Author Topic: 3 Down 300K, 2013  (Read 13175 times)

3 Down 300K, 2013
« on: February 28, 2013, 01:09:52 am »

Time to mention Willesden CC's excellent 300K ride. 2013’s ride on 6th April. From just west of London at Chalfont St Peter, it goes across the Chilterns, the eastern edge of the Berkshire downs, the Hampshire Downs  at White Hill, along the Test Valley and across the New Forest to Fordingbridge and, err, back again by a different route. Breakfast is included in the price and refreshments/light meals available at the end with commercial controls in between.

The fact that the return route has a following prevailing wind and the last 60k is fairly flat make this a good first 300K and also makes it reasonably easy for fixies. You will need lights for the first ten minutes or so and even full value riders should get to around Preston Candover before needing lights. You can get details of the controls, a draft GPX and the 3Down crossword at  http://iansaudax.blogspot.co.uk/.


My events: 18th Feb 2018 Willesden Reliability; 1st July 2018 3 Audaxes from Maidenhead; 8th Sep 2018 3Down

Re: 3 Down 300K, 2013
« Reply #1 on: February 28, 2013, 09:14:28 am »
"Excellent" certainly describes that link, as well as the event!

Re: 3 Down 300K, 2013
« Reply #2 on: February 28, 2013, 12:32:15 pm »
Yes agree that it's an excellent route and is ideal for anyone considering their first fixed ride >200km. Unfortunately it's the same day as the Hard Boiled 300 otherwise I'd be riding. Might be up for a route check tho' Ian!

Re: 3 Down 300K, 2013
« Reply #3 on: March 09, 2013, 05:00:06 pm »
Off checking 2/3rds of the route tomorrow - before I run out of time to do it. The weather looks cold, damp in parts (OK so far) and a "brisk easterly wind"  :o  So a tiring return.
My events: 18th Feb 2018 Willesden Reliability; 1st July 2018 3 Audaxes from Maidenhead; 8th Sep 2018 3Down

Re: 3 Down 300K, 2013 Routecheck ride report
« Reply #4 on: March 14, 2013, 09:49:13 am »
This year I decided to break the 3Down route check into two -  two thirds, Pangbourne to near Basingstoke one weekend, the start and finish the following one.

So, on Saturday I sat down with Google Maps to plan. The minimum distance of the route to be checked was around 187kms. Limited train options on a Sunday morning meant with a start from Reading and adding 2-3kms at the end around Basingstoke, I could have a 200DIY and Routecheck in one go. Taking the car to start earlier, I set off from Reading just after 8am.
It started off a dull, cool day with a light tailwind, Pangbourne, the ride's first control was reached in about 30 minutes and now I was on the 3 Down route. The café stop has changed hands since the last 3Down, but not needing food, I decided to leave introducing myself until the second check. Knowing the route too well, I sailed past three of the first half dozen routesheet points without checking whether the signage on the road matched the routesheet, so each time I had to spin round and check. The lesson was eventually learned. Arriving at a dip before Stanford Dingley where the road was flooded, I carried on - deep enough to get my feet sprayed, shallow enough not to cover the bottom bracket - unlikely to be there in a month so nothing to note. A few kms further on, a sign had changed and I spotted a significant error in the incrementing distance - something to correct at last.

It was a pleasant ride with an increasing tailwind and I was quickly in Whitchurch, where I stopped to flip the routesheet and tighten up a loose mudguard stay. Then it was down the Test Valley, one of my favourite stretches of the ride – it is fairly flat with a winning landscape of woodland, wetland and rustic villages. I arrived at  the Kimbridge control, way earlier than on previous checks. About a hundred yards before its entrance I heard the car behind me hoot - I turned ready to snarl, thinking it was at me, but it was for an Audi sports car overtaking it on a road that was barely two car widths wide with another car coming in the opposite direction. It swerved to avoid the oncoming car right in front of me. I was surely joined by the two other drivers in mouthing obscenities at the idiot. Once in Kimbridge, I bumped into Alun, its manager, discussed arrangements for 6th April, then looked for a place to sit and grab a bite. The penny dropped - Mother's day and not an unreserved seat in the house!  Alun very kindly arranged a sandwich and a coffee for me though, which I scoffed standing.

The short stretch over to the New Forest consists of small steep wooded hills with a suburban sprawl where most of the "farms" are scruffy horse places (I am not selling the ride here – most of it is really nice, honest!). Every time I do it, I find it wearing and this time was no exception. Next is a sharp little climb onto the New Forest Plateau and now the tailwind is ferocious (far more likely to be a headwind on the event). I was getting up to 40kph on the flat without effort - great - but I was conscious I had to come back. Animals range free here and in Godshill I had to slow right down for a herd of bullocks, most of whom seemed to be taking a communal pee in the road, and a gang of ponies following them. I managed to slip through - the car that had been right behind me must have been caught several minutes. A lightning stop for chocolate milk at the garage in Fordingbridge, around 105km into the ride and then the turn south along the western edge of the forest, roads full of mountain bikers in anoraks and more herds of ponies. For the first time I have ridden here, there was water in the fords, but they were negotiable.

Next was the dreaded turn into the headwind. Not too bad at first as the woodland and the folds of the landscape block the worst. I stopped in Linwood to check the Info control and found myself surrounded by runners on an event  - a tough one by the looks on their faces. Finally back on top. Now it is nasty - 16-17kph tops in the unrelenting headwind and my heart rate up to 80% of max. While nowhere else is quite as exposed, the slightly shorter return portion takes nearly two hours longer than the outward ride. The fact that I’ve not ridden more than 70k in one day for five months catches up with me and I find I need to stop for several breathers and food breaks. Climbing to Sparsholt, the other Info control, the snow flurries started.

I ploughed on to Alresford and arrived about 6pm, just as it was getting dark. While there is a choice on Saturdays, the event day, on Sunday evenings the only place  is Tesco Express. Am I the only person to be slightly depressed at the sight of one appearing to be the heart of the community - there was a continual coming and going of cars and people? Whatever: 2 chocolate milks and a battery change later I was on my way and it was now just about dark.

The route to Basingstoke is mainly two long gentle climbs punctuated by a couple of down-hills. At around zero degrees with a howling headwind, the exposed part of my face was freezing, but the climbing, ski gloves, with thinner gloves underneath, four layers on my feet and 6 layers round my trunk kept me well clear of hypothermia. It was just a slow grind using the hedgerows for shelter as best I could. I made an en-route executive decision to cut one very marginal but rather crappy short cut.  A salt-gritter passed the other way - the first ever time for me on a bike. I was glad of the wraps protecting my eyes as crystals up to an inch across bounced around me. For the first few kms, before car tyres had ground them down, though, my headlight picked out the crystals and made them look like diamonds - or at least something from a Disney World grotto.

I reached the point to turn off the route and make up the 200K DIY. OK until I was through Old Basing, then I hit the hell that is Basingstoke. In the dark, with no knowledge of the place and just the GPS for navigation, it was dual carriageways, intersections and roundabouts till I finally arrived at the station. I had finished - 205km in 12 hours. I bought my ticket back to Reading and with plenty of waiting time went to look for a coffee. I found one - the best I can say is that it was hot.

Back at Reading my fingers got so cold at the end of packing away the bike, I couldn’t undo my helmet clasp until I was a couple of miles into the drive home. I was so tired that when I went to sleep I apparently spent 15 minutes entertaining my wife by loudly swearing at random.

But, riders, you will have up-to-date instructions.
My events: 18th Feb 2018 Willesden Reliability; 1st July 2018 3 Audaxes from Maidenhead; 8th Sep 2018 3Down

Re: 3 Down 300K, 2013
« Reply #5 on: March 14, 2013, 08:08:11 pm »
Thanks for the ride report Ian, sounds like a testing second half for you.

Currently pondering at the moment, not fit for the distance at the moment and don't actually have my new bike (and my old/current one nearly broke me on my first 300k) yet so undecided. Is the closing date for entries on the AudaxUK website correct (5/4/13)? Seems rather close to the ride.
Miles cycled 2014 = 3551.5 (Target 7300 :()
Miles cycled 2013 = 6141.4
Miles cycled 2012 = 4038.1

Re: 3 Down 300K, 2013
« Reply #6 on: March 15, 2013, 09:10:05 am »
Thanks for the ride report Ian, sounds like a testing second half for you.

Currently pondering at the moment, not fit for the distance at the moment and don't actually have my new bike (and my old/current one nearly broke me on my first 300k) yet so undecided. Is the closing date for entries on the AudaxUK website correct (5/4/13)? Seems rather close to the ride.

Yes - assuming I have enough Brevet cards to go around and that I don't hit the size limit, I will close early the evening before the event. Being able to keep open this late is one of the benefits of online entry - for a long ride like this I don't offer EOL.  The ride's now about 2/3rds full - so there is a chance it may fill.
My events: 18th Feb 2018 Willesden Reliability; 1st July 2018 3 Audaxes from Maidenhead; 8th Sep 2018 3Down

Re: 3 Down 300K, 2013
« Reply #7 on: March 15, 2013, 03:41:55 pm »
Entered last night for my first official 300, an ECEd 200 and an Easter Arrow stoking notwithstanding, this'll be the step up from 200 this year in prep for LEL, hopefully

I assume Basingstoke in the dark at the end isn't part of the route on the day, and howling headwinds, and gritters, and floods, and bullocks pissing in the road

If the steep hills can be flattened a bit too, so much the better

Re: 3 Down 300K, 2013
« Reply #8 on: March 15, 2013, 07:57:45 pm »
Looking forward to doing this ride again. Last year we had a fairly quick run down to the New Forest but slowed on the return. Made the mistake of stopping at Pizza Express in Alresford for a pasta load up which wasted a lot of time. Co-op this time methinks and then I might be back before midnight!
The older you get, the better you get, unless you are a banana.

Re: 3 Down 300K, 2013
« Reply #9 on: March 15, 2013, 09:24:27 pm »
midnight?

so looking forward to the step up from 200s

Re: 3 Down 300K, 2013
« Reply #10 on: March 15, 2013, 09:47:12 pm »
Valuable Learning Experience: you don't have to stop for a full meal at ALL the controls. DAHIKT!
The older you get, the better you get, unless you are a banana.

Manotea

  • Just 1 sob, Vassily
Re: 3 Down 300K, 2013
« Reply #11 on: March 17, 2013, 08:23:25 pm »
Looking forward to doing this ride again. Last year we had a fairly quick run down to the New Forest but slowed on the return. Made the mistake of stopping at Pizza Express in Alresford for a pasta load up which wasted a lot of time. Co-op this time methinks and then I might be back before midnight!

The co-op has a nice picnic lawn where you can wave at AUKs as they ride by.

Hummers

  • It is all about the taste.
Re: 3 Down 300K, 2013
« Reply #12 on: March 18, 2013, 08:48:42 am »
Is the 3 Down the 300k that used to go to Mick's Burger Van on Portsdown Hill? I remember seeing PeterM there about 7 years ago manning a control point.

H

Manotea

  • Just 1 sob, Vassily
Re: 3 Down 300K, 2013
« Reply #13 on: March 18, 2013, 08:55:19 am »
That was the rural south. The 3 down goes from chalfont down to the new forest.

I like seeing the ponies and donkeys playing statues in the middle of the road.

Hummers

  • It is all about the taste.
Re: 3 Down 300K, 2013
« Reply #14 on: March 18, 2013, 09:06:25 am »
That was the rural south. The 3 down goes from chalfont down to the new forest.

I like seeing the donkeys playing statues in the middle of the road.

Ah ha  :thumbsup:

Cheers.

H

Re: 3 Down 300K, 2013
« Reply #15 on: March 18, 2013, 11:13:06 am »
midnight?

so looking forward to the step up from 200s

Tynan
You will have gone home long before midnight  ;)
See at the start.

Re: 3 Down 300K, 2013
« Reply #16 on: March 18, 2013, 03:17:10 pm »
Had it confirmed that it will be OK to allow riders to sleep the night before in the Community Centre. You'll want sleeping bag and mat which I can look after during the day. You may be asked to help with breakfast etc. for a short while - though you will still have time to fettle.

Anyone wishing to sleep after the ride will be kicked out once the last rider has returned, I'm afraid.

If you want to avail yourself of the facility please email (rather than PM) me by a couple of days ahead of the ride - see www.aukweb.net/events/detail/13-417/ for my address.
My events: 18th Feb 2018 Willesden Reliability; 1st July 2018 3 Audaxes from Maidenhead; 8th Sep 2018 3Down

Re: 3 Down 300K, 2013
« Reply #17 on: March 27, 2013, 02:39:16 pm »
midnight?

so looking forward to the step up from 200s

Tynan
You will have gone home long before midnight  ;)
See at the start.
and never again after the first downhill and for that matter the first flat bit

although at every control where you will exit with a tart quip as I arrive

I look forward to it

how tired will a fella be after a 300 after getting up at 4am odd? Will I be good to drive home

fboab

  • It's a fecking serious business, riding a bike
Re: 3 Down 300K, 2013
« Reply #18 on: March 27, 2013, 03:38:11 pm »
how tired will a fella be after a 300 after getting up at 4am odd? Will I be good to drive home
Depends mostly how hard you push yourself on the ride, and how good at spotting you need to stop in the car. I'd drive. But I'd be ready to pull over and kip under a blanket if I needed to.
TSS is not Total Sex Score, Chris!

Re: 3 Down 300K, 2013
« Reply #19 on: March 27, 2013, 04:39:18 pm »
midnight?

so looking forward to the step up from 200s

Tynan
You will have gone home long before midnight  ;)
See at the start.
and never again after the first downhill and for that matter the first flat bit

although at every control where you will exit with a tart quip as I arrive

I look forward to it

how tired will a fella be after a 300 after getting up at 4am odd? Will I be good to drive home
Depends how far you have to go. I did after last year. Never again. It was the combination of the 3.30am wake up call, 300k and 2 hr drive home that (nearly) did for me. Should have stopped for some shut eye on the way home but the temptation is to think 'I'm only 1/2 hr away from home' and push on.

This year planning a night in the Ibis before so can sleep later, and contingency to sleep in the car for a bit before setting off home if needed.
The older you get, the better you get, unless you are a banana.

Re: 3 Down 300K, 2013
« Reply #20 on: March 27, 2013, 06:56:14 pm »
45mins around the north circular

aye aye blanket in the car, ta

Re: 3 Down 300K, 2013
« Reply #21 on: April 02, 2013, 03:59:35 pm »
I'm usually fine to drive after a 300 with no problems.

I did actually also drive straight home after my 400 and 600 as well, but I'm not really sure that's advisable, after the 400 really probably wasn't the best plan. But a 300 is fine.

I don't live that far away from Chalfont, so I'll be cycling to and from this one. Means a horribly early start though.

But at least it's summertime now, so the short sleeves and shorts will be on, and suncream at the ready. Ice creams in the New Forest.

Re: 3 Down 300K, 2013
« Reply #22 on: April 02, 2013, 04:16:43 pm »
I'm usually fine to drive after a 300 with no problems.

I'm never safe to drive home after even a 200.

(not being able to drive may have some significance here)

I always find it best to cycle home from events. Much more fun and a good way of "getting the miles in." :thumbsup:

I'm not riding the 300 this year though. It's too far for me!

Re: 3 Down 300K, 2013
« Reply #23 on: April 02, 2013, 06:34:04 pm »
It will be my first 300 and I intend driving back (about 30 mins).

However one of the main purposes of my ride is training for the 300km Vatterundan which takes place round a lake in Sweden in June (I wanted to try a 300 in the UK first).
One of their rules is:
'In the interest of safety you must rest for a minimum of six hours after completing Vätternrundan before driving anywhere.  This includes driving back to nearby accommodation.  The police will be out to enforce this.'

Re: 3 Down 300K, 2013
« Reply #24 on: April 02, 2013, 07:19:14 pm »
Sleeping policemen?

Sounds a bit OTT to me.