Author Topic: Borders of Belgium 1000 2016  (Read 41202 times)

Re: Borders of Belgium 1000 2016
« Reply #350 on: September 08, 2018, 10:22:10 am »
My ride came to a crunching end around halfway when my rear hub bearings failed catastrophically, having tried to figure out for a while where an occasional ticking sound was coming from after retensioning my chain. An hour's walk to Bertrix along a busy N road, trains to Brussels, stinking out a hotel, now going to go to Ghent, hire a bike and head back to the start to collect my bags.

Had a great ride up until that point, just about managing to cling onto the main group as we sped our way to Zeebrugge and detoured around the raised lock bridge there. As I finally gave up on the fast pace along the coast, having become detached from my two ACH clubmates, hooked up with some Belgian randonneurs including Stephan from Geraardsbergen whom I know from being a key volunteer at the TCR start. He was a perfect local guide, pointing out interesting facts as we passed first world war sites and through the town where they fish for shrimps with horses. On his advice, stopped for food after 90km near Ostende, bounced the first control, and stopped again in Ieper in a bistro with a perfect view of the cathedral that served spagbol within a few minutes of ordering. From there hooked up with wycombewheeler/HuffnPuff (I think) as well, but got separated from the Belgians in Roubaix when I led us on a wrong turn.

I then managed to introduce my front wheel to possibly the biggest pothole in Belgium with enough force to ding the rim and puncture the tubeless tyre right above the bead. After some faffing but with help from the others put a tube in and continued just the three of us through the night to Cerfontaine with occasional 10 minutes breaks to clear any dozees. The rain then socked in as I grinded up the climbs of the Ardennes at my own pace, questioning the choice of 79" as I walked through Heer and up the Maas valley. It's not like riding a stupidly high gear puts any extra stress on the hub, right?

Gutted to say the least, there goes my only BRM for this year and SR to boot.  Ah, well, maybe I should just ride TCR instead of PBP, I'm going to need get a flipflop hub for that anyway...

(edited to correct spelling of Stephan)
“That slope may look insignificant, but it's going to be my destiny" - Fitzcarraldo

mattc

  • n.b. have grown beard since photo taken
    • Didcot Audaxes
Re: Borders of Belgium 1000 2016
« Reply #351 on: September 08, 2018, 01:31:28 pm »
Ah, well, maybe I should just ride TCR instead of PBP, I'm going to need get a flipflop hub for that anyway...
That's the spirit! :thumbsup:   

 ;D

Bad luck with the mechanical. These things happen if you do a lot of rides and a lotta miles. (It would probably have been less fun in mid-Wales!). Sounds like you're having a proper Belgian experience :)
Has never ridden RAAM
---------
No.11  Because of the great host of those who dislike the least appearance of "swank " when they travel the roads and lanes. - From Kuklos' 39 Articles

Re: Borders of Belgium 1000 2016
« Reply #352 on: September 09, 2018, 07:52:50 pm »
Really enjoyed this (2018 edition that is), definitely recommended.

Many thanks Rohnny and crew. Great organisation and route.

Might post more later when had a good sleep
It is what it is. It's not what it's not, so it must be what it is.

Re: Borders of Belgium 1000 2016
« Reply #353 on: September 09, 2018, 08:05:48 pm »
Really enjoyed this (2018 edition that is), definitely recommended.

Many thanks Rohnny and crew. Great organisation and route.

Might post more later when had a good sleep

+1, great ride, more later....

Re: Borders of Belgium 1000 2016
« Reply #354 on: September 10, 2018, 02:06:08 am »
From there hooked up with wycombewheeler/HuffnPuff (I think) as well, but got separated from the Belgians in Roubaix when I led us on a wrong turn.

I then managed to introduce my front wheel to possibly the biggest pothole in Belgium with enough force to ding the rim and puncture the tubeless tyre right above the bead. After some faffing but with help from the others put a tube in and continued just the three of us through the night to Cerfontaine with occasional 10 minutes breaks to clear any dozees.




Great riding with you, Ivan including the puncture adventure, it was Kangaroo Court and Huff n Puff BTW.
So sorry you packed, last time I saw you I was under  railway bridge trying to fix my hub dynamo problem in the rain...we couldn't work out why we didn't see you again until we saw Jim and Brad later (BTW just had a very pleasant dinner at our hotel with Brad and Jim).

See you soon, have a safe trip back.

Re: Borders of Belgium 1000 2016
« Reply #355 on: September 10, 2018, 08:32:23 am »
and stopped again in Ieper in a bistro with a perfect view of the cathedral that served spagbol within a few minutes of ordering. From there hooked up with wycombewheeler/HuffnPuff (I think) as well, but got separated from the Belgians in Roubaix when I led us on a wrong turn.


don't think it was me, I stopped for dinner at a pizzeria at Roubaix at 10:50, I think i paid for that pace at the end of Friday, but on the flip side I did get plenty of sleep on friday night which lead to a great day on saturday.
   Eddington  87 miles

Zed43

  • prefers UK hills over Dutch mountains
Re: Borders of Belgium 1000 2016
« Reply #356 on: September 10, 2018, 07:20:52 pm »
We had wind, we had rain, we had foggy frost and then we had a warm sun. We had roads that made you long for gravel, as that would have been an improvement, and we had cycling paths that were smooth as butter. We had pains in legs, knees, shoulders and asses, that mostly faded as time progressed. We had boulangeries at 7am that would only open at 7:30 and then we had wonderful veg curry at the control in Barrière de Champlon.

In short, we enjoyed the ride, a lot  :thumbsup:

A big thanks to Rohnny, Francis and all the other volunteers that made this happen!

By my reckoning this event would also qualify for some AAA points: track 3 and track 4 up to Signal de Botrange (km 116.6) would yield 4526 meters in 333km. Now I'm new to this AAA thing, is it simply a matter of mailing the AAA secretary this information once Rohnny publishes the homologations? Or should we coordinate something?

Re: Borders of Belgium 1000 2016
« Reply #357 on: September 10, 2018, 08:04:11 pm »
I didn't have frost or fog. Probably due to extracting full value from my expensive hotel in champlon.

I had headwinds  overcast headwinds rain  headwinds blazing sunshine. Arriving in Vise on a dodgy rear tyre after the bike shops had closed and nursing it to lommel.

Also more roadworks than I have ever seen on a single ride.

Did I mention the headwinds?
   Eddington  87 miles

Pingu

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  • Mrs Pingu's domestique
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Re: Borders of Belgium 1000 2016
« Reply #358 on: September 10, 2018, 08:08:22 pm »
...Also more roadworks than I have ever seen on a single ride...

All Flandrian roads lead to Omleidung.

Re: Borders of Belgium 1000 2016
« Reply #359 on: September 10, 2018, 11:57:10 pm »
Arriving in Vise on a dodgy rear tyre after the bike shops had closed and nursing it to lommel.

Not all, the Maastricht railway station bikeshop is open till midnight, only 15km north of Visé. Or you could have pm-ed me, I always have a few spare tyres kicking about ;).

Re: Borders of Belgium 1000 2016
« Reply #360 on: September 11, 2018, 08:31:39 am »
We had wind, we had rain, we had foggy frost and then we had a warm sun. We had roads that made you long for gravel, as that would have been an improvement, and we had cycling paths that were smooth as butter. We had pains in legs, knees, shoulders and asses, that mostly faded as time progressed. We had boulangeries at 7am that would only open at 7:30 and then we had wonderful veg curry at the control in Barrière de Champlon.

In short, we enjoyed the ride, a lot  :thumbsup:

A big thanks to Rohnny, Francis and all the other volunteers that made this happen!

By my reckoning this event would also qualify for some AAA points: track 3 and track 4 up to Signal de Botrange (km 116.6) would yield 4526 meters in 333km. Now I'm new to this AAA thing, is it simply a matter of mailing the AAA secretary this information once Rohnny publishes the homologations? Or should we coordinate something?
Last time everyone had to claim separately. I think the section to consider is from roubaix to Vise. 535km for something like 7000m of climb.

Ivo. Google tells me 10pm but I was there before then so it woukd have been useful.
   Eddington  87 miles

Dave_C

  • Trying to get rid of my belly... and failing!
Re: Borders of Belgium 1000 2016
« Reply #361 on: September 11, 2018, 01:44:53 pm »
This was my first go at the BoB. I really enjoyed the whole experience. I liked the Belgian cycle infrastructure and their considerate drivers. The first section the control 1 was lovely. As we arrived at control 1 and found it closed our hearts sank a little. This was a taste of what was to come.

I was riding with Aidan Hedley from Durham on his head turning new trike, yet to be named. Some may know of his trike tandem called Rufus? Now I have notridden with Aidan before. He uses a route sheet but had a new eTrex 30x as a back up, with a slightly out of date route. So I got used to shouting at Aidan as he would turn the wrong way and need a nudge in the right direction.

Ypres was beautiful and Aidan found a late night cafe so tucked into spag bol at 11pm Friday. As the cloud came down and light drizzle set in we plodded on through the lanes and the odd section of 'cobbles'?? (I'm sure there is a proper name for them). But the section through the French city of Lille was great as there was no traffic. The next section was grim. No water, no opportunity to get a rest, with all covered areas under bright security lights. All the houses had outside taps on the front, but everyone we tried was turned off inside, of had the handle removed.
Getting rid of rubbish was a problem too, no bins anywhere in the SE!

We eventually rode into dawn and the ups and downs to the wet supermarket after the dam. Then on as it dried up to Houyet where the sun was definitely out in force. The climbs there were long but not impossible, especially with my triple. As we tired, Aidan found an open barn with hay bales we slept on. I went to slerp as soon as my head hit the hay! From here the countryside rolled over to Neufchateau where it was becoming a lovely ride again. Iced creams were the order of the day.

It is funny how cold, dark and rain make the ride less enjoyable. 

The last section through the forest to Martelange was nice except for the late night boy racers who buzzed past. At Martelange, Aidan said it's up here, and turned away from the garage we could see a hundred metres to the left. He caught me after 5 minutes... After a lovely stop in Arai Garage we were joined by a lone Belgian lady, Elizabeth. She was slow at climbing and Aidan soon left us. I stayed with Elizabeth to Champlon despite her repeated suggestions that she was slowing me down. It would not be gentlemanly if I were to have left her, and then she develop some problem. The ride to Champlon was lots of climbs and drops. The valleys were bitterly cold, some suggesting 2-3 degrees. It certainly felt cold and I was glad of my merino wool top. If I left Elizabeth and she had to stop, she would have frozen! She was borrowing Aidan's water proof as it was.

Champlon was just at the stage I was starting to doze. Those 3 espressos in the garage were obviously wearing off. Elizabeth told me off for looking at the sheep. I didn't need to count them to fall asleep!

The ride on Saturday I did alone as Aidan left 15 minutes before me suggesting as I was faster I'd catch him. I didn't. I got to the control at Losheimergraben in good time, 11:30. I ate a hearty bowl of soup and 2 rolls. I had to explain what a roll was. Briuchen?? Anyway after there I slept for an hour in the woods behind and returned to a confused looking bar maid, to order soup again! :-)

The drop from that control was fast and I was making up good time until a couple of hours later when I had a sudden puncture. I inspected the tube to find a short pinch type gap. Then 5 minutes later another, a sudden ppssst and flat. I assumed a rim tape issue as the tyre had no sharps in. But on having a look at the tyre in detail I found a narrow cut in the side wall. I suspect the tube bulged out and the hot rim melted the tube. Good job I had a spare tyre, I put new tyres on the bike just before... :-(

At the tri border I hooked up with Bobby from Oxford and we rode together to Lommel. Bobby is a great guy and really made the journey fun. He still owes me an iced cream though... ;-)

After Lommel we rode together again along more canals with a larger Belgian group. Aidan had set off earlier. I rode for a time chatting to Dave Smethurst. He is a lovely chap and we had a lot in common. I have a great respect for Dave now, cheers man! We caught Aidan, or rather he caught me, at the last control. Lost again Aidan? :-)

Here Gabriele rolled in in her Quest XS. She had a carbon breakage where here front wheel brace attached. After rooting through my spares/tools I unbolted here wheel arm and rebolted it with a spork attached. The carbon was broken on 3 sides and pulling open like a door. The spork secured to the 'outside' prevented the 'door' from opening. She completed the event! So success all round I think! :-)

Then we had a nice quorum to Antwerpen where we had a great meal out in the sun and beers. The last 43km dragged along next to the motorway but we came in with 2 hours to spare, so all good.

I slept quite a lot the next 2 nights, suppose 4.5 hours sleep on a 1000km brevet is reasonable?? :-)

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@DaveCrampton < wot a twit.
http://veloviewer.com/athlete/421683/

fboab

  • It's a fecking serious business, riding a bike
Re: Borders of Belgium 1000 2016
« Reply #362 on: September 11, 2018, 05:32:35 pm »
(click to show/hide)
TSS is not Total Sex Score, Chris!

Smeth

  • less Grimpeur than Whimpeur...
Re: Borders of Belgium 1000 2016
« Reply #363 on: September 11, 2018, 06:06:59 pm »
(click to show/hide)
Ok we get the point but you have slapped down a very nice guy on the basis of a mass of knee jerk assumptions. I was thereabouts on that night and didn't leave a stronger, younger guy because he was seriously sleep depped as most of have been at some point. It would have been neither "gentlemanly" nor in the spirit of the sport, nor safe to push on.

Attitudes need to change. Best to choose actual examples where you have first hand experience for the rant.

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fboab

  • It's a fecking serious business, riding a bike
Re: Borders of Belgium 1000 2016
« Reply #364 on: September 11, 2018, 06:38:39 pm »
I know Dave. I also thought he seemed a nice guy, but whether he's a nice guy or not is irrelevant.
There are anecdotes all over this forum from relatively slow women who have struggled to get rid of 'gentlemen' on audax. I'm almost certain I've said so myself, it's certainly happened more than once.
If you ask someone to leave you alone and they don't, they are giving you no respect, and that's not gentlemanly, nor the action of a nice guy.
I wasn't there and I'm not Elizabeth, but I'm not alone in being a woman who is exasperated by men's assumption that they need looking after.

ETA : don't get me wrong, it's nice to offer help. But if it's refused, you should respect that refusal.
TSS is not Total Sex Score, Chris!

Dave_C

  • Trying to get rid of my belly... and failing!
Re: Borders of Belgium 1000 2016
« Reply #365 on: September 11, 2018, 08:42:33 pm »
I know Dave. I also thought he seemed a nice guy, but whether he's a nice guy or not is irrelevant.
There are anecdotes all over this forum from relatively slow women who have struggled to get rid of 'gentlemen' on audax. I'm almost certain I've said so myself, it's certainly happened more than once.
If you ask someone to leave you alone and they don't, they are giving you no respect, and that's not gentlemanly, nor the action of a nice guy.
I wasn't there and I'm not Elizabeth, but I'm not alone in being a woman who is exasperated by men's assumption that they need looking after.

ETA : don't get me wrong, it's nice to offer help. But if it's refused, you should respect that refusal.
fboab. I don't know you, have never met you. Try posting your real name.

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@DaveCrampton < wot a twit.
http://veloviewer.com/athlete/421683/

Re: Borders of Belgium 1000 2016
« Reply #366 on: September 11, 2018, 10:35:26 pm »
Well, I was certainly there that night. Lisbeth pointedly asked to ride with us from the garage at the outset. I rode on as I was worried about my four coffees wearing off. She came back to the finish, (having packed at Lommel) to collect bags, stayed to meet riders share beers and swap stories.  IMO No hard feelings, in fact the exact opposite.

Re: Borders of Belgium 1000 2016
« Reply #367 on: September 15, 2018, 08:22:32 pm »
My mate (crashed out) has an unused jersey size 7 if anybody wants one I can put you in touch...

Re: Borders of Belgium 1000 2016
« Reply #368 on: September 15, 2018, 09:24:28 pm »
What an awesome adventure that was.  4 weeks ago I twisted my knee and developed sciatica - forcing me into lots of rest and thinking hard about even attempting to start... So glad I did!

Setting off in a fairly fast group I got my first experience of the great cycling infrastructure and amazingly cycling-friendly car drivers that you see around most of the country.

I let go of the group after about 100k, then coasted in to the first control at a more comfortable speed.  Stopping for some well needed food, I felt for the riders that got there a bit later only to find the kitchen closed.  That was indeed the theme of the ride - eat or buy food whenever you can...

After that we hooked up with a couple of German riders and headed down towards France, through ypres And the Menin gate then down to Roubaix.  Seeing some bikes outside a kebab shop we stopped for food, chatting to Ivor and Dan ? From Loughborough and Derby area (Sorry I keep forgetting the names!), then it was on to the F1 hotel for a couple of hours sleep.  I thought it was too soon in the ride, but I needed it and was glad of the rest.

In the early hours we got up again & headed out into the rain, nothing too bad really but did go on for a few hours.  We hooked up with John OTP, and the hills started, then, boom an unassuming corner and my mate was down.  Ripped shorts, jacket, arm warmers etc and the obvious sight of gravel rash poking out  :'( three locals came to check on him, John spoke good French so reassured them and asked about pharmacy etc.  After a rest and some coke we got him back on the bike, John and I just pootling along whilst he sat on the wheels and recovered.  John originally from oxford but now living in Belgium filled us in on some of the culture and practicalities of Belgium living.  Next control we stopped at the supermarket for food and then a cafe for coffee and rest.  After a long stop Glenn felt ok to carry on, but maybe 1 hour later he coasted up the top of a hill and announced the need for a reality check - his leg was hurting and he couldn’t go on.

John also wasn’t feeling it so they agreed to stop and ride to near Neufchateau and find a train.  They both voiced that I was way behind time and not going fast so it seemed impossible I could finish.  That was the motivation I needed, I said my goodbyes and push hard on the next stretch.

We had plodded the leg so far with an average of only 13.9kph, but on the tribars where possible and some adrenaline got me up to 19kph for the leg only 2 hours later, & it felt like I had a chance... either way I had to do at least half the distance :)

It got very cold in the dark, but when I got to the next control I found a couple of Hackney riders and some others some other getting their cold weather clothes on.  This gave which gave me the boost I needed - I wasn’t on my own!  I put on all clothes I had whilst everyone else shot off, then set about chasing them down... I didn’t managed to ride with any of them but said hello at least as we yo-yo’d past eachother.  I got tired and slow again towards the control , the hills and cold taking their toll.

At last, the control @3am, eat, shower, sleep, eat.  Back on the road for 6am (4hrs over time).  There were maybe 20 riders at the control but the relentless hills kept me riding on my own.  Lunch stop with 10 other riders saw the sun come out, and my spirits lifted, I set off again on my own but promptly got lost and spent over an hour/16k off route.  Now I felt like I’d blown it :(

Assuming I was last again I plodded on , once at the 710k control I saw a handful of riders set off, but two stayed until i’d eaten.  We tried to form a group, I managed to be a similar pace as Dave_c and we stayed together until the end.

Not long after and the hills were done, We were still 3 hours over time, so pushed on using the tri bars to make up good speed.  Dave is faster than me but company helps, we rode next to eachother along the canals etc clawing back the time.  Stopping for a picnic felt surreal and normal - thanks for the food Dave!

We both struggled with sleep deprivation crawled the last few Km in the last sleep stop again in the very early hours.  food , shower, sleep in our own dorm for 1.5 hours , back on the road at 6.  There was a group up the road so we chased them down and hung in for 50km.  I was struggling with the pace, but boy it was worth it!  I knew by the. I could make it on my own, but a little group draft sure made it pass quicker and easier!  A nap at the next cafe whist my coffee cooled and I was set for the day.

Into Antwerp we hooked up with Aidan and Ivor? Stopped for a long lunch/beer in the sun, followed by a gentle pace through to the end, we even stopped for a ice cream with 10k to go.

I think I had 1.5 hours in hand at the finish, and my riding buddy have made it back to meet me at the finish (even wearing the same clothes as I had the car keys!  :sick:

I ended up 25k over:
https://www.strava.com/activities/1835263896

Legs are shot, hands are sore, but all in all I really enjoyed it :)

I think 1000k May be my new favourite distance, though the drive home on Monday took ages as I kept stopping to sleep, and i’ve been a bit sleepy all week :)

Thoroughly recommend event - just take note that it’s hard to get food/water!

mattc

  • n.b. have grown beard since photo taken
    • Didcot Audaxes
Re: Borders of Belgium 1000 2016
« Reply #369 on: September 16, 2018, 08:26:59 am »
Nice one Bobby - another great story from this ride!

(and you're the second "Bob" to complete - quotation marks essential)
Has never ridden RAAM
---------
No.11  Because of the great host of those who dislike the least appearance of "swank " when they travel the roads and lanes. - From Kuklos' 39 Articles

Re: Borders of Belgium 1000 2016
« Reply #370 on: September 17, 2018, 12:08:15 pm »
My mate (crashed out) has an unused jersey size 7 if anybody wants one I can put you in touch...
What's that in real sizes?
   Eddington  87 miles

Re: Borders of Belgium 1000 2016
« Reply #371 on: September 17, 2018, 12:17:08 pm »
My mate (crashed out) has an unused jersey size 7 if anybody wants one I can put you in touch...
What's that in real sizes?

This page has a sizing table at the bottom.https://bordersofbelgium2018en.weebly.com/cycling-jersey1.html

My size 6 BoB jersey is basically the same as medium AUK and LEL ones.  If it’s close, I can get him to measure up the size 7.

Re: Borders of Belgium 1000 2016
« Reply #372 on: September 17, 2018, 07:19:33 pm »
My mate (crashed out) has an unused jersey size 7 if anybody wants one I can put you in touch...
What's that in real sizes?

This page has a sizing table at the bottom.https://bordersofbelgium2018en.weebly.com/cycling-jersey1.html

My size 6 BoB jersey is basically the same as medium AUK and LEL ones.  If it’s close, I can get him to measure up the size 7.
That's a dilemma. Just measured up some jerseys. Ideally I would want a 6. But i do have a jersey i wear thats probably a 7.

Also

List of finishers with their homogulation numbers is now published.
   Eddington  87 miles

Re: Borders of Belgium 1000 2016
« Reply #373 on: September 17, 2018, 08:05:50 pm »
My mate (crashed out) has an unused jersey size 7 if anybody wants one I can put you in touch...
What's that in real sizes?

This page has a sizing table at the bottom.https://bordersofbelgium2018en.weebly.com/cycling-jersey1.html

My size 6 BoB jersey is basically the same as medium AUK and LEL ones.  If it’s close, I can get him to measure up the size 7.
That's a dilemma. Just measured up some jerseys. Ideally I would want a 6. But i do have a jersey i wear thats probably a 7.

Also

List of finishers with their homogulation numbers is now published.

Sounds a touch large, but PM me if you want to be put in touch anyway.

Don’t suppose you know if the results end up on my results by magic, or do I need to email someone?

Cheers

Re: Borders of Belgium 1000 2016
« Reply #374 on: September 17, 2018, 08:10:32 pm »
Can anyone explain the Code ACP column of the results table on the BoB website?  Mine is "UK" rather than a number ???
How much can a koala bear?