Author Topic: The Irish Mail. 21st May.  (Read 6026 times)

The Irish Mail. 21st May.
« on: May 13, 2011, 11:22:32 am »
I was surprised no one had started a thread up on this epic audax.

Anyone doing it this year?

Anyone ridden it in the past and able to relay experiences?
KIDDERMINSTER KILLER AND CLEE AUDAX, 20th July 2019; SOUTH SALOPIAN, 5th Oct 2019. http://beaconrcc.org.uk/audaxes/

Re: The Irish Mail. 21st May.
« Reply #1 on: May 13, 2011, 11:27:00 am »
I shall probably be there.  As will Andy.  Hopefully tandem.

It's a nice scenic route.  As per all U.N. Dulates routes, it's a shade hilly.

It's going the opposite way round Anglesey to previously (coast bit used to be first).  Most of the hills are in the first 2 sections.  Anglesey is well known to be flat and the A5 is gentle (ish).

The info control is near Prince William's house.

Re: The Irish Mail. 21st May.
« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2011, 11:29:44 am »
Anyone doing it this year?

I am. :thumbsup:

Anyone ridden it in the past and able to relay experiences?

It's great.  Fast to Vyrnwy, slow to Llanberis.  Bryan Chapman route from Nantgwynant to Menai, then a lap(-ish) of Anglesey (anti-clockwise this year, it seems).  From Bangor to Chirk is all on the A5 which is bloody lovely - shallow gradients, easy to navigate, fairly fast.  Sleep stop at about 360km if you need it.

Re: The Irish Mail. 21st May.
« Reply #3 on: May 13, 2011, 11:32:45 am »
What time(s) would you generally expect to finish this route?   I guess that the outbound section will make it a long day (plus the usual cafe stops for taking onboard energy for the long haul home).
KIDDERMINSTER KILLER AND CLEE AUDAX, 20th July 2019; SOUTH SALOPIAN, 5th Oct 2019. http://beaconrcc.org.uk/audaxes/

Re: The Irish Mail. 21st May.
« Reply #4 on: May 13, 2011, 11:35:54 am »
I'm entered. Not ridden event but know the route as far as Anglesey. Very nice.

Don't know the A5.

Re: The Irish Mail. 21st May.
« Reply #5 on: May 13, 2011, 11:36:46 am »
Took me 2 1/2 hours longer than the Brevet Cymru in 2009.

vorsprung

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Re: The Irish Mail. 21st May.
« Reply #6 on: May 13, 2011, 11:41:48 am »
I was surprised no one had started a thread up on this epic audax.

Anyone doing it this year?

Anyone ridden it in the past and able to relay experiences?

I am doing it this year.  Did it before in 2009.  In 2009 the weather was good and this meant that the first bit of the route had many fabulous views.  It visits "Petes Eats" in Llanberis, which is good. The A5 back from Holyhead is also marvellous, an excellent fast night road

If the weather is bad then the first bit when it crosses the big hills would be pretty nasty in places

I'm not a fan of 400km length rides* but this one is too good to miss.  Despite the travel up from Devon this went straight on my "must do" list for 2011

*the other obvious exception is my own "Avalon Sunrise" 400km ;D
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αdαmsκι

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Re: The Irish Mail. 21st May.
« Reply #7 on: May 13, 2011, 11:48:00 am »
After hearing how fab this ride is from Chris N I felt I should give it a go.  The plan's to camp outside the village hall on Friday & Saturday night. Bwlch-y-Groes will be new to me, too, and I'm really looking forward to that climb.  I rode a bit of the A5 at the end of last year's Clwydian 200 and it was brilliant.

As for timings, I've no idea, but if I end cycling along with Mr. Pharghangitalivati & his 5 10 lb lump hammer it'll be a long day ;).
What on earth am I doing here on this beautiful day?! This is the only life I've got!!

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Re: The Irish Mail. 21st May.
« Reply #8 on: May 13, 2011, 12:09:27 pm »
For me as well, but in a different way  :demon:

Re: The Irish Mail. 21st May.
« Reply #9 on: May 13, 2011, 12:15:32 pm »
I'm in as well. I've done this twice before; it was my first ever 400 in 2008, and I also rode it in 2009. It is hilly in the mid-section but a lovely ride.
The A5 bit is easy riding, gentle gradients up and down (so you'll climb for ages, then freewheel for ages). It's also very quiet at night, so ideal for sociable riding; you don't often have to single out, and the climbs are easy enough that you can chat as you go.

Fingers crossed for the weather though - it was baking hot in 2008, about right in 2009, but apparently 2007 was very, very wet. I can see it being tough in bad weather.

Re: The Irish Mail. 21st May.
« Reply #10 on: May 13, 2011, 12:19:04 pm »
I rode a bit of the A5 at the end of last year's Clwydian 200 and it was brilliant.

The A5 is variable.  The route now doesn't get to the A5 until Llanfairpwll on the return.  Bangor to Capel Curig is about 15 miles of mostly uphill in the Ogwen valley which will take a good hour to 90 minutes depending on your general speed and tiredness levels.  The plus side is that 90% of the time there's a tailwind up the valley.  It starts to top out about 5 miles short of Capel Curig.  Once there, it's downhill to Betws, and then sort of rolling (easyish) to Cerrigydrudion and on to Corwen (you'll know that from the Clwydian).

scottlington

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Re: The Irish Mail. 21st May.
« Reply #11 on: May 13, 2011, 01:11:43 pm »
Definately my favourite 400.  Also one of my favourite rides of any distance or location. Thoroughly recommended!  :thumbsup:

Unfortunatley, cannot do it this year as my old man has rather inconsiderately organised his birthday celebrations for that weekend...   ::-) ;D

JohnHamilton

Re: The Irish Mail. 21st May.
« Reply #12 on: May 13, 2011, 01:58:47 pm »
As already mentioned, there's quite a variety of terrain on this ride.

The first 50k is flat and fast, then there's a gradual climb up to the first control at Lake Vyrnwy. A good idea to feed up here as things get a little bit hilly from here. There's 2,500m of climbing in the next 100k. The scenery more than makes up for the effort though.

Most people end up getting to Llanberis rather later than they'd expected, but don't panic; you've done the hard bit and you can make up time on the rest. And you'll have worked up an appetite to do justice to the portion sizes in Pete's Eats.

Anglesey is not entirely flat, and is exposed so any wind can make it hard work. You're going the opposite way round this year which means you get to Holyhead slightly earlier and there's an increased chance you'll make it whilst the cafe at the supermarket is still open.

I've always found the A5 across Anglesey quite a boring road, straight, wide and through a series on nondescript villages. Which is one reason why you take the long route round the coast back to Menai. Another advantage of doing this section in this direction is the view of the bridge on the run into Menai.

A good target for most is to get to the control at Bangor Services before dark. We're a bit earlier this year though. The A5 is a great road for a night stage. The surface is good, you can't get lost and it's deserted. Telford engineered the road with a maximum gradient of 1:20, so it's all easy riding (Bangor Service to Betws y Coed is 25k in less than an hour even including the climb of Nant Ffrancon).

I'll be at Glyndyfrdwy at 345k to dish out soup, beans on toast and cakes to keep you going to the finish. There'll be camp beds and blankets as well if you're in need of a sleep.

It has been ridden in just under 17hours, but a more typical time is 24hrs. The weather makes a big difference though, as the outward leg and Anglesey is quite exposed. In 2007 it rained and was very windy (in Wales anyway, we had sun and ice creams in Shrewsbury). The first rider back was 21hours.

Note for vorsprung: remember shorts! I did note whilst doing the recce that Coed y Brenin does now have a (small) selection of lycra (non baggy) shorts.

Re: The Irish Mail. 21st May.
« Reply #13 on: May 13, 2011, 04:17:41 pm »
you'll have worked up an appetite to do justice to the portion sizes in Pete's Eats.


Chip butty and a pint of tea, Pete's Eats

:thumbsup:

Re: The Irish Mail. 21st May.
« Reply #14 on: May 13, 2011, 04:21:38 pm »
I got an odd look at Pete's Eats ordering both a chip butty and a beans on toast, but I managed to finish them both.

*burp*
"Yes please" said Squirrel "biscuits are our favourite things."

Re: The Irish Mail. 21st May.
« Reply #15 on: May 13, 2011, 05:49:03 pm »
But could you get on your bike and finish the ride?   :)

vorsprung

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Re: The Irish Mail. 21st May.
« Reply #16 on: May 16, 2011, 04:30:40 pm »
The seaweed worriers at the Met Office are talking about another "glorious" weekend so I am hoping the special Achilles feeling I picked up during the BCM will wear out before the kick off

I have loaded the gpx file into google maps (it needs a bit of munging) and you can see it at http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?hl=en&ie=UTF8&msa=0&msid=206815044098537351057.0004a365f9450b5cc9968&z=9



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Re: The Irish Mail. 21st May.
« Reply #17 on: May 17, 2011, 03:33:00 pm »
Signed up for this, this morning, hopefully will be more successful that my attempt at the old 240 last weekend, with ended after 100km with a snapped rear mech

simonp

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Re: The Irish Mail. 21st May.
« Reply #18 on: May 17, 2011, 06:03:58 pm »
I have a strong feeling I'm out. I'm having my arm assessed by a physio tomorrow but given that the level of pain hasn't really subsided since the weekend I will not be riding at all let alone a hilly 400k on fixed. Bah.

I might borrow a friend's 'bent to get me commuting again.

JohnHamilton

Re: The Irish Mail. 21st May.
« Reply #19 on: May 17, 2011, 07:33:10 pm »
There's a few spaces left still if anyone hasn't had enough of Snowdonia after last weekend (at least I can guarantee you'll see it in daylight on this)

Re: The Irish Mail. 21st May.
« Reply #20 on: May 18, 2011, 10:29:56 am »
Head says yes, body says no.  Might not be there on Saturday. PM me if you would like my travelodge room (contributions welcome as it was £36)

Re: The Irish Mail. 21st May.
« Reply #21 on: May 18, 2011, 10:47:51 am »
PM me if you would like my travelodge room (contributions welcome as it was £36)

Shhh! The Thought Police1 will be in to tell you that this isn't allowed!

1. Last Active May 10th. Hurrah!
"Yes please" said Squirrel "biscuits are our favourite things."

Re: The Irish Mail. 21st May.
« Reply #22 on: May 18, 2011, 12:28:44 pm »
I'm looking forward to this ride now after a few days recovery post BCM. Will be on gears this weekend though (all 30 of them perhaps!).

One memory from 2 years ago was how stunning the scenery was along the road to Trawsfynydd which I'd never seen in daylight before.

Re: The Irish Mail. 21st May.
« Reply #23 on: May 18, 2011, 05:19:24 pm »
Head says yes, stomach says no.  :sick:

DNS again   :'(
KIDDERMINSTER KILLER AND CLEE AUDAX, 20th July 2019; SOUTH SALOPIAN, 5th Oct 2019. http://beaconrcc.org.uk/audaxes/

simonp

  • Omnomnomnipotent.
Re: The Irish Mail. 21st May.
« Reply #24 on: May 18, 2011, 05:25:40 pm »
I'm out. Radial wrist extensors need some TLC.