Author Topic: Braziers Run 2020  (Read 1477 times)

Phil W

Braziers Run 2020
« on: February 11, 2020, 06:34:24 pm »
Who is riding one of these events on Sunday?

Looks like storm Derrick will be with us and some light rain. I'll be ECEing the 100 could be fast outbound to start and a bit slower returning. Might look at ECE legs to take advantage of that.

Redlight

  • Enjoying life in the slow lane
Re: Braziers Run 2020
« Reply #1 on: February 11, 2020, 06:49:24 pm »
I'm planning to ride the 100.  Train options are not too helpful so will be driving up from sarf London.
Between the Disney abattoir and the chemical refinery

Re: Braziers Run 2020
« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2020, 11:00:11 am »
This is my local ride so I'm in for the 100, though I'm having second thoughts now looking at Sunday's forecast

Tomsk

  • Fueled by cake since 1957
    • tomsk.co.uk
Re: Braziers Run 2020
« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2020, 05:46:21 pm »
Doing the 100km. Saturday looks worse!

Re: Braziers Run 2020
« Reply #4 on: February 12, 2020, 06:29:30 pm »
Not a lot different to the first of the ACME Winter Series, managed to tough that one out. In for the 100, review after 50.

Phil W

Re: Braziers Run 2020
« Reply #5 on: February 12, 2020, 06:41:32 pm »
Looking a bit wetter now. Will review and submit ECE tomorrow. Wind speeds look similar to the forecast (and actual) for Pork Pie last year.

Re: Braziers Run 2020
« Reply #6 on: February 13, 2020, 12:10:47 am »
In for the 100, review after 50.

I expect that'll be what I end up doing too  :)

Phil W

Re: Braziers Run 2020
« Reply #7 on: February 13, 2020, 11:47:24 am »
ECE submitted with longer leg before the event.  Early start to the day but means I'll be home earlier.

Re: Braziers Run 2020
« Reply #8 on: February 13, 2020, 12:01:01 pm »
Just out of interest - are the "'uts" gone? Haven't done anything from Ugley for a few years and can't see anything in the calendar.

Re: Braziers Run 2020
« Reply #9 on: February 13, 2020, 02:21:08 pm »
As well as Braziers Run from the Victoria Club, on 25th April there are rides up to 200k from the Shaftesbury Club across the road. The third venue was the Old Comrades Club around the corner but there are no events from there now as far as I know.

jiberjaber

  • ... Fancy Pants \o/ ...
  • ACME S&M^2
Re: Braziers Run 2020
« Reply #10 on: February 13, 2020, 02:28:01 pm »
Might be damp, 35mm of rain forecast for Essex this Sunday...
Regards,

Joergen

Re: Braziers Run 2020
« Reply #11 on: February 13, 2020, 03:34:21 pm »
As well as Braziers Run from the Victoria Club, on 25th April there are rides up to 200k from the Shaftesbury Club across the road. The third venue was the Old Comrades Club around the corner but there are no events from there now as far as I know.

Ah yes, just spotted the Shaftesbury rides in April.  Thanks!  I think the confusion arose because they used to be listed as starting in Ugley but now show as Saffron Walden (quite a long way away!).

Phil W

Re: Braziers Run 2020
« Reply #12 on: February 15, 2020, 10:49:56 am »
Might be damp, 35mm of rain forecast for Essex this Sunday...

Yep wet and windy but is looking mild.  Had to worry about frost and ice when I ECEd this last time.

Phil W

Re: Braziers Run 2020
« Reply #13 on: February 15, 2020, 01:30:34 pm »
Tyre pressures topped up, rear mudguard cleared of mud, and tightened a couple of bolts,  snacks gathered and put in seat bag.  Bike ready. GPS AAs on charge. Started gathering my clothing for tomorrow. Defo winter boots given amount of rain due.  Will shortly be loading up my ECE legs and the event tracks to GPS. Will be out house by 6am as have opted to make the ECE to the start the longer leg. So breakfast then out tomorrow.

Redlight

  • Enjoying life in the slow lane
Re: Braziers Run 2020
« Reply #14 on: February 15, 2020, 02:29:41 pm »
With that wind from the east you probably won't need to leave home until half an hour before the start!

Definitely thick overshoes and waterproof socks, I think (having seen the warning at 87.3km).
Between the Disney abattoir and the chemical refinery

Tomsk

  • Fueled by cake since 1957
    • tomsk.co.uk
Re: Braziers Run 2020
« Reply #15 on: February 15, 2020, 03:28:51 pm »
With that wind from the east you probably won't need to leave home until half an hour before the start!

Definitely thick overshoes and waterproof socks, I think (having seen the warning at 87.3km).

That enormous puddle appears every winter, filling the lane for yards. I don't think there's anything nasty lurking in the depths, but take it cautiously!

I'll have a few changes of socks/gloves/hat. Maybe even wear overtrousers.

Phil W

Re: Braziers Run 2020
« Reply #16 on: February 15, 2020, 03:47:30 pm »
With that wind from the east you probably won't need to leave home until half an hour before the start!

Ha well it’s a sort of helping cross wind for the first hour, then hopefully a stonking tail wind for next hour, then a mix of not quite head wind then tailwind for last hour to start. The way back is west north west and then SW straight into what remains.

I‘ll be on my new recumbent but it’s nowhere near as reclined as my first recumbent.  So I’ll feel the wind more but no where near what you get on a road bike. My arms were battered on the Pork Pie last year (ridden on road bike) which had a similar forecast minus the rain.

Phil W

Re: Braziers Run 2020
« Reply #17 on: February 16, 2020, 07:59:59 pm »
15 of us started and 15 finished. Both Jan and I ECEd up to 200km and some other riders rode to start and back.  More detailed account tomorrow. Food beckons.

Phil W

Re: Braziers Run 2020
« Reply #18 on: February 17, 2020, 10:35:32 am »
My write up of yesterday's Brazier's 100 and ECE up to 200km

A day in the company of Storm Dennis

As I lay there at 3am, I could hear the wind howling through the vents and the rain lashing the glass of the windows.  In just over two hours I’d be getting up for breakfast, then leaving around 6am to ride over to the start of Brazier’s 100.

The Brazier’s is probably my second most ridden audax event after the Stevenage Start of Summertime 200.  Like in previous years I’d opted to ECE (ride to and from event to bring it up to the next audax distance) the event.  I’d submitted my route late on Thursday once I knew the weather forecast.

There was a yellow warning for wind out, 35 mph gusting to 50mph decreasing over the day.  There was also heavy rain in the forecast, reducing to light rain by lunchtime.  Some say you are mad heading out on a bike in those kind of conditions, risking your life.  But the truth is, you don’t really know what it is like out there on a bike, sat in your nice warm house.  It always seems worse when you are in that warm cozy environment.   50mph gusts certainly aren’t the strongest winds I’ve been out in.  That wind speed is not strong enough to blow you off your feet.  That wind speed for that is around 70 mph gusting to 100 mph, now that is scary to be out in. But the forecast was nowhere near that level.

Some would say you are mad or foolhardy to insist on doing a 100km audax in the forecast conditions. Even madder to ECE it up to 200km. But you can’t really find out what conditions are really like on a bike from your keyboard in a warm house.  You head out with the premise that you may need to abandon or turn round at any point.  It’s a risk assessment. The advantage of the ECE is that you find out pretty soon whether the conditions are beyond your clothing and experience.  The main thing for me was how the wind affected bike handling.  If the bike handles fine even with the strongest gusts, then it’ll be tough but not dangerous.  If it turns out to be too much, and you are getting blown all over the road, you turn around whilst not very far from home. Most debris will already be down from Ciara the weekend before or Dennis the night before.  The ride wasn’t through forestry where you’re in constant danger of something falling.  So pretty early on I realised the wind was just fine, and as long as the clothing handled the wind and rain it’d be fine.  Indeed it was. It was a grand day out.

I put the bike out on the patio, it didn’t seem desperately windy.  Sure you could hear the wind rushing about. But it wasn’t buffeting me from side to side, and things weren’t flying around the garden.  There was a light rain not the heavy rain forecast.   A large bush had come down in our garden. So the winds had been strong overnight. But the bush was old, thought it was a tree, and was rotten in places. Breakfast and a couple of cups of tea and I was ready to go.  I told my wife, Helen, I’d be back between 6-7pm.

First impressions were that the wind gusts were not upsetting the bike and I.  We were maintaining a perfect line as I carved through the turns on my recumbent.  My front dynamo light had got knocked so I stopped in the local park and readjusted light so the beam was focused 10 metres ahead once more.

There was a lot of small debris, small branches and twigs, in the park. So it was necessary to weave a little around them least I come a cropper.  After about 2km I left the boundaries of town and headed out into the countryside.  Here it was more exposed and the gusts stronger, but it had zero effect on the bike and I. Holding the handlebars one handed whilst I drank from a water bottle was a perfectly relaxed affair.

I’d opted for the longer leg to the start, so my ride to the start was 58km.  It was initially dark, so paying attention to the road ahead, and not going too fast downhill was crucial to avoid running into the debris on the road. 

I crossed Barwick Ford overflowing with water, via the footbridge.  Riding through that would have been a recipe for disaster.  The route is quite choppy so I was keeping warm, too warm in fact, and wondered if I was overdressed in the wind and rain.  I passed 14  trees that had come down, whether Ciara or Dennis I didn’t know. But they’d all fallen on the south side of the road and on the north side where I was riding I could generally keep riding.  Just after I’d passed on, a land rover drove into the tree on the other side of the road. Maybe he'd been concentrating on the sight of me, and not so much on what was in front of him. At least on a bike you will generally go slow enough to react to anything in the road. Oh well, it’ll bash out.

I turned north east at the Hadhams and this should have meant a stonking south west tailwind. But instead I found myself in a whirlpool as the heavens opened and the wind came from all directions, the road a river.  In a few mins the rain resumed its previous lighter state, but I was now completely soaked and no longer thought I was over dressed.

The tailwind didn’t materialise, in fact a headwind blew from the north.  The road said closed but I pushed on, in the hope I’d be able to get through on a bike, I could.  The wind continued to blow from unexpected directions, from the north, south, and west. Only east was left out in its quest to confuse me.  So I got headwind, tailwind, cross wind.

I arrived at the Victoria huts, start of the Brazier’s rides at 8:40am.  Perfect for the 9am start.  The wind had been ok, the gusts had not affected the bike and I in any way. Even the strongest did not affect the line of the bike or force me to grip the steering. Today was going to be fine, if not a difficult and energy sapping day.

Kieron gave me my card and after writing in my emergency contact details I settled down to a second breakfast.  That consisted of a large chocolate brownie and two cups of tea.  I was still eating and drinking when 9.00am ticked over and I let the small field set off without me.  There were 15 riders altogether out of 60 entrants.

I got going about 20 mins later, together with the Straggler and Geoff.   They very generously let me set off down the road first.  I found out soon enough they wanted to see me ride through the first flood of the day, before they tried it. Thanks guys.

The rain got steady heavier till it was properly coming down.  The forecast heavy rain had arrived a few hours late.  There were a couple of infos on the first loop of 50km, but I committed the answers to memory. I didn’t want to stop in the conditions and assumed a pen on a wet brevet card wouldn’t work, and the brevet card would soon be mush.  As expected after the second info at the Sampfords it was back into the headwind till just beyond Thaxted.  Again wind strong but gusts not affecting the bike and I.

The chocolate brownie almost got me back to the hut but at Boxted End, around 46km of the first loop the energy ran out, so I stopped on a corner to have a flapjack. Jan and the two doing their first audax rode past.  We exchanged greeting as they checked I was alright.  I was, but it wasn’t really conditions for stopping.  So as soon as retrieved the flapjack from my seat bag and unwrapped it I got going again. I stuffed the wrapper in my jacket pocket, as I rode, that was fun in the wind.  I saw Tomsk heading back out on the second loop just as I was rolling in to the hut. We exchanged smiles in thw wind and rain.

I joined the wet dripping bodies in the huts.  Hot black bean soup, a ham roll, and more chocolate brownie.  Water bottles topped up.  Everyone was dripping but smiling like me.  I handed my brevet card to Keiron and called out the answers I’d memorised. The first loop had been surprisingly debris free for the most part, what about the second loop.

The second loop headed south towards Stansted Airport before turning left and executing a loop via High Easter and the Rodings.   The rain continued to be heavy and you chilled if you stopped for any length of time.  The wind remained strong.   The second loop was full of debris and flooded in a lot of places.  Your pace had to be slow and steady, not because of the wind but because of ensuring you did not collide with debris and hit a hole in the floods.   I lost count of the floods but maybe anything up to a dozen or so bits to ride through.  My feet on the recumbent were above the floods but I worried about my front wheel dynamo hub. It survived.  I’d left my lights on all day in the conditions and could see it still working. Again two infos and I opted to memorize them, as getting the brevet card out wasn’t really an option.  Like the first loop about 3km short, I ran low on energy. So stopped and once again had a flapjack. That saw me to the finish of the event.

Back at the hut with the others dripping away. I sat by the fire, gloves on top dripping away. I was a little chilled and a dry base layer would have been nice right then.  Something to bring next time I ECE maybe?  I still had another 39km to ride home whilst everyone else, apart from Jan, was mostly finished or had a short ride to a train station or home.

Was an epic day out, we’d all remember the conditions today. More rain than Noah’s Ark, flippers and a snorkel may have been more appropriate for the floods.  More soup, ham sandwiches and chocolate brownie. 

One by one riders began to depart and after a suitable break from conditions it was time to head home.  My ECE home was directly west in to the wind. But it did at least use more maybe B roads and A roads so hopefully they’d be less debris and flooding to contend with. 

It was slow but steady progress against the headwind, and the rolling terrain soon warmed me up again.  The weather had kept many inside and so I had the roads mostly to myself.  The rain had finally stopped and I quickly dried out with the wind drying my garments and drawing the water away.

Closing on Buntingford the sun began to set and there was a beautiful low sun illuminating the clouds in pinks and reds.  I took a  picture but no sure how well it would come out.    Through Buntingford, across the A10, and onto the A507 before turning left in Cottered, past the windmill through Walkden.  My final climb up to Stevenage, a funny loop through town to hit the distance and home.

Bike away, hot shower, and tea then food, then finally a beer. What a day out.

Tomsk

  • Fueled by cake since 1957
    • tomsk.co.uk
Re: Braziers Run 2020
« Reply #19 on: February 17, 2020, 05:44:47 pm »
... Indeed, that was a grand day out. Certainly not one to hang about, just bash on and get it done. If anything, colder towards the end of the day and the floods on my 10 miles home in the company of Grey Sheep were spectacular: water leaking out of the banks, flowing out of fields and ditches; roads were rivers, though nothing too deep. Strangely quiet all day ... though we did surprise a few hardy dog-walkers despite bells tinkling and a polite hello!

Thank you for the soups and other nosh and well done to the two Audax first-timers. Hardcore!

Martin

Re: Braziers Run 2020
« Reply #20 on: February 17, 2020, 09:44:46 pm »
Chapeau to all especially ECEers (I've had two weekends off the bike with two storms and even they were challenging), I've had one DNS but looks like the others went the distance  :thumbsup:

Re: Braziers Run 2020
« Reply #21 on: February 17, 2020, 10:54:29 pm »
One of those memorable days, full of incident but nothing too serious. After a leisurely start Raymond and me got into a good pace and wondered what the fuss was all about until the turn at Great Sampford, headwind, long drag, rain etc changed the ride to what we had expected. The run back to Henham raised some doubts about the second leg, but Raymond was determined to complete so wimping out was not an option. Back to the Victoria Club, soup and cake consumed, change of gloves and headwear and away we went.

This is when the ride got more interesting, the persistent rain had allowed puddles to form into lakes, but we had a strategy. I let Raymond go first, and if he drowned it was too deep, fortunately apart from one deep one which nearly brought him to a halt we navigated all of the obstacles, jumping over fallen tree branches as well. Definitely getting wetter and colder as the day wore on, but at High Easter things warmed up. As we went round the 90 degree bend at the end of the village a white Mercedes took exception to having been slightly delayed, and proceeded to blast his horn very loudly at me, to which I offered the usual greeting. He then did the same to Raymond 50 metres away, Raymond also wishing the driver a nice day, or something like that. The car then suddenly stopped, the driver shouted "do you want me to stop the car" and got out to face me. Being a young Asian lad with a glamorous lady passenger he was probably showing off so I rode past him and ignored him, he wanted a fight but it would have ended badly for him, so I left him to Raymond!

The next thing he is following me to the right turn down the lane, pulled up alongside and the passenger window was open, the young lady turned away from me, probably trying to stop him. Raymond caught up with me, i just said that this was the turn and ignored the car, which then proceeded to follow us. We wondered how it would end until he turned round after 800m down the lane.That warmed us up and increased our pace so we had plenty in hand in case the weather turned on us.

So back to the clubhouse, off with the wet clothes, apologies for the sight of the Big Saxon naked torso, and more soup, coffee, rolls, cake, which was also appreciated by my new little friend with big brown eyes and floppy ears. My work was not done, the two newbies had decided to park their Merc on the grass outside the clubhut, burying the front wheels in the mud. my powerlifting skills were requested, and with three able assistants we rocked the car out on the sixth motion and saved the day. Becoming a habit, on a previous Braziers a young lady could not get her tyre off, until the Big Saxon showed her his one lever removal technique and pulled the tyre back on by hand.

Even the dry clothes I put on got wet in the car, taking moisture from my bibtights, and I shivered for some time. Passed PhilW heading west before Clavering. A litre of banana milk and pistachio cookies from M&S at Baldock and I was ok until home, then a nice bath and recalling a grand day out. Not quite as dramatic as the day out on a Terry Dickerson ride a few years back, as Ben and me were discussing in the hut, four started the ride, it snowed and a new rider was in summer clothes, no lights or means of changing a tyre, and no money. Camrider and me took her off the road at Stowmarket for her own safety and got her back to Cambridge by bus and train, Ben finished on his own and got the sympathy vote from Terry despite time issues. As Ben said, nothing comes close after that, so a bit of wind and rain was not going to stop us.

True Audax spirit, thanks to everyone who made the day memorable.             

Re: Braziers Run 2020
« Reply #22 on: February 23, 2020, 11:54:14 am »
Chapeau to all especially ECEers (I've had two weekends off the bike with two storms and even they were challenging), I've had one DNS but looks like the others went the distance  :thumbsup:
I was Martin's ECE DNS and I only added the ECE one night before so knew about the weather. This is my 3rd DNS Audax in 20 years, the first being a PBP due to a broken leg and the second being an hour out of time riding to a Dunmow start due to punctures. The problem this time was that it was teaming with rain in 50mph winds at 7am when I'd have to leave get to the start, I normally allow about 1.5 hours to get the the Huts but that would have failed with this headwind, 2 hours was optimistic. I regretted my hopelessness when I finally surfaced at 9, whilst there was still wind and rain it wasn't as bad as the 7am peak. I am envious of those of you that did it. I had to replace it with a DIY yesterday for RRTY. No rain but still wind but not quite so bad and tail for the first 100km, much better motivation. Theres no choice when the headwind starts at the turn. I did have the seasonal experience of hubs/BB under water and it was too deep to do the top dead centre rocking peddling so feet were soaked.

Re: Braziers Run 2020
« Reply #23 on: February 24, 2020, 07:36:55 pm »
I did this event quite a few times[1] but stopped when my daughter got to school age as sadly it usually falls on one of the February half-term weekends. One day I'll be back to do it again although February half term usually means family skiing and that'll be the same for another 8 years or so. One year I may try to drag my daughter round it (or at least the 50km ride) but she doesn't seem to care about riding a bike a long way at all. An oft repeated phrase I get is: "Dad, let me guess, you've ridden your bike around here."

Apart from the first time (which was my first fixed Audax) I'd usually ride up to the start (75km) and then some of the way back to make it up to 200km, and sometimes all the way back.

Happy memories of the 'Uts (having done rides starting from at least three different 'Uts).

1. 4 possibly 5 times. Can't say for sure as I often did it as a DIY+Cal Perm before this was formalised under the awesome ECE system, and the old results just list "DIY 200" on my results pages.
"Yes please" said Squirrel "biscuits are our favourite things."