Author Topic: London-Wales-London  (Read 32419 times)

Re: London Wales London (Severn Across as was...)
« Reply #200 on: April 30, 2017, 06:04:29 pm »
Yes, great teamwork from the LWL helpers.

My ride started around 3am, ECE-ing from Milton Keynes. Couldn't remember when I'd set off before, as it's been two years, and I couldn't find the files. The leg to Aylesbury was slightly longer than when I use my hybrid to work, which shocked me. thought I'd arrive for brekky around 5:30, but it was 5:45. I was greeted in the car park from someone who remembered my name, but I'd forgotten his (Richard from Tring). I dashed in to scoff jam on toast and down coffee, as I hadn't yet eaten.

Set off late (not as late as others), and was Billy-no-mates for a while, getting overtaken by fast people on fast bikes (aerobars, carbon and parachute bags). I eventually caught ACME man and his riding partner, and rode with them for a while. We were caught by Richard, who became my great riding partner for the rest of the event. It was great to have manned controls (not recalled on my 7across outings). Confusion over whether Woodstock brekky was free (it wasn't, as per the emailed instructions and sign at the bar, so I paid). This was another example of veggie's being short changed (no alternative to bacon, sausage and black pudding). I did get my hands on the last hash brown though. A Wetherspoons veggie brekky woulda gone down a treat.

I enjoyed the section to Tewkesbury, recollecting places from different Audaxes as we cycled through them. We just had to stop at the Royal Hop Pole (still dark inside). My planned soup and unlimited coffee turned into the veggie burger, chips and pint deal (usually enjoyed post-event). A pint before Yat rock? Caught ACME man again (sorry, I forgot to ask your name), and told him off for letting down the ACME team, not stopping at the pub. The last time I went up Yat was on our MK CTC (Cycling UK now) hostel weekend (just a few miles away). I used my other Audax bike for that one, but carried less, and had fresh legs. I got up ok, out the saddle, without much grief from motorists. There is a café on the right at the top, but I don't recall them giving receipts, if it ever became a control to stop the climb being bypassed.

The stage to Chepstow felt arduous, and dreading the climb from Tesco with close passing traffic didn't help. The village hall control was great though. I enjoyed the (chorizo?) baked beans, not spicy as I'd expected. So much better than controlling at Tesco or other shop as on previous visits, but I still haven't looked where the 'spoons is (my Team MK club mate has been there).

The climb up to the bridge felt easier than expected, but then I started not looking forward to the Thornbury climb (and headwind). I need to be more positive! We could see the monument in the distance, and dreaded the impending climb. I told Richard how it (in my opinion) breaks down into sections. I honked up it, easier than on the Dean when I had a jumping chain. we had a Co-op stop in Malmesbury, where we met an Audaxer on a (non-DIY) personal 360km ride via Marsh Gibbon (obliterated by TG). I must be sad when it comes to points, so much so that I have led a few club 100 milers in the past, then done another 25+miles to get two points, as well as helping my RRtY. we soldiered on to Lambourn, by now every worn and cracked road aching my wrists, arms, legs and behind (I don't think I've got the Brooks cambium saddle on this bike set up like my other one). Maybe new padded gloves and shorts are the answer (or a thudbuster seatpost). I really enjoyed the veg chilli and dessert at the control, taking the opportunity to use the Assos cream, change my shorts, and add base layer. Only the thermal socks I carried weren't used.

Richard took me on a once in a lifetime trip down to, and on, the A4 (I usually stick to the provided route). Still on some rough roads, and the monotony of pedalling on the A4 felt like the Fens. The end couldn't come soon enough, and I was pleased with around 4.5 hours in hand. I really fancied a chesee toastie, but couldn't face chewing. Fruit salad and rice pudding went down easier, as did tea (had enough of coffee). Said farewell to Richard, rested for over an hour, then set off on my (slow to begin with), ride home. Home before 8:30 and, for a change, didn't fall asleep in the bath. Had an hour's kip early afternoon, after a well earned visit to a Costa.

Thanks again Liam and team. Glad some pulled out so I had the chance to re-visit this newly controlled event, even though I missed going up to see the TdY.     
Bikes are for riding, not cleaning!

Assasin

  • It can only get better
Re: London Wales London (Severn Across as was...)
« Reply #201 on: April 30, 2017, 06:41:11 pm »
Quote
The good news is I haz two bikes :thumbsup:

Awesome!
Those two riders had a lot of grief to contend with without a steed to ride home.
Quite a few personnel effect on board including a pair of specs.
And GPS's etc.

I hope both mounts are unscathed after a brief hijacking for a few hours.
Better make indoor parking compulsory next time....... :)

citoyen

  • Cat 6 Racer
London Wales London (Severn Across as was...)
« Reply #202 on: April 30, 2017, 07:22:30 pm »
Better make indoor parking compulsory next time....... :)

I was dozing when the news started going round that the bikes had gone. I rushed outside to check mine was still there, and my heart sank when it wasn't. Luckily Craig, my riding companion, had already brought it inside.

It's a timely reminder not to be complacent - there are scrotes about even on an apparently sleepy back lane at 11pm on a Saturday night. I shall spur myself into action and replace my broken cafe lock before my next audax.

As for the ride itself, I found it tough but rewarding - exactly what an audax should be. I was much fitter last time I did the SA in 2014. I also realised fairly early on that my legs hadn't yet fully recovered from last weekend's 375km. I was very slow on the climbs all day. And night.

Craig and I had set off a few minutes late so were behind the field from the start, but got picked up by a big group on the run in to Woodstock, until a Garmin glitch diverted me off down a side road while everyone else went straight on. But I got to the control at the same time as the group so just one of those Garmin quirks.

Enjoyed (and paid for) a hearty breakfast before pressing on, still making good progress to Tewkesbury, where we stopped at a nice Italian cafe for a Dino Zoff panini (disappointed there was no Bartali or Pantani option).

After that, I started to suffer as the roads became lumpier and the wind became less favourable. I still enjoyed the climb of Yat Rock - tough but satisfying - but the next section up to St Briavels felt like a real slog and Craig and the rest of the group we were with left me to plod along at my own pace.

After the excellent beans and chorizo and a brief power nap at Tutshill, we pressed on and picked up another pair of riders just after crossing the bridge, plus a chap in a Farnborough & Camberley jersey a bit further on. We worked well together although didn't get round to formal introductions. All I know is the female half of the pair was a fearsomely strong rider on the flat, although she struggled  even more than me on the climbs and we lost her after the monument climb.

Stopped in Malmesbury for some desultory chips - best thing that can be said about them is they were hot.

After that, I started to struggle again. The section from Swindon to Lambourn felt like relentless climbing. Craig was going uphill better than me but not really enjoying it.

We eventually reached Lambourn at 10.30 for some very welcome veg chilli and banana custard. I tried to sleep for a bit but didn't manage more than a doze, and after the bike theft drama decided to push on - joined by the companion of the bikeless Penge rider whom Assassin had talked into carrying on without his mate - definitely the right decision.

We decided to stick to the lanes rather than take the A4 - partly because we were all following gps and didn't know the alt route. Conditions were made harder for me by my IQ-X playing up - for some reason, it wasn't nearly as bright as it should be (our new companion also had a working IQ-X so I know I wasn't imagining it).

We picked up a few others along the way so there were 8 of us by the time we reached the descent of Streatley Hill - one that I find terrifying in daylight, never mind at 3am with barely working lights.

By the time we reached Henley, I was feeling pretty dozy and Craig was really suffering, so we stopped at the services for coffee and microwave noodles - it felt good to get something warm inside us.

Still with plenty of time in hand, we decided to go for full value and have a nap before the final push to the finish. I must say, it was much nicer riding in daylight - and was turning into a lovely sunny morning, though still windy.

The final climb after Wooburn Common is a real sting in the tail, and the lanes leading into Chalfont are a bit rollercoastery, but as we rolled in to the arrivée just after 7am, it was very pleasing to have stuck to the 'proper' route for the full distance - although Craig might have preferred something flatter for his first 400 and was vowing never to do another (yeah, right, heard that one before).

Very much appreciated the cheery warmth and hospitality of Liam and MarcusJB at the finish at the tail end of what must have been a long night shift. Cheese toastie and cuppa hit the spot nicely too.

Stuck around for a nap before driving home - a journey punctuated by several further nap stops, and then vegged out in front of the TdY all afternoon.

Cracking ride. Huge thanks to all the controllers and cafe/social club owners who made it all possible. May well be back next year for a third go.

Re: London Wales London (Severn Across as was...)
« Reply #203 on: April 30, 2017, 10:09:10 pm »
Thank you Liam and all your helpers.  No wind next year please.

Going to do the Chilterms route section next year I have done the A4 twice now.  Reading is a Gramin blackhole! This year it sent me heading in the wrong directiion towards Newbury.  The A4 may be flat but is tedious.  One of the reasons for doing Audax rides is to see the countryside not town centres.
In the daylight I couldn't agree more, but I just don't feel any desire to ride those hills in the dark. Maybe I'm wrong. Also with 320km in my legs I would rather make the rest as easy as possible. Also navigation in the dark when tired and the garmin battery may die at any time is simple.
   E = 77  SR = 2

mattc

  • n.b. have grown beard since photo taken
    • Didcot Audaxes
Re: London Wales London (Severn Across as was...)
« Reply #204 on: April 30, 2017, 10:53:29 pm »
How many runners?
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

jiberjaber

  • ... Fancy Pants \o/ ...
  • ACME S&M^2
Re: London Wales London (Severn Across as was...)
« Reply #205 on: April 30, 2017, 11:42:51 pm »
I think there was about 95 from memory of my sleepy conversation with either Liam or Marcus this morning.

Great event and satisfyingly tough.  Thanks guys...

Oh and good to put a forum name to Team MK ;)  :thumbsup: Though I too was disappointed to miss the 'spoons through lack of local knowledge...  :facepalm:

 also hear Gina Cleere OTP was knocked off her bike by a drunk driver, she's OK but bike took a knock and had to bail.  Driver has been caught by the fuzz apparently so drunk as to not know they had actually it anyone!

I was really disappointed to hear the Penge rider had his bike nicked - if I read right he has got it back?  Where was i found in the end?
Regards,

Jason

mattc

  • n.b. have grown beard since photo taken
    • Didcot Audaxes
Re: London Wales London (Severn Across as was...)
« Reply #206 on: May 01, 2017, 08:48:40 am »
Quote
The good news is I haz two bikes :thumbsup:

This conjures up for me an image of Don Iddu sending out a message to Lambourn that no one messes around on his manor...


"I don't know who you are. ..I do have are a very particular set of skills. Skills I have acquired over a very long career. Skills that make me a nightmare for people like you. If you let my daughter go return the bikes now that'll be the end of it. I will not look for you, I will not pursue you, but if you don't, I will look for you, I will find you ...."

By chance I dropped in on Iddu on my way home from the parallel Welsh 400. He briefly explained what had happened, and I had to bu99er off while he sorted things out on the phone.

I can confirm the conversation was exactly as in the posts above.
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: London Wales London (Severn Across as was...)
« Reply #207 on: May 01, 2017, 10:45:21 am »
Many thanks to all the organisers and helpers of Saturday's ride.  That was a great route.

We took the A4 route from Lambourn.  Unfortunately it was all the way into a vicious headwind from Newbury to Slough but we preferred the easy navigation and wide lit roads (except where the authorities turn the lights off after midnight) and probably saved ourselves about an hour.

Sorry to hear about the bikes being taken.  I guess in a smallish town late at night not a lot is going on and a load of bikes coming through will attract attention.  When we were there it sounded like much of the town was gathered nearby to watch the boxing.

Re: London Wales London (Severn Across as was...)
« Reply #208 on: May 01, 2017, 11:00:41 am »
I would like to add my thanks to all the organisers and helpers.

I found the ride hard going as my knee started playing up after Tewksbury. I had my doubts about carrying on and was considering baling at Bristol, but a large dose of Nurofen in Chepstow, and the worry about the hassle of getting a bike on a GWT train at short notice, kept the challenge alive.

The breakfast at Woodstock was great (and paid for), Sitting outside a windy Tesco in Tewksbury less so, then more than made up by the welcome and sustenance at Tutshill and Lambourn.

A fast first stage meant that the loss of speed in subsequent stages didn't cause undue concern for finishing in time, but its disheartening to see you're going to have to ride later and later overnight when all you want is a sleep. A best part of 200k headwind grinds you down as well.

My riding partner, Will, and I took the A4 route, deeming the lanes would be too dark to enjoy fully. An attack of the Dozies meant a brief pause in a churchyard in Reading then a slightly longer nap in one of the only Audax worthy bus shelters on the A4 with about 25k to go. Followed a route through Gerard Cross to finish just after daylight. A welcome cheese toasty at the finish and then 90 mins kip in the car before going to the Beaconsfield services for a Wetherspoons breakfast before the journey home.
The older you get, the better you get, unless you are a banana.

JJ

Re: London Wales London (Severn Across as was...)
« Reply #209 on: May 01, 2017, 05:17:39 pm »
Rather too many words here, but you can skip most of it:

Well, that didn’t go to plan!  I rode 400km, 425 in fact, but not at all in the way I intended.

I set out about 45 minutes after the field, and didn’t see another rider, not counting the chap on his way to Derbyshire, until Woodstock. There I had a nice chat with the controller, while I got myself on the outside of a prodigious fried breakfast, realising belatedly that I hadn’t eaten since 3am.

To Tewkesbury was lovely again, only spoiled by a new rattle from the back of the bike, which got progressively louder after Ford, as I followed my habit and headed for the gorgeous swoop down to Toddington, rather than the lanes past Sudeley castle.  I stopped at the top of the hill and found the back half of my mudguard was flopping loose.  In times gone by I would have left it, but 18 months ago, I had a nasty off caused by a locked back wheel and that damped my ardour, so I resolved to deal with it when I stopped, and descended without my usual elan.

Hoping to visit my cousins in Tredington, I stopped at a petrol station in Ashchurch, hoping that would count as Tewkesbury, but the receipt clearly said Ashchurch so I carried on into Tewkesbury proper and picked up a cashpoint balance, and suddenly there were riders everywhere, the only time I saw significant numbers.

Knowing I was running late, I almost didn’t go visiting, but I don’t see those guys so often, and I needed somewhere to deal with my mudguard, so off I went, passing a few puzzled riders coming in the opposite direction. In Tredington, while my cousin’s 4 year old decorated with me with dandelions behind my ears and up my nose, I took off the offending guard, and hacked out the piece carrying my (dynamo) back light to wedge onto my saddlebag  After an hour or so visit, I set off lanterne rouge again, for a lonely but lovely ride across the Forest, opting for Haw Bridge, instead of the Mythe.

A pretty girl cyclist gave me the brightest of smiles as we passed, and various passers by stared in frank admiration as I rode by.  It’s a long time since I had that kind of attention, so I basked in it and rolled into Tutshill alongside two riders whom I caught on the descent.

It was on that descent that I felt the dandelions parting company with my ears, the nasal decorations having been sneezed out long since, and understood where the wondering gazes had been directed.

After Tutshill, and the spondulicious bean and chorizo stew, things started to deteriorate.  I’d only ridden a single 200 this year, and it showed.  Hills became steeper and the miles passed more slowly.  Worse, I started to get sleepy.

I kept going until somewhere past Malmesbury, but when I started to have micro-sleeps, I gave in.  Knowing I would be sleepy, and wanting to try it out, I was packing a lightweight hammock, and I slung it in some woods, and slept for 45 cold minutes.

On waking, I rode on towards Malmesbury and Swindon, but after Swindon realised that there was simply no way I was going to make it to Lambourn in time, so I sent Liam a message to pass on to Pat, and turned back in search of transport.
 
Swindon at 2 am on a Saturday morning is un-prepossessing!  The next train out was 5 hours hence but there was a London coach.  I found the bus-station, after a while, and joined the queue, patiently waiting my turn.  When it came, the nice young driver greeted me with “You can’t bring that thing on my bus” or words to that effect, so I meekly turned and slunk away.  There seemed no point arguing.

Suddenly the area round the bus station felt frankly threatening and I simply rode away, while I pondered what to do next.  “Aha!” Says I.  “If I ride on round the route, I can pick up the A4, and get to a train in Hungerford or Reading.”

You can probably guess the rest.  With the pressure of time gone, I pitched camp again in some sheltered woods, and slept until dawn broke and I was woken by a full-scale aerial battle of crows, covering me in broken twigs.  Feeling much better again, I rolled on, and coming to the point where I had to choose left for Lambourn or straight on for the A4, which I could hear in the distance, the quiet road seemed appealing.

So it was that I did the classic of packing and then riding home along the route.  My reward was a delicious breakfast in a community shop in the next village after Lambourn, and a sunny morning’s ride punctuated by multiple sleeps in sun on village greens and verges.  “Are you OK Mate?”

A big thanks to Liam for the ride, and sorry I missed you all, but I had a lovely time!

Salvatore

  • Джон Спунър
    • Pics
Re: London Wales London (Severn Across as was...)
« Reply #210 on: May 01, 2017, 05:35:16 pm »
we had a Co-op stop in Malmesbury, where we met an Audaxer on a (non-DIY) personal 360km ride via Marsh Gibbon (obliterated by TG). I must be sad when it comes to points, so much so that I have led a few club 100 milers in the past, then done another 25+miles to get two points, as well as helping my RRtY. 

That was me (only 340km actually). Unlike LWL, my route took me round the north and east of Swindon, but I see my ride coincided again with LWL on the bit of road which includes the tunnel/long bridge under the M4, but I didn't see any riders. I see from strava flyby that no less a rider than Busshelter Bertie himself was just ahead of me.
Quote
et avec John, excellent lecteur de road-book, on s'en est sortis sans erreur

Redlight

  • Enjoying life in the slow lane
Re: London Wales London (Severn Across as was...)
« Reply #211 on: May 01, 2017, 06:15:23 pm »
Apologies for the length, but I had a full value ride so you get a full value write-up.

It's all about food, innit?

It should have been an ideal 400.  It was a route I had ridden a couple of times before, without any problem other than a bit of wimpishness on the way up Yat Rock. After blowing up badly on Three Down a few weeks ago (packed after about 120km) I'd made a point of giving the legs a couple of days off, getting plenty of sleep, etc in the run-up, and even drove to the start rather than schlepping across London to Chalfont.

So how did I end up crawling in, embarrassed, more than 26 hours after setting off?

Having gone back over the ride in my head several times since yesterday morning, I can only put it down to not eating properly.  I'd breakfasted at about 3.45 before driving over to the start but, with hindsight, a bowl of cereal and a croissant probably wasn't enough to keep me going until 9am, which was when I anticipated getting to the control at Woodstock, having told myself to take it easy on the 'flat' stage to save energy for the hills later on. 

As it turned out, I got there earlier but there seemed only to be either more cereals and toast or a fry-up on offer, neither of which appealed much. I should have found a shop in the town and got something else but I carried on, meaning that by the time I got to Tewkesbury, I was already in energy deficit.  I'd planned a cafe stop just as you come into the town but on being told by the riders already sitting outside that they had been waiting a long time for their food to come, I carried on into the town centre. I couldn't see anything that appealed, so I ended up sitting outside Tesco eating uninspiring sandwiches.

By now, I was already conscious that I was riding too slowly. The previous stage had been harder for me than in previous years -I simply didn't have the energy to grind up the hills without taking breaks -  and I didn't feel too enthusiastic about continuing. But I couldn't blow out on another Audax, so decided that I would finish, no matter what.

Yat came and went. I rode up it in two bursts but the long continuing drag afterwards wore me down. By the time I got to the Toast Cafe (actually, the hall over the road) I was thoroughly depleted. I thought that taking an extended break there, and tucking into the food on offer, would give me a boost. I was right, in that I managed to up my pace a little once I was over the bridge. At that point, I was still feeling confident that, despite earlier problems, I would reach the Arrivee by about 4am. I climbed up to the Somerset Monument just as dusk set in and enjoyed the woodland lanes across to Sherston, as the wildlife started to venture out for the night. 

However,  on the run in to Malmesbury I fell to pieces. I simply couldn't find the energy to turn the pedals, even on flat sections.  I'd missed the Waitrose cafe and knew of nowhere else in the town that would offer any real nourishment at that time of night, but I'd seen on the route sheet that there was a petrol station with a shop just up the road, so I headed for that.

"Just up the road" was further than I anticipated, despite the distance being clear on the route sheet.  I crawled the 16km to Wootton Bassett, frequently stopping just to lay my head on the handlebars for a few minutes. My legs were dead and I was starting to feel both nauseous and dizzy. My eyes were beginning to blur the information on the route sheet and I couldn't even read the time on the computer.  After what felt like hours, the petrol station came in to sight.  Lights still on, but the Esso sign not.  Worrying.  Yes, I'd missed closing time by a matter of two or three minutes.

Thankfully, the assistant responded to my plaintive knocking and let me in.  I hadn't realised it when riding but I was shaking, not with cold but, I think, from low blood sugar. She let me sit in the corner while she tidied up for the night and I demolished a bottle of banana milk, fruit loaf, chocolate and half a pack of jelly babies, before taking my leave.  It wasn't long before the sugar kicked in and the next 20km or so were manageable, despite some long climbs. However, I had got myself into the classic sugar high-glucose deficit cycle and just before Lambourn the engine packed up again. Then I missed the control - don't know how but I found myself several km down the road to Newbury before realising. In my befuddled state, I could't work out what I'd done wrong so spent about 20 minutes riding around the village randomly until I saw a street name that matched one on the route sheet.

I was shocked to see that it was almost 2am when I arrived and it was obvious that I was right at the tail end of the ride. The two riders whose bikes had been borrowed were very stoically sitting it out.  I was tempted to offer mine and cadge a lift back to Chalfont with Pat.  I tucked into the very welcome chilli and bread and decided to stay until the control closed and take it easy on the last leg. I was confident that, even on my performance so far, I could just about finish in time but, if I didn't, then it didn't matter. 

I left just before 3 with Richie from St Albans and was pleased to find that my energy levels were starting to normalise. We rode together as far as Hampstead Norreys, where he decided to take a break, and I pressed on. On this last stretch I was occasionally joined by another rider from SE London whose name I forgot to ask, but most of the time I rode alone.  Streatly Hill was a delight - with no traffic in sight I hit 76km/h on the way down and even the subsequent climbs out of Goring and Bourne End were steady, if not loveable.

I eventually limped in sometime after 8am to be greeted with smiles and tea from Liam and Marcus.  And, best of all, rice pudding.  Perhaps if I'd had some of that at the start, I would have had a very different day out.  Still, it's a great route and the new catering arrangements are a big improvement on the Severn Across offer.  And, along the way, I got to see a small deer, several young badgers and an unidentified bird of prey pluck a pigeon out of the air mid-flight. That kind of thing makes all the other stuff worthwhile.

Next up for me is the BCM - another ride that I've done a few times and know I can handle comfortably. But somehow I've got to get my eating habits sorted out. Another bad ride and I think I'll be reconsidering LEL :-(.
Between the Disney abattoir and the chemical refinery

Re: London Wales London (Severn Across as was...)
« Reply #212 on: May 01, 2017, 08:32:02 pm »
  I'd planned a cafe stop just as you come into the town but on being told by the riders already sitting outside that they had been waiting a long time for their food to come, I carried on into the town centre. I couldn't see anything that appealed, so I ended up sitting outside Tesco eating uninspiring sandwiches.


Were you in a red Audax UK top?
The older you get, the better you get, unless you are a banana.

Redlight

  • Enjoying life in the slow lane
Re: London Wales London (Severn Across as was...)
« Reply #213 on: May 01, 2017, 08:47:04 pm »
Yep, that was me.  I presume you were the kind person who watched my bike for me.
Between the Disney abattoir and the chemical refinery

Re: London Wales London (Severn Across as was...)
« Reply #214 on: May 01, 2017, 08:53:54 pm »
I was very interested to read Redlight's write up of the ride. I had entered and as the final part of my preparations I tried to do a DIY 300. I suffered much the same symptoms after less that 200 Km and I had to bail out. I decided at that point that my feeding strategy was not correct and that I would withdraw from the ride. It is a truly horrible experience and one that I do not wish to repeat. I can only say well done Redlight for finishing the ride. It doesn't matter how close to the time limit you were, you still finished.

Re: London Wales London (Severn Across as was...)
« Reply #215 on: May 01, 2017, 09:55:53 pm »
Yep, that was me.  I presume you were the kind person who watched my bike for me.

Yes, that was Wilbur and me. I think we managed to find the coldest place in Tewksbury to sit there.

Nice to put a name to a face.
The older you get, the better you get, unless you are a banana.

LMT

Re: London Wales London (Severn Across as was...)
« Reply #216 on: May 01, 2017, 10:11:33 pm »
FWIW for next time you have the Gupshill Manor pub on the way into Tewkesbury from the south, no probs getting a drink and some food.

Re: London Wales London (Severn Across as was...)
« Reply #217 on: May 01, 2017, 10:27:02 pm »
Redlight I had similar problems.  Nearly sick twice and then so hungry that I found it hard to eat anything.
My own fault - bounced the first control and hot food.  Should have eaten then and more frequently during the ride. Lesson learnt the hard way.
Much better today on the Chiltern Chiltern Bang Bang.

Re: London Wales London (Severn Across as was...)
« Reply #218 on: May 01, 2017, 10:32:13 pm »
Next up for me is the BCM - another ride that I've done a few times and know I can handle comfortably. But somehow I've got to get my eating habits sorted out. Another bad ride and I think I'll be reconsidering LEL :-(.

Nice write up. Was with you all the way.
You made it, well done. That's the way it is sometimes.
As regards eating - I'm a slow rider, and always carry something or other to tie me over when things get sparse. It's extra weight - but always worth it IMO.
Garry Broad

Re: London Wales London (Severn Across as was...)
« Reply #219 on: May 01, 2017, 11:00:21 pm »
So it was that I did the classic of packing and then riding home along the route.  My reward was a delicious breakfast in a community shop in the next village after Lambourn, and a sunny morning’s ride punctuated by multiple sleeps in sun on village greens and verges.  “Are you OK Mate?”
Bad luck, but the end as you describe it here doesn't sound quite so bad really :)
Garry Broad

citoyen

  • Cat 6 Racer
London Wales London (Severn Across as was...)
« Reply #220 on: May 02, 2017, 08:52:41 am »
I'd planned a cafe stop just as you come into the town but on being told by the riders already sitting outside that they had been waiting a long time for their food to come, I carried on into the town centre. I couldn't see anything that appealed, so I ended up sitting outside Tesco eating uninspiring sandwiches.

Not much use to you now, I know, but for next time, I recommend this place:
http://www.caffeevino.eu/

Service was quick, even though they were busy, and the food was very good. We only had panini and coffee but the group at the next table were tucking into some rather splendid looking cakes.

Last time I did the SA, I stopped at [redacted], which was very good but a lot slower service. Funny how some places are so much better than others at that side of things - and it's never only down to how busy they are.

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I eventually limped in sometime after 8am to be greeted with smiles and tea from Liam and Marcus.

I think that must have been you who arrived just as I was getting ready to leave - I knew you looked vaguely familiar but sorry I didn't recognise you!

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Another bad ride and I think I'll be reconsidering LEL :-(.

Still several months away. You'll be fine.


cgg

Re: London Wales London (Severn Across as was...)
« Reply #222 on: May 02, 2017, 11:16:10 am »
At Tewkesbury Graham and I stopped at Aldi of all places. It's amazing what the grand sum of £3.87 can get you :thumbsup:

Re: London Wales London (Severn Across as was...)
« Reply #223 on: May 02, 2017, 03:19:50 pm »
How many runners?

95 went out and 81 came back.

Next year I think I try to get 125 on the road.

citoyen

  • Cat 6 Racer
Re: London Wales London (Severn Across as was...)
« Reply #224 on: May 02, 2017, 03:55:52 pm »
After the excellent beans and chorizo and a brief power nap at Tutshill, we pressed on and picked up another pair of riders just after crossing the bridge, plus a chap in a Farnborough & Camberley jersey a bit further on. We worked well together although didn't get round to formal introductions. All I know is the female half of the pair was a fearsomely strong rider on the flat, although she struggled  even more than me on the climbs and we lost her after the monument climb.

Just been browsing the flybys on Strava and realised that Gina, for that is her name, is the rider who was knocked off by a drunk driver at Sonning Common. Bugger. She's ok but bike written off, apparently.


A couple of nice reports :
Here http://www.graceqom.com/the-importance-of-people/ and here https://themanfromicon.net/2017/05/01/london-wales-london-400km-audax/

Also rode with that bunch on and off during the first 250km. They seemed nice. I've been caught napping in the second set of pics - literally, while I was dozing at Tutshill.