Author Topic: The Dean weatherwatch  (Read 2303 times)

The Dean weatherwatch
« on: March 28, 2008, 01:53:30 pm »
looks like anyone who can get round in 9 hrs might stay dry...

is the bit through the Forest and as windprone as on the Severn Across?

Re: The Dean weatherwatch
« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2008, 01:59:13 pm »
La La La La. I can't hear you.

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

Re: The Dean weatherwatch
« Reply #2 on: March 28, 2008, 02:05:10 pm »
are you staying in the travelodge ?; may be there for in time for an extremely late beer  :P

(taking youngest for a birthday pizza first)

Re: The Dean weatherwatch
« Reply #3 on: March 28, 2008, 02:07:08 pm »

A beer or two the night before an Audax has always worked in the past...
"Yes please" said Squirrel "biscuits are our favourite things."


Re: The Dean weatherwatch
« Reply #4 on: March 28, 2008, 07:03:31 pm »
I'm glad I've decided not to bother this year :D
I've decided that all of my rides this year will be warm and dry.  That's why I haven't done any yet.

Re: The Dean weatherwatch
« Reply #5 on: March 29, 2008, 03:05:03 pm »
Well its been raining stair rods here


Re: The Dean weatherwatch
« Reply #6 on: March 29, 2008, 09:30:14 pm »
And here

I guess they've been trailing down the High Street the last hour or 2.  I didn't go and look.  Maybe I should have..


  • T'is I, Silverback.
Re: The Dean weatherwatch
« Reply #7 on: March 30, 2008, 12:07:39 am »
I gave up at Chepstow at 200k.
Got there at 16.00 late, shivering, tired, after taking a wrong turn in the forest and doing 12 miles on the A48 with driving rain and a serious headwind. Just didn't fancy another 200km of that.

Started well getting to the Stow control in about 5 hrs (from home) Left there last and was behind all the rest of the way round.
Maybe it wasn't a good idea to try a 400 on a bike I only got yesterday, the seat angle is different to the trike so I found my legs were getting tired when the road went upwards, also I think the pedals were set a bit to far away.

Still I'm pretty happy with the 200k I did on it, It would have been even harder on the trike, and I wouldn't have got it on the train home :D

Looks like I wasn't the only one to pack.


  • T'is I, Silverback.
Re: The Dean weatherwatch
« Reply #8 on: March 30, 2008, 12:33:05 am »
Met office reports,

London & South East England: 
Bracknell Forest,   Buckinghamshire,  Hampshire,  Isle of Wight,   Milton Keynes,  Oxfordshire, Portsmouth, Reading,  Slough, Southampton, W Berkshire, Windsor + Maidenhead, Wokingham

Further spells of heavy rain are expected over the next few hours. Up to 15mm is likely in a 3 hour period in places. The public are advised to take extra care and refer to the'Highways Agency' for further advice on traffic disruption on motorways and trunk roads and to the latest Environment Agency Floodline and 'Flood warnings in force'.

Issued at: 1959 Sat 29 Mar


Re: The Dean weatherwatch
« Reply #9 on: March 30, 2008, 08:45:14 pm »
Well... that was tough.

The faffing at the start ran over so much that I didn't get down to get my card from Nick until everyone else was rolling out.  I quickly got my card and was able to get on the back of the bunch as the lights on the P&R exit were red.  It was not too cold and the wind hadn't really come up so the pace was OK.  My HRM wasn't working and when I fixed that I realised I was 5bpm off my maximum HR so decided to let the lead bunch go and go at my own pace.  I think I was riding with David from Oxford and we reeled in RichForrest who was struggling on the climbs with his new steed.  Arriving at Stow control there were a few familiar faces around including Teethgrinder, Domonic Burford, Martin, amongst others.  I left with Greenbank and David from Oxford.

For some reason I had forgotten that we cross the Cotswolds next, but I soon remembered as the undulations began.  I lost Alex on the undulations but I waited for Deniece at Winchcombe and Alex arrived as well, along with Martin.  We then set off up the hill, me leading out a mini peloton of Martin and Deniece.  The view across the plain to the right was superb.  The descent was great fun and I pushed on alone across the plain, until Alex caught me up as we drew closer to Newent.  As we got there, the rain was setting in, and it rained steadily outside while we wasted an hour at the cafe.  It was very nice, though, and David and Arabella joined us.  Rich arrived later on and we never saw him again.  We decided he'd packed.

Once we headed out, and started into the Forest, Alex and I stuck together.  The rain was now quite heavy and the wind was getting up.  The Forest offered shelter but often we were quite exposed and it was a slog.  After climbing out of Bream (last year I stopped for a rest halfway up that climb) we battled driving rain until finally we descended into Chepstow.  We froze outside Tesco for about half an hour and then started off up the climb.  It seemed easier than last year and Alex and we joined forces again to cross the bridge, which was "fun".  The wind was now sometimes at our backs, and it was easier though the pace was still not good.  Eventually we arrived at the start of the Somerset monument climb, and stopped to take on liquid refreshment by the cattle grid, at which point MattC caught us.  We started together, and I got up the climb in one go - unlike last year - so that was nice.  It wasn't raining at this point and it was almost pleasant.  Alex had to walk unsurprisingly so I waited at the top and off we went again.  Matt had waited further on, and we continued to stick together.

When we rolled into Malmesbury, it was now dark.  The wind seemed to have come up and the rain continued to drive and sting our eyes.  Last year I ate at the Summer Cafe... (surely some sort of cruel joke?) which closes at 5.45.  No chance this year.  Arabella and David were huddling under the (what is that thing) in the square and we joined them and controlled at the co-op.  After a loo break at the Hog's Head (very nice of them not to ask us to buy anything) off we headed into the darkness.  Unfortunately the route turned further south at this point and this whole section was very nasty from a cross-headwind, driving rain, etc.  Made worse by fast descents, and pretty dangerous at times.  My pace was ridiculously slow and I was often dropped by the other two.  I got up the first Hackpden hill first though, and saw lights ahead on the top of the second one.  I didn't hang around for fear of freezing to death and waited for the other two further on.  Unfortunately I decided to walk the second hill as it was dark, I was very slow, and the wind was really nasty.  Matt got up on his bike, well done.

Once we had done that it got easier as we ran down the valley towards Marlborough and the info, then we got to turn eastwards again, and life began to get much easier.  It wasn't too long til we turned to climb up to Membury services.  This climb seemed much easier than last year, no doubt due to the tail wind.  Alex and I went to the petrol station, and lost Matt, who had gone to the services proper.  Once we left it was nice and easy, though now we were about 10 minutes out of time so we pushed on.  We found Arabella, Martin, Deniece and David at the bottom of the descent in Lamborn.  They said we'd lost MattC at the services, so we waited for a few minutes to see if he would be along.  We set off again and no long after he did catch up.  But he soon put the hammer down as he feared he might be out of time, having to get to Didcot.  Hopefully he made it in time.

The ride back to Oxford was generally very much more pleasant, and we were a loose kind of bunch stretched out over a few hundred yards.  One of my rear mudguard's brackets failed which caused annoying rubbing noises but I was able to live with it.  On the descent of Cumnor Hill I almost knocked by second rear light into the wheel, which would've been interesting at 30mph, so I stopped to fiddle with that, and then once we got to the centre led the way to the finish.  We controlled at the BP garage at about 03.50 (bst).

That was much harder than last year and I can't recall a harder day on the bike, even the BCM Scenic on which I packed after 320km, was easier.  Chapeau to Alex for getting round his first fixed 300 in such conditions.  Alex and Matt's company and support were very helpful in the demoralising Malmesbury-Marlborough slog.

Re: The Dean weatherwatch
« Reply #10 on: March 30, 2008, 09:17:02 pm »
Sounds like one of those events when (in x year's time) you lot can all say "this is nothing, I remember the Dean in 2008"...

Well done for attempting what was obviously a super tough ride.

Me? Well, I remember the Dorset Coast 2001......zzzzzzzzzzzz
Let your mind unravel ... down that road you're travellin' ...


Re: The Dean weatherwatch
« Reply #11 on: March 30, 2008, 09:47:59 pm »

Me? Well, I remember the Dorset Coast 2001......zzzzzzzzzzzz

An' me.  One of my first fixed 200s :)

Re: The Dean weatherwatch
« Reply #12 on: March 30, 2008, 09:54:49 pm »
After all the reports about the Dean, I'm beginning to think that oversleeping yesterday was a smart move...