Author Topic: DIY 400 Cromford - Hull - Alford Route Advice  (Read 1302 times)

DIY 400 Cromford - Hull - Alford Route Advice
« on: June 11, 2016, 08:56:39 am »
I'm going for my first SR this year and was hoping to do the national 400 but alas I am away at a wedding that weekend.

As an alternative I have devised this DIY 400 route which heads up from the start in Cromford (near Matlock), heads up to Hull, over the Humber bridge and then down through Lincolnshire and over the Wolds to Alford at about 240km.  I have relatives in Alford and thought this could be a good point to rest for a little before tackling the last leg which is pretty much straight back to Cromford.

I have not ridden many of these roads before and so it has been created mostly blind.  I would welcome any opinions or options for modifying the route to make it a more pleasant experience. 

The main features I want to keep are :
* going over the Humber Bridge
* Going over the Wolds
* Going through Alford

The rest is a movable feast really.  I'd like it have potential to be a fast ride, but with enough interest to keep the motivation levels up.
Up the hills and round the bends

Re: DIY 400 Cromford - Hull - Alford
« Reply #1 on: June 11, 2016, 01:49:15 pm »
Hi John

I'm familiar with the route you are proposing between the Humber Bridge and Grantham and would say that this bit looks pretty good.

I'd suggest though that keeping off the A158 between Hagworthingham and Horncastle would be desirable and would tweak the route to either stay north or south of this stretch.
The A158 would be particularly unpleasant if you were to ride it on a sunny weekend with traffic streaming away from the coast mid/late afternoon (especially a Bank Holiday weekend). The stretch you will be on has a hilly section with double white lines where traffic will find it difficult to pass.

You may be planning to be along here when it will be quieter and I wouldn't worry too much about it then, but there are better options.

A158 Looking west between Hagworthingham and Horncastle

Are you doing a DIY with the traditional controls or a mandatory route  - do you need to pass through Horncastle ? Let me know and I'll come up with some ideas for this section.






yorkie

  • On top of the Galibier
Re: DIY 400 Cromford - Hull - Alford
« Reply #2 on: June 11, 2016, 05:11:21 pm »
Hi,

Out of the sections I am familiar with, the only bit I would change is the bit between Thorne and Rawcliffe (Around 100km to 111km) where I would stay east of the M18 and head up Moorends Road (into Johnny Moor Long Lane (Yes, really!), Bridge Lane and Station Road) turning right onto the A614 in Rawcliffe Village. This avoids a narrow section of the A614 with deep drainage ditches to either side which can have fast moving, sometimes heavy, traffic.

Hope this helps,

Darryl
Born to ride my bike, forced to work! ;)

British Cycling Regional Track Commissaire
British Cycling Regional Circuit Commissaire

Re: DIY 400 Cromford - Hull - Alford
« Reply #3 on: June 12, 2016, 04:50:35 pm »
Hi John

I'm familiar with the route you are proposing between the Humber Bridge and Grantham and would say that this bit looks pretty good.

I'd suggest though that keeping off the A158 between Hagworthingham and Horncastle would be desirable and would tweak the route to either stay north or south of this stretch.
The A158 would be particularly unpleasant if you were to ride it on a sunny weekend with traffic streaming away from the coast mid/late afternoon (especially a Bank Holiday weekend). The stretch you will be on has a hilly section with double white lines where traffic will find it difficult to pass.

You may be planning to be along here when it will be quieter and I wouldn't worry too much about it then, but there are better options.

A158 Looking west between Hagworthingham and Horncastle

Are you doing a DIY with the traditional controls or a mandatory route  - do you need to pass through Horncastle ? Let me know and I'll come up with some ideas for this section.

Thanks for the advice, much appreciated.

I don't need to pass through Horncastle.  I'm going to get a good route first, and then see if it's possible to make it a trad DIY but if it's too much faff I'll submit it as a mandatory route,  Suggestions most welcome!
Up the hills and round the bends

Re: DIY 400 Cromford - Hull - Alford
« Reply #4 on: June 12, 2016, 04:54:06 pm »
Hi,

Out of the sections I am familiar with, the only bit I would change is the bit between Thorne and Rawcliffe (Around 100km to 111km) where I would stay east of the M18 and head up Moorends Road (into Johnny Moor Long Lane (Yes, really!), Bridge Lane and Station Road) turning right onto the A614 in Rawcliffe Village. This avoids a narrow section of the A614 with deep drainage ditches to either side which can have fast moving, sometimes heavy, traffic.

Hope this helps,

Darryl

Thanks, very helpful.  I have amended the route.  Will re-publish it once I've collated everyone's suggestions.

Cheers
John
Up the hills and round the bends

Graeme

  • Priest, Preacher and Prophet
  • @FatherHilarious
    • BalancingOnTwoWheels
Re: DIY 400 Cromford - Hull - Alford Route Advice
« Reply #5 on: June 12, 2016, 05:12:59 pm »
Looks like a great route, will pass my home..  happy to offer coffee and cake before you cross the Humber bridge. Once you've settled it I might like to have a go myself, I don't know those roads yet and if it's a good one it would be nice to explore. My sister lives in Grantham so that would be helpful for my ride.

Might make a nice loop for a 600 to include the Yorkshire Wolds.

37. Because travel is the finest educational system of all; and cycling the cheapest, easiest, and most educational means of travel - Kuklos' 39 Articles

Re: DIY 400 Cromford - Hull - Alford Route Advice
« Reply #6 on: June 12, 2016, 07:04:27 pm »

A couple of options for you. I've tweaked the route in to Alford as well which helps to keep the total distance down. 

Keeping north of the A158

https://ridewithgps.com/routes/14352819

Keeping south of the A158

https://ridewithgps.com/routes/14352751

I think view wise the north option is better with some great views from the Bluestone Heath Rd and up towards Fulletby but both offer some lovely cycling.


Re: DIY 400 Cromford - Hull - Alford Route Advice
« Reply #7 on: June 13, 2016, 08:39:15 am »
To the North sounds good - nice views and keeping the overall distance down win in my book.

Amended route here incorporating all suggestions thus far: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/14399276

Graeme - be nice to pop in for coffee & cake!  Currently planning to ride this on 20th August if you're about.  Not sure what time setting off but it will be no later than 6am.  Will keep you posted on plans as they develop.  I think there will be 2 or possibly 3 of us currently.
Up the hills and round the bends

Graeme

  • Priest, Preacher and Prophet
  • @FatherHilarious
    • BalancingOnTwoWheels
Re: DIY 400 Cromford - Hull - Alford Route Advice
« Reply #8 on: June 13, 2016, 10:31:10 am »

Graeme - be nice to pop in for coffee & cake!  Currently planning to ride this on 20th August if you're about.  Not sure what time setting off but it will be no later than 6am.  Will keep you posted on plans as they develop.  I think there will be 2 or possibly 3 of us currently.


The route you have from 147km to 150km takes a narrow pavement/cyclepath along the A63, behind the barrier, so safe enough but pretty ugly. If you took this: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/14398507 it adds 500m but is through the pretty villages of Welton and Melton.

There are two weddings at St Helens Church, Welton, on the afternoon of the 20th August. Unfortunately my offer of tea/coffee and cake would be contingent upon passing through Welton before the weddings. 150km I think a 6am start makes that difficult, but a 4/5am start... Anyway, I really like the look of your route and hope it goes well. I may be using it myself if you didn't mind.
37. Because travel is the finest educational system of all; and cycling the cheapest, easiest, and most educational means of travel - Kuklos' 39 Articles

Graeme

  • Priest, Preacher and Prophet
  • @FatherHilarious
    • BalancingOnTwoWheels
Re: DIY 400 Cromford - Hull - Alford Route Advice
« Reply #9 on: June 13, 2016, 11:05:13 am »
With Welton at 150km, adding a 200km loop into the Yorkshire Wolds would make an interesting 600km ride. This route is 200.8km: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/14398741 and would bring you back to Welton for the 350km mark. If you were interested in doing a 600km ride like this, I'd be happy to try and sort out overnight camping in my back garden. The date would have to be good, ideally not one when I'm preaching at 8am the following day. Anyhoo - food for thought.

(I might do this, but it would divided up less well, with a 400km ride followed by a 200km ride.)
37. Because travel is the finest educational system of all; and cycling the cheapest, easiest, and most educational means of travel - Kuklos' 39 Articles

Re: DIY 400 Cromford - Hull - Alford Route Advice
« Reply #10 on: June 13, 2016, 11:59:57 am »
Thanks again Graeme.

Route amended accordingly: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/14399276

I've already got my 600 for the year and not planning on another so I will stick with 'just' the 400 for now!  Could be an interesting route for future years though - I will certainly bear it in mind.

You're welcome to do whatever you like with the route, ride it, modify it, whatever!

Shame you won't be around on that day, see you on the road some other time.  Will let you know if the day changes anyway.
Up the hills and round the bends

Re: DIY 400 Cromford - Hull - Alford Route Advice
« Reply #11 on: August 20, 2016, 02:52:03 pm »
I ended up riding this route on Thursday as the weather looked terrible today. 

The route itself was great - mostly smaller roads, never on big roads for long, enough interest to keep the motivation up.  So, that aspect of it I was really happy with.  Some nice villages, Humber Bridge, Lincolnshire Wolds, lots of combines out harvesting.

It was my first 400, and given the experience, possibly my last!  I just found it so exhausting, particularly in the latter stages once darkness had fallen.  I felt the need to rest a lot and even had a short lie down in a bus stop, but wasn't able to sleep which is what I really needed, even just 5 minutes. 

So it was a case of deciding to stop for a bit and feel a bit better for a short time or press on and get back sooner. 

I rode it solo so my safety was more of a concern than if I'd had company. I felt that I was walking (riding?) the tightrope between being alert enough (pro plus, coke and coffee) to overcome my inner exhaustion and ride safely but not having too much so that I felt shakey.  Nothing really got rid of the inner tiredness though and I was a little concerned for my own safety, my reactions definitely weren't as sharp as usual.

Also as the ride went on I found it harder to consume real food.  I'd been very sure to stay well hydrated, as evidenced by regular weeing and good urine colour, so it wasn't that.  For the last 2 hours I just had energy gels (that I save for emergencies) as that's all I could get down. 

Arrived home at 3am, 22 hours after setting off, exhausted but delighted to be back home and in one piece.

I barely slept that night and felt rotten for all of the next day. Fine today though after a good night's sleep.
Up the hills and round the bends

Graeme

  • Priest, Preacher and Prophet
  • @FatherHilarious
    • BalancingOnTwoWheels
Re: DIY 400 Cromford - Hull - Alford Route Advice
« Reply #12 on: August 21, 2016, 11:57:01 am »
Wow. Well done.

I think there is general agreement that 400s are tough. But you completed in 22 hours... Depending the lower speed limit there are something like 27-28 hours for an event of this distance. I think you can be confident that you can do it... Which ought to give you the confidence that you could take a bit more time and rest during the ride.

Anyway, whether you do another one or not, you've succeeded. Well done!

Does this complete the SR?
37. Because travel is the finest educational system of all; and cycling the cheapest, easiest, and most educational means of travel - Kuklos' 39 Articles

Phil W

Re: DIY 400 Cromford - Hull - Alford Route Advice
« Reply #13 on: August 21, 2016, 06:57:32 pm »
Well done on a DIY 400. The appetite issues and dozies affect us all from time to time on 400's and above. Sometimes we nail it and a 400 is as easy as falling out of bed, other times we can't wait to get to the end of a 400. If you don't plan on using cheap hotel rooms booked in advance, I can recommend a silver foil blanket to grab 30 mins - an hours kip along the route. I've tried the silver foil bivvy's but sweat too much in those. Even just a 20 min catnap can transform your ability to ride safety and stay awake on the bike.

Re: DIY 400 Cromford - Hull - Alford Route Advice
« Reply #14 on: August 22, 2016, 01:23:05 pm »
Part of the problem was that was trying to have a doze but couldn't.  I was the same once back home, took me absolutely ages to get to sleep.

I'm normally a very good sleeper, can sleep/doze anywhere and don't have any trouble dropping off, so my audaxing sleep troubles surprised me.  I was similar on the 600 I did earlier this year.

I did have a space blanket, but it was perfectly warm enough in the bus stop that I should have been able to drop off, just that my body would not allow me. 20 or ever 10 minutes kip I'm sure would have made a difference!

And yes, that does complete the SR!
Up the hills and round the bends