Author Topic: What was your best ride of the year and why ?  (Read 2326 times)

What was your best ride of the year and why ?
« on: December 24, 2019, 08:39:49 am »
For me, a close run thing between the Cumbrian 200 audax and a wee tandem ride round Millport.
The latter was our first tandem ride in years since my wife had hurt her back, we got it on a lovely day and just bimbled round with the other day trippers. It was fantastic.
But a return to the Lakes and on some roads where I first rode with the Lakes Road club about 35 years ago was superb.  It was also my hardest ride of the year but my abiding memories were of the scenery, the fantastic lunch and company.

https://www.strava.com/activities/2378458276

bludger

  • Randonneur and bargain hunter
Re: What was your best ride of the year and why ?
« Reply #1 on: December 24, 2019, 08:53:24 am »
Definitely the Belgian 400. http://calumonwheels.com/2019/12/08/the-daft-story-of-my-hardest-ride/

Very hard but really chuffed with myself for having completed it.

Honourable mentions to Paul's 2019 edition of the London Orbital and the French for organising a terrific Challenge Roubaix sportive. And to Finsbury Park Audax for the Jetsetter which is the 200 I've enjoyed the most, ever.

All in all a good year for me on a bike! ;D
YACF touring/audax bargain basement:
https://bit.ly/2Xg8pRD



Ban cars.

T42

  • Old fool in a hurry
Re: What was your best ride of the year and why ?
« Reply #2 on: December 24, 2019, 09:35:59 am »
Nothing special this year, it's mainly been a case of fighting beta-blockers and intestinal chaos. Further details withheld.
I've dusted all those old bottles and set them up straight.

Re: What was your best ride of the year and why ?
« Reply #3 on: December 24, 2019, 10:25:08 am »
Nowt special, in fact I haven't ridden my bike for anything other than commuting this year, despite taking the bike to Skye  :-[

LittleWheelsandBig

  • Whimsy Rider
Re: What was your best ride of the year and why ?
« Reply #4 on: December 24, 2019, 10:48:58 am »
I'm pretty sure it was the day after the Paris-Tourmalet 1000 UAF brevet finished in Luz Saint-Sauveur, The following day is when the audaxers ceremonially ride up the Col du Tourmalet. The brevet itself had perfect weather and had gone well for me but I have a strong tendency to completely fall apart in the high mountains. The Octopus and I left a few minutes early as I fully expected to grind to a crawl but we just rolled up the Tourmalet using the old road, the Voie Laurent Fignon. No cars at all but lots of cows and degraded tarmac, so best ridden up.

At the summit, we enjoyed the sunshine and beer while cheering the UAFers as they crested the climb and parked their bikes. A group photo, a gourmet meal, convivial company and wine put us in a good mood for a fast descent on the main road. I think only one pair of cyclists caught us and we passed quite a few. The other audaxers rolled back to the hotel with their day's ride done but the Octopus, HK and I continued through town and up the valley through Gedre to Gavarnie and, after some roughstuffing, a gorgeous view of the Cirque de Gavarnie. https://goo.gl/maps/pxJ46PEFt6F9NrKs9

HK was suffering badly from her medication and turned back but the Octopus and I continued the extra kilometres up the Col de Tentes. Just about deserted and stunningly beautiful, it was a fabulous route and surprisingly I climbed more comfortably than the Octopus. Just time for a good look towards the Spanish border before donning warm clothes and trying to beat the end of the day back to Luz Saint-Sauveur, our dinners and more wine. I'll count that as a bloody good ride.


Honourable mention to the Calshot Velodrome afternoon organised by Rogerzilla in February. It was fun getting back on a proper track bike nearly a quarter century after hanging up my Eddy Merckx. Everything was well organised and the other riders were good to ride with. My only hassle was that the banking was somewhat steeper than I was comfortable with. Every time I started to properly wind up on the straights, I'd back off in the bankings because I was having trouble staying down near the pole line. Considering I spent some time on the Ghent banking back in the day, I hadn't expected that to happen.

Another honourable mention to the Wayfarer Centenary Weekend with the Rough Stuff Fellowship. Sharing a place with mattc and iddu was very convivial and we rode (and occasionally walked) through some fun countryside. My riding a fixed wheel gave me a better appreciation of how tough some of those old-time cyclists were.
Wheel meet again, don't know where, don't know when...

T42

  • Old fool in a hurry
Re: What was your best ride of the year and why ?
« Reply #5 on: December 24, 2019, 01:06:41 pm »
I'm pretty sure it was the day after the Paris-Tourmalet 1000 UAF brevet finished in Luz Saint-Sauveur, The following day is when the audaxers ceremonially ride up the Col du Tourmalet...

I did that in 2007 - the first time it was organized, I think. Both the brevet and the climb (via the normal road) were great fun, although there was one minor upset because a good few people weren't climbers, so the road captains kept the pace down to 6 kph. A good few people couldn't balance and rode into each other.  After the first crash I let them get well away and did it at my own speed.
I've dusted all those old bottles and set them up straight.

LittleWheelsandBig

  • Whimsy Rider
Re: What was your best ride of the year and why ?
« Reply #6 on: December 24, 2019, 01:24:19 pm »
Both this time and in 2010, they allowed riders to climb the col at their own pace.

A very sizeable bunch stayed together in 2010, when the road was closed for the TdF stage in the afternoon. The road had already been closed to cyclists when we arrived but the Centenaire du Tourmalet riders in their UAF kit were allowed up to the summit and back because of the Henri Desgrange and Poulidor connections. I did my customary progressively slower grovelling as the altitude increased. Just as we got to the summit, Sean Kelly arrived from the La Mongie side with a bunch, all on WW1-era racing bikes. Another memorable day!
Wheel meet again, don't know where, don't know when...

ElyDave

  • Royal and Ancient Polar Bear Society member 263583
Re: What was your best ride of the year and why ?
« Reply #7 on: December 24, 2019, 02:23:14 pm »
February's ACME anvil 100k audax, the Knights Templar and Crosses on the second.  My first since being knocked off on the Monday before the Oct 2018 edition of the Three R's. Not my longest ride, but a great sense of achievement
“Procrastination is the thief of time, collar him.” –Charles Dickens

T42

  • Old fool in a hurry
Re: What was your best ride of the year and why ?
« Reply #8 on: December 24, 2019, 02:32:01 pm »
Both this time and in 2010, they allowed riders to climb the col at their own pace.

A very sizeable bunch stayed together in 2010, when the road was closed for the TdF stage in the afternoon. The road had already been closed to cyclists when we arrived but the Centenair du Tourmalet UAF were allowed up to the summit and back because of the Henri Desgrange and Poulidor connections. I did my customary progressively slower grovelling as the altitude increased. Just as we got to the summit, Sean Kelly arrived from the La Mongie side with a bunch on WW1 racing bikes. Another memorable day!

That sounds great.
I've dusted all those old bottles and set them up straight.

Re: What was your best ride of the year and why ?
« Reply #9 on: December 24, 2019, 07:25:49 pm »
I have had some good riding this year but the one that stands out was the ride to Wolverhampton and back to visit nobby. The return run included my first ever all night ride and I spotted a live wowbadger between bicester and Thame. I got home just before the heavy rain started at 5.40 am 🙂
the slower you go the more you see

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: What was your best ride of the year and why ?
« Reply #10 on: December 26, 2019, 12:24:03 am »
*Does a bit of VeloViewer filtering to jog memory*

If races count, the BHPC Stourport race in October:  Good conditions, fun track, nothing went wrong with body or bike (or, for that matter, the timing system) and I even managed to scrape in ahead of John L in the first round.

(The Shennington 24 hour pedal car race, while admirably silly, doesn't make the list on account of ending in Type 3 Fun.)

My Randonneur Once A Year entry, an ECEed Cotswold Challenge 160, earns runner-up status for being the first 200km ride I've manged without injury in yonks.  It was reasonably enjoyable, apart from excessive sausages at the first control (I'm no teethgrinder) and the extremely localised downpour that missed the riders on the 100 completely.

The first half of the Dun Run was also quite good, until Wowbagger's rent-a-stoker ran out of steam and the resulting grovelling set my Achilles off.  Ruined a perfectly good tour of the flatlands, that.

There was some lovely cycling around the ALC Easter meet at Skipton, but no one ride stands out.

And honourable mention goes to an 8km pootle to King[']s Heath on a Mildly Inappropriate Bike for photography purposes, simply for being the only time I've ridden with barakta this year.  We can but hope she'll be rated for pain-free cycling again at some point in future...

But I think I'm going to nominate the York-Hull FNRttC / SMRbtY, which had a little bit of everything.   :thumbsup:
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Re: What was your best ride of the year and why ?
« Reply #11 on: December 26, 2019, 08:38:45 am »
Two stand outs. Well maybe more then two but rather contrasting. One was the prince's trust palace to Palace ride in October. For me it was the furthest I had cycled and despite being a resolute country boy I loved the early morning cycle though london

Other fave rides are the ones we have done as a family. Thr little one 6 isn't as keen on the idea od cycling as her older siste. She always loves it when we do. Back in early autumn we cycled a 10 km round trip and went scrumping. Was just great fun to all be on our bikes once we realised that the dungaree dress she was wearing made it almost impossible to get on and off the bike without falling over.

Graeme

  • Priest, Preacher and Prophet
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    • BalancingOnTwoWheels
Re: What was your best ride of the year and why ?
« Reply #12 on: December 26, 2019, 09:55:55 am »
I returned to time trials this year and on the 24th July covered 10 miles in 24 mins and 07 seconds... my fastest ever ride and beating Adam Duggleby too! (In the event: most improved rider)

Despite many wonderful rides with friends and stunning scenery, that 10 miles has put the biggest smile on my face this year.

37. Because travel is the finest educational system of all; and cycling the cheapest, easiest, and most educational means of travel - Kuklos' 39 Articles

Re: What was your best ride of the year and why ?
« Reply #13 on: December 26, 2019, 10:43:46 am »
Strangely enough, it was a failed Paris-Brest-Paris.  When I broke my ankle 5 weeks before, I thought I wasn't going to make it.  Fortunately the break was not of the worst kind, and Nigel Physio did an amazing job of getting me as close to fitness as possible, given the limited time available.
So I set off knowing that completion was doubtful.  The camaraderie and the atmosphere made it far, far better than sitting at home moping.  I got as far as Loudeac before packing.  I owe a lot to some good friends.

Wowbagger

  • Dez's butler
    • Musings of a Gentleman Cyclist
Re: What was your best ride of the year and why ?
« Reply #14 on: December 26, 2019, 11:28:59 am »
Apart from the Lon Las Cymru and the Dun Run, I did hardly any riding at all. A bit of local pottering but very few days in which I did more than 10 miles.
Given that the Dun Run involved chauffeuring on the tandem a bloke who was only any use for the first 40 miles, that has to be the most heroic. The Lon Las Cymru has to be the best ride. I think the most enjoyable was the day we conquered the Gospel Pass, because the weather was lovely, there were cuckoos and stuff like that. Possibly the two wet days were the most memorable. The bit between Rhayader and Llanidloes was challenging and I even rejected a pub stop that the others took advantage of as I was worried about getting cold. The final day, from Caernarfon to Caergybi, was equally moist, and I hacked along the A5 for some of it, which was very unpleasant, but I got to Holyhead with almost 2 hours to spare before my train and I found a lovely steamy greasy spoon cafe that did a delicious ham, cheese and mushroom omelette with chips and lots of tea. Although I had booked tickets for Shrewsbury, I was forced to change at Chester and get on a replacement bus, because part of the track was under water somewhere near Chirk.

I'm hoping to do more cycling next year - a few day rides of up to 50 miles, I hope, and possibly resurrect the Netherlands tour that Jan and I abandoned when Phyllis was ill.
Eating's a serious business. Don't bollocks around wagging your tail.

CrazyEnglishTriathlete

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Re: What was your best ride of the year and why ?
« Reply #15 on: December 26, 2019, 06:21:33 pm »
Difficult question, as there was no stand out ride.

One of the most memorable was a ride from Selsey around to Hayling to catch the Hayling ferry, around the bottom end of Southsea to the Gosport Ferry, then the little pink Warsash - Hamble ferry, looping back for a cafe stop in Bishops Waltham.  I got caught in the mother of all thunderstorms up Old Winchester Hill, which left all the roads flooded.  Then I dropped down to Bosham to catch the Itchenor Ferry, having to stop to fix a puncture in the lee of a haystack.  I realised with some playing around with times and routes I could have started with the Itchenor ferry, then taken the Hayling, Gosport, Warsash, Hythe ferries to the New Forest and then added Lymington - Yarmouth and Ryde - Portsmouth, but that would be for another time.

The rival would be the Ballon d'Alsace from Basel, where I was in my third country of the day 12 minutes after leaving my hotel (Switzerland, Germany (for about 500m) and France.  Despite it being mid-April the temperature even at Rhine level was nearing freezing.  Descending the Ballon d'Alsace was chilling despite being in full winter gear.  It was dry on top but 900m below the summit France was coated in snow and I had to stop in the only McDonald's for 100km to find a coffee to warm up. 

I did some sunny rides and longer rides, but they don't stick in the memory so much.
Eddington Numbers 125 (imperial), 175 (metric) 528 (furlongs)  112 (nautical miles)

FifeingEejit

  • Not Small
Re: What was your best ride of the year and why ?
« Reply #16 on: December 26, 2019, 07:05:50 pm »
Probably A Ride around Ben Klibreck for the conditions.

Both of my Snow Roads this year (Feb and Dec) were a bit disappointing weather wise; the first was bloody windy but warm and the second was bloody icy and then I broke the bike and scraped in with 30 mins to spare.

telstarbox

  • Loving the lanes
Re: What was your best ride of the year and why ?
« Reply #17 on: December 27, 2019, 06:32:09 pm »
Best 'organised' ride was the "North London Dirt" gravel fest c/o The Ride Journal, although it was more accurately East London and Essex Dirt. Really interesting route combining fire roads, single track, farm bridleways etc. I did it on my road bike for a laugh and the event attracted an easygoing crowd. 

Honourable mentions to the Brum 200 (Paolo Coppo) and Kelvedon Oyster (ACME) Audaxes.

Best solo ride was a DIY 200 to the northeast corner of Essex, on a sunny August day when the crop harvest was in full swing. Under-rated countryside and I planned the ride to finish at a waterside pub in Wivenhoe.
2019 🏅 R1000 and B1000

Pingu

  • Put away those fiery biscuits!
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Re: What was your best ride of the year and why ?
« Reply #18 on: December 27, 2019, 06:50:56 pm »
I've just been putting photies on the map on Flickr and was reminded that this ride in Cuba was good. It was on a road that had been largely wiped out by a hurricane a few years previously. It had many of the elements of a classic yACF-type ride: comedy off-roading, bridges, fording, heat, beer, cats, a near impromtu sea shower, wildlife  :)

Flickr album:
https://flic.kr/s/aHsmJVaf84

WOT

Re: What was your best ride of the year and why ?
« Reply #19 on: December 27, 2019, 07:23:57 pm »
Back cycling in May / June after a long spell of utter laziness.
I did various rides with central London CTC ranging from 1* through to a moderately paced 4* last weekend. The 4* was my favourite group spin.

I spent a day in the Surrey hills back in September / October following a recommendation on here. That was superb as it was all new to me. Staying warm was my biggest issue that day and I felt there was lots left in the tank so to speak. My longest ride to date at ~160km.

Have pencilled in a number of Audax rides next year including a 400km. That’ll be a big test for me.

Re: What was your best ride of the year and why ?
« Reply #20 on: January 01, 2020, 08:15:03 pm »
The Fridays ride to Brighton hit the spot this year. Gorgeous weather, four colleagues who were all first times (and loved it) and mini's first full length FNRttC. Glorious.
Rust never sleeps

Re: What was your best ride of the year and why ?
« Reply #21 on: January 03, 2020, 03:11:27 pm »
2019 was a rotten year for cycling.

I had very little time thanks to selling our place in France and doing taxi runs.  My driving mileage has been shocking, over 25k.

So my best ride I found very tough thanks to exceptional temperature in France.  I rode from Nexon to Brantome, something I have done quite often without a problem.  Really I wasn't fit enough and with the temperature in the afternoon at 35C it was too darned hot.  But I made it there and back for which reason it was my best ride!

Sadly I shall not do nearly as much riding in France now although booked to return to the Alps in July when I shall be lighter and mega-fit.



Sic transit and all that..

Re: What was your best ride of the year and why ?
« Reply #22 on: January 04, 2020, 08:57:27 pm »
An, as always, unplanned circular tour with my wife and our eldest daughter spotting a 'sponsored' holiday in Belgium. A 760km loop from Zeebrugge to Ypres (very moving), Ghent and Antwerp with last few days in Netherlands. One thing we learnt is that our few cobbles in Scotland  are very different from their hunners of kilometres kasseien.

Oh and the why....great company, interesting culture and the odd quite nice beer.
Pete Crane E75 @petecrane5

Re: What was your best ride of the year and why ?
« Reply #23 on: January 05, 2020, 09:33:42 am »
A ~40km with mrs ao, in perfect spring weather, from Clun up around the River Clun source, Anchor, Ceri Ridgeway track, Hergan, and taking in Clun ford at the end.  Great vistas.  Much of the ride was above 400 metres (apart from initial climb up), as it almost traced the boundary of the upper River Clun watershed.  My first time in Clun, and quite special given several generations of my Dad's side of the family once lived there (back to 1700s as far as I've traced).  And from a bike origin POV, Ceri ridgway looks over towards Newtown (Wales), which was where the BE was made in early 90s (apparently)...

VIRB0065 by ao, on Flickr


Moar pics here

Destroying rainforest for economic gain is like burning a Renaissance painting to cook a meal.  EOW.

Re: What was your best ride of the year and why ?
« Reply #24 on: January 05, 2020, 09:56:11 am »
most memorable for 2019 was a midsummers night ride, set off about 9:30 saw the sun go down, then over the next 6 or so hours watched that glow on the horizon move very slowly from left to right before the sun popped up again.  fascinating time to be out, do it again this year