Author Topic: Tomsk's Essex Events  (Read 19729 times)

bloomers100

  • ACME's Head of Sexual Health and Family Planning
Re: Tomsk's Essex Events
« Reply #175 on: July 05, 2014, 10:24:35 am »
Ahem, or in parks.

jogler

  • mojo operandi
Re: Tomsk's Essex Events
« Reply #176 on: July 05, 2014, 10:38:16 am »
Joggers old chap, don't forget audaxing is a great way of spending the night with men you've met on the internet so who knows what might happen!  The possibilities are endless!

'tis remiss of me to have overlooked that consideration.
However this

Joggers old chap, don't forget audaxing is a great way of spending the night with women you've met on the internet so who knows what might happen!  The possibilities are endless!

holds more of an attraction :demon:

αdαmsκι

  • Twitter @Dr_AAY Instagram @ucfaaay Strava @ucfaaay
  • Look haggard. It sells.
Re: Tomsk's Essex Events
« Reply #177 on: July 05, 2014, 11:44:12 am »
Safely home after bailing. Couldn't stay awake, even when it got light which is unusual for me. Needed three bus shelter sleeps & yet I still rode into a ditch when I fell asleep :facepalm: Seemed wise to bail before I did myself any harm.

Thanks to Tom, Ian and Jake for brunch.
What on earth am I doing here on this beautiful day?! This is the only life I've got!!

https://tyredandhungry.wordpress.com/

Re: Tomsk's Essex Events
« Reply #178 on: July 06, 2014, 07:37:59 am »
Glad to hear you're ok Adam. Tom told us about your exploits when we got back.

A good ride for me. Flew up to Whittlesey in no time at all (no wind on the approach to Whittlesey which was a first for me!) as soon as we left the control the rain started with a bit of a head wind which stayed with us all the way to Newport Pagnell. Mostly flat so a reasonable ride. Mostly rode alone but occasionally caught up with Huggy and Tippers Kiwi. A much needed hot drink at Newport Starbucks. Walked in to see large puddles all over the floor and a very soggy looking Fidgetbuzz and Wilkyboy decamped with pastries and coffee. After a bit of a sit down headed off again. A bit less flat on the way back so progress was steady. Once it was light caught up with Huggy and Tippers again and mostly stayed with them to the end. Stopped raining about 40km from the end! 365km all in for me.
Cheers to Tom and son for the hospitality at the finish.

Pippa

  • Busy being fabulous
Re: Tomsk's Essex Events
« Reply #179 on: July 06, 2014, 09:50:40 am »
Well, that wasn't quite what I expected for my first 300km. Does DNF'ing mean I have to try again?  ::-)

Adamski had briefed me before the start to take it slow and steady, so we were aiming for a nice and gentle 5.5 hours for each 100km, allowing us to finish comfortably within the time limits. We all set off after a brief pep talk from Tomsk and the group spread out quite quickly. We stopped for a minor roadside incident which pretty much established us as lanterne rouge (aside from a few late starters), but that was OK.

With a tail wind, we whizzed up to Cambridge and were there around 11pm, 45mins ahead of schedule. Another group joined us for most of the run in to the town centre; Tomsk had warned us about the invisible cyclists and revellers we were likely to encounter, which we did. Many seemed to think we were something to do with the TdF (which I will take as a compliment). One ninja cyclist pulled out onto a roundabout in front of us without looking and when we shouted at him, he stopped dead in his tracks. Some super skills by adamski avoided a head on collision  :facepalm:

It seems that Cambridge did not have a single cash machine with a working printer, so we found ourselves with a group of others at the garage asking the manager to all sign our brevet cards - which he cheerfully did. I think he found the novelty of it quite amusing. Our lack of faffage meant we left the garage ahead of the rest of the group.

I wasn't looking forward to the Ramsay Road, which I had renamed the road of despair and misery; it's so long and straight it is fairly soul destroying. However, at night, when you can't quite see this, it isn't nearly so bad. We got to the garage at Whittlesey, 100km in at 01:30, a full hour ahead of schedule (yay!), where the nice man kindly opened it up so we could raid it for milk based drinks and pasties (I know what it takes to be a good audaxer  ;D ).

It started raining briefly but then it passed, so off we set. It started to rain again so we nipped into a convenient audax hotel at the side of the road and waited to see if it would pass. It didn't, so we reluctantly donned our rain jackets and set off. It rained pretty much for the next 4 hours. We were slogging into a headwind and it was disappointing to see our average speed tick downwards. I had some fairly low moments, vowing to myself to never do anything quite so stupid again. Although we were following a gpx track I was convinced we were fruitlessly going round in circles as I kept seeing sign posts to the same places we had seen only 30 mins previously. Everytime I looked at my odometer, we seemed to have only progressed by a few kms. Suffice to say, I wasn't having much fun.

It was about 03:30 and adamski told me he was having a serious case of the dozies and needed to stop when we next happened upon somewhere suitable. Thing is, for the last 20 or so km there had been NOTHING. To try and keep him awake I started singing songs - we ended up with "we went to the animal fair" on repeat until we spotted a bench in Catworth where we stopped for a 15 mins kip break. I didn't sleep but when we set off again, it was getting light and adamski said he felt a lot better. 10km or so later he fell asleep on the bike so we stopped again in Riseley for more sleep. Again, he then felt OK so off we set. On the approach to Lavendon I heard a squeak and saw adamski cycling into a ditch at the side of road. He'd fallen asleep on the bike for a third time. I took the executive decision that this was no longer a good idea. It wasn't a hard one to make, especially as it had been raining fairly solidly for 4 hours.

We sat in another audax hotel, adamski immediately asleep whilst I figured out how to get home. We had hired a car for the weekend rather than taking trains to avoid adding too much cycling in this attempt at my longest distance yet. Our only set of house keys were in the car so we had to get back to Great Dunmow in order to get home. Curses. The best option (aided by flaky 3G) seemed to be to cycle to Bedford, take a train into London and then back out again, which would take around 3 hours and cost around £80. Still, a plan is better than no plan and off we set.

We got to Bedford without issue (thankfully at that time in the morning the A428 wasn't too busy). As it happened, there was a guy with a big cab at the station so we tentatively asked how much to Great Dunmow. £80 with the bikes. Yay. And so we arrived back at Great Dunmow, just after 9am, the first back (so did we win?).

So, not quite according to plan, but these things happen. I still got to experience a decent amount of audax - bus shelters, garage forecourts, pasties etc etc. I was feeling pretty strong still, so I reckon I could have completed the distance. There's only one way to find out really though, isn't there.....TBC

With thanks to Tomsk, Jake and Ian for the brunch when we got back, and to Tomsk for the organisation.

Fidgetbuzz

  • L sp MOON. 1st R sp MARS . At X SO sp STARS
Re: Tomsk's Essex Events
« Reply #180 on: July 06, 2014, 10:54:02 am »
Pippa - I reckon that your executive decision - was spot on - if Adamski kept falling asleep - who knows what might have gone wrong. Sorry that you did not complete - rather leaves unfinished business -- but looks as if you learnt lots -- and will be in complete confident control when next you take on a 300.
I was an accountant until I discovered Audax !!

Fidgetbuzz

  • L sp MOON. 1st R sp MARS . At X SO sp STARS
Re: Tomsk's Essex Events
« Reply #181 on: July 06, 2014, 11:18:37 am »
My summary of the ride.

Curry and beer with just 6 of us there - was good - and of course unusual for an audax - a certain amount of sociability -- if I rode this again , I would repeat the curry experience.

Actual ride ... Ridiculously fast to Cambridge, with Wilky and I tending to lead a  group once we are onto the flatter bits ( 10 up maybe even 15), Fortunately the ATM we hit had a working printer - so the two of us are off pdq, leaving the rest of the group struggling to find PoP. Fast ride on up to Whittlesea - about 4 or 5 closing slowly behind us on the long straights - with Peter Turnbull catching us as we get to the petrol station. A FB quick turn round sees us away and now it is beginning to rain , dark and into the wind -- major navigation error by both of us -- means that we end up back on the long straight into Whittlesea instead of heading SW to Newport Pagnell -- brief consultation - and we decide that rather than go back to the source of the error - we will ride south into the wind - and then west -- picking up the route again at Great Gidding. Initially we have no idea how many extras kms this is going to be -- but rejoining the route it looks like somewhere between 6 and 10  -- Tomsk distances on route sheet seem "" debateable" to us. We imagine that several groups may now be in front of us. good ride through the villages after dawn - quiet roads that i have never ridden before - good attractive villages -- still raining steadily -- not heavy just persistent. Newport Pagnell -- no one else around and then to our surprise Peter T turns up , Christophe and 1 or 2 more --and  the couple on the ride - not seen them before. So although our cock up has added at least 6 kms - others have obviously been faffing.

Then it is steady progress with it still raining until about 7.00am - with short stops at info controls, Biggleswade etc. Wilky is very patient as he waits for me - when being so much stronger up hill - he could have ridden off and finished 30 minutes faster.  Finally back to base and bacon bap etc -- very tasty and appreciated-- and much to our amazement we are very early finishers - we had gone thru 300kms at just under 15 hours - but with the extra distance of both the ride and our cock up - our total time was about 15.40.

Thx Tom , lovely ride  and not really demanding as "flattish" - but very interesting route - going to all sorts of places that I have never been to before.
I was an accountant until I discovered Audax !!

Tomsk

  • Fueled by cake since 1957
    • tomsk.co.uk
Re: Tomsk's Essex Events
« Reply #182 on: July 06, 2014, 05:10:42 pm »
Pippa - heroic failures are all part of the Audax Experience!

Well done to those first-timers at 300km - those on a 'full value' ride looked as if they could go round again......

Thanks to all those who complimented the route - Bedfordshire in particular has some under-appreciated gems of landscape.

αdαmsκι

  • Twitter @Dr_AAY Instagram @ucfaaay Strava @ucfaaay
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Re: Tomsk's Essex Events
« Reply #183 on: July 06, 2014, 05:33:09 pm »
Pippa - heroic failures are all part of the Audax Experience!

As is waking up to find oneself having ridden into the road verge. (On the bright side, it's good to know I can ride fixed in my sleep ;D.)
What on earth am I doing here on this beautiful day?! This is the only life I've got!!

https://tyredandhungry.wordpress.com/

Re: Tomsk's Essex Events
« Reply #184 on: July 07, 2014, 04:58:22 pm »
That was an interesting night's work!

My main objective was to do a decent night ride on the TT bike ahead of the Mersey Roads.  I learned quite a few things on the way - and not necessarily the things I was expecting to. 

The first leg up to Peterborough went exactly to plan.  I got to the second control at a decent speed and without having expended over much energy.  Apologies to those I kept leapfrogging with during the first half an hour, but I was limiting my power to pace myself through the night, so everyone came surging past me on the short climbs, then on a far more aero bike, I couldn't avoid passing them again on the descents. 

That sorted itself out by Duxford, and from then on I was on my own.  Every now and again through the night I did think I might have caught a glimpse of a red light ahead, but it generally turned out to be a car, or a reflective bollard - or just a hallucination! 

Cambridge was fun.  It's a surprisingly quick route through a fairly big city.  I studied there for three years so I was once one of the drunken cyclists with no lights so I knew to give my former self a wide berth!  I passed the place where I got doored by a white van on my way back from lectures all those years ago, then my old college - which I couldn't even look at for fear of hitting one of the peds staggering across the road!  As usual, every time I go back to Cambridge, they seem to change the road markings and last night was no different.  After a quick stop at the garage it was into a beautful mild night with smooth flat tarmac and a steady tailwind - audax is rarely as easy as this!

Shortly after  the second control, the road turned into the wind and it started raining, but even then never very hard.  And it was so light and so mild that I didn't bother stopping to put on my waterproof until Newport Pagnell.  That leg went smoothly.  I didn't feel at all tired which was very useful (bad luck, Adamski ^, not nice when it does happen and not a lot you can do).  Big thanks to Wilkyboy for doing an excellent GPS track which I used.  Having the alerts for the infos was incredibly helpful (although the 80km countdown to the controls was a bit more info than I wanted!) - I must work out how to do this myself.

Things then fell apart on the final section from NP back to Dunmow.  I had thought I might pick up a bit more speed with the daylight and turning slightly out of the wind but it was not to be.  My legs were fine but, as a result of the road spray, I developed the worst saddle sores I have ever had and increasingly found it hard to find any position in which I could sit on the saddle which was not extremely painful.  As a result, my speed fell away dramatically.  To be honest, this section was probably a bit too demanding in terms of hills and lane surfaces for the TT bike so it was of very limited aero benefit while I regularly missed my low gears (and mudguards) from the audax bike.   The rain also took on a 'set in' air, as if it was not going to stop; it was almost a surprise when it did and I rode the last half an hour in sunshine. 

I finally limped back in to a most welcome breakfast roll.  Chatted to Tomsk and to Sam, who had been back for a good while.  I then rode back to Bishops Stortford mostly on Sam's wheel, and mostly standing up, to catch the train home.  Thanks for the tow and the encouragement: otherwise I might well have got off and walked! 

So, lessons learned:
The main one was one I knew already - don't do a long ride in the wet without mudguards.
Pacing - I think I've probably got it about right.  It was hard to hold back on those first little hills but the legs definitely felt better for it on the night section.  But I couldn't really test it on the last bit because of the saddle sores.
Equipment - a few minor glitches with the bike were identified, like one of my back lights working loose, a bottle cage also coming loose, etc - which I wanted to go wrong on Friday rather than on the 24. 
Food - more solid and less liquid through night.  Even if it was 15 degrees, when it gets dark, I just don't want to drink anything like as much. 

Thanks again to Tom and team for a challenging but rewarding event.  I think we even got a few bonus miles too!  I rode 312 km - including about a km of wrong turns (mainly 'cos the Garmin was often slow to refresh on account of the cloud cover, so I missed a few junctions), with every leg seeming to be about 3% more than expected, rather than any single missing loop.  3%: a mere rounding error!

wilkyboy

  • "nick" by any other name
    • 16-inch wheels
Re: Tomsk's Essex Events
« Reply #185 on: July 07, 2014, 11:20:24 pm »
Wilky is very patient as he waits for me - when being so much stronger up hill - he could have ridden off and finished 30 minutes faster.

Possibly, but that would've meant riding in on my own: I'm much happier that I rode in with you.  Apart from the unhurried climbing you are respectably quick and easily kept up with me on the flat until about the 200km mark IIRC.  And anyway I still had another 50km to ride my ECE back home after we got to arrivée, so spending all my energy on the main event didn't make sense; in the end I wasn't that much quicker on my final ECE leg on my own.
RRTY #7 done.  Need something else to do ... ah, welcome #8 8)

cygnet

  • I'm part of the association
Re: Tomsk's Essex Events
« Reply #186 on: July 10, 2014, 08:05:37 pm »
Nice to meet you Frank.
Fingers crossed for a dry Mersey Roads for you, and good luck.

Superb brunch from Tomsk; thanks. Worth riding for even if it was perfect weather. :thumbsup:

Sam
I Said, I've Got A Big Stick

Genosse Brymbo

  • Ostalgist
Re: Tomsk's Essex Events
« Reply #187 on: July 21, 2014, 09:16:47 pm »
Is there a GPS track/route knocking around for the Flatlands 600 - maybe a tracklog from last year's event if the route hasn't changed?
The present is a foreign country: they do things differently here.

Tomsk

  • Fueled by cake since 1957
    • tomsk.co.uk
Re: Tomsk's Essex Events
« Reply #188 on: July 21, 2014, 10:13:22 pm »
Route has changed, but only the final run back from Chatteris.....

huggy

  • ACME GCFO +&+ Mr RRtY
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Re: Tomsk's Essex Events
« Reply #189 on: July 22, 2014, 12:01:48 pm »
Is there a GPS track/route knocking around for the Flatlands 600 - maybe a tracklog from last year's event if the route hasn't changed?
As Tomsk says the end of the route has changed but here's my track from last year if it helps:
http://connect.garmin.com/activity/372894867
Never knowingly underfed on an Audax