good to put some faces to a few more YACF names.

Re: Asparagus & Strawberries 2019
« Reply #14 on: June 03, 2019, 09:16:37 am »
I got back home to Edinburgh after a snooze fest on the 1700 train from KX last night. 

The event panned out pretty much exactly as Id planned ie I made good time (for me) to Wells, where I treated myself to sit down fish n chips and left shortly before 8pm.  Some lovely villages on the way and a tow from the "Ventoux" mixed tandem couple on the 1st leg all made for a pleasant ride. 

The headwind back south wasnt as bad as expected and I got to Barton at 11 where I stayed until almost 2am.  Though Id tried to sleep I didnt. 

I got very dozy on the next stretch and in the name of safety stopped at a bush shelter for a micro nap as it got light.  It was a modern uncomfortable one and of course there was a lovely old fashioned one just down the road that I only discovered once under way again!

After plodding on to Saffron Walden with no zip in the legs I knew the next leg would be "ridge-y" so just took it easy, stopping at the oasis of the petrol station in Sible Hedingham.       

A puncture around 25km was irksome but I had plenty of time in hand and once under way rode near the end with a chap completing his 1st 400 and we crossed the line together just after 0900 closely followed by another guy Id been playing leapfrog with on the road who was walking some of the hills.

Thanks to Grant and team for an excellent 400.  Ive been wanting to ride this one for while but have never managed it til now. 

Next calendar event that Ive enetered is an event in France in August   :o

Graeme

Re: Asparagus & Strawberries 2019
« Reply #15 on: June 03, 2019, 03:16:59 pm »
rode near the end with a chap completing his 1st 400 and we crossed the line together just after 0900 closely followed by another guy Id been playing leapfrog with on the road who was walking some of the hills.
Well done! I headed off on the 08.53 back to London so will have just missed you. I'm Andrew - the ACME rider on fixed. Good to meet you.

Deano_44

  • Enjoy the Ride!
Re: Asparagus & Strawberries 2019
« Reply #16 on: June 03, 2019, 07:00:08 pm »
Motivation for the last couple of weeks have been at an all time low. Maybe it was the pressure that I only needed to do this 400km to qualify for Paris but I almost didn't start. I was due to cycle to my parents who live an hour away from Manngingtree on Friday night but chickened out of that and got the train instead. So good start there.

I always tell myself the hardest part is starting so I got myself to the start on Saturday morning, knowing that once I got going it would be ok, it is after all just a bike ride! Even so, I was trying my hardest to be excited about it.

Before the start I was joined by Jane who needed a riding partner so at least I would have some company and we could both help each other through the rough patches, although I think Jane was even more reluctant to start than I was.

We set off at 09:00 making our way at comfortable pace to Ixworth. It must have been six or seven miles in and we bumped into Steve. He then decided that he would take us around the audax and effectively show us how it was done.

It was a glorious sunny day and with the three of us riding together the pace increased a little bit but it was still manageable. We got to Ixworth and Grant and Tom stamped our cards. A quick visit to the toilet and the village store and we were on our way again.

I was still following my plan of eating a cereal bar / apple bake every hour and then later on in the ride a sweet on the half hour, this worked quite well on the 600km and was worked well on this one too and I didn't once start to run out of energy like I had done on the earlier rides this year.

Next stop was Haleworth, we decided to avoid a pub stop this time and looked for a cafe. In the end we found a bakery with a grumpy woman, the receipt didn't have the time and place on it, so a visit to the Spar opposite was needed. I asked the guy at the counter for a receipt and he kindly reminded me that I needed to pay for my item first. Not sure why I was so distracted at only 107km!

Short stage next to Acle and across the water on the luxury ferry. The weather was still being nice and it was making for pleasant riding especially into the evening. Acle was a quick visit to a CO-OP and then on the road again to the half way point at Wells.

We passed the take away where we stopped at last year and I reflected on how the pace was much better this year and we had some time in hand, instead of bumping up against the time limit. Approaching Wells we encountered a guy wearing trousers and his gore-tex overshoes. He kept up with us for a bit and then thanked us for the tow when we got to Wells as he was struggling at that point.

Dinner was in the Wells-Next-To-The-Sea CO-OP car park. I bought a baguette and some crisps to eat there and a sandwich to take with me and eat at Saffron Walden. Then it was back on the road again and into the night.

Although this stage to Barton Mills was long, it was also quite fast or at least it seamed to be, nice and straight in the dark all the way to McDonalds. Along the way we picked up Jerry and he stayed with us until the end. We stopped in Swaffham for some snacks and adjustments, leaving just before things started kicking off with the drunks.

The machine in McDonalds didn't give me a receipt! The horror, so I bought some extra chips from another machine and ended up with a tray full of them. Should have taken a photo. Some women at the table next to us had just come back from a wedding and were fascinated by our cycle and probably thought we were a bit bonkers.

After that there was only a couple of hours left of the dark and I managed to stay awake. We arrived at Wells around 06:00 and got a receipt from the cash machine. I ate my sandwich and then we were back on the road for the final hilly stage back to Manningtree.

I knew the hills were on the last stage but I always forget how it actually is, especially with tired legs. Still we stopped off at the petrol station in Sibble Hedingham and then finished the last 25 miles back to Manningtree it was "this is the last hill," before descending it and finding another hill that is definitely the last hill, repeating until we finally arrived back in Manningtree just after 09:00hrs.

Thanks to Steve, Jane and Jeremy for the company and to Grant for organising.

This concludes my PBP qualifying, so I guess I will actually have to do it now! 

Re: Asparagus & Strawberries 2019
« Reply #17 on: June 04, 2019, 01:28:26 pm »
rode near the end with a chap completing his 1st 400 and we crossed the line together just after 0900 closely followed by another guy Id been playing leapfrog with on the road who was walking some of the hills.
Well done! I headed off on the 08.53 back to London so will have just missed you. I'm Andrew - the ACME rider on fixed. Good to meet you.
Ah yes we chatted on the first leg and i think you went ahead of me a few kms short of the control.  Nice to have met you too.  Hope that chain has bedded in!   

I meant to post earlier that I used this ride as a test out of a possible PBP set up.  I learned three things

1.  The large Ortlieb seat pack (16.5l) is too big (*) and even when fastened b*st*rd tight it still moves about too much especially when honking (not that I do a great deal of that).  Also when its anywhere more than about 1/3rd full then lots of stuff just falls out when the bag is opened.  Putting stuff in smaller bags inside it would work but its better suited to a longer tour than PBP.  I'll just use my existing carradice SuperC saddlepack which at 8l should be plenty.

* I should have realised this when a casual cyclist I was chatting with asked me if I had my tent in it.   :o :o

2.  My very used Brooks B17 (commenced audax service Sep 2011) has now gone beyond the point of redemption (it can be tightened no further and the leather is now sagging hugely and is making occasional contact with the rails) so  I will swap over to a newer B17 that I bought last year and have used on 4 * 200 DIYs earlier in the year.  Its still a tad tough on the botty so I will have to get working on both over the next couple of months. 

3.  I'll also swap tyres now, and use them on the 2 or 3 DIYs between now and Paris.  I've gone from 28s to 25s for PBP the last 2 occasions so it feels something of a ritual now.  I've also lost faith in gatorskins when I used to be a fan.     Given I'm heading to France I'll probably swap over to Michelin Power or suchlike.   
   

Fidgetbuzz

  • L sp MOON. 1st R sp MARS . At X SO sp STARS
Re: Asparagus & Strawberries 2019
« Reply #18 on: June 04, 2019, 05:54:50 pm »

2.  My very used Brooks B17 (commenced audax service Sep 2011) has now gone beyond the point of redemption (it can be tightened no further and the leather is now sagging hugely
 

Brooks do a very good releathering job .. personal experience.
I was an accountant until I discovered Audax !!

Re: Asparagus & Strawberries 2019
« Reply #19 on: June 05, 2019, 02:06:01 pm »

2.  My very used Brooks B17 (commenced audax service Sep 2011) has now gone beyond the point of redemption (it can be tightened no further and the leather is now sagging hugely
 

Brooks do a very good releathering job .. personal experience.
Didnt know that thanks.  A wee job for q3 I reckon   :thumbsup: