Author Topic: Double Dutch 200 Easter Saturday  (Read 38935 times)

Martin

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Re: Double Dutch 200 Easter Saturday
« Reply #200 on: March 25, 2016, 11:08:48 pm »
Route check  completed as Huff n Puff has said the bridge out and being worked on could be a problem will find an alternative route if required, The Holbeach info will move back a turn it's the same question and answer

No sign of any tulips and not a nice road to get there so it's business as usual for 2017, there are billions of daffs waiting for you all tomorrow   8)

Saw 3 Arrow teams near Crowland good night for it but getting a little chilly now

I encountered a headwind pretty.much all the way today but nowhere near as  Biblical as forecast tomorrow

Re: Double Dutch 200 Easter Saturday
« Reply #201 on: March 26, 2016, 08:33:25 am »
A good day for my first 200 since August, sub 11 hours with five relaxed stops, thank you to Martin for my big birthday bunny, 60 today. The Big Saxon does not notice wind so the Fens hold no fears.

Also passed four Arrows teams past Crowland and up to Ramsay St Marys, wished them all luck, the Tomsk group was first, took me a while to work out what they were doing there.

Re: Double Dutch 200 Easter Saturday
« Reply #202 on: March 26, 2016, 08:49:17 am »
Apologies to Martin, I've decided not to start this year.

Re: Double Dutch 200 Easter Saturday
« Reply #203 on: March 26, 2016, 10:18:43 am »
Another DNS from me too sadly.

Mother has just been discharged from hospital and it falls to me to look after her for the next few days at least.

Good luck to everyone riding and I hope the rain holds off (and also the wind)

Looking forward to reading the ride reports now.

Martin

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Re: Double Dutch 200 Easter Saturday
« Reply #204 on: March 26, 2016, 01:53:24 pm »
39 starters today (20 yesterday) hope they have sea sickness pills on th ferry! Just started raining near Duxford

Cycling Daddy

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Re: Double Dutch 200 Easter Saturday
« Reply #205 on: March 26, 2016, 06:17:27 pm »
I truncated my ride into a much enjoyed 100 or so since the coughing and wheezing got beyond what was wise.  Chapeau to all those who do the full distance back into what is quite a breeze and as noted a somewhat damp atmosphere.
Les
Too much sanity may be madness. And maddest of all, to see life as it is and not as it should be.”
― Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, Don Quixote

mattc

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Re: Double Dutch 200 Easter Saturday
« Reply #206 on: March 26, 2016, 06:42:38 pm »
39 starters today (20 yesterday) hope they have sea sickness pills on th ferry! Just started raining near Duxford

We had biblical rain in Oxon earlier (with lightning). I've never seen such a distinct hard rain-band on the radar before. The worst of it hasnt quite reached your route yet, fingers crossed that most get home in time:

Has never ridden RAAM
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wilkyboy

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Re: Double Dutch 200 Easter Saturday
« Reply #207 on: March 26, 2016, 06:54:56 pm »
We had biblical rain in Oxon earlier (with lightning). I've never seen such a distinct hard rain-band on the radar before. The worst of it hasnt quite reached your route yet, fingers crossed that most get home in time:




That band of rain just hit Cambridge (18:50) — it's bouncing on the office roof so hard I can't hear myself think.
RRTY #7 done.  Need something else to do ... ah, welcome #8 8)

wilkyboy

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Re: Double Dutch 200 Easter Saturday
« Reply #208 on: March 26, 2016, 06:57:14 pm »
Also passed four Arrows teams past Crowland and up to Ramsay St Marys, wished them all luck, the Tomsk group was first, took me a while to work out what they were doing there.

We thought you were all Easter Arrow teams, until I saw Jane go by and then Big Saxon — then the penny dropped!

I'm glad to hear you had a good ride Geoff!

We also had to walk through the bridge works at the sluice before Crowland (after for you).
RRTY #7 done.  Need something else to do ... ah, welcome #8 8)

scottlington

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Re: Double Dutch 200 Easter Saturday
« Reply #209 on: March 26, 2016, 08:52:51 pm »
We had biblical rain in Oxon earlier (with lightning). I've never seen such a distinct hard rain-band on the radar before. The worst of it hasnt quite reached your route yet, fingers crossed that most get home in time:




That band of rain just hit Cambridge (18:50) — it's bouncing on the office roof so hard I can't hear myself think.

I got it literally 5 mins before I finished. Completely drenched in 60 seconds. Not happy!

Re: Double Dutch 200 Easter Saturday
« Reply #210 on: March 26, 2016, 08:56:40 pm »
Well, that was a bit epic. Met all expectations I think. And then some. Having done it before I sort of new what to expect, but even so....

Getting to Kings Lynn was generally fast but the zig-zag route meant some unexpected headwind/crosswind sections, a foretaste for later. The leg to Spalding was a bit better than I'd expected - quite a lot of tailwind until 20km from Spalding. Avoided the control in the shopping centre - "no bikes". Very unfriendly. A dismal corner store was no better. Not a place I will look forward to visiting. 

Then the fun began. Immediately out of Spalding there was a 6 mile section into the headwind, some of which was on top of a dyke. 18kph? Horrible. So Simon G and I stopped in pretty Crowland for a coffee and cake, then ventured out again. Lots more grovelling ensued, with little respite, and then after Thorney the legendary 12 mile straight lay in wait. Nightmare. That will live long in the memory, compounded by a broken spoke.
The final 15 km through the little rollers into Huntingdon was the icing on the cake, and we were so glad to finish. Empty legs. A quick pint (orange juice/lemonade) and then back to the car, just as the heavens opened. The drive home through the rain was indeed biblical, and I just hope those still out there in it get back safely. Appalling conditions.

Now to recover.....

Re: Double Dutch 200 Easter Saturday
« Reply #211 on: March 26, 2016, 08:56:56 pm »
Brief shower 30 mins from the end.

Just got a soaking riding home from Kings Cross, though.

scottlington

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Re: Double Dutch 200 Easter Saturday
« Reply #212 on: March 26, 2016, 09:21:58 pm »
Definitely a tale of two halves... a generally fast and easy run out to Kings Lynn, quick stop for some chips and then again a relatively easy ride to Holbeach for the turn.  The run into Spalding was not as bad as maybe I had feared but after a brief stop and look about to see if there were any groups I set off alone to tackle the last 40 miles.

Luckily I was quickly joined by another cyclist, a lurker on this forum but who's name I never got! Anyway, we rode together along the welland bank slowly slowly catching another lone rider who we eventually identified as Mike Lane. We caught up with him at Crowland and the three of us rode the rest of the way together.

A proper grovel back through thorney, Whittlesey ensued and then the 15k road through ponders bridge to Upwood. Once into the hills we had 15k to go and the end was in sight.  The weather still threw all it had but being so close it was fairly easily borne. That is until just 2k from the end where wrote got caught by the very heavy showers which left me like a drowned rat and really soured my mood.

Still, such stuff are memories made of! Pretty epic from.spalding, fairlying easy up to then. Thanks to my riding companions towards the end and to Martin and helpers for another fen showcase! Hill training? Just come here on a windy day!

bikey-mikey

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Re: Double Dutch 200 Easter Saturday
« Reply #213 on: March 26, 2016, 09:52:31 pm »
Indeed that was me..

Grovelling along the top of some bank or other, desperately trying to STAY ON TOP, rather than flying off like a kite.....

All I could do to make 10 kph at times...

When the team got together it was much better, though I did little on the front, for two reasons.. Firstly because I'm so little I make a very poor windbreak, and secondly because I was completely pooped already from going it alone !!

It was indeed the last five minutes when it rained cats and dogs... I got completely drenched in that time, so ride straight to the car, ripped everything off, and redressed in 'civvies' which were warm n dry...

My thanks to Martin and Ann for the usual hard work !!!
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Graeme

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Re: Double Dutch 200 Easter Saturday
« Reply #214 on: March 26, 2016, 09:55:33 pm »
We bumped into Martin and Anne at the Crowland 'Wet Cement' bridge. It was great to see you both.
37. Because travel is the finest educational system of all; and cycling the cheapest, easiest, and most educational means of travel - Kuklos' 39 Articles

Martin

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Re: Double Dutch 200 Easter Saturday
« Reply #215 on: March 27, 2016, 01:17:03 pm »
Just back from the weekend; there are several dozen unclaimed bunnies (probably even more since yesterday knowing bunnies!) we had 20 finishers on Friday and 39 on Saturday

despite the awful weather yesterday afternoon all but one of the starters got back in time; it was quite sobering seeing a procession of drained souls' faces across the table at The George.

Those who chose Friday to ride got a much better deal such are the vagueries of Easter weather, there was a moveable headwind all the way round but it was much more bearable.

As regards the route, I think the river bank to Kings Lynn, Guys Head; the daff fields and the Welland bank back to Crowland are essential parts of the route and after that there isn't a realistic alternative to going straight back to Huntingdon. After Whittlesey remember Ponders Bridge and Ramsey St Mary as psychological waymarks which are the only places en route; but they do eventually appear to comfort you that your are actually making some progress. Other stations are not that convenient for London and this was another factor in devising the route having which began as a day trip DIY for myself. I did scout an alternative route East of Kings Lynn on Friday which would involve a Peterborough start; but it was a bit lumpy, busy A roads and I couldn't find the mythical tulip fields anyway (no sign of them not even shoots) so I'll keep the route as is for 2017 which will hopefully be far more pleasant conditions in Mid April

Thanks for supporting the ride!


Re: Double Dutch 200 Easter Saturday
« Reply #216 on: March 27, 2016, 02:18:41 pm »
Thanks for putting on the event Martin!

We were already out of time by the first control due to a combination of being 45 minutes leaving the start, relentless chain issues on the Hase Pino, bike set up stuff and the like.  The machine flies on the flat with a tail wind, but doesn't everyone?  Our speeds were stupidly high heading North, but it was inevitable the price would be paid later. We both knew we wouldn't be able to make it round the whole distance anyway by March as Rafe was having horrendous issues with the saddle which was properly damaging him and actually causing nerve damage, so we made the turn there, cut across to the return leg, and fought the headwinds home, having to stop every few miles to relieve discomfort.  It took us 7 hours to do 55 miles with all the stopping etc, so glad we made the sensible decision to bail. If we have flown up to King's Lynn we would have had a real BIG problem as I genuinely don't think we could have made it back, Rafe was in agony, and my riding position wasn't perfect either.  It was important for us to test the bike this weekend as we are away with it next weekend, so glad we found out all the problems rather quickly! A simple change of saddle and tweaking the set up, and we will be good for our holiday.

In other news, the bits of the route we did do were mostly wonderful.  I don't ever ride over the Eastern half of the UK, and those huge skies and endless flat fields really do make me feel small.  Got some pics, will post later  :thumbsup:
Does not play well with others

Martin

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Re: Double Dutch 200 Easter Saturday
« Reply #217 on: March 27, 2016, 02:35:09 pm »
Few blurred photos

Dave V and Moritz



scottlington



Shaftesbury Simon and rob



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Cycling Daddy?



the RabbitandRafemobile





Cycling Daddy

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Re: Double Dutch 200 Easter Saturday
« Reply #218 on: March 27, 2016, 03:19:58 pm »
Yes that was me on Terence the Trike.  Great if shortened ride: not quite got the fitness for bent trikes as yet.  Looks like I have some cable trimming and tidying to do
L
Too much sanity may be madness. And maddest of all, to see life as it is and not as it should be.”
― Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, Don Quixote

Re: Double Dutch 200 Easter Saturday
« Reply #219 on: March 27, 2016, 05:49:17 pm »
Thanks to Martin and Ann for planning and running the traditional early-season event where the riders are taller than the hills. Apologies if I appeared slightly not-there at arrivee, that afore-mentioned shower hit me hard from the side just before Upwood and instantly went through all my clothing. It felt as if my temperature dropped a few degrees and there wasn't enough road left to warm me up afterwards.
At least I got the instructions how to find the station, the train was already waiting for me and I had a satisfyingly boring journey back to London. Some considerate passengers even saying "Don't bother to move your bike, we'll use the other exit".

The forecasts had promised a nice and easy ride up to King's Lynn and we weren't disappointed although after March we got the occasional cross wind and once or twice a preview of the headwind to come.

The view from the top of the stairs in King's Lynn was frightening and I wondered whether the risk assessment for the event had considered "riders getting blown off the stairs". Fortunately the railings had been put on the leeward side. On a day like yesterday I had expected to be given the full safety instructions on the ferry but the captain didn't even show location and use of the life vests.

Mainly cross winds till Holbeach St Matthews. Fortunately I had followed Ann's early morning instruction about the info control and didn't have to find out whether "Gone with the wind" is a valid answer when the sign post with the answer has disappeared.

Normally it's a time to relax when all info controls have been found and answered but yesterday that was when the work started. An Audaxclub Schleswig-Holstein rider once told me "headwinds are our hills" and there were moments when I had to stand on the pedals to keep moving (forward). Can I suggest that the formula for AAA points gets an additional term to consider the Beaufort scale?

Interesting how it got tougher after Spalding, first the dyke funnelling the wind, then the full exposure on top and rain after Crowland. At least the straight line from Pondersbridge to Upwood is less intimidating when it gets dark and you don't have to stare at infinity.

Despite all that I enjoyed the ride and was pleasantly surprised that the time for my 200 after a longish hibernation was in the expected range, esp. after reading the forecasts. Less company this time, previous instances were more social but yesterday was not a day where you could chat easily . The most interesting conversation I had was at the Ramsey info control: "If it says Bank on the building is it a financial institution, even if there is a notice in the window saying NatWest relocated?", "The route sheet says info opposite the T junction, is the Nationwide on the wrong side?", ....









Re: Double Dutch 200 Easter Saturday
« Reply #220 on: March 27, 2016, 06:31:52 pm »
Thanks Martin it was the first time I had cycled in Norfolk it will not be the last I really enjoyed the quiet lanes. Guy's head lighthouses were stunning for me that was the nicest part of the route..
Eddington Number 75

Re: Double Dutch 200 Easter Saturday
« Reply #221 on: March 27, 2016, 10:14:07 pm »
Many thanks Martin and Ann for organising another epic event. Thanks also to Moritz; it would have been a lonely challenge out there without his ever cheerful company.
It’s worth noting that despite the apocalyptic conditions, the daffodils were the best I have ever seen, which is of course the reason for riding the Double Dutch.
  :)

bikey-mikey

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Re: Double Dutch 200 Easter Saturday
« Reply #222 on: March 28, 2016, 09:08:46 am »
I forgot to mention the steps down to the ferry....

Absolutely terrifying.....

I could barely stand because of the wind tunnel effect of the alley...

I was rapidly losing temperature due to the wind chill...

The steps were very steep and uneven...

The hand rail ran up the middle from the bottom as far as halfway up, but after that it shifted to the wall on your right as you descend... So you started your descent trying to hold onto the rail on the right hand wall...

This meant I had to carry my bike with my left hand until halfway, (which I never do because that's the hand I broke which has a weak grip strength) and then cross to the middle of the steps without anything to hold on to, hoping I would not get a bad gust at the wrong moment, and having been lucky and managed to grab the middle rail I then continued down...

But the ferry was against the steps on the left, and I could not grab it's rail because I had my bike in that hand, so I had to try and hold my balance whilst letting go of the safety rail completely, and then switch my bike to my right hand whilst trying to grab the rail on the actual ferry with the left hand, to get on...

Bear in mind the bike won't just hang still, but rather is twisting and turning in that horrendous wind, trying to pull me into the water....

All of this in S-Works 'walkable aero cleats' which do have some grip, but are more akin to ice skates than to rubber soled trainers...


Health and safety would have cried.....  I should have used the detour provided on the route sheet.....

I’ve decided I’m not old. I’m 25 .....plus shipping and handling.

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Martin

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Re: Double Dutch 200 Easter Saturday
« Reply #223 on: March 28, 2016, 09:40:54 pm »
Thanks for supporting (or braving!) the ferry mikey; £70 donated to HfH from the ride.

Next year's event Sat April 15th 2017 same time same channel!

Thanks everyone

bikey-mikey

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Re: Double Dutch 200 Easter Saturday
« Reply #224 on: March 29, 2016, 08:35:26 am »
Thanks for supporting (or braving!) the ferry mikey; £70 donated to HfH from the ride.

Next year's event Sat April 15th 2017 same time same channel!

Thanks everyone

Ah, I'd forgotten that, and it's a very good cause, so I'm glad it worked out for the best !!
I’ve decided I’m not old. I’m 25 .....plus shipping and handling.

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