Author Topic: Norfolk Nips - 2013/14 Season  (Read 1812 times)

Norfolk Nips - 2013/14 Season
« on: November 03, 2013, 09:45:30 am »
I think it's fair to say that Keeff and Sue and their merry band of helpers have established The Nips series as something of a classic in the audax world - at least if the numbers present yesterday for Nips 1 are anything to go by.

Part of the attraction must be that the rides appeal to a wide set of riders. There are local clubs in attendance (VC Norwich, CC Sudbury, Breckland CC) in large numbers, and then there are the nutters like us who extend the rides to 200km (or more) for our over-winter randonneuring fix.

We rode up from Diss, making a 60/40 ECE split. After all the travelling to events during last year, it's nice not to have to pack everything up in the car and do that whole Travelodge thing. I've been having some motivational issues recently (not surprising, I suppose) but I was rather more up for it yesterday, and we ended up using the day as a training day. We passed Wilky and Fidgetbuzz on the outskirts of Attleborough. We eased off a little to see if they would catch us, but that just made us cold in the morning mist and drizzle, so we picked it up again.

The Nips loop itself was great. We hammered it up to the "hilly bit" on the coast, grateful for fboab's decision to switch the Longstaff over to winter-plumage (Marathon Plus 25s) as we sloshed through lanes of Skogg and Leaf Chutney. Sugar-beet season is well underway, and the lanes were flinty - as several riders were finding out (Viv Marsh of CC Sudbury had two visits before the halfway stop).

We slowed a little after the lunch stop, but started to kick it up again after Reepham, into the increasingly troublesome headwind. We passed quite a few solos along there and invited them into our wheel - but there were few takers.

Fboab: "Tuck in if you want"
Rider being overtaken: "Nah... I'm buggered."

We languished at the Arrivee - thoroughly enjoying the NorfolknGood TLC - and getting embroiled in conversations of an AGMish nature.

Eventually, we dragged ourselves away for the last 40km segment back to Diss. The wind was in our faces (mine more than fboab's, obv) and some weather showed up as we slogged down the B1113 to New Buckenham. But as I pointed out, just as a hilly ride has the compensation of scenery to look at, a weathery day will often provide some great skies to look at, and Norfolk certainly excels in the Big Sky department.

Looking forward to Nips 2  :thumbsup:.


ece by Pelotonhound, on Flickr

Re: Norfolk Nips - 2013/14 Season
« Reply #1 on: November 03, 2013, 10:20:14 am »
Excellent, Chris and a great picture, thanks!

Fidgetbuzz

  • L sp MOON. 1st R sp MARS . At X SO sp STARS
Re: Norfolk Nips - 2013/14 Season
« Reply #2 on: November 03, 2013, 10:43:33 am »
 A typical Nips set up. At the start Keith said he thought he could have taken at least 250 starters - he actually mentioned 400 - but I found that difficult to get my mind round.
I was ECEing  splitting the extra 50/50. Wilky was also driving up to start from my house - he arrived as I was riding the 400 yards up to the main road - so I agreed to pedal soft to let him catch up -- that took some time but when his lights appeared behind - I went back to my normal pace - thinking that he would catch me easily -- seems that I made him work too hard - as he found the chase hard work.
Going into Attleborough - Chris and Boab are on the leg to the start - no chance to close the gap though.
Arrive with 20 minutes in hand - nice timing - time to say Hello, have a tea and biscuit- change batteries on GPS - get yourself ready etc.

I chose to be a late starter - dont much like having 100 faster younger riders passing me on the Reepham road - prefer to work myself up the field slowly. Lovely route up thru the lanes towards the coast. Catch up with Wilky before the first turn at Weybourne - where we then go East along the coast road, thru Sheringham and Cromer.

Control at 50 odd kms - busy with everyone enjoying - drinks and cakes. Dont stop long and away on my own. Still trundling thru Norfolk lanes that are a complete unknown to me and eventually turn to ride in from Reepham - getting windy now.

Finish the 100 - with the well known Norfolk Nips welcome. Soup,rolls and cake -- great job Team -- sorry I forgot to thank you.

Wilky arrives not long after me - and eventually we set off to ride the last 50 together. i must say that having company does make that easier ( so many thx for your company) -there is none of that mental nonsense about why am I doing this. Wind is getting up all the time - but seems to be swinging round SE to SW. One or two heavy rain squalls - but safely home in good time 9.04 riding time for 205. Happy with that.

Tea and cake at home with Wilky who is close to getting a PROPER BIKE !!!!
I was an accountant until I discovered Audax !!

fboab

  • It's a fecking serious business, riding a bike
Re: Norfolk Nips - 2013/14 Season
« Reply #3 on: November 03, 2013, 02:55:37 pm »
Wilky who is close to getting a PROPER BIKE !!!!
:o
First the drugs, then the bike...


He's been hanging around with the wrong crowd
TSS is not Total Sex Score, Chris!

Re: Norfolk Nips - 2013/14 Season
« Reply #4 on: November 03, 2013, 03:59:20 pm »

Nice day out, but skogg etc slowed me down ( no punctures, but slow descents/cornering)

Must try and sort out a rear mudguard as trying to get back into audaxing properly

fantastic set up by Keith et al  many thanks

SF

Halloween

  • It's party time....
Re: Norfolk Nips - 2013/14 Season
« Reply #5 on: November 03, 2013, 08:49:17 pm »
Well, yes indeed - totally agree with Chris' sentiments - brilliant series of rides for the winter. Keef, Sue and crew do a splendid job keeping us exploring interesting bits of Norfolk and providing the equivalent of a warm, snuggly blanket at the controls!

I too chose to ECE the ride into a 200, and it was good to catch up with some old familiar faces again. Set off from the start and caught up with Wilkyboy, only for him to abruptly stop and turn his bike round, muttering something about a dropped brevet card (not his I think). Selfishly I pressed on and had a good wizz to the first control riding with various small groups. A short break for tea and the excellent bread pudding and then onto the return leg increasingly plagued by the headwind. Fortunately I grabbed shelter from some passing club riders. Back at the finish I exchanged tales with Simon B and heard the story of his LEL fail.

A gentle pootle saw me arrive home just before the heavens opened, excellent day out. Looking forward to the next one!

wilkyboy

  • "nick" by any other name
    • 16-inch wheels
Re: Norfolk Nips - 2013/14 Season
« Reply #6 on: November 07, 2013, 01:03:13 am »
The plan was to ECE this with Fidgetbuzz to do 50km before and after from his house, for a November 200 (RRTY, see?).  A couple of minutes lateness in departing Cambridge plus extra long roadworks before Thetford following a slow load meant I arrived at Chez Fidgetbuzz about 5 minutes after the agreed time, and as I drove down the lane I spotted a bike light coming towards me and flagged him down: Fidgetbuzz had decided I wasn't coming and had set off without me, but he agreed to soft-pedal to allow me to catch up.  By the time I'd parked, changed shoes and unfolded the bike, FB had a good eight-to-ten minutes on me.  Bugger!

With cold muscles I upped my tempo to above my normal and hoped that I was reeling him in. I figured at worst I would see him coming towards me as I headed out to the turn at Attleborough.  In the end I did better than that and caught sight of him 800m ahead of me a few km before Wymondham.  When I got to within 200m, I couldn't get any closer: FB clearly felt in a cruel mood and started to put the hammer down!  In the end I caught up with him when he had to slow for a right-turn junction followed by a red light.  Breathing heavily we span on for a while, but FB, despite his claimed years (really he's Peter Pan), kept the pace up in the high 20s.  Aaargh!!  Fortunately I am a lot fitter after riding audaxes for a year and settled into a rhythm, but it was on the upper limit of what I could maintain and the wind really wasn't helping.  Chris and fboab on the tandem passed us in the opposite direction a couple of km or so before the turn: I thought they would be on solos and was surprised to see them on the tandem, I thought they'd had enough after last season?!

At the turn I checked my glasses and realised the fog was actually mist condensed onto the glasses and the day wasn't looking quite so bad, but the wind looked like it was going to play silly buggers and come all the way around the compass and be in our faces all day long.  Any thought of catching the tandem was unrealistic: if they had soft-pedalled it would have taken at least as long as it took me to catch FB, about 10-15km, by which time we'd be almost at the start anyway.  FB didn't reduce his pace until we started climbing up through Norwich, and for me it was a welcome breather.

We got to the start with 20 minutes in hand, time for tea and biscuits and to say hi.  Someone came over to compare notes on little wheels: he was, I think, riding an orange Dahon on 20" wheels, looked quite neat, but I never got his name, nor can I find that particular model anywhere on the web?  Anyone?  Also bumped into Halloween, who I think I last saw on LEL.

The main ride was the typical massed-but-chilled start from the church hall.  There's no big "off", so riders tend to head off in small groups rather than one big one.  I saw FB fettling batteries in his GPS and didn't expect to see him again until arrivée, but I turned out to be wrong on that.  On the slight uphill out of Norwich I caught and passed a few groups who were just warming up: after 50km I was already well past that. 

 

I could see a fast group tantalisingly within reach and spent a huge amount of energy (for me) trying to bridge the gap to them for several km, but they were too quick and that burst cost me for the rest of the day. 



As I backed off, Halloween caught up with me just as I ran over someone else's Brevet: I turned around to retrieve it and he rode on.  The name "Peter Luff" sticks in my mind, but I think that's not quite it.  Anyway, I handed it in at the lunch control and they said he was still in the hall somewhere, so hopefully he was reunited with it. 

A missed turn didn't help: my fault following another rider.  Interestingly, there was quite a large group had gone the same way and were still continuing when we turned around. I caught up with a recumbent rider with a big bushy moustache: "are you German?" has got to be the crappest introductory remark; he's not.  I rode with Tim (slowfen?) for a way chatting, comparing notes, etc.

As usual my pace wasn't quite in tune with his (nor really with anybody's) and after 10km I felt I had to let him ride off the front and take a breather.  And as usual, once I was riding my own tempo, my pace turned out to be almost exactly the same, so we stayed within 200m or so of each other but going up and down at different speeds.  This is one of the reasons I'm looking forward to having a wider choice of gears, as there's a dead spot I find it hard to ride in between fourth and fifth on the B.

Another few km on and I could see a bright bike light in my mirror.  It looked like FB, so I upped my pace a bit, to give him a taste of his own medicine.  It didn't last long: a few moments waiting at a junction and he catches me up.  So, in spite of starting a minute or two ahead of him and a quick tempo out of Norwich, FB has caught me!

 

We ride to the info control, debate whether it's the first Close or the second Close that's the right one and then it's onto the coast road to Cromer.  This road undulates and a quick kick around some other cyclists up a slope and I discover I've dropped FB.  I slow down and he catches me.  We repeat a couple of times, but clearly FB's not having an "up" day.  A missed turn in Cromer meant doubling back and FB catches me up again – there's no stopping him!  Cromer was quite nice, apart from the twat in the Ford Focus who wanted to debate the Highway Code on whether cyclists have any rights on the road, and at least the hill was a proper hill, none of this almost-hill that we'd been riding up to now across Norfolkshire.  And a few minutes later we were at the control for lunch.  A couple of pieces of cake and some tea.  FB decided even that's taking too long and headed out on his own, but I have to have a pee and think I'll catch him in 10km or so.

Leaving the control, the landscape opens up a bit and it definitely feels like the wind is now against us.  On the Brompton there's no dropped position to hide in, so I winched myself up into the wind on my own.  After a while I realised that I seemed to have gathered up a small group of riders who were sheltering behind me and we stayed like this for five km or more.  Eventually they tired of my pitifully slow progress and passed me, the last one in the group looking around to see whether I had managed to hook on: not likely after doing all the work on my own for the past half hour!  Buggers!  This third leg was the hardest of the three and I just didn't feel like riding it, but as always, you just gotta keep turning the pedals and make sure you're hydrated and taking the salts and eventually it all works itself out.  Which it did at the turn at the final info control: from there it's a "main road" dash – like Welsh main roads, i.e. lanes – back into Norwich and I managed to pick the pace up.  Some new roadstone surfaces were pretty uncomfortable on little wheels, but overall the pace was good and I managed to reel a few riders who'd passed me earlier back in.

At arrivée it was soup and a sandwich – delicious – and catch up with FB, fboab and Chris and some others.  FB had been there a good ten minutes before me and was raring to get out for the final 50km back to his place.



The final leg is often the hardest to get motivated, but we had plenty of time and neither of us was in a hurry to be anywhere, so we took it fairly easily.  The wind had turned to the SW SE and looked like it would be in our faces except for the final 10km.  As before FB's rolling pace was reasonably high, although it had dropped a bit since the morning, thank goodness!  But it was clear that being off the bike working on LEL all year had hammered his power-to-weight, and he was "climbing patiently" – still quick enough, but at a pace I was able to match.  We steadily winched our way southwards and then westwards eastwards, using the infamous B1113 for a while – you could still see the trail made by the tandem.  At the turn to the west east it started to rain properly and it was time for the waterproof, but it's kind of nice to be out there in the proper weather sometimes, and this was one of those times!

At the turn northwards on the main road we set a healthy pace, but split up to allow buses and cars to overtake more easily.  Then it's a left into the lanes and back into side-by-side formation.  By now we know we're just a few km away and right then left and we're there: 206km, 10hrs 19mins elapsed, 9hrs and 6secs moving.  Nothing stellar, but still a good deal quicker than a year ago when I started all this malarkey, which means I usually don't have to worry about the time now.

All in all an enjoyable ride, apart from the constant headwind.  Having had a solo ECE the previous weekend (through nobody's fault except my own), it's so much nicer to ride with company in the gloaming at either end of the day.  FB gave me my first taste of ECE last December and it was good to repeat it with him.  It was nice to see Chris and fboab looking a bit less driven compared to what they were up to just a few weeks ago – relax, people, it's not about the points!*  Shame I didn't get to ride more than about 100m with Halloween – next time. 

As on previous expeditions to Norfolk the tlc that Keith and Sue's team put on was first rate – thank you thank you thank you.  There's another nip along in a month and I daresay I will try to be there (pass-out yet to be negotiated).

More pictures here.

* I know, it is, but I'm just saying: chillax, okay?!  :-*
RRTY #7 done.  Need something else to do ... ah, welcome #8 8)

wilkyboy

  • "nick" by any other name
    • 16-inch wheels
Re: Norfolk Nips - 2013/14 Season
« Reply #7 on: November 07, 2013, 01:12:20 am »
Wilky who is close to getting a PROPER BIKE !!!!
:o
First the drugs, then the bike...

Drugs are consumed and the bike's ordered.  Won't have it for another three weeks, though!!   ::-)

When I tried them, I couldn't tell the difference between alu and carbon frame: too many km on the Brompton.  So I have gone for steel  :thumbsup:

Quietly excited: I'm joining the ranks of n+1 where n>0; I think that makes me an almost proper cyclist  ;D
RRTY #7 done.  Need something else to do ... ah, welcome #8 8)

Fidgetbuzz

  • L sp MOON. 1st R sp MARS . At X SO sp STARS
Re: Norfolk Nips - 2013/14 Season
« Reply #8 on: November 07, 2013, 10:56:58 am »
 target date for the first chance for us to see this new machine for real - Nips 2? ... or a meet you half way for a pub lunch DIY?
I was an accountant until I discovered Audax !!

Re: Norfolk Nips - 2013/14 Season
« Reply #9 on: November 07, 2013, 05:45:40 pm »

Yes its slowfen.

The recumbent does hills slightly differently, slower up, quicker down, which means your normal style is around the same, its difficult to match, or it can yo-yo.

You might need to work on the pick up lines ;)

Re: Norfolk Nips - 2013/14 Season
« Reply #10 on: November 07, 2013, 05:49:26 pm »
You might need to work on the pick up lines ;)

Well. He could have said "Are you Wobbly? Wow - I thought you were bald!"  ;D

wilkyboy

  • "nick" by any other name
    • 16-inch wheels
Re: Norfolk Nips - 2013/14 Season
« Reply #11 on: November 07, 2013, 06:52:50 pm »
Well. He could have said "Are you Wobbly? Wow - I thought you were bald!"  ;D

Nah, that would've been rude.  Anyway, I know Sir Wobbly: ridden with him several times, even helped in a small way with his umbrella holder on LEL (don't ask).
RRTY #7 done.  Need something else to do ... ah, welcome #8 8)

Re: Norfolk Nips - 2013/14 Season
« Reply #12 on: November 07, 2013, 11:07:23 pm »
I'm reading this and knowing I'm missing out. I've ridden the Nips events a number of times, but it's a two hour drive even if the A11 improvements don't cause delays, and I'm not sure I can justify doing it too often.

Brilliant events though.

wilkyboy

  • "nick" by any other name
    • 16-inch wheels
Re: Norfolk Nips - 2013/14 Season
« Reply #13 on: November 08, 2013, 12:46:51 pm »
target date for the first chance for us to see this new machine for real - Nips 2? ... or a meet you half way for a pub lunch DIY?

I'll keep you posted: Nips2 if permission's granted, but I suspect it won't be this time due to having the entire family over the following day, so then pub-lunch DIY show-and-tell would definitely be on the cards.
RRTY #7 done.  Need something else to do ... ah, welcome #8 8)

Re: Norfolk Nips - 2013/14 Season
« Reply #14 on: November 08, 2013, 05:31:51 pm »
Anyone see anything leaving event?  I was quietly dismantling bike and getting ready to leave, when saw 'scene' between 2 people about 3.15ish.