Author Topic: London-Wales-London  (Read 44274 times)

Re: London-Wales-London
« Reply #375 on: May 03, 2019, 11:34:34 am »
Uber stoked.  Eat, drink, ride!

DIY sorted for a 50km ride home afterwards into south London.  Truly LWL now!

Will be at the the White Hart for a pint before heading to community centre around 10:30.

S2L

Re: London-Wales-London
« Reply #376 on: May 03, 2019, 11:51:38 am »
quite excited and scared about this. have never done a 400 - have a 600 and some 300s under by belt, but this seems another beast.

Bit of a myth... most 600 are 350-400 + 200-250... so in essence with a 400 you only do day one of a 600... never really understood why some people find 400 harder

LittleWheelsandBig

  • Whimsy Rider
Re: London-Wales-London
« Reply #377 on: May 03, 2019, 11:56:34 am »
Doing 350km in a day is noticeably easier than doing 400km into the pre-dawn, for some of us at least. Doing 250km the second day generally isn't a drama.
Wheel meet again, don't know where, don't know when...

Re: London-Wales-London
« Reply #378 on: May 03, 2019, 12:20:37 pm »
It's as easy as riding a bike!

Re: London-Wales-London
« Reply #379 on: May 03, 2019, 03:42:02 pm »
I’ve more clothes and spares than Wiggle stuffed into my seat pack and more snacks than a Tesco extra in my bar bag. The Garmin is loaded with the route, I’ve checked my kit several times and apart from the two hour drive down tonight I believe I’m ready ... and to think this is all self inflicted ... can’t wait 😊 #lwl19 #godloveusall

Re: London-Wales-London
« Reply #380 on: May 03, 2019, 06:20:43 pm »
I’ve more clothes and spares than Wiggle stuffed into my seat pack and more snacks than a Tesco extra in my bar bag.

Bet I have more than you  :)

Make no mistake, if you're a slowish, full value rider [like me]...it will be a cold night on Saturday.
But we have the [these days very reliable] forecast to prepare us, so....no excuses!
Garry Broad

Re: London-Wales-London
« Reply #381 on: May 03, 2019, 06:26:30 pm »
In 2013 on Severn Across (old name of LWL) I found my leg and arm warmers were not in my saddlebag.  I never looked so forward to up hills as that last leg in the freezing wisps of  fog.
If you don’t make time for exercise now, sooner or later you’ll need to make time for ill health.

Manotea

  • Where there is doubt...
Re: London-Wales-London
« Reply #382 on: May 04, 2019, 06:42:00 am »
Looks like a nice day for it :)

Re: London-Wales-London
« Reply #383 on: May 05, 2019, 04:37:41 am »
In 2013 on Severn Across (old name of LWL) I found my leg and arm warmers were not in my saddlebag.  I never looked so forward to up hills as that last leg in the freezing wisps of  fog.
Was 2013 when you met me at the services after the bloke you’d been riding with abandoned you? Seems like only yesterday if it was (or last week at Wilkyboy’s Capitals ride).
Bikes are for riding, not cleaning!

mattc

  • n.b. have grown beard since photo taken
    • Didcot Audaxes
Re: London-Wales-London
« Reply #384 on: May 05, 2019, 08:15:05 am »
Looks like a nice day for it :)
It's lovely this morning!

But it was a bitter cold Northerly in Oxon yesterday morning, and last night was close to zero. I know at least one rider dipped into a hotel to warm-up on the last leg - hopefully they will have enough time (and core heat!) to complete anytime now ...

EDIT: ... and she finished.  :)
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
« Reply #385 on: May 05, 2019, 08:26:34 am »
Looks like a nice day for it :)
It's lovely this morning!

But it was a bitter cold Northerly in Oxon yesterday morning, and last night was close to zero. I know at least one rider dipped into a hotel to warm-up on the last leg - hopefully they will have enough time (and core heat!) to complete anytime now ...

My car windscreen needed ice scraping when we left Lambourn control this morning. Really enjoyed seeing an Audax from control side for the first time.

Re: London-Wales-London
« Reply #386 on: May 05, 2019, 09:46:10 am »
In 2013 on Severn Across (old name of LWL) I found my leg and arm warmers were not in my saddlebag.  I never looked so forward to up hills as that last leg in the freezing wisps of  fog.
Was 2013 when you met me at the services after the bloke you’d been riding with abandoned you? Seems like only yesterday if it was (or last week at Wilkyboy’s Capitals ride).

It was 2013 but I hadn't been abandoned I'd had a puncture at Royal Wootton Baasset and my pump had siezed. I didn't know the pump was seized when my then riding buddies carried on.  You were were the first riders through and you or your riding buddy lent me a pump. You then head off whilst I had a hot chocolate at the garage there. We then met up again at Membury Services and rode most of the way back to the finish together.  We took slightly different routes after Gerrards Cross but got back within minutes of each other.  My first 400.
If you don’t make time for exercise now, sooner or later you’ll need to make time for ill health.

iddu

  • Are we there yet?
Re: London-Wales-London
« Reply #387 on: May 05, 2019, 09:49:30 am »
Mmmmmm...Bannananana for breakfast ;D

My thanks to a lovely team (Jill, Keith & Niall) that came to experience the other side of the fence, leaving me to just dance under the bordello boutique lights - brilliant job from you all.

Hope all you riders have found a warm haven, and are gradually thawing out.

P.
I'd offer you some moral support - but I have questionable morals.

Re: London-Wales-London
« Reply #388 on: May 05, 2019, 01:03:17 pm »
Thanks to Liam and all his helpers at Woodstock, Chepstow and Lambourne plus of course Chalfont at the start and finish. Wind against to Tewksbury and very cold from around9/10 pm with temperature well in the minus, but no rain, even sunshine for a good part of the day. Spent by the end but worth the effort. Again thanks to everyone involved

Re: London-Wales-London
« Reply #389 on: May 05, 2019, 06:45:06 pm »
That was, um, testing. I am glad it's over - glad to have done it may have to wait for a day or two.

Thanks to Liam, Pat, Paul, Marcus, Matt and everyone else whose names I have no idea of ...

Re: London-Wales-London
« Reply #390 on: May 05, 2019, 07:13:15 pm »
It was very good to have 3 controls with hot food and warmth.  Even the garage at Henley let you take your bike inside and sit at tables to have your drink/food. Thank you to all the helpers and organisers.

Re: London-Wales-London
« Reply #391 on: May 06, 2019, 04:05:10 pm »
It's been 4 yrs since I rode anything longer than a 300, so there was plenty of nerves and trepidation out there about prior to embarking on the LWL on Saturday morning. Did I really want to do this again? Could I even do it at all? Confidence was low.

Four years on, four years older and many new faces I'd not seen before - and a large female contingent also present - very much encouraged by Liam during the entry process.

So it became a game of two haves really Brian: cold, bright and dry for the first half and bloody cold, dark and dry for the second. Unusually, I had been paying attention to the forecast so knew what was coming. I managed to unearth some very odd black leggings [felt like tights when I put them on - were they even mine?] that I wore under the day time longs for the night stage. Those, coupled with 3 buffs and 5 layers round the core did a pretty good job at keeping the cold out [and the sweat in!].

Can I honestly say I've enjoyed every moment of every Audax ride I've ever riden? I doubt it somehow. And this one was right up there amongst the best of them - especially the 60km after Lambourn. That was tough - at least it was for those of us out there in the darkness of night time. Still, after throwing a few toys out of the pram [not an uncommon occurance] I came round to the understanding that's it's pretty dumb and futile to moan about an environment you have little control over and you've voluntarily entered into. 'It's like this, isn't it?'

Make no mistake, Liam has turned this into a superbly organized event - not that it was ever badly organized before, but as Bagman was saying, to have three controls with food laid on at key points round the route was superb. Nowhere more was I grateful for this than at Pat Hurt's Lambourn where after 320km or so, I was really struggling with overall well-being and felt worryingly jaded. As a result and without hesitation, I stopped there for an hour - it literally flew past. Boy, I needed to. That stop reminded me so much of what can happen during PBP and other long rides sometimes. It's always a finely judged balancing act, but stopping for as long as it takes can be essential in order to carry on - and sometimes it's longer than you would have liked.

For those looking to do PBP for the fist time this year, then this 400 was a good ride to be on. Preparation without challenges is a mugs game.

Little chapeau moment from me for Mel Kirkland. Amusingly, every time I see him, we end up either complaining about the weather, complaining about the route or complaining about the onset of age. He's particularly conscious of how he's slowing down a bit these days, but he still keeps chipping away at these rides week after week, and at 70, I think it's a brilliant effort. Well done to you sir. 

But the top prize goes to the carrot cake at Chepstow - it was carrot cake to die for, just so lovely.

Many thanks to Liam and all those who gave a helping hand at the controls.
Might even come back again.
Garry Broad

S2L

Re: London-Wales-London
« Reply #392 on: May 06, 2019, 04:09:35 pm »
It's been 4 yrs since I rode anything longer than a 300, so there was plenty of nerves and trepidation out there about prior to embarking on the LWL on Saturday morning. Did I really want to do this again? Could I even do it at all? Confidence was low.

Four years on, four years older and many new faces I'd not seen before - and a large female contingent also present - very much encouraged by Liam during the entry process.

So it became a game of two haves really Brian: cold, bright and dry for the first half and bloody cold, dark and dry for the second. Unusually, I had been paying attention to the forecast so knew what was coming. I managed to unearth some very odd black leggings [felt like tights when I put them on - were they even mine?] that I wore under the day time longs for the night stage. Those, coupled with 3 buffs and 5 layers round the core did a pretty good job at keeping the cold out [and the sweat in!].

Can I honestly say I've enjoyed every moment of every Audax ride I've ever riden? I doubt it somehow. And this one was right up there amongst the best of them - especially the 60km after Lambourn. That was tough - at least it was for those of us out there in the darkness of night time. Still, after throwing a few toys out of the pram [not an uncommon occurance] I came round to the understanding that's it's pretty dumb and futile to moan about an environment you have little control over and you've voluntarily entered into. 'It's like this, isn't it?'

Make no mistake, Liam has turned this into a superbly organized event - not that it was ever badly organized before, but as Bagman was saying, to have three controls with food laid on at key points round the route was superb. Nowhere more was I grateful for this than at Pat Hurt's Lambourn where after 320km or so, I was really struggling with overall well-being and felt worryingly jaded. As a result and without hesitation, I stopped there for an hour - it literally flew past. Boy, I needed to. That stop reminded me so much of what can happen during PBP and other long rides sometimes. It's always a finely judged balancing act, but stopping for as long as it takes can be essential in order to carry on - and sometimes it's longer than you would have liked.

For those looking to do PBP for the fist time this year, then this 400 was a good ride to be on. Preparation without challenges is a mugs game.

Little chapeau moment from me for Mel Kirkland. Amusingly, every time I see him, we end up either complaining about the weather, complaining about the route or complaining about the onset of age. He's particularly conscious of how he's slowing down a bit these days, but he still keeps chipping away at these rides week after week, and at 70, I think it's a brilliant effort. Well done to you sir. 

But the top prize goes to the carrot cake at Chepstow - it was carrot cake to die for, just so lovely.

Many thanks to Liam and all those who gave a helping hand at the controls.
Might even come back again.

Great read... expand and send to Arrivee?

Re: London-Wales-London
« Reply #393 on: May 06, 2019, 05:27:53 pm »
Thanks to Liam and all his team for a great event.

I have now thawed out, slept, read the reports on the internet and analysed the data. I even wrote a long report here but took so long it got lost in the ether when I hit send. I didn't have the enthusiasm to re-write it.

And now thanks to Von Broad for the above post. It conveys, better than I could, so many of my thoughts. I also used the phrase a ride of two halves - a wonderful day ride followed by a freezing night. I have never felt so cold on a bike.

As one of those looking to ride PBP for the first time I spent a lot of Saturday night wondering how I was going to find any speed overnight there if I couldn't find it on a 400. But a look at Strava Flyby showed I lost two hours overnight to people I had been riding with during the day (one of those people with seven layers on!). And the Garmin showed temperatures below zero for most of the night. I'm hoping for warmer weather in France.

The ride will live long in the memories. I will be back.

Re: London-Wales-London
« Reply #394 on: May 06, 2019, 09:21:20 pm »
Great read... expand and send to Arrivee?

Well thanks for that. Personally, I've always found ride reports a bit boring really, while at the same time appreciating the fact that they can be very cathartic to those that submit them.


As one of those looking to ride PBP for the first time I spent a lot of Saturday night wondering how I was going to find any speed overnight there if I couldn't find it on a 400.

Fear not Neil C, the first 200 km of PBP is a blast. By most people's ability and experience of UK audax rides, its a pretty fast first section. It's also a wheel suckers paradise [not that I would ever encourage such a pastime [being a person of a reclined orientation!]]. The weather could be anything, but the terrain represents a bit of a sling-shot to get the whole process underway, and generally a good enticement to press-on and make progress. The ride is by no means flat, but the first 200km is most certainly not a discouragement - nothing like you were dealing with on Saturday, so don't be put off by that.

There's also a massive 'swept along by events' momentum too during the first night section too, which helps get things underway.
Then you're into the meat of it.

Good luck - hope all goes well.
Garry Broad

Re: London-Wales-London
« Reply #395 on: May 07, 2019, 08:50:02 am »
Thanks to Liam and all his team for a great event.

I have now thawed out, slept, read the reports on the internet and analysed the data. I even wrote a long report here but took so long it got lost in the ether when I hit send. I didn't have the enthusiasm to re-write it.

And now thanks to Von Broad for the above post. It conveys, better than I could, so many of my thoughts. I also used the phrase a ride of two halves - a wonderful day ride followed by a freezing night. I have never felt so cold on a bike.

As one of those looking to ride PBP for the first time I spent a lot of Saturday night wondering how I was going to find any speed overnight there if I couldn't find it on a 400. But a look at Strava Flyby showed I lost two hours overnight to people I had been riding with during the day (one of those people with seven layers on!). And the Garmin showed temperatures below zero for most of the night. I'm hoping for warmer weather in France.

The ride will live long in the memories. I will be back.

Being cold will slow you down. Cold muscles are not effective muscles and the body will use energy just to keep warm leaving less for the legs.

While weather in Britain is not guaranteed to be sunshine. Subzero is unlikely. Layers for overnight still needed and don't get sunburn it's like a beer coat.
   Eddington  87 miles

Re: London-Wales-London
« Reply #396 on: May 07, 2019, 10:45:01 am »
Easily up there with one of the best-organised events I've ever had the pleasure of riding. As others mentioned, a strong female contingent was wonderful to see and they were such powerful women, too!

I had my down jacket on from Chiseldon all the way to the finish. It was baltic and some I rode with found themselves shivering on the overnight section. I took the A4 which I found really beneficial with the street lights and extra services. Makes such a difference when you're able to see and navigate easily at that time of the night. It also shaved about 300m of climbing which I was grateful for since every climb prior had me dropping all my gears immediately.

Got some wonderful comments in Henley from late night revellers. I love riding through bigger places with some life at silly o'clock. The contrast of our worlds never ceases to amaze me. "Why on earth are you cycling at this time?" and "I wish I could be that healthy" - little do they know we binge on sugar to get us through! One girl's top had no more coverage than my sports bra and there I was waiting at a set of lights looking like a Michelin woman. Her friend said she loved my pink oversocks "OMG THEY ARE MY COLOUR!" - amusing times!

Anyway, I'm not quite at the stage where I'm thinking too much about my upcoming 600 but I shall be at Benjamin Allen's Summer Outing if anyone else is up for it.

Re: London-Wales-London
« Reply #397 on: May 07, 2019, 11:37:23 am »

Re: London-Wales-London
« Reply #398 on: May 07, 2019, 12:10:40 pm »
That was quite a ride.
Firstly a huge thanks to Liam and all the helpers, without you guys I think many more would have scratched.
The weather was interesting, cold start, warm sunshine and a bitter night. Even with careful observation of the weather leading in and picking just the right layers I managed to get it wrong. Thankfully a moment of inspiration saw a Newspaper purchased and shoved up my Jersey which solved my ills and allowed me to continue. Although at Malmesbury in the middle of the night I'm not sure what other option I had.
in the beginning Woodstock, Tewkesbury and Chepstow all came and went in a bit of a blur, stamps stamped, recipts gathered, cake and sandwiches scoffed, chatting to lots of people along the way, putting many faces to names and expanding on various thoughts espoused on various social media platforms.
The midway point saw a change to our group as one of our number packed and headed to Bristol to catch a train, but we picked up a replacement so all was not lost. As we proceeded towards Malmesbury the daylight fading, the temperature dropping and spirits now deflating slightly we elected to have a quick stop. Sadly Waitrose was shut so back into town, up another bloody hill and into the first pub we saw, much to the bemusement of the locals. An interesting conversation with a drunk Aussie, a pint of Coke and back out into the night.
Everyone suitably perked up with some sugar the conversation started to flow again, much silliness ensued and the km's ticked by, up hill and down dale with a nice even pace and soon enough we were in Lambourn, my old nemesis. The temperature had plummeted at this point and even my copy of the "Cricketists times" was struggling. Many folk inside huddled round the one working radiator whilst others drank coffee and ate anything on offer. A much needed half hour rest later and we set off into the cold again, those first few km's shivering until the core heated up again.
It was this point that I began to suffer, I think it mainly in the mind, I'd gone further than I made it last year I had to keep telling myself, these thoughts helped me keep the pedals turning.
Nothing much to see in these hours, only the pool of light afforded by the headlamp, the clicking of gears as hills came and went and the odd call out for another nature break.
It was on this leg that the sun began to rise and the mood began to lift, once we reached Henley the skies were light but the temperature still low, a quick stop for the finest Fare the ESSO could muster and on we went.
The hills were beginning to take their toll, the combination of tiredness and a heavy steel bike doing me no favours but we pressed on. Eventually with 30 km's to go the other pair in the group dropped me and I trudged back to base mostly alone.
Very proud of the fact that the bike performed faultlessly, as I only finished building it at 18.00 on the Friday night!The sack of fat riding it did ok too ;)
LWL completed in 26 hours and a couple of minutes. Could I have gone quicker? Probably. Would I have enjoyed the experience as much? I doubt it.
I wholeheartedly endorse the Full Value Crew way of Audaxing. Also Percy pigs are pretty good pick me ups. (Thanks Grace for the tip).
I thank you for reading my ramblings and hope I have not bored you too greatly.
200, check
300, check
400, check
600, not quite
Check later for more exciting updates ;)

Re: London-Wales-London
« Reply #399 on: May 07, 2019, 12:20:17 pm »
well, I did it, and I wrote a thing about it

https://audaxnerd.co.uk/post/184710565908/the-walford-timber-appreciation-society
A great read Niki.
That is certainly the ride I was on....Woodstock, Walford, Yat Rock and one of the frozen dead at Henley.