Author Topic: End of Snooze 100km Cambridge - anyone?  (Read 1736 times)

Morrisette

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End of Snooze 100km Cambridge - anyone?
« on: March 19, 2014, 08:59:00 am »
Is anyone doing the End of Snooze on Sunday? (same day as the End of Hibernation 200 which I guess more people might do. I am not up to 200km!).

I cried off this ride last year the night before due to sn*w, so hopefully will actually get to start this time. Weather forecast looks....OK. Some wind (not what I want to see), some ra*n, but no sn*w on there yet so far.

The route seems to go near to my commute route at one point, need company to make sure I don't accidentally go to work!!

Also: has anyone ridden to Hauxton (the start point) from Cambridge train station? I'm local but I've never done this. It's not far but you do have to cross the M11 on a giant roundabout and then ride a mile or so down the A11. I guess Sunday morning it won't be that busy. The council website suggests it is a cycle route but since there isn't another road, it kind of has to be, however hair-raising!
Not overly audacious
@suffolkncynical

Lars

  • n.b. have shaved off beard since photo taken
Re: End of Snooze 100km Cambridge - anyone?
« Reply #1 on: March 19, 2014, 09:47:49 am »


Also: has anyone ridden to Hauxton (the start point) from Cambridge train station? I'm local but I've never done this. It's not far but you do have to cross the M11 on a giant roundabout and then ride a mile or so down the A11. I guess Sunday morning it won't be that busy. The council website suggests it is a cycle route but since there isn't another road, it kind of has to be, however hair-raising!

I quite often ride out from Cambridge over Trumpington, over the M11 in the big rbt and then a mile on A10 before
getting onto the B1368 towards Fowlmere, Barley etc. Traffic on a Sun morning on that stretch before turning
to Hauxton shouldn't be a problem in general.

JJ

Re: End of Snooze 100km Cambridge - anyone?
« Reply #2 on: March 19, 2014, 04:41:28 pm »
Hi Morrisette,
The A10 won't be too bad at that time of day.  I use it often.  If you do find it intimidating, there is a cycle path alongside on the right (heading south).

As you come out of the station, turn sharp left onto the bus-way.  Get onto the cycle path alongside just before the concrete rails start, and follow it until you get to the park-and-ride site, then the A10, over the M11 to the Hauxton turn off, which is the first left.  The village hall is about 1/2 mile along on your left.  If you reach a bridge you've overshot.


I plan to ride the 200, if I get up in time.

Morrisette

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Re: End of Snooze 100km Cambridge - anyone?
« Reply #3 on: March 20, 2014, 10:41:24 am »
Thanks guys, I thought it would probably be OK early on a Sunday. I've done the busway path as far as the P+R before so I know that bit. That is a nice cycle path!

And yeah it is the A10  ::-) navigation fail before I start!!
Not overly audacious
@suffolkncynical

wilkyboy

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Re: End of Snooze 100km Cambridge - anyone?
« Reply #4 on: March 20, 2014, 12:06:59 pm »
Be confident on that big roundabout over the M11 and lots of hand signals and eye-contact: the LH lane turns left onto the M11 and the RH lane becomes the LH lane over the bridge, so whichever you pick you will have to be confident and assertive on the road.

The cycle lane only goes as far as the M11 roundabout and is a shared-use path on the L from the P&R until after the big lights on the new link road to Addenbrooke's Hospital (which means it's covered in glass and grit because the council never sweeps it).  Between that new link road and the M11 the cycle lane is on the road, but is unrideable with gravel, mud and broken surface, so you'll probably be riding in lane 1.  After the M11 roundabout there's a lane between the white line and the verge, but technically it's not a cycle lane (the white line is there to show where the legal edge of the carriageway lies) and when I rode out last Sunday it was a bit gritty and needed a sweep, so I was in-lane with the motor cars.  The pavement on the RHS is a shared-use path, but only because the sign says so: it's less than 1m wide, so it's not as if the council actually did anything to make it worthy of the accolade. Then again, even at around midday on Sunday, the traffic was very light, so you shouldn't have any major concerns.

If you are worried about being in-lane with traffic then alternatively you can drop down through Gt Shelford on the A1301 and turn right after crossing up and over the railway and follow the High St, R SP Hauxton then R@T into Hauxton.  It's about 2km further, but much more sanitised and gravel-free, although probably busier (in the way that built-up areas usually are).

I will be riding the 200, so I will be passing through around 7.30 when I expect it will be dead quiet, whereas you're probably a couple of hours later when people are going about their Sunday business.  And I went back to bed last year when I got up to find snow on the ground: from the reports I'm glad I did!
RRTY #7 done.  Need something else to do ... ah, welcome #8 8)

Re: End of Snooze 100km Cambridge - anyone?
« Reply #5 on: March 21, 2014, 05:26:59 pm »
There's the cycleway option, all paved: http://ridewithgps.com/routes/4265001

Re: End of Snooze 100km Cambridge - anyone?
« Reply #6 on: March 23, 2014, 06:37:13 pm »
I don't like the Addenbrookes cycle way. It's too narrow for two directions. The road routes on Sundays are fine, either Trumpington/A10 or Hills Road/Grahams Road. A10 is 1.5 miles shorter from North/Central Cambridge. I often use the A10 to Royston. Annoyed by traffic - use headphones(OK I don't recommend that but it's a solution) - worried about being knocked off - use a bright flashing rear light. TBH the sight lines on the road are fine and for the most part the road us wide enough to allow considerate overtaking. My biggest worry is going through the town centre to get to the A10 - that's a H&S nightmare.

I was slightly worried before today's 200  about  not riding in snow this winter but that's now fixed. Sleet/snow before Stradishall on the way out and heavy hail on the way back with lots of rain for good measure. Bit to One house was good though, sub out and tailwind as well as lovely roads. Preferred last years probably because I was dressed warmer and with the temperature being lessthan 0 all day meant I stayed relatively dry.

Lars

  • n.b. have shaved off beard since photo taken
Re: End of Snooze 100km Cambridge - anyone?
« Reply #7 on: March 23, 2014, 07:53:03 pm »
Well, that was an interesting one! The weather gods seem to have been in an extra mischievous mood today. Rain, snow, hailstorms, sun, generous tailwinds, bastard headwinds, challenging crosswinds, close to zero temps, pleasant temps when the sun came out. We were served a quite varying menu today! Nice route and fine organisation by Terry. The delicious warm vegetable soup and two cuppas at the finish was exactly what one needed coming in wet and cold!

Nice with a local calendar event - at 8pm home since more than an hour. Showered, bike clothes washed, ride validated, dinner eaten!

Re: End of Snooze 100km Cambridge - anyone?
« Reply #8 on: March 23, 2014, 09:53:30 pm »
Tough ride today, with a snow shower at Woodditton in the morning and then a series of brief but intense hailstorms in the afternoon. Also, the north-westerly wind meant that the last 120 km was into a headwind. I stuffed myself with pudding and custard at Finchingfield, and for the first time, I managed to complete the ride before it got dark.

(I used the A10 to get to Hauxton in the morning—there's hardly any traffic at 07:30—and the DNA path and the busway to get home.)

Re: End of Snooze 100km Cambridge - anyone?
« Reply #9 on: March 24, 2014, 07:36:10 am »
In the twilight world of Lanterne Rouge I see a different ride to everyone else, I started slowly after doing Roses to Wrags the day before, and realised I needed to refuel at the first control, at that point still in touch with some riders but only 8 minutes in hand when I left.

Arriving at the empty cafe at One House, I heard tales of the white stuff coming down, memories of last year. Soon on my way, a couple of navigation errors added another 3k before climbing out of Sudbury to see a layer of large hailstones on the ground, thinking someone must have been caught in that. I had my share on Saturday crossing the Fens into a strong headwind and hail biting into my face.

Finchingfield was a welcome sanctuary, sampling the home made apple tart, and managed to leave with my 30 minute time buffer intact. No problems on the last leg, found the manhole cover in the dark at Great Hormead for the control info, then safely back to HQ by around 8.50 to give Terry a relatively early night. Tea, cakes and anything left on the table was consumed to save Terry clearing up, then helped out wiping the tables. Apparently it is an unwritten rule that Lanterne Rouge helps the organiser tidy up the place! 

MacD's was paid a visit on the way home, then a nice hot bath. This time last year I had three DNF rides for various reasons, completed all three since last Saturday and did my first AAA ride as well so a successful eight days riding. On to this week another double header with the Wormingford Dragon and Start of Summertime, hopefully the carbon bike can come out to play if it is dry.

Nice to see Wilkyboy again, not easy to spot riding a normal bike! And where were you Raymond, or did the Kent Invicta Hilly Hundred kill you off?   

Morrisette

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Re: End of Snooze 100km Cambridge - anyone?
« Reply #10 on: March 24, 2014, 09:06:44 am »
I saw no sn*w. The weather was a little odd, though, alternating between nice spring sunshine, threateningly black clouds, a biting wind, hail, light drizzle....and apparently very localised snowflakes! It didn't actually feel that cold, some odd atmospheric conditions. Interesting that someone mentioned Wood Ditton, I used to live in the next village along from there, it has a well-known micro-climate, we used to descend from the hill in a car with snow piled on the roof to find that no one else had seen a flake of it and were wondering where we had come from.

Anyway, the ride! The first stage to Finchingfield was a nice ride in the sun apart from that horrible bit of road between Duxford and Saffron Walden that goes over the chalk edge. It feels much higher than it is (about Yorkshire). I bounced the control as I was already last (my usual spot) apart from one guy who had had some mechanicals. The next stage was a bit more challenging as I needed to eat something before turning into the wind. I had a small hail storm here. The slight incline before Adam's Cafe nearly killed me so I had some cake here. They asked me if I was the last rider through! I said probably. My friend with the mechanical troubles had left just before me.

The third stage can be split into two parts. The first part, from Cowlinge to Six Mile Bottom....was hell on wheels. When I looked at the route before the ride I knew this section would be bad, but I didn't realise HOW bad. It was like a trek through Siberia. The road from Great Bradley to Brinkley to Six Mile Bottom is very exposed, wind scything in sideways from the northwest, needles of hail and sleet, at one point I was going at 5mph DOWNHILL. There may have been thoughts of packing. There was definitely swearing. This road will be added to my 'Bloody Tilty' list of roads to beware of!! On reaching Six Mile Bottom I put on some more clothes, ate some crisps, and set off down the road to the Wilbrahams knowing that if the wind was still against me I would be out of time. And the wind....

....had disappeared!!! So I made up quite a bit of time on this leg and apart from a gratuitous hill and a bad moment stuck at the level crossing in Shelford for a looooooooooooong time, had no further problems. I made it with 9 minutes to spare!

After some nutrition problems on the Shaftesbury Spring last week, I think I have sorted what I need to do. Loads of pasta the day before, lots of cake, and bottles of Jimmy's Iced Coffee!

A good ride apart from that horrible Brinkley section - lots of nice cake at the end too :-) Thanks to the organisers, a good day out!
Not overly audacious
@suffolkncynical

Re: End of Snooze 100km Cambridge - anyone?
« Reply #11 on: March 24, 2014, 10:22:07 am »
Arriving at the empty cafe at One House, I heard tales of the white stuff coming down

Yes, there was a shower of sleet and snow that caught us on the hills between Woodditton and Stradishall. Snow on its own wouldn't have been so bad—it was the icy water trickling down inside gloves and socks that was so miserable. A group of riders from the Cambridge Cycling Club had left their jackets at home (perhaps misled by the bright sunshine first thing in the morning?) and must have regretted it when they had to stop and repair a puncture in the snow and rain. Luckily the sun was out for the second leg to Onehouse so there was a chance to dry off a bit.

Quote
before climbing out of Sudbury to see a layer of large hailstones on the ground, thinking someone must have been caught in that.

Yes, I was in that hailstorm, and three others. On the descent from Barley I had to keep the speed down because otherwise the hail being driven into my face by the north-westerly wind was too painful.

that horrible bit of road between Duxford and Saffron Walden that goes over the chalk edge.

That's Coploe Hill, in better weather one of the nicest roads for cycling in Cambridgeshire.

Quote
I made it with 9 minutes to spare!

Now that's audacious!

wilkyboy

  • "nick" by any other name
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Re: End of Snooze 100km Cambridge - anyone?
« Reply #12 on: March 26, 2014, 09:51:02 am »
That was fun!  When I say "fun", what I mean is "cold"!

I rode to the start – that makes a very nice change, even if leaving a bit late meant I had to use much more effort to get to the start than intended.  No problem: I arrived with 5 to go.

Bumped into Fidgetbuzz, who I knew was riding, and also HK and Big Saxon, neither of whom recognised me initially because I was wearing wrong-sized wheels!  A double-take from both parties brought a smile  ;)

   

We had a flat run out from Hauxton and a tailwind for much of it, so it was a lazy 30kph spin for a bit.

   

I dropped Fidgetbuzz and Denise at the first big (everything's relative) climb of the day out of Six Mile Bottom: I had always intended to put some effort into this hill, because as a Cambridge-based flatlander then hills are somewhat unusual round these parts.  Denise tried to keep up and I heard from Rog that next time he saw her she was heading in the opposite direction.  Was it something I said?  No, we found out it was a gear cable breakage when we got to the finish.  At the top of the hill a group of riders kept going, but the route went left.  Rode with LittleWheelsAndBig for a while, comparing notes on the up-coming season.

   

We had started in fine sunshine, but within 25km it had turned decidedly wintery: sleet and mahoosive snow flakes at Woodditton.  Watched someone turn right when really they should've continued straight on, no amount of hollering could avert them.  Very wet before the first control at 35km.  Bumped into Lars and Gareth and David in the control – halloo!

After a shivery time in the control – it really was that wet outside – we set off and Fidgetbuzz and I set a good pace with a strong tailwind.  It was good to catch up for a bit and the pace was good to Stowmarket and control 2.  We bumped into some riders who'd been shivering at the first control but looked okay now, which was good news.  A swift plate of beans – double portion for single price, go figure – and off again.  We turned into the wind and the terrain became distinctly "Essex": big enough to hurt, but not big enough to recover on the other side.

   

At the top of the climb out of Subdury's gravity well the big, fat hail started falling and I kept my head down.  This is at nearly the end of March, come on! 

A strong solo push to Finchingfield and the third control, but possibly too strong a push, because by now I was kernacked.

The final leg really hurt into the wind.  I was surprised, though, that nobody passed me, because I bounced the control and there were quite a few who looked like they were about to leave.  Eventually HK and LittleWheelsAndBig caught me after the info control, while I stopped to check I'd answered the right question (from memory).  I didn't even attempt to suck a wheel, I was thoroughly spent.

Shortly after, spotted a couple of cyclists coming at me from the wrong direction (Dave and the young'un): they caught me up, turned out they'd taken a wrong turn after the info control and were just getting back onto the route.  We stopped to sort out lights and then time-trialled (!!) the final 20km into stinging little hail stones back to the finish with JJ to try to get the young'un back in time for a club meeting – back at 18.30: 10h30 on the road, 8h50 moving.

A smashing bowl of hot soup and cake and biscuits laid on by Terry the org, thank you!  A quick blast on LittleWheelsAndBig's Moulton for comparison purposes – definitely more to my liking than these funny-sized wheels I'm on this year.  Halloo to Orange Andy, Emma, VC Norwich Guy and Fidgetbuzz, who all made it back shortly after.

Then a quick 30-minute spin back through Cambridge to home.  I tried to order a Green Chicken Curry with Extra Chilis from our local Thai-food pubbery for collection on the way, on account of feeling like I properly deserved it, but no takeouts on a Sunday, boo.  Back before MrsW, though, so credit there.

A grand, if cold, day out.  Organisation slick and smooth.  Route gently challenging for the beginning of the year.  Would recommend, although better weather next time please  :thumbsup: ;D


PS Sorry this took a few days: Flickr has kindly locked me out of my original account.
RRTY #7 done.  Need something else to do ... ah, welcome #8 8)

JJ

Re: End of Snooze 100km Cambridge - anyone?
« Reply #13 on: March 26, 2014, 06:28:20 pm »
I lingered too long over breakfast, and set out to ride the 2 1/2 miles to the start with only minutes to go, so that I arrived in time to see the group disappearing up the road.  And that was the last I saw of them!

Set off about 15 minutes later, and it started raining as I went through Fulbourn.  Not a problem thinks I.  It's just a shower.  No need to stop for waterproofs.  I'll dry out later.  Passed a lone rider, Big Saxon perhaps, on the way out of one of the Wilbrahams, but that was all the company I saw for a long time.

At Woodditton it became clear that a) it wasn't a shower, and b) yes that was snow, big soggy flakes of the stuff, so I stopped and put on waterproofs over my wet kit.  Happily it stopped before i got to Stradishall, and I was able to strip back down and dry off a bit.  There I saw Chris and a couple of other Cambridge club-mates who although cheerful had decided to stuff this for a game of soldiers.

Spent the next section in company of Pavel from the Wilesden, and was glad to see other riders still around at Onehouse.
We left together but it soon became clear that Pavel's lack of recent miles meant staying together was going to be painful for him, so we parted.

Coming out of Sudbury, I passed Fidgetbuzz in a light hailstorm, but as the stones grew to the size of grapes, I stopped to double up hats for protection.  He rode by me and it was a long time before I saw him again.

Chatted with Andy, Emma and the chap from VC Norwich at Finchingfield and was able to hand over the bottle I'd picked up at Onehouse.  Traded insults with LWAB and HK, and off into the late afternoon.

I've never really liked the section from Newport.  When I organised this ride, I looked into ways of changing it, but it's really hard to find a decent route and hit 200km.  Terry's version uses more lanes after the last info, which is slower but more interesting.  He's also gone to a lot of trouble to find Street View-proof info questions!  I found a Japanese (I think) rider who was flummoxed as to what exactly a man-hole cover was!

As I crested a rise, I came upon a group made up of Wilkyboy, Dave and Sarah, who was not entirely happy, having lost her brevet card somewhere up the road, and wanting to get back sooner rather than later.

I was able to reassure her that all was not lost, and we set off together, leaving the boys to sort out their lights.  They caught us a few miles on, and we trundled home together - the only group riding I did all day (unless 2 riders constitutes a group).

It was lovely to meet Wilkyboy, Pavel and assorted others, and to see some old friends and aquaintances.  Sorry to miss Flatlander.  Haven't seen him in a long while even though we live in the same town and ride with the same club, but I know that if I don't see him at the start I won't see him again barring mechanicals.

That was a nice little reintroduction to distance riding.  Thanks Terry.

Re: End of Snooze 100km Cambridge - anyone?
« Reply #14 on: March 26, 2014, 09:39:26 pm »
And that was the last I saw of them!

That can't be right! There were a couple of riders ahead of me (Flatlander and the rider all in black in Wilkyboy's 6th photo, whose name I don't know, sorry!), and then after me there were the two riders on Moultons (HK and LWAB, right?), and then the group of Dave, Sarah, Wilkyboy & you. So I think in fact you must have seen or passed nearly everyone on the ride.

Lars

  • n.b. have shaved off beard since photo taken
Re: End of Snooze 100km Cambridge - anyone?
« Reply #15 on: March 26, 2014, 10:47:04 pm »

I've never really liked the section from Newport.  When I organised this ride, I looked into ways of changing it, but it's really hard to find a decent route and hit 200km.  Terry's version uses more lanes after the last info, which is slower but more interesting.  He's also gone to a lot of trouble to find Street View-proof info questions!  I found a Japanese (I think) rider who was flummoxed as to what exactly a man-hole cover was!


I find that section quite nice. Long steady climbs as a break from the roller-coasters Finchingfield to Newport. But
after the info was considering beforehand when studying the route rather than going down Anderson's and the
lanes to Barley instead continue to B1368 and follow that to Barley as the LEL route did. That would probably be
a bit quicker and without any doubt easier navigation-wise. But followed the route sheet after all. Which was
perfectly fine too.

An alternative could be to rather than head to Gt Hormead from Newport continue on B1383 a little longer, and take
B1039 to Gt Chishill and down to A505 and then same way home. The downhill from Gt Chishill (New Rd) is good
fun, real big gear straight down hammering for quite a while!

Re: End of Snooze 100km Cambridge - anyone?
« Reply #16 on: March 27, 2014, 02:25:09 pm »
An alternative could be to rather than head to Gt Hormead from Newport continue on B1383 a little longer, and take B1039 to Gt Chishill and down to A505 and then same way home. The downhill from Gt Chishill (New Rd) is good fun, real big gear straight down hammering for quite a while!

Putting the info control at Great Chishill would cut 14 km off the leg from Finchingfield to Hauxton, which would have to be made up elsewhere. To keep the last leg at around 60 km, there aren't all that many good places to put the info control (Stocking Pelham is one possibility).