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CowHen

Member since May 2010 • Last active Aug 2019

Most recent activity

  • in Bike Polo
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    Thursday Newt:
    Jess
    Lexi
    Ben
    Beagle
    Bene (Brazilian dude)
    Charlie
    Paul
    Ziemek
    Jimmy (from 7)

    • 33 comments
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  • in Rides & Races
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    That’s also a bit ambiguous - it’s a compulsory fixed track, but they said many times that you can take a different route if it ‘feels unsafe’. They routed it into a lot of bike paths, which was sometimes good and sometimes terrible.

    Two riders were penalised for taking an alternative route that skipped out a bunch of elevation, the exchange on the Facebook group implied they thought they could take whatever route they liked between gates. Everyone else seems to have followed the track.

    In general the route felt pretty good, made use of some nice roads and meant you weren’t barrelling down motorway hard shoulders trying to take the fastest route. Once you’re in northern Norway there’s basically only one road though so you’re in with the lorries (not that it’s heavily trafficked).

  • in Rides & Races
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    Yes, it did feel a bit like a long audax. They should make that more obvious on their website, rather than blathering on about the ‘spirit of adventure’ for pages and pages.

    The ferry at the halfway point basically split the field into people who were and people who were not racing it - it only ran once a day, so making the Friday ferry put you a day ahead of everyone else. The two winners managed to put in 6 400k+ days to make the Thursday ferry, basically giving them an unassailable lead for the second half.

    This meant the ‘field’ was effectively 15 riders, and everyone knew that everyone else on that ferry was in it to race. People like Meaghan and Bruno (5th, 6th) did so well by racing exactly like you said - they nailed the stops, could sleep on a sixpence, and churned away all day long, but not riding particularly fast. It was really interesting to chat to them all at the end and find out how different people’s strategies were, given that there was not much in it at the end.

  • in Rides & Races
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    Interesting point, how does it feel different from TCR where the pairs can draft? I guess they’re in a different classification and are restricted to their original pairings. It definitely reduces the psychological aspect of the event, being able to ride with others. When we caught up with Bruno at a petrol station, he actually hung around waiting for us so he could he have some company. At the finish, those who finished solo in front didn’t seem to resent people riding together - I think they knew that they were still travelling faster solo anyway.

    It’s definitely a much much less competitive event than the TCR, having talked to people doing it who have ridden TCR before. It’s deliberately billed as not being a race, though there’s still a fair few trying to put in a good time. I think there were also fewer people ‘racing’ it than last year, given the larger spread of finishing times this year.

    I wouldn’t recommend it as a back-up for TCR if you’re after something really competitive, it’s more of an alternative to it. I went into it with a schedule I wanted to achieve for my first ultra-distance event, then found that I could do more miles in the second week than I’d expected. Riding with others definitely helped this as someone new to it. Also watching the dots when you’re in the moment is pretty good motivation.

    As an event in itself, the main plus point was the route - Sweden and Norway were spectacular, and the fixed track was pretty well done. Main downside is the poor organisation/ crap trackers they used this year. I think the concept is great, but they reeeally need to sort out the little things (for example, they had listed a bunch of bike shops near the airport at the finish so people could find boxes, but didn’t actually contact said bike shops to let them know the event was happening).

  • in Rides & Races
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    It’s a bit weird, it’s unsupported externally but they allow riding together/ drafting. It makes it ride a bit more like a regular bike race (ie. alliances made on the road, riding tactically) and means the advantages of riding solo are diminished. The two first riders actually rode together all the way from Oslo and crossed the line together. They’d also got the ferry a day before everyone else though, and actually lost time over the last week - their original lead of 24 hours went down to around 18 by the finish.

  • in Rides & Races
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    Whoop whoop indeed, I’m rather bloody pleased with how this all turned out. The last week has been a very different beast to the first - lots of people stretching the elastic and leapfrogging others, only to lose their lead the next day. My luck changed around day 9 after I’d had a few punctures and fallen behind the day before. I ended up teaming up with Jason Black #124 around Ostersund, and spent the last 5 days reeling people in. The last 3 days essentially turned into a 1000km long 2-up time trial. Learnt a lot riding with him too, he’s bloody strong and would’ve been at the pointy end if not for a crash and subsequent mechanicals.

    We caught Bruno Ferraro the day before yesterday and the 3 of us rode in this morning around 2am, joint 6th place at 13d 18h 15m. About a day and a half ahead of my original plan... it’s been a bit annoying not having my tracker working for the last few days, but not too bad as I was with someone else the whole time. Would not recommend using Endu trackers, such a hassle having to charge each day and then not working reliably/ only updating every 15 minutes at best.

    Injury-wise, my right ankle is still swollen but hopefully it’ll recover soon with some rest. Knees are creaking and making stairs v slow, and my gooch has been predictably massacred. Tooth brushing fell by the wayside a bit, and 10 snickers a day has left my tongue raw.

    Now the plan is to eat constantly for the next week. Taking the ferry/ trains all the way back to london so will have ample opportunity for rest. I tried to keep a vocal record of the race and will try and do a fuller write up once I’ve listened back to the recordings.

  • in Rides & Races
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    paulc.ohen should get me

  • in Rides & Races
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    On the ferry! It’s been a bit of a mad dash to make it, a lot of people have been gunning it for this Friday morning (save the two who made Thursday morning...). 340km average each day, with a shorter first day due to 8am start and having to get across the alps.

    Feelings have been fluctuating hourly for the last week, it’s amazing how much a tiny setback can get amplified (with 15 hours riding each day, a 30 minute delay means 3.5 rather than 4 hours sleep...). On the other hand, a pretty sunset or a well-stocked petrol station becomes the most amazing thing you’ve ever seen.

    Really happy to have made this ferry though - I’d set out a provisional schedule for each day and amazingly stuck to it every day. The bike has been running well so far (two p*nctures and a small crash but all ok). Knees and arse are sore af but still turning over. Splashed out on a hotel last night so feeling a bit fresher, plus got 9 hours to rest on the ferry. There will definitely be people planning on riding through the night when we arrive, but I won’t be one of them. I’m looking forward to taking it a bit easier now that I’ve made the ferry, give myself a chance to take in the surroundings.

    It’s also weirdly fun knowing that people back home can track me, my aunt and uncle are absolutely loving it - it’s nice to know you’re checking in too! I’ll try and post some more updates here, otherwise instagram is my main outlet.

  • in Components, clothing and miscellany
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    Is this still for sale?

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