Audax rides

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  • ^ Nice thread this, put The Hebrides onto my todo list for next year,thanks

  • I rode the Cheltenham New Flyer Brevet today. I got 'hunted' by a Red Kite.

    I feel honoured!

    Haha! Awesome

  • Did it dive bomb you? Being attacked by animals is quite a profound experience, providing they're not lethal.

    I've had a fish and a goat kick off on me (on separate occasions, they weren't tag-teaming me).

  • Ha. The fish was on a wet ride?

    I had stopped in a gateway take in the view and was admiring the buzzards hunting in the fields bellow. There seem to be far more then usual. Something to do with the high water table, dead worms etc I'm told.

    Whilst there a Kite drifts upwards from behind the hedge on wind/thermals alone, soars above me whilst I worked out what it was. I think they're still quite rare so I'm happy to see it. It circled for a minute before coming in very low (down to eye-level!) in a sort of inter-species staring-contest. It passed within 3m but neither of us got our talons out.

    It's a jungle out there.

  • That's so cool.

    The fish was in about 5 feet of water in Borneo. They just kept going to nip your feet like those skin-nibbling fish you get nowadays, but this was ten years ago. Annoying little bastards.

  • I think I will do Man of Kent. Any takers?

    I would like to do Man of Kent. I signed up a while ago not realising it's not accessible by train on a Sunday morning. Seems the only alternative is to ride to the start which is another 60km from Hackney (I don't want to stay over - seems over the top!) So having a think about it ....

  • Did the route check for The Dean at the weekend.
    My ride started by emerging from the Travelodge at 5.30am to be collared for an impromptu "selfie on your bike" request. As the young lad didn't seem too much the worse for wear and mostly harmless I politely indulged. Apologies if I'm now party to the start of some viral internet thing.
    As the light was breaking, I was out onto the Oxfordshire Lanes with a little tredpidation for my second only 300k on fixed wheel and my first fixed AAA points. It was a wonderfully peaceful bit of riding with sightings of a Barn Owl and some wild deer. Evidence of the winter storms is abound and there's still flooding on the edges of some of the roads but the Cotswolds still remain quietly beautiful. A couple of tricky spots where the road has become very potholed but they can be navigated easily enough with a little caution.
    The sun broke as I got close to Stow and I was soon warm enough to remove my windstop. In the town I favoured the local shops in the square over the garage for a control.
    Shortly after Stow I stopped to deploy the other side of the fixed wheel for the long climb up through Ford and past Farmcote. I didn't strictly need the lower gear but felt it would be worth trying to save my energy for later. Although it meant slower descending into Winchcombe I stuck in the lower gear so I would have it for the climb up Cleeve Hill as well.
    As the golf club I switched back for the next descent and the flat run to Newent. It remained sunny but a bit of a drag into a rising headwind here. Still good riding although I was definitely looking forward to a coffee at the next control.
    I debated whether to use the low gear for the Forest of Dean but decided on a wait and see approach and was quite happy in my normal gear. There's no shortage of climbing but none of it is very long and it pays off in the descents. On the approach to Little Dean I nearly got caught out by a bit of road where two flooded craters sit either side of a strip of tarmac about a handwidth across.
    In Parkend I switched back to the low gear for the steep climb through Bream and the long climb up through St Briavels to Tidenham Chase before changing back. I paused briefly in Bream for a snack but still managed to arrive in Chepstow feeling low on energy and very hungry. I was also running later than I thought I would and worried a bit about finishing in time.
    Leaving Chepstow it felt hard to get a good pace going for a while and I knew I'd left it too long before having a proper lunch. By the time I got to the Somerset Monument, with a little walking, I was quite close to the time limit. Fortunately my energy levels were returning and I was finally getting a tailwind. On the stretch to Malmesbury I was cruising along and made the control with a reasonable chunck of time in hand. My reward was a very vivid sunset on the run to Wootton Bassett.
    Despite feeling quite tired I decided against the lower gear for Broad Town Hill and Hackpen Hill. Neither is particularly long on their own and I figured I would lose less time with a little walking and moving quicker between the two than the time spent changing the wheel around twice.
    Coming up to Marlborough the light of the full moon was so bright I was able to indulge myself in a few moments of traffic-free riding without the front lights on. Not technically legal but occaisionally both harmless and irresistable.
    A very warm reception from the staff at Membury Services who enjoys seeing all the riders turn up a couple of times a year (the Severn Across as well) and the obligatory "how did you get here on that" remark from a bewildered motorist.
    Warmed by a hot coffee I was glad to approach the last climb of the ride. As I emerged from Lambourn there was more evidence of a lot of flooding which was sticking around despite the dry weather. It almost ended badly as I crashed through a deep submerged pothole. I stopped to check the bike over which was thankfully OK save a slightly loose hub on the rear wheel. Closer inspection of the pothole revealed a trench the entire width of the road. I suspect all of the top dressing has come off where some cabling works have taken place. Moving on cautiously I found another one the same about twenty metres up the road. Either side of Childrey the road was pretty bad in places and often had to be ridden slowly.
    Finally off the hill I was feeling pretty exhausted and the ride into Oxford was at a pretty leisurely pace. I even discovered the answer to whether you can doze off on a fixed wheel bike. In away I was grateful for a late arrival in Oxford though as the city was quite quiet then. It's fair to say though that I have found my limit of what I can do on fixed wheel and will be sticking to the flatter 200k rides where I find it enjoyable.

  • Nice write up, took the 29er out overnight on Saturday around the Pennines, was amazed by how much moonlight there was even with the clouds. Not brave enough to ride light-less but was able to changing tubes and rummage for snacks without them!

  • More audax related, has anyone ever ridden the Ironbridge 200? Not going to be able to squeeze anything in this month so planning ahead a bit. Torn between that and the shorter (but just as hilly) Spring into the Dales. Guess it'll probably come down to which has the better cafes/pubs en route...

  • Nice work TSK, all that wheel swapping seems a big faff though. What were the two ratios? I've used 67" for the Dean both times I've done it, bit spinny going down (especially that long descent to Chepstow) but best for the climbing and the tired legs in the latter half of the ride.

  • I'm on 42 on the front and 16/19 at the back so that translates as about 69 and 58. It was something that I wanted to try to see if it was going to work as switching a wheel around only takes a couple of minutes to do.

    However, it was a bit of a faff and I'm not sure how valuable it is. Even with the easier climbing that it offered I was still pretty knackered at the end and don't think I would be able to push myself much further so I'm withdrawing from the Bryan Chapman. I don't want to drag myself through the sort of training I would need to do to make me confident I would finish. The alternatives would be to buy a new road bike or the recumbent, both of which are just not going to happen.

    I'm glad I did it though, it was an interesting challenge and I'm pleased to have been able to complete it.

  • Do you reckon that the other factor is not getting used to a gearing? I find swapping gear take a while to get the hang of.

    I rode 65GI before and it was quite spinny the first week of a long distance ride, but eventually settled, I was glad of being able to climb without overdoing it, despite descending slower than I would like.

  • No, but I regularly switch bikes and rarely find the change in gearing or position to be a problem. As I was only really using the low gear for climbing it was more of a welcome change. Not sure how I would feel about it if I were to do it long term but unless I start riding fixed over long alpine passes I doubt I'll find out.

  • FWIW I experimented with dinglespeed on a road frame with horizontal dropouts. I used a road chainset and two cogs on a road wheel. I choose my rings and cogs carefully to give me 66 and 50 gear inches with the same axle position in the dropouts. I used a QR on the rear wheel and got pretty handy and switching gears beside the road in a matter of seconds. Avoiding oily hands was the trickiest bit!

    It's great if you want a simple bike for riding to, up and down mountains, but not much else.

  • I'm on 42 on the front and 16/19 at the back so that translates as about 69 and 58.

    Swapping gears during an Audax (at least if you're considering getting FWC points for it) is frowned upon by many but technically not forbidden.

    The Fixed-Wheel-Challenge ethos is picking an appropriate gear for the ride that is the right balance between climbing, pace on the flat and spin-fu for descending. Many see swapping gears mid-ride as not in the spirit of the FWC.

    The only steep bits of the BCM are the start of the YH drive, a bit near the top of Cross Foxes and the road out of Dolgellau on day 2. I'd use a longer gear for the BCM than for the Dean (although I used the same 67" on the BCM as I can't be arsed to change it - I still use 67" for commuting in London).

    Stick with the BCM, you'll be fine.

  • If it's not technically forbidden then I'm not too concerned about any frowning that might be going on. There's still those that frown about allure libre and riding without mudguards and bouncing little independant controls and so on and so forth.
    I'm in favour of the ethos of the FWC but sometimes you just need to try things out otherwise you'll never know.

    I'm sticking with my wothdrawl from BCM. I know the territory well enough and it's not just about the gear(s). I have other competing goals this year and BCM is going to be a bit too much of a drain on me to be able to do them all. I've done BCM before and can always pick up a new 600k later in the year if I want to. I don't reckon Ritchie will have trouble filling my spot and I should be able to sell the Travelodge booking as well. I might even ride out to Kings YHA and volunteer instead.

  • wothdrawl
    Is this some sort of obscure Northern accent?

    I think we should be told. :)

  • I preferred Miro's experimentation with dinglespeed, a word I'm going to start using with immediate effect. It would make a good descriptor for inserts plum the pace one cycles through rolling wooded countryside.

  • <^^^^@Will>Will look at travel options for Hebrides.'........just had a quick look at British Rail.... £300 Return to Oban!!!!!.....

  • They do advance singles and 'bargain berths' on the Caledonian Sleeper which stops at Crianlarich (the junction for Oban). I have done the journey to Oban by rail, it's great...

    Edit: apart from the midges

  • Is anyone planning on the 3Down, 300km from Chalfont St Peter?­17/

  • Was planning on that but got a wedding to attend.

    Reckon you'll get your beard sorted by then?

  • I dunno. Even if I stop shaving now the best we can hope for is 4 o'clock shadow

    Anyway, I have signed up.

  • Is anyone planning on the 3Down, 300km from Chalfont St Peter?­17/

    Had this down to do last year but something else happened.

    Could be up for this. Need to check what I'm supposed to be doing, etc.

    Is there a GPS track for it?

  • Had this down to do last year but something else happened.

    Could be up for this. Need to check what I'm supposed to be doing, etc.

    Is there a GPS track for it?

    Last year's apparently very similar route is here:

    This year's gpx will be mailed out on 24th March according to the organisers website

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Audax rides

Posted by Avatar for Fixedwheelnut @Fixedwheelnut